If nothing else, this historical curio unearthed by the Associated Press gives us a chance to revisit Jeremiah Wright and his lunacy as a reminder about Barack Obama’s radical connections — and how mercilessly he cuts loose of them when exposed. When pressed by the group Africa 6000 to use his influence to get Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner for access to millions of dollars in Haiti earthquake relief in February, Wright told the group that he was “toxic” — and vented his anger at Obama:
The Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama’s controversial former pastor, said in a letter obtained by The Associated Press that he is “toxic” to the Obama administration and that the president “threw me under the bus.”
In his strongest language to date about the administration’s 2-year-old rift with the Chicago pastor, Wright told a group raising money for African relief that his pleas to release frozen funds for use in earthquake-ravaged Haiti would likely be ignored.
“No one in the Obama administration will respond to me, listen to me, talk to me or read anything that I write to them. I am ‘toxic’ in terms of the Obama administration,” Wright wrote the president of Africa 6000 International earlier this year.
“I am ‘radioactive,’ Sir. When Obama threw me under the bus, he threw me under the bus literally!” he wrote. “Any advice that I offer is going to be taken as something to be avoided. Please understand that!”
The AP reports that Wright eventually relented and asked Geithner for the funds. The money originated with Uday Hussein, who gave £87 million to Muhammed Ali and his manager Arthur Morrison in 1990 to buy medicine and food for Iraqi children after Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait and triggered international sanctions. Morrison was imprisoned at the time, however, for making terrorist threats to hospitals where his ex-girlfriend worked, and apparently the US seized the funds, which remain unspent.
There is no update on whether Geithner released the funds to Africa 6000. The memo got revealed in an appeal by Morrison, though, which is how the Associated Press discovered it.
Does this tell us anything we don’t know about Barack Obama? The Wright connections were exhaustively covered by conservative media outlets, and this doesn’t add too much to that. It does tell us that Obama wasn’t kidding around when he finally cut Wright loose. If the letter is an unpleasant reminder of Wright’s 20-year influence on Obama, the White House can at least take comfort from the corroboration of Obama’s public repudiation in the spring of 2008.