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Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See for full contents of our site

August 10, 2009


Times, UK - A naive person might believe that Barack Hussein Obama was born, as he has long said he was, in Hawaii to a young American mother and a distant father from Kenya. There are notices in two local papers and the certification of birth is filed in the state of Hawaii’s records.

An independent body - - part of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, asked to see a copy of the original during last year’s campaign. FactCheck is non-partisan and takes all sorts of politicians’ claims to task. Here’s its take on Obama’s birth certificate: “ staffers have now seen, touched, examined and photographed the original birth certificate. We conclude that it meets all of the requirements from the State Department for proving US citizenship. Claims that the document lacks a raised seal or a signature are false. . . Our conclusion: Obama was born in the USA just as he has always said.”

You may be persuaded. Once I’d seen the short-form certificate online, verified by independent journalists and vouched for by state authorities, I was, too. But staggering numbers of Americans remain skeptical. In fact, a majority of Republican voters - 58% - either do not believe or are unsure that Obama is a natural-born American citizen. That means most Republicans believe Obama is constitutionally illegitimate in the presidency because the constitution reserves it for those born in America. . .

The most common theory is that Obama was born in Kenya while his mother was visiting his father. The Hawaiian birth certificate exists, the skeptics claim, because Hawaii recognizes as natural-born citizens those born to American mothers temporarily outside the United States. The only problem with that theory is the certificate would mention that fact and it doesn’t.

So Obama was born where all the evidence says he was: Honolulu. Why would a woman in her last month of pregnancy travel halfway around the world to deliver a child in a developing country and then bring him back home, even though he wouldn’t have had a passport? How would she get him into the United States unless someone at the border was in cahoots? . . .


Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are so many things that just do not line up with the story President Obama has given us about his life. For example, documentation shows that his mother began classes at the University of Washington about two weeks after he was born. Then there is the question of his adoption by his step-father--did President Obama become an Indonesian citizen at that time? If he did, did he ever take advantage of that citizenship as a teenager or young adult? If he did then was he ever naturalized as an American citizen? The questions we Americans have are legitimate and were pushed aside before the election. Well, they have come back big time.

August 10, 2009 8:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So many of these questions exist only because of underlying class/race issues. No one questioned the citizenship of Bob Hope, yet he was born in England. Nor the status of William F. Buckley Jr who was educated in Europe nor the constitutionality of John McCain's eligibility for presidential office when he was born in Panama.

No one would have a second thought about this issue had Obama's father been an Italian who came to America to go to college and then chose to return home without his American family.

Sadly this issue appears to be solely a race issue... such is the reality of our times.

August 11, 2009 1:41 AM  
Anonymous Mairead said...

"Sadly this issue appears to be solely a race issue."

Maybe not. Neither Bob Hope nor Buckley was ever a candidate for president. Both McCain's parents were US citizens, his father in the Navy. So in two of your examples citizenship didn't matter legally, and in the third the rule has long been clear. Race is not really the distinguishing factor in Obama's case, though it probably is the motivator in some minds (if minds is the word I want).

August 11, 2009 6:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this movement is related to the fact that GWB was not legitimately elected to the Presidency in either 2000 or 2004. In 2000, the Florida result was rigged and the Supreme Court overstepped its authority in appointing Bush. In 2004, the Ohio vote was rigged and should have gone to Kerry. Being wholly unoriginal, the GOP has adopted the same rant that Democrats used for 8 years: he isn't legally the President.

I agree entirely with those who believe that most of the people pushing this movement are racists who just can't stand the idea that their President has African-American blood. (Personally, I find the claim that Obama is the first "black" President inappropriate. First, he is only half "black", and second, I think the odds are very high that there has been a previous President with some portion of African blood hidden in his pedigree.)

August 11, 2009 10:48 AM  
Blogger scott said...

Isn't this like shutting the barn door AFTER the horse has been stolen? Where were these people BEFORE the election, when generally SOMEONE would authenticate the candidate's credentials PRIOR to allowing them to run.

What can be done even if it is proven he was born elsewhere?

August 11, 2009 4:01 PM  
Anonymous robbie said...

This commentary thread is EXACTLY why it's called racism.

Would you have had the same problem with John McCain? Yeh. I din't think so.

Some don't accept Obama as president much more for the color of his skin than for the actual place of his birth.

August 11, 2009 9:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The question of McCain's birthplace was raised before the election, as was Obama's. In both cases the mainstream press failed to give the issues enough serious consideration to resolve them. Instead of treating the concerns and their legal background as legitimate, they still persist in belittling their fellow citizens, rather than conducting the kind of serious exploration of the topic needed to reinforce confidence in democratic processes. This is wrong.
And stupid. And why no one trusts the media, or the Administration anymore.

