Sunday, October 26, 2008

Why It Matters Whether Obama Is A Natural Born Citizen

Article II of the U.S. Constitution sets forth the qualifications for being president of the United States. There are only two requirements: you must be at least 35 years of age; and you must be a natural born citizen. Specifically, Article II reads:

No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty five years, and been fourteen Years a resident within the United States.

At the time of the adoption of the Constitution in 1787, no potential candidate could meet the "natural born" requirement because the new country had only recently freed itself from British rule. Although many revolutionaries were born in the U.S., they had been born as subjects of the King of England. To address this situation, the founders allowed persons who were citizens at the time of the adoption of the Constitution and who had resided in the U.S. for at least 14 years to run for president. An early constitutional scholar, Joseph Story explained its need in 1833: "It was doubtless introduced (for it has now become by lapse of time merely nominal, and will soon become wholly extinct) out of respect to those distinguished revolutionary patriots, who were born in a foreign land, and yet had entitled themselves to high honours in their adopted country." Every president since Martin van Buren has been considered a "natural born" citizen; however, candidates have faced scrutiny concerning the constitutional qualification from time to time.

In 1964, Barry Goldwater was confronted with the fact that he was born in the Arizona territory before it became a part of the United States. In 1968, Michigan Gov. George Romney was challenged because he was born in Mexico after his U.S. citizen parents had fled across the border when Mormons were being prosecuted in the U.S. for polygamy. And just earlier this year, the New York Times raised questions about Sen. John McCain's "natural born" status because he was born in the Panama Canal Zone while his father was serving duty for the U.S. Navy. Despite media scrutiny of these other presidential candidates, all Republicans I might add, Sen. Barack Obama has escaped complete scrutiny on the issue despite many unanswered questions surrounding his birth and early years which cast doubt on his "natural born" status.

To many, the term "natural born" is synonymous with being born in the United States or one of its territories. But from Congress' first enactment on this topic after the adoption of the Constitution, the founders had something else in mind. "Quickly recognizing confusion over the evolving nature of citizenship, the First Congress in 1790 passed a measure that did define children of citizens 'born beyond the sea, or out of the limits of the United States to be natural born,'" the Times reported. The term "natural born", however, was eliminated from later enactments, adding to the current confusion. The purpose of the requirement is instructive. As Story explained in his commentaries, its purpose was to impose "a barrier against . . . corrupt interferences of foreign governments in executive elections":

But the general propriety of the exclusion of foreigners, in common cases, will scarcely be doubted by any sound statesman. It cuts off all chances for ambitious foreigners, who might otherwise be intriguing for the office; and interposes a barrier against those corrupt interferences of foreign governments in executive elections, which have inflicted the most serious evils upon the elective monarchies of Europe. Germany, Poland, and even the pontificate of Rome, are sad, but instructive examples of the enduring mischiefs arising from this source.
Story in his commentaries noted exceptions for a "temporary absence abroad on public business, and especially on a business to a foreign nation." Under English common law, it was understood that a child of British subjects born abroad would nonetheless be deemed a natural born citizen. The term under English common law had more to do with a person's loyalty and allegiance to the nation as opposed to the place of birth. Justice Noah Swayne expounded on this in U.S. v. Rhodes: “All persons born in the Allegiance of the King are Natural- Born subjects, and all persons born in the Allegiance of the United States are Natural-Born Citizens. Birth and Allegiance go together. Such is the Rule of the Common Law, and it is the Common Law of this country…since as before the Revolution.” Justice William Blackstone further expounded on this principle and suggests dual citizenship might be a disqualification: “And this maxim of the law proceeded upon a general principle, that every man owes natural allegiance where he is born, and cannot owe two such allegiances, or serve two masters, at once.”

