Sunday, May 04, 2008

The Clintons and the 'War on Obama'

By Robert Parry
May 4, 2008

Last December, when I first learned via Clinton insiders that their “oppo” package would include Barack Obama’s associations with fiery black preacher Jeremiah Wright and Vietnam War-era radical William Ayers, I shrugged at what sounded to me like sub-standard fare from the dark side of American politics.

So what if someone’s minister said some stupid things or that an aging one-time student radical had lent some support to a politician’s campaign, I thought.

Read on.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Robert Parry! It's clear that the Clinton camp has been pushing this stuff, but what it would be most helpful to know, now -- with a fierce urgency -- is just how ABC News, who originally "broke" the Wright story with the video loops, was fed or "discovered" this story, considering that it was the ABC News debate that brought many of these McCarthyist allegations to the fore (out of the realm of Fox News).

Anonymous said...

thnak you i knew her hands were all over it it smelled liked clinton machine allover it the spin in the media towards obama is so negative no matter what he does
it drags on for days

Allan J. Favish said...

An even stronger case can be made against Obama than the Clintons are making:

In 1995 Obama stated: "These are mean, cruel times, exemplified by a 'lock 'em up, take no prisoners' mentality that dominates the Republican-led Congress" and "that white Americans couldn't care less about the profound problems African-Americans are facing." See http://www.chicagoreader.com/features/stories/archive/barackobama/

Here is the an extended portion of the article containing the quote:

"This doesn't suggest that the need to look inward emphasized by the march isn't important, and that these African-American tribal affinities aren't legitimate. These are mean, cruel times, exemplified by a 'lock 'em up, take no prisoners' mentality that dominates the Republican-led Congress. Historically, African-Americans have turned inward and towards black nationalism whenever they have a sense, as we do now, that the mainstream has rebuffed us, and that white Americans couldn't care less about the profound problems African-Americans are facing."

"But cursing out white folks is not going to get the job done. Anti-Semitic and anti-Asian statements are not going to lift us up. We've got some hard nuts-and-bolts organizing and planning to do. We've got communities to build."

[end of excerpt]

Obama not only made a racial generalization, but the generalization imputes evil to the targets of the generalization. It would be evil for any American, white or otherwise to not care about problems facing African-Americans. Obama's statement is 100% racist. He needs to be confronted with this statement. Nobody has done so. I cannot read Obama's mind. I don't know if he is a racist. But I cannot explain how such a statement can come from the mouth of a non-racist. I am shocked that Obama is allowed to get away with this. I cannot recall another instance of a candidate for a major office getting away with a statement as blatently wrong as this. I am truly shocked by this.

Also, here is what Obama definetly knew about Rev. Wright in February of 2007 because it was published in Rolling Stone:

[begin excerpt]

The Trinity United Church of Christ, the church that Barack Obama attends in Chicago, is at once vast and unprepossessing, a big structure a couple of blocks from the projects, in the long open sore of a ghetto on the city's far South Side. The church is a leftover vision from the Sixties of what a black nationalist future might look like. There's the testifying fervor of the black church, the Afrocentric Bible readings, even the odd dashiki. And there is the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, a sprawling, profane bear of a preacher, a kind of black ministerial institution, with his own radio shows and guest preaching gigs across the country. Wright takes the pulpit here one Sunday and solemnly, sonorously declares that he will recite ten essential facts about the United States. "Fact number one: We've got more black men in prison than there are in college," he intones. "Fact number two: Racism is how this country was founded and how this country is still run!" There is thumping applause; Wright has a cadence and power that make Obama sound like John Kerry. Now the reverend begins to preach. "We are deeply involved in the importing of drugs, the exporting of guns and the training of professional KILLERS. . . . We believe in white supremacy and black inferiority and believe it more than we believe in God. . . . We conducted radiation experiments on our own people. . . . We care nothing about human life if the ends justify the means!" The crowd whoops and amens as Wright builds to his climax: "And. And. And! GAWD! Has GOT! To be SICK! OF THIS SHIT!"

This is as openly radical a background as any significant American political figure has ever emerged from, as much Malcolm X as Martin Luther King Jr. Wright is not an incidental figure in Obama's life, or his politics. The senator "affirmed" his Christian faith in this church; he uses Wright as a "sounding board" to "make sure I'm not losing myself in the hype and hoopla." Both the title of Obama's second book, The Audacity of Hope, and the theme for his keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in 2004 come from Wright's sermons. "If you want to understand where Barack gets his feeling and rhetoric from," says the Rev. Jim Wallis, a leader of the religious left, "just look at Jeremiah Wright."

