Obama, US citizenship and the Presidency

The question mark over Barack Obama’s birthplace and his legitimacy as President continues to hang above his head. A recent poll found that “ Fifty one per cent of Republican primary voters said they endorsed the controversial “birther” theory that Mr Obama was not born in Hawaii, despite birth notices in two Honolulu newspapers in August 1961 and the fact that the state’s authorities have published his birth certificate online. A further 21 per cent said they were “not sure”.  Daily Telegraph  Alex Spillius, Washington 16 Feb 2011 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/barackobama/8329148/Republicans-still-believe-Barack-Obama-was-not-born-in-US.html

The robust persistence of  such a rumour about a sitting US President  is  remarkable.  To most people it would seem a small thing for Obama to provide conclusive evidence of his place of birth. All he would need to do is release his own  copy of the original birth record or get the Hawaii authorities to do so. Instead he has prevaricated endlessly and failed to perform  this simple act

There are two striking things about  the many  attempted challenges to Obama’s legitimacy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barack_Obama_citizenship_conspiracy_theories) :  the failure of Obama to provide conclusive evidence to refute the claims and the  questions which just begged to be  asked but went unvoiced.   My purpose here will concentrate on those two facts. I shall not get involved in questions such as the putative Kenyan birth certificate and alleged    photoshop watermarks on the released “certificate of live birth” .  As for the question of what constitutes a “ natural born citizen” of the United States, I will touch on that only in so far as it rests  on unquestioned  facts such as place of birth and  the disqualification from  the presidency of anyone not born in the USA.

What legally qualifies someone to run for presidency?

This is defines  a citizen of the USA:

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside”. Amendment XIV(Ratified July 9, 1868  Section 1)

This creates eligibility for the Presidency:

“No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.” (US Constitution Article 2 section 1)

If  Obama  was born abroad he would prima facie  be disqualified from the office of President  simply by those two simple constitutional statements.  There is the added complication of a  father who was not a citizen of the USA.  This would offer him  dual nationality even if he was born in the USA.

The information Obama has provided

What has  Obama has  done  since the story became a public embarrassment for him during the 2008 primaries? Feed the rumour mill by doing  the thing most likely to increase suspicion: providing  putative evidence which is by its nature inconclusive .

Obama responded to the claims about foreign birth on 12 June 2008  by posting a  “certificate of live birth”  issued by Hawaii on a website entitled “Fight the Smears” http://www.fightthesmears.com/articles/5/birthcertificate.html

 File:BarackObamaCertificationOfLiveBirthHawaii.jpg

This is the certificate which is informally known as a short certificate. The problem is it is neither an  original document  (it was laser printed in June 2007)  nor  the full birth certificate compiled at the time of the birth.   As such it proves nothing,  for it cannot be subjected to forensic tests such as age of paper, nature of ink used and print type to ascertain whether it was created circa 1961.  It is worth asking why Obama  did not produce his original certificate. It may have been lost , but he does not appear to have claimed this.  But even if the original had been lost,  it is more than a little strange that Obama  did not have a copy dating from before  2007  because he would have needed it for such purposes as obtaining a passport.

The longer Hawaiian certificate of life birth used at the time of Obama’s birth looks like this:

 File:1961 Hawaii Certificate Of Live Birth.jpg

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/26/1961_Hawaii_Certificate_Of_Live_Birth.jpg

The failure to  produce an original document, whether that be a “Certification of Live Birth”  or  the longer  “Certificate of Live Birth” inevitably  feeds the suspicion that any document  he produced   either would not stand up to thorough forensic examination or there is information on  the original certificate which shows  Obama was born on foreign territory or has some other source of embarrassment . 

Much has been made of  the Barack Obama birth announcement, published in The Honolulu Advertiser on Aug. 13, 1961:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/b/b8/Obama_birth_announcement.jpg

An identical notice appeared in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.

This again proves nothing because it does not give the place of birth.  The fact that the it gives an Hawaii address is meaningless as a determinant  where Obama was born,  because it would be natural for the birth of a  child born outside the USA to parents resident in the USA  to be announced in their local newspaper. This could have been done by either Obama’s  parents or his  mother’s parents who were resident in Honolulu. .

It has been suggested that the notices were sent by   the local health authorities to the Hawaii Newspaper Agency  which then distributed them to the press. The evidence for this is less than conclusive:

‘Advertiser columnist and former Star-Bulletin managing editor Dave Shapiro was not at either paper in 1961, but he remembers how the birth notices process worked years later when both papers were jointly operated by the Hawaii Newspaper Agency — which no longer exists.

“Those were listings that came over from the state Department of Health,” he said. “They would send the same thing to both papers.”’ http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2008/Nov/09/ln/hawaii811090361.html

Three  things stand out from  this report. First, no one around at the time of the notices being published, either from the papers, the news agency or the Department of Health appears to have verified Shapiro’s statement.  Second,  presumably there would be nothing to stop the parents or other relatives of a child providing the information directly to the newspapers or the news agency.  Third, assuming that Obama was born abroad and then brought back to Hawaii not long after the birth, presumably there would be some  medical supervision  of the child in his first months of life and it is plausible that in such circumstances details of the birth could have been passed to the Department of Health who then  passed them on to the news agency.

It might be  objected that it would be improbable  that  his mother would have chosen Kenya rather than the USA to have her child in simply because the medical care available there in 1961 would have been much inferior to that in the USA.  However, there is his mother’s penchant for international  trekking to take into account and a most powerful reason on his father’s side: that Obama senior wanted his child to be born in his country.

A proper forensic examination

A through  forensic examination would include testing whether the any official stamp was authentic; whether  the paper, print type (the forms were completed by tying judged by the long version example shown above) , the  ink used for the typed entries and  the ink used for the hand written entries such as signatures were (1) available in 1961 and  (2) consistent with that used on other certificates of the same period.  The handwritten entries should also be compared with those on other certificates to see if they can be  identified as the writing of  whoever  filled in certificates at that time.  It is also possible that the paper would have been watermarked for security reasons and that should be checked.  If  no watermark exists when it should exist  or there is a  watermark  but it is not identical with that of verified authentic watermarks, it would be most difficult to claim that any document offered as Obama’s genuine record of birth was authentic.

