- 1 Biography
- 2 Occupations
- 3 Policy
- 4 Controversies
- 5 Political connections
- 6 Corporate connections
- 7 References
- 8 External links
TPP and trade
Middle East wars
Despite his record of acquiescence to corporate and military interests, there are abundant indications that Obama was far from the first choice, and that the likes of Hillary Clinton, John McCain, and Mitt Romney were more desirable to the parapolitical establishment:
- See the 2008 Democratic primaries (especially New Hampshire) for evidence that the primaries were rigged in favor of Clinton
- Denver assassination plot
- USA Today, "Fed official: Colo. men no true threat to Obama", 2008/08/25: "An affidavit released by Eid's office Tuesday showed the investigation into alleged threats intensified with an unnamed female who was with the men -- Tharin Gartrell, 28; Shawn Robert Adolf, 33; and Nathan Johnson, 32 -- while they were doing drugs in a Denver hotel room last weekend. The woman told police the men were calling Obama the N-word and saying he shouldn't live in the White House. Johnson later told a federal agent that the men talked about assassinating Obama only because he was black, according to a federal arrest affidavit. Johnson said he also heard Adolf say that he wanted to kill Obama "on the day of his inauguration" and that he would "find high ground to set up and shoot Obama," the affidavit said. [...] Gartrell was arrested after police in Aurora, a suburb east of Denver, stopped a truck that was swerving erratically around 1:30 a.m. Sunday. He had a suspended driver's license, and the truck was rented under someone else's name, said Aurora police Detective Marcus Dudley. Aurora police Lt. Bob Stef said police found two scoped rifles, two wigs, camouflage clothing, a bulletproof vest and two walkie-talkies in the truck. A search also revealed 4.4 grams of what police believed to be methamphetamine and three IDs in other people's names, Stef said. Johnson and Adolf were arrested at area hotels after police interviewed Gartrell. Adolf jumped out a sixth-story window when police arrived Sunday. He broke his ankle but tried to run before police found him a short distance away. [...] Three senior FBI officials said that at least two of the men may have had white supremacist ties. [...] Adolf was hospitalized and held on $1 million bond for several outstanding warrants involving drug charges. He was on the "Most Wanted" list of the Weld County, Colo., sheriff's department for burglary, larceny, aggravated motor vehicle theft and other charges."
- KTNV, "Investigation Into Possible Assassination Plot Against Obama", 2008/08/26: "Colorado Police arrested 28-year-old Tharin Robert Gartrell and three others after they found weapons, ammunition, walkie talkies and drugs during a routine traffic stop. [...] 32 - year - old Nathan Johnson is being held on drug charges. He was arrested along with Tharin Gartrell, Shaun Adolf and Natasha Gromek. Police say evidence in the truck Gartrell was driving and statements made by Johnson and Adolf that Gartrell was planning to shoot Barack Obama during his acceptance speech led them to involve federal authorities. [...] Although Gartrell's family is originally from Colorado, he grew up in Lincoln County, Nevada. [...] Law enforcement had contact with the family through his father, Carl "Flash" Gartrell, who has multiple drug and alcohol-related arrests and a current warrant out for his arrest in Lincoln County. As for Tharin Gartrell, Contact 13 obtained records from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation showing a lengthy criminal history that includes multiple felony charges for manufacturing, possessing and selling dangerous drugs and aggravated motor vehicle theft."
