Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Kudos To Pamela Geller

One of my favorite bloggers, Atlas Shrugs' Pamela Geller, has become a contributing blogger for Newsmax. Move over Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter and all of the other spineless, self-important faces of Fox News. [Speaking of Fox, screw Rupert Murdock's news empire as he announces he'll charge to visit his company's news sites.] Here comes an intelligent, inquisitive and well-informed woman with the moxie to take on the Daily Kos crowd and their followers in the mainstream media. There is nothing "fair and balanced" in the way the top-rated news network has been covering the "natural born citizen" questions surrounding President Barack Obama. Geller shows that she is capable of being more than an echo chamber for the demented political correctness folks on this issue. In one of her first posts at Newsmax, Geller places the blame for the Obama birth certificate mess squarely where it belongs--in the lap of Barack Obama and his cheerleaders at the Daily Kos.

Geller retraces the birth certificate controversy to a seemingly harmless request of Obama by National Review Online's Jim Geraghty to release his birth certificate to establish his age and natural born citizen status just as John McCain had dutifully done earlier in the campaign when he produced his original birth certificate, as difficult as that might have been for him to do. Yes, his original birth certificate showed his mother gave birth to him in Panama where his father was serving in the Navy and he wasn't hiding from the fact. Instead, he relied upon reasoned legal opinions and a supporting resolution of the U.S. Senate to deal with the issue head on, although it didn't stop liberals from filing lawsuits challenging his natural born status and it didn't definitively settle his natural born status.

In response to Geraghty's request, Daily Kos produced a document purporting to be a Certification of Live Birth for Obama showing his birth in Honolulu, Hawaii. The blogger, Jay McKinnon, later confessed it was a forgery after several document experts questioned its authenticity. Another birth certificate, which looked similar to McKinnon's fake birth certificate, appeared on the FightThe Smears site purporting to be Obama's genuine birth certificate--at least a certification of his birth, if not the original, recorded birth certificate. Gellar writes, "Israel Insider asked the key question: 'Why would a presidential campaign that has its own ‘Fight the Smears’ website rely on a radical left-wing blog like Daily Kos to post its official documents, especially one as sensitive and controversial as a birth certificate?'" She adds, "And all this was going on while McKinnon was admitting that he had produced a false birth document." Geller then goes on to point out that the authenticity of the low resolution COLB produced as Obama's official birth certificate also appeared to be a fake according to at least one document expert she consulted. Geller accurately depicts how this mess unfolded thereafter:

When I broke the story and presented his very extensive and meticulously documented analysis, we welcomed peer review. Nobody stood up. Nobody would touch it. To their credit, the supporters of Hillary Clinton (the “PUMA” bloggers) did much to investigate and advance the story. And while the Obama Chicago attack machine and left-wing smear merchants went into full swing, the mainstream activist media would not touch the story. Not once.

I never proposed that any of the various scenarios being put forth were absolutely correct. I said at the time, “Do I believe Obama was born in Hawaii? Probably. Is there something on Obama's birth certificate he does not want us to see? Foe shizzle. Should a president of the United States have to present his vault copy to take office? Absolutely.”

I said that forensically, the COLB Obama had presented was an altered document. And I stand by that to this day. A release of the vault copy would have put this baby to bed a year ago. Instead, Obama and his operatives added fuel to the fire by not only not releasing the vault copy, but by spending upwards of a million dollars on five law firms to fight its release.

Here we are a year later, and this issue is on fire. Why? Perhaps because the American people, in their sudden desperation at having made a shotgun wedding, are looking for an annulment. And just as you couldn’t get Al Capone on his heinous crimes of murder and racketeering, but got him on tax evasion, so they hope they can get Obama on this technicality regarding eligibility. Obama’s refusal to release the vault copy has only increased interest, with the speculation now creating a veritable birth certificate circus.