A  proper  investigation would require more than a thorough forensic examination of  both the original “certification of live birth “ and the  “certificate of live birth”  documents. It would also encompass  Obama swearing on oath that he was born in Hawaii; getting his surviving close family who were around when he was born  to swear on oath that was where he was born; tracking down and questioning under oath  medical staff who were at the hospital when he was delivered and the medical staff who attended his mother and Obama in the months immediately following his birth; tracking down those who knew the family then and questioning them under oath; attempting to get the Kenyan authorities to cooperate, searching for people in Kenya who knew Obama’s father and questioning them .

The conspiracy objection

Is it really so fantastic to imagine that the US state apparatus might have conspired to suppress the truth by forging documents and making sure they kept quiet  anybody  who might know  something which could have scuppered Obama’s political ambitions at either the presidential  candidacy stage or after his election?  We know for a fact that the US state sanctions or has sanctioned in the past  torture (for example waterboarding), assassinations  (http://www.collegiatetimes.com/stories/57/cia-now-allowed-to-assasinate-suspects)  and barefaced lying when it suits their purposes.  There are also the suspicious deaths  of many people such as Vince Foster who carried a threat to those within the state apparatus. Would such people baulk at a little light forgery and intimidation?

As for the supposed improbability of large numbers of  people in the know keeping their mouths shut,  we have a first rate example of such  behaviour in Britain with the entire British media’s refusal to run the story of the attempted suicide of Kathryn Blair  in the Spring of 2004. (https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2010/10/02/the-blair-daughters-attempted-suicide-and-the-publics-right-to-know/)

More broadly, human beings generally have a fear of those with power. A  plausible explanation for why  judges around the USA have refused to allow challenges to Obama’s presidential legitimacy is fear. They may well  fear that if they allowed a case to be heard,  they could be at best the subject of a media vilification campaign and at worst find their judicial careers severely hindered. There is also the complication that Obama is black. This  means that the full weight of political correctness has worked against anyone in position of authority or influence taking the claims seriously, at least in public, for what politician, public official or media owner  would want to be seen as the person who stopped America getting its first black president or bringing  its first black president down?

The legal challenges have predominantly  failed because of a refusal to grant plaintiffs “standing. ” Standing is a legal doctrine which says that someone must show they had suffered a material loss or other damage  before  a court allows a suit to be heard. Here is a judge dealing with one of the challenges to Obama: ‘Judge R. Barclay Surrick of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in dismissing one suit.  He noted that one of the principal aims of the doctrine is to prevent courts from deciding questions “where the harm is too vague.” This was especially true for a presidential election, where a disgruntled voter who suffered no individual harm “would have us derail the democratic process by invalidating a candidate for whom millions of people voted and who underwent excessive vetting during what was one of the most hotly contested presidential primary in living memory.” ‘ (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123440666520775795.html)

What, one might ask, could be a greater harm to a US citizen than a most serious breach of the Constitution?   The uniform determination of the US judiciary to disallow legal challenges  stinks  more than a little.

There has also been obstruction in the supposed state of Obama’s birth.   The state Health Director Chiyome Fukino issued a  statement on 31 October 2008 which  explained why  requests for Obama’s  original certificate had been refused: :  “There have been numerous requests for Sen. Barack Hussein Obama’s official birth certificate.  State law (Hawaii Revised Statutes §338-18) prohibits the release of a certified birth certificate to persons who do not have a tangible interest in the vital record.” http://blogs.starbulletin.com/inpolitics/certified/

What could  be a more tangible interest for a US citizen than establishing whether a man running for President is qualified to do so?  So desperate did the State’s politicians become that in May 2010 Hawaii enacted a law  which allowed “duplicative or substantially similar”  information requests  to be ignored. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/2010/05/13/2010-05-3_aloha_birthers_hawaii_law_lets_state_ignore_repeated_demands_for_obama_birth_cer.html

Why has Obama not done everything he could to quash  the rumour?

It makes no sense for him to let this sore suppurate if the claim is total nonsense.  Moreover, the fact that he has not completely ignored the issue means he accepts there is a question needing an answer.  To argue that Obama  has presented evidence which proves the matter beyond reasonable doubt is simply false.  To say that the release of  more information would   lead to an unending demand for further evidence and be an  unwanted distraction to his presidency  is clearly absurd, because his failure to provide anything but very questionable evidence  means the story will never die while he is in office and may well gain more and more headway.   Worse, the failure to provide conclusive evidence  in itself suggest that none exists.  I will leave the last word to the social commentator Camille Paglia :

“I had thought for many months that the flap over Obama’s birth certificate was a tempest in a teapot. But simple questions about the certificate were never resolved to my satisfaction. Thanks to their own blathering, fanatical overkill, of course, the right-wing challenges to the birth certificate never gained traction. But Obama could have ended the entire matter months ago by publicly requesting Hawaii to issue a fresh, long-form, stamped certificate and inviting a few high-profile reporters in to examine the document and photograph it. (The campaign did make the “short-form” certificate available to Factcheck.org, a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania.” http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/camille_paglia/2008/11/12/palin/

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Comments

  • e.vattel  On February 28, 2011 at 6:27 am

    The supreme court has told us a natural born Citizen is born to citizen parents.

    The supreme court has never told us a NBC is born to an alien and a citizen.

    • Robert Henderson  On February 28, 2011 at 7:06 am

      I didn’t get into that debate because (1) there is no conclusive definition of what is meant by the term and (2) the fact that if Obama was born on US territory this would remove any doubt because birth on US soil confers US citizenship.

      Logically, natural born must mean either born in the USA and/or born outside the USA but to US citizens. If both criteria apply, the question then arises as to whether a single parent who is a US citizen would be qualification enough for a child born outside of the USA to count as a “natural born citizen”. That is a matter of debate not fact. If you get tied up in matters which have no certain resolution, there will be no resolution. Stick to hard facts.

