Barack Obama - Birth Certificate
The issue of President Obama's birth certificate is possibly the most widely discussed controversy in recent American history. This page shows the facts and events surrounding the birth certificate itself, as well as similar claims surrounding President Obama's birth. No conclusion is drawn from these facts. This page is updated often as new facts arise.
Early in the 2008 election cycle, numerous sources claimed that Senator McCain was born in Panama and therefore not a natural born citizen and ineligible for the Presidency. A citizen filed a lawsuit to force Senator McCain to prove his citizenship status. After Senator McCain showed his certificate indicating his birth on the military base in Panama, a congressional resolution was passed to affirm his status. When Senator Obama was asked to provide the same validation, a controversy erupted surrounding his place of birth.
The Major Claims
The basis of the controversy is that Barack Obama is not qualified to hold the office of President of the United States because he is not a natural born citizen. That claim is based on three separate positions:
- President Obama's father did not meet the technical requirements for President Obama to be a natural born citizen
- President Obama was born in Kenya and not in Hawaii, meaning his is not a natural born citizen
- President Obama lost his citizenship when he obtained Indonesian citizenship as a child
To address the concerns surrounding Barack Obama's parents, the second tab on this page shows the constitutional requirement that a President be a natural born citizen. It then shows a number of historical examples differentiating the types of citizenship. The conclusion reached by proponents of this theory is that the founding fathers and numerous generations thereafter defined a "Natural Born Citizen" as one who was both "of the land" and "of the blood." This means that a natural born citizen is someone who was born on US land to parents who were both US citizens. This theory holds that requirement was placed onto the Presidency to ensure that he had no allegiance to another country through either blood or nastagia for his homeland. As it turns out, when Senator Obama's campaign ran a website called "fight the smears," it clearly stated that Senator Obama was a "native citizen" and not a natural born one.
The second claim is the most infamous and the most widely dismissed - that Barack Obama was born in Kenya and not in Hawaii. Despite the absurdity of the claim, there are legitimate reasons as to why this debate continues. First, numerous news outlets ran stories on President Obama early in his political career that clearly stated he was born overseas, in Kenya or Indonesia. A US Congressional candidate that was endorsed by Senator Obama claimed to share a bond with him as they were both foreign born. The Kenyan parliament has members who repeatedly assert that President Obama was born in Kenya. Additionally, President Obama has contradicted himself by officially claiming both Hawaiian hospitals as his place of birth.
To further muddy the waters, there have been numerous false claims. One of President Obama's paternal grandmothers was recorded claiming to be present at his birth in Kenya, although the story was later debunked. A woman claimed to teach Barack Obama in high school and recalled a discussion she had with the doctor who claimed to deliver Barack Obama in Hawaii days after the delivery. This story has also been debunked.
The Short Form Birth Certificate
After Senator Obama released his short form birth certificate, the Obama campaign and administration repeatedly asserted that "the certificate" had been released and the case was closed. For months, the controversy was dormant as evidence such as a birth announcement in Hawaii newspapers seemed to support President Obama's birth in Hawaii. However, a friend of the Obama family, Congressman Neil Abercrombie, was elected Governor of Hawaii and vowed to silence the controversy by finding and releasing the long form birth certificate. He noted that Hawaiin officials had previously stated that they had seen the long form and testififed to it's existence. Eventually, reports surfaced that Governor Abercrombie could not find the certificate and was starting to doubt it's existence. Of course, a number of website popped up showing what they called electronic discrepancies with the short form certificate that proofed it to be a forgery.
Donald Trump and the Long Form
Considering a Presidential campaign, Donald Trump jumped on these new statements by publically calling for the President to release the long form of the certificate. Eventually, the Obama administration relented and released the long form birth certificate, admitting that the previous certificate was in fact, not the only one available.
Supporters of the "Natural Born Citizen" position claimed that the long form birth certificate proved Barack Obama was ineligible for the Presidency as it showed his father was born in Kenya. Those that believe President Obama was born in Kenya claimed the certificate was a fake. Numerous sources have pointed out what they believe to be a number of irregularities.
The Nordyle Twins
One particular issue that has gained a great deal of attention is that birth certificates were found belonging to twins born in the same hospital as President Obama the day after President Obama. These twins have dates of registry after President Obama, but registration numbers lower than President Obama.
Social Security Number
Since the emergence of the long form certificate, critics have put some additional focus on President Obama's social security number. His official number starts with "042" - numbers which are issued out of Connecticut. Researchers claim that the number was issued from this state between 1977 and 1979, making it difficult to be a legitimate number belonging to President Obama.
