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UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See prorev.com for full contents of our site

January 3, 2009

THE STRANGE RISE OF OBAMA

As we have noted, one of the unanswered questions about Barack Obama is how a young politician of such little achievement got so far so fast - from state senator to president in four years. Bill Blum provides new light on the subject. To understand this phenomenon, it is important to recognize that if a young Obama was vetted or otherwise used by the CIA, it was not all that unusual. From the 1950s on, the agency repeatedly interfered in the education of the talented young by recruiting or co-opting them for its own purposes. Yale's Skull & Bones Club, for example, was a classic case of a recruitment camp for future intelligence types. The purpose - for the short run - is more information, and - for the long run - a supply of US future government officials whom the agency trusts and can use. And it often begins with a bright college student an insider thinks might fill the bill. . . .

Bill Blum, Anti-Empire Report -
The question that may never go away: Who really is Barack Obama? In his autobiography, "Dreams From My Fathers", Barack Obama writes of taking a job at some point after graduating from Columbia University in 1983. He describes his employer as "a consulting house to multinational corporations" in New York City, and his functions as a "research assistant" and "financial writer." The odd part of Obama's story is that he doesn't mention the name of his employer.

However, a New York Times story of 2007 identifies the company as Business International Corporation. Equally odd is that the Times did not remind its readers that the newspaper itself had disclosed in 1977 that Business International had provided cover for four CIA employees in various countries between 1955 and 1960. The British journal, Lobster Magazine -- which, despite its incongruous name, is a venerable international publication on intelligence matters -- has reported that Business International was active in the 1980s promoting the candidacy of Washington-favored candidates in Australia and Fiji. In 1987, the CIA overthrew the Fiji government after but one month in office because of its policy of maintaining the island as a nuclear-free zone, meaning that American nuclear-powered or nuclear-weapons-carrying ships could not make port calls. After the Fiji coup, the candidate supported by Business International, who was much more amenable to Washington's nuclear desires, was reinstated to power.

In his book, not only doesn't Obama mention his employer's name; he fails to say when he worked there, or why he left the job. There may well be no significance to these omissions, but inasmuch as Business International has a long association with the world of intelligence, covert actions, and attempts to penetrate the radical left -- including Students for a Democratic Society -- it's valid to wonder if the inscrutable Mr. Obama is concealing something about his own association with this world.

The story of Business International also includes its 1960s joint meetings with members of SDS at the prodding of Carl Oglesby. Not everyone was happy at the idea - including Bernadette Dorn - and probably for good cause.

Obama also was one of eight students selected to study sovietology by Columbia professor Zbigniew Brzezinski who, if he wasn't a CIA official, was as close as you can otherwise get. Brzesinski is now a member of Obama's inner circle.

If the Obama Pakistan story sounds somewhat familiar, it may because the Review was one of the few places that reported one of Bill Clinton's similarly interesting trips:

"1960s: Bill Clinton, according to several agency sources interviewed by biographer Roger Morris, works as a CIA informer while briefly and erratically a Rhodes Scholar in England. Although without visible means of support, he travels around Europe and the Soviet Union, staying at the ritziest hotel in Moscow. During this period the US government is using well educated assets such as Clinton as part of Operation Chaos, a major attempt to break student resistance to the war and the draft. According to former White House FBI agent Gary Aldrich Clinton is told by Oxford officials that he is no longer welcome there."

HOW THE OBAMA FAIRY TALE BEGAN

Paul Street Z Mag - Conventional wisdom holds that Obama entered national politics with his instantly famous keynote address to the 2004 Democratic National Convention. But, as Ken Silverstein noted in Harper's in the fall of 2006, "If the speech was his debut to the wider American public, he had already undergone an equally successful but much quieter audition with Democratic Party leaders and fund-raisers, without whose support he would surely never have been chosen for such a prominent role at the convention.

The favorable elite assessment of Obama began in October of 2003. That's when "Vernon Jordan, the well-known power broker and corporate board-member who chaired Bill Clinton's presidential transition team after the 1992 election, placed calls to roughly twenty of his friends and invited them to a fund-raiser at his home. That event," Silverstein noted, "marked his entry into a well-established Washington ritual-the gauntlet of fund-raising parties and meet-and-greets through which potential stars are vetted by fixers, donors, and lobbyists."

