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Be My Friend, Godfather

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).”

See also:

As if this were not enough, Auchi may have actually enabled — by providing some of the funds – the purchase of Obama’s Chicago mansion:

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:

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.

See:

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.

See:

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.

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  • Lucille Arneson

    Thank you for digging into this story and exposing the rot on the vine. You must continue to make headlines for this must be published for all citizens to see. And it must be done before the Democratic primaries end.

  • john b

    On February 1 the London Times reported uncovering state documents in Illinois recording that Fintrade Services, a Panamanian company under Auchi’s umbrella. lent money to an Obama fundraiser in May 2005. Has there been any further investigation of this loan?

    The fact that we can tie Obama to Saddam Hussein’s bagman should take the DNC’s collective breath away.

    • workingclass artist

      Auchi is trying to tie up the London press in the courts…But they’re still digging….

    • mary

      When they say Obama fundraiser, they mean Rezko. They don’t mean to an Obama event. Yes, I looked into it thoroughly, as best as I could, and that is what they mean.

  • http://Whosturnisit? TeakWoodKite

    MBolack, Well done laying out what, as Rep Tubbs, said recently is “in the public domain”.

    Isn’t that the RICCO statutes are for?

    27 million in small bills.

    What do you figure the oppo budjet is for the RNC/BlackwaterUSA?

    And what do Hillary supporters have that you, Obama never will?
    ——————————————————————————–

    Wizard of Oz: They have one thing you haven’t got: a diploma. Therefore, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Universitartus Committiartum E Pluribus Unum, I hereby confer upon you the honorary degree of ThD.
    Scarecrow: ThD?
    Wizard of Oz: That’s… Doctor of Thinkology.

    .

  • Betty

    There is a lot riding on this presdency in the way of pardons of for some pretty nasty folks.

    Makes me think of that R68 group and worry.

  • Independent

    I’m going to rofl when Dubya attacks Iran turning the Mid east into a shit storm and declaring himself Commander Guy until the “war” is over.

    • jwrjr

      Wouldn’t surprise me. Disgust, yes. But not surprise.

    • workingclass artist

      I’ll head to Canada…( sigh )

  • http://takeaction.wordpress.com/ A.Citizen

    Excellent post. Ties together quite a bit of what you’ve uncovered and made known to date. I will be linking to it as a primer about ‘Barry the Crook’.

    We can call him that now, right?

    I’ve always thought that Auchi is the ‘put-out’ pitch. That McSame will save it for the most damaging moment in their fight, if it comes to that, perhaps in the closing moments of a debate.

    McSame will ask, all innocence, ‘We’ve all heard about your explanations of your ‘relationship’ with Mr. Rezko. How would you characterize your political, business and personal dealings with Mr. Nahmi Auchi, Senator?’

    Pandemonium as Charles Gibson has a stroke on the set and Barry the Crook glass jaw and all measures his length on the ‘American Blue’ carpet of the platform. Out cold.

    As headlines from coast to coast blare:

    ‘Obama Business Associate Known Terrorist’ the Magic Man’s Children’s Crusade comes to it’s end.

    Game, set and match to those Republicans prescient enough to see that in Barry the Crook they had the perfect ‘Black Trojan Horse’ to destroy the Democratic Party.

    • simon, too

      Eh, depends on who is holding the laser.

      Maybe Barry can just get rid of the Dean’s and Pelosis, you know, trojan the trojan…

  • simon, too

    Any good PI knows this information about Obama, and more, the whole nine yards.

    Why are Dean and Pelosi still pushing his candidacy?

    In addition, the Pentagon published a paper detailing Auchi’s ties to weapons dealing, very instrumental in regard to the terrorist attacks we see on the news:

    A 2004 Pentagon report obtained by The Washington Times identified Auchi as a global arms dealer and Iraqi billionaire “who, behind the facade of legitimate business, served as Saddam Hussein’s principle international financial manipulator and bag man.”

    from the washington times:

    Inside the Ring
    By Bill Gertz
    February 29, 2008
    An item in this column has been corrected. Please see the correction on the second page of this column.

