Jerome Corsi, author of the New York Times No. 1 best-seller “The Obama Nation,” is asking the Obama presidential campaign “Where’s the beef” in its 40-page list of criticisms of the book.
Shortly after Corsi’s book was released and it rocketed to the top of the Times’ list, Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee for president, launched a personal attack on Corsi.
“I don’t find myself particularly scary or particularly risky, but I mean, they’re good at it. So they’ve got these ads with Paris [Hilton] and Britney [Spears] and they’ve got some guy who just wrote a book. He just makin’ stuff up, just makes stuff up. But it gets a lot of play on Fox News. After a while people starting thinking, ‘God, he does have a funny name,’ or believing false rumors about me they get in e-mails about Obama’s religion or patriotism,” he told an audience on a campaign stop.
The reference to “some guy” is Corsi, the senior staff writer for WND whose “The Obama Nation” is an in-depth report explaining why the U.S. senator from Illinois should not be president.
Obama’s campaign then quickly assembled a long list of what it characterized as “lies” in Corsi’s book, calling the document “Unfit for Publication.” However, today the author has released a point-by-point rebuttal to the criticisms, revealing a host of “glaring logical errors” in the document, which “is so defective … we wonder if the Obama campaign ever reviewed the piece before Obama operatives rushed it into print.”
Corsi notes that the critique simply, and repeatedly, asserts without proof, that “The Obama Nation” contains lies.
For example, the book reveals the links between Chicago developer Tony Rezko, who recently was convicted on 16 of 24 corruption counts for trading on his clout as a top adviser and fundraiser to Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
Reports reveal Obama once counted Rezko as a friend and fundraiser, and the book raises a series of questions about Rezko’s apparent links to the real estate transaction through which the Obamas bought a Chicago home.
The Obama campaign alleged the following statement from the book was a “lie:”
“Rezko came up with a solution. His wife, Rita, bought the vacant lot at full price, permitting Obama and Michelle to negotiate buying the house for $1.65 million, a discount of $300,000 from the asking price.” [page 165]
The “reality” announced by the campaign was this: “Obamas Made the Three Offers on the House, Including the Highest; The Price of the House Was Not Contingent on the Price of the Lot.”
Said Corsi: “What is not disputed by the Obama rebuttal is that Obama and Michelle bought their dream property home for $1.65 million, a sum that was $300,000 less than the initial asking price. The first part of the ‘reality’ claim is once again non-responsive. Whether or not the Obamas made three offers on the house is irrelevant. The house was still sold for $1.65 million, $300,000 less than the initial asking price. Also, that the accepted offer was the highest is self-apparent. The quotations offered by the Obama rebuttal to support this ‘reality’ claim appear to be refuting an argument that the Obamas did something ‘wrong’ by negotiating to buy the lot with the house, while Rezko bought the vacant lot.
“A close reading of the sentence from page 165 of ‘The Obama Nation’ quoted above makes clear that I am not charging the Obamas violated any law in negotiating with Rezko to buy the dream property. Once again, ‘Unfit for Publication’ appears to be refuting a straw man argument I did not make. Whether Obama and Rezko worked together to produce a combined offer that was acceptable to the sellers seems apparent from the information available on the transaction. Again, I make no argument in ‘The Obama Nation’ that this type of buyer coordination is inherently illegal. The contention in this section of ‘The Obama Nation’ is that Obama acted unwisely to consummate this deal with Rezko, a shady character who is now a convicted felon in federal prison. Obama himself admitted this point when he told the Chicago newspapers the dream property transaction was ‘a bonehead deal,’ something ‘Unfit for Publication’ does not deny,” Corsi wrote.
Likewise, the campaign described as a “lie,” the following from the book:
“Rezko agreed to pay the $14,000 cost of building the fence and Obama agreed to pay his landscaper to mow Rita’s lot for her.” [page 166]
Instead, the campaign’s “reality,” is: “Municipal Code Stated that Rezko Had to Pay for the Fence.”
Explained Corsi, “Again, the ‘reality’ response is non-responsive. Whether or not the municipal code stated that Rezko had to pay for the fence is irrelevant to the fact that Rezko agreed to pay the $14,000 cost of building the fence and Obama agreed to pay his landscaper to mow Rita’s lot for her. In other words, even if the municipal code stated Rezko had to pay for the fence, that fact does not make it a lie that Rezko agreed to pay the $14,000 cost of building the fence and Obama agreed to pay his landscaper to mow Rita’s lot for her. If anything, the fact that the municipal code stated Rezko had to pay for the fence might explain why Rezko agreed to pay the $14,000 to build the fence and Obama agreed in turn to pay his landscaper to mow Rita’s lot for her. ‘Unfit for Publication’ fails here to produce any fact or argument that would make the quoted statement from page 166 of ‘The Obama Nation’ a “lie.”
