Hat Tip: Nancy Jacques
By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media
Barack Obama is being presented as America’s first gay president by Newsweek, which glorifies his decision to recognize same-sex marriage. The Newsweek cover story will serve a purpose other than generating interest in a magazine that has been losing circulation and advertising revenue if it is viewed as an opportunity to finally discuss the taboo subject of Obama’s communist mentor, Frank Marshall Davis. This controversial figure, who drank heavily and smoked dope, wrote a pornographic novel in which the author declared, “under certain circumstances I am bisexual,” and discussed having sex with a young girl named “Anne.”
Despite Obama’s ABC News interview, where he claimed coming around on the issue in part because of conversations about homosexuals with his young daughters, Davis is the key to understanding Obama. Davis influenced Obama from ages 10 to 18, his critical growing-up years in Hawaii. Obama admits getting “hard-earned knowledge” from Davis.
The opportunity to finally discuss Davis is also at hand because Washington Post columnist and ombudsman Patrick Pexton, in an effort to justify the paper’s story about Mitt Romney allegedly bullying a kid in high school, notes that the paper’s associate editor and a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, David Maraniss, wrote “a lengthy piece on Obama’s formative years in Hawaii, including his high school years at the prestigious Punahou School.”
He is clearly suggesting that Obama’s early years have been sufficiently covered by the Post. But note Pexton’s use of the word “lengthy” rather than “accurate” or “complete.” A journalist can write a lot of words without touching on the most relevant facts.
Once again, Pexton has failed in his role as the “ombudsman,” or consumer advocate, for the readers of the Post. He should have taken Maraniss to task for his cover-up of Obama’s communist mentor, Frank Marshall Davis. But Pexton didn’t want to take on one of the paper’s prize-winning journalists for what is clearly one of the most dishonest pieces of journalism ever published about a presidential candidate.
Pexton referred to the 10,000-word Maraniss piece, “Though Obama Had to Leave to Find Himself, It Is Hawaii That Made His Rise Possible,” which was published on August 22, 2008.
Maraniss could have broken the story of Frank Marshall Davis wide open for a public eager to learn everything about Obama. Instead, Maraniss completely ignored the role of Davis, a member of the Soviet-funded Communist Party who was under surveillance by the FBI for 19 years.
The treatment of Davis is important because Maraniss has written a new biography, Barack Obama: The Story, which is being released on June 19. It will undoubtedly be seen by the mainstream media as the definitive word on Obama.
But considering how Maraniss completely omitted Davis’s influence over Obama in that 2008 article, it can be anticipated that the new book will also be a whitewash. One of the early “revelations” from the book is said to be that an Obama girlfriend was actually a “composite” of different people. But Frank Marshall Davis was real, not a composite character.
Remember that Obama had referred to Davis as just “Frank” in his book, Dreams from My Father. We confirmed the story about the identity of “Frank” on February 18, 2008.
Paul Kengor, author of a new book on Davis, The Communist: Frank Marshall Davis, the Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mentor, has written a column, “What About Obama’s High School Years?,” in which he criticizes Maraniss for the cover-up of Davis and notes that Obama had mentioned “Frank” by name 22 times in his memoir Dreams from My Father.
Hence, “Frank” obviously had a big impact on Obama, by his own admission, as he was growing up in Hawaii.
In a damage control exercise, the Obama campaign in 2008 acknowledged that “Frank” was Davis, but insisted that he was just a black civil rights activist. In fact, we obtained the 600-page FBI file on Davis and released it in 2008, before the presidential election. Davis was not only a CPUSA member, but engaged in activities considered suspicious by the FBI, such as photographing the Hawaii coast, possibly for espionage purposes. Davis was on the FBI’s “security index” of dangerous people.
Later, we obtained a copy of what has been referred to as a semi-autobiographical pornographic novel written by Davis under a pseudonym and entitled Sex Rebel: Black. The author describes it more directly as a “complete sex autobiography…” It appears that Davis was part of a “free love” movement, someone who by the author’s admission “specialized in sex,” even with children. Frighteningly, Davis molded Obama’s mind for about eight or nine years. Then Obama went off to Occidental College, where classmate John C. Drew says the future president was already a committed Marxist.
