In his powerful new book, Paul Kengor notes that “The Communists could not succeed without the dupes.” His book is titled, Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century . But the key question, never completely answered in his book, is whether Barack Obama is a dupe—or something else.
Kengor, a professor at Grove City College and the executive director of its Center for Vision and Values, is the author of the best-selling book, The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism. He understands the communist problem that Reagan fought in Hollywood and in his own foreign policy as President of the United States.
Although the cover of Dupes  features a photo of then-Soviet dictator Leonid Brezhnev planting a kiss on the cheek of then-President Carter, it is the current U.S. president, Barack Hussein Obama, who generates the most controversy, based on a careful analysis of his associates and Communist Party USA mentor, Frank Marshall Davis. Those who read Kengor’s book will wonder why they were not given this information during the 2008 presidential campaign.
Examining Obama’s run for president, Kengor says, in regard to the group, “Progressives for Obama,” that it reads “like a Who’s Who of the ‘60s radicals called to testify before the House Committee on Internal Security.” That committee, Kengor notes, was the new version of the House Committee on Un-American Activities, started by Democrats with Republican support. That was a time when there was bipartisan agreement that communism was a threat to the American way of life. The committee was abolished by Congressional liberals.
With the hiring of communist Van Jones  by the White House, and his return to the Soros-funded Center for American Progress after his firing, it is clear that anti-communism is no longer a sentiment shared by the modern-day progressive movement. Jones was fired by the White House not for his communist beliefs but because questions about how he was hired—and by whom—were beginning to reach Obama and his advisor, Valerie Jarrett. That is when the media let the matter drop. It was getting too close for comfort to the White House.
It is easy to forget about the communist threat, considering that we are faced with what appears, at first glance, to be a separate and different enemy—the global Islamic jihad. But it is significant that terrorist Carlos the Jackal, raised by a Marxist father, has converted to Islam in prison in France and now embraces “revolutionary Islam.” Marxist lawyer Lynne Stewart got 10 years in prison for providing illegal support to her client, Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, responsible for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and praised Islamic fundamentalists as “basically forces of national liberation.”
Hence, it is no surprise that the recent FBI raids on Marxist groups in various U.S. cities were designed not only to find evidence of material support for foreign terrorist groups like the Communist FARC in Colombia, but the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and Hezbollah in the Middle East. The FARC operates with the support of the Hugo Chavez regime in Venezuela, which in turn acts on behalf of Iranian interests in Latin America. Marxism and radical Islam have found a common enemy—the United States and its allies, especially Israel.
If anything should come out of Kengor’s well-documented new book, Dupes , it should be a determination by the new Congress to re-establish the House Committee on Internal Security, so that all of the facts about radical subversion and communist networks in America should be exposed to public view. His book makes extensive use of the investigations from that and other congressional committees, as well as FBI files on prominent personalities. What is needed is up-to-date information from witnesses provided under oath.
In addition to Obama, Kengor exposes such figures as Ted Kennedy and Walter Cronkite.
“The Marxist radicals of the 1960s had fought to ‘disrupt’ and ‘incapacitate’ the American ‘empire,’” Kengor notes. While they won in Vietnam, costing the lives of 58,000 Americans, it appeared that President Reagan’s anti-communist foreign policy in the 1980s, conducted in Europe and Latin America, had turned the tide against them. But years later, he writes, these Marxist radicals would find “inspiration and direction in the presidential candidacy of Barack Obama” and “suddenly had new life.”
Kengor then says this: “Whether Obama knew it or not, he was the man on whom they projected their ideals and vision for America and the world—a vision that had long ago been exposed as false utopianism.” The phrase, “whether Obama knew it or not,” is worthy of discussion.
Frank Marshall Davis
Kengor cites evidence that Obama is a Marxist, noting his deep relationship with Communist Party USA member Frank Marshall Davis. Nevertheless, Kengor acknowledges that it is a “riddle” how much of the Davis worldview—about the world, its events, and the dialectic of history—was passed on to Obama, who mentioned Davis in his memoir, Dreams from My Father, as just “Frank.”
Anti-communist researcher Trevor Loudon, author of the New Zeal blog , discovered that a writer for a CPUSA publication had mentioned the Obama-Davis relationship back in 2007, noting Davis’s involvement with the CPUSA, and we confirmed with sources in Hawaii that Frank was in fact Frank Marshall Davis. This is how the story was developing early in 2008—months before Obama was elected. Both Loudon and Kengor will be appearing at my October 21 Washington, D.C. conference .
