Over the last few months, Barack Obama has often stated that it was Chicago politics that made him tough enough to beat John McCain. Obama’s name has even come up a few times in the corruption trial of Tony Rezko, most recently in reference to toasting a man named Nadhmi Auchi at a Chicago party.
Just who is this Auchi character, and does it really matter that Obama gave toasts to him at a party?
Yes, it matters a lot.
First, it matters because, once again, Obama did an “Alberto Gonzales” on us. He couldn’t recall attending a party given in Auchi’s honor at the home of Tony Rezko in April of 2004, nor does he recall making “a few toasts.” (“Which is it? Obamarama . . .,” Chicago Sun-Times, April 16, 2008)
Once again, Obama refuses to share his history with the American public. That bothers me.
But, back to the question… why should I care about Auchi?
I begin with the Wikipedia entry entry on this man.
“Nadhmi Auchi was charged along with Saddam Hussein for conspiring to assassinate Iraqi President Abdul-Karim Qasim in 1959.”
“Mr. Auchi is a business partner of Syrian-born businessman Antoin “Tony” Rezko, who has supported US Presidential candidate Barack Obama financially since his first run for the Illinois state senate in 1996.”
According to an article at Raw Story — “Firm linked to Obama patron scrubs ’04 visit from website“:
“Auchi, a native of Iraq who lives in Great Britain, has a colorful past of his own. The businessman set up a variety of deals with Saddam Hussein’s regime prior to the 1991 Gulf War, and was one of the largest private shareholders in BNP Paribas, the bank that trafficked most of the funds involved in the UN Oil-For-Food scandal. He also admitted taking kickbacks from the French petroleum company TotalFinaElf in the 1990s (Auchi later sued Elf for entangling him in their criminal activities, according to Forbes).”
- “The Food for Oil Connection, it’s Tony again!,” Democrats.org, March 12, 2008
- “Oil scandal billionaire tells French court of bribes,” The Guardian, London, May 7, 2003
As if this were not enough, Auchi may have actually enabled — by providing some of the funds – the purchase of Obama’s Chicago mansion:
- “Mansion ‘mistake’ piles the pressure on Barack Obama,” The Times Online, London, February 26, 2008
- “How to Buy A Mansion You Can’t Afford, No Quarter, February 4 , 2008
- “From the Tribune archives: Rezko owns vacant lot next to Obama’s home,” Chicago Tribune, November 1, 2006
But there is much more to this story.
Auchi acted as Tony Rezko’s proverbial banker: He is reported to have loaned/invested more than $27.8 million to Rezko and his various projects. And there is no denying that Barack Obama is one of those “projects.”
Read “Timeline: British billionaire and Barack Obama” in The Times Online, London, February 25, 2008. The article provides a summary of some of the interactions between Auchi — and his company, General Mediterranean Holding (GMH) — and Tony Rezko.
So what did Rezko and his cohorts do with all of this money? Well, the list is too long to detail here. But read Rezko’s Wickipedia entry, and you’ll get the idea.
According to Salon.com’s story, “How close were Barack Obama and Tony Rezko?” February 1, 2008:
In 1989, Rezko and a business partner founded Rezmar Inc., a real estate company that aimed to rehabilitate South Side apartment buildings. Partnering with community groups that could help them win government loans, Rezmar purchased 30 properties.
At first, Rezmar had a golden reputation. But many of its tenants would have been better off in housing projects. During the winter of 1997, a Rezmar building was without heat for five weeks, until the city took the company to court.
It was one of a dozen cases in which the city had to force Rezmar to turn on heat for its tenants. More than half of Rezmar’s buildings went into foreclosure, and several have been boarded up. According to a Chicago Sun-Times investigation, Rezmar properties were ‘riddled with problems — including squalid living conditions, vacant apartments, lack of heat, squatters and drug dealers. ….
Rezko, after all, built part of his fortune by exploiting the black community that Obama had served in the state Senate, and by milking government programs meant to benefit black-owned businesses.
But Obama took Rezko’s money even after the businessman was sued by the city of Chicago for failing to heat his low-income apartments, and even after Rezko was caught using a black business partner to obtain a minority set-aside for a fast-food franchise at O’Hare Airport.
See also: “Broken promises, broken homes,” Chicago Sun-Times, April 24, 2007.
Obama had, in fact, written letters to the Illinois Dept of Housing, recommending Rezco’s company for some of these these very projects.
See: Obama’s letters at The Chicago-Sun-Times (PDF format).
There is much more to know about the relationship between Obama, Rezko and Auchi. An Internet search reveals an abundance of information from reliable sources. But this is enough to make my point. Obama has had the benefit of lots of money that came to him by way of many corrupt individuals.
So far, Obama has admitted to $250,000, though it is unclear whether he has returned more than $150,000 of it. And he seems to have been willing, at the very least, to ignore — and even enable — the actions of these vile characters.
Isn’t it sad, but ironic, that it took a non-MSM online newspaper, OpED News to do one of the most thorough studies on the corruption that begat Barack Obama and his involvement in it?
Read Evelyn Pringle’s articles:
- “Barack Obama – The Wizard of Oz”
- “Barack Obama – Operation Board Games For Slumlords”
- “ Barack Obama – Subplots of Operation Board Games – Part I“
There can be very little doubt, after all, that Obama knew about this, and that he spent a lot more time with Rezko than he has admitted. The FBI, in fact, logged many Obama visits to Rezko’s offices in 2004 and 2005, contradicting Obama’s assertions that he didn’t know Rezko well.
Curiously, although a Chicago Sun-Times article entitled “My Life as an FBI Mole,” is quoted identically in all 3 of the articles below, that story has been removed from the Sun-Times website. The fifth link below purports to contain the entire text from the article.
- “FBI MOLE SHOWS FACE,” Illinois Review, February 10, 2008
- “One-degree of separation: Rezko-Obama—When is a coincidence not a coincidence? (Updated),” Rezko Watch, February 12, 2008
- “Follow the Money: Obama “dropped in” to do Rezko favors,” Avid Editor, March 13, 2008
- “My life as an FBI mole (Real estate broker convicted of fraud becomes a mole for feds to nail Rezko),” Chicago Sun-Times, February 10, 2008
Further, quite a few of Rezko’s housing projects, which indeed became slums, were in the district Obama represented as an Illinois Senator. One or two were little more than a mile from Obama’s home. Surely a responsible Illinois Senator would have made numerous efforts to intervene on behalf of the victimized residents. But I could find no indication that Obama even tried.
- “Irrefutable Proof That Obama’s Own District Was Home to 11 Rezko Foreclosed Properties, No Quarter,” No Quarter, March 12, 2008
- “It Is ‘Possible’ Obama Was Aware of Rezko’s Financial and Legal Woes,” No Quarter, January 28, 2008
If Auchi was The Godfather and Rezko was a caporegime — to use an analogy from The Godfather — does that make Obama the equivalent of a faithful soldier? I certainly hope not. But I have to admit, as I did the research for this article, lines from that movie kept going through my head.
“Be my friend… Godfather.”
[kisses Don Corleone's ring]
Don Corleone: “Good. Someday, and that day may never come, I’ll call upon you to do a service for me. But, until that day, accept this justice as a gift on my daughter’s wedding day.”
I believe Barack Obama still has a lot of questions to answer. I fervently hope that the mainstream media will ask them before the primaries are over. If he doesn’t answer them now, he will certainly be subject to major attack from Republican-oriented organizations before the November election. And it will be nobody’s fault but his own.
I’m afraid, however, that recent media comments that Obama “has stepped in it,” aren’t adequate. He may never really have been out of it.