There might be something more sinister at work here, both specifically in the release of the spurious Kenya birth certificate and generally in the persistence of this issue. Perhaps all the documentation on Obama’s birth certificate and citizenship is in order. There is no way of knowing. I suspect that the administration has a hot little document that will wash away Obama’s sins and make the concern about this issue look silly.

And that may be just the point. In this entire affair, the left has consistently been playing by Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals.” Rule 5 states: “ ‘Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.’ There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions.”

In what could be considered a psyop on the American people, the birth certificate issue is being used to smear the Republicans in general as “birthers,” conspiracy nuts who have given themselves over to right-wing nuttery. Any mention of this issue inspires in many the same revulsion as being diagnosed with the clap did in the ‘50s. And the arrogance and fear on the right of being tainted by this issue has created such dissension and infighting that we’re eating our young — and the left is positively giddy.
Geller hits it out of the park with this line, "We, the American people, are not the enemy here, we are not the guilty party." She adds, "The media should stop blaming the victim." Obama's refusal to produce his original birth certificate information has produced this "carnival of conspiracy" that has become "a deliberate distraction from the real issues and the real destruction being wrought by the Obama administration" Geller says.

Aside from the birth certificate controversy, there remains the irrefutable fact that Barack Obama was born the son of a Kenyan citizen over whom the British government exercised jurisdiction regardless of whether he was born in Hawaii, Kenya or on the planet Krypton. The weight of legal authority from the time of the adoption of the U.S. Constitution suggests that his father's citizenship status disqualified his children from becoming "natural born citizens" eligible to hold the office of President of the United States. Natural born citizens are those persons born of two citizens of the United States on American soil. Fellow blogger and attorney Leo Donofrio sums the issue up best: "The question presented then is whether the U.S. is willing to allow persons who were born without sole allegiance to the US to be commander in chief of our military."

That many modern-day legal experts and liberals and conservatives alike have total contempt for the natural born citizen requirement is a given. As four U.S. Supreme Court justices were prepared to do with the right to bear arms found in the Second Amendment, these modern-day pundits want to simply write out the natural meaning of "natural born citizen." As Donofrio points out, it was Alexander Hamilton who originally proposed an eligibility requirement that would suit these modern-day pundits: "No person shall be eligible to the Office of President of the United States unless he be now a citizen of one of the States, or hereafter be born a citizen of the United States." Our first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Jay explained to George Washington why he thought the natural born citizen requirement necessary:

Permit me to hint, whether it would be wise and seasonable to provide a strong check to the admission of Foreigners into the administration of our national Government; and to declare expressly that the Commander in Chief of the American army shall not be given to nor devolve on, any but a natural born Citizen.
Congress imposed the natural born citizen requirement in only one place in the U.S. Constitution--the eligibility to become president of the United States. Plainly stated, a natural born citizen is not the same as a person who is deemed statutorily under our immigration laws to be a citizen at birth. Accepting Obama's birth in Hawaii, he became a citizen at birth by virtue of our Immigration and Nationality Act, but he does not satisfy the natural born citizen requirement. A "natural born citizen" is not found in any federal law. The original Congress took a stab at defining the term as follows:

The 'Act to establish an Uniform Rule of Naturalization', enacted March 26, 1790, (1 Stat. 103,104) provided that, “...the children of citizens of the United States, that may be born ... out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born citizens: Provided that the right of citizenship shall not descend to persons whose fathers have never been resident in the United States."
The subject of this statute was "children of the United States . . . born . . . out of the limits of the United States." The statute deemed these children of U.S. citizens "natural born citizens," subject to the limitation that "the right of citizenship shall not descend to persons whose fathers have never been resident in the United States. This law was subsequently repealed, perhaps because members of Congress reverted to the long-held belief that constitutional terms should not be the subject of a statutory definition. Later statutes defined citizens to include persons such as Obama born on U.S. soil but whose father was a citizen of another country. What is clear is that the original Congress which wrote that statute understood a "natural born citizen" to include only those born of U.S. citizen parents.

