Are We Being Compromised by Barack Obama's Murky Past?

Since he first became a presidential candidate, President Obama must have spent millions of dollars in legal expenses to combat dozens of so-called "birther" challenges seeking the original documents pertaining to his birth.  As president, he famously issued an electronic document on the White House website in 2011; the document purported to be his long-form birth certificate, though it is apparently a forgery.  In addition, he has taken great pains to hide the paper trail of passport records, college transcripts, and other data -- all of which a prospective employer might require of a job applicant.  

The public's right to know is but a minor consideration.  Our overriding concern should be what unfriendly foreign intelligence adversaries, particularly Russian, may have obtained on our president's background.

Among all the foreign intelligence agencies, Russian intelligence (SVR) has a long history and has made a science of studying the backgrounds of American presidents.  Therefore, we must assume that since Russian intelligence is particularly skilled and a persistent practitioner of this art, it is possible to the point of certainty that, using all their resources and "black-bag" tactics, they have long had the biographical background data that President Obama and his team of lawyers have been so diligent in concealing from the American public.

The Russians most likely would have started collecting data during Obama's university years, when he professed radical Marxist views.  They were certainly focusing on him by the time of his celebrated speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.

By that time, Russian intelligence had easy access to the true facts concerning Obama's birth, parentage, and childhood; his mentor (communist Frank Marshall Davis); and his college performance, as well as who provided his finances.  They also would have obtained the information on his passport history and his complete political career and associates.

It is recognized that among all the intelligence agencies, Russian intelligence is the most skillful in looking for information and points of leverage -- which are then exploited cleverly and "gently" by Russian statecraft.

By now, the Russians have most likely have told Obama discreetly that they have such information.  How would they use it?  As one old Soviet KGB operator said, "Kompromat [compromising information] is the most powerful tool of espionage."

Following this thought process, take the issue of how strongly the Russians objected to our ballistic missile defense (BMD) plans for NATO Europe to defend against an Iranian nuclear missile threat.  Now ponder why President Obama told Russian President Medvedev in the fall of 2012 that he would have "more flexibility" to deal with the BMD issue in his second term which he has now basically canceled.  Coincidence?

The current world situation is presenting many complicating challenges to current and future U.S. objectives.  With the Obama administration presiding over the hollowing out of our military forces and prepared to further weaken our strategic nuclear posture, our adversaries are being emboldened to challenge us in a number of areas.  The Middle East is in a continued state of turmoil, with no end in sight.  Iran continues to ignore U.N. sanctions and proceeds with its drive to achieve nuclear weapon capability.  It dismisses the possibility of a U.S. military strike.

In the Pacific, we have to deal with an erratic, unpredictable nuclear-armed North Korea, who has been making outrageous threats to the U.S. and our allies.  China continues flexing its military muscle, trying to enforce its illegal claims in the South and East China Seas.  Closer to home, according to Ambassador Roger Noriega, we have an operational Iranian missile base in Venezuela which can threaten a number of our cities.  We also are witnessing Russia reviving Soviet Cold war tactics in areas of our strategic interest.  Clearly, we are headed into an exceptionally crucial and dangerous round of geo-strategic confrontations which could have a profound impact on our future objectives and way of life.

These challenges cannot be ignored.  We are led by a man who does not believe in American exceptionalism or our capitalist foundation.  His lead-from-behind strategy has forfeited the initiative to our adversaries.  Under such circumstances, we cannot afford to be in a position where our leadership is subject to compromise.

James A. Lyons, U.S. Navy retired Admiral, was commander-in-chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and senior U.S. military representative to the United Nations.

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