- New York Times, "Officials See No ‘Credible Threat’ to Obama in Racist Rants", 2008/08/26: "“We’re taking it very seriously,” said Troy Eid, the United States attorney for Colorado, at a news conference on Tuesday. But he said the racist rants that the men made after their arrests on Sunday — all three for possession of methamphetamine, and two of them on weapons charges — had not risen to the level of a “credible threat” that would have allowed federal charges of threatening Mr. Obama to be filed. [...] In Washington, Federal Bureau of Investigation officials on Tuesday initially seemed to view the episode as relatively minor. But as the day wore on, officials acknowledged stronger concern about the men and their motives. “Central questions remain unanswered,” said a senior F.B.I. official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is continuing. “Is there anyone else involved, and how real was this plot? Or was it just a discussion fueled by people with delusions of grandeur and too many drugs?” [...] The men were identified as Tharin R. Gartrell, 28; Shawn R. Adolf, 33; and Nathan D. Johnson, 32. All three have long arrest records, according to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, for crimes including burglary, drug and weapons charges, and forgery. [...] Victor Ross, the chief of police in Glendale, just southeast of Denver, where Mr. Adolf was arrested, said his officers believed all three suspects had “some kind of white supremacist involvement,” based on their statements and what Chief Ross described as “something like a swastika ring” that at least one of the men wore."
- New York Post, "‘HE OUGHT TO BE SHOT’", 2008/08/26: "Authorities recovered a terrifying arsenal that could have been used in a shocking attack: a Remington 270 sniper rife, a Ruger 22-250 sniper rifle, boxes of Remington and Winchester ammo, two-way radios, bulletproof vests, camouflage and wigs. And in a chilling interview late Monday night, one of the men made his murderous hatred crystal-clear. “[Obama] don’t belong in political office,” Nathan Johnson, 32, told a TV station in Denver. “Blacks don’t belong in political office. He ought to be shot.” [...] Although the feds brushed off the possibility of a real assassination plot, they still want to know how and why the men had amassed such an arsenal, sources said. Johnson later asserted that it was clear what the weapons were supposed to be used for. “[We were] going to shoot Obama from a high vantage point using a . . . rifle . . . sighted at 750 yards,” he told Denver’s KCNC-TV. But hours before his TV interview, Johnson had told the feds something different: that he and buddies had the powerful guns to go hunting in Denver, according to a federal affidavit. Then, once FBI agents began picking apart his story, “Johnson began to cry and admitted that Adolf had threatened to kill Obama on a prior occasion. Johnson further related that Adolf said that he wanted to kill Obama on the day of his inauguration,” according to court papers."
- Los Angeles Times, "Threat to kill Obama downplayed", 2008/08/27: "Eid acknowledged that many questions had not been answered, including why the men had high-powered weapons, body armor, two-way radios, wigs and camouflage gear. It was also unclear why they decided to base themselves in a suburban Hyatt hotel where they believed -- erroneously -- Obama was staying. [...] In a jailhouse interview with a Denver television station, Johnson said he did not know whether Adolf and Gartrell would have taken action. “I don’t want to say yes, but I don’t want to say no,” he said. [...] Johnson told investigators that Adolf had previously talked about killing Obama should the Illinois senator be elected, and that he believed the two men were in Denver to kill Obama, the affidavit said."
- Las Vegas Sun, "Man with Nevada ties charged with meth possession in Denver", 2008/08/27: "Tharin Robert Gartrell, 28, faces from two years to 20 years in federal prison, depending on the amount of methamphetamine possessed. Federal authorities learned that three men were alleged threats to Sen. Barack Obama, who is expected to accept the Democratic Party's nomination for president Thursday. In addition to Gartrell, 32-year-old Nathan Dwaine Johnson is charged with one count of possessing a firearm by a prohibited person and one count of possession of methamphetamine. The third person charged, 33-year-old Shawn Robert Adolf, is charged with one count of possessing a firearm by a prohibited person, one count of possessing body armor by a violent felon and one count of possessing methamphetamine. Colorado police discovered the alleged plot after an Aurora, Colo., police officer stopped Gartrell about 1:30 a.m. Sunday for driving erratically in a blue Dodge pickup truck. The officer discovered that Gartrell's license was suspended and searched his truck, finding a loaded Ruger rifle with a hunting scope, an unloaded Remington rifle with a scope, five boxes of ammunition, a bullet-proof vest, two-way radios and wigs. [...] As police questioned the men about the weapons, the plot unfolded. Johnson told investigators that Adolf had threatened to kill Obama and he believed Gartrell came to Denver to help. Gartrell admitted to police that in talking about Obama, there was a reference to a "shooting on a grassy knoll." Inconsistencies with the men's stories led investigators to downgrade the threat to Obama."
