It seems absurd to imagine that the President of the United States could be a "Manchurian Candidate" - a person chosen decades ago for both ideological suitability and personal pliability, and then systematically nurtured and manoeuvred into a position of ultimate power, where he can be relied upon to carry out the wishes of the sinister forces that control him. Nevertheless, this unlikely thought pushes itself forward the more one reads the increasingly voluminous literature about Barack Obama and the disturbing manner in which he became president.
The first book to suggest that Obama had a highly questionable personal and political background that might disqualify him from office was The Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality (2008) by Jerome R. Corsi, which became a number one New York Times non-fiction best-seller.
This was accompanied by such works as Obama: The Postmodern Coup - Making of a Manchurian Candidate (2008) and Barack H. Obama: The Unauthorized Biography (2008) by Webster G. Tarpley; Obama Unmasked: Did Slick Hollywood Handlers Create the Perfect Candidate? (2008) by Floyd Brown; Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies (2009) by Michelle Malkin; Obama Zombies: How the Liberal Machine Brainwashed My Generation (2010) by Jason Mattera; The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America (2010) by Andrew C. McCarthy; and The Manchurian President: Barack Obama's Ties to Communists, Socialists and Other Anti-American Extremists (2010) by Aaron Klein (with Brenda J. Elliott).
These books (and hundreds of similar articles in magazines and on the Internet) disclose a great deal of quite troubling information about Obama. Consequently, the tendency of the mainstream media to contemptuously dismiss their claims while refusing to properly explore them has intensified the suspicion of many people that Obama has much to hide, but is a protected species, off limits to the investigative journalism that is always applied to those on the right in American politics.
Some claims might seem excessive and the evidence elusive, such as Tarpley's assertion that Obama was identified as a future political asset by Zbigniew Brzezinski at Columbia in 1981-1983, during Obama's allegedly secret lost years, and is now an agent of George Soros, Goldman Sachs, and Wall Street finance capital.
Other concerns are easier to evaluate, such as Obama's 2008 own admission that he had visited Pakistan in 1981. This was a very turbulent time as Pakistan fell under Islamist and military rule, and few people, especially from America, would be making such a trip.
Indeed, it is likely that Obama would have travelled on an Indonesian passport, as the then-Indonesian citizen and presumed Muslim, "Barry Soetoro", staying in Pakistan with a wealthy college friend who was also a self-professed Marxist and socialist.
Obama claimed that the three-week stay was undertaken to improve his foreign policy credentials - 27 years before he became President in 2008! However unlikely, as McCarthy observes, "the media accepted that stance ... after all, they needed to rest up in case there was a sudden opportunity to grill Sarah Palin's third-grade teacher" about any dirt they could get on her (p.208).
Another example of the media's kid-glove treatment of Obama is the fact that he had very close links to Bill Ayers, the founder of the Weathermen terrorist organisation that carried out dozens of bombings and murdered several people through the 1970s.
Obama brushed this association aside by asserting that such a "passing acquaintance" was inevitable because his and Ayers' children went to the same school, ignoring the fact that the children were decades apart in their ages and were never at the school at the same time.
He also failed to mention that he and Ayers were closely linked in several politically and financially important organisations in Chicago, that Ayers launched Obama's political career, and that Ayers may even have been the ghost writer of Obama's autobiography Dreams from My Father (1995).
The media simply accepted Obama's claims and denials and then made a story out of the fact that people existed who were so dishonourable that they actually dared to question and inquire into Obama's background and the things that he said or did.
It is an indication of the irresistible nature of many of the disquieting facts about Obama that even the most favourable - indeed fawning - biographies feel compelled to acknowledge them, confident that the media will not pounce on them and demand an explanation.
For example, in The Bridge: the Life and Rise of Barack Obama (2010), a massive exercise in hagiography by David Remnick, Obama's drug use is dismissed although it involved regular use of marijuana and hashish and also substantial quantities of cocaine. Indeed, "the second semester of his sophomore year was known to some in his circle as the 'spring of powdered cocaine', and Obama has never denied his acquaintance with 'a little blow'" (p.100).
