Barack Obama and his step-grandmother Sarah Hussein Obama

Internal government documents indicate Barack Obama’s step-grandmother was interviewed several times by agents of Kenya’s National Security Intelligence Service to investigate reports that she claimed the president was born in the East African nation.

As WND reported, although no proof has surfaced placing Barack Obama’s mother in Kenya at the time of the president’s birth, a taped telephone conversation in which step-grandmother Sarah Hussein Obama purportedly claimed he was born in the coastal city of Mombasa has become an Internet sensation since its submission in a lawsuit challenging the president’s eligibility.

Philip J. Berg, a former Pennsylvania deputy attorney general, included a transcript of the taped Oct. 16, 2008, telephone interview and sworn affidavits in a filing with the U.S. Supreme Court after lower courts dismissed as frivolous his Aug. 21, 2008, complaint alleging Obama was born in Mombasa.

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Critics point out many reasons to be skeptical of the recorded telephone conversation, including the possibility something was lost in the translation and the fact that, through her interpreter, she later clarified that her famous grandson was born in Hawaii, not Kenya. Nevertheless, two members of the Obamas’ Luo tribe who are fluent in the local Luo dialect, Swahili and English told WND that after carefully listening to the tape they believe she declared Barack Obama Jr. was born in Kenya and that she was present at the birth.

The discussion of Sarah Obama’s purported claim is found in reports by Kenya’s National Security Intelligence Service, or NSIS, and official letters indicating the Kenyan government investigated the possibility that President Obama was born in Kenya.

As WND reported, two letters purportedly written by Kenya’s immigration secretary during the 2008 U.S. presidential election campaign stated that officials in Nairobi could not find evidence Obama was born in Kenya. But the official said the government had “information” that relevant birth records may have been removed or were missing.

An “interim report” by the NSIS issued in September 2008 “concludes that a birth certificate in the name of Barack Hussein Obama may have been issued” in Kenya “but to confirm this would require a further thorough joint investigation” by the NSIS and Kenya’s Central Intelligence Department, or CID.

The report said that none of several investigations by various officers has been conclusive and that some leads require further investigation “because it appears some powerful forces as it were are hell bent in defeating this investigation.”

At the time of Obama’s birth, the procedure in Kenya was for the hospital to issue a “birth notification slip,” which would then be presented to municipal authorities by the person registering the birth.

“No such slip was found or proved to have existed,” the report says. “A thorough search at the old registry of the Mombasa Municipal Council did not yield anything. However, this does not remove any possibility that Barack Obama could have been born at the [Coast Provincial General Hospital].”

Meanwhile, a 2009 internal NSIS report (page 1 and page 2) said conflicting stories suggest the “the Obama family is trying to hide something but are not doing a very good job of it.” The report stated:

We have also investigated Mama Sarah to find out if she is speaking the truth but she had come out as vague and incongruent.

In one interview with Mama Sarah Obama our officers recorded that Mama Sarah says she cannot remember if she attended the birth of Barack Obama or visited his parents at the Coast Provincial General Hospital around the official birthday of Barack Obama. But she confessed to have had part of her family there at around the same time. Some of her brothers were already working in Mombasa.

In a second interview done much later, she says that she is sure Barack Obama was born in Mombasa because she was visiting her family there when he was born, and they were called to the CPGH (Coast Provincial General Hospital) where she met Barack Obama’s mother for the first time.

Yet in another interview Mama Sarah turned hostile and gave a conflicting testimony that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii and the family only got to hear or learn of the birth through a letter that Barack Obama’s father sent later.

All these conflicting testimonies point to the fact that the Obama family is trying to hide something but are not doing a very good job of it.

This means that we’re dealing with a situation that calls for caution and only a joint investigation would do.

The internal NSIS reports suggest the intelligence agency was considering subpoenaing Sarah Obama to testify under oath because “she has become a hostile witness to our investigations.”

The reporting investigator noted, however, that because of her stature, a subpoena would require permission from the minister for internal security and the attorney general, “and I can assure you this is not tenable at the moment.”

“I urge you to try to get information from her or elsewhere in the best way you can.

