Tag Archives: IRI

McCain Led Republican Group Had Ties to Blackwater, Lehman Bros., Lobbying Groups & Big Oil Companies

International Republican Institute

International Republican Institute

According to an Associated Press article from October 2007, Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s time as chairman of the International Republican Institute connected him to a wide range of international interests.  We now know this included Columbia University Professor Rashid Khalidi, whom the McCain-Palin campaign is smearing in the press in an attempt to dissuade Americans from voting for presidential candidate Barack Obama.  Additionally, McCain and the IRI had a long list of corporate donors, including Blackwater USA, the paramilitary security firm responsible for killing 11 innocent Iraqi civilians, investment bank Lehman Bros., corporate lobbying firms and big oil companies such as Chevron, ExxonMobil and BP.

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John McCain’s International Republican Institute Gave $448,873 to Rashid Khalidi’s Center for Palestine Research and Studies

The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood.

Rashid Khalidi, American born historian of the Middle East, Professor of Modern Arab Studies' at Columbia University's School of International & Public Affairs.

The Huffington Post published an article by Seth Colter Walls which points out the hypocrisy of the current McCain-Palin campaign attacks on Barack Obama for attending a 2003 farewell dinner honoring former University of Chicago professor Rashid Khalidi, when Senator John McCain has FINANCED projects of Professor Khalidi since the 1990’s. 

During the 1990s, while he served as chairman of the International Republican Institute (IRI), McCain distributed several grants to the Palestinian research center co-founded by Khalidi, including one worth half a million dollars.

A 1998 tax filing for the McCain-led group shows a $448,873 grant to Khalidi’s Center for Palestine Research and Studies for work in the West Bank. (See grant number 5180, “West Bank: CPRS” on page 14 of this PDF.)

The relationship extends back as far as 1993, when John McCain joined IRI as chairman in January. Foreign Affairs noted in September of that year that IRI had helped fund several extensive studies in Palestine run by Khalidi’s group, including over 30 public opinion polls and a study of “sociopolitical attitudes.”

Of course, there’s seemingly nothing objectionable with McCain’s organization helping a Palestinian group conduct research in the West Bank or Gaza. But it does suggest that McCain could have some of his own explaining to do as he tries to make hay out of Khalidi’s ties to Obama.

McCain Funded Work Of Palestinian His Campaign Hopes To Tie To Obama

McCain’s International Republican Institute IRSTax Return Shows Khalidi Grant (PDF file)