happens when the “fact-checkers” don’t check facts and the “watchdogs” don’t
watch? Consider the case of those who claim to be watching politicians for lies
and deceptions and pretend to analyze Senator Barack Obama’s new patriotic
“Country I Love” television ad, airing in 18 states.
Political Fact Check, a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the
University of Pennsylvania, and Washington Post media reporter Howard Kurtz
have written analyses of the Obama ad. But they are as flawed as the ad itself.
The Obama TV ad
purports to describe his upbringing and legislative accomplishments but ignores
his childhood mentor, Communist Frank Marshall Davis. While Obama associates
Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn looked to Havana
and Hanoi for their inspiration and guidance, Davis loved the old Soviet Union
and refused to answer questions under oath about his Communist Party
membership. He was a Stalinist.
Overall, there is a
pattern of people who hate America
showing up at critical junctions in Obama’s life and career to influence and
advise him. But he wants us to believe that somehow American “values” have been
instilled in him. By whom?
By airing his
patriotic ad, Obama is trying to suggest that whatever associations he had with
these and other anti-American figures, and whatever mysterious circumstances he
may have been raised or trained in, he still managed to somehow become a loyal
American. But how is this possible? Which pro-American political figures had
any influence at all on his life and career? Would he please name some?
interpretation of this ad, based on what we know about Obama so far, would have
to conclude that it is the most deceptive commercial ever to air in the history
of politics. It is designed to mask the fact that Obama, with all of his
baggage, could not by any reasonable standard get a federal security clearance.
But our media don’t have the basic integrity to point this out.
Here is the ad text:
“America is a country
of strong families and strong values. My life’s been blessed by both. I was
raised by a single mom and my grandparents. We didn’t have much money, but they
taught me values straight from the Kansas
heartland where they grew up. Accountability and self-reliance. Love of
country. Working hard without making excuses. Treating your neighbor as you’d
like to be treated. It’s what guided me as I worked my way up taking jobs and
loans to make it through college. It’s what led me to pass up Wall Street jobs
and go to Chicago
instead, helping neighborhoods devastated when steel plants closed. That’s why
I passed laws moving people from welfare to work, cut taxes for working
families and extended health care for wounded troops who’d been neglected. I
approved this message because I’ll never forget those values, and if I have the
honor of taking the oath of office as president, it will be with a deep and
abiding faith in the country I love.”
It is airing in the following states: Alaska,
Nevada, New Hampshire,
New Mexico, North
Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Virginia
The Obama ad, which also touts his alleged legislative accomplishments,
is curious for another reason. It ignores his costly pro-U.N. Global Poverty
Act, now on the verge of full Senate passage.
The reason for the
omission is obvious: Obama’s campaign understands that the bill, which commits
the United States
to spending more foreign aid money on the rest of the world, is not popular
with the American people and would make him look like an anti-American
globalist and socialist. This perception has to be avoided at all costs.
“America is a
country of strong families and strong values,” Obama declares in the ad. “My
life’s been blessed by both. I was raised by a single mom and my grandparents.
We didn’t have much money, but they taught me values straight from the Kansas heartland where
they grew up.”
In fact, his white
grandfather helped raise Obama by selecting Frank Marshall Davis, a black
communist writer and poet, as a father-figure and role model while he was
growing up in Hawaii.
His values, passed on to Obama, were those of a communist agent who pledged
allegiance to Stalin. Among other things, as Obama himself admits in his book,
“Frank” told him that blacks had a reason to hate whites and that he should not
believe that [expletive deleted] about the American way of life. Davis was an influence
over Obama during the years 1975-1979. His “poetry” is viciously anti-American
and pro-Soviet. And yet Obama listened to it growing up.
All of this has been well-documented in numerous articles by Accuracy
in Media, based on information in Obama’s book, Dreams From My Father; books
by and about Davis; and interviews with
and speeches by those who had information about Davis’s role in raising Obama. Congressional
investigations named Davis
as a key member of the Communist Party USA involved in a Soviet network that
also included actor Paul Robeson and labor leader Harry Bridges.
Professor Paul Kengor
makes the essential point that the role of Davis in influencing Obama has to be taken
“Davis and his
comrades worked to undermine genuine liberal causes because of their lock-step
subservience to the Comintern and the USSR,” he notes. “Modern liberals
need to understand, for example, how the American communist movement, including
men like Davis, flip-flopped on issues as grave as Nazism and World War II based
entirely on whether Hitler was signing a non-aggression pact with Stalin or
invading Stalin’s Soviet Union. The disgusting about-face by CPUSA on this
matter was unforgivable. And what a shame that liberal college professors don’t
teach this to their students. Liberals also need to know how their friends
inside government were used by communists who sought victory for Mao Tse-Tung
in China in 1949, which would lead to the single greatest concentration of
corpses in human history: 60-70 million dead Chinese from 1957 to 1969.”
