Obama’s relationships: much more than guilt by association

October 21, 2008, 11:55 am


By Andrew L. Jaffee

Barack Obama and his supporters have tried to claim that his associations with people like Jeremiah Wright, Louis Farrakhan, James Meeks, John Lewis, Alcee Hastings, Bill Ayers, Mahdi Bray, and Nihad Awad, and his connections with organizations like Trinity United Church of Christ, ACORN, the Muslim American Society’s (MAS) Freedom Foundation, and the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), were all innocuous. When people question Obama’s character vis-à-vis these relationships, his campaign and followers retort that he is being unfairly accused using guilt by association. In fact, Obama has had long-standing relationships, and/or relationships of convenience, with such people/entities, and his connections to them are far from innocuous.

First, Jeremiah Wright. From ABC News:

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…The Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s pastor for the last 20 years at the Trinity United Church of Christ on Chicago’s south side, has a long history of what even Obama’s campaign aides concede is “inflammatory rhetoric,” including the assertion that the United States brought on the 9/11 attacks with its own “terrorism.”

In a campaign appearance earlier this month, Sen. Obama said, “I don’t think my church is actually particularly controversial.” He said Rev. Wright “is like an old uncle who says things I don’t always agree with,” telling a Jewish group that everyone has someone like that in their family.

Rev. Wright married Obama and his wife Michelle, baptized their two daughters and is credited by Obama for the title of his book, “The Audacity of Hope.”…

Wright has been Obama’s pastor for 20 years, Obama calls him “uncle,” and Wright performed Obama’s marriage ceremony and baptized his kids. This is not an intimate relationship?

According to the BBC, Wright blamed the U.S. for 911 in 2001, and made his “God damn America” statement in 2003. Did Obama simply miss these events? Why did it take him so long to comment on Wright?

Stock Photos from 123RF

Second, Obama’s Trinity United Church of Christ, whose mission statement acknowledges:

We are a congregation which is Unashamedly Black…

and, according to WorldNetDaily:

…On another page on the website, Pastor Wright explains his theology, saying it is “based upon the systematized liberation theology that started in 1969 with the publication of Dr. James Cone’s book, ‘Black Power and Black Theology’.” …

I thought Obama wanted to bring people together. Identity politics is about division. Trinity was Obama’s church of 20 years.

Third, Louis Farrakhan, according to Associated Content:

…In December 2007, the Trinity United Church of Christ (TUCC) bestowed its highest social achievement award upon Louis Farrakhan, the head of the Nation of Islam. This was facilitated through the church’s publication Trumpet Magazine and presented at their end of the year awards gala. The award dubbed the Lifetime Achievement “Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. Trumpet” Award is named after the head pastor that married Barack and Michele Obama nee Robinson. …

Is it possible that a prominent member of the church, Obama, didn’t know about this award? — especially when Farrakhan “…labeled Judaism a ‘gutter religion’ and cast Israel as a criminal nation,” according to the New York Times.

Obama’s church has pulled its mission statement off its website, and Obama and family recently resigned from Trinity because the church “had become a political liability in Obama’s campaign for the presidency,” according to the Washington Post.

Fourth, James Meeks, according to WorldNetDaily:

… “We don’t have slave masters, we got mayors,” exclaimed James Meeks, an Illinois state senator and pastor of one of the largest churches in the state, in an August, 2006 sermon broadcast on a Chicago community television channel.

The speech was broadcast last week by Fox News Channel’s “Hannity and Colmes.”

Continued Meeks in the sermon: “But they are still the same white people who are presiding over systems where black people are not able to be educated. You got some preachers that are house n-ggers. You got some elected officials that are house n-ggers. Rather than them try and break this up, they’re gonna fight you to protect that white man.”…

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Meeks doesn’t know Obama? Again, WND:

…Meeks has reportedly campaigned for Obama and allowed Obama to campaign at his church during the presidential candidate’s 2004 senatorial run.

A recent Meeks endorsement of Obama is touted on the presidential candidate’s campaign website.

In a 2004 interview with Cathleen Falsani of the Chicago Sun-Times, Obama described Meeks as an adviser who he seeks out for spiritual council. …

Does Obama seek “spiritual council” from strangers?

