I thought I had seen it all in my nearly 50 years on this planet.

As someone who came of age in the 1960s, I was certain I had seen the depths of anti-American depravity.

After 25 years in the news business – some of it covering Hollywood – I was sure nothing could surprise me when it came to bad taste, amorality and shocking vulgarity.

I was wrong.

What I saw on the Portland, Ore., branch of the Independent Media Center this week is something I never thought I would see in this country.

That’s where the memory of American hero Pat Tillman – the professional football player who gave up a $3.6 million sports contract to volunteer for military service in Iraq and Afghanistan and who lost his life last week – was cruelly attacked.

The anti-globalist website posted a story on the ex-NFL player who became an Army Ranger, Pat Tillman, with the title, “Dumb Jock Killed in Afghanistan.”

The Portland, Ore., branch of the Independent Media Center ran the headline above a story by the Washington Post about Tillman’s death last week in a firefight with militia forces in Afghanistan.

The former Arizona Cardinals defensive back’s head coach, Dave McGinnis, said after hearing of his death, “Pat knew his purpose in life. He proudly walked away from a career in football to a greater calling, which was to protect and defend our country. Pat represents those who have and will make the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.”

Pat Tillman joined the Army after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on this country by terrorists.

The Portland Independent Media Center website was filled with comments affirming the “Dumb Jock” headline.

One suggested an alternative headline, ” … or, how about, ‘privileged millionaire, blinded by nationalist mythology, p—— away the good life.'”

Another suggested headline was: “‘Citizen of empire allows ignorance to cause him to die for imperialism’ or maybe … ‘Capitalist chooses to kill innocents instead of cashing check.'”

One reader who was identified as “George W.” wrote, “Thanks for the laugh.”

Commenting on the article’s reference to a “brave American,” a reader replied: “‘brave’???? for going over to Afghanistan completely uninvited and slaughtering brown-skinned people with advanced weaponry?”

Another said: “Tillman chose to go to Afghanistan. He’s partially reponsible [sic] for the deaths of hundreds, maybe thousands of Afghan civilians. No need to feel sorry for him, other than feeling bad that he was brainwashed into serving as a grunt.”

Maybe you say these are just a bunch of nobodies who created a little website. That may be true. But these nobodies at the Independent Media Center get support – directly and indirectly – from Teresa Heinz Kerry’s nonprofit Tides Center. She could be the next first lady of the United States.

The Tides Center, a spinoff of the Tides Foundation, also funds an ostensibly independent group of relatives of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, “Peaceful Tomorrows,” which recently expressed outrage over campaign ads by President Bush.

The group also has given grants totaling $489,000 to the Iraq Peace Fund, which used the money to fund anti-war marches and groups such as MoveOn.org, which aims to defeat Bush in November.

The center reportedly gave $200,000 to The Ruckus Society, which trains anti-globalist activists and was responsible for destroying property in the World Trade Organization riots in Seattle in 1999.

The Independent Media Center said it was formed as an outgrowth of the violent Seattle protests.

My colleague Michael Savage characterizes such un-American, unfeeling, non-human vermin as “The Enemy Within.” Never has a characterization been more fitting and appropriate.

In many ways, this Fifth Column of evil know-nothings could prove to be the most menacing of internal adversaries America has ever faced.

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