    Auchi connection

    New attention is being focused on indirect connections between Iraqi-British billionaire Nadhmi Auchi, who has been tied to illegal activities in Iraq and France, and Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama.

    Auchi gave at least $10.5 million to Obama fundraiser Antoin “Tony” Rezko, including a payment of $3.5 million that coincided with Mr. Obama’s purchase in 2005 of a $1.65 million Chicago house, the London Times reported Tuesday. The newspaper said the timing of the payment and the house purchase, along with the purchase of land next door by Mr. Rezko’s wife Rita from the same seller, raise questions about whether Auchi helped buy the house.

    Bill Burton, a spokesman for Mr. Obama, would not answer when asked if Auchi helped buy the senator’s house. He said the senator did not recall ever meeting Auchi, who was convicted of corruption charges in France in 2003.

    UPDATE: Since initial publication of this story, Mr. Burton has stated in an e-mail to Inside the Ring that he flatly denies that Auchi indirectly helped Obama purchase the house.

    A lawyer for Auchi told the London Times that his client is not aware that the money from a company linked to Auchi was used to buy Mr. Obama’s house. The newspaper stated that Auchi and Mr. Obama had a brief encounter in 2004 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago.

    A 2004 Pentagon report obtained by The Washington Times identified Auchi as a global arms dealer and Iraqi billionaire “who, behind the facade of legitimate business, served as Saddam Hussein’s principle international financial manipulator and bag man.”

    The report to the Pentagon inspector general stated that “significant and credible evidence was developed that a conspiracy was organized by Nadhmi Auchi to offer bribes to ‘fix’ the awarding of cellular licensing contracts covering three geographic areas of Iraq” under the U.S. Coalition Provisional Authority.

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    • stodghie

      i think the short fast answer is they are greedy for what they think are the new democrats ie the young and aa community that hasn’t voted before now. they are losing the latino community and the core democrats but these people don’t think. they are fearful of the loss of power with clinton so they cling to their self involved fantasies. and the obama supporters for sure won’t remain for the most part with the democratic party. their ipods are calling.

      • simon, too

        i think the short fast answer is they are greedy for what they think are the new democrats ie the young and aa community that hasn’t voted before now

        You know, with advice coming from a sub par “consultant class,” you’re probably right.

        Isn’t that sad?

        Rolling Stone had an excellent article abut this, poltical consultants, and democrats, and how both exploited the war in ’06 for seats.

        They’re too cloisterd, they’re not seeing the truth. In this instance, the republicans do much better. And it goes to that elitism, Obama’s remarks, and the inabilty of that group to understand just how serious the damage is…

        I fiigure that, and corruption.

        And now I wonder just how corrupt someone like Pelosi is, when before, I just figured her for stupid.

    • Retired

      Hey, very cool. Every Hussein should have an international financial manipulator and bagman. Saddam used Auchi, why shouldn’t Barack?

  • JoeySky
  • karen for Clinton

    Yeah, the blog “Rezko Watch” has so many “one degree of separation” ties of obama to his corrupt patrons.

    This might be the deal breaker, considering how close Blago is to indictment now that they are all fingering him. When Rezko and Blago start to squeal they will be bringing up the presidential nominee…

    “Sources said Thomas [the FBI mole] helped investigators build a record of repeat visits to the old offices of Rezko and former business partner Daniel Mahru’s Rezmar Corp., at 853 N. Elston, by Blagojevich and ***Obama*** during 2004 and 2005. In one case, sources said, Thomas told authorities he saw a Rezmar employee pass an envelope with a visible wad of bills to an unidentified Blagojevich aide.”

    His cesspool overfloweth.

    • simon, too

      rezkowatch does an excellent job, as always, helping to connect the dots, and the players, as does the Chicago Sun Times, and Tribune.

      I would think it must be difficult for a reporter, trying to tell the truth, when your publisher wants it killed.

  • JoeySky

    You can’t ask him about Auchi!. It’s a distraction, old politic.