Donofrio makes a point that is missed on everyone in the news media, including what should be inquisitive presidential scholars. Every past president of the United States has a plaque or some other commemoration of the spot where the president was born. "Where do we place your plaque, President Obama?" Donofrio asks. For God's sakes, at least let us confirm the specific hospital at which you were born in Honolulu, and the name of the doctor who attested to your birth. Or was your birth attested to by a family member as Hawaiian law also permitted to be done to obtain a valid recorded birth certificate? President Gerald R. Ford was born Leslie Lynch King and President Bill Clinton was born William Jefferson Blythe, as recorded on their original birth certificates. So they were adopted by their step-fathers and their parents changed their names? What's the big deal? What are you hiding, Mr. President?


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AmPowerBlog said...

Heckuva post!

IndyPaul said...

Wading back into the "birth certificate controversy", Gary? Your previous posts have acknowledged that the State of Hawaii, governed by Republican Lingle, has declared that the COLB is legitimate.

I know that you write this post to again raise your pet project, that of the definition of "natural born citizen." Your claim that 'weight of legal authority from the time of the adoption of the U.S. Constitution suggests that his father's citizenship status disqualified his children from becoming "natural born citizens" eligible to hold the office of President of the United States', however, is patently false. Even the "reasoned legal opinions" Geller refers to, those of Tribe and Olsen, which led to the Senate resolution opining that McCain is a natural born citizen, relied upon application of the 14th amendment to the Panama Canal Zone (even though the statute making that application was only passed after McCain's birth). The 14th Amendment unquestionably applies in U.S. states, so by this
"reasoned legal opinion", Obama IS a natural born citizen, regardless of his fathers citizenship.

More importantly, the basis of your argument are very old laws passed for the benefit of those born overseas to "citizenS of the United States", and were never meant to detract from the status of native born citizens, who are, and have been throughout US history, citizens upon birth solely by virtue of the fact that they were born in the United States. Indeed, such statutes passed subsequent to the emancipation of women make clear that even a person born overseas to a US citizen mother is a U.S. citizen. See E.g. Pub.L. 85-316, § 16, 71 Stat. 644, 8 U.S.C. § 1401b, enacted in September, 1957. Neither have relevance to a person born in the U.S., who is and always has been a native born and natural born citizen. The portion of the law applicable to persons born in the US, however, is applicable: "(a) The following shall be nationals and citizens of the United States AT BIRTH:
"(1) a person born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof;" 8 U.S.C. § 1401(a), emphasis added.


IndyPaul said...

Demonstration can be made through reference to one case, that of Rogers v. Bellei, 401 U.S. 815 (1971). First, the Supreme Court notes that "[T]he plaintiff's mother ... was born in Philadelphia in 1915, and thus was a native-born United States citizen" without any reference to the status of her parents. 401 U.S. 817.

Then the Court reviews the law, from the inception of the United States:
"Mr. Chief Justice Taft, speaking for a unanimous Court, referred to this "very learned and useful opinion of Mr. Justice Gray," and observed "that birth within the limits of the jurisdiction of the Crown, and of the United States, as the successor of the Crown, fixed nationality, and that there could be no change in this rule of law except by statute. . . ."
Weedin v. Chin Bow, 274 U.S. at 274 U. S. 660. He referred to the cited English statutes, and stated, "These statutes applied to the colonies before the War of Independence.""

401 U.S. 828.

The Court goes on to touch on the views of the founders:
"It is not too much to say, therefore, that Congress at that time [when Rev.Stat. § 1993 was under consideration] attached more importance to actual residence in the United States as indicating a basis for citizenship than it did to descent from those who had been born citizens of the colonies or of the states before the Constitution. As said by Mr. Fish, when Secretary of State, to Minister Washburn, June 28, 1873, in speaking of this very proviso,"
"the heritable blood of citizenship was thus associated unmistakably with residence within the country which was thus recognized as essential to full citizenship."
"Foreign Relations of the United States, Pt. 1, 1873, p. 259."
274 U.S. at 274 U. S. 665-666.

