President Barack Obama in the Oval Office April 4, 2011
With billionaire and possible GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump ratcheting interest in Barack Obama's Hawaiian birth documentation to its highest level ever, the State of Hawaii is suddenly enforcing a policy that no one – not even the president of the United States – can obtain a copy of his own birth certificate from the state's Department of Health.
Although the policy of denying the public access to copies of long-form original hospital birth certificates was announced in 2001, it wasn't enforced for years. But with Trump's recent pointed questioning of the circumstances of Obama's birth – and whether he was even born in America – Hawaii officials have apparently determined that the long-overlooked state procedure now requires enforcement.
On March 17 the wealthy real estate entrepreneur told ABC's "Good Morning America" Obama's refusal to provide what is routine information about his life was "very strange."
Since then, Trump has been on a talk show tour suggesting he might run for president in 2012 and saying if Obama is not eligible, it's one of the biggest hoaxes ever. He even suggested the 44th president's tenure in the White House could be "illegal."
The controversy points directly back to the state of Hawaii, where officials previously have maintained they have viewed Obama's birth "records," but have steadfastly refused to disclose what they say or even in what form those records exist. Nor has Obama been willing to seek the information and release it himself; in fact, he's dispatched both private and tax-paid attorneys to fend off dozens of court cases across the country to make certain his records are kept secret.
In 2001, the Hawaii Department of Health's chief at the time, Bruce Anderson, announced, "The Department of Health will henceforth issue and provide only computer-generated abstracts of birth and marriage records and cease to produce photocopies of actual records…"
The president's supporters repeatedly have cited that policy as the reason why no other records of Obama's birth can be released but a computer-generated "Certification of Live Birth" document that was posted on the Internet during the 2008 campaign.
State officials also have cited the policy change as the reason they cannot release Obama's original long-form birth documentation, even though their own law specifies that the "department of health shall, upon request, furnish to any applicant a certified copy of any certificate, or the contents of any certificate, or any part thereof."
The Post & Email blog suggests the policy, on its face, violates the state law. In any case, it was not followed for years, as confirmed by the testimony of many individuals who obtained their own original birth certificate records from the department.
One of those long-form documents was obtained from Hawaii as recently as March 15, 2011, by a Hawaii native who was willing to have a redacted version revealed for this report. That was just two days before Trump's statements were reported widely:
Long form birth certificated obtained from state of Hawaii on March 15, 2011
It confirms that the birth occurred at Tripler Medical Center, includes a clerk's signature, the attendant's name as well as critical information about the mother and father, including their names and their own birth locations. The document is date-stamped March 15, 2011.
However, when Trump started asking his high-profile questions, even Obama-defending media organizations were pressed into coverage of the dispute.
So in an interview on MSNBC, Chiyome Fukino, former director of the Hawaii Health Department, suddenly announced on April 10 that original birth record copies no longer were available from the state.
While state Department of Health officials have declined to respond to a multitude of WND requests for comment or explanation, documents obtained by WND reveal a subsequent request for such a document was met with a denial by the state.
The receipt for the April 18 request submitted reveals that a birth certificate record is being requested, and the state's $10 fee is being paid:
Then is the state's confirmation that it is refusing to supply such documentation, and a statement that the $10 is being refunded:
At the time of her MSNBC interview, Fukino said, "What he got, everybody got. He put out exactly what everybody gets when they ask for a birth certificate."
Joshua Wisch of the Hawaii attorney general's office went further, telling MSNBC the original document belongs to the state and cannot be released to anyone – or copied by anyone.
"It's a Department of Health record and it can't be released to anybody," he told MSNBC, saying there are no provisions that authorize copying such records.
Fukino's statement was just one among many in a sudden surge in defense of Obama's decision to deny access to his information. Also on the campaign has been Obama's half-sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng. And just today the Associated Press reported White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said the questions about Obama's eligibility are an unfortunate distraction.
The report, however, did not explain on what original records the "computer-generated listing" was based.
The department's sudden policy changes implemented over the last few weeks appear to leave the public with no access to documentation except for the same short-form, computer-generated document Obama's campaign released in 2008:
This short-form "certification of live
birth" released by the Obama campaign in 2008 does not have the name of the hospital or an attending physician, which would be included on a long-form "certificate of live birth," which has never been produced by Obama.
The document, which contains no information regarding birth hospital, attendant, doctor or other details found on all original long-form birth certificates, contrasts with the birth certificate from Hawaii made public by Susan Nordyke, who was born in Honolulu Aug. 5, 1961, just one day after Obama's reported date of birth and in the same hospital where he was reportedly born.
Copy of original long-form birth certificate of Susan Nordyke, born in Honolulu the day after Obama's reported birthdate. Obama has never produced any document like this.
Moreover, on Oct. 13, 2010, a contributor with the username "Danae" posted on FreeRepublic.com a copy of her long-form birth certificate originally issued in 1969, but which the Hawaii Department of Health mailed to her Sept. 28, 2010, after she paid a $10 fee.
An image of her posting:
To verify her transaction, she also posted a receipt she was sent Sept. 28, 2010, by the Hawaii state agency.
Because of the obvious questions raised by the statements of Hawaii officials defending the secrecy of Obama's birth records, "Danae" followed up with a photograph of her original long-form, hospital-generated certificate of live birth side-by-side with the copy she was sent:
She went even further, posting an image of both documents along with a short-form COLB, similar to the one presented by Obama's campaign, that she also had asked the Hawaii Department of Health to produce:
Others have obtained long-form birth certificates from Hawaii,
according to a report in "The Post & Email" blog by Miki Booth.
"When my son, Alan, requested a copy of his birth certificate he got just that – a "Certificate of Live Birth," not the same as Obama's. Different titles and different information. Obama's is sorely lacking information required for obtaining a passport – Mother's State/Country of Birth and Father's State/Country of Birth," she wrote.
Fukino told the MSNBC interviewer she doesn't expect her statements – she also made two on the subject earlier – will resolve anything.
Fukino, in late 2009, stated, "I, Dr. Chiyome Fukino, director of the Hawaii State Department of Health, have seen the original vital records maintained on file by the Hawaii State Department of Health verifying Barack Hussein Obama was born in Hawaii and is a natural-born American citizen. I have nothing further to add to this statement or my original statement issued in October 2008 over eight months ago."
Further, questions were raised by the issuance of Fukino's statements that she had seen the documentation. That's because Hawaii law prohibits her from commenting on the birth records of any specific person. Cited was Hawaii Revised Statutes Section 338-18, which pertains to "Disclosure of Records."
That section of Hawaii law states, regarding the release of vital statistics records, "The department shall not permit inspection of public health statistics records, or issue a certified copy of any such record or part thereof, unless it is satisfied that the applicant has a direct and tangible interest in the record."
The MSNBC report noted that when the short-form COLB image first was obtained, Obama needed to sign the request but got "testy."
Jerome Corsi, whose new book, "Where's the Birth Certificate?" will be released May 17, said if the document is as Fukino is describing it now, she should have included those details when she first described it as a state official.
"Fukino has protected Obama with her statements since she was employed by the Hawaii Department of Health. Now, she is just continuing the cover-up," he said at the time of her MSNBC interview.
"Why didn't Fukino describe in this detail the Obama birth records in the Hawaii DOH vault when she was an officer of the department? ... Now that Fukino has described the Obama birth records in this detail, the privacy of the records has been compromised, such that the Hawaii DOH should make public the full records on file in the Hawaii DOH vault."
Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie made headlines earlier this year when he publicly sought to bring closure to the issue and then explained he couldn't find Obama's long-form birth certificate, only some sort of written notation.
"It was actually written, I am told, this is what our investigation is showing, it actually exists in the archives, written down," Abercrombie told the Honolulu Star Advertiser.
Said former senior elections clerk Tim Adams, who claims no birth certificate exists for Obama in Hawaii, "He found a registration, he found an archive notation. He did not find a birth certificate. You'll never see one from him."
A photograph taken by the Kapi'olani Medical Center for WND shows a letter allegedly written by President Obama on embossed White House stationery in which he declares the Honolulu hospital to be "the place of my birth," The hospital, after publicizing the letter then refusing to confirm it even existed, is now vouching for its authenticity, but not its content. The White House has yet to verify any aspect of the letter.
While Honolulu's Kapi'olani Medical Center at one point used the image of a letter purportedly from Obama praising the hospital as the location of his birth, its authenticity also remains in question.
WND has reported the White House has refused to confirm if it wrote or sent the letter, or if the information it contains is accurate.
Kapi'olani has used the letter for fundraising purposes, and the FBI has said there could be federal charges filed if the letter is not authentic.