The Cable

Anti-Obama Navy SEAL leader: I’m a Birther

President Barack Obama is a socialist, was raised by communists, and wasn't born in the United States, according to the former Navy SEAL who founded the group Special Operations Speaks (SOS), which aims to portray Obama as anti-military in this election season.

Earlier this week, a different group of former Navy SEALS calling themselves the Special Operations OPSEC Education Fund rolled out its campaign to criticize Obama for leaking national security information and taking what it believes as undue credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden. That group claims to be non-political.

But the founder of SOS, a similar group with the same mission and the same tactics, says he has no problem admitting that he is against Obama's politics, personality, and believes that America's current president is lying about his origins.

"I have to admit that I'm a Birther," said SOS founder Larry Bailey, a retired 27-year veteran of the Navy SEALs, in an interview. "If there were a jury of 12 good men and women and the evidence were placed before them, there would be absolutely no question Barack Obama was not born where he said he was and is not who he says he is."

Bailey, who is part of the leadership of SOS's effort to mobilize thousands to take to the streets to denounce Obama's treatment of the military through an SOS project called Operation Street Corner, doesn't only believe that the president is a foreigner. He also believes that he is not actually the son of Barack Obama, Sr. Bailey trumpeted the conspiracy theory that the president is actually the love child of Ann Dunham and writer Frank Marshall Davis.

"In his books, Obama said his mentor was a fellow named Frank Marshall Davis. Frank Marshall Davis was a member of Communist Party USA, he wrote for the communist party's Hawaii newsletter, he was a close friend of Obama's mother, and there's a strong case that Frank Marshall Davis rather than Barack Obama, Sr. was Barack Obama, Jr.'s father and that Barack Obama, Sr. was just an administrative father of convenience," Bailey said.

Bailey isn't shy about his dislike of Obama personally and admits freely that his extensive efforts to mobilize special operations veterans and their supporters around the country is rooted in his personal dislike of the president and his desire to see him replaced.

"Barack Obama's a born red-diaper baby. He's a socialist. His beliefs are the very antithesis of my beliefs. As far as I am concerned he is one of the most unlikeable and unprepared politicians we've ever had," Bailey said. "I don't like him because he believes that America is responsible for most of the problems in the world and he wants to cut her down to size."

Bailey is also a veteran of efforts to portray Democrats as anti-military during previous presidential election cycles. He was involved in the 2004 effort called Vietnam Vets for the Truth, an organization that was separate from but worked with Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth to attack John Kerry's military record. Together they organized a "Kerry Lied" rally on Capitol Hill that had 5,000 attendees.

Bailey said he came up with the idea for SOS earlier this year and organized some fellow former special operations guys, mostly in their 60s and 70s, with the mission of helping Obama's opponent win.

"I had an idea that we could lend a hand to the effort of getting the White House expunged of what's there now and elect someone more to my liking," Bailey said.

The group has a Facebook page with more than 22,000 likes, and "Operation Street Corner" now has 30 coordinators spread out across 20 states to encourage and enable people to get out on the street and set up displays attacking Obama's handling of national security.

"What we're doing right now is establishing an infrastructure that will put us in good stead to influence the outcome on Nov. 6," said Bailey. "You can expect some television ads but we are more focused on prosecuting the ground war rather than the air war."

SOS now has former Army Rangers, Army Special Forces, Navy SEALS, Air Commands, Marine Special Operations Commands, and representatives from other special operations groups as well. The group has set up a quasi-military command structure Bailey calls a "Joint Task Force" to manage its operations. SOS has already raised thousands, but aims much higher.

"I want somebody to give me $1.5 million. We think we're going to get $1.5 million," said Bailey. We're going to be so effective with that $1.5 dollars getting the message out that people will be standing in line to help us help them."

Bailey wears his views on his sleeve and wants anyone who's interested to know he is fighting not only for the special operations community but also against an ideology he views as dangerous.

"The Obama administration and the liberal progressive path that our country is going down is going to be nothing less than disastrous for our civilization," he said.

The Cable

State Department calls on Bahrain to release jailed human rights activist

The State Department Thursday called on the Bahraini government to vacate charges against Nabeel Rajab, president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, who was sentenced to three years in prison for protesting against the Bahraini regime.

"We've long made clear that it's critical for all governments, including Bahrain, to respect freedom of expression, freedom of assembly. So we are deeply troubled by the sentencing today of Nabeel Rajab to three years in prison on charges of illegally gathering," State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Thursday. "We believe that all people have a fundamental freedom to participate in civil acts of peaceful disobedience, and we call on the government of Bahrain to take steps to build confidence across Bahraini society and to begin a really meaningful dialogue with the political opposition and civil society because actions like this sentencing today only serve to further divide Bahraini society."

Initially Nuland told reporters at Thursday's briefing that the U.S. would not "get into the middle" of the case now that Rajab has already been sentenced. But after being repeatedly pressed by reporters, she said that the U.S. administration wants the Bahrainis to scuttle the case against Rajab for this charge as well as a separate charge over a tweet he sent out criticizing the government.

"Well, obviously we think that this should be vacated," Nuland said.

Rajab is already serving a three-month sentence on charges of "libeling the citizens of the town of Muharraq over twitter" after he called for the Bahraini prime minister to resign and said he had lost support in that town.

Nuland also said the Bahrain regime has not completed the reforms it promised to implement after the report of the Bahraini Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) was released last year.

"Our message to the Kingdom of Bahrain throughout this has been to first complete the recommended reform steps that the Bahraini independent commission recommended. As you know, they got about halfway through and some of the rest of that implementation has not gone forward," she said.

Despite the State Department's condemnation of the sentence Thursday, leading Bahraini and American human rights activists don't think the Obama administration is doing enough to pressure the Bahraini regime on the issue and criticized the administration's previous silence on the issue.

"When Nabeel Rajab was arrested and imprisoned in May 2012, there was no response from the US administration. As the attacks against Nabeel Rajab escalated, the silent reaction from the US administration continued," BCHR said in a statement today. "The BCHR and GCHR do not imply that the United States of America is directly involved in the escalating attacks on human rights defenders, but the lack of pressure from the U.S. administration appears to be linked with the Bahraini government's willingness to escalate."

"It's long past time for the State Department and White House to speak out publicly on Rajab's unjust imprisonment," said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. "Nice words like reform and dialogue are not enough when this kind of repression continues in plain view."

On Aug. 10, 17 members of Congress and 2 senators wrote a letter to the King of Bahrain asking him to release Najab and other political prisoners.

"We respectfully request that you use your authority to order Mr. Rajab's release under the universal principle that all citizens should have the right to peacefully express disagreement with their government," the lawmakers wrote.

In an interview last December with The Cable, Rajab said the U.S. government was failing to defend its values and promote the Arab Spring in Bahrain and other countries that the U.S. maintains close diplomatic and military relationships with.

"There is full support for revolutions in countries where [the U.S. government] has a problem with their leadership, but when it comes to allied dictators in the Gulf countries, they have a much softer position and that was very upsetting to many people in Bahrain and the Gulf region," he said. "This will not serve your long strategic interest, to strengthen and continue your relations with dictators and repressive regimes.... You should have taken a lesson from Tunisia and Egypt, but now you are repeating the same thing by ignoring all those people struggling for democracy and human rights.... Those dictators will not be there forever. Relationships should be maintained with people, not families."