Michael Gaynor
What did Wade Rathke know about Egypt that the CIA didn't and what will Obama do now?
By Michael Gaynor
February 4, 2011

Rathke's post made it clear that the Gamamiel Foundation supports the uprising in Egypt. Predictably President Obama is pushing hard for "community reorganizing" in Egypt (a development that pleases the Moslem Brotherhood and Iran, but not Israel). But...with re-election in 2012 his goal and trying to seem moderate in center-right America critical to that, how far will Obama dare to go in trying to "change" Egypt?

Fortuitously, there was a Senate committee hearing on the nomination for the position of Deputy Director of the Office of Director of National Intelligence of Stephanie O'Sullivan, a career CIA employee and former Director of the CIA Directorate of Science and Technology, and questions were asked about the CIA's alleged failure to provide US policy planners with accurate warning of the Egyptian popular uprising on February 3, 2011. O'Sullivan testified that the CIA and other US intelligence services had warned Obama Administration officials last November and December about extreme political volatility in North Africa.

"We warned on instability," said O'Sullivan, though "not in [...] detail," because "we didn't know what the triggering mechanism would be."

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Diane Feinstein of California commented after the hearing that the intelligence reports she had seen were inadequate.

Perhaps the CIA should have been following www.organizersforum.org.

Last October this intriguing message was posted there:

"An International Dialogue in Egypt

"September 25, 2011 to September 30, 2011

"Our fall 2011 International Dialogue will be located in Egypt where we will meet with labor and community organizers and other activists in Cairo. There are exciting changes and developments that are currently taking place in Egypt with elections coming soon to determine leadership transitions in what has been an autocratic regime, now challenged by the Muslim Brotherhood and succession and democracy issues. The trip is still in the planning stages, and we will post updates as soon as we have them.

"We plan to travel with approximately 15-20 participants, and we will strive to have a mix of both community and labor organizers/leaders from a variety of community organizations and unions. We look for participants to meet in Cairo, pay their own travel and visa costs in addition to a program fee. The Organizers Forum will pay for food, lodging, and ground transportation. And, yes, though we are only planning to spend time in one city on this dialogue, we will see the Pyramids!

"If you are interested in applying to attend this dialogue, we invite you to apply by sending an email of interest to Wade Rathke chair@organizersforum.org Organizers' Forum. Please respond as early as possible and certainly no later than July 1 because there are a limited number of spaces.

That's the Wade Rathke who founded ACORN in 1970, served as its Chief Organizer until 2008, still heads ACORN International and still publishes Social Policy (with Francis Fox Piven of Cloward-Piven strategy notoriety still on the editorial advisory board).

In addition to Rathke, the Board of Directors of the Organizers' Forum includes Drummond Pike of the Tides Foundation and an SEIU representative. Originally, the SEIU representative was former SEIU head and most frequent Obama White House visitor Andy Stern. See www.organizersforum.org/index.php?id=462.

What were what Rathke described last October as "exciting changes and developments that are currently taking place in Egypt" and what (if anything) did the CIA know about them?

Why did Rathke state without qualification that the "elections coming soon" would "determine leadership transitions"? Why was he sure that Hosni Mubarak, Egypt's president for three decades, would not be re-elected?

Why did Rathke list the challenges to the Mubarak "regime" in this order: Muslim Brotherhood, succession, democracy?

Why was it decided to hold the Organizers' Forum's twentieth "Dialogue" in Egypt? Was it really to "see the Pyramids"?

Rathke posted a message on his own website, www.chieforganizer.org, declaring Glenn Beck persona non grata at the 20th Dialogue (http://chieforganizer.org/2011/02/02/sorry-glenn-the-organizers-forum-dialogues-are-only-for-organizers/):

"I'm betting Glenn was hoping he could join the delegation of community and labor organizers from the USA and Canada traveling over to Egypt to meet our counterparts there, especially in light of all of the excitements triggered by the mass movements on the streets these days. Unfortunately, one of the duties of being the chair of the Forum is that sometimes I have to deliver the bad news, and in this case I'm going to have to disappoint Brother Beck and tell him that despite the fact that I bet he's a bundle of laughs on a trip, this is really an experience exclusively for organizers, so there's no room in the end."

So since at least last October a meeting between a "delegation of community and labor organizers from the USA and Canada" and their Egyptian "counterparts" has been planned.


In his post Rathke denied any involvement with the current situation in Egypt: "On Sunday as all hell seemed to be breaking loose my colleague, Judy Duncan with ACORN Canada forwarded me a tweet that was wondering if I was in touch with the street organizers in Cairo. I wish! I said the same on one email inquiry. On the other side I got one email from an organizer in Chicago who was recruiting 4 or 5 organizers to go and a text from another who was already committed to attending from Maryland who was widely excited about what we might learn in the wake of these massive social changes."

