NEW YORK – Sen. Barack Obama, with a donation of nearly $1 million, and a son of Libyan dictator Muammar Gadhafi were among the biggest contributors to the presidential campaign of controversial Kenyan leader Raila Odinga, according to an internal document obtained by WND.
The memo was prepared by the head of Odinga’s campaign finance accounting section, Shakeel Shabbir, as an official report delivered to the national treasurer for Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement party, or ODM.
Among the 72 individuals and organizations that contributed money to Odinga’s 2007 presidential run in Kenya, Shabbir lists “Friends of Senator B.O.” as having donated 66,000,000 Kenyan schillings, about $950,000.
Saif el-Islam Gadhafi, the Libyan strongman’s second oldest son, reportedly donated 53,450,000 Kenyan schillings, about $765,000.
According to several highly credible ex-ODM sources WND interviewed in Kenya, the $950,000 raised for Odinga’s campaign came from a series of private meetings arranged for Odinga by Mark Lippert, a foreign policy adviser in Obama’s U.S. Senate office. The meetings with top-dollar Obama fundraisers and donors took place during Odinga’s 2006 trip to the U.S.
In Kenya, WND talked to several top ex-ODM officials who played key roles in Odinga’s 2007 presidential campaign.
The officials became disaffected with Odinga after confirming he signed a memorandum of understanding with Sheik Abdullahi Abdi, the chairman of the National Muslim Leaders Forum, or NAMLEF. In the Aug, 27, 2007, agreement, Odinga promised that within six months of becoming president, he would “rewrite the Constitution of Kenya to recognize Shariah as the only true law sanctioned by the Holy Quran for Muslim declared religions.”
The ex-Odinga officials also told WND that, as Christians, they were appalled to see Odinga use tribal violence as a strategy to gain power after he lost the election by some 250,000 votes to sitting President Mwai Kibaki, a member of Kenya’s majority Kikuyu tribe.
Odinga called on fellow Luo tribal members to protest alleged voter fraud, resulting in a brutal wave of machete-wielding violence that killed an estimated 1,000 members of the Kikuyu tribe in January and February. Some 800 Christian churches also were destroyed or burned to the ground, without a single mosque being damaged.
In a move to end the post-election violence, Kibaki named Odinga as prime minister April 13, effectively entering into a power-sharing agreement brokered by former U.N. General Secretary Kofi Annan and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that established Odinga as a co-equal head of state.
WND contacted both Obama’s Washington Senate office and his Chicago campaign office asking for comment on this story but received no response.
The ex-ODM supporters of Odinga also confirmed a long-suspected alliance between Odinga and Gadhafi that dates back to Odinga’s service as Kenyan minister of energy in 2001-2002.
Shakeel Shabbir’s internal campaign finance memorandum was noted in Chapter 4 of “The Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality.” At the time the book was published, however, the authenticity of the memo could not be proved.
Research conducted in Kenya by WND this month confirmed Shabbir’s funding memorandum had been smuggled out of ODM offices by Christian former-ODM officials who had turned on Odinga after the agreement with the Muslim leader was verified.
While several Internet sources posting the Shabbir memo have been taken down since publication of “The Obama Nation” brought it to international attention, it can still be seen here.
As energy minister, Odinga was introduced to the family of Sheik Abdulkadir Al-Bakri, one of the richest oil families in Saudi Arabia. Through his firm Pan African Petroleum Limited, Odinga is believed to have made millions on a concessionary petroleum deal he negotiated as a silent partner in the local arm of Al-Bakri International.
The Washington Times reported Odinga visited Obama during three trips the Kenyan politician made to the U.S. in 2004, 2005 and 2006.
The Times also reported Obama sent his Senate office foreign policy adviser Lippert to Kenya in early 2006 to coordinate a Senate “fact-finding” visit to Kenya later that year.
Obama apparently sought to establish a level of separation between himself and Odinga in their communications regarding the Kenyan election, noting further in the e-mail, using Lippert as a go-between “will be for my own security now and in future.”
WND previously reported that when Obama visited Kenya in 2006, the administration of President Kibaki objected that Odinga was using Obama’s visit to win votes. Obama’s repeated public appearances with Odinga, and the senator’s almost daily criticism of the Kibaki government added to the administration’s objections.
A report by Chicago’s WBBM-TV news team, which covered Obama in Kenya, shows the senator making statements critical of the Kibaki government.
WBBM interviewed on camera Kenyan government spokesman Alfred Mutua, who accused Obama of meddling inappropriately in Kenyan presidential politics.
Matua said, “I think Odinga has to look at critically where he is receiving his advice from. Just because somebody wants to run for president, and he is using Senator Obama as his stooge, as his puppet, to be able to get where he wants to get.”
WND met with key officials in the Kibaki administration who affirmed their continuing conviction Obama used his 2006 Senate fact-finding visit to Kenya to advance Odinga’s presidential candidacy. Obama, the officials charged, allowed Odinga to join him in many public appearances in Kenya and give speeches attacking Kibaki with themes that later became key attacks in the 2007 campaign.
Obama maintained close contact with Odinga throughout the Kenyan campaign, with Lippert continuing to review and share strategy documents with Odinga from Obama’s U.S. Senate office in Washington, according to the ex-ODM officials WND interviewed in Kenya.
In the final days of the New Hampshire Democratic Party primary, while the post-election violence was still raging in Kenya, Obama told reporters from the BBC he continued to maintain contact with Odinga in Kenya by cell phone.
The Chicago Sun-Times called Lippert one of Obama’s “inner circle of foreign policy experts,” noting Lippert joined the Illinois Democrat’s Senate office in Washington at beginning of his term in January 2004, moving over from a staff position on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Newsweek reported Lippert, a lieutenant junior grade in the Naval Reserve with an intelligence background, also served a year’s deployment in Iraq.
Lippert also worked for five years with the Senate Appropriations Committee Foreign Operations Subcommittee and handled foreign policy and defense issues for the Senate Democratic Policy Committee, according to the Sun-Times.
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