Barack Obama through the eyes of John Kerry and Franklin Graham

With all the scandals in Washington these days it is difficult to keep up. But there are many smaller stories which reinforce the big ones. Photo: Public domain

CHARLOTTEMay 30, 2013 – Two sidebar stories related to the scandals swirling around the Obama administration will likely never receive major attention, but they do provide powerful insight into the president and his methods of governing.

The first comes from Africa as reported by Reuters on May 17, when Nigerian warplanes attacked militant Boko Haram camps in an attempt to counter an Islamist insurgency in the country. Boko Haram is a jihadi group whose name translates to mean “Western Education is a Sin.”

Though largely unknown to the rest of the world, according to author Raymond Ibrahim, the savagery of Boko Haram’s slaughter has killed more Christians than all other similar groups combined.

Whatever the reasons for the lack of global awareness, be they the sheer volume of the breaking news of the past several weeks or the fact the unrest is happening in Africa or some other factor, these are still troubling links to the way the White House handles most situations.

In this case, three days after Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in the northeast region of the country, he received a strongly worded message from Secretary of State John Kerry which basically defended the human rights of the terrorists.

Wrote Kerry, “We are…deeply concerned by credible allegations that Nigerian security forces are committing gross human rights violations, which, in turn, only escalate the violence and fuel extremism.”

In other words, the Obama administration is advising Nigeria not to protect itself against Islamic insurgents.

As Ibrahim points out, Boko Haram is making a “bid to cleanse northern Nigeria of all Christian presence.”

Most disturbing in this is Ibrahim’s assertion that, “the creation of an Islamic state that enforces Sharia law and is Christian free – has not stopped the Obama administration from pointing to anything and everything else to rationalize its bloodthirst.”

As with Benghazi and, more recently, the Boston bombings, the White House failed to denounce the possibility of jihad, choosing instead to either “reflect upon the situation,” ignore it or whitewash it altogether. It is bad enough to use that approach with individuals, but even worse when the U.S. is telling other countries not to defend themselves.

The second part of this story comes from a May 14 letter by Franklin Graham, President of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, to President Obama. The letter appeared in The Charlotte Observer.

Focusing upon the recent IRS controversy, Graham wrote, “I write today to inform you…profiling by the IRS was not limited to conservative political organizations, indeed, it extended to religious charities—Jewish and Christian—as well.

“…last fall, our ministry ran newspaper ads nationally encouraging voters to ‘cast our ballots for candidates who base their decisions on biblical principles and support the nation of Israel.’ The ad concluded with these words: ‘Vote for biblical values this November 6, and pray with me (Billy Graham) that America will remain one nation under God.’ (These ads were purchased with designated funds given by friends of our ministry for this purpose.)”

Graham’s letter continues to say that on September 6, 2012, Samaritan’s Purse and Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, were both notified of IRS reviews to be conducted for the tax year 2010. The audits were done separately in October, 2012.

Graham’s letter to Obama goes on, “I do not believe that the IRS audit of our two organizations is a coincidence—or justifiable. Yesterday you said, ‘If you’ve got the IRS operating in anything less than a neutral and non-partisan way, then that’s outrageous.’ Mr. President the IRS has already publicly acknowledged it operated in a less than neutral and non-partisan way. Will you take some immediate action to reassure Americans we are not in a new chapter of America’s history—repressive government rule?”

Each of these stories primarily serves to support the growing evidence of an ultra-political focus in the current administration in Washington. True, it is virtually impossible for any government to be aware of the full scope of its voluminous policies. On the other hand, both of these stories are reflective of major policy perspectives that come directly from the White House.

Furthermore, no reasonable degree of significance can honestly deny that either of the above stories have greater importance to the average American than Jodi Arias, Justin Bieber or countless other pop culture items that continue to occupy  vast chunks of media attention.

Be it high gasoline prices, Benghazi, the Boston bombings or even the president’s signature piece of legislation, healthcare, Obama rarely, if ever, appears engaged in the work of his presidency.. The same was true when he voted “present” on a high percentage of occasions in both the Illinois senate and as a United States senator.

Barack Obama’s involvement, or not, can be debated interminably. As it relates to the current scandals, it could be argued that Obama’s lack of direct input should absolve him from any culpability. It could also be opined that such a strategy is by design.

One thing is sure, Barack Obama has kept his promise about “fundamentally changing America.”

Contact Bob at Google+

Peabod is Bob Taylor, owner of Taylored Media Services in CharlotteNCTaylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club ( which offers tours and travel information for people who share his wanderlust spirit.  

Inquiries for groups can be made at Taylored Media has produced marketing videos for British Rail, Rail Europe, Switzerland Tourism, the Swedish Travel & Tourism Council, the Finnish Tourist Board, the Swiss Travel System and Japan Railways Group among others.

As author of The Century Club book, Peabod is now attempting to travel to 100 countries or more during his lifetime. To date he has visited 71 countries. Suggest someplace new for Bob to visit; if you want to know where he has been, check his list on Facebook. Bob plans to write a sequel to his book when he reaches his goal of 100 countries. He also played professional baseball for four years and was a sportscaster for 14 years at WBTV, the CBS affiliate in Charlotte.






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Bob Taylor

Bob Taylor has been travel writer for more than three decades. Following a career as an award winning sports producer/anchor, Taylor’s media production business produced marketing presentations for Switzerland Tourism, Rail Europe, the Finnish Tourist Board, Japan Railways Group, the Swedish Travel & Tourism Council and the Swiss Travel System among others. He is founder of The Magellan Travel Club ( and his goal is to visit 100 countries or more during his lifetime.


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