I have examined recently unearthed documents showing that Davis was a teacher at and served on the board of the Abraham Lincoln School, a Communist Party-operated front, in Chicago, before he moved to Hawaii. He was a key party operative.
We pointed out in a September 22, 2008, column, “Lying By Media Knows No Bounds,” that the Post’s Maraniss had ignored Davis in his 10,000-word article and had told me in an email that he did so because he concluded that Obama had “hyped out of all proportion” Davis’s influence over him, and that Davis “did not play a role in really shaping Obama.”
Kengor calls the Maraniss rationale for ignoring Davis “strange,” adding, “Apparently, even Obama’s own words (many of them) on Davis’s influence can be dismissed by reporters who do not want to touch this subject.”
It is apparent that they do not want to touch the subject because, now that “Frank” has been identified as a communist and sex pervert, the information will be perceived as hurtful to Obama. Davis’s influence over Obama is a taboo subject and remains so to this day.
Kengor, a professor at Grove City College and author of several books on political figures, gives us a hint of the additional material he has dug up on Obama’s mentor for his new book. He notes, “For decades, he [Davis] wrote the most harsh, outlandish pro-Soviet material you can imagine, with his worst demons being Democrats like Harry Truman and the men in Truman’s administration—George Marshall among them—who opposed Stalin and the Kremlin during the darkest days of the Cold War.”
The obvious relevance of Davis is the influence he exercised over Obama, and the question has to be raised as to whether Obama’s policies in domestic and foreign affairs can now be traced to that influence. As such, it is a much bigger story than a haircut.
But the media’s love affair with Obama, which has been heightened by his embrace of same-sex marriage, means that reporters will go out of their way to ignore Davis. While the major media can be counted on to give Paul Kengor’s new book the silent treatment, the American people have a desire for the straight news about their new “gay president.” It is time for the truth about Davis to come out.
Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected].
Hat Tip: Jason Ivey
Hat Tip: Nancy Jacques
Part 2 and 3
BY: FERN SIDMAN
Continuing his tour into the heart of the Muslim Quarter of the Old City, Mr. Luria guided the AFSI contingent in to Beit Wittenberg, now owned by Ateret Cohanim. Originally purchased by Moshe Wittenberg in the 1880s in a deal brokered by Eliezer Ben Yehuda (the father of the modern Hebrew language), it was discovered that the building was once the famous Mediterreanean Hotel where Mark Twain stayed in Jerusalem when he visited in 1867. “One hundred years after this property was purchased by the Wittenberg family, former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon bought it in the 1980s. Because he thought it was important for Jews to be able to live anywhere in Jerusalem, he made his residence here,” said Mr. Luria.
After leading the AFSI group beneath the walls of the Old City, on a tour of King Zedekiah’s cave, located between the Damascus and Herod gates, Mr. Luria then took the group to Har HaZeitim, where he was joined by Jeff Dauby, former AFSI board member and current Jerusalem representative of the Zionist Organization of America. Showing the tour participants the rampant Arab desecration of Jewish graves there, Mr. Luria said, “This 3000 year-old cemetery, where great rabbis and leaders are buried had been transformed in to a garbage dump by the Arabs, as they stoned visitors, firebombed cars and led goat herds through it, as well as having donkey races. Anywhere between 40,000 and 60,000 Jewish graves have been destroyed by the Arabs.”
Answering the call for a Jewish presence in the area, Ateret Cohanim (with the generous financial assistance of renowned Jewish philanthropist Irving Moskowitz), built Ma’ale HaZeitim, the Jewish neighborhood near the Mount of Olives. “Jerusalem is our home and if the Jewish people are the rightful owners of this holy city, we must unabashedly and unequivocally possess this land and behave as owners,” said Mr. Luria.
From there, AFSI members celebrated Yom Ha’Atzmaut in grand style with at the Netzer settlement in the Gush Etzion bloc. Amid dancing to traditional Israeli music, Women In Green leader, Nadia Matar, welcomed Helen Freedman and the AFSI participants and expressed her gratitude to them for their continued support. “We cannot thank AFSI enough for their unwavering loyalty and great assistance. Every time they come to Israel, they visit with us; always offering to help in any way they can and for that we are very appreciative,” said Ms. Matar.
