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.