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Ben Smith and Byron Tau can't tell the truth about Obama certificate ("Birthers", Politico)

If you've seen the Ben Smith posts, you know he's repeatedly lied about the indisputable facts of the Obama citizenship issue. He continues lying today in "Birtherism: Where it all began" (link) which contains a series of false or misleading statements about the indisputable facts of this issue. This time around he's got some help from his Politico colleague Byron Tau.

1. They write "[The Obama campaign] posted Obama’s certificate of live birth on their “Fight the Smears” website and gave a copy to the liberal website Daily Kos." The picture in question is not a certificate; it says right at the top it's a "Certification of Live Birth" ("COLB"). Smith, as with Anderson Cooper, John King, and several others is intentionally trying to mislead. Instead of referring to the certification by that name, Smith is using "certificate" in order to confuse people into thinking it's the same as what most people think of when they hear the term "birth certificate".

2. They write:

FactCheck.org, the non-partisan website, was allowed to examine the physical copy of the birth certificate in August 2008, and concluded it was real, that it had a raised seal, a signature and met all the State Department criteria for proof of citizenship. Combined with the state’s recognition that the record was real - and contemporary newspaper announcements of Obama’s birth, submitted by the hospitals - they concluded that he was a natural born citizen... Hawaii has repeatedly confirmed the document’s authenticity

a) FactCheck is not a credible source; see the link. Their main article about this issue contains a big lie and they edited the pictures of the COLB after initially posting them without noting that they'd edited them.

b) Ben Smith's claim that the announcements were "submitted by the hospitals" has not been proven. No one has provided any evidence that the announcements in question would only indicate a Hawaiian birth and would only have come from a Hawaiian hospital where Obama was born. The closest Obama supporters have come is the imaginings of people (a newspaper editor and Janice Okubo) who weren't working at the newspaper or the Hawaii Department of Health respectively when the announcements appeared. If Ben Smith has any conclusive evidence - not just imaginings by those who weren't around then - that those announcements would only indicate a Hawaiian birth, he should post it. He won't because he has no such conclusive evidence.

c) The phrases "the state’s recognition that the record was real" and "Hawaii has repeatedly confirmed the document’s authenticity" are intentionally misleading. The state of Hawaii has never authenticated the pictures on Obama's site or on FactCheck. Chiyome Fukino did recently say that the picture matches what's on file, but I'm not predisposed to believe her considering her record and the sales job she attempted in the rest of the interview in question. The state of Hawaii did say around the time that FactCheck posted the pictures that "Obama’s original birth certificate [is] on record in accordance with state policies and procedures". However, as indicated above, they've never verified that what they have on file matches what's in the pictures on Obama's site or on FactCheck. Ben Smith is trying to make his readers think that the state of Hawaii verified the pictures on Obama's site or on FactCheck, when that never happened.

3. Ben Smith and Byron Tau write:

The website World Net Daily, for instance, has written that “Hawaii at the time of Obama’s birth allowed births that took place in foreign countries to be registered in Hawaii.” This is true, but such a birth certificate would show the actual foreign place of birth instead of listing – as Obama’s does - Honolulu.

How exactly do we know that? Once again: the state of Hawaii has not confirmed that the pictures on Obama's and FactCheck's sites matches what they have on file. It's very unlikely that Obama would have tampered with the picture on his site, but it can't be ruled out especially due to all the lies from reporters surrounding this issue, the smear campaign conducted against those who have questions, and the fact that Obama just isn't that credible (see Obama misleads). What the picture says can't be assumed to be the same as what if anything Hawaii has on file says. Ben Smith and Byron Tau are intentionally trying to mislead.

4. Smith and Tau also repeat the "time travel canard" as used by FactCheck, a sign that someone is trying to mislead. They also falsely pretend that Obama would somehow be prevented from releasing his long-form birth certificate if he wanted to.

I realize the above might be confusing to those who are casual observers of this issue, many of whom have been trained to dismiss any critical discussion as crazy. If you've been so trained, please start with one of the points above and then compare what Ben Smith says to the facts. If you approach that with an open mind, you'll see that he's lying or misleading.

And, of course, none of the above means that Obama was born outside Hawaii; I think it's highly likely he was born there. However, he hasn't proved it conclusively. And, hacks like Ben Smith and Byron Tau are liars. Please don't fall for their lies.

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 12:04 · Importance: 4