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A careful and footnoted rebuttal

Reader comment on item: Was Barack Obama a Muslim?
in response to reader comment: Filling in the Blanks of Obama's college years.....

Submitted by Steve (United States), Oct 21, 2008 at 16:41

To All My Friends,

This is long, but, please take the time to read it.

This election has me very worried.

**It does me, too.** So many things to consider.

I watch all the news channels, jumping from one to another. I must say this drives my husband crazy. But, I feel if you view MSNBC, CNN, and Fox News, you might get some middle ground to work with. About six months ago, I started thinking "where did the money come from for Obama". I have four daughters who went to College, and we were middle class, and money was tight. We (including my girls) worked hard and there were lots of student loans.

I started looking into Obama's life. Around 1979 Obama started college at Occidental in California . He is very open about his two years at Occidental, he tried all kinds of drugs and was wasting his time but, even though he had a brilliant mind, did not apply himself to his studies.

**He used drugs in high school. He may have continued to do so once he went to Occidental (I didn't go into this in my research), but at Occidental, he found purpose (http://www.oxy.edu/x7025.xml).**

"Barry" (that was the name he used all his life) during this time had two roommates, Muhammad Hasan Chandoo and Wahid Hamid, both from Pakistan .

**So? In the Army I was friends with an immigrant from Cuba and another from El Salvador, held hands with Saudi guards (they do that over there), drank tea with Kuwaitis, and had a drill sergeant from Panama. Another of Obama's close friends at Occidental was Jon K. Mitchell (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2004417706_apyoungobama2ndldwritethru.html), who later played bass for country-swing band Asleep at the Wheel. Does that make Obama a fan of country music? Or does it make Mitchell a terrorist sympathizer?**

**According to a New York Times article (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/10/us/politics/10obama.html?), "Mr. Hamid is now a vice president at Pepsico in New York ... Mr. Chandoo is now a self-employed financial consultant, living in Armonk, N.Y." Additionally, Chandoo and Hamid were friends, not his roommates. "His freshman roommates were Imad Husain, a Pakistani, who's now a Boston banker, and Paul Carpenter, now a Los Angeles lawyer (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2004417706_apyoungobama2ndldwritethru.html)."**

During the summer of 1981, after his second year in college, he made a "round the world" trip. Stopping to see his mother in Indonesia , next Hyderabad in India , three weeks in Karachi , Pakistan where he stayed with his roommate's family, then off to Africa to visit his father's family.

**He traveled with Wahid and stayed with Chandoo's family in Pakistan. In 1980, he roomed with a young man from Hyderabad named Vinai Thummalapally (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2004417706_apyoungobama2ndldwritethru.html), who probably turned him on to the idea of visiting that city.**

My question - Where did he get the money for this trip? Nether I, nor any one of my children would have had money for a trip like this when they where in college.

**A couple of young men without the need for fancy accommodations can travel pretty cheaply. They presumably bummed around, and they also stayed with family whenever they could. Plus Hamid and Chandoo were wealthy (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2004417706_apyoungobama2ndldwritethru.html).**

When he came back he started school at Columbia University in New York . It is at this time he wants everyone to call him Barack - not Barry.

**He started calling himself Barack at Occidental as part of an effort to change his identity from the self-described "alienated" youth he had been in Hawaii (http://www.oxy.edu/x7025.xml).**

Do you know what the tuition is at Columbia ? It's not cheap! to say the least. Where did he get money for tuition? Student Loans? Maybe. **YES (http://elections.foxnews.com/2008/04/09/michelle-obama-baracks-book-sales-paid-off-our-student-loans/).** After Columbia , he went to Chicago to work as a Community Organizer for $12,000.a year. Why Chicago ? Why not New York ? He was already living in New York .

**According to his book, he felt his New York job wasn't right for him. He had no ties to anywhere or anyone except his grandparents in Hawaii. Maybe he felt adrift in New York. He did live in at least seven different apartments in four years (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2004417706_apyoungobama2ndldwritethru.html). Maybe he was looking for someplace to put down roots. Maybe it just doesn't matter. Who hasn't moved?**

By "chance" he met Antoin "Tony" Rezko, born in Aleppo Syria , and a real estate developer in Chicago .

**I will not defend Rezko. He turned out to be pretty sleazy, he screwed some of his business associates, and he clearly broke the law (http://www.themediaoasis.com/profiles/Rezko06-08-05.htm). But being born in Syria isn't one of his problems. "Rezko was born in 1955 in Aleppo, Syria to a prominent Catholic family. After graduating from high school there, Rezko moved to Chicago and earned an undergraduate and a master's degree in civil engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology in the late 1970s. He joined an engineering company, designing nuclear power plants, then left to design roads for the state Transportation Department" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Rezko). As to the "chance" comment: I don't know where it was claimed he met Rezko by chance. Obama describes the meeting and the reasons for it in this article: http://www.suntimes.com/news/politics/124171,CST-NWS-obama05.article. Obama was very active in Chicago, sitting on boards, lecturing at university, fundraising, organizing, and building a name for himself; Rezko was big figure on the Chicago scene. I'm very sure they would have been introduced by somebody at some point, simply because their paths would have almost had to have crossed given the circles they moved in. No mystery to solve.**

Rezko has been convicted of fraud and bribery this year.

