Birds of a feather…

I read a comment in an e-mail thread that grabbed my attention:

“And, imagine where Obama’s poll numbers would be if the media actually investigated Obama’s ties to Nadhmi Auchi, Tony Rezko, Khalid al-Mansour (principle advisor to Saudi Billionaire, Prince Alwaleed), Louis Farrakhan, and Rashid Khalidi … or investigated the full extent of the anti-Semitic and anti-white sermons preached from the pulpit by Rev. Wright (Obama’s minister and friend for 20 years) … or investigated the full story of the utter FAILURE of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC) to meet its goal of improving a few Chicago schools (wasting $150 million in grants) … Obama was president of the Board of Directors of the CAC and had been appointed to that position by the infamous and unrepentant domestic terrorist Bill Ayers who was a founder of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge.  The result of the combined best efforts of Obama and Ayers was FAILURE.   Obama blew through $150 million and achieved nothing … imagine how badly Obama would handle our tax dollars.” — hapi22


So, let’s examine these unknown characters.  We all know a little about Tony Rezko, Obama’s first political benefactor in Chicago, who is now serving time after being convicted in Federal court.  A series of investigative reports on Rezko can be found at the Chicago Tribune.


Antoin “Tony” Rezko (born 1955 in Aleppo, Syria) is an American political fundraiser, restaurateur, and real estate developer in Chicago, Illinois convicted on several counts of fraud and bribery in 2008. Rezko has been involved in fundraising for local Illinois Democratic and Republican politicians since the 1980s. He focused primarily on Chicago-area Democrats; for example, Rezko was one of Barack Obama‘s first major financial contributors. After becoming a major contributor to Rod Blagojevich‘s successful gubernatorial election, Rezko assisted Blagojevich in setting up the state’s first Democratic administration in 20 years. Rezko was able to have business associates appointed onto several state boards. Rezko and several others were indicted on federal charges in October 2006, for using their connections to the state boards to demand kickbacks from businesses that wanted to do business with the state. While the others plead guilty to the charges, Rezko pled not guilty and was found guilty of 16 of the 24 charges filed against him. – Wiki (


But what of these other characters?  Who is Auchi?


Nadhmi Auchi (Arabic:نظمي أوجي) is a British billionaire businessman who was born in Iraq. He is the founder and chairman of General Mediterranean Holding (GMH), a conglomerate of 120 companies worldwide. In the Sunday Times Rich List 2008 ranking of the wealthiest people in the UK he was placed 27th with an estimated fortune of £2,150 million.[1]


Nadhmi Auchi graduated in Economics and Political Science from Mustansiriyah University, Baghdad, in 1967. He also worked with the Iraqi Ministry of Oil, becoming Director of Planning and Development. In 1979 he founded General Mediterranean Holding SA of Luxembourg. From 1996 to 2000 he served on an advisory committee to the Institute for Social and Economic Policy in the Middle East at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He has been president of the Anglo-Arab Organisation since its founding in 2002.


Business career

Auch was a member of the Baath Party in Iraq before Saddam Hussein came to power.[2] While he denies any ties to Hussein’s government, British media reports indicate he sold naval ships to Hussein’s government in the 1980s.[2]

He is of the largest shareholders in BNP Paribas, a French bank involved in the United Nations Oil-for-Food Programme for Iraq.


In 2003, Auchi was convicted of fraud, and given a 15 month suspended sentence and a £1.5m fine for taking illegal payments from French oil company Elf Aquitaine.[3] Following the verdict, Elf (by now merged with TotalFina and re-named Total) decided to take legal action against Auchi in France; Auchi responded by suing Total for £200m in turn, this time in the UK.[4]


In recent years he has entered into several partnerships with Chicago-area businessman Tony Rezko, effectively coming to his rescue as his various investment schemes began collapsing. Auchi bought about 15 of Rezko’s pizzeria’s in Wisconsin, according to court records.[5] In 2005 he took a stake in Rezko’s South Loop development at Roosevelt Road and Clark Street, a deal estimated by observers familiar with the details at $170 million.[2]


In 2008 Stuart Levine, the government’s star witness in the corruption trial against Rezko, asserted that Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, were among the guests at party in Auchi’s honor that took place at Rezko’s residence on 3 April 2004.[5] While Obama has acknowledged his ties to Rezko, a spokesman said that the senator responed that “Sen. Obama does not recall meeting Nadhmi Auchi at any time or on any occasion, and this includes any event that may have been held for Mr. Auchi.”[5]


In 2008 The Times of London reported the discovery of state documents in Illinois recording that a Panamanian company by the name of Fintrade Services lent money to a funderaiser for Obama in 2005. Fintrade’s directors included Ibtisam Auchi, the name of Mr Auchi’s wife. Spoksespeople declined to answer when questioned about whether he was linked to this business.[6]


The Times also reported that Auchi’s company loaned  Tony Rezko $3.5 million three weeks before Rezko’s lot and Obama’s new home were purchased in 2005.[7]  Wiki: (


For more information about Auchi, see; ;,CST-NWS-watchdog28.stng


And then there’s Khalid al-Mansour:


Who Is Khalid al-Mansour?


