By Matthew Weaver on September 10, 2008 at 3:34 AM in ACORN, Alice Palmer, Annenberg Chicago Challenge, Arab American Action Network, Ayers, Barack Obama, Bernardine Dohrn, Bill Ayers, CAC, Chicago School Reform Collaborative, Corruption, Current Affairs, David Axelrod, John Kerry, Michelle Obama, Obama, Richard Daley
William Ayers was just a guy in the neighborhood—Barack Obama
We know that this is a lie. See my reprised post at bottom, which is worth reviewing as Obama was at it again in his interview with O’Reilly where he repeated his lies in this interview. It was a shame that Bill gave him a pass on this.
We know from multiple sources that Obama has a 20 year relationship—personal, business, and political—with unrepentant terrorists William “Bill” Ayers, Bernadine Dohrn, and Michael Klonsky. Obama even brought Klonsky directly into his campaign and sources suggest that Ayers and Axelrod, who are apparent friends, regularly discuss campaign strategy regarding this terrorist clique. And don’t forget, that not just Barack is involved with these terrorists but so is Michelle, possibly even longer through her family ties in the community.
The lies are clear and irrefutable. What is behind the lies is absolutely damning.
Damning not just for any common citizen, but also for a sitting U.S. Senator, and especially for a campaigning presidential candidate. Barack, Michelle, and their terrorists friends through a series of shared and overlapping organizations spent public and private money on their pet projects, friends, and church. The biggest chunck of money, around $160 million, passed through Barack-lead Chicago Annenberg Challenge. Audits of the results showed complete failure to achieve any stated goals (except enrich the recipients). Barack and Michelle also organized and funded organizations that are terroristic, short the bombs.
As Barack and Michelle have not been forthcoming on their past activities and have not been vetted, everyone is left with incomplete pictures of the past. As with their 20 year relationship with Bill Ayers and leading role in Chicago Annenberg Challenge, they lie, deny, and omit.
Yes, Obama was a “community organizer” like Ayers, Dohrn, and Klonsky, but apparently stopped short of his friends’ bombthrowing. While Public Allies, Chicago Public Allies, and ACORN are accused of many repugnant and illegal activiites, even landing many members or trainees in jail, they have not been accused of violent bombings.
Even with an embarrassingly thin resume, Barack lied rather than tell about his “executive” roles in Chicago Annenberg Challenge and Public Allies. He doesn’t say anything about his role, successes, and failures in spending over $160 million. Why? Because these organizations by and large failed and often used the money to enrich his wife and terrorist friends.
Obama the presidential candidate is not really an empty suit at all. He is really a provocateur, friend and agent of terrorists, and a liar.
From my original post (September 7 post at NoQuarterUSA):
Why is Barack Obama and his campaign lying about his relationship and association with William “Bill” Ayers? Consider what Obama said on April 16, 2008 when asked about Ayers at the ABC Primary Debate in Philadelphia:
“This is a guy who lives in my neighborhood, who’s a professor of English in Chicago who I know and who I have not received some official endorsement from. He’s not somebody who I exchange ideas from on a regular basis. And the notion that somehow as a consequence of me knowing somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago, when I was eight years old, somehow reflects on me and my values doesn’t make much sense…”
The very next day, the Obama campaign posted on its Web site under the title “Fact Check on Obama and Ayers” the following, each prefaced with “Reality” and backed up with one or media reports:
- Obama was eight years old when the Weathermen were active
- Ayers connection is “phony,” “tenuous,” “a stretch”
- Ayers comments were published on September 11; the interview occurred prior to publication
- Ayers is a tenured professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and was a “respected adviser” to Mayor Daley on school reform.
- Charges against Ayers were dropped and he served no time
Obama continued his lies about Ayers when he appeared on Fox News Sunday, April 27. Barack repeated the claim that, “Mr. Ayres (sic) is a 60 plus year old individual who lives in my neighborhood…” (Fox News, April 27, 2008).
The campaign to persuade the public that Barack barely knew Ayers got a boost on August 21, 2008 from TruthFightsBack.com (John Kerry’s Web site for the Obama campaign). The site trumpeted, “Barack Obama Barely Knows William Ayers” and wrote that “The Republicans, desperate to smear Barack and try to build on their lies about his religion, insinuate that Barack Obama has a deep relationship with William Ayers. William Ayers was once a member of a radical group in the 1960s.” TruthFightsBack.com calls this lie “The Truth” under the title Barack Obama Barely Knows William Ayers:
“Barack Obama lived in the same area of Chicago as Ayers, and Ayers has been a politically active member of that community for years. Considering that, it’s actually remarkable how little the two have to do with each other. Early in Barack Obama’s career, he attended one reception in his honor at Ayers’s house. They also were separately asked by a charitable organization to serve on that organization’s board. And that’s it. There’s no friendship between the two, no relationship, no history of working together.”
