As I was wrapping up my research on my forthcoming book, “Deconstructing Obama,” I asked three of the independent investigators with whom I had been consulting who they thought was the biological father of President Barack Obama.

To the uninitiated, this may seem a bizarre question. But those who have followed this story – now, perhaps, including Hawaii’s blundering Gov. Neil Abercrombie – will not be surprised to learn that I got three different answers, each of them plausible.

In the book, I follow all three lines of inquiry, but new evidence strengthens the case against Barack Obama Sr.

Thanks to the investigative work of Jerome Corsi, WND readers know the basic holes in the Obama story. Bottom line: When Obama told the nation’s schoolchildren in September 2009, “My father left my family when I was 2 years old, and I was raised by a single mother,” he was lying.

There never was a family. Obama and his mother, Ann Dunham, found themselves in Seattle when Obama was weeks old, and Obama Sr. left Hawaii for good in June 1962. This was before Obama’s first birthday and before Obama Sr.’s presumed wife and son returned to Hawaii. This much is beyond dispute.

Although there is evidence of a Dunham-Obama divorce, there is no hard evidence of a wedding – no witnesses, no photos, no rings, no signed marriage certificate – and, of course, no long-form birth certificate, either.

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The lack of documentation comes to play in a previously overlooked passage from “Dreams from My Father.” As Obama tells the story, Obama Sr. had children with at least four different women, two of them American, two African. Ruth Nidesand, a white American, had two children by Obama Sr., Mark and David, the latter of whom died young in a motorcycle accident.

When Obama Sr. died in 1982, lawyers contacted anyone who might have claim to the estate. “Unlike my mum,” Obama tells his half-sister Auma in “Dreams,” “Ruth has all the documents needed to prove who Mark’s father was.”

Ruth obviously could produce a marriage license and a birth certificate for her son Mark. Although Obama alludes to finding his own “birth certificate” in “Dreams,” Ann Dunham apparently could not produce one that tied him to Obama Sr., this despite a potential payoff if she did.

Then, too, those who have read “Dreams” are almost invariably surprised by the fond memories Ann’s father, Stanley Dunham, has of his putative son-in-law. These memories do not deceive.

A photo taken on the occasion of Obama Sr.’s celebratory departure from Hawaii shows a smiling Stanley Dunham – looking all the world like a young Barack Obama Jr. – standing right next to the African guy who allegedly knocked up his 17-year-old daughter and is now abandoning them. As the father of two daughters, this doesn’t smell right at all.

One of my correspondents – let’s call him Frank Hardy – is convinced that the Dunham family left for Hawaii abruptly right after Ann’s graduation in June 1960 because Ann was pregnant. He makes a good case.

If a black guy had impregnated Ann, this would explain the family’s abrupt departure to Hawaii, the one state in the union where a mixed-race baby could grow up almost unnoticed. It certainly explains the move to Hawaii better than the dreamy rationale Stanley Dunham offers in “Dreams.”

This scenario makes sense of any number of other details as well, like Ann’s angry resistance to the move, her mother’s willingness to quit her job as an escrow officer in nearby Bellevue, Wash., Ann’s poor performance in her limited first-semester courses at the University of Hawaii, her failure to enroll for the second semester and, most of all, her otherwise inexplicable return to Seattle in August 1961 – if not earlier.

True, to make this scenario work, we have to add one major variable, but it is a credible one. Imagine Ann coming home from class one day in Hawaii in fall 1960 in one of her all-concealing muumuus – she had written friends that muumuus were worn on campus – and telling her father about a charming, larger-than-life Kenyan in her class.

The scheming Stanley befriends Barack Sr. and enlists him in his plot. He explains that a boy named Barack, the legitimate son of a Kenyan, could move through American life more seamlessly than a boy named, say, Stanley, the illegitimate son of an American black.

Stanley tells Barack Sr. that he can make it worth his while. Ann understands. As to Barack Sr., he has to contribute nothing to the proceedings but his name – with his “son” born in February 1961, not August.

A marriage license from Maui – the county specified in the divorce papers – assures that no marriage announcement will appear in the Honolulu papers. Ann will leave in time for the 1961 fall semester at the University of Washington – perhaps months before – and she will not return until Obama Sr. leaves for Harvard.

Frank Hardy has found another clue that bolsters his argument. In an online forum dated March 14, 2009, Ann’s high-school classmate Joelle Hannum comments innocently, “I can remember the rumors about [Ann] and another classmate who were involved with and married African-American men, and believe me in those days it was looked at with a LOT of negativity.” As another friend had earlier testified, Ann never dated “the crew-cut white boys.”

A thorough investigator, Hardy called Joelle Hannum to follow up. He immediately wrote down what she told him: “By request of President Obama, we [she and her classmates] have decided not to give out any more information. I have to hang up now. Goodbye.”

I am occasionally asked why any of this matters. The fact is that Obama rode to the presidency on an apocryphal story. The dissembling that he has had to do to hold it together has cost at least one good man his freedom and his career.

If nothing else, our commander in chief owes Lt. Col. Terry Lakin the truth.

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