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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.