Daniel Pipes: Obama Would Fail Security Clearance





With Colin Powell now repeating the lie that Barack Obama has"always been a Christian," despite new information further confirming Obama's Muslim childhood (such as the Indonesian school registration listing him as Muslim), one watches with dismay as the Democratic candidate manages to hide the truth on this issue.

Instead, then, let us review a related subject – Obama's connections and even indebtedness, throughout his career, to extremist Islam. Specifically, he has longstanding, if indirect ties to two institutions, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), listed by the U.S. government in 2007 as an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas-funding trial; and the Nation of Islam (NoI), condemned by the Anti-Defamation League for its" consistent record of racism and anti-Semitism."

First, Obama's ties to Islamists:

  • The Khalid al-Mansour connection: According to former Manhattan Borough president Percy Sutton, Al-Mansour"was raising money for" Obama's expenses at Harvard Law School. Al-Mansour, a black American (né Don Warden), became advisor to Saudi prince Al-Walid bin Talal, CAIR's largest individual donor. Al-Mansour holds standard Islamist views: he absolves the Islamist government in Sudan of sponsoring slavery, he denies a Jewish tie to Jerusalem, and he wrote a booklet titled"Americans Beware! The Zionist Plot Against S. Arabia." (Both Obama and al-Mansour deny Sutton's account.)

  • Kenny Gamble

    The Kenny Gamble (also known as Luqman Abdul-Haqq) connection: Gamble, a once-prominent pop music producer, cut the ribbon to the Obama campaign headquarters housed in a south Philadelphia building he owns. Gamble is an Islamist who buys large swaths of real estate in Philadelphia to create a Muslim-only residential area. Also, as the self-styled"amir" of the United Muslim Movement, he has many links to Islamist organizations, including CAIR and the Muslim Alliance in North America. (MANA's"amir" is Siraj Wahhaj, an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.)

  • The Mazen Asbahi connection: The Obama campaign's first Muslim outreach coordinator resigned after it came to light that he had served on the board of a subsidiary of the Saudi-sponsored North American Islamic Trust, with Jamal Said, another unindicted co-conspirator in the 2007 Hamas funding trial. Asbahi has ties to CAIR's Chicago and Detroit offices, to the Islamic Society of North America, yet another unindicted co-conspirator in the Hamas funding trial, and to other Islamist organizations.

  • The Minha Husaini connection: The campaign's second Muslim outreach coordinator has an Islamist background, having served as an intern in the Muslim Public Service Network. Immediately upon her appointment by Obama, she met with a group of about thirty Muslims including such notorious figures as CAIR's Nihad Awad; the Muslim American Society's Mahdi Bray, who has publicly supported the Hamas and Hezbollah terrorist groups; and Johari Abdul Malik of the Dar Al-Hijrah Mosque in Falls Church, Va., who has advised American Muslims:"You can blow up bridges, but you cannot kill people who are innocent on their way to work."

Second, Obama's ties to the Nation of Islam:

Louis Farrakhan, who calls Obama"the Messiah."

Obama's long-time donor and ally Antoin"Tony" Rezko partnered for nearly three decades with Jabir Herbert Muhammad, a son of NoI leader Elijah Muhammad, and says he gave Jabir and his family"millions of dollars over the years." Rezko also served as executive director of the Muhammad Ali Foundation, a rogue organization that, without Ali's permission, exploited the name of this CAIR awardee.

Jeremiah Wright, Obama's esteemed pastor for twenty years, came out of a Nation background, recently he accepted protection from an NoI security detail, and has praised Louis Farrakhan, the NoI's leader, as one of the"giants of the African American religious experience." Wright's church celebrated Farrakhan for his having"truly epitomized greatness."

Farrakhan himself endorsed Obama, calling him"the hope of the entire world,""one who can lift America from her fall," and even"the Messiah."

That Obama's biography touches so frequently on such unsavory organizations as CAIR and the Nation of Islam should give pause. How many of politicians have a single tie to either group, much less seven of them? John McCain charitably calls Obama"a person you do not have to be scared [of] as president of the United States," but Obama's multiple links to anti-Americans and subversives mean he would fail the standard security clearance process for Federal employees.

Islamic aggression represents America's strategic enemy; Obama's many insalubrious connections raise grave doubts about his fitness to serve as America's commander-in-chief.

UPDATE 10-21-08

A reader points out that Sutton has apparently retracted his statement about a connection between Barack Obama and Khalid Al-Mansour that I referred to in my column today,"Obama Would Fail Security Clearance." On Sep. 6, shortly after Sutton's statement attracted attention, Kevin Wardally, a" a spokesman for Sutton's family," e-mailed to Ben Smith of Politico a statement:

The information Mr. Percy Sutton imparted on March 25 in a NY1 News interview regarding his connection to Barack Obama is inaccurate. As best as our family and the Chairman's closest friends can tell, Mr. Sutton, now 86 years of age, misspoke in describing certain details and events in that television interview. We regret this unfortunate incident and we ask good conscientious people to extend compassion and grace to Percy Sutton.

Percy Sutton (middle) and Malcolm X (right) at a rally in Harlem in 1963.

