My favourite conspiracy theory for the last few months has been that the young Barack Obama benefited from some CIA favours along the way, perhaps in transferring to Columbia U. or in his getting his copyeditor job at Business International, a firm with, apparently, ties to both CIA and SDS. Here’s a website called Cannonfire that pulls together, in a disorganized fashion, various bits of evidence. There’s nothing conclusive, but the young Obama probably had many more indirect links with CIA before the age of 25 than you did.
My version of this conspiracy theory is one that’s neither terribly implausible nor hugely significant. But, when you are talking about the President of the United States, it’s certainly interesting.
If you think of CIA less as the puppet-master of world history and more as merely one well-funded player in an international version of the municipal favour Bank familiar from Bonfire of the Vanities and The Wire, then the idea that Obama got help from CIA-connected individuals along the way seems less shocking and more plausible. He’s not the Manchurian Candidate, he’s just a kid whose parents exploited Cold War tensions to get him a favour or two.
The key thing to recognise is that the President’s parents were exactly the type of non-Communist leftists whom CIA constantly cultivated.
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