For those (including Pundita) who have been otherwise occupied these past few weeks, you'll learn at the blog that Batchelor has been doing investigative reporting on the connections between Antoin Rezko and Barack Obama, and between Rezko and a cast of characters straight out of Baghdad Bob's playbook.
This has brought forth accusations from Democrat quarters that Batchelor is a right wing nut doing a hit job on Obama. This clues me that the accusers -- the sincere ones -- have not been closely following Batchelor's show for years. Else they'd know that Batchelor only deals with open source intelligence reports but that often he sits on a great deal of intel that's highly sensitive, shall we term it.
This is by way of indicating that if Batchelor is talking about Rezko and his Baghdad buddies, he is not functioning as a political operative; he's functioning as a war reporter and probably in touch with several sources working the same story.
Batchelor's close attention to the Rezko angle suggests there is more to the story than is publicly available -- at this time.(2) More may come out, if sources sitting on sensitive intel give him the green light. What's certain at this point is that he considers the story serious enough to warrant his audience's close attention.
Today Batchelor announced on the blog that this Sunday he'll be interviewing a "Baghdad guest" about:
Antoin "Tony" Rezko and his association with a Chicago resident and classmate, Aihman Alsammarae, who in 2004 and 2005 was the Minister of Electricity for the CPA in Iraq. I am focused on how the unusual and unfinished Alsammarae story relates to the Chicago and Illinois political history of recent years and also connects to Senator Obama, both as a state senator and a U.S. Senator.(1)I need to block out time to study all the data that Batchelor's made available or linked to before I comment on the situation. I note that Greg Sargent slammed Batchelor's report for Fox news, but because the comment section at Sargent's blog is "undergoing repair," this meant Batchelor couldn't reply in the comment section to Sargent's criticism.
From Batchelor's comment on his blog, clearly he gave an exhaustive reply to Sargent in an email, which neither he nor Sargent have published on their blogs as of this moment. Batchelor only stated on his blog that:
I replied to Greg Sargent in time with a lengthy explanation of the sources and links necessary to conclude that the Ayers-Obama relationship was not casual, not insignificant, not unthoughtful.I wrote Batchelor to request that given the importance of the situation he publish his full reply to Sargent. He wrote back that he would do this, but as of this moment the post is not up.
(9:45 PM Update: The link to his reply to Sargent is now posted.)
At first glance the Ayers angle seems a sideshow. But Obama's relationship with William C. Ayers, a confessed domestic terrorist bomber who escaped US prison on a technicality, intersects significantly with their work for the Woods Fund. The fund is a Chicago-based nonprofit on which Obama served as a paid director alongside Ayers.
According to a Feb 25 report filed by Aaron Klein, the fund provided $75,000 in grants to the Arab American Action Network, or AAAN, "a controversial Arab group that mourns the establishment of Israel as a 'catastrophe' "
Klein also reports that:
Obama's 1999 fundraising for the Palestinian Deheisha camp raised the eyebrows of one senior Israeli security official who was contacted yesterday for comment on the issue.Also see Klein's February 24 report titled Obama worked with terrorist: Senator helped fund organization that rejects 'racist' Israel's existence.(3)
The official, who was not aware of Obama's fundraising, noted Deheisha, which is located near the city of Bethlehem, had a "very active" Palestinian terror apparatus in 1999, carrying out scores of deadly shootings against Israeli civilians that year. [...]
Two of the most deadly suicide bombings in 2002 also were planned from Deheisha, where the suicide bombers originated, said the security official. On one such bombing, in March of that year, 11 people were killed and over 50 injured, four critically when a Deheisha bomber detonated his explosives next to a group of Jewish women waiting with their baby carriages for their husbands to leave a nearby synagogue.
1) I don't know which of the two Sunday night Batchelor radio shows the "Baghdad guest" will be appearing on. The show kicks off at 7:00 PM Eastern Time at New York's WABC-77 AM radio. Then the show rolls over to KFI-640 AM in Los Angeles (10:00 PM Eastern Time). Both shows are available online via the radio website. The KFI show is also available, within a day or so of the broadcast, as a podcast.
2) From Batchelor's Feb 25 report for Human Events:
[...] Antoin "Tony" Rezko is the primary history to investigate for Mr. Obama's political profile. According to Mr. Obama, Mr. Rezko contacted the young law student when he was elected editor of the Harvard Law Review in 1990 and offered him employment in Chicago. Mr. Rezko, a Syrian-born U.S. citizen described by the Chicago press as a "fixer," is now in federal detention in Chicago and about to go on trial on March 3 for purloining up to $6 million from the people of Illinois with various kickback schemes while he was working for the present Democratic Governor, Rod Blagojevich. Mr. Rezko's involvement with the rapid rise of the political career of Mr. Obama long predates his work for the governor and remains largely unexamined. [...]3) The Washington Post's Election 2008 blog reported on Feb 26 that on Feb 24, in Cleveland, OH, Barack Obama spoke with 100 members of the Jewish community, in the effort to assure them that he's fair-minded about Israel.
For the most detailed analysis to date of Obama's views on Israel, see Ed Lasky's Jan 16 Barack Obama and Israel at American Thinker.