obama citizenship

Obama citizenship and birth certificate issue

[NOTE: The summary portion below this note was last updated on March 10, 2009. In the evening of July 27, 2009, the state of Hawaii issued a clear statement claiming Obama was born there, something that they had not said before. Note that those who lied about what Hawaii said on 10/31/08 are still liars; the latest statement doesn't absolve them of that. This summary will be updated at a later point to reflect the new statement. But, please bear in mind that, until the time of the new statement, Hawaii had not said that he was born there and thus those who claimed that Hawaii's 10/31 statement said something other than what it actually said are still liars. See also the large number of posts linked below the summary.

Note also that almost all of our coverage involves the certificate aspect, not the "natural born citizen" aspect. Our primary interest in this issue is a) to try to discredit mainstream media sources and others for lying and misleading about the basic, easy-to-understand facts of the matter, and b) to try to discredit those supposed Obama opponents who have enabled those media and other sources to mislead such as Ed Morrissey of Hot Air. It's possible to both believe everything Obama has said about his past and at the same time point out that a long series of mainstream media hacks have lied about the facts of this issue and use that to discredit them. Those supposed Obama opponents who've spoken out against "birthers" don't have the intelligence to understand that, and wouldn't have the integrity to mention it even if they could understand it.

For an example of our coverage, our first post about this issue was in June 2008 and pointed out that Eli Saslow of the Washington Post lied about the basic facts of this matter; many of the other posts below are similar in that they show how a source lied about objective facts of this issue. Rather than using this issue to help discredit those sources, many supposed Obama opponents showed just how incompetent they are.

The summary as of March 10, 2009 follows, and below that are links to more recent posts.]

Despite what you might have heard, no definitive proof that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii has been provided. The supposed "fact checkers" have not provided definitive proof, and neither has Obama himself.

That does not mean that Obama wasn't born in Hawaii. All it means is that we don't know for sure. Those who claim that his birthplace has been definitively proven are basing it on faith and not on facts.

A note of warning: Obama's supporters have been remarkably effective at misleading people about this issue, smearing all those who have questions as conspiracy theorists at the same time as they lie through their teeth.

First, the supposed proof which had been provided as of mid-October 2008 was discussed in this exhaustive overview.

After that was posted, the state of Hawaii supposedly confirmed Obama's birth certificate. However, all they actually did was confirm that he has a valid certificate on file. Those Hawaiian officials did not confirm that he was born in Hawaii. No, really: read their full statement and see if you can find anything in there verifying where he was born.

Note that there's a Hawaii state law that allows those born outside of Hawaii - including in foreign countries - to obtain Hawaiian birth certificates. Read the law at that link. That means that Obama could have been born outside Hawaii and still have a valid Hawaiian birth certificate on file, just as the officials said in their statement. Once again: that doesn't mean that Obama's certificate shows an out-of-Hawaii birth. That just means that the statement from the Hawaiian officials is ambiguous.

In light of that, I contacted the Hawaii Department of Health and asked them to clarify their statement. They refused to do so. Read their reply here.

FactCheck and others claim that those officials verified where Obama was born. Yet, those same officials refused to confirm FactCheck's assumptions. If FactCheck's claims were true, then it would have been just as easy for those Hawaiian officials to confirm FactCheck's claims.

Note also that under Hawaii state law it would be illegal for officials to disclose the contents of a birth certificate, which also includes verifying the contents of a certificate.

Despite that, sources such as FactCheck claim that Hawaiian officials verified the contents of Obama's certificate, something that would be illegal. And, in their reply to me, those Hawaiian officials referenced the fact that it would be illegal for them to verify the contents of a certificate.

In other words, no matter what you hear, where Obama was born has not been verified. Those who say otherwise are lying to you. There are several writers and others who've lied about this issue listed below, and a partial list of politicians who've lied or who are at least spreading disinformation about this issue is here.

If you disagree, here's a challenge: pick up the phone and get the answers to these questions.

Last modified Jan 27, 2010
Discussed in (click each link for the full post):

Brendan Nyhan still isn't credible (Obama, "Birthers", "science", CNN) - 04/28/11

Brendan Nyhan shows yet again why he isn't a credible source and how he's simply an establishment toady with "Why conspiracy theories die hard" [1]. His article is something that would have been right at home in totalitarian regimes where those who disagreed with the regime's leaders were declared insane.

His article is also highly ironic:

[In a study he conducted] undergraduate participants were given news articles in which a political figure made a misleading claim. In some cases, this claim was followed by a correction that set the record straight. Disturbingly, we found that corrective information in news articles often fails to reduce misperceptions among the ideological or partisan group that is most vulnerable to the false belief.

The irony is that every mainstream media article about the Obama citizenship issue has contained one or more lies or misleading statements about the indisputable facts of the issue. In some cases they've just made things up. Nyhan would fault the American public for not believing articles that lie to them and that smear millions of Americans. A "Brendan Nyhanovich" would have faulted Russians for not believing that grain production grew 43% last quarter as Comrade Stalin said.

For an example of how Obama supporters - whether media reporters or minor academics - can't be trusted, Nyhan writes:

In this case, the birther movement has grown to its current prominence despite the release of a certification of live birth and the discovery of contemporaneous announcements of Obama's birth in two Honolulu newspapers.

Obama never "released" a certification of live birth ("COLB"). He posted on his website a picture of what he claimed was his COLB. The state of Hawaii never officially verified that it matched what they had on file. As for the announcements, they are not now and never were proof. No one has ever provided any evidence beyond the flimsiest that they'd only indicate a Hawaiian birth. The supposed long-form birth certificate has raised even more questions than the COLB, such as exactly how the image itself was composed. None of that means that Obama was born outside the U.S., but he also hasn't proven he was born there either. There's an excellent chance that he was in fact born there, but the fact is that - when examined in a scientific or legal manner - this issue is not closed. Anyone who says it's closed is basing their determination not on facts but on faith: faith in Obama. If his supporters would simply admit that a component of their determinations was based on faith in Obama, then I wouldn't have an issue. The issue arises when they confuse facts with faith.

To compound the problems, Nyhan has advice:

The best hope for killing this myth -- or any similar one -- is to create a bipartisan consensus that it is false. If conservative elites speak out aggressively against it, Republicans who are distrustful of Obama and the mainstream media might change their minds. Unfortunately, this seems unlikely -- the political incentives to pander to birthers are still too strong (as Donald Trump has recently demonstrated).

Memo to the GOP: do not take advice from an establishment hack who can't distinguish between faith and fact. Conservative leaders have spoken out against the "Birthers" issue countless times, and their base isn't buying it. Those leaders are in effect enabling smears originating in the White House and the Democratic Party instead of fighting against those smears.

If Nyhan wants to end this myth, he should follow those four finger pointing back his way and demand that the establishment finally tell the absolute truth about this issue instead of trying to paper over their lies with smears.

[1] cnn.com/2011/OPINION/04/28/nyhan.birther.truth/index.html

Byron Tau misleads about Obama certificate issue (Politico) - 04/28/11

Byron Tau is about as truthful as his Politico colleague Ben Smith, meaning not much. The latest example is provided in "Hawaii's blunders fueled birthers" (politico.com/news/stories/0411/53842_Page2.html). Why the following from the article is misleading will be explained below:

One month before the presidential election, then-state Department of Health Director Chiyome Fukino — a Republican appointee — put out a statement asserting that the state “has Sen. Obama’s original birth certificate on record in accordance with state policies and procedures.”

Upon parsing her statement closely, birthers noted that she said that the state had the certificate - not that he was a natural-born citizen. This interpretation was fueled by the false rumor that Hawaii, at the time of Obama's birth, issued birth certificates to foreign nationals.

Tau makes it sound like it would have been impossible for Obama to both have an "original birth certificate on record [in Hawaii]" and have been born outside the U.S. That's not the case [1].

In fact, Obama could have an "original birth certificate on record [in Hawaii]" and have been born outside the U.S. if he'd taken advantage of Hawaii Revised Statutes S. 338-17.8. That law allows those born in other states or other countries to get valid Hawaiian birth certificates.

Does the fact that that law was passed in 1982 exonerate Byron Tau? No, because the law was clearly meant to be retroactive. The law referred to those born in the "Territory" of Hawaii, an entity that had dissolved in 1959. It was open to use by those born before 1982, whether when Hawaii was a state or a territory.

On a minor note, it was nine months between statements by Chiyome Fukino, not eight as Tau states.

On a less minor note, Tau discusses Hawaii's "Birther bill" without knowing, disclosing, or caring that it covered all requests for state information, not just those relating to the "Birther" issue. It used to be that reporters cared about attempts to limmit government transparency, but backing up Obama is a much higher priority for them.

Contact @ByronTau with your thoughts.

[1] The above focuses on 338-17.8, but there's also a famous example of Hawaii issuing a "Certificate of Hawaii Birth" to someone who was born outside Hawaii. Sun Yat-sen was actually born in China but was able to obtain "proof" he was born in Hawaii (image: link).

Who was Obama's birth doctor? (David Sinclair, Rodney West, ...; Snopes) - 04/27/11

Who was Obama's birth doctor? Was it Dr. David Sinclair, Dr. Rodney West, Dr. Spock, Mr. Spock, Dr. "Bones" McCoy, or someone else? When it comes to the Obama citizenship issue things are never clear (but it's probably not the last three).

And, there's always the newtruth, which supersedes one or more versions of the oldtruth: what was the truth yesterday is no longer the truth today as the story changes and a new version of the truth is determined.

So, for instance, the newtruth is that the person who delivered Obama was Dr. David Sinclair; that's enshrined on the "long-form birth certificate" Obama released today.

Contrast that with the oldtruth, as enshrined in the main Snopes article about the "Birther" issue (snopes.com/politics/obama/birthcertificate.asp, screengrab here because Snopes has silently changed entries before). According to the oldtruth, the doctor who delivered Obama was Dr. Rodney T. West. Snopes' oldtruth is apparently via a 1/20/09 article that appeared in the Buffalo News by Paula Voell entitled "Teacher from Kenmore recalls Obama was a focused student":

When Barack Hussein Obama places his hand on the Bible today to take the oath of office as 44th president of the United States, Barbara Nelson of Kenmore will undoubtedly think back to the day he was born. It was Aug. 4, 1961, at Kapi’olani Medical Center for Women & Children in Honolulu.

“I may be the only person left who specifically remembers his birth. His parents are gone, his grandmother is gone, the obstetrician who delivered him is gone,” said Nelson, referring to Dr. Rodney T. West, who died in February at the age of 98. Here’s the story: Nelson was having dinner at the Outrigger Canoe Club on Waikiki Beach with Dr. West, the father of her college friend, Jo-Anne. Making conversation, Nelson turned to Dr. West and said: “‘So, tell me something interesting that happened this week,’” she recalls.

His response: “Well, today, Stanley had a baby. Now that’s something to write home about.”

The new mother was Stanley (later referred to by her middle name of Ann) Dunham, and the baby was Barack Hussein Obama.

“I penned the name on a napkin, and I did write home about it,” said Nelson, knowing that her father, Stanley A. Czurles, director of the Art Education Department at Buffalo State College, would be interested in the “Stanley” connection.

She also remembers Dr. West mentioning that the baby’s father was the first black student at the University of Hawaii and how taken he was by the baby’s name.

“I remember Dr. West saying ‘Barack Hussein Obama, now that’s a musical name,’” said Nelson, who grew up in Kenmore and went to Hawaii in 1959 to be in Jo-Anne’s wedding party. When Nelson was offered a job as a newspaper reporter and photographer at her friend’s wedding reception, it led to her living in Hawaii for 47 years. She returned to Kenmore in 2006.

Ten years after that memorable birth announcement, Nelson would hear the Obama name again. This time, the father, now a Kenyan government official, was coming to speak at the Punahou School in Honolulu where Nelson was teaching and where his 10-year-old son was a newly enrolled fifth-grader.

