CHICAGO – Did the parents of former Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers help finance Barack Obama’s Harvard education?
Did Ayers’ mother believe Obama was a foreign student?
And was the young Obama convinced at the time – long before he even entered politics – that he was going to become president of the United States?
A retired U.S. Postal Service carrier who delivered mail to Tom and Mary Ayers in a Chicago suburb in the late 1980s and early 1990s and claims to have met Obama in front of the Ayers home emphatically says yes to all three questions.
Allen Hulton, who was commended for 39 years of honorable service with the USPS, has given a sworn affidavit to investigators commissioned by Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio to determine whether Obama is eligible for Arizona’s 2012 election ballot. Hulton has recorded about three hours of video interviews with WND.
Hulton says that in conversations with Mary Ayers while on his route he learned of the couple’s enthusiasm and support for a black foreign student. One bright, warm Chicagoland day, he recounts, he met the student who fit Mary Ayers’ description in front of the Ayers home in Glen Ellyn, Ill. That young man, Hulton is convinced, was Barack Obama.
Hulton delivered mail to the Ayers, who are both deceased, when he was stationed at the post office in Glen Ellyn, an upper-middle class suburb 25 miles west of downtown Chicago, from late 1986 to 1997. He was a USPS employee from March 28, 1962, through March 30, 2001. (Editor’s note: Although the Ayers family no longer lives there, WND is withholding the Glen Ellyn street address for the sake of the current residents’ privacy.)
“It was a beautiful neighborhood – one of the nicer routes any of the letter carriers would have liked to have had,” Hulton recalls. “It had some large and very beautiful homes.”
As WND reported yesterday, Obama’s relationship with Bill Ayers – whom he dismissed in a 2008 debate as “just a guy who lives in my neighborhood” – plagued him in the 2008 presidential campaign and could resurface in this year’s election, as many questions remain.
Over a period of years in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Hulton estimates he spoke with Mary Ayers about 18 to 20 times and once to Tom Ayers, who died in 2007. Mary Ayers died in 2000.
“Sometimes Mary would be out when I delivered the mail, and we would exchange a few words on occasion,” he says, recalling that she liked to talk about her family.
“One day, Mary came to the door when I came up to the house with the mail,” he remembers. “After a greeting, she started enthusiastically talking to me about this young black student they were helping out, and she referred to him as a foreign student.”
Hulton assumed that by “helping” the student, Mary Ayers meant she and her husband were financially supporting the black foreign-exchange student with his education.
See excerpts of Jerome Corsi’s interviews with Allen Hulton:
He says that Mary Ayers told him the student's name, but that it was a "strange name" that he could not remember, even though at the time it sounded African to him.
"I was taken aback by how enthusiastic she was about him," Hulton says. "And I believe she said he was from either Kenya or Indonesia, and I favor Indonesia in my recollection."
WND has reported that when Obama was in Indonesia with his Indonesian stepfather and his mother from ages 6 to10, he was registered in school as an Indonesian citizen and a Muslim. He went by the name Barry Soetoro, adopting the surname of his Indonesian stepfather. His mother's passport listed him with the surname Soebarkah.
Obama refuses to waive privacy rights that would allow the Hawaii Department of Health to release any adoption records that may exist for him.
NOTE: In case you missed the news conference of Sheriff Joe Arpaio's "Cold Case Posse," you can view it here.
Even should Obama waive privacy rights, the Hawaii Department of Health might not feel compelled to release any adoption records that may exist. Tight restrictions to vital records have been enacted by the Hawaii State Legislature to seal any public documents pertaining to Obama's birth records and his adoption status.
If Obama were adopted by his Indonesian stepfather, he may have compromised his eligibility to be president, according to Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution, which requires that a president be a "natural-born citizen," which experts say means having both parents be U.S. citizens.
'I'm going to be president of the United States'
About a year after discussing with Mary Ayers the foreign student she and her husband were supporting, Hulton recalls meeting a young black male on the sidewalk in front of the Ayers home.
Hulton describes the man as being in his early 20s, noting that he was tall, thin, had a light complexion and that his ears stuck out.
"He greeted me," Hulton says. "He was very polite, dressed nicely, but informally – slacks and a dress shirt – and he spoke with no accent. Immediately this young black man entered into conversation with me. He told me he had taken the train out from Chicago and had come to thank the Ayers family personally for having helped him with his education."
Hulton remembers asking the young man what his plans were for the future.
"He looked right at me and told me he was going to be president of the United States," Hulton says.
"There was a little bit of a grin on his face when he said it – he sounded sure of himself, but not arrogant. I know how people will say things because they have an ambition, but it did not come across that way," Hulton says. "It came across as if this young black male was telling me he was going to be president, almost as if it were the statement of a scientific fact that had already been determined, as if his being president had been already pre-arranged."
Hulton says the claim made him speechless.
