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,

    Shadow Warriors


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

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…..

or this

On 6/6/08 9:57 AM, “Ben Bulloch” wrote:

Crawl in a hole and bury yourself. You fucking toolbag.

and finally:

On 6/6/08 12:49 PM, “Alejandro Queral” wrote:

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.

Alejandro Queral

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.

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Larry C. Johnson is a former analyst at the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, who moved subsequently in 1989 to the U.S. Department of State, where he served four years as the deputy director for transportation security, antiterrorism assistance training, and special operations in the State Department's Office of Counterterrorism. He left government service in October 1993 and set up a consulting business. He currently is the co-owner and CEO of BERG Associates, LLC (Business Exposure Reduction Group) and is an expert in the fields of terrorism, aviation security, and crisis and risk management, and money laundering investigations. Johnson is the founder and main author of No Quarter, a weblog that addresses issues of terrorism and intelligence and politics. NoQuarterUSA was nominated as Best Political Blog of 2008.
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  • NicholasF

    So Larry, it’s now October 14. Where is the video?

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  • Terri

    Mr Republican supporter. Where’s the tape? You are nothing but a gossip monger and a racist.

    Niocole, what ignorance you show by questioning Obama’s accomplishments and stating that it was all handed to him. You have access to all types of media to research Obama but have not done so. What you do is listen to gossip mongers like Johnson and others like him and make a decison based on their heresay. Are you even registered to vote?

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  • D Jones

    You Sir are a rumor monger and a racist. What lie will you fabricate to justify the “non release” of “THE TAPE”? The mainstream media bought it and suppressed it?? Pitiful. Should you be vilified and demeaned? Should you be sanctioned and fined? How are YOU different than a reporter (who you’ve attacked) for using “unnamed sources” in a NYT story? You can’t have it both ways. When it DOES NOT come out…will YOU give as much time, effort, energy and passion in a mea culpa? I doubt it.

  • Bigwendingo

    The only thing aI can think of is “Charles Taylor” in Liberia and all those black hoodlums running the streets shooting machine guns over their heads while wearing hemorrhoid donuts on their heads and life vests with wigs on their asses.


  • The hypocrisy of you McCain supporters is astonishing, by the way. You vilify Obama because his wife may have said “whitey”. Well, if she has, that pales in comparison to what Cindi McCain’s pulled off:

    “You’re U.S. Senator John McCain, and you’ve got a big problem.
    Your wife, Cindy, was addicted to prescription painkillers. She stole pills from a medical-aid charity she heads and she used the names of unsuspecting employees to get prescriptions. The public is about to find out about it.
    Until now, you’ve managed to keep it all quiet. When Tom Gosinski, a man your wife fired, sued for wrongful termination and threatened to expose the whole sordid story, you didn’t hesitate to call in the big guns.”
    from The New York Times.

    Hmmm… didn’t notice the so-called LIBERAL media climbing all over that one.

    • correction, the Phoenix New Times. 🙂 But it should be in the NYT!

    • ulahane

      “I snorted cocaine when I could afford it” – Barack Obama

      • At least he’s honest. Big Bill “I didn’t inhale” talk about a seasoned LIAR. Still, he was leagues better than McLame could ever be. Oh and here are some poll #s for you!

        Although it’s still very early in the campaign, the latest NBC/WSJ poll has Obama leading McCain 47 to 41. I believe this is the bump that we all expected after the primary wars finally finished. The last poll was in April, which had Obama 46-43, within the margin of error for the poll. What’s really interesting, though, are the ethnic and voter group breakdowns: Obama leads with African Americans 83-7 (7? – geez), Hispanics 62-28, women 52-33, Catholics 47-40, independents 41-36, all women 52-33, and blue collars 47-42. Among Hillary supporters, Obama leads 61-19. Among white men, as you can imagine, McCain leads 55-35 as he does with soccer moms at 44-38. Among the respondents, 54 to 30 say that they believe Obama will win the election.

        Another interesting fact is that if you add Hillary to the ticket, he picks up 3 additional points over McCain/Romney.

        • Nicole

          Gee, Helen aka Hippie-girl, you’re such a b*tch.

          Keep smearing one of the best and most successful Democratic presidents of the last century, if you wish. But tell me, what has Obama ever accomplished? All his wins were pretty much handed to him. If you think otherwise, you’re haven’t done your homework and you’re too stupid to bother with.

  • toby

    This famous video is getting more and more like sightings of Bigfoot.