Posted on 8:22 PM by Rebecca Bynum

The Iconoclast

Wednesday, 3 September 2008



Last week, Richard Fernandez at Pajamas media questioned whether a Townhall blog post by Amanda Carpenter which identified a man said by Percy Sutton to have helped Obama both pay for and get into Harvard as a ranting anti-semite shown on videos she linked. The man is Khalid Abdullah Tariq al-Mansour, earlier known as Don Warden. Fernandez couldn’t believe the raving looney in the videos could be a financial advisor to Saudi billionaires.

Ken Timmerman has done some digging and the answer is yes. Ms. Carpenter had the right man.



Is Khalid al-Mansour the man behind Obama myth?



By Jack Cashill

Posted: August 28, 2008
1:00 am Eastern


A few weeks back, I wrote a column titled, “Who Wrote ‘Dreams From My Father’?” My research led me to the conclusion that a literary neophyte like Obama could not have written the memoir on his own. It was simply too well crafted.

I was also suspicious about his claim that publishers had sought him out, while still unknown, contract in hand. I doubted, too, that the publisher would have paid him a hefty advance.

And I refused to believe that his publisher would have invested the hefty ghostwriting fee needed to rescue the project after four years of amateurish dithering, a dithering that included an extended stay for Barack and Michelle on Bali.

“The whole story smells of purposeful intervention,” I wrote. “The whole book does. A political career holds more promise when launched with a lovely memoir under one’s belt than with an unfulfilled contract over one’s head. Much more.”

“The question remains,” I concluded, “who did the intervening and why?” I sensed and still do an affluent and unseen political godfather, someone with a grander vision than Bill Ayers or Tony Rezko.


A recent televised interview with octogenarian entrepreneur and politico Percy Sutton, on a New York City show called “Inside City Hall,” sheds light on the question of who this godfather might be.

A Manhattan borough president for 12 years and a credible candidate for mayor of New York City in 1977, Sutton spoke knowingly about the Obama candidacy. Although unspecified as to date, the interview likely took place within the last few months.

“I was introduced to [Obama] by a friend,” Sutton told the interviewer. The friend’s name was Dr. Khalid al-Mansour, and the introduction took place about 20 years ago.

Sutton described al-Mansour as “the principle adviser to one of the world’s richest men.” He also implied that al-Mansour was currently raising money for Obama.

Knowing that Sutton had friends at Harvard, al-Mansour asked Sutton to “please write a letter in support of [Obama] … a young man that has applied to Harvard.” Sutton gladly did so.

Although Sutton does not specify a date, this would likely have been in 1988 when the 27-year-old Obama was applying to Harvard Law.

Two years later, while still a law student, Obama improbably received an advance to write a memoir that would be called “Dreams From My Father” when finally published in 1995.

Not yet clear is who exactly this Khalid al-Mansour is. There are at least two candidates, one more troubling than the other. The first is a Muslim crackpot preacher who has not met the paranoid racial fantasy unworthy of his energy.

The second, more likely, is a Dr. Khalid Abdullah Tariq al-Mansour, described as “an internationally acknowledged adviser to heads of state and business leaders in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and North America.”

Apparently, al-Mansour serves on the Board of, among others, Saudi African Bank and was responsible for the Africa investment activities of Kingdom Holdings, Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal’s investment company.

Two other details argue for this al-Mansour’s involvement in Obama’s academic and literary careers. He has been a guest lecturer at Harvard University and has authored 24 books.

In short, al-Mansour fits the profile of the political godfather. When I was speculating whose “purposeful intervention” had steered Obama’s career through its rough spots, I could not have imagined a more likely candidate.

Caution is warranted here. This story is still developing, not in the major media of course, but in the blogosphere, where just about all serious reporting now takes place.

Stay tuned. .


For more information on , please see: ; ; ; ;


And who is Rashid Khalidi?


Rashid Khalidi (born 1950), an American historian of the Middle East, is the Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies at Columbia University, and the director of the Middle East Institute of Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs….


Public life

Khalidi has written dozens of articles on Middle East history and politics, as well as op-ed pieces in many U.S. newspapers. He has also been a guest on numerous radio and TV shows including All Things Considered, Talk of the Nation, Morning Edition, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, Charlie Rose, and Nightline, and has appeared on the BBC, the CBC, France Inter and the Voice of America. Khalidi had an advising role at the Madrid Conference of 1991 between the U.S., Israel, Palestinians and Arab states. He served as president of the American Committee on Jerusalem, now known as the American Task Force on Palestine.