  • readertwain  On February 28, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    The US Supreme Court has told us that EVERY child born in the USA, except for the children of foreign diplomats and invading armies, is Natural Born.

    It ruled in the Wong Kim Ark case (six to two with one not voting) that:

    “It thus clearly appears that, by the law of England for the last three centuries, beginning before the settlement of this country and continuing to the present day, aliens, while residing in the dominions possessed by the Crown of England, were within the allegiance, the obedience, the faith or loyalty, the protection, the power, the jurisdiction of the English Sovereign, and therefore every child born in England of alien parents was a natural-born subject unless the child of an ambassador or other diplomatic agent of a foreign State or of an alien enemy in hostile occupation of the place where the child was born.

    III. The same rule was in force in all the English Colonies upon this continent down to the time of the Declaration of Independence, and in the United States afterwards, and continued to prevail under the Constitution as originally established.”

    A Natural Born Citizen is simply a US citizen who was natural born, and ALL US citizens who were born in the USA were natural born according to the US Supreme Court. Thus, the only kind of a US citizen who is not natural born and thus not eligible to become president is a naturalized citizen.

    “Natural born citizen. Persons who are born within the jurisdiction of a national government, i.e. in its territorial limits, or those born of citizens temporarily residing abroad.” — Black’s Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition

    “What is a natural born citizen? Clearly, someone born within the United States or one of its territories is a natural born citizen.” (Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on OCTOBER 5, 2004)–Senator Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT).

    “Under the longstanding English common-law principle of jus soli, persons born within the territory of the sovereign (other than children of enemy aliens or foreign diplomats) are citizens from birth. Thus, those persons born within the United States are “natural born citizens” and eligible to be President. Much less certain, however, is whether children born abroad of United States citizens are “natural born citizens” eligible to serve as President …”—- Edwin Meese, et al, THE HERITAGE GUIDE TO THE CONSTITUTION (2005) [Edwin Meese was Ronald Reagan’s attorney general, and the Heritage Foundation is a well-known Conservative organization.]

    Obama was born in the USA, in Hawaii.

    1) The facts on Obama’s official birth certificate from Hawaii, the certification of live birth, were confirmed by THREE Republican officials in Hawaii.

    2) There were notices of Obama’s birth in the newspapers in Hawaii in 1961 (and those were not ads. The newspapers did not accept birth notice ads in 1961. They only took their notices from the department of vital records, which did not issue notices unless there was proof of birth in Hawaii [They did NOT accept “walk in” birth registrations.]).

    3) If a child were born in any other country than the USA, she or he would need a US visa or to be entered on the mother’s US passport in order to be allowed to enter the USA. If such a document existed for Obama, it would have to have been applied for, and the files of the applications for it would still exist–and NO SUCH DOCUMENT HAS BEEN FOUND.

    Also, Obama’s Kenyan grandmother NEVER said that he was born in Kenya. This is a birther lie caused by deliberately cutting the tape before she was asked the question “where was he born?” She answered that question by saying Hawaii repeatedly, and stressing “where his father was studying at the time.” And, in another interview, she said that the first that her family in Kenya had heard of Obama’s birth was in a LETTER FROM HAWAII.

  • Robert Henderson  On March 1, 2011 at 11:51 am

    We are in agreement that if Obama was born on US territory he is a natural born US citizen. Where we are not in agreement is the certainty that he was so born.
    The fact that three republican officials in Hawaii said the document was genuine is meaning less because (1) the document has not been made public; (2) it has not been subjected to forensic tests; (3) other supporting evidence such as Obama swearing on oath that was where he was born has not been provided and (4) we know how easy it is to get people to lie if they are threatened or bribed.
    As for the birth notices where is the hard evidence that the position is as you claim? Shapiro’s evidence is worthless because he was not there at the time. Moreover, it does seem rather strange that newspapers would not accept notices of births from anyone other than the authorities. There is also the question of privacy. Was it really the position that details of births could be supplied for public distribution without the permission of the parents?
    As for needing a visa to bring a child in from abroad who was not born in the USA, have you checked the exact passport requirements for children, especially very young children, which applied at the time? In Britain, for example, young children travelled on their parents’ passports until recently. I suspect something similar obtained in the US in 1961.
    I deliberately avoided the Kenyan grandmother story as I did the putative Kenyan birth certificate because of the doubt surrounding them.
    In a sense all this detail is irrelevant. What matters is a single fact: Obama’s failure to produce the certificate of live birth for public scrutiny and forensic examination.
    There will always be some who would not believe Obama was legitimate regardless of the evidence, just as there are significant numbers of Americans who sincerely believe that the Queen secretly controls America. But the lunatic fringe is not Obama’s problem. What is his problem is the way the birther story is seeping ever further into the political mainstream. He could kill that by making the long birth certificate public and allowing it to be subjected to forensic tests by independent assessors and by cooperating with an official investigation into the circumstances of his birth. In fact, he could probably drive it out of the mainstream simply by producing the long certificate and allowing forensic tests to be made on it. As things stand, all Obama has provided to the public is a document laser printed in 2007. That isn’t meaningful evidence by any stretch of the imagination.

  • readertwain  On March 1, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    The evidence that the birth notices in 1961 were only from the government is from the newspapers themselves. Also, if you look closely at the notices, you will see that they are all in the same format–exactly the same. It is possible that the newspapers ran birth advertising in a separate section, but NOT in the notices–which were all from the government.

    Re: “The fact that three republican officials in Hawaii said the document was genuine is meaning less because (1) the document has not been made public; (2) it has not been subjected to forensic tests; (3) other supporting evidence such as Obama swearing on oath that was where he was born has not been provided and (4) we know how easy it is to get people to lie if they are threatened or bribed.”

    First, no president has ever shown his birth certificate before, and no one has demanded to see it. Second, Obama has already shown his birth certificate, the Certification of Live Birth–which is the official birth certificate of Hawaii. The THREE confirmations by the Republican officials are merely in support of the official document. Third, FOUR officials actually would have had to have lied, including the clerk who filled in the form that generated the Certification (we do not know the political party of the clerk). Fourth, the attorney general of Hawaii for the last four years until December was a Conservative Republican, who could have taken action if he thought that there was anything wrong with the birth certificate or that the officials had lied–and he did not do it.

