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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Swift Birthers

I have not devoted much attention to the Barack Obama "Birth Certificate" conspiracy theories, because I have been bogged down debunking so many other conspiracy theories, like Andrew Sullivan's Trig Palin birth conspiracy theory and the recent theory that the Bush administration "concealed" evidence as to ice measurements off the coast of Barrow, Alaska. There are only so many conspiracy theories I can handle in any given week.

I have made the point, time and again, that one of the hallmarks of a conspiracy theory (as opposed to a true conspiracy) is that the lack of evidence is used as evidence that the conspiracy was really, really good. It is like the claim that your watch does not run on a battery or mechanism; there is a secret Genie inside who is very shy, and turns into a battery or mechanism when the watch is opened. There is no way to disprove the theory, which is the pesky problem with rebutting conspiracy theories.

So the fact that not a single doctor, nurse, hospital staff member, or other person has come forward with evidence that Sarah Palin did not give birth to Trig must mean that the conspiracy was really, really good, encompassing hundreds if not thousands of people, every single one of whom has kept their mouth shut. This has not prevented The Atlantic from providing a platform for Andrew Sullivan to make a fool of himself on the issue, and to give voice to the cottage industry of Trig Palin birthers on the internet.

And on the ice measurement nonsense, the fact that previously classified spy satellite images were released does not mean that anything was concealed, since ice measurements were taken for decades by scientists using personal observation, airplane flyovers, civilian satellites, and many other means, much of which is available on Google. And the Bush administration actually asserted that there was a decrease in the ice shelf off of Alaska, so one would have to believe that the Bush administration concealed evidence supporting its position. But this has not stopped prominent left-wing blogs, such as Think Progress, from touting the declassified photos as evidence of a Bush administration conspiracy.

Which gets me to the Obama birth certificate conspiracy theory, to wit, the claim that Obama was not born in the U.S.A., despite the official Hawaiian record of his "live birth" and contemporaneous newspaper announcements. It is this latter evidence that seals the deal for me. Much like the craziness regarding Trig Palin and the ice measurements, to accept that 48 years ago someone had the foresight to plant newspaper stories in anticipation of Barack Hussein Obama becoming president half a century later just isn't credible. As Obama himself has proclaimed, would anyone who wanted him to become President have given him that middle name? If they were so smart as to plant stories in the newspaper, why not give him a name like William Jefferson Obama or George Herbert Walker Obama.

I agree with the editorial at National Review Online:

Pres. Barack Obama has a birthday coming up, a week from Tuesday. We hope he takes the day off—or even the whole week, the briefest of respites from his busy schedule of truncating our liberties while exhausting both the public coffers and our patience....

One of the unfortunate consequences of this red-herring discussion is that there are plenty of questions about Obama’s background and history that we would like to have answered. In spite of two books of memoirs, there remain murky areas in his biography. And when it comes to those college transcripts, count us among those who’d love to know whether Dr. Bailout ever took an advanced economics class and how he performed in it.

Barack Obama may prefer European-style socialized health care. He may consider himself a citizen of the Earth and sometimes address his audiences as “people of the world,” as though he were born not in another country but on another planet. Like Bruce Springsteen, he has a lot of bad political ideas; but he was born in the U.S.A.
Who are the primary beneficiaries of the conspiracy theory? Not the people pushing it; they remain on the fringe. Not the Republican party.

No, the primary beneficiary of the Obama birth certificate conspiracy theory is Obama. He is running the country into the ground at break-neck speed, but the conspiracy theory has handed Democratic operatives like Media Matters, Think Progress, and all the left-wing blogs which jump when the whistle blows, a great way of distracting the public from the damage being done.

Don't believe me, just look at the Memeorandum screen shot above right. The left-wing blogosphere moves in a group, and the group is pushing the same point: Beware the Birthers. The Birthers are not a threat to the economy, our national security, personal freedom, or our health care system -- except to the extent they hand the Democrats a side issue with which to deflect attention from the real issues facing the country.

