In 1995, former Weather Underground terrorist William Ayers tapped a bright-eyed young man named Barack Obama to sit as board chair of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, a $150 million educational reform initiative founded in part by Ayers and designed, in theory, to revitalize Chicago-area schools. Some records–presumably not all–providing scant detail into their working relationship were released by the University of Illinois at Chicago yesterday.
Obama served as board chair of Ayers’ Chicago Annenberg Challenge until 2001, then served again for more than an year with Ayers–who said in a New York Times article published on September 11, 2001 that his Pentagon- and Capitol-bombing flunkies hadn’t “done enough” in terms of domestic terrorism–on the board of the Woods Fund, a windy city-based non-profit organization which purported to help the less-fortunate in Illinois and beyond. During the course of dealings with the Woods Fund and before that the CAC, and then afterward when Barack and Michelle Obama moved into their current neighborhood and Barack began his meteoric rise in politics, Ayers attended meetings with, gave speeches with, dined with and even hosted fundraisers for the Illinois senator.
Yet, to hear Barack Obama speak of Ayers, you’d think he barely knew the guy. Now, the CAC records are beginning to paint a different picture.
And then, of course, we all know about the Holy Trinity of Spiritual Advisors to Barack Obama — Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Fr. Michael Pfleger, and Rev. Otis Moss III. We know the bitterness, the overt anti-American sentiment, the bottomless font of racism and intolerance. And don’t forget the recently indicted Tony Rezko. While William Ayers is once again getting his moment in the sun; how long until the rest of the group opens their mouths and finds themselves thrust to the forefront of American politics?
One by one, Obama’s various friends and acquaintances are proving to be a who’s who of radical liberal anti-Amerian thought (and in the case of Ayers, action). Yet there’s one more that, despite being mentioned in these pages, most people still haven’t heard of. So, let’s mention him again.
He’s Rashid Khalidi — academic and, according to some, a former PLO operative.
Obama met him for the first time when he was teaching Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Chicago. Soon thereafter, while Obama was serving as board chair of the CAC, Khalidi threw him a successful fundraiser. Not long after that, the inevitable Democratic Party nominee was serving alongside of Khalidi and Bill Ayers on the board of the Woods Fund which, in 2001 and 2002 while Obama was on the board, provided a pair of grants totaling $75,000 to the Arab-American Action Network, a controversial group–co-founded by Khalidi and still run by his wife–which views Israel as racist and mourns its very establishment. The grants proved to be about 20 percent of the AAAN’s grant income for the two years.
The documents released yesterday only provide a glimpse of Barack Obama’s involvement with Bill Ayers. Scant detail notwithstanding, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the Illinois senator counts, among his friends, colleagues and mentors the full gamut of racists, sexists, bigots, anti-Americans, domestic terrorists, foreign terrorists, terrorist sympathizers and corrupt businessmen.
Personally, I was hoping that the Annenberg papers would shed more light on Obama’s dealings with Ayers than they actually did, and do agree that some documents have probably still been held back, especially because Ayers himself may be in control. Still, how much more do we really need? Between the rantings of Wright, the shady dealings of Rezko, the bombings by Ayers — with friends like these, can we not get an idea of the true character of Barack Obama?