Guilt By Association . . .
Vol: 80 Issue: 26 Monday, May 26, 2008
Suppose that you are a police recruiter who is investigating the background of a potential police recruit. You’ve already done the interview, and you are very impressed.
But during the course of the background investigation, you discover that your candidate has some very shady friends. As you conduct the background check on this guy, you find that while he is clean, all of his friends are heavily involved in organized crime.
Several of the statements he made during his interview were demonstrably false. The more you learn about the guy, the less believable he becomes. When pressed for more detail, he becomes angry and tells you that is none of your business.
Now, to the question at hand: Do you hire him? Would you give this guy a badge and a gun — and all the authority that goes with it — based on the hope that he is really what he seems to be, rather than what all the evidence is telling you?
Is it fair, under the circumstances and considering what the job entails, to reject his application based entirely on the reputation of his closest associates?
The position that he is applying for is one of great sensitivity — what if he has to arrest one of his friends? Or a close associate of one of his friends?
What if one of his close friends asks for a ‘favor’? Suppose, as part of his job, he finds out about a potential raid being planned against the folks he is friendly with?
Would you take a chance on him, arguing that to do otherwise would be convicting him of guilt by association? Or would you thank him for his time and hire somebody whose resume had fewer question marks?
Should a person’s association with known criminals be enough to reject his application to become a law enforcement officer? If you believe it shouldn’t, then you are probably a Democrat.
Last week, Barack Obama was grilled at a campaign stop by a questioner who wanted more detail about his association with Rashid Khalidi, a professor of Arab studies at Columbia University.
Khalidi is a former director of the PLO’s press agency in the 1970’s and 80’s. He wrote a book praising Yasser Arafat in 1985 and served on the PLO’s 1991 ‘guidance committee’ while the PLO was still the world’s most dangerous terrorist organization.
“He is not one of my advisers. He s not one of my foreign policy people, Obama said of Khalidi. He is a respected scholar, although he vehemently disagrees with a lot of Israel s policy.
Obama then objected to the suggestion that his contacts with Khalidi mean he shares Khalidi s views.
Part of my philosophy is I believe in listening to people even when I disagree with them, Obama said. And part of the reason that the Jewish community in Chicago is so close to me is because they know that on many occasions I ve spoken out vigorously against anti-Semitism, even in my own community, even when it s not convenient.”
Addressing the same topic to a group of Jewish voters in Boca Raton, Florida he complained:
“We’ve got to be careful about guilt by association. The tradition of the Jewish people is to judge me by what I say and what I’ve done.”
That seems fair enough. First, let’s go with what Obama has done to qualify him to be President of the United States. He ran for the Senate in 2004 and won. He’s been in the Senate for three years, and has been running for president for two of them.
Obama pleaded with the voters not to “vote against me because of who I am” — but not in reference to his personal background, but in reference to his color.
“I have to be very cautious about this,” Obama was quoted as saying, “because you remember the old stereotype, ‘I’m not prejudiced, some of my best friends are Jewish,’ right? ‘I’m not prejudiced, some of my best friends are black.'”
So much for his candidacy not being about race. Obama’s associations include Jeremiah Wright, who was his pastor for twenty years. ‘(Nuff said about that already)
Obama is also tied to Weather Underground terrorist William Ayres. Ayres and his group were tied to a number of terrorist attacks. In 1970, three of his compatriots were killed while constructing a nail bomb that went off accidentally.
Ayres told the NYTimes in 2000 that, “I don’t regret setting bombs” and “I feel we didn’t do enough.” It was William Ayres who helped launch Obama’s Illinois Senate career.
An invited guest at the time, Maria Warren, described the get-together in her blog in 2005:
“When I first met Barack Obama, he was giving a standard, innocuous little talk in the living room of those two legends-in-their-own-minds, Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn. They were launching him introducing him to the Hyde Park community as the best thing since sliced bread.
