Drew Zahn is a WND news editor who cut his journalist teeth as a member of the award-winning staff of Leadership, Christianity Today's professional journal for church leaders. A former pastor, he is the editor of seven books, including Movie-Based Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching, which sparked his ongoing love affair with film and his weekly WND column, "Popcorn and a (world)view."More ↓Less ↑
A notice from eBay administrators is now warning people who have contacted the seller of an allegedly genuine copy of Barack Obama’s birth certificate – from Mombasa, Kenya – not to contact the seller again.
Screenshot of the seller’s fifth attempt, with bids approaching $1,000,000, shortly before it was removed
As WND reported, the eBay seller, known to the public only as “colmado_naranja,” alleged he obtained President Obama’s birth certificate while traveling Africa. He explained that Kenyans boasted that Barack Obama II was born in the Coast Provincial Hospital in Mombasa at 7:24 p.m. on Aug. 4, 1961, which correlates with speculation that has existed over the president’s birthplace since even prior to his election.
In each of the seller’s first four attempts at auctioning the “evidence” of his claim, which would presumably render Obama ineligible to serve as president for violating the “natural born citizen” clause, colmado_naranja offered an alleged Kenyan birth certificate that “proved” his story.
The eBay website, however, has a policy forbidding the sale of certain government documents, which presumably led to the auction page being removed.
In the fifth and thus far most successful attempt at auctioning “the truth about Obama,” the seller didn’t mention the birth certificate, offering instead a “dissertation” on Obama’s birthplace, and yet the auction page has disappeared again.
Now, eBay administration has sent a notice to those who have asked questions of colmado_naranja and received a response through the site’s buyer-seller message system:
“Our records show that you recently received an email from colmado_naranja through the Ask Seller a Question or Contact eBay Member features. This email may be fraudulent,” the eBay notice warns. “This kind of email is often called a ‘phish’ or ‘phishing attempt,’ and the people who send them are known as ‘phishers.’ Phishers use these methods to try to get your personal information, such as user names, passwords and credit card details. Because the emails may sometimes come through the eBay system, the phisher may seem to be trustworthy and have a good reason to contact you.”
The notice then instructs, in multiple places, “Do not respond to the sender either through the eBay system or your email account.”
While WND has made repeated contacts with colmado_naranja, the validity of his claims – as well as the previously advertised “Kenyan birth certificate” – remain a mystery. The seller has refused to allow the document to be seen or photographed.
In the original listing, colmado_naranja explained, “I am not posting any photos of the birth certificate here on eBay. I have not seen this birth certificate anywhere on the Internet, to post it here on eBay would lead to a flood of facsimiles on the Internet. This would inadvertently decrease the value of the certificate as well.”
At least one investigator, who has traveled to Africa and sought the birth certificate from the Mombasa hospital, however, told WND he remains “skeptical” of the eBay auction’s claims.
While there, however, immigration authorities detained Corsi and his publicist – holding them under armed guard and without food – to prevent Corsi from holding a news conference revealing what he had discovered. Eventually, thousands of dollars in bribes were required to set the writer free.
Corsi told WND that despite contacts in government offices, the help of others and even the offer of financial reward, the Coast Provincial Hospital in Mombasa would not confirm Obama’s birth there nor provide access to records.
“When I was there, I tried to get records from that hospital, but I couldn’t do it,” Corsi said. “The hospital either had no records or wouldn’t release them.
“That’s what makes me skeptical,” Corsi continued. “How did [colmado_naranja] get the birth certificate, if it’s real?”
Corsi wouldn’t rule out the possibility that the eBay seller may have somehow obtained a genuine document, but stated only that his efforts in Kenya proved fruitless.
WND has continued to attempt to contact the seller through several channels.
Obama’s eligibility questions
Obama’s place of birth, however, is only one of several possible avenues for determining whether or not heis a “natural born citizen” under the U.S. Constitution and eligible to serve as president.
WND has reported on dozens of legal challenges to Obama’s status as a “natural born citizen.” 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.”
Some of the lawsuits question whether he was actually born in Hawaii, as he insists. If he was born out of the country, Obama’s American mother, the suits contend, was too young at the time of his birth to confer American citizenship to her son under the law at the time.
Other challenges have focused on Obama’s citizenship through his father, a Kenyan subject to the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom at the time of his birth, thus making him a dual citizen. The cases contend the framers of the Constitution excluded dual citizens from qualifying as natural born.
Complicating the situation is Obama’s decision to spend sums estimated in the hundreds of thousands of dollars to avoid releasing a state birth certificate that would put to rest all of the questions.
WND has reported that among the documentation not yet available for Obama includes his kindergarten records, his Punahou school records, his Occidental College records, his Columbia University records, his Columbia thesis, his Harvard Law School records, his Harvard Law Review articles, his scholarly articles from the University of Chicago, his passport, his medical records, his files from his years as an Illinois state senator, his Illinois State Bar Association records, any baptism records, and his adoption records.
“Where’s The Birth Certificate?” billboard in Pennsylvania
The eBay birth certificate seller is a self-proclaimed “collector of old Dominican and Cuban money” and has worked in the Congo.
“This spring I traveled through Kenya and its capital Nairobi. I was overwhelmed by the ‘iconicized’ face of U.S. President Barack Obama that displays itself throughout the country. I had lunch at a small eatery and noticed that the club sandwich with fried plantains was now known as ‘Obama’s Plate of the Day,’” the seller wrote on the initial auction page. “As an American I was bombarded with questions in English (English is national language of Kenya) on my feelings and opinions of a Kenyan governing the United States of America. The first several times I responded in saying that not enough time had elapsed since Barack Obama’s appointment as president of the U.S.A., and that I’d have to hold my official opinion until at least January 2010, a year in office might be sufficient for me to judge his ability to govern the U.S.A.
“Naturally I thought that by ‘Kenyan’ they were referring to Barack Obama’s blood, being that his father Barack Obama Sr. was a native of Kenya. After a day and a half of my being in Nairobi I learned that they were literally referring to President Barack Obama Jr. as being born in Kenya, a native of Kenya.”
The seller also cited the fact that Obama has not release his “Hawaiian” birth certificate. His administration, the seller says, “in an attempt to put the birth certificate issue to a rest, has presented the American public with a fake, forged, fraudulent Hawaiian birth certificate.”
The “certification of live birth” posted online and widely touted as “Obama’s birth certificate” does not in any way prove he was born in Hawaii, since the same “short-form” document is easily obtainable for children not born in Hawaii. The true “long-form” birth certificate – which includes information such as the name of the birth hospital and attending physician – is the only document that can prove Obama was born in Hawaii, but to date he has not permitted its release for public or press scrutiny.
Oddly, though congressional hearings were held to determine whether Sen. John McCain was constitutionally eligible to be president as a “natural born citizen,” no controlling legal authority ever sought to verify Obama’s claim to a Hawaiian birth.