Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Will Obama's Indiana Truth Squad Address The Larry Sinclair Story?

The Indiana campaign of presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama announced the formation of an "Indiana Truth Squad" today to “debunk any unfounded attacks against Senator Obama in the final weeks of the Indiana campaign and show Hoosiers why Barack Obama is the only candidate in this race who will bring change we can believe in.” A press release from the campaign identifies former U.S. Rep. Tim Roemer and Sen. Earline Rogers as members of Obama’s Indiana Truth Squad, along with Obama’s Chicago media guru, David Axelrod. Allow me to offer the first challenge to this so-called truth squad to tell Hoosiers and the American people the full truth about Sen. Barack Obama’s drug use.

Before the Obama people start jumping up and down screaming that this is just another “unfounded attack”, let me remind them that it was none other than Obama himself who injected the issue of drug use into this campaign. As an aspiring, young politician, Obama openly admitted his drug use in his 1995 book, “Dreams From My Father.” "Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it. Not smack, though,” he wrote. He talks about “smoking reefer” in “the dorm room of some brother” and “getting high.” As a candidate for the state legislature or the U.S. Senate in Illinois, Obama didn’t have to answer questions about his past drug use according to Sun-Times political columnist Lynn Sweet. As a candidate for president, Obama has answered few questions about his past drug use.

“Mr. Obama, of Illinois, has never quantified his illicit drug use or provided many details,” wrote the New York Times’ Serge Kovaleski earlier this year. Kovaleski endeavored in a February 11 feature story in the Times to learn more about Obama’s past drug use by interviewing more than three dozen classmates and acquaintances of Obama’s from high school and college. Obama’s account of his drug use in his book differed significantly from the recollection of others Kovaleski interviewed. They couldn’t recall drug use by Obama. “That could suggest he was so private about his usage that few people were aware of it, that the memories of those who knew him decades ago are fuzzy or rosier out of a desire to protect him, or that he added some writerly touches in his memoir to make the challenges he overcame seem more dramatic,” Kovaleski concluded.

While the memories of Obama’s school chums may be a little fuzzy or rosy after all these years as Kovaleski suggests, a 46-year-old Duluth, Minnesota man says he has a very vivid memory of a chance encounter he had with Obama during a trip to Chicago nine years ago. Lawrence "Larry" Sinclair, shown in the photo above taken during his memorable Chicago trip, paints a picture of Obama using drugs and having sex with men on the “down low” after he entered politics. The New York Times interviewed Larry Sinclair at length about his encounter with Obama during the 1990s but has not reported on his allegations since its February 11 story, which essentially left readers to believe Obama may have been exaggerating the extent of his past drug use in his 1995 book.

In a YouTube video clip released earlier this year, Larry Sinclair recounts how he was introduced to Obama by a limousine driver for Five Star Limousine Service while he was visiting the Chicago area to attend a graduation ceremony for his god son from the Great Lakes Naval Training Center on November 6, 1999. After sharing drinks with Obama in a Rush Street neighborhood bar for about an hour, Sinclair says he told Obama he “could really use a couple of lines [of cocaine] to wake up", Obama offered to get some cocaine for him. According to Sinclair, Obama made a quick cell phone call, the two returned to Sinclair’s limousine, and the driver drove to another location at Obama’s instruction. Obama left the car with $250 cash he requested from Sinclair and returned to the limo five minutes later Sinclair said. Obama next handed Sinclair a packet containing the white powder. Sinclair then goes on to describe how he snorted cocaine while Obama smoked it using a glass cylinder he pulled from his pocket. Adding to the sensationalistic nature of his story, Sinclair claims Obama lowered his pants and allowed Sinclair to perform oral sex on him. After Sinclair’s limo driver dropped him off at his Gurnee, Illinois hotel that evening, Sinclair claims Obama returned to his hotel once during his short trip unexpectedly. Sinclair says he again performed oral sex on Obama. And Sinclair has recovered hotel records confirming his stay at the hotel on the dates in question.