The Obama team’s effort to cover up Barack’s ties to Ayers included an organized campaign to intimidate a Chicago radio station (WGN) that planned to interview Stanley Kurtz, who had succeeded in examining documents from the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC). The campaign emailed an Obama Action Wire to its supporters encouraging them to call in to the show and use following talking points (as found on the report form for supporters to log their call):
- William Ayers was involved with the Weather Underground when Barack Obama was eight years old, and Barack has roundly condemned their actions.
- Last night on Fox News, Kurtz tried to radicalize an education reform program in Chicago called the Annenberg Challenge. The Challenge was funded by Republican Walter Annenberg, introduced by Mayor Daley and Republican Governor Jim Edgar, and one of its initiatives was even praised by John McCain.
- Kurtz claimed on Fox News that William Ayers recruited Obama to the Annenberg Challenge — a flat out lie. Ayers did not serve on the board of the Challenge, and he had nothing to do with Barack’s recruitment.
Lies, big lies, and damned lies. The Obama team offers a disingenuous blend of fact and fiction in trying to cover up the true relationship between Obama and Ayers. The devil is in the detials and details do matter:
Ayers is just a guy who lives in my neighborhood, a tenured professor, and adviser to the local mayor
Ayers does live in Barack’s neighborhood (or vice versa). In fact, Barack and Bill currently live about two blocks apart on Greenwood Avenue and 50th Street. And before Barack’s “boneheaded” deal with convicted felon Rezko to purchase the Greenwood mansion, Obama lived about 1-1/4 miles from Bill. But the dismissive “just a guy who lives in my neighborhood” is a lie because Ayers was not just some fellow Barack bumped into at the corner market. They have a relationship that goes back nearly 20 years. Ayers was Barack’s friend, employer, colleague, and political supporter.
Ayers also is a tenured professor and multiple reports indicate he also is a buddy of Chicago’s Mayor Richard Daley. In fact, Mayor Daley has defended him during the campaign saying they’ve worked together, that Bill Ayers is a respected educator, and valued member of the Chicago community (Chicago Tribune, April 17, 2008).
It is unfair to say that Ayers’ actions 40 years ago when I was only eight should reflect upon me; anyway, charges against him where dropped and he did not serve any jail time. Plus, I’ve condemned the group’s actions
False. It is entirely fair to judge Barack by the people he surrounds himself with. Bill Ayer’s may have beat the terrorism charges but he has remained resolutely unrepentant about his actions. In 1981 David Horowitz quotes him bragging “Guilty as hell. Free as a bird. America is a great country.” In 2001 he is quoted saying “I don’t regret settings bombs. I feel we didn’t do enough.” (New York Times, September 11, 2001). Bill’s wife, Bernadine Dohrn went to jail rather than aid the government after the deadly Brinks armored car robbery. I like the comment at Hot Air (February 24, 2008) where See-Dubya expresses concern about Barack’s “…frightening tone-deafness toward terrorism, and a blithe ignorance of the evil and chaos these radicals represent.”
Any connection to Ayers is phony, tenuous, or a stretch. It is ridiculous to suggest any tie with Ayers
False. Everything discovered to date undeniably document that Barack Obama and Bill Ayers have personal, professional, and political ties that span nearly 20 years. Steve Diamond believes they likely first met in 1988 following Chicago’s teacher’s strike. Barack was hired into a Woods Fund sponsored position with Developing Communities Project that was a member of Bill Ayers’ Alliance for Better Chicago Schools (ABCs) (Global Labor and Politics, June 7, 2008).
Consider as well:
- In November 20, 1997. Michelle Obama, then Associate Dean of Student Services and Director of the University of Chicago Community Service Center, organized and participated in a panel that included Barack and Bill, Should a child ever be called a “super predator?” at the University of Chicago. See also, Chicago Tribune.
- In 1997 Barack wrote a review of Bill’s book “A Kind and Just Parent: The Children of Juvenile Court”. Chicago Tribune published a blurb from Obama about books he was reading. See also USA Today.
- April 19-20, 2002, Barack, Bill, and Bernadine participated in a conference and panel “Intellectuals: Who Needs Them?“. See also, Chicago Tribune.
- February 2005. Barack and Bill participated in a conference and dinner for Rashid Khalidi at Columbia wherein they offered testimonials to Khalidi. Mayor Daley also attended this hate-fest. (See The Sun and Campus Watch for some commentary. Khalidi subsequently lost his position at Columbia because of his comments, see New York Times.)
