Written by Cliff Kincaid
September 3, 2008
By Cliff Kincaid
Barack Obama, who has not been "vetted" by the FBI for the position of president of the United States, received his "first high level briefing" on Tuesday from the office of the Director of National Intelligence, CNN has reported. "Obama was given the briefing at the FBI field office in Chicago," the cable channel said, from a "team of intelligence experts."
But rather than raise this issue, the major media want to investigate Sarah Palin's pregnant daughter and her husband's driving record.
The federal government provides a "Questionnaire for National Security Positions" to people eligible for a security clearance. There are several requests for information that Obama might find difficult to answer. They include "Other names used" by applicant, "Citizenship of your relatives and associates," "Your foreign activities," and "Your use of illegal drugs and drug activity."
But Obama doesn't have to fill out any such form. He is above it all.
According to CNN, President Bush authorized the briefing for Obama. "President Bush has followed the practice of previous presidents in deciding that intelligence briefings will be made available to the presidential and vice presidential candidates of both major parties," CNN reported.
This may be a traditional practice but what is its legal and rational basis? And why are the "major" candidates only given access to this information?
The office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) would only confirm to AIM that the briefing took place, in coordination with the White House, and that "intelligence briefings on certain topics of national security interest" are being provided to the presidential and vice-presidential candidates of "the two major parties."
This is a raw exercise of presidential power that Obama would never object to but the American media should question. That is, if reporters have a patriotic bone in their bodies. After all, simple common sense dictates that America's state secrets should not be given away willy-nilly to a security risk who just happens to be running for president and captured the nomination of a major political party.
It's going to be hard for John McCain to argue that Obama is a danger to U.S. national security when President Bush, with no clear basis in law or the Constitution, is providing him high-level intelligence briefings.
In yet another story about whether Sarah Palin was properly vetted as the Republican vice-presidential candidate, the Washington Post says it was wrong to previously report that Palin had undergone an FBI background check. "A knowledgeable official said Tuesday that the vetting team had hoped to run such a check but that FBI officials declined to do so because that type of inquiry is reserved for people nominated for senior administration jobs," the paper said.
Obama wasn't checked out by the FBI, either. But the Post won't make that crystal clear to its readers. It wants the focus to be on Palin, the conservative wife and mother that media feminists abhor and detest.
The paper added, "One U.S. law enforcement official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said the FBI does not conduct any kind of background checks or criminal history searches on behalf of political candidates or parties."
The paper should have said that the FBI doesn't conduct any kind of background checks or criminal history search of the candidates themselves. And that includes Obama, who is, after all, at the top of the Democratic ticket.
We are witnessing an incredibly strange situation in which Obama can avoid a background check and get access to national security information, but the people he appoints to high-level government positions-if he becomes president-may be subject to an FBI probe. And the process of turning over this information to Obama, despite the lingering questions about his mysterious and controversial background, has already begun.
If he becomes president, Obama will have instant access to all of our nation's most highly classified intelligence information. And the FBI won't dare tap Obama's phones to find out if the information is being shared with hostile foreign interests. Indeed, Obama will be picking the head of the FBI.
Advisers to John McCain are complaining that Palin is being unfairly investigated, as part of a campaign to damage the Republican ticket, and that Obama has escaped serious scrutiny. That's a valid point. But the Republican National Committee has treated questions about Obama's background and associates as a laughing matter, launching a Facebook parody site for the Democratic presidential candidate.
The "Barackbook" website treats Obama's friendly associations over the years with figures such as communist Frank Marshall Davis and terrorist Bill Ayers as amusing. The GOP is apparently trying to make a serious point through comedy. But associations with communists and terrorists are a serious matter that should be taken seriously.
In contrast to the Republicans, who have been caught flat-footed by the media feeding frenzy over Palin, the Obama Democrats are taking all of these matters very seriously. The Obama campaign covered up the Davis matter for many months before issuing a report that falsely portrayed Davis as a civil rights activist. Our media, not surprisingly, have failed to expose any of this.
The Obama campaign has also fought back hard against a private group that raised the issue in a television ad of Obama's friendly association with Bill Ayers. The Obama campaign has demanded that the group be investigated by the Justice Department and that the ad be rejected for airing by television stations. This is an indication that President Obama will use the Justice Department and the FBI to go after his political enemies.
The rather mild ad, which simply points out the basic facts about Ayers and his involvement in a campaign of bombings, was erroneous in the sense that it portrayed Ayers as a domestic terrorist and his Weather Underground organization as an "American terrorist group." The FBI has an entire file, available on its website, which includes information on the "international travels" of the Ayers group. "This organization described itself as a revolutionary organization of communist men and women," the FBI says, in typical bureaucratic jargon. Ayers and his comrades were getting training and advice from communists in Havana and Hanoi. Ayers and Dohrn are both still active in radical causes, and Ayers has traveled down to Venezuela to sing the praises of the anti-American ruler there.
Ayers, now a professor and specialist in education matters, could be the Secretary of Education in an Obama Administration if a Democratic Senate confirms him. Such an appointment could not be ruled out in view of the media's failure to hold Obama responsible for his connections to Ayers and other unsavory characters.
Interestingly, the Weather Underground information was prepared by the FBI's Chicago field office.
So the intelligence community is now briefing a candidate whose associates, communist terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, were the subjects of an investigation by the same FBI office where the briefing is taking place. The FBI office in Chicago is also where the investigation of communist Frank Marshall Davis began. The investigation was transferred to Hawaii when Davis moved there.
But don't expect the media to notice any of this. They're too busy nosing around Palin's family.