The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Drew Courtney or Josh Glasstetter
People For the American Way

McCain and Domestic Terrorism

Time for McCain to Look in the Mirror


Senator John McCain has been making a lot of baseless accusations
lately, but he is the one with the troubling past. McCain and Marylin
Shannon - a 2008 McCain delegate and former vice chair of the Oregon
Republican Party - both appeared at an August, 1993 fundraiser for the
far right Oregon Citizens Alliance. McCain appeared against the advice
of Mark Hatfield, a GOP senator from Oregon, who feared that the
group's extremist views would taint McCain.

Shannon, who attended
this year's Republican National Convention as a McCain delegate, spoke
immediately before McCain and "praised the Grants Pass woman accused of
shooting an abortion doctor in Wichita" earlier in the month, referring
to her as a "fine lady." When McCain spoke next, he said nothing about Shannon's vile comments and delivered his speech as prepared.

Just a few months later, the Senate voted overwhelmingly to approve
a crucial anti-domestic terrorism bill, the Freedom of Access to Clinic
Entrances Act. McCain opposed the bill.

Between 1977 and 1993 there were
"36 bombings, 81 arsons, 131 death threats, 84 assaults, 2 kidnappings,
327 clinic invasions, 71 chemical attacks, more than 6,000 blockades
and related disruptions" against reproductive health clinics. Congress
was finally spurred into action by the killing of Dr. David Gunn
outside a Florida clinic in March of 1993. In August, Dr. George Tiller
was shot and wounded in Wichita.

"When anti-choice extremists were terrorizing American women and
their doctors, John McCain had multiple opportunities to make what
should have been an easy choice," said Kathryn Kolbert, President of
People For the American Way, and a longtime women's rights advocate who
successfully argued a crucial abortion rights case before the U.S.
Supreme Court in 1992. "But he chose political expediency over law and
order. He didn't say a word when Marylin Shannon sympathized with an
attempted killer. He voted against the clinic access bill even as
everyday Americans were being assaulted and besieged by domestic
terrorists. As someone who faced repeated threats for work on behalf of
reproductive rights, I am deeply disturbed by John McCain's willingness
to stand with and side with sympathizers and enablers of domestic

People For the American Way works to build a democratic society that implements the ideals of freedom, equality, opportunity and justice for all. We encourage civic participation, defend fundamental rights, and fight to dismantle systemic barriers to equitable opportunity. We fight against right-wing extremism and the injustice it fosters.

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