Remember this October 2008 article by Pam Geller? [emphasis added to quotes]
… [S]ources claim that Obama was adopted and that the Indonesian government is aware of this – so are Obama’s people who cut a deal with the Indonesian government to have the records suppressed. …
According to our Indonesian sources, “officials” who accompanied [U.S. Eni] Representative Faleomavaega were interested in acquiring any and all documentation or photographs of a young Barry Soetoro for America’s “national archives” and they were offering cash, lots of it. In a show of faith, Barack Obama’s childhood school would be one of the very first beneficiaries of this outpouring receiving thousands of dollars to upgrade the school and for the purchase of computer equipment, thanks in part to the benevolence of this visiting junket.
The challenge of course was [that] securing Indonesian goverment records potentially damaging to Barack Obama’s candidacy for the US presidency as well as other records pertaining to a young Barry Soetoro and his family wouldn’t be so easy to acquire and secure, and for this, the visitors would need the assistance and cooperation of the Indonesian government. …
An article from January 2007 turned up during research for a previous post; this article contained independent observations from a person named Akhmad Solikhin, as translated from an Indonesian television news program that documented a visit by Kaltim Post reporters to SDN Menteng 1 (aka Besuki), the Muslim public school that Barry Soetoro (aka Barack Obama) attended when he lived in Indonesia:
… Timothy [a student] delivered us [the reporters] to see Deputy Principal Akhmad Solikhin who was in his office. Akhmad was being visited by the United States Embassy staff. After having to wait for several hours, the party from the United States embassy left.
Akhmad said that since the news that Barack Obama had previously gone to this school in Jakarta, the world public seemed to be focused on this school that was previously named Carpentier Alting Stichting Nassau School. Including the US Embassy took part in attention. It is said, they want to give a big contribution to increase in the quality of the education in the school, the quality of the students, the teachers, as well as school facilities.
“For a long time we did not have any element of politics, we are always open,” …
But after the hours-long visit from the U.S. “Embassy staff” and a promise of a big donation to the school, was the school no longer “always open” to reporters because suddenly “politics” had become an “element?” Can you read his statement any other way?
The deputy principal was seemingly upset that reporters were held up for hours while he attended to U.S. embassy staff concerns–an example of how “politics” was suddenly an “element” of his job. Solikhin was also seemingly upset that his school was, because of politics, no longer “open” (read transparent and accessible).
Of what concern should it have been to employees of the U.S. embassy that reporters were visiting the school that an as-yet-unelected-or-even-declared candidate for the U.S. presidency had attended? In January 2007, Obama had only just announced his “exploratory committee.” Perhaps one thing that remained to be explored before Obama committed himself was exactly how successful a mop up of his Indonesian records would be.
“Embassy staff” must mean individuals whose salaries are paid by U.S. taxpayers, which indicates that their schedules, emails, and expenses ought to be public record. An FOIA request might answer many questions.
We might learn the names of the “embassy staff” who visited the school, when they were there, how many times, and for what “official” reason.
We might find out whether this earlier visit (January 2007) to the deputy principal was in preparation for another visit–the one mentioned by Pam Geller’s sources, in which a “contribution” would be provided in return for all documentation and photos of candidate Obama. It appears that Faleomavaega visited Indonesia later in 2007. Although he had planned to go in July, he seems to have
finally made it (see update at end of post) also been there in November 2007. (Coincidentally, or not, Obama’s campaign staff admitted that in the summer of 2007 they were gathering up all the documentation they could find, including ordering a copy of Obama’s alleged short-form birth certificate. Interesting timing.)
An article from January 2007, documenting a visit by the U.S. embassy staff to the school’s deputy principal, lends credence to Geller’s suggestions and indicates that this political plan was long in the making.
More questions need answers:
Why did U.S. embassy staff, way back in January 2007, believe that they needed to pay “attention” to that school, including offering a “big contribution” (that looks so much like a bribe)?
What documents and photos and other information did these U.S. employees (including Faleomavaega) gather up and for which U.S. “national archives?” Where are these documents and photos now?
What is the source of the money donated to the school? Was it U.S. taxpayer money?
How did any of these public employees square their alleged political activity (so called even by the Indonesian deputy principal) with the Hatch Act:
The 1939 Act forbade the intimidation or bribery of voters and restricts political campaign activities by federal employees. It prohibits using any public funds designated for relief or public works for electoral purposes. … The language was crafted so that the Secretary of State was covered by the Act’s restrictions on political activity. … Federal employees are still forbidden to use their authority to affect the results of an election. They are also forbidden to run for office in a partisan election, to solicit or receive political contributions, and to engage in political activities while on duty or on federal property.
So if U.S. embassy staff used, as a contribution to the school, any public monies intended for “relief” or “public works” or foreign aid, they may have violated the Hatch Act, depending upon their motivation, which remains to be discerned.
