Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Pulling "Back The Curtain On ACORN"

I came across an article the other day, and was really taken by it, especially as it came out in the midst of the undercover videos by James O'Keefe, four in total thus far, with more to come, which have gone far in exposing the underside of ACORN. O'Keefe's staggering videos can be found here and No Quarter. They are shocking indeed, as the workers at ACORN cavalierly discuss using children, girls, from El Salvador as prostitutes, with one going so far as saying the "prostitute," Hannah Giles, whose idea the whole venture was, should make sure she tells the girls not to say anything to ANYONE about what they do (for an excellent commentary on this aspect, I highly recommend Pat Racimora's, "ACORN, Little Girls, And The Red Light Business"). Or the ACORN worker who describes how she shot her husband dead.

Now is when I remind you that not only does Obama have very strong ties to ACORN (he worked on their behalf as a lawyer at one point), and its sister organization, SEIU, and let's not forget that Obama gave $832,000 to an ACORN affiliate to "get out the vote" during the Election Season. And ACORN, the alleged non-partisan organization, currently under investigation in at least 14 states for voter fraud, the organization that helped create the Fanne Mae/Freddis Mac fiasco, is receiving YOUR tax paying dollars, $53 million to date, and stands to receive $8.5 Billion in Stimulus money.

The aforementioned article? It is this: Former Leftist Activist, Turned FBI Informant, Pulls Back the Curtain On ACORN. Well, you know that caught my eye right away - this guy, Brandon Darby, was a leftie activist, like many of us were, but unlike most of us, worked with the FBI on terrorism. Here is Darby's story:
I first experienced ACORN in post-Katrina New Orleans. I was part of a relief organization, Common Ground Relief, which had been delivering much needed aid to the 9th Ward, an area that had been hit especially hard by the flood waters and by neglect. Rumors immediately began surfacing, questioning our motives and intentions. I was very confused by these rumors. Who was behind them? How could anyone question the vital work we were doing in the community? We lived and worked in the 9th Ward. We suspended our regular lives and, in many cases, left our families to travel to New Orleans to help those affected by Katrina and poverty. We slept on dirty plywood floors and shared everything we had with the residents. Most of us were white. Was our skin color the issue? I knew from personal experience that the majority of the Black 9th ward residents didn’t care what color our skin was. It took me awhile to get over the hurt I felt at such allegations and to find out where they were coming from.

In the following weeks, I was made aware of the fact that ACORN had reopened its New Orleans office (several months after the storm). Various groups from around the city informed me that Acorn was upset with us because we were in “their” community and had not sought approval from ACORN to operate there. I was told that ACORN said that we were “privileged white people who had come to a Black community as saviors and we refused to work with local Black leadership.”

The more I pondered the matter, the more I realized what was happening. As usual in marginalized and impoverished communities, a small group of radical self-proclaimed leaders was insisting that all local aid and relief came through them—even if they were AWOL for several months. Though the majority of residents either hadn’t heard of ACORN or simply disagreed with their politics- ACORN insisted that they were THE Black leaders. This was upsetting to me. Sure, the local pastor we worked most closely with was Black; but that didn’t matter to ACORN. It was as if Pastor Johnson didn’t count because he didn’t evoke the name of Elijah Mohammed or Malcolm X. It was as if Pastor Johnson didn’t count because he didn’t submit to ACORN’s mandate that ACORN was the sole leadership of Black New Orleanians.

Am I reading this correctly? Only black people can work with black people as far as ACORN is concerned? Dang, I bet all of those organizations and churches who sent so many people and aid to New Orleans didn't know the rules. I know I didn't when I sent money, and took my niece and nephew there post-Katrina to spend tourism dollars as requested. I think we all thought we were helping our fellow Americans. This is a bit of a shock, I have to say.

Back to the article:
As then director of Common Ground Relief’s 9th Ward project, I was warned by many that ACORN would ruin me politically if I didn’t submit to their leadership. I believed in what I was doing and how I was doing it. I refused to submit. The political fallout was almost unbearable. I just kept my eyes on meeting the needs of the community. When confronted by adherents to ACORN’s brand of race analysis, I pointed out that ACORN was not there immediately after the storm, so I could not have sought their leadership even if I had wanted to.

Over the following years, that particular style of political attack was prominent in New Orleans. Anytime that ACORN was displeased, the other party was deemed a racist. If the other party disagreed with the label or with ACORN’s agenda- they were met with “of course you feel that way. You are a racist.” Though it is clearly woefully inaccurate and unethical to use such an accusation as a political attack and as a means of shutting down philosophical debate and discourse, some at ACORN didn’t let that stop them. I refused to submit to it. I believed in listening to the majority of the community, who were desperate for our help, and not only to the self-proclaimed leaders. I paid a dear price for it.

This is disturbing on so many levels, not least of which is the people there NEEDED this help. They still do. People who WANT to help, who take time to do this, are then treated shabbily, and labeled racist to boot. Wow. I can only imagine how that felt to Darby after all his work there on behalf of that community.

