Thursday, August 28, 2008

Ayers Is Not The Only Friendship Obama Denies

Stanley Kurtz--who fought, and succeeded, to gain access to the records of Obama's service to the non-profit corporation Chicago Annenberg Challenge which is linked to William Ayers--was on WGN Radio in Chicago to discuss Obama's friendship with the unapologetic terrorist. Pro-Obama callers called Kurtz names, but apparently were unable to refute what Kurtz said about the Obama-Ayers connection.

As Andy McCarthy summarizes the issue:
Earth to Obama supporters: no one is claiming guilt by association — though willful association with an admitted terrorist would be worthy of noting in a presidential candidate. Obama and Bill Ayers had a working relationship. Yet, Obama claimed Ayers was just "a guy who lives in my neighborhood," and has otherwise minimized the relationship. Aside from the fact that Obama is not telling the truth, which itself is important, the details of the relationship are important.
This is reminiscent of Obama's reaction on being asked about his connection to Rashid Khalidi:
You mentioned Rashid Khalidi, who is a professor at Columbia. I do know him because he talked at the University of Chicago and he is Palestinian, and I do know him and I have had conversations.

He is not one of my advisers, he is not one of my foreign policy people, his kids went to the lab school where my kids go as well.

He is a respected scholar although he vehemently disagrees with a lot of Israel policy.
Contrary to Obama's claim to a mere acquaintance with Khalidi, in fact they were good friends. The LA Times reported that the Obama-Khalidi friendship was much more than just casual:
It was a celebration of Palestinian culture -- a night of music, dancing and a dash of politics. Local Arab Americans were bidding farewell to Rashid Khalidi, an internationally known scholar, critic of Israel and advocate for Palestinian rights, who was leaving town for a job in New York.

A special tribute came from Khalidi's friend and frequent dinner companion, the young state Sen. Barack Obama. Speaking to the crowd, Obama reminisced about meals prepared by Khalidi's wife, Mona, and conversations that had challenged his thinking.

His many talks with the Khalidis, Obama said, had been "consistent reminders to me of my own blind spots and my own biases. . . . It's for that reason that I'm hoping that, for many years to come, we continue that conversation -- a conversation that is necessary not just around Mona and Rashid's dinner table," but around "this entire world."
Besides being good friends with him, Obama and Khalidi raised money for each other:
When Obama served as a director of the Woods Fund in 2001 and 2002, the foundation donated $75,000 to the AAAN [Arab American Action Network, founded by Khalidi], for projects like an “oral history” project on the “Nakbah,” which translates as “catastrophe,” and is the name Palestinians use for the birth of Israel. Khalidi held a fundraiser for Obama when the latter ran for Congress in 2000...
Obama's reason for downplaying his friendship with Khalidi may be the same as why he has done the same with Ayers. Khalidi is also connected with terrorism:
AAAN co-founder Rashid Khalidi was reportedly a director of the official PLO press agency WAFA in Beirut from 1976 to 1982, while the PLO committed scores of anti-Western attacks and was labeled by the U.S. as a terror group. Khalidi's wife, AAAN President Mona Khalidi, was reportedly WAFA's English translator during that period.

Rashid Khalidi at times has denied working directly for the PLO but Palestinian diplomatic sources in Ramallah told WND he indeed worked on behalf of WAFA. Khalidi also advised the Palestinian delegation to the Madrid Conference in 1991.
American Issues Project has a press release out noting Obama's attempt to stop the Ayers ad from being shown:
The Barack Obama campaign has resorted to a campaign of intimidation and legal threats to convince television stations and the federal government to force off the air an ad by the American Issues Project detailing the link between Sen. Obama and remorseless domestic terrorist William Ayers.

The Obama campaign has been contacting stations running American Issues Project's ad in an unsuccessful attempt to compel them to pull the spot. The Obama campaign also sent a letter yesterday to the Department of Justice asking the government to investigate American Issues Project, its officers, board of directors, and donors. With no success on either front, the campaign has begun running its own ad in response. Notably, this ad fails to dispute a single fact in the American Issues Project's initial ad.
Of course, the bigger a deal Obama makes out of this ad, the more attention it is getting--even by the media. The only question is how much damage will be done to Obama's campaign.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

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