Thursday, October 30, 2008

Chicago Tribune Covers Up Obama "Natural Born" Issue

Proving once again how much the mainstream media, particularly in Obama's hometown of Chicago, is in bed with the Obama campaign, the Chicago Tribune's James Janega performs sloppy journalism work in a story today, claiming to debunk Internet rumors that Obama is not a "natural born" citizen as required of a candidate for president of the United States under Article II of the U.S. Constitution. Instead of insisting that the Obama campaign produce the original, long version birth certificate, Janega relies on this analysis to conclude that Obama's certificate of birth posted on his campaign's website is not a forgery:

Contacted Wednesday, Health Department spokeswoman Janice Okubo cited Hawaii state privacy laws and guidance from the state attorney general in saying she was not permitted to confirm the authenticity of the certificate released by the Obama campaign.But she said it appeared similar to other Hawaii birth certificates.

"It looks exactly the same as my own birth certificate," Okubo said. Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said Wednesday that the document was authentic.

The Obama certificate the health department's spokesman is commenting on is a copy purportedly obtained from the department just last year. Nobody questions that it looks like a certificate a person would obtain today for a birth occurring decades ago; however, as document experts have demonstrated, it is a piece of cake to photoshop one of those certificates to make it look real. And that's precisely what some document experts say of the one posted online by the Obama campaign.

Janega goes on in his story to completely botch the meaning of a "natural born" citizen. Janega writes:

Hawaii was a state in 1961, when Obama was born. Any person born in the U.S. automatically is a "natural born citizen," said University of California Los Angeles law professor Eugene Volokh.

Even if a person is born outside the United States, courts have ruled any child born to at least one U.S. citizen is a U.S. citizen, Volokh said. Stanley Ann Dunham would have counted even if Obama's Kenyan father did not.

As my earlier post points out, there is not agreement among legal scholars how the term "natural born" should be interpreted. Not all legal scholars agree that Sen. John McCain is a natural born because of his birth in the Panama Canal Zone while his U.S. citizen parents were stationed there during his father's duty in the Navy. Also, not all legal scholars would agree that one is automatically "natural born" because of birth in the U.S. Janega tries to deal with the possibility that Obama was born in Kenya as Obama's paternal grandmother has supposedly claimed. Janega's story acknowledges Obama's mother did not reside long enough in the U.S. after she reached the age of 14 under federal law in effect at the time of Obama's birth, but it dismisses this problem without fully analyzing the Indonesian citizenship issue. Janega writes:

If this becomes an issue in a post-election eligibility challenge, expect a likely sticking point to be the legal definition in 1961 of how parents could be called U.S. citizens for this purpose, Volokh said. At the time Obama was born, the law stated that a person would be considered a "natural born citizen" if either parent was a citizen who had lived at least 10 years in the U.S., including five years after the age of 14—in other words, 19.

Dunham was three months shy of her 19th birthday when Obama was born. But subsequent acts of Congress relaxed the requirement to five years in the U.S., including just two years after the age of 14, meaning Dunham could have been 16 and still qualified even if Obama was born in another country, Volokh said. Congress made the law retroactive to 1952, doubly covering Obama.

Any legal challenge would have to argue that Congress can't make someone retroactively a citizen at birth, and prove Obama was born outside of the U.S. after all.

Notice that Janega completely obscures the fact that Obama's mother married an Indonesian citizen, Lolo Soetoro, and immigrated to Jakarta, Indonesia when Obama was only six. According to school records there, Obama's name was changed to "Barry Soetoro", Lolo Soetoro was identified as his father, and Obama's citizenship was identified as Indonesian. Even Obama's campaign website acknowledges that Obama was a dual citizen of Kenya until he reached the age of 21 because of his birth father's citizenship. Nowhere in Janega's story does he discuss the impact of dual citizenship on one's natural born status. According to Justice William Blackstone, dual citizenship is incompatible with being a natural born citizen. Natural born has as more to do with one's allegiance and loyalty to the U.S. than it does with where one was born.