A literary agency named Dystel & Goderich handled a book called "Journeys in Black and White" which Barack Obama planned to write, but the project was later abandoned. That same agency handled Senator Obama's "Dreams from my Father." In 2012, Breitbart.com and World Net Daily discovered that this literary agent published material cliaming that Barack Obama was born in Kenya in the author bios for both of these books. These bios remained in place until April 2007 when Senator Obama began to run for President. At that time, the website holding the bios was changed to state that he was born in Hawaii. The literary company now claims that the bios, which remained in place from 1991 to 2007 were mistakes.
The final claim is that Barack Obama surrendered his citizenship when he was adopted by his stepfather and moved to Indonesia with his family when he was 5 years old. Although it does appear that Barack Obama went by the named Barry Soetoro while in Indonesia, there is little evidence that he surrendered his citizenship as a result of moving there or by being adopted by his stepfather.
The timeline below shows the significant events that took place as the controversy over President Obama's birth certificate unfolded.
- July 9, 1998 - Questions about Senator McCain's birth status are raised in the 2000 election
- June 27, 2004 - AP article notes that Kenyan born Obama set for US Senate
- November 2004 - Rainbow Edition publishes newsletter noting that Senator Obama was born at Queen's Hospital
- June 8, 2006 - Honolulu Advisor Article notes statements by Congressional candidate placing Senator Obama's birth as in Indonesia.
- February 2008 - Senator McCain becomes the front runner for the Presidential nomination and questions about his citizenship arise since he was born in Panama at the military base.
- February 16, 2008 - Ugandan Paper names Senator Obama as Kenyan Born
- February 25, 2008 - The group factcheck.org puts out a story noting that Senator McCain is indeed a citizen
- March 2008 - Senator Claire McCaskill introduces the Children of Military Families Natural Born Citizen Act
- April 2008 - A citizen in New hampshire files a suit claiming that John McCain is not a natural born US citizen
- April 2008 - Senate Resolution 511 is passed noting that John McCain is indeed a US citizen
- April 18, 2008 - Politifact rates statements that Barack Obama's true name has a "Muhammed" in it a lie
- June 9, 2008 - In response to Muhammed and other claims, bloggers ask for Senator Obama's certificate
- June 10, 2008 - World Net Daily uses refusal of Obama to release certificate to question if he has one
- June 12, 2008 - Huffington Post claims to have a copy of the birth certificate (in response to Muhammed claims)
- June 16, 2008 - Factcheck.org publishes a story claiming that Senator Obama has supplied them with a certificate
- July 20, 2008 - The website AtlasShrugs puts out a long story from an undisclosed computer forensic investigator that lists numerous flaws in the COLB posted by the Obama administration
- July 23, 2008 - The Blog Texas Darling publishes a story noting that it found a birth announcement in the Honolulu papers 9 days after Barack Obama's birth in Hawaii
- August 17, 2008 - Questions are raised concerning whether or not President Obama lost his citizenship status when he traveled to Indonesia as a child with his adoptive father
- August 21, 2008 - FactCheck.org publishes a page noting that their people were given access to the COLB and certified that it possessed the raised seal and signature of the Governor
- October 31, 2008 - Hawaii Health Director Claims she has seen the birth certificate
- November 4, 2008 - UPI publishes article stating Obama was born at Queen's hospital - later changes to Kali'opali
- November 4, 2008 - AP Article names Senator Obama as Kenyan born
- November 13, 2008 - Organizing for America publishes account of Obama born at Queen's hospital
- November 16, 2008 - Nigerian Observer reports Senator Obama Kenyan born
- November 2008 - Accounts come up showing Obama's grandmother claiming she was present at his birth - later discounted
- January 24, 2009 - President Obama writes letter to the Kali'opali hospital claiming it as his birthplace
- February 14, 2009 - Buffalo News puts forth fraudulent account of woman recalling Obama's birth
- July 28, 2009 - Hawaii Health Director restates she has seen Obama's birth certificate and that it is present
- July 2009 - Ghana paper reports President Obama as African born
- March 25, 2010 - Kenyan Parliament declares President Obama to be Kenyan born
- December 24, 2010 - Recently elected Hawaii Governor Abercrombie vows to find and display certificate
- January 20, 2011 - Reporter claims Governor Abercrombie has conceded there is not certificate
- January 21, 2011 - Reporter notes that only true statement is that neither hospital delivering children at that time has a birth certificate for Barack Obama
- January 22, 2011 - Governor Abercrombie ends investigation
- March 2011 - Donald Trump begins to publicly question President Obama's status
- April 27, 2011 - President Obama releases the long form of the birth certificate
Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 states that the requirements for a person to be President of the United States. It clearly and definitively states that a person must be a natural born citizen of the United States to be President of the United States.