Does Obama understand
the dangers of communism and socialism? It is not reassuring to consider that
Obama obviously doesn’t want the public to know that his childhood mentor was a
Stalinist member of a communist network in Hawaii. His “Country I Love” TV ad ignores
it. But that’s why we are supposed to have outside “fact-checkers,” media
watchdogs, and the media themselves.
Annenberg Political Fact Check project declares that Obama’s “description of
his upbringing and work history are accurate.” It claims, “The basic details
that Obama provides about his family are correct. His books and various news
reports confirm that Obama was raised in Hawaii
by his mother and grandparents, who were transplants from Kansas…”
Books and various
reports? That seems rather vague. In fact, his book, Dreams From My Father, confirms that a mysterious “Frank” was a mentor, and that he was a significant
influence over Obama after his father had abandoned the family. And this
“Frank,” as we now know, was Frank Marshall Davis. But the folks at “Fact
Check” pretend not to know. Perhaps they didn’t take the time to examine the
facts. This project includes personnel formerly with CNN, Time magazine, and
public broadcasting. But a more serious examination of their backgrounds
reveals that some of the staffers have had affiliations with liberal causes,
personalities, and candidates such as Common Cause, Bill Moyers, the AFL-CIO,
and Democratic presidential candidate Wesley Clark.
Is there a left-wing
bent here that has tainted their research?
The Post Gets It Wrong
The veteran Washington
Post reporter, Howard Kurtz, takes a slightly different tack. He declares that
the core message of the Obama 60-second spot “is designed to neutralize
perceptions that Sen. Barack Obama is less than patriotic, in the wake of his
earlier decision to forgo a flag pin and his wife’s comment about not having
been really proud of her country before now.” Yes, that’s part of it.
He adds, “The images
of his mother and grandparents with Obama as a child serve a biographical
function for viewers who are not that familiar with his life story, while also
illustrating the values ‘accountability and self-reliance’ that he wants to
make part of his campaign message.”
function?” Then what about Davis?
What about associating with communist terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernardine
Dohrn and anti-American preacher Jeremiah Wright? What about a pattern of
associations with communists and socialists that runs from Hawaii
to Occidental College
to Columbia University
This is where the ad completely fails to tell the truth.
Going beyond the
biographical information, Obama claims legislative accomplishments. “That’s why
I passed laws moving people from welfare to work, cut taxes for working
families and extended health care for wounded troops who’d been neglected,” the
ad shows Obama saying.
Kurtz counters: “Obama
sponsored or co-sponsored but did not ‘pass’ the welfare and tax measures but
does not mention that these were in the Illinois legislature in 1997 and 2000.
He sponsored congressional measures that helped hospitalized veterans, but in a
relatively minor way: extending beyond 90 days the period in which they can
receive free meals and free phone calls to family members.”
The Annenberg Fact
Check project has similar criticisms of Obama’s claims about his legislative
The $845 Billion Bill
It’s true that Obama has inflated or “polished” his resumé. But
what about his notorious Global Poverty Act? Why doesn’t Obama mention that?
And why wasn’t this glaring omission mentioned by Kurtz and the Annenberg Fact
On February 13, Obama issued a press release hailing the passage of
this bill by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Since it has already
passed the House, it awaits a full Senate vote. So why wouldn’t Obama highlight
this bill in his patriotic TV ad? The
answer lies in the extreme pro-U.N. nature of the bill.
The bill (S. 2433)
requires the president to develop a strategy using “international
organizations” to implement the Millennium Development Goal of the United
Nations to reduce poverty. It still includes an official reference to the
“Millennium Development Goals” established by the United Nations Millennium
Declaration of the U.N. General Assembly Resolution in 2000.
The bill does not
attach a dollar figure and does not need to because that is contained in the
2002 so-called “Monterrey
Consensus,” which grew out of the 2000 Millennium Declaration. The Millennium
Declaration, which was issued in 2000, specifically called for a “Financing for
Development” conference, which was held in 2002 in Monterrey,
Mexico, and produced the “Monterrey Consensus.” The
whole purpose of this event was to force countries to spend more money on
Consensus” document coming out of the conference committed nations to spending
0.7 percent of Gross National Product (GNP) on official development assistance
(ODA), otherwise known as foreign aid. It says, specifically, that “We
recognize that a substantial increase in ODA and other resources will be
required if developing countries are to achieve the internationally agreed
development goals and objectives, including those contained in the Millennium
Declaration.” It then goes on to call for “concrete efforts towards the target
of 0.7 percent” of GNP as ODA. It also proposes “innovative sources of finance”
to pay for the increased foreign aid. That is a reference to global taxes.
Our estimate, based
on information in a column by Jeffrey Sachs of the U.N.’s Millennium Project,
is that the cost is $845 billion over 13 years.