Now, there are probably innocent explanations: Barbara Nelson just made it all up to get her name in the paper, there could have been two doctors, or West could have changed his name, or some sort of explanation involving alternative universes and wizards. Or something.

Obama releases long-form birth certificate? Well... - 04/27/11

(Note: see also the dozens of Obama citizenship entries)

Earlier today Barack Obama released his long-form birth certificate, proving he was born in Hawaii and finally ending the "Birthers" issue once and for all.

Gary Tuchman misleads about Obama certificate (CNN, "Birthers") - 04/26/11

Gary Tuchman works for CNN, thus we know at least three things about him: he's going to mislead about immigration, he's going to mislead about trade, and he's going to mislead about the Obama citizenship issue.

Examples of the last are found in "CNN investigation: Obama born in U.S." (link). To start, consider this sentence from the article:

Obama's 2008 campaign produced a certification of live birth, a document legally accepted as confirmation of a birth and routinely used for official purposes.

A certification of live birth ("COLB") is in many cases legally acceptable proof of birth [1]. However, that's not what Obama "produced". All he produced is a *picture* of what he claims is his COLB. No Hawaiian official has verified that what's on that picture matches whatever might be on file. Chiyome Fukino - after she left office - claimed that they match, but that's not an official statement and whether she's trustworthy isn't clear. FactCheck posted photos of what they claim is the COLB, but they also edited those photos after initially posting them without indicating that they'd edited them. They've also lied and mislead for Obama on this and other matters.

Note also that Tuchman - unlike John King and Anderson Cooper - is at least using the right name for the document; other CNN hosts have falsely called the COLB a "certificate".

Moving on:

Fukino went one step further, taking advantage of a state law that allows certain public officials to examine a person's actual birth certificate if there is a "direct and tangible interest."

Take a look at the law in question, 338-18: link. One would have to be very creative to twist anything in that law into allowing Fukino to reveal Obama's personal information. Various Hawaiian officials (Janice Okubo, Linda Lingle, Neil Abercrombie) have repeatedly stressed that it would be illegal for them to reveal someone's vital records. Yet, Fukino did it, and with the involvement of Hawaii's then-Attorney General. Tuchman is confused: Fukino did what she did in contravention of Hawaii's laws, knowing that "the fix is in": no one would seek to punish her under those laws.

Now, let's look at this:

Could Obama's 1961 birth announcement in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin be a fake? Some conspiracy theorists say yes. Longtime Honolulu newspaper reporter Dan Nakaso says no.

"It's not possible," Nakaso said. "Under the system that existed back then, there was no avenue for people to submit information that way. ... The information came directly from the state Department of Health."

Indeed, as CNN confirmed, all birth announcements at the time came directly from hospital birth records.

Nakaso has not only lied about this issue in the past (see his name's link above), he appears to be in his 40s at the most (twitter dot com/dannakaso). Someone who has first-hand knowledge of how announcements appeared in the papers would have to be at the very least in their mid-sixties, and more likely in their mid-seventies. CNN doesn't reveal what their "confirmation" consisted of. Considering how they've repeatedly lied about this issue I have no intention of believing their "confirmation" unless they reveal exactly who they talked to and I see the statements from those persons. There's an excellent chance that CNN's "confirmation" consists of little more than what Nakaso said.

Tuchman then discusses who could have seen Obama shortly after birth, first relying on a statement by Neil Abercrombie. Abercrombie would probably do handstands across burning coals if Obama asked. He's also made some possibly inconsistent statements about when he saw Obama. So, whatever he says has to be taken with a grain of salt.

Tuchman quotes University of Hawaii professor Alice Dewey, someone who's made a series of small donations to the Democratic Congressional Campaign (link). That's her right, but her recollections of Ann Stanley Dunham claiming that Obama was born in the U.S. also has to be taken with a grain of salt. (On a sidenote, the Dean of the University of Hawaii Law School hung up on me when I asked him valid, non-conspiratorial questions about this law )

Tuchman then quotes someone who thinks she might have seen Obama in the birth hospital. Then, he ends with a plea for "respect" from Abercrombie.

One thing is clear: CNN and the rest of the media have no respect for the millions of people who have legitimate questions about Obama's past and instead keep trying to sell them on the official story even if they need to lie and mislead.

Send a tweet to @GaryTuchmanCNN with your thoughts.

[1] Hawaii's "Home Lands" program used to require a full birth certificate, until they changed the rules (link). That was probably due to this controversy.

Ben Smith and Byron Tau can't tell the truth about Obama certificate ("Birthers", Politico) - 04/22/11

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.

Hawaii gov Abercrombie now says he saw Obama a few days after he was born - 04/20/11

The strange case of Hawaii governor Neil Abercrombie keeps rolling along with him now saying that he saw Barack Obama a few days after he was born and also that he saw Obama's parents bringing Baby Obama to social events. His new statements don't exactly sync up with his prior statements.

Rather than repeating myself, see this, this, and this for the backstory and his various confusing statements and actions.

His latest story is here:

Hawaii News Now caught up to Governor Neil Abercrombie and asked him to clarify what he meant when he said he was "there." [note: see the full quote in the first "this" link above]

"Of course here in Hawaii," Abercrombie said.

"Not in the room?" we asked.

"Let's be serious. It is simply reprehensible to have this kind of conversation. Insulting someone's mother and father speaks about the person who is doing it," Abercrombie said.

...Abercrombie told Hawaii News Now he first laid eyes on baby Barack Obama a few days after he was born. Abercrombie said Obama's parents introduced their newborn to friends at the University of Hawaii where Abercrombie was going to college with the president's father.

"We not only saw him and were with them, but were introduced to him of course at our gatherings, our student gatherings. And of course over the years then as he was raised by his mother and his grandparents we of course saw him frequently because he was with his grandfather all the time," Abercrombie added.

The problem with this latest tale is that it's not clear whether Obama pere and Stanley Ann were even together after Obama was born. She lived in a cottage behind her parent's house, and she might have traveled or moved to Seattle somewhere between a few weeks and a few months after the birth. If Abercrombie is telling the truth, the Obamas were together and had an active social calendar. It's more likely that Abercrombie is just scrambling to try to protect Obama.

Now, of course, the foregoing doesn't mean that Obama was born outside the U.S., just that his defenders tie themselves into knots trying to defend him, lying and misleading as necessary. We don't yet know whether (how?) Abercrombie is lying, but maybe someone else will ask him to present some sort of evidence of the Obamas bringing their new baby to parties.

Michele Bachmann fails to expose George Stephanopoulos' deceptive game ("Birther", Obama's certificate) - 04/20/11

George Stephanopoulos interviewed Michelle Bachmann on ABC News' Good Morning America today (link), discussing in part the "Birthers" issue (see our extensive coverage at Obama citizenship). Neither of them came off very well in the exchange: Stephanopoulos acted (not surprisingly) like a deceptive partisan hack. And, Bachmann failed to show clear thinking by calling him on it.

Stephanopoulos acted the part of a three-card monty dealer, holding up a supposed print out of "the president’s certificate". Bachmann said that the issue would be solved if that were "introduced". Stephanopoulos said that it had been introduced, ending with this exchange:

Bachmann: Well as long as someone introduces it I guess it’s over.

Stephanopoulos: It’s right there.

Bachmann: Yeah, there you go. Because that is not the main issue facing the United States right now.

The problem is that Obama's certificate - whatever it is - has not been "introduced" in anything approaching a legal sense. He's posted a picture of what he claims is his certificate (actually just a "certification of live birth") on his website. The printout that Stephanopoulos is even more questionable: only he got a good look at it; it's unclear whether Bachmann even knew what it was; and, there's no independent verification that Stephanopoulos - an obvious partisan hack - tampered with it.

And, even if we assume that Stephanopoulos held up an accurate printout of what Factcheck posted, major questions remain because FactCheck is not a credible source (see the link). Not only have they misled for Obama in the past, but they edited the supposed pictures of Obama's COLB after initially posting them. And, they didn't note that they'd edited those photos.

Obviously, Bachmann should have called Stephanopoulos on the above rather than enabling him to mislead. And, she should have pointed out that the "Birther" issue is indeed vitally important for the reasons discussed at that link.

Ed Hornick of CNN just makes things up (Brian Todd, Obama certificate, "Birthers") - 04/17/11

You can't trust CNN, especially on controversial topics like immigration, trade, and the Obama citizenship issue. An example was provided yesterday as John King lied and misled about the indisputable facts of this matter.

Another example is provided by Ed Hornick of CNN (helped by Brian Todd, who in his report just makes something up that never happened ("Debunking the birther claim", politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2011/04/15/

Hornick states:

The Obama team and the state of Hawaii released a certification of live birth, which documents the president’s birth on August 4, 1961, in Honolulu. This is not the original birth certificate. In Hawaii and other states, original birth certificates are not released when requested later.
Click to watch video

CNN has seen a copy of the document and verified that it is official.

That's either a heretofore-unheard-of bombshell, or Hornick is just making things up. The only group that has publicly claimed to have seen a physical copy of Obama's certification of live birth ("COLB") is FactCheck. No one at CNN has ever claimed to have seen a physical copy of the COLB.

One explanation Hornick might provide is that by "copy" he means the picture that Obama posted to his website. Such an explanation doesn't wash: Hornick makes it sound like CNN has some sort of special knowledge, yet anyone who's discussed this issue has seen the picture on Obama's site dozens of times.

Further, no one at CNN has (unless Hornick is releasing a bombshell) ever "verified" the COLB - either a paper copy or the picture on Obama's site as "official". Hawaii has never said that the picture on Obama's site is "official". (Chiyome Fukino did make that claim recently, but she's no longer in office.)

So, either Hornick has chosen to release two bombshells in one in a CNN blog post, or Hornick is just making things up. Which do you think it is?

To help you decide, Hornick also states:

Former Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle, a Republican, has been quoted as saying, "I had my health director, who is a physician by background, go personally view the birth certificate in the birth records at the Department of Health. We issued a news release at the time saying the president was, in fact, born at Kapi'olani Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii. And that is just a fact."

In that quote, Hornick is enabling a lie: neither of the two statements from the Hawaii Department of Health named a birth hospital. Lingle lied in that quote: she made a false statement and she has no interest in correcting it. Instead, she's allowing her false statement to continue to be repeated by those like Hornick. Instead of pointing out that she lied and trying to get a retraction, Hornick enables Lingle to lie.

Hornick also says:

Health Department spokeswoman Janice Okubo told the Star-Advertiser in July 2009 that vital statistics such as birth announcements were sent to the newspapers by the Health Department, which received the information from the hospital. These announcements were not sent in by the general public, Okubu said.

The article in question is here. I've spoken with Okubo, and I'd put her age in the twenties or thirties. The idea that she'd know the procedures involved almost 50 years ago is absurd, as is the idea that the procedures used in the 60s are the same as the ones used today. The past years have seen great strides in electronic information transmission, medical procedures, and patient privacy and the idea that they did things fifty years ago as they do today is absurd. Further, my knowledge of her is that she is not a reliable source. She even contradicted herself in quotes from the same article.

Hornick also states:

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie, a Democrat, was a close friend of the Obamas and has repeatedly said he was around during the future president’s birth and childhood.

For those of you who haven't been following the Abercrombie issue, see his name's link above: he first said he was going to find the real certificate, then he said he had found a "recording of the birth" that was "written down", then he said he couldn't release anything. And, he misled about seeing Obama in the birth hospital and may have misled about seeing him as a baby.

Now, the above doesn't mean that Obama was born in Kenya; he was most likely born in Hawaii as he says. The issue is that he hasn't provided definitive proof. Instead, his defenders - Ed Hornick, Brian Todd, CNN, the rest of the mainstream media, political leaders, and so on - tie themselves into deceptive knots trying to delude people into thinking that Obama's proved where he was born. All of those who've taken Obama's side in this matter have lied and misled and have shown that they have no credibility.

