Obama took millions in illegal foreign donations

Ex-CIA Expert: Obama Took Millions in Illegal Foreign Donations

Wednesday, October 29, 2008 9:27 PM

By: Kenneth R. Timmerman     Article Font Size  

A Newsmax investigation of Obama/Biden campaign contributors, undertaken in conjunction with a private investigative firm headed by a former CIA operations officer, has identified 118 donors who appear to lack U.S. citizenship.

Some of these “red flag” donors work for foreign governments; others have made public statements declaring that they are citizens of Cameroun, Nigeria, Pakistan, Canada, and other countries.

A Newsmax sampling of about 3,400 donors also found hundreds more who showed “yellow flags” such as not having used a Social Security number or a known U.S. address. Most U.S.-born citizens are issued Social Security numbers at birth or by the time they enter kindergarten.

Under federal law, only U.S. citizens or permanent residents may donate to federal political campaigns. It is illegal for the campaigns to accept money knowingly from foreign donors.

The McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill of 2002 placed new restrictions on political fundraising after the scandals of 1996, when the Clinton-Gore re-election campaign was exposed for having taken millions of dollars of unregulated soft money from donors with ties to Chinese military intelligence.

But even with the new laws, it remains very difficult to identify with any precision foreign money if a campaign itself does not cooperate with the Federal Election Commission and perform its own due diligence.

Until very recently, the Obama campaign had no safeguards in its online fundraising Web site designed to weed out foreign donors. Instead, its operations appeared to be designed specifically to enhance the flow of illegal money.

The Newsmax investigation focused only on donors whose names the Obama campaign disclosed, which are available to public scrutiny through the Federal Election Commission Web site.

In addition to the donations the campaign has disclosed, however, it has taken an unprecedented $218 million from donors whose names it is keeping secret, according to FEC spokesman Robert Biersack.

That money came from individuals who in theory never passed the threshold of $200, the limit the FEC set for public disclosure of a donor’s name and place of residence, so there is no way of knowing how much foreign money could be included in that amount.

For example, hidden away amidst the unprecedented $150 million Obama claims to have raised from individual donors in September was more than $42 million raised from secret donors. These donations appear in the records as a single entry under the heading, “Donors, Unitemized.”

Newsmax retained the services of former CIA operations officer Frederick W. Rustmann Jr. and a team of international forensic accounting experts to comb through Obama’s donor list to identify those who apparently aren’t U.S. citizens or residents. Rustmann, a 24 year veteran field officer, operates CTC International Group Ltd., a West Palm Beach, Fla., firm that provides business intelligence services and analysis.

Using sophisticated Internet search tools, fee-based data bases, and other public records, CTC attempted to identify Social Security numbers and U.S. addresses connected to the Obama donors. Most of these donors gave obvious overseas addresses when they made their donations, but the Obama campaign had no security screen to detect them.

“Hillary and McCain demanded proof of citizenship of all their donors,” Rustmann said. “Obama did not, so he benefitted by receiving an enormous amount of money from foreign donors who wanted to influence the U.S. election process.”

Rustmann and his investigative team expressed “high suspicions” that 118 donors flagged as “red” were not U.S. citizens.

“That’s all we can say for certain, because it’s difficult to prove citizenship with no database that lists citizens,” Rustmann said.

Typical is Victor A. of Lagos, Nigeria, who gave $500 to the campaign in May. In the FEC database, his address is listed as Ikoyi, NA. But a closer look at the actual itemized receipts filed by the campaign shows that he declared his address as 9e Awori Street Dolphin Estate, Lagos, Nigeria.

That apparently slipped by the eagle eyes of the Obama campaign’s finance team.

A survey of the Obama donor base returns 8,794 donations from individuals who gave their state as “NA.” They included donors from Bangalore, India; London; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Lagos, Nigeria; and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Thousands more gave state abbreviations that, combined with the city addresses they listed, clearly referred to foreign countries. Examples include IT (Italy), FR (France), GR (Greece), NZ (New Zealand), JP (Japan), GA (Gaza).

Another 2,372 donors gave their state of residence as “ZZ,” with cities including Moscow, Barcelona, Beirut, London, Lausanne, Singapore, Hagatna, Gunma-Ken, Buelach, Shanghai, Geneva, Prague, Aichi-Gun, Kiev, Hong Kong, and others.

