In his biography of Barack Obama, David Mendell writes about Obama’s life as a “secret smoker” and how he “went to great lengths to conceal the habit.” But what about Obama’s secret political life? It turns out that Obama’s childhood mentor, Frank Marshall Davis, was a communist.
In his books, Obama admits attending “socialist conferences” and coming into contact with Marxist literature. But he ridicules the charge of being a “hard-core academic Marxist,” which was made by his colorful and outspoken 2004 U.S. Senate opponent, Republican Alan Keyes.
However, through Frank Marshall Davis, Obama had an admitted relationship with someone who was publicly identified as a member of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA). The record shows that Obama was in Hawaii from 1971-1979, where, at some point in time, he developed a close relationship, almost like a son, with Davis, listening to his “poetry” and getting advice on his career path. But Obama, in his book, Dreams From My Father, refers to him repeatedly as just “Frank.”
The reason is apparent: Davis was a known communist who belonged to a party subservient to the Soviet Union. In fact, the 1951 report of the Commission on Subversive Activities to the Legislature of the Territory of Hawaii identified him as a CPUSA member. What’s more, anti-communist congressional committees, including the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), accused Davis of involvement in several communist-front organizations.
Trevor Loudon, a New Zealand-based libertarian activist, researcher and blogger, noted evidence that “Frank” was Frank Marshall Davis in a posting in March of 2007.
Out Of Nowhere
Obama’s communist connection adds to mounting public concern about a candidate who has come out of virtually nowhere, with a brief U.S. Senate legislative record, to become the Democratic Party frontrunner for the U.S. presidency. Decades ago, the CPUSA had tens of thousands of members, some of them covert agents who had penetrated the U.S. Government. It received secret subsidies from the old Soviet Union.
You won’t find any of this discussed in the David Mendell book, Obama: From Promise to Power. It is typical of the superficial biographies of Obama now on the market. Secret smoking seems to be Obama’s most controversial activity. At best, Mendell and the liberal media describe Obama as “left-leaning.”
But you will find it briefly discussed, sort of, in Obama’s own book, Dreams From My Father. He writes about “a poet named Frank,” who visited them in Hawaii, read poetry, and was full of “hard-earned knowledge” and advice. Who was Frank? Obama only says that he had “some modest notoriety once,” was “a contemporary of Richard Wright and Langston Hughes during his years in Chicago…” but was now “pushing eighty.” He writes about “Frank and his old Black Power dashiki self” giving him advice before he left for Occidental College in 1979 at the age of 18.
This “Frank” is none other than Frank Marshall Davis, the black communist writer now considered by some to be in the same category of prominence as Maya Angelou and Alice Walker. In the summer/fall 2003 issue of African American Review, James A. Miller of George Washington University reviews a book by John Edgar Tidwell, a professor at the University of Kansas, about Davis’s career, and notes, “In Davis’s case, his political commitments led him to join the American Communist Party during the middle of World War II—even though he never publicly admitted his Party membership.” Tidwell is an expert on the life and writings of Davis.
Is it possible that Obama did not know who Davis was when he wrote his book, Dreams From My Father, first published in 1995? That’s not plausible since Obama refers to him as a contemporary of Richard Wright and Langston Hughes and says he saw a book of his black poetry.
The communists knew who “Frank” was, and they know who Obama is. In fact, one academic who travels in communist circles understands the significance of the Davis-Obama relationship.
Professor Gerald Horne, a contributing editor of the Communist Party journal Political Affairs, talked about it during a speech last March at the reception of the Communist Party USA archives at the Tamiment Library at New York University. The remarks were posted online under the headline, “Rethinking the History and Future of the Communist Party.”
Horne, a history professor at the University of Houston, noted that Davis, who moved to Honolulu from Kansas in 1948 “at the suggestion of his good friend Paul Robeson,” came into contact with Barack Obama and his family and became the young man’s mentor, influencing Obama’s sense of identity and career moves. Robeson, of course, was the well-known black actor and singer who served as a member of the CPUSA and apologist for the old Soviet Union. Davis had known Robeson from his time in Chicago.
As Horne describes it, Davis “befriended” a “Euro-American family” that had “migrated to Honolulu from Kansas and a young woman from this family eventually had a child with a young student from Kenya East Africa who goes by the name of Barack Obama, who retracing the steps of Davis eventually decamped to Chicago.”
It was in Chicago that Obama became a “community organizer” and came into contact with more far-left political forces, including the Democratic Socialists of America, which maintains close ties to European socialist groups and parties through the Socialist International (SI), and two former members of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), William Ayers and Carl Davidson.
