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Friday, August 22, 2008

Debunking Jerome ‘Bigot’ Corsi’s Smear Attack Book: ‘The Obama Nation’

Chapter 2: Factual Inaccuracies In Corsi’s Book (Continued)

LIE: “…Obama mentions in passing that in 1984 he had just graduated from college and was working as a community organizer out of the Harlem campus of the City College of New York. This is a job Obama does not mention in his autobiography, Dreams from My Father.” [p 129]

REALITY: OBAMA DID MENTION HIS JOB IN DREAMS

Obama Wrote About His Job At City College In Dreams.
Obama wrote, “I spent three months working for a Ralph Nader offshoot up in Harlem, trying to convince the minority students at City College about the importance of recycling.” [Dreams, p 139]


LIE: “In the 1980s, Kellman was a known figure in community organization and it is doubtful he would have driven from Chicago to New York just to meet a newly graduated college kid who wrote a letter looking for a job. More likely, Kellman went to New York to see if the reports coming out of New York City about Obama were right, that Obama’s profile might just fit in with Kellman’s organization.” [p 130]

REALITY: KELLMAN WAS IN NEW YORK VISITING FAMILY AND SET UP AN INTERVIEW WITH OBAMA

Kellman “Had Plans To Visit Family In New York Anyway, So He Called Obama And Set Up An Interview.”
The Chicago Tribune reported, “Kellman had plans to visit family in New York anyway, so he called Obama and set up an interview. They met at a coffee shop on the Upper West Side, and Kellman quickly began testing Obama with pointed questions…Kellman hired Obama on the spot for roughly $10,000 a year. He threw in an extra $2,000 so Obama could buy that beater of a Honda and get moved. A month later he was at a South Side church being introduced to leaders of CCRC’s Chicago branch, which soon would be spun off into the Developing Communities Project.” [Chicago Tribune, 3/30/07]


LIE: “Rush, for instance, has charged that activist Hazel Johnson discovered asbestos in Altgeld Gardens housing project long before Obama latched on to the issue and made it a major part of the community organizing story he tells about himself in Dreams from My Father.” [p 135]

REALITY: JOHNSON’S ALLEGATIONS HAVE BEEN DISPUTED AND SHE HAS TOLD DIFFERENT STORIES

Chicago Tribune: “Johnson’s Allegations Were Disputed By Several Members Of DCP.”
The Chicago Tribune reported, “But Hazel Johnson, a longtime Altgeld resident, recently accused Obama of stealing credit for the work of the environmental group she runs. ‘He wants to make himself look good,’ said Johnson, who claimed Obama assisted her group on other problems with the CHA but not the asbestos issue. Johnson’s allegations were disputed by several members of DCP, who said Obama was in the thick of the asbestos protests and they were right alongside. The only inaccuracy in the book, Kellman said: It was Obama himself who discovered the problem and not a DCP member.” [Chicago Tribune, 3/30/07]

Chicago Sun-Times: “Johnson Told Fornek A Different Version Of The Events In 2004.” The Chicago Sun-Times reported, “The Times article quotes Altgeld resident and community activist Hazel Johnson. My colleague, Sun-Times political writer Scott Fornek, interviewed her in 2004 and again on Monday. Fornek reports that Johnson, 72, objects to Obama taking credit for helping force the CHA to remove asbestos at Altgeld Gardens. Johnson has not read Obama’s book. She said he played no role in the asbestos-removal fight. She said he did help get ‘angel hair,’ another type of dangerous insulation, removed from attics in the complex’s row houses -- and worked on public transportation issues and helped get a library built. ‘He was not with us on the asbestos,’ she said. But Johnson told Fornek a different version of the events in 2004 during an interview for a profile on Obama during that year’s U.S. Senate race. She said Obama worked on the asbestos removal after the angel hair project. ‘We worked together.’ Another colleague, Sun-Times reporter Tim Novak, talked to Cheryl Jackson, her daughter. She said her mother was exploited by Obama when he failed to include her efforts in his book. ‘My mother worked too hard and too long of a time. That hurts when someone who has been a sole soldier for so long and continues to be a soldier for environmental issues…for someone to exploit the work that she has done is not fair.’” [Chicago Sun-Times, 2/20/07]

THEN: Obama And Johnson Worked On Asbestos Clean Up After Fiber Glass. “Altgeld Gardens resident Hazel Johnson, 69, worked with Obama in the Developing Communities Project on pushing the Chicago Housing Authority to remove asbestos from public housing and other issues. She remembers Obama renting a bus to take a group of residents downtown to protest at CHA headquarters. ‘He even got us coffee and doughnuts,” she said. “And he didn’t have to do that.’” [Chicago Sun Times, 10/3/04]