    Fifth: There is this witness, who recalled being told of Obama’s birth in Hawaii and writing home about the unusual event of a birth to a woman named Stanley to her father, also named Stanley (

    http://www.buffalonews.com/incoming/article137495.ece)

    She also could have been lying, but it is a complicated lie, and we know that her father’s name was indeed Stanley.

    Six, Obama’s Kenyan grandmother never said that he was born in Kenya. She said repeatedly in the taped interview that Obama was born in Hawaii. And, she said in another interview that the first that her family in Kenya had heard of Obama’s birth WAS IN A LETTER FROM HAWAII.

    Seventh, if Obama were born in any other country than the USA, he would have had to have either a US visa on a foreign passport or to be added to his mother’s US passport to be allowed to enter the USA. The application for either or these documents would still be on file, not in the passport files but in the files of applications for visas or for changes to passports in 1961–and no such document has been found.

    As for the document “not being made public,” that is because Hawaii has not sent out copies of the original since 2001. It only sends out copies of the new OFFICIAL birth certificate, the Certification of Live Birth.

    Re: “As things stand, all Obama has provided to the public is a document laser printed in 2007. That isn’t meaningful evidence by any stretch of the imagination.”

    Answer. Since it is the official and only birth certificate that Hawaii issues, it is legal evidence. It is laser printed because it is supposed to be laser printed. It is not a copy of the original, which Hawaii no longer sends out, it is the new, short-form birth certificate that Hawaii sends to everyone.

    Re: “Was it really the position that details of births could be supplied for public distribution without the permission of the parents?”

    Answer: It is not clear. In some states such facts was at one time regarded as public information, like the price paid for houses. I’m not sure what the situation in Hawaii was. Perhaps they could “opt out” of the notice. But unless they opted out, it was sent out. In any case, here are the complete full-page images of the two newspapers side by side: http://whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/obamabirth.php Click on the images for a detailed view.

    Re: “n Britain, for example, young children travelled on their parents’ passports until recently. ”

    Answer: Yes, as I said, there would have to be either a US visa or he would have had to have been added to his mother’s passport. And the addition would have had to have been made after he was born and before he was allowed to enter the USA–meaning in the foreign country. Our embassies of course keep records of applications for such changes, and they would still be there in the foreign embassy (Kenya, most birthers say)–but nothing has been found.

    Re: “the putative Kenyan birth certificate.”

    Answer: There is more than doubt surrounding them. One of them was shown by a convicted felon, among whose crimes was forgery. This guy claimed to have gone to Kenya and obtained the birth certificate–but he never even showed that he had gone to Kenya. He could have done that by merely scanning the page on his passport that showed the Kenyan stamp, but he never even did that.

    Among the other “Kenyan birth certificates” some have had their creators admit that they had forged them as jokes. (The same applies to the forged videos in which Obama is alleged to have told people “I was born in Kenya.”

    Re: “: Obama’s failure to produce the certificate of live birth for public scrutiny and forensic examination.”

    Once again, Hawaii does not send out the original certificate anymore. Once again, no previous president has even shown his birth certificate in public. Obama did show it, the official birth certificate. NO one asked for a previous president’s birth certificate to be shown, which less submitted to forensic examination. So it does not have to be done in this case.

    However, if in 2012 a Republican candidate shows her or his birth certificate and submits it to forensic examination (by whom?) Obama would most likely do the same thing–with his official birth certificate, of course.

    • Robert Henderson  On March 3, 2011 at 9:31 am

      The birth notice. Let’s assume for one moment that Obama was born abroad and was then brought back to the US soon after birth and his mother than registered him as being born at home in Hawaii. That would produce a birth notice even if it was supplied by the Dept of Health. However, there is also the problem of not having testimony or other contemporary proof from those who were actually there at the time. In dealing with this matter it must be remembered that this is half a century ago.

      1. Just because no previous president has been asked to provide a birth certificate does not mean no president should be. Obama has a foreign father who never became a US citizen or lived permanently in the US. That sets him apart from other presidents. Moreover, once such an accusation is made, it needs to be comprehensively refuted otherwise the Constitution means nothing. .

      2. The certification of live birth may be the now official document but it does not prove Obama was born in Hawaii.

      3. The Republican Officials and the fourth man could easily be frightened or bribed into going along with a false story.

      4. Obama is heavily protected by political correctness during his run for the presidency when no Republican had the nerve (for fear of being called racist) to point out Obama’s virulent anti-white racism (read his books) or his propensity to fantasise about his life. The Attorney General would be bound by the same constraints.

      5. The witness who recalled “writing home” stinks. It has the hallmark of a clumsy post hoc creation of evidence. Alternatively, it may be someone just trying to make themselves seem important.

      6. The grandmother does not speak English if my memory serves and she must have been very old at the time she made the statement. Plenty of opportunity for confusion and obfuscation there.

      7. You have a touching faith in the durability of records from 50 years ago or their ready retrieval. Document such as birth certificates will be kept conscientiously for ever but visas? I would also doubt whether they would ever be made public if they were found.

      The certification of live birth may be the official document but it does not prove Obama was born in the US. Only the original might do that. Hawaii must have the original certificate of live birth. Obama could get it released. One might also ask why Obama does not have the certificate issued to his mother at birth.

      The putative Kenyan birth certificates don’t come into the argument because I do not rely on them.

      “However, if in 2012 a Republican candidate shows her or his birth certificate and submits it to forensic examination (by whom?) Obama would most likely do the same thing–with his official birth certificate, of course.”

      That is precisely what all Republican candidates should do from the primaries onwards. A forensic examination could be undertaken by any candidate willing to pay for it.

  • readertwain  On March 3, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    Re; “The birth notice. Let’s assume for one moment that Obama was born abroad and was then brought back to the US soon after birth and his mother than registered him as being born at home in Hawaii.

