Questions over a birth certificate for Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama – the document that could prove his constitutional qualifications to assume the presidency – have been revived by a report from Israel Insider.
A blogger who earlier raised the "unlikely" but circulating rumor Obama was born not within the United States, but elsewhere, possibly Kenya, eventually said he was satisfied the senator was born in Hawaii.
WND's report on the questions over his birth site followed secrecy by the Obama campaign over the issue, which centers on the U.S. Constitution's requirement that presidents be "natural-born" U.S. citizens.
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Jim Geraghty, reporting on the Campaign Spot, a National Review blog, had cited the "unlikely" possibility that Obama's 1961 birth was not within the U.S.
At the time, he wrote, "If Obama were born outside the United States, one could argue that he would not meet the legal definition of natural-born citizen … because U.S. law at the time of his birth required his natural-born parent (his mother) to have resided in the United States for 10 years, at least [f]ive of which had to be after the age of 16.'"
He then pointed out Ann Dunham, Obama's mother, was 18 when Obama was born "so she wouldn't have met the requirement of five years after the age of 16."
But when the Daily Kos website posted an image that appeared to be Obama's birth certificate, Geraghty announced he was satisfied.
However, investigative work done by the Insider now raises the possibility that the image posted on the Kos site, and an image later on the Obama campaign site, lack authenticity.
The Insider said Jay McKinnon, a self-described Department of Homeland Security-trained document specialist, "has implicated himself in the production of palpably fake Hawaii birth certificate images similar to the one endorsed as genuine by the Barack Obama campaign, and appearing on the same Daily Kos blog entry where the supposedly authentic document appears."
The report said the publication had located a collection of Hawaii birth certificate images on the Photobucket site, and the result is an implication that the Kos site, as well as the candidate's own "Fight the Smears" website, are "misleading the public with official-looking but manipulated document images of doubtful provenance."
"Without a valid birth certificate, the primary record of U.S. birth, Obama cannot prove that he fulfills the 'natural born citizen' requirement of the Constitution, throwing into doubt his eligibility to run for president and throwing the race into turmoil," the Insider report said.
"His presumed Kenyan-born father was foreign-born, and his mother was too young at the time of birth to confer natural born status by virtue of her American citizenship. Thus his citizenship comes down to proving he was born in the USA, and his campaign has staked its credibility on the authenticity of the Daily Kos-derived birth certificate image," the report said.
McKinnon, who uses the "opendna" screen name, has posted various images described as a "Certification of Live Birth" on Photobucket, and they have a "common visual signature," which is a dot that appears in the same location on the images, the Insider said.
The same dot appears on the Kos certificate. On the campaign's website, it also shows up, although slighly smeared, the report said. It cited other similarities between the Obama certificate and the Photobucket version, including an identical birth time of 7:24 p.m.
"The odds of an identical time occurring by chance in two certificates is 1,440 to 1," the report said. "Either the former is derived from the latter, or the latter is derived from the former."
One possibility, the report said, is that the blank document preceded the purported Obama birth certificate, serving as a "master" for the other.
More significant, however, is a series of blog posts about the issue.
McKinnon suggests at one point using a "blank template" to print up a birth certificate. A certificate that follows has the 7:24 p.m. birth time and the name "Haye I.B. Ahphorgerie" as the person's name, the report said.
"The Ahphorgerie crop appears seven minutes before [McKinnon] posts the 'blank template' birth certificate image with the suggestion to 'print one up' for Obama. So [McKinnon] was working on the image at that time," the report said.
The report said the Ahphorgerie image and comments later were deleted from the discussion thread, "something that could only have been done by a site administrator or Kos himself."
The Insider report said the one assumption that is valid is that the controversy "should cause the Obama campaign to reassess its reliance on the image of the birth certificate published by the Daily Kos."
"If the birth certificate endorsed by his campaign turns out to be a fraud – and the overwhelming evidence assembled points to it being precisely that – what would that say about the credentials and judgment of the presidential candidate it purports to represent? Let alone his Constitutional eligibility to serve," the report said.
The presumptive Republican nominee for president, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., already has gone through the same type of challenge, and the U.S. Senate responded with a resolution in April declaring him to be a "'natural born Citizen' under Article II, Section 1, of the Constitution of the United States."
The article declares "no person except a natural born citizen … shall be eligible to the Office of president."
McCain was challenged because he was born in the Panama Canal Zone.