Obama wasn't born into Wright's world. His parents were atheists, an African bureaucrat and a white grad student, Jerry Falwell's nightmare vision of secular liberals come to life. Obama could have picked any church — the spare, spiritual places in Hyde Park, the awesome pomp and procession of the cathedrals downtown. He could have picked a mosque, for that matter, or even a synagogue. Obama chose Trinity United. He picked Jeremiah Wright. Obama writes in his autobiography that on the day he chose this church, he felt the spirit of black memory and history moving through Wright, and "felt for the first time how that spirit carried within it, nascent, incomplete, the possibility of moving beyond our narrow dreams."

[end excerpt]

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/13390609/campaign_08_the_radical_roots_of_barack_obama/1

At the April 16, 2008 debate Obama admitted he was aware of the Rolling Stone article when it was published in February 2007:

[begin excerpt]

GIBSON: Senator Obama, since you last debated, you made a significant speech in this building on the subject of race and your former pastor, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. And you said subsequent to giving that speech that you never heard him say from the pulpit the kinds of things that so have offended people.

But more than a year ago, you rescinded the invitation to him to attend the event when you announced your candidacy. He was to give the invocation. And according to the reverend, I'm quoting him, you said to him: "You can get kind of rough in sermons. So, what we've decided is that it's best for you not to be out there in public." I'm quoting the reverend.

But what did you know about his statements that caused you to rescind that invitation? And if you knew he got rough in sermons, why did it take you more than a year to publicly disassociate yourself from his remarks?

OBAMA: Well, understand that I hadn't seen the remarks that ended up playing on YouTube repeatedly. This was a set of remarks that had been quoted in Rolling Stone magazine and we looked at them. And I thought that they would be a distraction, since he had just put them forward.

But, Charlie, I've discussed this extensively. Reverend Wright is somebody who made controversial statements, but they were not of the sort that we saw that offended so many Americans. And that's why I specifically said that these comments were objectionable. They're not comments that I believe in. And I disassociated myself with them.

And what I also said was the church and the body of Reverend Wright's work over the course of 30 years were not represented in those snippets that were shown on television and that the church has done outstanding work in ministries, on HIV/AIDS, prison ministries, providing people with the kind of comfort that we expect in our churches.

And so, what I think I tried to do in the speech here at the Constitution Center was speak to a broader context, which is that there is anger in the African-American community that sometimes gets expressed, whether in the barbershop or in the church. That's true not just in the African-American community. That's true in other communities, as well.

But what we have the opportunity to do is to move beyond it. And that's what I think my candidacy represents. And Senator Clinton mentioned earlier, that we have to connect with people. That's exactly what we've done throughout this campaign.

The reason we've attracted new people into the process, the reason we've generated so much excitement, the reason that we have been so successful in so many states across the country, bridging racial lines, bridging some of the old divisions, is because people recognize that, unless we do, then we're not going to be able to deliver on the promises that people hear every 4 years, every 8 years, every 12 years.

And it's my job in this campaign to try to move beyond some of those divisions, because when we are unified there is nothing that we cannot tackle.

[end excerpt]

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/DemocraticDebate/story?id=4670271&page=1

So in February 2007 Obama learned that Wright said: “Racism is how this country was founded and how this country is still run!" "We believe in white supremacy and black inferiority and believe it more than we believe in God. . . . We care nothing about human life if the ends justify the means!" . . . . "And. And. And! GAWD! Has GOT! To be SICK! OF THIS SHIT!"

Obama's reaction upon learning this is not to leave Wright's church or denounce Wright, but to think that the comments "would be a distraction [from Obama's presidential campaign], since he had just put them forward."

Obama's problem with the comments was not their substance, but that they would distract from his campaign. Also, according to Obama, the comments were a distraction because Wright "had just put them forward". Obama did not say that the comments were a distriaction because of their substance. For Obama, the problem was Wright's timing, not his message.

Also, Obama admits hearing a Wright sermon where Wright approvingly used the phrase “where white folks' greed runs a world in need . . . .” See http://www.slate.com/id/2187358/

Also, Obama praised the new Pastor at United Trinity: “Well, the new pastor, the young pastor, Reverend Otis Moss, is a wonderful, young pastor.” See http://blogs.suntimes.com/sweet/2008/04/obama_denounces_wright_press_c.html

But that new Pastor made an anti-jewish comment: See http://newsbusters.org/blogs/mark-finkelstein/2008/03/23/wright-replacement-calls-npr-national-publican-radio

Anonymous said...

Who Is Hillary's Pastor?

Anonymous said...

Good article.

Hillary sez it's fair game to attack Barack any way possible, because Republicans will.

What's good for the gander is good for the goose.

Obama himself can't use gutter politics of personal destruction to attack Hillary, but his surrogates sure can. What I want to know is who is going to lead this charge?

