“In the future everybody will be famous for fifteen minutes.” - Andy Warhol
The scene bordered on the surreal. It was like watching a play by Samuel Beckett. The location was the prestigious National Press Club (NPC) in Washington, D.C.--only blocks from the White House. At 3 PM, on June 18, 2008, a press conference, not endorsed by the NPC, was set to begin in the Holeman Lounge on the 13th floor. The room was filled to near capacity, with mostly, it appeared, representatives of the media. Some members of the foreign press were there, too. Montgomery Blair Sibley, an attorney, stepped to the podium, (missing the NPC logo). He was dressed in a kilt, a la the actor Sean Connery. Mr. Sibley announced that the NPC was “renting the room” to his client, without any “endorsement” of his views, so that he could “say what he wants to say.” With that out of the way--Larry Sinclair, the bete noire of Sen. Barack Obama’s life--entered the stage!
Mr. Sinclair is 46 years old, but he looks much older. He’s on the small side, about 5 ft. 6 or 7 inches. While making his introductory statement, which ran to five typewritten pages, he continuously tapped his right foot on the floor. Mr. Sinclair cleverly got the bad stuff out of the way fast. He confessed: “I am a former recreational drug user and trafficker, a convicted felon for crimes of forgery, bad checks and theft by check...I have been convicted and served prison sentences for writing bad checks, forging checks, using stolen credit card numbers in Arizona, Florida and Colorado.” (1) Not exactly a resume of a truth teller!
Mr. Sinclair has supposedly failed a lie detector test given by an expert in that field with respect to the Obama matter. (2) Nevertheless, he zoomed in on his own alleged wrongdoings with then Illinois state senator. The ex-con put it this way: “I flew out of Colorado Springs, Colorado, to Chicago on Nov. 2, 1999, arriving in O’Hare early in the morning of Nov. 3, 1999. I went to the Chicago area to attend the graduation of my godson...from basic training from the Great Lakes Navy Training Center. I made reservations at the Comfort Inn and Suites in Gurnee, Il. based on [its] location to the Navy Training center.
“On Nov. 5, 1999, I hired the services of Five Star Limo. I had hired them for both Nov. 5 and Nov. 6. On Nov. 6, 1999, I asked the limo driver...if he knew anyone would like to ‘socialize’ and show me Chicago...[He] said he knew someone who was a ‘friend’ of his.” He then claims the “friend” was then-Illinois State Senator, Obama. Mr. Sinclair, who has used many aliases over the years, then alleged that over a two-day period that he engaged in some illegal acts with Obama. Since none of these particular allegations have been substantiated, I will omit them from this article.
A Q&A period followed Mr. Sinclair’s opening remarks. I asked him why he had waited so long--over nine years--to make his accusations against Sen. Obama. I underscored that his waiting raised serious questions about his credibility in this situation. He replied: “Well, number one, in 1999, I really didn’t care whether he was a senator from Illinois or not. To be honest with you, I wasn’t a resident of Illinois. Ah, as far as right now, ah, I was living in Mexico until 2006. It was really of no interest to me. I know plenty of politicians both locally and internationally and they are pretty much crooked. The whole issue is based on his drug use and his claim that he had not used drugs since his college days. And, that was the whole issue that brought this forward.” (3)
Another reporter asked him where he was getting his financial support from in order to come and stay in Washington, D.C., and if any money was coming to him “from the Republican Party?” Mr. Sinclair, who admitted that he is presently living on a Social Security disability pension, answered: “I am not connected to any party...Every penny that I have received for this press conference, my travel expenses, have come from average American citizens.” (3)
And, where is that limo driver, who could supposedly corroborate important parts of Mr. Sinclair’s yarn, another reporter wanted to know? Mr. Sinclair responded that he had “contact” with the driver, “the first part of this year,” but that because of all of the controversy arising out of his charges against Sen. Obama, that the man “wanted to disappear.” Mr. Sinclair added that the latest he heard about the driver was about “three weeks ago,” and that information indicated that he (the limo driver) and his family were living in the state of Mississippi.
What about Mr. Sinclair failing that polygraph test? (2) His position on that issue can be summarized as follows. He stated in his opening remarks: “I have now come to understand that lie detectors are junk science at best which is why courts of law refuse to use them.” Mr. Sinclair was also highly critical of web sites, such as Daily Kos, FireDogLake and Huffington Post. He denounced them as “pro-Obama sites.”
Mr. Sinclair, during the Q&A period, denied he has had any “sexual relations” with any other politicians on Capitol Hill, and that included Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID). He also defended his use of so many aliases over his long criminal career “out of respect for his family.” He said he wanted to protect his family from public scrutiny because of his repeated breaches of the law. (3) Mr. Sinclair also wanted to make it clear that “no officials” from Sen. Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign were in touch with respect to supporting his efforts to discredit Sen. Obama.
Consistent with the absurd climate created by the media-centered event, with all the wild charges and outlandish smears flying all over the place, Mr. Sinclair was arrested by the D.C. Metropolitan police after he left the podium. He was then taken into custody by two Federal Marshals, according to a news report, to be transported to the state of Delaware to face outstanding criminal charges. (4) The Obama accuser is also wanted in Colorado on a “fugitive from justice warrant!” (5)
Finally: Is Mr. Sinclair’s fifteen minutes of fame over? It sure as blazes looks that way!
1. “Obama Accuser Has Long Rap Sheet” by pundit Ben Smith, see: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0608/11164.html
3. Video: “Sen. Obama’s Accuser, Larry Sinclair, Drilled by Media”, check out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6w4Dl8QcY0
©2008, William Hughes, All Rights Reserved.
William Hughes is a video and print journalist. His videos can be found at: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=liamh2
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