Khalidi’s statements on the status of Palestinians in Israel and the Israeli-occupied territories have been the most controversial. In an interview on PBS, Khalidi used the term “occupied” in reference to Mandatory Palestine in 1948, saying “about half of it was occupied by Israel (which under UNGA 181 was supposed to obtain roughly 55% of Mandate Palestine, and which by the time of the armistice had taken control of about 78%, including half of what was to have been the Arab state)… the remainder was, as you say, under Egyptian and Jordanian control from 1948-1967.”[10]  


A New York Sun editorial criticized Khalidi for stating that there is a legal right under international law for Palestinians to resist Israeli occupation.[11] For example, in a speech given to the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Khalidi said that “[k]illing civilians is a war crime. It’s a violation of international law. They are not soldiers. They’re civilians, they’re unarmed. The ones who are armed, the ones who are soldiers, the ones who are in occupation, that’s different. That’s resistance.”[11][12] The Sun editorial argued that by failing to distinguish between Palestinian combatants and noncombatants, Khalidi implies that all Palestinians have this right to resist, which it argued was incorrect under international law.[11] In an interview discussing this editorial, Khalidi objected to this characterization as incorrect and taken out of the context of his statements on international law.[11]


Khalidi has described discussions of Arab restitution for property confiscated from Jewish refugees forced to flee Middle Eastern and North African countries after the creation of Israel as “insidious”, “because the advocates of Jewish refugees are not working to get those legitimate assets back but are in fact trying to cancel out the debt of Israel toward Palestinian refugees.”[13]


Khalidi opposes the Iraq War and has said that “we owe reparations to the Iraqi people.”[14]


Allegations of PLO connections

Khalidi has been documented of having ties to the Palestinian Liberation Organization, based on his work for Wafa in the late 1980s. Khalidi has been documented as “a director of the Palestinian press agency,” publishing an “adulatory book” on the PLO in which he personally thanked Yasser Arafat,[15] and acting as an advisor to the Palestinian delegation during peace negotiations.[16] Khalidi denied the allegation that he served as a PLO spokesman.[17] Khalidi explained that he often spoke to journalists in Beirut, and was usually cited, without attribution, as a well-informed Palestinian source. He also said that he was unaware of any misidentification as a PLO spokesman.[15]

The claim received renewed attention in 2008 when it was raised due to a reported friendship between Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and Khalidi’s family when Khalidi taught at the University of Chicago. Articles by Aaron Klein and John Bachelor, writers respectively for conservative outlets World Net Daily and Human Events, were referenced by rival political campaigns and reprinted in wider-circulation media.[16][18][19][17]


Obama relationship

Khalidi’s relationship to Obama has come under increasing interest due to the U.S. Presidential race of 2008.[20] Obama made one of the presentations at a 2003 farewell dinner on the occasion of Khalidi leaving the Los Angeles Area.[20] The dinner was a celebration of the Los Angeles area Palestian community. Obama’s remarks alluded to the numerous dinners that he had at the home of the Khalidis.[20]


NYC teacher training program

In 2005 Khalidi’s participation in a New York City teacher training program was ended by the city’s Schools Chancellor.[21] The Chancellor, Joel I. Klein, issued a statement that “Considering his past statements, Rashid Khalidi should not have been included in a program that provided professional development for [Department of Education] teachers and he won’t be participating in the future.”[22] Following the decision, Columbia University president Lee Bollinger spoke out on Khalidi’s behalf, writing: “The department’s decision to dismiss Professor Khalidi from the program was wrong and violates First Amendment principles… The decision was based solely on his purported political views and was made without any consultation and apparently without any review of the facts.”[21]    – Wiki ( . 


For more information on Khalidi, see ;


And what about Chicago Annenberg Challenge?


The Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC) (also referred to as the Annenberg Challenge to Chicago) was a public-private partnership founded in 1995 to improve school performance by what it called “on the ground” investments in the form of professional development and technical assistance. Sponsored by the Annenberg Foundation, the CAC received a charter grant of $49.2 million in 1995.[1] The CAC’s operations were closed in 2001, and subsumed into those of the Annenberg Institute for Social Reform….



The project appears to have failed to achieve any of its stated, measurable educational goals. For example, a comprehensive study by the Consortium on Chicago School Research concludes:


“Results suggest that among the schools it supported, the Challenge had little impact on school improvement and student outcomes, with no statistically significant differences between Annenberg and non-Annenberg schools in rates of achievement gain, classroom behavior, student self-efficacy, and social competence.”[5]


The CAC managed to build a successor organization, the Chicago Public Education Fund, with a focus upon principal and teacher leadership. The Fund has supported such programs as Teach for America, Golden Apple Teacher Education program (GATE), and New Leaders for New Schools.


