Barack Obama's time at Columbia, from 1981 to 1983, remains a mystery. He is known and remembered from his time at Harvard Law School, from 1988 to 1991. He is known and remembered by his classmates and professors at Occidental College, from 1979 to 1981. As well his time at Punahou School from fifth grade through High School.
It is only his time at Columbia, a mere two years, that remain hidden and unexamined. Why? Very likely, because Obama has something politically embarrassing to hide.
There are various theories floating around. One, put forward by Tom Maguire at Just One Minute proposes some sort of embarrassing involvement, however tangential, to the bombing campaign against the visit during that time to NYC by the South African Rugby team, the Springboks. The Weather Underground including Bill Ayers were involved in that bombing campaign. Bombs were set at JFK Airport, though no one was injured (thankfully).
Others have advanced depressive episodes, perhaps including treatment and/or hospitalization. Obama's first autobiography, "Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance," hints at episodes of depression, as well as teen age drug use. Others have speculated about drug use continuing into his College years, including at Columbia, and perhaps even selling drugs.
While this possibility cannot be excluded, I personally don't think it's likely. While it is true that Obama has confessed in both his first autobiography and speeches subsequent, to frequent drug use as a teen, his personality seems both censorious and abstemious. Rather, as documented by Stanley Kurz, Barack Obama's main aspect has not been getting high, but rather has been radical, anti-American and anti-White separatism.
In 1995, Obama as head of the Annenberg Challenge, openly repudiated integration and assimilation for Blacks and other minorities, instead embracing radical Black Nationalism and Separatism. His actions in disbursing the money backed up his rhetoric, all the money went to radical, anti-assimilationist organizations that taught not science and math, but racial grievances and angry, radical, separatist agendas.
No one remembers Barack Obama at all in his two years in Columbia University. That itself is suggestive. This fact indicates that he was simply not around to be remembered. At least not among student organizations, themselves of the radical and hard-left persuasion. Or his fellow students. Obama, atypically, seems to have taken no part in the social life at Columbia University. Not a single classmate can recall him.
While it is possible he was part of the Ayers bomb-throwing squad, it seems far more likely that he was elsewhere. That the reason Obama was not remembered was that he was not on campus much, except for class and exams, and that his social life did not include the mostly White campus radicals, or the mostly White Weathermen. But rather a different organization far off campus, that offered something else to Barack Obama. A sense of belonging.
Obama, by his own admission in "Dreams," says he consistently sought out the most radical, separatist, angry, and anti-American groups on campus. The Black nationalists and separatists, the gays, the feminists, and so on. What group, active in New York City at the time, offered even more radicalism, a sense of fellowship, "authenticity," and a connection to his abandoning but idolized father?
The answer is the Mosque.
All over the West, in Europe as well as America, many isolated, lonely, angry, radical, and non-White men seek out answers, fellowship, and meaning for themselves. Many find themselves at Mosques, most of which, according to the US State Dept., are funded by the Saudis and operate in the Wahabbist tradition. Men such as Mohammed Atta, or perhaps such as the twenty year old Barack Obama.
If Obama spent much of his time at a Mosque, in the company of devout, radical Muslims, it would explain why no one at Columbia, including his contemporary radical fellows, involved in anti-Apartheid protests, along with other issues, can remember him. It would explain both his life-long affinity with Islam (of which he has spoken and written favorably many times) and his ability, demonstrated on camera, to recite in Arabic the Muslim call to prayer. Such exposure, between 1981 and 1983, would account for his calling the Muslim call to prayer "the most beautiful sound" he has ever heard.
It would also be perhaps fatally embarrassing to his campaign for President. Particularly, if his associates from around that time later came to be indicted for various terrorist activities, such as the 1993 WTC bombings or the infamous "Bridge and Tunnel" plot of the "Blind Sheik" Omar Abdel-Rahman, a rival to Osama bin Laden's lieutenant, Ayman al-Zawahari, and founder of the Islamic Group. Omar Abdel-Rahman is currently serving a life sentence in the Federal Prison system at the Butner Federal Correctional Institution, for his role in that plot.
Such an association does not mean of course that Barack Obama is necessarily a Muslim, or a terrorist, but would be fatal to himself and the Democratic Party if revealed, in a political sense. Even if, as polls indicate, Obama wins the election and becomes President, he would be subject to removal by impeachment and conviction if such associations existed and were publicly revealed. Democrats, seeking political survival, would be sure to vote accordingly just as Republicans did during the Watergate scandal. Naturally, the opportunity for blackmail by said associates, if they did exist, would be enormous.
One could expect all sorts of concessions, to the Islamic world, and to terrorist Jihad groups in particular. Domestically as well as internationally, and concessions moreover sure to provoke a furious counter-reaction.
Naturally, it would be in the best interests of the nation for any such rumors to be either proved or disproved. Obama, unlike McCain or Palin or Biden, has a two year gap in his record about which almost nothing is known. He himself, in his autobiography, talks about that period very little, while discussing other chapters in his life extensively. No friends or associates from that period can attest to his activities or state of mind.
It would be good to know about Obama's activities either way. I am not optimistic, however, given that the puzzling lack of knowledge about Obama's two years at Columbia speaks to some sort of activity and social life oriented away from the campus and student social life.