Although Obama had identified himself to Sinclair as being involved in public service, Sinclair says Obama didn’t disclose to him that he was a state senator at the time of his encounter. Sinclair says he discovered Obama’s political position after seeing him on TV delivering a speech at the 2004 Democratic convention as a candidate for the U.S. Senate in Illinois, a widely applauded appearance which propelled Obama’s eventual run for president this year. Sinclair says he began contacting Obama’s Chicago campaign office in September, 2007, leaving messages with campaign advisors, including David Axelrod. Sinclair insists his story is not about money. He says his messages urged Obama to come clean and tell the truth about his drug use with him. Voters have been left with the impression that Obama’s drug use was confined to his earlier years. Sinclair wants Obama to acknowledge his drug use with him in the late 1990s after he became a practicing attorney in Illinois and after his election to the Illinois Senate.

After Obama’s campaign ignored his messages and attempts he made to contact the media about his story went unanswered, Sinclair finally got the attention of some in the media after he self-produced a video which he uploaded to YouTube on January 18, 2008. The video clip has been viewed more than 777,000 times over the last 75 days. At the end of February, Sinclair started his own blog to tell his story and respond to critics. A meter on the blog registers more than 136,000 hits over the past month. Sinclair has also gotten the attention of the mainstream media. In addition to the NY Times, Sinclair has given lengthy interviews to the New York Post and the Chicago Tribune. Sinclair says he even provided personal medical records to the Tribune at their request. Still, nobody will touch the story, although a number of interviews with Sinclair have aired on talk radio, including Bill Cunningham and The Right Perspective.

To be sure, Sinclair has had many problems in his life which are enough to give any serious investigative reporter pause. He had a troubled childhood and admits to running away from home. He’s used drugs. He’s trafficked in drugs. He has a criminal record. He changed his legal name three times. He has a host of medical problems too lengthy to discuss here which have rendered him disabled. And if that isn’t enough, Sinclair consented to a polygraph examination offered by Whitehouse.com in consideration for $20,000. The reported results didn’t help Sinclair’s cause with inconclusive results or deception indicated, depending on whose interpretation you choose to rely. Given the sheer weight of his baggage, it would be easy enough for the Obama campaign simply to ignore Sinclair’s existence. But it has not, at least according to Sinclair.

Sinclair complains in a defamation lawsuit he filed in the federal district court in the District of Columbia that several anonymous bloggers set out in a series of posts after his YouTube video clip appeared to discredit him by accusing him of fabricating his entire story about his sex and drug romp with Obama, claiming Sinclair was in a mental institution at the time he claims his encounter with Obama occurred in 1999. Sinclair’s lawsuit was filed by Blair Sibley, a controversial attorney who also represents Deborah Jean Palfrey, the D.C. Madam, against federal racketeering charges arising out of a prostitution business she allegedly ran.

Court documents show that Sibley filed a motion with District Court Judge Henry Kennedy, a Clinton appointee, on March 13 to initiate discovery to learn the identities of three anonymous bloggers who allegedly posted defamatory comments about Sinclair at YouTube, Democraticunderground.com and Digg.com. Sinclair believes the attacks on him are being orchestrated by persons acting on behalf of Obama. Judge Kennedy has not yet acted on Sibley’s motion. A self-identified Obama supporter, Paul Tarlow, has also registered the domain name, larrysinclair.com. This is the same tactic blogger and Indiana Democratic Party spokesperson Jen Wagner recently deployed against Republican 7th district congressional candidate Jon Elrod.
The “nuts and sluts” defense against Sinclair’s claims are not unexpected. Political operatives for Bill Clinton used such tactics very effectively against sexual claims made by Jennifer Flowers and Paula Jones in the early going. As Clinton political advisor James Carville was fond of saying, “Drag $100 through a trailer park and there’s no telling what you’ll find.” Admittedly, neither Flowers nor Jones appeared credible at first. After a brief media frenzy early in the 1992 presidential primary season, concerns about Clinton’s womanizing faded away as an issue. After the Monica Lewinsky scandal erupted in Clinton’s second term, which resulted in his impeachment by the House of Representatives and his eventual acquittal in the Senate, the American public finally learned that the claims by Flowers, Jones, et al were largely true, but only after Clinton perjured himself while testifying. An acquittal in the Senate, however, didn’t save him from the loss of his license to practice law for that transgression.

