Senators Joseph I. Lieberman and Lindsey Graham, prominent surrogates for Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign, stepped down Wednesday from their positions with an independent group that released a pair of Internet advertisements attacking Senator Barack Obama on Iraq.
Mr. Lieberman, independent of Connecticut, and Mr. Graham, Republican of South Carolina, were both on the policy advisory board to the organization, Vets for Freedom, which on Wednesday released its second Web advertisement in less than a week attacking Mr. Obama.
The senators’ positions with the group, which describes itself as a grass-roots advocacy organization pushing for victory in Iraq and Afghanistan, seemed to place them in contravention of new conflict-of-interest rules released by Mr. McCain’s campaign that specifically prohibit anyone “with a McCain campaign title or position” from participating in a “527 or other independent entity that makes public communications that support or oppose any presidential candidate.”
Vets for Freedom has tried to start a phony issue out of the fact that Senator Barack Obama has not been to Iraq in recent years for the Petraeus Promenade, otherwise known as the "dog and pony show." Instead of condemning Obama, real veterans would appreciate the fact that Senator Obama has not gone into a hot combat zone and forced troops to go without overhead protection, heavy vehicle support, and force protection for their operations so that VIPs can buy rugs in a closed marketplace for five bucks.
One of the blogs that noticed what was going on was Crooks & Liars, who picked it up from The Huffington Post:
Will the corporate media hold McCain to task for this violation? [Having Lieberman and Graham serve on the advisory board of Vets for Freedom] Will McCain be forced to disavow their support as he did with Parsley and Hagee? Or will the media be too busy talking about other things and give McCain a pass yet again?
On April 8, 2008, Senators Lieberman, Graham and McCain appeared at a Vets for Freedom rally:
John McCain, (R-Ariz.) the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, did not disappoint. At a pit stop at the Vets for Freedom rally outside the Capitol before appearing on the Senate Armed Services Committee, McCain, called Army Gen. David Petraeus "one of [America's] greatest generals."
He also thanked the veterans.
“I just wanna say what you know so well,” McCain said. “No one detests war more than a veteran. But the veteran also knows the consequences of defeat means greater sacrifice and greater numbers who are wounded and killed. You know better than any the consequences of defeat.”
“My friends, we will never surrender to the extremists,” McCain added.
“HOOAH!” dozens of vets yelled in response.
Sens. Joseph I. Lieberman, (I-Conn.) and Lindsey Graham, (R-S.C.), who have both endorsed McCain's candidacy and joined him on stage, echoed his sentiments.
“Do not underestimate the contribution you have made on the political battlefield at home,” Lieberman said. “Do we want al Qaeda and Iran to win a victory in Iraq?”
“No!” the vets screamed.
Graham added, "More than anything else, we need you to win."
“You want to know who wants you to come home more than anybody?” Graham continued. “Al Qaeda because you’re kicking their ass.”