Friday, October 24, 2008

Obama's Birth Certificate

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Lies, Damn Lies, and Bill Gnade

Fellow Blogger blogger Bill Gnade (or possibly his evil twin) has written two posts, here and here, on the imagined controversy over Obama's birth certificate and status as a natural born US citizen. Let's examine the sites Mr. Gnade links to, the ones that he says we "need" to read.

The first one asks "Where is Obama’s Birth Certificate and Why Doesn’t He Produce It?" Of course, he has, and you can see close up photos of it here at They held the actual certificate in their hands and were able to examine it closely. Contrary to the assertions of the anti-Obama conspiracy nuts, it is genuine and has all the elements the State Department requires for proving citizenship to obtain a U.S. passport: "your full name, the full name of your parent(s), date and place of birth, sex, date the birth record was filed, and the seal or other certification of the official custodian of such records."

The first site Gnade links to makes this assertion: While Obama's camp submitted a supposedly authentic birth certificate to the far-left blog Daily Kos, it was found to have been a photo-shopped version of the birth certificate of his half-sister, who was actually born in Hawaii, as Obama claims he was.
Let's make something very clear, IT WAS NOT "found" to have been any such thing. Such assertions were mere speculation as to what some thought might possibly be the case, but not one piece of real evidence was produced to back up such claims. When the scan of the document appeared online some said it was a photo-shopped fake (these claims were all made without one of these forgery proclaimers seeing the original, but just the scanned image), but the raised seal, folds, signature stamp of the Hawaii state registrar and other elements of authenticity, are all there, as you can see for yourself here. When emailed it to the Hawaii Department of Health, spokesman Janice Okubo responded “It’s a valid Hawaii state birth certificate.”

Then there is the further evidence of the newspaper announcement seen below:

As the blogger who posted it admits:
Although it’s possible that a birth certificate filed by Barack’s grandparents, while he was actually born elsewhere, led to this newspaper announcement, I personally think that’s unlikely because in 1961 these announcements came directly from the Vital Statistics Office as reported by local hospitals, according to the researcher who found this information.

As for Phil Berg, he is a confirmed nut job who doesn't deserve to be given the time of day. The "Explosive press release" Family Security Matters refers to is hilarious. Phil Berg says Obama "admitted" (the quotation marks are in the original) the following:

1. I was born in Kenya.
2. I am a Kenya "natural born" citizen.
3. My foreign birth was registered in the State of Hawaii.
4. My father, Barrack Hussein Obama, Sr. admitted Paternity of me.
5. My mother gave birth to me in Mombosa, Kenya

Now, how did Obama "admit" to these charges? By not responding to Berg's filed Requests for Admissions within 30 days! Can you say Crackpot?

The next site Gnade links to makes numerous false charges, but let's just take a look at the part Bill says we should "especially" examine, section 5.

One claim states: 5.4. The "certificate" that Mr. Obama has posted on his official WEB site is a "Certification of Live Birth," and not a “Birth Certificate” from Hawaii. There is no indication on even this certificate as to specifically where the birth took place.

WRONG! Read it and weep, conspiracy nuts, the document says at the bottom Any Alterations Invalidate This Certificate. As says:The document is a "certification of birth," also known as a short-form birth certificate. The long form is drawn up by the hospital and includes additional information such as birth weight and parents' hometowns. The short form is printed by the state and draws from a database with fewer details. The document also states where the birth took place, as you can read for yourself by looking at the image at the top: CITY, TOWN OR LOCATION OF BIRTH, HONOLULU; ISLAND OF BIRTH, OAHU.

Therefore, at least this part of section 5 is a major FAIL.

... independent Document Forensic Experts performed extensive forensic testing on the Certificate of Live Birth as posted on Obama's campaign website. The Forensic Expert findings were that the posted Certificate of Live Birth (COLB) was a forgery

This was dealt with above, but suffice it to say that it is admitted that the "extensive forensic testing" of these self-appointed "experts" was done on the posted image, not on the actual document.

5.22. Even if Obama had and subsequently maintained his United States Citizenship, which citizenship he has failed before District Court to demonstrate, he may still carry citizenships in Kenya and/or Indonesia. These facts call into question what the constitution attempted to address regarding potently divided loyalties with foreign countries. Thus, Mr. Obama carries multiple citizenships and would be ineligible to run for President of the United States. United States Constitution, Article II, Section 1.

The charge Obama currently has dual citizenship does not hold water and any remaining accusations about that will fail big time in any court of law. Just like similar (and far more substantial) questions about John McCain's eligibility under the constitutional requirement to be a natural born citizen, it won't go anywhere.

Bill Gnade says "I am not saying these things are true or right, but I am saying that they are important." He uses the techniques of a trained smear artist, always covering his ass with qualifications such as "perhaps" or "I am not saying it's true". Just get it out there to do the damage and let the truth (and the facts, and what's right) be damned. I make no accusations of my own here. I can not read the mind or heart of anyone. I just raise the question, that's all. It does seem ironic that someone who proposed "THE BLOGGERS INTEGRITY ACT" "To help create and maintain some integrity in the WWW" would then post such unsubstantiated charges which can easily be proven false.