Rathke helpfully added: "Greg Galluzzo of the Gameliel Foundation was speaking to me the other day and was telling me that the report from their participant in the Vietnam dialogue in 2010 was so moving that it not only almost brought tears to other organizers eyes because it was such a transforming experience for him, but they already had a list of people signing up for Cairo."

Greg Galluzzo of the Gameliel Foundation.

That's the same Greg Galluzzo who wrote this revealing Obama tribute still available at http://romanticpoet.wordpress.com/2009/10/12/barack-obama-and-the-gamaliel-foundation-community-action-utilizing-faith-and-saul-alinsky-training/:

"Gamaliel and the Barack Obama Connection

"by Gregory A. Galluzzo

"President elect Barack Obama has throughout his political career made repeated references to his time as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago. It is important that we all understand the connection between Barack and Gamaliel. In 1980 Mary Gonzales and I created the United Neighborhood Organization of Chicago.

"In 1982 we decided that we needed some expertise from someone who had done faith based community organizing. A person who had worked as such an organizer in Illinois and in Pennsylvania approached me about joining our organizing team. His name was Jerry Kellman. Jerry helped Mary and myself become better organizers. While he was working for us, he connected with a group called the Calumet Community Religious Conference (CCRC) operating on the South Side in the South Suburbs of Chicago, and in Indiana. CCRC had been formed in response to the massive shut down of major industry and the resulting job loss and all of the concomitant social tragedies.

"Jerry and I reached an understanding that we would support his work in the South Suburbs so that he could become director of his own project. It was Jerry Kellman who put an ad in the New York Times about an organizing position in the Chicago area. Barack responded; Jerry interviewed him and offered him a position. Barack accepted. Almost at this very time, Jerry propositioned an old friend of his to return to Chicago from Texas and work with him in this new organizing venture. His friend was Mike Kruglik. Mike and Jerry were the first mentors of Barack in organizing.

"CCRC, which spanned communities in Northwest Indiana, the South Suburbs and parts of the City of Chicago proved to be unwieldy. Jerry and I decided to split it into three parts. Barack would work to found a new independent project in the South side of Chicago, Mike Kruglik would be the director of the South Suburban Action Conference and Jerry Kellman would develop organizing in Northwest Indiana. At that point Jerry asked me to become Barack's consultant.

"And at this time we were just creating the Gamaliel Foundation. I met with Barack on a regular basis as he incorporated the Developing Communities Project, as he moved the organization into action and as he developed the leadership structure for the organization. He would write beautiful and brilliant weekly reports about his work and the people he was engaging.

"When Barack decided to go to Harvard Law School, he approached John McKnight, a professor at Northwestern and a Gamaliel Board member for a letter of recommendation. When Barack was leaving he made sure that Gamaliel was the formal consultant to the organization that he had created and to the staff that he had hired.

"Barack has acknowledged publicly that he had been the director of a Gamaliel affiliate. He has supported Gamaliel throughout the years by conducting training both at the National Leadership Training events and at the African American Leadership Commission. He has also attended our public meetings.

"We are honored and blessed by the connection between Barack and Gamaliel."

Mary Gonzales of the Gamaliel Foundation.

Gonzales was an original member of the board of directors of the Organizers' Forum and still is!

It took the Far Left decades to put Obama in the White House, and they did it cleverly.

In "The emerging corruption in America is stealth socialism" (www.renewamerica.com/columns/gaynor/100731), I explained:

"...stealth socialists were capable of conning enough voters to put Obama in the White House with 60 members of the Senate Democrat caucus and a substantial Democrat majority in the House of Representatives.

"The people who ran ACORN back in 2004 are hardly surprised, as an article titled 'Election Thoughts" in the combined Winter 2003-Spring 2004 issue of Social Policy demonstrates. Wade Rathke, ACORN founder and chief organizer for 38 years, is the publisher of Social Policy. Mike Miller is the editor of Social Policy and the author of the article.

"The article prophesied the Age of Obama. It closed by quoting an length from Obama's keynote address at the 2004 Democrat National convention and the revelation that 'most of the people [Miller] kn[e]w said, "There's the first black president of the United States."'

"Miller naturally lauded the 'Anybody-But-Bush sentiment,' but stressed that 'something new and very important is happening on the American political scene' and that even if President Bush was re-elected, '[t]hose concerned about the country's future should look toward '08 and beyond.'

