Speaking yesterday on Bitna al-Kibir, a live TV show, Tahani al-Gebali, Vice President of the Supreme Constitutional Court in Egypt, said the time was nearing when all the conspiracies against Egypt would be exposed—conspiracies explaining why the Obama administration is so vehemently supportive of the Muslim Brotherhood, whose terrorism has, among other atrocities, caused the destruction of some 80 Christian churches in less than one week.
Al-Gebali referred to “documents and proofs” which Egypt’s intelligence agencies possess and how “the time for them to come out into the open has come.” In the course of her discussion on how these documents record massive financial exchanges between international bodies and the Muslim Brotherhood, she said: “Obama’s brother is one of the architects of investment for the international organization of the Muslim Brotherhood.”
Here the confused host stopped her, asking her to repeat what she just said, which she did, with complete confidence, adding “If the matter requires it, then we must inform our people”—apparently a reference to Obama’s support for the Brotherhood against the state of Egypt, which is causing the latter to call all bets off, that is, causing Egyptian officials to spill the beans as to the true nature of the relationship between the U.S., the Brotherhood, and Egypt.
She did not mention which of the U.S president’s brother’s she was referring to, but earlier it was revealed that Obama’s brother, Malik Obama, was running an African nonprofit closely linked to the Brotherhood as well as the genocidal terrorist of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir.
Have you heard about this guy Obama?
Wrote a book about his brilliant but absentee father? Ran for office promising hope and change? No, no, not the leader of the free world. Not that guy. Meet Malik Obama. He’s Barack’s older-by-three-years brother; he’s sure he can save the people of Kenya, if only they’d let him; and he wants you to know that he’s the one true heir to the Obama name
Being an American President’s sibling is complicated enough without the press forever reminding everyone that you’re merely his half brother—and on this mercilessly hot day in Kenya, that is what’s bothering Abon’go Malik Obama. Peering across the big desk in his small office, he makes it clear that he is piqued. “Everyone’s referring to us as half, quarter,…step, things like that, ” he says, displeased even by the taste of those words. “I think that’s like weights and measures. This didn’t even occur to us until he became president, until he gained prominence. And now we’re sort of like celebrities.
“But this is a streak of ignorance,” he adds. “Here in Africa we don’t think of each other as ‘half’ this or that. In an extended family, someone is your brother even if he is just in your clan. So I…am Obama.”
It is just before the rainy season, and Malik, a politician like his younger brother, is in the final hours of the race to be the governor of the southwestern county of Siaya.
Malik has taken a page from American campaigning in that, during this last, long sprint of the race, he has made it his task to be seen absolutely everywhere—just seen—and he isn’t even whistle-stopping to give speeches. He is covering ground along the dusty stripes that pass for roads here, and shining his famous name one more time upon his people. Malik’s campaign slogan, fittingly, is “Obama Here, Obama There.”
But today is a legal day of rest for all “aspirants,” as Kenyans refer to their candidates. Malik is at the world headquarters of one of his life’s grand endeavors, the Barack H. Obama Foundation—named for his father, he assures me, not his brother. Far from resting, he’s performing his tour de force of a man with things to do, conferring via cell phone with his campaign manager, shuffling notes, seeing to things—all in the hope of working to cure what he sees as “a society of the filthy rich and the dirt poor.”
To my surprise, there are no other Western journalists, no other Western people, anywhere around to observe Barack Obama’s brother. That may be because the last time national elections were held, five years ago, political mistrust and sheer tribal rage led to the deaths—often by hacking—of more than 1,000 and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of luckier people. No one knows if a slaughter will happen again this time. So it’s just me here, one potentially stupid guy. Malik seems utterly baffled to see me.
At 55, Malik is six feet two and hale. He stands with the slight stoop of an older man, a man of burdens. His walking pace is stately but also dutiful-seeming, as though he’s reluctantly climbing onstage to receive an award for something.
“My voice has given up,” he intones, to start. “There is dust all over the place here.”
You might have heard Malik’s name in late May, when the IRS scandal hit and the abnormally happy folks at Fox & Friends took the opportunity to rip into his charity. Indeed, there are some shady-seeming details—namely, that as of 2011 the foundation wasn’t registered in the States as a nonprofit group but for years had been presenting itself as one, and that when it did apply for tax-exempt status, it was approved quickly and retroactively. The heavy implication was that the American Obama had had a role in this, a charge that bordered on the ridiculous.
During a phase of their lives, Malik and Barack Obama were close. Over a span of fourteen years, on and off, Malik worked Stateside, mostly as an accountant, for Lockheed, Fannie Mae, and the American Red Cross. Being in the U.S. allowed Malik to spend some real time with his brother—even if history, geography, and who-knows-what-other would eventually fray that bond. In the day, Malik says, the two were even best men at each other’s weddings.
Ask Malik how often he and his brother talk nowadays and he boasts that it’s about once a year, as though that’s proof of their intimate bond. “Of course we’re close!” Malik says, just a bit too loudly. “I’m the one who brought him here to Kogelo in 1988! I thought it was important for him to come home and see from whence his family came—you know, his roots.”
Malik Obama would like you to understand that he’s a Man Who Knows People, and in his dwindling hours as an aspirant, he goes right ahead and makes an argument for nepotism—or, if not direct nepotism, then the benefits of fortuitous associations. His overt offer to his county’s voters is that, as a man who walks through doors, he might bring some desperately needed funding to Siaya. After all, if your rivals accuse you of trading off your family name, this is the only course. To embrace it as a strength.