On the William Ayres, Barack Obama relationship:
Team Obama has launched an offensive against WGN, the Chicago Tribune's radio station, for interviewing Stanley Kurtz. Mr. Kurtz is a conservative writer who this week forced the University of Illinois to finally open its records on Sen. Obama's association with William Ayers, the unrepentant 1970s Weather Underground terrorist.Why doesn't Obama want the records of their relationship released. More inportantly Why is the Obama response to a request for information so HEAVY HANDED?
An Obama campaign email to supporters called Mr. Kurtz a "slimy character assassin" whose "divisive, destructive ranting" should be confronted. WGN producer Zack Christenson says the outpouring of negative calls and emails is "unprecedented." He also notes that it is curious -- because "we wanted the Obama campaign's take" on Mr. Kurtz's findings, but the campaign declined to put anyone on air. [Emphysis mine]The e-mail presented "Talking Points" to be addressed by Obama supporters who were asked to flood WGN radio with phone calls and e-mails of complaint to the show, WGN radio's General Manager and the FCC. Here is a copy of the Obama Campaign e-mail Obama's e-mail about WGN-AM Here is a link to the MP3 file of the complete WGN radio program Extension 720 with Milt Rosenberg WGN radio
William Ayres, according to Barack Obama, is "Just some guy I knew from the neighborhood." If that's true, why take such draconian measures to supress any questioning of their relationship?
We return to this article again for further question. (Link again (Obama Should Come Clean On Ayers, Rezko And the Iraqi Billionaire).)
The Obama Campaign (and Democrats in particular) appear to believe that John Kerry lost in 2004 due to the accusations of the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" (commonly now called Swiftboating).
It is VERY IMPORTANT to note that NONE of the accusations of the Swift Boat Veterans was proved false. The Swift Boat Veterans had a part in insuring John Kerry's defeat because John Kerry refused to release his military records to the General Public. No one ever proved any of the Swift Boat Veterans accusations false. (Kerry admitted his Christmas in Cambodia Story was false.)
Obama and the Obama Campaign have not been as transparent as they claim to be.
Walking the rows of media outlets at the Denver convention, I had no trouble finding reporters who complained the campaign was secretive and evasive. Ben Smith of Politico.com has written about Team Obama's "pattern of rarely volunteering information or documents, even when relatively innocuous."How is or was Obama involved with Tony Rezko?
Then there's the house that Mr. Obama bought in 2005 in cooperation with Tony Rezko, his friend and campaign fund-raiser -- a move the candidate concedes was "boneheaded." Rezko was convicted in June of 16 counts of corruption. (Mr. Obama was not implicated in Rezko's crimes.)The fact that Senator Obama was not implicated in Rezko's crimes is impotant, but still leaves questions unanswered.
Was Mr. Obama able to save $300,000 on the asking price of his house because Rezko's wife paid full price for the adjoining lot? How did Mrs. Rezko make a $125,000 down payment and obtain a $500,000 mortgage when financial records shown at the Rezko trial indicate she had a salary of only $37,000 and assets of $35,000? Records show her husband also had few assets at the time.Because ties to a convicted felon and a relationship which Obama admits was "Boneheaded" require more details.
Last April, the London Times revealed that Nadhmi Auchi, an Iraqi-born billionaire living in London, had loaned Mr. Rezko $3.5 million three weeks before the day the sale of the house and lot closed in June 2005. Mr. Auchi's office notes he was a business partner of Rezko but says he had "no involvement in or knowledge of" the property sale. But in April 2004 he did attend a dinner party in his honor at Rezko's Chicago home. Mr. Obama also attended, and according to one guest, toasted Mr. Auchi. Later that year, Mr. Auchi came under criminal investigation as part of a U.S. probe of the corrupt issuance of cell-phone licenses in Iraq. [Emphasis mine]Mr. Auchi has also been tied to corruption and criminal activities.
In May 2004, the Pentagon's inspector general's office cited "significant and credible evidence" of involvement by Mr. Auchi's companies in the Oil for Food scandal, and in illicit smuggling of weapons to Saddam Hussein's regime. Because of the criminal probe, Mr. Auchi's travel visa to the U.S. was revoked in August 2004, even as Mr. Auchi denied all the allegations. According to prosecutors, in November 2005 Rezko was able to get two government officials from Illinois to appeal to the State Department to get the visa restored. Asked if anyone in his office was involved in such an appeal, Mr. Obama told the Chicago Sun-Times last March, "not that I know of." FOIA requests to the State Department for any documents haven't been responded to for months.Despite the "not that I know of" reply cited above and the reported toast by Senator Obama also cited, Senator Obama seems to have a rather foggy memory for events.
After long delays, Mr. Obama sat with the editorial boards of the Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune in March to answer their questions about his connection to Rezko. He had no recollection of ever meeting Mr. Auchi. He also said he didn't understand a lot about house buying, and gave vague answers to other questions. Since then, he has avoided any further discussion of the Rezko matter.Like John Kerry in 2004, Barack Obama refuses to release documents which could make everything clear.
Some inquiries could be cleared up if the Obama campaign were forthcoming with key documents. Mr. Obama claims that in buying his house in 2005 he got a low mortgage rate from Northern Trust bank because another bank made a competitive bid for his business, but his campaign won't reveal from which bank. While he has released 94 pages of documents relating to the Rezko sale, they don't include the single most important one -- the settlement statement that shows the complete flow of funds that were part of the house sale. When asked why that last key document isn't being released, the Obama campaign issued a boilerplate statement saying, "we have released documents that reflect every one of the final terms of the senator's purchase of the home." But key data are still being withheld.There is a right to a certain amount of privacy which should be guaranteed to all of us. But, our Public Elected Officials in whom we place our trust need to be more open than the general public. We, as voters, have a right to know enough about an individuals personal life to make judgemnts about the Politicians' judgement.
Reporters who decline to press Mr. Obama for more information now, whether it be on William Ayers or the Rezko-Auchi partnership, may be repeating an old mistake. Most reporters failed to dig deep enough into the Nixon White House's handling of Watergate before the 1972 election. The country was soon consumed with that scandal. Most reporters pooh-poohed questionable Whitewater real-estate dealings of the Clintons before Bill Clinton's 1992 election. Within months of his inauguration a tangled controversy led to the appointment of a special prosecutor and an endless source of distraction for the Clinton White House.We all should ask What's Obama Hiding?