For his part, Kengor clearly regards the Davis influence on Obama as substantial, since one of the chapters of his new book is titled, “Dreams From Frank Marshall Davis.” This is a critical point because another new book, The Roots of Obama’s Rage, by Dinesh D’Souza , asserts that Obama’s father, Barack Hussein Obama, Sr., was the most important influence over the President, and that this African socialist had impressed his son with his “anti-colonial” views of Western nations exploiting the Third World.
D’Souza has twice been on the Glenn Beck show on Fox News to present his theory. Beck seems to have accepted it, even though he acknowledges the importance of Frank Marshall Davis and has displayed a portion of his 600-page FBI file on his TV show. We obtained and posted that file  in August of 2008.
However, D’Souza’s book devotes only three pages to Davis and he seems completely unfamiliar with the FBI file. D’Souza writes, “During the presidential campaign some conservatives highlighted Davis’s Communist ties,” leaving the matter at that.
Unfortunately, D’Souza was one of many conservatives and liberals not willing to take on the issue at that time, admitting he wasn’t a member of “the conservative chorus” raising questions about Obama during the campaign. What’s more, D’Souza says that he was “moved” by Obama taking the presidential oath of office.
So D’Souza, to use Kengor’s terminology, was duped. But he was a conservative dupe.
Strangely, while playing down Obama’s Marxist outlook, D’Souza makes the sensational argument in his book that one of Obama’s arguments against the Iraq War was “lifted” right out of the book Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism, by the Russian Marxist revolutionary, Vladimir Lenin. He cites no evidence that Obama was familiar with Lenin’s views, or that he had read the book. However, Obama would have had contact with Lenin’s views through Frank Marshall Davis.
We had complained at the time about the failure of the media to examine Obama’s background. Kengor points out, “Cliff Kincaid rightly noted that not even conventional conservative news outlets would touch the Frank Marshall Davis story. Kincaid’s group tried to run paid ads on the Davis-Obama connection on conservative websites, which fled from them as ‘too controversial.’” One conservative website that refused to run an ad about the Obama-Davis relationship was the Drudge Report, supposedly a source of breaking news.
The information was suppressed, Kengor goes on, because of “the backlash that would crash upon these sources,” as they would certainly be accused of “McCarthyism.” Kengor’s 606-page book includes pages from Davis’s FBI file.
Kengor has written an article based on his book that is titled, “Obama’s Communist Mentor ,” which also happens to have been the headline over our seminal February 18, 2008, column  about the Obama-Davis relationship. Kengor deserves credit for putting all of this on the record in a scholarly work that cannot be disputed. An added feature is that he analyzes Davis’s columns in the communist Honolulu Record, noting how he followed the CPUSA line.
Davis was a major influence over eight years of Obama’s young life, during his critical formative period in Hawaii, while Obama’s father had abandoned him. D’Souza admits the latter, saying, “…for most of Obama’s life his dad was absent.” Still, his 258-page book attempts to makes the case that his absent father was more of an influence than Davis, who was in Hawaii on the scene and physically present.
D’Souza admits that Davis “became a kind of surrogate father for Obama” and was a “secret member of the Communist Party” but insists on playing down his role. His sources on Davis are a sympathetic biography of Davis and an Associated Press story that appeared in The Washington Times which depicted him as a “left-leaning” black poet and journalist committed to “social justice.” D’Souza’s footnote mistakenly dates this story as August 12, 2009, when it actually appeared a year earlier, during the campaign. It was part of the media effort to keep the Davis connection from becoming a national scandal for Obama.
Since he missed the significance of Davis when Obama ran for president, it is understandable why D’Souza would want to minimize his role now and ignore what “some conservatives” had discovered and documented about him during the campaign.
The Marxist connection still remains far more controversial than Obama’s “anti-colonial” views because of communist parties that engage in subversion and espionage against the United States and use agents of influence to manipulate U.S. policy. It is to Kengor’s credit that he explores the evidence in his book and credits those who developed the information during the campaign.
Davis was a member of a communist network that stretched from Chicago, where Obama would later emerge, to Hawaii. Interestingly, Davis had started out in Chicago before moving to Hawaii and knew Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett’s former father-in-law.
Yet D’Souza seems unfamiliar with this material and, referring to Davis, says, “He grew so frustrated with what he perceived to be the inherent bigotry of American life that when he saw the black actor and activist Paul Robeson praising Hawaii as a multiracial paradise, he picked up and moved there.”
In fact, Robeson had been an associate of Davis and a secret member of the CPUSA. Davis moved to Hawaii and started writing columns for a paper that was funded by a labor union run by another secret CPUSA member, Harry Bridges. D’Souza needs to read the reports we issued in 2008 on the communist networks in Hawaii and Chicago  that included Davis, Robeson, and Bridges. Better late than never.
Coming up in part two: Was Obama associate Bill Ayers just an anti-colonialist?