The SDS laid siege to college campuses across America in the 1960s, mostly in order to protest the Vietnam War, and spawned the terrorist Weather Underground organization. Ayers was a member of the terrorist group and turned himself in to authorities in 1981. He is now a college professor and served with Obama on the board of the Woods Fund of Chicago. Davidson is now a figure in the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism (CCDS), an offshoot of the old Moscow-controlled CPUSA, and helped organize the 2002 rally where Obama came out against the Iraq War.
Another figure in the CCDS, Leslie Cagan, is an organizer of anti-Iraq War demonstrations through a group called United for Peace and Justice.
Former congressional investigator Herbert Romerstein, an expert on communist activities, said most of the members of the CCDS came out of the CPUSA, where they functioned as stooges of the Soviet Union until the fall of that dictatorship. He said it has “a close working relationship with the Stalinist remnants in the former East Germany, now called the Party of Democratic Socialism.” Romerstein said these were the people who ran the concentration camps and the Communist Party apparatus in East Germany.
Romerstein also cited evidence that after the 9/11 terrorist attacks Cagan organized the first meetings to plan opposition to any United States military action against those responsible.
The Nature Of The Threat
Both communism and socialism trace their roots to Karl Marx, co-author of the Communist Manifesto, who endorsed the first meeting of the Socialist International, then called the “First International.” According to Pierre Mauroy, president of the SI from 1992-1996, “It was he [Marx] who formally launched it, gave the inaugural address and devised its structure…”
Apparently unaware that Davis had been publicly named as a CPUSA member, Horne said only that Davis “was certainly in the orbit of the CP [Communist Party]—if not a member…”
In addition to Tidwell’s book, Black Moods: Collected Poems of Frank Marshall Davis, confirming Davis’s Communist Party membership, another book, The New Red Negro: The Literary Left and African American Poetry, 1930-1946, names Davis as one of several black poets who continued to publish in CPUSA-supported publications after the 1939 Hitler-Stalin non-aggression pact. The author, James Edward Smethurst, associate professor of Afro-American studies at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, says that Davis, however, would later claim that he was “deeply troubled” by the pact.
While blacks such as Richard Wright left the CPUSA, it is not clear if or when Davis ever left the party.
However, Obama writes in Dreams From My Father that he saw “Frank” only a few days before he left Hawaii for college, and that Davis seemed just as radical as ever. Davis called college “An advanced degree in compromise” and warned Obama not to forget his “people” and not to “start believing what they tell you about equal opportunity and the American way and all that ####.” Davis also complained about foot problems, the result of “trying to force African feet into European shoes,” Obama wrote.
For his part, Horne says that Obama’s giving of credit to Davis will be important in history. “At some point in the future, a teacher will add to her syllabus Barack’s memoir and instruct her students to read it alongside Frank Marshall Davis’ equally affecting memoir, Living the Blues and when that day comes, I’m sure a future student will not only examine critically the Frankenstein monsters that US imperialism created in order to subdue Communist parties but will also be moved to come to this historic and wonderful archive in order to gain insight on what has befallen this complex and intriguing planet on which we reside,” he said.
Dr. Kathryn Takara, a professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa who also confirms that Davis is the “Frank” in Obama’s book, did her dissertation on Davis and spent much time with him between 1972 until he passed away in 1987.
In an analysis posted online, she notes that Davis, who was a columnist for the Honolulu Record, brought “an acute sense of race relations and class struggle throughout America and the world” and that he openly discussed subjects such as American imperialism, colonialism and exploitation. She described him as a “socialist realist” who attacked the work of the House Un-American Activities Committee.
Davis, in his own writings, had said that Robeson and Harry Bridges, the head of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and a secret member of the CPUSA, had suggested that he take a job as a columnist with the Honolulu Record “and see if I could do something for them.” The ILWU was organizing workers there and Robeson’s contacts were “passed on” to Davis, Takara writes.
Takara says that Davis “espoused freedom, radicalism, solidarity, labor unions, due process, peace, affirmative action, civil rights, Negro History week, and true Democracy to fight imperialism, colonialism, and white supremacy. He urged coalition politics.”
Is “coalition politics” at work in Obama’s rise to power?
Trevor Loudon, the New Zealand-based blogger who has been analyzing the political forces behind Obama and specializes in studying the impact of Marxist and leftist political organizations, notes that Frank Chapman, a CPUSA supporter, has written a letter to the party newspaper hailing the Illinois senator’s victory in the Iowa caucuses.
“Obama’s victory was more than a progressive move; it was a dialectical leap ushering in a qualitatively new era of struggle,” Chapman wrote. “Marx once compared revolutionary struggle with the work of the mole, who sometimes burrows so far beneath the ground that he leaves no trace of his movement on the surface. This is the old revolutionary ‘mole,’ not only showing his traces on the surface but also breaking through.”
