Even if you’ve been following the election only half-heartedly, you’ve no doubt heard about the rumors behind Democratic nominee Barack Obama. Maybe you got an email saying he was schooled in a terrorist camp in Indonesia, or you heard that he was sworn into the Senate with a hand on the Koran instead of the Bible. These rumors are untrue.
The rumors were tracked back to one source earlier this summer, and The New York Times recently published a thorough profile of the man using “An examination of legal documents and election filings, along with interviews with his acquaintances.” His name is Andy Martin (left), and he started the rumors via an article he circulated in August 2004.
Though there is a lot in the Times piece to chew on (let’s just say Martin isn’t exactly your average citizen), and it is easy to gloss over as just another piece of political banter, we soon discovered otherwise. We were stunned when we saw his past statements about Jews. They’re worth posting here, in full:
A motion he filed in a 1983 bankruptcy case called the judge “a crooked, slimy Jew who has a history of lying and thieving common to members of his race.”
In another motion, filed in 1983, Mr. Martin wrote, “I am able to understand how the Holocaust took place, and with every passing day feel less and less sorry that it did.”
In an interview, Mr. Martin denied some statements against Jews attributed to him in court papers, blaming malicious judges for inserting them.
But in his “48 Hours” interview in 1993, he affirmed a different anti-Semitic part of the affidavit that included the line about the Holocaust, saying, “The record speaks for itself.”
When asked Friday about an assertion in his court papers that “Jews, historically and in daily living, act through clans and in wolf pack syndrome,” he said, “That one sort of rings a bell.”
He said he was not anti-Semitic. “I was trying to show that everybody in the bankruptcy court was Jewish and I was not Jewish,” he said, “and I was being victimized by religious bias.”
From these statements, it’s difficult to place Martin as anything other than despicable, and yet his handiwork has succeeded—he is playing a massive, if undetected, role in the election. The rumors he helped propagate are large in number, and they’re powerful. Indeed, recognizing the threat such rumors pose, the Obama campaign started an entire website devoted to “fighting the smears.”
(For another view on Martin, see this Washington Post article from June.)