AFSI members were treated to a most pleasant surprise when during the celebration at Netzer, they had the opportunity to meet with former Soviet refuseniks, Yosef Begun and Professor Dov Rogansky of Hebrew University. “I am thrilled to see these wonderful Jewish activists here at Netzer and among them are many who championed the cause of my freedom and the freedom of countless other Jews from the former Soviet Union,” said Mr. Begun.
No AFSI trip to Israel would be complete without a visit with their friend, Aryeh King, of the Israel Land Fund. Meeting him in Beit Hanina, in the northern part of East Jerusalem, AFSI members listened intently as Mr. King explained the dilemma he finds himself in as he attempts to reclaim land belonging to Jews that have been illegally occupied by Arab squatters for decades. “The area we are standing in belongs to Jews and that has been proven by the court. Even its name, Beit Hanina has Jewish origins as it was named after Hanina Ben Dosa. Before 1948, these homes belonged to Jews. When the JNF sold property bought with Jewish donations to Hebrew University, they then sold it to Arabs for rock bottom prices,” Mr. King said ruefully.
He added that, “We offered to buy the land from Hebrew University, but they declined our offer because they were afraid that their donors would no longer contribute to them if it was discovered that they sold property to “right-wing Jews” in Israel. It is Mr. King’s objective to build a new Jewish community in Beit Hanina which will be called Nof Shmuel, after the Tomb of Shmuel Hanavi, which is visible from the new properties to the west.
As they headed for Tiberias to spend Shabbat, AFSI members made stops to Daliat at Carmel/Usfiye where they visited with Druze MK Ayoob Kara who presented an informative and colorful tour of the village. Stopping at the Yad L’Banim memorial to the fallen Druze soldiers, MK Kara said, “We Druze are proud to have served in the Israeli army and we are proud to be part of this great history.”
Since securing a Jewish presence throughout the land of Israel is a main priority for AFSI, they then visited with both Aharon Pulver of the Israel Independence Fund (IIF) and Mayor Shimon Gafsou of Nazareth Illit. During a slide presentation of the city, Mr. Gafsou explained that Jewish homes were purchased by Arabs with cash provided to them by petroleum rich Arab countries. “We are now buying back our original properties from Arabs and we do not tolerate illegal Arab building which is a pervasive phenomenon throughout Israel. Right now, we are offering 3-bedroom apartments for as low as $120,000. We are encouraging Jews to come back to both the lower and upper Galilee region, where they once represented the majority.”
As AFSI members spent a most relaxing Shabbat in Tiberias, they were joined by settlement leader Israel Danziger, the Director of Mishmeret Yesha, an organization that trains rapid response teams to counter terrorist attacks in settlements and yeshivos throughout Judea and Samaria. Enlightening AFSI members to the current state of affairs that the settlement movement finds itself in, in relation to the Israeli government’s plans to demolish what they perceive to be “illegal outposts,” Mr. Danziger called for unity amongst residents of Judea and Samaria and exhorted them to choose representatives that will protect their interests.
While in the Golan Heights on the following day, AFSI members made a stop at a most special museum dedicated to those forcibly expelled from Gush Katif at Avnei Eitan, a settlement where Gush Katif families have relocated to. The moving exhibit also included a most powerful and emotionally wrenching film of the birth, expansive growth and ultimate demise of the once thriving Gush Katif communities. Addressing the AFSI contingent was a therapist working with children from Gush Katif, who are still suffering from horrific and sustaining trauma.
After spending their last night of the AFSI tour at the Midreshet Golan guest house in the Golan Heights, the tour members concluded their trip with visits to Elon Moreh, where they were given a most spectacular and informative tour of the region of Schechem by community leader Pinchas Fuchs. From there, AFSI visited the 777 Hilltop community near Itamar, where they met with the courageous shepherd, Tomer Pnini. With only two families living in the same house, these shepherds have been consistently and brutally attacked by local Arabs who have stolen their sheep. Pointing to a scar on his forehead, Mr. Pnini said, “Each day we encounter a struggle between us and Arabs from the town of Aqaba who come with sticks and iron bars. Just two weeks ago we saw two tractors of terrorists. We sent our children back with the flocks and our wives do guard duty. If you try to defend yourself by shooting at these attackers, your arms will be confiscated by the army of the Israeli government,” he said.
