The election is very near, and I see little reason to attempt to persuade anyone to vote for John McCain -- or, more properly, against
Barack Obama -- since every reader has by now surely made a decision. In all likelihood, Obama will win. Even so, the closeness of the race remains risible, given the disaster of the Bush years.
I can live with the results, whatever those results may be. True, I had planned to compose an An die Schadenfreude
in the event of a McCain win, but an Obama presidency will eventually grant us Puma-folk some lovely told ya so
opportunities. Besides, Barack Obama has such a fascinating history that I now would prefer to keep him in the spotlight.
What I call "The 1981 mystery" (discussed here
) seems the most promising area of research. Although the proposition that American intelligence recruited a young Barack Obama may seem absurd at first, this theory explains quite a few things.
(I don't see why Obama supporters should be afraid to track these clues. Who knows? The truth may work to his credit.)
For quite some time, this blog has asked questions about Barack Obama's charmed college years. Occidental College, Columbia University, and Harvard are all very expensive schools. How did he pay for his education, relocation, and living expenses? Loans could explain much of the story, though not all of it. Scholarships? He was, by all accounts, a less-than-diligent student, at least until Columbia.
His grandmother earned a decent living but was not wealthy. After Columbia, he took a $12,000 a year job as a community organizer, which indicates that he felt unpressured to repay loans.
How did he become President of the Harvard Law Review? Via a "writing contest," or so we are told, although Obama refuses to allow us a glance at the winning opus. He never wrote anything for publication during his Harvard period, although any truly ambitious law student would have done so. Obama defenders have argued that other Presidents also had a phobia for writing, but this is not true.
And how did this little-known, utterly unpublished "author" score a massive advance for the autobiographical Dreams From My Father
? Nothing about the project indicated high sales -- in fact, Obama had only a hazy idea of what he wanted to write about, even after he cashed the check for his advance. Most tyro authors are very lucky to sell 5000 copies of a first book, and the writer gets maybe a buck a copy. Obama received enough money to maintain an office, to keep his family in comfort, and to finance a trip to Bali
. And even under those luxurious circumstances, he missed the deadline by a wide mark. (Some believe that he used a ghostwriter
; see also here
"The 1981 mystery" refers to Obama's earlier mystery trip to Pakistan and India. He went on this very expensive sojourn during the summer between Oxy and Columbia, at a time when he reportedly wore thrift store clothing. During his days at Occidental, Barack Obama apparently came to know a Political Science professor who was also a key CIA consultant on Soviet matters. He had also made the acquaintance of two Pakistanis from influential families.
At first, one might suppose that his rich friends paid for the journey, at least for the Pakistani portion. (He also went to visit his mother in Indonesia.) But other factors appear to have been in play. Forgive the self-quotation (and skim ahead if this stuff is familiar), but some of you may have missed the weekend postings:
1. In 1981, Pakistan was under martial law, and U.S. travel was discouraged or forbidden. At the very least, we can say that a trip to a strife-torn forbidden zone would have constituted quite an adventure for any young man. So why does Obama refuse to mention this adventure in his books?
Think about it: If you were writing an autobiographical work, wouldn't you want to fill it with dramatic incident?
2. At the time, the CIA was offering clandestine support to the anti-Soviet "freedom fighters" in Afghanistan, who counted Osama Bin Laden among their numbers. Much of this support effort was run through Pakistan, using cut-outs.
3. Obama may have held an Indonesian passport, due to his Indonesian stepfather. This factoid is of unhealthy interest to those rightwingers pushing the "Obama as Muslim" smear. I'm not interested in that nonsense. I am interested, however, in the suggestion that a student holding such a passport could get into places where most Americans could not easily go.
A CIA-linked professor would have immediately understood that such a passport offers very interesting possibilities. For obvious reasons, the Agency likes to recruit people who hold multiple passports.
All of which may seem like insufficient grounds for suspicion of an intelligence link. Recently, however, the current de facto Prime Minister of Pakistan, Muhammadmian Soomro, made a startling revelation
While in Karachi, Obama had stayed at the residence of his college friend, Hassan Chandio. In Jacobabad, he was the guest of Soomro family. Muhammadmian Soomro confirmed this information and said it was his first meeting with Obama.
"Yes, he had been our guest and spent three days in Jacobabad," he told The News. Soomro, presently in the US, his second home, said an American friend had told his father, Ahmadmian Soomro, about Obama's arrival in Pakistan and asked him to look after the American. Soomro's father was the deputy speaker of West Pakistan Assembly and had also later served in the Senate.
