Within hours of news reports of a deadly incident involving the Israeli army and a flotilla bound for Gaza, Aaron Klein and Jim Hoft found a way to blame Obama for the controversial international incident: yelling "Bill Ayers."
Earlier today, the Washington Post reported:
At least nine pro-Palestinian activists were killed and dozens were wounded aboard an aid flotilla bound for the Gaza Strip when Israeli naval commandos seized control of the boats in international waters early Monday.
An Israeli army spokesman would not disclose their identities or nationalities. Some Turkish, Israeli and Arab media outlets had earlier put the death toll at 19 activists and said they included as many as 10 Turkish nationals. The wounded were evacuated to Israeli hospitals and the ships were led into Israel's Ashdod port, where the passengers and aid supplies were being unloaded and screened. Seven Israeli naval personnel were also injured.
Sharp condemnations of Israel rang out from across the world, with several European countries summoning Israeli ambassadors to protest. The European Union called for an inquiry into the deaths. And the United Nations Security Council planned to meet Monday afternoon for an emergency session. The United Statesexpressed regret at the loss of the life and said it was "working to understand the circumstances of the tragedy."
Meanwhile, WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein got busy trying to understand how he could blame Obama. Illustrating a shocking ability to turn tenuous connections into an absurd conspiracy theory, Klein wrote:
The group behind the Gaza flotilla that engaged in deadly clashes with Israeli commandos today counts among its top supporters the friends and associates of President Barack Obama, namely the founders of the Weather Underground terrorist organization, William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, as well as Jodie Evans, the leader of the radical activist organization Code Pink.
Earlier today, Israeli navy commandos raided the six-ship flotilla, encountering heavy resistance and live fire from the activists. Several activists were killed and dozens of others were reportedly injured, as were several of the Israeli commandos.
The flotilla was organized by the Free Gaza Movement, a coalition of leftist human rights activists and pro-Palestinian groups engaged in attempts to break a blockade imposed by Israel on the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.
Ayers, Dohrn and Evans' Code Pink have led several recent Free Gaza Movement initiatives, including attempted marches into the Gaza Strip. Dorhn was in the Middle East just last month on behalf of the movement.
Ayers and Dohrn were close associates for years with President Obama, while Evans was a fundraiser and financial bundler for Obama's presidential campaign.
Right-wing efforts to portray Obama as "close associates" with Ayers and Dohrn have been repeatedly discredited. An October 3, 2008, New York Times article reported that in 1995 "at a lunchtime meeting about school reform in a Chicago skyscraper, Barack Obama met Mr. Ayers, by then an education professor." The article further reported:
A review of records of the schools project and interviews with a dozen people who know both men, suggest that Mr. Obama, 47, has played down his contacts with Mr. Ayers, 63. But the two men do not appear to have been close. Nor has Mr. Obama ever expressed sympathy for the radical views and actions of Mr. Ayers, whom he has called "somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago, when I was 8."
Klein's effort to connect Jodie Evans to Obama is equally flimsy. To wit: the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Obama "dropped into an exclusive VIP dinner," during an October 2009 California fundraiser "for about 160 high-level party donors, some of whom wrote checks of $30,400 or more for a pair of tickets and the privilege of shaking hands and taking a picture with him. The Chronicle further reported:
Jodie Evans, a co-founder of Code Pink, paid $30,400 for a pair of tickets to the VIP dinner, where she presented Obama with a petition from women in Afghanistan urging him not to send additional troops. Evans said she spent several minutes discussing the war there with the president and told him that the country's women "want a place at the table" in resolving the conflict.
In essence, in the face of an international tragedy, Klein -- trumpeted by Gateway Pundit's Jim Hoft -- turned to weak and discredited "connections" to smear Obama as "pals" with the "violent" backers of the Gaza flotilla.