In early January, the Hillary Clinton campaign tried unsuccessfully to focus attention on Obama’s past drug use. The co-chair of Clinton’s campaign, Bill Shaheen, warned that Republicans would have a field day with Obama’s past drug use. In an interview with the Washington Post, Shaheen was quoted as saying: "It'll be, 'When was the last time? Did you ever give drugs to anyone? Did you sell them to anyone?'" he said. "There are so many openings for Republican dirty tricks. It's hard to overcome." Sen. Clinton later apologized to Obama for Shaheen’s statements and accepted his resignation from her campaign after his comments were negatively received in Democratic circles. Sinclair, for his part, denies working on behalf or with the assistance of either the Clinton campaign or Republicans.

Obama, himself, owes his own political success to public inquiry into his political opponent’s personal sex lives. When he ran for the Senate in 2004, his leading Democratic rival, Blair Hull, saw his campaign unravel when David Axelrod and Obama succeeded in getting the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times to report on the contents of previously sealed divorce records of Hull's, which recounted incidents of domestic violence by Hull during his former marriage. A short time later, at the instigation of the Chicago Tribune, divorce records for Obama’s Republican opponent, Jack Ryan, became fodder for public consumption, sinking his campaign to the point where he was forced to drop out of the race. The Tribune, coincidentally, is the former employer of David Axelrod. Obama wasn’t heard to complain about the media delving into the personal lives of his opponents for a much lesser important office than president of the United States. Instead, he was encouraging it. If the Chicago Tribune thought the voters of Illinois should know all about the sex lives of Blair Hull and Jack Ryan, then it should be equally concerned that voters know all there is to know about Obama’s past drug use. Why isn’t it?

There is also a late-developing twist in Larry Sinclair’s story. Sinclair claims that he believes Donald Young, a gay choir director at Obama’s Trinity United Church of Christ for nearly 20 years, is a man who initiated several telephone calls to him late last year prior to the airing of Sinclair’s video on the Internet. Sinclair does not know how Young learned of Sinclair’s identity or his telephone number, but he notes he had given several phone numbers to Obama's campaign. Sinclair reveals that during those telephone conversations a man identifying himself as Mr. Young revealed to him he had an intimate, personal relationship with Obama. He says Young told him that Obama was concerned about whether Sinclair had publicly disclosed their sexual encounter. According to Sinclair's account, Young had told him Obama had talked to his minister and planned to publicly address his past drug use. Sinclair says he didn’t learn until weeks ago that Young was found murdered in his south side Chicago apartment on December 23, 2007. Chicago’s gay community expressed concern that Young’s death was just another in a string of hate crime killings being committed against gays in Chicago. The case remains unsolved, although limited press accounts of Young’s murder suggested robbery as a possible motive. Young has detailed his telephone contacts with Young in an affidavit addressed to Chicago Police.

It all sounds crazy, doesn’t it? It’s about as crazy as Jennifer Flowers, Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey, Juanita Broderick and Monica Lewinsky. If the New York Times can devote a lengthy, front-page story in late February discussing Sen. John McCain’s supposed romantic link to a female D.C. lobbyist based on innuendo and speculation by anonymous sources, surely it can find some column space to get to the bottom of the Larry Sinclair story. To many, it no doubt seems unlikely that the Harvard graduate, attorney and state senator, Obama, would be hanging with someone like Larry Sinclair. Some people in Illinois are asking why Obama would have kept such close company with political fixer Tony Rezko, who is currently on trial for corrupt influence peddling involving the Illinois governor's office. Rezko, who raised nearly $250,000 for Obama's past campaigns, helped Obama out in the purchase of an adjoinig lot for his south side Chicago mansion in 2006 after it had been publicly revealed that Rezko was under investigation by federal prosecutors. Interestingly, the prosecution's star witness to date has been sleazebag extraordinaire Stuart Levine, a political associate of Rezko. He explained to jurors yesterday how he regularly hosted all-night drug parties in Springfield and Chicago.

