Saturday, October 25, 2008


What is more discouraging to me than the likely outcome of this election is the way in which most of the media has scrupulously avoided giving play to any of the many real and imagined "curiosities" about Obama's past. And not wanting to give credence to potentially false -- or worse, silly -- insinuations, I have not posted on the legal challenges of Philip Berg in Pennsylvania and Andy Martin (of New York) in Hawai'i to achieve the release of Obama's birth certificate (certificate of live birth, or COLB).

The issue of why Obama won't release his birth certificate was raised months ago and faded when his fightthesmears website posted an image of it. Document experts say the image was clearly a forgery. Berg says Obama was born in Kenya and is a citizen of Indonesia. Martin goes further to claim that Barack Obama is not Barack Obama II's father.

Martin is a radio personality who is hawking his book about Obama, but even if that calls his motives into question, I'd still like to know the facts behind Obama's mysterious lineage. If Obama was not born in the USA, he is not a naturalized citizen and is not eligible to be POTUS. You'll recall the strange New York Times story suggesting (knowingly wrongly) that McCain might not be eligible, and the media line about Sarah Palin not having been vetted, and the highly publicized suggestions that Trig is not Sarah's son. Those plainly fabricated stories make more sense if the real deal is that Obama is not eligible, Obama has not been vetted, and Obama's paternity is a sham. Seriously, should it be so hard, or really any issue at all, for a presidential candidate to produce valid documentation of US citizenship? Are we allowed to ask anything of this guy at all?

You can read about Berg at and elsewhere. Martin gives a thorough accounting at his blog. The courts have not been accommodating, dismissing Berg's case in a ruling handed down at Friday 6:15pm (he is appealing), and giving Martin a hearing on November 7th, should he be willing to fly back to Hawai'i once the news value of his challenge has passed.

A federal judge has tossed out a complaint that Barack Obama's name should be taken off the ballot because he is ineligible to be president because he is a citizen of Indonesia rather than the United States.

Former Pennsylvania Deputy Attorney General Philip J. Berg claimed in a complaint filed in federal district court that Obama was born in Mombasa, Kenya, rather than Hawaii, according to the Philadelphia Daily News. The complaing demanded that Obama’s lawyers produce a copy of his original birth certificate to prove that he is a natural-born U.S. citizen.

The Constitution provides that any U.S. citizen is eligible to become president if the person is 35 years of age or older and is a natural-born citizen; that is, born in the territorial United States.

On Friday night, U.S. District Judge R. Barclay Surrick sided with the Democratic National Committee, which had asked Surrick to dismiss Berg's complaint.

Surrick issued a 34-page memorandum and opinion that said the claims were "ridiculous" and "patently false." He also said Berg's effort to pursue his claim regarding Obama's citizenship were "frivolous and not worthy of discussion."

Allegations surrounding Obama’s place of birth have been swirling for months. Earlier this year, the Obama campaign sought to put down the rumors by making available a computer-generated Certification of Live Birth, issued in 2007 by the State of Hawaii. [See the Certification of Live Birth — Click Here.]

However, the 2007 document produced by the Obama campaign omits key information that normally appears on birth certificates in the United States, including the name of the hospital where he was born, the size and weight of the baby, and sometimes the name of the doctor who delivered him.

In addition, the critics of the 2007 document note that Obama's father is described as “African,” a term used today. The formal language in official documents at the time — 1961 — would have identified his race as “Negro” or “Colored.”

The Web site has produced a vault copy of a Hawaii Certificate of Live Birth from 1963, issued by the Hawaii Department of Health. [See the vault copy — Click Here.]

In addition to naming the hospital and more details about the baby, the 1963 vault copy also includes the “usual residence of the mother,” and the “usual occupation” of the father. None of this information appears on the 2007 Live Birth certificate produced by the Obama campaign.

I don't get how a District Judge can throw out the challenge as "frivolous," "ridiculous," "patently false" and "not worthy of discussion" without reference to a valid COLB as required by the Constitution?

Martin argues that by posting a version of his birth certificate on the Web, Obama has waived any privacy claims. It is odd, to say the least, that Obama claims to have posted the COLB and settled the matter, yet claims that no one should be able to obtain an official copy of the same document from the State of Hawai'i or review the source information for the certificate.

Obama claims he was born in a Honolulu hospital but there is no verifiable evidence to sustain the claim. Berg claims to have video evidence of Obama's paternal grandmother and another Kenyan relative saying that they were present at his birth in Kenya.

Why do I find this suspicious and why does it grate me so? Because in 2004, around May I think, I was flipping channels and came across the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth doing a press conference at the National Press Club in D.C. It was extremely compelling testimony by decorated veterans and obviously very damaging to John Kerry if true. It was quite a lineup of Kerry's contemporaries, people who served with him directly, making very serious charges against him, charges that went to his character and integrity and honesty and motives, charges that, if not true, would stain their own characters forever. The next morning I hit the news websites and cable news channels for coverage of these explosive accusations and . . . crickets. Nothing. All day, nothing, next day, nothing. The AP, which had had a reporter in the room, said in a statement that the press conference had had "no news value."

Eventually (weeks or months later) the Swift Boat Vets got some private funding and got their message out and Fox News picked it up and hammered it until other media outlets finally had to bite. But in this election, the potentially explosive accusations against Obama have gained no traction at all. The Democrats I know either don't know about them or they laugh them off. I don't claim to have a lock on the truth but I do expect a fair debate and I have been consistently disappointed.


smrstrauss said...

Let us suppose you were right and that Obama was not born in Hawaii.

He WAS born in Hawaii. I’ve seen pictures of his birth certificate (or maybe certificate of live birth, I forget which), and there is a confirming notice in the Hawaii Advertiser. But suppose on a wild chance that this was wrong.

Suppose that this fact were to be proven before the election. Would this help make McCain elected president? No. It would merely make Joe Biden the presidential candidate of the Democratic party.

Would Biden win just like Obama would? Sure.

Would he win even BIGGER than Obama would? Maybe. You can’t call him inexperienced or a terrorist or a friend of Ayers, nor would people who vote against Obama because of his race or alleged Arab ties or alleged Moslem religion vote against Biden.

Biden would get all the votes of Obama and maybe a few more.

Suppose it was proven after the election. Would that make McCain the president? No. If the Congress really bought the fact that Obama was not naturally born in the USA, and that Obama was not eligible to be president (which is a stretch because it is controlled by Democrats), then Biden would be president.

So, what is the point?

E said...

You got me. I don't know what your point is.

Tom said...

When I heard this story on Friday it sounded a lot like the Dan Rather fake but accurate documents. It seemeed phony close to the election.

But if Obama can't produce a simple birth certificate embossed with the seal of state of Hawaii he is begging scrutiny. One member of the media needs to ask for it. Are they afraid of the answer?

Kerry never produced his Navy documents that could have disputed the Swift Boat charges. He just complains endlessly to this day about his treatment.

In the middle of the campaign Palin has to defend firing one of her employees. If only Democrats were held to such a standard.

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