Ian Millhiser of ThinkProgress lies about anti-Sotomayor ad (Committee for Justice's incompetent ad)
The attached video shows an anti-Sonia Sotomayor ad from the "Committee for Justice". In response to the ad, Ian Millhiser of ThinkProgress offers "Right-wing group launches TV ad claiming Sotomayor led a terrorist organization" (thinkprogress.org/2009/07/14/sotomayor-cfj):
The claim that Sotomayor led a terrorist organization apparently refers to her service on the board of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, a mainstream civil rights organization. It seems that, in the right-wing mind, a group that protects Latinos from race discrimination is exactly the same as al Qaeda
Millhiser is lying both in the title and the body of the post: the ad only claims that she "led a group supporting violent Puerto Rican terrorists", referring to the PRLDEF. The ad doesn't claim that PRLDEF was itself a "terrorist organization" as Milhiser states.
As for the ad itself, it's about what I've come to expect from the opposition to Obama; that opposition frequently takes steps that end up helping him. In this case, Sotomayor has no links to Bill Ayers that I know of and, since the Ayers issue was poisoned by similar incompetents during the election it's incredibly stupid to rely on that issue now. Further, whether she actually "led" the group isn't entirely clear. Not only that, but they've edited in the correct pronounciation of her name rather than finding someone who could do it in one take; it's not TV-ready. And, even worse, all they had on their site about this was the video, without any form of text explanation or footnotes. When I checked, they hadn't even uploaded it to Youtube, allowing their opponents to do it for them. And, the fact that the name of their organization sounds like something from a comic book isn't helping them either.
As for what the ad is trying to say, from this:
In 1990, the PRLDEF attacked then-New York Mayor David Dinkins after the mayor labeled three Puerto Rican "nationalists" who shot five members of Congress in 1954 "assassins." The radicals were members of a violent Puerto Rican terrorist group Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional (FALN). The PRLDEF said the mayor's comments "lacked sensitivity." Reuben Franco, President of the PRLDEF, said: "[Mayor Dinkins] doesn't recognize that to many people in Puerto Rico, these are fighters for freedom and justice, for liberation, just as is Nelson Mandela, who himself advocated bearing arms.''
Rather than spending thousands of dollars on their ads, CFJ would be better off finding a good researcher to go through archives in New York City looking for similar examples which could then be used to help create the single page discussed here. Instead, they might as well as just help Obama directly.
12/28/11 UPDATE: The account with the video that was here before (Youtube ID Q3o8hHTAcPI) was deleted; that was probably a Committee for Justice account although it might have been a ThinkProgress account. In any case, I added a video of the ad from another party.