    Answer: That is one heck of an assumption, especially since there is NO visa or amendment to his mother’s passport in Kenya (or found in any other US consulate in any other country either).

    Re: “and his mother than registered him as being born at home in Hawaii.”

    Answer: That also is one heck of an assumption. IF Obama were born abroad, why should she lie about it? You get all the benefits of citizenship simply by naturalizing the child, and you get to boast about “giving birth” abroad and how interesting that was as an additional benefit.

    But, let us now suppose, like science fiction, that both were true, that she had given birth abroad and that she was willing to lie about it.

    The question is, would that lie produce a birth certificate and a birth notice. You say that it would:

    Re: “That would produce a birth notice even if it was supplied by the Dept of Health. “

    Answer. But there is evidence that it wouldn’t work, that it would not “produce a birth notice” because the Department of Health insisted on proof whenever a child was born outside of a hospital.

    I have this from the PUMA Lori Starfelt, who tried to prove that Obama was NOT born in Hawaii, and found the contrary.

    “In 1961, the hospitals would take their new birth certificates to Vital Records. At the end of the week, Vital Records would post a sheet that for the news paper to pick up that contained births, deaths, marriages and divorces. The Advertiser routinely printed this information in their Sunday edition. This is not a paid announcement that his grandmother could arrange. This is information that comes from Vital Records – we know this because this particular section reflects those records. They didn’t have a provision for paid, one sentence announcement that would be included in the Vital Records. At the time, if a child was born outside a hospital, the family would have 30 days to apply for a birth certificate and Vital Records would expect to see prenatal care records, or pediatrician records of the first check up, etc. They’d also want the notarized statement from the mid-wife. Of course, they can apply later but that would noted as a different kind of birth certificate. I think TD has already addressed that. This information was received by Vital Records the first week of his birth = that suggests the hospital.”

    Let me repeat: “At the time, if a child was born outside a hospital, the family would have 30 days to apply for a birth certificate and Vital Records would expect to see prenatal care records, or pediatrician records of the first check up, etc. They’d also want the notarized statement from the mid-wife.”

    Re: “Just because no previous president has been asked to provide a birth certificate does not mean no president should be.”

    Answer: You have every right to ask to see his underwear, but he does not have to show it or any additional information. HE HAS already shown the official birth certificate of Hawaii.

    Re; ‘Moreover, once such an accusation is made, it needs to be comprehensively refuted otherwise the Constitution means nothing. .”

    Answer: If that is true, then every president is going to get accusations claiming that she or he was born in a foreign country from now on. Sarah was born in Bermuda. Mitt in Mexico. Pawlenty in Poland. I assume that they all will show their official birth certificates, showing that they were born in the USA. That is sufficient.

    Re: “The certification of live birth may be the now official document but it does not prove Obama was born in Hawaii.”

    Answer: What gives you that absurd idea. It gives the location of birth as Honolulu. Thousands of people use the same birth certificate to prove that they were born in the USA every year.

    • Robert Henderson  On March 4, 2011 at 8:50 pm

      Let me give you another scenario. Obama is born abroad. He returns with his mother and is then registered. The certificate of live birth shows his birthplace as somewhere outside of the USA. When the certification of live birth is produced in 2007 it is doctored to show birth in Hawaii. That would explain why the original certificate of live birth has not been produced, ie, it shows Obama was born abroad.

      I suspect that scenario is not a million miles from the truth because it neatly accommodates all the facts. The child is born abroad then returned on the mother’s passport. She registers the child with the authorities. The certificate of live birth is filled out giving place of birth as somewhere abroad. The newspaper receives notification from the health department and simply lists the names and Honolulu address with no place of birth. When Obama seeks a certification of live birth in 2007 the data is changed to show his birthplace as Hawaii.

  • readertwain  On March 3, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    Re: “3. The Republican Officials and the fourth man could easily be frightened or bribed into going along with a false story.”

    Answer: If so, then witnesses do not mean anything. If so, then the original birth certificate could have been forged too. How many people do you know would lie claiming that a published document is the same as the original document when all that anyone would have to do to see the lie is to see the original document? The attorney general of Hawaii could have subpoenaed the document. If he did, and it said something different than what the four claimed, then they would all be in deep trouble.

    But what makes the assertion that the officials could be lying so stilly is that it requires BOTH birth outside of the USA—with all the enormous expense and risk of that trip—and that four officials would lie about a document in their files.

    And get this, there are THOUSANDS of foreigners and hundreds of Americans living in Kenya, and not one has written home a letter saying that “there is evidence that he was born here” or even “there is evidence that the Kenyan government seized the files of Obama’s parents’ arrival and his birth. (WND has claimed this, but it has not been confirmed.)

    Re: “4. Obama is heavily protected by political correctness during his run for the presidency when no Republican had the nerve (for fear of being called racist) to point out Obama’s virulent anti-white racism (read his books) or his propensity to fantasise about his life. The Attorney General would be bound by the same constraints.’

    Answer: No, the attorney general would be bound to investigate if he thought that the four officials were lying or if he thought that the birth certificate was forged. He didn’t.

    Re; “5. The witness who recalled “writing home” stinks. It has the hallmark of a clumsy post hoc creation of evidence. Alternatively, it may be someone just trying to make themselves seem important.”

    Answer: So she made up that her father’s name was Stanley and that she wrote home about a birth to a woman named Stanley? So she researched the name of a doctor and then lied and said that he had come up to her in the restaurant or the club and told her about the birth. She and the other four witnesses all lied. Sure they did.

    Re: “6. The grandmother does not speak English if my memory serves and she must have been very old at the time she made the statement. Plenty of opportunity for confusion and obfuscation there.”

    Answer: And yet birthers believe that she said that Obama was born in Kenya. How hard is it to translate ‘a letter from Hawaii”?

    Re: “7. You have a touching faith in the durability of records from 50 years ago or their ready retrieval. Document such as birth certificates will be kept conscientiously for ever but visas? I would also doubt whether they would ever be made public if they were found.”

