The Center for Investigative Reporting has traced the origins of a mysterious attack ad that made headlines earlier in the campaign with its portrayal of Barack Obama as an anti-Christian Muslim who refuses to pledge allegiance. It turns out that the nonsense was assembled by a hypnotherapist, a wedding videographer and a felon on the run, showing “the outsize influence that a hodgepodge collection of political amateurs can have in a national election — in this case, by accident.”

Center for Investigative Reporting:

When Barack Obama explained his decision to opt out of public financing for the general election, he said he needed to defend against attacks by stealth conservative groups.

He pointed to one ad in particular, which showed an edited clip of him: “We are no longer a Christian nation … We are also a Muslim nation,” spliced with a photo of Obama wearing a turban.

“It took a speech that I had made, extolling faith, and made it seem as if I had said that America was a Muslim nation,” Obama told reporters on June 20.

The ad, the first truly inflammatory spot to air on television this year, was produced by a shadowy group called the Coalition Against Anti-Christian Rhetoric.

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