2008 presidential election

Main article: Obama–Ayers controversy

The CAC would come under scrutiny during the 2008 Democratic Primary presidential primaries, when, during a debate with Hillary Clinton in Philadelphia, Barack Obama was asked by George Stephanopolous to explain his relation with William Ayers, with whom he served on the board of CAC from 1995-2002 and traded board chairmanship. Obama described Ayers thusly:

This is a guy who lives in my neighborhood, who’s a professor of English in Chicago who I know and who I have not received some official endorsement from. He’s not somebody who I exchange ideas from on a regular basis.”[6]


Records in UIC Special Collections

A large collection of internal records from the Chicago Annenberg Challenge are currently housed in the Richard J. Daley Library at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). The document cache is extensive, consisting of 132 boxes containing 947 file folders.[7]

The University of Illinois at Chicago released the following statement on Aug. 19, 2008:


“The University Library supports the teaching, research, and service missions of the University by acquiring, organizing, preserving, and providing access to information. The Library is open to the public and dedicated to free inquiry. The University has not received ownership rights to the Chicago Annenberg Challenge collection. The University is aggressively pursuing an agreement with the donor, and as soon as an agreement is finalized, the collection will be made accessible to the public.”


When these records were not open to the public some people wondered if there was a cover-up of something related to Barack Obama, [8] even though Obama “does not have control over these records or the ability to release them”. [9] A spokesperson for the museum stated that the donor’s concern “regarding the collection are due to personnel information that could include names, confidential salary information and even Social Security numbers,” and that this delayed the release of the records. [10]


The UIC says it now has legal authority to allow public access to the collection and made the records public starting Aug 26, 2008. [11] [12] [13]  Wiki (




Chicago Annenberg Challenge Records


RADNOR, PA:  The Annenberg Foundation and the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University are making available all materials related to the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC).

Recent news reports have raised questions about the CAC, and about the availability of materials related to it. Many of these materials are archived at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the Annenberg Foundation on August 22, 2008 sent a letter to President B. Joseph White stating that the Foundation has no objection to opening the records to the public and that the Foundation is not blocking their release.

A subset of the documents are also located at the Foundation’s offices in Radnor, PA, and at the Annenberg Institute for School Reform in Providence, RI. Consistent with the principles of transparency and accountability that guide the work of the Foundation, these materials are now available to the public by appointment.

On December 17, 1993, the Annenberg Foundation launched the Annenberg Challenge for School Reform with a five-year $500 million grant to revive and inspire school reform efforts in this nation.  The Challenge brought together civic, business and university leaders, as well as foundations and other groups, in support of 18 school improvement projects, and it built broad public-private coalitions consisting of mayors, superintendents, principals, union leaders, civic leaders and community groups. The CAC was supported with a $49.2 million grant.


·        All participating sites in the Annenberg Challenge for School Reform were locally controlled and locally governed.

·        Work related to programs, fundraising and development, research, and evaluation at individual Challenge sites during the grant period was undertaken through the local Challenge entities.

·        Three summative studies of the Annenberg Challenge were undertaken by the Annenberg Foundation and the Annenberg Institute for School Reform.  All three documents    The Annenberg Challenge: Lessons and Reflections on Public School Reform, Research Perspectives on School Reform: Lessons from the Annenberg Challenge, and The Arts and School Reform: Lessons and Possibilities from the Annenberg Challenge Arts Projects    may be downloaded at


For information about accessing CAC-related materials, please contact Joanne Cemini (610-341-9066) at the Annenberg Foundation or Darlene Westerberg (401-863-7990) at the Annenberg Institute for School Reform. A list of available materials is posted on the respective web-sites of the Annenberg Institute ( and the Annenberg Foundation (

For more information, see:

They say that “Birds of a feather flock togerher” and that you can judge a man by the company he keeps.  If so, then Obama has shown very poor judgment in terms of who is associates with and the company he keeps.  Relationship do tell a lot about a man, and the story these relationships tell lead me to believe Obama cannot be trusted with the most powerful position in the free world.


About Laura Schneider

Retired IT consultant (disabled), musician and animal lover. I support the constitutional concept of Right of Privacy and no discrimination against any person based on race, religion, ideology, gender, sexual preference or disability. I am very concerned about the erosion of our constitutional rights and protections under GWB (and even this administration). I strongly oppose torture, rendition or illegal search and/or seizure (without a warrant) and warrantless wiretapping. I believe that education is our best hope of a bright future for our children. Knowledge is power, and that's the kind of authority (Biblically speaking) that our children must have in order to be successful in a 21st century world.
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