    No! You are racist!

    Let’s see when kevin or autopilot will come and make one of the above deflective comment.

    • Reverend Wrong

      Aren’t you supposed to wait until after they come to point out this? Troll prophylactic?

    • Kourian

      Part of the reason they get so hostile is they’re starting to understand they’ve been gullible fools. When they get that fear coming over them they panic – and get aggressive.

  • Kourian

    See: Obama’s letters pdf from The Chicago-Sun-Times

    I suppose everyone’s noticed Barry’s English is shit and he didn’t proofread too well. ;)

  • Kourian

    Isn’t it sad, but ironic, that it took a renowned New Zealand Online Newspaper to do one of the most thorough studies on the corruption that begat Barack Obama and his involvement in it?

    I believe these are reprints from OpEd News. Pringle regularly writes for OpEd News. Please give credit as well to David Axelrod’s former colleagues at tribune.com who are covering the board games trial and whose work is the underbody to the Pringle articles.

    But above all: please keep featuring these links – they are the most important links for this election campaign today. As Pringle says: if the Dems did the research they would dirty their knickers.

    It’s incumbent this information – and these sources of information – reach the DNC and the MSM ASAP.

  • http://www.agust.com Agust304

    CHICAGO POLITICS. Can someone put a video around this song and get it on YouTube?

    http://www.ecivic.us/chicagopolitics.html

    Elephants on the left and donkeys on the right – And in the center ring it’s pistol beating, money grabbing, bribe taking, garbage cleaning, art snatching, vote stealing and..

    Chicago Politics, most interesting politics
    The circus is coming to your town
    With jerks, buffoons and elephants
    From the House of Delegates
    And certified administrative clowns

    Infrain:
    When I was young I must have had a mental embargo
    About taking jobs or money for my vote
    So when I’m dead please bury me in downtown Chicago
    So I can still keep casting my vote (when I’m dead)
    I can make up all those years I didn’t vote

    In the center ring the fun begins
    When pot-hole jumping citizens
    Join in and dance with the clowns
    There’s a party here – a party there
    There’s a three-ring circus everywhere
    And political reporters all around

    The pooper scopper’s a friend of mine
    He’s the precinct captain from 49
    He’s got himself a job can’t you see
    Vote early – often as you can
    Vote absentee then vote again
    Here’s a dollar bill – go vote for me

    Refrain:

    From: http://www.ecivic.us/chicagopolitics.html
    Cross posted at TM.

  • jwrjr

    We already have one President right now who can’t remember things that he did. America doesn’t need another.

    • http://hyper-educated-uppity-woman.blogspot.com Uppity

      Hey! Tony is gonna need a pardon so he can skim more government money and turn off the heat on the poor.

      • Kourian

        You have no clue how angry that makes me. The story of the grandmother with the year old grandchild and putting plastic in the windows to keep the cold out.

        They funneled over $100 million to him over a ten year period. One office in the Daley Jungle was trying to shut Rezko down and the other ‘good old boy’ office kept shoveling the cash out. $100 million.

        It takes a while to realise slumlording is such a profitable business. Because you’re not hoodwinking ordinary corporations – you’re hoodwinking taxpayers. And your coconspirator is some crook inside city hall.

        The FBI today just increased their local staff by 50%. Their Chicago crime unit is the biggest in the entire country. They’ve busted hundreds already. Hundreds more can go down.

        And Barry isn’t just associated with them – he’s one of the instigators.

        • stodghie

          it makes one wonder what fitzgerald might know.

          • simon, too

            I would think everything — all the way up to the white house.

            Gosh, he must have been appalled at the level of rot, and then amazed at the stupidity.

            Aren’t we all?

      • workingclass artist

        Hmmm……Has Michelle paid her property taxes yet ?…..Good Post…

    • susan

      Someone PLEASE email this article to Lou Dobbs, hannity@foxnews.com and oreilly@foxnews.com. I don’t know how, but they are the only MSM interested in vetting Obama.
      Thanks!!!