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Apr 26, 2008

Is Obama Guilty by Association?

Updated 10/14/08

Guilt by Association is false evidence when convicting someone of a crime in court. A person is not criminally guilty because his father, brother, friend, or employee is guilty. A court needs more proof.

Politics is about understanding, ideas, and truth. The voter is not convicting the politician; the voter is choosing a leader. What is a politician's understanding and bias about the world? What are his ideas? Is he telling the truth about his thoughts and conclusions, or is he merely saying what we want to hear?

It is obvious that people of similar beliefs associate. "Birds of a feather flock together" is obviously true about personal belief, if ideas matter at all to a person.

Mr. Obama presents himself as a man of ideas and belief. Shall we understand that he cares nothing about the history, ideas, and beliefs of his close associates? I do not think that he, Pastor Wright, self proclaimed bomber Bill Ayers, and terrorist fund-raiser Dr. Hatem El-Hady form a personal debating society where Mr. Obama argues one position and they argue the other side.

Would Mr. Obama say in private, "I disagreed with Pastor Wright about all that horrible slander against white people and society, but I sat there because I needed to convince my political base that I was one of them"? Either he agrees with Pastor Wright, or he cares nothing about his personal belief in politics, and he would represent anything to anyone to be elected.

I have deleted a paragraph here about Obama's children possibly having play dates with Ayers' children. I have added more recent and widely quoted references. Andrew Garland - 08/28/08
Mr. Obama has a long association with Bill Ayers, a former Weathermen member, bomber, and current ideologue. Ayers admitted in 2001 that he bombed a police station and the Pentagon in the 1960's, regretting that he couldn't have done more. He was not prosecuted because illegal wiretaps were used to identify him.

Obama, Ayers, and the Annenberg Challenge Cover-Up
08/22/08 - by Tom Maguire at PajamasMedia

Bill Ayers led the group that brought $49.2 million to Chicago and formed the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. The kick-off in January 1995 was attended by the governor of Illinois and the mayor of Chicago, as well as many other luminaries. The first chairman of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge was Barack Obama, a post he held until 1999 when he stepped down and remained on the board.
Axelrod Talks About Bill Ayers
02/26/08 - by Ben Smith of Politico.com
He reports what Obama's campaign manager David Axelrod said, when asked about Ayers:
Bill Ayers lives in [Obama's] neighborhood. Their kids attend the same school. They're certainly friendly, they know each other, as anyone whose kids go to school together.
FactChecking BarackBook: The Obama-Ayers children
07-28-08 - Reports that Bill Ayers is married to Bernardine Dohrn, also a former Weathermen member and bomber. They have two adult children and were guardians of a third child, also now an adult. Obama's two children are aged 7 and 10. The post asks: "Exactly where is the school that these “kids” all attended together?"

Obama's 'Weatherman' Connection
02-19-08 at The Washington Post - The Fact Checker, by Michael Dobbs

Obama spokesman Bill Burton noted in a statement that Ayers was a professor of education at the University of Illinois and a former aide to Mayor Richard M. Daley, and continued:

"Senator Obama strongly condemns the violent actions of the Weathermen group, as he does all acts of violence. But he was an eight-year-old child when Ayers and the Weathermen were active, and any attempt to connect Obama with events of almost forty years ago is ridiculous."

Mr. Obama's spokesman Bill Burton is being cute. When asked about Obama's association with Ayers, he answered that Obama was too young to be at the bombing. That is amazing to me.

In fact, Bill Ayers organized the Chicago Annenberg Challenge and appointed Obama as its chairman. This is a close relationship in my understanding.

As a comparison, I don't think Obama would have worked for anyone who had bombed a black church as a member of the Ku Klux Klan. It would not matter that the unrepentant bomber was accepted by the mayor of his town or had become an educator. I believe that some violent crimes would prevent Obama from working for an unrepentant criminal. Bombing the Pentagon and a police station does not rise to that level for Obama.

Association does not assign guilt to Mr. Obama. Politics is not about guilt; politics is all about ideas, belief, and association. What could the explanation be for Mr. Obama's associations? Possibly, he agrees with his associates. Possibly, he disagrees, but has maintained these long-time associations to attract his political base and advance his career, fooling them about what he believes.

Either Mr. Obama believes things that are horrifying to me, or he is as expedient a politician as I have ever seen, without any belief that matters to him in public. I can't see a third possibility, and I don't like either of the first two.


Inspired by Don Surber: Wrong Crowd

Obama Played by Chicago Rules
WSJ Opinion 8-20-08 By David Freddoso
Mr. Obama's story includes his rise into national politics because of his ability to reach out to all sides and communicate with the people. Instead, his success came from work in Chicago machine politics, disqualifying opponents through careful attention to election law, and luck.

Wright, Ayers, and Obama: An Agnostic Quotes the Bible
04/23/08 by Roger L Simon at PajamasMedia.com

But at that point I didn’t realize the extent of Obama’s ties to the former Weatherman who wrote in 2001 “I don’t regret setting bombs [during Vietnam]. I feel we didn’t do enough.” Do enough?! Folks were blown up, including some of Ayers’ friends. Did he want more?

Obama and Acorn:
Community organizers, phony voters, and your tax dollars.

10/14/08 - WSJ Editorial (via Commentary Magazine and Instapundit)

[edited] Mr. Obama got his start as a Chicago "community organizer" at Acorn's side. In 1992, he led voter registration efforts as the director of Project Vote, which included Acorn. , He lauded Acorn's leaders last November for being "smack dab in the middle" of that effort. Mr. Obama served as a lawyer for Acorn in 1995, in a case against Illinois to increase access to the polls.

Chicago's Woods Fund funneled more than $200,000 to Acorn while Mr. Obama served on its board. More recently, the Obama campaign paid $832,000 to an Acorn affiliate. It reported to the Federal Election Commission that this was for "staging, sound, lighting.", but later admitted the cash was to get out the vote.

The Obama campaign is now distancing itself from Acorn, claiming Mr. Obama never organized with it and has nothing to do with illegal voter registration. Yet it is disingenuous [unbelievable] to channel cash into an operation with a history of fraud and then claim you're shocked to discover reports of fraud. As with Rev. Jeremiah Wright and William Ayers, Mr. Obama was happy to associate with Acorn when it suited his purposes. But now that he's on the brink of the Presidency, he wants to disavow his ties.

The Weathermen tried to kill my family
12/06/08 - City-Journal by John M. Murtagh 04/30/08
Murtagh was a child when the Weathermen fire-bombed his home.

[excerpt] In February 1970, my father, a New York State Supreme Court justice, was presiding over the trial of the so-called “Panther 21,” members of the Black Panther Party indicted in a plot to bomb New York landmarks and department stores.

Early on the morning of February 21, as my family slept, three gasoline-filled firebombs exploded at our home on the northern tip of Manhattan, two at the front door and the third tucked neatly under the gas tank of the family car. (Today, of course, we’d call that a car bomb.)

A neighbor heard the first two blasts and, with the remains of a snowman I had built a few days earlier, managed to douse the flames beneath the car. That was an act whose courage I fully appreciated only as an adult, an act that doubtless saved multiple lives that night.

Interview of John M. Murtagh
12/06/08 - YouTube (date not shown).
In this video clip (running 4:21), Fox news interviews the now grown John M. Murtagh. William Ayers' Weathermen fire-bombed his house, conflicting with the claim by Ayers that he never aimed to kill anyone.

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