The settlement of Chivat Gilad was AFSI’s next stop as the glowing faces of the community’s children lit up as they enjoyed the brand new state-of-the-art playground that had been built with help of AFSI members and funds from the Israel Independence Fund. Standing with the children on Chivat Gilad, AFSI Executive Director, Helen Freedman said, “We’ve seen and heard the pain of our people who live in this region; these amazing people who wage a battle for a Jewish presence in the land of Israel, each and every day. Now, we are with the next generation. These wonderful and precious children who will follow in the footsteps of their parents; who will grow and flourish in these communities and we are very proud to be in a position to provide them with a playground just like other children have.”
From there AFSI members visited the Bet El/Ulpana community and were guests in the home of American-born, Alex Traiman, the writer and director of the powerful documentary, “Iranium,” which explores the menacing threat of a nuclear powered Iran.
Speaking of recent controversy surrounding the Israeli Supreme Court’s pending order to demolish 5 of the 14 buildings comprising the Ulpana neighborhood of Bet El, Mr. Traiman said, “Yesterday, the international media was here and they made us feel that we were thieves on our own land. They accuse us of building our homes on private Palestinian land and nothing could be further from the truth. In the year 2000, the Bet El Development Company paid $79,000 to a grandson of the original property owner, according to Jordanian land records. In 2007, an affiliate of Peace Now made bogus claims that the land was purchased from the wrong grandson of the original property owner and it was his cousin who was the rightful owner of the land. After getting a ruling in favor of the petitioner from a Palestinian Authority court, the Peace Now people then took that ruling to the Israeli Supreme Court to petition for demolition.”
The next stop on the AFSI tour was to the embattled settlement of Migron where tour members were greeted by Aviella Deitch, a Milwaukee native who now serves as spokesperson for the community. Founded in 1999, subsequent to the presentation of facts by an archeological team that the area contained a significant Jewish historical presence, the Israeli government stepped in to help when several dozen Jewish families moved there. Now, says Ms. Deitch, “A suit was filed in the Israeli Supreme Court which claims that Migron was built on privately owned Arab land. The plaintiff in the suit was not listed as an Arab or Arabs but as Peace Now on the complainants’ behalf. The homes of three families here have already been demolished and even though the Arabs eventually dropped their case against us because they could not produce the necessary documentation proving that the land belonged to them, the Israeli Supreme Court’s ruling still stands and Migron is slated to be demolished this coming August.”
The final stop on the AFSI tour was to the thriving town on Kedumim in the northwestern Shomron. It was there that AFSI members met Raphaella Segal, the exuberant Assistant Mayor of the community. Leading AFSI members on a tour of Kedumim, she pointed to the very place that the late Prime Minister Menachem Begin addressed the community and affirmed his complete support for the growth of Kedumim and other communities like it in the region.
Showing the tour participants the various satellite communities of Kedumim, located on hilltops surrounding it, Ms. Segal said, “It was with the incredibly generous support of people such as yourself and the generosity of Irving and Charna Moskowitz that we were able to build the synagogue that you see. We have also installed high-tech security systems.” She added that, “Today Kedumim has a school for Ethiopian girls and a school for boys with ADD and ADHD. We also have a music school that was donated by Cleveland philanthropist Dennis Seaman in memory of his father. For this and much more, we are very thankful.”
Hosting the AFSI group for their farewell dinner at their home, Ms. Segal and her husband beseeched the AFSI group to make Kedumim their first stop on their next trip. “Tonight, we are enjoying your last evening in Israel with you, but please the next time you come, please make us your first stop so we may enjoy the future developments of this community together with great joy,” said Ms. Segal.
