Wayne Madsen, a regular contributor to the Russia Today propaganda channel, has been making the rounds for a year claiming that Barack Obama or his family members have had CIA connections. Now, the American Thinker, a premier conservative news site, has taken the bait.
In a July 15 post, “The network that produced Barack Hussein Obama, Jr.,” Thomas Lifson cites an article on the site of the Claremont Institute that “raises the intriguing network of connections among President Obama’s family and programs sponsored by the CIA and a variety of fronts and associated groups…” Lifson claims a “history” by the CIA of co-opting “progressive American internationalists” and suggests this may be the case with Obama.
The allegations are that Obama and/or his parents or grandparents had affiliations with companies or foundations with alleged CIA links.
Lifson, editor and publisher of American Thinker, is described in his bio as a former academic with advanced degrees from Harvard who was a visiting professor at Columbia University and Japan ’s National Museum of Ethnology.
But the Claremont piece he is promoting and which is titled, “The Chosen One,” admittedly relies on the work of “Self-styled investigative journalist Wayne Madsen,” whose “credibility is certainly checkered.”
In addition to serving as a regular on Russia Today, which recently hired suspected Russian spy Ekaterina Zatuliveter, Madsen has produced a number of scoops that don’t pass the smell test. These include that Obama was a member of a gay bath house, President Bush had an affair with Condoleezza Rice, and that Bush aide Karl Rove arranged a political assassination.
For her part, Zatuliveter is alleged to have been investigating Britain ’s nuclear arsenal. Since going to work for Russia Today, she has concentrated on stories embarrassing to Britain ’s conservative government.
The author of the Claremont article, Angelo M. Codevilla, has solid credentials. He is a professor of international relations at Boston University and Vice Chairman of the U.S. Army War College Board of Visitors. He wrote, The Ruling Class: How They Corrupted America and What We Can Do About It, with an introduction by Rush Limbaugh. He has well-established conservative credentials and a long and distinguished career that includes serving as a U.S. Senate Staff member dealing with oversight of the intelligence services.
But his article in the Claremont Review of Books about Obama includes phrases such as “if Madsen is correct” and “if he is correct.” These are big “ifs,” considering Madsen’s history of scoops that did not pan out.
Madsen claims to be a former U.S. Naval Officer who managed one of the first computer security programs for the Navy and subsequently worked for the super-secret National Security Agency. Another bio claims that he was an executive at a Fortune 500 company.
His website features a “Boycott Israel ” logo and says that he has written for The Village Voice, The Progressive, Counterpunch, Online Journal, CorpWatch, Multinational Monitor, News Insider, In These Times, and The American Conservative. The latter is associated with veteran conservative journalist Patrick J. Buchanan.
We first wrote about Madsen back in 2006, when he accused White House aide Karl Rove of having personally coordinated the assassination of a Lebanese political official, Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri. In fact, U.S. and U.N. officials, acting through a special tribunal, have charged the Iranian-supported terrorist group Hezbollah with planting the 2005 car bomb that killed al-Hariri.
In another article, Madsen said President Bush himself was a member of a Christian “blood lust cult,” who “sees no other option than death for those who become his enemies” and “revels in indiscriminate blood-letting.” Madsen wrote about Bush, “He constantly ‘embeds’ himself with the military at Goebbels-like speech fests and makes constant references to God when he refers to America’s ‘victory’ in Iraq, as if God endorses his sordid killing spree.”
A supporter of the view that the 9/11 terrorist attacks were planned by elements of the U.S. Government, Madsen has claimed that Rove was “behind the campaign to ‘get’ Georgia Representative Cynthia McKinney who was the first nationally-known politician to question what Bush may have known beforehand about 9/11.”
The leftist McKinney, defeated in the Democratic primary for Congress in 2002, went on to become the Green Party presidential candidate in 2008. She has recently appeared on Iranian government-funded Press TV, talking about her participation in an “anti-terrorism seminar” in Iran . Madsen has also appeared on the Iranian propaganda channel, criticizing U.S. foreign policy and the Israeli lobby.
In his most infamous scoop, Madsen was identified on the cover of the supermarket tabloid, The Globe, as the “National Security Honcho” who exposed Bush’s love affair with his National Security aide Condoleezza Rice. The cover showed a huge picture of Laura Bush with the headline, “Laura Walks Out!” Madsen was pictured in the tabloid and identified as a “Former National Security Administration official” with “explosive revelations” from “a very credible person” who of course was not named.
Considered in the context of Madsen’s other stories, the claim about Obama being an agent of the CIA has all the earmarks of disinformation. The effect on a U.S. audience has clearly been to distract attention from Obama’s long history of involvement in the Communist Party-dominated progressive movement, which is now largely bankrolled by billionaire George Soros.
It is interesting to note that Madsen’s articles on Obama begin by claiming that the CIA was trying to influence Barack Obama’s father in order “to counter rising Soviet and Chinese influence among student circles and, beyond, to create conditions obstructing the emergence of independent African leaders.”
