Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie, on left
Although Hawaii’s newly elected Democrat governor, Neil Abercrombie, has recently given a flurry of high-profile media interviews condemning “birthers” who question Barack Obama’s constitutional eligibility to occupy the Oval Office, suddenly he is declining to answer a few hard questions.
Abercrombie, 72, a former member of the U.S. House, may be trying to quell the surge of doubt among Americans – polls show nearly six in 10 doubt Obama’s own eligibility story – by promising he will try to release additional records on Obama from his state’s Department of Health vault.
He has, in just recent days, expressed his disdain toward “birthers” in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, on CNN, as well as the local Star Advertiser and Hawaii News Now.
His startling remarks appear to be in response to the recent polling results as well as the rapidly growing list of high-profile personalities and leaders publicly raising questions about Obama’s eligibility.
Even as stalwart an Obama supporter as MSNBC host Chris Matthews is now urging that Obama release his long-form hospital-generated birth certificate to assist Abercrombie’s campaign against “birthers.”
“I am not a birther. I am an enemy of the birthers,” Matthews said. But, he added, “Why doesn’t the president just say, ‘Send me a copy right now?’ Why doesn’t Gibbs and Axelrod say, ‘Let’s just get this crappy story dead?’ Why not do it? … If it exists, why not put it out?”
Matthews was joined by Clarence Page of the Chicago Tribune and David Corn of Mother Jones, both of whom agreed with Matthews’ call for Obama to publicly release the document, which to this point has remained tightly under wraps.
But Abercrombie won’t talk with WND, which has reported more on the controversy than any other news source in the world.
“It [the Obama birth certificate controversy] is an insult to his [Obama's] mother and to his father; they were my friends, and I have an emotional interest in that,” Abercrombie told the New York Times in a telephone interview Thursday. “It’s an emotional insult. It is disrespectful to the president; it is disrespectful to the office.”
But this week, in e-mails from his press secretary, Abercrombie refused to be interviewed by WND.
“The governor did an interview over a week ago in which this topic [Obama's eligibility to be president under Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution] was raised,” Donalyn Dela Cruz, Abercrombie’s press secretary, said in an e-mail to WND.
“He [Abercrombie] has been on vacation since Saturday and is unavailable. Hope this helps you understand. You are in no way being singled out as your e-mail suggests,” she said.
But despite the denials, Dela Cruz did not respond when WND followed up with a request for an interview with Abercrombie at the governor’s convenience after he returns from vacation.
It was just last week that Abercrombie himself injected new urgency into the ongoing controversy over Obama’s birth certificate when the Star Advertiser reported the governor has been talking with the state attorney general’s office and the director of the state Health Department to see how he can bypass Hawaii’s privacy laws and release more information about whatever Obama records exist there.
Interestingly, the new governor’s links to the controversy go way back.
Abercrombie claims to have seen baby Obama in Hawaii
Although he has acknowledged he was not present at the still-unidentified hospital in Honolulu to witness Obama’s birth, Abercrombie long has claimed he socialized with Barack Obama Sr. and Ann Dunham Obama when Barack Obama Jr. was yet a baby.
“Maybe I’m the only one in the country that could look you right in the eye and tell you, ‘I was here when the baby was born,’” Abercrombie told the Chicago Tribune in an attempt to provide personal testimony to buttress the argument Obama was born in Hawaii as he has long claimed.
Abercrombie was a graduate teaching assistant in sociology at the University of Hawaii when Barack Obama Sr. arrived in 1959 from Kenya to enroll as the first African-born student in the university’s history.
The problem with Abercrombie’s testimony is that Barack Obama Sr. and his wife, Ann Dunham, did not live together as man and wife with their baby son as Abercrombie claims to have witnessed.
WND has published transcripts from the University of Washington in Seattle that prove Ann Dunham was enrolled in extension classes there, across the Pacific, within three weeks of the baby’s birth.
WND further has documented Ann Dunham’s Seattle address in authoritative Seattle street directories from the period and interviewed Barack Obama Jr.’s babysitter in Seattle to further document the presence of Ann Dunham and her baby in Seattle, not Hawaii as Abercrombie has claimed.
WND also has reported that the address used in the two Hawaii newspapers in 1961 announcing the baby’s birth was 6085 Kalanianaole Highway in Honolulu, an address maintained by Ann Dunham’s parents, Madelyn and Stanley Dunham.
In August 1961, when Barack Obama Jr. was born, Barack Obama Sr. maintained a separate address on 11th Avenue, in Hawaii.
There is no documentary evidence that Barack Obama Sr. and Ann Dunham ever lived at the same address together as man and wife.
Moreover, university transcripts from the University of Washington and the University of Hawaii demonstrate that Ann Dunham remained in Seattle, fully enrolled in university courses, until she returned to Hawaii in 1962 to re-enroll in the University of Hawaii after Barack Obama Sr. had left Hawaii to attend graduate school at Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Nobody invited to wedding of Obama’s parents?
In actuality, it isn’t clear Obama’s parents were married, since official records never have been produced showing a legal ceremony took place. No wedding certificate or photograph of a ceremony for Dunham and Obama Sr. has ever been found or published.
In his book, “Barack and Michelle: Portrait of an American Marriage,” former Time magazine contributing editor Christopher Anderson elaborates: “There were certainly no witnesses (to the alleged civil marriage ceremony on Maui in 1961 between Obama’s parents) – no family members were present, and none of their friends at the university had the slightest inkling that they were even engaged.”
Anderson further quoted Abercrombie, a self-admitted friend of Barack Obama Sr. and Ann Dunham in 1961, as saying that “nobody” was invited to the wedding ceremony.
