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Just when you thought the "he's a Muslim" meme had finally been relegated to the ash heap, WorldNutDaily dredges it up again.  Jerome Corsi is trying to resurrect an old smear from the campaign--that Obama had his bill at Harvard Law paid by radical Muslim interests.

President Obama's unwillingness to allow the American public to see his records at Harvard Law School prevents resolution of a continuing controversy over whether radical Islamic influences promoted his admission and financed his legal education there.
Supposedly, Percy Sutton was asked by Khalid al-Mansour, a Saudi citizen and adviser to the Saudi royal family, to write a letter of recommendation for Obama when he applied to Harvard Law.  Mansour, formerly known as Don Warden, was a founder of the Black Panthers and is also known for writing anti-Semitic and anti-Christian screeds.

This smear was completely debunked by Politico's Ben Smith, and yet Corsi is still trying to breathe life into it.  Follow me below the jump for some counterpoints in case this shows up in your Inbox any time soon.

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To begin with, the WorldNutDaily story, even by that "publication's" standards, is incredibly misleading.  The article refers to an appearance Sutton made on NY1's Inside City Hall to tell his story.  Yet, the way the story is written, WND makes it sound like Sutton just appeared on there a few days ago.  This may look like a minor quibble to the layman.  But to a journalism major like yours truly, something like this screams "hit piece" in capital letters (though the fact Corsi wrote it is enough by itself to make this qualify as a hit piece).

Also, while WND points out that Smith reported Obama's flat denial, it doesn't mention that there are several problems with the supposed timeline.  For instance, Smith pointed out that Obama wasn't living in New York when he applied to Harvard, but was already living in Chicago.  Also, the Chicago Sun-Times reported last year that when Obama left Harvard, he had over $42,700 in debts from student loans.  Not exactly what you'd expect who had someone with ties to the Sauds paying his bills.  

Last year, HamillianActor dissected how this briefly went viral in the wingnut world.  Apparently someone at Newsmax picked up Sutton's interview.  Then someone at Canada Free Press (from what I understand, the Canadian version of Free Republic) picked it up from Newsmax and embellished it with the claim that al-Mansour paid for Obama's education.  Advance Indiana, a conservative blog, then picked it up from Canada Free Press and embellished it some more with Mansour's history without even trying to prove any relationship to Obama.  The Advance Indiana post then got posted verbatim to Free Republic and other conservative sites.  HamillianActor also notes that Sutton's own estate released a statement that suggested Sutton's faculties weren't entirely present during the interview.  No wonder Smith didn't return WND's email before it went to press today.  If I were Smith, I wouldn't have even bothered to dignify that email with a reply.

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Originally posted to Christian Dem in NC on Wed Jul 22, 2009 at 06:28 AM PDT.

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