Anti-Obama author deported from Kenya


AN AMERICAN opponent of Barack Obama was deported from Kenya last night after trying to stage the African launch of his controversial book.

Jerome Corsi had travelled to the Obama family homeland to investigate links between the Democratic nominee and Kenyan politicians.

He was even carrying a $1,000 cheque for Obama's half-brother who lives in a squalid slum as part of a stunt to discredit the first African-American to come so close to the White House.

But last night, the author of Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personalitywas waiting to fly out of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, after being told he could not stay. It seems he had not realised the country was immersed in Obamamania with little time for his critics. Nor were the Kenyan authorities impressed with chunks of the book deeply critical of Raila Odinga, the man recently installed as prime minister.

Corsi was detained by immigration authorities as he arrived at a swish Nairobi hotel where the book launch was due to take place.

"He was walking in and then some immigration officers who were following him snatched him," said a hotel worker.

"It happened so fast, they just vanished with him."

He and an assistant were taken to Nyayo House, which once housed torture chambers but now serves as Kenya's immigration headquarters.

They were later driven to Nairobi's international airport and told to leave immediately.

Tim Bueler, Corsi's assistant, told The Irish Timesthey 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 said by telephone as security officers escorted the pair to the airport.

"So we will leave while they complete their investigations but we have been told we can return."

The missing paperwork will be viewed as something of a fudge to let all sides forget about the embarrassing incident as quickly as possible.

No one from the Kenyan government was available to comment yesterday.

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 sink his campaign.

This time around, Obama Nationhas occupied the upper reaches of the New York Timesbestseller 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.