- New York Daily News, "Feds: Trio of would-be Obama assassins not much of 'threat'", 2008/08/27: "One of the would-be plotters, Nathan Johnson, 32, was revealed in a strung-out CBS News jailhouse interview to be clueless about plots and most everything else. His longtime friend, Shawn Adolf, 33, an ex-con with a massive rap sheet wanted on eight warrants, including one for skipping out on $1 million bond, was seen as more of a threat - if not to Obama, then to cops. Vicki Harbert, an investigator with the Weld County, Colo., sheriff's department who had pursued Adolf since 2006, said she feared he would be nabbed only after killing a police officer. "I've been a cop for 18 years and he was not your typical bad guy," Harbert said. Johnson called Adolf a gun-loving racist who pledged never to be taken alive and yearned to "go out in a blaze of glory." [...] A techno-DJ with a following in Denver's underground rave scene, Gartrell was on probation for drugs and had been straight for several years, his friends said. He apparently fell off the wagon when he started hanging around with Adolf two weeks ago. Cops spotted him in a dark blue pickup that Johnson had rented weaving on the highway. Inside they found a bonanza: two rifles fitted with hunting scopes, two wigs, a ratty bulletproof vest, boxes of ammunition, walkie-talkies, camouflage clothing, three fake IDs, methamphetamines and enough drug-making equipment to call the truck "a mobile lab.""
- Rocky Mountain News, "Probe into purported Obama plot reveals details", 2008/09/03: "One of the men investigated for plotting to kill Sen. Barack Obama told friends while doing drugs at a local hotel that he wanted to use a "hi-powered rifle . . . using a high advantage point" to shoot Obama during his speech at Invesco Field. The man also said "blacks don't belong in the White House," according to court documents. [...] The group first caught the attention of police when Aurora officers pulled Gartrell over around 2:30 a.m. Aug. 24. Inside the rented truck he was driving, officers found two rifles with scopes, body armor, walkie talkies, wigs, a cell phone and equipment to make methamphetamine."
- KUSA, "New details about plot to kill Obama", 2008/09/03: "Nathan Johnson's girlfriend, whom 9NEWS is not naming because she's a juvenile, said "it would have to be a suicide mission," according to federal court records. The plot is similar to that in the 1992 movie "The Bodyguard" starring actors Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston. In the movie, Costner stops an assassination attempt against Houston by spotting a weapon hidden inside a gutted-out TV camera. [...] The men were doing methamphetamine inside the hotel with two women on Aug. 23 discussing the plot to kill Obama, according to federal records. [...] The underage woman told law enforcement that Adolf also talked about using "a high-powered rifle 22-250 from a high vantage point" to shoot Obama during his acceptance speech at INVESCO Field at Mile High. One of the other women in the room, Kay Neb, told police she believes Adolf is affiliated with the Sons of Silence white supremacist group. Neb also told police that Adolf, Johnson and Gartrell are all racists because they made racially disparaging comments about Obama. The Sons of Silence is a motorcycle group with chapters across the country. [...] When police searched the hotel rooms and cars the men were using, they confiscated meth, needles, laptops, cell phones, a black mask, books indicating check fraud and forgery, bags of new clothes, tactical pants and bar coupons. Based on the evidence, FBI special agent Robert Sawyer first believed there was probable cause to believe the men were conspiring to kill Obama. However, U.S. Attorney Troy Eid last week said that further investigation revealed insufficient evidence to indicate a "true threat," plot or conspiracy against the senator. [...] Aurora Police found two rifles, ammunition, bulletproof vests, walkie-talkies, wigs and fake identifications in the pickup truck that Gartrell was driving when they pulled him over Aug. 24. One of the weapons was stolen from Kansas."