401 U.S. 835.

"We thus have an acknowledgment that our law in this area follows English concepts with an acceptance of the jus soli, that is, that the place of birth governs citizenship status except as modified by statute."
401 U.S. 828.

Binding majority decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court on the definition of native or natural born citizens comprise the great weight of authority, indicating that one born in the US is, and always has been, a natural born citizen. The writings of a 17th century Swiss scholar which were never adopted into either British or American jurisprudence and outdated statutes applicable to those born outside of the United States do not constitute any authority whatever on the question of the citizenship of one born in the United States in 1961.

Chris Worden said...

This is getting so sad.

On the political end...

(1) Survey 2000 did a national sample of 2400 Republicans, and 28% said Obama WAS NOT BORN IN AMERICA. So, yeah, sorry if it's easy to mock a party with a quarter of its members believing the State of Hawaii has engaged in a massive conspiracy.

(2) Geller is in that group, which is why she's Palin on a blog. For you to hold her up as an example sullies you. First, you are making this about the law (though you were not at the beginning). She isn't. She writes:

"Obama's refusal to produce his original birth certificate information has produced this "carnival of conspiracy" that has become "a deliberate distraction from the real issues and the real destruction being wrought by the Obama administration."

Interesting how even though she admits Obama was PROBABLY born in Hawaii, she still says he needs to produce a "vault" copy. Why? Because "fo shizzle" there's something embarrassing on it, she says. This isn't about the law; it's about trying to get dirt on a guy the right-wing wants to destroy.

(3) If Geller thinks (and you obviously agree) that this birther issue is being used to distract America from its REAL dangers, here's the solution for Geller, AI, and all the other birthers bloggers. Shut the (expletive) up! Then see if Obama keeps talking about it after you stop. I assure you, he won't. Now, if he has to deal with this bovine feces every day, will he use your rabid paranoia to his advantage? Sure. But I assure you, he'd rather work on healthcare.

On the legal end...

(4) take two quotes from John Jay and George Washington, the crux of which is we don't let a foreigner run our army, and from THAT you glean the framer's intent was that ONLY people born in America who have two American citizen parents can be President? That's a helluva leap. Even you stated there is great uncertainty on this issue, so why do you do continue to use the tone of accusation, as if Obama did something illegal by accepting the office?

(5) At the end of the day, this is what I know. Barack Obama was born in America. He is 48. He resided in the U.S. from ages 0-6, and again from 11-48. His birth in America made him an American citizen by our immigration laws; he never repudiated this citizenship, or upon obtaining the age of majority, became a citizen of any other country. Now, I'd wager that our country has collectively spent probably a million total manhours writing, reading about, and arguing over this "controversy." So I ask you to prove to me that it's been worth it. In what way do you REALLY fear that a "foreign influence" will take over our Army because Barack Obama had a Dad he met once from another country? I know you won't answer this question directly. I suspect, instead, you'll say something like that it's not about Obama, it's about the sanctity of the Constitution.

And you know how I'll know you're full of crap? Because we don't have to rely on a Supreme Court interpretation. We could clarify the Constitution easily with an amendment for all those who come AFTER Obama, that says precisely what "Natural Born Citizen" means, but you and the Republican Party won't even try. You know why? That's outside the parameters of Operation Obamacrush.

Chris Worden said...

Also, AI, how come you ignore U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark (1898), which repeatedly states that a child born in a land is a natural born subject of that land, even if the parents owe allegience to another land? To wit:

"It thus clearly appears that by the law of England for the last three centuries, beginning before the settlement of this country, and continuing to the present day, aliens, while residing in the dominions possessed by the crown of England, were within the allegiance, the obedience, the faith or loyalty, the protection, the power, and the jurisdiction of the English sovereign; and therefore EVERY CHILD BORN IN ENGLAND OF ALIEN PARENTS WAS A NATURAL-BORN subject, unless the child of an ambassador or other diplomatic agent of a foreign state, or of an alien enemy in hostile occupation of the place where the child was born. III. The same rule was in force in all the English colonies upon this continent down to the time of the Declaration of Independence, and in the United States afterwards, and continued to prevail under the constitution as originally established.