During “The Obama Nation’s” residency atop the Times’ best-sellers, it has garnered a lot of attention and generated a lot of antagonism.
“Obama’s campaign says the book is full of factual inaccuracies that include: the wrong date for the Obamas’ marriage, that Obama is currently using drugs like marijuana and cocaine, that Obama was raised with an Islamic education, that Obama wants to weaken the military and more easily disproven allegations. Corsi states that he doesn’t need to prove anything. Well, I guess anyone can print fiction and call it non-fiction,” wrote Martin A. Hogan in a review on Amazon.com.
However, the continued high profile of the unanswered questions raised in the book and its staying power atop best-sellers rankings have given a lot of other readers another perspective.
“Given the import of the position sought, Obama’s background and record must be detailed. If this reveals some inconvenient truths (such as Barack and Michelle’s long-term relationship with Rev. Wright or his friendship with Ayers), so be it. Unfortunately, simply revealing facts or questioning these relationships gets calls for silence and threats of legal action. So much for free speech,” wrote John Dorman on Amazon.
Among many startling accusations, the book links Obama to the massacre of Christians in Kenya. It also raises questions about his being raised in Indonesia, his links to 1970s radical Bill Ayers, his participation in a church whose pastor, Jeremiah Wright, announced to his congregation “God d*** America,” and other controversies.
Said an anonymous reviewer on Amazon, “As one of the most liberal U.S. senators and one who has been part of a ‘church’ that seems more anti-American or more interested in wallowing in black resentment than worshiping God, Dr. Corsi isn’t the only one wondering who Sen. Obama really is.”
He continued, “Obama’s life is an interesting one, full of a number of achievements, but it is one that raises a number of questions about this man who is not far from occupying the Oval Office. In many ways, Sen. Obama is an unknown quantity. … For some his rhetoric is more important than his deeds, beliefs, inclinations, history. Others who are interested in the latter would find this book by Dr. Corsi worthwhile, to see what an Obama White House might mean.”
Contributed Michael Hanson, “I don’t think Corsi even scratched the surface on how quickly and smoothly Obama dovetailed his way into the most corrupt political machine in the country. … His ties to Tony Rezko are fairly well known, even if the press does all it can to give Obama cover on this, and Corsi devotes a good deal of time cutting through the spin of Obama’s ‘boneheaded’ friendship.”
Those who reacted negatively toward the book also were called out by Dorman: “It is clear that many of them have not read this book. I’ve just finished …. and the statement that ‘this book makes absolutely no attempt to be objective in any way’ is simply untrue.”
Corsi documented a long list of points that the campaign tries to make for which it lacks documentation.
“‘The Obamas never gave a million dollars to a Kenyan politician,’ the first page asserts. Yet ‘The Obama Nation’ never made this claim. ‘The Obama Nation’ notes a memorandum is circulating in Kenya that ‘Friends of Senator BO’ gave approximately $1 million to the presidential campaign of Raila Odinga, but ‘The Obama Nation’ noted the authenticity of that document is still in question,” Corsi wrote.
“The first page asserts ‘Obama has no secret plan to destroy the military.’ Again, ‘The Obama Nation’ made no such claim. ‘The Obama Nation’ claimed instead that an Obama presidency would leave the United States a militarily weakened nation,” Corsi continued.
Nearly 20 times, Corsi explains that the Obama campaign criticism simply is “non-responsive” to the questions raised in the book.
“Approximately 15 percent of the total document, are devoted to ad hominem attacks against me,” he continues. “Since the days of ancient Greek rhetoric, ad hominem attacks have been considered the lowest form of argumentation. Typically, debaters or apologists only resort to ad hominem attacks only when they have already lost the argument because they are unable to win through evidence and logic. Ad hominem attacks attempt to discourage the listener from paying attention to the arguments made. The problem is that ad hominem arguments fail to refute the substantive contentions of the person who is being attacked personally,” Corsi wrote.
“I trust unbiased readers will see the ad hominem attacks leveled at me by ‘Unfit for Publication’ for what they are – attacks unworthy of any serious effort to elect a candidate to the highest political office in the United States,” he said.
Corsi previously co-authored the No. 1 New York Times best-seller, “Unfit for Command,” in 2004 – a book that helped sink Sen. John Kerry’s presidential hopes.