Guest Student Editorial – Aleks Loesch

Just weeks after Senator Barack Obama’s nomination as the Democratic
candidate for the 2008 US Presidential election, cracks have started to
appear in his “whiter than white” appearance. After the embarrassment of
being supported by an “ex-terrorist” (Bill Ayer, ex-Weatherman), the new
revelations follow from news about the suspicious property deal between
Senator Obama, and Antoin “Tony” Rezko, the Syrian-born businessman who was a major fundraiser for Obama. 


In 2005, when Rezko was already known to be under criminal investigation for
money laundering, fraud, extortion and similar activities, the Obamas bought
a property in Chicago, and their friend Mrs Rezko bought a garden next door
at the same time. The only access to the garden was through the Obama’s
property. It turns out that just weeks before the purchases, Tony Rezko was
loaned money by Nadhmi Auchi, an Iraqi born British billionaire, arms dealer
to Saddam Hussein in the past. The result of Rezko breaking his bail
agreement by failing to declare a second £3.5 million US dollars loan from
Auchi, was that Rezko received a prison sentence. British billionaire Mr
Auchi, a business partner of Rezko’s who had loaned him millions of dollars,
has been accused of paying ‘kickbacks’ to obtain oil deals. In 2003 he was
convicted of corruption in France, but is respected as a successful
businessman by the British government. 


Barack Obama has donated to charity the amount of funds given to his
campaign by Rezko. He is not accused of doing anything wrong, and claimed
that he did not know about Rezko’s corruption and connections. However,
Obama has known Rezko for eighteen years, since being offered a job by him
while Obama was still in law school. Obama did not take the job, but in 1995
Rezko supported him in his campaign to become an Illinois state senator. In
2003 Rezko was on Obama’s finance committee when he ran for US Senate. 
Chicago and Illinois politics and government are notorious for corruption,
with three major investigations since the 1980s resulting in convictions of
sixteen judges and 56 lawyers, many Chicago Aldermen (1990s), and other
State officials (2000s). It may be hard to persuade voters later on in the
Presidential campaign that an experienced Illinois politician would not at
least hear strong rumours about who is and who is not corrupt. 


Perhaps Obama was not aware of Rezko’s activities, but there is no question
that he keeps strange company for someone running for the Democratic
nomination for the Presidential elections on a ‘clean and pure’ ticket. 

 

 

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/us_elections/article3486054.ece

United States Department of Justice: Northern District of Illinois.
Operation Safe Road. Operation Greylord. Operation Silver Shovel

http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/iln/osr/index.html

 

Aleks Loesch – Lower 6th Form

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