Drew Zahn is a WND news editor who cut his journalist teeth as a member of the award-winning staff of Leadership, Christianity Today's professional journal for church leaders. A former pastor, he is the editor of seven books, including Movie-Based Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching, which sparked his ongoing love affair with film and his weekly WND column, "Popcorn and a (world)view."More ↓Less ↑
While some quickly dismissed as an anomaly yesterday’s explosive revelation that Barack Obama’s former literary agency billed him as “born in Kenya” back in 1991 in connection with a book he never wrote, WND has discovered much later published references – some dated as recently as 2007 – used to promote his highly touted book “Dreams from My Father.”
Screenshot of Dystel & Goderich's author bios page from 2003, from Wayback Machine
As WND reported, Breitbart News originally found a brochure from two decades ago in which literary agency Acton & Dystel promoted Obama as the author of the never-produced “Journeys in Black and White” by declaring Obama was “born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii.”Twelve years later, however, the Dystel of Acton & Dystel was busy promoting Obama’s new book, “Dreams from My Father,” and still touting the author as “born in Kenya.”
Through the Internet archive Wayback Machine, WND found an August 2003 listing of Dystel & Goderich’s author bios, including the following: “Barack Obama was the first black president of the Harvard Law Review. He was born in Kenya to an American anthropologist and a Kenyan finance minister, and was raised in Indonesia, Hawaii and Chicago. His first book is ‘Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance.”
Even if the original 1991 brochure’s listing of Kenya as Obama’s birthplace was in error, as the agency has since claimed, it apparently was an error Obama allowed his publicist to persist in for over a decade, right until after he was running for president.
In April 2007, two months after Obama had launched his presidential bid, Dystel was still touting the then-Democratic senator from Illinois as “born in Kenya.”
Screen capture of Dystel & Goderich author bio, April 3, 2007
Another trip to the Internet’s Wayback Machine shows Dystel & Goderich describing Obama this way: “Barack Obama is the junior Democratic senator from Illinois and was the dynamic keynote speaker at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. He was also the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. He was born in Kenya to an American anthropologist and a Kenyan finance minister and was raised in Indonesia, Hawaii, and Chicago. His first book, DREAMS FROM MY FATHER: A STORY OF RACE AND INHERITANCE, has been a long time New York Times bestseller.”
The text of Obama’s biography in the brochure Breitbart reported on, created by Acton & Dystel in 1991, states:
“Barack Obama, the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review, was born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii. The son of an American anthropologist and a Kenyan finance minister, he attended Columbia University and worked as a financial journalist and editor for Business International Corporation. He served as project coordinator in Harlem for the New York Public Interest Research Group, and was Executive Director of the Developing Communities Project in Chicago’s South Side. His commitment to social and racial issues will be evident in his first book, Journeys in Black and White.”
Image from Breitbart.com
Breitbart News published a disclaimer at the beginning of its report stating its late founder, Andrew Breitbart, was never a “Birther” and Breitbart News “has never advocated the narrative of ‘Birtherism.’” Breitbart himself once characterized Obama’s eligibility as “not a winning issue.”
“Regardless of the reason for Obama’s odd biography, the Acton & Dystel booklet raises new questions as part of ongoing efforts to understand Barack Obama – who, despite four years in office remains a mystery to many Americans, thanks to the mainstream media,” the report says.
Yet the biographies are just a few of numerous published reports – as well as personal claims – that Obama was born abroad, including the recent testimony of a Chicago-area postal worker who reported he was told by the parents of Bill Ayers that Obama was a foreigner.
Hulton 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.
He 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 Postal Service employee from March 28, 1962, through March 30, 2001.
As WND reported, 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 to 10, 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.
‘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.”
There also was an internal bulletin from the Kenyan National Security Intelligence Service, or NSIS, that states that the Kenyan government in 2009 commissioned a cultural museum in the Obama home village of Kogelo to honor the “birthplace of President Barack Obama” and rededicate the tomb of his father, Barack Obama Sr.
The ministry of national heritage this month hosted a cultural festival in Kogelo and commissioned a cultural museum on a plot donated by a member of the Kogelo community. The cultural festival was attended by the minister for national heritage, William ole Ntimama and U.S. ambassador, Michael Ranneberger.
This was to honour the birthplace of President Obama and re-dedicate the tomb of Barack Hussein Obama, Sr., the president’s late father. But the project had been delayed because of ownership wrangles surrounding the plot.
The Daily Nation, which published an artist’s sketch of the proposed Kogelo cultural center, referred to it as Obama’s “ancestral home.”
The NSIS memo suggests the Kenyan intelligence agency kept a close watch on the Obama family in Africa.
It noted the Kenyan government provided assistance to Obama’s step-grandmother, Sarah Hussein Obama, in the form of additional security and a government stipend of 50,000 Kenyan Schillings ($575) per month.
A Kenyan blog, “Jaluo,” reported that Grandmother Sarah caused family conflict when she visited Moammar Gadhafi in Libya “to the surprise and chagrins of the White House in Washington, D.C.,” and “without a proper delegation and approval of the entire family.”
Under a Washington dateline, Solomon Asowata wrote, “Americans will today go to the polls to elect their next president with Democratic Party candidate, Senator Barack Obama largely favoured to win. The Kenyan-born Senator will, however, face a stiff competition from his Republican counterpart.”
An African Travel Magazine once reported, “As Kenyan born U.S. Senator Barack Obama jets into Kenya today as part of his African tour, concerns have once again been raised on the security preparations for other visitors and residents.”
An article in the Sunday Standard in Kenya begins, “Kenyan-born US Senate hopeful, Barrack (sic) Obama, appeared set to take over the Illinois Senate seat after his main rival, Jack Ryan, dropped out of the race on Friday night amid a furor over lurid sex club allegations.”
The article is credited to the wire service Associated Press. However, it could not be found either in the AP archives online or the African newspaper’s website.
A report by Modern Ghana posted in advance of the president’s visit stated his birthplace was on the continent of Africa.
“For Ghana, Obama’s visit will be a celebration of another milestone in African history as it hosts the first-ever African-American President on this presidential visit to the continent of his birth,” the report said.
Even a video of Michelle Obama herself created a stir of new questions when she spoke of her husband visiting “his home country in Kenya”:
With significant contribution from Jerome Corsi.
Any media interested in talking about this story with Jerome Corsi should contact firstname.lastname@example.org