Tony Rezko, a Syrian-born Chicago real-estate developer, was one of Obama’s earliest campaign contributors. Rezko was indicted in 2006 on charges of wire fraud, bribery, money laundering and attempted extortion.
Obama’s ties to Rezko go back to 1990 when Rezko offered him a job with Rezmar Corporation. In 1993, Obama went to work for Rezko’s legal firm, Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland. That firm reportedly helped Rezmar get more than $43 million in government funding.
Rezko was a member of Obama’s 2003 Senate Finance Committee. Obama has acknowledged more than a quarter million dollars in campaign contributions that came from Rezko or his associates.
Ok, so that covers some of the things Barack Obama has done for which he asks to be judged. Now, we’ll examine some of the things he’s said:
He claimed to be a product of the civil rights movement (his father was black, his mother, white), saying at the anniversary of the Selma March, “There was something stirring across the country because of what happened in Selma, Ala., because some folks are willing to march across a bridge. So they got together and Barack Obama Jr. was born.”
Barack Obama was born in Hawaii (a long way from Selma) four years BEFORE the Selma March. It sounded good, even if it wasn’t true. “Judge me by what I say.”
Obama told a crowd in Portland recently that Iran “doesn’t pose a serious threat” arguing that “tiny countries” with small defense budgets can’t do harm to the US.
When somebody pointed out that the 9/11 attackers, working with a budget of less than $300,000.00, killed 3,000 Americans, destroyed several blocks in Manhattan, and started a war that still rages six years later, Obama flip-flopped, saying the very next day, “I’ve made it clear for years that the threat from Iran is grave.”
Obama is on the record as consistently (and falsely) claiming to be a law professor. The Sun-Times reported that, Several direct-mail pieces issued for Obama s primary [Senate] campaign said he was a law professor at the University of Chicago. He is not. He is a senior lecturer (now on leave) at the school. In academia, there is a vast difference between the two titles. Details matter.
Well, not to Obama. He’s claimed credit for nuclear leak legislation that never passed. He’s claimed that nobody knew Rezko was engaged in wrong-doing, an assertion the Chicago Tribune says, ‘strains credulity.’
And, given that he is running for President of the United States, it probably isn’t nit-picking to point out a statement he made in Oregon earlier this month: “Over the last 15 months, we’ve traveled to every corner of the United States. I’ve now been in 57 states? I think one left to go.”
If a guy is running for the US presidency, it doesn’t seem unfair to expect him to at least know how many states there are, even if he can’t name them. Then there is Obama’s grasp of foreign policy. . .
In Cape Giradeau, Mo., Obama blamed the Bush administration’s Iraq policies for the lack of translators in Afghanistan. “We only have a certain number of them, and if they are all in Iraq, then it’s harder for us to use them in Afghanistan.”
(It’s harder to use Arabic translators in Afghanistan because Afghanis don’t speak Arabic. They speak Pashto, Farsi, Russian, Pakistani — but they don’t speak Arabic. Iraqi translators speak Arabic and Kurdish. Shouldn’t a presidential candidate know that?)
Just this past weekend, Obama was asked about the multi-billion dollar cleanup of the Hanford nuclear site. Obama’s answer was feted by his supporters as an example of Obama’s ‘new’ kind of ‘political honesty.’
“Here’s something that you will rarely hear from a politician, and that is that I’m not familiar with the Hanford site, so I don’t know exactly what’s going on there. Now, having said that, I promise you I’ll learn about it by the time I leave here on the ride back to the airport.”
Obama should stay out of unfamiliar territory. He’s voted on at least one defense authorization bill that dealt directly with the Hanford site cleanup, the most contaminated nuclear waste site in America.
(Surely he read the bill before voting on it?)
Obama doesn’t want people to vote for him based on ‘who he is’ (meaning his race) but instead, he wants your vote — based on what he has said and what he has done.
Based on that criteria, Obama would be much better off campaigning on the idea of being America’s first black president. At least, that part is true. (Sort of.)
But based on what he’s said and done, I wouldn’t hire him to write traffic tickets.