The Aspen Times is an 11,500-circulation, 7-day-a-week newspaper in the ski resort of Aspen, Colorado with a history dating back to 1881.
Glenn K. Beaton is a columnist for The Aspen Times, and a contributing columnist for The Wall Street Journal. He is a former Partner and Co-Chair of the Intellectual Property Group of the international law firm of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, LLP, and practiced in the U.S. Supreme Court.
In other words, Beaton is neither crazy nor a flake.
In an opinion essay for The Aspen Times on March 30, 2014, Beaton asks if Barack Obama is a Manchurian candidate secretly working in Russia’s interest.
Is Obama a Manchurian?
By Glenn K. Beaton
I don’t think Barack Obama was born in Kenya.
Yes, his father was born in Kenya, and his brother was born in Kenya. But that doesn’t mean he himself was born in Kenya.
And yes, for 16 years he allowed his literary agent to circulate a one-paragraph bio stating that he was born in Kenya, which was revised numerous times over the years while continuing to state that he was born in Kenya. But I’m inclined to think he did that because it seemed cool and a way to sell books and not because it was true.
And yes, he refuses to release his college transcripts, as other presidents and candidates have done. But I’m guessing that’s because they show poor grades and not because they state he was a foreign student.
And yes, for many years he attended a church where the pastor sometimes exclaimed, “God damn America!” but I think he was just trying to fit in.
No, I don’t think he’s Kenyan.
But I wonder whether he’s Manchurian.
“The Manchurian Candidate” was a 2004 movie about a U.S. politician who was secretly a “sleeper agent” working to overthrow American democracy. (Manchuria is the region of Russia and China where the agent had been brainwashed into working for the other side.)
Here’s why I wonder:
When Obama came into office, he announced that he was “resetting” America’s relationship with Russia. Sure enough, he then canceled the planned defensive missiles in Poland aimed at deterring a Russian invasion. That infuriated our Polish allies and pleased the Russians. He got nothing from the Russians in return that we know of.
Vladimir Putin was then the Russian prime minister, and Dmitri Medvedev was the Russian president. Putin was the boss, and Medvedev was his handpicked puppet.
Later, Obama spoke at a seminar with Medvedev, who speaks English. Putin was not there.
During a break, Obama approached Medvedev on the stage. Thinking his microphone was off, he said privately, just one on one, “This is my last election. After my election, I’ll have more flexibility.” The context was a discussion on defense. Good puppet that he was, Medvedev promised, “I will transmit this information to Vladimir.”
Note: This is a video of Obama’s exchange with Medvedev:
But the microphone was not off. The exchange was captured and recorded. And the pair also were captured by a distant video camera showing Obama warmly shaking the hand of Medvedev and patting Medvedev’s knee as they completed the exchange.
Ask yourself this: Why did Obama choose an awkward in-person exchange on a stage at a seminar for delivery of this important message? Why didn’t he simply pick up the phone in the Oval Office and call Putin directly? Could it be because he didn’t want any Americans to hear it — even White House aides and interpreters?
Fast forward another two years. Russia has invaded a sovereign nation, Ukraine, and has purported to annex part of it. Obama’s response so far has been to impose “sanctions” that are so trivial that the Russians have literally laughed at them.
Putin refuses to state whether he will extend his invasion farther into Ukraine or re-invade the East European countries that were liberated by the fall of the Soviet empire in 1991 — an event that Putin has repeatedly declared was “the major geopolitical disaster of the century.”
In contrast to Putin’s poker face, Obama — without being told Putin’s next move insofar as we know — has ruled out military options. In short, Putin has refused to rule out annexing additional sovereign nations, and Obama has refused to guarantee that he’ll stop him.
In dealing with foreign dictators gassing their people as they did in Syria, threatening to “wipe Israel off the map” with a nuclear attack as Iran repeatedly has done, invading sovereign nations as Russia has now done or threatening to reduce America to “radioactive dust” as one of Putin’s apparatchiks recently did, Obama promises “resets” and “flexibility.”
On those promises, by golly, he’s delivered. He boasts that his strategy constitutes “leading from behind.” (I wonder if he imagines that Putin is “following from the front.”)
In dealing with Americans, on the other hand, he shows less flexibility, gives few “resets” and most decidedly leads from the front. The White House uses the National Security Agency to spy on Americans, uses the IRS to target Americans with whom it disagrees politically, refuses to rescue American diplomats begging for help as they’re slaughtered in Benghazi, calls the American political party that freed the slaves “hostage takers” and, most recently, uses the CIA to conduct surveillance on American senators (according to the longtime Democratic senator who heads the Senate Foreign Relations Committee).
One more thing: That seminar — the one where Obama made his fateful promise to the Russians that in his defense of freedom and liberty he would be flexible — was in South Korea, just a few hundred miles from Manchuria.