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 ↑
The concern over President Obama’s eligibility to be president under the U.S. Constitution’s demand that the office be occupied by a “natural born” citizen is spreading, with additional writers conceding questions remain about the dispute.
“Yes, there were ambiguities about Obama’s birth certificate that have never been satisfactorily resolved. And the embargo on Obama’s educational records remains troubling,” wrote Camille Paglia, a progressive author and columnist at Salon.com.
Her commentary addresses Obama’s “painful missteps,” and she addressed charges that Obama has suffered from poor advice.
“The buck stops with the top executive. But we all know how little executive experience Barack Obama has had. He was elected for his vision and his steady, deliberative character, not his résumé. For better or worse, Obama is learning as he goes – and surely most fair-minded people would grant him reasonable leeway as he grows into the presidency, one of the hardest jobs in the world,” she wrote.
“At a certain point, however, Obama will face an inescapable administrative crux. Arriving at the White House, he understandably stayed in his comfort zone by bringing old friends and allies with him …. But these comrades may not have the practical skills or broad perspective to help Obama govern,” wrote Paglia.
Citing “one needless gaffe after another,” including the “embarrassing incident” in which Obama bowed to the king of Saudi Arabia, she wrote about the “ambiguities” about his birth certificate and the “troubling” status of Obama’s concealed educational records.
“Obama will need to cut the umbilical to his hometown posse, whose inefficiency and poor decision-making took the shine off his honeymoon and brought the dispirited Republicans back from the dead,” she advised.
Previous Salon articles addressing Obama’s eligibility largely were penned by Alex Koppelman, who heaped scorn on the plaintiffs and lawyers involved in dozens of cases across the nation seeking verification of Obama’s eligibility.
“You might think these rumors would have died off after Obama produced proof in June that he was, in fact, born in Hawaii to an American citizen, his mother, Ann, or after Hawaii state officials confirmed in October that he was born there. You might think the rumors would have died off after he was elected by a comfortable margin. Instead, they’ve intensified,” he wrote.
Talk radio host and Newsmax columnist Barry Farber has questioned whether Obama is hiding his birth certificate.
“Watergate was Nixon’s 800-pound gorilla everybody talked about, who sat there until he broke the sofa,” he penned. “The location of Obama’s birth is an 800-pound gorilla that gets fatter every day and nobody – at least nobody in major media – likes to admit its existence. There’s never been a coming-together of factors resembling this one in America’s entire political history.
“The question of President Obama’s birth place threatens to undermine his very eligibility to serve, and to toss America into a constitutional crisis of unfathomable proportions,” he said.
“The Constitution insists that the president be a natural-born American. We have the president’s paternal grandmother claiming she was present at his birth in Kenya, and we have a TV talk host named Keith Olbermann who tells those who say things like that to put the Reynolds Wrap back on their heads. We have no proof that grandma was there or that Obama doubters like to wear Reynolds Wrap on their heads,” Farber continued. “We know a few facts for certain. And our knowledge is disturbing. We know that President Obama is either covering up the truth of his birthplace or, and this is an Olympic stretch, refusing to offer proof because of some unstated ‘principle.’
“The American people may not be all we used to be, but we’re not yet ready to roll over and smile at the sight of a confection designed to masquerade as a birth certificate while we’re being angrily denied a look at the real thing,” he wrote.
“Not only is the birth certificate issue taboo but also we’re not allowed to see Obama’s applications to Columbia and Harvard. Such forms may have inconvenient answers to questions like, “Citizenship?” “Place of birth?” etc.
“I don’t care where an American president was born. I do care about the Constitution. A businessman who keep two sets of books goes to jail. It’s worse when a country lists which laws we must obey and which we’re free to ignore,” Farber said.
The move even has attracted the attention of websites that primarily monitor and deride reporting on the issue. One such organization said Farber now had decided to “fully embrace” the “fear-mongering.”
Questions about Obama’s birth place were being raised even before he was elected. He had reported he was born in Honolulu, but because he has steadfastly refused to release a copy of his long-form birth certificate, which would put such questions to rest, dozens of lawsuits have been filed challenging his eligibility to serve as president under the Constitution’s “natural born citizen” clause.
While many of the lawsuits have been dismissed, most have not been heard for reasons of jurisdiction and standing, rather than on the evidence and merit of the challenges.
So far, there have been two definitive statements on his eligibility, including one from an Obama campaign spokeswoman talking about the challenges who told WND, “All I can tell you is that it is just pure garbage.”
The other is from Chiyome Fukino, the director of the Hawaiian Department of Health, who issued a statement, “I as Director of Health for the State of Hawaii, along with the Registrar of Vital Statistics who has statutory authority to oversee and maintain these type of vital records, have personally seen and verified that the Hawaii State Department of Health has Sen. Obama’s original birth certificate on record in accordance with state policies and procedures.”