    Answer: I believe that applications for visas and applications for changes to passports in the US consulates are retained for many decades for the reasons we see here, because it may be necessary to find out whether a person entered the USA illegally—even many decades after the entry. As to them being made public—if a document were found showing that Obama’s parents applied for a US visa in Kenya, then the Republicans who were in office for eight years would have found it, and made the fact know to Obama, and he would have had to have withdrawn from the election.

    Re; ‘The certification of live birth may be the official document but it does not prove Obama was born in the US.”

    Answer: To repeat, the Certification of Live Birth is used by THOUSANDS of people to prove that they were born in the USA every year.

    Re: “Hawaii must have the original certificate of live birth. “

    Answer: Yes it does. TWO Republican officials have stated this in a written press release.

    Re: “Obama could get it released. “

    Answer: But why should he? The official birth certificate is sufficient, especially with the confirmation of the officials.

    Re: “One might also ask why Obama does not have the certificate issued to his mother at birth.’

    Answer: Duh, he lost it. People lose or mislay their original birth certificates all the time.

    • Robert Henderson  On March 4, 2011 at 8:45 pm

      3. Witness evidence is very suspect. That is why it needs substantiation. Getting people to lie is very easy if they are frightened or bribed. The absence of any US resident of Kenya taking an interest proves nothing, especially as most who are resident will be of the politically correct tendency.

      4. Are you really that naive? To investigate would have opened a can of worms which would have crawled all over the A-G.

      5. Sigh. The woman could have got her information from the media then made the story up.

      6. I have made no certain claim that Obama was born anywhere.

      7. You answer translates as “I do not know what the visa record administration is or has been.”

      Re; ‘The certification of live birth may be the official document but it does not prove Obama was born in the US.”

      Answer: To repeat, the Certification of Live Birth is used by THOUSANDS of people to prove that they were born in the USA every year.

      RH Pointless argument because it does not settle the doubts.

      Re: “Hawaii must have the original certificate of live birth. “

      Answer: Yes it does. TWO Republican officials have stated this in a written press release.

      RH So, it would be an easy thing to release it.

      Re: “Obama could get it released. “

      Answer: But why should he? The official birth certificate is sufficient, especially with the confirmation of the officials.

      RH Because what he has released it is not sufficient to satisfy large numbers of the US electorate.

      Re: “One might also ask why Obama does not have the certificate issued to his mother at birth.’

      Answer: Duh, he lost it. People lose or mislay their original birth certificates all the time.

      RH But Obama has neither said he has lost his nor explained why if he had lost it he had not obtained a copy before 2007.

  • readertwain  On March 5, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    *
    Re: “ 3. Witness evidence is very suspect. That is why it needs substantiation. Getting people to lie is very easy if they are frightened or bribed. “

    Answer: There would have had to have been four who lied, the three Republican officials and the clerk, and a fifth would be this witness, who was not present at the birth, to be sure, but recalls being told of it and writing home about it (
    http://www.buffalonews.com/incoming/article137495.ece). Were they all “frightened or bribed”? This in addition to the notices in the newspapers in 1961.

    Re: “The absence of any US resident of Kenya taking an interest proves nothing, especially as most who are resident will be of the politically correct tendency.”

    Answer: They ALL were PC? And I suppose the entire press corps was PC, including the Chinese news agencies and the Russian news agencies. And free lance journalists make their money by finding and selling scandalous stories. If there were confirmation that Kenya had sealed any files it would be surprising and interesting, and it would sell newspapers—yet no one has confirmed WND’s allegations.

    Re: “4. Are you really that naive? To investigate would have opened a can of worms which would have crawled all over the A-G.’

    Answer: So the Conservative Republican AG was part of the cover-up too, or was afraid to do his job? Isn’t it more likely that he actually did look at the original BC and concluded that the three Republican officials were not lying.

    Re: “5. Sigh. The woman could have got her information from the media then made the story up.”

    Answer: She made up the name of the doctor (who had not been mentioned in the media). That’s not true, there was such a doctor. Or, she went to the files after the media story and looked up baby doctors and inserted his name? That is going far to create a story. She was not interviewed on the basis of her claim about the doctor’s story, by the way. She was being interviewed because she was his teacher. Moreover, the name of her father really was Stanley.

    Re: “6. I have made no certain claim that Obama was born anywhere.”

    Answer: Unless you claim that he was born outside of Hawaii we are in complete agreement. If you claim that he was born outside of Hawaii, the official birth certificate, the witnesses, the notices in the newspapers and the absence of a US visa (or Obama being added to his mother’s passport) is evidence that he was born IN Hawaii.

    Re: “ 7. You answer translates as “I do not know what the visa record administration is or has been.”

    Answer: I know that the USA required visas from virtually all countries in the 1960s and that Kenya was certainly one of them, and that if a child were carried into the USA from Africa, the immigration officials would have demanded to see some kind of a document. That is what immigration officials are for, and in the 1960’s there want anywhere near as much travel as today, so they did their job very diligently. So if Obama were born in Kenya (or in any other country), his parents would have had to either get him a foreign passport and a US visa or have him added to his mother’s US passport. And I know that the records of applications for such documents have not been destroyed. And, if there had been such an application, there were eight years in which the Republicans in charge of the US State Department could have found it.

    Re: ‘The certification of live birth may be the official document but it does not prove Obama was born in the US.”

    Answer: It says on it that he was born in Honolulu. There is evidence that it was not possible to just walk in and claim that a child was born at home and get a birth certificate saying that he was born in Honolulu. There is evidence that if there were such a claim, the officials demanded a witness statement.

    Re: “So, it would be an easy thing to release it.”

    Answer: No. Hawaii would have to change its complete rules on what birth certificates it releases, making the original available to everyone who has one, not just to Obama. And, if they did that, they could STILL only release the original to Obama and only if he asked for it.

    Re: “Because what he has released it is not sufficient to satisfy large numbers of the US electorate.”

    Answer: Fine. They have the Constitutional right to vote against Obama in 2012.

    Re: “But Obama has neither said he has lost his nor explained why if he had lost it he had not obtained a copy before 2007.”