And where does the FBI fit into all of this? Here's how:
I returned to Texas after a couple of years adminst the political quagmire of post-Katrina New Orleans. My experience there with various groups was educational and life-changing, though some of these groups concerned me. Eventually I began to see some of them as dangerous and deceitful about their missions. This, along with a growing appreciation of my country helped lead me to work with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force.

I was as proud of this new era in my life as I was of my time in New Orleans. I had the privilege of participating in efforts where lives were saved; both in the United States and in Israel. While working undercover with the FBI at the Republican National Convention in Minnesota, I helped to uncover a bomb plot. Two men had made firebombs with a homemade napalm mixture of gasoline and oil. Their initial targets were Republican delegates. These bomb-makers (domestic terrorists) later decided to attack a staging area for the Secret Service and other law-enforcement agencies. Fortunately, they were stopped and arrested.

I was asked, and agreed, to testify against them. As was expected, the more radical elements of the media began to attack both me as an individual and the FBI as a whole. One of the men accused plead guilty; the other hired an expensive defense attorney and concocted a story about the FBI building these bombs to “set up left-wing activists” and stop dissent. But once the facts became clear, the defense changed their story and instead tried to blame the FBI for ”influencing” the terrorists. Thankfully, after one hung jury and many months of intense media attacks against me, the other bomb-maker (domestic terrorist) decided to come clean and admitted to the judge that he had invented the whole story.

What does any of this have to do with ACORN? I wondered the same thing on January 31st of 2009 when I was reading an ACORN blog that is run by Wade Rathke (the man who claims credit for founding ACORN). He devoted an entire page to my work with the FBI. How did he describe the FBI’s effort and success in preventing innocent Americans, local police and federal agents from being burned, maimed and/or possibly killed by firebombs? He wrote that it’s “one thing to disagree, but it’s a whole different thing to rat on folks.” That is what ACORN’s founder had to say about my role in stopping a bomb plot.

I was even more shocked as I continued reading the article. ACORN’s “founder” went on to mention that another self-proclaimed “radical” activist who had worked closely with him was also involved in my story. Her name is Lisa Fithian. I first encountered Ms. Fithian in New Orleans. She came to town after Common Ground Relief had started operations. She assumed a position of prominence and continuously challenged my work and leadership. During the RNC bombing trial, she cooperated with the defense of the bomb plotters and led media attacks on me and the FBI.

Ms. Fithian has been quoted in various mainstream news articles as saying, “Nonviolence is a strategy. Civil disobedience is a tactic,” and “Direct action is a strategy. Throwing rocks is a tactic.” She is also quoted as stating that “When people ask me, ‘What do you do?’ I say, ‘I create crisis’, because crisis is that edge where change is possible.”

ACORN receives tens of millions of dollars from taxpayers to promote their agenda. Free speech is sacred, of course. However, it is clear that ACORN has made a practice of blurring the lines between free speech and tax-payer-funded activism. Fortunately, our federal government is adept at investigating and identifying the misuse of federal funds. It will be interesting in the near future to see how Mr. Rathke and his ACORN associates stand up to the same scrutiny they have focused on our military, the FBI and other governmental groups and agencies.

After the revelations exposed in the O'Keefe/Giles videos, maybe the FBI will get the hint and take a look into ACORN. If they need a reminder, they can go back and look at the testimony of ACORN Whistleblower, Anita Moncrief, who had PLENTY to say about how ACORN operates, and acknowledged the connections between ACORN and Obama. It is a shocking reminder of what the MSM let go by in order to carry water for Obama.

So, maybe it's not too late? Maybe after all of these recent (and not so recent) revelations SOMEONE in law enforcement will do the right thing and go after ACORN? Make the connections, hold them accountable, and do it now? Heaven knows, there is enough information available, isn't there?

MARK YOUR CALENDARS!!! Anita Moncrief, the ACORN whistleblower, is going to be on Paulie Abeles, Sins of Omission NQ radio show SEPTEMBER 21st at 9:00 PM (EST)!! WOW!!!! I cannot wait. I'll be there - hope you will, too!


Mary Ellen said...

Hi Amy! Hope you're feeling better. ;-)

This whole ACORN thing is just astounding and what is more astounding is the lack of media coverage and the lack of concern by our own government.

I tried to tell my Obamabot husband that ACORN was a dirty organization, rife with corruption, but he just laughed and quoted the inane justifications for their voting fraud that he read on blogs like Firedoglake and TPM.

With all of this stuff about the tapes, he again just says, "That's just Fox News garbage, it doesn't represent ACORN as a whole." This is a guy who is a scientist, for gosh sakes! He's not stupid, he knows how to read, he must know how to research stuff since he's a research scientist!

I can't explain what's happening in our society, when we have people who call themselves liberal progressive and they close their eyes to an organization who are willing to help someone who said they were planning to sexually exploit children. or excuse domestic terrorists ??? All this so they can protect a man that that they supported as President. Are their egos so big that they can't admit that they screwed up when they voted and supported that guy and are willing to allow innocent people to be killed or children enslaved and sexually assaulted by a group of people their precious Obama said he wanted to "shape his presidential agenda"? I.just.don'

Sorry for the rant...just ranted in a similar fashion on my blog today. I'm beginning to lose hope for this country, I really am.

