Bob Unruh joined WND in 2006 after nearly three decades with the Associated Press, as well as several Upper Midwest newspapers, where he covered everything from legislative battles and sports to tornadoes and homicidal survivalists. He is also a photographer whose scenic work has been used commercially.More ↓Less ↑
Questions raised over Barack Obama’s citizenship are reaching into the National Press Club now, with an event scheduled Monday at which an activist group will call for the release of documentation proving his eligibility to occupy the Oval Office.
Now the group that has aired and published a number of ads challenging Obama based on charges that he was born in Kenya, not Hawaii, and doesn’t meet the U.S. Constitution’s requirement that all presidents be “natural-born” citizens has scheduled a news conference in Washington.
Among those scheduled to be present are attorneys handling a Pennsylvania case brought by Philip Berg and a California case brought by Orly Taitz. The U.S. Supreme Court justices were scheduled to have a conference today on whether to accept arguments on the issue, but no immediate announcement was made.
WeThePeopleFoundation.org, which is scheduling the event, will talk about Obama’s response to the publication of an open letter last week in the Chicago Tribune.
The letter sought Obama’s authorization for access to his original birth certificate, which state officials in Hawaii report having seen.
“Under our Constitution, no one is eligible to assume the office of the president unless he or she is a ‘natural born citizen,’” Bob Schulz of WeThePeople said. “To date, Mr. Obama has refused all requests to release his original birth certificate or other documents that would definitively establish his citizenship status and thus his constitutional eligibility.”
More than a dozen legal challenges have been initiated over Obama’s citizenship, all citing Obama’s clouded history and the U.S. Constitution’s requirement that a president be a natural born citizen.
There have been allegations Obama was born in Kenya, not Hawaii as his campaign has reported, that he could be considered a British subject because of his father’s residency in what then was a British protectorate that later became Kenya, and that the “Certification of Live Birth” posted on his website simply shows his mother registered his birth in Hawaii after he was born, but does not document a location of birth.
There also have been questions raised about his travels as a youth, including the years he spent registered as a Muslim in an Indonesian school, and his later travels to Pakistan at a time when U.S. passports weren’t welcome in that nation.
The biggest question remains why Obama, if a Hawaii birth certificate exists, simply hasn’t ordered it made available to settle the rumors. The dispute has been covered mostly by online news sources, but in recent days, Washington and Philadelphia newspapers have begun following, CNN and Fox have commented and even the American Bar Association Journal has noted the dispute.
Schulz’ open letter asked that Obama have delivered to the National Press Club a certified copy of the original birth certificate, including any under the names Barack Husssein Obama, Barry Soetoro, Barry Obama, Barack Dunham and Barry Dunham, a certificate of his citizenship and admission forms for his attendance at Occidental College, Columbia and Harvard.
The dispute is facing an immediate deadline, because members of the U.S. Electoral College are scheduled to vote Dec. 15 formally to make Obama the next president.
“Should the state members of the Electoral College cast their votes for Mr. Obama in the face of such overwhelming evidence, and without verification of Mr. Obama’s eligibility, they would be committing treason to the Constitution,” Schultz said.
And in an analysis in the Philadelphia Bulletin, constitutional lawyer Edwin Vieira, suggested there would be major problems should Obama not be eligible, and assume the office anyway.
“Let’s assume he wasn’t born in the U.S.,” Vieira told the Bulletin. “What’s the consequence? He will not be eligible. That means he cannot be elected validly. The people and the Electoral College cannot overcome this and the House of Representatives can’t make him president. So what’s the next step? He takes the oath of office, and assuming he’s aware he’s not a citizen, then it’s a perjured oath.”
The result would be any appointments made an ineligible president, and all the appointees’ decisions, would be invalid, he said.
Vieira suggested Obama supporters should be the ones raising the questions, because of the discredit that would follow a revelation of ineligibility.
“Let’s say we go a year into this process, and it all turns out to be a flim-flam,” Vieira told the newspaper. “What’s the nation’s reaction to that? What’s going to be the reaction in the next U.S. election? God knows. It has almost revolutionary consequences, if you think about it.”
He also suggested Obama’s silence on the issue, itself, is a concern.
Vieira told the newspaper the question is significant because it involves the man who could have his finger next to a nuclear button. He also said the question would remain whether any laws he signs would be valid.
Even after Obama takes the oath of office, the questions will remain, he suggested.
Wes Pruden, editor emeritus of the Washington Times, said Obama’s refusal to authorize release of his birth certificate has fueled the dispute.
“This has led to furious speculation on the Internet that Mr. Obama’s parents returned to Hawaii with him shortly after his birth and simply registered his Kenyan birth certificate, certified by the doctor who delivered him and by the hospital where he was born, with the Hawaii Department of Health. Why, these skeptics ask, won’t the president-elect authorize release of the original Hawaii certificate and squelch speculation once and for all?” he said. “It’s a good question, though lack of his asking doesn’t prove anything.”
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