On the way to the airport, AFSI members voiced their thoughts and feelings about the Spring 2012 Chizuk Mission. “I am very blessed to be a part of this holy mission to Israel. AFSI is so unique, because unlike other tours, they truly reach out in so many tangible ways to those Jews struggling to maintain a Jewish life in our biblical homeland. AFSI members are always giving; be it through monetary contributions or emotional and psychological support to their brothers and sisters. You can see that AFSI members really care as the pain of Israel’s reality is etched on their faces. May G-d continue to bless all those people in every community that we’ve visited with strength to carry on and may He bless AFSI for their constant devotion and dedication,” said Nancy, a nurse from the New York area.
As you know, the Watcher’s Council represents the cutting edge of political thought in the blogosphere. You already read their weekly offerings on the issues and if you’re really on the ball, read their incisive and stimulating sites.
With that in mind, as a regular item we’re going to feature Council members (and some very interesting non-Council guests) presenting short takes on the day’s important issues as they come up.
Today, the Watcher’s Council weighs in on whether the U.S. should pull out of Afghanistan, and if so, how and when.
Bookworm Room: The response to that question depends on the goal. If America wants to trounce the Taliban, destroying a dangerous enemy and sending a strong message to other Islamists around the world (including those sitting on the nuclear bomb in Pakistan) it should stay in Afghanistan until it achieves a decisive victory there. Of course, that would require a complete change in the rules of engagement, one that doesn’t make our troops sitting ducks but instead allows them to fight a war to a victorious conclusion. Alternatively, if the goal is just to leave with our heads held high, it’s too late for that, and we may as well leave ASAP, before any more American lives are lost. I would not, however, give the enemy the courtesy of knowing our withdrawal schedule. I’m pretty sure though, that in true Groucho tradition, whatever Obama is for, I’m against it — because it does seem that whatever he’s for is also against America’s best interests.
The Noisy Room: Yes, the US should pull out of Afghanistan as soon as possible. Our current government will not allow our bravest to do what they do best, which is win. Since they cannot ‘break things’ and just win the war, the conflict becomes never ending and a death trap for our soldiers and a massive drain on our defense resources. Bring them home – they are being literally surrounded by the enemy and Obama could very well leave them in the lurch at some point and that would be a death sentence for most of them. Don’t give notice – just leave and let the barbarians kill each other off. They are really good at that.
Joshuapundit: There was never anything to ‘win’ in Afghanistan. One needs merely to look at how this war was approached from the beginning to see that. In the future, it will be seen as a strategic folly of historic proportions, and one unworthy of the brave men and women who fought there. There were two presidents responsible for it; one out of the need to need to appear to be retaliating for 9/11 by attacking some of the subcontractors while avoiding the inconvenience of confronting the real financiers, directors and perpetrators of jihad, the other to cover for his ignorance, hubris and rhetoric on the campaign trail. Both have wasted American blood and treasure in a criminally negligent fashion, and I only hope that one day both of these presidents will be subject to harsh judgment by history.
Retreating from a landlocked country surrounded by hostile territory is not going to be merely a matter of just leaving, especially with our relations with Pakistan at the point they’re now at. I doubt that the Karzai government will hold on until 2014, and it’s a good bet that the Afghan Army will be firing at our troops with the weapons we gave them as we leave… they’re already doing it. It may very well be a fighting retreat for the last units out, with horrendous scenes reminiscent of Saigon, especially as President Obama’s ‘vision’ becomes reality, most of our troops are pulled out and the Afghans take over and revert back to their preferred 7th century way of life. All the Taliban need to do is wait.
Simply Jews: Not an easy question for me, seeing as Israeli troops will be never allowed to participate in the war against the Taliban. But still: I am more than sure that the moment the coalition forces leave Afghanistan, the Afghani Taliban, aided by their Pakistan brethren, will be back, more violent and fanatic as before. And that Al Qaeda will get their favorite training and preparation grounds back. I am certain that leaving without a decisive victory, where Taliban both in Afghanistan and in Pakistan tribal areas is destroyed, will get us back to pre-9/11 situation. Oh well, maybe with a bit more awareness and alertness – but awareness and alertness don’t last, while terrorism does.