John King lies, misleads, smears; thinks facts are crazy (CNN, Obama certificate, Birthers) - 04/16/11

The video below provides yet more evidence that you can't trust John King and CNN in general.

Fukino: Obama has birth certificate on file and it matches the COLB - 04/10/11

Former Hawaii Health Director Chiyome Fukino - at the center of the Obama citizenship issue - has given an interview in which she claims that Obama has a valid birth certificate on file in Hawaii. Per her, the certificate is half handwritten and half typed and is signed by the delivering physician. She also claims that the information on the "Certification of Live Birth" ("COLB") shown on Obama's site matches what they have on file.

That settles the "Birther" issue, right? Not really. Those who have concerns about whether Obama is really a citizen due to issues of his father's citizenship or his mother's age will still have those concerns, but that's not an area that's been covered here. And, in order to think that this solves the question of whether Obama was in fact born in Hawaii, one would need to take the word of Chiyome Fukino, something I'm not willing to do. I think it's very likely Obama was born in Hawaii and I think it's likely that Fukino is telling the truth. However - unlike 99.99% of those who've commented on this issue - I've actually spoken with those in Hawaii such as Janice Okubo. And, I don't exactly trust them to a) tell the absolute truth, and b) to care all that much about "mainland concerns".

That's buttressed by all of the lies and misleading statements that have swirled around this issue since it began: the mainstream media has consistently failed to look into this issue in a balanced way. Instead, the media has consistently maintained that Obama was born where he says he was and has lied and misled to fit that preordained conclusion.

Here's the article by Michael Isikoff of MSNBC (obviously a very Obama-friendly source; msnbc.msn.com/id/42519951):

"It’s kind of ludicrous at this point," Dr. Chiyome Fukino, the former director of Hawaii's Department of Health, said in a rare telephone interview with NBC.

Fukino, sounding both exasperated and amused, spoke to a reporter in the aftermath of Donald Trump's statements on the NBC Today show last week questioning whether Obama has a legitimate birth certificate.

...No matter what state officials release on the issue, the "birthers" are going to question it, said Fukino. "They’re going to question the ink on which it was written or say it was fabricated," said Fukino. "The whole thing is silly."

...The first [of her points] is that the original so-called "long form" birth certificate - described by Hawaiian officials as a "record of live birth" - absolutely exists, located in a bound volume in a file cabinet on the first floor of the state Department of Health. Fukimo said she has personally inspected it — twice. The first time was in late October 2008, during the closing days of the presidential campaign, when the communications director for the state's then Republican governor, Linda Lingle (who appointed Fukino) asked if she could make a public statement in response to claims then circulating on the Internet that Obama was actually born in Kenya.

Before she would do so, Fukino said, she wanted to inspect the files - and did so, taking with her the state official in charge of vital records. She found the original birth record, properly numbered, half typed and half handwritten, and signed by the doctor who delivered Obama, located in the files. She then put out a public statement asserting to the document's validity. She later put out another public statement in July 2009 - after reviewing the original birth record a second time.

"It is real, and no amount of saying it is not, is going to change that," Fukino said. Moreover, she added, her boss at the time, Lingle - who was backing John McCain for president - would presumably have to be in on any cover up since Fukino made her public comment at the governor's office's request. "Why would a Republican governor — who was stumping for the other guy - hold out on a big secret?" she asked.

Her second point - one she made repeatedly in the interview - is that the shorter, computer generated "certification of live birth" that was obtained by the Obama campaign in 2007 and has since been publicly released is the standard document that anybody requesting their birth certificate from the state of Hawaii would receive from the health department.

The document was distributed to the Obama campaign in 2007 after Obama, at the request of a campaign official, personally signed a Hawaii birth certificate request form downloaded on the Internet, according to a former campaign official who asked for anonymity. (Obama was "testy" when asked to sign the form but did so anyway to put the issue to rest, the former campaign official said. The White House has dismissed all questions about the president's birth as "fictional nonsense.")

The certification that the campaign received back —which shows that Obama was born in Honolulu at 7:24 p.m. on Aug. 4, 1961 — was based on the content of the original document in state files, Fukino said.

"What he got, everybody got," said Fukino. "He put out exactly what everybody gets when they ask for a birth certificate."

Hawaiian officials say that the certification is, in fact, only one piece of abundant evidence of Obama's birth in Hawaii. Joshua Wisch, a spokesman for the Hawaii attorney general's office, noted that a public index of vital records, available for inspection in a bound volume at the Health Department's Office of Health Status Monitoring, lists a male child named "Obama II, Barack Hussein" as having been born in the state.

...Even Fukino accepts that her comments are not likely to end the matter for the die-hard birthers. Trump and other skeptics have questioned why the original birth certificate has not been released.

But Wisch, the spokesman for the attorney general's office, said state law does not in fact permit the release of "vital records," including an original "record of live birth" — even to the individual whose birth it records.

"It's a Department of Health record and it can't be released to anybody," he said. Nor do state laws have any provision that authorizes such records to be photocopied, Wisch said. If Obama wanted to personally visit the state health department, he would be permitted to inspect his birth record, Wisch said.

But if he or anybody else wanted a copy of their birth records, they would be told to fill out the appropriate state form and receive back the same computer generated "certification of live birth" form that everybody else gets - which is exactly what Obama did four years ago.

1. Note that Fukino sounds more like an exasperated Obama supporter than an objective finder of fact.

2. Fukino also seems to think there's some real difference between the Republicans and Democrats, when in fact both are part of the greater "Establishment". Does anyone think a hack like Linda Lingle would reveal some big secret about Obama if she knew of it, and thereby dash the hopes of the first black candidate who stood a real chance at the presidency? Note also that Lingle lied about what Fukino's statement said; see her name's link.

3. And, of course, Obama could get them to release anything he wanted them to release. Anyone who says otherwise is trying to fool you.

UPDATE: Hawaii state senator Sam Slom thinks that one reason why Obama won't release his full certificate is that could show his father to be different than Obama Sr. (link). On the topic of this post:

(Aaron Klein) also asked Slom about recent statements made by former Hawaii Health Director Dr. Chiyome Fukino to MSNBC, in which she claimed Hawaii law prevents Obama's long-form birth certificate from being disclosed, even to Obama himself.

"I didn't hear the statements on MSNBC," Slom admitted, "but I do not believe that part is true."

Ben Smith keeps lying about Obama certificate issue, two years later - 04/01/11

Over two years ago I posted Ben Smith /Politico keeps lying about Obama certificate issue. Now, over two years later, Smith is still lying about the basic, indisputable facts of the matter.

At [1] he says:

Obama has, as has been reported for years, released the document. Hawaii officials have verified it. The conspiracy theory is crazy. And, having been held at bay by the Republican Establishment for three years, it's now bleeding in.

That is factually incorrect: it's a lie and Ben Smith is trying to fool gullible people who won't take the time to do research. The facts of the matter are that Hawaii refuses to verify the COLB picture that Obama posted on his website.

One single Hawaiian official has said he was born there and she previously said she and another official had seen "Obama’s original birth certificate on record". Everything former Hawaii governor Linda Lingle has said was based on that (and she lied when reprising what others had said). Current governor Neil Abercrombie said he'd found a "recording of the birth" that was "written down" but then refused to produce anything.

At no time has a Hawaii official authenticated or "verified" the picture shown on Obama's site. Ben Smith is, as he's always done, lying to you.

[1] politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0411/Trumps_shadow.html

Ben Smith finally does real reporting on the Birth Certificate (Donald Trump's that is) - 03/28/11

Ben Smith of the Politico is finally doing real reporting on an issue about the Birth Certificate. No, not whatever Birth Certificate Barack Obama has: Ben Smith has a habit of lying about that.

Rather, Smith's real reporting involves looking into a certificate of some kind that Donald Trump posted after engaging in "Birther theorizing" (politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0311/

But after several New York City-based readers contacted POLITICO's Maggie Haberman, her call to city officials revealed that an actual birth certificate, which is issued by the Department of Health, would have the agency's seal and also a signature of the city registrar - neither of which the Trump document has. Officials said the city Health Department is the "sole issuing authority" of official birth certificates in New York, and that the document would clearly say so, and "city officials said it's not an official document."

Compare that to the link above as well as this other example of Ben Smith lying about the "Birther" issue.

It's only GOP and teaparty leader incompetence that keeps Smith employed.

Michael O'Brien of The Hill keeps lying about Obama's "certificate" - 02/17/11

Michael OBrien of The Hill has a habit of lying about the basic, indisputable facts of the Obama citizenship issue. The latest example is this false statement in an article attempting to "Birther-bait" Michelle Bachmann (link):

The state of Hawaii has produced a birth certificate showing Obama was born there.

The problem is that whether that happened is unclear; to state it as a fact is to lie.

First, the infamous picture on Obama's site says right at the top that it's a "Certification of Live Birth". Calling it a "certificate" is an attempt to deceive and make people think that what Obama posted to his site is what most of us think of when we hear "birth certificate".

More importantly, Hawaii never publicly "produced" anything and won't admit to "producing" anything. The only official acts by the state of Hawaii that we know of are issuing two text statements (here and here).

Hawaii has admitted that they haven't authenticated the picture of a supposed "Certification of Live Birth" shown on Obama's site.

If Hawaii had "produced" a document as Michael O'Brien states, wouldn't you expect them to be willing to authenticate that document? At the present, there's no proof that Hawaii "produced" the infamous picture and there's no proof that that picture matches what if anything Obama received from the state of Hawaii. That doesn't mean that Obama posted a fake picture, just that those who make things up are lying.

If this issue is so cut-and-dried, why do Obama supporters like Michael O'Brien have to keep lying and misleading about the basic, indisputable facts of this matter?

And, of course, I realize that the above doesn't matter to many Obama fans and to the "anti-Birthers": supporting Obama is far more important than telling the truth in their minds.

Anderson Cooper lies about Obama's "certificate" (Montana, Bob Wagner, "Birther") - 02/16/11

Yesterday, Anderson Cooper of CNN interviewed Montana state representative Bob Wagner about the Obama citizenship issue and - no big surprise - Anderson Cooper lied about the basic, indisputable facts of this matter. Obviously, Obama fans like Cooper don't care about getting the facts right, but if you do and you want to find out how Cooper tries to mislead you, keep reading.

Video of the appearance is attached [1] First, here's what Cooper said, followed by why he's lying to you:

Here's the president's official certificate of live birth from the state of Hawaii [on screen: what appears to be the picture from Obama's site]. This is the official document from the state of Hawaii. It's what they send you when you ask for a birth certificate, it's valid at the passport office as a form of identification. It's got the signature stamp and raised seal [on screen: two pictures from FactCheck].

Hawaii's Republican governor, when the controversy erupted, said, quote, "it's been established he was born here." She said she had her health director actually go and view the original electronic copy of the birth certificate in their records.

And, here's the birth announcement ran in both Honolulu newspapers. Today, on another network, another reporter saying that the papers would get their information directly from the state health department. So, those are the facts.

1. The first graphic in the video certainly looks like a "Certification of Live Birth" ("COLB"). However, it's not in any way "the president's official certificate of live birth". It's a picture, not the document itself. And, it's a picture with an uncertain "chain of custody". In order to believe that what CNN is showing you is an accurate copy, one would need to trust both CNN and Barack Obama. Considering that both have repeatedly lied about this and unrelated matters, that perhaps would not be a wise choice. On the video, Cooper gives off the aura of someone trying to sell a car with questionable title online using a picture of a pink slip, or of someone trying a similar scam.

2. That barely-legible picture - if we assume that it matches what Obama uploaded to his site - isn't official for the additional reason that the state of Hawaii refuses to authenticate it. Anderson Cooper told you it's the official document, yet the state that supposedly issued it won't authenticate it.