So stop looking for the birth certificate, and start reading the health-care-reduction bill, the cap-and-tax fiasco bill, the unemployment numbers, the national debt and deficit analyses, and the latest Obama speech apologizing for who we are. And contact your Congressman and Senator and demand they read legislation, and give the public opportunity for comment, before they vote on it.

UPDATE: Ed Morrissey has a post at HotAir making a similar point, posted just around the time I posted this. Great minds think alike, or a conspiracy of monumental proportions?

Related Posts:
Psst...Don't Tell Andrew Sullivan Our Secret
"Palin Lied, People Died" And Other Media Fictions
Bush Hid Ice Images From People Who Can't Use Google

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  1. One of the problems with the issue of where Obama was born, is the fact, that as an attorney, you should be aware of. The State of Hawaii issues birth certificates to persons not born in Hawaii. Hawaii actually restricts this practice to those born to parent or parents who were current or former residents (up to one year) of Hawaii. Some states, like California will issue a birth certificate to anyone who claims that they don't have a birth certificate and need one. Just that simple.

    So, yes, Obama can have a birth certificate from Hawaii if he was born elsewhere. What has been released to day is only an abstract of live birth. To solve this issue, just release his original birth certificate. That is all that is necessary.

    Which leads us to the question of why? Some claim it will lead to identify theft. That arguement is absurd, as the abstract has Obama's name and date of birth. There will be no other identfying information on the original that will make identity theft easier.

    So, just what is the reason. There are only two possibilities: 1) The Obama campaign is just playing a game of distraction from his communist upbringing and education. Or, 2) There is something to hide on the original birth certifcate.

  2. Your take on this - that it is absurd to think that Mama and Grandma would plant birth announcements so that one day Obama could be president - is somewhat of a straw man.

    As Tom McGuire of justoneminute has theorized, maybe, "...grandparents and the mother may have been straining to document Obama as a US citizen in fear of the day when the white Ms. Stanley would be engaged in a custody suit in a Kenyan court arguing with the black Kenyan father about the fate of a black Kenyan baby. Since the happy couple did in fact separate a few years later the possibility of a separation may not have been utterly beyond their imagining in 1961."

    There's a big, plausible reason that has nothing at all to do with being eligible for the presidency.

    And as Federale noted - you do know that Hawaii issues these COLB documents based on parental affidavits, right? That all Barry's mom had to do was to show up and sign an affidavit that Barack was born in Hawaii and - voila! - a Certificate of Live Birth would be issued.

    The original Birth Certificate (not a COLB) would state the hospital and the attending physician...this is the document that Obama has refused to release.


  3. The greatest trick the left-wing attack machine ever pulled was convincing America that it didn't exist.

  4. If this is not a true issue way unlike the Trig theories, then why does BHO's camp spend MILLIONS of dollars defending it?

  5. I don't see this as an either/or issue, as in 'there are more important issues to focus on.' I multi-task every day and follow many of the issues you listed.

    I don't know what to believe about B-HO's eligibility concerning his birth. He should have produced the long form prior to the election. McC had to produce evidence he was eligible, so why not B-HO?

    The fact that many of us rank'n'file Repubs have questions about this does not make us fringe-nutters or kooks.

    I read this interesting comment on Lucianne:

    Reply 75 - Posted by: specter, 7/28/2009 10:48:54 AM (No. 5726903)
    Check this out...
    Obama's (finally published) birth certificate serial number is 151 1961 - 010641, he was born on 8-4-1961, and the certificate was filed by the Registrar on 8-8-1961 ( http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/born_in_the_usa.html )

    Today, the Honolulu advertiser publishes a story, and at the bottom includes a set of long-form BC's from a woman who had twins at Kapiolani on 8-5-1961 who went to school with Obama.


    These twins were born the day AFTER Obama AT KAPIOLANI. And their certificate numbers are LOWER than his (10637 and 10638). They were born 8-5-1961, the certificates were signed by mom 8-7-1961, signed by the MD 8-11-1961, and signed by the Registrar 8-11-1961.