In the case of Sen. Barack Obama, it is generally accepted at this point that he was born to a U.S. citizen mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, and a Kenyan citizen father, Barack Hussein Obama. At the time of his birth, the laws of both countries would have permitted him to hold dual citizenship. Because Kenya at the time of his birth was also a part of the British Commonwealth, Obama would have also been considered a B.C. citizen. According to a birth certificate produced by Obama's presidential campaign, he was born in Honolulu, Hawaii on August 4, 1961. Obama's campaign website says Obama's Kenyan citizenship expired on August 4, 1982 because he neither renounced his U.S. citizenship nor swore an oath of allegiance to Kenya before his 21st birthday as required by that nation's laws. Almost as quickly as Obama's birth certificate was posted, experts who reviewed it concluded it was a bad forgery. Unlike Sen. John McCain, Obama did not produce the original, long version of his birth certificate which would have been given to his mother upon his birth. Instead, his campaign produced a purported certified copy which was obtained from the Hawaii Department of Health just last year. An expansive analysis of this document can be found here, which gives serious reason to doubt its validity.

It is difficult to understand why the Obama campaign has not put this issue to rest by simply putting out Obama's original birth certificate for public review. According to his autobiography, he had this document at the time his book was released in 1995. "Ironically, Obama mentions his birth certificate in passing on Page 26 of his 1995 memoir, “Dreams of My Father,” writes blogger Jeff Schreiber. “I discovered this article, folded away among my birth certificate and old vaccination forms, when I was in high school,” he wrote. Adding more to the mystery is a claim by a former Pennsylvania Deputy Attorney General, Philip J. Berg, that he has been in communication with Obama's paternal grandmother in Kenya and, according to Berg, she claims she was present for Obama's birth at a hospital in Kenya. Berg claims to have a recording of the conversation, but he has not released it to the public as of this writing. Berg also initiated a lawsuit against Obama alleging he is not a "natural born" citizen in the federal district court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Judge R. Barclay Surrick dismissed Berg's lawsuit on Friday on the ground that Berg lacks standing to bring the suit. There are no fewer than eight similar lawsuits pending in other states as of this writing on the same subject matter.

The complications over Obama's birth do not end with the issue of his Kenyan citizenship. Last year, an AP reporter obtained a record from a school Obama attended in Indonesia during the late 1960s, which has created quite a stir in the blogosphere, although it has been virtually ignored by the mainstream media. The school record indicates that Obama's legal name was "Barry Soetoro", that his father was Lolo Soetoro, that his citizenship was Indonesian and that his religion was Islam. Obama's birth father abandoned him when he was two. His parents were divorced, and his mother later married Lolo Soetoro and immigrated with her son, Barack Obama, Jr., to Indonesia. The school record obtained by the AP reporter suggests Obama was adopted by his step-father, which automatically made him an Indonesian citizen. Oddly, news reports which ran in the U.S. based on the Indonesian school record completely omitted the fact that Obama's name had been changed and his citizenship listed as Indonesian.

The Indonesian citizenship issue further complicates Obama's U.S. citizenship status if he was born in Kenya. Under the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Act in effect at the time of Obama's birth, he could have become a U.S. citizen upon his birth even if he was born in Kenya because his mother was a U.S. citizen; however, because his mother did not remain in the U.S. for the period of time required of her for her son to obtain citizenship, he would have lost his citizenship status if he was actually born in Kenya. Further, if he became an Indonesian citizen, dual citizenship would have been permissible under U.S. law (although not Indonesian law at that time); however, dual citizenship is not compatible with the "natural born" requirement in the Constitution based upon Justice William Blackstone's analysis.

