Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Founder Of Group Palin Courted Professed "Hatred For The American Government"; Cursed "Damn Flag"

By Greg Sargent - September 2, 2008
The founder of the Alaska Independence Party -- a group that has been courted over the years by Sarah Palin, and one her husband was a member of for roughly seven years -- once professed his "hatred for the American government" and cursed the American flag as a "damn flag."
The AIP founder, Joe Vogler, made the comments in 1991, in an interview that's now housed at the Oral History Program in the Rasmuson Library at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.
"The fires of hell are frozen glaciers compared to my hatred for the American government," Vogler said in the interview, in which he talked extensively about his desire for Alaskan secession, the key goal of the AIP.
"And I won't be buried under their damn flag," Vogler continued in the interview, which also touched on his disappointment with the American judicial system. "I'll be buried in Dawson. And when Alaska is an independent nation they can bring my bones home."
At another point, Volger advocated renouncing allegiance to the United States. In the course of denouncing Federal regulation over land, he said:
"And then you get mad. And you say, the hell with them. And you renounce allegiance, and you pledge your efforts, your effects, your honor, your life to Alaska."
You can listen to audio of the relevant section of the Volger interview
here. Bill Schneider, curator of oral history at the library, verified the authenticity of the interview and the quote to me a few moments ago.
Palin has courted the group over the years.
Three years after the controversial interview, in 1994, Palin attended the group's annual convention, according to
witnesses who spoke to ABC News' Jake Tapper. The McCain campaign is disputing her presence there, but Tapper found two people to attest to it.
The McCain campaign today
produced Palin's voting registration records, and said they proved she was never a member of the party.
But she has repeatedly reached out to the group. The McCain campaign has confirmed she visited the group's 2000 convention, and she
addressed its convention this year, as an incumbent governor whose oath of office includes upholding the Constitution of the United States.
Palin's husband, Todd Palin,
was a member of the party from 1995-2002 with a brief exception in 2000.
It's worth noting that Vogler isn't just some figure from ancient history. He is
still being hailed on AIP's site this year, the same year Palin addressed the group's convention.
It's worth pondering how big a deal it would be if Obama had ever courted the support of a group whose head had said this kind of thing about America and her flag. Oh, wait...
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