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Eligibility invades U.S. town-hall meetings

Heading into the 2012 election, members of Congress probably should expect to be grilled in their various town-hall meetings on the eligibility of Barack Obama to be president.

That circumstance has followed the announcement from Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Arizona that there is probable cause there was forgery in the creation of Obama’s birth certificate released by the White House last year, and fraud in its presentation as a real document.  His Cold Case Posse’s investigation into Obama’s eligibility for the Arizona presidential ballot continues.

Among the latest members to be challenged on the issue was U.S. Rep. Dan Lungren, R-Calif., who was confronted by questions from a computer document expert who has examined Obama’s purported birth certificate.

The report comes from Mara Zebest, an author and editor of dozens of books on computer software, who has concluded that Obama’s document is a fraud.

Earlier, an email from Lungren’s office staff seemed to concede that there are questions about Obama’s eligibility, but the congressman said he doesn’t have those concerns. He held to that line during the questions from Zebest.

Zebest, in a report on a website questioning Obama’s eligibility, said she confronted Lungren at two recent town hall meetings, in Citrus Heights on March 13 and Rancho Cordova on March 15.

In the meetings, questions were submitted and then the congressman determined which to answer.

“With the current rules … Lungren listens to all the comments … takes notes … everyone takes turns at the mic … and after everyone speaks … after Lungren has had time to think about what he wants to say in response … he then gives his response and there’s NO reactions allowed at this point,” Zebest said.

She said that at the first meeting she referenced the Arpaio investigation and its evidence that Obama’s Selective Service card may be fraudulent.

She asked, “When will there be a congressional investigation?”

Zebest paraphrased the congressman’s response: “On the eligibility issue … I believe the president was born in Hawaii. I had a private conversation with the governor of Hawaii in which she told me that she saw his birth certificate. And keep in mind this is a Republican governor … so I believe what she told me.”

Since the format didn’t allow a follow up, Zebest went to the next meeting, where she told Lungren, “Your response was to tell me that you talked with a governor who said she saw the document. I have several problems with that response. First, that was the previous governor, and according to Hawaiian law, it is illegal for the governor to see the document, so why would she be allowed to see it?

“The current governor said he would put the issue to rest and later confessed he could not find any document on file. But assuming Gov. Lingle at her word … that she saw the document …. is Gov. Lingle a document forensic expert? Because Arpaio is an official law enforcement agency and has had forensic experts examine the documents presented by the White House and there is no doubt for the [Cold Case] Posse investigators that the documents put forth by Obama are forgeries.”

Zebest said everyone in the room “applauded my little speech.”

“I got more applause than I did the previous town hall night and even received high fives from audience members while returning to my seat. Another person jumped up to get into line after I sat down (he later told me that when he heard me speak on the topic … I gave him courage to do the same),” she said.

“When it came time for Lungren to respond … the good news is he dropped the excuse of the ‘Hawaiian governor said so’ – LOL. He didn’t dare go there again. The bad news was his response was [paraphrasing] ‘Look… I don’t think the eligibility issue is important. Take it to court if you feel so strongly about it … and elections have consequences,'” she reported.

Zebest promised she has “no intention” of letting the topic die.

Video from the first meeting:

Video from the second:

The earlier response from Lungren’s office came when another woman questioned Obama’s eligibility.

In the reply, the unidentified staff member noted, “It is truly mind-boggling that the [Obama birth] certificate could have so many obvious issues. I really think that he is laughing at us. He has pre-empted all naysayers by declaring that there will always be conspiracy theorists, etc. Unfortunately, I think that this makes it politically impossible (for anyone who wants to be taken seriously) to challenge its authenticity. At least that seems to be the sentiment here on the Hill and I can’t say that I disagree.”

The comments follow the pattern of many statements from members of Congress: The eligibility isn’t being questioned or has been resolved. But most of the statements are made without evidence of any resolution.

WND previously reported 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.

Many of the statements from members of Congress also appear to make assumptions about Obama, such as the validity of the long-form birth certificate released by the White House, even though numerous experts have concluded that it is a fake.

When Obama released the image on April 27, after years of stating that the document was not available, the Hawaii Department of Health and governor’s office refused even to confirm for WND that the image released was an accurate representation of the state’s records.

And the questions about Obama’s status continue to grow. A recent poll showed fully half the nation wants Congress to investigate his eligibility.

Also instead of resolving the issue, the image that Obama released to the public on April 27 has raised new ones. For example, during an interview by NBC News’ national investigative correspondent Michael Isikoff, former Hawaii health department chief Chiyome Fukino, who has claimed to have examined the “original” documentation in the state archives, said the original document was “half typed and half handwritten.”

But the statement conflicts with the document that Obama released, which his staff members described as “proof positive” of a Hawaiian birth. Only the signatures and dates are “handwritten,” not half the document.

An extensive report from Zebest, who has contributed as author or editor to dozens of books on computer software, concluded the image clearly is a fraud. She’s one of many experts in computers, imaging and documents that have called the document a fraud.

Among the statements from members of Congress:

There have been a few who have expressed concern over the situation: