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Is Hawaii self-conscious about its unusual “certification of live birth” document because of attention focused on it over questions about Barack Obama’s eligibility for the presidency?
The state, which had excluded the controversial document as proof of native Hawaiian status,
has changed its policy and now makes a point of including it stating in its qualifications that they are now accepted “because they are official government records documenting an individual’s birth.”
It was just one month ago that WND pointed out that the document Barack Obama has released as proof of a Hawaiian birth was not accepted by the Hawaiian Home Lands program, presumably because it was not a reliable test of an actual Hawaiian birth.
Sometime in the last 30 days that policy changed – without fanfare – amid increasing scrutiny by WND of the “certification of live birth.”
Here is an actual Hawaiian birth certificate from 1963 (the same era as Obama’s birth), which while redacted includes detailed information documenting a birth, including the name of the birth hospital and the attending physician. Beneath it is the short-form “Certification of Live Birth” offered by President Obama as proof of his Hawaiian birth. It is possible to have been born outside of Hawaii and still obtain the latter form, but not the former:
Long-form birth certificate from state of Hawaii (Image courtesy Philip Berg)
Here is the “Certification of Live Birth” presented by Obama:
Short-form “Certification of Live Birth”
“Birth certificates (Certificates of Live Birth and Certifications of Live Birth) and Certificates of Hawaiian Birth are the primary documents used to determine native Hawaiian qualification,” says the revised website.
WND reported last month that the document Barack Obama posted on his campaign website and distributed to select news organizations as proof he was a “natural born citizen” would not be accepted as a “birth certificate” even for some Hawaiian state government eligibility issues.
WND previously reported certifications of live birth were widely issued to Hawaiians born in foreign countries in 1961, the year Obama was born. No federal or state official has ever explained why a document issued for foreign births could possibly be used to establish eligibility as a “natural born citizen.”
Until very recently the qualifications for the Hawaiian Home Lands program required a certified copy of a standard birth certificate – also known as the “long-form certificate” – filled out in the hospital and including details such as the name of the hospital and the attending physician.
“In order to process your application, DHHL utilizes information that is found only on the original Certificate of Live Birth, which is either black or green,” the qualifications stated as recently as last month. “This is a more complete record of your birth than the Certification of Live Birth (a computer-generated printout). Submitting the original Certificate of Live Birth will save you time and money since the computer-generated Certification requires additional verification by DHHL.”
According to Hawaii’s Department of Health spokeswoman Janice Okubo, the state began issuing only “certifications of live birth” in 2001 when the health department went paperless. It is only available in electronic form, she said.
“At that time, all information for births from 1908 (on) was put into electronic files for consistent reporting,” she was quoted in the Honolulu Star Bulletin. “The electronic record of the birth is what (the Health Department) now keeps on file in order to provide same-day certified copies at our help window for most requests,” Okubo said.
She did not explain how those needing a standard long-form birth certificate to qualify for programs such as those offered by the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands or to establish proof of eligibility to be president could be fulfilled. She said the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized the state’s current certification of live birth “as an official birth certificate meeting all federal and other requirements.” She did not, however, cite any specific rulings, and the Supreme Court has not taken up the issue of whether the certification of live birth would qualify a presidential candidate as eligible under the “natural born citizen” clause.
Additional controversy over where Obama was born came when the woman the president says is his paternal grandmother, Sarah Obama, claimed to have been present at her grandson’s birth in Mombasa, Kenya.
Joseph Farah, WND editor and chief executive officer, launched a national billboard campaign in May in an effort to keep the issue before the American people. The billboards, being leased around the country, ask the simple question, “Where’s the birth certificate?” Farah is asking the public to support his campaign with donations. So far, more than $100,000 has been collected and about a half-dozen billboards are being displayed around the country.
The billboard campaign followed one launched months earlier to collect the names on an electronic petition demanding accountability and transparency on the issue. So far, that petition has gathered nearly 400,000 names.
The campaign got a boost when WND White House correspondent Les Kinsolving asked Obama’s press secretary, Robert Gibbs, why the president wouldn’t release his birth certificate. Gibbs’ response was covered live on C-SPAN and by Fox News Channel and others – excluding CBS.
It was the first time any member of the press corps has publicly asked a member of the administration a question directly related to Obama’s constitutional eligibility for office as a “natural born citizen.”
Congressional hearings were held to determine whether Sen. John McCain was constitutionally eligible to be president as a “natural born citizen,” but no controlling legal authority ever sought to verify Obama’s claim to a Hawaiian birth.
Both the petition and the billboard campaign are part of what Farah calls an independent “truth and transparency campaign.”
Your donation toward the billboard campaign – from as little as $5 to as much as $1,000 – can be made online at the WND SuperStore. (Donations are not tax-deductible. Donations of amounts greater than $1,000 can be arranged by calling either 541-474-1776 or 1-800-4WND.COM. If you would prefer to mail in your contributions, they should be directed to WND, P.O. Box 1627, Medford, Oregon, 97501. Be sure to specify the purpose of the donation by writing “billboard” on the check. In addition, donations of billboard space will be accepted, as will significant contributions specifically targeted for geographic locations.)
If you are a member of the media and would like to interview Joseph Farah about this campaign, e-mail WND.