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The Palins’ un-American activities

Imag­ine if the Oba­mas had hooked up with a vio­lent­ly anti-Amer­i­can group in league with the gov­ern­ment of Iran.

By David Tal­bot

“My gov­ern­ment is my worst ene­my. I’m going to fight them with any means at hand.”

This was for­mer rev­o­lu­tion­ary ter­ror­ist Bill Ayers back in his old Weath­er Under­ground days, right? Imag­ine what Sarah Palin is going to do with this incen­di­ary quote as she tears into Barack Oba­ma this week.

Only one prob­lem. The quote is from Joe Vogler, the rag­ing anti-Amer­i­can who found­ed the Alas­ka Inde­pen­dence Par­ty. Incon­ve­nient­ly for Palin, that’s the very same seces­sion­ist par­ty that her hus­band, Todd, belonged to for sev­en years and that she sent a shout-out to as Alas­ka gov­er­nor ear­li­er this year. (“Keep up the good work,” Palin told AIP mem­bers. “And God bless you.”)

AIP chair­woman Lynette Clark told me recent­ly that Sarah Palin is her kind of gal. “She’s Alaskan to the bone ... she sounds just like Joe Vogler.”

So who are these Amer­i­ca-haters that the Palins are pallin’ around with?

Before his strange mur­der in 1993, par­ty founder Vogler preached armed insur­rec­tion against the Unit­ed States of Amer­i­ca. Vogler, who always car­ried a Mag­num with him, was fond of say­ing, “When the [fed­er­al] bureau­crats come after me, I sug­gest they wear red coats. They make bet­ter tar­gets. In the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment are the biggest liars in the Unit­ed States, and I hate them with a pas­sion. They think they own [Alas­ka]. There comes a time when peo­ple will choose to die with hon­or rather than live with dis­hon­or. That time may be com­ing here. Our goal is ulti­mate inde­pen­dence by peace­ful means under a min­i­mal gov­ern­ment ful­ly respon­sive to the peo­ple. I hope we don’t have to take human life, but if they go on tramp­ing on our prop­er­ty rights, look out, we’re ready to die.”

This quote is from “Com­ing Into the Coun­try,” by John McPhee, who traipsed around Alaska’s remote gold min­ing coun­try with Vogler for his 1991 book. The vio­lent-tem­pered seces­sion­ist vowed to McPhee that if any fed­er­al offi­cial tried to stop him from pol­lut­ing Alaska’s rivers with his earth-mov­ing equip­ment, he would “run over him with a Cat and turn mos­qui­toes loose on him while he dies.”

Vogler was­n’t just a blowhard either. He put his seces­sion­ist ideas into action, work­ing to build AIP mem­ber­ship to 20,000 — an impres­sive fig­ure by Alas­ka stan­dards — and to elect par­ty mem­ber Wal­ter Hick­el as gov­er­nor in 1990.

Vogler’s great­est moment of glo­ry was to be his 1993 appear­ance before the Unit­ed Nations to denounce Unit­ed States “tyran­ny” before the entire world and to demand Alaska’s free­dom. The Alas­ka seces­sion­ist had per­suad­ed the gov­ern­ment of Iran to spon­sor his anti-Amer­i­can harangue.

That’s right ... Iran. The Islam­ic dic­ta­tor­ship. The tak­er of Amer­i­can hostages. The rogue nation that McCain and Palin have exco­ri­at­ed Oba­ma for sug­gest­ing we diplo­mat­i­cal­ly engage. That Iran.

AIP lead­ers allege that Vogler, who was mur­dered that year by a fel­low seces­sion­ist, was tak­en out by pow­er­ful forces in the U.S. before he could reach his U.N. plat­form. “The Unit­ed States gov­ern­ment would have been deeply embar­rassed,” by Vogler’s U.N. speech, dark­ly sug­gests Clark. “And we can’t have that, can we?”

The Repub­li­can tick­et is work­ing hard this week to make Barack Oba­ma’s ten­u­ous con­nec­tion to gray­ing, ’60s rev­o­lu­tion­ary Bill Ayers a major cam­paign issue. But the Palins’ con­nec­tion to anti-Amer­i­can extrem­ism is much more cen­tral to their polit­i­cal biogra­phies.

Imag­ine the uproar if Michelle Oba­ma was revealed to have joined a black nation­al­ist par­ty whose founder preached armed seces­sion from the Unit­ed States and who enlist­ed the gov­ern­ment of Iran in his cause? The Oba­ma cam­paign would prob­a­bly not have sur­vived such an explo­sive rev­e­la­tion. Par­tic­u­lar­ly if Barack Oba­ma him­self was video­taped giv­ing the anti-Amer­i­can seces­sion­ists his whole­heart­ed sup­port just months ago.

Where’s the out­rage, Sarah Palin has been ask­ing this week, in her attacks on Oba­ma’s fuzzy ties to Ayers? The ques­tion is more appro­pri­ate when applied to her own dis­turb­ing asso­ci­a­tions.


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