- The plot alluded to by Nathan Johnson's girlfriend, a suicide mission and perhaps involving a weapon hidden inside a TV camera, mirrors the assassination of Northern Alliance leader Ahmad Shah Massoud, whose suspected assailants included the Taliban, al-Qaeda, Pakistani ISI, and Saudi Arabian asset Abdul Rasul Sayyaf
- Alleged CIA intimidation
- Rigorous Intuition thread on Ray McGovern's suggestion that Obama is afraid of the CIA (pages 1, 2)
- From a 2016/07/25 open letter from Cliff Arnebeck to President Obama and Vice President Biden: "The day in 2008 when you, Mr. President, were in Columbus to address a Bernie Sanders’ scale crowd of supporters on the Statehouse lawn, Beverly told me of the social relationship a high level CIA agent, she referred to as “Mark,” had initiated with her. [...] The second was Mark’s boast that: “All it took to get Obama to stay in line was to show him the Zapruder film.”"
- In 2009, intelligence officers who ran the Russian shipping firm Far West (long connected to United States firms such as KBR and covert CIA operations in Central Asia) made vague appeals for Obama to be ousted and replaced by "serious people in the new Administration" like "the Vice-President Biden and the defense minister Gates".
- Obama refused the wishes of the Pentagon establishment to launch a military strike on Assad in retaliation for the 2013 sarin gas attacks, most likely (according to journalist Seymour Hersh) because he became aware that the evidence implicating Assad was highly dubious. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was one of those who went on record as unhappy with Obama's decision.
- Kennedys and King, "Arlen Specter: The Death of Mr. Magic Bullet", 2010/05/21
- "As he likes to do, Specter basked in the temporary national limelight. Obama praised him for an act of "courage" in switching parties, helped him raise money, and even said to a crowd at a rally, "I love Arlen Specter." (The Daily Beast, 5/19/10)"
- "But as I wrote, the Democratic Party has never really recovered from the assassinations of the sixties. And Obama is not the transformational candidate many hoped he would be. In fact, he is a cautious and pragmatic man. The new president had a truly golden opportunity when he got elected. With the country facing the biggest economic blowout since 1929, with all three pillars of the economy on their back – housing, autos, and the stock market – he had the opportunity to be another Franklin Roosevelt. He could have launched a Second New Deal to get America back to work. He could have revived the economy and eliminated forever the nation's reliance on fossil fuels. In fact, as revealed by GOP operative James Pinkerton, this is what the Republican establishment truly feared. For how could they vote against giving laid off Americans real jobs in a new energy market? And if it worked, and they had voted against it, they would be discredited in a way they could not easily recover from.
Much to the relief of the Republicans, the White House did not make that choice. Which makes the backroom deal with Specter kind of predictable. Though still reprehensible. Which indicates that the Democratic Party is still sleepwalking through its nightmare. So entranced that they were not even aware they were dancing with a man who helped cause it."
Wall Street support
- Citigroup role in choosing his cabinet
- Refusal to imprison bankers under attorney general Eric Holder
- Rolling Stone, "Eric Holder, Wall Street Double Agent, Comes in From the Cold" by Matt Taibbi, 2015/07/08: "Eric Holder has gone back to work for his old firm, the white-collar defense heavyweight Covington & Burling. The former attorney general decided against going for a judgeship, saying he’s not ready for the ivory tower yet. “I want to be a player,” he told the National Law Journal, one would have to say ominously. Holder will reassume his lucrative partnership (he made $2.5 million the last year he worked there) and take his seat in an office that reportedly – this is no joke – was kept empty for him in his absence. [...] Here’s a man who just spent six years handing out soft-touch settlements to practically every Too Big to Fail bank in the world. Now he returns to a firm that represents many of those same companies: Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo, Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup, to name a few. Collectively, the decisions he made while in office saved those firms a sum that is impossible to calculate with exactitude. But even going by the massive rises in share price observed after he handed out these deals, his service was certainly worth many billions of dollars to Wall Street."
- Jeffrey St. Clair and Joshua Frank, "Obama and the Environment: The Politics of Bait-and-Switch", 2009/05/27
- Truthout, "Obama Administration Approved Gulf Fracking During Deepwater Horizon Disaster", 2016/06/24