People need to be careful not to confuse Obama's "natural born" status with his status as U.S. citizen. These are two entirely different propositions. He could be a citizen by virtue of his birth in the U.S., birth abroad to a U.S. citizen or through the naturalized citizenship process set out in our Immigration and Nationality Act. Being a citizen does not mean you are a "natural born" citizen. Being someone born in the U.S. may also not make you a "natural born" citizen. By way of example, I recently was contacted by a Saudi citizen for immigration assistance with her family. She was born in San Diego, California while her father and mother were residing there temporarily because of her father's work. Her parents returned with her to Saudi Arabia where she grew up and became a Saudi citizen. In her late 20s, she attempted to get a visa from the U.S. consulate in Riyadh. What she learned shocked her. The consulate told her she didn't need a visa but a U.S. passport because she was considered a U.S. citizen based on her birth in San Diego. According to the analysis of some scholars, she would meet the "natural born" requirement while Sen. McCain would not because he was born in the Panama Canal Zone while his father was serving in the Navy. I cannot imagine the framers of our Constitution intended such a ridiculous outcome with this requirement. Again, the focus should be on one's loyalty and allegiance to country, not the place of their birth, if its purpose is to prevent foreign interference.

Some might wonder how Obama's situation could possibly pose any of the mischief the founders feared in interposing this requirement. For one, because Obama denies he was either born in Kenya or became an Indonesian citizen, he could be subject to blackmail in the event the leaders of either country know otherwise based upon their government's records. Both countries harbor radical Muslims who are hell-bent on destroying the U.S. In addition, you can bet other foreign intelligence agencies have researched this issue thoroughly and could also be prepared to use it to undermine confidence in our nation's leader should Obama become president. Rumors persist that Obama may have used an Indonesian passport to travel to Pakistan while he was in college because travel by U.S. citizens into Pakistan at that time was nearly impossible. Imagine the impact this would have on Obama's credibility and the embarrassment our country would face if such a basic constitutional requirement of holding our highest office was overlooked by our political system.

I fully acknowledge the fact that there is no agreement among constitutional scholars on what the term "natural born" means in Article II. In the case of Sen. McCain, respected constitutional scholars like Professor Lawrence Tribe believe McCain satisfies the requirement, but others aren't so sure. “There are powerful arguments that Senator McCain or anyone else in this position is constitutionally qualified, but there is certainly no precedent,” said Sarah H. Duggin, an associate professor of law at Catholic University who has studied the issue extensively. “It is not a slam-dunk situation.” Earlier this year, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved a non-binding resolution deeming McCain a natural born citizen based on both of his parents being U.S. citizens and his father's service in the military at the time.

Obama's situation was not similarly taken under consideration by the U.S. Senate because the circumstances surrounding his birth have slowly come to light. Typically, presidential candidates come from well-established families within their respective home states and much is already known about them by the time they seek the presidency. This is not the case with Obama. His childhood is a riddle rapped up in an enigma. His maternal grandmother has never spoken publicly about such matters and may be physically unable to at this point and both of his parents are dead. There aren't childhood acquaintances or even college acquaintances who can vouch for Obama. We don't know a lot about him, and we need to know much more before we cast the final vote a week from Tuesday. Sadly, it does not appear the American people will be afforded that opportunity before election day.


smrstrauss said...

Let us suppose you were right and that Obama was not born in Hawaii.

He WAS born in Hawaii. I’ve seen pictures of his birth certificate (or perhaps it was a certificate of live birth, in any case it is a legal document proving he was born in Hawaii) and there is a confirming notice in the Honolulu Advertiser, which I've seen pictures of too.

Moreover the guy who is bringing the suit has never shown his alleged evidence. He claims that he has an audio tape from his Kenyan grandmother, which of course could be from any old Kenyan woman.

The usual procedure when you want to prove something is that you produce the evidence to prove it. You do not claim that the other side’s not producing evidence against what you say is proof of what you say. I mean proof in the sense of convincing the public.

But suppose on a wild chance that that the birth certificate and the notice in the Honolulu Advertiser were both wrong.

Suppose that Obama were born outside the USA. Suppose that this fact were to be proven before the election. Would this make McCain president? No. It would merely make Joe Biden the presidential candidate of the Democratic party.

Would Biden win just like Obama would? Sure.

Would he win even bigger than Obama would? Maybe. You can’t call him inexperienced or a terrorist or a friend of Ayers, nor would people who vote against Obama because of his race or alleged Arab ties or alleged Moslem religion vote against Biden.

