Yes, I said it. Do I have your attention? Spook. From Merriam-Webster, ghost, undercover agent or spy. Tip of the hat to Cinie’s World (2-27-09). An interesting post by this blogger, donning a tinfoil chapeau and heading where the bread crumbs crumble caused me to rush to my own way back machine to take a look at the political connections of Barack Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, aka S. Ann Dunham, Ann Soetoro, S. Ann Dunham Sutoro.
Obama’s maternal line, the Dunham family has been dredged ad nauseum by Obama in his two autobiographies, Dreams From My Father and The Audacity of Hope. It has been discussed and analyzed by the MSM, in an effort to “acquaint” the electorate with a portrait of a non-threatening biracial man, palatable scion of an all-American, middle class family, roots planted firmly in the American mainstream. However, it seems the frequency of the retelling of Obama’s family story ensures only a repetition of a superficial, shopworn, schmaltzy story; a short-on-facts narrative of struggle courage, racial confusion, family contradictions and mother love. There’s a de rigeur narrative around Obama’s maternal grandmother but since she refused to give any interviews and is now deceased, much is unknown.
Let’s go back to the early 1960s, the height of the Cold War. The Dunhams moved to the state of Washington and enrolled their daughter in a “progressive” high school where she stood out from the other students as quietly mature, a quirky free thinker and proto “feminist”. Ann next studied anthropology at the University of Hawaii. There, in a Russian language class, she met Barack Obama, Sr., a polygamous and already married Kenyan Muslim. Six months later Barack Jr. was born.
Barack Sr. soon abandoned Ann to continue earning his economics degree at Harvard University, later returning to Kenya and employed by Shell Oil. At some point Ann was employed by the Ford Foundation.
The Ford Foundation is alleged to have had connections to the CIA. Current Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner’s father, Peter Geithner was:
director of the Asia program at the Ford Foundation, a New World Order operation. Peter Geithner oversaw the “microfinance” programs developed in Indonesia by Ann Dunham-Soetoro, Barack Obama’s mother. Geithner’s maternal grandfather, Charles F. Moore, was an adviser to President Eisenhower and vice president of Ford Motor Company.
See here. Ann Dunham went to work in the microfinance department headed by Geithner.
Skip ahead in time a couple of years to 1966. The U.S. has stepped up its involvement in the war in Vietnam. Lyndon Johnson is President. Civil Rights activists, from SNCC to women’s liberation, are exploding into the streets. Cointelpro has been reformulated to infiltrate and undermine such protests. But here is where it gets weird, requiring a tinfoil hat. S. Ann Dunham has been tagged by the political right as a leftist, even a communist. There is no evidence that I know of that links Ann Dunham to any civil protest organization, political group or foundation.
Instead, Ann Dunham married foreign student, Lolo Soetoro, a well-to-do Indonesian Muslim she met upon her return to the University of Hawaii and in 1966 moved with him and seven year old Barack, to a newly Americanized Indonesia, finishing the throes of a human rights disaster. Ann made no comment about the massacres that had taken place the prior year, but continued to catalog local crafts. Barack was officially adopted by Soetoro and remained in Indonesia for two-four years.
Indonesia is the fifth richest nation in the world in natural resources. It has abundant supplies of natural gas, copper, nickel, and oil. It is also the world’s most populous Muslim nation. Sukarno, Indonesia’s communist-leaning leader, had been overthrown the previous year and been replaced by a western leaning general, Suharto. Here’s an excerpt of the article describing the events surrounding Sukarno’s fall.
The situation varied across the country; in some areas the army organized civilian groups and local militias, in other areas communal vigilante action preceded the army. The most widely accepted estimates are that at least half a million were killed. Many others were also imprisoned and for the next ten years people were still being imprisoned as suspects. It is thought that as many as 1.5m were imprisoned at one stage or another. As a result of the purge, one of Sukarno’s three pillars of support, the Indonesian Communist Party, had been effectively eliminated by the other two, the military and political Islam, although of the two, the military were in the position of unchallenged power. According to Amnesty nternational, life went from bad to worse for the peasants of Indonesia.
Ann’s new husband, Lolo Soetoro, an army geologist, went to work for Mobil oil. Ann had one more child, Maya. Soetoro, a devout Muslim, wanted more children. Ann wanted to continue her work teaching English and to continue her anthropological studies. She returned to Hawaii with Barack and worked toward her PhD. Years later she returned to Indonesia to complete work on her dissertation. Barack, now a teenager, chose to remain in Hawaii.