The Obama campaign claims that these donors with overseas addresses are Americans living abroad, but there is no way of knowing that for certain because the campaign has not systematically required proof of citizenship from overseas donors.

The pace of foreign donations and other questionable fundraising practices has increased during the past few weeks, even as Obama campaign spokesmen say they have closed loopholes on their Web site and changed the credit-card authorization procedures that have allowed such donations. The Federal Election Commission had flagged 16,639 potential foreign donations as of Oct. 21 that brought in $5,249,263.96 to the campaign.

Take the case of Jo Jacquet, who gave $23,065 to Obama in 23 separate contributions last month. CTC found three people with variations of the name “Jo Anna Jacquet” who had U.S. addresses and Social Security numbers. It is not clear whether this specific Obama donor is a U.S. citizen.

“Jo Jacquet” made all of her contributions on two days, alternating between $5 and $2,300 charges to a credit card.

On all of the donations, she gave her employer as “DFDFGDFG,” and her profession as “DFGDFGDFGHFGH.” None of this attracted the suspicions of the Obama campaign or of Chase Paymentech, the company that processes the Obama campaign’s credit card donations.

The FEC requested that the Obama campaign re-attribute or re-designate all of the money from “Jo Jacquet” that went beyond the $4,600 limit but did not require that it be refunded. Under campaign finance rules, the campaign can shift this money into the “Obama Victory” account, a joint fundraising committee with much higher individual limits that it operates with the Democratic National Committee.

One apparent reason for the unusual number of foreign donors who may not hold U.S. citizenship is the fact the Obama campaign turned off the security features most merchants demand for customers when doing online transactions, such as verifying the card number against the cardholder’s name and billing address.

Another major loophole is the apparent widespread use of gift cards, which notoriously have been used for money-laundering purposes, especially in places such as Russia and Ukraine, industry security analysts tell Newsmax.

Newsmax asked James Wester, a spokesman for Chase Paymentech, who was responsible for taking the unusual step of deactivating the Address Verification Service recommended by VISA USA on the Obama Web site. Such security features can be deactivated by the processing company, or at the request of the merchant, in this case, Obama for America.

Wester said that Paymentech was “not going to be issuing a statement at this time.”

VISA USA has a series of verification tools it recommends to online merchants to prevent online credit card fraud and to guarantee the secur
ity of personal credit-card

“Fraudsters have been known to test credit card numbers by making online donations to charitable organizations,” a credit-card industry insider told Newsmax, on condition of anonymity.

In fact, by operating as a “high-risk merchant,” the Obama campaign could put both its donors and Chase Paymentech at risk, he said.

“A legitimate online merchant or charity would call in the Secret Service or the FBI” if it saw the high fraud rates that have appeared on the Obama campaign Web site.

“If they are not taking basic security safeguards to prevent such obvious online fraud as you have found, then how can any donor have confidence that they will protect credit card information? But if cash flow is the name of the game, it doesn’t matter as long as they get the money up-front and get the job done. They can pay the fines later,” he added.

Following are a few of the individuals the Newsmax/CTC International investigation found of overseas donors. To demonstrate its compliance with FEC regulations, the Obama campaign should request proof that these individuals are, indeed, U.S. citizens;

# Nasser Z. of 187 Blvd Bineau in Paris-France, “NA,” made seven donations totaling $785. CTC found no record indicating U.S. citizenship. But on Nasser’s personal blog, he states that he is of Algerian origin and lives between Paris and Dubai. He also notes that he is not registered to vote in the United States and hints that he may be an adviser to the Obama campaign on Arab relations.

# Salem H. gave $200 to the campaign in March 2008, listing a London address. He said he worked as a salesman for “Anaka,” No information was found either on Haffar or his company indicating U.S. citizenship.

# Essomba H. made 11 donations totaling $265. Essomba gave an address in Lyon, “NA,” and said he was unemployed but working for “Association,” the French equivalent of a community organizer. CTC found that Essomba actually worked for PDT Associates Afrikespace et Oyenga, which showed him as living in Lyon, France. His personal blog states, “I’m a Cameroonian living in France” and notes that he is not registered to vote.

# Gedewon (or Gideon) G. made 32 donations totaling $1,095. Although he lists his employer as “Filtom Design Services” and his residence as Toronto, Canada, CTC could find no company with that name. Gedewon frequently posts blogs to a Web site for expatriate Eritreans, where he often promotes Obama.