    Lots of reports, lot of hope that its true, lot of credulous people thinking its true, lots of people taking advantage of credulous people thinking its true, people claiming to know people who saw it, people claiming to know people who know people who saw it …. the list just goes on.

    It was rumoured that Hilary postponed her withdrawal to Saturday because the video was to “explode” onto the airwaves Thursday or Friday.

    Still no video.

    Keeping the video as an “October surprise” is just bad tactics. Sounds to me that someone is bluffing. Is it connected to the fact that the RNC had its dirty trick machine calibrated to attack Hilary (a few “bimbonic eruptions” – Bill still has his mojo) and how is caught flat-footed with a new and relatively scandal-free candidate?

    • This brings to mind Jason Leopold of TruthOut who claimed that Rove was going to be indicted. Larry will suffer the same fate (or worse) his name will be mud if this video doesn’t surface and it appears it won’t. I used to like this site too but I haven’t been up here for a few months and BOY has it changed. It’s like someone invited the freaks from Freeperland over to tell us what’s on their mind.

  • Jay

    Here is what is true about the existence of Larry Johnson’s magical invisible “Whitey” tape:

    Got that?

    You’re welcome.

  • Nobama Girl

    Nobama Girls Unite! Somebody take this name and do something with it…a site? Or just all nobama girls start using this tag with your other name. I think it could catch on.


  • sunsi

    Could this be the video of Michelle or just a fanciful imagination?

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  • bjinchicago

    Barack Obama is the child of a black father. Barack’s black father was not from America.

  • bjinchicago

    Barack Obama is known to have fathered two black children in wedlock to a black woman.

  • bjinchicago

    Barack and Michelle Obama are known black persons and they have known associations with other persons who are black as well.

  • bjinchicago

    Michelle Obama is black as well.

  • bjinchicago

    Barack Obama is black.

  • bjinchicago

    I have seen the video.

    Here is a link to it on Youtube:

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  • ownaa

    Do you want that angry woman have an access to the red button. You know if she live in the white house she will.

    • claribel borden

      As opposed to the crazy black man who sold himself to terrorists?

      Gee, that’s a tough one, isn’t it?

  • glennmcgahhee

    I have to wonder if Obama wanted to give Hillary a script to read yesterday. Kinda like he gave Bill Richardson. Remember the script of Bill Richardson’s was released and even had the instructions to “pause, turn to Obama and smile”. Richardson looked like a fool when the transcript was released and they hadn’t pulled the stage managed instructions.

  • lourdes

    My questions to Larry are these (I hope he’s reading these posts):

    Don’t you think that the FBI would have those DVDs?

    Don’t you think that the FBI and even the CIA would have a dossier on Hussain? Hussain is all over the place with his connections to the radical left in Chicago. Why hasn’t the republican party had a “party” with this information?

    Do you think the GOP is “waiting until November”, as some people say, to “expose” the Hussain? The GOP need money for the election campaign. Why wait until November to expose the him, when doing it now will fill their coffers?

    How do you explain that only the anti-Hussain camp is doing the work of exposing him? Why aren’t the republicans on top of the fact that Hussain worked for Nader?

    I really do not understand these things. Please, help me to understand.

  • RC

    At this point it doesn’t matter if there is a tape or not. The Republicans can keep talking about this all the way to November waiting for it, and at some point enough people will believe it is true to work anyway.
    And also it tempts Obama into lying, because it isn’t the issue it’s the coverup that ruins politicians, like with Clinton. Obama is refusing to deny that his wife said these things, only that there is no evidence and the question should not be asked. So this will be seized on by Fox as an admission of sorts, and more rumours will make the tape sound much worse. Or Fox will speculate on whether he doesn’t know which tape because there is more than one.
    This is classic swiftboating, and will draw the attention away from the issues to this over and over. Eventually Obama will have to spend a lot of time denying his wife said this, and then if there is a tape they have him. Clinton was hurt not so much by the affair but that he looked so believable when he lied about it. Once people realised Clinton could lie so convincingly they trusted him much less. Obama will smile and say there is no truth to it, and if there is then he will be shown over and over in advertisements what a convincing liar he is.
    They can already show him lying so slickly about Bill Ayers, showing these lies will make everything he says look like more lies. Next they will pay the guy accusing Obama of gay sex for his story, and maybe make him a Fox commentator. Then they will offer money for anyone else claiming to have had sex with Obama and they will be lining up just like they did with Clinton, Jennifer Flowers, etc.
    The funny thing is Obama himself makes far more derogatory statements about whites in his own book, hating the white blood in his veins. Perhaps after denying his wife made such statements and condemning them he will be trapped by having to explain why he made the same kind of statements himself.
    Kery and Gore were seasoned politicians and couldn’t withstand the swiftboating, I can’t see how Obama has a chance. They just need to wait untill Hillary is out of the way. However if Hillary is VP and Obama is swiftboated enough perhaps she can take over as candidate.