    Answer: First, he didn’t need a copy before 2007 because he had his US passport, which was obtained when his family had the original. We know that he had a US passport because if he didn’t have a US passport when he returned from Indonesia alone he would have had to have a US visa, and no one has said that they found an application for him for a visa in Jakarta at that time.

    Second, why didn’t he say that he had lost it?

    Answer: He didn’t say that he put his pants on yesterday either. People apply for copies of their birth certificate when they have lost or mislaid the ones that they had.

  • readertwain  On March 5, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    Re: “There is evidence that if there were such a claim, the officials demanded a witness statement.”

    I have this from the PUMA Lori Starfelt, who tried to prove that Obama was NOT born in Hawaii, and found the contrary.

    “In 1961, the hospitals would take their new birth certificates to Vital Records. At the end of the week, Vital Records would post a sheet that for the news paper to pick up that contained births, deaths, marriages and divorces. The Advertiser routinely printed this information in their Sunday edition. This is not a paid announcement that his grandmother could arrange. This is information that comes from Vital Records – we know this because this particular section reflects those records. They didn’t have a provision for paid, one sentence announcement that would be included in the Vital Records. At the time, if a child was born outside a hospital, the family would have 30 days to apply for a birth certificate and Vital Records would expect to see prenatal care records, or pediatrician records of the first check up, etc. They’d also want the notarized statement from the mid-wife. Of course, they can apply later but that would noted as a different kind of birth certificate. I think TD has already addressed that. This information was received by Vital Records the first week of his birth = that suggests the hospital.”

    Let me repeat: “At the time, if a child was born outside a hospital, the family would have 30 days to apply for a birth certificate and Vital Records would expect to see prenatal care records, or pediatrician records of the first check up, etc. They’d also want the notarized statement from the mid-wife.”

  • readertwain  On March 5, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    I missed this:

    “Let me give you another scenario. Obama is born abroad. He returns with his mother and is then registered. The certificate of live birth shows his birthplace as somewhere outside of the USA. When the certification of live birth is produced in 2007 it is doctored to show birth in Hawaii. That would explain why the original certificate of live birth has not been produced, ie, it shows Obama was born abroad.”

    First, in 1961, if a child were born abroad there would not be an original birth certificate in the file. That was not allowed until 1982. If in 1961 you walked into a Hawaii DOH office and said “here is my son, he was born in Peru (or Peoria),” they would reply–“that’s great, so his birth is registered there, we do not register him here.”

    So, the original birth certificate is evidence of birth IN Hawaii (unless, as birthers claim, the relatives both lied about the place of birth and got away with the lie). But I have shown that it was difficult, if not impossible, to get away with such a lie because the officials demanded a witness statement whenever there was a claim of a birth outside of a hospital.

    Re: “When the certification of live birth is produced in 2007 it is doctored to show birth in Hawaii. ”

    So, again we must come back to the witnesses who saw the original and the COLB and stated repeatedly that the place of birth on both was the same. (Yes, witnesses can lie, but remember there are four of them.)

    And again we have the notices in the newspapers in 1961, and again such a notice could only have been from the government (the newspapers did not run short birth announcements in that section of the newspaper) and again that the government did not send out announcements for foreign births or accept “walk in” registrations.

    And again, there is no visa or change of passport showing that Obama traveled from any foreign country.

