Andy McCarthy, just askin’ questions

Seriously, National Review. This is getting embarrassing:

I didn’t suggest that Bill Ayers is the author of one of Barack Obama’s biographies — I reported that someone else had made the suggestion and had made an interesting case . . .

JFK also made “an interesting case,” but I rather doubt that anyone is devoting precious column space to Oliver Stone’s pet conspiracy theories. This is also rich:

I did not defend the ‘birther movement’s’ claim that Obama was not born in Hawaii — I’ve stated that I believe he was born in Hawaii. What I’ve argued is that Obama was born a dual citizen (of Kenya and the U.S.), almost certainly became an Indonesian citizen, and has not been forthcoming about his past.

You see, McCarthy’s a respectable conspiracy theorist. He’s presumably referring to this paragraph from his infamous, un-sourced descent into conspiracism last January (thoroughly debunked here):

Shortly after divorcing Barack Obama Sr., Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, married an Indonesian Muslim, Lolo Soetoro Mangunharjo, whom she met — just as she had met Barack Sr. — when both were students at the University of Hawaii. At some point, Soetoro almost certainly adopted the youngster, who became known as “Barry Soetoro . . .”

Obama attended Indonesian elementary schools, which, in Suharto’s police state, were generally reserved for citizens (and students were required to carry identity cards that matched student registration information). The records of the Catholic school Obama/Soetoro attended for three years identify him as a citizen of Indonesia. Thus Obama probably obtained Indonesian citizenship through his adoption by Soetoro in Hawaii.

This “analysis” is based on a report from the epicenter of the ‘Birther’ conspiracy, World Net Daily, which relies on unnamed “Indonesian legal experts” (they have those on staff?) to determine if Obama qualified for Indonesian citizenship. You’ll forgive me if I don’t find this credible.

It gets better. McCarthy also cites Obama’s college trip to Pakistan as evidence of his Indonesian citizenship:

By contrast, the question whether Obama ever was an Indonesian citizen is still unresolved, as are such related matters as whether the foreign citizenship (if he had it) ever lapsed, and whether he ever held or used an Indonesian passport — for example, during a mysterious trip to Pakistan he took in 1981, after Zia’s coup, when advisories warned Americans against traveling there.

My mastery of a highly-specialized academic database has unearthed this obscure report, demonstrating that the travel ban story is complete nonsense State Department is complicit an a vast conspiracy to hide the truth about Obama’s citizenship:

“We have no record of any travel ban between America and Pakistan during that period or since,” said Noel Clay, a spokesman for the State Department.

There was no “travel advisory,” either. In fact, the U.S. consul general in Lahore was actively encouraging Americans to visit Pakistan in 1981.

Then there’s this gem from McCarthy (which, to the best of my knowledge, has never been retracted or even amended):

There’s speculation out there from the former CIA officer Larry Johnson who is no right-winger and is convinced the president was born in Hawaii that the full state records would probably show Obama was adopted by the Indonesian Muslim Lolo Soetoro and became formally known as “Barry Soetoro.”

It’s true – Larry Johnson is no right-winger. He is also the crazed purveyor of the “whitey tapes,” which purported to show Michelle Obama going off on some crazed, racially-charged rant. Needless to say, these were never produced.

So yes, Andy McCarthy is not a birther. He’s just asking questions.

Please do be so kind as to share this post.
Share

15 thoughts on “Andy McCarthy, just askin’ questions

  1. Actually, it’s more Glenn Beck’s schtick.
    “Hey, I don’t know if Obama is actually an alien from Betelgeuse that wants to drain your childrens’ bodily fluids to power his wallet-absorbing tax rays! I never said it’s true! I’m just asking questions! Aren’t we ALLOWED to ask questions anymore in the Peoples’ Republic of America? Are we AFRAID of questions?!”

    Etc.

      Quote  Link

    Report

  2. I disagree. McCarthy gets a bit neo-con for my taste pretty often, but I thought he was spot on with that piece about the birth cert, and said so here.

    Yes, I watched that episode of South Park, but I still don’t have trouble picking McCarthy out of a line-up of Glenn Becks. The piece wasn’t about Obama or the Birthers as much as about the pathetic state of investigative reporting. In prior generations we had Woodward and Bernstein; now we have a 20 year old dressed as a pimp breaking the biggest story of the year. If we’re content to call off our search after reading a throw-away comment from the State Department, as Will appears to be, I suppose we’ve gotten what we deserve.