Biden would get all the votes of Obama and maybe a few more.

Suppose it was proven after the election. Would that make McCain the president? No. If the Congress really bought the fact that Obama was not naturally born in the USA, and that Obama was not eligible to be president (which is a stretch because it is controlled by Democrats), then in the process of approving votes they would rule Obama ineligible and Biden would be president. (But as I say, that’s a real big stretch.) If it were to go to the Supreme Court (which is a stretch because the court in the past said that the Congress has to decide such things), then would they give the election to McCain? No, at most they would give it to Biden.

So, what is the point?

Gary R. Welsh said...

The birth certificate is not the original. That is undisputed. As to the birth announcement, people commonly place birth notices of family members in their local newspaper. It does not prove where the child was born. As for the proof, the government makes me submit proof of an applicant's status when I file petitions for immigration benefits with the Department of Homeland Security. I can't produce Obama's original birth certificate. Only he or a family member can request that information from the government. And as I note in the post, Obama wrote of having the birth certificate in his 1995 book. What is posted on his campaign website is not what he mentions in his book. Why?

Anonymous said...

The Point: The point is that he needs to provide proof.
Can we as a nation allow someone to become President on his/her word that he/she is a "natural born" citizen?

Unless he has something to hide, why won't he just supply the document and put this issue to rest?

bobisimo said...

Nice write-up. Very good, indeed.

Concerned Taxpayer said...

I don't know what you people are whining about. Obama this, Obama that. Obama's a foreigner, Obama's a terrorist.'d think it's something that really matters.

What matters is, that democrats win matter what.

Laws don't count, truth doesn't count, proof doesn't count, just win, win, win.

What's wrong with you people!

/s off

smrstrauss said...

Re: “The birth certificate is not the original. That is undisputed. As to the birth announcement, people commonly place birth notices of family members in their local newspaper. It does not prove where the child was born.”

People LOSE their original birth certificates. I lost mine. I know others who lost theirs. The copy is from the records of the State of Hawaii. Mine was replaced by New York. The copy is perfectly valid. However, if you really believe that it is a fraud, then you can bring suit in Hawaii. It must be illegal there to forge a government document.

And why would anyone want to put a notice in a newspaper in Honolulu if the kid wasn’t born in Honolulu? Are you saying that more than 40 years ago the family thought he had a good chance of running for president?

You are saying that the evidence above, which is good evidence, is all fraudulent. That’s crazy, but let’s accept it for a moment.

What evidence do you have that Obama was born other than in Hawaii where his mother and grandparents lived? Do you have a witness who saw Obama’s mother in Kenya? Do you have a record from the Kenyan government showing that they recorded that she had visited Kenya? Do you have a notice in a Kenyan newspaper of Obama’s birth? Do you have a record of a kid named Obama born in a Kenyan hospital at the time of his birth?

Do you have anything other than the claim of one guy who says he has an audio tape of Obama’s paternal grandmother, and even he cannot be sure of that because he doesn’t know what Obama’s paternal grandmother sounds like, so it could be just any old woman with a Kenyan accent.

And even if it were Obama’s paternal grandmother, it still wouldn’t be real evidence because she could be lying or mistaken. You would need substantiating evidence along the lines of a birth certificate in Kenya, or a record from a hospital, or someone who saw Obama’s mother in Kenya.

Without any of that you are merely claiming that Obama was born outside of the USA, just because there was a lawsuit. Or, just because you don't like Obama.

Well, heck, I can bring suit that says:
1) George W. Bush was really born in Finland.
2) Bill Clinton was really born in China.
3) George H. W. Bush was really born in France.
4) Abe Lincoln was born in Mexico.