  • Robert Henderson  On March 11, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    “Answer: There would have had to have been four who lied, the three Republican officials and the clerk, and a fifth would be this witness, who was not present at the birth, to be sure, but recalls being told of it and writing home about it “
    RH Perfectly plausible. It really is not difficult to get people to lie if they are afraid or simply ambitious for advancement. You have three people who are tied into the political milieu (the officials). As for the supposed witness, she could easily be either a willing participant in a conspiracy or an exhibitionist lying.
    ‘ “The absence of any US resident of Kenya taking an interest proves nothing, especially as most who are resident will be of the politically correct tendency.”’
    ‘Answer: They ALL were PC? And I suppose the entire press corps was PC, including the Chinese news agencies and the Russian news agencies. And free lance journalists make their money by finding and selling scandalous stories. If there were confirmation that Kenya had sealed any files it would be surprising and interesting, and it would sell newspapers—yet no one has confirmed WND’s allegations.’
    RH They do not have to be all pc. Many would take no interest. Those who did see a wrong being done might well be daunted at producing evidence which would have stopped the pc approved presidential candidate in his tracks.
    ‘ “4. Are you really that naive? To investigate would have opened a can of worms which would have crawled all over the A-G.’’
    ‘Answer: So the Conservative Republican AG was part of the cover-up too, or was afraid to do his job? Isn’t it more likely that he actually did look at the original BC and concluded that the three Republican officials were not lying.’
    RH Absolutely not. The higher the office, the greater the reason to keep quiet.
    ‘Re: “5. Sigh. The woman could have got her information from the media then made the story up.”
    Answer: She made up the name of the doctor (who had not been mentioned in the media). That’s not true, there was such a doctor. Or, she went to the files after the media story and looked up baby doctors and inserted his name? That is going far to create a story. She was not interviewed on the basis of her claim about the doctor’s story, by the way. She was being interviewed because she was his teacher. Moreover, the name of her father really was Stanley.’
    RH You are discounting the possibility that she may be willingly part of a conspiracy.
    Re: “6. I have made no certain claim that Obama was born anywhere.”
    ‘Answer: Unless you claim that he was born outside of Hawaii we are in complete agreement. If you claim that he was born outside of Hawaii, the official birth certificate, the witnesses, the notices in the newspapers and the absence of a US visa (or Obama being added to his mother’s passport) is evidence that he was born IN Hawaii.’
    RH Doesn’t follow. It is perfectly possible to have doubt.
    Re: “ 7. You answer translates as “I do not know what the visa record administration is or has been.”
    ‘Answer: I know that the USA required visas from virtually all countries in the 1960s and that Kenya was certainly one of them, and that if a child were carried into the USA from Africa, the immigration officials would have demanded to see some kind of a document. That is what immigration officials are for, and in the 1960’s there want anywhere near as much travel as today, so they did their job very diligently. So if Obama were born in Kenya (or in any other country), his parents would have had to either get him a foreign passport and a US visa or have him added to his mother’s US passport. And I know that the records of applications for such documents have not been destroyed. And, if there had been such an application, there were eight years in which the Republicans in charge of the US State Department could have found it.’
    RH But you still haven’t told me how a baby born abroad to a US citizen would have been dealt with. It is worth mentioning that Hawaii only became a US state on August 21, 1959. It is probable that full regulatory equalisation between Hawaii and federal law had not occurred by the time Obama was born.
    Re: ‘The certification of live birth may be the official document but it does not prove Obama was born in the US.”
    ‘Answer: It says on it that he was born in Honolulu. There is evidence that it was not possible to just walk in and claim that a child was born at home and get a birth certificate saying that he was born in Honolulu. There is evidence that if there were such a claim, the officials demanded a witness statement.’
    RH That document proves nothing because it is simply a 2007 computer generated piece of paper.
    Re: “So, it would be an easy thing to release it.”
    ‘Answer: No. Hawaii would have to change its complete rules on what birth certificates it releases, making the original available to everyone who has one, not just to Obama. And, if they did that, they could STILL only release the original to Obama and only if he asked for it.’
    RH I rather think they would do it if the President asked. They would certainly do it if it was needed for a criminal investigation.
    Re: “Because what he has released it is not sufficient to satisfy large numbers of the US electorate.”
    ‘Answer: Fine. They have the Constitutional right to vote against Obama in 2012.’
    RH True, but it reduces the legitimacy of his presidency in the US public’s eyes and abroad hile he holds the office. .
    Re: “But Obama has neither said he has lost his nor explained why if he had lost it he had not obtained a copy before 2007.”
    ‘Answer: First, he didn’t need a copy before 2007 because he had his US passport, which was obtained when his family had the original. We know that he had a US passport because if he didn’t have a US passport when he returned from Indonesia alone he would have had to have a US visa, and no one has said that they found an application for him for a visa in Jakarta at that time.’
    RH If he had the birth certificate when he obtained his adult passport then it is odds on he has it now.
    ‘Second, why didn’t he say that he had lost it? ‘
    ‘Answer: He didn’t say that he put his pants on yesterday either. People apply for copies of their birth certificate when they have lost or mislaid the ones that they had.’
    RH That si no answer and you must know that.
    readertwain On March 5, 2011 at 1:21 pm
    Permalink | Reply | Edit Re: “There is evidence that if there were such a claim, the officials demanded a witness statement.”
    I have this from the PUMA Lori Starfelt, who tried to prove that Obama was NOT born in Hawaii, and found the contrary.
    “In 1961, the hospitals would take their new birth certificates to Vital Records. At the end of the week, Vital Records would post a sheet that for the news paper to pick up that contained births, deaths, marriages and divorces. The Advertiser routinely printed this information in their Sunday edition. This is not a paid announcement that his grandmother could arrange. This is information that comes from Vital Records – we know this because this particular section reflects those records. They didn’t have a provision for paid, one sentence announcement that would be included in the Vital Records. At the time, if a child was born outside a hospital, the family would have 30 days to apply for a birth certificate and Vital Records would expect to see prenatal care records, or pediatrician records of the first check up, etc. They’d also want the notarized statement from the mid-wife. Of course, they can apply later but that would noted as a different kind of birth certificate. I think TD has already addressed that. This information was received by Vital Records the first week of his birth = that suggests the hospital.”
    Let me repeat: “At the time, if a child was born outside a hospital, the family would have 30 days to apply for a birth certificate and Vital Records would expect to see prenatal care records, or pediatrician records of the first check up, etc. They’d also want the notarized statement from the mid-wife.”
    RH Well, we don’t know what was on the original certificate. It may well show a foreign birth for Obama. Also, don’t forget that Hawaii had only been a US state since 1959. I doubt whether it was that administratively exemplary.
    readertwain On March 5, 2011 at 1:35 pm
    Permalink | Reply | Edit I missed this:

    “Let me give you another scenario. Obama is born abroad. He returns with his mother and is then registered. The certificate of live birth shows his birthplace as somewhere outside of the USA. When the certification of live birth is produced in 2007 it is doctored to show birth in Hawaii. That would explain why the original certificate of live birth has not been produced, ie, it shows Obama was born abroad.”
    ‘First, in 1961, if a child were born abroad there would not be an original birth certificate in the file. That was not allowed until 1982. If in 1961 you walked into a Hawaii DOH office and said “here is my son, he was born in Peru (or Peoria),” they would reply–”that’s great, so his birth is registered there, we do not register him here.”’
    RH I would honestly doubt that because the mother was claiming him to be a US citizen. There must have been registration even if it showed a foreign birth.
    So, the original birth certificate is evidence of birth IN Hawaii (unless, as birthers claim, the relatives both lied about the place of birth and got away with the lie). But I have shown that it was difficult, if not impossible, to get away with such a lie because the officials demanded a witness statement whenever there was a claim of a birth outside of a hospital.
    RH See above.
    Re: “When the certification of live birth is produced in 2007 it is doctored to show birth in Hawaii. ”
    So, again we must come back to the witnesses who saw the original and the COLB and stated repeatedly that the place of birth on both was the same. (Yes, witnesses can lie, but remember there are four of them.)
    And again we have the notices in the newspapers in 1961, and again such a notice could only have been from the government (the newspapers did not run short birth announcements in that section of the newspaper) and again that the government did not send out announcements for foreign births or accept “walk in” registrations.
    And again, there is no visa or change of passport showing that Obama traveled from any foreign country.
    RH All of this is worthless as conclusive evidence.

  • Alaphiah  On March 23, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    The argument should also include how a political party could allow such a controversy when they had foreknowledge that this candidate had a suspect pass.

    At the very less he should have been properly vetted before he received the nomination.

    Now the whole political structure will have to be retrofitted in order that this type of corruption of the constitution can never be allowed again.

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