I did a whole series of posts on how Chiquita Banana paid off a right wing (and before that, a left wing) terrorist group in Colombia rather than pull out of the country. Here’s a good summary post, that shows that:

  • Chiquita had been paying protection money going back to 1989–including two and a half years of payments to the right wing AUC after it had been declared a terrorist organization (and, yes, those payments came after 9/11 changed everything)
  • In spite of warnings from outside lawyers that Chiquita "Must stop payments," Chiquita continued those payments
  • Michael Chertoff reported told Chiquita he would "get back to them" on the funding terrorists issue (which he never did)
  • A subpoena for the Republican-linked Chiquita may have mysteriously never gotten served by the Bush DOJ
  • Chiquita may have been shipping cocaine back to the US in its freighters as part of its deal with the right wing death squads

Which is just another way of saying that Chiquita is just as corrupt a company as it has been for the last century.

Today HuffPo points out that not only was Chiquita a very Republican company, the CEO of that company from 1984 to 2001, Carl Lindner, happens to be a big McCain donor.

The co-host of a recent top-dollar fundraiser for Sen. John McCain oversaw the payment of roughly $1.7 million to a Colombian paramilitary group that is today designated a terrorist organization by the United States.

Lindner must like McCain slightly more than he likes those Right Wing Death Squads: whereas he oversaw $1.7 million in payments to the AUC, he oversaw $2 million in payments to McCain from just one recent fundraiser.

Late last week, Lindner co-hosted a $25,000-per-person fundraiser for McCain and the Republican Party in the wealthy Indian Hills neighborhood of Cincinnati, Ohio. The event raised about $2 million; Lindner also serves on McCain’s Ohio Victory Team.

Maybe Lindner is more generous with McCain because the Senator has done political favors for Lindner in the past:

However, in the past, McCain has done favors on Lindner’s behalf. Last May, the Washington Post reported that in the late 1990s, McCain "promoted a deal in Arizona’s Tonto National Forest involving property part-owned by Great American Life Insurance, a company run by billionaire Carl H. Lindner Jr., a prolific contributor to national political parties and presidential candidates."

McCain’s down in Colombia today, talking up Colombian President Alvaro Uribe’s anti-Venezuela plots anti-terrorist initiatives. Maybe he’d be better off if he simply stopped accepting the money of people who got rich(er) by supporting terrorists, huh?



Marcy Wheeler aka Emptywheel is an American journalist whose reporting specializes in security and civil liberties.