To date, Obama has been a very lucky man. The media has never subjected him to the political scrutiny it has subjected his political opponents. The Clinton campaign no doubt hopes that someone in the media starts taking a hard look at the Larry Sinclair story. She can ill-afford to raise the issue herself. The media response to her attacks on Obama to date have been very predictable and not at all helpful to her. As interest in this story intensifies in the blogosphere, it's going to become increasingly difficult for the mainstream media to ignore this story. I could not find any public response by anyone associated with the Obama campaign in responding to Sinclair's allegations in my research for this post. So have at it, Obama Truth Squad. What have you to say about Larry Sinclair?

25 comments:

Wilson46201 said...

Real classy blog you're running here!

Eclecticvibe said...

In the words of Ralph Nader, "Gonadal Politics".

Tellthetruth said...

Thank you for telling the facts regarding these allegations. I personally believe Mr. Sinclair's story. It is defitely worthy of a fair investigation.

K2H said...

I used to have some respect for this blog. Unfortunately, no longer.

Atty said...

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. That was a very honest and fair article on a very important matter. I have to say that I believe Larry. He sounds very credible and sincere in his radio interviews,and he deserves to have these charges investigated on a serious level. I have witnessed the lies, and name calling that have been spread throughout the internet in an effort to discredit him. He has received many death threats from the aggressive and angry Obama supporters. Yet the MSM refuses to touch this story, for what I believe is fear of the fallout. I am feeling like the U.S. media is behaving more like Russia, or Communist China. Reporting only what they want us to know. What happened to "we report, you decide?"
Thank you again, Indiana Truth Squad.

MissouriDemocrat said...

i think it is only fair to give this story its due credit and investigate mr. obama just as intensely as everyone inspects mrs. clinton and mr. mccain. he has to withstand this inspection or we are buying a "pig-in-a-poke". being on the downlow is a big part of the gay black community. its also a cause for much of the hiv transmission in black women. if we feel free to ask chelsea about mrs. clinton's reaction to monica, then why aren't they asking michelle about larry. i also think that this country spends way too much time worried about what people do in their bedrooms. but if baracko is using crack and screwing men then we need to know it.

Doug said...

Are you taking a position on Sinclair's credibility?

iPOPA said...

Wow. Gary, this is the most "tabloid" thing you've ever done. How about the fact he couldn't pass a polygraph?

Advance Indiana said...

Doug, I have an open mind on it. It strikes me as very odd that Obama went out of his way to lay out drug use in his 1995 book, but his friends recall a much different young man. It's also odd that he attempted to build up his father in this same book who had walked out of his life when he was 2. He's a complicated person to dissect. I spoke to Sinclair on the phone for about 90 minutes the other night. He was very sure of himself on what he knew. He was consistent in his story. At least it was consistent with his video and the radio interviews he's given that I listened to, which are posted on his site. On the other hand, he's obviously no boy scout. Our court systems have to decide every day whether someone is to be disbelieved because of bad decisions they've made in their past. People who are thought to have led good lives are given the benefit of the doubt when questioned about transgressions often, while people who have made a lot of mistakes tend not to be. Good people are capable of doing bad things just like people who've done bad things are capable of telling the truth.

Advance Indiana said...

I disclose the polygraph exam and provide a link to a report on it, ipopa. As an attorney, you know that polygraph exams have been deemed unreliable and are inadmissible in a court of law.

your-bartender said...

It should be mentioned that Gov. Daniels was arrested for marijuana possession and distribution while he was in college in 1970 as a result of a 5 month investigation, so he was probably dealing weed and who knows what else for quite some time prior.

At least Obama was not that stupid.

I've often wondered just how much Daniels got busted with. Urban legend says it was a Nike shoe box full of weed and LSD. LSD was legal until 1971. Given the more lenient sentencing of the times, it would not surprise me if the laws would have prevented him from achieving so much in his life if it had happened a few years later.

Advance Indiana said...

That'a a fair point, yourbartender. Obama can consider himself lucky that he was never caught. But for the grace of God . . . as they say.

jabberdoodle said...