The need to counter the rise of Chinese or Soviet communism was obviously part of the mission of the CIA. But the notion that the U.S. opposed “independent African leaders” was out of the Soviet propaganda playbook that emphasized anti-American themes.
Rather than come to be associated with the CIA, which in the public mind still has a pro-American orientation, the concrete evidence of Obama’s mentorship by a member of the Communist Party, Frank Marshall Davis, suggests that foreign intelligence services are involved. The CPUSA was Moscow-controlled and funded and a known vehicle for KGB and GRU infiltration of the U.S. Government. Davis was under FBI surveillance for 17 years.
In addition to his controversial presidential appointments, such as Van Jones, a member of a communist group that made trips to Cuba , Obama made a mysterious trip to Russia in 2005, during which the Russian authorities briefly detained him and confiscated and examined Obama’s passport.
Madsen, however, is more interested in Obama’s alleged CIA connection, an interest that may be motivated by his position as a regular contributor to Russia Today television, a Moscow-funded propaganda channel that is alleged by former Soviet KGB agent Konstantin Preobrazhensky to be a front for the Russian intelligence services and a source of disinformation and propaganda. In one appearance, Madsen claimed that the U.S. has set up a “special security wing” with 1,000 agents to distance itself from any involvement in the 9/11 attacks and that it has evolved into an intelligence operation that monitors journalists and whistleblowers.
The charge that the U.S. was involved in 9/11 is a hallmark of both RT and the Arab-funded Al-Jazeera television channels.
In terms of his “investigative” stories about Obama, Madsen broke the “blockbuster report” on May 24, 2010, that Obama was a long-time member of a gay bath house in Chicago. He also said that former Obama White House chief-of-staff Rahm Emanuel was supposed to be a member. Madsen appeared on a bizarre Internet broadcast, Revolution News, to make the same allegations.
It was later that year that Madsen “broke” the story of Obama’s alleged CIA involvement and promptly appeared on the Alex Jones radio show to discuss these “revelations.” Jones is another Russia Today TV favorite and appeared on the channel to defend Russia ’s invasion of Georgia , a former Soviet republic.
As the Claremont article suggests, citing Madsen’s work, the CIA uses assets, fronts and covers. But one of the companies that is cited, a Hawaii investment firm by the name of Bishop, Baldwin, Rewald, Dillingham & Wong, is labeled a CIA proprietary without any hard evidence for this claim. It is further alleged that Obama’s grandmother supposedly had knowledge of this through her work at a local bank.
An examination of this firm, which went bankrupt in 1984, demonstrates that the CIA used the company to provide telephone and mailing address backstops for agents and welcomed information from the man who ran it, Ronald Rewald. But there is no evidence that the CIA ran the company. The further implication that Obama’s grandmother had knowledge of any of this is wild speculation at this point.
Like Obama, there are serious questions about Obama’s grandfather, Stanley Armour Dunham. I attempted to answer some of these questions by requesting under the Freedom of Information Act his FBI file and discovered that it had disappeared—a matter covered at the time by the American Thinker and other conservative websites. But the notion that he had any substantial connection to or allegiance to the CIA is undercut by the fact that he is the one who picked Communist Party USA member Frank Marshall Davis as Barack Obama’s mentor in Hawaii.
It would be strange indeed for a CIA agent to facilitate access to Obama by a pawn of the Soviet-controlled CPUSA.
Codevilla admits that Davis was “an unrepentant Communist,” that Obama “adopted the Marxist understanding of American black resentments,” and “shielded his extensive involvement with Marxist ideas and organizations” as a presidential candidate. Yet, Codevilla suggests that Obama may somehow have been transformed into a CIA asset or tool.
If this is the case, one would have expected Obama to have exposed Davis in his book, Dreams from My Father, rather than obscuring his identity as just “Frank.”
The French left-wing activist Thierry Meyssan recently made an appearance on Russia Today to argue that the NATO-led intervention in Libya and the unrest in Syria are “steps in a decades-long plan by the US and its allies to completely reshape the face of Africa…” Meyssan hails Russia for preventing the overthrow of the al-Assad regime in Syria .
Historically, Libya and Syria have been Soviet client states aligned with the most radical forces in the Arab world.
Meyssan was invited to Moscow to appear on “the top three political shows on Russian television to present his analysis on the insurrections in the Arab world,” his website proudly announced.
Meyssan described his network and its “Axis for Peace” project as aimed at “initiating a dialogue between world political leaders and intellectuals who want to reach a common understanding and strategy against imperialism and Zionism.”
Not surprisingly, the Wayne Madsen articles on Obama’s alleged involvement with the CIA surface on the website of Meyssan’s Voltaire network, which means that the Russians are more than happy to spread the notion that the American President is under the influence of the CIA.