Here there is a muddle. It isn’t clear to me, from anything I have read so far, what Ann Dunham Soetoro did for a living during this and subsequent trips other than teach English, or catalog native handicrafts. This is what confuses me: if Ann Dunham was a “leftist” and the Ford Foundation would certainly have been aware of her background, why would they hire her to work in a sensitive position? Would she, as a leftist, been willing to reside in a country that had just massacred hundreds of thousands of other leftists? Would she be willing to live with a former army landowner returning to a position with Mobil Oil? Would she have two husbands who worked for oil companies?
Jump into the time machine again, and reset it to 1986. Ronald Reagan is the U.S. president. G. H. W. Bush is the V.P. The White House is embroiled in the Iran-Contra affair. Here’s an excerpt of the article, describing other middle eastern the political complications involved in this scandal:
It began as an operation to improve U.S.-Iranian relations, wherein Israel would ship weapons to a relatively moderate, politically influential group of Iranians; the U.S. would then resupply Israel and receive the Israeli payment. The Iranian recipients promised to do everything in their power to achieve the release of six U.S. hostages, who were being held by the Lebanese Shia Islamist group Hezbollah. The plan eventually deteriorated into an arms-for-hostages scheme, in which members of the executive branch sold weapons to Iran in exchange for the release of the American hostages.
The Russians remained mired in Afghanistan battling the Mujahadeen following their invasion of that country in 1980. 1986 was the year that the Afghan branch of the Taliban established hegemony in Afghanistan with the help of Taliban operating in Pakistan. This is the year Ann Dunham arrived in Pakistan. This is also the year Osama Bin Laden was given sanctuary in Pakistan. An Dunham Soetoro worked for microfinance departments of USAID, underwritten by the CIA.
Once again, the U.S. (as it had in indonesia) backed Islamic fundamentalists against communism. And, once again, Ann was employed as a USAID bank specialist in “microfinance” for poor women. I don’t know Ann Dunham’s level of skill in reading and speaking Russian, but there is an odd convergence for her
trip with her young daughter along the Silk Road in 1986 and
- Russian language studies,
- work for the Ford Foundation and USAID (also widely believed to be connected to the CIA)
- work financing projects for poor women in an exceedingly volatile anti-American period
- a detailed knowledge of Islamic cultural norms.
Not only was this dangerous duty, but must have been perhaps more hazardous for a white Western woman in fundamentalist Pakistan. Again, the same question: If Ann Dunham was a known and unrepentant leftist would USAID have hired her to perform services under these sensitive conditions? Would the Ford Foundation have hired her and employed her for years as she cataloged handicrafts?
Back to the time machine. Reset the time machine backward to 1981. Barack Obama, Jr., before he moves on to Harvard University, travels to Pakistan to “visit friends”, although travel to Pakistan for American citizens is severely restricted. Does he travel on an American or an Indonesian passport?
I am puzzled by Ann Soetoro’s arrival in Indonesia and Pakistan during these very turbulent years. This contact with two very divergent countries, and her son’s travel there in 1981 raise my eyebrows. Maybe something there, maybe not. Security conditions for a woman and a small girl child seem questionable. Here’s an excerpt from Windfalls of War
For 10 years, the Center received most of its Afghanistan education project funding from USAID. But after Congress ended government-sponsored aid to Afghanistan in the mid-1990s, USAID stopped funding the Center. Still, it wasn’t without funding for long.
In 1997, Unocal, an American oil company, stepped in with an offer.
Unocal hoped to facilitate a business relationship with the Taliban in order to promote a natural gas pipeline project. The company was the development manager for the seven-member Central Asia Gas pipeline consortium that also included Saudi Arabia’s Delta Oil, Indonesia Petroleum, three other companies and the Turkmenistan government.
Unocal offered the Center an up-to-two-year contract worth as much $1.8 million to train Afghan men to build pipeline, which would run from Turkmenistan through a Taliban-controlled portion of Afghanistan to Pakistan, where it would be marketed. The pipeline could also be extended into India.
Well, both of Obama’s father figures were oil men. Obama’s peculiar mixture of corporatism, pragmatism and tolerance for a weird combination of rightist and leftist political thinking come from somewhere.
Whatever Ann Dunham Soetoro thought about two of the huge political theaters of our time, she said nothing.
Jump ahead in the time machine to Obama’s sojourn at Harvard, his father’s alma mater, home of east coast movers and shakers, his do nothing tenure as editor of the Harvard Law Review and his selection as go-to guy by some of the biggest and most powerful investment bankers in the world. But that’s another story.