As with the court opinions, what is not said is significant. While the certificate on file is “in accordance with state policies and procedures,” there’s no affirmation that the document reflects a Hawaiian birth.
Nor is there any explanation for the image of the Hawaii state “certification of live birth” that has been posted by Obama on the Internet purporting to document his Hawaiian birth, even though Hawaiian procedures at the time allowed the document to be issued to parents of children not born in the state.
For example, why would an individual with a verified birth certificate also have a “certification of live birth?”
The questions raised over Obama’s eligibility are all very simple: The Constitution, Article 2, Section 1, states, “No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President.”
But getting the issue discussed has been a huge obstacle, and what courts have done several times, including once in a California case, is to schedule hearings on the issue on a date far beyond any reasonable expectation of having applicability, lawyers have said. For example, a challenge to the Electoral College vote for Obama, raised early in November, still hasn’t had a court hearing.
It was in his autobiography that Obama reported he was born in Honolulu, and the online “Certification of Live Birth” states that.
But when WND senior staff writer Jerome Corsi went there, he was told any Obama records were sealed, and although they would be released if the person made the request, Obama simply has refused to do that.
Corsi also traveled to Kenya where he was also told records pertaining to Obama in Kenya were sealed.
There also have been no confirmed hospital records uncovered that would document his birth, and an investigator even cast doubt on whether the Obama family lived at the address listed in the newspaper announcements.
A woman who reportedly “remembered” Obama’s birth and was quoted widely in support of his Hawaiian birth later explained to WND she had been told of the birth of a baby boy by an acquaintance who was a doctor who noted the mother’s unusual name of Stanley, but she had no knowledge of the details.
According to much legal research, at the time of Obama’s birth he could be a natural born citizen by being born in the United States, by being born to two U.S. citizen parents (not possible because of his father), or, if only one parent was a U.S. citizen at the time of the birth, that parent must have resided in the United States for at least 10 years, at least five of which had to be after the age of 16.
The problem is, Obama’s mother was only 18 when she gave birth, so his only apparent route to “natural born” citizenship status would have been to be born in Hawaii.
John Eidsmoe, an expert on the U.S. Constitution now working with the Foundation on Moral Law, separately has told WND the request for information is a legitimate course of action.
“She basically is asking, ‘By what authority’ is Obama president,” he told WND. “In other words, ‘I want you to tell me by what authority. I don’t really think you should hold the office.’
Eidsmoe said it’s clear that Obama has something in the documentation of his history, including his birth certificate, college records and other documents, “he does not want the public to know.”
What else could be the reason for his hiring law firms across the nation to fight any request for information as basic as his Occidental College records from the early 1980s, he asked.
Here is a partial listing and status update for some of the cases over Obama’s eligibility:
New Jersey attorney Mario Apuzzo has filed a case on behalf of Charles Kerchner and others alleging Congress didn’t properly ascertain that Obama is qualified to hold the office of president.
Pennsylvania Democrat Philip Berg has three cases pending, including Berg vs. Obama in the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, a separate Berg vs. Obama which is under seal at the U.S. District Court level and Hollister vs. Soetoro a/k/a Obama, (now dismissed) brought on behalf of a retired military member who could be facing recall to active duty by Obama.
Leo Donofrio of New Jersey filed a lawsuit claiming Obama’s dual citizenship disqualified him from serving as president. His case was considered in conference by the U.S. Supreme Court but denied a full hearing.
Cort Wrotnowski filed suit against Connecticut’s secretary of state, making a similar argument to Donofrio. His case was considered in conference by the U.S. Supreme Court, but was denied a full hearing.
Chicago lawyer Andy Martin sought legal action requiring Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle to release Obama’s vital statistics record. The case was dismissed by Hawaii Circuit Court Judge Bert Ayabe.
Lt. Col. Donald Sullivan sought a temporary restraining order to stop the Electoral College vote in North Carolina until Barack Obama’s eligibility could be confirmed, alleging doubt about Obama’s citizenship. His case was denied.
In Ohio, David M. Neal sued to force the secretary of state to request documents from the Federal Elections Commission, the Democratic National Committee, the Ohio Democratic Party and Obama to show the presidential candidate was born in Hawaii. The case was denied.
Also in Ohio, there was the Greenberg v. Brunner case which ended when the judge threatened to assess all case costs against the plaintiff.
In Washington state, Steven Marquis sued the secretary of state seeking a determination on Obama’s citizenship. The case was denied.
In Georgia, Rev. Tom Terry asked the state Supreme Court to authenticate Obama’s birth certificate. His request for an injunction against Georgia’s secretary of state was denied by Georgia Superior Court Judge Jerry W. Baxter.
California attorney Orly Taitz has brought a case, Lightfoot vs. Bowen, on behalf of Gail Lightfoot, the vice presidential candidate on the ballot with Ron Paul, four electors and two registered voters.