The visit happened during a presidential campaign. The apparent focus upon one school (the one that candidate Obama attended), out of all the schools in Indonesia, seems at least suggestive of partisan political activity using taxpayer resources.
Even if Faleomavaega was exempt from the Hatch Act (which he arguably is not) and even if the “officials” who accompanied him to the school, possibly to hand off the money and collect the documents and photos, were private individuals (such as Obama campaign staff or supporters), the “United States Embassy staff” who greased the skids for the “contribution” back at the beginning of the year were not exempt and were obviously involved in at least the discussion about giving a “contribution.”
Even if the money was donated by a private citizen or group, the Hatch Act seems to forbid public employees (i.e., embassy staff) from being involved in “receiving” or passing on what might be construed as a political donation. They are also precluded from taking part in political activities while
in a government office,
wearing an official uniform, [and/or]
using a government vehicle.
Since the vice principal was aware that the visitors were U.S. embassy staff, then can we be forgiven if we wonder whether they arrived using the trappings of their office, while “on duty,” or whether they made the appointment(s) using embassy resources? This potential violation of the Hatch Act should have been thoroughly investigated back in 2007.
Is it possible that the “universe shattering” information acquired by the Cold Case Posse includes something that fell through the cracks during this alleged Indonesian “mop up”?
Update 5/25/14: One of our commenters, Martha555, pointed out that Faleomavaega did indeed make it to Indonesia in July 2007, so he was right on schedule. (Thank you, Martha.) I misread an article that I linked in the post; the article mentioned that the Congressman was upset when he visited Papua in July 2007 that he was not allowed to “visit the towns of Biak and Manokwari in Papua, and, most importantly, the capital of Papua which is Jayapura.” When he returned to Indonesia in November, he was again prevented from visiting Jayapura, which upset him mightily. One wonders what was in Jayapura, the capital city, that was so important for him to attend to.
This is all interesting because Lolo Soetoro worked in West Papua (Irian Barat) during the year in which he returned to live in Indonesia while “Ann” and little Barry allegedly stayed behind in Hawaii. Furthermore, Barry’s classmates as well as teachers were said to have assumed that Barry was from Irian Jaya (West Papua) because of his skin color and hair texture. Others believed he was Ambonese, “an Indonesian ethnic group of mixed Austronesian-Papuan origin.” One teacher specifically mentioned that Barry had “picked up” the “local” language, leading the reader (me) to wonder if he spoke a different dialect, which explained her reference to the local language and the ease with which he picked it up. In other stories, however, the same teacher changed her tune and said instead that Barry “struggled” with Indonesian.
Does this explain the contradiction between those who say Barry could speak Indonesian well, and others who say that he had to use sign language to make himself understood in school? Is this why Ann had to home-school him in English? This is a child who allegedly lived in the USA from birth until he moved to Indonesia in Oct. 1967 at the age of six. Why did he need English lessons in order to be sent back to Hawaii to attend Noelani school in 1969 and Punahou school in 1971? We know that Lolo was in Irian Barat sometime in 1967 and that Barry (and Ann) appeared in Jakarta in Oct. 1967.
Please note that the Secretary of State in 2007 (as well as 2008) was Condoleeza Rice under a Republican president, George W. Bush. Is it likely that in January 2007 the powers in DC believed that it was important for some reason to have U.S. embassy personnel contact the Besuki school in Indonesia to promise them a big contribution? Why?
Certainly one might believe it plausible that under a Democrat president and Democrat Secretary of State, U.S. embassy “staff” might be sent out on a political mission to help a Democrat candidate for office cover up some “embarrassing information,” but does it seem likely that the Republican Bush administration would see fit to help Democrat Obama over his potential rivals for the Democrat nomination?
If the visit to promise a “contribution” to the school was made in return for help with ensuring that certain records were “eaten by bugs” or “destroyed by floods,” thus injecting “politics” into the school’s openness, where then does the buck stop? Who sent the embassy staff to Besuki and for what reason? Was it their own idea? Were these long-time foreign service employees who perhaps knew and remembered Barry’s mother and wanted to help him for their own reasons? Fellow travelers, so to speak?
We know now that Faleomavaega was intent upon visiting the capital city of Papua in July 2007, the same month that Obama’s campaign staff were gathering all the documents they could and allegedly ordered his short-form certification of live birth from Hawaii–the document that, according to FactCheck blog, contained all the information necessary to obtain a U.S. passport.
Obama’s passport files were “cauterized” in early 2008 of “embarrassing” information. Passport files are overseen by the Dept. of State. Barry’s mother, Ann, worked for USAID and in other capacities within the U.S. embassy in Jakarta. The U.S. embassy and USAID are overseen by the Dept. of State. The East-West Center, where both Ann and Lolo Soetoro studied, is also associated with the Dept. of State.
For background: B. Lynne Pascoe was the U.S. ambassador to Indonesia in January 2007. A “career foreign service officer“, he was replaced by Cameron R. Hume, another career foreign service officer, in May 2007.