WND senior staff writer Jerry Corsi
NAIROBI, Kenya – WND senior staff reporter Jerome Corsi yesterday was refused permission to hold a scheduled news conference about his investigation into Barack Obama’s Kenyan links by Kenyan immigration officials and soldiers armed with automatic weapons who then took him to his departure flight and made it clear he was not welcome to return.
“Don’t ever come back. See you in hell,” Corsi reported an unidentified official told him as the author of the No. 1 best-selling book “The Obama Nation” was delivered to a flight departing from Nairobi for London.
Corsi is now in London, where he will file a WND story on his discoveries in Kenya and recount yesterday’s ordeal in radio and TV interviews, including the Fox News Channel’s Hannity and Colmes.
Late yesterday, Corsi was able to communicate surreptitiously with WND in Kenya after being held incommunicado by immigration officials who at one point claimed his was being held because of a paperwork mixup.
He was just getting ready for a 10 a.m. (3 a.m. EDT) news conference to announce the results of his investigation into Obama’s connections inside Kenya when immigration officials detained him along with Tim Bueler, his publicist.
Corsi made a quick contact with WND founder and editor Joseph Farah, but then Kenyan authorities, armed with automatic weapons, confiscated his passport and cell phone and held him as if he were suspected of a crime.
Corsi documented the ordeal and dispatched a report to WND from his telephone later in the brief period between the time authorities returned his belongings in preparation for his departure and when the British Airways jet took off.
“We were detained and lied to all day,” Corsi wrote. “The immigration officer at the hotel 15 minutes before the press conference this morning said we only needed to come to the immigration headquarters downtown for a few minutes and that we would be back to the hotel for the press conference with only a few minutes delay.”
That, however, was not to be the case, as Corsi and Bueler would find out soon after they left their hotel.
“We got brought to immigration headquarters by what turned out to be about a dozen immigration officers plus military armed with automatic rifles,” he reported. “Tim got placed in the back of the vehicle and was surrounded by the armed military. I was in the front between the driver and the top immigration officer who first identified himself at the hotel.”
Kenyan authorities took their cell phones and passports, even while explaining the Americans were “not under arrest.”
Hours later, two lawyers appeared before the author and his publicist, although they had not been requested.
“About 1:30, the chief immigration officer demanded we accompany him immediately to the airport – we were told immigration needed to verify our air tickets, which always were for this flight tonight,” Corsi wrote. “The tickets were always e-tickets and could easily be validated by computer from anywhere.”
But Kenyan immigration officials then explained the men’s entry cards had been “lost” and that Corsi and Bueler had to be at the airport to help investigate what happened.
In addition to being held incommunicado, the two also were held without food.
“We were offered no food until Tim began feeling a problem with his blood
sugar, then around 2:30 p.m. the head immigration people allowed one of the
immigration officials to accompany us so we could have ‘no more than 15
minutes’ to buy something to eat,’” Corsi wrote.
Eventually, they were taken from the holding facility to the airport.
“We were led out of headquarters by [the] back stairs and elevators, to avoid the press that had followed us to headquarters and was still waiting for interviews,” Corsi reported.
“We went to the airport via armed caravan,” Corsi added, and on arrival the two Americans were told to go into a “holding cell” already containing other possible deportees.
“We refused, demanding to know if we were being charged with any offenses, where our lawyers had gone, and why we had to be locked up, when all day we had been lied to and told we would be released ‘soon,’” Corsi reported.
The instructions to go into the holding cell were repeated several times, always without success, he said.
Late in the afternoon the two were told they would be allowed to board the British Airways flights to London and “that we had committed no offenses and were not being deported,” said Corsi.
But authorities still kept the cell phones and passports.
“About 6 p.m. our lawyer arrived with our luggage, which we had not been allowed to go get or pack,” Corsi wrote. “We had no place or opportunity to consult with the lawyer, who was asked to leave once we got our bags.”
A brief meeting with Richard Nicholson, the vice consul in the U.S. embassy followed.
“He, too, confirmed we had done nothing wrong and were not being deported,” Corsi wrote.
It was shortly after that, when authorities returned Corsi’s cell phone, that he was able to provide this report as the British Airways flight prepared for departure for London.
Peter Mbae, a Kenyan publicist who arranged the news conference, told WND he contacted the Ministry of Immigration and was told the Americans were being held but would be let go eventually.
It was just one of the stories released during the day. One official with the Embassy of Kenya in Washington said he was unaware of Corsi’s detention. When WND reached the embassy later, a receptionist confirmed the official word was that Corsi was not detained.
“He’s enjoying his holiday in Kenya,” she said.
The management of the hotel where Corsi was scheduled to hold the press conference backed away from its previous commitment, too.
In a press release, the hotel said: “We would like to assure our business partners and the public at large that Laico Regency Hotel is a law-abiding institution and does not condone any smear campaigns. The management cannot allow such activities to take place.”
Corsi was in Kenya because Obama has a history of connections there, and the African nation is where his father worked as a well-known government economist. Corsi documented this history in his book but scheduled the trip to find answers to lingering questions – particularly about the links between the presidential candidate and Kenya Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
Corsi had promised a news conference that would “expose details of deep secret ties between U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and a section of Kenya government leaders, their connection to certain sectoral groups in Kenya and subsequent plot to be executed in Kenya should Senator Obama win the American presidency.”
Sen. Barack Obama with Raila Odinga
Corsi was set to show Obama and Odinga have been in direct contact since the senator’s visit to Kenya in 2006. He was to claim Obama advised Odinga on campaign strategy and helped him raise money in the U.S. for the Kenya presidential campaign.
Corsi was to report Odinga’s 2007 presidential campaign strategy called for exploiting anti-Kikuyu tribal sentiments, claiming victory and charging voter fraud even if the campaign knew the election had been legitimately lost. Odinga, Corsi said, also was willing to fan the flames of ethnic tribal tensions and use violence as a last resort by calling for mass action that led to the destruction of properties, injuries, loss of life and the displacement of over 500,000 Kenyans. The purpose was to compel the Electoral Commission of Kenya to declare him the winner or enable him to declare himself the winner by force.
Even though Odinga has not fulfilled his campaign promises to the Muslims who voted for him, he continues to cause concern among Kenyans because he has not declared his position on Shariah law, Corsi said.
Corsi said Obama remained in active phone contact with Odinga through the New Hampshire Democratic Party primary in January. The Illinois senator continued to support Odinga, he said, turning a blind eye to an agreement signed with Muslims and the post-election violence instigated as part of the campaign strategy.