On Tuesday, an Associated Press article featured on MSNBC.com and briefly as a top headline on the popular internet homepage MSN.com was titled: "McCain linked to group in Iran-Contra case." The subtitle read: "Organization had ties to former Nazi collaborators, right-wing death squads." The article attacked a group founded by retired U.S. General John Singlaub: "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. The group was dedicated to stamping out communism around the globe."
The AP appears to be getting its story tips from the Obama campaign, as Boston Globe deputy national political editor, Foon Rhee, reported: "The Obama camp today is sending around reports on Singlaub, founder of the US Council for World Freedom, which was involved in the Iran-Contra scandal during the mid-1980s and was criticized for supposed links to Nazi collaborators and right-wing death squads in Central America." The AP article justified reporting on the tenuous McCain connection by explaining: "McCain's ties are facing renewed scrutiny after his campaign criticized Barack Obama for his link to a former radical who engaged in violent acts 40 years ago."
In the article, General Singlaub is quoted and suggested that McCain had little or no involvement in the organization: "We had McCain on the board to make him feel like he wasn't left out. It looks good to have names on a letterhead who are well-known and appreciated. I don't recall talking to McCain at all on the work of the group." Despite that explanation, the AP still thought it appropriate to suggest an equivalence between McCain’s ties to such an organization and Obama’s ties to domestic terrorist Bill Ayers: "The renewed attention over McCain's association with Singlaub's group comes as McCain's campaign steps up criticism of Obama's dealings with William Ayers, a college professor who co-founded the Weather Underground and years later worked on education reform in Chicago alongside Obama."