Such an admission is incredible given that America has been engaged for decades in "the War on Drugs", at a cost of tens of thousands of lives, hundreds of billions of dollars, and an exploding prison population. Equally incredible is that the media has made nothing of it, although one can imagine what would have happened if John McCain or Sarah Palin had revealed similar behaviour (e.g., "Palin likes a little blow").
Another example of how information about Obama is not properly analysed concerns the highly revealing passage in Dreams from My Father where Obama describes the calculated manner in which he chose his college friends: "To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists and punk-rock performance poets. We smoked cigarettes and wore leather jackets. At night, in the dorms, we discussed neocolonialism, Frantz Fanon, Eurocentrism and patriarchy" (p.100).
In his biography, Remnick omits the first two sentences to avoid betraying the contrived way in which Obama constructed his relationships, but more importantly he avoids any exploration of the theories of Fanon, the one thinker that Obama specifically mentions. This is an avoidance strategy that the mainstream media and Obama's fawning biographers also follow. The reason for this avoidance is simple: Fanon was an advocate of violent racial conflict, and an obsessive explorer of the psychological dynamics of inter-racial sexual behaviour.
It would not be difficult for anyone familiar with The Wretched of the Earth (1963), For the African Revolution (1967), and Black Skin, White Masks (1967) to imagine what Obama and his circle of friends would have been discussing in their dorm, especially during the "spring of powdered cocaine". Given Obama's mixed-race parentage and his mother's re-marriage it defies belief that neither Remnick, Obama's other biographers, nor the media have explored the implications for a deeper understanding of Obama of his specifically acknowledged interest in Fanon.
Another key figure in Obama's background whose significance the media have chosen largely to ignore is Saul Alinsky, the neo-communist theoretician of community mobilisation who insisted that radicals must do "whatever-it-takes" to achieve power, boring from within until they can bring capitalism to its knees. This strategy involves systematic duplicity, treachery and dishonesty, e.g., about one's real religious or political convictions. As Klein points out: "Obama was carefully educated and trained by Alinsky's personal disciples. And an understanding of Alinsky and his methods is absolutely fundamental to understanding the whole Obama phenomenon" (p.51).
McCarthy focuses on Obama's use of the Alinsky strategy of ethical nihilism in his approach to his Muslim constituency. In 2007 Obama was happy to exploit his own Muslim middle name - "you've got a guy named Barack Hussein Obama, that's a pretty good contrast to George W. Bush" - as he promoted himself as a prophetic figure in the spirit of Mohammed: "the messenger who can deliver [the] message" to the Muslim world that America is repentant of its various sins (p.9).
However, as the campaign unfolded, Obama chose to deny his Islamic heritage. As McCarthy observes; "For Obama, power trumps all", because all Alinskyites "reserve the right to take any position on any matter, to say anything at any time, based on the ebb and flow of popular opinion. This keeps them politically viable while they radically transform society" (p.11). Consequently, Obama's "cultivation of like-minded Islamists" was deferred until he was in power (p.11).
At that point, things changed, as Obama showed with his very low, reverential and manifestly excessive bow to the King of Saudi Arabia soon after assuming office.
McCarthy compares this to the abrupt and dismissive way in which Obama returned to Britain a bronze bust of Winston Churchill given to the American people by the British Government as a gesture of solidarity in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, although "stunned British diplomats implored the new administration to keep this symbol of trans-Atlantic solidarity" (p.3).
This obvious antipathy towards Britain has become even more manifest lately, with revelations that Obama loathes the British because he believes his grandfather was tortured by them during the Mau Mau Rebellion in Kenya in the 1950s (Daily Mail, June 19, 2010), an episode that would have fed directly into Obama's adoption of Fanon's ideology.
All these revelations point in the same ominous direction, but at present the case that Obama actually is a "Manchurian Candidate" may be considered unproven. Nevertheless, in the (near?) future this may change, as support for Obama collapses, the taboo covering the objective study and analysis of his background fades, and the stream of revelations reaching the public domain becomes a flood.
Hopefully, at that time, various prominent commentators and the citadels of media power will be held to account for their supine behaviour in the face of the Obama phenomenon.
Dr Mervyn F. Bendle is senior lecturer in history and communications at James Cook University, Queensland, and author of "Obama and the Weathermen", Quadrant, March, 2009