  • It is still hard to believe that the only copy of this video is in Republican hands. Even with divergent sourcing from two different coast and from divergent political points of view this is odd as hell. There is still a jungle telegraph feel to this. This still could be a disinformation campaign.

    It would only take a few loyal lairs to set loose the false information. If they are well connected to a deep social network the falsehood could then be spread widely. All it would take is for your two sources to be duped is contact with a few members of the core group of fabricators. The old Soviet Union had nothing on Carl Rove in the dark art of spreading political rumor. The two sources may be passing on what they think is a true story. Still they may have been deliberately lead astray by friends or acquaintance.

    Even if this film exist modern technology ensures that it will escape very soon. Look how quickly Obama’s bitter comments escaped from the confines of San Fransisco. There will be a screen capture or MP3 audio of this beast out sooner rather than later.

    Larry you of all people know that the more people who are exposed to a secret the less likely the secret will remain a secret. Each new pair of eyeballs this video is exposed to increases the chances that it will escape into the wild.

    Seeing as this tape features Louis Farrakhan why has this not escaped from the confines of NOI? How old is this thing? Was she even Mrs. Obama when the video was made? How the hell did this tape escape the clutches of the Clinton Opposition research team?

    Mr. Johnson there are question here that really need answering. Something this big, bad and juicy can not be contained for the three months until the Democratic Convention. The pressures of tabloid journalism just about guarantee that it will go viral. Forget the anonymous millionaire trying to set this thing free; there are plenty of media outlets more than willing to pay good money for this kind of scandal. If the video exists it will not remain secret. If it somehow remains secret it does not exist- at least not in the blockbuster form you vaguely describe. This may very well be a story of the dog that did not bark or the story of the fish that got away.

    This story has the feel of Cold War intelligence on the Soviet Union’s military strengths. Sometimes the intelligence was good; other times the threat assessment was overblown. Even with the best of sourcing we were often suckered by the KGB and the other intelligence assets of the old Soviet empire.

    It is not beyond the skill of the Rovain slime merchants to cook an old video of Ms. Obama to show her in the worst possible light. That video then can be shown to a targeted audience that will then transmit a further distortion of the contents to others. The original fabricator may have even targeted this possible bit of FUD to blogs like No Quarter. Such targeting may have been done via knowledge of the social networks of bloggers like Larry Johnson. The know biases of Larry and others would have made them the perfect target for this tale.

    This is not to say that Larry is wrong about the video story. It is to offer different scenario of the basic facts that Larry has offered. A targeted disinformation campaign about the contents of this video or its very existence is still a plausible explanation for this story.

  • KVB

    Keep in mind people, if there is a tape, the tape gets to the media and Obama decides to withdraw, or it’s costs him the election, BLACKS WILL RIOT!!!!!!!!!

    That’s what I think.

    • Retired

      Fear of riot. Good reason to vote for a political candidate.

      • HankinPA


        Why do you think the supers rushed to Obama even though he lost so many of the last primaries? fear of riot!!!!! Obama won by intimidation. I have heard that some black kids are working harder in school because of Obama, so that is a great thing. I cant vote for him tho

  • Judy Best (Nobama Girl Too)

    P.S. to my comment above: The federal government (HUD definitions, for example) considers “Hispanic” to be an ethnicity, not a race, because to be Hispanic is to be federally considered “white.”

    Thus, the “whitey” category racially despised by the Rev. Wright and his recent [N]Obama church members would be everybody who does not identify as African-American. This leaves me, being of Native American heritage mixed with “white,” despised by [N]Obama’s actions of church adherence, no matter what he says now.

    Look at the behavior, ignore the slick words. [N]Obama’s actions of church adherence also leave despised my friends with last names like Cisneros, Martinez and Gonzalez. McCain might want to consider how to reach them, too, so that Hispanic Americans do not assume by party affiliation that this Democrat candidate will be a good choice when they vote in the fall.

  • Jim Rockford

    Mr. Johnson I doubt there is any tape. Your July 2001 Editorial “The Declining Terrorist Threat,” dismissing the threat of Islamist terrorism inside the US makes your record of predictions very poor.