Of these only GWBush means anything, and even that not so much these days. But my point is that under your concept that a candidate for president or a president has to defend himself against a lawsuit saying that he was born outside the USA imposes too much of a burden on that candidate or president. ONLY WHEN THERE IS EVIDENCE that the man or woman was not born in the USA is the issue of any relevance at all, and the evidence should be presented by the people making the claim against the candidate. It means nothing at all if the candidate cannot find records. The burden of proof is not on the candidate or the president. It is on the people who assert that he is not eligible.

Now, don’t say that they can’t provide evidence if the court will not hear the suit. If there is evidence, it has to be presented to the voters and to the congress.

Re: “The point is that he needs to provide proof. Can we as a nation allow someone to become President on his/her word that he/she is a "natural born" citizen?”

NO. Those who claim that he is not a valid natural born citizen have to provide the proof. The burden of proof is on them.

None of this in any way affects my point that if in the highly unlikely event someone were able to prove Obama were not born in the USA, then Biden would become president, and what good is that to Republicans anyway?

bobisimo said...

I don't know how to send you a private comment, so I'll just post it here. You don't have to post this as a comment. It's just a link I thought you might find interesting, as I did.

Gary R. Welsh said...

"And why would anyone want to put a notice in a newspaper in Honolulu if the kid wasn’t born in Honolulu?"

Because his American family lived there.

Anonymous said...

Wait, was his mother American? If so.. this is all a moot point. If not, then we have a discussion. Prove to me that his white Kansas-born mother was NOT American.

Gary R. Welsh said...

gnwmann is a regular "hey, look over here" troll on the blogs for the Obama campaign. The mother's citizenship, alone, doesn't answer the question as my analysis makes abundantly clear.

Shofar said...

I think it interesting that a person who is wanting to be the POTUS has had so little vetting, and there are all kinds of questions regarding his past.

As someone who has had to go through the process of a security background check for the government, I can tell you that if you want any type of high level security clearance your entire life's history will be scrutinized. Has BO's? No. His ties with Ayers, his past relationship with Frank Marshall Davis, his entanglements with Rezko, questions regarding his involvement with the internal elections of another country, the list could go on and on. The point being, we as a people have no way of vetting those running for office without the parties and the media doing their jobs.

The MSM has done all it can to find out every little thing it can on Palin, Joe the plumber and who knows who else. BO? Not so much.

The Berg ruling is troubling for me from this stand point. The Constitution of the United States begins with three very large words, "WE THE PEOPLE", and if that does not give us status as citizens of this country to DEMAND that we know the truth about the persons we are electing, then I don't know what does.

Chris Worden said...

Also, I think it's funny you're worried about some foreign nation using documents it has to "undermine confidence in the head of our country." Why would he worry about that when you've done a fine job on your own?

I guess this whole "legal argument" would be more interesting to me if it weren't so totally covered in crap.

In his statement after HIS LAWSUIT WAS DISMISSED, Mr. Berg issued this comment:

"We must legally prevent Obama, the unqualified candidate, from taking the Office of the Presidency of the United States,” Berg said.

Right. He cares about constitutional principles. It doesn't have anything to do with the fact he's still pissed off Hillary lost.

M Theory said...

Berg Appeals Obama Ruling
To Supreme Court
Obama is "NOT" qualified to be President of the United States.
Lawsuit Against Obama Dismissed from Philadelphia Federal Court.

UPDATE - The Ruling is attached at end. It's a really poor copy, but it is all we have for the moment. Willl put up a better copy when we get one.

(b) -- Philip J. Berg, Esquire, the Attorney who filed suit against Barack H. Obama challenging Senator Obama's lack of "qualifications" to serve as President of the United States, announced today that he is immediately appealing the dismissal of his case to the United States Supreme Court. The case is Berg v. Obama, No. 08-cv-04083.

Berg said, "I am totally disappointed by Judge Surrick's decision and, for all citizens of the United States, I am immediately appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court.

This is a question of who has standing to uphold our Constitution. If I don't have standing, if you don't have standing, if your neighbor doesn't have standing to question the eligibility of an individual to be President of the United States - the Commander-in-Chief, the most powerful person in the world - then who does?

