Obama birth mystery: More than 1 hospital

By Joe Kovacs

More than eight months after Barack Obama was elected president, the mystery surrounding his precise birthplace is deepening as the myth-busting website Snopes.com – along with several news agencies and an Obama community blog – directly contradict the president’s own claim regarding the hospital in which he was born.

In an official letter signed by Obama on White House stationery, the president celebrates his birth at the Kapi’olani Medical Center for Women and Children in Honolulu, Hawaii. The facility has posted that letter on its website, along with video of the letter being read in public.

Barack Obama states in this letter on White House stationery that he was born at the Kapi’olani Medical Center for Women and Children in Honolulu. The letter was posted by the medical center on its website.

Editor’s note: Following WND’s questioning, the letter was removed from the Kapi’olani Medical Center’s website.

But according to Snopes, the popular online hoax-buster that many rely on as the final word on both important and frivolous stories, Obama was born at a different hospital in the Hawaiian capital.

Want to turn up the pressure to learn the facts? Get your signs and postcards asking for the president’s birth certificate documentation here.

In Snopes’ entry concerning allegations that Obama is a “radical Muslim,” the site addresses the birth history of the commander in chief, stating, “Barack Hussein Obama was born on 4 August 1961 at the Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii.”

WND took a screen shot of the entry and highlighted the name of the hospital.

In this July 7, 2009, screenshot of Snopes.com highlighted by WND, the myth-busting website asserts President Obama was born at the Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu, not the Kapi’olani Medical Center in which Obama claims to have been born.

Within just 90 minutes of the WND report, Snopes swapped the location of the president’s birth from Queen’s to Kapi’olani, as evinced by this screen shot from the exact same Web address:

Screenshot of same Snopes.com address on July 8. 2009, reveals Snopes swapped the location of President Obama’s birth from Queen’s Medical Center to the Kapi’olani Medical Center.

It noted some ambiguity by stating, “News accounts have also variously placed his birth as having occurred at Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii.”)

Interestingly, in Snopes’ entry focusing on the natural-born citizenship controversy, no mention is made of the birth hospital.

But Snopes is not alone in asserting Obama was born at a hospital other than the one he personally claims.

A number of news articles published both in the U.S. and abroad name Queen’s Medical Center – not Kapi’olani – as the correct birthplace.

A United Press International report from Nov. 4 states:

“Obama described his birth at Queen’s Medical Center in Hawaii Aug. 4, 1961, to a young white woman from Kansas and a father of Luo ethnicity from Nyanza Province in Kenya, as an ‘all-America’ story transcending orthodox racial stereotypes and experience.”

A July 7, 2009, screenshot of a United Press Inrernational story dated Nov. 4, 2008, indicates Barack Obama was born at the Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii.

After this WND story was originally posted, UPI also swapped the hospital of birth to indicate Obama was born at Kapi’olani, as shown here at the same online address:

Screenshot of same UPI.com
address on July 8. 2009, reveals UPI swapped the location of
President Obama’s birth from Queen’s Medical Center to the Kapi’olani
Medical Center.

A November 2004 report from the Rainbow Edition News Letter, published by the Education Laboratory School in Hawaii, noted in its lead sentence:

“Barack Obama was born on August 4, 1961 at the Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii.”

This screenshot of the November 2004 edition of the Rainbow Edition News Letter states at its outset Obama was born at Queen’s Medical Center.

Adding a twist to the dispute is a separate claim on the MyBarackObama.com campaign website that lists a genealogy for Obama citing his birthplace as Queen’s Medical Center.

The campaign website blog image:

Claim on MyBarackObama.com that Obama was born in Queen’s Medical Center

The site documents Obama’s lineage back to his great-great-great grandparents, who lived in the mid-1800s.

It states: “Barack Hussein OBAMA was born on 4 August 1961 at the Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Barack Hussein OBAMA, Sr. of Nyangoma-Kogelo, Siaya District, Kenya, and Ann DUNHAM of Wichita, Kansas.”

William Addams Reitwiesner, genealogist at the Library of Congress, first listed the birth location at Queen’s.

Reference to Queen’s attributed to Library of Congress

Now he’s listing it at Kapi’olani.

Reference to Kapi’olani attributed to Library of Congress

Kenya’s East African Standard, in an Aug. 24, 2006, article titled “From Young ‘Barry’ to Top American Senator,” said of Obama: “The Harvard Law School and Columbia University graduate was born at the Queen’s Medical Centre in Honolulu in Hawaii, where his parents were studying at the East-West Centre of the University of Hawaii in Manoa.”

But news agencies are hardly unanimous on the exact hospital.

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Honolulu Advertiser and Washington Post have all published stories indicating Obama was born at the Kapi’olani Medical Center, in agreement with the president’s letter to the facility.

But even the Honolulu Advertiser, in a Nov. 9 article, admitted “the hospital where he was born is difficult to document,” as officials clam up while citing federal privacy laws.