# Mahamane M. gave $500 to the campaign and listed his address as Niamey, the capitol of the central African state of Niger. He listed his occupation as managing director of C.N.U.T. Niger. The Public Transport Users Council, CNUT is affiliated with the prime minister’s office. In an interview, Mahamane said he is particularly interested in developing transportation resources that will help bring Niger’s extensive uranium resources to market.

# Gilles M. lives in Zurich and claims to be “founder and senior consultant” of 4?ME (sic) Image Consulting. Gilles made three donations to the campaign for a total of $240.39. The campaign found him suspicious enough to return one of them in July, but kept the rest. Under FEC rules, that will bring Gilles back into the shadows, since his aggregate contributions now total less than $200.

# Stamen S. of Sofia, Bulgaria, lists his profession as “Mployer” and his employer as “Employer.” He has made ten donations totaling $170. CTC found no record indicating U.S. citizenship.

# Francis B. . of La Creche, France, made three donations totaling $200. He is reported as being a medicine physician at Hospital-Niort and is listed. CTC found no verifiable record of U.S. citizenship.

# Pedro M.,. who said he was a salesman for Intermundo in Prague, made two donations for a total of $900. CTC found no verifiable record indicating U.S. citizenship.

# Sandeep M., . an investment manager at Clariden Leu, Kuesnacht, in Zurich, Switzerland, gave the maximum $2,300 allowed per election. CTC found no verifiable record indicating U.S. citizenship.

# Marissa M., . a nurse living in Guatemala City, gave eight $25 donations. CTC found no verifiable record indicating U.S. citizenship.

# Somine L. . declared that she worked at the French Ministry of Culture in Paris, and donated $100. CTC found no verifiable record indicating U.S. citizenship.

Although CTC had no way of accurately evaluating the real amount of foreign donations based on the survey they did for Newsmax, Rustmann said he believe that the anecdotal evidence was clear.

“In my opinion, from what I have seen here, millions of dollars came from illegal donations, because the Obama campaign did little to vet the donors,” Rustmann said.

An earlier Newsmax estimate, based on the unusual occurrence of unrounded contributions, which fundraising experts attributed to foreign currency donations, concluded that as much as $63 million could have come from foreign sources.

A veteran investigator with the Criminal Investigative Division of the U.S. Secret Service told Newsmax on Monday that most of the donor fraud Newsmax has identified could fly under the radar of federal investigators, unless the feds received a complaint from a victim of identify fraud.

Identify fraud certainly appeared to be the case when it came to the $174,800 donated in September in the name of Manchester, Mo., resident, Mary T. Biskup. A retired insurance manager, Biksup told The Washington Post that she never gave the money to the Obama campaign, and had checked her credit-card statements and couldn’t find any trace of a charge to her account.

“We’re not out a penny,” Biskup said. “I gather that someone has hacked into something using other people’s credit cards and putting my name on it.”

The credit-card industry often covers up identify fraud, such as apparently occurred with Biskup. Credit-card companies would rather swallow losses and chargebacks than admit to consumers that criminals have cracked their security systems, insiders tell Newsmax.


The Abortion Issue

I find it hard to believe we are still discussing abortion after forty years! I agree it is an important topic,
however it seems to dominate every political discussion that takes
place. The future of the world does not depend on whether or not a
woman can have an abortion. There are other much more important issues
that should determine whom we elect as president.

The only
thing discussed on the abortion issue are the rights of the mother.
Those are important, however there are many other issues. No doubt
moral issues are important, is it proper to take the life of another,
life of some sort begins at conception, whether or not the baby has a
soul or consciousness until later, or if the breath of life begins at
the moment of birth.

How many people living today would be here
if their mothers had a choice? How many women have an abortion as a
matter of convenience because they don’t want to be bothered with a
baby. I often wonder whatever happened to personal responsibility and common sense ?
I would think it would be extremely difficult for a woman to abandon
her personal instincts as a mother and abort a child, seems to me there
would be long term issues.

Why doesn’t the father have a choice
in the matter? If the baby is born,and the mother decides to keep the
baby, guess who they come to with a vengeance for child support. What
happens if the father wants to raise the child, normally he has no
choice in the matter, it’s a lose, lose, situation. Rightly so, if the
baby is born, he pays support, it the baby is aborted, he has no say in
the matter.  It is the responsibility of both parents,seems to me both
parents should have a choice, if the father wants to raise the child on
his own, he should be able to do so!

Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin has certainly added another perspective to this equation.
How many of us could do what she is doing? How many of us would not
abort if we knew our child was going to be handicapped or deformed?

think it’s great that a woman is finally standing up and taking a
position on the other side of the equation. For too long we have only
heard one side of this issue. Life has been cheapened because of that.
By only hearing one side, it has made it sound as if all women favor
abortion. They don’t. Only a small portion feel that it is OK under any

Too many people consider it a normal procedure,
Let’s just have an abortion to get rid of the kid. Whatever happened to
personal responsibility and self control?

Legalizing abortion
has resulted in over 4 million abortions being performed, you can’t
tell me that all these women wrestled with the situation before having
the procedure. Some did, but to a vast majority, it has just become a
form of birth control, in the process the sanctity of motherhood has
been compromised and cheapened.

Too many people feel that if
their daughter would make a “mistake” and become pregnant, they
wouldn’t want her punished with a child, since when is a baby
punishment? There are no mistakes in life, only learning experiences!

was always told the best way for a woman to not get pregnant was to put
an aspirin between their knees and keep it there until your date
brought you home. In other words ,you do have a choice, if you don’t want to have an abortion, don’t get pregnant.

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What Happened to Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press?

You can call the LA Times and Complain :

My email to the LA times
—– Original Message —–
To: readers.rep@latimes.com
Sent: Wednesday, October 29, 2008 3:35 PM
Subject: Witholding Information to Readers?

Dear LA Times,
Where is freedom of speech and freedom of the press when a paper like the LA Times actually withholds information to the American people in order to promote a candidate for President of the United States.
I am a registered Democrat and not some right wing Republican.  But I am very concerned when a candidate from either party would have so much power that even a newspaper like the LA Times would be afraid to report the news. This decision by the LA Times only makes me very wary about how to cast my vote because even Newspapers like the LA Times are afraid to report the news and release newsworthy video information.
This sound more like Nazi Germany when no one could speak out against a Dictator, not like a News organization that supports Freedom of the Press.
If the LA times is afraid to report ALL news about Obama for fear of recrimination, then I certainly would be afraid to vote for a man that would try to stop freedom of the press.

Registered Democrat
The response I received on the return receipt that I sent to LA times  
—– Original Message —–
From: “Readers Rep” <Readers.Rep@latimes.com>

Sent: Wednesday, October 29, 2008 3:36 PM
Subject: Not read: Witholding Information to Readers?

Your message

  To:      Readers Rep
  Subject: Witholding Information to Readers?
  Sent:    Wed, 29 Oct 2008 13:35:55 -0700

was deleted without being read on Wed, 29 Oct 2008 13:36:50 -0700

Wake UP America!!!

Democrat Government

What do the top ten cities with the highest poverty rate all have in
common? Detroit, MI (1st on the poverty rate list) hasn’t elected a
Republican mayor since 1961; Buffalo, NY (2nd) hasn’t elected one since
1954; Cincinnati, OH (3rd)…since 1984; Cleveland, OH (4th)…since
1989; Miami, FL (5th) has never had a Republican mayor; St. Louis, MO
(6th)….since 1949; El Paso, TX (7th) has never had a Republican
mayor; Milwaukee, WI (8th)…since 1908; Philadelphia, PA (9th)…since
1952; Newark, NJ (10th)…since 1907. Einstein once said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” It is the disadvantaged who habitually
elect Democrats — yet they are still disadvantaged. THIS IS WHAT WE

Take a Break, Enjoy the World!

Obama and Machete Politics

Obama And Machete Politics

Sen. Barack Obama’s Strange Friendship With
His Cousin Raila Odinga,
The Marxist Kenyan Prime Minister

.October 27, 2008Sen. Barack Obama campaigned on Marxist Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s behalf in Kenya in 2006 and, with the help of the son of Libyan dictator Muammar Gadhafi, raised nearly $1 million for Odinga’s campaign.
When Odinga lost his presidential election, he refused to accept the
results and incited riots resulting in thousands being macheted to
death or burned alive in their churches.  

.A video shows Obama with Odinga at an HIV event – and it shows the aftermath of Odinga’s rioters destroying lives and property after the election loss.

