McCain Linked to Group That Aided Contras

Ariz. senator joined board when he came to Washington
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 7, 2008 11:59 AM CDT
John McCain arrives with his wife in Nashville yesterday.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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(Newser) – John McCain has past connections to a group that supplied aid to guerrillas seeking to overthrow the leftist government of Nicaragua in the Iran-Contra affair. The US Council for World Freedom was part of an international organization linked to former Nazi collaborators and ultra-right-wing death squads in Central America. Its goal was to stamp out communism around the globe.

The council's founder, who knew McCain’s father, says he invited the younger McCain to become a supporter of the organization in the early 1980s as McCain was launching his political career in Arizona “to make him feel like he wasn’t left out.” McCain's ties are facing renewed scrutiny after his campaign criticized Barack Obama for his link to former radical William Ayers