There’s a huge and much-overlooked reason for filling in those gaps in Barack Obama’s resume, and letting America’s voters see any and all tapes, transcripts and other documentation of his career and friendships — and fast. It’s called the potential for blackmail.
Actually, full daylight is the only way to be reasonably sure that Obama himself is safe from blackmail. If voters have seen the worst of it, and don’t mind — well, OK. But if there is damaging information still unknown to the public, but known to somebody out there, then Obama — if he wins the presidency — could make a tempting target.
The same could be said of anyone running for public office. But there is a worrying convergence here of the most powerful office in the world, and the most untested and cryptic candidate in living memory. The question is not simply what Obama knew at the time about a variety of friends and associates, from his not-so-distant past, who in one way or another have been involved in criminal acts, or embraced as a theme the subversion, destruction or damning of America and America’s allies. The question is also: What might such people might know about Obama?
This is not to accuse anyone of planning to lever any still-secret information into undue influence over the Oval Office. But the best defense against that kind of thing in politics has always been genuine and full disclosure.
Take, for instance, the mysteries surrounding the refusal of the Los Angeles Times to release the video of the 2003 Khalidi dinner — Obama’s toasts and all. The people who were there know what Obama actually said, or applauded — or whatever actually happened. The source who gave the video to the LA Times knows (and it’s an intriguing question, why, if nothing untoward took place, a source would want confidentiality for providing a video of a festive and well-attended dinner). Obama knows — he was there. But the American public does not know.
It is not John McCain and Fox News who should be left to argue the case for a public airing of that tape. In the interest of good faith in asking the trust of American voters, it is Obama himself who should be trying to dig up it up, unedited; and in public, let it roll.
Or, take the case of the house for which Obama paid $1.65 million in Chicago, and the land purchase next door by Syrian-born Tony Rezko, who was convicted in Chicago this June on 16 counts of influence peddling. Are the mysteries fully solved? I cannot vouch for the details in the links that follow, but they make interesting reading. Here’s a summary from John Batchelor, whose blog links in turn to GOPMOM — where there is a photo of a very nice house, and an account of real estate dealings that suggest a weirdly intricate deal, a disturbing number of people who won’t talk, and some good questions which — in the interest of both the public and Obama himself — really deserve to be answered in full before Nov. 4.