Obama traveled throughout Kenya with Odinga and spoke on his behalf at numerous rallies, according to The Washington Times.
During his speeches, Obama criticized Odinga’s opponent, President Mwai
Kibaki. According to Obama: “The [Kenyan] people have to suffer over
corruption perpetrated by government officials.” Obama took trips to
Kenya at taxpayer expense in 2004, 2005, and 2006.

His trip in 2006
was also designed to help Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement
strategize how to defeat Kibaki. Obama was supposedly in Kenya on a HIV
fact-finding trip as part of his official duties as a U.S. Senator. The
American taxpayer footed the bill.

Odinga-inspired rioting resulted in more than 1,000 people killed by
machetes, shootings, or having the homes burned to the ground. At least
800 Christian churches were damaged from rampaging, machete-wielding
Odinga supporters.

In one grisly killing spree,
50 Assembly of God members were locked in their church before it was
set ablaze by Odinga supporters. Those fleeing were hacked to death by

Like Father, Like Son

.Raila Odinga is a committed Marxist who was educated in East Germany and named one of his sons “Fidel” after Fidel Castro.
Odinga’s father, Oginga, served as Vice President of Kenya under Jomo
Kenyatta’s presidency in the 1960s. Kenyatta formerly ran the Mau Mau, a terrorist group
that ravaged that nation in the 1950s and killed countless white
farmers. (Barack Obama, Sr. also served in the Kenyatta administration
before he died in an alcohol-induced car crash in 1982. Obama, Sr. was
a self-identified socialist.)

Time magazine in 1965 characterized Oginga Odinga as “openly attempting to turn the new nation toward Communism.”

His son, Raila
Odinga ran for the presidency of Kenya in 2007 against rival Mwai
Kibaki. He lost the election by at least 230,000 votes. In a strategy
already worked out in advance, he then claimed voter fraud and incited
riots that eventually took the lives of more than 1,000 people and
displaced as many as 600,000 citizens.

Obama Campaigns For Odinga

Obama was deeply involved in campaigning for Odinga and even appointed
a member of his Senate staff to stay in touch with the Odinga campaign.
Emails from Obama to Odinga were obtained by author Jerome Corsi, through an anonymous source within the Orange Democratic Movement political party. They reveal that Obama had appointed Mark Lippert to be his contact with the Odinga campaign.

As noted above, a
strategy was already in place to claim voter fraud. Jerome Corsi noted
that this plan involved fomenting ethnic tensions and violence “as a
last resort.” One element of the plan was to create tribal animosity
between Odinga’s Luo tribe and the Kikuyu tribe of Mwai Kibaki.

.During his campaign for the presidency, Odinga reached an agreement with the minority population of Muslims to establish Shariah Law in that nation if elected president. 

Eventually, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan worked out a power-sharing deal with Kibaki and Odinga. He now serves as Prime Minister of Kenya.

“If Corsi’s
information is correct, it is possible that Obama and Lippert broke
federal law. No congressional aide should be placed at the disposal of
a foreign individual campaigning for office overseas,” said TVC
Executive Director Andrea Lafferty. 

In addition to
Odinga, presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) has had an odd
assortment of friends over the years since he has been involved in
politics. .Among those are Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, unrepentant domestic terrorists; Rashid Khalidi, a former advisor to Palestinian terrorist Yasir Arafat, anti-white, America-hater, adulterer  Pastor Jeremiah Wright, and others.

More on Obama’s political views and associates is available in TVC’s Video Election Guide.

Circulate this article to friends and family.

Additional Reading:
Kenyan insiders say Obama was part of takeover strategy
Obama Funded Foreign Thug Who Promised Islamic State
Toward Freedom – Politics in Kenya: A Look at Prime Minister Raila Odinga
President Mwai Kibaki paves way for Kenya coalition – Times Online
Kenya Power-Sharing Deal Is Signed To End Election Turmoil
Video: Barack Obama & Raila Odinga
Proof Obama backed ruthless, foreign thug
Obama Has An Odd Assortment Of Friends
Senator Barack Obama’s Faith: Is It Black Liberation Theology?


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vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the
sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.”

Obama's Friends

Here is an interesting website.


