WND is publishing for the first time the prepared opening statement by Jerome Corsi for the scheduled Oct. 7 press conference in Nairobi that was shut down when he was detained by Kenyan military and immigration authorities.
As Corsi developed the text the previous day, he shared it with key government officials and accepted suggestions for changes.
The only governmental factions Corsi was unable to interview in Kenya were Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Orange Democratic Movement party members still remaining loyal to him.
Corsi said the office of Kenyan President Kibaki and Vice President Kolonzo were fully informed of his intention to hold the press conference at the Grand Regency Hotel, and neither expressed any objections.
Jerome R. Corsi, Ph.D.
Senior Staff Reporter
For the past week, I have been in Nairobi, Kenya, investigating the ties between Sen. Barack Obama and Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, as first presented in my New York Times No. 1 best-selling book, “The Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality.”
Chapter 4 of my book was devoted to Kenya.
As a result of the investigative journalism I have done in Kenya this past week, I can now verify the following:
- Senator Barack Obama and Prime Minister Raila Odinga have been in direct contact since Senator Obama’s visit to Kenya in 2006.
- Senator Obama has advised Raila Odinga on campaign strategy and helped Raila Odinga raise money in the United States for Raila Odinga’s presidential campaign in Kenya.
- The memorandum of understanding Raila Odinga, representing the Orange Democratic Movement, or ODM, and Sheikh Abdullahi Abdi, the chairman of the National Muslim Leaders Forum, or NAMLEF, signed on Aug. 27, 2007, is now verified as a genuine document in the original long form Abdi produced for Kenyan television.
- An eight-page document drafted for Raila Odinga as an executive summary of his campaign strategy, entitled “Positioning and Marketing of the Orange Democratic Movement and the People’s President – Hon. Raila A. Odinga,” that was allegedly prepared by the party’s core strategy team has also been verified as a valid document.
- Odinga’s 2007 presidential campaign strategy called for exploiting anti-Kikuyu sentiments, claiming victory and charging voter fraud even if the campaign knew the election had been legitimately lost and being willing to fan the flames of ethnic tribal tensions and use violence as a last resort by calling for mass action which led to the destruction of properties, injuries, loss of life and the displacement of over 500,000 Kenyans. This was to create a situation forcing the Electoral Commission of Kenya to declare Odinga the winner or having him declare himself, by force, “The People’s President” at a rally in Uhuru Park.
- Even though Odinga has not fulfilled his promises to the Muslims who voted for him, he continues to cause concern among Kenyan Christians, because he has not declared his position on Shariah law and the Kadhi’s Court in Kenya.
- Sen. Obama remained in active phone contact with Odinga, through the New Hampshire Democratic Party primary in January, continuing to support Odinga, turning a blind eye to the memorandum of understanding signed with Muslims and the post-election violence instigated as part of the ODM campaign strategy.
Until the U.S. presidential election in November, I will be substantiating these charges on WorldNetDaily, where I am a senior staff investigative reporter.
I also plan to be actively on radio and television in the United States to explain the results of my research in Kenya and the articles I plan to write on WorldNetDaily.
Fifteen minutes before the press conference was to begin, Corsi was confronted by approximately 30 Kenyan immigration officers and uniformed military armed with automatic rifles, demanding to see his passport.
Corsi was taken by the immigration authorities and detained at Nyayo House, the provincial government headquarters in Nairobi, beginning what turned into 13-hours of detention, during which Kenyan immigration officials conducted an official investigation into his immigration status.
The 10 a.m. press conference at the Grand Regency Hotel in downtown Nairobi was never held because of Corsi’s detention, which, throughout, was enforced by armed Kenyan military.
Immigration officials detaining Corsi assured him he was not under arrest and that he was not being charged with any crimes, even though they insisted he accompany them to the main Nairobi immigration building on the ninth floor of the nearby downtown Kenyan government office.
In Kenya for a week, Corsi had scheduled the Oct. 7 press conference on the morning of the day he was scheduled to take an 11:45 p.m. British Airways flight from Nairobi to London.
“I feared my life would be in danger once I revealed the information and documents I had uncovered in Kenya,” Corsi said, “so I scheduled to leave that evening, once I had completed the press conference and had some time to do follow-up one-on-one interviews with interested reporters.”
In the week he was in Kenya, Corsi held extensive private meetings with numerous highly positioned government officials, former leaders of Raila Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement party, influential Christian missionaries, African Christian pastors and various long-time experts in Kenyan politics.
Most of Corsi’s interviews were conducted under the condition that he keep his sources anonymous, largely because those meeting with him feared reprisals and possibly even threats to their lives for sharing information for publication with WorldNetDaily.
