Written by Cliff Kincaid
By Cliff Kincaid
August 25, 2008
Covering a sensitive and explosive subject that has been off-limits for the major U.S. media, the London Daily Telegraph is now claiming that Communist Frank Marshall Davis was a strong influence over a young Barack Obama for nine years of his life, rather than just four, and was a sex pervert and pothead.
The Telegraph article alleges that Davis was a bisexual engaged in "sordid" sexual activities and had repeated sexual encounters with a 13-year-old girl.
In an article headlined, "Frank Marshall Davis, alleged Communist, was early influence on Barack Obama," writer Toby Harnden confirms everything Accuracy in Media has been reporting since February about the mysterious "Frank" in Obama's book being Communist Party USA (CPUSA) member Frank Marshall Davis. Harnden is the Daily Telegraph's U.S. Editor, based in Washington, D.C.
The word "alleged" in the headline is misleading, since there is no doubt that Davis, who was investigated by the FBI and various congressional and official inquiries, was a CPUSA member. In fact, as AIM has documented, Davis was involved in the CPUSA or its front activities, before, during and after World War II, and became a member of a secret communist apparatus in the 1950s after the CPUSA in Hawaii was reorganized on an underground basis. Davis died in 1987.
"Although identified only as Frank in Mr. Obama's memoir Dreams from My Father, it has now been established that he was Frank Marshall Davis, a radical activist and journalist who had been suspected of being a member of the Communist Party in the 1950s," Harnden reported.
Davis wasn't just a "suspected" communist but a key CPUSA member involved in an important Soviet-sponsored network. The communists had targeted Hawaii largely because of its strategic location and importance to the U.S. defense effort. The CPUSA, which was controlled by the Soviet Communist Party, was receiving funding from the Soviet Communist Party through KGB channels as late as the 1980s.
Lies from the Washington Post
But while the London paper is reporting explosive new information about Davis and his relationship with Obama, the Washington Post on Sunday, August 24, published a 10,000-word article, supposedly on Obama's years in Hawaii, and never once mentioned Davis. Even though the Post advertised the article as being about Obama's "formative years" in Hawaii, the lengthy piece by David Maraniss, an associate editor at the paper and Pulitzer Prize-winner, completely ignores the fact that Davis was Obama's mentor and adviser for a significant number of those years.
This is so despite the fact that Maraniss claims in the article and a video to be familiar with the contents of Obama's book, Dreams From My Father, where the mysterious "Frank" makes numerous appearances and gives Obama advice on matters ranging from race relations to college and his life in the U.S.
Asked about this striking omission in his Post article, Maraniss told AIM that "My reporting conclusion was the role of ‘Frank' had been hyped out of all proportion, both by Obama himself in his book and some others later. He did not play a role in really shaping Obama."
This "conclusion," of course, fails to let the readers decide, based on what Obama and others have reported. And he does not explain how he came to this conclusion.
Clearly, this is liberal pro-Obama media bias by omission. It is designed to keep the public in the dark about the role of a CPUSA member in shaping Obama's worldview. Such a cover-up is necessary to get Obama elected.
Indeed, the Post Maraniss article is deception on a greater scale than a recent Associated Press article, which examined Davis's role as Obama's mentor and adviser but ignored his CPUSA activities.
As we all know by now, "Frank" was initially "established" to be Frank Marshall Davis by Gerald Horne, a writer for a CPUSA publication, who boasted about the relationship that Davis had with Obama. Horne's remarks were brought to our attention by New Zealand blogger Trevor Loudon. Former associates of Davis in Hawaii confirmed his identification.
The Relationship Begins
Based on these sources, AIM had confirmed that Obama's white grandfather, Stanley Dunham, picked Davis because Obama's black father had abandoned the family and Dunham thought Obama needed a black father-figure. AIM also confirmed that Davis was Obama's mentor during the critical years 1975-1979.
Harnden claimed in a preceding article that Obama was introduced to Davis in 1970 when he was only nine years old. This would mean that Davis was an influence over Obama for about nine full years, until Obama was 18 and went off to college.
Harnden quotes Dawna Weatherly-Williams, a friend of Davis's, as saying that Stanley Dunham brought Obama to meet Davis in the autumn of 1970. She "was chatting with him [Davis] that late autumn afternoon as Dunham and Barry [Obama] approached," Harnden reports.
Some accounts say that Obama returned to Hawaii in 1971. But Harnden tells me that the Punahou School, the coeducational college preparatory day school in Honolulu that Obama attended from 1971 to 1979, was adamant that Obama took his entrance examine in autumn 1970. "It's possible he briefly went back to Indonesia before actually starting at the school," he said.
But whether it was 1970 or 1971, this adds several years to the amount of time that Davis was exercising influence over Obama. This is enough time to have made it into a Washington Post 10,000-word account of Obama's years in Hawaii. But Maraniss deliberately decided to ignore it.
Harnden also reports that Davis and Dunham smoked marijuana together. Dawna Weatherly-Williams said that "Frank never really did drugs, though he and Stan would smoke pot together," the paper said.
Obama, of course, also admits that he used marijuana and cocaine in his youth.
Citing passages from Obama's own book, Dreams From My Father, which was published in 1995, Harnden demonstrates how Obama went to "Frank" for advice about racial issues, college, and other matters at critical periods in his life. Clearly, the relationship between them, as concluded by many observers, was strong. But Maraniss of the Post decided to deliberately ignore it.
This may have something to do with the fact that the Post chairman, the late Katharine Graham, began her career as a journalist for the San Francisco News using labor leader Harry Bridges, a CPUSA member and Frank Marshall Davis associate, as a news "source." This fact is acknowledged in an obituary of Graham on the official Post website. The Post Company and the paper today are run by members of the Graham family.
