Woman's rights advocate: McCain sides with 'sympathizers and enablers of domestic terrorism'
Nick Juliano
Published: Wednesday October 8, 2008

Print This  Email This

After John McCain's campaign began smearing Barack Obama over his previous associations with a former 60s radical, a spokeswoman for the Republican candidate issued a bold declaration: If McCain had consorted with abortion clinic bombers, it would be a legitimate story.

The Arizona Senator may not have directly consorted with any clinic bombers, but his legislative record was certainly favorable to them, and critics are hammering his association with sympathizers of domestic
terrorists who target abortion providers.

People For the American Way encouraged McCain to "look in the mirror" after a RAW STORY report revealed McCain's connection with Marylin Shannon, a Republican official in Oregon who was a McCain delegate at this year's GOP convention. The two appeared together at a 1993 fundraiser for an ultra-conservative organization where Shannon praised a woman who was later convicted of attempted murder in the shooting of an abortion clinic doctor.

“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,” PFAW president Kathryn Kolbert said Tuesday. “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," continued Kolbert, a longtime women’s rights advocate who successfully argued a crucial abortion rights case before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1992. "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 terrorism.”

McCain and Shannon appeared together at a fundraiser for the Oregon Citizens Alliance in 1993, a gathring of Christian right extremists that even fellow Republicans advised McCain not to attend because the group was so far outside the mainstream.

Speaking before McCain, Shannon offered some kind words for Shelley Shannon, who was accused and later convicted of shooting an abortion doctor: "I'm not related to Shelly Shannon, but I think she's a fine lady," the vice chairwoman of the state Republican Party said. McCain apparently said nothing to contradict that judgement, and less than three months later he voted against a bill that would make abortion clinic bombings a federal crime.

Author and journalist Frederick Clarkson has written extensively about the Army of God, the radical Christian organization that trained Shelley Shannon and others like her to bomb abortion clinics and attack abortion providers. He provides some more details on Shannon. She was eventually convicted of the attempted murder of a Wichita, Kan., doctor and of committing a spree of abortion clinic arsons across the west.

Shelly Shannon also considered herself a soldier in the underground terror organization, Army of God, which views Shannon as a "hero of the faith" and a "Warrior Soldier in the Army of God."  The group devotes a section of its web site to celebrating her exploits and her martyrdom. ...

The so called Army of God manual was passed around and added to over the years and desccribes how to wage a terror campaign against clinics. The first copy to fall into the hands of federal law enforcement was dug up in Shelly Shannon's back yard. ...

Thus it is worth considering the disingenuous euphemisms of Marilyn Shannon (no relation to Shelly) who was not only public apologist for a notorious domestic terrorist, but served as vice chair of the Oregon GOP and as a McCain delegate to the Republican National Convention this year.
After days of attacking Obama for his previous association with former Weather Underground member William Ayers, McCain's campaign seems to be backing off. Ayers's name was not mentioned at all during Tuesday night's debate, despite high expectations that McCain would keep up the attacks. His campaign advisers seem to be recognizing that the attacks are ineffective, and the candidate is now pivoting back to talking about the economy.