Fifth, John Lewis, according to the LA Times:

… Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) likened the politics of Arizona Sen. John McCain and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to segregationist former Alabama Gov. George Wallace. …

Lewis said: “George Wallace never threw a bomb. He never fired a gun, but he created the climate and the conditions that encouraged vicious attacks against innocent Americans who only desired to exercise their constitutional right.” …

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and according to ABC News, Lewis:

…claimed that McCain and Palin were “sowing the seeds of hatred and division.”…

This is just over the top. Again, from the ABC News article, Obama doesn’t seem to mind Lewis’ support too much:

…On Saturday, McCain called on Obama to repudiate Lewis’ remarks. While dismissing the comparison to Wallace, Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton said Lewis was on target in other ways. …

“On target in other ways?”

Sixth, Alcee Hastings who according to CNN, standing in front of core Democratic Party members Hillary Clinton and Senator Bill Nelson:

…told an audience of Jewish Democrats Wednesday that they should be wary of Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin because “anybody toting guns and stripping moose don’t care too much about what they do with Jews and blacks.”

“If Sarah Palin isn’t enough of a reason for you to get over whatever your problem is with Barack Obama, then you damn well had better pay attention,” Rep. Alcee Hastings of Florida said at a panel about the shared agenda of Jewish and African-American Democrats Wednesday. Hastings, who is African-American, was explaining what he intended to tell his Jewish constituents about the presidential race. “Anybody toting guns and stripping moose don’t care too much about what they do with Jews and blacks. So, you just think this through,” Hastings added as the room erupted in laughter and applause. …

Has Obama made any statements repudiating Hastings’ remarks? I can’t find any.

Seventh, Bill Ayers, who according to the Washington Post was:

…a former member of the radical Weather Underground Organization that claimed responsibility for a dozen bombings between 1970 and 1974. …

Both Obama and Ayers were members of the board of an anti-poverty group, the Woods Fund of Chicago, between 1999 and 2002. In addition, Ayers contributed $200 to Obama’s re-election fund to the Illinois State Senate in April 2001, as reported here. They lived within a few blocks of each other in the trendy Hyde Park section of Chicago, and moved in the same liberal-progressive circles. …

According to Investor’s Business Daily:

…”Ayers and his education school comrades are explicit about the need to indoctrinate public school children in the belief that America is a racist, militarist country and that the capitalist system is inherently unfair and oppressive.”…

In a recent interview on Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor,” Obama upgraded Ayers’ status from “a guy who lives in my neighborhood” to “somebody who worked on education issues in Chicago that I know.”

Actually, Obama knew him quite well, having worked together on a school “reform” project called the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. …

Eighth, we have ACORN, an organization which is being investigated by the FBI for voter registration fraud in fourteen states, according to the New York Times and the National Review Online, respectively.

Obama’s website claims that he has not been involved with ACORN, but according to Fox News:

… Obama conducted training sessions for ACORN workers a decade ago, and his campaign also recently paid an ACORN subsidiary for canvassing efforts.

Plus his work with a group called Project Vote back in 1992 raises questions about whether he was involved with ACORN back then.

Project Vote was one of Obama’s earliest political successes. As director of Illinois Project Vote, Obama helped register 150,000 new voters in Chicago, and he was heralded for his efforts in local media.

ACORN was also registering voters at that time, and its relationship with Project Vote casts some doubt on Obama’s statement that his involvement with ACORN didn’t begin until three years later. …

But as to Obama’s statement that his ties to ACORN are contained to his legal work, it has already been widely reported that his campaign paid more than $800,000 to a group called Citizens Services Inc., an ACORN subsidiary, to “augment” Obama’s grassroots organizing efforts in the Ohio, Texas and Pennsylvania primaries. …

Stock Photos from 123RF

And from the National Review Online:

… Which brings us to ACORN. Obama’s longtime ally is now being investigated in at least 14 different states for election fraud. Cynically, Obama is banking on the fact that most people don’t grasp the state/federal distinction. By taking aim at the Justice Department, his letter obscures the fact that the numerous investigations of ACORN have been undertaken not by DOJ but by state authorities — and in some instances by Democrat law-enforcement officials who find themselves unable to turn a blind-eye to ACORN’s blatant tactics.