“We can’t confirm or deny it – even though all the information out there says he was born at Kapi’olani Hospital,” said hospital spokeswoman Claire Tong. “Our hands are tied.”

The Encyclopedia Britannica mentions only that Obama was born Aug. 4, 1961, in Honolulu, but makes no reference to any hospital.

The Associated Press reports that Internet users are far from ignorant about the questions over Obama’s birthplace and documentation.

“Among the top search terms paired with Barack Obama: biography, Israel, news, jokes, stimulus package, birth certificate (related to those persistent but unfounded rumors that Obama is not a natural-born citizen and thus ineligible to be president.),” the news organization stated.

Makana Shook, corporate communications coordinator for Queen’s, told WND, “The hospital is not allowed to give out any information to the public about patients without the patient’s permission, because of federal HIPAA law restrictions.”

Kapi’olani officials said they would release any documentation they may have about the president’s birth if the president gives his permission to make the documentation public.

The White House did not respond to a WND request for comment.

The question to the White House noted the multiple references to Queen’s. “Then, beginning sometime after the start of 2009, the president and various members of his family, including his sister Maya Soetoro, changed the story and gave interviews (or wrote letters as above) claiming President Obama was born at Kapi’olani Medical Center.

“Why did the president claim to be born at two different hospitals in Hawaii?” WND asked. “Which is the true hospital where the president was born?”

Snopes responded to a WND request for comment about the conflict between its report and Obama’s statement with an automated message that shed no light on the matter.

WND has reported that among the documentation – besides his birth certificate – not yet available for Obama includes his kindergarten records, his Punahou school records, his Occidental College records, his Columbia University records, his Columbia thesis, his Harvard Law School records, his Harvard Law Review articles, his scholarly articles from the University of Chicago, his passport, his medical records, his files from his years as an Illinois state senator, his Illinois State Bar Association records, any baptism records, and his adoption records.

That may very well be intentional on the part of Obama, who used his first full day in residence in the Oval Office to issue an executive order restricting the release of presidential records.

“Upon receipt of a notice of intent to disclose presidential records, the attorney general (directly or through the assistant attorney general for the office of legal counsel) and the counsel to the president shall review as they deem appropriate the records covered by the notice and consult with each other, the archivist, and such other executive agencies as they deem appropriate concerning whether invocation of executive privilege is justified,” the order states.

“If either the attorney general or the counsel to the president believes that the circumstances justify invocation of executive privilege, the issue shall be presented to the president by the counsel to the president and the attorney general.”

The result is that the president ultimately would decide if those records can be released.

“After receiving such notice, the archivist shall not disclose the privileged records unless directed to do so by an incumbent president or by a final court order,” the order said.

Meanwhile, there are some who maintain Obama was not born in the U.S. at all as he claims, but in Africa.

An affidavit submitted to WND by Rev. Kweli Shuhubia, an Anabaptist minister in Kenya, who is the official Swahili translator for the annual Anabaptist Conference in Kenya, asserts “it is common knowledge throughout the Christian and Muslim communities in Kenya that Barack Hussein Obama, Jr., was born in Mombasa, Kenya.”

Shuhubia further states in his affidavit that he visited Obama’s grandmother at her home in the village of Alego-Kogello, on Oct. 16, 2008, in order to conduct a telephone conference interview that would connect with McRae in the United States.

During the telephone interview, McRae specifically asked Sarah Obama two times, “Were you present when your grandson was born in Kenya.”

“Both times she specifically replied, ‘Yes,'” Shuhubia affirmed in the affidavit.

“Ms. Sarah Hussein Obama was very adamant that her grandson, Senator Barack Hussein Obama, was born in Kenya, and that she was present and witnessed his birth in Kenya, not the United States,” Shuhubia continued in the affidavit.

WND also reported the office of Hawaii Republican Gov. Linda Lingle has officially declined a request made in writing by WND in Hawaii to obtain a copy of Obama’s hospital-generated long-form original birth certificate.

The “Certification of Live Birth” posted online and widely touted as “Obama’s birth certificate” does not in any way prove he was born in Hawaii, since the same “short-form” document is easily obtainable for children not born in Hawaii. The true “long-form” birth certificate – which includes information such as the name of the birth hospital and attending physician – is the only document that can prove Obama was born in Hawaii, but to date he has not permitted its release for public or press scrutiny.

Oddly, though congressional hearings were held to determine whether Sen. John McCain was constitutionally eligible to be president as a “natural born citizen,” no controlling legal authority ever sought to verify Obama’s claim to a Hawaiian birth.

