Well, this election is fast turning into an opposition-research-fueled shitstorm. On Meet The Press Sunday, Democratic strategist Paul Begala casually mentioned that John McCain sat on the board of the U.S. Council For World Freedom. And the Associated Press this morning elaborated on exactly what that entails. "The U.S. Council for World Freedom was part of an international organization linked to former Nazi collaborators and ultra-right-wing death squads in Central America.," AP said. Very interesting! But the rest of the article doesn't give any details on these Nazis or the role of this group, called the World Anti-Communist League, in launching a "Cocaine Coup" that turned Bolivia into a drug trafficking hub and hotbed of brutal torture. Luckily a former AP and Newsweek reporter named Roberty Parry wrote an oddly fun book called Lost History , which can provide further illumination:

In 1966, the Asian Peoples Anti-Communist League expanded into the World Anti-Communist League, an international alliance that pulled together traditional conservatives with former Nazis, overt radicalists and Latin American "death squad" operatives. In an interview, reitred U.S. Army Gen. John K. Singlaub, a former WACL president [[also quoted in today's AP story -ed.]], said "the Japanese [WACL] chapter was taken over almost entirely by the Moonies."

Through WACL and other political relationships, [Moonies founder Sun Myung] Moon built bridges to right-wing forces in South America during the 1970s.... [a] Bolivian WACL leader [last name Gasser]... was a leading figure in the coup....

...CAUSE, one of Moon's anti-communist organizations, listed as members nearly all the leading Bolivian coup-makers.

...An architect of the Bolivian coup was World War II Nazi fugitive Klaus Barbie, who was working as a Bolivian intelligence officer under the name Klaus Altmann. Barbie drew up plans modeled after the 1976 Argentine coup and contacted the Argentines for help. As the coup took shape, Barbie organized a secret lodge, called Thule, where he lectured his followers under swastikas by candlelight. [[!!!??!!]]

....The slaughter was fierce.... Labor leader Marcelo Quiroga... 'was dragged off to police headuarters to be the object of a game played by torture experts imported from Argentina's dreaded Mechanic School of the Navy...' [[-pages 38-41, 200-202]]

The WACL/Moonie/Barbie forces then transported cocaine on behalf of the drug lords they had made a deal with prior to the coup, Parry wrote. The drug trafficking eventually became an issue for the U.S. government (despite evidence the CIA was complicit in the coup) and the Moonies pulled out. And about a year later the Moonies, apparently flush with cash, launched the conservative Washington Times at an alleged cost of about $100 million per year! Very interesting.

Supposedly McCain was involved with this WACL council about as little as Obama was involved with 1960s radical Bill Ayers. "I don't recall talking to McCain at all on the work of the group," Singlaub (the retired Army general from the quote above) told AP. Singlaub, however, doesn't remember McCain quitting the group in 1984 as McCain has long claimed he did. That's probably because McCain attended the group's 1985 "Freedom Fighter Of The Year" awards! (See HuffPo link at top.)

Dredging up this McCain link is a crafty bit of flackery on behalf of Barack Obama's campaign in that it seems to neutralize the issue of Obama's affiliation with Ayers. Trouble is, the Ayers issue was useful mainly as an excuse to paint Obama as he was already seen by some voters — an un-American terrorist sympathizer. And the people who think that aren't going to care about some extreme anti-communist group McCain affiliated himself with a long time ago. The people who might care about that, in fact, are mostly already voting for Obama. So, nice going, oppo-wise, linking McCain with Nazis and so forth, but it's probably not going to stop all this "Who Is Barack Obama?" business.