“I DIDN’T CONSIDER HIM AMERICAN” – Interviewing several people from Obama’s past, producers of “The Choice” documentary about the coming 2012 election find it inexplicable that there are no Columbia classmates who can attest to Obama’s attendance there.
By Dan Crosby
of The Daily Pen
updated 9:37 a.m. 10/15/12
updated 9:37 a.m. 10/15/12
NEW YORK, NY – A recent documentary about the life of Barack Obama broadcast on PBS’ “Frontline” called “The Choice 2012” presents a variety of testimony from alleged classmates of Obama during their mutual attendance of Occidental College and Harvard University.
However, when the producers attempted to film a segment about Obama’s attendance at Columbia University, they were unable to locate even one of Obama’s classmates from New York based University and, instead, recorded an interview with an alleged “roommate” who shared a rundown New York apartment with Obama.
Because of this lack of first hand testimony about Obama’s presence at Columbia, the documentary disproportionately abbreviates its coverage of these years of Obama’s life, from 1981 to 1983, when compared with its coverage of Obama’s other school attendance. The documentary focuses instead on Obama’s residence in New York and presents a soliloquy about how traveling from the west coast to the east coast changed Obama’s perspective on race but mentions nothing about his relationship with Columbia students or faculty.
By Obama’s own admission, he traveled to Pakistan, India and Indonesia in 1981, but no record or passport from his trip has ever been made public.
Conspicuously, the PBS documentary makes no mention of Obama’s travel outside the United States at this time.
“That’s a pretty significant event for a 20 year old kid,” says Karen Welch, spokesperson for the Community Television Initiative, “One would think it worthy of inclusion in a world-wide broadcast about the biography of the President.”
At the 33 minute mark of the 1 hour 55 minute documentary, PBS begins a segment about Obama’s arrival in mainland America after his graduation from Hawaii’s highest ranked prep school, Punahou Academy, in 1979. The segment begins with interview cuts with Obama’s former Occidental College roommates, Eric Moore, Louis Hook, Caroline Grauman, Sohale Siddiqi and author David Maraniss describing Obama’s time at the Los Angeles college.
“I didn’t consider him American,” admits Sohale Siddiqi, “He seemed like an international individual.”
“I was visiting his roommate in Los Angeles, Hasan Chandoo, who was also going to Occidental College with him. And after New Year’s Eve we drove back from San Francisco to Los Angeles, and I spent a couple of weeks there,” says Siddiqi.
Many questions still remain about the relationship between Chandoo and Obama. However, more suspicious is the fact that the documentary gives no biographical information about Chandoo or his relationship with Obama after the two had allegedly attended Occidental together.
“Apparently, the producers made no effort to contact Chandoo for this piece or make his account of the story a part of this documentary,” says Welch, “which is strange considering the rumors and testimony about how close they were. They, apparently, traveled the world together and knew each other intimately for years, but PBS omitted him. Strange.”
“My father was Kenyan,” describes Moore, of a conversation in which Obama tells him about his origins, “he said, ’I go by the name ‘Barry’ so I don’t have to explain my name all the time.”
“One day, he (Obama) told me he was going to transfer to Columbia,” Moore continued, “he said he needed a more expansive environment, a more urban environment where he could grow intellectually.”
Full of other biographical allegations about Obama, the documentary also conspicuously omits how he was able to afford his move from the southwestern U.S to the northeastern U.S and the exorbitant tuition needed to attend Columbia.
Boston Globe columnist, Scott Helman wrote Obama “flew across the United States”, but does not explain how Obama paid airfare or if he took any belongings. The documentary goes on to report that Obama took residence on the “edge of Harlem”.
By all accounts, Obama was not a good student at Occidental. His easy going lifestyle, according to PBS, left him restless and wanting, so it’s difficult to imagine that Obama attended Columbia on a merit scholarship. If Obama actually registered for classes at Columbia, there remains no documented evidence that he actually attended them, or how he paid the tuition.
At the 37:20 mark, the documentary segues into an interview with an alleged New York roommate of Obama’s named Phil Boerner. According to the documentary, they lived at 339 E. 6th, Apt. 6A.
The fact that Boerner is white having lived in Harlem with a black roommate raises questions about the nature of the living arrangement and if Boerner was a classmate of Obama’s at Columbia. However, the documentary does not publish testimony from Boerner that he attended Columbia. Boerner gives copious descriptions of the apartment, but provides no information about Obama’s attendance at Columbia.
For more than five minutes of material during the “Obama in New York” segment of the documentary, appearing immediately after the quote from Moore, there is absolutely no mention of Obama’s attendance at Columbia. Instead the story devolves into Obama’s experiences with poverty, race, social isolation and ideology. No mention of his attendance at Columbia is made.
Former Libertarian VP candidate, Wayne Allyn Root has publicly stated that he never saw Obama at Columbia from 1980 to 1983. Obama alleges that he was a classmate of Root’s enrolled in the same courses and the same major but Root says if that was true, he would remember him.
“I was a poli-sci major, apparently just like Obama, in a class of about 400 or so people,” says Root, “and I, nor anyone I know ever remember seeing, talking to or being with Barack Obama while we attended Columbia. Not one single person. We don’t remember him in any of our classes. We don’t remember him on campus. We can’t find one professor that remembers grading him on any assignment. It’s bizarre, like he was a ghost among us.”
The documentary then claims that several of Obama’s Occidental classmates joined him in New York, including Siddiqi.
“I think the first thing we experienced was complete intimidation by New York City,” says Siddiqi, “which seemed rougher and tougher and uncivilized more than any other place either of us had lived. Both of us were questioning ‘why the heck did we come to this place?’ It was scary and we had no resources.”
If Siddiqi’s account is true regarding his and Obama’s economic situation, then the question becomes more amplified: How did he afford Columbia’s tuition and expenses?
Siddiqi also provide no supporting testimony that Obama actually attended Columbia. He never mentions Obama’s experiences as a college student while in New York.
Author, David Maraniss, expounds on the the impact living in New York had on Obama saying, “I think New York was the key to his life.”
“He made no lasting African-American friends during those four years, in New York,” say Maraniss.
“The NY years are marked by this kind of ‘turning inward’ for Obama,” says Obama biographer, Jodi Kantor.
“He spends time reading, fasting, wandering the city. There’s this almost monk-like existence.”
Maraniss and Kantor also make no allusion to Obama’s alleged attendance at Columbia which is a strange impasse to the theme of this segment considering the research Maraniss and Kantor are alleged to have done for their respective biographies about Obama.
“It’s the period of his life where he does the least,” says Maraniss, “But figures out the most.”
At the 41:21 mark, the documentary segues to Obama’s life in Chicago without so much as providing a single interview or piece of evidence from eyewitnesses or Columbia University demonstrating that Obama ever attended Columbia.
PBS’ presentation of this part of Obama’s biography further raises suspicions about Obama’s activities during the early 1980’s. Many have reason to believe that Obama was able to attend Harvard as a foreign student on a foreign student scholarship, after he returned from Pakistan sometime in 1982.
If Obama attended college as a foreign student, his natural born eligibility to be president would fall into suspicion. Renouncing or losing one’s American citizenship constitutionally disqualifies them from being a presidential candidate.
Like so much of Obama’s covert past, PBS’ documentary, “The Choice 2012” only confirms that the American people have never been allowed to review actual documented evidence of Obama’s so-called Columbia years.