Sally Jacobs of the Boston Globe
has a biography coming out of the President`s dad,
the father, such as he was, in Dreams from My Father
Barack Jr. launched his national political image at the 2004 Democratic convention by making the opening of his keynote address about his parents: "My parents shared not only an improbable love, they shared an abiding faith in the possibilities of this nation."
The part about his parents` marriage being bigamous never seemed to register on the national press.
has an excerpt
about how Barack Sr., when questioned by immigration officials about his having two wives, one with two kids in Kenya, the other pregnant in Hawaii, replied that, in effect, the second one didn`t really count because he was going to have his American wife give the future baby up for adoption:
"Subject got his USC wife â€?Hapai` [Hawaiian for pregnant] and although they were married they do not live together and Miss Dunham is making arrangements with the Salvation Army to give the baby away,`` according to a memo describing the conversation with Obama written by Lyle H. Dahling, an administrator in the Honolulu office of what was then called the US Immigration and Naturalization Service.
Jacobs` most interesting revelation came in the Boston Globe on September 21, 2008,
and has gotten almost zero attention in the U.S.: that Barack Obama Sr. was a witness to the July 5, 1969 assassination of his own mentor, Tom Mboya, Luo favorite son, the likely next president of Kenya after the Kikuyu Jomo Kenyatta, and rumored CIA made man. This remains the great crime in modern Kenyan history. That`s kind of like if the father of today`s President of Kenya was a major witness to one of the Kennedy assassinations. Obama Jr. left out all reference to the historic crisis of his father`s life in Dreams
, except for a couple of cryptic references that suggest how much he and his Kenyan relatives loathe Kenyatta, the official father of the country.
Jacobs` new book fleshes out her 2008 newspaper scoop that almost nobody noticed. At the trial of the gunman, according Jacobs`s The Other Barack
on Google Books:
The final prosecution witness was Barack H. Obama. According to newspaper accounts of his testimony, Obama said nothing incendiary. He testified only that he and Mboya chatted briefly and he related his own comments about Mboya`s parking job. Mboya, he added, "did not say anything to me to indicate that he was frightened." These were hardly the kind of words that would mark a man. But in the politically inflammatory moment, just taking the stand in Njenga`s trial was a highly precarious thing to do. Since his provocative remarks about Sessional Paper No. 10 and his liquor-laced public rants, Obama was already known as a critic. Testifying in Njenga`s trial was to wave a scarlet flag of defiance in Kenyatta`s face. ...
Obama could easily have chosen not to testify. He could have remained silent and hoped that he would drift under the radar and his career would survive. But staying quiet had never been one of his strong suits. "I told him this was like suicide. If they killed Mboya, they can kill you," said Peter Aringo, shaking his head. "He said, `No, I have to speak my mind.` He could not stand that Tom had been killed He knew that he might be killed himself if he testified. he knew that Kenyatta wanted that case to die. But he went ahead and did it."
Obviously, Obama Jr. must have discussed these events at some length with his Kenyan relatives during his five week visit to Kenya in the late 1980s. Obama Jr. could have various reasons for not mentioning them in the book, such as not wanting to endanger his relatives, not wanting to confuse nice liberal white people in America with unhelpful accounts of African politics, or not wanting to make his book more interesting.
Although the Mboya assassination likely means a lot to the current President, I don`t know what precisely it means. What lessons, for example, did Obama Jr. draw from his father`s drama that would be relevant say to his current attempts to assassinate Col. Gadafi?
But here`s the thing: nobody, as far as I know, has ever asked him
. We have a President who is treated by the press as if he were too fragile to be asked basic questions about his life story. Then the media complain when members of the public, rightly sensing how little we are told about Obama, starts getting worked up over birth certificates and the like.