**True (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Rezko), but irrelevant. Every criminal has friends, most of whom aren't criminals themselves and who are usually surprised to discover the person they thought they knew was a criminal. How many Senators and Representatives have been disgraced because of criminal or unethical activity? Should we assume that everyone they worked with in Congress is also guilty of their crimes?**

Rezko, was named "Entrepreneur of the Decade" by the Arab-American Business and Professional Association".

**I'm starting to detect a pattern here... Arab-Americans are bad! Just like Lebanese-American Amos Alphonsus Muzyad Yaqoob (better known as Danny Thomas) who founded the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. (Danny Thomas, by the way, was also Catholic.)**

About two years later, Obama entered Harvard Law School . Do you have any idea what tuition is for Harvard Law School ? Where did he get the money for Law School ? More student loans?

**Again, yes (http://elections.foxnews.com/2008/04/09/michelle-obama-baracks-book-sales-paid-off-our-student-loans/). I'm really mystified as to why this is so hard to believe.**

After Law school, he went back to Chicago .

**He also worked summers off from school in Chicago law firms, maintaining his connections, bolstering his CV, paying his bills.**

Rezko offered him a job, which he turned down. But, he did take a job with Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland.

**"He also, in 1993, joined Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland, a twelve attorney law firm specializing in civil rights litigation and neighborhood economic development, where he was an associate for three years from 1993 to 1996, then of counsel from 1996 to 2004, with his law license becoming inactive in 2002." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barack_Obama)**

Guess what? They represented "Rezar" which Rezko's firm.

**I'm sure they represented others, also.**

Rezko was one of Obama's first major financial contributors when he ran for office in Chicago . In 2003, Rezko threw an early fundraiser for Obama which Chicago Tribune reporter David Mendelland claims was instrumental in providing Obama with "seed money" for his U.S. Senate race.

**Most of this really seems irrelevant. Basically it adds up to: Barack Obama went to an expensive university, were he received his J.D., then got a job at a law firm. A rich and politically powerful acquaintance, who later on was proven to be corrupt, supported his run for the Senate ten years later. You can read more about the Rezko-Obama connection here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Rezko#Ties_to_Barack_Obama. This seems to be the source for this section of the e-mail. I see no conspiracy, just a local politician seeking help from a local patrician.**

In 2005, Obama purchased a new home in Kenwoood District of Chicago for $1.65 million (less than asking price). With ALL those Student Loans - Where did he get the money for the property?

**The loans were paid off by then. He had made a good deal of money from his two books (http://elections.foxnews.com/2008/04/09/michelle-obama-baracks-book-sales-paid-off-our-student-loans/). He also had a pretty good salary by then, and his wife was a V.P. at a university hospital (http://www.uchospitals.edu/news/2005/20050509-obama.html).** On the same day Rezko's wife, Rita, purchased the adjoining empty lot for full price.

**The Obamas' offer was less than the asking price, but it was the highest offer. The owner wouldn't sell the two lots separately, so the Rezkos bought the empty lot. This may have been a favor to the Obamas that allowed them to buy their house, or it may have simply been a good business decision for a real estate developer to take: The Rezkos later resold it at a substantial profit. Either way, there's no crime in buying property. You can read summaries of the purchases, including the fact that Obama bought a strip of Rezko's lot from him later on so he could enlarge his yard, at http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/money.asp, at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Rezko#Ties_to_Barack_Obama, and at http://www.suntimes.com/news/politics/124171,CST-NWS-obama05.article.** The London Times reported that Nadhmi Auchi, an Iraqi-born Billionaire loaned Rezko $3.5 million three weeks before Obama's new home was purchased. Obama met Nadhmi Auchi many times with Rezko. **Again, so? The writer trying to imply, without ever stating it, that Rezko bought Obama's house for him using money he borrowed from another Arab. The Obamas bought their own house using their own money. You can read their tax returns in PDF at http://my.barackobama.com/page/-/Press/Taxes_2000-2006.pdf. I did a quick search on Auchi. I had trouble finding neutral information; most of the sources appeared to anti-Obama blogs: He lives in England, he's a Chaldean Christian, and he supports the Labour Party. He did give Rezko money in exchange for a big chunk of Rezko's Chicago fast food empire. He's probably corrupt. He's a shipping magnate who's made billions in trade, so I imagine he's broken every rule he could get away with. But I found no evidence that either he or Rezko bought the Obama's house. Some of the better links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nadhmi_Auchi



This article (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/us_elections/article3284825.ece) from the Times of London is biased (it uses tabloid terms like "Obama's bagman" to describe Rezko), but it gives some information about Auchi. (The Times of London used to be a great conservative newspaper, but since Rupert Murdoch bought it, it has begun to trend toward tabloid style journalism. I suppose it sells copies...)**

Now, we have Obama running for President. Valerie Jarrett, was Michele Obama's boss. She is now Obama's chief advisor and he does not make any major decisions without talking to her first. Where was Jarrett born? Ready for this? Shiraz, Iran! Do we see a pattern here? Or am I going crazy?

