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While there is no evidence he was born overseas, President Obama has not released sufficient documentation to prove his place of birth, conclude the authors of a recently released book.
An investigation by the authors found the sole birth documentation released by the president, a Certification of Live Birth, or COLB, generated in 2007 by the state of Hawaii, does not definitively establish Obama’s origin.
The investigation also debunked various claims that Obama was born in Kenya.
With nearly 900 endnotes, the book, “The Manchurian President: Barack Obama’s Ties to Communists, Socialists and Other Anti-American Extremists,” was written by WND senior reporter Aaron Klein and researcher Brenda J. Elliott.
After the release of a COLB, made available online during the 2008 presidential campaign, Obama and his team then claimed, and continue to claim, that Obama had released his birth certificate.
Obama said in an interview aired yesterday with NBC “Nightly News,” “I can’t spend all of my time with my birth certificate plastered on my forehead.”
However, there are major, important differences between the COLB Obama has produced and a long-form birth certificate. An official long-form birth certificate is an exact photocopy of the original birth record prepared by the hospital or attending physician at the time of a child’s birth. Such a document usually includes parents’ information (address of residence, race, birthplace, date of birth, etc.), additional information on the child’s birthplace and information on the doctors who assisted in the birth. The long form also usually includes the signature of the doctor involved and of at least one of the parents.
The short form COLB which Obama has made public is a computer-generated certification that lists the child’s name, date of birth, gender, place of birth and time, and the names of Obama’s parents. No birth hospital or doctor is listed.
“Manchurian President” points out some have been inclined to accept Obama’s COLB as proof of his birthplace since it is a state-generated document specifying the president’s place of birth as Hawaii. The fact is, however, that in 1961, the year of Obama’s birth, there were a number of ways to obtain a Hawaiian COLB that would leave open the possibility of the child being born outside the state.
One way included one parent providing the state with proof of residence in Hawaii as well as a pre-natal and post-natal certification by a physician. The pre-natal report would certify the mother was pregnant. The post-natal report would certify an examination of a newborn baby. This leaves open the possibility of a child being born outside of Hawaii but still receiving a state COLB.
Other methods included obtaining a “Delayed Certificate,” but that would be noted on the certificate itself.
Meanwhile, even today it is still possible to obtain a COLB for a child born outside of Hawaii, the book found.
The Hawaiian government’s official website (link: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/hrscurrent/vol06_ch0321-0344/HRS0338/HRS_0338-0017_0008.HTM) lists in S338-17.8 of its state law on official forms “rules to obtain Certificates for children born out of State.”
The law states:
a) Upon application of an adult or the legal parents of a minor child, the director of health shall issue a birth certificate for such adult or minor, provided that proof has been submitted to the director of health that the legal parents of such individual while living without the Territory or State of Hawaii had declared the Territory or State of Hawaii as their legal residence for at least one year immediately preceding the birth or adoption of such child.
b) Proof of legal residency shall be submitted to the director of health in any manner that the director shall deem appropriate. The director of health may also adopt any rules pursuant to chapter 91 that he or she may deem necessary or proper to prevent fraudulent applications for birth certificates and to require any further information or proof of events necessary for completion of a birth certificate.
c) The fee for each application for registration shall be established by rule adopted pursuant to chapter 91.
In other words, the form released by Obama apparently could still be legally obtained by a mother who gave birth to a child outside Hawaii, although such a certificate would not list “Hawaii” as the birthplace, as does Obama’s.
Newspaper Proof? Statements from Hawaiian Official?
Two Hawaiian newspaper announcements from 1961 support the assertion of Obama’s Hawaiian birth. However, both the newspapers in question, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and the Honolulu Advertiser, simply reprint birth information they receive from Hawaii’s Department of Health, meaning Obama’s parents did not have to place the announcements in the papers.
The only legitimate conclusion that can be gleaned from the newspaper announcements is that the state of Hawaii issued a COLB documenting Obama’s birth. This is already known, asserts Klein and Elliott.