      Quote  Link

    Report

    • Tim Kowal –

      McCarthy’s entire line of inquiry is so silly it detracts from serious efforts to uncover relevant information about Obama. We’re talking about a guy who evidently takes the purveyor of the “whitey tapes” seriously and doesn’t even bother to check if the State Department actually issued a travel advisory when Obama visited Pakistan. Why should I take his other claims seriously?

        Quote  Link

      Report

  3. This is how I put it in my post on this back in August (forgive the cut and paste):

    Burden of proof is the operative concept underlying McCarthy’s point, as I take it. That is, to waive McCarthy off because he cites to questionable sources misses the issue entirely. The burden of proof does not lie in favor of the subject of a news investigation, viz., the President of the United States. Every hint, every lead, every suspicion is to be ferreted out with the zealous assumption that the fellow is a rat and a sneak and a crook ready to yield his tale of lies to that would-be case-cracker with the tenacity and contempt for public figures’ privacy to go the distance and get the story, dad-gummit.

    Instead, somehow the burden of proof is now shifted to those who would challenge the “official” record provided by the Administration. A formal investigation is not warranted, under this view, unless and until substantial and corroborated evidence has already been amassed. Proffering less than this with a request for further investigation is derided as crackpot paranoia fit for scorn, contempt, and general hecklery.

    That’s not how this is supposed to work. No, McCarthy’s is not piece of investigative reporting. But it doesn’t purport to be. McCarthy is not an investigator or a prosecutor—he was a fine one of those already, and I doubt he would volunteer to continue doing it on an opinionator’s wage. His piece simply suggests that there are some clues here, the sort that investigative journalists used to take up and sniff down and let us know at the end whether there is anything to jump up and down about. The observation here is that there is a curious lack of interest in any such sniffing.

      Quote  Link

    Report

    • I think this standard for burden of proof is frankly unfair to public figures. Every conspiracy we have to chase down the rabbit hole detracts from attention paid to serious issues like health care or national defense. You need to demonstrate at least some credible proof before we take these objections seriously.

        Quote  Link

      Report

    • I stopped taking McCarthy in any way seriously (other than in the sense that I take say Glenn Beck seriously) after “starbursts”.

      But for those who do follow him and have for a while, was/is he a big supporter of investigative journalism (which I agree isn’t what it theoretically could be – the Market has Spoken; nobody seems to have a good enough business model) when it’s a conservative/GOP ox being gored? Somehow I doubt it, but if in fact he is then I forgive him the starbursts and will give him mad props.

        Quote  Link

      Report

  4. So I’ve heard that Andy McCarthy has hired private investigators to stalk Sarah Palin and take compromising pictures of her. I think in light of the fact that he had “starbursts” for her gives us reason to believe that such rumors could be factual. I’m just asking questions about it, y’know? It’s only responsible to do that…

      Quote  Link

    Report

  5. Andy McCarthy comes off like Robert DeNiro in WAG THE DOG, demonstrating how you can spread a rumor by categorically denying it…

    “I categorically deny any unfounded rumors and unsubstantiated allegations about National Review columnist Andy McCarthy and goats. Why do people keep making these things up? People, please! Do not indulge in libelous hearsay!”

      Quote  Link

    Report

  6. Tim Kowal { 11.24.09 at 8:03 pm }

    ” This is how I put it in my post on this back in August (forgive the cut and paste):
    Burden of proof is the operative concept underlying McCarthy’s point, as I take it. That is, to waive McCarthy off because he cites to questionable sources misses the issue entirely. The burden of proof does not lie in favor of the subject of a news investigation, viz., the President of the United States. Every hint, every lead, every suspicion is to be ferreted out with the zealous assumption that the fellow is a rat and a sneak and a crook ready to yield his tale of lies to that would-be case-cracker with the tenacity and contempt for public figures’ privacy to go the distance and get the story, dad-gummit.”

    We heard that same line in the 1990’s, then the usual suspects zipped their lips while George and Dick did as they pleased; now it’s coming back out.

    You got proof of sh*t, show it. And those who ignores the fact that their sources have been caught lying before trash their own credibility.

      Quote  Link

    Report

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *