Written by RSN
August 18, 2008
By Cliff Kincaid
In a surprising admission that could become a major scandal in the presidential race, Barack Obama's 40-page so-called "rebuttal" to Jerome Corsi's book, The Obama Nation, acknowledges for the first time that the senator once had a personal relationship with identified Communist Party USA (CPUSA) member Frank Marshall Davis, a key high-level operative in a Soviet-sponsored network in Hawaii.
But the 40-page report, advertised and sold to the media as a refutation of Corsi's "lies," doesn't identify Davis as a hard-core communist and it dishonestly edits an article about Davis to eliminate references to his admitted involvement in CPUSA activities and make the black revolutionary writer and "poet" look like a civil rights activist.
In fact, Davis was a secret CPUSA member who continued his involvement in the CPUSA or its front activities into the 1970s, when he became Barack Obama's mentor in Hawaii. Corsi's book devotes part of chapter three, "Black Rage, Drugs, and a Communist Mentor," to Davis.
This official Obama campaign cover-up, which attempts to further mislead voters about Obama's mysterious and controversial background, occurs as serious questions are being raised about Obama's initial soft line toward the Russian invasion of Georgia. In his first statement on the crisis, Obama failed to directly condemn the Russian invasion. Obama "did not directly blame Russia" for the crisis, the New York Times acknowledged.
Did Obama's position reflect inexperience in foreign affairs, the influence of advisers, or an ideological tendency to take Russia's side in global affairs against the U.S. and its allies?
According to the editor of Davis's books, John Edgar Tidwell, Davis was not only a secret CPUSA member but tried to recruit a prominent poet to the CPUSA. It's not known if he tried to recruit Obama because the major media refuse to question Obama about his relationship with Davis, and Davis died in 1987.
Curiously, Tidwell, who has access to Davis's FBI file and his personal papers, has refused to talk about Davis, even to a sympathetic reporter from the Associated Press, saying Davis has been victimized by McCarthyite "smear tactics." The AP story refused to identify Davis as a CPUSA member and described him only as a "left-leaning" poet and journalist.
For his part, Davis appeared before the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee in 1956, taking the Fifth Amendment when asked about his CPUSA activities. His lawyer was Hawaii lawyer Harriet Bouslog, another CPUSA member.
The same Senate subcommittee issued a report in 1956 declaring, "Founded in September 1919, the Communist Party of the United States of America is an organization unique in American history. It is not a true political party and differs fundamentally from all political parties in this country. It is in fact a Russian-inspired, Moscow-dominated, anti-American, quasi-military conspiracy against our Government, our ideals, and our freedoms."
In 1982 testimony, FBI assistant director for intelligence Edward J. O'Malley testified that the CPUSA has been "one of the most loyal and pro-Soviet Communist Parties in the world and has unfalteringly accepted Soviet direction and funding over the years."
The recent book, Comrade J, based on interviews with a Russian spymaster at the United Nations, documents that Soviet intelligence operations against the U.S. continued even as the Soviet Union collapsed and Russia emerged in its place.
The Obama report admits that "Frank" was in fact Frank Marshall Davis-something AIM confirmed back in February. But in trying to rebut Corsi's charge that Davis was a significant negative influence over Obama, the Obama report on page 10 quotes "an article on Davis" that describes him as being involved in the "labor movement" with other "African-American intellectuals" and committed to racial integration and harmony. No title or name of the author of the article is given. The article is simply identified as being from the Western Journal of Black Studies.
We found a copy through Questia, an online library of books and journals. The article, "Frank Marshall Davis: A Forgotten Voice in the Chicago Black Renaissance," was written by Dr. Kathryn Takara, an Obama supporter who has been critical of Accuracy in Media's attempt to document Davis's involvement in the CPUSA and his mentorship of Obama. Takara is a radical poet herself, having written poems in honor of Communist Party member Angela Davis and convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal. She was recently quoted in an Associated Press article that portrayed Davis as a positive influence on Obama and ignored his CPUSA membership.
The pro-Davis quotes in the Takara article in the Western Journal of Black Studies, which are cited in the Obama report, are actually preceded by Davis's own incriminating words, in which he says:
"From now on I knew I would be described as a Communist but frankly I had reached the stage where I didn't give a damn. Too many people I respected as Freedom Fighters were listed as Red for me to fear name calling."
These quotes are carefully omitted from the Obama report. Instead, the report only uses quotes that make it appear as though Davis was not an extremist of any sort.
The Obama report also ignores the Davis quotes in the article in which he talks about the "honor" of being targeted by the House Committee on Un-American Activities and upsetting "the white power structure."
The Takara article acknowledges that Davis was investigated "due to his associates and involvement in what were considered in the forties to be radical communist groups."
