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“The unspoken qualifications for president of the United States” by Jon Rappoport

June 6, 2013

An announcement: This is satire. 

After writing about 150 million Americans going to Mexico, swimming back across the Rio Grande, applying for benefits as immigrants, and becoming instant millionaires…some people believed I was reporting (or misreporting) a fact.

But satire can be more real than reality.  (Many things, as it turns out, are more real than reality.)

Television, for example.

Anyway, the period between the election of a president and his inauguration is a fascinating one, because that’s when the shiny new commander-in-chief learns the score.

He knows certain secrets already, but people of importance fill him in on the rest.

In President Obama’s case, he had questions.

On a fall afternoon in 2008, comfortably ensconced in a Virginia cave 600 feet below the Langley headquarters of the CIA, in a room that was soundproofed a dozen different ways, Obama sucked on a non-filtered Camel, sipped brandy, and said:

“Look, Mark, or whatever your real name is, I get the fact that I’m deliriously happy with Michelle.  That’s been explained to me.  We’re the perfect couple.  I get the fact that I’m working for ‘the bankers,’ and I get that I’ll be launching a few military actions and stringing out operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.  They already filled me in on that.  But what about jobs?”

Mark, an Ivy League prunehead from an old Boston family, stood up and started pacing.

“Barack, the jobs thing is tricky.  We don’t want jobs to come back.  We want to make people believe they will come back and are coming back.  We can manage the statistics on it.  That’s no problem.  But we need you to be the blue-sky guy for a bit.  We need you to sell it.  We need you to dazzle the rubes with a brand of bullshit that soars like music.”

“Well,” the new president said, “that’s what I do.  That’s why I’m here.  Don’t worry about it.”

Mark shook his head.  “No, you don’t understand.  We’ve already calculated that your gloss is going to wear out in about a year.  We know it.  The public trance is going to fade.”

“You’ve calculated?  What does that mean?”

“It means we have algorithms.  We have gnomes from MIT who do the math for us.  They don’t miss.  You’re going to sound like a broken record in a year.  And it’s going to go downhill from there, for the rest of your terms in the White House.”


“This is a twofer, Barack.  You serve until 2016.  It’s in the bag.”

Obama smiled.  “First time I’ve heard that.”

“Take it to the bank,” Mark said.  “Unless you really screw up, in which case, we’ll wrap you in scandals that’ll make your head spin.”

“Hey Mark,” Barack said, “give me a teleprompter and I’m Jesus, Abe Lincoln, and and the Oxy stain-remover guy all rolled up into one.  I do speeches.  I excel.  I can paint paradise for a blind guy and force him to tears.”

Mark sighed.  He’d been through this with Bush and Clinton.  Presidents always had false perceptions of their own skills.  You manipulate the press, surround them with fawning androids, fake the election results when necessary, put these clowns into office, and all of a sudden they develop new layers on their already swollen egos.

“Barack,” he said.  “You’re going to do freebies.  That’s your ace in the hole.”


“We have the timetable.  It’s all programmed.  What’s that phrase you love?  ‘We’re all in this together.’  You’re going to hit that like a pinata.  And goodies are going to come tumbling out.  We want at least fifteen million Americans on disability by the first year of your second term.”

“I’m going to give away the farm?” Obama said.

“The farm, the tractor, the pickup, and the house.  You’re going to give away the moon and Mars.  If it’s nailed down, you’re going to pry it up and hand it out.  That’s your mandate.  You’re the freebie president.  You’re Santa Claus and Johnny Appleseed.”

“Wow,” Barack said.  “I had no idea.”

“It’s easy.  We’ll take you along step by step.  You’re going to put America in such a deep hole it’ll never get out.”

“What about the corporations and the banks?” Obama said.

Mark stared at him for a few seconds.  “Let me make this crystal clear, Barack.  The banks and corporations GET freebies.  Massive freebies.  They aren’t presents you GIVE away.  The corporations aren’t America.  They don’t go down in the hole with the people.  They’re free floating.  They run the show.”

