In Canada its called Obama’s NAFTAgate. When Barrack Obama was running for president during the Ohio primary he was caught in a blatant, cynical and unconscionable lie to the people of Ohio, exploiting their pain and fear over their faltering economy and massive unemployment.
For those who don’t remember Obama was caught red handed lying to the people of Ohio making a promise he never intended to keep in orde to get their votes promising that he would get rid of NAFTA if he was elected, which he blamed for Ohio’s high unemployment. But he never intended to keep that promise and his outright lie was exposed when a memo at the Canadian Embassy in Chicago was leaked to the Associated Press
At the same time Obama was telling the voters of Ohio that if he is elected he would abolish NAFTA he sent one of his economic advisors, Austan Goolsbee, to the Canadian Embassy in Chicago to tell the Canadian government to ignore everything Obama was saying publicly in Ohio about NAFTA that he doesn’t mean a word of it and its all for political posturing..
Extensive and accurate notes were taken of the meeting and someone in the Canadian embassy leaked the memo to the Associated Press who published it. It created a minor stir at the time as the mainstrream press, who had an agenda to see Obama elected because of his having a black father, chose not to make a major issue of it and played hands off lest the scandal derail Obama’s quest for the presidency.
But it prompted an investigation by the Canadian government to find out who leaked it and the emails around that investigation, which the Canadians called NAFTAgate are now being published.
At the time, the initial reaction by the Obama campaign to the leaked memo was to lie about it.
At first they said Goolsbee was not part of the Obama campaign. When that was proved to be untrue and that Goolsbee was indeed an economic advisor to the Obama campaign, Obama admitted Goolsbee was an advisor but said he was at the embassy on his own initiative and not sent by the Obama campaign. When that proved to be untrue Obama admitted he was sent but that Goolsbee was never told to say what he did. But the memo said the opposite.
Goolsbee himself tried to deny it by saying the interpretation of the person writing the memo was “crazy”but documents and emails have proved otherwise which is what most people knew to be true at the time — that the content of the memo was accurate. And subsequent events have proved that true.Obama did not get rid of NAFTA and has never even considered it.
The American press including people like Jonathan Alter of Newsweek, the NY Times, most at MSNBC and CNN chose to ignore NAFTAgate as a potential scandal refusing to report it for what it was — an act of political deceit by a candidate who was claiming to be “different” that was Nixonian in its deceit.
The new documents and emails obtained by the Canadian press through their version of the Freedom of Information Act show that the Canadian government who at the time tried to paper over the scandal over the leaked memo, conducted an investigation to find out who leaked the memo and what to do about it.
Additional documents show that far from their public position of trying to claim the memo did not accurately reflect the meeting, they were very concerned that the leaking of the document could hurt American-Canadian relations should Obama become president. No one privately questioned the accuracy of the memo which incriminated Obama in the lie..
Stewart Beck, assistant deputy for foreign affairs said of the memo in an email that it was ” succinct, insightful and enjoyable read… Good job by Chicago!”
But others in the Canadian government were worried. The Canadian Globe and Mail quotes Roy Norton, an official at the Canadian Embassy at the time as saying in an email:
“If we’re to retrieve any standing with the Obama people we need to be seen to be making it clear that we have never interpreted anything they have said to us as two-faced, cynical — whatever.”
But that is exactly what the leaked memo proved Obama to be.
The emails between the government in Ottawa and the Canadian Embassy in Chicago not only show that Obama was dishonest with the people of Ohio and that the memo was accurate but that the Canadian government had gone into damage control to maintain relations with Obama should he be elected president.
It was the collective decision by the American media to report the existence of the memo but to drop it as an issue as it pertained to Obama’s veracity, honesty and sincereity, all characteristics that proved to be severely lacking in Obama from issues from healthcare reform to the economy.
It was this decision by the press to look the other way that largely helped Obama win the Democratic nomination.