Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The Wall Street Journal on Senator Obama's Pastor Problem

"[R]umors are swirling on the campaign trail that a new video will soon surface featuring Mrs. Obama appearing on a panel with radical speakers during which she makes more controversial statements."--WSJ (6-3-08)

We will soon see if the people spreading this rumor are telling the truth or not. Anyone can report a rumor. If they have such a bombshell, why are they waiting until (so I read) tomorrow?

On FOX News (6-3-08) Democratic pundit Bob Beckel gave credibility to this rumor and attributed it to Republicans. The video is here.

UPDATE: Reason Magazine (6-2-08) and (6-5-08) discounts this rumor and its source, and Politico (6-5-08) reports:

Sen. Barack Obama on Thursday batted down rumors circulating on the Internet and mentioned on some cable news shows of the existence of a video of his wife using a derogatory term for white people, and criticized a reporter for asking him about the rumor, which has not a shred of evidence to support it.

“We have seen this before. There is dirt and lies that are circulated in e-mails and they pump them out long enough until finally you, a mainstream reporter, asks me about it,” Obama said to the McClatchy reporter during a press conference aboard his campaign plane. “That gives legs to the story. If somebody has evidence that myself or Michelle or anybody has said something inappropriate, let them do it.”

Asked whether he knew it not to be true, Obama said he had answered the question.

“Frankly, my hope is people don’t play this game,” Obama said. “It is a destructive aspect of our politics. Simply because something appears in an e-mail, that should lend it no more credence than if you heard it on the corner. Presumably the job of the press is to not to go around and spread scurrilous rumors like this until there is actually anything, an iota, of substance or evidence that would substantiate it.”

So was it even acceptable to ask the question?

Before Obama could answer, communications director Robert Gibbs interjected: “You just did.”

“That is my point,” Obama said. “I just think people have to think about it before they ask.” [full text]

Tonight, Senator Obama earned enough delegates to declare himself the Democratic candidate for President.

On the one hand, it is really exciting to see a black man and a woman running for President. On the other hand, unlike the Democrats, I am glad that Saddam is gone, and I hope that the long-oppressed Iraqi people will be able to create their own brand of democracy.

I feel like some Democrats want democracy to fail in Iraq because they hate President Bush so much. Senator Obama says he is for change, but I feel that he really doesn't want change in the Middle East that could benefit both America and the people in the Middle East.

I think that Obama is a lot of hot air. He sat in a church that inculcated racism and hatred for America for 20 years, so his talk about change and about trancending the race issue seems hollow to me. Senator Obama has strange political bedfellows--radical clergymen Jeremiah Wright and Michael Pfleger, Weatherman terrorist Bill Ayers, and anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan.

Senator Obama was forced by the bad publicity to denounce Rev. Wright's false claim that AIDS was created by the US government to kill blacks, but he still has not told his church that in 1992 the Soviet KGB admitted that they spread this anti-American canard.

Rev. Wright's KGB lie about AIDS is the same lie that Ward Churchill told about the American Army supposedly spreading smallpox to the Mandan. These lies about America spreading diseases are coming from foreign enemies who want to discredit our government and foment race hatred. They are the same medieval lies that anti-Semites have spread for hundreds of years about Jews poisoning wells to give Christians the plague.

Hearing these ignorant, bigoted anti-American lies being told by American ministers and teachers is disgusting.

Senator Obama has raised a lot of government money for churches that say that America is evil and a sin against God. This money is being used for social programs in poor communities. I wonder what is being taught to people about AIDS and other matters with government money in those churches? I wonder who is employed in these programs.

Most new cases of AIDS are young blacks. Many of them don't take responsibility for their health because they believe this lie that their government is trying to kill them with a disease.

It is difficult for me to respect and trust a politician who would sit in his church and not confront a KGB lie in the mouth of his minister. I think it is contemptible that a US Senator would not open his mouth about this lie.

Perhaps Senator Obama actually believes his minister's lies, or perhaps he was quiet because he needed to rise politically and couldn't afford to alienate these political radicals and America-haters who have a lot of influence in Chicago's south side.

I wonder if he would also lack the courage to confront lies and America-haters as President. Senator Obama says we shouldn't be afraid to talk to dictators, but he sat in church and didn't stand up to a dictator's lie about AIDS.

If he really wants to sand up to dictators and cares about health issues, Obama might start by explaining that the Soviet-era KGB spread this false and defamatory lie about AIDS. The KGB admitted this, why can't Rev. Wright and Senator Obama?

Rev. Wright has claimed that the U.S. government made the AIDS virus to kill black people, although a Colin Powell-era State Department memo dated 1-14-2005 explains that in 1992, the head of Russia's foreign intelligence, Yevgeni Primakov, admitted right in Izvestia that the KGB had fabricated and circulated the lie that the U.S. had made AIDS.

The Wall Street Journal (6-3-08) Comments on Senator Obama's troubling relationships with Chicago radicals:

Pastor Problems

The Rev. Michael Pfleger was a busy preacher on Sunday, May 25. In addition to his mocking criticism of Hillary Clinton in a sermon at Trinity United Church of Christ – which yesterday Barack Obama severed his ties with – he gave another sermon at his own church in which he issued the following healing statement: "Racism is still America's greatest addiction. I also believe that America is the greatest sin against God."

...While the 59-year-old radical preacher is no longer affiliated with the Obama campaign, many are bound to ask why he was involved at all. Mr. Obama had frequently appeared at public events with Mr. Pfleger over the years and counted him as an adviser. Team Obama brought Mr. Pfleger to Iowa last year to host several interfaith forums on behalf of the campaign. As an Illinois state senator, Mr. Obama steered over $225,000 in taxpayer funding to Mr. Pfleger's church.

Now Team Obama is responding to the latest Pfleger outburst by once again saying the candidate is "deeply disappointed" in what was said.

The problem here is that voters may begin to detect a pattern in Mr. Obama's increasingly odd set of advisers and allies. Jeremiah Wright. William Ayers. Michael Pfleger. As the political blogger Jerry Fuhrman notes: "Traveling in this circle, is it any wonder that Obama's wife Michelle never found a reason to be proud of her country?"

Indeed, rumors are swirling on the campaign trail that a new video will soon surface featuring Mrs. Obama appearing on a panel with radical speakers during which she makes more controversial statements.

Mr. Obama has performed brilliantly in all but wrapping up the Democratic nomination. But he clearly has lost control of the storyline surrounding his Chicago advisers.

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