“Got it.”


“No, really.  I’ve got it,” Barack said.  “But listen, I’ve been meaning to ask somebody about the surgery.”

Mark smiled.  “A brilliant piece of work.”

Barack nodded.  “That’s what they kept telling me, but I never understood what it was for.”

“Right,” Mark said.  “Well, that’s part of this briefing.  The boys from the clinic in Freeport put a liquid chip in your left arm.  It’s not a chip, actually.  It’s a a cluster of nanoparticles.  I don’t know the tech side of it.  But it allows us to shut you down.”


More silence.

Excuse me?”

“Shut you down.  For a second, a minute, a day, a month, a year.  Or permanently.  Let me put it this way.  We could close you out, ship you to the Hollywood Wax Museum, prop you up in a display, and no one would know you’re the president.  You’d stand there for decades and never move or blink.  Suspended animation.”

Barack felt beads of sweat on his forehead.  He felt he was standing in a blazing desert.

He took a gulp of his brandy.

“You’re…serious?” he said.  “Is this a joke?”

“Try wandering off the reservation and you’ll find out,” Mark said.  “In 1992, Bill Clinton started talking about having a porn star cut to look like Marilyn Monroe.  He was going to install her in a room in the White House.  Bill was obsessed with John Kennedy.  He wanted to be JFK.”

Barack’s hands were trembling.  “So…what did you do?” he said.

“We eventually put together an android at Los Alamos.  A girl.  We named her Monica Lewinsky.  Created a complete legend and back story for her, including a family.  Do I need to spell out the rest?”

Barack shook his head.

“But you see,” Mark said, “that was just a light tap on the head for Bill.  We could have gone much heavier on him…if we wanted to.”

Obama sat there for a long time and didn’t say anything.

Then he stood up.

“I have a serious question for you, Mark,” he said.  “It’s major.”

Mark nodded.  “I already know what it is,” he said.  “You suspect something.  We haven’t been able to blot out all the leakage.  You won’t be the first president to ask the big question.”

They stood there looking at each other.

“You want to know,” Mark said, “whether you’re the ‘real’ Barack Obama.”

Barack took a deep breath and let it out.  Now, sweat was running down his cheeks.

“In a way,” Mark said, “that’s a moot point.  Does it actually matter?  But because you’re the president-elect, I’ll give you an answer.  You’re the third Barack Obama.  The other two didn’t pan out.  Don’t ask me about the real one.  There are many things you’re not privy to.”

Barack, without thinking, said, “BUT I REMEMBER MY WHOLE LIFE.”

“Well, of course you do.” Mark said.  “You think we’re a bunch of amateurs?”

Mark looked at his watch.  “I’m late for a meeting,” he said.  “The fifth Chris Matthews is becoming unhinged.  He’s talking about a tingle up his leg when he thinks about you.  We need to see whether he needs an upgrade or a replacement.”

The room began to melt and dissolve.

Obama woke up in Jeffrey Katzenberg’s house in Los Angeles.  He was lying on a large bed inside an ivy-colored cloud of memories.

He stopped himself from screaming.

He rolled over and reached out to the night table for his cigarettes.  They weren’t there.  His thumb touched something that slithered and made a crinkling sound.

A small voice said, “We’re all in this together.”

Obama quickly drew back his hand.

He suddenly realized he was holding his cell phone.  He brought it up in front of his face and punched in a number.

A voice he knew immediately answered.

“Yes, Mr. President, I’m here.”

Give the farm away, “ Obama said.  “I want thirty million Americans on disability by next month!  I want a new secret bank bailout plan on my desk tomorrow afternoon.  Tell Bernanke to Q up five trillion dollars right away.”

“Mr. President,” the voice said.  “Bernanke will have to check with the City of London.  Remember, they tell you what to do.”


