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Category Archives: OBAMA’S CABINET PICKS

The “True Identity” Of Van Jones

AIM Column  |  By Cliff Kincaid  |  September 10, 2009

The fact is that Jones was nailed by his own associations and statements.

Some people are wondering who is next after Van Jones. But the Van Jones story is not over. And we still don’t know who hired this “obscure” official, as some on the left are now trying to refer to him. Some of these controversies are currently being investigated by the new media. Blogger Trevor Loudon, who broke the story about Jones’ communist background, thinks White House official Valerie Jarrett needs to be seriously scrutinized. She appears to have had a family connection to Barack Obama’s childhood mentor, Communist Party member Frank Marshall Davis.

For the record, this “obscure” official technically worked at the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), established within the Executive Office of the President. It “coordinates Federal environmental efforts and works closely with agencies and other White House offices in the development of environmental policies and initiatives.” Yet, he never went through a Senate confirmation hearing.

Meanwhile, representatives of various George Soros-funded organizations are coming to the defense of the identified communist.

John Podesta, the President and CEO of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, hailed Jones as an “exceptional and inspired leader who has fought to bring economic and environmental justice to communities across our country.”

Justin Ruben of MoveOn.org said Jones had “worked tirelessly to bring jobs and environmental progress to some of the poorest communities in our nation. His dedication and leadership are exactly what we need more of in Washington. And his resignation is a loss to this Administration.”

Josh Silver of the Free Press calls Jones “one of our most visionary and principled young leaders.”

Questions about Van Jones personally are not over, either. It’s been reported that Van Jones is not his real name. He is really Anthony Jones.

By the same token, Barack Obama was once Barry Soetoro. It’s not exactly clear when his name was changed, and when or if it was reflected on official documents.

Jones and Obama put a lot of importance in names. Jones named his son Cabral, after African Marxist Amilcar Cabral. So what happened with “Van?”

In an interview with Ariane Conrad, the person who largely wrote his best-selling book, Jones said, “Well my true identity, of course, is Anthony Jones from Jackson, Tenn. One might be able to use a search engine to figure that out.”

He may have been referring to the fact that his “true identity” had been previously revealed in a New Yorker article, “Greening the Ghetto,” by Elizabeth Kolbert. She noted, “Van Jones, born Anthony Jones, grew up in Jackson, Tennessee, a small town about ninety miles east of Memphis.” Kolbert explained that “After high school, Jones enrolled at the University of Tennessee at Martin. The first day of his freshman year, he decided that he needed a new identity, or, at least, a new name. Anthony Jones was dull. He chose Van because, he told me, ‘it has a little touch of nobility, but at the same time it’s not overboard.'” On another occasion, he said he picked “Van” because it sounded cool.

If he got a new name his freshman year of college, then why is he listed years later as “Anthony Jones” in the 2005 IRS form 990 filed by the organization he ran, the Ella Baker Center? The form is actually signed by “Anthony K. Van Jones” but printed as “Anthony K. ‘Van’ Jones,” with the name “Van” in quotation marks.

By 2006, it is back to “Anthony K. Jones” and by 2007 it has become “Anthony ‘Van’ Jones.”

In his statement, Podesta said that Jones, whatever his real name and true identity, had “chosen to resign because he believed he was serving as a distraction to the President’s agenda. I respect that decision.” Podesta was co-chair of the Obama-Biden Transition project and employed Jones before he went to the White House CEQ.

But how could he have been a “distraction” when the major media had been ignoring the story? Jones was forced to resign, as the Marxist “progressives” at the Rag Blog website fully understand, because the investigation of Jones was getting too close for comfort for Obama and his inner circle. Sacking Jones was a way for the White House and the major media, just beginning to take an interest in the story, to move on.

It is apparent that Jones was thrown “under the bus” because too many of Obama’s close associates, including Jarrett, are implicated in his hiring. Jarrett had said that “we” had recruited Jones. Who is “we?”

Obama himself obviously approved the decision to bring him aboard. After all, he is the President. Jones and Obama were photographed together. What is the nature of their relationship?

Rep. Mike Pence was the only member of the House Republican Leadership to call for Jones to go. But the resignation has not resulted in any coherent explanation of how he was hired in the first place.

Just before Jones jumped ship, Senator Kit Bond of Missouri sent a letter asking for congressional hearings into the appointment. Among other things, he noted, “Last year, Mr. Jones in a radio interview stated his goals as a ‘complete revolution’ to ‘transform the whole society’ away from capitalism. These recent comments remove the credibility of his assertions that his past radical statements and actions such as the creation of the group Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement (STORM) rooted in Marxism and Leninism merely reflect youthful sentiments in the distant past.”

In fact, I am not aware of any claims by Jones that his involvement in STORM was just a matter of being too youthful. He never replied to my calls or emails and I was forced to file a series of Freedom of Information Act requests to try to get answers.

His Marxist rhetoric about a “complete revolution” was made to “Uprising Radio” in April of 2008 and brought to light by Breitbart TV. Going beyond “systems of exploitation and oppression is a process,” Jones said, that will take us beyond “eco-capitalism.”

He explained, “So the green economy will start off as a small sub-set and we’re going to push it and push it and push it until it becomes the engine for transforming the whole society.”