As a young lawyer Hillary attacked a 12 year-old rape victim on the witness stand, impugning the girl's character and suggesting she lied about the rape. (30 years later the now-grown girl still suffers from that experience.)

Hillary's friend and long-time law-partner was Webster Hubbell. Bill Clinton appointed him Supreme Court Chief Justice for Arkansas, then US Associate Attorney General. He was convicted and pled guilty to mail fraud and tax evasion. To pay his legal bills he received contracts from Clinton fund-raisers Mochtar Riady and James Riady.

Which brings us to the Cliniton's fund-raising scandals, both old and new. Last year Bill Clinton received $31million to help arrange a uranium deal in Kazakhstan. (Jimmy Carter, by contrast, helps build houses and oversee free elections...)

Where to start? Perhaps with a list of Clinton supporters (individuals and firms) convicted of crimes:

CONVICTIONS
Webster Hubbell
Jim McDougal
Susan McDougal
Gov. Jim Guy Tucker
Stephen Smith
David Hale
Eugene Fitzhugh
Charles Matthews
Robert W. Palmer
Chris Wade
Neal T. Ainley
Larry Kuca
Henry Espy
James Lake
William J. Marks, Sr.
John Latham
John Haley
Michael Brown (Ron Browns son)
Eugene Lum
Nora Lum
Johnny Chung
Tyson Foods
Sun Diamond Growers
Richard Douglas
James Lake
Ron Blackley
Smith Barney
Crop Growers Corporation
Brook Keith Mitchell Sr.
Five M Farming Enterprises
John J Hemmingson
Alvarez T. Ferrouillet, Jr.
Municipal Healthcare Cooperative
Ferrouillet & Ferrouillet
Linda Jones
Patsy Jo Wooten
Allen Wooten
Roger Clinton
Dan Lasater
Bill McCuen
Dan Harmon
Roger Tamraz

There were also a variety of indictments and targets of investigation that did not go to trial:

Herby Branscum
Robert Hill
Mike Espy
Henry Cisneros
Jack Williams
Archie Schaefer
Charlie Trie
Maria Hsia
Nolanda Hill
Bruce Babbit
Ron Carey
Roger Tamraz


Then, there are lots of money-trail, influence-peddling connections that have not received the same scrutiny as Wright. E.g., the Loral/Hughes scandal involving Chinese missile guidance, the Riady coal scandals, corruption in Indonesia. This list is so long! E.g.:
John Huang and his wife Jane
Johnny Chung (who among many things handed $50,000 to Hillary as a gift from Gen. Ji, the head of Chinese military intel.)
Man Ya Shih
David Wang
Keshi Zhan
Gin F. J. Chen
Siuw Moi Lian
Yi Chu
Mark Middleton
Seow Fong Ooi
Joseph Landon
Bin Yue Jeng
Hsiu Chu Lin
Larry Wong
Duangnet Kronenberg
Jen Chin Hsueh
Na-chi "Nancy" Lee
Chi Rung Wang
Hueutsan Huang
Jou Sheng
Yue Chu
Yogesh Ghandi
Judy Hsu
Man Ho
Steven Hwang
Jane Dewi Tahir
Manlin Foung
Gilbert Colon
Maria Mapili
Yumei Yang
Irene Wu
Jie Su Hsiao
Arapaho/Cheyenne Indians
Mike Lin
Hsiu Luan Tseng
Hsin Chen Shi
Zie Pan Huang
Mark Jimenez
Shu Jen Wu
Michael Brown
Woody Hwang
Charles Intriago
Simon Chen
Sioeng Fei Man
Jessica Elinitiarta
Kent La
Craig Livingstone

Are the Clinton's puppets of Chinese financial circles? Did George Stephanopolos ask this question? It certainly has more merit than the questions he asked Obama about Ayers and Wright.

Again, now is the time for Democrats to give Hillary the same "test" she has been giving Obama. Everything -- the kitchen sink -- and see what sticks.

Bill from Saginaw said...

Isn't it bizarre that the end result of the oppo attacks is that Barack Obama winds up stereotyped negatively with completely contradictory stereotypes?

Some folks attack Obama as a sell out to monied, white corporate interests, a man who just a month ago said he could no more disown Jeremiah Wright than he could disown the black community, yet who now has reportedly tossed Wright and all he represents under the proverbial bus.

Other folks attack Obama as a closet Muslim and/or black liberation church radical who secretly hates white people, and who cannot be trusted with the keys to the White House because there likely will be urban racial unrest and riots in the streets.

Milquetoast sell out or Malcolm X in drag? Pick your poison.

To me, the key is whether the Obama campaign can continue to avoid resort to comparable Atwater-style sleaze attacks, and turn the resort to McCarthyism back against its proponents as more "old style" Washington gotcha games (which it is).

Bill from Saginaw