Sunday, November 29, 2009

The White House party crashers were on someone's list...

The saga of the White House party crashing couple, Michaele and Tareq Salahi, who met President Barack Obama in a receiving line at last week's state dinner continues…to grow.

Yesterday, Canada Free Press, shed light on the wannabe reality TV stars and the fact that this wasn’t the first time they’d met Mr. Obama. From the news site: “...[below] here’s Obama, the senator flashing his pearly whites with Randy Jackson, better known as a judge on American Idol. Others pictured are Black Eyed Peas Rock Band; Tareq Salahi the President of the America’s Polo Cup; President Elect Obama, Fergie from Black eyed Peas and Michaele Salahi, posing this time as a former Miss USA and Supermodel. Interesting little detail for White House [Secret Service] gumshoes: As the photo was published in June 2005, Barack Obama was still Senator Obama and not the President Elect.”

The gate crashers and the prez-to-be...four years ago...

The story gets a bit more interesting, doesn’t it?

But as they say on those late night TV infomercials: “THAT’S NOT ALL!”

In fact, this is just sort of the beginning.

You see, Mr. Salahi and Mr. Obama are tied in another way.

The common link between the two partiers is Rashid Khalidi, a pro-Palestinian Columbia University professor, an apologist for terrorism and a well-known member of the anti-Israel lobby here in the U.S. (And before the spin cycle kicks in – particularly from the White House – you should know that Professor Khalidi has been closely associated with Obama.)

Mr. Salahi is connected to Khalidi through his service on the board of the American Task Force for Palestine, where Khalidi served as vice president. (Since news of the Salahis’ gate crashing, both men’s names have been scrubbed from the ATFP’s website. Salahi's bio, however, still appears on a Google cache search of the site.) h/t: WND

Rashid Khalidi...

A little background on the ATFP and Khalidi:

·ATFP lobbies for a Palestinian state.

·Its demands include a “right of return for Palestinian refugees,” which would flood Israel with a tidal wave of Palestinians who would effectively destroy the Jewish state “by population.”

·Khalidi is an outspoken critic of Israel.

·He is the former Director of the PLO’s press agency and onetime moderator of the PLO Advisory Committee.

·Khalidi made numerous statements supportive of Palestinian terror and he reportedly worked on behalf of the PLO while it was involved in anti-Western terrorism (during which time it was labeled by the State Department as a terror group).

·Obama reportedly became friends with Khalidi when the two worked together at the University of Chicago (records show Khalidi lectured at the university 2003, while Obama taught law there from 1993 to 2004). Khalidi also worked as one of Obama’s top fundraisers during Obama’s unsuccessful bid for Congress in 2000.

According to WND, “Obama also sat on the board of the Woods Fund, which in 2001 provided a $40,000 grant to Mona Khalidi's Arab American Action Network, or AAAN. The fund provided a second grant to the AAAN for $35,000 in 2002. Speakers at AAAN dinners and events routinely have taken an anti-Israel line. The group co-sponsored a Palestinian art exhibit titled "The Subject of Palestine" that featured works related to what some Palestinians call the ‘Nakba,’ or ‘catastrophe’ of Israel's founding in 1948. In 2003, Obama delivered an in-person testimonial for Khalidi, who at the time was departing the University of Chicago for a new teaching position at Columbia University in New York. At the 2003 event, poetry reportedly was read comparing Israelis to Osama bin Laden and accusing the Jewish state of terrorism.”

A photo purporting to show the Obamas and the Khalidis at a fundraising dinner. Were the men kibitzing about kibbutzim?

But back to “Crashgate”…

For the time being, the Secret Service is falling on its sword and taking the blame for the Salahis’ sashaying along the red carpet. The couple's attorney has declined to comment, though “an American TV executive says the couple that crashed President Obama's first state dinner is now offering to talk to broadcast networks about it - providing they're well paid” something in the neighborhood of $500 thousand. In an e-mail to Bloomberg News, [their attorney] added, "My clients were cleared by the White House to be there."

And why wouldn’t they be? After all, they've got friends...

Samantha Appleton/The White House
In a photo released by the White House, President Obama greeted Michaele and Tareq Salahi, right, at his first state dinner on Tuesday. (h/t: NYT)

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