The Colossus of Rhodey: My view is that we never should have engaged in “nation-building.” We should have gone in in late 2001, blasted the living sh** out of al Qaeda and any associated Taliban (pronounced “tah-lee-bahn” remember!), and then maintained a *minimal* presence to monitor and disrupt any further radical Islamic happenings in the country. Whenever they popped up, we’d blast the living sh** out of them again. Rinse, repeat. The sooner we get out of that G-d forsaken country, the better.
Rhymes With Right: Unfortunately, the time has come for us to leave Afghanistan. Why? Because of a policy failure that dates back to the Bush years and upon which the Obama Administration has doubled-down. We should have crushed the Taliban as quickly as possible, and not accommodated conservative Islam. Instead, we adopted a policy that involved simply pushing back the Taliban and working with their opponents, even if they were corrupt and supported the same sort of regressive social and religious policies that have returned Afghanistan to the category of backwards Third World Islamist cesspool. Instead we have installed and supported a kleptocrat regime that plays both sides of the fence and which cannot survive, while placing our troops in harms way to no good purpose. I wish I could say that failure was all on Bush — after all, he started it — but the Obama policy has been to risk more lives with less clear objectives and less strong rules of engagement.
The Independent Sentinel: I want them to stay until November in the event that we have a new President who might be able to salvage a victory that would leave the Afghans safer. We should not be leaving without establishing a base though the President is planning on doing exactly that. If Obama is voted back in, I want my military back home and out of harm’s way.
When the Taliban return, the day after our soldiers withdraw, the women and children will once again be relegated to a life of abuse. The US government is pretending they are negotiating with good Taliban as they attempt talks with a terrorist who was a friend of Osama’s and is a friend of al Zawahiri’s. Afghan soldiers they train cannot be trusted and, we don’t hear about it in the news, but they still are killing our soldiers. That’s no way to fight a war. It’s not reality-based.
The Glittering Eye: Afghanistan does not have the social or economic capacity to support a military of the size and capability that would be required to prevent a return to the conditions that prevailed there in 2001 and will not have for the foreseeable future. It will require substantial U.S. financial, logistical, and air support on an indefinite basis to maintain an Afghan force with the capabilities required and, due to the failures of both the Bush and Obama administrations, to cultivate support for such an indefinite commitment, there is little political support for it.
The workable alternatives for Afghanistan continue to be what they have been for the last decade: either we maintain a military presence in and financial support for Afghanistan for the foreseeable future or we leave Afghanistan to its own devices, prepared to uproot any resurgence of its former terrorist camps periodically in robust, brief, largely air campaigns. Without support for the former it must be the latter and we should implement our departure with all due speed.
I also believe that we should work with allies to isolate AfPak really and truly. IMO, Al Qaeda’s ability to turn Afghanistan into Disneyland for terrorists was not because Afghanistan and Pakistan were isolated but because they were insufficiently isolated. If the Chinese want it, they can have it. But that’s a discussion for another time.
The Right Planet: To put one more life in harm’s way, without any clear objective, is criminal. During the Vietnam War, the U.S. lost some 60,000, and countless Vietnamese, in a long, bloody, drawn-out struggle that lasted for fifteen years–which bled our nations’ youth, drained our treasuries, demoralized the people–which made the ground fertile for social upheaval. There was no clear strategy throughout the war–only nebulous concepts of “winning hearts and minds”–like we see now in Afghanistan.
This is not the fault of our military. This is the fault of our civilian leadership–namely, the Executive Branch–for giving our military–specifically, the Joint Chiefs of Staff–no clear definition of the enemy or what victory would entail. We went into Afghanistan to depose the Taliban; now they’re poised to come back stronger and emboldened once we withdraw. Additionally, we have adopted the “fortress mentality” at the strategic level and allow the enemy–the Taliban and others–to control the countryside, i.e. the country, period; and we’ve been there for ten years! We are breaking the backs of our military by not allowing them to achieve victory over the enemy. Besides, if the U.S. is not willing to deal with Pakistan and Iran for their role in supporting the Taliban, then we’re just pissin’ in the wind.