“Regardless, newspaper announcements, even if they had been placed at the time by Obama’s parents, are hardly official proof of birth,” writes Klein.
Others claim the entire birth certificate matter was put to rest on July 22, 2009, when Hawaii’s health director, Chiyome Fukino, released a statement that she saw “original vital records” that prove “Barrack [sic] Hussein Obama was born in Hawaii and is a natural-born American citizen.”
“I, Dr. Chiyome Fukino, director of the Hawai’i State Department of Health, have seen the original vital records maintained on file by the Hawai’i State Department of Health verifying Barrack Hussein Obama was born in Hawai’i and is a natural-born American citizen. I have nothing further to add to this statement or my original statement issued in October 2008 over eight months ago.”
The official statement spelled the president’s first name wrong, and no detail was given of the specific “vital records” reviewed.
Writes Klein: “Fukino’s extremely careful statement actually raises more questions than it answers. Which documents did she review? Was she referring only to Obama’s short-form COLB? Perhaps she was referring to pre-natal and post-natal certifications that could technically allow for a parent to obtain a COLB for a child not born in Hawaii.”
Klein argues it is “inappropriate” for Fukino to assert that Obama “is a natural-born American citizen,” since it is not within the authority of a Department of Health director to declare an individual “natural born,” when, Klein relates, even the greatest legal minds of the last 235 years could not agree on exactly what that term means.
Best-seller: Even Hawaii birth won’t make Obama legitimate
Obama may not fit the constitutional eligibility requirement that stipulates only “natural born” citizens can serve as U.S. president, concluded “The Manchurian President” book.
An investigation by the authors found that according to correspondence from the framers of the Constitution as well as Supreme Court rulings and the legal writings that helped establish the principles of the Constitution, Obama is not eligible to serve as president since his father was not a U.S. citizen.
The authors concluded Obama may not be eligible regardless of his place of birth. The book recommends further legislative and judicial debate.
“It is undisputed that Obama’s father was not a U.S. citizen,” wrote Klein, “a fact that should have led to congressional debate about whether Obama is eligible under the United States Constitution to serve as president.”
Obama was born Aug. 4, 1961, to Stanley Ann Dunham and Barack Obama Sr. Dunham, an American of predominantly English descent from Wichita, Kan., was 18 years old at the time of Obama’s birth. Obama Sr. was a member of the Luo tribe from Nyang’oma Kogelo, Nyanza Province, Kenya, which at the time was still a British colony.
Article 2, Section 1, Clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution stipulates presidential eligibility, requiring the nation’s elected chief to be a “natural born citizen.”
The clause 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; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.”
The 14th Amendment to the Constitution specifically defines “citizen” but not “natural born citizen”.
A “citizen” is defined as: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are Citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”
However, no definition of “natural born citizen” – which is only used in the presidential requirement clause – was provided anywhere in the Constitution, and to this day the precise meaning of the term is still being debated.
There are no records of any definitive discussion on the matter during the Constitutional Convention. That – coupled with the absence of definitive Supreme Court rulings and a wide array of opinions throughout the centuries – has only further confused the question of what “natural born” means.
Still, the authors found that according to the framers of the Constitution as well as Supreme Court rulings, Obama does not fit the eligibility requirements.
‘Natural born’ defined
The first U.S. Congress passed a law that began to define “natural born.” The Naturalization Act of 1790 rejected the condition of being born on U.S. soil and referred only to parentage: “The children of citizens of the United States, that may be born beyond sea, or out of the limits of the United States,” the Act states, “shall be considered as natural born citizens: Provided, that the right of citizenship shall not descend to persons whose fathers have never been resident in the United States.”
Five years later, however, Congress repealed the act.
“Still, it was clear that the intention of the Constitution’s ‘natural born citizen’ qualification was to ensure the country would not be led by an individual with dual loyalties,” wrote Klein in “The Manchurian President.”
