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 ↑
An archived article from 2004 on Barack Obama's run for the U.S. Senate in Illinois describes the relative political newcomer as “Kenyan-born,” providing further fuel for speculation over the president's eligibilty for office.
The issue is significant, since there are a number of lawsuits challenging Obama's eligibility that argue if he was not born in the U.S., he does not meet the requirement in the Constitution that the president be a “natural born” citizen.
The report starts out, “Kenyan-born US Senate hopeful, Barrack (sic) Obama, appeared set to take over the Illinois Senate seat after his main rival, Jack Ryan, dropped out of the race on Friday night amid a furor over lurid sex club allegations.”
The report continues to discuss the allegations against Ryan, Obama's opponent in his race for the U.S. Senate, and his decision to drop out, virtually handing the Senate seat to the political newcomer.
The article is credited to the wire service Associated Press at the bottom of the page. However, the article could not be found either in the AP archives available to the public online or the archive on the newspaper's website. WND telephone calls and e-mails to the newspaper did not generate a response.
At the Post & Email blog, writer John Charlton offered several explanations, including the suggestion references to Obama's birth have been scrubbed.
He wrote that a search of Google for the issue produced unusual results.
“When you attempt to search for 'Kenyan-born Obama'; results are missing; years prior to 2004 seem scrubbed; and when you click a link to an article in 2000, you get an article in 2004.
“Deliberate sabotage of their own news archive?” he wondered.
He said searching Google for the reference words “Kenyan-born U.S. Senator Obama hopeful” came up with a 1981 New York Times reference, but Obama is not in the article.
“There is no mention of Obama from 1981 to 2000; despite all his 'work with the poor' in Chicago,” Charlton continued.
The June 27, 2004, article from the Standard doesn't appear.
A further link to PBS leads to a story about Obama's Senate victory, another to USA Today talks about Obama's father being Kenyan-born and another from 2004 does the same.
“Then, you would not believe it; but all the newspapers in the world, during the period from Jan. 1, 2005 to April 12, 2006, don't make one mention of Obama! Not even one,” he said.
The bottom line, however, Charlton wrote, should not be what published reports have said, but what proof Obama can provide.
“If Obama cannot show documents which prove he is born in the USA; the mere fact that he has claimed to be born overseas and in the U.S.A.; first at one hospital in Hawaii and then at another; means that nothing he says in court, and no document presented by his campaign could be taken as prima facie evidence of anything.”
Earlier this year, an African news site and an MSNBC broadcaster delivered references to President Obama's birthplace as being outside of the United States, even as a controversy had developed over a letter purporting to be from the president claiming Kapi'olani Medical Center in Honolulu as his birth location.
Network correspondent Mara Schiavocampo was reporting on the celebratory atmosphere in Accra, Ghana, immediately prior to Obama's visit to the west African nation.
Interviewing a person who appeared to be a shop operator, she suggested, “Barack Obama is Kenyan … but Ghanaians are still proud of him.”
Her report talks about the party atmosphere and the Obama fan clubs who have posted “Welcome home” signs.
Meanwhile, a report at Modern Ghana also posted in advance of the president's visit cited his birthplace on the continent of Africa.
“For Ghana, Obama's visit will be a celebration of another milestone in African history as it hosts the first-ever African-American President on this presidential visit to the continent of his birth,” the report said.
The Modern Ghana report also cited the expectations that Obama would make a foreign policy pronouncement during his visit.
Kenya's East African Standard also, in an Aug. 24, 2006, article titled “From Young 'Barry' to Top American Senator,” previously said of Obama: “The Harvard Law School and Columbia University graduate was born at the Queen's Medical Center in Honolulu in Hawaii, where his parents were studying at the East-West Center of the University of Hawaii in Manoa.”
As WND reported, the White House insists Obama was born in Hawaii but has thus far refused to verify which hospital the president claims as his birthplace or whether the letter – purportedly from President Obama claiming Kapi'olani – is, in fact, real.
The lawsuits over Obama's eligibility continue in several parts of the country, and in fact a California federal judge has scheduled a trial on the dispute to begin in January.
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 exceeding $1 million to avoid releasing an original long-form state birth certificate that would put to rest the questions.
WND also has reported that among the documentation not yet available for Obama includes his kindergarten records, Punahou school records, Occidental College records, Columbia University records, Columbia thesis, Harvard Law School records, Harvard Law Review articles, scholarly articles from the University of Chicago, passport, medical records, files from his years as an Illinois state senator, his Illinois State Bar Association records, any baptism records and his adoption records.
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.