In our previous post, we discussed a very strange Washington Post piece
by David Ignatius -- a piece which comes that
close to admitting (or positing) that Barack Obama has a background with the CIA. Does Ignatius have any inside info on that score? Does he, like, know
people? People who would know things about our president that most people don't
. His Wikipedia entry offers some clues...
Ignatius's coverage of the CIA has been criticized as being defensive and overly positive. Melvin Goodman, a 42-year CIA veteran, Johns Hopkins professor, and senior fellow at the Center for International Policy has called Ignatius "the mainstream media’s apologist for the Central Intelligence Agency." Goodman cites as examples of this alleged apologism Ignatius's criticism of the Obama administration for investigating the CIA's role in the use of torture in interrogations during the Iraq War, and his charitable defense of the agency's motivations for outsourcing such activities to private contractors. Columnist Glenn Greenwald has levied similar criticism against Ignatius and has dubbed him "the CIA's spokesman at The Washington Post".
In addition to his career as a journalist, Ignatius is also a successful novelist. He has written six novels in the suspense/espionage fiction genre, which draw on his experience and interest in foreign affairs and his knowledge of intelligence operations. Reviewers have compared Ignatius to classic spy novelists such as Graham Greene. Ignatius’s novels have also been praised for their realism; his first novel, Agents of Innocence, was at one point described by the CIA on its website as "a novel but not fiction."...
Many spy novelists have links, direct or indirect, to their nation's intelligence services. I must confess that I've not yet read Agents of Innocence
, which is about a CIA operative penetrating the Palestinians in Lebanon in the 1970s and '80s. But the Amazon description is noteworthy:
To an extent, the book is a fictionalization of life of real-world CIA man, Robert Ames. Purportedly, this novel is on the reading list at "The Farm" (the CIA's training ground at Camp Peary near Williamsburg, VA), and CIA Director George Tenet himself recommended this book in an interview on NPR several years ago.
Ames was killed in the 1983 embassy bombing in Lebanon.
At this point, perhaps I should mention Wayne Madsen's work
on the Obama-as-CIA-operative angle. Frankly, I'm a little loathe to do so: Madsen has never seen fit to mention me
, even though he is laying claim to territory I had staked out in pieces published earlier. More importantly, Madsen has, in the past, injured his reputation through shoddy work and an over-reliance on unnamed sources.
His major piece on Obama is particularly frustrating. Much of his research is of genuine interest -- and some of it is groundbreaking. Best of all, his sources are (on this one occasion) open to verification.
Alas, long sections of his article go off on bizarre tangents: Madsen talks ad nauseum
about MKULTRA, Jonestown, ESP and other topics with no discernible relevance to Obama or his family. This sensationalistic "everything but the kitchen sink" approach is a hallmark of the worst sort of conspiracy-addled literature. I prefer a clean, linear narrative.
That said, Madsen has made one find which deserves far greater attention than it has heretofore received. It concerns Stanley Armour Dunham, father to Stanley Ann and grandfather to our current president. To make a long story short, Madsen suspects that Stanley Armour was the first "spooked up" personage in the family. This proposition will strike many as silly, since the guy was a furniture salesman for much of his life -- although he does appear to have served in an intelligence capacity during the war.
The official story is that Ann met Barack Obama Sr. (an exchange student from Africa) when they both attended the same Russian language class in Hawaii. The elder Obama was in the States pursuant to a cultural exchange program which was almost certainly sponsored by the CIA. Frankly, the Agency would have been seriously off its game if it hadn't
tried to recruit a Kenyan up-and-comer like the elder Obama.
The official version of how the two met may not represent the full story. Madsen displays a photograph which (he alleges) shows Stanley Armour Dunham meeting Barack Obama Sr. at the airport on the night of the latter's arrival in Hawaii. I reproduce that photo here.
Is that really a picture of Obama's father and grandfather meeting at the airport? Meeting each other well before the president's father met the president's mother?
By way of comparison, here is a shot (taken from the book A Singular Woman
) of the boy who would be President, romping on the beach with his grandfather...
Looks like the same guy.
So...what the hell is going on?
If Barack Obama's grandpa was just
a furniture salesman, then why did he go to the airport to greet an African student whom the CIA was obviously hoping to recruit?
The more one ponders this matter, the more difficult it becomes to ignore the implications.
Mr. Ignatius: Any time you want to jump in and offer an explanation, we are all attention...
(Side note: In one of his books, Barack Obama refers to his mother as a "soldier for the New Deal." Didn't run in the family, did it?)