"I kind of stuttered a response and said that nowadays anything is possible. I wished him good luck with his ambition," he says.
Immediately, Hulton associated the young black man with the foreign student Mary Ayers had mentioned to him so enthusiastically about a year earlier.
"I remembered the conversation I had with Mary, and I associated this young man with the foreign student she had discussed with me, because Mary said they were supporting this foreign student, and the young black man I met outside the Ayers' home said he had come to Glen Ellyn to thank the Ayers in person for helping him with his education."
During the 2008 presidential campaign, Hulton observed several news reports detailing the relationship between Obama and Bill Ayers, and he recalled the encounter with the young man in front of Tom and Mary Ayers' home.
"The facial and physical characteristics, as well as candidate Obama's voice, matched that of the young black male I met in front of the Ayers' home," Hulton says in the affidavit he signed Nov. 12, 2011, for Sheriff Arpaio's Cold Case Posse investigation.
"I am positive that the black male I spoke with in front of the Ayers' house that day was indeed a young Barack Obama."
Hulton distinctly recalls that the day he met Obama in front of the Ayers' residence was a warm, sunny day and that Obama wasn't wearing a jacket.
Hulton recalls that he had one conversation with Tom Ayers, who was retired as CEO and chairman of Commonwealth Edison, shortly after the Ayers family moved into their home in Glen Ellyn.
"He asked me how I liked my job, and he started into what seemed to me a Marxist viewpoint on what it is like for the working man, trying to convince me that working people like me were exploited by their employers," Hulton remembers of the conversation.
"As an American citizen, I appreciated everything I had, and I was not at war with people who had more than I had," he says. "It surprised me to hear somebody who had been president of Consolidated Edison talking in these terms."
Hulton says he got the feeling that Tom Ayers thought he knew more about the plight of the workingman than he did.
A likely timeframe for Hulton's alleged encounter with Obama is the summer of 1989, when Obama was an intern at the Chicago law firm Sidley Austin, after his first year at Harvard Law School.
Hulton says Obama mentioned to him taking the train. The Metra, a commuter from downtown Chicago, stops at a Glen Ellyn station a little more than a mile from the Ayers' residence.
Michelle Robinson, Obama's wife-to-be, was the attorney at the firm assigned to mentor Obama in the summer of 1989.
Bill Ayers' wife, Bernardine Dohrn, also had worked as a paralegal at Sidley Austin, from 1984 through 1988. Dohrn's 1960s radical activities as a self-described "revolutionary communist" landed her on the FBI's list of 10 most wanted fugitives, and because of her felony conviction, she was not allowed to take the Illinois bar exam.
Widely speculated in Chicago is that Dohrn got the job at Sidley Austin through the influence of her father-in-law, Thomas Ayers, who was one of the law firm's biggest clients.
Michelle Obama started at the firm in the summer of 1988 and remained there until 1991.
Hulton recalls meeting Dohrn at the home of her in-laws, although his encounters with her were limited to having Dohrn sign for mail addressed to her.
First reported in 2009
Hulton's account of meeting Obama in suburban Chicago was first reported by California lawyer and political scientist Stephen Diamond in September 2009.
Writing on his blog, Diamond reported that he had interviewed Hulton at length and considered his account credible.
"The statement by Hulton is the first eyewitness account of a possible relationship between Obama and Tom Ayers and the first that dates his relationship with the Ayers family to the mid-1980s," Diamond wrote.
As early as Oct. 13, 2008, prior to the November 2008 presidential election, Diamond had reported that Obama's relationship with the Ayers family dated back to 1988. At that time, Obama, as head of the Developing Communities Project, joined the Alliance for Better Chicago Schools, the ABCs Coalition. The lobbying alliance aimed to push through Chicago public schools the creation of "Local School Councils," or LSCs, to oversee teachers and administrators.
"The proposal was very controversial, and groups like Operation PUSH headed by Jesse Jackson did not support it, because many teachers were black – it was one of the first stable middle class careers a black person, and black women in particular, could aspire to in Chicago," Diamond wrote.
Tom Ayers and Bill Ayers were strong supporters of the LSCs, however, according to Diamond, and Chicago United, a group founded by Tom Ayers, joined ABCs too. Bill Ayers became chairman of ABCs.
Knew Ayers' brother
Hulton was in the same class as Tim Ayers, Bill Ayers' brother, at Glenbard High School in Glen Ellyn. Although he did not know Bill Ayers, Hulton thought he might have met him at the parents' home once or twice, but he could not say for certain.
Hulton attended Glenbard, now known as Glenbard West, for four years, but did not have enough credits to graduate. He later earned a GED while in military service. Taking leave from the USPS when he was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1965, Hulton returned to work as a mailman following his honorable discharge in 1967.
While in the Army, he was assigned to a Pershing Ballistics Missile unit in Germany. Although the Vietnam War was being fought at the time, he was never assigned to Vietnam.