3. The picture on Obama's site says right at the top that it's a "Certification of Live Birth". On the video, Anderson Cooper continually refers to it as a "certificate", and he's done the same in other interviews. To many Obama fans that doesn't matter, but try getting the name of a document wrong in a legal filing or using the wrong form when dealing with a government agency. Anderson Cooper is obviously trying to mislead his viewers into thinking that the COLB is the same as what most of us think of when we hear "birth certificate".

4. The pictures of the supposed COLB that FactCheck uploaded to their site were later edited without notice. Yes, that's right: FactCheck uploaded large images containing original camera data (EXIF) and then later - without posting any sort of notice - uploaded recompressed pictures that were missing that EXIF data. FactCheck's main document about this issue ("Born in the U.S.A") also blatantly lied about the 10/31/08 statement by Chiyome Fukino. They've also lied and misled for Obama about unrelated issues. And, they're funded by the same general group that funded Obama's Chicago Annenberg Challenge. They are not in any way a credible source.

5. The statement by "Hawaii's Republican governor" (Linda Lingle) that Cooper references didn't take place "when the controversy erupted" but in May, 2010. In that radio interview, Linda Lingle lied about what her state Health Director said. She did state that she'd had Health Director Chiyome Fukino "view the birth certificate in the birth records of the Department of Health", but I don't believe she stated that it involved an "original electronic copy" as Cooper states. And, of course, any original copy wouldn't be in electronic form. Note also that Lingle doesn't claim to have seen any documents herself, and that before the statements in that radio interview she sent out a form letter saying that under Hawaiian law she couldn't reveal the details of someone's birth record. Lingle isn't a credible source: credible sources don't make false statements and then refuse to correct them.

6. The announcements aren't proof. I don't know which "reporter" on which "network" Cooper is referring to, but there's an excellent chance they didn't have their facts right. See the discussion in #3 here; until contemporaneous documentation of procedures or first-person testimony of someone who was employed by the Health Department at the time is produced, the word of "reporters" and current Health Department employees means nothing.

If the above hasn't convinced you that Anderson Cooper is a liar, I invite you to leave a comment below defending his specific statements. I don't expect that, because that's not how "Anti-Birthers" operate: the truth means little to them.

[1] On another video page (link), the video uploader makes unverified legal claims disputing some of what Cooper and Jeffrey Toobin say on the video. Verifying those is left as an exercise. My issues are with Cooper's other claims. Note also that Toobin was forced to apologize for smearing another "Birther". Neither he nor Cooper are credible - or in any way impartial - sources.

Jonathan Strong gets facts wrong about Obama certificate and "Birthers" - 02/16/11

Jonathan Strong of the Daily Caller offers "Earth to birthers: the facts about Obama’s birth certificate" (link). A supposed reporter offering "facts" about the Obama citizenship issue designed to put that issue to rest and finally quell the concerns of the great unwashed is a certain guarantee that they'll get their facts wrong, and Strong is no different.

1. Strong claims that "[t]he evidence shows Obama was born in Hawaii in 1961" and that "[w]e know Obama was born in Hawaii in 1961".

In fact, the most that we can say at the present time is that the evidence strongly indicates that he was born in Hawaii. All the evidence presented so far is full of holes for the reasons outlined in the posts on the Obama citizenship page. If it were already proved then the evidence presented would be irrefutable and Obama's many supporters in the mainstream media and politics wouldn't have to run around lying and misleading on his behalf about the basic, indisputable facts of this matter.

2. Strong writes:

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Obama released a “Certification of Live Birth,” a document produced by the state of Hawaii certifying the state holds records that a person was born there.

Give him credit for - unlike dozens of other reporters - getting the name of the document right. However, it's not correct to state that Obama "released" a Certification of Live Birth ("COLB"). He posted on his website a picture of a COLB. As anyone knows, sometimes a supposed picture of an item and the item itself are different. While it's very unlikely that Obama would have edited that picture in some way, it can't be ruled out. Especially since the state of Hawaii refuses to authenticate that picture. If everything were proven as Strong would have us believe, then Hawaii would have authenticated that picture or Obama would have released the original paper copy of whatever he received to an impartial panel for them to verify. (The pictures from FactCheck are questionable for the reasons outlined at that link.)

3. Strong states:

Further, two Hawaiian newspaper announcements from 1961 tell of Obama's birth. Janice Okubo, a spokeswoman for the Hawaii Department of Health, told the Honolulu Advertiser in July 2009 that such newspaper announcements were based on notifications from the Health Department, which received information directly from hospitals.

That's a reference to [1]. Those announcements aren't proof. And, relying on the thoughts of Janice Okubo is a risky endeavor indeed. In the past she's contradicted herself in the same article and in a telephone conversation I had with her she indicated that she's just a spokeswoman and doesn't directly deal with the certificates. It's also doubtful whether she was even born in 1961. Yet, here she is trying to tell us how things were done five decades ago? Walk into any government office and ask a supervisor to tell you how things were done there in the 60s and see if they have any clue.

The truth about how such announcements were handled would only come from the testimony of those who handled such announcements at the time, from contemporaneous policy manuals and other documentation, and so on. Not from someone who probably wasn't even born then and who's more or less just a confused PR flack.

4. Strong states:

The certification of live birth Obama released is legally sufficient documentation to apply for a U.S. passport, but it’s not the same thing as a “long form” birth certificate, called a “Certificate of Live Birth” in Hawaii. That document is issued by hospitals and includes additional information not on the certification.

Here's a test: put a picture of your birth certificate on a website somewhere, then take your laptop in to the State Department and ask for a passport using that web picture. That's not going to work, wouldn't you agree? While the original paper copy of a COLB might be enough to apply for a passport, all we've seen so far is a picture on a website of a supposed COLB.

5. Strong states:

Though Obama has not released the long form birth certificate, a state official in Hawaii says she has personally viewed it... July 27, 2009, the then-director of the Hawaii Department of Health, Dr. Chiyome Fukino, stated she had personally viewed the long-form birth certificate. “I…have seen the original vital records maintained on file by the Hawai‘i State Department of Health verifying Barack Hussein Obama was born in Hawai‘i and is a natural-born American citizen,” she said in a written statement.

Strong is, at the least, jumping to conclusions. On October 31, 2008, Fukino stated that she had seen Obama's "original birth certificate". In the statement that Strong references, she only said she'd seen his "original vital records". Hawaii governor Neil Abercrombie only referenced a "recording of the birth" that was "written down".

We certainly could be like Jonathan Strong and *assume* that those are references to a long-form birth certificate such as we've seen, but making such assumptions is generally not a good idea. They could be referring to something else.

While it's highly likely that Obama was born in Hawaii, he still hasn't definitively proven it despite what those like Jonathan Strong would have you believe. This issue is vitally important from that perspective: we can't allow the media to strongarm their version of the truth on the U.S. The mainstream media has consistently lied and misled about this issue and has waged a smear campaign ("Birther!") against anyone who has questions in order to paper over their lies. That's extremely dangerous for the U.S. and it emboldens the media to lie about other issues.

See also:

* Did Hawaii gov Abercrombie lie about seeing baby Obama?
* The highly incompetent response to this issue by the GOP and their leading supporters.
* FactCheck
* Politifact
* Snopes
* The long list of others who've lied and misled about this issue on the Obama citizenship page.

[1] From July 28, 2009's "Hawaii officials confirm Obama’s original birth certificate still exists" from Dan Nakaso, a reporter who's lied about the facts of this matter before (link):

Birthers wave off those birth announcements, saying that Obama family members 48 years ago could have phoned in false information to both newspapers.

Such vital statistics, however, were not sent to the newspapers by the general public but by the Health Department, which received the information directly from hospitals, Okubo said.

Birth announcements from the public ran elsewhere in both papers and usually included information such as the newborn's name, weight and time of birth.

"Take a second and think about that," wrote Robert Farley of the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times' Pulitzer Prize winning Web site PoliticFact.com on July 1. "In order to phony those notices up, it would have required the complicity of the state Health Department and two independent newspapers — on the off chance this unnamed child might want to one day be president of the United States.

On a sidenote, Robert Farley misled about this issue.

Did Hawaii gov Abercrombie lie about seeing baby Obama? (1/09 interview) - 01/24/11

The strange tale of Hawaii governor Neil Abercrombie and Barack Obama's birth certificate continues with a video from early 2009 that might contradict Abercrombie's claim to have seen Obama as a baby.

See the video below, and here's the transcript:

At the end of 2010, Hawaii governor Neil Abercrombie said he was going to prove that Obama was born in Hawaii...

He said "I was here when that baby was born." But, questioned by the NYT, he admitted that he only meant that he'd only seen Baby Obama with his parents at social events...

However, it's not clear whether Obama's parents ever lived together.

Plus, Obama and his mother were in Seattle a few weeks to a few months after he was born...

In January 2011, Abercrombie said he'd found a "recording" that was "written down".

Notably, he didn't say he'd found a birth certificate...

Then just a few days later, Abercrombie said he couldn't release any information under Hawaiian law.

Those are the same laws that HI's Health Director appears to have ignored when making her statements...

Now, see this January 21, 2009 interview with Abercrombie [1].

Does it contradict his earlier claim about seeing Baby Obama?

EVANS: When was the first time you set eyes on Barack Obama?

ABERCROMBIE: Well, of course, that was after he was born [laughs]. Barak Sr. had met his mom, in a Russian class. She was scarcely, well, just out of High School really. And, they got married and, with statehood essentially, you know, within a year or so of statehood, Barack Obama was born. Barack Hussein Obama was born.

EVANS: Do you remember him growing up?

ABERCROMBIE: No, I remember him as a little boy, with his grandfather. Because his mother and father separated. That story's pretty well known. And, the father, Barak Sr. went on to the mainland to go to school, and then back to Kenya. And, his mom went on, married again. In the process, I would see Little Barry, as his grandfather called him, Little Barry and his grandfather mostly, all over. They walked everywhere. Stanley Dunham, his grandfather, took him everywhere. And, they met everybody and knew everybody...

There are two ways to interpret what he said. The first is that he did in fact see Obama as a baby.

In that case, "after he was born" means he saw Obama shortly after he was born.

The second interpretation is that "after he was born" was just a figure of speech or an attempt at a joke.

Abercrombie's strongest memories seem to be of Obama when he was old enough to "walk everywhere".

If he had seen Obama as a baby, one might expect tales of visiting the birth hospital, or specific "social events", or the like.

Yet, he just recounted how he'd seen Obama when he was old enough to "walk everywhere".

In any case, none of this means that Obama was born in Kenya, Canada, or on the moon. He was probably born in Hawaii, but - despite what you've heard - he hasn't proved it.

All of the evidence presented so far is full of holes, and Obama's defenders trip over themselves to lie and mislead for him.

And, Abercrombie's "interesting" statements and actions aren't helping his cause.

UPDATE: This concerns the last video in [1]:

A celebrity journalist now claims he misspoke when he said last week that Hawaii’s governor told him he was unable to find President Barack Obama’s original birth certificate after a search of state and hospital archives.

Mike Evans told FoxNews.com on Wednesday he was remorseful and embarrassed that he appeared to have given the impression that he had discussed the search for Obama’s birth certificate with Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie.

I don't think this is a matter of someone "getting to" Evans. Rather, he was just offering a flamboyant re-cap of one of the "Abercrombie can't find Obama's birth certificate" story.

Pressure MSM reporters - such as @markniesse or @JaymesSong - to press Abercrombie for specific "social events" where he claims he saw Baby Obama.

[1] The interviewer is syndicated radio reporter Mike Evans, and the interview was apparently broadcast over CSPAN on January 21, 2009, the day after Inauguration Day. The original videos (cached) are at youtube.com/watch?v=gsLleXvtM2o and youtube.com/watch?v=mVLmEG_8b7A. Evans recently recounted the interview at youtube.com/watch?v=nb--1AxmgZ8
ADDED: On the last, Evans makes claims that are being interpreted as him saying that Abercrombie told him that there's no birth record in Hawaii. However, whether that's what he's saying or whether he's just offering a re-cap of the "Abercrombie can't find Obama's birth certificate" story isn't clear. Perhaps in a future interview he'll provide a more definitive report.