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Friend, you can rant on ANY time!

So - how does your husband justify that ACORN is under investigation in over 14 states?? That's all "Fox News garbage"? Wow - that's a bit of a stretch. Wasn't it just last week that 11 arrest warrants went out in Miami for ACORN workers for voter fraud???

Or how abt that the Census Bureau fired them from the 2010 Census?

Or that the Senate voted to cut their funds from HUD?

That all happened because why, exactly? Fox News? Yeah, okay.

And isn't it convenient how Fox News has been characterized so that anything that comes from them is automatically dismissed? I admit, I was once like that, too. But what I realized during this past election was that they tried a lot harder than the others to be impartial, and were one of the FEW who did not trash Hillary at every opportunity.

Who knows - maybe because your husband has to work with accurate data in his work life, and his personal life, he can believe in whatever magical unity unicorns he wants! Ahem. Sorry - that's probably not helping...

TO answer your question, yes - they cannot admit they screwed up. And that is why they are calling EVERYONE who opposes Obama's policies a RACIST, like Rep. Johnson and Pres. Carter did yesterday. It has nothing to do with how he got where he is, with whom he associates, his woeful lack of experience, his misogyny, his reneging on numerous promises, none of that. We're all just racists.

How incredibly insulting.

And I'm with you. I don't get it, either.

There are going to be more tapes...

Mary Ellen said...

Rev.Amy- Well, it looks to me like the media and the White House can't ignore the fury over these ACORN tapes. It was addressed today at the White House news briefing and from what I can see, a bunch in Congress are pushing to have all funds taken away from ACORN. We'll see where that goes.

I have no doubt in my mind that Obama will sit back and refuse to comment on ACORN. If anything, he will just say that they are not the ACORN that he remembered. Just think of the sound of all those nuts cracking as the bus wheels roll over them.

Yeah...well, my husband must have taken a heavy dose of kool aide. I wonder if kool-aid addiction could be grounds for divorce? ;-)

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Oh, dear - and I would have to say, based on all of the evidence, yes, yes it is!

Even Jon Stewart discusses the tapes on The Daily Show, a show I watched religiously until he started drinking the Kool Aide. But I know my biggest Obot brother watches it all the time. Despite the misinformation at the beginning (that none of the charges panned out against ACORN - again, over FOURTEEN STATES Federal Investigation!!!!!), it is pretty good. Go take a look at

Maybe there's "hope" yet??

Oh, and you are so right - Obama will find a way to distance himself, even after giving them almost $1 million dollars last year, and working for them, and telling them they were going to help him shape policy int he White House, and, and, and...


If you ever need a break from your Obot husband, you're welcome to visit the Lowcountry! :-)

Mary Ellen said...

Rev. Amy- Like you, I quit watching Jon Stewart back then, too...along with Jay Leno, David Letterman, Saturday Night Live...the list goes on. Man, come to think of it, comedians are so gullible aren't they?

May take you up on that visit some time, I need to surround myself with normal people from time to time. Most of my kids have gone Obot on me, too. My son was firmly in Hillary's camp and he couldn't stand Obama...until he went to college and had a History prof who was drunk with kool aid. He made a very big impression on my son..the bastard! :-)

I try to keep any political talk to a bare minimum at home. He learned awhile back that if he dared to defend Obama it would mean a cold stove and a very cold bed for weeks afterward. ;-)

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Oh, oops - I didn't mean to say "Federal," but STATE investigations against ACORN, many of which were requested by DEMOCRATS, thus putting a lie to this claim that CONSERVATIVES are out to get ACORN. WTH?? How abt people who actually care abt VOTER FRAUD?? They admitted to 400,000 in NY ALONE - and Dems aren't supposed to have a problem with that? That's where they lose me. I thought Dems were supposed to care abt "one person, one vote" - that was our thing, wasn't it??

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

ROTFLMAO - oh, my gosh - you are the funniest damn person...And it serves him right, too, I might add!

I am sorry to hear abt your son. How is it that someone these young people know for a few months has a bigger impact than their PARENTS?? Sheesh.

Well, maybe when he finds out that one of the groups Obama is planning on getting to help pay for his health care plan - young adults under 30 have to get it, or they get fined - maybe he will see the error of his ways.

And do you think ANY of these people who believed Obama's BS abt Hillary fining people will now realize Obama was the one who was going to do it all along?? The irony would be too rich, if it weren't so disturbing - again - highlighting how GULLIBLE people are.

Again, right there with ya - we used to watch David Letterman religiously, though I was pretty sick and tired of those Monica jokes. David seemed in awe of Hillary when she was there, but when she wasn't, he couldn't say enough crap abt her.

These men are SO threatened by her, aren't they? Well, some, I should say. There are others, like Larry Johnson, who was so impressed by her when he was briefing her on National Security issues that he threw his support to her. He was impressed by her intelligence, her ability to hold different things in tension, just HER. Same as us, I guess.

Well, you come on down any time. This is a lovely time here - the ocean temps are still in the low 80's, but it's not as hot out...