    THIS MEANS HE DEFINITELY WAS NOT BORN AT KAPIOLANI, because his BC number (born on Aug 4th and filed with Registrar Aug 8th) should have a lower number than the twins (Born Aug 5th at Kapiolani and filed with Registrar Aug 11th)


  6. Why has the next-door neighbor to the address given in the birth announcement said that she's lived there 50 years and never knew any such people to live next door? Her name is Beatrice Arakaki. The people who lived at the address given as BO's residence at birth were named Orland and Thelma (Young) Lefforge.

  7. Your point is well-taken--but you are wrong on a critical fact.

    I think there is something embarrassing in the birth certificate but it is not that Obama is not a natural born citizen. I think it is something that shatters the mythical narrative of his life.

  8. Two facts I know to be true...

    -In my home state, you must present your original birth certificate to obtain a (driving)learner's permit.
    -Twenty five years ago, when my husband started traveling internationally for business, he had to produce his original birth certificate to obtain an adult passport. An Army Brat, he had an expired minor's passport. (That whole experience was a tricky one since he was born in a French hospital to a French national and an American soldier, and we had a devil of a time digging through boxes looking for that document. We now guard it like the Hope diamond.)

    Point is...I believe Obama has his original Hawaiian birth certificate. The refusal to produce it is nothing more than elaborate game of distraction orchestrated by Obama which also has the added benefit of making conservatives look like obsessive fools. To the Obama Administration, this is well worth the millions (or whatever) expended to perpetuate this farce. After all, think about it.....it isn't the Right using the birth certificate issue to change the channel from the Obama's blunder on behalf of his friend, the bigoted Harvard professor. It's the Left.

    Bottom line, when conservatives attack on real issues like health care, and cap & trade, we have invaluable credibility with the American people. When we go down the birther road, we sacrifice that credibility.

    So....who, in their right mind, thinks Obama is going to ever give up that weapon?

  9. According to your logic, it's just not worth it to open up your watch to settle the matter once and for all of whether it's full of gears, or simply a genie. Either answer is acceptable if its proven.

    And don't compare this to a conspiracy theory... you're smarter than that. Theorists long for non-existent evidence to prove something they dream up. In this case, there is evidence that is being withheld. Namely, an original birth certificate. Not a computer print out that has a fraction of the information that everyone else's birth certificate contains. Come on. Pull out your own birth certificate. Compare it to that Arial font masterpiece that has been floating around. You're telling me you wouldn't cross examine the thoroughness of that document in a court of law?

    No, us documentors (not 'birthers') don't have a theory we're trying to prove. This issue is not about a conspiracy between x number of people. It's about documentation and transparency. We're just trying to find out who the hell this guy is, and why most people just accept his authority while he's provided no original birth documentation, no college transcripts, etc. etc.

    And since when did the eligibility of the POTUS become a backseat issue to you? On it everything else hinges.

  10. Explanation of 'Natural-Born Citizen' (which Obama is not) along with references to SCOTUS rulings on the definition.


  11. Once again, William Jacobson is a great source: for what NOT to do. I tried to explain how this issue could be used against the MSM here, and the response and the fact that it was moved from news to chat is very Jacobson-like.

  12. Three possible scenarios:

    1) Obama has the birth certificate and is holding it for the reasons mentioned above; to make conservatives look like kooks and "conspiracy theorists" that should not be taken seriously ever again.

    2) Obama is hiding something that is quite embarrassing, which may be anyone's guess.

    3) Obama was born in Kenya.

    I just cannot imagine that he would consider running knowing he was born outside the US etc. He cannot be that stupid or arrogant. I think it is number 1 (most likely) or 2 above.

  13. Red, the Democrats spend millions of dollars promoting it, not defending it. They can portray themselves as victims of a vast, right-wing conspiracy even though conservatives only want to discuss policy. Notice how no prominent conservatives have endorsed this theory? The Democrats are doing everything they can to push this onto the national stage because their numbers are fading.

