Saturday, November 01, 2008

Obama's Halloween Birth Certificate Surprise

Feeling the heat from talk radio and the blogosphere, we can only surmise that Sen. Barack Obama authorized the Hawaii Department of Health to confirm it has a birth record for him in its state records. From the AP comes this short but sweet little story offering no context to the disclosure:

State officials say there's no doubt Barack Obama was born in Hawai'i.

Health Department Director Dr. Chiyome Fukino said today she and the registrar of vital statistics, Alvin Onaka, have personally verified that the health department holds Obama's original birth certificate.

Fukino says that no state official, including Republican Gov. Linda Lingle, ever instructed that Obama's certificate be handled differently.

She says state law bars release of a certified birth certificate to anyone who does not have a tangible interest.

Some Obama critics claim he was not born in the U.S. Earlier today, a southwest Ohio magistrate rejected a challenge to Obama's citizenship. Judges in Seattle and Philadelphia recently dismissed similar suits.

Critics have repeatedly requested that Obama produce his original, long version birth certificate on file with the state as Sen. John McCain did early on in the campaign, but he refused to do so. This information cannot be released to the public, by law, unless an authorized person allows its release. We must assume Sen. Obama authorized the release of this information, although the article doesn't say who authorized the release. The birth certificate posted on Obama's website is, at best, a certificate of his birth which was obtained just last year. Some document experts claim it is a forged document. In his book, "Dreams From My Father", which was published thirteen years ago, he mentions possessing his original birth certificate in passing.

Does this put the issue to rest? Not entirely. There is still the matter of the Indonesian citizenship. Another AP item from more than a year ago raised this issue when a school record in Jakarta was obtained that identified Obama's legal name as "Barry Soetoro", listed his step father, Lolo Soetoro, as his father, and identified him as an Indonesian citizen. This suggested Obama was adopted by his step father, something he has never publicly acknowledged. If the adoption took place before Obama and his mother immigrated to Indonesia, his original birth certificate in Hawaii would have been changed to reflect his adopted name. Unless he legally changed his name back to Barack Obama, his name would still be Barry Soetoro. Some legal scholars believe that dual citizenship is incompatible with our Constitution's "natural born" requirement of any person wishing to be president because its real purpose is assuring a person's loyalty and allegiance to the U.S. free from foreign interference. Obama's campaign acknowledges that he was a Kenyan citizen until he reached the age of 21 because of his father's Kenyan citizenship. The status of his alleged Indonesian citizenship remains unknown.

Speaking of Obama's Kenyan relatives, a 56-year-old aunt of Obama's found living in a public housing project in Boston is illegally present in the U.S. According to news reports, Zeituni Onyango was ordered deported after her asylum petition was denied in 2004. Nonetheless, Onyango has been making donations to her nephew's presidential campaign. It's not clear how she could qualify for public housing assisting given her illegal status. In his book "Dreams From My Father, Obama wrote of his aunt: "If Jane or Zeituni ever felt ill, if their companies ever closed or laid them off, there was no government safety net. There was only family, next of kin, people burdened by similar hardship. Now I was family, I reminded myself. Now I had responsibilities." It looks like Obama takes care of his aunt just like he does his 26-year-old half brother, George Hussein Onyango Obama, who lives in a hut in a Kenyan slum outside of Nairobi. Obama mentions George in his autobiography, describing him as a "beautiful boy with a rounded head". Describing his second meeting with Sen. Obama, George Obama said: "It was very brief, we spoke for just a few minutes. It was like meeting a complete stranger."

UPDATE: Here's what another person who has studied this issue and with whom I concur had to say over at TexasDarlin blog on this latest development:

In terms of the Common Law as it stood at the time of the drafting of Article II, the term Natural Born Citizen, or Natural Born Subject, was restricted to people who, life-long, had held only ONE Allegiance to any country. Anyone who had held more than one Allegiance was not Natural Born. In other words, one’s place of birth is not per se relevant to Article II and INA 1952 has no direct relevance of any sort. I have repeated this ad nauseam, but it appears that people have willfully chosen to ignore this fact. Senator Obama has, to date, admitted to having held 3 Allegiances, the British Crown, the Republic of Kenya and the United States. I believe that he has held a fourth, the Republic of Indonesia. Therefore, it is my submission not only that he is not a Natural Born Citizen but never has been.