Hawaii governor Abercrombie won't release supposed Obama birth certificate - 01/21/11

At the end of December 2010, newly-elected Hawaii governor Neil Abercrombie said he'd try to find and release Obama's original birth certificate which is supposedly on file with that state. Then a few days ago he said he'd found a "recording of the birth" that was "written down".

Now, he says he can't release the (supposed) certificate (link):

Democratic Gov. Neil Abercrombie will end his quest to prove President Barack Obama was born in Hawaii because it's against state law to release private documents, his office said Friday.

State Attorney General David Louie told the governor he can't disclose an individual's birth documentation without a person's consent, Abercrombie spokeswoman Donalyn Dela Cruz said.

"There is nothing more that Gov. Abercrombie can do within the law to produce a document," said Dela Cruz. "Unfortunately, there are conspirators who will continue to question the citizenship of our president."

Obviously, that flies in the face of what Chiyome Fukino did in July 2009: she claimed that Obama was not only born in Hawaii but was a "natural-born American citizen". The first claim would certainly seem to be a violation of the very same Hawaiian laws that Abercrombie now says he can't in turn violate. And, since Fukino is not to my knowledge a legal scholar, she's not qualified to make the second "natural-born" claim.

But, all of that doublethinking and obfuscation and possible law-breaking doesn't matter. Instead, I suggest just taking the word of these people:

* Fukino (a civil servant, just as Helen Jones-Kelley was a civil servant and whose statements read more like someone being held hostage and who realizes that if she isn't telling the truth and is found out will face no repercussions)

* Abercrombie (someone who's misled about this issue and who's so wrapped up in this that he claimed that anyone who questioned the official story wasn't a "good American")

* Obama (who's repeatedly lied: Obama misleads, Obama immigration, etc.)

* the mainstream media (which has consistently lied and misled about the basic, indisputable facts of this matter)

Don't worry about those who have a personal stake in the matter and who have from unknown to little to no credibility. Instead, just trust them.

On the other hand, if you can think for yourself, see the Obama citizenship page for our extensive coverage, and click here if you don't understand our take on this issue and why this issue is so vital.

UPDATE: A January 2009 interview casts doubt on whether Abercrombie saw Baby Obama as he claims.

Not credible: Neil Abercrombie misleads, now can't seem to find Obama's original birth certificate - 01/19/11

[UPDATE: Now he won't release it]

In late December, 2010, newly elected Hawaii governor Neil Abercrombie said this (link):

"Maybe I'm the only one in the country that could look you right in the eye right now and tell you, 'I was here when that baby was born.' " ..."More than demonization — this is self-evisceration of politics," said Abercrombie, who raised the birthplace issue unprompted during the interview. "Empires fall and countries fall when that takes the place of discourse."

Then, a later interview with Abercrombie included this (link):

Mr. Abercrombie, 72, said that although he did not see the elder Obamas at the hospital with their newborn son, he did remember the couple bringing the baby to social events.

His earlier claim implied that he'd been at the hospital around the time that Obama was born, yet he was forced to admit that wasn't the case. And, it's not clear whether he could have even seen the baby Obama at "social events" since it's not clear whether Stanley Dunham and Barak Obama Sr. ever lived together and Stanley Dunham might have been in Seattle just three weeks after Obama was born. She apparently didn't return to Hawaii for a year or so, at which time Obama would no longer be a baby.

Further, the marriage between Barak Sr. and Stanley Dunham came as a surprise to their circle of friends, including Abercrombie [1].

So, not only does Abercrombie have a major credibility issue, but he's very personally invested in this issue [2]; because of both his testimony can't be trusted.

And, just yesterday came word that Abercrombie can't seem to find Obama's original birth certificate but apparently has just found some other sort of document [3].

Abercrombie claims that those who have questions about Obama's birthplace aren't "good Americans", yet - at least at this point in time - he can't locate Obama's original birth certificate which we've been told by the media for the past two years exists in Hawaiian records.

Now, the above doesn't mean that Obama was born somewhere other than Hawaii. It's just further evidence that those who claim that we know all there is to know are lying. (For further examples, see the two articles linked above and the others about Abercrombie's crusade; discussing how they're misleading is left as an exercise.)

See the Obama citizenship page for extensive past coverage of this issue, including many examples of reporters and politicians lying about the basic facts of this matter.

[UPDATE: Now he won't release it]

UPDATE 2: A January 2009 interview casts doubt on whether Abercrombie saw Baby Obama as he claims.

[1] time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1729524-3,00.html

On Feb. 2, 1961, several months after they met, Obama's parents got married in Maui, according to divorce records. It was a Thursday. At that point, Ann was three months pregnant with Barack Obama II. Friends did not learn of the wedding until afterward. "Nobody was invited," says Abercrombie. The motivations behind the marriage remain a mystery, even to Obama.

[2] In addition to the inflammatory quotes elsewhere in the first two articles, see these video interviews with him:

"It's an insult to his mother and father"

"put those who want to disrespect the president and his parents in the proper light, which is to say they have a political agenda not worthy of any good American"

[3] link:

(Abercrombie said there is a recording of the birth in the State Archives and he wants to use that.)

It was actually written I am told, this is what our investigation is showing, it actually exists in the archives, written down ...

...What I can do, and all I have ever said, is that I am going to see to it as governor that I can verify to anyone who is honest about it that this is the case.

If there is a political agenda then there is nothing I can do about that, nor can the president.

When did Stanley Dunham move to Seattle with Obama: 1961 or 1962? (University of Washington, Wikipedia) - 01/19/11


The political establishment has spent countless man-hours trying to claim that we know for a fact that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii. Yet, even seemingly simple aspects of his past history are shrouded in mystery. For example: when exactly did Obama's mother Stanley Ann Dunham moved from Hawaii back to Seattle to attend the University of Washington?

WorldNetDaily uncovered a college transcript from UW (emailed from UW and attached):

The transcript clearly documents that Dunham was enrolled at the University of Washington for two classes that began on Aug. 19, 1961: Anthropology 100, "Introduction to the Study of Man" and Political Science 201, "Modern Government." ...The transcript also shows Dunham was enrolled at the University of Washington as a "nonresident citizen"...

WND says those were night courses and indicate that Stanley was in Seattle in August of 1961; Obama supporters respond with the claim that those were in fact extension or correspondence courses which don't necessarily indicate that Stanley Dunham was present in Seattle in August 1961 (when Obama would have been just a few weeks old). Those supporters claim they could be UW courses offered in Hawaii (for examples, see the Wikipedia page at [7]).

Yet, a friend of Dunham describes a visit to Seattle in August 1961 [1].

Another account has a neighbor describing babysitting for Barack Obama in Seattle in the January to March of 1962 timeframe [2] [3]. Note that [3] references Stanley Obama attending night classes; whether that backs up claims that she was in Seattle in August 1961 isn't clear.

Another account says Stanley Dunham had returned to Seattle "by 1962" [4]

Yet another account says "[Stanley & Barack Obama's] stay was fairly short -- about a year -- and in 1962 they returned to Hawaii" [5] which would tend to place the arrival date near the very beginning of 1962 or the end of 1961.

Not only is Stanley Dunham's arrival date shrouded in mystery, but so too is whether she and Obama Sr. ever lived together either before or after her stay in Seattle [6].

On a sidenote, Wikipedia has responded to WND's UW transcript by blanking their discussion page for the Ann Dunham article, effectively hiding the controversy from public view [7].

Now, the above doesn't mean that Obama was born somewhere other than Hawaii. It's just further evidence that those who claim that we know all there is to know are lying and, in the case of Wikipedia, are actively trying to silence debate.

See the Obama citizenship page for extensive past coverage of this issue, including many examples of reporters and politicians lying about the basic facts of this matter.

UPDATE: From this:

As Obama tells the story [in Dreams from My Father], Obama Sr. had children with at least four different women, two of them American, two African. Ruth Nidesand, a white American, had two children by Obama Sr., Mark and David, the latter of whom died young in a motorcycle accident.

When Obama Sr. died in 1982, lawyers contacted anyone who might have claim to the estate. "Unlike my mum," Obama tells his half-sister Auma in "Dreams," "Ruth has all the documents needed to prove who Mark's father was."

Ruth obviously could produce a marriage license and a birth certificate for her son Mark. Although Obama alludes to finding his own "birth certificate" in "Dreams," Ann Dunham apparently could not produce one that tied him to Obama Sr., this despite a potential payoff if she did.

"Unlike my mum... Ruth has all the documents needed to prove who Mark's father was"?

And, there's this unverified bit:

In an online forum dated March 14, 2009, Ann's high-school classmate Joelle Hannum comments innocently, "I can remember the rumors about [Ann] and another classmate who were involved with and married African-American men, and believe me in those days it was looked at with a LOT of negativity." As another friend had earlier testified, Ann never dated "the crew-cut white boys."

A thorough investigator, Hardy called Joelle Hannum to follow up. He immediately wrote down what she told him: "By request of President Obama, we [she and her classmates] have decided not to give out any more information. I have to hang up now. Goodbye."

She might have hung up on him, or she might not have. And, even if she did, she might have just made up the part about Obama. However, I've run into something similar: several months ago, the Dean of the University of Hawaii Law School hung-up on me when I simply tried to ask him basic, completely fact-based questions about this matter.

[1] On youtube.com/watch?v=advfrQEeIBY (cached), Susan Blake, former Mercer Island councilwoman and a high school friend of Stanley says:

"one afternoon in 1961 when Barry was just a few weeks old... she... we were sitting at my mom's house, late August afternoon..." Blake says she "changed Barry's diaper and showed her [i.e., Stanley] how to do it."

[2] "Babysitting Barack Obama on Seattle's Capitol Hill"
by Charlette LeFevre and Philip Lipson - Special to the SGN
Courtesy of the Seattle Museum of the Mysteries

[Mary Toutonghi] recalls as best she can the dates she babysat Barack as her daughter was 18 months old and was born in July of 1959 and that would have placed the months of babysitting Barack in January and February of 1962.

[3] redoubtreporter.blogspot.com/2009/01/
By Jenny Neyman
Redoubt Reporter ("a community newspaper for the Central Kenai Peninsula, published weekly in Soldotna")

[Mary Toutonghi] used to baby-sit President Obama when she was neighbors with his mother.

Toutonghi was living in Seattle at the time, in the early 1960s. Her husband was going to school at Seattle University, and she was a stay-at-home mom with their 18-month-old daughter.

They lived in a three-story house that had been converted into three inexpensive apartments. Toutonghi and her family lived in the basement apartment, and Ann Dunham — Obama’s mother — lived in the apartment directly upstairs.

Dunham attended night classes a few days a week at the University of Washington, and needed someone to take care of her son.

[4] seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/politics/
Obama's mother known here as "uncommon"
By Jonathan Martin [not the one from Politico]

By 1962, Dunham had returned to Seattle as a single mother, enrolling in the UW for spring quarter and living in an apartment on Capitol Hill. But friends said she got overwhelmed and returned to her family in Hawaii, and formally divorced Obama Sr. in 1964.

[5] "This essay was updated on February 7, 2009. By Phil Dougherty, January 22, 2009"
historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=pf_output.cfm&file_id=8897 (cached)
Has a picture captioned "Anna Obama residence listed in Seattle Reverse Directory, 1961-1962" showing Joseph Toutonghi as a neighbor

Soon after Barack was born, Dunham and her new son moved to Seattle. They lived in Apartment 2 of the Villa Ria Apartments at 516 13th Avenue E on Capitol Hill, and she enrolled at the University of Washington. But their stay was fairly short -- about a year -- and in 1962 they returned to Hawaii. By this time the senior Barack Obama had left Hawaii to continue his education at Harvard, with eventual plans to return to his native Kenya with his family. Dunham felt otherwise and filed for divorce in 1964.