Ayers did not help launch my career
False. Back in 1995 after Barack Obama had returned to Chicago upon graduating from Harvard Law School, Bill Ayers hired the young Barack, then a third year associate at Davis, miner, Barnhill & Gallad. Together they spent upwards to $160 million dollars over the next seven years. As well, Bill and his wife Bernadine Dohrn feted him to the community as then-State Senator Palmer’s successor.
Early in Barack Obama’s career, he attended one reception in his honor at Ayers’ house
Not the whole truth. This was not a meet and greet reception. And Barack had more than one isolated sit down with Ayers and Dohrn. The Ayers/Dohrn home is where Barack Obama launched his campaign to oust then-State Senator Alice Palmer. This reception is reported in numerous articles including Ben Smith in Politico (February 22). Maria Warren writes about this gathering in her blog Musings & Migraines on January 27, 2005, “When I first met Barack Obama, he was giving a standard, innocuous little talk in the living room of those two legends-in-their-own-minds, Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn. They were launching him–introducing him to the Hyde Park community as the best thing since sliced bread.” Ari Berman also reports in The Nation (May 1) that Bill hosted a fundraiser for Barack in 1996. (Possibly an error on Berman’s part as this might be the 1995 event since there is no other mention of a 1996 fundraiser.)
Ayers had nothing to do with my joining Annenberg Challenge. He did not recruit me, nor did he serve on its board
False. Bill Ayers founded the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, secured the initial $50 million from Annenberg Challenge, and claims to have co-chaired the Collaborative it with Barack Obama. While there is nothing to explicitly prove that Bill recruited Barack, it is simply not credible to say that Bill Ayers had nothing to do with Barack Obama joining the organization.
I do not exchange ideas with Ayers
Really? Can you say the same thing about your communications director, David Axelrod? According to a source who attended the Democratic National convention in Denver, an old friend of Ayer’s bragged that Axelrod and Ayers are in regular contact and coordinating on how to respond to the claims about the Ayers/Obama relationship.
Ayers has not ‘officially’ endorsed me
Really? So he’s backing McCain? The issue is not who Ayers has endorsed. The issue remains–why did Barack hang out for so many years with a guy like Ayers. Endorsement or not, it is a question that matter.
Ayers has been a politically active member of that community for years
True. First, as a home-grown domestic terrorist, then since around 1987 as a community activist, organizer, and financier. As Lynn Sweet wrote in the Chicago Sun-Times (March 3), “Hyde Park welcomed William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn to the neighborhood after they resurfaced as local civic leaders following their years on the lam as members of the Weather Underground.” She notes Ben Smith observing in Politico (February 22), “While Ayers and Dohrn may be thought of in Hyde Park as local activists, they’re better known nationally as two of the most notorious — and unrepentant — figures from the violent fringe of the 1960s anti-war movement.”
Considering that, it’s actually remarkable how little the two have to do with each other
Oh yeah?! Now this is where the lying really begins. As is increasingly clear, they worked together and shared the same circle of friends and families, same business associates, and same political associates.
They also were separately asked by a charitable organization to serve on that organization’s board
Not true. They were involved in at least three different “charitable” organizations. There was the Woods Fund of Chicago, which Barack joined 1993 and Bill Ayers joined in 1997. But what about the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, which Ayers founded and worked on with Barack Obama from 1995 through 1999. While Barack chaired the Challenge, Bill co-chaired its Collaborative arm. This was actually three connected organizations: Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC, the Board), Chicago School Reform Collaborative (the Collaborative, and Consortium of Chicago Schools Research (CCSR).
And that’s it. There’s no friendship between the two…
Ben Smith in Politico (February 22) writes that Dr. Quentin Young, a prominent Chicago physician, told him that they were “friends”. At the time Smith dismissed this for lack of supporting information and the denial by Barack Obama. (I wonder if Smith has since reconsidered?). Mayor Daley now says they are friends. Even Bill Burton acknowledges that they were friends.
False. They have family, community, business, and political ties. The only tie they appear to not share regards religion.
…no history of working together
False. Why is the media so reluctant to explore the CAC relationship?
At the risk of being redundant, sometime in 1987 Bill and Bernadine returned home to Chicago, where both had family. Michelle likely already knew both through her Robinson family ties and then in her 1988 work at Sidley Austin, where Bernardine was also employed. It is likely that Barack at least knew of Bill Ayers because he was already involving himself among with the Ayers family and their players in the community. Bill Ayers operated in relative obscurity until February 2008 when his ties to Barack and Michelle Obama became a matter of discussion in Barack’s presidential aspirations.
