Monday, October 06, 2008

Obama "Publicly Endorsed, Without Qualification, Ayers’ [Radical] Book"

More on Obama's and his terrorist pal

Stanley Kurtz takes apart the New York Time's puff piece article which downplays the long relationship between Obama and the unrepentant Weather Underground terrorist, Bill Ayers.

The article, written by New York Times reporter Scott Shane, was the catalyst for Governor Sarah Palin's remark that Obama pals around with terrorists:

"Our opponent ... is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect, imperfect enough, that he's palling around with terrorists who would target their own country."
Kurtz also talked about the Shane article on Fox News:

Back to Kurtz's written take-down of Shane's whitewash. Kurtz notes that when Shane's article first appeared on the web Saturday night, it was titled, "Obama Had Met Ayers, but the Two Are Not Close." That title was changed to, "Obama and the ‘60's Bomber: A Look Into Crossed Paths." Kurtz suggests the first headline made the paper’s agenda a bit too obvious, in any event the new title parrots Obama's position:

Even so, the new title simply parrots the line of Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt that the two [Obama and Ayers] first met through an early "education project" and since have simply "encountered each other occasionally in public life or in the neighborhood."
It's not just the title. Shane's "irresponsible journalism" is an obvious effort to protect Obama and makes no serious attempt to present the views of Obama critics who have worked to uncover the true nature of the Obama/Ayers relationship.

Let's look at the details:

1) Sporadic Relationship:

There is nothing "sporadic" about Barack Obama delivering hundreds of thousands of dollars over a period of many years to fund Bill Ayers’ radical education projects, not to mention many millions more to benefit Ayers’ radical education allies. We are talking about a substantial and lengthy working relationship here, one that does not depend on the quality of personal friendship or number of hours spent in the same room together (although the article greatly underestimates that as well).
2) Ayers Redeemed:

Shane’s article buys the spin on Ayers’ supposed rehabilitation offered by the Obama campaign and Ayers’ supporters in Chicago. In this view, whatever Ayers did in the 1960's has somehow been redeemed by Ayers’ later turn to education work.
[. . .]

The trouble with this is that Ayers doesn’t view his terrorism as a mistake. How can he be forgiven when he’s not repentant? Nor does Ayers see his education work as a repudiation of his early radicalism. On the contrary, Ayers sees his education work as carrying on his radicalism in a new guise. The point of Ayers’ education theory is that the United States is a fundamentally racist and oppressive nation. Students, Ayers believes, ought to be encouraged to resist this oppression. Obama was funding Ayers’ "small schools" project, built around this philosophy. Ayers’ radicalism isn’t something in the past. It’s something to which Obama gave moral and financial support as an adult. So when Shane says that Obama has never expressed sympathy for Ayers’ radicalism, he’s flat wrong. Obama’s funded it.

3) Obama Endorsed Ayers' Radical Views:

Obama was perfectly aware of Ayers’ radical views, since he read and publicly endorsed, without qualification, Ayers’ book on juvenile crime. That book is quite radical, expressing doubts about whether we ought to have a prison system at all, comparing America to South Africa’s apartheid system, and contemptuously dismissing the idea of the United States as a kind or just country. Shane mentions the book endorsement, yet says nothing about the book’s actual content. Nor does Shane mention the panel about Ayers’ book, on which Obama spoke as part of a joint Ayers-Obama effort to sink the 1998 Illinois juvenile crime bill. Again, we have unmistakable evidence of a substantial political working relationship.

4) Ignoring Contra Views:

The Times also ignores the fact that I’ve [Kurtz] published a detailed statement from the Obama camp on the relationship between Ayers and Obama at the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. (See "Obama’s Challenge.") Maybe that’s because attention to that statement would force them to acknowledge and report on my detailed reply.

5) Hiding The Facts:

Shane’s story also omits any mention of the fact that access to the Chicago Annenberg Challenge records was blocked. What’s more, thanks to a University of Chicago law student’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, we now know that access to the documents was blocked by an old Obama associate, Ken Rolling, on the day I first tried to see them. And as a result of my own FOIA, we also have evidence that Rolling may have been less than fully forthcoming on the question of Ayers’ possible role in elevating Obama to board chair at Anneberg. In fact, Rolling seems to have been withholding information from a New York Times reporter. I’ve made this material public in a piece called, "Founding Brothers."

Obama and his elite media allies, such as Scott Shane, continue to downplay the Obama/Ayers association. I remain thankful that Governor Palin and Stanley Kurtz will not let them get away with it.


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