Boston Globe reporter Sally Jacobs has a book coming out next week on Barack Obama Sr. titled “The Other Barack: The Bold and Reckless Life of President Obama’s Father.”
On July 7, Jacobs wrote an article for Boston.com whose headline teased the reader with bombshells to come, “Father spoke of having Obama adopted.”
Jacobs’ source for this information is an INS document, one of a batch that she received in 2009 and has sat on for the last two years.
In her article, Jacobs specifically cites an April 12, 1961, memo written by an official in the Honolulu office of the INS named Lyle H. Dahling.
Jacobs has a good deal to account for here. One, of course, is the ethical question of whether a newspaper reporter should sit on a relevant news story for two years to enhance book sales down the road.
A second question is why in her article she describes Obama Sr. as a “24-year-old” in the spring of 1961. According to all INS documents from Hawaii, Obama Sr. was born on June 18, 1934, which would have made him 26.
Deep in the article, Jacobs notes, “Obama’s family members and other records indicate that he was probably born in 1936.” Probably? Jacobs gives no explanation as to why he would lie to the INS or why she cannot pinpoint the DOB of the subject of her biography.
One wonders whether she is trying to align Obama Sr.’s age with the “25” that will appear as his age on President Obama’s putative long-form birth certificate from August 1961.
A third question that arises is how Jacobs can describe Dunham’s departure for Seattle weeks after the alleged birth of her son as during “a visit to Seattle.” Dunham would spend the next year in Seattle.
A fourth issue is Jacobs’ implication that having an American wife and child presented an immigration problem for Obama Sr. She writes, “A bigamist with a mixed-race baby, if that is how authorities chose to see him, was not likely to be the strongest of candidates.”
In fact, it was Obama Sr. who told the INS officials about the wife and child, and they were openly skeptical about the validity of the marriage.
The most significant problem with Jacobs’ reporting, however, is that she seems to have gotten information others did not.
Wrote Dahling in the memo, based on a recent conversation with Obama Sr., “Subject got his USC wife ‘Hapai’ and although they were married they do not live together and Miss Dunham is making arrangements with the Salvation Army to give the baby away.”
“Hapai” apparently is Hawaiian for pregnant. “USC” is shorthand for “United States citizen.” According to Jacobs, the Dahling memo also noted that Obama Sr. had previously been warned about his “playboy ways.”
This same memo showed up in the batch requested by the Arizona Independent and posted online the evening of April 26, 2011, the night before President Obama shared his birth certificate.
Although reporter Heather Smathers had the same April 12 memo that talked about Obama Sr.’s “playboy ways,” the Independent did not report on the potential adoption.
The reason for Smathers’ silence was simple enough: The critical sentence had been redacted on the document she received. In terms of sentence flow and length, it would seem to fit right in place in the middle of the document’s third paragraph.
Redacted too from the Independent’s documents are the critical words that strongly suggest that, while at Harvard, Obama Sr. impregnated a Kenyan high school exchange student and sent her to London for an abortion.
If these show up in Jacobs’ book un-redacted, someone at the INS will have some explaining to do.