Gee Gary, this is such a wild story that I'm surprised you are running with it to this extent.

It doesn't pass the smell test that a smart fellow or an elected official would be at the beck and call of a limo driver, nor would he be at the beck and call of a stranger asking him to score drugs for him.

If you want to believe this fellow so badly, I'd suggest he had a fling with a black guy and wants it to have been Obama.

But, come on Gary. Your judgment is impaired for some reason on this one.

mypolitical said...

Putting aside for a moment that you actually believe this guy's BS (or pretend to take it seriously because lord knows, just having people talk about it is enough to damage Obama), I'm trying to figure out if you want Obama to have done more drugs or less drugs. If he didn't do many drugs, he's a liar, if he did lots of drugs, he's just another crackhead running for president. So which is it? You can't have it both ways.
And one person's idea of doing "lots" of drugs can vary pretty widely from the next persons. There's not a exactly a quantitative measure of how many drugs puts you into the "druggie" category. I mean, although I don't smoke pot, I don't really think smoking it every once in a while is an issue. Ask my mother on the other hand and she will tell you that you're a hard core druggie.

Doug said...

The problem with a "public discussion" of the merits of this kind of thing is that just having the discussion is damaging. If --and there's no good way of telling; I agree that polygraphs are next to useless -- it's just some guy making stuff up, that's unfair to the candidate.

It reminds me of the exchange I've heard attributed to LBJ to the effect of:

"Let's call him a pigfucker."

"But you know he doesn't fuck pigs."

"Yeah, but I just want him to have to publicly deny fucking pigs."

lynpeac said...

Larry, I believe you made a mistake in typing. You stated that Young has filed and affidavit with the Chicago police. I know you meant to say Sinclair. Just thought I would point it out to you.

Hang in there Larry and show the world what a fraud Obama is. He is not fit to be president. Good Luck and take care.

Atty said...

The problem with using Larry's poor character or poor judgment as an excuse for not taking these charges seriously, is that what person of good character or good judgment would ever be witness to this type of acts or behavior. Only people with similar or like character would be present to witness a gay sex act while smoking crack in the back of a limo.
Therefore it makes me really question Obama's judgment and character.
I'd like to thank Larry Sinclair for his courage to come forward and speak out about his illegal past. Maybe Obama should follow your lead.

IndyFacts said...

Advance Indiana,
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

What did you mean when you said,
"This is the same tactic blogger and Indiana Democratic Party spokesperson Jen Wagner recently deployed against Republican 7th district congressional candidate Jon Elrod."?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Advance Indiana said...

Indyfacts, She registered domain names he would likely use for his congressional campaign and had them pointing to her TDW site. She is also a leading suspect in the case of the registration of "fakerepublican.com", which points to a post on my site discussing Elrod's position on gay rights.

mypolitical said...

Thanks for answering my question.

MyComments said...

I'm not sure we really know why the media hasn't reported this story. If it's because they've done their investigations and found no credibility, the public should be informed. If not, are they investigating? In the interest of full disclosure I'm a Clinton supporter, but that doesn't mean I believe any candidate's character should be attacked unfairly. Too much of that has already been done on both sides.

Since the media seems unwilling - how about influential Obama supporters? Why not contact the super delegates or Oprah or similar? They have just as good resources to get to the bottom of this, would automatically be discreet, would probably want insulation if it's true - or be able to factually document why it's not.

Nile Croc said...

A load of baloney from attention-seeking hakcs, the blogger and a for-drug-prostituting-faggot whose, imaginary story he/she is telling. Both the blogger and the faggot ( I say that with qualification because this homo-sex-for-drug prostitute is not gay. He is a faggot. To be gay is to be a sensible and decent homosexual. To be a faggot is to a cruel, criminal and remorseless homosexual hack who would not hesitate to drag the good names of people he imagines tapping his arsehole. These two are are losers and blogging-goons, trying to high-tech-lynch Barack Obama. For your information, Newsweek and New York Times both did an indepth investigation about Obama's use of drugs to see if there was more to it than was revealed in his books. I guess their research department did not find about this faggot. Why not call them up and offer yoru story? I am sure they will pay you enough money for all the crack you can sniff till you go six feet under. NY Times and Newsweek concluded that Obama actually consumed less drugs than he claimed in his book. They suggested that Obama may have embelished on his drug use a little bit to spike his street cred. These two bean heads are out to convince the world that know otherwise. They think they have a bombshell of a story to tell the world, a story that unmasks a formidable stench that the Hounds of NY Times and Newsweek missed. A load of dog crap.