NOW: Obama Didn’t Help With The Asbestos Clean Up After Fiber Glass. “And, they claim, Obama didn’t work cleaning up asbestos at Altgeld, but fiber glass, another environmental hazard.” [CBS2Chicago, 2/20/07]

NOW?: Johnson: Obama Was “A Good Organizer. I’ve Got To Hand It To Him.” The Nation reported, “Hazel Johnson, a longtime Altgeld Gardens environmental activist, says, ‘Yeah, he’s a good organizer. I’ve got to give it to him.’” [The Nation, 4/3/07]


LIE: “Sol Stern, a contributing editor of Chicago’s City Journal, has observed that while Ayers today ‘is widely regarded as a member in good standing of the city’s civic establishment, not an unrepentant domestic terrorist,’ the impression of Ayers’s good citizenship is incorrect.” [p 140]

REALITY: AYERS AND DOHRN ARE MEMBERS OF THE ESTABLISHMENT WITH TIES TO THE MAYOR

Mayor Daley: Bill Ayers Worked With Me In Shaping Our Now Nationally-Renowned School Reform Program And Tarring Obama For Knowing Him Is Another Reason Americans Are Angry With Washington.
“There are a lot of reasons that Americans are angry about Washington politics. And one more example is the way Senator Obama’s opponents are playing guilt-by-association, tarring him because he happens to know Bill Ayers. I also know Bill Ayers. He worked with me in shaping our now nationally renowned school reform program. He is a nationally-recognized distinguished professor of education at the University of Illinois/Chicago and a valued member of the Chicago community. I don’t condone what he did 40 years ago but I remember that period well. It was a difficult time, but those days are long over. I believe we have too many challenges in Chicago and our country to keep re-fighting 40 year old battles.” [Tribune, 4/17/08]

FIU Law Professor Stanley Fish: I Too Have Eaten Dinner At Bill Ayers House (More Than Once), Served On A Committee With Him, And He Was One Of Those Who Recruited My Wife And Me At A Reception When We Were Considering Positions At UIC. Davidson-Kahn Distinguished University Professor and a professor of law at Florida International University, in Miami Stanley Fish wrote, “Confession time. I too have eaten dinner at Bill Ayers’s house (more than once), and have served with him on a committee, and he was one of those who recruited my wife and me at a reception when we were considering positions at the University of Illinois, Chicago. Moreover, I have had Bill and his wife Bernardine Dohrn to my apartment, was a guest lecturer in a course he taught and joined in a (successful) effort to persuade him to stay at UIC and say no to an offer from Harvard. Of course, I’m not running for anything, but I do write for The New York Times and, who knows, this association with former fugitive members of the Weathermen might be enough in the eyes of some to get me canned. Did I conspire with Bill Ayers? Did I help him build bombs? Did I aid and abet his evasion (for a time) of justice? Not likely, given that at the time of the events that brought Ayers and Dohrn to public attention, I was a supporter of the Vietnam War. I haven’t asked him to absolve me of that sin (of which I have since repented), and he hasn’t asked me to forgive him for his (if he has any). Indeed in all the time I spent with Ayers and Dohrn, politics — present or past — never came up.” [New York Times, 4/27/08]

Stanford Law Professor Lawrence Marshall: Ayers And Dohrn Are “Absolutely Upstanding Establishment Citizens.” The Washington Post reported, “‘It’s kind of laughable for people who have worked with Bernadine and Bill in the most boring and mundane settings and recognize that they’re absolutely upstanding establishment citizens today,’ said Lawrence C. Marshall, a Stanford University law professor. He recalled a juvenile justice project: ‘Judges who were lifelong ardent conservatives had no trouble recognizing that the work that Bernadine and Bill are now doing is completely divorced from anything in their background.’” [Washington Post, 4/8/08]


LIE: “Is presidential candidate Barack Obama’s decision to support Israel merely a matter of political convenience?” [p 144]

REALITY: OBAMA HAS A LONG RECORD OF SUPPORT FOR ISRAEL

2000: Obama Said That The US Must Be Israel’s Ally In Her Quest For Peace And That “Israel Can Take Risks For Peace Only Because Of Unwavering American Support.”
A CityPAC questionnaire read in part, “Throughout its history, Israel has been anxious to make peace with its Arab neighbors. If successful, the current peace process is a potential opportunity for Israel to increase its security, normalize relations with its
neighbors, and create a more stable and prosperous Middle East. Resolution of the conflict depends on direct negotiations between the parties based on mutual respect and recognition. The United States’ commitment to Israel must continue so Israel can negotiate with its former and current adversaries from a position of strength. Senator Obama believes that Israel can take risks for peace only because of unwavering American support.” [CityPAC Questionnaire, 2000 Congressional Primary]

