Questions Emerge About Yet Another Associate of Barack Obama
Anyone who has perused the archives here at America’s Right, especially those in the first few months of this year, knows that I am not fond of John McCain as the GOP nominee for president.
It is not difficult to find my criticism of his failure to understand the will of Americans with regard to the illegal immigration problem, nor is it difficult to infer my true feelings on his total disregard of the First Amendment with his advocacy of campaign finance reform. I also do not care for his wishy-washiness on the Bush tax cuts and, given his support of cap-and-trade legislation as well as his championship of the failed McCain-Lieberman Climate Stewardship Act of 2003, worry that his willingness to embrace the socialist farce that is the global warming movement could translate into difficult times for the U.S. economy.
His speech tonight, while certainly effective in parts, did little to temper my worries with regard to illegal immigration and the facade for global socialism which is the modern environmental movement. While I clapped at some points, I rolled my eyes at others. Truthfully, it was exactly what I expected from this particular GOP nominee.
All that being said, I have never once wavered on the nature of John McCain’s character.
Tonight, as the Arizona senator stepped into the spotlight for what was perhaps the biggest and most important speech of his storied career, he was doing so on the heels of an abbreviated three days’ worth of testaments to his honor, to his patriotism, to his unfettered and unmatched love of country. At the same time and in almost perfect contrast, new questions are emerging as to yet another acquaintance of questionable character with which McCain’s rival, Barack Obama, has been associated.
Meet Khalid Abdullah Tariq al-Mansour, characterized as a well-known lawyer within the black community, as well as a devout Muslim, renowned preacher, author, black nationalist and extremely vocal opponent of Israel. He is also known to be an adviser to Saudi billionaires Abdul Aziz, Khalid al-Ibrahim and Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the latter being the 19th richest man on the planet according to Forbes magazine and principal in charge of Kingdom Holdings, on the board of which al-Mansour sits.
Curiously enough, al-Mansour is more than just an adviser to the occasional Saudi prince. He has been described as a mentor to the radicals who founded the Black Panther movement, as well as perhaps the most outspoken and revered spokesperson for black activism in America. His numerous literary works include “The Lost Books of Africa Rediscovered” which, in 1995, floated accusations reminiscent of those bellowed by Obama’s famed spiritual mentor Rev. Jeremiah Wright that the United States was actively plotting genocide against black Americans.
Barack Obama’s association with al-Mansour came to light in a relatively recent television interview with Percy Sutton, civil rights activist and former borough president of Manhattan, on a New York-area news program (click HERE to see video). Sutton had been contacted about Obama by al-Mansour, an adviser to one of the wealthiest men in the world who, he said, was working as “a friend who was raising money for him” and hoped that Sutton’s influence in the northeast could help Obama gain admittance into Harvard Law School.
We all know about Barack Obama’s associations with shady characters during the years after he emerged from law school as a known commodity, as a former editor of the most influential legal journal in the nation. What I’d like to know is why he was being bankrolled by Khalid al-Mansour before he even went to Harvard Law.
Now, there may be nothing to this. It may simply be that al-Mansour saw the talent and potential in Barack Obama and decided to work on his behalf to cultivate it. However, given Obama’s other friends and acquaintances from the same formative years in his life, I cannot help but wonder what kind of expectations would fall upon his shoulders should he reach the Oval Office. He has already shown a penchant for hunting down business deals and grants for the likes of corrupt Syrian businessman Tony Rezko and radical Chicago priest Fr. Michael Pfleger. What favors are left to be returned, and to whom?
Perhaps, as John McCain took a rigid bow amidst balloons and confetti this evening, his impeccable character on display for the world to see, we should take this time to look back and review some of the highlights surrounding the people who have supported, bankrolled, mentored and befriended Barack Obama during arguably the most ideologically formative years of his life.
WILLIAM AYERS (& BERNARDINE DOHRN)
William Ayers and wife Bernardine Dohrn were operatives in the Weather Underground, the radical leftist organization which bombed the Pentagon and Capitol in the early 1970s. As recently as September 11, 2001, the unrepentant domestic terrorist was quoted in the New York Times as saying that he still feels as though the organization “did not do enough.” The mere fact that his interview ran in the Times on that fateful day must bring a smile to his face.