So, anyone can just claim to be eligible for congress or the presidency without having their legal status, age or citizenship questioned.
According to Judge Surrick, we the people have no right to police the eligibility requirements under the U.S. Constitution.

What happened to '...Government of the people, by the people, for the people,...' Abraham Lincoln in his Gettysburg Address 1863.

We must legally prevent Obama, the unqualified candidate, from taking the Office of the Presidency of the United States," Berg said.

Our website now has 71.8 + million hits. We are urging all to spread the word of our website ­ and forward to your local newspapers and radio and TV stations.

Berg again stressed his position regarding the urgency of this case as, "we" the people, are heading to a "Constitutional Crisis" if this case is not resolved forthwith.

* * For copies of all Court Pleadings, go to

# # #

Philip J. Berg, Esquire
555 Andorra Glen Court, Suite 12
Lafayette Hill, PA 19444-2531
Cell (610) 662-3005
(610) 825-3134
(800) 993-PHIL [7445]
Fax (610) 834-7659

smrstrauss said...

The Constitution makes clear that President is decided in an election every four years, and it makes clear that there are two legal requirements for a US President: that he be native born (born in the USA) and that he be over the age of 35.

However, it does not say who decides whether a person is native born or over the age of 35.

That being the case, you can assume that the Federal courts, and ultimately the Supreme Court, would ultimately decide. But it might not. The Supreme Court has repeatedly said that it only wants to get into such things if it has to. Most likely it will decide that ordinary citizens have no standing to sue, meaning that McCain must sue, and he will not.

And, in the extremely unlikely event the Supreme Court decides to take the case it almost certainly will be after the election, and if it found in your favor (which is extremely unlikely since there is no evidence), then at the most it would make Joe Biden president.

But there is another judge, a better judge: We the voters.

If Obama were proven to have been born outside the USA, then I assume that we would honor the Constitution and not vote for him.

Some, of course, would continue to vote for Biden, meaning for the Democratic ticket, on the assumption that the Supreme Court might get involved and the resolution would be to give the election to Biden.

But some of us would change our vote to McCain, or vote for Nader or Bob Barr (the Libertarian Party candidate), or not vote at all.

If this is what you desire, then you should bring your case before the American People, we the voters.

There is little time left. Today (Monday 27) there are eight days before the election, meaning that there are only seven days to present your evidence, since most of us have made up our minds by at least the night before the election. Of course, with early voting, some of us have made up our minds already. So time is pressing as far as you are concerned.

But do not imagine that we are fools. In other words, to make your case that Obama is not a native born citizen YOU have to make a case. You have to present your evidence.

It is not enough to say “why doesn’t he show his birth certificate?” He is busy, and people do lose their birth certificates. I have seen a photo on the Web of his certificate of live birth from the State of Hawaii, and, you know, no one in the government of the State of Hawaii has come forward to claim that that document has been forged.

In order to prove that he was born in Kenya, you really have to show some evidence that he was BORN in Kenya. An audio tape recording from someone who is said to be his paternal grandmother saying that she remembers that he was born in Kenya really doesn’t cut it. Why not? Because we do not know whether the voice on the tape is the real grandmother, it could be any Kenyan old lady. Or, even if it is the grandmother, she could be remembering wrong. It happens. So you will need both to substantiate that the tape is of the grandmother AND show something else.

You might produce records from the Kenyan immigration department showing that it checked in Obama’s mother into Kenya sometime before the birth. Or you could show a notice in a Kenyan newspaper. Or you could show a Kenyan birth certificate, or the record of a hospital. But without that, who will believe you???

Back four years ago, when John Kerry was running for president, a number of blogs made the claim that he really had not won the Silver Star. There was no proof, they said, even though the Navy substantiated the fact that he had won the Silver Star. “Why doesn’t he come forward and show the papers that confirm that he won the Silver Star” was asked at the time, and when that was not enough, it was alleged that he really did not win the Silver Star for bravery, but instead because he had pull among the brass in the Navy.

