Cynthia McKinney Blasts U.S. on Libya TV, and Pro-Israel Groups in Iran

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Via the Washington Times' Eli Lake comes this report about former Georgia representative Cynthia McKinney's weekend appearance on Libya TV:

The station on which McKinney appeared Saturday night is loyal to Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi and her interview was spliced with video of pro-Gadhafi rallies, CNN said.

"I think that it's very important that people understand what is happening here. And it's important that people all over the world see the truth. And that is why I am here ... to understand the truth," McKinney was quoted as saying during the live interview.

At one point during the interview, state TV showed what it described as airstrikes on Gadhafi's compound.

"Is that a bomb?" McKinney asked.

"I want to say categorically and very clearly that these policies of war ... are not what the people of the United States stand for, and it's not what African-Americans stand for," she said.

She also recently visited Iran for an anti-terrorism conference. From an interview with Press TV in Iran:

Press TV: You have been here in Iran for a couple of days now with this anti-terrorism seminar. Give us a brief explanation of your overall thoughts about that seminar.

McKinney: I think it was a wonderful experience for me. Of course this is the first time I have ever been to Iran, and there are many perceptions out there, particularly in the United States, about the character of the state of Iran....

There are people, particularly in the Unites States with which I am most familiar, who would say how ironic that Tehran would be the sponsor of an anti-terrorism conference, because there are people who say that Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism.....

...it is clear that the people of Iran have one thing in mind, and that is that they are a revolutionary state. And as a revolutionary state, they understand colonialism, neo-colonialism, and imperialism. They understand being under the foot of oppression and occupation -- even if it is mental occupation -- from an outside force or outside power, and that is what centers the resistance.

The people who would label these individuals and this state that protects these individuals as terrorist state, generally speaking, are the entities that are promoting the very policies that even I disagree with at home....

Press TV: Let us talk about their many reports that talks about the influence of the Israeli lobby, AIPAC on the United States politics in general. Did you experience anything in that realm as far as one would call the interference in American policy by AIPAC?

McKinney: Well, it is interesting because when I first went to Congress I did not go to Congress to pay particular attention to any area outside of the black community that I represented and was in need and of course US-Africa policy which was abhorrent and unfortunately still is.

But what I ran into at almost every turn were these special interests and there is no more special interest that has any more influence than the pro Israel lobby. So then when I did outreach for example to the Muslim community in the United States I bopped into the pro Israeli lobby which of course does not want to have to contend with a politicized Muslim community which is as large as and is as wealthy as the pro Israeli lobby is in the United States.

So, yes I first handedly and also frontally was assaulted by the presence of the pro Israeli lobby.

Press TV: Were you physically assaulted?

McKinney: Well, politically assaulted to such an extent that my father had to ask the question publically, 'what does stoned mountain Georgia have to do with Israel? What I was doing was servicing the needs of my constituents and I was not allowed to do that because I did not toe the line on US policy for Israel.

Press TV: Were you told directly that you had to toe a line? Explain it to me.

McKinney: Well, every candidate for Congress at that time had a pledge. They were given a pledge to sign and I was new on the scene and the pledge had Jerusalem as the capital city, the military superiority of Israel,...

Press TV: American Congress people have to sign this pledge?

McKinney: Yes, you sign the pledge. If you do not sign the pledge, you do not get money.....

Press TV: I just want to get into this pledge a little bit more. So this is basically something that is mandatory, that every Congressperson has to sign saying that what Jerusalem as you said is the capital of Israel, and what else?

McKinney: You make a commitment that you would vote to support the military superiority of Israel that the economic assistant that Israel wants that you would vote to provide that.

Press TV: ...they are supposed to be representing the people of the United States not a foreign country and yet they have to pledge allegiance to a foreign state? No one questions this?

McKinney: That is what I was asked to do and I made it public.

Read the full stories at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Press TV.

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Garance Franke-Ruta is a former senior editor covering national politics at The Atlantic.

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