Who Did Obama Work for in Chicago?
Who Did Obama Work for in Chicago?
From Webster Tarpley Barrack H. Obama: The Unauthorized Biography
Obama’s “official” biography reveals that he first gained public prominence in Chicago as the first chairman of the board of the “liberal” Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC). However his first job out of law school was with the right leaning Business International Corporation, which was exposed in 1977 by the New York Times (on 12/27/77) as a front company for the CIA. Former Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) leader Carl Oglesby asserts in his recent biography (Ravens in the Storm) that BIC’s main goal was to infiltrate Left and student groups for US intelligence.
After leaving BIC, Obama became a civil rights lawyer and involved himself in a number of “progressive” foundations like CAC. However Tarpley, who examines the funding and specific activities of these foundations, questions the genuineness of their progressive credentials. All the evidence suggests they actually played a “gatekeeper” or “counterinsurgency” function similar to the programs McGeorge Bundy pioneered as head of the Ford Foundation (see July 21 blog).
McGeorge Bundy’s Toxic Legacy
In fact CAC itself, where Obama was a board member for six years (three years as chair), appears to have replicated Bundy’s 1968 strategy to pit minority boards (in Chicago they were called Local School Councils) against the New York City teachers’ unions. As Tarpley discovered, the campaign to give LSC’s the power to fire teachers and several hundred school principals – was championed, not by grassroots minorities groups, but by business interests headed by Thomas Ayers. Ayers, by coincidence, happens to be the father of Obama’s pal the former Weather Underground leader Bill Ayers. Tom Ayers also has impeccable corporate credentials, which include heading Commonwealth Edison for seven years in the seventies, and serving on the board of General Dynamics, Searle, Chico Pacific, Zenith, Northwest Industries, First National Bank of Chicago and the Chicago Tribune.
This may possibly explain his son Bill Ayers’ “magical ability” to secure foundation funding. Ayers wrote the grant to secure Annenberg funding for the CAC and he credits himself as one of its co-founders. He was also influential in getting his buddy Barack Obama, a 34 year old with no educational credentials whatsoever, appointed as CAC’s first chairman, for which he received an annual salary of $70,000 (in addition to the substantial income from his law practice).
By Obama’s own admission, the project on which CAC spent $100 million was unsuccessful. It not only failed to improve the educational achievement of black students, but also to meet “soft” targets, such as “self image,” “personal efficacy,” school attendance and persistence. What the CAC did accomplish, very successfully, was to drive a wedge between minority parents and the teachers unions when they could have united to block extensive federal and state educational cutbacks. It also threw Chicago schools into such chaos (deliberately it seems) that they became ripe for school privatization efforts, championed by the same elite business lobby that pushed through the 1988 School Reform Act (creating the Local School Councils).
Terrorist Bill Ayers’ Magical Transformation
This raises the tricky question of how Obama’s pal Bill Ayers transformed himself from a bomb making terrorist to a tenured Professor of Education at the University of Illinois-Chicago and an pre-eminent education reformer. Tarpley, like other authors and researchers, alleges the Weather Underground was actually a US intelligence creation, formed with the specific objective of infiltrating and shutting down SDS. This view is substantiated by FBI documents that came to light 1973 revealing the role of agent provocateurs in infiltrating and instigating much of the violence attributed to the Weathermen – which Ayers used to have his weapons and bomb making charges dismissed.
Former presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche has always alleged that the Weather Underground was funded by left “gatekeeping” foundations and think-tanks, specifically the Ford Foundation, the Institute for Policy Studies (founded in 1963 by an aide to McGeorge Bundy) and the Institute for Social Research. However as Tarpley points out, it has proven impossible to corroborate LaRouche’s charges without access to government and foundation archives, which at this point are closed to public scrutiny.
Nevertheless considerable circumstantial evidence supports these allegations. First and foremost is the striking “coincidence” that many of the Weather Underground leadership were, like Bill Ayers, the sons and daughters of wealthy members of the corporate elite. Second is the report of contemporary SDS members that the Weathermen, who did no fundraising to speak of, appeared to have unlimited funds to spend on organizing and military style training. Third are their classic (successful) Cointelpro style tactics in destroying SDS. And last the troubling question of how Bill Ayers can openly brag about his terrorist activities in his 2002 book Fugitive Days – and yet instead of facing the death penalty for conspiracy to commit murder, enjoys status and privilege as a tenured Professor of Education.
Andrew Murphy’s recent guest blog on Harry’s Place updates and lends further support to the scenario Tarpley lays out in his 2008 Barrack H. Obama: The Unauthorized Biography.