OBAMA’S SECRET SOCIALIST CONNECTIONS
Obama’s socialist backing goes back at least to 1996, when he received the endorsement of the Chicago branch of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) for an Illinois state senate seat. Later, the Chicago DSA newsletter reported that Obama, as a state senator, showed up to eulogize Saul Mendelson, one of the “champions” of “Chicago’s democratic left” and a long-time socialist activist. Obama’s stint as a “community organizer” in Chicago has gotten some attention, but his relationship with the DSA socialists, who groomed and backed him, has been generally ignored.
Blogger Steve Bartin, who has been following Obama’s career and involvement with the Chicago socialists, uncovered a fascinating video showing Obama campaigning for openly socialist Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Interestingly, Sanders, who won his seat in 2006, called Obama “one of the great leaders of the United States Senate,” even though Obama had only been in the body for about two years. In 2007, the National Journal said that Obama had established himself as “the most liberal Senator.” More liberal than Sanders? That is quite a feat. Does this make Obama a socialist, too?
DSA describes itself as the largest socialist organization in the United States and the principal U.S. affiliate of the Socialist International. The Socialist International (SI) has what is called “consultative status” with the United Nations. In other words, it works hand-in-glove with the world body.
The international con-nection is important and significant because an Obama bill, “The Global Poverty Act,” has recently been rushed through the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, with the assistance of Democratic Senator Joe Biden, the chairman, and Republican Senator Richard Lugar. The legislation (S.2433) commits the U.S. to spending hundreds of billions of dollars more in foreign aid on the rest of the world, in order to comply with the “Millennium Goals” established by the United Nations. Conservative members of the committee were largely caught off-guard by the move to pass the Obama bill but are putting a “hold” on it, in order to try to prevent the legislation, which also quickly passed the House, from being quickly brought up for a full Senate vote. But observers think that Senate Democrats may try to pass it quickly anyway, in order to give Obama a precious legislative “victory” that he could run on.
Howard Dean’s Socialist Ties
Another group associated with the SI is the Party of European Socialists (PES), which heard from Howard Dean, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, back in 2006. Dean’s speech is posted on the official Democratic Party website, although the European socialist parties are referred to as “progressive.” Democrats, Dean said, want to be “good citizens of the world community.” He spoke at a session on “Global Challenges for Progressive Politics.”
Following up, in April 2007, PES President Poul Nyrup Rasmussen reported that European socialists held a meeting “in the Democrats HQ in Washington,” met with officials of the party and Democratic members of Congress. The photos of the trip show Rasmussen meeting with such figures as Senator Ben Cardin, Senator Bernie Sanders, officials of the Brookings Institution, Howard Dean, and AFL-CIO President John W. Sweeney, a member of the DSA. The Brookings Institution is headed by former Clinton State Department official Strobe Talbott, a proponent of world government who was recently identified in the book Comrade J as having been a pawn of the Russian intelligence service.
The socialist connections of Obama and the Democratic Party have certainly not been featured in the Washington Post columns of Harold Meyerson, who happens not only to be a member but a vice-chair of the DSA. Meyerson has praised convicted inside-trader George Soros for manipulating campaign finance laws to benefit the far-left elements of the Democratic Party. Obama’s success in the Democratic presidential primaries and caucuses is further evidence of Soros’s success. Indeed, Soros has financially contributed to the Obama campaign.
It is not surprising that the Chicago Democrat, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, has endorsed Obama. Schakowsky, who endorsed Howard Dean for president in 2004, was honored in 2000 at a dinner sponsored by the Chicago chapter of the DSA. Her husband, Robert Creamer, emerged from federal prison in November 2006 after serving five months for financial crimes. He pleaded guilty to ripping off financial institutions while running a non-profit group. Before he was convicted but under indictment, Creamer was hired by the Soros-funded Open Society Policy Center to sabotage John Bolton’s nomination as Ambassador to the U.N. One of the claims made against Bolton was that he had yelled at somebody 20 years ago. The allegation was made by a specialist in “recovered memories.”
After his release from prison, Creamer released a book, Listen to Your Mother: Stand up Straight: How Progressives Can Win, described by one blogger as the book that was “penned in the pen.”
In addition to writing the book, Creamer is back in business, running his firm, Strategic Consulting Group, and advertising himself as “a consultant to the campaigns to end the war in Iraq, pass universal health care, change America’s budget priorities and enact comprehensive immigration reform.” His clients have included the AFL-CIO and MoveOn.org. In fact, his client list reads like a virtual who’s who of the Democratic Party, organized labor, and Democratic Party constituency groups.
Creamer’s list of testimonials comes from such figures as Democratic Senators Dick Durbin (Ill.) and Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Harold Meyerson, MoveOn.org founder Wes Boyd, and David Axelrod, a “Democratic political consultant.”
Axelrod, of course, is much more than just a “Democratic political consultant.” He helped State Senator Barack Obama win his U.S. Senate seat in 2004 and currently serves as strategist and media advisor to Obama’s presidential campaign.
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