A good number of members of Congress still believe that an online image posted by the White House – the one Sheriff Joe Arpaio concluded likely is a forgery – is all that’s needed for Barack Obama to meet the Constitution’s requirements that a president be a “natural born citizen.”
And that’s the same document some experts say simply proves his ineligibility.
That congressional opinion comes from a number of letters WND readers have forwarded; letters that come from their members of Congress in response to questions about why isn’t that body doing something to investigate the many questions about Obama’s eligibility.
The letters came at the same time a new petition allows Americans to urge their members of Congress to take the issue seriously with an investigation. The number of names on that document has surged past 40,000 and soon will be approaching 50,000.
Among the comments that arrived in just the past few days:
Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., said that while “Sheriff Arpaio claims that this birth certificate is a forgery … Hawaiian officials from both parties have repeatedly stated that the president’s birth certificate is genuine.”
Tom McClintock, R-Calif., explained that there’s a political vetting process, then the voters weigh in, Congress oversees the results and then the courts have a say. “President Obama has passed each of these requirements.”
Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., told his constituent that, “You may be pleased to learn that the White House recently published a copy (sic) president Obama’s birth certificate, which can be viewed [online].”
And from Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ill., was this: “I will continue to take the president at his word that he is a natural born citizen of the United States.”
WND previously reported that 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.
Many members of Congress have been found to be quoting from the memo to turn away questions about eligibility. 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.
When Obama released an image of a Hawaiian long-form birth certificate on April 27, 2011, after years of stating that the document was not available, the Hawaii Department of Health and governor’s office refused to confirm for WND that the image released was an accurate representation of the state’s records.
That’s the document Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s law enforcement investigators say probably is a forgery, while other critics have said since they believe the “natural born citizen” cited in the Constitution was to have been the offspring of two citizen parents, the document proves Obama’s ineligibility, as it lists his father as Barack Sr., who never was a U.S. citizen.
Arpaio recently told radio host Aaron Klein on “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio” on New York’s WABC that media and politicians alike are afraid to touch the issue.
“Why didn’t someone investigate this? I mean, where is everybody?” Arpaio asked Klein. “How come the federal agencies aren’t investigating? We’re dealing with federal issues here. So everybody’s hiding, and they’re still hiding.”
Arpaio said he had told lead investigator Mike Zullo to debunk the “birther” claims about Obama’s documents.
“My instructions were this: ‘I want you to clear the president. I want to get to the bottom of this and get it off the table forever,’” Arpaio told Klein. “Didn’t happen that way.”
Instead, Zullo and the Cold Case Posse only confirmed concerns about the authenticity of Obama’s documents.
As WND reported, Arpaio and his Cold Case Posse conducted an extensive examination of documents released by the White House last April purported to be Obama’s original, long-form birth certificate and Selective Service registration form, only to conclude there is probable cause the documents are forgeries.
And the sheriff concluded there is probable cause that there was fraud in the presentation of the birth document image as a genuine document.
Here’s the interview:
The dispute has been around since before Obama was elected in 2008 when the first cases were filed in courts challenging his eligibility, based on a long list of missing documents or absent verifications.
Numerous court cases have come and gone. Some were rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court, where one justice admitted the panel was avoiding the issue. In recent weeks a new round of court challenges has arisen in which citizens have utilized state laws allowing challenges to candidate eligibility. They simply are asking Obama to document his eligibility.
Judges in those cases so far have been in concert in refusing voters permission to pursue their questions under state law.
The petition specifically cites Arpaio's investigation into Obama's documentation.