Drawing on his undoubted charm, wit, intelligence, and Harvard credentials, Obama passed this trial with shining colors. At a series of social meetings with assorted big "players" from the financial, legal and lobbyist sectors, Obama impressed key establishment figures like Gregory Craig (a longtime leading attorney and former special counsel to the White House), Mike Williams (the legislative director of the Bond Market Association), Tom Quinn (a partner at the top corporate law firm Venable and a leading Democratic Party "power broker"), and Robert Harmala, another Venable partner and "a big player in Democratic circles."

Craig liked the fact that Obama was not a racial "polarizer" on the model of past African-American leaders like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.

Williams was soothed by Obama's reassurances that he was not "anti-business" and became "convinced...that the two could work together."

"There's a reasonableness about him," Harmala told Silverstein. "I don't see him as being on the liberal fringe."

By Silverstein's account, the good "word about Obama spread through Washington's blue-chip law firms, lobby shops, and political offices, and this accelerated after his win in the March [2004] Democratic primary." Elite financial, legal, and lobbyists contributions came into Obama's coffers at a rapid and accelerating pace.

The "good news" for Washington and Wall Street insiders was that Obama's "star quality" would not be directed against the elite segments of the business class. The interesting black legislator from the South Side of Chicago was "someone the rich and powerful could work with." According to Obama biographer and Chicago Tribune reporter David Mendell, in late 2003 and early 2004:

"Word of Obama's rising star was now spreading beyond Illinois, especially through influential Washington political circles like blue chip law firms, party insiders, lobbying houses. They were all hearing about this rare, exciting, charismatic, up-and-coming African American who unbelievably could win votes across color lines. . . [his handlers and] influential Chicago supporters and fund-raisers all vigorously worked their D.C. contacts to help Obama make the rounds with the Democrats' set of power brokers. . .

According to Mendell, Obama now cultivated the support of the privileged few by "advocat[ing] fiscal restraint" and "calling for pay-as-you-go government" and "extol[ing] the merits of free trade and charter schools." He "moved beyond being an obscure good-government reformer to being a candidate more than palatable to the moneyed and political establishment." .

"On condition of anonymity," Silverstein reported two years ago, "one Washington lobbyist I spoke with was willing to point out the obvious: that big donors would not be helping out Obama if they didn't see him as a 'player.' The lobbyist added: 'What's the dollar value of a starry-eyed idealist?'"




9 Comments:

Anonymous Mairead said...

This feels a little surprising and troubling in a way I'm not sure I can identify.

Maybe it's the implication that the CIA is at or nearly at the top of the food chain.

If that's so, and they're not just another lackey-level tool of the ownership class, then it seems to me that we're in a trap that nothing but maybe luck can get us out of.

January 4, 2009 9:06 AM  
Blogger Joseph said...

This is change?

January 4, 2009 10:16 AM  
OpenID buelahman said...

This truly clears up a lot of loose ends I had in my mind about him.

Thanks.

January 5, 2009 5:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is his connection to israel is the real question? I think the answer to this question will blow us all away!

January 5, 2009 8:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes. we are in for some "change" but I feel rather queasy pondering how much and at what price?

January 19, 2009 6:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obama is nothing but a puppet of the C.I.A. and their masters in the Council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission, Bilderberg Group and A.I.P.A.C.

He's a fresh face for the same neo-con b.s.

March 17, 2009 11:21 PM  
Blogger bama4freedom said...

Change we can not believe in. Obama think he can do the same old politian stuff. It's a different time and we will not stand for the lies anymore by any of them Rep & Dems

August 25, 2009 11:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is interesting to note that at www.worldreports.org it is stated that Obama's mother worked for Geithner's father. It is becoming obvious that both Obama and both Clintons are CIA.

September 8, 2009 11:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CIA psyops US sleepers, ALL

December 29, 2009 7:42 PM  

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