Here's another good exerpt:

Every citizen or subject of another country, while domiciled here, is within the allegiance and the protection, and consequently subject to the jurisdiction, of the United States. His allegiance to the United States is direct and immediate, and, although but local and temporary, continuing only so long as he remains within our territory, is yet, in the words of Lord Coke in Calvin's Case, 7 Rep. 6a, "strong enough to make a natural subject, FOR IF HE HATH ISSUE (a/k/a "a kid") HERE, THAT ISSUE IS A NATURAL BORN SUBJECT.

In short, "natural born" means nothing more than Springsteen's chorus, "Born in the U.S.A." If Congress has designated that being born in the U.S.A makes you a citizen (it does), then you are "natural born citizen."

There's been no contrary definition offered by the U.S. Supreme Court since, so I'd say this issue is pretty well-settled, except for people who want to take down Obama. Of course, we could use the "plain meaning," which is what you conservatives claim to do, except when it doesn't work out for you, like here. Talk about results-oriented judging of an issue!

Gary R. Welsh said...

Hawaii officials only confirmed the existence of a birth record consistent with the published colb; it didn't attest to the authenticity of it. Wong has been covered extensively in prior posts. It doesn't say he's an NBC; only a citizen. Fourteenth amendment only speaks to citizens, not nbcs. You couldn't hold a candle to geller, chris worden.

M Theory said...

I followed this story from the beginning, hoping it would be mainstream news before the election. It was not.

People need to get it through their heads that we don't doubt Obama to be a citizen, the question is whether Obama is a "natural born citizen".

His refusal to show us the proof is the smoking gun.

Concerned Taxpayer said...

"...At the end of the day, this is what I know. Barack Obama was born in America. He is 48. He resided in the U.S. from ages 0-6, and again from 11-48. His birth in America made him an American citizen by our immigration laws; he never repudiated this citizenship, or upon obtaining the age of majority, became a citizen of any other country. Now, I'd wager that our country has collectively spent probably a million total manhours writing, reading about, and arguing over this "controversy."...

Actually, YOU may know all of this, but the average citizen DOES NOT. Why? Because Obama has spent nearly $ONE MILLION having attorneys HIDE his college transcripts, papers, admission forms, passports, grades, etc. etc. etc.

Why? "He has nothing to hide."

Downtown Indy said...

There's only one person who has complete power to make this issue go away. He has chosen not to, and instead has employed an army of minions to go forth and cook up cover stories, engage in demeaning namecalling, and generally tell the world 'go F yourself.'

Gary R. Welsh said...

Some of the Obama folks would like us to conveniently forget that Indonesian citizenship he acquired after he step-father adopted him. I believe that's at the heart of why Obama hated his mother so deeply. He didn't like the fact that his mother allowed the adoption to occur and his name to be changed to "Soetoro". That explains why he took steps to change his name to Barack Obama, Jr. later. His legal name in Indonesia was Barry Soetoro. That's not conjecture. That's a fact. The complete disinterest of the media in the fact speaks volumes. They were far more interested in exploring whether John McCain was disqualified because of his birth in Panama, even though it occurred while his father was serving in the U.S. Navy.

Dana said...

Dear AI. Why don't you blog this?

We had a complete fraking nutcase in the White House for eight years, abd you are concerned that Barack Obama might have not been born in Hawaii? For the goddess sake...

A French Revelation, or The Burning Bush

Incredibly, President George W. Bush told French President Jacques Chirac in early 2003 that Iraq must be invaded to thwart Gog and Magog, the Bible’s satanic agents of the Apocalypse.

IndyPaul said...

Where do you get this stuff??