That page lists as sources:

Amanda Ripley, “The Story of Barack Obama’s Mother,” TIME, April 9, 2008, website accessed January 1, 2009 (http://www.time.com/); Tim Jones, “Barack Obama: Mother Not Just A Girl From Kansas,” Chicagotribune.com, March 27, 2007, website accessed January 1, 2009 (http://www.chicagotribune.com/); Jonathan Martin, “Obama’s Mother Known Here As ‘Uncommon,’” The Seattle Times, April 8, 2008, website accessed January 1, 2009 (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/); Patti Payne, “Obama’s Mother Went To Mercer Island High School; Rossi Recalls WSJ,” Puget Sound Business Journal, January 11, 2008, website accessed January 1, 2009 (http://masshightech.bizjornals.com/seattle); Charlotte LeFevre, “Barack Obama: From Capitol Hill to Capitol Hill,” CapitolHillTimes.com, January 9, 2009, website accessed January 10, 2009 (http://www.capitolhilltimes.com/); Phil Dougherty interview of Maxine Box, February 5, 2009, Seattle, Washington; Phil Dougherty interview of Susan Blake, January 18, 2009, Seattle Washington; Phil Dougherty interview of Tony Nugent, January 13, 2009, Seattle, Washington; Phil Dougherty interview of Iona Stenhouse, January 13, 2009, Seattle, Washington; Tony Nugent emails to Phil Dougherty, January 19, January 23, January 31, and February 2, 2009, in possession of Phil Dougherty, Sammamish, Washington.

[6] From the same WND article:

Stuart Lau, registrar at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, confirmed to WND that Dunham attended the fall term 1960 and did not resume studies at that university until the spring term 1963.

Lau also confirmed to WND that Barack Obama Sr. attended the University of Hawaii at Manoa from the fall term 1959 through the spring term 1962.

This confirms the conclusion that Ann Dunham and Barack Obama Sr. never lived together as man and wife after the birth of Barack Obama Jr.

[7] On January 2, 2011, user Viriditas edited the Talk page for Ann_Dunham with this note: "archive old talk; move probation tag to top". The December 4, 2010 version of that page had a long section entitled "Article Should Include Evidence of Dunham's University Attendance in Washington State in 1961" linking to the WND article. Viriditas makes various excuses for not mentioning the WND article, including "the WND cannot be trusted".

Sarah Palin's lonely fight against claims of her birth in Nunavut - 12/30/10

From Part 11 of a 15 part Joint Investigative Report by the NYT, WaPo, MSNBC, Chicago Tribune, LAT, AP, and CSM:

...Sarah Palin has repeatedly refused to comment on the issue, leaving many to speculate on whether she was in fact born in Nunavut and not in Idaho as she claims.

Before the election, she posted on her website a picture of what she 'claims' is her birth certificate. However, a team of over one hundred Ivy League legal experts pointed out that what's shown on her website is simply a picture and is not in fact proof that she was born in Idaho. Further, Idaho officials have refused to comment on the matter. "A picture of a document isn't the same thing as the document itself. Can you eat a picture of a sandwich?", highly-acclaimed Harvard University professor David Cutler points out.

Acclaimed constitutional scholar Alan Dershowitz - a recognized international expert in legal matters - pointed out that there's no "chain of custody" for the image, and there's "no proof" that what's on her site matches whatever she received from Idaho: "if, in fact, she ever received anything from Idaho".

The Palin campaign has responded anemically, pointing to supposed newspaper announcements from the Boise Messenger and Idaho Express newspapers. Experts contacted as part of this investigation agreed that the announcements aren't proof; they don't even list which hospital Palin was supposedly born in and no one has provided evidence showing how the announcements appeared in the papers.

None of those highly rational arguments have stopped the so-called "Birthers", a political fringe group that top psychologists agree are literally insane. Those much-despised "Birthers" claim that Palin is telling the truth. Per their spokesman Arly Lootz - a disgruntled former rodeo clown and embattled used car salesman - "the claims from her opponents would require Palin's parents to have planted those announcements in expectation of her running for president."

Famous University of Chicago professor Cass Sunstein - known throughout academia and the world for his intellectual honesty and credibility - points out that such claims are a strawman argument.

"The announcements could have been placed for other reasons such as in case of a custody battle", he stated in an interview he was gracious enough to provide to this investigation. "Further, there's no evidence that the announcements could have only come from an Idaho birth hospital; Palin could have been born in Nunavut as most sane people believe but the announcements simply placed in Idaho due to other factors", the extremely credible and acclaimed Sunstein continued.

Further, non-partisan, award-winning journalistic watchdogs FactCheck and Politifact have weighed into the debate. FactCheck highlighted claims by the non-partisan Howard Dean that Palin was born outside the U.S., and Politifact gave Palin's claims their "Unsure" rating. Both have called into question the "Birthers" and their obscure theories.

And, in a Joint Investigative Report, FactCheck and Politifact pointed out that Arly Lootz previously served as a treasurer of a fringe GOP group and on weekends he's been known to dress up as a medieval knight as part of the "Society for Creative Anachronism", a group that is currently under government scrutiny for subversive activities.

World-famous linguistics expert George Lakoff of the world-famous University of California at Berkeley - working under a "genius grant" from the MacArthur Foundation as well as under major grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Ford Foundation - has analyzed over 1000 hours of Palin's voice recordings using the supercomputers at the Lawrence Livermore labratory. "Our research shows that Palin has a strong Nunavut accent... she clearly has a lot of '' 'explainin' '' to do."

[...33 paragraphs deleted...]

While some observers admit that no evidence has emerged that Palin was born in Nunavut as most credible sources claim, questions persist...

ADDED: The New York Times / Washington Post / MSNBC / Chicago Tribune / Los Angeles Times / Associated Press / Christian Science Monitor Special Joint Investigation has won the Los Angeles Times Award For Best Coverage as well as the New York Times Golden Eagle Award for Excellence in Journalism and the Annenberg Foundation's Soros Award for Investigative Reporting.

ADDED: The NYT/WaPo/MSNBC/Tribune/LAT/AP/CSM Special Joint Investigation has just won the Pulitzer Price for investigative journalism.

Chris Matthews: Obama should release his original birth certificate (Clarence Page & David Corn agree) - 12/28/10

The video below shows MSNBC host Chris Matthews becoming a dreaded "Birther" and asking why Barack Obama won't simply release his original birth certificate so as to put the Obama citizenship issue to rest.

"Birther Bill" failed: few requests for Obama birth information, few denials - 12/27/10

Earlier this year, Hawaii's legislature signed the so-called "Birther Bill" into law; it allowed them to ignore repeated requests from the same person for information relating to Obama's likely but not proven birth in that state. Not only did it restrict government transparency about *all* requests for information, and not only was it signed during "Sunshine Week", but none of those who push for government transparency say a peep about the law.

Now it's become clear that not only was the bill not needed, but it's failed at its supposed purpose: the law has only been used six times.

Instead, those with requests have done what I suggested at the link above: find loopholes. One of those is simply to find others to make requests for them (link).

And, the requests aren't that onerous: so far in December 2010 they've received 27 requests, 16 from one person. They got just 16 requests in November. That's down from around 50 a month earlier in the year.

At least two staffers spend an hour a day handling requests for Obama birth records, a department official said. They also have to interpret unclear or perplexing requests, sometimes seeking opinions from attorneys at the attorney general's office and the state Office of Information Practices.

For example, some requests ask the state to provide a copy of the seal used on Obama's certificate of live birth, said Cathy Takase, an Office of Information Practices attorney. The Health Department has responded by sending a pencil shading of the embossment, rather than the seal, which officials say could be misused for fraudulent purposes.

The article refers to a frequent requester who's probably Orly Taitz. If they don't want her to make so many requests maybe they should take steps to answer her questions.

See the Obama citizenship page for our extensive coverage and our take on this issue. Note particularly that unlike some others I'm not claiming that Obama wasn't born in Hawaii; he probably was. My (correct) claim is simply that he hasn't definitively proved where he was born and those who say he has are lying. See that link for examples of reporters and politicians lying about basic, incontrovertible, easy-to-understand facts of this matter.

"Fox News Viewers are Most Uninformed" study gets facts wrong (World Public Opinion, Clay Ramsay, Steven Kull, Evan Lewis) - 12/17/10

A group of researchers from the University of Maryland's "Program on International Policy Attitudes" [1] (link) have released a study attempting to show that the most misinformed voters are those who are viewers of Fox News. One problem: those researchers can't even get their facts straight on one of the issues they used to determine whether voters knew the truth. Those researchers set themselves up as the arbiters of truth, and then invented their own facts.

Now, since the issue they got wrong is the Obama citizenship issue, don't expect anyone who promotes their study to point out that it's flawed. The establishment works night and day to silence debate on that issue and to try to present as fact that Obama was born in the U.S., when it's not a fact but just a belief. It's very highly likely that Obama was indeed born in the U.S., but there's no definitive proof. All of the supposed proof so far offered does not stand up to scrutiny. That doesn't mean he wasn't born in the U.S., simply that he has not provided definitive proof.

In their study, the researchers can't tell the difference between belief and fact. They refer to "the misinformation that Barack Obama was not born in the United States" and say that "[f]ifty-six percent knew it is clear that Obama was born in the United States" [2] [3]. Once again, it's not "clear": all the forms of proof that have been offered are flawed; there's good evidence that Obama was born in the U.S. but it hasn't been definitively proven.

And, they provide this information box to go with [2]:

Obama's Birth
The claim that Obama was not born within the United States was proven to be false in 2008. Researchers for the site Factcheck.org examined the physical birth certificate authenticated by the state of Hawaii and provided an exhaustive account of it, together with five photographs from various angles. Factcheck’s article also reproduces the birth announcement that Barack Obama’s parents posted in the Sunday edition of the Honolulu Advertiser on August 13, 1961.

1. That links to Fact Check's "Born in the U.S.A." article in which FactCheck lied about what the state of Hawaii said in their 10/31/08 statement. In that statement, the state of Hawaii only said that they had Obama's "original birth certificate on record in accordance with state policies and procedures". Fact Check falsely stated that they'd said he was born there when that's not what Hawaii said. Compare the 10/31/08 statement to what Fact Check said about that statement and it's clear that Fact Check lied. For further proof that Fact Check lied, note that Hawaii released a second statement on July 27, 2009 in which they explicitly stated that Obama was born there. If Fact Check were telling the truth about the first statement, why did Hawaii have to release a second statement?

2. The only people who claim that the "physical birth certificate" was "authenticated by the state of Hawaii" are Fact Check themselves. The two FactCheck researchers who claim to have seen the document are not document experts, and no one else has authenticated either the physical document those researchers claim to have seen nor has any official authenticated the pictures that FactCheck posted nor has any official authenticated the picture that Obama posted to his website. Specifically, the state of Hawaii admits that it has never authenticated the photo on Obama's site.

3. FactCheck later recompressed and removed EXIF (camera) data from the photos that they posted, and they did so silently: they edited the photos they uploaded without noting what they'd done. That EXIF data showed that the photos had been taken months before FactCheck claimed they were taken, although that might be due just to an incorrect camera setting. Nevertheless, it's not a good sign that they'd remove that information. The one photo that I'd saved looks identical to the recompressed version, but I'm not a digital photography expert. Overall, it's not a good sign that the supposed source for the truth about this issue modified evidence and did so without noting what they did.

