Obama’s Annenberg Papers

Stanley Kurtz of The National Review online has been doing research on B. Hussein Obama’s long-standing connection to radical domestic terrorists and former Weather Underground members William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn. 
Background on Ayers and Dohrn: http://sfcmac.wordpress.com/2008/04/22/obamas-terrorist-freinds/

During a recent trip to the Richard J. Daley Library at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC),  he attempted to retrieve the internal files of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge,  the volume of documents that describe the relationship between Ayers and Obama, as well as Obama’s ties, both financially and ideologically, to radical organizations.

What follows is a description of a classic cover-up.

The problem of Barack Obama’s relationship with Bill Ayers will not go away. Ayers and his wife, Bernardine Dohrn were terrorists for the notorious Weather Underground during the turbulent 1960s, turning fugitive when a bomb — designed to kill Army officers in New Jersey — accidentally exploded in a New York townhouse. Prior to that, Ayers and his cohorts succeeded in bombing the Pentagon. Ayers and Dohrn remain unrepentant for their terrorist past. Ayers was pictured in a 2001 article for Chicago magazine, stomping on an American flag, and told the New York Times just before 9/11 that the notion of the United States as a just and fair and decent place “makes me want to puke.” Although Obama actually launched his political career at an event at Ayers’s and Dohrn’s home, Obama has dismissed Ayers as just “a guy who lives in my neighborhood,” and “not somebody who I exchange ideas from on a regular basis.” For his part, Ayers refuses to discuss his relationship with Obama.

Although the press has been notably lax about pursuing the matter, the full story of the Obama-Ayers relationship calls the truth of Obama’s account seriously into question. When Obama made his first run for political office, articles in both the Chicago Defender and the Hyde Park Herald featured among his qualifications his position as chairman of the board of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, a foundation where Ayers was a founder and guiding force. Obama assumed the Annenberg board chairmanship only months before his first run for office, and almost certainly received the job at the behest of Bill Ayers. During Obama’s time as Annenberg board chairman, Ayers’s own education projects received substantial funding. Indeed, during its first year, the Chicago Annenberg Challenge struggled with significant concerns about possible conflicts of interest. With a writ to aid Chicago’s public schools, the Annenberg challenge played a deeply political role in Chicago’s education wars, and as Annenberg board chairman, Obama clearly aligned himself with Ayers’s radical views on education issues. With Obama heading up the board and Ayers heading up the other key operating body of the Annenberg Challenge, the two would necessarily have had a close working relationship for years (therefore “exchanging ideas on a regular basis”). So when Ayers and Dorhn hosted that kickoff for the first Obama campaign, it was not a random happenstance, but merely further evidence of a close and ongoing political partnership. Of course, all of this clearly contradicts Obama’s dismissal of the significance of his relationship with Ayers.

This much we know from the public record, but a large cache of documents housed in the Richard J. Daley Library at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), is likely to flesh out the story. That document cache contains the internal files of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. The records in question are extensive, consisting of 132 boxes, containing 947 file folders, a total of about 70 linear feet of material. Not only would these files illuminate the working relationship between Obama and Bill Ayers, they would also provide significant insight into a web of ties linking Obama to various radical organizations, including Obama-approved foundation gifts to political allies. Obama’s leadership style and abilities are also sure to be illuminated by the documents in question.

Unfortunately, I don’t yet have access to the documents. The Special Collections section of the Richard J. Daley Library agreed to let me read them, but just before I boarded my flight to Chicago, the top library officials mysteriously intervened to bar access. Circumstances strongly suggest the likelihood that Bill Ayers himself may have played a pivotal role in this denial. Ayers has long taught at UIC, where the Chicago Annenberg Challenge offices were housed, rent-free. Ayers likely arranged for the files of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge to be housed in the UIC library, and may well have been consulted during my unsuccessful struggle to gain access to the documents. Let me, then, explain in greater detail what the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC) records are, and how I have been blocked from seeing them.

Initially, as I said, library officials said that I could examine the CAC records. I received this permission both over the phone and in writing. The subsequent denial of access came with a series of evolving explanations.
……When I learned that the CAC records were housed at UIC Library, I phoned and was assured by a reference librarian that, although I have no UIC affiliation, I would be permitted to examine the records. He suggested I phone the Special Collections section of the library and set up an appointment with a special collections librarian. This reference librarian also ran a search for me and discovered that, in addition to the CAC records, one file folder in the UIC Chancellor’s Office of Community Relations archive contains information on CAC from 1995.

……Just before my plane took off, I received an e-mail from the special-collections librarian informing me that she had “checked our collection file” and determined that “access to the collection is closed.” I would be permitted to view the single CAC-related file from the Office of the Chancellor records, but nothing from the CAC records proper. I quickly wrote back, expressing surprise and disappointment. I noted that I had arranged my trip based on the library’s assurances of access, and followed up with questions about whether access was being denied because I was unaffiliated with UIC. I also asked who had authority over access to the collection, suggesting that I might be able to contact them and request permission to view it.

After arriving in Chicago, I found a message, not from the special-collections librarian, but from Ann C. Weller, professor and head, Special Collections Department. In answer to my question of who had authority over access to the collection, Weller said, that “the decision was made by me” in consultation with the library director. Weller stated that no one currently has access to the collection and added that: “The Collection is closed because it has come to our attention that there is restricted material in the collection. Once the collection has been processed it will be open to any patron interested in viewing it.”

