Obama’s Saudi Hook-Up (Updated)
So now we know who the Saudis may call in order to get to Barack Obama: an impish lil’ nut called Dr. Khalid al-Mansour. His original name used to be ‘Don Warden’ before converting to Islam. But the crazy thing is that he took a full Muslim name when he converted: Khalid Abdullah Tariq al-Mansour. What’s ridiculous about that is that Arabic Muslim names do not have the concept of middle names, so what Don effectively did was rename his father ‘Abdullah’ and his grandfather ‘Tariq’.
Did I mention that al-Mansour is an impish lil’ nut?
It seems that al-Mansour solicited recommendation letters and contacts to get Obama into Harvard Law School. He may even have raised money to pay for Obama’s tuition.
Now, I know what all of you are thinking: sure, I’d take anyone’s help to get into college, especially if they’re paying for it.
But Dr. al-Mansour isn’t just anyone: he is a radical ideologue with close ties to Saudi royalty. He is also blatantly anti-Jewish.
Sounds crazy that only now, three weeks from the election, we’re hearing about such characters in Obama’s past, right?
Why is this relevant?
Well, when we take al-Mansour and add him to Bill Ayers, and then take that sum total and add names such as Tony Rezko and Rev. Jeremiah Wright to the equation, it would seem that Obama’s early mentors were kooky, to say the least.
Obama has a very meager record by which to judge him, so we are reduced to scrounging around for what his deeply-held, maybe even secretly-held, views could be by studying who his early influences were.
I know something about the role of mentors in shaping one’s politics, and I must tell you—as objectively as possible even for a propagandist like me—this is dangerous ground.
The Rezko angle, for example, is especially compelling: I got to hear a thing or two about Rezko’s political views from a couple of Middle Eastern sources who have wined and dined him. Unfortunately, I can’t share any of it. But what I can say is this: Uh-oh.
How did Rezko even hear about Obama? Who put the two together in the first place when Obama was just about to finish up Law School and Rezko jumped in and offered him a job?
What is even more dangerous is that Obama is almost certainly going to get away with never having to explain these questionable relationships before the election. “Rev. Wright? Oh he’s just a pastor at my church.” “Ayers? Oh he’s just a guy in my neighborhood.” “Michelle? Oh she’s just some woman that I run into around the house.”
“Khalid? Oh he’s just a guy who helped get me into Harvard and paid my way through…”
Not going to happen.
And of course, we can’t check this latest stuff on Dr. al-Mansour out because Obama is keeping his college records sealed, and the ‘responsible’ media will not fetter him with any embarrassing questions at this late stage. The media, drunk on its own power in shaping this race, seems intent on not taking any chances to redeem its professionalism.
This video summarizes the issue well (thanks NG for letting me know about this story):
On the other hand, I think McCain would be a serious pain in the neck for the Saudis.
UPDATE (October 16, 2008):
I've been hearing some interesting follow-ups to my posts here on TG. There are three questions that stand-out:
1-Did Barack Obama accept any money towards tuition at Harvard Law School from Khalid al-Mansour? The implication here is that some of the money could have originated with the Saudis since al-Mansour, at the time, was already a paid advisor working on behalf of a couple of Saudi princes. [To their credit, the left-leaning Talking Points Memo called yesterday on the press to investigate the al-Mansour link, as a means of debunking such questions. I would like to know one way or the other: is it true or not. But more than that I would like the press to do its job and investigate.]
2-Did Obama make the acquaintance of Bill Ayers much earlier than previously reported, when the former was still an undergrad at Columbia University in the early 1980s? This would be another episode where Obama would have not been completely forthright about his past associations. Did al-Mansour and Ayers know each other? Did Ayers or his wife sever their relationship to the Weather Underground prior to the mid-1980s? If they didn't, and it gets revealed that Obama had met them during this period, then it would mean that Obama knew Ayers when the latter was still an active enabler of terrorism.
3-The area in eastern Kenya that Obama visited in 2006 was Wajir, a mostly Somali-speaking enclave. Did he specifically choose to visit this area because it was his ancestral home? And if so does that reveal anything about any ethnically Arab lineage that he may have?
UPDATE (October 17, 2008):
This story in Politico goes a long way towards disputing the Khalid al-Mansour angle, although it does leave some aspects unaddressed. Unfortunately, I hadn't seen this story when I first posted my message. Even so, there's still some unease here: Why hasn't Obama come out on the record to dispute this story? He had a spokesman do it, and even then with the caveat "to the best of our knowledge." I mean, they could easily paint this as a right-wing smear, and it would work to Obama's advantage. Why hasn't anyone been able to contact Sutton? Why didn't al-Mansour clarify some of these issues when Timmerman first contacted him? "Out of respect for Sutton" isn't really that convincing of an excuse to allow something like this hang out there. Is it?
At any rate, I appreciate the fact that the Politico reporter tried to get to the bottom of all of this, but even so, I have this nagging feeling that there's more there.