Last week we learned that in 2005, then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama posed smilingly with members of the Congressional Black Caucus and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan (Se. Obama posed side by side with the latter).
But the photojournalist who took the picture, Askia Muhammad, said he never wrote a story about the meeting and kept the photo hidden at the request of some members of the caucus who expressed concern over jeopardizing the electoral chances of Mr. Obama, who already was being talked about as a possible presidential candidate.
Now, 13 year later, after Mr. Obama’s electoral fortunes are no longer a concern, the photo and news of the meeting have surfaced.
Mr. Muhammad said he gave the original picture to a member of Mr. Farrakhan’s staff, kept a copy for himself, and “swore myself to secrecy” out of concern that “it absolutely would have made a difference” and damaged Obama’s political future. “
“[A]fter the nomination was secured and all the way up until the inauguration, then for eight years after he was president, it was kept under cover,” Mr. Muhammad said.
Mr. Farrakhan, of course, is notorious for his anti-Semitic and anti-white outbursts.
Was this a significant cover-up? We happen to think it is a very big deal. Let’s not forget about Barack Obama’s long association with Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who, like Farrakhan, had problems with Jews and regularly expressed them from the pulpit. For his part, Mr. Obama initially responded to complaints that over the years he hadn’t rebuked Rev. Wright with the incredible claim that he’d never heard his tirades.
Law professor Alan Dershowitz, one of Mr. Obama’s key Jewish supporters reacted with outrage after news of the Obama/Farrakhan photo broke:
[Farrakhan’s] called Judaism a gutter religion. He’s anti-American. He is a horrible human being. And if I had known that the president had posed smilingly with him when he was a senator, I would not have campaigned for Barack Obama. It would have influenced my decision….
You don’t associate with a bigot. You don’t associate with an anti-Semite. There should be zero tolerance for that kind of bigotry. And if Barack Obama associated with him, if the Black Caucus invited him, that’s – I don’t blame them for tying to suppress the truth because that’s a really horrible truth. We should have nobody in public office associating with a bigot like the Reverend Farrakhan.
Of course, the overarching issue is what the appearance with Mr. Farrakhan revealed about Mr. Obama’s inner core. So consider another bit of news Mr. Muhammad broke about how tight Mr. Obama was with the Nation of Islam and its leader:
In fact he [Obama] had people from the Nation of Islam working in his office in Chicago, his Senate staff. The members of the Nation of Islam helped him in his Senate campaign and on the South Side of Chicago.
Maybe now we can better understand Mr. Obama’s desire to reset the U.S.-Israel relationship.
And photo issue is the perfect segue into a second news story from last week.