Ahmadmian Soomro had also served in banking industry and was considered a pioneer in cooperative banking. By the time Soomro's father had hosted Obama, he was only a college student who went to Pakistan on his way from Indonesia where his mother was working with the Ford Foundation's micro credit finance project. Also Obama's mother was a frequent traveller to Pakistan and according to Time Magazine, she had a little bit proficiency in speaking Urdu.
When Soomro was asked about the person who referred Obama to his father, he said he nowadays lived in some country in South America. He was, however, reluctant to disclose his identity, saying he will have to seek permission from that man before giving his profile.
Although, Obama has not disclosed his link with Soomro, he mentioned it during his canvassing campaign while talking to a Pakistani American, Shahid Ahmad Khan, member of Board of Trustees Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
I cannot think of a reason for Soomro to lie about such a thing. Can you?
If we dismiss the idea that Obama was working on behalf of American intelligence, then why else
would Soomro's mysterious American friend make sure that the young student came under the protection of one of Pakistan's most powerful families? Obama had met no member of the Soomro clan during his Oxy period.
In my previous piece, I suggested that the mystery American must have been CIA. On reflection, I must admit that he might have worked for the diplomatic corps. For all practical purposes, the end result would be the same. Roughly half the people in any given embassy are working for their home country's intelligence service.
In my opinon, the fact that Soomro considers America his "second home" tells us much.
Some of my readers have suggested that we should trace the "fingerprints of intelligence" to an earlier period. Perhaps this is a family affair. Perhaps Obama's mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, also worked for the Agency.
Her proclivity for foreign adventures and her talent for foreign languages certainly made her the sort of person the CIA loves to recruit. Some would argue that her left-wing political views mitigate against such employment. Her outward political stance may have been a cover -- at any rate, the Agency has managed to recruit some rather unlikely "helpers" over the years. (Timothy Leary once claimed that he was aided by a "liberal" faction of the CIA, which he considered "the best mafia" in the world.)
All of which leads me to ask: What was Ann Dunham doing in Pakistan prior to 1981?
Why would she learn so obscure a language (to Americans) as Urdu?
Ann spent most of her time in Indonesia, where she was married to an executive with the American Mobil corporation
. The CIA had, of course, played a key role in Indonesia's history
. At least one Agency veteran of the time has said that "the CIA took it upon themselves to make, not just to enact, policy in this area." (Also see here
To make a long and very gruesome story far too short: Back in the 1960s, two oil companies linked with the Rockefeller dynasty -- Stanvac and Caltex -- felt that their investments in Indonesia were threatened by President Sukarno, who was considered soft on Communism. Stanvac, for our purposes, is simply another name for Mobil.
To protect American business interests, the CIA engineered a coup
in Indonesia in the 1965-67 period, which led to one of the most appalling episodes of mass murder in history. Over 500,000 people died in the resultant bloodbath, which ended with the installation of a CIA puppet named Suharto.Lolo Sotero, Barack Obama's stepfather, was the key liaison between Mobil/Stanvac and the Suharto regime.
These events may now seem "long ago and far away" to many modern Democratic voters. But the situation was quite different in 1967, when Ann Dunham married Lolo Soetoro. An active leftist -- which Ann Dunham supposedly was -- with an interest in international affairs would have known all about the bloodbath. It was in the newspapers. Any true student radical would have refused to eat lunch with a Suharto/Mobil functionary.And yet she married the man
Does that seem likely to you?
Here's a question for those of you who dwell on the left: Can you recall any "socialist" of your acquaintance making such a match? If you are old enough to recall the student radicalism of that era, ask yourself: If a fellow activist had married a key functionary of a murderous, right-wing regime (Suharto has been rightly compared to Chile's Pinochet), would you not have felt just a little
suspicious of that person's lefty bona fides
? Wouldn't Ann's choice have set off your paranoia alarms?
There is reason to suspect that the Agency contacted (or at least kept an eye on) Ann during her marriage, if marriage it was, to Barack Obama Sr. See my earlier piece here
Incidentally, one of the above links on Indonesia goes to a fine work by Lisa Pease -- who is now, I am sorry to say, a strong Obama supporter. (I met Lisa long ago, although she would not remember me.) Lisa, if you happen to read these words, let me ask this: What would you say about someone with Stanley Ann Dunham's history if her son had become the Republican
presidential frontrunner? What conclusions would you reach? Be ruthlessly honest. How quick would you then be to rationalize away the connection between this "leftist" lady and the Suharto government?