Alex Koppelman lies in his failed refutation of "Birthers"

Alex Koppelman of Salon offers "Salon's handy-dandy guide to refuting the Birthers" (link):

1. He says of the Certification of Live Birth ("COLB") pictured on Obama's site:

There are allegations that what Obama released is a forgery, but state officials have repeatedly affirmed its authenticity and said they've checked it against the original record and that Obama was indeed born in Hawaii.

That is completely, absolutely false. Those state officials haven't even once said they've checked the picture on Obama's site against their records. I don't like repeating what I wrote earlier, but aside from a statement from Janice Okubo that she contradicted on the same page, no Hawaiian official has spoken about the picture of a certification as shown on Obama's site; neither of the statements from Hawaiian Department of Health Director Chiyome Fukino said anything about that picture. The first Fukino statement only said Obama had a valid cert on file; the second said he was born in Hawaii and was a natural born citizen. Go read her actual statements and compare it to Alex Koppleman's tall tale.

2. He claims that Hawaii must have placed the newspaper advertisements, based only on a phone call WorldNetDaily made in which the person who answered the phone at the Honolulu Advertiser (in 2009) knew immediately how things were done back then (1961). More on how weak the announcements are in a future post...

3. His "Myth #5" concerns Hawaii's law that allows those born outside Hawaii to get Hawaiian birth certificates. However, he makes the assumption that the COLB picture shown on Obama's site is accurate, and he also relies on a statement from Okubo concerning the birth locations that would appear on such certificates. As she herself has stated to me, she's not qualified to discuss how certificates are handled.

UPDATE: I see that Alex Kopelman has linked the "repeatedly affirmed" part of the quoted portion in #1 above to his apparent source for the claim. I don't think the link was there before, but I might be wrong. In any case, he's linking to the article by Jaymes Song of the Associated Press. See that link for why Song is lying and why that link doesn't back up Koppleman's argument in any way.


People say that Okubo backtracked or contradicted herself when she said "It's a valid Hawaii state birth certificate," and later "I don't know that it's possible for us to even say beyond a doubt what the image on the site represents." I don't think that's what happened. If you read other things Okubo has said, it seems clear that Poltifact either misrepresented or, more likely, misinterpreted her first statement. I'm pretty sure all Okubo meant was that Certifications of Live Birth are considered valid Hawaiian birth certificates, not that she was authenticating that particular COLB.