The recording that shows Michelle Obama saying disparaging things about white folks is for real. It is not part of some elaborate dirty trick. The people who have seen her comments describe it as “stunning” or “devastating.” I have not spoken directly with the people who have seen the tape, but I have spoken to two of my friends who are friends with those who watched the tape/dvd.
Are they playing me? No, but it is a valid question to ask. Two of my sources, who have recounted the reactions of their friends who have seen the Michelle “performance,” live on opposite sides of the United States geographically and politically. They do not know each other and had no way of knowing that each of them was talking to me. This is one reason I believe the report of the “tape” is true.
I also have learned that Obama campaign knew about this “tape” at least two weeks prior to my first blog item on the matter. And they are not laughing it off as a joke. (Note to Barack: There are leaks in your campaign.) Ben Smith’s report on the matter only tells part of the story.
The woman from McClatchy who dared ask the question was verbally assaulted by Obama aides. She was treated as if she had made a death threat.
Then there is the matter of the email/disinformation campaign the Obama folks are trying. First they sent some of their bloggers an email claiming that Michelle said “WHY DID HE” rather than use the pejorative, “WHITEY.” And now the excuse is being circulated that somehow I, or someone else, is cribbing from some silly book I have never heard of until now. A campaign does not react this way to a fabrication.
I apologize for any confusion generated from our effort to get on top of this. We made the mistake of putting up the claims from Hillbuzz, but have no way of verifying Hillbuzz’s claim that it is a recording that features Michelle Obama with the wife of Louis Farrakhan. That is not what the sources who have seen the “tape” have reported to me.
The sources who have seen the tape report that Michelle says disparaging things about “whites” and that Louis Farrakhan is visible. There is no identifying information on the segment they have seen to identify the location or time when this was recorded.
Why does this “tape” of Michelle Obama matter? The folks who have it are working to elect John McCain. They are using it now to raise money for a 527 effort that will attack Barack Obama. I am told that they fully intend to keep this “off-the-market” until after the Democratic Convention. The Republicans involved with this believe that Barack Obama is a more beatable candidate than Hillary Clinton and see the tape as reinforcing an image of racial division that will hurt Obama.
I support Hillary Clinton for President. I believe she will be a stronger candidate. And if I had the tape I would put it out in a heartbeat. Getting the tape out now does one of two things–either it persuades Super Delegates that Barack is not electable or it gives the Obama campaign time to repair the damage.
I now appreciate somewhat how Cofer Black, the head of the CIA’s Counter Terrorism Center, must have felt as he tried to warn Condaleeza Rice and the Bush White House about a brewing terrorist attack in the days leading up to September 11th. And please, I am not equating the Michelle tape with the attacks of 9-11. Rather I am focused on the point of what happens when someone has incomplete information, which warns about a future event, and tries to raise the alert. Just because Cofer Black could not say in late July 2001 that the coming attack would be carried out by 19 hijackers on four commercial airliners did not mean his intelligence was wrong.
Those who want to vilify me for having the audacity to raise this warning can have at it. I ran up against similar attacks and skeptics in May of 2003 when I warned that the Bush Administration had cooked the intelligence on Iraq. It is only now that we get a Senate Intelligence Committee Report and a book from Scott McClellan confirming what I said five years ago.
I caught more heat in October of 2003 when I defended Valerie Plame as an undercover CIA officer. Again, we had to wait until the trial of Scooter Libby to learn that the claims she was just a glorified secretary were lies. And once again Scott McClellan, Bush’s former Press Secretary, confirms that he was lied to as well about Valerie’s status and who was involved in spreading her name around town.
My efforts on those two issues earned me the enmity of many on the political right. On at least two separate occasions the Wall Street Journal editorial page attacked me by name and accused me of being part of a CIA effort to sabotage the policies of President Bush. Those charges were repeated and amplified in a subsequent book by Kenneth Timmerman,
Now it is some on the left who are attacking me and behaving in the same manner as those who rejected my reports on Iraq and Valerie Plame. Now I am a Republican tool. Here’s a small, but representative sample of the “love” letters coming my way:
From: KC Broberg
Sent: Jun 6, 2008 7:17 PM
To: Larry Johnson
Subject: WHERE IS THE VIDEO BIG SHOT?
more lies from mr. johnson it appears. no video on whitey? shocker
keep up the good work – swift boating is really going to work well this time…..
On 6/6/08 9:57 AM, “Ben Bulloch”
Crawl in a hole and bury yourself. You fucking toolbag.
On 6/6/08 12:49 PM, “Alejandro Queral”
On May 26, you wrote in your blog: “I know for a fact that Barack and Michelle Obama would like the tape of her blasting “whitey” during a rant at Jeremiah Wright’s church to never see the light of day.”
Really? If that’s the case, where’s the video? You and I know that if such a video exists it would have appeared on YouTube by now. But the truth seems to be there’s no such tape not because it hasn’t appeared on the web but because you can’t even keep your story straight. If you knew anything for a fact, your story would at least be consistent. I especially love how your sources are “all Republicans with access to knowledge but who do not know each other.” How convenient. But you and I also know that most insiders with access tend to know, or know of, each other. I suspect you made this up to cover your ass: since you name no names and you say the Republican insiders don’t know each other, there’s no way for anyone to disprove you. How clever. I’m also amazed at the bold face lie you tell your readers: that Michelle Obama was at Trinity Church when she made the speech, only to recant later and admit that you “do not know where this [the alleged panel discussion] occurred.”
Please stop using your blog to spread lies and rumors. It is not making this country any better.
Now for the shocker. If the election comes down to a choice between John McCain and Barack Obama I will vote for Bob Barr. I live in Maryland and my state is very likely to vote overwhelmingly for Barack. I continue to believe that Barack is not qualified by experience or temperament to be President. I will be happy to be proved wrong on that count. But, if elected, he is likely to revive memories of the failed Presidency of Jimmy Carter. How apropos that Jimmy endorsed Barack.
And I cannot support John McCain, who is staffing his national security team with many of the bozos who were instrumental in bringing us the debacle in Iraq. Of particular concern is Randy Scheunemann. A confidant of Douglas Feith, Scheunemann represents a continuation of the disastrous Bush policies in the Middle East. I’ll devote more time later to these issues.
Let me conclude with this–I think there is at least one tape/recording that will be released sometime after the August convention and is likely to be very damaging to the Barack Obama presidential campaign. While I hope that Super Delegates wake up and realize that Hillary is their best shot for victory in the fall, I realize I am swimming upstream. So word to Barrack and team–the tape is coming at some point and you folks better be ready to deal with it because, unlike the situations with Jeremiah Wright and Michael Pfleger, you cannot divorce your wife in the middle of a campaign.