Following up on my column today, "Obama Would Fail Security Clearance," readers pointed out two pieces of information:
(1) A picture from the July 26, 2004, issue of Jet magazine showing Michelle Obama with the wife of Louis Farrakhan, Mother Khadijah Farrakhan.
(2) Sutton has apparently retracted his statement about a connection between Barack Obama and Khalid Al-Mansour that I referred to in the column. On Sep. 6, shortly after Sutton's statement attracted attention, Kevin Wardally, a " a spokesman for Sutton's family," e-mailed to Ben Smith of Politico a statement:
The information Mr. Percy Sutton imparted on March 25 in a NY1 News interview regarding his connection to Barack Obama is inaccurate. As best as our family and the Chairman's closest friends can tell, Mr. Sutton, now 86 years of age, misspoke in describing certain details and events in that television interview. We regret this unfortunate incident and we ask good conscientious people to extend compassion and grace to Percy Sutton.
Percy Sutton (middle) and Malcolm X (right) at a rally in Harlem in 1963.
But then Kenneth R. Timmerman of NewsMax.com contacted the Sutton family, which in turn denied that Wardally spoke for them
Newsmax contacted the Sutton family and they categorically denied Wardally's claims to Smith and the Politico.com. So there was no retraction of Sutton's original interview, during which he revealed that Khalid Al-Mansour was "raising money" for Obama and had asked Sutton to write a letter of recommendation for Obama to help him get accepted at Harvard Law School.
Sutton's personal assistant told Newsmax that neither Mr. Sutton or his family had ever heard of Kevin Wardally. "Who is this person?" asked Sutton's assistant, Karen Malone. When told that he portrayed himself as a "spokesman" for the family, Malone told Newsmax, "Well, he's not."
According to a 2006 New York magazine profile, Wardally is part of a "New New Guard" in Harlem politics that has been challenging the "lions" of the old guard, Charles Rangel and Percy Sutton. That makes him an unlikely candidate to speak on behalf of Sutton. Sutton maintains an office at the Manhattan headquarters of the firm he founded, Inner City Broadcasting Corporation. ICBC owns New York radio stations WBLS and WLIB.
Sutton's son Pierre ("Pepe") runs ICBC along with his daughter, Keisha Sutton-James. Malone told Newsmax that she had consulted with Sutton's family members at the station and confirmed that no one knew Kevin Wardally or had authorized him to speak on behalf of the family.
For someone claiming to be a "spokesman" for the Sutton family, who was authorized to call Percy Sutton a liar, Wardally even got Percy Sutton's age wrong. Sutton is not 86, as Wardally said, but close to 88. He was born on Nov. 24, 1920.
Wardally responded to a several Newsmax phone messages and emails with a terse one-line comment, maintaining his statement that Percy Sutton "misspoke" in the television interview. "I believe the statement speaks for itself and the Sutton Family and I have nothing further to say on the topic," he wrote in an email. Asked to explain why it was that no one at Inner City Broadcasting Corp. knew of him or accepted him as a family spokesman, Wardally responded later that he had been retained by a nephew of the elder Sutton.
Comments: (1) It appears that Sutton is standing by his statement. In any case, it would be hard to credit Wardally's statement that Sutton's recollections were pure fantasy. (2) Timmerman also points out that Al-Mansour did not fully deny the Sutton statement, but that he was determined to keep a low profile so as to avoid embarrassing Obama. (October 21, 2008)
Oct. 23, 2008 update: Another reader points out that I missed a further Obama connection to CAIR – that Joseph E. Sandler of the law firm Sandler, Reiff, & Young is one of three lawyers who filed a motion to dismiss Philip Berg's case claiming that Obama does not meet the citizenship requirements to become president of the United States. (I have posted both the original motion to dismiss and the first amended motion.)
As the Yid with Lid blog that broke this news puts it, Sandler is the legal hit man for CAIR; his "role for CAIR has been to stifle people from telling the truth about Islam. For example, last year he tried to get Jihad Expert Robert Spencer banned from speaking to the Young American Foundation, by using a threatening letter. Sandler followed up by threatening columnist Mike Adams for writing about the Spencer incident."
Oct. 27, 2008 update: Oliver "Buck" Revell, the former #3 in the FBI, has confirmed my point in an interview for FamilySecurityMatters.org, "Former FBI In Charge of Operations – FBI 'Would Not Have Hired' Someone with Obama's Associations." He unequivocally states that during his time, "certainly we would not have hired during my tenure a person that had the background, associates and relationships that Obama has had over his adult life." Some explanation:
when you associate with people of the likes of Bill Ayers, who is not only a known radical but an unrepentant radical, and teaches a radical socialism – some would say communist – approach to government, and espouses the use of violence if "necessary," and he determines when it's necessary, this is not the kind of person that an association with – and an association that was both voluntary and lengthy – would give you the necessary satisfaction that the applicant himself was not involved to some degree or at least acknowledged and agreed with parts of that person's social or political agenda.
Certainly with the Rev. Wright, if we had an individual who was coming in for an agent application, and he belonged to the Aryan Nation's Church and he had as his counselor and pastor Richard Gibb Butler, who was a radical white extremist, we would not have considered that person for a position in the Bureau because that is essentially a relationship with a racist entity; and being counseled by a vehement racist – whether he is black, white, red or brown – in and of itself is reason not to give someone access to highly classified information or a job in government that requires that.
Obama's relationships with various hoodlum figures in the Chicago area certainly would be something to look into and you'd have to determine the extent and degree of that relationship to make that determination, but it would be examined very carefully. I have no knowledge that Obama himself has engaged in any illegal or improper activities; I don't know that he has himself engaged in the radical activities that his associates have – or certainly the criminal activities that they have – but the fact that he knowingly associated with people – and he knew their backgrounds and he continued to associate with them – would have, in my opinion, been disqualifying for special agent position, an analyst position, in fact any position that required a security clearance.
By what has been reported and to some degree acknowledged, would in my view, have disqualified him for a position in the FBI based upon the fact that he wouldn't have qualified for a security clearance.
Oct. 28, 2008 update: A reader points out another Obama connection to radical Islam: Hatem El-Hady, the former chairman of the Toledo-based Islamic "charity" Kindhearts, closed by the US government in 2006 for its terrorist fundraising. Back in April 2008, at "Terrorist Fundraisers for Obama," Charles Johnson of LittleGreenFootballs.com unearthed El-Hady's fundraising activities for Obama and his internet "friends" relationship with Michelle Obama.
Sep. 25, 2012 update: After a four-year lacuna, new information is again appearing on this topic. Frank Miele of the Daily Inter-Lake in Montana found a 1979 article by Chicago Tribune columnist Vernon Jarrett that provides context for the Sutton quote above; Jerome R. Corsi draws further connections between Obama and Khalid Al-Mansour in an analysis whose title explains its gist: "1979 Article Ties 'Obama's Real Father' to Saudi Financier? Vernon Jarrett was close friend of communist Frank Marshall Davis."
Related Topics: Muslims in the United States, US politics
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