A writer who attempted to smear the authors of a recently released bestselling book investigating President Obama’s radical ties is himself an extremist who has long been associated with socialism, Marxism and the founders of the Weather Underground domestic terrorist organization.

The writer, Chip Berlet, also has a long history of equating conservatives with fascists. He has alleged that “hard right” groups popularized racism and religious bigotry.

Berlet reviewed the new book by WND senior reporter Aaron Klein, “The Manchurian President: Barack Obama’s ties to communists, socialists and other anti-American extremists.” Klein’s co-author is Brenda J. Elliott.

Berlet’s review appeared within the pages of In These Times, a socialist journal whose editorial board includes Weather Underground terrorist group founders William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn.

In his review, Berlet slammed Klein as “fanc[ying] himself a shark of an investigative journalist but is really just another bottom-feeder” and “senior staff reporter for the hard-right conspiracist WorldNetDaily.”

Berlet called Elliott an “Internet crank.”

The review also suggested Klein and Elliott were motivated to investigate Obama because of the president’s race.

The article attacking “The Manchurian President” was Berlet’s first piece published at In These Times in more than 10 years.

“It seems Berlet was called in specifically to engage in ad hominem attacks against this important, thoroughly researched book,” stated Klein. “It has emerged that he’s long been affiliated with some of the same radicals who are deeply tied to Obama.”

Berlet, currently a senior analyst for the Political Research Associates, is a radical activist who has a long history of criticizing conservatives, usually calling them “fascists.” He has long been associated with Dohrn and other Weathermen terrorist leaders.

According to Discover the Networks, or DTN, Berlet is a member of the communist National Lawyers Guild. This is the group for which Dohrn worked in 1967 to set up defense councils ahead of the riots she orchestrated on college campuses.

Berlet signed several petitions with Dohrn and other Weathermen leaders, including one in 1984 expressing outrage that federal grand juries were investigating the activities of leftist radicals who had, the petition claimed, “supported mass struggle against the military … development of an armed clandestine movement [and] broad struggle against repression.”

Berlet previously wrote for the New York Guardian, a Marxist-Leninist weekly.

DTN notes that in 1983 Berlet was a founding member of the Chicago Area Friends of Albania, an organization that supported the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania, which was then under the political leadership of the Marxist-Leninist dictator Enver Hoxha.

Berlet has engaged in attacks against conservatives and what he has termed the “Christian right.”

He contributed to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Intelligence Project” report, which alleged that “hard right” groups had popularized racism and religious bigotry.

Berlet commonly affixes the label “fascist” to Republicans and conservatives. For example, writing on behalf of the National Lawyers Guild a month before the 1992 presidential election, Berlet charged that the George H.W. Bush administration had “pursued its agenda … which borrows heavily from the theories of corporatism, authoritarianism, and militarism adopted by Italian fascism.”

Berlet also wrote that independent Reform Party candidate Ross Perot “provide[s] us with a contemporary model of the fascist concept of the organic leader.”

In 1995, Berlet co-authored a piece suggesting: “There has been much cooperation, competition, and interaction between fascism and other sections of the right” in the U.S. He further asserted that “fascist potentials” and “right-wing populism” are “too close for comfort.”

Berlet currently serves on the advisory board of the National Committee Against Repressive Legislation, which was founded in 1960 in opposition to the anti-Communist efforts of the House Un-American Activities Committee.

He also sits on the board of the Campaign to Defend the Constitution, a Tides Center project formed in 2005 to combat “the growing power of the religious right” and to “fight for the separation of church and state.”

Tides supports many far-left activist groups, including the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN.

New name for Obama

“The Manchurian President” is the result of years of investigative reporting by Klein and Elliott. The book contains dozens of meticulously documented but previously unreported scandals about Obama and other White House officials, including top czars and senior advisers Valerie Jarrett and David Axelrod.

The book also unmasks, exclusively, important aspects of Obama’s carefully covered-up college years, with new details of his student career at Occidental College and later at Columbia University.

Obama’s associations with the Nation of Islam, Black Liberation Theology and black political extremists are also revealed, with extensive new information on the subjects.

Also detailed are Obama’s deep ties to ACORN, which are much more extensive than previously documented elsewhere. The book crucially describes how a socialist-led, ACORN-affiliated union helped facilitate Obama’s political career and now exerts major influence in the White House.

In one chapter, the book unmasks the extremists among Obama’s “czars” and other top advisers, including new information linking Axelrod and Jarrett to communist activists.

The many issues pertaining to Obama’s eligibility to be president are carefully examined and given a much more extensive analysis than in previous works, including questions about Obama’s birth documentation and whether or not he legally qualifies as a “natural-born citizen” according to the U.S. Constitution.

“The Manchurian President” also exposes how Obama’s health-care policy, masked by moderate populist rhetoric, was pushed along and partially crafted by extremists, some of whom reveal in their own words that their principal aim is to achieve corporate socialist goals and a vast increase in government powers.

“I believe this work is crucial to Americans from across the political spectrum,” says Klein, “including mainstream Democrats who should be alarmed that their party has been hijacked by an extreme-left fringe bent on permanently changing the party to fit its radical agenda.”

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