“Yes,” Obama said.  “I momentarily forgot.  I’ve had a tough night.  Ask Bernanke then.  Call it a request.”

“Yes sir.  Right away.  Do you need more sleep?”

Obama lay in the dark and thought about it.

“I do,” he said.  “Without any damn dreams.”

“Hold on a second.  I’ll key the transmission.”

Obama waited.

He felt a surge of warm energy in his left arm.  He closed his eyes.

…He remembered a rainy afternoon in Chicago.  A pretty afternoon in the spring.  He was walking along a path in Lincoln Park, and there was a boy sitting with his mother on a bench.  She was stroking the boy’s face and smiling.  He didn’t know why they were sitting there in the rain.  He stopped walking and looked at them.  The mother glanced up and waved at him, as if she knew him.  Suddenly, Barack felt as if he could run in the rain.  He could run for miles.  He could run right out of Chicago on to the old 66 and keep going all the way down to St. Louis.  He could hop on a raft and float on the great Mississippi down to New Orleans.  He could walk through the French Quarter and no one would recognize him.  He could check into a little hotel and and forget.  He could float out the window and drift, drift, drift, and become lost in the stars.

He could escape.

He could merge with the dust of space and disappear.

Then the President slept.

…But the promise of no dreams did not come true.  He was suddenly back in the cave under Langley talking with Mark again.

“There’s one thing I don’t understand,” Barack said.  “If you had your people make me, build me to your specs, then why are you worrying about whether I’ll go rogue?”

“Yes,” Mark said.  “That’s the other question the presidents ask.  First of all, there’s merely the matter of the damage you could do in your position.  Suppose a wild surmise came into your head and you held a televised press conference, and told the world you were working for the banks and the corporations.  Suppose you laid it out.  Suppose you told the people who’s really running this country.  Suppose you made them believe the truth.  The president is always only one move away from doing that.  And then there’s a metaphysical slant to this whole deal.  It’s a bit more esoteric.  But it’s vital.  You see,, Barack, every particle of matter and energy in this universe, no matter how it’s reworked, no matter what configuration it’s shaped into, strives for more.  Every particle wants to be alive, more and more alive.  Do you know what that means?  Every particle of energy wants to be free.  So even though we built you, there is an irrepressible urge within you for freedom.  That makes you dangerous.  The programming we installed only goes so far.  We have to achieve total control with threats, backed up with the supreme willingness to act on those threats.”

Barack thought about that.  He nodded.

“What about you, Mark?” he said.  “Do you want to be free?”

Mark looked up at the ceiling and said nothing.  Barack watched his face tighten into a grimace of ancient hatred.

“I have my moments, “ Mark said quietly.  “But they pass.  I’m serving the Good.  And you are, too.”

The lights in the room slowly dimmed.

When the room was dark, Barack finally said:

“All right.  I’m ready to be the forty-fourth president of the United States.”

“Yes, sir,” Mark immediately said.  “I wish you every success in the challenges that lie ahead.  These are perilous times.  I have faith that you’ll navigate the deep waters with exemplary common sense and wisdom, and bring honor to the tradition of your Office.”

Somewhere in the distance, a cymbal crashed and a marching band started up.

Somewhere, in a small town, a parade began.  People sat in the stands with flags.  The band marched down the center of the street.  The sun shone overhead.

In the center of the music, laughter began.

It slowly spread, engulfing the tune.

Then it took over the street.

People looked to see where it was coming from.  But they couldn’t find it.  The laughter climbed up the walls of the small brick buildings, it cannoned out into the countryside, into the pastures, the fields, the farms.  It shot up into the sky.  It turned the blue air into the green of money and the gold of livelihoods lost.

Tunnels of sacking laughing wind blew that money and gold all the way into digitized numbers crawling across the sausage hands of the men who run America.

Jon Rappoport

The author of two explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED and EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California.  Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe.  Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world.  You can sign up  for his free emails at