"Miller cited three signs of hope from the 2004 Democrat Convention: (1) '[t]he "progressive message"...got the biggest response from delegates'; (2) delegate diversity; and (3) 'African-Americans [as well as other people of color and women] can be leaders of all the American people.'

"Miller realized that Obama, then a second-term Illinois state senator running for a United States Senate seat, contrasted sufficiently with previous African-American presidential hopefuls (Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm and Reverends Jesse Jackson and Al Shaprton) to be electable, because people like Sharpton would faithfully support him.

"Miller: 'The messages of Barack Obama and Rev. Al Sharpton are illustrative. In 1968 or 1972, and perhaps as recently as 1996, Obama might have been called "conservative" by radical and militant blacks — despite his history and clearly progressive point of view — because part of his speech could be categorized as "blaming the victims".... For this reason, Sharpton might have been marching outside the Convention — perhaps leading the charge against Obama. Today, both recognize that to defeat the political right a broad-based coalition that reaches out to the disenfranchised and alienated is necessary.'

"People like Miller realized that 2004 Democrat presidential candidate John Kerry 'may end up defeating himself by playing to the very narrow base of undecided voters' and a stealth socialist like Obama (Miller preferred to describe him as 'clearly progressive') was the key to attaining power and implementing the progressive or stealth socialist agenda (including 'Big Government,' massive federal borrowing to spend beyond the government's income, higher taxes on those who pay taxes, Obamacare and amnesty).

"The stealth socialists took the long view. Miller explained that Kerry was 'not defining the campaign conducted by either the labor movement, other older progressive forces or the new groups energized by [Anybody-But-Bush]' and they could 'build a new political center in the U.S.' with '[t]heir sophisticated combined use of the [I]nternet, direct mail, phone banking, door-to-door canvassing, house meetings and other voter education, registration and get-out-the-vote approaches.'

"Miller obviously was pleased that '[t]he poll-driven Democratic National Committee or Democratic Leadership Council aren't necessary to build...new relationships' and 'new grassroots forces are being organized outside the framework of the [Democrat] Party.'

"Miller described the progressive political strategy: 'A 'one-foot in, one-foot out' strategy to build a national progressive coalition is possible. It would recognize the Democratic Party as the likely vehicle for progressive reform, but not exclude non-partisan, independent, Green or even Republican possibilities.' (Having a Republican or two would permit the bi-partisanship claim!)

"In an article by Laura Barrett and Todd Swanstrom titled 'The Road to Jobs: The Fight for Transportation Equity' and published in the Spring/Summer 2007 issue of Social Policy, then United States Senator Obama was lauded for delivering for his old friends at the radical Gamaliel Foundation.

"Barrett and Swanstrom:

'As Congress went back to the drawing board in 2005, it appeared the community workforce provision was dead.....UCM had good relations with two elected officials who could help: Congressman Jerry Costello...and Illinois Senator Barack Obama....

'Elected to the Senate in November 2004, Obama had a particularly close relationship with Gamaliel. A former organizer for Gamaliel in Chicago, Obama had worked under Mike Kruglik, the political director of Gamaliel. Kruglik's son now served on Obama's staff. Obama attended one of their public meetings in Chicago. Obama also recognized that he needed political connections in East St. louis and certain African American clergy who were members of UCM also were heavily involved in turning out the black vote. He agreed to champion the workforce development provision.'

"Obama delivered.

"Barrett and Swanstrom: 'TEN's supporters in Congress were able to get Section 1920 inserted into the final bill that came out of conference committee and was passed by the House and the Senate. Strangely enough, however, when Rich Stolz of CCC and Laura Barrett of Gamaliel read through the bill they could not find Section 1920. It had literally fallen out of the bill onto the floor of the Senate. Todd Atkinson, an aide to Senator Obama, insisted to the leadership that it be put back into the bill, citing Obama's special relationship with Gamaliel. Leadership agreed.'

"That relationship was special. See David Moberg, 'Obama's Third Way,' in the Spring 2007 issue of NHI's Shelterforce Online (www.nhi.org/online/issues/149/obama.html): 'Gerald Kellman, who first recruited Obama, taught him the basics, and he also learned from organizing trainers associated with the Gamaliel Foundation and the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF). Both organize community groups, primarily religious congregations, and trace their lineage to Saul Alinsky.'"

Rathke's post made it clear that the Gamamiel Foundation supports the uprising in Egypt. Predictably President Obama is pushing hard for "community reorganizing" in Egypt (a development that pleases the Moslem Brotherhood and Iran, but not Israel). But...with re-election in 2012 his goal and trying to seem moderate in center-right America critical to that, how far will Obama dare to go in trying to "change" Egypt?

© Michael Gaynor


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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Michael Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member... (more)


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