For example, in Nevada, where ACORN appears to have submitted thousands of phony voter registrations — including filings on behalf of the Dallas Cowboys’ star players — the FBI participated with other agencies in a raid on ACORN’s Las Vegas office. But the investigation is being run by state authorities, not the feds.

The choice to use the Cowboys makes perfect sense, for when it comes to fraud, ACORN truly is America’s Team. As Jim Hoft details in a useful Pajamas Media account, “The Complete Guide to ACORN Voter Fraud,” state agencies are examining ACORN’s activities not just in Nevada but in North Carolina, Ohio, Indiana, Connecticut, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Florida, Texas, Michigan, and New Mexico (where Iglesias may be gone but ACORN is alive and well).

This year alone, ACORN has filed 1.3 million voter registrations, and already — without thorough scrutiny by forensic law-enforcement investigators — tens of thousands of them are known to be fraudulent. The group, moreover, is known to have bribed voters to register dozens of times and to have hired convicted felons as registration recruiters. …

Finally, the Obama campaign has been reaching out to the likes of Nihad Awad, executive director and co-founder of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), and Mahdi Bray, executive director of the Muslim American Society’s (MAS) Freedom Foundation.

CAIR is a Saudi-funded, Islamist front for whitewashing terrorism. CAIR’s Awad once stated publicly, “I am in support of the Hamas movement,” a group whose founding charter requires it to destroy Israel, i.e., to commit genocide.

The MAS “was founded as the United States chapter of the Muslim Brotherhood, the international Islamist, anti-Western organization whose goal is the ‘introduction of the Islamic Shariah as the basis controlling the affairs of state and society’.” The MAS’ Bray “has defended terrorists and those alleged to be supporting them.”

Frank Gaffney of the The Washington Times has investigated Obama’s connections to these ugly Islamist groups and individuals, their possible funding of his campaign, their involvement in get-out-the-vote efforts, among other things, and wants “to get to the bottom of Barack Obama’s ties to and affinity for jihadists who have their own reasons for relishing his promise of ‘change’ for this country:”

Last week, Barack Obama’s campaign was burned yet again for its dalliance with Islamists – those who embrace Islam’s repressive theo-political-legal code known as Shariah and who are working for its triumph in the West in general and the United States in particular. The episode is but the latest indication that the Democratic candidate hopes to win the White House by relying, in part, on the Jihadist vote.

NBC reported Thursday that the Obama campaign’s latest radical “Muslim outreach coordinator,” Mouha Husaini, met last month in one of Washington’s Northern Virginia suburbs – the heart of what has been dubbed the “Wahhabi Corridor” – with her predecessor, Mazen Asbahi (who had to resign this summer due to his own associations with Shariah). Even more problematic was the presence at the Springfield event of two prominent Muslim Brotherhood operatives: Mahdi Bray of the Muslim American Society (MAS) and Nihad Awad of the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR).

As I pointed out in a debate on Tuesday (for a transcript, go to http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/id.1447/pub_detail.asp) with a man associated with both organizations and arguably the Bush administration’s senior Muslim official, Suhail Khan, the Brotherhood is an instrument the Islamists have been using to foster a Fifth Column in America. Its stated purpose in this country is to “destroy Western civilization from within.”

According to NBC, even other attendees expressed concern that the Obama campaign was reaching out to such “politically radioactive” individuals as Messrs. Bray and Awad. …


So we see here clear evidence that Obama has had significant relationships with bigots, Islamists, and with an organization being investigated for voter fraud. Obama’s connections to these people and entities are hardly innocuous, nor are they simply cases of guilt by association.

These associations tell us much about Obama’s character. Does he share the beliefs of these people, or did he just use them to achieve his political ambitions? In either case, keeping company with such people is hardly appropriate or moral for a man who wishes to become America’s next president.

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Related: Corruption, Elections, Islam, Obama, Philosophy / Ideology, Racism

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