I would like to believe better of someone like Mr. Gnade, I really would, but with his current crusade he has disappointed me.


  1. Dear SE,

    I see that you do not take on the former Pennsylvania deputy attorney general, who essentially crafted this lawsuit. Moreover, I AM comfortable stating that the "fact-check" mechanisms you cite are not necessarily as reliable as you've accepted.

    Again, I am not the person you should be blogging about here. I have been long aware of the counter-arguments you've presented; but when I saw that a Democrat of Mr. Berg's standing had filed a suit against the Obama campaign, then I took further notice (several weeks back). Moreover, when I read that a reporter for the New York Times' Long Island pages (Joan Zwirsky is no slouch) believes that there is more here than meets the eye, my interest is duly piqued.

    Let me put it all in my plainest words: according to what I am reading, and what I am hearing on the radio, the issue HAS NOT been resolved as you say. I am NOT a person given to conspiracies; and I am not a person overly-quick to peddle junk. I am not sure that this IS junk; I am not sure that it isn't. If the facts are as plain as you say they are, then these lawsuits would be summarily rejected in a heartbeat. In fact, no one would be stupid enough to file them in such a public and important situation.

    Alas, maybe I am peddling, unwittingly, the equivalent of the Pierre Salinger Papers, the internet falsity that Mr. Salinger believed proved the US government destroyed a passenger jet off the shores of Long Island. But these suits ARE happening. I should think you, of all people, would be wary of all conformist and conforming views.

    Here's what my gut says: This has been treated by the media as if all has been resolved. You know, with a sweep of the hand.

    And if I am to be embarrassed by thinking that ANY of this has merits, so be it. This is no "desperation" on my part; I am reacting merely to what is going on in talk-radio land and in the blogosphere. Am I duly skeptical enough? Probably not for you, though I do not think I am your lesser when it comes to skepticism. The fact is rather plain: there is a host of intelligent people making claims I am not in a position to verify or deny; I am also not able to deny or verify the claims of the "fact-checkers" you so willingly accept without doing your own personal, empirical "leg-work."

    Does that make sense? Perhaps not. But I am flattered that you think I am the person who needs to be blogged about.

    Peace to you,


  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Dear Bill, I blogged about you because I like and follow your blog. Perhaps I should have posted without mentioning you at all. Okay, point well taken. I just respond to what I read, and though I have heard of these charges before (on talk radio and elsewhere) I read them most recently through your blog. I was not accusing you of "desperation", my point was that the charges seem like desperation from those (not yourself) with whom they originate and with those currently promoting them in the blogosphere and right-wing radio. Is what is going on in "talk radio land' always worthy of being reacted to? Of course the Sean Hannitys and Michael Savages are giving air time to it because the election is fast slipping away, so any smear will do in a pinch. That's just how I see it.

    Again, a birth certificate has been produced and examined. Where is the evidence that it is a fake? Besides the assertions, where are the facts that prove the case? There are none, and I doubt there will ever be any. No, I can't check every fact for myself, in order to verify it first hand, no one can, but that is far different from treating all claims equally, and you are smart enough to know that, Bill.

    No hard feelings.

  4. Oh, and I did reference Mr. Berg and link to a site (I guess you didn't check it out) about him and his lawsuit. They linked to this story of another case where Berg was found to have committed a "laundry list of unethical actions," and where a federal judge has imposed more than $10,000 in sanctions and ordered the lawyer to complete six hours of ethics training.

    U.S. District Judge J. Curtis Joyner's 10-page opinion in Holsworth v. Berg is packed with criticism of the conduct of attorney Philip Berg of Lafayette Hill, Pa.

    "Other attorneys should look to Mr. Berg's actions as a blueprint for what not to do when attempting to effectively and honorably perform the duties of the legal profession," Joyner wrote.

    "This court has grown weary of Mr. Berg's continuous and brazen disrespect toward this court and his own clients. Mr. Berg's actions ... are an enormous waste of judicial time and resources that this court cannot, in good conscience, allow to go unpunished," Joyner wrote.


  5. All this plethora of yak yak is irrelevant and meaningless.

    It's very simple: since August, Berg, however you wish to paint him, has brought a legal challenge that can be resolved by a $24.95 full birth certificate that was filled in at the birth hospital (usually by the delivering doctor). Issued solved.

    The document you reproduce, is the same type of 'birth certificate that Obama's sister has. She was born in Indonesia. These types of short certificates can be filed by a parent after the event.

  6. Anon., you are simply repeating the lies you have absorbed. Please produce some actual evidence. "Can be" is not the same as was. Learn the difference. Was the newspaper announcement that came from the local hospital via the Vital Statistics Office also something created to make it look as if Obama was born in Hawaii? The real evidence, as opposed to your fantasies, is overwhelmingly in favor of Obama's US birth. Now please go join the UFO cultists and JFK assassination conspiracy kooks, where I'm sure your enlightening contributions would be most welcome.

  7. Thanks for stopping by my blog and pointing me to factcheck about this issue.

    I don't normally get into this sort of stuff because, well, I'm in no position to start investigating it. Still, it's an important issue I figured merited a post.