Here is an actual Hawaiian birth certificate from 1963 (the same era as Obama’s birth), which while redacted includes detailed information documenting a birth, including the name of the birth hospital and the attending physician. Beneath it is the short-form “Certification of Live Birth” offered by President Obama as proof of his Hawaiian birth. It is possible to have been born outside of Hawaii and still obtain the latter form, but not the former:

Long-form birth certificate from state of Hawaii (Image courtesy Philip Berg)

Here is the “Certification of Live Birth” presented by Obama:

Short-form “Certification of Live Birth”

WND has reported on dozens of legal challenges to Obama’s status as a “natural born citizen.” The Constitution, Article 2, Section 1, 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.”

Some of the lawsuits question whether he was actually born in Hawaii, as he insists. If he was born out of the country, Obama’s American mother, the suits contend, was too young at the time of his birth to confer American citizenship to her son under the law at the time.

Other challenges have focused on Obama’s citizenship through his father, a Kenyan subject to the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom at the time of his birth, thus making him a dual citizen. The cases contend the framers of the Constitution excluded dual citizens from qualifying as natural born.

Complicating the situation is Obama’s decision to spend sums estimated in the hundreds of thousands of dollars to avoid releasing a state birth certificate that would put to rest all of the questions.

Among the cases have been several from Democrat Philip Berg, who has alleged that not only is Obama ineligible to be president, he was unqualified to be the senator from Illinois and should be prosecuted under the False Claims Act.

The key question in the dispute also is being raised on billboards nationwide.

“Where’s The Birth Certificate?” billboard in Pennsylvania

The billboard campaign follows an ongoing petition campaign launched several months ago by WND Editor and Chief Executive Officer Joseph Farah.

They are intended to raise public awareness of the fact that Obama has never released the standard “long-form” birth certificate that would show which hospital he was born in, the attending physician and establish that he truly was born in Hawaii, as his autobiography maintains.

Send a contribution to support the national billboard campaign that asks a simple question: “Where’s the birth certificate?”

Although Obama officials have told WND all such allegations are “garbage,” here is a partial listing and status update for some of the cases over Obama’s eligibility:

  • New Jersey attorney Mario Apuzzo has filed a case on behalf of Charles Kerchner and others alleging Congress didn’t properly ascertain that Obama is qualified to hold the office of president.


  • Berg has three cases pending, including Berg vs. Obama in the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, a separate Berg vs. Obama challenging Obama’s eligibility to be a U.S. senator and Hollister vs. Soetoro a/k/a Obama, (now dismissed) brought on behalf of a retired military member who could be facing recall to active duty by Obama.
  • Leo Donofrio of New Jersey filed a lawsuit claiming Obama’s dual citizenship disqualified him from serving as president. His case was considered in conference by the U.S. Supreme Court but denied a full hearing.


  • Cort Wrotnowski filed suit against Connecticut’s secretary of state, making a similar argument to Donofrio. His case was considered in conference by the U.S. Supreme Court, but was denied a full hearing.



  • Chicago lawyer Andy Martin sought legal action requiring Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle to release Obama’s vital statistics record. The case was dismissed by Hawaii Circuit Court Judge Bert Ayabe.
  • Lt. Col. Donald Sullivan sought a temporary restraining order to stop the Electoral College vote in North Carolina until Barack Obama’s eligibility could be confirmed, alleging doubt about Obama’s citizenship. His case was denied.
  • In Ohio, David M. Neal sued to force the secretary of state to request documents from the Federal Elections Commission, the Democratic National Committee, the Ohio Democratic Party and Obama to show the presidential candidate was born in Hawaii. The case was denied.
  • Also in Ohio, there was the Greenberg v. Brunner case which ended when the judge threatened to assess all case costs against the plaintiff.
  • In Washington state, Steven Marquis sued the secretary of state seeking a determination on Obama’s citizenship. The case was denied.
  • In Georgia, Rev. Tom Terry asked the state Supreme Court to authenticate Obama’s birth certificate. His request for an injunction against Georgia’s secretary of state was denied by Georgia Superior Court Judge Jerry W. Baxter.


  • California attorney Orly Taitz has brought a case, Lightfoot vs. Bowen, on behalf of Gail Lightfoot, the vice presidential candidate on the ballot with Ron Paul, four electors and two registered voters. She also has brought forward several other cases and has conducted several public campaigns to generate awareness of the issue.
  • In Texas, Darrel Hunter vs. Obama later was dismissed.
  • In Ohio, Gordon Stamper vs. U.S. later was dismissed.
  • In Texas, Brockhausen vs. Andrade.
  • In Washington, L. Charles Cohen vs. Obama.
  • In Hawaii, Keyes vs. Lingle, dismissed.

In addition, other cases cited on the RightSideofLife blog as raising questions about Obama’s eligibility include:

  • In Texas, Darrel Hunter vs. Obama later was dismissed.
  • In Ohio, Gordon Stamper vs. U.S. later was dismissed.
  • In Texas, Brockhausen vs. Andrade.
  • In Washington, L. Charles Cohen vs. Obama.

Note: Members of the news media wishing to interview Joe Kovacs, Jerome Corsi, Joseph Farah or Bob Unruh on this issue, please contact WND.