I responded to Weller by recounting the clear and repeated representations I had received from library staff that I would be granted access to the collection, adding that I had arranged my trip in large part because of these assurances. I then noted that I had studied the CAC finding aid with considerable care. It was clear from that finding aid, I said, that only five out of the 947 folders were in any way restricted. Four folders, containing auditor’s reports, where clearly marked, in bold type, “THESE FOLDERS ARE RESTRICTED VIA ANNENBERG CHALLENGE until further notice.” A fifth folder, containing records of eight CAC Board of Directors meetings in 1995, when CAC was first set up, had a notation nearby with the word, “Consent.” It would be a simple matter, I said, to pull these five folders, allow me access to the remaining 942 folders, and contact the relevant authority for consent to view the records of the 1995 board meetings. After all, I added, Weller herself had said that, other than the restricted folders, the collection ought to be open to all patrons.

……So I asked who, precisely, holds the authority to bar or permit access to the restricted folders. I added the following thought: “Libraries, of course, exist, not to restrict information, but to make it available to the public. I would hate to think that UIC library was doing anything less than all it could to permit public access to these important materials.”

Weller replied to this message by dropping the restricted documents issue and saying instead that the donor of the CAC records “has alerted us to the fact that we do not have a signed deed of gift.” According to Weller, this means that UIC’s library has no legal right to make the material available. The donor, said Weller, is now working with UIC library to resolve the problem, and “we hope to be able to provide access within the next few weeks.”

……Weller had still not answered my question about who the donor is, and/or who holds controlling authority over the collection. I closed by alerting the library to my intention to come in that day to examine the single CAC-related folder from the chancellor’s records that I did have permission to see. Later that day, I examined that one folder, took notes, and asked for the entire folder’s contents to be copied and mailed to me. I have received no further reply to my reiterated question about the identity of the donor.

……The question of who the donor is and/or who holds formal authority over access to the collection, is also critical. It’s notable that after trying to ascertain this information several times, I have still not received a proper reply. One obvious question is whether Bill Ayers and perhaps even Barack Obama himself may be connected to the donor. Obama began his CAC board chairmanship in early 1995, and stepped down from the chairmanship in late 1999, though he remained on the board until CAC phased itself out of existence in 2001. At that time, CAC handed over its remaining assets to a permanent new institution, the Chicago Public Education Fund. Obama served on this Fund’s “Leadership Council,” from 2001 through 2004, overlapping with council service by Bill Ayers’s father, Thomas, and Ayers’s brother, John. Bill Ayers, as noted, was a CAC founder, its guiding force, and co-chaired CAC’s powerful “collaborative.” CAC appears to have been housed at UIC because of Ayers’s connection to the school.

So informally, and perhaps formally, it would appear that both Ayers and Obama may be closely connected to the donor of the CAC records. In fact, Ayers himself may be the donor…..Bill Ayers, either because he actually holds formal authority as donor, or because he is granted de facto authority over the papers by whatever entity has formal control. One can also speculate that, as former CAC board chair, board member, and as an official of CAC’s successor organization, Barack Obama himself might have had, or may still have, some sort of formal or informal role in this process.

……We already know a good deal about Obama’s service at the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. That information paints a disturbing picture, and one sharply at odds with Obama’s claim that Bill Ayers was just “a guy who lives in my neighborhood.” A number of bloggers, including, for example, Tom Maguire, at Just One Minute, have done excellent work on the CAC issue.  But the key reporting on the Obama-Ayers connection via the Chicago Annenberg Challenge has been done by Steve Diamond, at Global Labor and Politics.  Sad to say, the mainstream media has almost entirely ignored the issues so powerfully raised by Diamond, and discussed at length by various bloggers, even though Obama’s service at the Chicago Annenberg Challenge raises serious questions about the veracity of his account of his relationship with Ayers. Access to the CAC records promises to provide a treasure trove of documentary evidence fronting on this and many other critically important issues, from Obama’s policy views, to his political-ideological alliances, to his leadership abilities.

……I intend to continue my efforts to examine the Chicago Annenberg Challenge records, to take notes, and to order extensive photocopies, to be mailed to me and/or received personally by me, in a timely fashion. I call on the UIC library to take extraordinary steps to secure the documents until such time as this issue is resolved. The public needs clear assurances that none of the CAC records have been, or will be, damaged or removed. I call on UIC library to reveal the name of the donor of the CAC records and/or to specify the person, persons, or body that currently hold authority over these records. I also call on Barack Obama to voice support for the swift release of these records.
Link: http://article.nationalreview.com/print/?q=MTgwZTVmN2QyNzk2MmUxMzA5OTg0ODZlM2Y2OGI0NDM

Don’t hold your breath.

More at Global Labor and Politics: Here: http://globallabor.blogspot.com/2008/08/key-chicago-annenberg-challenge.html  and here: http://globallabor.blogspot.com/2008/08/inside-obama-ayers-chicago-annenberg.html

This cannot be stressed enough: Obama’s hierarcy of associates and supporters are a coterie of rabid ultra left sectarians. There are reasons why he resonates with that particular crowd.

4 thoughts on “Obama’s Annenberg Papers”

  1. DAR,

    They will likely be released if/when Obama’s influence over the University of Illinois ceases to exist. Don’t hold your breath.

    SFC MAC

  2. RF,

    They are indeed that stupid. They elected Clinton for the same purpose, now they’d like to pick up where they left off and finish the job. It took 8 years to undo the damage Clinton did to this country. I don’t think Obama will ever get into the position to do that.

    SFC MAC

  3. There is so much that the mainstream media is giving this guy a pass on just to see a democrat in office. Do liberals have any idea of how much damage Obama will do to this country if he is elected? Is their flawed ideology so important to them that they are willing to flush the entire country down the toilet just to get their candidate elected? Are they really that stupid?

  4. will they or won’t they be released? I just heard of these papers last night on the RNC from Jon Voight.

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