Nile Croc said...

A load of baloney from attention-seeking hakcs, the blogger and a for-drug-prostituting-faggot whose, imaginary story he/she is telling. Both the blogger and the faggot ( I say that with qualification because this homo-sex-for-drug prostitute is not gay. He is a faggot. To be gay is to be a sensible and decent homosexual. To be a faggot is to a cruel, criminal and remorseless homosexual hack who would not hesitate to drag the good names of people he imagines tapping his arsehole. These two are are losers and blogging-goons, trying to high-tech-lynch Barack Obama. For your information, Newsweek and New York Times both did an indepth investigation about Obama's use of drugs to see if there was more to it than was revealed in his books. I guess their research department did not find about this faggot. Why not call them up and offer yoru story? I am sure they will pay you enough money for all the crack you can sniff till you go six feet under. NY Times and Newsweek concluded that Obama actually consumed less drugs than he claimed in his book. They suggested that Obama may have embelished on his drug use a little bit to spike his street cred. These two bean heads are out to convince the world that know otherwise. They think they have a bombshell of a story to tell the world, a story that unmasks a formidable stench that the Hounds of NY Times and Newsweek missed. A load of dog crap.

Ethan said...

Sinclair's story is not crazy; I think it probably happened, but it most likely was not Obama. Without the testimony of the limo driver, this case hinges solely on the credibility of Sinclair's identification of Obama. Sinclair might actually believe it was Obama (hence his seemingly truthfulness, lie detector results aside), but the alleged encounter took place in 1999 and Sinclair first idenitified Obama in 2004. That Obama admits to haveing used drugs adds absolutely nothing to Sinclair's veracity. Ok, it exludes all the black guys in Chicago who never did drugs.

I'm no lawyer, but it would seem to me that if the limo driver has not been found and deposed and deemed credible, and someone in the media published this story and put Obama's candidacy in disarray on the basis of an ID made 5 years after the encounter and reported 3 years after that, I think that that media person would be in deep trouble for a host of civil and, perhaps, criminal charges.
Larry blew it, I think, when he said that he didn't know who Obama was until 2004. I think Larry's story is a true one, I just don't believe that he really knows who the black guy was that he gave the bj to. Remember, this all took place while Larry was drinking and doing drugs - that doesn't help one's memory too much.

lightningBugout said...

To go way out on a limb here - the possibility that someone in this day and age (I mean Obama) would believe they could hide their status as a drug-using "on the dl" homosexual while running as the first black presidential candidate is not believable. Larry Sinclair might believe the black man he had sex and drugs with that evening was Obama. But I doubt it. Black men in this country are constantly suspected of being all kinds of secret things that are not understood by "typical" white people, including: muslims, terrorists and now "on the DL". Oprah popularized this black identity a few years ago. The attempt to peg this one on Obama is totally transparent. I could publish a book tomorrow about black men's secret lives as rodeo clowns and if I went on Oprah, I guarantee someone somewhere would speculate that maybe this is what Obama is hiding - his secret rodeo clown-hood. All of these smears are possible not just because Obama is less wellknown than other politicians, but also because he is black and even today, many white americans will admit, when polled, they have never even been in a black family's home. If you spend the time investigating Larry's "evidence" (and you may want to take a shower afterwards), you will see there is nothing credible (legally or otherwise). And hey, I encourage you - check it out. Make up your own mind. But this poor troubled dude is being used by a bunch of people who have their own reasons to block Barack. It's sad. Even more so if he genuinely had this encounter and believes it really was Barack. But then the whole thing about how Barack could supposedly afford coke but chose crack, hmm...rings a bit obviously racist for my taste.