  14. Cyd, why can't it be both 1 and 2?

  15. Michael- that's a great breakdown of the situation. there is also the issue of how he travelled to pakistan when Americans weren't allowed to.

  16. Actually Michael, you seem to be wrong. The fact that Obama isn't a natural born citizen means nothing. Nothing at all. Let us take a look at the constitution. Article 2 section 1 clause 5:

    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.

    If you would please notice the use of commas. The constitution clearly allows for the president to be a citizen OR a natural born citizen.

    Before you even say it, NO they did not mean a U.S. citizen at the time of this constitution. If they meant that, they would not have used the second comma. The comma that clearly seperates the two statements.

  17. Reign2020, with your great wisdom and intellectual prowess, kindly explain to all of us how this line...

    at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution

    fits into the paragraph above, especially if we take your meaning as THE meaning of the paragraph? Quickly we realize that with your meaning, that sentence just hangs out there and becomes absolutely useless. However, if that line is attached to "or a Citizen of the United States", then the paragraph makes perfect sense...to someone with at least 2 neurons to rub together.

    BTW, why are you afraid to allow comments on your "blog", Reign?


    JohnJ, yes it could be 1 and 2.

  18. Reign, Don't apply to law school--you lack the necessary reading comprehension skills--Go back and read the cited clause and tell me in your reading what did you do with "at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution". Do you just jettison language that doesn't fit your interpretation? Do you work jigsaw puzzles with a scissors to make the odd pieces fit?

  19. UPDATE: Ed Morrissey has a post at HotAir making a similar point, posted just around the time I posted this. Great minds think alike, or a conspiracy of monumental proportions?

    Perhaps it's more like, "The [right]-wing blogosphere moves in a group, and the group is pushing the same point:"

    You honestly aren't that much different from each other, you just push different memes, is all.

  20. Discussions of conspiracy theories really bring out the conspiracy theorists.

  21. Here’s Obama’s dilemma in a nutshell (READ VERY CAREFULLY AND DIGEST):

    If BHO shows his original long form birth certificate, indeed showing he was born in Hawaii, it will also show his father was American citizen, Frank Marshall Davis, not the Kenyan/British citizen, Barack Obama Sr. While that would allow Barack Jr. to be POTUS eligible as BOTH a “citizen”/“native born citizen” AND an Article 2 “natural born citizen” — that is, born to two American citizens on American soil — it would simultaneously show he is a fraud hiding his real father — an unacceptable political debacle.

    If, on the other hand, BHO keeps hiding his original long form birth certificate — while simply repeating, without showing, he was born in Hawaii — he can still CLAIM BOTH he was born in Hawaii AND his father was the Kenyan/British Barack Obama Sr. This would enable Barack Jr. to claim he’s a “citizen”/“native born citizen” but it would mean (if a federal court would ever get around to declaring and thus far no one has standing to bring the suit) that he’s NOT an Article 2 “natural born citizen” and thus not eligible to be POTUS — a legal/constitutional debacle since all acts under an illegal POTUS are void.

    So it seems, BHO has elected option one until forced to go option two because for now it looks like no federal court will ever find a plaintiff with standing. (Of course, there’s the additional issue of BHO losing American citizen status if/when he became an Indonesian citizen — that is, IF he returned and was naturalized he would be a legal citizen, but would lose both native and natural born status, and, IF he returned and was not naturalized, he would be an illegal immigrant unlawfully in this country — but we’ll leave that for another day.)

