WASHINGTON – Using a Pakistani Internet Protocol and proxy server, a disposable credit card and a fake address, “Osama bin Laden” has successfully donated twice to Barack Obama’s presidential re-election campaign.
The “Bin Laden” donations, actually made by WND staff, included a listed occupation of “deceased terror chief” and a stated employer of “al-Qaida.”
“Bin Laden” is currently set up on the official campaign website to contribute more to Obama’s campaign. The name is also registered as a volunteer.
Since the “foreign” contribution was sent, “Bin Laden’s” email address has received several solicitations from Obama’s campaign asking for more donations.
The apparently foreign-based contributions were conducted as a test after a flurry of media reports described the ability of foreigners to donate to the Obama campaign but not to Mitt Romney’s site, which has placed safeguards against such efforts.
The acceptance of foreign contributions is strictly illegal under U.S. campaign finance law.
One $15 donation was made at BarackObama.com using a confirmed Pakistani IP address and proxy server. In other words, as far as the campaign website was concerned, the donation was openly identified electronically as coming from Pakistan.
Upon clicking the “donate” button, WND staff selected the $15 amount and were taken to a page on the campaign website asking for a first and last name, city, state, zip code, email address and phone number.
The information submitted was: “Osama bin Laden, 911 Jihad Way, Abbottabad, CA 91101.”
While the website only has options for U.S. states and zip codes, there is no mechanism in place on Obama’s website to verify the individual is actually located in that state or zip code, or even in the U.S.
The Obama campaign refuses to release the identification of donors who give less than $200
In the case of this donation, the 91101 zip code is real but corresponds to Pasadena, Calif., and not Abbottabad, the Pakistani city in which bin Laden was found holed up in a compound.
For a requested phone number, WND used the White House information line of (202) 456-2121.
The email address used to set up the donation account was [email protected]
After clicking “next,” the website asked for an employer, occupation and a password to set up future donations. WND staff entered the occupation as “deceased terror chief” and the employer as “al-Qaida.”
The transaction was made last Friday with the use of a disposable credit card. The website did not require the card’s security code.
The campaign website immediately accepted the contribution even though it was made from a Pakistani IP address and despite the nonexistent street name and city information.
An automated email was immediately sent from Rufus Gifford, national finance director of Obama for America, thanking “Osama” for the contribution. The email contained a note that said, “There may be a minor delay in the processing of your contribution as it will be subject to review.” However, “Osama bin Laden’s” foreign donation evidently passed the Obama campaign’s “review.”
As of today, the $15 was debited from the disposable card.
To test if the first donation was an oversight, a second donation of $5 was made the following day using the “Bin Laden” account and the same Pakistani IP address.
WND has received confirmation from the credit card company that the purchase went through and the $5 was deducted from the disposable card.
From the time of the first donation until today, the Obama campaign sent nine more emails to the bin Laden Gmail account soliciting more donations.
One email sent Saturday reads, “Thanks so much for your donation of $5.00. Please take 10% off your next purchase of $10 or more at our online store.”
Another, signed by Michelle Obama, was titled “Barack is getting outraised.”
“You’re one of the campaign’s most committed supporters,” Michelle Obama writes in the automated email to “bin Laden.”
“Please make a donation of $19 or whatever you can today.”
The donations from a Pakistani IP address are sure to raise further questions about the measures in place to block such donations.
‘Time for an investigation’
Cleta Mitchell, a Republican campaign finance attorney, told WND there were many documented cases of illegal foreign contributions to the Obama campaign in 2008 that were “wholly ignored by the Federal Election Commission and the Obama Department of Justice.”
“I have been hearing the same stories from many sources during this campaign as well,” she said. “Every other campaign has safeguards against these illegal transactions – every campaign except the Obama campaign.”
Mitchell told WND it’s “abundantly clear that the Obama campaign is raising and accepting illegal contributions – and is being protected from investigation by his politicized Department of Justice.”
“It is high time that this was investigated and all illegal funds disgorged – and those responsible be prosecuted,” she asserted.
In 2008, WND reported two Palestinian brothers inside the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip donated $29,521.54 to Obama’s first presidential campaign. After the report, the campaign reportedly returned the donations.
“As a 15-year veteran Internet entrepreneur, I can tell you what this episode reveals: There is no intent on the part of the Obama campaign to discourage any illegal foreign campaign contributions,” said Joseph Farah, founder and chief executive officer of WND. “There are simple processes the Obama campaign could put in place to ensure transactions like this could never take place. No human review of transactions would even be necessary if such systems were in place. But apparently none of them are – making it certain illegal foreign contributions would be accepted by the Obama campaign.”
Last week, the New York Post reported a British citizen, Chris Walker, was able to make two $5 donations through Obama’s campaign website, while a similar attempt to give Mitt Romney online funds was rejected.
The Post noted how the Federal Election Commission posted data showing Obama’s campaign took in more than $2 million from donors who provided no ZIP code or incomplete ZIP codes.
Michael Czin, an Obama campaign spokesman, told the Post that FEC data was the result of “a minor technical error.”
“All the ZIP codes and numbers are real and can be verified,” Czin said.
However, if all zip codes are real, Czin has some explaining to do after the “Bin Laden” donation from a zip code based on the anniversary of the September 11th attacks.
The non-profit Government Accountability Institute recently released a report alleging Obama’s campaign had solicited foreigners for political donations through its social media websites.
As the Daily Caller reported, a statement accompanied the GAI’s report from former U.S. Attorney Ken Sukhia noting that 68 percent of traffic to BarackObama.com comes from foreign users, all of whom are redirected to a fundraising page operated by the president’s re-election campaign.
The GAI report further documented how Obama.com was registered in September 2008 to Robert Roche, an Obama campaign bundler living in Shanghai, China.
WND is preparing an affidavit for the Federal Elections Commission and the FBI on the illegal donation accepted by the Obama campaign.
Editor’s note: Additional research by Joshua Klein
Media wishing to interview Aaron Klein should write to [email protected]