4. There is absolutely no proof that "Barack Obama’s parents posted" those newspaper announcements. The University of Maryland researchers state that as a fact, so where's the evidence? There's no proof at all of where those announcements came from; see that link for the details. If Obama was indeed born in Hawaii then those announcements would most likely have come from the birth hospital, not his parents as the University of Maryland researchers state. But, there's no definitive proof of any source for those announcements. The only extremely weak evidence that those announcements could only come from a birth hospital and would definitively indicate a Hawaiian birth was the vague recollection of someone who wasn't even employed by one of the papers when the announcements appeared. One other possible explanation is that the grandparents placed the announcements in order to strengthen a possible divorce case. But, that's just speculation because once again there's no proof where the announcements came from. The University of Maryland researchers are stating their speculation as a fact; they're confused between belief and fact.

Unfortunately, because many people of low integrity are wont to mislead about this issue I have to point out again: I'm not claiming that Obama wasn't born in Hawaii. I'm simply pointing out the truth: there's no definitive proof of where he was born. All the evidence points to a Hawaiian birth, but that evidence is not solid, it doesn't provide definitive proof even if University of Maryland researchers want to invent their own version of the truth.

[1] The researchers are Clay Ramsay, Steven Kull, and Evan Lewis from the Program on International Policy Attitudes's WorldPublicOpinion.org

[2] Aside from the information box, this is the section on that question:

From approximately spring 2008 onward, the misinformation that Barack Obama was not born in the United States has circulated widely. Respondents were asked the following:

As you may know, some people have suggested that President Obama was not born in the United States. Do you think that Obama was not born in the US, Obama was born in the US, or it is not clear whether Obama was born in the US or not?”

Forty-two percent of voters believed either that Obama was not born in the US (15%) or that it is unclear whether he was or not (27%). Fifty-six percent knew it is clear that Obama was born in the United States.

[3] 31% of Fox viewers said it wasn't clear whether Obama was born in the U.S., as did 24% of public broadcasting (NPR or PBS) consumers. Don't worry: they have an explanation for that and other things public broadcasting consumers got "wrong":

This suggests that misinformation cannot simply be attributed to news sources, but are part of the larger information environment that includes statements by candidates, political ads and so on.

Kasie Hunt lies about Obama certificate issue - 09/27/10

For an example of why you can't trust the reporting of Kasie Hunt or of the Politico in general, consider the article "Candidate trips on birther issue" [1]. The article is designed to enforce rightthinking about the Obama citizenship issue and in it Hunt makes this false statement:

Obama has been dogged by questions about his citizenship despite producing a birth certificate that proves he was born in Hawaii.

1. The picture she's referring to is of a Certification of Live Birth (i.e., a short-form COLB), which isn't the same as a long-form Certificate. While Hawaii has changed the names recently in an apparent attempt to cover for Obama, at the time and in the recent past, a Certification and a Certificate are not the same thing. It says right at the top what it is.

2. Obama hasn't "produc[ed]" anything beyond a picture on a webpage. A picture of an item and the item itself are sometimes not the same thing. The picture in question has not been verified by the issuing agency or anyone else.

3. The certification or the other forms of evidence provided are not definitive proof. They support Obama's claims, and there's no credible evidence that he was born elsewhere, but all of that isn't proof. It is proof to those who are not impartial observers and who are willing to give Obama the benefit of the doubt. It's also proof to the Beltway and various low-level hacks; they think that them simply declaring something to be proven makes it so.

4. As I have to state when covering this issue, the above isn't claiming that we know that Obama was or wasn't born in Hawaii, simply that he hasn't proven his case despite those like Kasie Hunt pretending he has. For a longer discussion, here's why this issue is vitally important.

[1] politico.com/news/stories/0910/42677.html
Kasie Hunt and the Politico are trying to discourage "anti-social" (as it's termed in other countries) behavior by congressional candidate Tim Walberg of Michigan who said of whether Obama was born in the U.S. and whether he's a Muslim: "You know, I don't know. I really don't know. We don't have enough information about this president. He was never given a job interview that was complete," Walberg answered. "But that's not the issue now. He is president. Right now we need to make sure that he doesn't remain as president, whether he's an American, a Muslim, a Christian, you name it." He later issued a statement saying, "I take President Obama at his word that he is a Christian and was born here in America... Now, it's time that we focus on the real issues facing this country."

Debate me on the Obama citizenship issue, Part 2 - 09/13/10

Here's your second chance to debate me on the Obama citizenship issue. Before proceeding, I'm going to ask that you read and understand "Why the Obama certificate issue is vitally important" to understand my angle on this issue. My coverage is perfectly valid, logical, and fact-based, even if many have been trained to reflexively reject any coverage of this issue that doesn't push the official line.

For Part 1, I made the mistake of not focusing on one aspect of this issue. So, Part 2 will only concentrate on one aspect and none other. If you leave a comment below, I fully expect you to only respond to this one aspect and not leave a comment about the general issue or about other aspects. If you do, I may move your comment to another thread.

Here's what I want you to do: describe in detail what this is. I'm not going to tell you what the expected answer is, but I do know that the great majority of Obama supporters will get it wrong.

Once again: any replies must only be about that one specific issue and none other. Generalized rants, off-topic repllies, and so on may be moved to another thread.

(Note: I removed the lightbox for the link above, just click the back button.)

9/16/10 UPDATE: I moved an off-topic discussion here.

9/27/10 UPDATE: Oops: what I called the "6/16/10 UPDATE" was (obviously) the 9/16/10 UPDATE, now fixed.

I've also uploaded the same item that's at the link above to this location:


That item is the same as the one at the link above.

12/28/10 UPDATE: Over three months after posting this and after thousands of views, someone appears to be on the right track towards the correct answer. I've temporarily deleted their comment because I want others to give their answers. Don't worry: the comment has been saved and proper credit will be given when I'm ready to reveal the correct answer (which might be a while).

1/4/11 UPDATE: I've tweeted the twitpic link dozens of times to dozens of people, and only two have taken the challenge so far.

* On 12/27/10, @_ccm said (twitter dot com/_ccm/status/19459110244192258): "A jpg of a COLB. The COLB being prima facie evidence that Barack H. Obama II was born in Honolulu."

* On 1/3/11, @Shoq said (twitter dot com/Shoq/statuses/22169781675233281): "Ok, I'll play along, Homer. Image is Obama's certificate of live birth from Hawaii, just like mine from NYC. And now?" Then, after a few more tweets back and forth, he said (twitter dot com/Shoq/statuses/22408825462063104): "You have one more tweet to tell me your point. Then I block you. Make it count, #Birther boy."

2/9/11 UPDATE: Two more Twitterers have failed the test.
The first is a nobody, one Andrew Wienick. See the exchange here.

The second is more of a somebody, specifically a third-tier version of Dave Weigel: Mediaite's Tommy Christopher. He not only failed the test, he played the race card too. So, he fails twice. Screengrab of the exchange here (ignore the first tweet), and the reply referenced in that picture is here.

2/14/11 UPDATE: Another Twitterer falls, this one syndicated advice columnist Margo Howard (@Margoandhow). She didn't even take the test because she couldn't understand what I was getting at. Then, she leveled a few ad homs and blocked me. See this.

4/9/11 UPDATE: Yet another Twitterer fails, with @MichaelShatz saying of the twitpic link: "that is prima facie evidence of Obama's birth. Everything on that document is proof until proven otherwise." (twitter dot com/MichaelShatz/status/53578893130604544).

4/26/11 UPDATE: Still more Twitterer intellectual failure, as Dave von Ebers - someone who claims to be a lawyer - gives a wrong answer (twitter dot com/Dave_von_Ebers/

A legal document that proves exactly what it says, you racist scumbag. You are a sickening piece of garbage.

After I pointed out that he was wrong, he then acted like a wee lil' fascist and told his followers to "block and report" me. I might have lost out on three or four followers that way.

Timothy Egan misleads for Obama (religion, certificate, Limbaugh) - 08/26/10

Timothy Egan of the New York Times offers "Building a Nation of Know-Nothings" (link) in which he takes the right wing - and Rush Limbaugh specifically - to task for encouraging false beliefs. To a certain extent he's got a point, but you might expect a self-appointed arbiter of what is and what isn't true such as Egan to be able to get his facts straight. Instead, he's a more polished, much more subtle version of that which he decries.

Here's an example of Egan's sloppy thinking:

Take a look at Tuesday night's box score in the baseball game between New York and Toronto. The Yankees won, 11-5. Now look at the weather summary, showing a high of 71 for New York. The score and temperature are not subject to debate... "Tomorrow is Obama’s birthday - not that we've seen any proof of that," he said on Aug. 3. "They tell us Aug. 4 is the birthday; we haven't seen any proof of that." Of course, there is proof as clear as that baseball box score. Look here, www.factcheck.org, for starters, one of many places posting Obama’s Hawaiian birth certificate.

1. Egan can't even get the name of the document right, probably by design. The picture on FactCheck's site and the related photo on Obama's site is of a certification, not a "certificate" as Egan states.

2. As discussed at the FactCheck link, they aren't a credible source on this and other matters. And, the two people who they claim reviewed the document are not document experts.

3. The score of a baseball game is verifiable from multiple independent sources and from personal observation. The same isn't true of the picture. The correct analogy would be if someone posted on their site a photo of a box score from an old, out-of-print newspaper that has no archives and asked you to trust them that the photo hadn't been altered. You have no way to verify that the photo is an accurate representation, and you'd be forced to trust the site operator. While there's very little chance that Obama altered the certificate shown on his site, he - like FactCheck - hasn't proved to be very credible (see Obama misleads). Egan believes Obama and FactCheck; if they changed their tunes he'd simply fall into line. Egan isn't being skeptical in the true sense: he isn't an impartial observer but simply a hack.

See the Obama citizenship page for my extensive coverage, and if you've been programmed to automatically reject any discussion of that topic please take a few seconds and see my angle on this issue.

Egan also claims as a fact that Obama is a Christian. In a loose sense he certainly is. However, it's false to claim that we know for a fact that Obama is not a Muslim. It's also false to claim that we know for a fact that Obama is a Muslim. If you claim to know what religion someone actually *is*, let me know how you bugged that person's conversations with their God, Gods, or lack thereof. It's correct to claim that Obama is a professed and a practicing Christian, because that's an actual fact. Egan isn't making that distinction because his goal isn't rigorous thinking but simply defending Obama.

Jeffrey Toobin of CNN forced to correct smears of "Birther" - 08/19/10

The video at peekURL.com/vw8kycs shows CNN contributor Jeffrey Toobin apologizing for smearing a "Birther" who Toobin had - perhaps unwittingly - accused of being among other things a racist. It's great to see Toobin forced to give a correction, but if others who discuss the Obama citizenship issue were smarter and competent and understood why this issue is important we could get much more meaningful corrections from more powerful people.

The backstory: a few weeks ago, CNN's Anderson Cooper interviewed Army Doctor LTC Terry Lakin about his court martial over this issue, which was followed by a segment featuring Toobin claiming:

"You know, these people are bigots, they're racists, they're freaks, they're lunatics, these are not rational players in American politics."

That was apparently broadcast with a picture of Lakin in the background, and Toobin now says he didn't mean to single him out, he was just speaking generally. This wasn't that great of a smackdown - Toobin did it with a smile on his face. If others would endeavor to understand this issue - and my take on it (see the links above) - we could make a lot of very obnoxious people look bad. Instead, some of the supposed opposition to Obama, the Democrats, and the MSM ends up helping those groups.

Obama attended 3rd grade in two different countries? - 08/09/10

It's time to rewrite history yet again as yet another hole has been found in the official story of Barack Obama's early years ("Another Obama puzzle: 3rd grade in 2 countries? /Photo at Hawaii school doesn't line up with State Department info, registration" by Jerome Corsi, link).

Shannon Travis of CNN lies about Obama certificate issue - 08/04/10

Shannon Travis of CNN offers "CNN Poll: Quarter doubt Obama was born in U.S." (link) which contains three lies about the Obama citizenship issue. Now, of course, just because Shannon Travis and dozens of other mainstream media sources have lied and misled about the easy-to-understand facts of that issue doesn't mean that Obama was born outside the U.S.: it just means those aren't reliable sources.