  22. Mr. Jacobson:

    I respect your opinion concerning the birth certificate issue. However, the issues surrounding Obama's eligibility for office still remain, and his problem is three-fold:

    1. Natural Born Citizen. Neither you, or any constitutional scholar can say with 100 percent certainty that Obama is a natural born citizen pursuant to Article 2, Section 1 Clause 5, just as I cannot say whether he is not a natural born citizen (NBC), since the courts have never ruled on the issue. However, the specious argument that the 14th amendment, along with the Wong Kim Ark decision puts the NBC issue to rest is absurd. It is incumbent upon us to realize what the framers meant by "natural born citizen." Even the framers of the 14th amendment said citizens must be under the "complete jurisdiction" of the United States. As cited in Elk v. Wilkins, a person must be under the complete jurisdiction of the United States. Elk was born on US soil, but since he was born on an Indian reservation and "not subject to the complete jurisdiction" of the US, he was denied the right to vote. Obama's dual citizenship, which he had admitted to, certainly precludes him from being under the complete jurisdiction of the US. The justices in Minor v. Happersett said that those who satisfy jus soli AND jus sanguinis are unquestionably natural born citizens. All others are in doubt. If you accept de Vattel's definition of NBC, then Obama doesn't qualify.

    2. Obama's emigration to Indonesia. Obama was named as an emancipated product of the Dunham-Soetoro marriage. This means he was adopted by Lolo Soetoro and was enrolled as a student in Indonesia. Indonesia did not recognize dual citizenship, and although our laws state a minor cannot give up citizenship, this conflicts with US policy that recognizes any country's sovereign right to establish citizenship laws. Once the country is recognized by the US, the US also recognizes the right of that country strip citizenship by not recognizing dual citizenship. If the latter takes precedence, then Obama could have regained citizenship by signing an oath of allegiance when he became emancipated, but if that is the route taken, he would regain citizenship by statute, meaning he would no longer be natural born, but naturalized.
    That aside, Obama's Occidental records are of great importance. If Obama applied for foreign aid at Occidental, that would be considered an overt renunciation of US citizenship, making him ineligible for the Presidency.

  23. 3. The birth certificate. I understand your position that two Hawaii newspapers carrying the birth announcement is sufficient for you to believe he was born in Hawaii. And that is certainly strong circumstantial evidence. However, to dismiss the birthers claims by saying that Obama's mother was not considering a run for the Presidency when establishing his citizenship as an infant is based on a false premise. What Anne Dunham was probably considering was the citizenship of her son. It is certainly plausible (maybe not probable) that Obama was born in Kenya and the grandparents placed the birth announcement, meanwhile, a delayed certificate was filed. That is what the birthers want to know: what is on line 23 of the certificate. Here is a good primer :http://www.westernjournalism.com/?page_id=2697

    I find it odd that the record reflects Obama was born at TWO hospitals. I also find it odd neither hospital clams their facility as the place of birth. Also, if you look at Obama's kindergarten picture, there are two girls, last name Nordyke, in the picture. They were born within hours of Obama, but their birth announcement is nowhere to be found in either paper. So, if they were receiving the birth announcements from the hospital, why is the Nordyke twins' birth announcement not in the paper?

    Bottom line, there are several issues that need to be resolved, and they can easily be addressed with the transparency promised by Obama. But the fact he has spent over a million dollars to block the release of a $15 document raises all sorts of red flags.

  24. It appears that under the citizenship laws in effect at the time that Obama was born, his mother was too young (by three months) to confer citizenship on him if he was born outside of the United States,i.e., he would not have been a US citizen at all! Under that circumstance, it would not be surprising if his mother and grandmother tried to "fix" this problem, especially as I am sure they saw the law as unfair. No grand conspiracy required.

  25. Please make a note of Leo Donfrio's case on the matter: http://naturalborncitizen.wordpress.com/

    Obama is not natural-born U.S. citizen under Article II of the Constitution because both his parents needed to have been U.S. citizens at the time of his birth, as well as his having been born in the U.S., and the 14th Amendment is not actually pertinent to that requirement. The left's re-engineering the issue to a dispute over a birth certificate is a successful smokescreen.

  26. ". . . for now it looks like no federal court will ever find a plaintiff with standing."
    Congress, presumably after the 2010 elections, does not need a court ruling to remove Obama from office, the biggest impediment being only that Biden would become President. The U.S. should reconsider the settling of Constitutional matters with federal courts and SCOTUS and create a Constitutional Committee composed of appointed, non-judicial, delegations from the individual States.