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Stunning precedent would let al-Qaida chief be president

Anwar al-Awlaki

Anwar al-Awlaki for president?

After all, the regional commander for al-Qaida, senior Islamic imam and alleged recruiter for terrorists was born on April 22, 1971, in Las Cruces, N.M.

And how about the al-Awlaki acolyte, imprisoned Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, as vice president on that ticket, as the defendant accused of shooting up fellow soldiers at Fort Hood was born Sept. 8, 1970, in Arlington Va.

The tongue-in-cheek suggestions come in light of the far-fetched responses from Congress to constituents questioning why Barack Obama’s background never was vetted before, during or after his successful 2008 campaign to become president.

Get the New York Times best-seller “Where’s the Birth Certificate? The Case that Barack Obama Is Not Eligible to be President,” autographed by Jerome Corsi, Ph.D.

It’s an example of how far the issue of presidential eligibility has been “dumbed down,” according to several analysts.

WND reader Steve noted he had asked Sen. Lamar Alexander about the controversy. Alexander’s response:

The U.S. Constitution is our nation’s supreme law and cannot be circumvented for any reason. It is my understanding that state officials in Hawaii have attested to the validity of President Obama’s birth certificate showing that he was born in that state, which would make him a U.S. citizen. I also have read that both of Hawaii’s major newspapers ran birth announcements in August 1961 documenting President Obama’s birth in Honolulu. Based on these documents, most members of Congress from both parties appear satisfied that the president is a U.S. citizen. That would preclude any effort to remove him through the impeachment process, which requires a majority in the House of Representatives and two-thirds of the Senate, on the basis of his constitutional eligibility for office.

Alexander did concede that the lawsuits challenging Obama’s eligibility “should receive fair and full consideration,” but under his definition of eligibility to be president, both al-Awlaki and Hasan would meet the requirements, presuming of course the other requirements of 14 years a resident and at least 35 years of age were met.

It was too much for Lawrence Sellin, a Ph.D. who retired recently at the rank of colonel after 29 years in the U.S. Army Reserve.

Writing at Canada Free Press, he cited the response to a similar question from Sen. Mark. R. Warner, D-Va., who stated, “The facts have consistently shown that President Obama was born in the United States. As a natural-born American citizen, he is fully eligibile to serve as president of our country.”

“There is no gray area. Either members of Congress are liars or they are too stupid to serve in government,” Sellin wrote.

The facts, as documented by “Where’s the Birth Certificate: The case that Barack Obama is not Eligible to be President,” by Jerome Corsi, Ph.D., explains the Constitution requires presidents to be a “natural born Citizen,” and it is made clear that is not the same as a “citizen.” And the book explains that one cannot become a “natural born citizen” after the fact.

The Constitution 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.”

Since the phrase “natural-born Citizen” is not defined in the Constitution, Corsi drew from the writings of Swiss diplomat Emerich de Vattel, whose work is known to have influenced the Founders. Vattel wrote in “The Law of Nations” in 1758, “The citizens are the members of the civil society, bound to this society by certain duties, and subject to its authority; they equally participate in its advantages. The natives or natural-born citizens are those born in the country of parents who are citizens.”

A strict interpretation would disallow Obama under any circumstances, as the president wrote in his own book that his father was a Kenyan national subject to the authority of the United Kingdom.

Corsi said during research for his book he found the only U.S. Supreme Court case directly on point is Minor v. Happersett, from 1874, in which the court said, “It was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives, or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners.”

Even Senate Resolution 511, passed in 2008 to declare John McCain was a natural born citizen, specified a natural born citizen would have to be born of two U.S. parents. McCain’s birth in the Panama Canal Zone was regarded by the Senate as an exception that the Founders would have supported. The Senate reasoned that a person should not be disqualified from running for president because the parents were serving in the defense of the nation, Corsi said.

Among the sponsors of that statement was a junior senator named Obama.

The resolution includes two references to “Americans” as parents or “American Citizens” as parents.

Retired Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely of Stand Up America US told WND that the Constitution is crystal clear on the issue that presidents must be a “natural born Citizen,” and the Vattel writings make it clear that someone with divided loyalties, such as a dual citizen like Obama at birth, cannot qualify.

“It means an offspring of two citizen parents,” he said.

The military officer said the comments from Congress that say Obama qualifies as a “natural born Citizen” because of a newspaper announcement regarding his birth, or other factors, “leaves the country with a very low standard.”

He said the nation will go “over a cliff” if the dispute is not returned to a proper perspective – that it is a constitutional requirement and like other constitutional provisions it cannot be altered, avoided, discredited or ignored.

“Where are the men of honor, the women of honor?” he asked. “We know there’s a major coverup of this individual’s background.

“A lot of questions need to be answered and we need men of courage and women of courage to get this thing settled.”

Selling was simply outraged.

“According to Warner and every other member of the U.S. Congress, al-Awlaki is a natural-born American citizen, and he is fully eligible to serve as president of our country,” he said.

Then he tried to explain the issue in simple terms.

“You see, Mark, the natural born citizen clause of the Constitution is there for a reason, to prevent such a situation from happening. It is about dual allegiance. It requires a presidential candidate to be native born of U.S. citizen parents at the time of birth,” he said. “It is based on the Founders understanding of the term ‘natural born citizen,’ in the 1758 book ‘The Law of Nations’ by Emerich de Vattel.”

“In an effort to obscure the truth, Congress members are deliberately misleading the public about the meaning of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution,” he said. “Of course, you know all that, Mark. So, you and the rest of the Congress must be lying to the American people.”

WND reported earlier how Jerry W. Mansfield, an information research specialist in the Knowledge Services Group of the Congressional Research Service, issued a memo to prepare members of Congress to rebut and defuse questions constituents were asking regarding Obama’s presidential eligibility under the “natural born citizen” requirement of the Constitution.

WND has posted the CRS memo on Scribd.com for download.

Attached to the memo was an attack piece published by FactCheck.org to dismiss claims that Obama’s short-form Certification of Live Birth, originally published during the 2008 presidential campaign by DailyKos.com, was a forgery.

But Sellin said, “There has never been any vetting or investigations of Obama’s eligibility by federal agencies. … It’s a sham.”

And when Obama released an image of a Hawaiian “Certificate of Live Birth” on April 27, after years of stating that the document was not available, the Hawaii’s Department of Health and governor’s office refused to confirm for WND that what was released was an accurate representation of the state’s records.

Sellin wrote, “In fact, there is far more evidence from independent third parties demonstrating that Obama’s Certificate of Live Birth, which he presented as his own during the April 27, 2011, press conference, is a forgery.”

WND previously has reported statements from members of Congress that are based on arguments presented in the material provided by CRS.

Among the statements from members of Congress: