Another exciting episode in our continuing series: Obama Mystery Theater.
Inside Edition, according to the UK’s Daily Mail, recently aired previously unseen video of Barack Obama greeting his half-brother Mark Ndesandjo, when the latter surprised the former as he prepared to debate Hillary Clinton in Austin, TX, in 2008. [emphasis added]
The video is available at the link. The story advises:
A never-before-seen video shows the moment Barack Obama reunited with his half-brother Mark Obama Ndesandjo after two decades apart. …
The half-brothers had met on only one prior occasion, when Obama visited his father’s family in Kenya in 1988.
The video obtained by Inside Edition shows candidate Obama entering the room, seeing his brother and looking extremely surprised. …
President Obama is Ndesandjo’s older half-brother. Their father, Barack Obama Sr, married Ndesanjo’s [sic?] mother Ruth Baker a few months after divorcing the president’s mother, Ann Dunham [in March 1964]. …
While the president didn’t grow up with his father, Ndesandjo and his mother moved with Obama Sr back to Kenya where he spent his childhood. …
In 1973, Ruth Baker divorced Obama Sr and remarried another Kenyan man and Ndesandjo took his step-father’s last name.
Barack Obama Sr died in a car accident in Nairobi, Kenya in 1982 at the age of 46.
Apparently the half-brothers have a tradition of unexpectedly surprising each other. According to Inside Edition,
Mark was 22-years old when one day in 1988 the big brother he’d never met showed up unannounced at his home in Kenya. After that emotional first meeting, the Obama brothers lost contact for almost 20 years.
This video and the accompanying stories raise several questions. Early on, we noticed discrepancies between the official story of Obama’s life and what others have said. Apparently some people didn’t get the memo, or at least didn’t read Obama’s book about himself, so they must have accidentally told the truth.
Our O Timeline documents many discrepancies related to Obama, his trips to Kenya, his meetings with Mark, and certain facts about Mark’s mother. There are links within our timeline to the sources that show the discrepancies.
For example, Inside Edition says,
Mark’s mother, Ruth, a white, Jewish school teacher from Massachusetts married Barack Obama Sr. when they met at Harvard in 1964. Just a few months earlier, Barack Sr. had divorced the president-to-be’s mom, Ann Dunham when he was only two years old.
Ruth Baker’s name was originally reported to the world as Ruth Nidesand. Our post about Ruth illustrates further discrepancies between reality (as we currently know it) and the official story. Note that Ruth did not attend Harvard, but Simmons College, and that she taught elementary school in the Boston suburbs when she met Barack Sr., according to Sally Jacobs’s biography of Barack Sr., so she didn’t meet him at work. So from where did the reporter get the idea that they met at Harvard?
Is this the result of sloppy reporting, or is it the result of somebody not being able to keep his stories straight? Or is it because the narratives must morph as evidence to the contrary is discovered by the few unbiased reporters and citizen researchers?
Strangely enough, the Daily Mail story says (twice) that Mark and his mother moved to Kenya with Barack Sr.:
Different lives: While the president grew up without his father, Ndesandjo and his mother Ruth Baker moved to Kenya with Barack Obama Sr.
Poorly phrased or inadvertent truth? Where was Mark Ndesandjo born? When did he and his mother Ruth move to Kenya “with” Barack Obama Sr.? Where did he and his mother live before they moved to Kenya? The Sally Jacobs book says that Ruth married Barack Sr. in Kenya, in December of 1964. Did Mark and his mother move to Kenya before she married Barack Sr.?
The story adds another piece to the puzzle of when exactly Mark and Barack Jr. first met. Jack Cashill, among others, has written about this particular discrepancy. Cashill wrote about Obama’s state visit to China in November of 2009. Because Mark Ndesandjo lives in China, the half-brothers met up during that visit.
At the time of Obama’s visit in 2009, Ndesandjo was marketing a semi-autobiographical novel about growing up with an abusive father. …
Ndesandjo spoke movingly of his meeting with the new president. He was clearly proud of his “big brother.”
The sentiment did not seem to be reciprocated. When interviewed by CNN about Ndesandjo, Obama answered dismissively, “Well, you know, I don’t know him well.”
Obama then added the kicker that deepens the Obama mystery,
“I met him for the first time a couple of years ago.”
Mind you, Obama told us in his own book that he met Mark in Kenya in 1988. However, in a speech in Africa, Obama said he met him first in 1987.
Even the date of that first trip to Kenya is in question. Widely disseminated photos of Obama in Kenya (e.g., here , and there’s another in the Daily Mail article) are most frequently captioned as having been taken in 1987 or 1988, no doubt because reporters take their information, without skepticism or proof, directly from Obama’s books and speeches. Some independent reports, however, state that Obama’s first trip to Kenya took place not long after his father’s death, sometime in 1982-1983. Some of these discrepancies are documented in our O Timeline (begin in 1982, with Barack Sr.’s death. See also this image of a page from an African newspaper that dates the photos to 1983.)
Nevertheless, in November 2009, Obama told reporters that he barely knew Mark, having met him for the first time only a “few years” ago.
His debate with Hillary Clinton, before which Mark paid a surprise visit to his half-brother, took place in January 2008, so nearly two years prior to Obama’s visit to China.
But there was another documented meeting between Obama and his half-brother, which took place between the debate and the meeting in China. Mark was photographed with Barack Jr. in the White House on Inauguration Day, only 9 or so months prior to their China meeting. See the photo at the top of the post; Mark is second from the right.
Cashill summed up:
Obama may not have read his own book, at least not recently. There should be no forgettingthe two poignant, detailed visits with a new-found brother …
Or three! How could he forget?