    If you were so spectacularly, 100% wrong, to the tune of 3,000 deaths, when so many others got it right, the burden of proof is on you.

    Given that you were so wrong, completely wrong, wrong and proven wrong within months, you have zilch credibility.

    • claribel borden

      Still not creative, you know, you look for some sort of intellectual individuality in a troll, and all we get are the trite blogger boyz, left and right, stale corn chips.

      And they all suck, no artistic presence, no creativity or individual talent, whatsoever.

      It’s so neocon no talent, mundane mediocrity mistaking itself as brilliant, like a war of the Washington consultants, and that can’t be good.

      They do provide foam, though, unwittingly.

      I mean, can you imagine this level of intellect around Dick Cheney?

      Would explain everything, wouldn’t it?

  • Carl Hardwick

    “…but I have spoken to two of my friends who are friends with those who watched the tape/dvd.”

    I had an open mind about this story until I read that part. You’ve fallen victim to the oldest urban legend trick in the book, the FOAF story, “Friend of a Friend”.

  • Judy Best (Nobama Girl Too)

    You may fairly assume that I am not racist and that racism does not affect my political choices, because I worked for the last gubernatorial campaign of Bill Richardson (who is bi-racial, as is [N]Obama), and because I am myself bi-racial.

    You may not fairly assume, however, that Barak Hussein and Michelle [N]Obama hold no racial animus against “whitey,” because the credible evidence is that they do. Would you subject your own children to the racially motivated hate-mongering of Rev. Wright, Sunday after Sunday? Only when it became politically expedient to disavow Rev. Wright did [N]Obama do so. And that’s just one example of the hypocrisy of Mr. and Mrs. [N]Obama.

    [N]Obama as a candidate is dangerously inexperienced, all rhetorical spin and no qualifications for the presidency. His lack of presidential qualification is why I will never vote for him, along with the racial animus he and his wife have demonstrated against “whitey.”

    Although I supported her, Senator Clinton does not own my vote, and I’ll do with it as I please.

    I’d hope other women who supported Hillary would be people, not sheep, and disregard Hillary’s current “make nice” with [N]Obama. That public display of affection may be more about getting help to retire her personal multi-million campaign-spending debt than anything else.

    In my decades-long experience of activism, whether the Republicans or the Democrats are in charge, the supposed rights of women in this country are largely illusory, on paper with no cost-effective enforcement for the majority of womankind. [N]obama has no significant track record of implementing women’s rights, because he has no federal track record to speak of, period. John McCain, on the other hand, sponsored the Americans with Disabilities Act, which daily benefits millions of disabled women and men. McCain has repeatedly demonstrated a social conscience as well as economic intelligence over decades of public service.

    At least John McCain with a strong understanding of military defense might keep the Jihadists and their rape camps out of what my mother still likes to call her country. As women, we have had enough of the DNC and its presidential candidate’s racism against people who, even if bi-racial, are not black against “whitey.”

  • BJinChicago

    Truth is there will be no peace with Barack Hussein Obama. Just look at what Obama did in Kenya for his cousin Odinga. Rape and murder were the results of his foreign policy.

  • JWeidner

    So sad to see so many supposed Democrats claiming they’d rather vote for McCain than the Democratic party nominee. 4 more years of failed Bush policy is a long time – long enough to do serious damage to this country. I hope some of you realize this election is larger than your own petty disappointments. It’s about more than Iraq even. We’re talking about the president who will be appointing Supreme Court judges, who will be responsible for continuing or discontinuing domestic surveillance efforts initiated by President Bush, and so much more.

    McCain is NOT a “maverick”. He is NOT a moderate. And he is NOT an acceptable alternative to a Democratic candidate. His m.o. is to stake out a position contrary to the Republican establishment, but in the end, he falls in line and votes the way the party needs him to.

    If you’d really consider voting for him just to “stick it” to Obama, the Superdelegates, or even the DNC, I can only pity you for your misguided belief that this election is, somehow, about “YOU”. It’s not. The very fabric of our country is tearing apart due to the politics of fear, poor economic policy, a neverending “War on Terror”, coupled with the war in Iraq. McCain will make no changes in our current direction. This election is more important than any we have had in the last 20 years – do you vote for more of the same with McCain, or do you find it in your heart to do what’s right for the country and vote for the Democratic party candidate, Barack Obama. I hope you make the right choice.

    Peace to you all.

    • Rather than pity people, try respecting their right to their own opinion.