Corsi said that Kenyan immigration authorities assured him throughout the course of his 13-hour detention that he was never under arrest and that he was not being deported.
“Immigration officials told us late in the day last Tuesday that the press conference had been cancelled when Odinga phoned immigration officials and demanded I be arrested,” Corsi said. “The president and vice president’s office knew we were giving the press conference and had no objections.”
Corsi told WND that late in the morning, while he was still in detention at the downtown Nairobi immigration headquarters, two individuals in suits and ties arrived and announced they were lawyers hired to represent him.
“I never hired any lawyers,” Corsi told WND. “The lawyers made a point of telling the immigration authorities in our presence that they had been retained by Kenyan Vice President Kolonzo’s office to represent us.”
Corsi was later told the lawyers had paid bribes to immigration authorities to get him released.
“I disapprove of paying bribes and would never have authorized their payment,” Corsi said.
Corsi said he has refused to acknowledge e-mails received from Kenya since his release demanding he compensate the people who allegedly put up the money to pay the bribes.
Throughout the day, Kenyan immigration authorities held Corsi’s passport, his driver’s license and his cell phone. He was never free to leave immigration custody or even move about the airport freely, without being accompanied by armed guard.
Kenyan authorities also detained Corsi’s publicist Tim Bueler, who had accompanied him to Kenya.
Both were denied the opportunity to eat until late in the day when Corsi insisted Bueler was beginning to suffer blood sugar problems from lack of food.
Despite reports from Kenyan newspapers that Corsi was in Kenya to promote his book, he denies the charges.
“My book ‘The Obama Nation’ was a No. 1 New York Times best-seller for a month after it was published on August 1,” Corsi said. “The U.S. is the largest book market in the world. The idea that I was going to Nairobi to open a Kenyan market to sell the book was ridiculous. The book was written for a U.S. audience, not a Kenyan audience.”
Still, immigration officials who detained Corsi at the Regency Hotel prior to the press conference demanded to see the inventory of books they believed Corsi had brought and were surprised to learn he had with him only one copy of the book, which he had planned to show to the press when delivering his prepared remarks at the press conference.
After writing “The Obama Nation,” Corsi had been invited to Kenya by former ODM officials who had become disillusioned with Odinga after Odinga’s agreement with the Muslim leader Abdi became public knowledge. Odinga then prompted a wave of tribal violence, claiming voter fraud, as a last ditch effort to gain power after losing to President Kibaki by nearly a quarter million votes.
“The ex-ODM officials inviting me to Kenya offered to share with me internal ODM documents and e-mails which would support the claims I made in Chapter 4 of ‘The Obama Nation,’ Corsi said. “I went to Kenya to do additional research, not to sell books, and I declared that purpose on the immigration entry card when I arrived in Kenya.”
Kenyan officials have claimed that Corsi violated the terms of a tourist visa when he entered the country supposedly “to go on safari,” while his real intent was to engage in the commercial activity of book-selling.
“The immigration officials said they lost our entry cards,” Corsi said. “But the truth is the government knew we told the truth when we entered Kenya, and immigration officials did not want to have to show to the public that we entered Kenya as journalists, not tourists.”
To date, the Kenyan government has failed to charge Corsi with any violation of immigration laws or to produce evidence that he entered the country under false pretenses.
Kenyan immigration and airport security officials kept Corsi under armed guard until they were placed aboard their originally scheduled flight departing that evening.
Upon handing Corsi’s and Bueler’s passports to British Airways flight attendants when the airplane’s door was being closed for takeoff, an unnamed Kenyan official rudely told Corsi, “Never come back to Kenya” and “See you in hell.”
On Monday, Dec. 31, 2007, after he lost the popular vote for president in Kenya and President Kibaki had been sworn in for a second term, Odinga called a ceremony in Nairobi’s Uhuru Park to proclaim himself the “People’s President,” ignoring a police ban to hold the event and disregarding the hundreds of riot officers the government deployed around the park during the event, according to a BBC report.
At this point, post-election tribal violence in which Odinga’s machete-wielding Luo tribe supporters attacked President Kibaki’s majority Kikuyu tribe members had already broken out across Kenya.
Muslim groups continue to push the Constitution of Kenya Review Commission to expand the Islamic Kadhi Court jurisdiction to civil and commercial disputes, a move implicit in the agreement Odinga signed with Abdi and his Muslim group, NAMLEF.
Kadhi Courts typically settle marriage and inheritance disputes between Muslims in Kenya and have been recognized at the district level since Kenyan independence in 1963.
For media wishing to interview Jerome Corsi, please e-mail Tim Bueler.