And now I have a few questions. In the 10 point
platform of the Black Panthers it states that they want black people not to have
to pay any taxes, have all blacks released from jail, and be exempt from joining
the military. So my question is if they want EQUAL rights  would we  not have
to completely abolish taxes, abolish the military and release EVERYONE from

Next question, if as they say they  want to
follow the preaching of MLK and work for equal rights in a non violent way; then
please tell me why on the video of their front page (please take the time
to watch the ENTIRE VIDEO as the more violent photos are not in the 1st 60
seconds of the sound bite. Listen to the lyrics “Death to the pigs which is
black terminology for the police, the establishment, the Jews, the whites. Death to
the pigs is not in reference to a hog farm!

If they are non violent what do they need all the
assault weapons they are holding in that video?

If they want to be exempt from the US military; then
please tell me WHY their membership application  wants to know so much about a
potential member’s military service and special forces military skills?

Why do they carry military weapons, wear military
type uniforms and why is one of their leaders Minister Khallid Abdul
Muhammad appointed as Supreme Captain over the military in the Nation of Islam?
Get it???? Supreme captain over the National of Islam military! They want to be
EXEMPT from protecting and defending the United States of America where they
live, work, make a living and enjoy the freedom of speaking out against the very
country that they want to be exempt from defending!

Read the 9 local objectives that express the
political support of leaders who support their agenda and thus they support.
Indeed I did see the Obama website that had the support link of this party. It
was on the site until March of 2008 during the democratic primaries and taken
down when they were caught.

NEWSFLASH, my sources are NOT from FOX NEWS. They are
NOT from right wing blogs. They are NOT from right wing or even conservative


The quotes I have made in other posts are actual
quotes taken from Books written by Ayres, Obama, Khalidi, Powers. I BOUGHT AND

These negative statements are not false political rhetoric. They are quotes from their words. Have you purchased these books. Have
you visited the official sites of the radical groups that support Obama. Or do
YOU get your information from the media? Do you get your information from
websites and blogs that support YOUR views. So much for critical thinking, non
biased research and thinking out of the box!

Sorry, don’t care if you are offended by the truth or
not!  If you do not agree with these quotes and agenda then don’t shoot the
messenger. Get mad at the ones that actually WROTE THEM! 


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The Conscience of Conservative

