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The Scandal Behind the
White House Olympics Bid

Oct. 5, 2009 (EIRNS)—In the midst of two wars, skyrocketing unemployment, and the worst financial crisis in modern history, President Obama went into a major political flight forward, by flying off to Copenhagen on Oct. 2, to personally convince the International Olympics Committee to choose Chicago for the 2016 Summer Olympics. The gambit failed, as Chicago was the first of the four contender cities to be eliminated.

This was a stunning humiliation for Barack Obama, as myriad press commentaries were quick to point out. He obviously thought, and was told by his advisors, that his "irresistible charm" would guarantee success for his hometown. Once again, Obama's dangerous narcissism has taken a blow, this time internationally.

While many have ridiculed the White House abuse of the Presidency in this affair, the real scandal has been exposed by EIR, which has uncovered a massive conflict of interest, on the part of of the White House officials involved in the lobbying effort, in particular, Obama's closest advisors, Valerie Jarrett and David Axelrod.

Chicago's bid to host the Olympic Games, was officially handled by a "non-profit" organization called Chicago 2016. The top players in the organization were major backers of Obama's Presidential campaign, and were also among the people who would stand to reap the biggest financial rewards if the Olympic bid went through.

White House aide Valerie Jarrett and longtime Obama confidante, is at the center of the conflict of interest. An intimate personal friend and mentor of both Barack and Michelle Obama, Jarrett was the vice chair of Chicago 2016. Until coming to the White House, she was also the CEO of a Chicago construction company, The Habitat Company, which was bidding on the contract to build the 3,500 unit Olympic Village. She is also an owner of Grove Parc Plaza Apartments, a run-down complex, with a 90% vacancy rate, that would have been torn down, to make way for part of the Olympic infrastructure.

In spite of these highly personal motivations, the White House announced on May 1, 2009, that Jarrett had been given an ethics waiver, to allow her to represent the President, in pushing for the Chicago Olympics bid.

White House political director Axelrod was another beneficiary of Chicago 2016 largess. His firm, ASK Public Strategies, did public relations work for Chicago 2016. Jarrett bluntly admitted, in a recent Bloomberg News interview, that the Chicago group at the Obama White House talked about the Olympics bid "every single morning together as we met."

Four other members of Chicago 2016 were also part of the Obama inauguration committee, including Penny Pritzker, whose Hyatt hotels were designated as priority Olympic sites in the Chicago 2016 plan.

Lyndon LaRouche has called for a full investigation, and dismissal of the White House aides involved.

Now, as President Obama's aura of invulnerability wears thin, the White House is expected to lash out with a vengeance on the health-care reform front. While the bills in the House and the Senate, as they now stand, would never pass, because of the "death panel"/euthanasia provisions, the White House plan is to put separate bills through the two chambers, and then have the conference committee, which reconciles the two versions, introduce the changes they seek behind closed doors.

LaRouche immediately put the U.S. population on notice:

After what we just learned about the massive conflict of interest scheme, involving the White House inner circle—Valerie Jarrett and David Axelrod—there will be no closed door deals. We want full, public disclosure of everything" to do with the health-care bills. The U.S. population, already furious over the crashing economy, bank bailouts, and soaring unemployment, will not take it.