As a community organizer in Chicago from 1985 to 1988 Barack Obama received funding from and worked with numerous groups, such as Developing Communities Project. Bill Ayers joined in this arena upon his return in 1987 through his own group, Alliance for Better Chicago Schools (ABCs). They both surely crossed paths as Ayer’s father, Tom, provided funding to Barack and Bill through Chicago United, a group of businessmen concerned about race and education issues in Chicago. Tom Ayers was once CEO of Commonwealth Edison (now Exelon) (Steve Diamond, Global Labor and Politics, June 18, 2008). Michelle, the Robinson daughter, continued her own involvement but details are murky at best. Barack Obama shows up again in Chicago after graduating from Harvard Law School, ends up at Davis Miner Barnhill & Galland, and joins the Woods Fund board, 1993, as a freshly minted 32 year old law school graduate, where he remained through 2002 and continued association with until gaining a seat in the U.S. Senate. Bill Ayers formally joined the board in 1999 but had ties throughout the earlier years, including receiving funds from the group.
Anyway, in 1993 Bill began organizing the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. Despite his unrepentant terrorist past he succeeded in securing nearly $50 million from Annenberg Challenge and immediately named Barack as his co-chair. Together over the next five years they spent at least $110 million for “radical” school reform in Chicago (Steve Diamond, Global Labor and Politics, June 18, 2008 and August 18, 2008). Then, or shortly afterward, the remains of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge was handed over to Chicago Public Education Fund.
This was a small circle of people, families, and businesses. They were figuratively partners in crime, Chicago’s political mafia enriching themselves through their political position, through federal, local, and state funding, and through their positions and funds given from private organizations, especially, of immediately focus here, from the Woods Fund and Annenberg Challenge. It is likely that there are other organizations and people involved and this needs to be explored further. Stanley Kurtz, Steve Diamond, and others are now beginning to look into what Annenberg Challenge did with its more than $160 million in private and federal dollars.
But first, let’s get back to Barack, Bill, and Bernadine. Again, Michelle plays at least a bit role in this but to what extent is still unclear. Over the years Barack, Bill, Bernadine, and Michelle show up together, along with other Chicago figures that include Rev. Wright, Minister Farrakhan, Rev. Meeks, Rev. Pfleger, Sen. Jones, and many, many more. Throughout this Barack also had his early ties with friend, businessman, and political financier Tony Rezko and Rezko’s partners and associates. And finally, let’s also not forget organizations that received funding from Barack and Bill, such as:
- Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN)
- Arab American Action Network (AAAN) founded by husband and wife Rashid and Mona Khalidi.
- Maoist Mike Klonsky, another terrorist member of the Weatherman
- Children and Family Justice Center, Bernardine’s organization.
- Trinity Unity Church and Rev. Wright.
Finally, what role did Barack’s position as a sitting state senator play in all of this?
Fairly or not, Chicago has a long reputation as a corrupt political city. It is increasingly clear that Barack joined and became a willing partner in this corruption. The families, organizations, and businesses involved enriched themselves off of the private and public funds that Barack controlled. That Barack Obama lied and continues to lie about his relationship with Bill Ayers is a smokescreen and the tip-of-the-iceberg about the depth of his involvement in what are, or may be, corrupt practices among these people and their organizations.
A Bit of Background and Unresolved Items
As long as this post is, it is still embarrassingly incomplete. In writing this I have read every post at Larry Johnson’s NoQuarterUSA and Steve Diamond’s Global Labor and Politics blogs involving terrorist William Ayers. I also dug through scores of articles and posts at various media sites and blogs. While some matters are consistently reported, others vary significantly. I’m sure I’ve missed many salient points.
It is especially dramatic to read earlier compared to newer posts. Consider Ben Smith’s “Obama once visited ’60s radicals” from February 22, 2008. The title alone shows the naivety of Ben and everyone about the level of Obama’s involvement with Bill and Bernadine. That Obama let such false picture spread without correction, including then and now on his campaign Web sites, further reflects his clear intent to deceive voters.
Four unresolved items in an incomplete list of questions are:
- What is Michelle’s involvement in all of this?
- How did Barack’s role in the Illinois Senate affect or was a part of all of this?
- What are Barack’s other board and organization memberships?
- Where did the money go? E.g., to friends, family, personal and professional associates, and political cronies?
The body of evidence and discussion on the relationship among and between Barack and Michelle Obama, William Ayers, and his wife, Bernadine Dohrn is growing daily. As we get beyond the lies and begin to follow the money I recommend reading the following:
- Larry Johnson at his Web site NoQuarterUSA and as I have summarized here.
- Steve Diamond at Global Labor and Politics and as often published at NoQuarterUSA.
- Stanley Kurtz at National Review has made a start and it will be worth watching to see what he develops as he researches the Chicago Annenberg Challenge papers he’s now gained access to.
- Selected articles from multiple sources are summarized here.
- My posts at The Problem With Obama and The Independent View.
Reprinted from It’s Not Just a Lie, It’s a Matter of Character