On the very first page of The Conscience of a Conservative,
Goldwater declared that America was fundamentally a conservative
nation and that American people yearned for a return to
conservative principles. He then blamed conservatives for failing
to demonstrate “the practical relevance of conservative principles
to the needs of the day.” He would try in this book, he
said, to bridge the gap between theory and practice.
He began by dismissing the idea that conservatism was “out
of date,” arguing that that was like saying that “the Golden Rule
or the Ten Commandments or Aristotle’s Politics are out of
date.” The conservative approach, he said, “is nothing more or less than an attempt to apply the wisdom of experience and the
revealed truths of the past to the problems of today.” He proceeded
to explain what conservatism was and what it was not.
Unlike the liberal, Goldwater wrote, the conservative
believed that man was not only an economic but a spiritual
creature. Conservatism “looks upon the enhancement of man’s
spiritual nature as the primary concern of political philosophy.”
Indeed, Goldwater stated, the first obligation of a political
thinker was “to understand the nature of man.”
The senator then listed what the conservative had learned
about man from the great minds of the past: (1) each person
was unique and different from every other human being—
therefore, provision had to be made for the development of the
different potentialities of each person; (2) the economic and
spiritual aspects of man’s nature “are inextricably intertwined”—
neither aspect can be free unless both are free; (3)
man’s spiritual and material development cannot be directed
by outside forces—”each man,” he declared, “is responsible for
his own development.”
Given this view of the nature of man, Goldwater stated, it
was understandable that the conservative “looks upon politics
as the art of achieving the maximum amount of freedom for
individuals that is consistent with the maintenance of social
order.” But, he said, the delicate balance that ideally exists
between freedom and order had long since tipped against freedom
“practically everywhere on earth” (as a result of what he
later called “the Soviet menace”). Even in America, the trend
against freedom and in favor of order was “well along and gathering
momentum.” For the American conservative, there was no
difficulty in “identifying the day’s overriding political challenge:
it is to preserve and extend freedom.”
Freedom was in peril in America, he said, because government
had been allowed by leaders and members of both political
parties to become too powerful. In so doing, they had
ignored and misinterpreted the single most important document
in American government, the Constitution, which was an
instrument above all “for limiting the functions of government.”
The alarming result was “a Leviathan, a vast national authority
out of touch with the people, and out of their control.”
While deeply concerned about the tendency to concentrate
power in the hands of a few, Goldwater was convinced that
most Americans wanted to reverse the trend. The transition
would come, he said, when the people entrusted their affairs to
those “who understand that their first duty as public officials is
to divest themselves of the power they have been given.” It was
a radical and some would say utopian statement. What public
official would relinquish rather than seek more power? In perhaps
the most famous passage of The Conscience of a Conservative—
Lincolnian in its rhetoric—Goldwater said that the turn
toward freedom would come when Americans elected those
candidates who pledged to enforce the Constitution, restore the
Republic, and who proclaimed:
I have little interest in streamlining government or
in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce
its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for
I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass
laws, but to repeal them. (Emphasis added) It is not
to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old
ones that do violence to the Constitution, or that
have failed in their purpose, or that impose on the
people an unwarranted financial burden. I will
not attempt to discover whether legislation is
“needed” before I have first determined whether it
is constitutionally permissible. And if I should
later be attacked for neglecting my constituents’
“interests,” I shall reply that I was informed their
main interest is liberty and that in that cause I am
doing the very best I can.
Here was a vision of government that aimed to restore the
ideas of the Founding Fathers and throw out the welfarist plans
of the modern liberals. It was what conservatives believed was
still possible in America; it was what liberals believed was hopelessly
antiquated and even dangerous. In the following chapters,
Senator Goldwater got down to specifics, dealing with civil
rights, agriculture, organized labor, taxes and spending, the
welfare state, education, and communism.
Summing up his feelings about government interference in
any area, he said, “I believe that the problem of race relations,
like all social and cultural problems, is best handled by the people
directly concerned. Social and cultural change, however
desirable, should not be effected by the engines of national
power …. Any other course enthrones tyrants and dooms freedom.”
Consistent with his principles, Goldwater had personally
led the integration of the Arizona Air National Guard in 1946,
two years before President Truman ordered the desegregation of
the U.S. armed forces, and had been an active member of the
NAACP and the Urban League in Phoenix well before he ran for
public office.
Regarding farming, Goldwater pointed out that the Constitution
was clear—”no power over agriculture was given to any
branch of the national government.” Besides, like any other
industry, farm production was “best controlled by the natural
operation of the free market.” In the chapter on organized labor,
Goldwater (a ranking member of the Senate Labor Committee)
attacked the enormous economic and political power concentrated
in the hands of a few union leaders. He advocated enactment
of state right-to-work laws, the limitation of contributions
to political campaigns by individuals and neither labor unions
or corporations, and the elimination of industry-wide bargaining,
applying the principle of anti-monopoly to unions as well
as corporations.
Echoing the proposals of economist Milton Friedman,
whom he had known since the mid-fifties, Goldwater proposed
a flat tax, declaring that “government has a right to claim an
equal percentage of each man’s wealth, and no more.” He
bluntly described the graduated tax as “a confiscatory tax.”
As for government spending, he said, the only effective way