In 1995, Ayers selected Barack Obama as board chair of the Annenberg Foundation’s Chicago Annenberg Challenge, a $150 million initiative designed to reform and reinvigorate Chicago-area schools. Six years later, in 2001 and 2002, Ayers once again served with Obama on the board of the Woods Fund, an Illinois-based nonprofit organization established in order to provide help to the fiscally disadvantaged and socially downtrodden in and around the Windy City. In 2001 and 2002, while Obama was on the board, the Woods Fund provided a pair of grants totaling $75,000 to the Arab-American Action Network, a controversial group which vehemently opposes the Israeli state. The grants procured by the Woods Fund proved to be about 20 percent of the AAAN’s grant income for the two years.
Since being first introduced to Obama more than a dozen years ago, Ayers and Dohrn have appeared with him at various speaking engagements, dined with him, and even put together his very first political fundraiser.
ANTOIN ‘TONY’ REZKO
Syrian-born businessman Tony Rezko was best known as a Windy City slumlord and collector of Chicago-area politicians before being publicly connected with Barack Obama and, in May 2008, convicted on charges of wire fraud, mail fraud, corrupt solicitation and money laundering.
In 2003, Rezko served as a member of Obama’s campaign finance committee when he was preparing for his campaign for the U.S. Senate. Soon after Obama formally announced his senatorial bid, Rezko hosted a lucrative fundraiser at his Wilmette, Illinois mansion, a fundraising event considered by Chicago Tribune reporter David Mendelland to be the one which provided Obama with the seed money for his Senate run. Over the years, the New York Times estimates that Rezko has contributed about $150,000 to Barack Obama’s various campaigns.
After his landmark speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention and the victory which propelled him into his current seat, Obama was involved in a real estate deal involving Rezko from which he came away with a $2 million property for $1.65 million, well below the asking price. Subsequently, when it was discovered during Rezko’s indictment on fraud charges that $10,000 in kickbacks had found its way into Obama’s campaign coffers, the Illinois senator reportedly gave the money away to charity.
Finally, a little more than a month ago, WorldNetDaily confirmed that Sen. Obama’s office was instrumental in procuring $200 million in Iraqi security- and construction-related contracts for Rezko-controlled operations.
Rashid Khalidi, the American-born son of a Palestinian father and Lebanese mother, is currently the Edward Said professor of Arab Studies at Columbia University. Over the years, he has been outwardly critical of Israel and vocal in his support of Palestinian terrorists, arguing that the latter have the legal right to resist Israeli occupation and kill Israeli troops. He has also been rumored to have himself been a PLO operative during a time when the Palestinian Liberation Organization was actively engaged in terrorist activities and declared by the U.S. State Department to be a terrorist group.
In 1995, along with wife Mona Khalidi, herself an assistant dean in Columbia University School of International Affairs, Rashid Khalidi founded the Arab American Action Network, a group supposedly intended to empower the Arab community in poor areas of Chicago but more recently seen as a source of anti-Israel sentiments.
Barack Obama met Rashid Khalidi when the latter was working as a professor of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Illinois. The pair became fast friends and, in 2000, Khalidi hosted a successful fundraiser for Obama; in 2001 and 2002, the pair served together alongside unrepentant domestic terrorist William Ayers on the board of the aforementioned Woods Fund, during which time–also as mentioned before–the non-profit Woods Fund funneled $75,000 in grant money to the Arab American Action Network. Interestingly enough, at that point in time, Khalidi’s wife was serving as the AAAN president, and the grant money provided by the Woods Fund comprised about 20 percent of the group’s grant money during the two-year period.
REV. JEREMIAH WRIGHT
Holy crap, where do I begin? The Rev. Jeremiah Wright, pastor since 1972 at Barack Obama’s [former] church, Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, regularly spewed hatred, racism and anti-American sentiments from his pulpit. He famously screamed “God bless America — no, no, no — God DAMN America,” denounced the United States as the “United States of the KKK-A,” and regularly entertained his churchgoing masses with filth along the lines of “Barack [Obama] knows what it’s like living in a country and a culture controlled by rich white people. Hillary would never know that. Hillary ain’t never been called a nigger.”