Nice try, Janega, but your story does nothing to debunk whether Obama is a natural born citizen. This is just another example of sloppy journalism work being passed off to the public as credible investigative journalism work. Janega should have at least attempted to get a lame excuse from the Obama campaign as to why he wouldn't produce the birth certificate he talked about possessing when he wrote his autobiography, "Dreams From My Father", back in 1995. When Obama made a quick trip to visit his ailing grandmother in Hawaii last week, Gov. Linda Lingle quietly ordered Obama's original birth certificate records sealed because of so many efforts by the public to get at them. A lawsuit to open up Obama's records was filed by Obama antagonist Andy Martin just days before Gov. Lingle's department issued that order. Hawaii's health department will release the records only upon Obama's request. Well, we're waiting Sen. Obama. Shame on Janega for refusing to request the most obvious from the Obama campaign and his complicity in the Obama campaign's continued stonewalling on this issue.


truthblogger said...

And you call yourself an immigration lawyer?

First, Obama is a natural born citizen.

Second, if he gained a dual citizenship through marriage or adoption, that does not change his natural born citizenship.

Obama does not lose his citizenship for the sake of argument, if he was adopted and claimed Indonesian citizenship through his step father.
And that arguement would be that he was born abroad, and then his(Obama's) step father gained his indonesian citizenship through adoption.
The INA states that he would have had to renounce or apply for nationality to another country AFTER the age 18 years. A child cannot make that decision.

I guess Border Patrol Agents get better training than some "immigration Lawyers".
It does not invalidate your US citizenship.

Does this legal term mean anything to you? "jus soli"

Gary R. Welsh said...

You've obviously not reseached the issue as I have or you wouldn't make such absurd statements. I have never said Obama lost his citizenship. In fact, I have always maintained he is a U.S. citizen. He wouldn't be a registered voter otherwise. Right? Well not always. I've had green card holders come to me for assistance with becoming naturalized citizens who were registered to vote--a big no, no. How could that happen? Unfortunately, it happens more often than you might think. What I question about Obama is whether he can hold multiple citizenships and be treated as a natural born citizen. Note that he has never attempted to explain why Indonesian school records show him with a different name and Indonesian citizenship. I'm assuming this step father (adopted father) followed the law. He was, after all, an employee of the government at the time.

truthblogger said...

His "dual citizenships" were not obtained by him after the age of 18years old.

Kenya may recognize him as a citizen solely because his father was a national.

Indonesia may have recognized him because of an adoption by his stepfather.

Just because another contry's nationality laws recognize him as a citizen because of jus sanguinis (Kenya). Obama lost his citizenship at 21 due to Kenyan law.

Unless Obama denounced his US Citizenship AFTER the age of 18 in Indonesia, he remains a citizen of the US and retains no citizenship in Indonesia.

If you don't want people to think that Obama is not a US Citizen then quit posting Berg's outrages claims and Corsi's rantings.

Berg is an idiot for a lawyer, his claims are so far out of the law it's crazy he retains a license to practice.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Look, truthblogger (aka as paid Obama blogger), This blog has never stated Obama was not a citizen. That's exactly what you Obama Kool Aid drinkers try to do with this issue. Claim something more extreme is being alleged than what is clearly written here. This blog is not for cult followers like you. Your efforts to deflect, dodge and dissemble the real issue at hand will not work. Obama is a constitutional lawyer. He knows how damaging the truth could be and that is why he won't reveal it. He hated his mother because she screwed this up for him and had his name changed. He wanted his real father's heritage back and that's why he reclaimed his original, Arabic given name. He doesn't want people to know a Barry Soetoro ever existed in a far away land; otherwise, he would have cleared this up in his book. Instead, he created a fairy tale and called it his life story. I take you back to what the Sun-Times' Lynn Sweet said a year ago about his autobiography. You couldn't tell where the fiction ended and the truth began. Under any normal circumstances, people would be very concerned about the pathology of an adult man writing complete lies about his life story. It is indeed troubling that such a man could become the most powerful man in the world. If he was comfortable in his own skin, he wouldn't have a need to make up so many lies about his life. You can bet a Republican candidate would never get away with lying like this. What's even worse is that he has a pathological liar, Joe Biden, for his running mate. If The One is unable to serve, Joe is no better on that score.

truthblogger said...

Your own words..."Nice try, Janega, but your story does nothing to debunk whether Obama is a natural born citizen."

Tell Obama I havn't recieved my check yet please. Gary you are losing it.

I am a registered republican, but I also will not stand for this irresponsible rumor mongering as fact.
Then, someone as yourselve trying to give credibilty to it based on non factual information.
When have you denounced anything that you post on Obama's citizenship?

"claim something more extreme than being written here?"