to curtail it “is to eliminate the programs on which excess
spending is consumed,” including social welfare programs, education,
public power, agriculture, public housing, urban
renewal, and “all the other activities that can be better performed
by lower levels of government or by private institutions
or by individuals.” He did not suggest that the federal government
drop all these programs “overnight” but that it establish “a
rigid timetable for a staged withdrawal,” encouraging the process
by reducing federal spending in each field by 10 percent
each year. Reducing spending and taxes, in that order, would
guarantee the nation “the economic strength that will always be
its ultimate defense against foreign foes.”
In the chapter, “The Welfare State,” Goldwater conceded
the strong emotional appeal of welfarism to many voters and
herefore to many politicians
. But it was the duty of conservatives,
he said, to demonstrate the difference between being concerned
with welfare problems and insisting that the “federal
government is the proper agent for their solution.” He demonstrated
a remarkable prescience by arguing that the welfare state
eliminated “any feeling of responsibility [on the part of the
recipient] for his own welfare and that of his family and neighbors”
—precisely the argument and finding of welfare critic
Charles Murray, my Heritage colleague Robert Rector, and
other analysts twenty years later. It was one of the great evils of
welfarism, Goldwater wrote, that “it transforms the individual
from a dignified, industrious, self-reliant spiritual being into a
dependent animal creature without his knowing it.” He restated
a fundamental truth for conservatives: If we take from someone
“the personal responsibility for caring for his material needs, we
take from him also the will and the opportunity to be free.”
After listing the several harms that can be caused by federal
aid to education, Goldwater, sounding much like the intellectual
historian Russell Kirk, stated that the proper function of the
school was to transmit “the cultural heritage of one generation
to the next generation” and to train the minds of the new generation
so that they can absorb “ancient learning” and apply it to
the problems of today. The role of our schools, he insisted, was
not to educate or elevate society but to educate individuals.
The last part of The Conscience of a Conservative was devoted
to U.S. foreign policy and the Cold War, which, Goldwater said,
the enemy was determined to win while the United States and
the rest of the free world were not. We have sought “settlements,”
he stated, “while the Communists seek victories.” He
proposed a comprehensive strategy of victory that included the
maintenance of defense alliances like NATO; the limitation of
foreign aid to military and technical assistance to those nations
“that are committed to a common goal of defeating world communism”;
superiority in all weapons, military, political, and
economic, necessary to produce a victory over communism; a
drastic reduction in U.S. support of the U.N.; and the encouragement
of the peoples under communist occupation to “overthrow
their captors.” America’s objective, he said, “is not to
wage struggle against communism, but to win it.”
Risks were inevitable, Goldwater conceded, but the future
would unfold along one of two paths: Either the communists
would retain the offensive, ultimately forcing us to surrender
or accept war “under the most disadvantageous circumstances,”
or Americans would “summon the will and the means
for taking the initiative and wage a war of attrition against
them,” seeking to bring about “the internal disintegration of
the communist empire.”
It was the latter course that President Reagan, with the
backing of the American people, chose in the 1980s, leading the
nation and the world to what Barry Goldwater had predicted—
the disintegration of the Soviet empire and victory in the Cold
War, both without firing a single nuclear shot.
I have selected the first two chapters as a representative
excerpt of The Conscience of a Conservative. The reader will notice
one or two outdated passages—a reference to “the aggressive
designs of Moscow,” the use of the long-forgotten Arthur Larson
as a prototypical big-government Republican. But ninety-eight
percent of Goldwater’s manifesto remains relevant to our time.
As the author of The Conscience of a Conservative and then as a
presidential candidate, Barry Goldwater insisted on addressing
the key issues that have dominated the national debate for the
past four decades: taxes (flatten them); government spending
(work toward reducing and even eliminating subsidies, as in agriculture);
Social Security (it is in actuarial trouble—strengthen it
by introducing a voluntary option); law and order (the right of
victims should take precedence over those of criminals); and
morality in government (the president and all in public office
must avoid scandal and corruption and set a good example for
In his 1988 memoir, Goldwater stated that his campaign for
the presidency helped to broaden and deepen the conservative
movement beyond “any other movement of our times.” Today, he
said, “conservatives come from all regions, every social class,
every creed and color, all age groups. The new GOP,” he wrote,
“was forged in the fires of the 1964 presidential campaign.” And
it emerged triumphant in the 1994 congressional campaign when
Republicans captured Congress for the first time in forty years
and which was based on the ideas first proposed by Goldwater—
smaller government, lower taxes and spending, tougher anticrime
measures, and less Washington meddling in people’s lives.
Barry Goldwater was, in the words of George Will, “a man
who lost forty-four states but won the future.” He placed ideas at
the center of his campaign. He inspired more people, especially
young people like me, to enter the world of politics and policymaking
than any other losing candidate in modern times. And it
all began with a little book that takes about an hour to read but
whose liberating words stay with you for a lifetime.
There are several individuals behind the scenes without
whose help this publication would not be possible. I am grateful
to my colleague Dr. Lee Edwards for his recommendation that I
use these chapters from The Conscience of a Conservative and his
assistance in drafting the text of the foreword. Mike Needham,
Jonathan Larsen, Alex Adrianson, Richard Odermatt, John Cryderman,
and Drew Bond have all helped in the production of
this essay. Finally, sincere thanks to all of our friends who, with
their numerous suggestions and encouragement, continue to
make this annual publication possible.
Edwin J. Feulner, Ph.D.
December 2004
The Conscience of
a Conservative
Barry Goldwater