Obama’s Aunt: Last minute smear by whom?

Earlier today/late last night, the news broke that Obama’s Kenyan aunt is living in this country illegally, having overstayed her visa after her request for asylum was denied. Talking Points Memo ruminates on the timing (suspiciously close to the election) and the source (suspiciously originating on a Rupert Murdoch-owned publication, then getting echo-chambered).

TPMMuckraker | Talking Points Memo | The Anatomy of a Smear

On the record, of course, the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, a unit of the Department of Homeland Security, is telling reporters it can’t comment on any individual person’s immigration status. It would appear to be a violation of department procedures, at the least, to leak such information.

We’ve seen this same tactic used recently by the Bush administration. Earlier this month, law enforcement sources leaked the news, also to the AP, that the FBI has begun a nationwide investigation into ACORN. Again, the obvious purpose of the leak was political — to bolster a Republican campaign to stoke fears about voter fraud, in an effort to de-legitimize an Obama win. The Justice Department still has not confirmed the existence of the investigation.

So who leaked it? An enterprising journalist who wondered what happened to Obama’s aunt, or was it instigated by the Murdoch/Fox News connection, or was it McCain’s campaign, or???

I tend to doubt it was McCain’s campaign people; they’ve had a certain flair for low tactics and likely put-up jobs (call Joe the Plumber!) but this requires somebody to actually remember Obama had a Kenyan aunt that moved to the US (mentioned in his book), and save that nugget of information for later use. Somebody paid for the legwork (they tracked down a missing uncle as well). I’m thinking Rupie’s people made sure the questions were asked and the family members found. My money’s on Rupert Murdoch.

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