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.
Types of Citizenship
In the US, there are four types of citizens; a natural born citizen, a citizen by statute, a native born citizen, and a naturalized citizen. The differences in these types of citizenships is the focal point of the claim that Barack Obama is not qualified to be President due to his parents citizenship status.
- Natural born citizen - any person born of US citizen parents in the U. S. mainland (includes Alaska and Hawaii)
- Citizen by statute - any person born of US citizen parent(s) outside the United States
- Native born citizen - any person born in the United States mainland
- Naturalized citizen -any person not born here, or whose parents aren't Americans and becomes a citizen as the result of the naturalization process
Jus Soli and Jus Sanguinis
Having established that there are four kinds of citizenship and that the Constitution states that only a natural born citizen can be President, the term "natural born" must be defined. The Constitution itself does not define the term, so the meaning must be derived from the known or expressed intent of the founders and subsequent case law.
The founding fathers often referred to matters of citizenship in terms of allegiance. To avoid dual allegiances, a citizen must be born on US soil (jus soli) and to two US citizen parents (jus Sanguinis). In 1787, John Jay wrote a letter to General George Washington encouraging the inclusion of the requirement that the President be a natural born citizen in the Constitution. John Jay would later go on to become the first Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. His letter provides the first indication as to how those about to write the Constitution viewed the importance of natural born citizenship.
Permit me to hint, whether it would be wise and reasonable 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.
In 1789 David Ramsay wrote "A Dissertation on the Manners of Acquiring the Character and Privileges of a Citizen." David Ramsay was a physician and a historian who wrote numerous volumes concerning the revolutionary history of South Carolina and the United States. In his document on citizenship, he described a natural born citizen as follows:
[c]itizenship is the inheritance of the children of those who have taken part in the late revolution; but this is confined exclusively to the children of those who were themselves citizens…. citizenship by inheritance belongs to none but the children of those Americans, who, having survived the declaration of independence, acquired that adventitious character in their own right, and transmitted it to their offspring…. as a natural right, (citizenship) belongs to none but those who have been born of citizens since the 4th of July, 1776
The Venus Case
In 1814, the Supreme Court made a decision in a case dealing with the question of whether the cargo of a merchantman, named the Venus, belonging to an American citizen, and being shipped from British territory to America during the War of 1812, could be seized and taken as a prize by an American privateer. Many of those on the Court at the time participated in the Revolution. In the decision paper, the authoring Justice discusses citizenship. In doing this, he quotes from Emmerich de Vattel's "Law of Nations." It is widely believed that this is the document that many of the founders referenced to define terms such as "natural born" when they wrote the Constitution. In the Chapter entitled "Citizens and Nations," de Vattel defines a natural born citizen as follows:
The citizens are the members of the civil society; bound to this society by certain duties, and subject to its authority, they equally participate in its advantages. The natives or indigenes are those born in the country of parents who are citizens. Society not being able to subsist and to perpetuate itself but by the children of the citizens, those children naturally follow the condition of their fathers, and succeed to all their rights."
"The inhabitants, as distinguished from citizens, are strangers who are permitted to settle and stay in the country. Bound by their residence to the society, they are subject to the laws of the state while they reside there, and they are obliged to defend it
Shanks vs Dupont
In 1830, the Supreme Court heard the case regarding the dispute over the inheritance received by two daughters of an American colonist, from South Carolina; one of whom went to England and remained a British subject, the other of whom remained in South Carolina and became an American citizen. At the beginning of the case, Justice Story, who gave the ruling, does not cite Vattel per se, but cites the principle of citizenship enshrined in his definition of a "natural born citizen":
Title 8 Section 1401
Section 1401 of Title 8 denotes those who are citizens at birth. The law describes those with citizenship at birth as born in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction, and those born outside the US to citizen parents. It covers the scenarios where a person is born within the US to non-citizen parents and outside the US to citizen parents. It does not cover the case where someone is born both within the US and to parents that are citizens (jus soli and jus sanguini). The reason for this is that this scenario is defined in the Constitution when the phrase "natural born citizen" is used.
Minor v. Happersett
In 1874, the Supreme Court heard the case of Minor v. Happersett. Within the decision of this case, the Justices again expressly state that the both parents - plural.
At common law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country, of parents who were its citizens , became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners. Some authorities go further, and include as citizens children born within the jurisdiction, without reference to the citizenship of their parents. As to this class there have been doubts, but never as to the first. For the purposes of this case, it is not necessary to solve these doubts. It is sufficient, for everything we have now to consider, that all children, born of citizen parents within the jurisdiction, are themselves citizens.