August 12, 2009 3:20 AM  
Anonymous robbie said...

"confidence in the democratic process" yeah blah blah blah...the democratic process does not include niggling over birth-places. This controversy is a wedge generated by black-hating numb-nuts who listen to people like Beck,Hannity, and Limbnuts.

August 12, 2009 5:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The unspoken implication of the whole Birther movement is that there was a plan in place prior to Obama's birth to create a Muslim mole who would one day become President and destroy America. If this is true, there would be tons of evidence that this conspiracy acted in support of Obama throughout his life. Since no such evidence has turned up, clearly the whole notion is ridiculous.

Even if some foreign power had such an idea, is there any credibility to the idea that they would choose Obama's parents as the one's whose child would be used in this scam?

August 12, 2009 2:31 PM  
Blogger BingoT said...

“Certificate of Live Birth” is simply not the best evidence that the President and his administration could offer to lay to rest any doubt about his status as a natural born citizen.
Barack Obama is a lawyer and a graduate of Harvard Law School. All law students study the body of law we call “Evidence.” One of the core tenets of American law is the “best evidence rule” which requires the production of original, or certified copies, of original document to prove a fact. Abstracts and summaries are not original documents.
The President has offered an abstract (Certificate) of his birth, but not an original birth certificate which would be the best evidence of his birth. We need the best evidence so that it can do what the best evidence is meant to do; dispel the doubts about a fact. We need to see the Birth Certificate. That’s the one that is often handwritten and signed by the doctor.
Lawyers and legal thinkers will, obviously, argue the finer points of the “Best Evidence Rule” and its applicability to this matter. But, that misses the point. The notion of “Best Evidence” is solidly-grounded in law. This is an important public matter and it seems now that the President has started down the path of offering some evidence (Certificate of Live Birth), he should offer the “best evidence” (Original Birth Certificate) which is the source document for his birth. The document behind the document which has been released. This is what is needed now in the court of public knowledge.

August 16, 2009 6:00 PM  
Anonymous Parker Rules said...

Birthers are painted as tin foil hat wearers...crazy people/racist. This Saul Alinsky tactic used by Obots and the MSM has been successful in warding off any Republican candidate or pundit that would even touch the subject. But Republicans better find a way to answer the question "Do you believe that Obama was born in America" without calling 58% of their constituents crazy for questioning if this is true or not. My response would be this:
There has been no Congressional hearing regarding his citizenship like they had to determine that McCain was eligible to be on the ballot even though there was a pending lawsuit debating his citizenship even at the time of his election. There has been no delving into his school, college, records much less any of his important documents like they did with Joe the Plummer or Sarah Palin..Oh that's because those documents are sealed. So anyone who "believes" something is basing their "belief" on a fact that at best should have a Congressional hearing in which to determine.
Since one of the first people to bring this into question was a black man, Alan Keyes who believed he was born in Kenya and since a large portion of Hillary supporters believe he should have never been put on the ballot because of his dual citizenship being in question as meeting the requirement I would not be representative of my constituents if I don't get to the bottom of that question to the satisfaction of the people. Since the Natural Born clause for eligibility for POTUS has been in question since the forming of our Constitution, and since even in 2004 a bill was introduced to define what was meant by that, a committee formed and never that clause touched nor amended. So I believe that the person that signed off on Obama's eligibility without seeing documentation or at least calling for a ruling as to whether he indeed met this requirement acted too hastily in just "assuming" he was eligible. There is a Freedom of Information Act that is also violated in the people not being able to have his important documents released. There were court cases in question at the time that Obama took the oath.

March 5, 2010 1:14 PM  
Anonymous Parker Rules said...

Scott to answer your question: There were pending legal cases questioning his eligibility even when he took oath. The person that put his name on the ballot and signed off on his meeting the eligibility requirements just took his word for it and saw no documentation assuming it was in someone else's job description to vet this properly.
It really was her responsibility to call at least the "dual citizenship" into question but failed to do so.
The framers of the Constitution later argued the definition of Natural Born but since the signing of the Constitution all arguments in Congress or laws passed regarding citizenship laws are moot in defining that particular requirement for POTUS. Even not long ago a bill was presented in Congress in 2004 to "define the term Natural Born regarding the eligibility for the POTUS " so the bill was introduced in an effort to do just that..the bill never passed.
If a person is not born on American soil by two parents who also were born on American soil having no allegiance to any other country then this requirement or if his citizenship is called into question then it is plain and simple that it is a debateable issue and has been since the beginning of our nation.
Yes, there is case precedence that a Governor of South Dakota once elected was removed from office after his election because it was proven that he failed to meet the requirement of number of years of residence within the state.

March 5, 2010 1:34 PM  

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