On July 25, 1787, John Jay, one of the three authors of the Federalist Papers, wrote to George Washington, who was at the time presiding over the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia.
Jay discussed the dual-loyalty concern, writing: “Permit me to hint, whether it would be wise and seasonable to provide a strong check to the admission of Foreigners into the administration of our national Government; and to declare expressly that the Commander in Chief of the American army shall not be given to nor devolve on, any but a natural born Citizen.”
Jay, however, also did not define “natural born.”
Representative John Bingham of Ohio, a principal framer of the Fourteenth Amendment, offered some definition for presidential qualifications in a discussion in the House on March 9, 1866: “[I] find no fault with the introductory clause [S. 61 Bill], which is simply declaratory of what is written in the Constitution , that every human being born within the jurisdiction of the United States of parents not owing allegiance to any foreign sovereignty is, in the language of your Constitution itself, a natural born citizen.”
“So according to Bingham, as well, Obama would not be eligible to serve as president,” wrote Klein.
To try to understand what the Founding Fathers meant by “natural born,” the authors wrote in “The Manchurian President” that some have turned to prominent legal tomes of the day.
The Law of Nations, a 1758 work by Swiss legal philosopher Emmerich de Vattel, was read by many of the American Founders and informed their understanding of the principles of law, which became established in the Constitution of 1787.
De Vattel writes in Book 1, Chapter 19, of his treatise, “The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens. As the society cannot exist and perpetuate itself otherwise than by the children of the citizens, those children naturally follow the condition of their fathers, and succeed to all their rights. … In order to be of the country, it is necessary that a person be born of a father who is a citizen; for, if he is born there of a foreigner, it will be only the place of his birth, and not his country.”
“So by de Vattel’s standards, Obama arguably would not be eligible to serve as president,” wrote Klein.
Supreme Court casts doubt
Numerous Supreme Court decisions have yielded conflicting views of citizenship and what it means to be a “natural born citizen.” In Dred Scott v. Sandford, in 1857, for example, the court ruled that citizenship is acquired by place of birth, not through blood or lineage.
But much of that decision – which notoriously excluded slaves, and their descendants, from possessing constitutional rights – was overturned in 1868.
Another case, Minor v. Happersett, in 1874, mentions the “natural born” issue.
“At common law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the constitution were familiar,” the decision states, “it was never doubted that all children born in a country, of parents [plural] who were its citizens [plural], became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners. Some authorities go further, and include as citizens children born within the jurisdiction, without reference to the citizenship of their parents. As to this class there have been doubts, but never as to the first. For the purposes of this case, it is not necessary to solve these doubts. It is sufficient, for everything we have now to consider, that all children, born of citizen parents within the jurisdiction, are themselves citizens.”
Writes Klein: “According to this definition, and scores of other Supreme Court rulings, Obama may not be eligible to serve as president.”
The authors conclude that a “reading of readily available legal resources regarding the definition of ‘natural born citizen’ clearly indicates a series of legitimate questions about Barack Obama’s eligibility for the presidency, given that Obama’s father was not an American citizen.”
“The resources warrant further debate,” wrote Klein.
“The Manchurian President” points out despite these glaring eligibility issues, the legislative and judicial bodies of the U.S. government have held no formal discussions, nor did they conduct a single formal investigation into whether Obama is eligible to serve under the 14th Amendment.
Congress did, however, question the “natural born” qualifications of Obama’s 2008 presidential opponent, Republican Sen. John McCain.
The scion of distinguished U.S. naval officers, McCain was born to two American parents in the Panama Canal Zone. On April 30, 2008, the U.S. Senate sought to answer the question by passing a nonbinding resolution, which states, “Whereas John Sidney McCain, III, was born to American citizens on an American military base in the Panama Canal Zone in 1936: Now, therefore, be it resolved, that John Sidney McCain, III, is a ‘natural born citizen’ under Article II, Section 1, of the Constitution of the United States.”
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