| Some dare call it|
|What THEY don't want|
you to know!
Andy Martin is a failed lawyer, failed politician, "internet journalist," and serial vexatious litigant. He is generally credited as the man responsible for first spreading the rumour (or "exposing to truth") that Barack Obama is secretly a Muslim. He is also notable for suing the state of Hawaii, demanding public access to Obama's birth certificate, and other rabble-rousing "birther" activities.
Andy Martin studied law in Illinois, but was refused a license to practice as a lawyer in 1973, on the grounds of erratic and unprofessional conduct and being psychologically unbalanced. He has run as an unsuccessful candidate for Senate, Congress and President numerous times over the past thirty years, initially for the Democrats, but more recently for the Republicans. He has also filed a huge number (possibly thousands) of vexatious lawsuits against numerous companies and individuals, and reacted during these cases with extremes of viciousness and paranoia, frequently accusing judges of conspiring against him.
Among other pleas for media attention, Martin claimed in 2003 to have identified the location of Saddam Hussein's hiding place (several months before Hussein's actual arrest) during solo scouting trips in Baghdad while evading an arrest warrant in Florida.
Shortly after Barack Obama's keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, Martin issued a press release claiming to have evidence that Obama was a secret Muslim who had lied about his faith, and might be plotting against Israel. Martin suggested that this issue "would obviously raise serious questions in many Jewish circles". His apparent concern for the Jewish community stands in stark contrast to his resolution in 1986 to "exterminate Jew Power" (recorded in his Congressional campaign paperwork), and his anti-Semitic outbursts during past litigations, once describing a judge as "a crooked, slimy Jew who has a history of lying and thieving common to members of his race", and on another occasion stating that "I am able to understand how the Holocaust took place, and with every passing day feel less and less sorry that it did, when Jew survivors are operating as a wolfpack to steal my property". When challenged about these racist statements, Martin has sometimes claimed that he did not make them and that they were maliciously planted in court documents by crooked judges.
Martin's allegations about Obama's connections with Islam have been picked up and elaborated by many other conservative commentators, websites and blogs, especially since 2006, as Obama became a candidate for President. Martin's attempts to smear Obama have taken other form as well, linking the Presidential nominee with left-wing radicalism.
Amazingly, considering the facts of Martin's career, Fox News allowed him airtime in October 2008, on Sean Hannity's show to air unsubstantiated claims that Obama's background as a community organiser involved training by William Ayers as a subversive revolutionary. A few days before the election, Martin was interviewed by CNN, and retracted his claim that Obama a Muslim, asserting instead that on a recent trip to Hawaii he had discovered that Obama is in fact the son of 1960s political activist Frank Marshall Davis, although he was unable to back up this claim with any evidence whatsoever.
Also during October 2008, Davis sued the state of Hawaii, insisting that a copy of Obama's full birth certificate and other documents be made public. The short-form version of the certificate had already been published by the Obama campaign, to counter rumours that Obama is not an American citizen. Access to vital records is only usually granted to family members, and Martin's petition was denied by the court. During Obama's Presidency, Martin's campaigns have focused largely on typical birther issues and appealed to the wackier element of the Tea Party crowd.
In December 2010, Martin announced his intentions to run as a Republican Party candidate in the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election, with a campaign focussed on Obama's alleged ineligibility for the Presidency. While the birth certificate issue is sure to feature prominently in his campaign, he has stated that he will not be running a one-issue campaign.
So, how'd that go then?
- Jim Rutenberg, "The Man Behind the Whispers About Obama", New York Times, October 12, 2008.
- Christopher Hayes, "The New Right-Wing Smear Machine", The Nation, October 25, 2007, page 5.
- Bob Norman, "Operation Baghdad", Broward Palm Beach New Times, July 31, 2003.
- Andy Martin pontificating on Fox News.
- CNN on Andy Martin's discovery of Obama's father being Communist Frank Davis, posted on YouTube.
- Martin's blog post, December 26, 2010.