In other words, environmentalism and “green jobs” are the cover for implementing Marxism. Obviously, Jones has not changed. Only his methods have changed.

Bond sent his letter in his capacity as ranking member of the Green Jobs and the New Economy Subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. But the chairman of this subcommittee, to whom Bond sent the letter, is socialist Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, a booster of Jones! So the chances of any hearings were always zero to begin with.

Are the Republicans serious about getting to the bottom of this scandal?

For his part, Sanders responded that Democrats should have stood by Jones. “To surrender to them is ridiculous, because they’re not going to stop. They’re just going to go after the next guy. We need to be standing up to them more vigorously and exposing their lies.”

He did not identify what “lies” he was talking about. The fact is that Jones was nailed by his own associations and statements. As he told Conrad, all you had to do was use a search engine.

Before going on to the “next guy,” it’s the job of the conservative media which took this story seriously to examine how Jones got his job. Trevor Loudon’s New Zeal blog is still on top of it. Glenn Beck should not let the Jones story drop now. And that means exposing those who are now defending Jones.

Speaking of Jones, Josh Silver of the Soros-funded Free Press says that “progressives” have a responsibility to “defend the public servants and innocent people who are being attacked…”

Their idea of “innocent” is someone who openly associated himself with an international movement that has taken the lives of more than 100 million truly innocent people. International communism is still the biggest “death panel” the world has ever known.

Which raises the question: why do modern “progressives” want to celebrate the work of a communist?

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By HOPE YEN, Associated Press Writer Hope Yen, Associated Press Writer 2 hrs 1 min ago

Sunday, December 07, 2008

WASHINGTON – President-elect Barack Obama has chosen retired Gen. Eric K. Shinseki to be the next Veterans Affairs secretary, turning to a former Army chief of staff once vilified by the Bush administration for questioning its Iraq war strategy.

Obama will announce the selection of Shinseki, the first Army four-star general of Japanese-American ancestry, at a news conference Sunday in Chicago. He will be the first Asian-American to hold the post of Veterans Affairs secretary, adding to the growing diversity of Obama’s Cabinet.

“I think that General Shinseki is exactly the right person who is going to be able to make sure that we honor our troops when they come home,” Obama said in an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” to be broadcast Sunday.

NBC released a transcript of the interview after The Associated Press reported that Shinseki was Obama’s pick.

Shinseki’s tenure as Army chief of staff from 1999 to 2003 was marked by constant tensions with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, which boiled over in 2003 when Shinseki testified to Congress that it might take several hundred thousand U.S. troops to control Iraq after the invasion.

Rumsfeld and his deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, belittled the estimate as “wildly off the mark” and the general was marginalized and later retired from the Army. But Shinseki’s words proved prophetic after President George W. Bush in early 2007 announced a “surge” of additional troops to Iraq after miscalculating the numbers needed to stem sectarian violence.

Obama said he chose Shinseki for the VA post because he “was right” in predicting that the U.S. will need more troops in Iraq than Rumsfeld believed at the time.

“When I reflect on the sacrifices that have been made by our veterans and I think about how so many veterans around the country are struggling even more than those who have not served — higher unemployment rates, higher homeless rates, higher substance abuse rates, medical care that is inadequate — it breaks my heart,” Obama told NBC.

Shinseki, 66, is slated to take the helm of the government’s second largest agency, which was roundly criticized during the Bush administration for underestimating the amount of funding needed to treat thousands of injured veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Thousands of veterans currently endure six-month waits for disability benefits, despite promises by current VA Secretary James Peake and his predecessor, Jim Nicholson, to reduce delays. The department also is scrambling to upgrade government technology systems before new legislation providing for millions of dollars in new GI benefits takes effect next August.

Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, and chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, praised Shinseki as a “great choice” who will make an excellent VA secretary.

“I have great respect for General Shinseki’s judgment and abilities,” Akaka said in a statement. “I am confident that he will use his wisdom and experience to ensure that our veterans receive the respect and care they have earned in defense of our nation. President-elect Obama is selecting a team that reflects our nation’s greatest strength, its diversity, and I applaud him.”

Veterans groups also cheered the decision.

“General Shinseki has a record of courage and honesty, and is a bold choice to lead the VA into the future,” said Paul Rieckhoff, executive director of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. “He is a man that has always put patriotism ahead of politics, and is held in high regard by veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Obama’s choice of Shinseki, who grew up in Hawaii, is the latest indication that the president-elect is making good on his pledge to have a diverse Cabinet.

In Obama’s eight Cabinet announcements so far, white men are the minority with two nominations — Timothy Geithner at Treasury and Robert Gates at Defense. Three are women — Janet Napolitano at Homeland Security, Susan Rice as United Nations ambassador and Hillary Rodham Clinton at State. Eric Holder at the Justice Department is African American, while Bill Richardson at Commerce is Latino.

Shinseki is a recipient of two Purple Hearts for life-threatening injuries in Vietnam.

Upon leaving his post in June 2003, Shinseki in his farewell speech sternly warned against arrogance in leadership.

“You must love those you lead before you can be an effective leader,” he said. “You can certainly command without that sense of commitment, but you cannot lead without it. And without leadership, command is a hollow experience, a vacuum often filled with mistrust and arrogance.”

Shinseki also left with the warning: “Beware a 12-division strategy for a 10-division army.”

Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.

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