Wright blames America for the September 11th attacks, bellowing from his pulpit just afterward that the national tragedy was America’s “chickens” coming “home to roost,” that “terrorism begets terrorism,” and that and our actions in Hiroshima, Nagasaki and other theaters of war somehow justified the killing of those innocent people in lower Manhattan. Furthermore, he wholeheartedly believes–much like Khalid al-Mansour–that the United States government developed HIV/AIDS “as a means of genocide against people of color,” and did not hesitate to spread such dangerous and downright disgusting inaccuracies to worshipers before him.
Barack Obama, regularly proclaiming for all to hear that Wright was his “spiritual mentor,” regularly sat in the pews of Trinity United for more than 20 years spanning the most ideologically formative time in anyone’s life. Wright married Barack and Michelle Obama and baptized their two children. And when the media firestorm erupted following the public outcry regarding some of Wright’s statements, Obama originally stood by him, stating first that such statements were out of character and that he had never heard his pastor make such remarks. Soon thereafter, however, Obama switched gears and held that he simply had never been in church when those comments had been made. Not so long after that, Obama denounced Wright during the Philadelphia, PA address on race and politics which so famously sent a chill up Chris Matthews’ leg.
FR. MICHAEL PFLEGER
Fr. Michael Pfleger, a Catholic priest, is immeasurably close to not only Rev. Wright and rev. Otis Moss III, but is also a friend of and apologist for Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan (seen with Fr. Pfleger at right). He has vehemently come to Farrakhan’s defense on several occasions, stating among other things that Farrakhan is a personal friend, religious hero and that his oft-repeated statements disparaging Jews were mostly a product of misunderstanding and media hyperbole.
Last year, Pfleger was rebuked by the Archdiocese in Chicago for actually calling for the death of a gun shop owner, saying “we’re going to find you and snuff you out” during a protest outside the establishment.
Barack Obama has repeatedly referred to Pfleger, like Wright, as a “spiritual mentor” and just four years ago stated in an interview that “maintaining your moral compass” isn’t always so easy and recognized Pfleger, a friend of more than 20 years, as one of the driving forces which helped him keep that compass set. Much like Obama waited until his presidential bid was jeopardized by his association with Wright before he denounced him, it wasn’t until Pfleger jeopardized Obama’s campaign by verbally assaulting Hillary Clinton at Trinity United that the Illinois senator quit the church and denounced Pfleger as well.
REV. OTIS MOSS III
The Rev. Otis Moss III, self-proclaimed “hip-hop pastor,” succeeded Rev. Jeremiah Wright in the pulpit at Trinity United Church of Christ after the latter stepped down following the media frenzy earlier this year. His Easter Sunday service, wonderfully entitled “How to Survive a Public Lynching,” denounced the criticism laid upon Wright and compared the media attention and reaction to Wright’s anti-American and racist teachings to the final days of Jesus Christ.
Moss has also railed against American entertainment-industy corporations as operating with “disdain” toward the black community, embraced Wright’s belief that HIV/AIDS was constructed by the American government and intended for genocide, and likened black people with biblical “lepers” with a “skin disease.”
“You see, they still are lepers. They still have a skin disease. They had a skin disease. They had a skin disease. Based on their skin condition, they were considered to be second-class citizens. They had a skin issue. They had a skin disease,” Moss said. “And the lepers lived in a leper project. The lepers had bad health care. The lepers were disrespected. They had funny names for lepers. The lepers were considered inferior. They had an inferior school system. The lepers lived in a ghetto leper colony. The lepers were segregated from everybody else.”
As the controversy surrounding his former pastor wound down, Obama heaped praise among Rev. Moss, the third member of his Holy Trinity of Spiritual Mentors, saying that he was “a wonderful young pastor,” and that he still valued the Trinity community.
Contrasting these individuals with the friends, acquaintances and fellow prisoners of war in John and Cindy McCain’s life, I can only wonder what other people of questionable character are still out there waiting to be tied to the Democratic Party’s nominee, or what he owes those we already know about.
Barack Obama speaks to America about hope, about change, about strength of self, personal responsibility and morality, yet has surrounded himself with racists, sexists, anti-Americans, domestic terrorists, foreign terrorists, terrorist sympathizers and corrupt businessmen, all during the time in his life when he was at his most malleable.
Combine this with ideas and ideals rooted in globalism and socialism, combine it with his Carteresque perspective of appeasement at all costs, and I have no doubt that the GOP will be able to rally conservatives and republicans alike behind John McCain–failings and all–come the fourth of November.