  8. Obama has posted a "Certification of live birth", which is NOT NOT NOT A Birth Certificate!

    After months and months of unrequited requests, the Obama campaign did finally present a document which they claimed validated his eligibility (per the Constitution of the Unted States, Article II, Section I) as a "Natural born citizen" to have his name on the ballot in contention for the office of the President of the United States of America.

    However, contrary to what the few media outlets who are giving this outrageous claim any attention at all have concurred, what the Obama campaign supplied was not, in fact, a "birth certificate". What they supplied was actually a "Certificate of Live Birth." There is a major difference between a "birth certificate" and a "Certificate of Live Birth." Aside from the level of detail differentiating the documents (hospital of record, doctor, height, weight, etc) - in the state of Hawaii, one authenticates natural born citizenship, and the other doesn't. This part is important, - it has nothing to do with tin foil hats. Per the State of Hawaii's Department of Health, "Amended certificates of birth may be prepared and filed with the Department of Health, as provided by law, for 1) a person born in Hawaii who already has a birth certificate filed with the Department of Health or 2) a person born in a foreign country." (For citation purposes, please feel free to visit their site:

    Why is this important? The "Certificate of Live Birth" provided by Obama, is in fact, a derivative of the "Amended certificates of birth" they site. Why is that important? Because per the second clause in the above citation, while you may earn citizenship via such a document, you do not necessarily earn "natural born" citizenship. "Natural born citizenship" is what is required to be eligible to be considered for the Presidency, per the United States Constitution.

    The form Obama posted wouldn't even be acceptable to make an application in Hawaii's Home Lands Program!


    In order to process your application, DHHL utilizes information that is found only on the original Certificate of Live Birth, which is either black or green. This is a more complete record of your birth than the Certification of Live Birth (a computer-generated printout). Submitting the original Certificate of Live Birth will save you time and money since the computer-generated Certification requires additional verification by DHHL.

  9. Anonymouse, Oh, please! Its a moot issue, Obama was born in Hawaii. But even if, for arguments sake, what you state is correct about the means of getting a Certification of Live Birth from the state that doesn't mean that's the case with Obama. And you did not answer the FACT of the birth announcement in the Aug. 13, 1961, Honolulu Advertiser, which, as was mentioned in my post came directly from the Vital Statistics Office as reported by local hospitals, according to the researcher who found this information.

    Besides, Obama's mother was born in Kansas, and the children of US citzens, where ever they are born, are going to be considered natural born citizens by the law and the courts. The same questions have been raised about McCain, who was born in Panama. Now, go straighten your tin foil hat (yes, I can see it).

  10. Dearest SE,

    I bid you well.

    Perhaps an update is needed. It seems that Philip J. Berg, esquire, has filed a writ of certiorari with the US Supreme Court. Mr. Berg also applied for a court injunction to stop the election; David Souter denied it. But the issue, at the very least, is under judicial review.

    However, the word on the street is that the Supreme Court has asked the Obama camp to present his "authentic" birth certificate, which is different, as you should know by now, than a certificate of live birth. Apparently all of this must be done by December 1.

    Again, maybe this is all BS, as you so argued. But it seems to me that a little circumspection may be in order here; one must not be too hasty to dismiss things.

    Of course, I note that far less than 1% of all applications for writ of certiorari are accepted by the court; I also note that only 4 of 9 justices need to grant approval. But the whole thing has a shot at making it, since it is a case that does indeed go to the very heart of the constitution. Apparently, the SCOTUS takes great pleasure in those cases that are inherently and undeniably constitutional. Surely this case comes close to meeting the SCOTUS' expectations, no?

    Anyhow, if the scuttlebutt is not all conjecture and baseless speculation, we are in for a good show in the next few weeks. And by scuttlebutt I simply mean the legal accusations; I am not saying that Mr. Obama is NOT a US citizen.



  11. Dear Bill,

    Thank you for commenting. I appreciate everyone who visits and comments here, but especially someone of your (I believe anyway) caliber and integrity. You add to what I post and always make me think, even if , ultimately, I may conclude you have gotten it wrong.

    However, I do not think this kind of challenge to Obama's eligibility to the office of POTUS will ultimately be taken seriously by the justices of the highest court in the land. I may be wrong, but I just feel this is one of those things that are so on the fringe that it will not go anywhere.

    On the subject of an actual copy of ones birth certificate, in California I believe (and someone please comment and correct me if I'm wrong) you can no longer get a photo copy of the actual certificate, with doctors signature and such. I myself, luckily, still have a copy of my genuine original birth certificate, but I remember my sister going for a copy of hers and being given something that looks very similar to what Obama posted online.

    I still think this is a silly non-issue. John McCain had similar critics eager to prove that he was not constitutionally eligible to serve due to his birth in the Panama canal zone.

    I am not sure what your reference to "word on the street" corresponds to, but if the President -elect has anything to be concerned about in this regard, I should be very surprised. I know these are not arguments, but I've given those already.

    Cheers, and I do hope you are doing well, Bill. The best to you always.



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