2002: Obama Passed A Resolution That Condemned Terrorist Attacks Against Israel; Called On Arafat To Put An End To Terrorist Attacks “Which Emanate From Areas Under His Jurisdiction.” Obama sponsored and passed a resolution that stated that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has entered a new phase of terrorism against Israeli civilians; and whereas The United States of America is committed to the safety and security of its citizens everywhere; and whereas the United States of America has made it a national priority to put an end to the scourge of such barbaric terror attacks; therefore, be it resolved that the Members of the Illinois State Senate wish a speedy recovery to the above-mentioned citizens as well as the others wounded in the recent barbaric attack; and be it further resolved that we express our collective outrage at the encouragement, support, and praise given to such terrorists and terror attacks; and be it further resolved that we call upon Palestinian Authority Chairman, Yassar Arafat, to put an end to all such encouragement, support, and praise for these terror attacks, which emanate from areas under his direct jurisdiction; and be it further resolved that the Members of the Illinois State Senate support the policy of the United States government in resisting terrorism throughout the world, and in seeking peace for Israel and its neighboring nations seeking a permanent peace accord; and be it further. [92nd GA, SR 346, Adopted 4/18/02]

2004: Obama Said “Our First And Immutable Commitment Must Be To The Security Of Israel.” The Chicago Daily Herald reported, “‘Our first and immutable commitment must be to the security of Israel, our only true ally in the Middle East and the only democracy,’ Obama said in a July speech to the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations.” [Chicago Daily Herald, 10/18/04]

2006: Obama Cosponsored And Passed The Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act Which Would Discourage International Aid To Hamas Unless It Recognizes Israel, Disarms And Renounces Violence. In 2006, Obama cosponsored the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006, which: (1) States that it shall be U.S. policy to support a peaceful, two-state solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians in accordance with the Performance-Based Roadmap to a Permanent Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (Roadmap), and oppose those organizations, individuals, and countries that support terrorism and violently reject such two-state solution; (2) provides assistance to the Hamas-controlled PA only during a period for which a presidential certification has determined that no PA ministry, agency, or instrumentality is controlled by Hamas unless the Hamas-controlled PA has publicly acknowledged the Jewish state of Israel’s right to exist and the Hamas-controlled PA has made demonstrable progress toward purging from its security services individuals with ties to terrorism. [S. 2370, Became Public Law No: 109-446, 12/21/06]

2006: Obama Cosponsored And Passed A Resolution Endorsing Israel’s Right To Self-Defense And Condemning Hamas And Hezbollah. In 2006, Obama cosponsored a resolution condemning Hezbollah and Hamas and their state sponsors and supporting Israel’s exercise of its right to self-defense. The resolution (1) reaffirmed steadfast support for Israel, (2) supports Israel’s right of self-defense and its right to take appropriate action to deter aggression by terrorist groups and their state sponsors, (3) urges the President to continue to fully support Israel in exercising its right of self-defense in Lebanon and Gaza, (4) calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Israeli soldiers held captive by Hezbollah or Hamas, (5) condemns the governments of Iran and Syria for their continued support for Hezbollah and Hamas and holds these governments responsible for the acts of aggression carried out by Hezbollah and Hamas against Israel. [S. Res 534, Passed/agreed to in Senate, 7/18/06]

2007: Obama Spoke With Prime Minister Olmert As Annapolis Talks Began, Reiterated His Commitment To Israel’s Security As The Basis For Peace Negotiations. Obama said in a release, “Annapolis is a hopeful development because Israelis and Palestinians are engaged in serious discussions again and the countries of the region are involved, and I commend Prime Minister Olmert and President Abbas for making the effort. I spoke with Prime Minister Olmert today, and assured him of my strong support for this effort and my unshakeable commitment to Israel’s security as a core principle as negotiations move forward. The Administration deserves credit for finally trying to use presidential diplomacy to bring the parties together. It’s a big change from the last six and a half years, when President Bush badly neglected this conflict. Recognizing the complexity of the issues under discussion and the importance of the conflict, it is my hope that this conference is just the start of a sustained push by the United States, the Israelis and the Palestinians to achieve the goal of two states living side-by-side in peace and security.” [Press Release, 11/27/07]

2008: Obama Said Israel Was Among America’s “Most Important Allies And Their Security Is Sacrosanct.” The Jerusalem Post reported, “While discussing issues of anti-Semitism, Obama said: ‘One of the reasons why so many of my supporters come from the Jewish community...is that I have been a stalwart friend of Israel and supported the special relationship we enjoy with it... They are among our most important allies and their security is sacrosanct.’” [Jerusalem Post, 2/27/08]

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