- Text smaller
- Text bigger
Image of President Obama’s passport from video featured on White House website
How many different names is President Obama legally authorized to use?
Is his legal name Barack Hussein Obama II, Barack Hussein Obama (without the designation “II” indicating Barack Obama Jr.), Barry Soetoro or Barack Hussein Obama Soebarkah?
All of these names appear in various documents produced since 2008 regarding Obama’s life story and his passport records.
The White House has refused to release Obama’s long-form birth certificate filed at his birth that lists the hospital where he was born and the name of the physician who attended the birth. Also, the White House has refused to disclose to the public his passport and travel records as maintained by the U.S. State Department.
The White House released this week a video displaying Obama’s passport, but the name displayed does not match the name on the Certification of Live Birth, or COLB, prominently displayed on websites favorable to Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign.
In a thread that drew over 1,000 comments to a Politico.com article yesterday by Josh Gerstein, titled “Don’t look, birthers: Obama’s passport,” was the following comment:
If you go back to the Birth Registration (not Birth Certificate) that was released by the Daily Kos, Obie’s was Obama II (named after his father). If the “II” is part of his actual name (as per Hawaiian birth registration records), how is it that this is missing from the current passport? Something doesn’t compute here. Can any of the leftist apologists explain what’s going on here, and why their hero’s actual name isn’t shown?
Another contributor stated:
Anyone believes anything this guy or ANY prez says just because he says it is a foolish sheep. Question everything. Don’t trust. VERIFY. Why is it so impossible to verify something as simple as his birthplace? When did he change his name back to Obama from Soetoro? How can he be adopted by an Indonesian citizen and not be Indonesian? Where the hell are the real journalists?
Remarkably, nearly two years into his presidency, Obama’s legal name remains a mystery.
The American public still has no definitive documentation regarding many basic questions about Obama’s past. That includes whether or not he was officially adopted by his Indonesian stepfather when he was in Indonesia as a child from 1967 through 1971, or whether he used a U.S. or an Indonesian passport when he traveled to Indonesia and Pakistan in 1981. Obama made the trip after completing his second year at Occidental College in California. It is still unknown whether he applied for admission or student aid as a foreign student when attending Occidental College, Columbia University and Harvard Law School.
The Hawaii COLB produced by pro-Obama websites such as DailyKos.com, Politifact.com, FactCheck.com and FightTheSmears.com display his name as “Barack Hussein Obama II,” although the presidential passport shown by the White House last Friday lists his name officially only as “Barack Hussein Obama,” without adding the “II.”
As WND has reported, the Associated Press released Obama’s school registration form from St. Francis Assisi School in Jakarta show him listed officially as Barry Soetoro, an Indonesian citizen.
WND has also reported that in a passport amendment submitted Aug. 13, 1968, Ann Dunham, Obama’s mother, identified her son with an Indonesian surname, Barack Hussein Obama II Soebarkah. She asked the State Department to drop him from her U.S. passport, bolstering evidence Barack Obama Jr. became a citizen of Indonesia when he moved to the Southeast Asian nation with his stepmother and stepfather in the late 1960s.
Until Dunham’s passport amendment surfaced in State Department documents released July 29, the name “Soebarkah” had never been referenced or documented in any discussion of Obama in the public record.
Natural born citizen
The constitutional question concerning Obama’s birth records centers on Article 2, Section 1 and the determination whether or not he is a “natural born citizen,” not simply a U.S. citizen.
The threshold for being a “natural born citizen” is sufficiently high that any number of factors may have compromised Obama’s eligibility under the Constitution to be president, including whether he was officially adopted in Indonesia, ever held or traveled under the passport of a foreign nation and if he ever applied for student aid as a foreign student.
The White House’s display of Obama’s passport Friday did not include documentation submitted to the State Department to obtain the passport or any previous U.S. passports the president may have been issued since childhood.
More name mysteries
Obama’s autobiography, “Dreams from My Father,” offers no definitive answer regarding what name or names Obama is legally authorized to use.
In “Dreams,” an additional variation of his name is introduced on page 41, “Barry Obama.” On page 91, however, the author insists that “Barack” is his given name, suggesting “Barry” was used only as a nickname, despite the school registration papers from Indonesia listing him as “Barry Soetoro.”
A word check of a .pdf file of “Dreams” revealed the name “Barry” appears 70 times in “Dreams,” while “Barack” appears 218 times.
The name “Soetoro” does not appear in the autobiography at all, not even in the 14 mentions the author makes of his stepsister, who is always identified only as “Maya,” never as “Maya Soetoro,” or by her married name, Maya Soetoro-Ng.
Absent the transparent disclosure of Obama’s complete birth file from the Hawaii Department of Health, of his passport and travel records by the State Department, and his school records from the three universities he attended – Occidental College, Columbia University and Harvard Law School – a definitive answer to how many names Obama is legally authorized to use may remain unobtainable.