Better get your umbrella out, Barry -
The American Issues Project, a 501(c)4 organization, prepared and released on August 21st a very damning video of Obama and his association with terrorist friend and colleague William Ayers. The increasingly shrill hysteria by Obama and his supporters over this video is very telling. According to Ben Smith writing in Obama to DOJ: Block terrorist ad at Politico on August 25th they are even now asking the Department of Justice to open a criminal investigation to stop the ad. Previously they sent threatening letters to media attempting to get them to refuse airing the ad. Obama even put out a response ad that, as MarketWatch notes, “fails to dispute a single fact about [his] relationship with domestic terrorist, William Ayers.” That is,
- Obama worked for and with Ayers
- Ayers helped start Obama’s career
- Ayers hosted political fundraisers with and for Obama
Greg Sargent calls the ad “slimy and vicious” in Swift-Boat Group Sinks Nearly $3 Million Into Ad Tying Obama To Ayers at TPM ElectionCentral on August 25th but completely fails to address whether the ad is true or not. As I wrote in a responding comment at TPM:
“Slimy”?! Nothing incorrect about the ad. The “vicious” truth hurts but Obama has around 20 years with Ayers—who he worked for, who helped launch his political career, and much more. Ayers is not, as Obama lied, just someone who lived in the neighborhood. Maybe not a friend but definitely not a stranger.
Stanley Kurtz at National Review has been exploring Obama and Ayer’s relationship with the Chicago Annenberg Challenge and has found access to the non-profit’s records are blocked (and since released, at least in part, according to Steve Diamond, law professor and political scientist at Santa Clara University School of Law at his blog Global Labor and Politics.)
In recent days Obama’s relationship with Ayers has gotten a lot of discussion. Chicago Mayor Daley was dismissive “They’re friends. So what?” But as Bud White wrote at length in The Vetting Begins at NoQuarterUSA on August 22:
The strength of the ad is its accuracy. Unlike the Swift Boat Veterans for Truthís ads, there is no available counter-argument. Bill Ayers is an unrepentant terrorist. Obamaís political career was launched at Bill Ayersí house. Obama did serve on the Woods Fund board with Ayers. The ad hits Obama hardest on his self-proclaimed good judgment. As law professor Steve Diamond states, Obama wasnít just friends with Ayers, he wasnít just a guy in the neighborhood, he was Obamaís benefactor for 20 years.
Previously, Steve Diamond, also writing at NoQuarterUSA in “The Obama-Ayers Top Ten: Highlights of 20 year Obama-Ayers Connection:
If you take the Obama campaign at its word, the contention that there is a relationship between Bill Ayers and Barack Obama is “phony,” “tenuous,” a “stretch.” In Obamaís own words, Ayers was “just a guy who lives in my neighborhood,” certainly not a long time close political ally.
But a review of just the publicly known highlights of the Ayers-Obama relationship suggests a twenty year pattern of connections between the two.
At the heart of this “Top Ten” list is the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, which Ayers founded and Obama and Ayers co-chaired for five years, raising and spending at least $110 million in an effort to bolster a “radical” (Ayersí word) reform program in the Chicago Public Schools from 1994 to 2001.
Steve Diamond’s Top 10:
- Out of the Woods: The Woods Fund financed the hiring of Obama in 1985 by the Developing Communities Project.
- Know your ABCs: Obamaís DCP supported radical school reform project together with Bill Ayers.
- Putting on the White Shoe: Obama and Dohrn worked for elite law firm Sidley and Austin.
- A hard rock miner: Chicago lefty lawyer and Dohrn classmate Judson Miner hires Barack Obama out of Harvard.
- Rising to the Challenge: Ayers is named Chairman of the Board of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge founded by Bill Ayers.
- In the Palmer of his hand: Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn host Obamaís state senate kick-off in their Hyde Park home.
- The “lost years”: Ayers and Obama to the rescue of troubled youth. [Note that Diamond not only links Barack with Ayers, but also Michelle who organized and hosted panels with the Barack, Ayers, and herself.]
- The “R” word: Obama advisor promotes a reparations approach to education reform; Ayers endorses it.
- A toast to the maoist: Bill Ayers long time comrade Mike Klonsky blogs for Obama.
- The Great Debate: George v. Barack.
A full reading of Steve Diamond’s article at NoQuarterUSA and his additional writing and updates on his own blog, Global Labor and Politics, is highly recommended. Diamond backs up his writings with extensive references.
Back on March 22nd I wrote what turns out to be a very incomplete commentary on Obama and Ayers “What is Obama’s Relationship with Ayers, Dohrn, and Khalidi?“:
Obama is/was friends, colleagues, and apparent neighbors to former leaders of the Weather Underground who carried out violent bombings in the U.S. While you don’t have much choice over your neighbors, Obama’s relationship with terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn is potentially reflective of his character, judgement, and patriotism. It also reflects a lie from Obama’s campaign and supporters which offered that they only met once for introductions in 1995.
To the contrary, Obama joined Ayers as directors of the private Woods Fund of Chicago from 1999 through the end of 2002. Through this group, they apparently gave money to a group founded by Rashid and Mona Khalidi, former PLO members. And, the Khalidis subsequently hosted fundraisers for Obama’s 2004 Senate race.
Obama’s ad today offering response to the AIT ad was (1) misdirected to McCain and (2) tries to excuse Ayers because Obama was only eight years old. It does not say anything about Obama’s relationship and his lies about it.
It would be very interesting to hear Obama explain how one introductory meeting is the same as a multi-year working relationship with unrepentant American terrorists wherein they jointly gave money to apparently former PLO terrorists who then hosted fundraisers for his Senate campaign.
Obama can try to ignore or even attempt to bully folks in not looking at his relationship with Ayers but it won’t work so long as he is pursuing the presidency. At the end of the day he must explain his past, else accept the very damning portrayals groups like American Issues Project have to share with prospective voters.
- American Issues Project offers a 167 page PDF, “Know Enough?” Facts & Articles’s, documenting their video.
- Obama Letter to Stations, PDF, Obama Letter to Stations
- American Issues Project response, PDF, AIT Response to Obama
Credit: Pat Racimora’s “Just a Guy in Barack’s Neighborhood” drawing was originally featured at NoQuarterUSA on May 7, 2008.
Update: Stanley Kurtz is now reporting in interview on FOX that he gained access today to the Annenberg Challenge documents that had been recently withheld from him. His conclusions from this initial viewing:
Ayers and Obama were, in core, this start-up organization
Ayers and Obama worked very closely together, many meetings and more
Very clear foundation failed
Next question is where did Obama and Ayers spend the money
Obama was not truthful
Kurtz repeated multiple times, “Very bad.”