All of that rode on the question: “Why doesn’t he?”

The answer is that claims of this kind can be made forever. Sensible people understand the principle of the burden of proof. The burden of proof is on the people trying to disprove that he is a native-born US citizen.

M Theory said...

By the way, practically nothing is known about Obama's college years or who is friends were. He has ordered all his records sealed. Many people complain about how secretive BUsh is. However, no candidate with so little experience has ever taken office. In addition, no candidate who so little is known has taken office of POTUS.

This is all very troubling to me and it should be to you too. Don't you think the public has good standing to want to know about the missing years of the person who wants to be our president?

Gary R. Welsh said...

Under state confidentiality laws, the public can obtain no information from the State of Hawaii concerning his birth records. Also, state officials are not permitted to access that information and share it with the public unless an authorized party requests it or a court orders them to release it. As to Kerry, there was evidence offered by his fellow naval seamen that he submitted false reports to win medals, including a purple heart for an injury he likely suffered from an accident and not enemy fire.

smrstrauss said...

Re: “Under state confidentiality laws, the public can obtain no information from the State of Hawaii concerning his birth records.”

Yes, and that’s a good thing, you know: Confidentiality.

But you allege that Obama forged the State of Hawaii document that is on his web site. That would probably be a crime, at the least someone in government would comment about it. No one has. Hawaii has some very good newspapers. They haven’t commented on the document being a fraud. Maybe it isn’t a fraud.

That being the case you have no evidence that it is fraudulent. Maybe you THINK it is fraudulent. But you don’t know.

Remember, I said that the burden of proof is on the ones trying to prove that Obama wasn’t born in Hawaii. Have you any evidence???

Do you know that Obama’s mother got on a plane for Kenya sometime before he was born? How do you know? Maybe you got a feeling? What justifies that feeling?

Re: As to Kerry, there was evidence offered by his fellow naval seamen that he submitted false reports to win medals, including a purple heart for an injury he likely suffered from an accident and not enemy fire.”

Baloney. Some former seamen said that. They didn’t testify under oath or sign an affidavit. Bush, of course, had never been to Vietnam at all.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Look strauss, if Obama wanted to put this to rest, he could simply request the original from the Department of Health. He was just in Hawaii last week. Why didn't he request it? Instead, the Governor had the document sealed because so many people were trying to gain access to it. She made it clear she would release it only upon Obama's request or a person authorized to act on his behalf. As for the certificate posted on the Internet, it is at least a fascimile of what a certificate looks like. The state cannot opine on the validity of the Obama certificate made available to the public without breaching the state's confidentiality rules. Again, the burden is on Obama to prove he is a natural born citizen. Why won't he do it? What is he hiding?

bobisimo said...

smrstrauss, I have to admit your defense of Obama is one of the most rational and sensible defenses I have read. Nice writing.

But I have to differ on one point. As AI has been saying, I don't believe the burden of proof is on the people. I believe it's on Obama. He's our servant. He's the person we may be electing. If some of us say, "Hey! We want to be sure you meet our requirements to run our government" he should respond with a "Sure! Here it is!" And if that document is alleged to be fake or modified in some way, we should have the right to say, "Can you please show an additional form of ID?"

Heaven knows I have to go through hurdles like this at the BMV just to get my license or whatever. Even Obama supporters should be willing to say, "Hey, this is a pretty small request for a very large responsibility - the office of President. Let's not sweat this request."

Gary R. Welsh said...

I really don't grasp Strauss' failure to understand my complaint that I have to submit to our government more proof for a person seeking an immigrant benefit than Obama or anyone else is required to prove they are qualified to run for president. Essentially, if you're a registered voter, at least 35 years old and say you are eligible, we are being told we can't ask for any additional proof. It is nonsensical. As others have pointed out, if Obama applied for a job with the FBI or the CIA, he would be disqualified because of his past associations with Ayers, Khalid, et al.