So far as I can see a Dual Citizen, regardless of whether or not they have ceased to hold one of the Citizenships is, inter alia and by definition, Ineligible under Article II in the same way as a Naturalized Citizen. There are Lawyers who say this view is wrong but there are others who agree with me. Contrary to the propaganda some people choose to repeat, my view is sound in Law and can only be tested in Court. Either Obama must admit that his status as a Senior Lecturer in Constitutional Law was a bad joke or he must admit he knew there was severe Legal doubt that he was Eligible. Either he is the worst Constitutional Lawyer imaginable or a man who has stood for an Office for which he may be Ineligible, and in the circumstances that is egregious.

I have never professed to believe that Obama was born outside the USA, though I have stated what I believe would be the case if he was. I am inclined to believe, as
I have said, that the COLB is probably a forgery but I do not know that it is and it would not affect my view at all were it to prove genuine. I am inclined to put most faith in L E Daniel’s views on the COLB. I firmly believe that all of the essential information on the COLB is correct, and I have been of that opinion, with minor waverings, since day one.

If he was adopted by Soetoro in Hawaii, so far as I can tell, any copy of his Birth Certificate Legally available to him should show his name as Barry Soetoro and his father’s name as Lolo Soetoro. If he was adopted in Hawaii the COLB published under his authority must be fraudulent, although the information on it would reflect his original Birth Certificate. I believe this is the reason for his apparently mule headed obstructionism with regard to producing the only long form vault copy of his birth certificate he can obtain. I could be wrong, but that view seems to me to make sense.

1 comment:

Gavin said...

Based on information that has surfaced to date, and particularly in the wake of the Donofrio v. Wells lawsuit and other similar suits, I am fairly comfortable with the conclusion that John McCain is not and never was a natural born citizen as that term is used in the U.S. Constitution. That is not to say that McCain is not a citizen, or even that he was not a citizen at birth. Rather, it is to say that the geographic circumstances of his birth (outside any and all U.S. states, outside any and all U.S. territories) were not such as would bestow upon him Constitutionally-valid natural born citizen status.

While I am not extremely comfortable with the conclusion that Barack Obama is not at this point a natural born citizen as that term is used in the U.S. Constitution, I am beginning to think that this is what the U.S. Supreme Court will ultimately conclude based on a full set of facts, once those facts are discovered, pursuant to federal court orders compelling disclosure to that effect.

The following is my theory. Barack Obama was born in Honolulu of married parents, of which his mother was a U.S. citizen, and his father was a subject of the United Kingdom by virtue of his Kenyan nationality. At this point, and at least temporarily, Barack Obama is a natural born citizen. Fast forward to when Barack Obama turns 18. He is now an adult, and remains a natural born citizen. By virtue of the fact that Kenya is no longer a colony of the UK, Barack is also a full-fledged citizen of Kenya. As a dual citizen of the U.S. and Kenya, Barack now has options which, as an adult, he is fully empowered to exercise. For example, now that he is an adult, he can formally renounce his Kenyan citizenship. Since he has not renounced U.S. citizenship he has held since birth, he is free and clear to run for president of the U.S. once he attains the age of 35.

But let's say he does nothing for the time being. He is an 18 year old adult holding dual citizenship in the U.S. and Kenya, just living his life. He enrolls in Occidental College as an out-of-state freshman, ostensibly of U.S. nationality and citizenship. Tiring of Occidental, he learns of opportunities available at Ivy League colleges and universities for foreign nationals to matriculate at a steep tuition discount, lower entrance requirements, or both. Possessing Kenyan citizenship, Obama thinks, hey, why not apply and see what happens. He fills out a Columbia application, indicates Kenyan citizenship, signs the application, and sends it to Columbia. Much to his surprise, he is accepted, and he matriculates at the age of 20 as part of Columbia's program for accommodating students of foreign nationality. By the time Barack Obama reaches age 21, he has failed to formally renounce U.S. citizenship. By operation of Kenyan law, he loses his Kenyan citizenship. Retaining his U.S. citizenship, Barack Obama finishes his degree at Columbia, and begins living the rest of his life.

IMHO, the Supreme Court will consider Barack Obama's personal behavior between the ages of 18 and 21 to be directly relevant to the question as to whether he presently possesses Constitutionally-valid natural born citizen status. More particularly, they will be evaluating his actions during that time for any evidence of deliberate actions which are inconsistent with a desire on his part to preserve his Constitutionally-valid natural born citizen status. They will be presented with the documentation comprising his Columbia application and find where he declared himself to be a Kenyan citizen for the purpose of gaining admission and/or obtaining a break on tuition. Based on this, they will conclude that Barack Obama forfeited his previously-held Constitutionally-valid natural born citizen status. This despite the fact that Barack Obama never gave up his U.S. citizenship proper.

Now that I've run this up the flagpole, I'd be interested to know if anyone thinks it deserves a salute.

Publius, Ridgewood, NJ