**This is now just getting stupid. "Valerie Bowman was born on November 14, 1956 in Shiraz, Iran, where her father, Dr. James Bowman, ran a hospital for poor children. Her father, a pathologist and geneticist, is Professor Emeritus in Pathology and Medicine, University of Chicago. Her mother, Barbara Bowman, is an early childhood education expert and co-founder of the Erikson Institute for child development. Her maternal grandfather, Robert Taylor was the head of the Chicago Housing Authority in the 1940s. At age 5, the family moved to London for one year, then returned to Chicago in 1963" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valerie_Jarrett). Read the whole entry. Among her other radical activities, you'll find she was Chairman of the Chicago Stock Exchange.**

On May 10, 2008 The Times reported, Robert Malley advisor to Obama was "sacked" after the press found out he was having regular contacts with "Hamas ", which controls Gaza and is connected with Iran .

**It's far more complicated than that (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Malley). His job requires him to talk to Hamas, but Obama's campaign stopped using him because they knew that that would get twisted. As it clearly has. I'm surprised this e-mail doesn't mention that Malley's father was born in Egypt. Of course, he was a Jew, as is Malley himself, but they could have left that out, as they have all of the other religious affiliations of vaguely Arabic sounding people discussed. See also http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?article=the_strange_case_of_robert_malley.**

This past week, buried in the back part of the papers, Iraqi newspapers reported that during Obama's visit to Iraq , he asked their leaders to do nothing about the war until after he is elected, and he will "Take care of things".

**The report wasn't in Iraqi newspapers. I doubt the writer can read Arabic. It was in the New York Post in an article(http://www.nypost.com/seven/09152008/postopinion/opedcolumnists/obama_tried_to_stall_gis_iraq_withdrawal_129150.htm) written by Amir Taheri (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amir_Taheri), an Iranian exile and neo-con writer. (Funny how she trusts Arabs and Iranians when they agree with her.)

Actually, Obama asked them to delay agreeing to a Strategic Framework Agreement until the next president and the new Congress is in office. "Morigi said in a statement that 'Barack Obama has consistently called for any Strategic Framework Agreement to be submitted to the U.S. Congress so that the American people have the same opportunity for review as the Iraqi parliament.' It's possible, Obama advisers believe, that either Zebari or Taheri confused the Strategic Framework Agreement -- which Obama feels should be reviewed by Congress -- with the Status of Forces Agreement, which Obama says the Bush administration should negotiate with the Iraqis as soon as possible" (http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2008/09/undermining-mcc.html).**

Oh, and by the way, remember the college roommates that where born in Pakistan ? They are in charge of all those "small" Internet campaign contribution for Obama.

**Not in charge, but they are effective bundlers: "Both have each contributed the maximum $2,300 to Obama's campaign, and records indicate each has joined an Asian-American council that supports his run for president. Both also are listed on Obama's campaign Web site as being among his top fundraisers, each bringing in between $100,000 and $200,000 in contributions from their networks of friends" (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2004417706_apyoungobama2ndldwritethru.html).**

Where is that money coming from? The poor and middle class in this country?

**Yes, and the wealthy in this country, up to a maximum of $2300. His donations disclosures to the FEC are current and correct (http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/summary.php?cycle=2008&cid=N00009638), even slightly more so than McCain's (http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/summary.php?cycle=2008&cid=N00006424), although both candidates know better than to not keep the FEC informed.**

Or could it be from the Middle East ?

**"There you go again."**

And the final bit of news. On September 7, 2008, The Washington Times posted a verbal slip that was made on "This Week" with George Stephanapoulos. Obama on talking about his religion said, "My Muslim faith". When questioned, "he make a mistake". Some mistake!

**True. He said this. He was discussing accusations that he was a Muslim, and clarifying that John McCain had not been guilty of doing the same. He slipped up in not using the word "supposed" or "alleged." The quotation in question: "You're absolutely right that John McCain has not talked about my Muslim faith." You can watch the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQqIpdBOg6I. The Sept. 7th Washington Times article she claims as a source makes it clear that it was a mistake, puts it in context, and comments disapprovingly about the internet rumors that had begun to proliferate in less than an hour (http://washingtontimes.com/news/2008/sep/07/obama-verbal-slip-fuels-his-critics/).**

All of the above information I got on line. If you would like to check it - Wikipedia, encyclopedia, Barack Obama; Tony Rezko; Valerie Jarrett: Daily Times - Obama visited Pakistan in 1981; The Washington Times - September 7, 2008; The Times May 10, 2008. Now the BIG question - If I found out all this information on my own, why haven't all of our "intelligent" members of the press been reporting this?

**Clearly they have been. That's where I got my information from.**

A phrase that keeps ringing in my ear - "Beware of the enemy from within"!!!

**Especially when they send you unsubstantiated and twisted claims in e-mails.**


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