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Jun 4

Written by: Diana West
Wednesday, June 04, 2008 5:21 AM 

Just kidding, sort of.

Aaron Klein breaks ground on the staffing connections between Louis Farrakhan's Nation of Islam and the all-but-official presidential nominee of the Democratic Party, Barack Obama, connections first reported by Debbie Schlussel:

Sen. Barack Obama employed and continues to employ senior staffers who belong to the Nation of Islam, and the presidential candidate has some "worrying" ties to the controversial group headed by Louis Farrakhan, a former key Obama insider told WND.

The story goes on to tick off these NOI-Obama staffing connections, which began during Obama's days as an Illinois state senator (which, of course, only ended four years ago). A couple of the more recent links Klein reports are: 

Jennifer Mason, who still works in Obama's Chicago Senate office as director of constituency services – "a key community liaison position," Klein writes--and Cynthia K. Miller, "whom the former insider identified as a Nation of Islam activist, served Obama in his early state Senate days and later as treasurer for his U.S. senatorial campaign."

But that's not all.

Another Obama connection to supporters of Farrakhan comes from Obama's chief political strategist, David Axelrod.

WND reported this week Axelrod sits on the finance committee of St. Sabina, the Chicago Catholic parish that was led by controversial pastor Michael Pfleger, an outspoken Farrakhan supporter who hosted the Nation of Islam chief at his parish several times.

The Archdiocese of Chicago yesterday removed Pfleger from his duties at St. Sabina for an unspecified time following a well-publicized sermon at Trinity church two weeks ago in which Pfleger claimed Sen. Hillary Clinton cried in public because she thought being white entitled her to the Democratic presidential nomination.

Pfleger told the Chicago Sun-Times he felt free to speak about Clinton because he believed his sermon was not being recorded. He said he thought the live Internet link that normally broadcasts Trinity sermons was not running.

"They told me it was down," Pfleger said. "Their live streaming had been down all day, and they didn't know whether it was back up. … I regret the dramatization that I was naive enough to believe was just going to be kept among that church."

Pfleger hosted Farrakhan at his church as late as last May, Farrakhan's first public appearance since he announced in 2006 he had been suffering from prostate cancer and was seriously ill.

According to reports, Pfleger spent hours with the Nation of Islam chief during his illness. Pfleger previously enlisted Farrakhan's support for several of his initiatives, including an anti-gun protest last year.

And there's still more:

Rev. Willie Barrow, a member of the Obama campaign's official Faith Outreach Team and a pledged Obama superdelegate, is a close friend of Farrakhan's and a staunch Nation of Islam supporter.

Farrakhan stated in a 2002 interview he met with Barrow to devise his Nation of Islam platforms.

In 2006, Barrow condemned four Jewish members of the Illinois state Hate Crimes Commission after Blagojevich refused to remove from the commission Sister Claudette Muhammad, Farrakhan's minister of protocol.

"Not only should [Muhammad] continue to serve on the commission, but, I think those that resigned because they disagree, what have they done to bring about an agreement?” Barrow told the CBS affiliate in Chicago, WBBM.


Larry Johnson of the No Quarter blog posted a 2004 photo of Obama's wife, Michelle, posing with Barrow at a woman's luncheon for the Rainbow/Push Coalition for which Barrow serves as chairman emeritus.

In the picture with Michelle Obama is Khadijah Farrakhan, Louis Farrakhan's wife.

As Debbie Schlussel wondered: How many Nation of Islam members would serve in an Obama White House?

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