Saturday, October 13, 2012

Obama's Speechwriters and 9/11 Commission-John Kerry-Digital Promise-Foundation Connections

Ben Rhodes has been the Deputy National Security Adviser for strategic communications since September 2009. Previously, he served as President Obama's foreign policy speechwriter.

“Prior to joining the Obama campaign, Ben worked as Special Assistant to…Lee H. Hamilton…He worked closely with…Hamilton through his tenure as Vice-Chair of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (the 9/11 Commission)…He is the author, with Hamilton and Thomas H. Kean, of Without Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission.”

--from the Partnership for a Secure America website

“…Jon Favreau, whose grandfather, Robert, was a New Hampshire state legislator and whose uncle, Peter, is a former Manchester police chief, has served as Obama's speechwriter since November 2004…Favreau started in politics by working as a college intern in Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry's Washington office in 2002. Upon graduation, he joined Kerry's 2004 White House campaign; within a few months he was promoted to deputy speechwriter…Hired as Obama's lone speechwriter that November, Jon began co-writing rhetoric that four years later would help propel Obama into the Oval Office…”

--from the January 24, 2012 issue of the website

“The list of White House salaries…shows that Jon Favreau, President Barack Obama’s speechwriter, is one of the top earners at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave….Favreau’s $172,000 salary puts him right up there with the members of Obama’s inner circle…The only person earning more is Dr. David E. Marcozzi, the director of public health policy, who is paid $192,934 a year….While in college, Favreau was an intern in Sen. John F. Kerry’s Washington office. After graduation, he went to work on Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign as a speechwriter.
“After Kerry’s defeat, Favreau found himself in Washington without a job…[Robert] Gibbs, who was then the communications director in Obama’s senatorial office, recommended that Obama hire Favreau as a speechwriter….Obama offered him the job.

“Favreau is not the only Obama campaign speechwriter who found work at the White House.
Ben Rhodes is earning $102,000 a year as deputy director of speechwriting. Sarah K. Hurwitz earns $85,000 per year as a senior presidential speechwriter.

“And Adam P. Frankel earns $65,000 per year as a senior presidential speechwriter.

“Like Favreau, Frankel worked on the Kerry presidential campaign as a speechwriter….”

--from a July 6, 2009 article

“…With an initial Board of Directors recommended in part by Members of Congress and appointed by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Digital Promise was formally launched by President Barack Obama in September 2011 with startup support from the U.S. Department of Education, Carnegie Corporation of New York, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.”

--from the Digital Promise website

Adam Frankel is Executive Director of Digital Promise. Previously, Adam was Special Assistant to the President and Senior Speechwriter for President Obama…”

--from the Digital Promise website

Obama’s Speechwriters and 9/11 Commission-John Kerry-Digital Promise-Foundation Connections

Most U.S. grassroots anti-war activists and anti-war alternative journalists whose anti-war work is not being subsidized by grants from various U.S. power elite foundations have questioned the accuracy of the 9/11 Commission’s official version of what actually happened on September 11, 2001 in Downtown Manhattan. Yet between 2009 and 2012 the Democratic Obama administration has not been eager to order a new and fuller independent investigation of the September 11, 2001 events.

One reason might be that President Obama’s foreign policy speechwriter and White House Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications in recent years, Ben Rhodes, previously worked as a Special Assistant to 9/11 Commission Vice-Chair Lee Hamilton and was the author, with Hamilton and 9/11 Commission Chair Thomas Kean of the “inside story of the 9/11 Commission.”

Other Obama White House speechwriters in recent years have included former speechwriters for the defeated 2004 Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry and the current executive director of the Obama-launched and Carnegie Corporation of New York and Gates Foundation-subsidized Digital Promise organization.

In his 2010 book, The Promise: President Obama, Year One, Newsweek columnist Jonathan Alter described the role that 2012 Democratic presidential candidate Obama’s speechwriters played in putting together the speech he read when was first inaugurated as the U.S. president in January 2009:

“…Several Obama speechwriters…had worked on the Inaugural Address…Adam Frankel…was writing speeches for a man whose portrait he though would one day likely appear on U.S. currency…Obama’s approach to speechwriting was to begin the process by speaking aloud at length, while [Jon] Favreau or others took notes…Favreau worked on a couple of drafts on his laptop at Starbucks, with help from Ben Rhodes and…Adam Frankel and Sarah Hurwitz. He sent it to [David] Axelrod and Obama after Christmas [in 2008]…Over the weekend of January 10-11 [2008] Obama holed up in the Hay-Adams Hotel where he rewrote more than half the text…”

  But the same book also noted that “Obama had carefully choreographed his “Inauguration” and “he selected Rick Warren, pastor of the immense Saddleback Church in Orange County, California, to handle the invocation, a gesture to conservative evangelicals;” although “Warren’s selection was controversial because of some disparaging comments he had made about homosexuals…”

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