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The latest (mis)adventures of Jerome Corsi

By / October 7, 2008

Neoconservative author Jerome Corsi was ordered out of Kenya today by Kenyan officials. As we already know, Corsi is an author with a wild and weird career. His deportation today adds yet another bizarre chapter.

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Corsi is the author of "The Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality," a book that is fiercely – and, many charge, inaccurately – critical of Barack Obama. The book questions Obama’s character and his fitness to be president of the United States.

The Kenyan government says the deportation was ordered because Corsi didn't have a proper work permit.

But Corsi was intercepted just as he arrived at the hotel where he was planning to launch "The Obama Nation." The book is very unpopular with many Kenyans, who tend to view Obama as a hero.

In Kenya, there was discomfort about the perception that the government had acted irresponsibly. Corsi's arrest "was uncalled-for and a great test to our perceived respect for freedom of speech and thought," wrote the Nairobi Business Daily. "The arrest earned him more than he could have got with the [book] launch — publicity and sympathy."

In the US, there was an equal amount of discomfort – but for different reasons. Some conservatives disliked the whole idea of Corsi's trip. "I’m going to preface this thing on Corsi by saying that I’m a McCain supporter and longtime Republican," conservative blogger Steven Covington wrote. "However, I also think it’s important to not go around doing things that are totally insane and reflect badly on conservatives and/or the US as a whole."

As far as Covington is concerned, Corsi, who claims that he is exposing secret links between Obama and Kenyan officials and that Obama has a plan to turn the US into a Muslim nation, is like "a crazy uncle or cousin who comes to family events with all sorts of 'things they just aren’t telling you' and 'facts' that he himself is privy to, and that must be true, because he read it on the internet, or in a book."

At the same time, however, Nick Denton writes on Gawker that, "Jerome Corsi's brush with the Kenyan authorities is a gift to the Republican campaign and those who disseminate its talking points." His detention, Denton says, "feeds into the reptilian-brain paranoia that the mild-mannered Democratic candidate will pack the government with his friends and bring incompetent or tyrannical black rule to the US."

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