Jon Klein, CNN "political researchers" were wrong: Hawaii didn't discard paper records (Dobbs, Farah)

On July 23, CNN president Jon Klein sent an email to staffers of the Lou Dobbs show saying that he'd asked CNN's "political researchers" to look into the "Birthers" issue and that those "researchers" had determined that Hawaii had discarded their paper birth certificates. He was attempting to show thatBarack Obama can't release his original certificate. The email is reprinted at [1].

However, the claim from CNN's "political researchers" was false: as Janice Okubo later confirmed [2], Hawaii had not discarded any paper copies, they were simply archived when that state put their birth records into electronic form. Unfortunately for Lou Dobbs, based on Klein's urging, he repeated the false statement from CNN's "political researchers" on that evening's show [3].

Klein later backtracked [4], but he hasn't spoken out about the false claim from CNN's "researchers". Now, Joseph Farah says:

Isn't it time to apologize for your error and to Lou Dobbs for attempting to intimidate him for covering the story? ...And since your basis for not covering the story has been blown to smithereens, isn't it time for you to issue a new edict to your news team to get back on the story?

[1] The Klein email is here:

From: Klein, Jon (CNN)
Sent: Thu Jul 23 19:00:44 2009
Subject: Important re birth certificate

I asked the political researchers to dig into the question "why couldn't Obama produce the ORIGINAL birth certificate?"

This is what they forwarded. It seems to definitively answer the question. Since the show's mission is for Lou to be the explainer and enlightener, he should be sure to cite this during your segment tonite. And then it seems this story is dead - because anyone who still is not convinced doesn't really have a legitimate beef.



*In 2001 - the state of Hawaii Health Department went paperless.*Paper documents were discarded*The official record of Obama's birth is now an official ELECTRONIC record Janice Okubo, spokeswoman for the Health Department told the Honolulu Star Bulletin, "At that time, all information for births from 1908 (on) was put into electronic files for consistent reporting," she said.

[2] From this:

"I am not aware of any birth certificate records that have been destroyed by the department," Janice Okubo, public information officer for the Hawaii DOH, told WND. "When the department went electronic in 2001, vital records, whether in paper form or any other form, [were] maintained. We don't destroy records."

Okubo affirmed that beginning in 2001, all vital records, including birth records, moved to electronic formats.

"Any records that we had in paper or any other form before 2001 are still in file within the department," she insisted. "We have not destroyed any vital statistics records that we have."

[3] From

President Obama promised transparency and openness in his administration. Yet, he's chosen not to release his original birth certificate or a copy of it... And a number of Americans are asking, why not? The left-wing media has attacked me because I simply asked the question. Meanwhile, the state of Hawaii says it can't release a paper copy of the president's original birth certificate because they say the state government discarded the original document when the health department records went electronic some eight years ago.

[4] See this and this.


It's ironic that a historian would demand a primary document as the only absolute proof of birth (if indeed such records are available), but our government and the press seem to satisfy themselves with secondary representations and hearsay evidence by dubiously credible government bureaucrats. The democrats sneer at the unrelenting demand for this document, but you could rely on their tenacity to wrest this from the custodians of the repository.

This seems pretty straightforward, and is perhaps emblematic of why this issue has not gone away.

Lonewacko, I saw your comments to the retread hatchetjob on Lou Dobbs over at the DailyBeast by Lloyd Grove. Several times a day the Huff-n-Puff, Salon, the DailyBeast or another left-wing webzine posts a rabid hit-job on Dobbs his over calls for transparency from Obama over his personal records. Obama promised a much higher level of transparency than what the secretive Bush administration allowed. Only extreme hyper-partisanship deludes folks from forgetting that us liberals and Democrats asked the samething from Bush concerning his military and college records. While I believe the odds are Obama was born in Hawaii. However, it is likely that some facts are to be uncovered that do not jive with the story Obama has put forth in his two biographies that Obama who prefer not to reveal. Still fundamental and completely understandable constitutionally questions will remain until Obama releases his long form birth certificate and adoption papers. The longer this goes on the more the public will start asking if the quote "The lady doth protest too much, methinks." fits Obama and the Anti-Birthers.