The People's Lawyer
On November 9, 1896 a lawyer named Percy A. Bridgham, aka "The People’s Lawyer," wrote a book titled "One Thousand Legal Questions Answered by the People’s Lawyer of the Boston Daily Globe." As stated in the book, upon answering a reader’s question regarding the Constitution’s natural born citizen clause, stated:
Senator McCain's Status
On July 9, 1998 a story was run in the Washington Post noting questions that were raised about Senator Mccain being born in Panama. The author notes that Senator McCain is not yet the nominee and it looks to be a difficult road ahead for the Senator to become the nominee. The issues surrounding Senator McCain's birth were not resolved.
On February 25, 2008 FactCheck.org ran a story noting the questions concerning Senator McCain's eligibility. As part of the article, the website notes that there have been numerous questions raised in the past about citizenship status of Presidents.
... This is not the first time the question has been broached in a presidential election. Fellow Arizonian Barry Goldwater was born in the Arizona territory before it was a state. And Mitt Romney's father, George, ran for president in 1968, though he was born in Mexico. Like McCain, both were born to U.S. citizens and, therefore, considered to be American citizens.
However, both of those candidates were unsuccessful in their bids – and so a smidgen of uncertainty remains. If McCain wins the presidency, the constitutionality of these congressional statutes could be challenged in the courts. Members of Congress have expressed this fear and proposed a more explicit law, or even a Constitutional amendment. Neither has been adopted.
In March of 2008, Senator Claire McCaskill introduced the Children of Military Families Natural Born Citizen Act and released a statement noting the absurdity that a child born to US soldiers overseas would not be eligible to run for the Presidency. In April of 2008, Senator McCaskill introduced Senate Resolution 511 - A resolution recognizing that John Sidney McCain, III, is a natural born citizen. The resolution was unanimously passed out of committee and adopted without a floor vote.
In April 2008, a computer programmer from New Hampshire filed a suit in U.S. District Court claiming that John McCain - the Republican front runner for the 2008 Presidential candidate - was "not a natural born citizen." The premise of the lawsuit was that Senator McCain was born in Panama, a fact not in dispute. In response to a subpoena filed by this person, The Department of Homeland Security refused to hand over Senator McCain's birth certificate stating that the subpoena was not filed properly. Soon after that, Senator McCain produced his birth certificate and other supporting documentation to show that he was born on the military base in Panama - which was US soil at the time.
Senate Resolution 511
As noted, the Senate unanimously passed a resolution confirming that Senator McCain was a natural born citizen as defined in the Constitution. The full text of that resolution is shown below. The resolution was co-sponsored by Senator Clinton and Senator Obama. The resolution clearly and definitively states that to be eligible for the Presidency, the status of a natural born citizen is required.
News Outlets - Barack Obama in Foreign Born
On June 27, 2004 the AP ran an article noting that State Senator Obama's opponent for the US Senate had been caught in a sex scandal and forced to resign his campaign. The title of the article was the "Kenyan-born Obama all set for US Senate."
In 2006, a disabled veteran named Tanny Duckworth was running for Congress. She was endorsed by Senator Obama and in a June 8, 2006 article by the Honolulu advisor noted the similarities she shared with Senator Obama. She states that both she and Senator Obama were born overseas with Senator Obama being born in Indonesia.
"Very rarely have I met a more impressive person than Tammy Duckworth," said Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., in an article the day before she announced her candidacy Dec. 18. "She just has the poise and exudes the type of character that I think would make her an astounding public servant."
Duckworth is happy to point out that she and Hawai'i-raised Punahou graduate Obama have "a kama'aina connection."
Both were born outside the country — Obama in Indonesia, Duckworth in Thailand — and graduated from high school in Honolulu — Punahou and McKinley, respectively.
In November of 2004, the Hawaii Rainbow Edition ran a story on Senator Obama and noted that Senator Obama was born in Queen's hospital. On November 4, 2008 United Press International (UPI) released an article noting the inauguration of President Obama and the story of his life as a parallel to the American story. Originally, the article cited the Queen's Medical Center as the President's birth place and later the cite changed that to the Kapi'olani hospital. (Photos from Obamafile). Throughout October of 2008 a snopes article disproving the claim that President Obama was born to a Muslim father and an atheist mother. The article claims that the President was born at Queens hospital. It has since changed to claim that he was born at Kapi'olani and that "newer reports" indicate that he was born at the Queens hospital. On November 13, 2008 President Obama's official campaign website published an article titled "Obama - Ancestry." In that article, the first item of note is that the President was born at Queen's Medical Center. On January 24, 2009 President-Elect Obama sent a letter to the the Kapi'olani Hospital noting its centennial celebration. In that letter, the President notes the hospital as his place of birth.
