Kenya deports anti-Obama US authorOctober 8th, 2008 - 4:36 pm ICT by IANS
Nairobi, Oct 8 (Xinhua) Kenya has ordered out an American author who wrote a controversial book slamming US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.Jerome Corsi had planned to make public statements in Kenya that were critical of both Obama and Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga after travelling to Obama’s family homeland to investigate links between the Democratic nominee and Kenyan politicians.
He had scheduled a news conference Tuesday at a Nairobi hotel for the Kenyan launch of his book, “The Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality”.
Obama’s father was Kenyan, and he still has relatives and supporters in the country.
Corsi was even carrying a $1,000 cheque for Obama’s half-brother who lives in a Nairobi slum as part of a spectacular act to shame Obama, the first African-American to come as close to the White House as he has done.
But the author of the anti-Obama book was declared persona non grata and ordered out of the country Tuesday night.
Corsi was detained by immigration authorities as he arrived at the Nairobi hotel where the book launch was due to take place.
He was accused of engaging in illegal activities in Kenya. The move came hours before Obama and John McCain took to the stage for the second live TV debate.
The US presidential contest was turning increasingly acrid Tuesday as the rivals launched personal attacks on each other.
Tim Bueler, Corsi’s assistant, said Tuesday that they would be flying to London on an overnight flight.
“Our passports and visas are in order but it seems the Kenyan authorities have lost our arrival cards, which we filled in on the plane coming here,” he told journalists before being escorted to the airport. “So we will leave while they complete their investigations but we have been told we can return.”
Immigration officers said Corsi was “free to apply for a valid work permit to come back and launch his book”.
Sources at immigration department said that Corsi and Bueler had their visitors’ passes annulled for violating rules.
“They violated terms of the visitor’s pass by engaging in a business and marketing of his book. They required a special permit to do business,” a top immigration officer said.
Corsi claimed he had earlier met a top government official, who “gave me a nod to go ahead”.
Corsi’s troubles began about 10 minutes before the news conference was set to begin when immigration authorities questioned him and his US media liaison, Bueler.
Pro-Obama youths protested outside the hotel, claiming the launch was a smear campaign against the Democratic hopeful.
A US embassy official said they had not been told officially about the arrests, saying they had learnt about the development from the media.
The official said Corsi was on a private individual’s visit and did not warrant comment from the embassy since he was not a US government official.
Corsi rose to prominence in 2004, when he teamed up with Swift Boat Veterans for Truth to publish “Unfit for Command”, part of a campaign to keep John Kerry out of the White House.
It maligned his Vietnam record and was credited with helping to sink his campaign.
This time around, Corsi’s new book “The Obama Nation” has occupied the upper reaches of the New York Times bestseller lists since being published in August.
The book questions Obama’s character, attacks his fitness to take up office and rakes over his family history.