Monday, November 24, 2008

The Confident Prince

According to a CNBC interview Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal feels confident about the future of his investment in Citigroup.

Too bad my confidence isn't as high about the nature of His Highness's alleged associations with former Black Panther turned Muslim attorney/activist Khalid al-Mansour. Many remember the comments made by noted New York civil rights stalwart Percy Sutton when the former borough chief claimed al-Mansour asked him to write a letter of recommendation to help Obama get into Harvard Law.

Politico's Ben Smith supposedly put everything to rest in his story on September 4, whereupon the Obama campaign denied knowing al-Mansour while al-Mansour called Sutton a dear friend who was just sickly and confused. Lke Farralhan, Ayers and Wright, he didn't want to draw any attention that might hurt Obama's chances:
"Any statement that I made would only further this activity which is not in the interest of Barack," al-Mansour is quoted as saying.
One thing is puzzling in the Politico article, though. Smith links to Lynn Sweet's column about Obama's Harvard student loans as proof nobody was bankrolling him. In the article Obama says he took out over $42,000 in loans to attend Harvard, and there were some residual loans for "tens of thousands" to attend the second year at Occidental and two years of Columbia. But in Obama's Change.Gov website it states the following:
He took out loans to put himself through school. After college, he worked for Christian churches in Chicago, helping communities devastated when steel plants closed. Obama turned down lucrative job offers after law school to return to Chicago, leading a successful voter registration drive. He joined a small law firm, taught constitutional law and, guided by his Christian faith, stayed active in his community.
The narrative might be a bit loose. The first sentence could be a blanket statement covering all of his schooling but it could also be interpreted as saying he didn't take out loans for Harvard since it says "after college" he worked to help the people affected by the shuttered steel mills then "after law school" he turned down lucrative offers and led a voter registration drive, etc. Hey, all these guys are lawyers.

Could be nothing if one believes Sutton lied or was confused. He was a Hillary supporter. But there was certainly enough to hide if Mansour had indeed first heard of Obama in the late 80s, which would require an explanation as to who clued him in and why. If he had helped to bankroll Obama's education then the obvious quid-pro quo comes into play. There was also the Muslim perception problem, which was already bad enough due to his proven relationships with Rashid al-Khalidi and Edward Said, Tony Rezko and Naudhi Auchi.

Perhaps a wee bit more sunshine, such as a glimpse of Obama's Columbia and Harvard records or footage from Khalidi's going-away party, might have illuminated things more but alas it's water under the bridge now. But as new solutions are proposed to 'save' the economic world in the new administration maybe it would be wise to keep these loose associations in mind, especially if the solutions get more and more socialist as time marches on.

No comments: