The latest (mis)adventures of Jerome Corsi
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.
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."
Corsi also said that while in was in Nairobi he was hoping to meet with Barack Obama's half-brother, George, saying he had a check for him. George is reported to have told the press that he has no interest in meeting with Corsi.
In 2005 Corsi published "Atomic Iran: How the Terrorist Regime Bought the Bomb and American Politicians," which claimed that Democratic politicians are corrupted by Iranian money and support Iranian mullahs and Iran's quest for nuclear weapons.
Also in 2005 he co-authored (with Craig R. Smith) "Black Gold Stranglehold: The Myth of Scarcity and the Politics of Oil," a book which questions the "truism that oil is fossil fuel" and endorses the concept of "abiotic oil" production, a view not supported by any kind of scientific consensus.
Corsi has also claimed that "President Bush is pursuing a globalist agenda to create a North American Union" (a theoretical union of Canada, Mexico and the US) and has circulated claims that on 9/11 the World Trade Center towers collapsed due to explosives inside the building.
But regardless of the oddity of his views, writes the Nairobi Business Daily, deporting Corsi was not the correct action for the government to take.
The paper quotes the European Court of Human Rights Standard, which wrote that “freedom of expression is applicable not only to ‘information’ or ‘ideas’ that are favorably received or regarded as inoffensive, but also to those that offend, shock or disturb the State or any sector of the population.... Such are the demands of that pluralism without which there is no democratic society.”
Sadly, concludes the Business Daily, "Kenya failed the test."