Davis in Hawaii
On the recommendation of two secret CPUSA members, Paul Robeson and labor leader Harry Bridges, Davis moved to Hawaii in 1948, where he would later become a member of what an official inquiry described as a secret communist underground organization.
Corsi's book, which is supposedly "Unfit for Publication," according to the Obama campaign, cites the congressional hearings and documents which identify Davis as a CPUSA member. It also quotes instances from Obama's own book, Dreams From My Father, in which Obama talks about "Frank" giving him advice about various matters. For example, he tells Obama that blacks have a reason to hate whites. Davis also tells Obama that he should not believe the (expletive deleted) about the American way of life and that he was, in the final analysis, just "a nigger" in America.
Takara's article, written in 2002, acknowledges Davis's deep involvement in communist activities. In one such instance, the article says:
"However, by the time he [Davis] returned to Chicago and the Renaissance, he inevitably associated with people connected with the [Communist] Party since they were most likely to be involved in civil rights, labor, art, and the fight for equality...it seems that Davis did join the party for a short time, although on other occasions he denied it."
So here we have it: in an article cited by the Obama report as authoritative about Davis, he is acknowledged to have been a CPUSA member. But the Obama report doesn't mention this key piece of information obviously because it confirms what Corsi reports in his book and what AIM has been reporting since February.
In another part of the article deliberately omitted by the Obama campaign, Takara notes that "Davis met Richard Wright through his 1936 participation in the National Negro Congress, which was alleged to be a Communist Front Organization." Of course, the National Negro Congress was an identified CPUSA front.
Takara says that Davis had some contact with Wright over the years but that "Davis did not see Wright again after openly criticizing Wright's attack of [sic] the Communist Party following the latter's defection, although both men held on to the hope of equality."
Indeed, Davis was so extreme that he attacked Wright for "treason" for breaking with and exposing the CPUSA. Again, none of this is included in the Obama report supposedly rebutting Corsi's book.
In yet another part of the article the Obama report ignores, Takara writes that "Davis joined the League of American Writers, a national united front organization for the Communist Party mobilized by the alarming rise of power of Hitler and Mussolini."
In fact, Davis signed a statement by the League of American Writers in June 1941 opposing war against Nazi Germany at a time of the Hitler-Stalin pact. This was a reflection of the CPUSA line. Davis went from anti-war to pro-war after the Nazis attacked Stalin.
So here we have it: another official acknowledgement by an Obama (and Davis) supporter that Davis was involved in a CPUSA front. But the Obama report doesn't admit anything of the kind. In fact, Davis's entire record of involvement in the CPUSA and its fronts is completely covered-up.
Which raises the question that we have asked on numerous occasions: why are Obama and his followers in the media ignoring his documented relationship with a CPUSA member? And why did Obama only refer to Davis as "Frank" in his book?
In an August 5 editorial, drawing heavily on material published by Accuracy in Media about the Obama-Davis relationship, Investor's Business Daily took issue not only with the concealment of "Frank" in the Obama book but the recent dishonest Associated Press story about Davis and Obama. "If the relationship with Davis was as blasÃ© as the Associated Press makes it sound, why is Obama mum about it? And why did he try to hide Davis' identity in his first memoir, published in 1995?"
The paper said that Obama had written that "With the exception of my family and a handful of public figures, the names of most characters have been changed for the sake of privacy." Investor's Business Daily added, "But there was no need to protect Davis' privacy. He had long been dead. More likely, the cryptic references to his communist mentor were-and still are- designed to protect Obama's background from the scrutiny it deserves."
The shocking thing is that this cover-up is continuing, in the form of the official Obama "Unfit for Publication" report attacking Corsi. The cover-up is now so blatant that an article that is generally sympathetic to Davis has been edited by the Obama campaign in order to delete references to Davis's CPUSA activities.
There must be a deeper and darker secret, in terms of the relationship with Davis and those who knew him, that the Obama campaign is trying to keep hidden. Otherwise, it would immediately begin to disclose everything.
Gerald Horne, the writer for the CPUSA journal, Political Affairs, who first disclosed Davis's relationship with Obama and his family, has told the Marxist publication that he is now writing "a history of the radical, Communist and working-class movement in Hawaii." He explains, "It is not well known, I'm afraid, that before statehood in 1959 probably the most vigorous, communist and radical trade union movement under the U.S. flag was in Hawaii."
Frank Marshall Davis was a remnant of that powerful movement.
"At some point in the future," Horne said, in talking about Davis's influence over Obama, "a teacher will add to her syllabus Barack's memoir and instruct her students to read it alongside Frank Marshall Davis' equally affecting memoir, ‘Living the Blues'...