Larry C. Johnson
He has appeared often as a terrorism expert in the media, especially at Fox News, Johnson opines frequently on matters related to international intrigue,security, money laundering. However, his most obvious expertise is self-promotion as his record of imparting useful information to us peons is painfully misinformed and ill advised.
Though an 'Orin Hatch' Republican, he's gotten considerable media mileage in the last few years by imparting such wisdom as the outing of Valerie Plame and our involvement in Iraq was probably not such a good idea. Well, DUH! Conversely,most of his earlier brilliance shared with the likes of Huffington Post, Daily Kos, CNN, MSNBC, , Fox, etc did not come so easy and thus was not prescient.
In 1996, he informed multiple media audiences that terrorism was on the decline while also taking the the opposite side in a NYTimes Oped stating " our country faces a growing threat from international terrorism." In 1998, he correctly warned us about the threat of bin Laden but in 1999 he told us via Frontline that while bin Laden is a threat he doesn't have the capability to deliver upon the threat or indeed the followers willing to implement his desires to do us harm. He also accused the Clinton Administration of blowing smoke and crying wolf(in fact labeling them the ' sky is falling 'administration) regarding the dangers of terrorism.
In 2000, he decried how impotent and weak the Clinton administration was regarding terrorism and looked forward to a change in leadership. In 2001, two months before 9/11, Johnson again discounted the threat of bin Laden and terrorism. Two months after 9/11, true to form, Johnson approved of the FBI's scuttled plan to round up 5,000 racially profiled foreign-born college students for questioning.
The past several years, Johnson gets his name in print and his face on TV by playing the role of the former GOP insider who has finally seen the light regarding the most egriegious Rovian atrocities of the Busheviks.
Now let's review Johnson's cast of characters that he supposes will certainly doom the charismatic Obama:
Larry Johnson's piece is basically a "hatchet job guilt by association" offering all dressed up as a warning regarding how horribly the GOP hit men will chop, slice and dice Obama should he receive the Dem's nomination. Basically, Johnson's thesisfocuses on Obama's association with three men going back to Obama's career in Chicago: Antonin Rezko, William Ayers, and Rashid Khalidi.
An examination of these men and their alleged ties to Obama is not nearly as malignant as Johnson portrays. Ayers and Khalidi are acclaimed, recognized,
distinguised college professors. Ayers is currently at the University of Illinois, Chicago and Khalidi was for years at the University of Chicago, though he is now at Columbia University in New York. Rezko is a wealthy Chicago businessman who was born and raised in Syria. Khalidi is a native New Yorker of Lebanese heritage.
Though acclaimed world wide as an authority in the area of Middle Eastern Studies, he has had to repeatedly deny ties and/or allegiances to the PLO. Rezko sold Obama his present home in Chicago which was eased by Rezko's wife's agreeing to buy a large adjoining lot as required by the sellers. The Obama's later purchased a sixth of that lot which the Rezko's originally purchased for $630,000.00 and paid $105,000.00. Recently, after Rezko was indicted on non-related ethics charges, Obama donated an $65,000.00 political contribution from Rezko to charity.
At the same time, Hillary Clinton returned an $800,000.00 tainted contribution while McCain and Huckabee were probably relegated to having wet dreams about such substantial contributions. William Ayers has an obviously questionable past as he was a member of a radical, violent anti-war group, the Weather Underground which did indeed carry out bombings of public and military buildings.
Though many charges against Ayers were subsequently dropped because of prosecutorial misconduct; Ayers has publically apologized for his crimes.
Ayers published his account of those times in 2001 with the book Fugitive Days. In an interview with the New York Times to promote his book about the Weathermen he said, "I was embarrassed by the arrogance, the solipsism, the absolute certainty that we and we alone knew the way".
Recall Barack Obama was only nine-years-old at the time of William Ayers' violent anti-war Viet Nam activities. Ayers' association with the adult Obama consists of their serving on the board of an anti-poverty group in Chicago from 2000-2002, In 2001, Ayers contributed $200.00 to Obama's campaign for the Illinois State Senate. Both Ayers and Obama deny any ties since they each went off the board of the Woods Fund in 1992.
In view of Hillary's questionable financial past and present, McCain's presence in the starting line up of the infamous " Keating Five " and Revko's co-chairing a megamillion dollar fund-raiser for President George W. Bush in 2003; I'm happy to take my chances with Barack Obama in a race of the 'swift boats'.