It's addressed to "All members of the U.S. Congress" and states:
Whereas, the first official U.S. law enforcement investigation into Barack Obama's legal eligibility for the presidency, led by Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio and involving a six-month investigation by three professional criminal investigators and two attorneys, established "probable cause" that the document released with great fanfare by the White House April 27, 2011, as Obama's "long-form birth certificate" is a forgery;
Whereas, specifically, these investigators, after interviewing dozens of witnesses, examining hundreds of documents, and taking numerous sworn statements from witnesses around the world, including multiple document experts, concluded that said "birth certificate" did not originate in a paper format, but was created – that is, forged – as an electronic file on a computer;
Whereas, the Arpaio-led law-enforcement investigation cited numerous experts demonstrating that an additional fraud was allegedly committed in the forgery of Barack Obama's Selective Service registration card;
Whereas, the investigation also found that, according to a sworn affidavit by the longtime mailman for the parents of ex-Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers, Ayers' mother enthusiastically claimed she had helped pay for the Harvard Law School education of "foreign student" Barack Obama;
Whereas, Arpaio's lead investigator Michael Zullo explained at a March 1 press conference that the 1961 Hawaiian newspaper "announcements" of Barack Obama's birth confirm nothing, since the investigators "can prove beyond a doubt" that these newspapers also announced arrivals of foreign babies as well as native-born; and that the investigators even possess "documented evidence of two adopted individuals who were breathing three years prior" to their supposed Hawaii "birth" and subsequent newspaper "birth announcements";
Whereas, the investigation determined that immigration files in the National Archives recording overseas arrivals into Hawaii are missing from one particular week – the week of Obama's birthday, August 4, 1961;
Whereas, lead investigator Mike Zullo also said his team believes the Hawaii Department of Health has engaged in a systematic effort to hide from public inspection any original 1961 birth records for Obama it may have in its possession;
Whereas, investigators have advised Sheriff Arpaio they believe at least two crimes of fraud were committed: 1) The White House allegedly created a forgery it claimed was an officially produced governmental birth record; and 2) the White House allegedly presented to the residents of Maricopa County, Ariz. – and to the entire American public – a forgery represented as "proof positive" of President Obama's authentic 1961 Hawaii long-form birth certificate;
Whereas, Sheriff Arpaio said March 1: "The president can put all this to rest quite easily. All he has to do is demand the Hawaii Department of Health release to the American public and to a panel of certified court-authorized forensic examiners all original 1961 paper, microfilm and computer birth records the Hawaii Department of Health has in its possession";
Whereas, Arpaio concluded: "Absent the authentication of Hawaii Department of Health 1961 birth records for Barack Obama, there is no other proof he was born anywhere within the United States";
Whereas, despite a virtual media blackout on the issue, repeated national polls show that almost half of registered U.S. voters remain unconvinced that Barack Obama's birth certificate is authentic:
The signers then demand that Congress launch an investigation because "not to finally resolve this monumental and unprecedented constitutional issue would be intolerable, and would constitute the most extreme disrespect and contempt for the U.S. Constitution."
See the image released by Obama:
Among the recent statements that arrived from members of Congress:
- Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D.: "You commented on an investigation that Joe Arpaio, the sheriff of Maricopa County, Ariz., has launched in order to determine the authenticity of president obama's (sic) birth certificate. Sheriff Arpaio claims that this birth certificate is a forgery. However, Hawaiian officials from both parties have repeatedly stated that the president's birth certificate is genuine. Similarly, politicians from both parties broadly agree that president obama (sic) is a native-born American citizen who is constitutionally qualified to be president."
- Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla.: "While I disagree with most of President Obama's policy positions, I believe he is a natural-born citizen and eligible to be president of the United States. My belief is based upon the fact that he was born in Hawaii, as the release of his long-form birth certificate proves, and his mother is a U.S. citizen. My staff has not found any evidence that contradicts these facts beyond conspiracy theories. Also, Sheriff Arpaio stated that his investigation does not prove that President Obama is constitutionally ineligible for office or that he personally committed fraud."
- Tom McClintock, R-Calif.: "A candidate's eligibility … is vetted by a number of sources, both inside the government and out. First, candidates go through an intensive political vetting process in both the primary and general election – their histories are carefully examined by their political opponents who have a vested interest in uncovering the facts. At the end of the campaigns, the voting public weighs in. Then, when all the votes have been cast and counted, it is up to Congress to certify the results. A final check-and-balance against eligibility irregularities lies with the courts, and ultimately the Supreme Court. President Obama has passed each of these requirements. Further, in President Obama's case – in addition to his Hawaii birth certificate – there were two birth announcements in major Hawaii newspapers."
- Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev.: "President Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii on August 4, 1961. You may be pleased to learn that the White House recently published a copy (sic) president Obama's birth certificate, which can be viewed [online].. … I hope this information is helpful, and I encourage you to continue keeping me informed of the issues that matter to you."
- Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ill.: "T o be eligible to run for office, the Constitution requires the president to be a natural born citizen of the United States. As you may know, the White House has released President Obama's birth certificate. I will continue to take the president at his word that he is a natural born citizen of the United States. I have chosen to focus on the policies the administration pursues, and whether those policies are in the best interest of our nation. Ohio and our nation face many critical challenges, as our economy continues to falter and deficits and our national debt are at record levels. On each issue, I will continue to fight for what is best for Ohio, with a focus on how it will impact jobs in Ohio. "
- Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.: "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. However, I have heard from a number of Tennesseans who continue to have doubts about the president's citizenship. Numerous lawsuits have been filed across the country challenging his eligibility to serve in the White House, which provide a forum for any new evidence to be considered. These lawsuits should receive fair and full consideration under the rules and procedures where they have been filed."
- U.S. Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas: "The congressman has not, as yet, taken any position on these matters."
- Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo.: "While I know that some have questioned the authenticity of President Obama's birth certificate, which was issued when he was born in Honolulu in 1961, my understanding is that Hawaii's state health director, Chiyome Fukino, and the registrar of vital statistics, Alvin Onaka, have affirmed that it is genuine. Moreover, multiple lawsuits challenging President Obama's citizenship have been dismissed. The Constitution states, 'No person except a natural born citizen...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.' President Obama meets all of these criteria and is therefore constitutionally eligible for the office in which he is serving. I will continue to listen closely to what you and other Coloradans have to say about matters before Congress, the concerns of our communities, and the issues facing Colorado and the nation. My job is not about merely supporting or opposing legislation; it is also about bridging the divide that has paralyzed our nation's politics."
- U.S. Rep. Michael Coffman, R-Colo.: "Thank you for taking the time to share your concern with me regarding President Obama's birth certificate. I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts. The campaign provided a rigorous vetting process that included this issue. A copy of his birth certificate has been released, and certified as a legitimate document. As such, I think it is more important to face issues such as the economic crisis and national security as a priority for this nation. While I significantly disagree with the president on a number of issues, I have confidence in his citizenship and legitimacy as president of the United States of America.
Elections have consequences, and so President Obama will remain in office, advocating for his goals for at least another year. Our citizens will have the opportunity to make their views of his habits known the traditional way: at the ballot box."
- Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.: "As you know, President Obama took office January 21, 2009. Since that time, his administration has presided over rising energy prices, stubbornly high unemployment numbers, and an economy stifled by this administration's regulations. Furthermore, under President Obama our national debt has surpassed $15 trillion – adding nearly $5 billion since he took office. Given the president's lack of leadership, I understand and share your frustration with the current administration. I have taken an active role in creating legislation that will reduce burdensome regulation, decrease the national debt and spur economic growth. Along with Senator Coons of Delaware, I introduced S. 1866, the American Growth, Recovery, Empowerment and Entrepreneurship Act (AGREE Act). The AGREE Act will empower small business owners, through tax credits and reductions in burdensome regulations, to start hiring Americans. I am confident that if my proposed legislation passed, the economy would benefit greatly. I will continue to work with my colleagues in the Senate to reduce the national debt and hold the President accountable to the American people."
- Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla.: "There is a considerable amount of information circulating the Internet making various claims about President Obama, including that he was not born in Hawaii and has not provided a valid birth certificate as proof he is a natural born citizen. Likewise, during the 2008 presidential campaign, there was information on the Internet claiming Senator John McCain was not eligible to run for president due to an alleged lack of U.S. jurisdiction over the military installation in Panama Canal in which Senator McCain was born. These issues resulted in a number of unsuccessful legal filings challenging the natural born citizen qualification of both Obama and McCain. Specifically, with regard to President Obama's birth certificate, in June 2008, then Senator Obama produced a certification of live birth from the State of Hawaii Department of Health, which has been available for inspection by various news media. In addition, Hawaii's Health director, in October 2008 and again in July 2009, verified that the Health Department has President Obama's original birth certificate on file and that he was born in Hawaii. Ultimately, President Obama released his long-form birth certificate from Hawaii, on April 27, 2011, which is posted on the Internet for viewing."
- Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa: "The minimum requirements for President of the United States are set out in Article II of the Constitution. To be President a person must be a natural-born citizen of the United States, be at least thirty-five years old, and must have been a resident of the United States for fourteen years. President Obama's birth in the state of Hawaii automatically makes him a natural-born citizen of the United States. Further, his parents' citizenship and the amount of time they lived in the United States prior to or after his birth are irrelevant to his eligibility. To confirm his eligibility, he has released a copy of his birth certificate, which Hawaiian officials verified as authentic, and a birth announcement in the local newspaper. In this case, President Obama meets all requirements set out in the Constitution. Finally, as you know, several lawsuits concerning his eligibility were in the court system. One prominent lawsuit in Pennsylvania was recently dismissed. I believe this lawsuit was properly dismissed, and I am confident the courts will handle any pending lawsuits appropriately."
Nearly 20 statements from members of Congress on the issue had been reported earlier, and several reflected that they had questions.
One of those was Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., who said, regarding the constitutional qualifications for president, "Any circumvention of these constitutional requirements would be a slap in the face to the rule of law and our very democracy."
Also, Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, told a constituent that it appears the courts should resolve the issue, not Congress, and he wondered what claims can be brought to Obama's doorstep.
One other voice in the wilderness was that of U.S. Rep. Bill Posey, whose H.R. 1503 said:
"To amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to require the principal campaign committee of a candidate for election to the office of President to include with the committee's statement of organization a copy of the candidate's birth certificate, together with such other documentation as may be necessary to establish that the candidate meets the qualifications for eligibility to the Office of President under the Constitution."