NSIS reports also refer to birth “records of interest” at the Lady Grigg Maternity Unit at the Coast Provincial General Hospital in Mombasa:

For instance, we noticed several alterations and quite a number of insertions that were irregular. Generally, the records bear no alterations and if there were, a certificate of alteration has to be issued against the alteration by the birth records office at the Mombasa district commissioner’s office.

The NSIS investigators said they found 79 illegal alterations or insertions at the Lady Grigg Maternity Unit between June 1, 1960 and Dec. 31, 1961.

“For a professional trying to hide or confuse records at the Births Registry, we believe they could pick other dates within this period to make deliberate alterations to keep off track any investigations into this case,” the NSIS report said.

“The name Barack Hussein Obama cannot presently be found in any birth records within the republic of Kenya,” the memo concluded. “But this does not mean they never existed.”

Emmanuel Kisombe

Official correspondence

Emmanuel Kisombe, the permanent secretary in the Ministry for Immigration and Registration of Persons, wrote a letter in July 2008 in reply to a letter from the U.S. ambassador in Nairobi that raised the possibility with Kenyan officials that Obama was born in their country.

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Kisombe wrote another letter on the issue, this time to Kenya’s Criminal Investigation Department, a few days before the Nov. 4 presidential election in the U.S.

Kisombe, 56, has been in public service since 1979, according to his bio. He became principal administrative secretary in the Office of the President in 2004 and was appointed permanent secretary for Immigration and Registration of Persons on Dec. 7, 2005.

His Oct. 22, 2008, letter to Simon Karanja Gatiba, director of the Criminal Investigation Department, indicated an investigation into the possibility Obama was born in Kenya was instigated at the level of the Kenyan Cabinet.

Kisombe wrote to Gatiba:

We have instructions from the Head of Civil Service and Secretary to the Cabinet carrying out directions of the Cabinet sub-committee on Security and Foreign Relations to investigate and report on efficacy of reports that Senator Barack Obama, the Democratic Party aspirant in the United States could be Kenyan-born.

Kisombe said the Kenyan government investigation was prompted by “numerous intelligence reports that [Obama] might have been born in Mombasa at the Lady Grigg Maternity Wing of the Coast Provincial Hospital.”

Kisombe noted that the Kenyan government’s inability to find Obama birth records was not conclusive, because “the information we in the ministry have is that some documents have been removed by unknown persons at unknown dates or are missing from birth registry records thus denting the prospects of uncovering the facts of this matter.”

He wrote:

This tampering, if confirmed, constitutes a serious offense that is punishable by law and it behooves your office to track down the culprits and bring them to justice. My officers have been instructed to fully cooperate as the Kenya Police Criminal Investigation Department performs this task.

Here is the entirety of the Kisombe letter:

According to the letter’s second page, copies were to be distributed to the following government offices:

A July 4, 2008, letter by Kisombe to U.S. Amb. Michael Ranneberger in Nairobi, marked “Confidential,” was a response to an inquiry from the U.S. regarding the possibility that Obama had birth records in Kenya.

Kisombe replied that there were no records to indicate Obama was born in “the geographic confines of what is now known as the Republic of Kenya.”

However, the Kenyan official said he could not say whether any documents or files “from the births registry at the Coast Provincial General Hospital are missing or tampered with.”

Ranneberger, who was appointed to the Kenya post by President Bush in 2006, has been reassigned to Washington.

Ranneberger made many friends across Kenya but ran afoul of some politicians who accused him of meddling in Kenyan politics as he pressed for reforms. In cables released by Wikileaks late last year, he accused President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Raila Odinga of impeding reform, prompting a member of Parliament to file a censure motion against him.

President Obama has nominated retired Air Force Major Gen. Scott Gration, his current envoy to Sudan and one of his top military advisers, to replace Ranneberger.

The text of Kisombe’s letter to Ranneberger reads, in part:

Dear Ambassador Ranneberger,


Your letter of July 1, 2008 refers. I wish to confirm that there are neither records nor evidence held by my ministry or any departments thereunder that suggest that Senator Barack Hussein Obama was born within the geographical confines of what is now known as the Republic of Kenya. Further I am unable to confirm if any files from the births registry at the Coast Provincial General Hospital are missing or tampered with.

The letter’s page 1:

The letter’s page 2:

Kisombe and Ranneberger have not replied to a WND request for comment.

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