But then Kenneth R. Timmerman of NewsMax.com contacted the Sutton family, which in turn denied that Wardally spoke for them:

Newsmax contacted the Sutton family and they categorically denied Wardally's claims to Smith and the Politico.com. So there was no retraction of Sutton's original interview, during which he revealed that Khalid Al-Mansour was"raising money" for Obama and had asked Sutton to write a letter of recommendation for Obama to help him get accepted at Harvard Law School.

Sutton's personal assistant told Newsmax that neither Mr. Sutton or his family had ever heard of Kevin Wardally."Who is this person?" asked Sutton's assistant, Karen Malone. When told that he portrayed himself as a"spokesman" for the family, Malone told Newsmax,"Well, he's not."

According to a 2006 New York magazine profile, Wardally is part of a"New New Guard" in Harlem politics that has been challenging the"lions" of the old guard, Charles Rangel and Percy Sutton. That makes him an unlikely candidate to speak on behalf of Sutton. Sutton maintains an office at the Manhattan headquarters of the firm he founded, Inner City Broadcasting Corporation. ICBC owns New York radio stations WBLS and WLIB.

Sutton's son Pierre ("Pepe") runs ICBC along with his daughter, Keisha Sutton-James. Malone told Newsmax that she had consulted with Sutton's family members at the station and confirmed that no one knew Kevin Wardally or had authorized him to speak on behalf of the family.

For someone claiming to be a"spokesman" for the Sutton family, who was authorized to call Percy Sutton a liar, Wardally even got Percy Sutton's age wrong. Sutton is not 86, as Wardally said, but close to 88. He was born on Nov. 24, 1920.

Wardally responded to a several Newsmax phone messages and emails with a terse one-line comment, maintaining his statement that Percy Sutton"misspoke" in the television interview."I believe the statement speaks for itself and the Sutton Family and I have nothing further to say on the topic," he wrote in an email. Asked to explain why it was that no one at Inner City Broadcasting Corp. knew of him or accepted him as a family spokesman, Wardally responded later that he had been retained by a nephew of the elder Sutton.

Comments: (1) It appears that Sutton is standing by his statement. In any case, it would be hard to credit Wardally's statement that Sutton's recollections were pure fantasy. (2) Timmerman also points out that Al-Mansour did not fully deny the Sutton statement, but that he was determined to keep a low profile so as to avoid embarrassing Obama. (October 21, 2008)

Oct. 23, 2008 update: Another reader points out that I missed a further Obama connection to CAIR – that Joseph E. Sandler of the law firm Sandler, Reiff, & Young is one of three lawyers who filed a motion to dismiss Philip Berg's case claiming that Obama does not meet the citizenship requirements to become president of the United States. (I have posted both the original motion to dismiss and the first amended motion.)

As the Yid with Lid blog that broke this news puts it, Sandler is the legal hit man for CAIR; his"role for CAIR has been to stifle people from telling the truth about Islam. For example, last year he tried to get Jihad Expert Robert Spencer banned from speaking to the Young American Foundation, by using a threatening letter. Sandler followed up by threatening columnist Mike Adams for writing about the Spencer incident."




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David Holland - 10/31/2008

Apart from all of the other problems with Mr. Pipes' argument, we shouldn't forget that there are certain instances when failure to obtain a government's sanction indicates a symbolic honor. At those times, it is the state that is called into question, not the denied individual.


Andrew Seaton - 10/31/2008

Pipes has some valid points about the dangers of extreme Muslim fundamentalism in America and Europe but then all religions have their extremists, their whackos. Just look to America. But the “facts” Pipes has dug up about Obama are absurd and only dedicated to the purpose of stoking controversy. What kind of fools does he take his readers for? This trash is just another example of why religion ruins everything, which opportunists like Pipes thrive on. They can shove their entire Judea Christian, and Islamic, traditions back to the deserts it came from.


Lorraine Paul - 10/28/2008

Ms Kazmier, any article attributed to Pipes, by that fact alone, would be viewed by me as containing several lies, half-truths and outrageous bias. Veracity, as a word, is not something that Pipes is familiar with, as a practice he is even less familiar with it....

His far-right stance is well-known by anyone who has read previous articles. As stated by Mr Green in the above post, Pipes is...anti-Muslim, anti-liberal, I would add to that anti-union, anti-humanitarian and a war-monger. Further he reeks of just about everything that I consider anathema to the advancement and betterment of the human race!


James Lee Winningham - 10/27/2008

If you listen to the sermon Mr. Pipe's cites when he alleges that Farrakhan called Obama the "Messiah" he was obviously referring to Mohammad and not Obama. He does concede that the Messiah is using Obama to change the world for the better, but how is this different from how Christians believe that Jesus works in poeple's lives to change the world. If Mr. Pipes can be wrong and one-sided on this, then what else has he fudged?


Lisa Kazmier - 10/27/2008

Isn't Obama already cleared since he serves on a Foreign Relations Committee (doesn't he head up one on foreign affairs in fact)?

Thus this would be both partisan and stooopid.


Bill Heuisler - 10/27/2008

Mr. Green,
Attacking the writer diminishes you and insults the intelligence of HNN readers. Facts or specific rebuttals would be greatly appreciated.
As an agnostic in matters involving CAIR and NOI, I would like to learn about the truth or falsehood of Mr. Pipes' list before the election.
Bill Heuisler


Michael Green - 10/27/2008

As a lover of the First Amendment, I appreciate that HNN even gives space to anti-Muslim, anti-liberal bigots.

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