Obama himself, on page 22 of his autobiography “Dreams from My Father,” wrote of his parents’ wedding: “In fact, how and when the marriage occurred remains a bit murky, a bill of particulars that I’ve never quite had the courage to explore. There’s no record of a real wedding, a cake, a ring, a giving away of the bride. No families were in attendance; it’s not even clear that people back in Kansas were fully informed. Just a small civil ceremony, a justice of the peace. The whole thing seems so fragile in retrospect, so haphazard.”
Contrary to Abercrombie’s assertion that he spent social time with Barack Obama Sr., his wife, Ann Dunham, and their child, Barack Obama Jr., the documentary evidence strongly suggests that while Ann Dunham was in Seattle attending the University of Washington, Barack Obama Sr. lived the life of a bachelor in Honolulu.
WND has published a photo of Barack Obama Sr. at a University of Hawaii student party that he attended without his wife, Ann Dunham; the photo clearly shows his left hand absent a wedding ring.
Barack Obama Sr. at party with University of Hawaii students in the early 1960s
WND also reported on a letter Barack Obama Sr. wrote from Hawaii to his political benefactor in Kenya, Tom Mboya, in May 1962, discussing his wife, but he does so without mentioning Ann Dunham, his Hawaiian bride and the mother of the president, Barack Obama Jr.
Toward the end of the 1962 letter, Obama wrote, “You know my wife is in Nairobi there and I would really appreciate any help you may give her.”
Clearly Barack Obama Sr. is referring to his first wife, Kezia Aoko, whom he had married in 1954 when he was eighteen years old while she was pregnant with their first child.
He instructs Mboya that his wife Kezia was then staying with her brother, Wilson Odiawo, in Nairobi.
Two Hawaii newspapers published feature articles in June 1962, the month Barack Obama Sr. left Hawaii to attend classes at Harvard, that profiled Barack Obama Sr. in considerable detail, but make no reference to his wife in Hawaii, Ann Dunham, or his then 10-month-old infant son, Barack Obama Jr.
Abercrombie, the only witness?
Strangely, Abercrombie is the only witness on the public record claiming a recollection of Barack Obama Sr., Ann Dunham and Barack Obama Jr. living together and interacting with him socially as a family in Hawaii.
During the 2008 presidential campaign, Abercrombie told the Chicago Tribune he remembered Barack Obama Sr. and Ann Dunham as participating in “long coffeehouse sessions” while Barack Obama Sr. was attending the University of Hawaii.
The Chicago Tribune story further reported that on a trip to Africa years later Abercrombie caught up with Barack Obama Sr.
“He [Barack Obama Sr.] was drinking too much; his frustration was apparent,” Abercrombie told the newspaper.
“To Abercrombie’s surprise, Obama never asked about his ex-wife or his son,” Tribune national correspondent Tim Jones wrote.
Just last year, Abercrombie played a role in another Obama birth controversy when he read a letter at a Kapi’olani Medical Center centennial dinner in Honolulu that supposedly was authored by President Obama, claiming Kapi’olani as his birth hospital.
As WND reported, the letter read by Abercrombie and initially displayed on the Kapi’olani website turned out to be a computer-created likeness of a letter using HTML code, the building blocks of Internet websites, not an actual paper letter.
When pressed on the matter, Kapi’olani officials eventually sent WND a photograph of a paper letter purportedly written by Obama, though the White House has still not confirmed its authenticity or content. Hospital officials told WND they “know” the letter must be from Obama because it was brought to them by then-Congressman Abercrombie.
A photograph taken by the Kapi’olani Medical Center for WND shows a letter allegedly written by President Obama on embossed White House stationery in which he declares the Honolulu hospital to be “the place of my birth,” The hospital, after publicizing the letter then refusing to confirm it even existed, is now vouching for its authenticity, but not its content. The White House has yet to verify any aspect of the letter.
Also in 2009, WND documented that Obama and his supporters first claimed he was born at Queens Medical Center in Honolulu, before the story changed to Kapi’olani and Internet articles claiming Queens as Obama’s birth hospital were cleansed to substitute Kapi’olani instead of Queens as the birth hospital reference.
‘Friends’ linked to Democrat Socialists of America
During his gubernatorial campaign, Abercrombie blasted WND for publishing a report that Abercrombie was listed as a member of the U.S.-based Marxist-oriented Democratic Socialists of America.
Trevor Loudon of the New Zeal blog, a researcher on communism, uncovered the November-December 1990 issue of the Democratic Socialists of America’s official magazine, “The Democratic Left,” that listed Abercrombie as a member of the party.
The magazine stated the group’s political action committee endorsed two congressional candidates, “DSAer Democrat Neil Abercrombie seeking to regain the House seat representing Honolulu and Vermont independent candidate Bernie Sanders.”
Louden also documented that Obama attended socialist conferences in New York in the early 1980s at the Cooper Union, the usual venue for the annual DSA-organized Socialist Scholars Conferences.
Stanley Kurtz, in his book, “Radical-in-Chief: Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism,” noted on page 63 that Barack Obama’s name appears on a large list of names and addresses in a folder labeled “Socialist Scholars Conference,” in the records of the Democratic Socialists of America.
From analyses of these lists, Kurtz concluded that Obama pre-registered for the Second Annual Socialist Scholars Conference held on April 19-21, 1984, at the Boro of Manhattan Community College, CUNY, in New York.
WND has reported on multiple legal challenges to Obama over his 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 Obama actually was 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.
Further, others question his citizenship by virtue of his attendance in Indonesian schools during his childhood and question on what passport did he travel to Pakistan three decades ago.
Adding fuel to the fire is Obama’s persistent refusal to release documents that could provide answers and his appointment of lawyers to suppress all requests for his documentation.
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