While Obama cites the radical advice that Davis gave him, he gave no hint that "Frank" was ever a communist. But the evidence shows that Davis was not only an identified member of the Communist Party USA but that his associate, Bridges, the labor leader in Hawaii, was elevated to the CPUSA central committee only with the approval of Moscow itself.
Herbert Romerstein, a former government investigator of communist activities, has documented how Davis was one of the party cadre sent to Hawaii from Chicago to organize the party there. Davis went to Hawaii after consulting with Paul Robeson, a secret CPUSA member, and Bridges, who ran the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. This labor union subsidized the newspaper, the Honolulu Record, which Davis wrote for.
Romerstein visited the archives of the Communist International, known as the Comintern, and discovered a report on Bridges, establishing him to be a member of the central committee of the CPUSA with a great future in the party. Moscow had to approve Bridges' high-level status in the party.
Romerstein explains, "Bridges, of course, always denied party membership and attempts were made to deport him because he was a communist. He was born in Australia, but he was able to fight back because he had very, very sharp shyster lawyers and a lot of friends in the U.S. Government that helped him and they prevented his deportation. But he had been a major force promoting communism."
We also know that, as late as the early 1970s, after he had met Obama, Davis was still associating with a CPUSA front called the American Committee for Foreign Born, which existed to prevent the deportation from the U.S. of foreign communists such as Bridges. Davis had met Bridges at the Abraham Lincoln School in Chicago, a CPUSA front.
A 1973 mailing from the American Committee for Foreign Born listed Davis as a sponsor, in addition to Harriet Bouslog, the CPUSA member and Hawaii lawyer who was his counsel during Davis's appearance in 1956 before the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee. In that appearance, Davis refused to deny he was a CPUSA member.
Sexual Perversion and Rape
Davis's alleged sexual perversion adds a dramatic and alarming element to the controversy. Harnden reports that Davis's sexual proclivities were documented in a 1968 pornographic novel, written just two years before Davis became Obama's mentor, which was titled, Sex Rebel: Black (Memoirs of a Gourmet Gash). Davis wrote the book, which is now generally unavailable, under a pseudonym, Bob Greene.
Harnden flatly asserts that "The book, which closely tracks Mr. Davis's life in Chicago and Hawaii and the fact that his first wife was black and his second white, describes in lurid detail a series of shockingly sordid sexual encounters, often involving group sex. One chapter concerns the seduction by Mr. Davis and his first wife of a 13-year-old girl called Anne. Mr. Davis wrote that it was the girl who had suggested he had sex with her."
Harnden added, "He then described how he and his wife would have sex with the girl" many times over the course of several weeks. "On other occasions," he added, "Mr. Davis would cruise in Hawaii parks looking for couples or female tourists to have sex with. He derived sexual gratification from bondage, simulated rape and being flogged and urinated on."
This explosive information, if the character in the book is actually based on Davis's own experiences, would further demonstrate why Obama would want to cover up Davis's true identity in his book, calling him just "Frank."
There is no question that Davis wrote the book under the pseudonym of "Bob Greene." John Edgar Tidwell, the editor of other books by Davis, has confirmed this is the case. But Tidwell has questioned how much of Sex Rebel is based on Davis's own life experiences and describes it as "semi-autobiographical."
Harnden acknowledged to AIM that Davis "left himself some wiggle room, not least I suppose because of the possibility of prosecution" for statutory rape of a 13-year-old.
But in the introduction to Livin' the Blues, a book by Davis that Tidwell edited, Tidwell reveals that Davis left behind after his death an uncompleted manuscript, "The Incredible Waikiki Jungle," which describes how Davis "specialized in sex" during the period 1969-1976. No details are provided by Tidwell. He also says that Davis wrote another unpublished manuscript called "Mixed Sex Salad."
Whether the book Sex Rebel is entirely based on Davis or not, the controversy certainly demonstrates that Davis had a perverted sexual interest and should not have been trusted as a mentor for any young person.
Don't Ask, Don't Tell
Obama has not publicly responded to growing concern about his relationship with Davis, and whether Davis's influence went beyond ideology to matters of a sexual nature. However, during a campaign appearance on Thursday, Obama accused Jerome Corsi, author of The Obama Nation, of "making stuff up" about him. Corsi devotes part of chapter 3 of his book to Davis's role as a "Communist mentor" for Obama.
But the Obama campaign's 40-page so-called rebuttal to Corsi's book confirms and does not deny the Obama relationship with Davis. The rebuttal, however, doesn't acknowledge that Davis was a communist and instead tries to depict him as a civil rights activist by dishonestly editing an article about Davis. It makes no mention of Davis's Sex Rebel book and his interest in pornography.
With the allegations about Davis's life as a sex pervert and consumer of illegal drugs, the pressure could mount on Obama to come clean about the mysterious relationship.
But the pressure may not be coming from the "conservative" Fox News Channel.
On August 18, Fox News aired a special program, "Presidential Character & Conduct 2008: Barack Obama," which not only ignored Frank Marshall Davis but the association of Obama with Communist terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn. The program, narrated by Bill Hemmer, a former anchor for CNN, mostly relied on friends, associates and a friendly biographer of Obama for information about the candidate.
While the program did include information about Obama's relationship with convicted felon Tony Rezko, it concluded that Obama did nothing illegal and ignored Rezko's involvement with a controversial Iraqi-born billionaire, Nadhmi Auchi, who has been pressuring the media to stop running negative stories about him.
One has to wonder if Auchi or his representatives got to Fox News Channel, whose parent company, News Corporation, is run by Rupert Murdoch, a vocal supporter of Obama, and is owned in part by an Arab-based Middle Eastern company.