(Note: If you aren't familiar with my coverage of this issue, please take a minute first and see my discussion of why this is an important issue and my angle on it at that link. Please don't jump to conclusions as those who use words like "Birther" encourage you to do: they don't want you to think for yourself. instead, please read that last link if you haven't already.)

Here's a list of Shannon Travis' lies:

Lie #1:
Travis says: Hawaii has released a copy of the president's birth certificate - officially called a "certificate of live birth."

In fact, Hawaii hasn't "released" anything besides a couple of statements (first, second). The only release of a document is what was provided by the Obama campaign: a picture on his website. That picture was not released by the State of Hawaii: it was released by the Obama campaign. Who releases a document makes a very great deal of difference; Shannon Travis is implying that the picture on Obama's site was released by the State of Hawaii itself when that's not true.

Lie #2:
Travis says: And in 1961 the hospital where the president was born placed announcements in two Hawaiian newspapers regarding Obama's birth.

In fact, there's no proof that those announcements were placed by the birth hospital; see the post about Obama's birth announcements. Those announcements could have been placed by, for instance, Obama's grandparents and for a series of reasons. No one has proved they could have only come from a birth hospital or would indicate a Hawaiian birth. That doesn't mean that they were placed by the grandparents, just that no proof they could have only come from a hospital has been provided. See the link for the details.

Lie #3:
Travis says: President Obama’s birth certificate (left) has been certified authentic by the Republican governor of Hawaii. That's located under a picture of the certificate from Obama's site.

Please read what Linda Lingle said at that link. The key part of her quote is: "So I had my health director... go personally view the birth certificate in the birth records of the Department of Health, and we issued a news release at that time saying that the president was, in fact, born at Kapi'olani Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii."
Note that she doesn't say anything about the picture of a certification on Obama's site, nor does she say whether she even saw what they have on file. From her quote, it sounds more likely that she never saw anything they have on file: she only references the health director (Chiyome Fukino) viewing the certificate. Note that in her quote Lingle also lies: neither of the Fukino statements (as above: first, second) say anything about which hospital he was born in, and in fact there have been conflicting claims about the hospital. (Note also that it's correct to term what Lingle did a "lie" rather than just a "misstatement". She feels no need to correct the record and is consciously allowing a false statement to be promulgated.)

In addition to the lies above, Shannon Travis also says CNN and other news organizations have thoroughly debunked the rumors. In fact, Kitty Pilgrim of CNN lied about the facts of this issue, as discussed at the link.

In addition, Shannon Travis refers to the picture on Obama site as that which is officially called a "certificate of live birth." In fact, the very picture he provides says at the top that it's a "Certification of Live Birth", also known as a "COLB". Whether that's an attempt to mislead or just a mistake isn't known, but there was until recently a difference between the two Hawaiian documents.

Do you want to take the word of someone who lies and can't even get the name of a document correct?

Why the Obama certificate issue is vitally important - 08/04/10

Since June 2008, I've written dozens of posts about the Obama citizenship issue; see them at that link. The reason: because this is a vitally important topic. Does that mean I'm trying to prove that Barack Obama is ineligible for the presidency? No, in fact none of those posts are designed to show that. Rather, the goals include:

State Dep't doesn't have passport records for Stanley Dunham before 1968; conflicting marriage information - 08/02/10

From this:

Responding to a Freedom of Information Act request, the State Department has released passport records of Stanley Ann Dunham, President Obama's mother – but records for the years surrounding Obama's 1961 birth are missing.

The State Department claims a 1980s General Services Administration directive resulted in the destruction of many passport applications and other "non-vital" passport records, including Dunham's 1965 passport application and any other passports she may have applied for or held prior to 1965.

Destroyed, then, would also be any records shedding light on whether Dunham did or did not travel out of the country around the time of Barack Obama's birth...

There's much more at the link, including a heretofore unknown name for Barack Obama which was used in relation to his stay in Indonesia: "Saebarkah". Not knowing Indonesian languages leaves me at a disadvantage, but that sounds like some sort of title ("sae") plus a possible more Indonesian version of "Barack". Although that could just be a coincidence and it might be a proper name in Indonesia.

And, for those who claim that everything about Obama's past is "settled science", there's this example of what we're told not necessarily being the truth:

In the released documents Dunham listed both March 15, 1965, in Molokai, Hawaii, and March 5, 1964, in Maui, Hawaii, as the dates and places of her marriage.

Your job: find those who definitively state that she was married in 1965 and ask them to reconcile it with the above. For instance, Wikipedia currently states "[t]hey married March 15, 1965" and links to this.

Debate me on the Obama citizenship issue - 07/13/10

If you disagree with me on the Obama citizenship issue, here's your chance to try to show how you think I'm wrong. Leave a comment below presenting a counter-argument to any of the posts at the last link, and I'll reply in comments or in the post with my rebuttal.

Ed Morrissey: the Birther's Joe McCarthy (Sharron Angle) - 07/02/10

Ed Morrissey of HotAir recently conducted an interview of Sharron Angle, and even his commenters call him out for engaging in McCarthyism on the Obama citizenship issue. Morrissey says [1]:

In the past few days, rumors have swirled that Angle is a crypto-Birther. I asked her “flat out” whether she believed Barack Obama was born somewhere other than Hawaii, and she replied, “No. Is that flat-out enough for you?” Angle says she “wasn’t dodging” the caller on the radio show now being parsed by the media, in which she replied that the Supreme Court had already ruled on that issue, but instead wanted to talk about Obama’s political qualifications and wanted to politely redirect the conversation. Angle believes that Obama was born in Hawaii and is an American citizen, and also believes that those subjects are nothing more than a distraction that Democrats use to keep attention from their track record.

Angle is not now, nor has she ever been, a Birther. Even some of Morrissey's commenters call him out for McCarthyism. And, neither Morrissey nor Angle are competent enough to turn the birth certificate issue to their advantage. Neither of them are smart enough to figure out that no matter what they say their opponents are going to keep using the issue against them, and they need to do things in a different way.

[1] hotair.com/archives/2010/07/02/sharron-angle-i-am-not-a-birther

Hawaii elections clerk claims no birth certificate on file for Obama - 06/11/10

From this:

A college instructor who worked as a senior elections clerk for the city and county of Honolulu in 2008 is making the stunning claim Barack Obama was definitely not born in Hawaii as the White House maintains, and that a long-form, hospital-generated birth certificate for Obama does not even exist in the Aloha State...

..."I had direct access to the Social Security database, the national crime computer, state driver's license information, international passport information, basically just about anything you can imagine to get someone's identity," Adams explained. "I could look up what bank your home mortgage was in. I was informed by my boss that we did not have a birth record [for Obama]."

It's still unclear whether he had access to all possible records, so this isn't proof one way or another.

Will Espero "birther bill": might restrict government openness, increase costs (signed by Lingle) - 05/16/10

During "Sunshine Week" in March - a celebration of access to government records - Hawaii state senator Will Espero introduced a "Birther bill" designed to restrict access to government records about the Obama citizenship issue.

BBC lies about Obama certificate issue - 05/16/10

The BBC offers "Hawaii blocks repeat requests for Obama birth records" (news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8680916.stm) about that state's new law. In the article, they explicitly state, "Mr Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1961". However, that's then followed by two outright lies about the basic, easily-understood, indisputable facts of this matter:

The state of Hawaii has released a computer print-out of the birth certificate information and officials have vouched for its authenticity, but that has failed to satisfy the birthers.

1. The state of Hawaii has not released a "computer print-out of the birth certificate information". In fact, they haven't released any documents relating to this matter. The only thing they've released are statements; they haven't released copies of any documents. The BBC is lying.

2. The "computer print-out" is a picture of a "Certification of Live Birth", not of "birth certificate information"; the latter (a "Certificate of Live Birth") would have more information. Here's an example.

3. Contrary to the BBC's claims, that "computer print-out" has not been "vouched for" by officials. Hawaii's Janice Okubo admitted that in August of last year. The BBC is lying.

Please take a few seconds and send the BBC a link to this post using their contact form:

Anderson Cooper lies about Obama certificate issue - 05/08/10

Questioning the official story of Obama's birthplace is the establishment's version of heresy, and Anderson Cooper - in the role of an Inquisition interrogator - yesterday interviewed Lt. Col. Terry Lakin about a lawsuit he's bringing over this issue (video: peekURL.com/v6ojxf9 ). In the segment, Cooper lies and misleads about various aspects of this issue:

Linda Lingle rewrites history on Obama certificate issue; breaks the law? - 05/06/10

Hawaii governor Linda Lingle is lying about the Obama citizenship issue, rewriting history and pretending that something happened when it didn't. And, she might have broken Hawaiian law.

Speaking on WABC radio on Sunday, she said (link to audio here):

It's been an odd situation... This issue kept coming up so much in the campaign, and again I think it's one of those issues that is simply a distraction from the more critical issues that are facing the country... So I had my health director, who is a physician by background, go personally view the birth certificate in the birth records of the Department of Health, and we issued a news release at that time saying that the president was, in fact, born at Kapi'olani Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii. And that's just a fact and yet people continue to call up and e-mail and want to make it an issue and I think it's again a horrible distraction for the country by those people who continue this."

Now, please go see the previous post about Gov. Lingle and the Obama certificate issue as well as the first and second statements from Chiyome Fukino, their director of health.

1. Neither of those statements gave the birth hospital, and only the second statement said he was born there. The first statement only said they had a valid certificate on file. That directly contradicts Lingle's claims. Go take a look at both those statements and compare them to what she says.

2. During the campaign, she only brought up Obama supposedly being from Hawaii in passing and in a disparaging sense (see the link above). Her claim that she initiated the press releases from the Health director is news, and whether it can be believed or not is an open question considering the lies discussed above.

3. Lingle sends out a form letter in which she points out that it would be illegal for her to verify where Obama was born, but her claims in the radio interview would seem to have her breaking the very same law she mentions in that form letter.

The correct way to handle this is for those who have contact with Lingle to question her - in a completely fact-based fashion - about the discrepancies between what she says now and what actually happened. Then, upload video or audio of that to video sharing sites. The incorrect way to handle this is to engage in speculation and the like. If people would simply approach this matter in a completely fact-based fashion we could discredit those like Lingle as well as dozens of mainstream media reporters.

UPDATE: Video added.

Will Dalia Sussman & Marina Stefan of NYT correct their false statement about Hawaiian officials? - 04/22/10

When making a bold statement of fact it's generally a good idea to get all your facts right. Dalia Sussman and Marina Stefan of the New York Times have definitely done the first, but they failed at the second. From "Obama and the ‘Birthers’ in the Latest Poll" [1]:

President Obama was born in Hawaii on Aug. 4, 1961. A scanned image of his birth certificate released during the 2008 presidential campaign says he was, and Hawaii’s health director and its registrar of vital statistics have confirmed it.

Note the near-religious certainty of the first sentence, which is fitting: Dalia Sussman and Marina Stefan are going on faith and not the facts, since they've gotten a major fact wrong.

Please humor me and read the only two official statements from the Hawaiian government; the first is from 10/31/08 and the second is from 7/27/09. Only the first references the Registrar, the second does not. And, only the second says he was born there, the first only says that he has a valid certificate on file. The facts contradict the claim made by Dalia Sussman and Marina Stefan, but to them it doesn't matter: they're going on faith and not on the facts.

Obviously, some people don't "get it" (or pretend not to get it). Others realize that if someone is going to make bold claims they better have the underlying facts right, otherwise we can't trust those bold claims.

And, once again, none of the above means that Obama wasn't born in Hawaii. It just means that those who claim it's been proven have not in fact made their case. They're simply attempting to bully others into accepting the official line and not ask any questions.

[1] thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/04/21/