“We are short by $65
billion each year, which may seem like a vast sum, but it represents just 0.5%
of our GNP,” says Sachs. Therefore, over a 13-year period, from 2002, when the
U.N.’s Financing for Development conference was held, to the target year of
2015, when the U.S.
is expected to meet the Millennium Development Goals, this amounts to $845
billion. Remember: this figure is based on their estimates of what the U.S. owes.
Obama and his media
backers have been whining for months that AIM somehow misinterpreted the
provisions of his bill. But they have failed to produce a serious rebuttal of
the facts we have presented.
Hiding The Truth
So the question
remains: if the Global Poverty Act is not intended to fleece the American
taxpayers, why wouldn’t Obama highlight the bill as his major legislative
accomplishment in the U.S. Senate? This is a bill, we repeat, which has passed
the House and a key Senate committee and is on the verge of full Senate
The explanation has
to lie in the fact that they don’t want people to understand that Obama is the
sponsor of a massive foreign aid spending bill that attempts to siphon off
hundreds of billions of dollars from the U.S. Treasury to the rest of the
world, in order to meet U.N. demands.
If the public grasped the nature of the bill and the fact that Obama
was the sponsor in the Senate, they might come to some understanding of the
nature of Obama’s political ideology and why Frank Marshall Davis mattered so
much to him.
So Obama lies about his “values,” while self-described “fact-checkers”
and media “watchdogs” ignore and distort the facts along with him.
This is quickly developing
as the worst case in political history of reporters being in the tank for one
candidate. No wonder former network news star Linda Douglass had the audacity
to become an official spokesman for the senator.
As the campaign moves
ahead, there will be some superficial criticism by the media of Obama’s claims
about himself and his legislative record, such as we saw in the treatment of
this ad, but the really damaging truth about his anti-American background and
record will be sanitized or suppressed. In a preemptive strike, the Obama
campaign has already made it known that any questions about his patriotism,
associations, or far-left ideology will automatically be rejected in advance as
“smears” or “lies.” So the media will probably not even bother to raise any
questions of substance.
News is the latest to go into the tank for Obama, after owner Rupert Murdoch
declared him a “rock star” and his New York Post endorsed him in the Democratic
NATIONAL SECURITY RISK
Obama wanted to dispel doubts about his national security credentials, he
hasn’t done so with the announcement of a new “Senior Working Group on National
Security” that includes Dr. Tony Lake, a former national security adviser to
Bill Clinton. Lake became a laughingstock for
expressing doubts as to whether Alger Hiss, the founder of the United Nations
and a top State Department official, was a communist spy. Lake’s doubts led to
a controversy that caused him to withdraw his nomination as Clinton’s CIA director.
Interestingly, Lake had expressed those doubts on NBC’s “Meet the
Press,” during an interview conducted by the late Tim Russert. It went like
Russert: You’re a
student of history. Do you believe Alger Hiss was a spy?
Lake: I’ve read a couple of books that have certainly
offered a lot of evidence that he may have been. I don’t think it’s conclusive.
Hiss, as most people know, had been convicted of perjury for denying he
was a communist agent and decoded Soviet transcripts later confirmed his guilt.
What does Obama know about this case? Did he personally approve Lake’s addition to his prestigious foreign policy group? Lake could conceivably end up as Obama’s nominee for CIA
A CIA analysis
notes that Lake was “unlikely to be the
last casualty of the Hiss case.” How
prophetic. It appears that Obama could be another. That is, if we had a media
willing to hold him accountable for the atrocious pick of Lake.
At the same time,
Lake’s appointment to Obama’s foreign policy team should generate more interest
in Obama’s personal involvement in Marxist politics in Hawaii
and Chicago and
lead to questions about what lessons he learned from his childhood mentor,
Communist Party member Frank Marshall Davis.
Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
Last year, when Lake’s role as a
fundraiser for Obama came to our attention, we urged AIM members to send him a
Professor Anthony Lake
School of Foreign Service
It has been
reported that you are now backing and raising money for Senator Barack Obama
for president. Since that means you have an influence of some kind on his
thinking, especially in foreign affairs, we would like to know the following:
(1) Do you still
doubt that Alger Hiss was a Soviet spy?
(2) What Is Senator Obama’s position on the question of Hiss’s guilt?
Thank you for your
attention to these matters.
We are still waiting
for answers to these questions.
Other members of
Obama’s Senior Working Group on National Security are former Secretary of State
Madeleine Albright; former Senator David Boren; former Secretary of State
Warren Christopher; Greg Craig, former director of the State Department Office
of Policy Planning; former Secretary of the Navy Richard Danzig; former
Representative Lee Hamilton; former
Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder; former Senator Sam Nunn, former Secretary
of Defense William Perry; former Assistant Secretary of State Susan Rice;
former Representative Tim Roemer; and former Deputy National Security Advisor