Among Pence’s campaign contributors is Blackwater’s owner, whom Pence defended after the Nisour Square massacre in Baghdad.
By Jeremy Scahill Rep.
Mike Pence, an Indiana Republican whose name has been mentioned as a potential GOP presidential candidate (and who is not sure if he believes in evolution), led the witch-hunt to force the resignation of White House Green Jobs advisor, Van Jones, over comments Jones made years ago and a 9/11 “truth” petition Jones signed which he said he did not read in its entirety. Jones apologized for some of his comments, which were made before he took his job with the Obama administration and said the petition “certainly does not reflect my views now or ever.” Late Saturday, Jones resigned. “On the eve of historic fights for health care and clean energy, opponents of reform have mounted a vicious smear campaign against me,” Jones said in a statement released Sunday. “They are using lies and distortions to distract and divide.” (For a very good analysis of this story, read this). On Friday, Pence, who describes himself as “Christian, Conservative, Republican, in that order,” said Jones’s “extremist views and coarse rhetoric have no place in this administration or the public debate.” Beyond the obvious here (the hate-filled rhetoric we see every day from racist, right-wing wackos, including those in public office), it is an interesting comment considering that Pence is an extremist right-wing evangelical Christian who has taken thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Blackwater’s owner, Erik Prince. Prince has also donated to Pence’s Political Action Committee “Principles Exalt a Nation.” In December 2007, three months after Blackwater operatives gunned down 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad’s Nisour Square, Pence and his Republican Study Committee, which serves “the purpose of advancing a conservative social and economic agenda in the House of Representatives,” organized a gathering to welcome Prince to Washington. “Not only has Mr. Prince personally been targeted by partisan warfare repeatedly over the past months, but the use of contracting throughout the government has been under attack by this Congress,” Pence’s committee’s statement said. Should Pence resign for cavorting with and accepting campaign cash from a man who allegedly “views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe,” in the words of a former employee? Oh, right. Those are apparently positive attributes in Pence’s view.