Debbie Schlussel: EXCLUSIVE - Obama's Nation of Islam Staffers, Edward Said & "Inflexible Jews" Causing Mid-East Conflict: An Obama Insider Reveals the Real Barack
By Debbie Schlussel - Copyright 2008
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Responding to criticism by Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen, Barack Obama declared his strong opposition to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan:
I decry racism and anti-Semitism in every form and strongly condemn the anti-Semitic statements made by Minister Farrakhan.
Obama also went on to condemn his Church's award to Farrakhan and his minister's tight relationship with him.
But a former Obama insider says that Obama's sudden aversion to NOI and Farrakhan is belied by the fact that Obama employed and continues to employ several Farrakhan acolytes in high positions on his Illinois and U.S. Senate campaign and office staffs. I have verified that this person--who agreed to talk on the condition of anonymity--held a key position in the Obama campaign. The insider was so close to Senator Obama that they frequently personally discussed and exchanged direct e-mail messages on campaign and policy matters. This person is not connected with the Clintons and is not a disgruntled employee.
The insider says he frequently objected to Mr. Obama's placement of Cynthia K. Miller, a member of the Nation of Islam, as the Treasurer of his U.S. Senate campaign. When I contacted Miller, now a Chicago real estate agent, to verify whether she was a member of the Nation of Islam and whether she shared Louis Farrakhan's bigoted views about Jews, she responded, "None of your business! Where are you going with this?" She said her resignation as Obama's treasurer had nothing to do with her Nation of Islam ties. Then, she hung up.
The Obama insider says he also objected to Obama's involvement with Jennifer Mason, whom he says is also a member of the Nation of Islam. Mason is Obama's Director of Constituent Services in his U.S. Senate office and is also in charge of selecting Obama's Senate interns. She did not respond to repeated calls for comment.
But it's not just that he employed these individuals in positions of power in his office, it's that when the former associate raised objections, he says Mr. Obama's position was that he saw nothing wrong with the Nation of Islam and didn't think it was a problem. If true--and the fact that Ms. Mason still holds her prominent Obama Senate staff position bears that out--Obama's condemnation of Farrakhan, this month, is phony.
But the insider says there is more to it than that. Obama's Illinois State Senate district consisted of prime Nation of Islam territory, including Hyde Park, home to Farrakhan's mansion. It is not possible, Illinois politicos say, to win that district without the blessing of the NOI leader. NOI members, including consultant Shakir Muhammad, held important roles in the Obama state senate campaign.
How many Nation of Islam members will work in an Obama White House?
Then, there is the issue of Israel. When Obama first ran for the U.S. Senate, he gave militant responses to the Chicago Jewish News about Israel. Obama denounced Israel's fence--which he called a "wall" and "barrier to peace"--to keep out terrorists and favored working with Yasser Arafat. When members of the Chicago Jewish community circulated his responses, Obama said that the answers were not his positions, but the work of a low-level intern. He submitted new answers. But that was a lie, the insider says. In fact, they were the work of Obama's Policy Director, Audra Wilson. Moreover, Obama told the insider that he blamed the Mideast conflict on the Jews:
Barack told me that he felt that Jewish community was too inflexible, and that was why the situation in the Mideast could not be resolved.
This is the man who says in a new campaign ad that Hillary Clinton will say anything but change nothing. Barack Obama will say anything, but change his answers.
Palestinian activist and Islamist Ali Abunimah, who was a close friend of Obama's, attended an Arab fundraiser at which the late Edward Said--plagiarist, fabricator, and prominent PLO/Arafat advisor--was the keynote speaker, and at which the Obamas were notably in attendance. Pictures on Abunimah's site, show Obama and wife, Michelle, sitting next to Said and engaging in conversation. Abunimah, in a must-read article, says the Senator has since "changed" his proclaimed views from those he expressed privately, in order to get Jewish donors and votes.
And he has succeeded in spades. Lee Rosenberg a top Illinois official of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the pro-Israel lobby is a big Obama donor. Ditto for former national AIPAC official Bob Asher. And Penny Pritzker of the pro-Israel family that owns Hyatt hotels. And there are so many others who have bought in to Obama's newly pro-Israel views. The insider says Obama pulled the wool over their eyes.
Then, there's Bettylu Saltzman, also Jewish and one of Obama's first major supporters and donors. She is a major Peace Now devotee, officer of the far-left, pro-capitulation New Israel Fund, and wrote a letter to a Chicago newspaper praising Jimmy Carter's book calling Israel an apartheid state. The Obama insider says she has Obama's ear on the Mideast and "will be a major policy person for Barack. Very dangerous."
The insider points to Mr. Obama's changing views in Iraq as another area of uncertainty. He has highlighted his opposition to the War in Iraq. The insider says there is strong speculation that Obama attempted to get his crony, Federal Indictee Tony Rezko, a contract to build a nuclear power plant in the new Iraq. Rezko, a Syrian Arab who helped Obama in a deal to purchase his home, was in a partnership with NOI founder Elijah Muhammad's son, Jabir.
Barack Obama can denounce Louis Farrakhan ad infinitum. But with supporters like Ms. Saltzman, high-level staffers who are Nation of Islam members, and constantly morphing views on Israel merely for donor appeal, a Barack Obama White House bodes poorly both for Israel and--far more important--for America.