How many quotes do you want me to use?

I have been reading your blog for a couple years, liked the issues your brought up against Peterson, glad somebody did.

You are the one deflecting sir, you will not debate this on the merits and the INA, becuase you know you are wrong.

Nowhere have I deflected, I put factual information in my repsonses.

If you want, I will qoute the actual INA.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Nice try, but if you want me to believe you are registered Republican, then try using your own name for once instead of a pseudo name. Again, one more time, saying he is not a natural born citizen does not equate to saying he is not a citizen. What part of that do you not understand? You can be a citizen without being a natural born citizen. What I've stated are facts. Now, until you use your real name, you will not be posting another comment here. Thank you.

Vox Populi said...

I can't believe we are still focusing on this instead of the McCain campaign's lie that they would allow reporters to look at Sarah Palin's medical records, as reporters have done for the other three. They said last week they would be ready on Monday of this week. They've not said anything more about it this week.

The only reason to stall and hide from the American people is that there must be something embarrassing in them. Maybe she's afraid we'll find out her last child really wasn't hers. Or maybe she has herpes.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Have you already forgotten, Vox, that Obama refuses to release his medical records? More troubling given his mother's death from cancer at a young age and the poor health his father was in when he also died at a young age after getting drunk and crashing his car. As I've said before, given his family history, Obama is just as likely to die within the next 10 years as McCain. What does Obama give us? A one-page summary from a doctor based on an evaluation done more than a year before it was released. Obama's chain smoking has no doubt taken a toll on his health, not to mention his cocaine use he admits to when he was younger.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Truthblogger exposed:

He's now posting at Blue Indiana, the de facto blog of the Indiana Democratic Party. This is someone who claims to be a Republican precinct committeeman in Center Township. This same anonymous blogger makes regular comments on Abdul Hakim-Shabazz' blog. Abdul is quite known for his sock puppetry. Although Tom John and his buddies have fallen in with Abdul, most Republicans who know better know not to trust him. And all Republican know that Shabazz is in the tank with the Obama campaign, although he must be embarrassed that he couldnt' even manage an interview with The One, unlike the real media players in town.

truthblogger said...

Oh, and by the way Gary, I said I WAS a former RPC in center township.

I will post on whatever blog I feel like.

The republican party has screwed itself with being taken over by the christian right.

Between Cottey, Schneider and numerous others, the party went to hell. They missed the boat and the warnings.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Thanks for sharing, falseblogger.

Seamus Folan said...

This whole "if you are born a dual citizen you are not 'natural born" makes no sense. It literally gives other countries a veto over who can be our President. Does that make sense? For example, in Ireland anyone born in Northern Ireland (part of the UK) is also considered a citizen of the Irish Republic. So as a thought experiment, what would happen if Canada passed a law saying everyone born in the US is also a Canadian citizen? According to your logic, every US citizen would then be ineligible to become President! Talk about a Constitutional crisis! Going back to Ireland, the Republic of Ireland considers everyone who has a grandparent from Ireland to also have Irish citizenship. Do you really think everyone who has 1 grandparent from Ireland is not elligible to be President?

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I think the Internet is exacerbating the already considerable difficulties in political communication in this country. Conservatives read conservative sites, and liberals read liberal sites. True, some venture to the other camp's sites, but by and large, when they do, if they comment they are mocking and rude.

Before the Internet, we had maybe two local newspapers, and we had national magazines. That situation exposed each political camp to the thought of the other camp. And that was a time when journalists actually reported news objectively, or at least far more objectively than they do today.

And today there is no sober hearing-out of the other's point of view. The preacher is always talking to his own choir. We are stuck. I know there are terrific benefits of the Internet, but in the area of political discourse, I think its record is abysmal.

The forums that allow comments on articles are frequently inhabited by near-illiterates who apparently have little knowledge of how government works and think nothing of displaying their ignorance by their inane pontifications and conjectures. I'm getting close to the point of abandoning the Internet as a source of political news altogether. I am very discouraged.

What has led me to this point has been the absence of any serious discussion of an issue that has been relegated to the "fringe," though it is a reasonable issue to raise. "What issue might that be?" you ask. "I hope you don't mean that silly "natural born citizen" issue. Please grow up."

Yes, that's it. And that's the response, even from some otherwise sober conservatives, that leads me to think the Internet is killing rational discourse.