Former Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga.) talked with AFP’s Dave Gahary about Israel’s influence on Washington, D.C. and the pledge AIPAC expects legislators to take—something she knows all about from her 12 years in office.
By Dave Gahary
In the shadow of the more than 500,000 Americans who are homeless on any one night, Congress is poised to give the Zionist state of Israel $38 billion over the next decade—more than half of all direct military aid the U.S. provides worldwide—forcing many Americans to ask who really controls the levers of power in this once-great nation.
One of those Americans, former Rep. Cynthia Ann McKinney (D-Ga.)—currently an educator, as well as an anti-war and human rights activist—knows more than most who’s in charge, and for those who still think it’s their president, senators, or representative, it’s time to smell the coffee.
Ms. McKinney—who earned her Ph.D.—sat down with this reporter for an hour-long candid discussion of the power of Israel in the United States. She is one of several U.S. politicians targeted by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) for not being sufficiently servile to the Mideast state, and who lived to tell about it, specifically about the pledge of allegiance to Israel all U.S. politicians are forced to sign if they want any real chance at reelection.
AIPAC targeted Ms. McKinney for termination for her refusal to sign “the pledge,” but many other politicians weren’t as lucky, like former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
“He’s in prison not because he had a conversation,” explained Ms. McKinney. “It’s because of his appointment to the Senate. The Israel-first people had their candidate he was supposed to appoint to the Senate, and he didn’t do that . . . and they sought their revenge. That is the underlying reason for his prosecution.”
She continued: “You can cite as an example to Rep. Jim Traficant. They’ve got a whole trail of people who have been in prison. You can go to Bob Ney from Ohio. You can go to Curt Weldon; he didn’t go to prison, but he got kicked out, with an FBI raid, just because he talked about 9/11. So, you’ve got a trail of detritus, the carcasses of politically dead politicians—with my carcass there as well—for the vultures to feed on.”
Ms. McKinney first detailed “the pledge”—a result of President George H.W. Bush’s defiance of AIPAC—on a PressTV episode, which she elaborated upon to this reporter. “The pledge was a piece of paper that was faxed to my home,” she said, unabashedly sent from AIPAC. Its demands were clearly listed. “I only remember the first three,” she said.
“There were five or seven. I can’t remember.” Jerusalem is the capital, the military superiority of Israel, and economic assistance were the three that stood out, she said. “The third one that I remember was about keeping the levels of aid consistent with Israel’s request,” she explained, “so that I would not vote for aid levels to go down.”
“In other words, do everything that Israel wants?” asked this reporter.
“Yes,” she answered. American-Jewish politicians did AIPAC’s dirty work, with Congress resembling more the German Democratic Republic’s Volkskammer (unicameral legislature) than the bastion of representative democracy.
“You knew when there were these certain point people,” she explained, “and when those point people [Ben Cardin, Eliot Engle, Jerry Nadler, Jerry Ackerman] authored legislation, you knew that was AIPAC’s making, and they were also in the room taking notes on who said what during the deliberations of the bill.”
Ms. McKinney recalled a time when AIPAC’s authorship of a bill was exposed. “There was a letter or bill or something that AIPAC had sent over to one of the congressional offices,” she explained, “and the congressional office was not savvy enough to erase the original title, which was AIPAC’s. Then that became like a little mini-firestorm, but there is no such thing as a real firestorm with AIPAC, because they are able to suppress everything.”
Ms. McKinney lasted through six terms without ever signing the pledge. “I was offended by it,” she said. “My entire 12 years in Congress was bumping up against these people who controlled everything. They literally controlled the budget process; what got in the budget, what got a line item.” Ms. McKinney explained how AIPAC uses “the pledge” to control Congress. “I would get a call and the person on the other end of the phone would say, ‘I want to do a fundraiser for you,’” she explained. “And then we would get into the planning. I would get really excited because you have to have money in order to run a campaign. And then two weeks, three weeks into the planning they would say, ‘Did you sign the pledge?’ And then I would say, ‘No, I didn’t sign the pledge,’ and then my fundraiser would go kaput.”
She added: “The Zionist, Israel-first money is what underpins the Republican and the Democratic parties.”
She then described how it’s done. “The way it works is that the pro-Israel money is in your environmental PAC [political action committee], is in your labor union PACs, is in your corporate PACs,” she explained. “It’s across the board.”
Ms. McKinney, who never took a “free” trip to Israel, remains unapologetic. “The U.S. national interest is not equivalent to the Israeli national interest,” she stated.
“Is the U.S. a Zionist occupied government?” asked this reporter.
“Yeah, yeah, for sure,” she chuckled.
Dave Gahary, a former submariner in the U.S. Navy, prevailed in a suit brought by the New York Stock Exchange in an attempt to silence him. Dave is the producer of an upcoming full-length feature film about the attack on the USS Liberty. See erasingtheliberty.com for more information and to get the new book on which the movie will be based, Erasing the Liberty.