Barack Hussein "Muhammed" Obama
Throughout the spring and summer of 2008, email chains were circulating that claimed Senator Obama's true name was Barack Hussein Muhammed Obama. The letter claimed to be from a missionary in Kenya that warned the US of impending doom if Senator Obama was elected. The website Politifact and a blogger named Jim Geraghty both did a large amount of work discrediting this claim. Politifact sighted a number of sources, including Senator Obama's marriage certificate and driver's license. Jim Geraghty finally noted in an article on June 9, 2008 that this rumor, and a similar rumor that Senator Obama was born in Kenya, could be cleared up if Senator Obama would release his birth certificate. Mr Geraghty also noted that when addressing Senator Obama's association with William Ayers the Obama campaign cited his birth date and birth certificate, so they must have access to the document.
Also in that article, Mr. Geraghty sites immigration law for that time and notes that the requirements that were in force from Dec. 24, 1952 to Nov. 13, 1986, encompassing the time of Obama's birth, state,
If only one parent was a U.S. citizen at the time of your birth, that parent must have resided in the United States for at least 10 years, at least five of which had to be after the age of 16.
President Obama was born when his mother was 18. This would mean that if he was born in Kenya, then he would not be a natural born US citizen.
Published Certificate of Live Birth
In response to this article and the buzz it generated, the Daily KOS issued an article on June 12 which contained an image of what the Daily KOS claimed was a birth certificate, but was actually a certificate of live birth. That image is shown below and available here.
On June 16, 2008 the site FactCheck.org ran a story noting that Senator Obama's birth certificate had indeed been released and that this should end the story about his birth place. FactCheck.org states that it got the birth certificate from Tommy Vietor at the Obama campaign whos sent an email with the document attached that stated the following:
I know there have been some rumors spreading about Obama’s citizenship, so I wanted to make sure you all had a copy of his birth certificate.
The Obama campaign also started a website called Fight the Smears that posted the birth certificate online. However, that website called the document the birth certificate. This is not the case. The document is a certification of live birth (COLB). These two documents are not the same as a genuine birth certificate would have the delivering doctor's name and other items. The certification of live birth is a "short form" version of the birth certificate. There were initial claims that this form of certification could be given to someone born outside of the US. This claim was refuted by Janice Okubo, Director of Communications for the Hawaii Department of Health.
If you were born in Bali, for example, you could get a certificate from the state of Hawaii saying you were born in Bali. You could not get a certificate saying you were born in Honolulu. The state has to verify a fact like that for it to appear on the certificate.”
Claims of forgery
On July 20, 2008 the website AtlasShrugs.com released an analysis of the certificate posted at the DAILY KOS which was performed by an investigator known as techdude. The list of this person's credentials is given and he is shown to have a history of relevant technical fraud investigations and a significant technical background.
The investigator was able to obtain numerous certificates of live birth from citizens of Hawaii that were produced around the time that President Obama obtained his COLB from Hawaii. He then ran a series of tests which are described below and found the following problems with the posted COLB.
- On all available COLBs, the border surrounding the certificate was centered on the paper - President Obama's COLB is visibly off-center and structurally different
- The "original" border seems to show through the version put out by the Obama campaign
- The placement of the text for the various items is identical on all other known certificates, but different on President Obama's certificate
- The border surrounding President Obama's certificate seems to be created by a repeating pattern of identical images
- There are subtle differences in the font between the known COLBs and the Daily KOS version
- The jpeg image quality variations showed the borders of the COLB released by KOS were substantially different from those on other COLBs
The investigator first took scanned images from certificates of live birth issued in 2007 and 2008 and overlaid those images. That same technique was then used to overly the 2007 and 2008 images with the COLB image display on Daily KOS. As can be seen below, the placement of the text items matches for the known valid COLBs while the placement of the text from the Daily KOS does not match the other COLBs from that time.
An observance of apparent artifacts on the Daily KOS version revealed that connecting these artifacts created lines exactly where the borders should have been had the main box been centered on the page. The figures below show the individual artifacts and the lines they create. The final image shows where the analyst found repeating patterns in the certificate border.
Finally, the analyst observed that the font had subtle differences in the versions known to be valid and the Daily KOS versions. The GIFs below alternate between the known COLBs made before and after the date of the Obama certificate and the Daily KOS version. Notice the shapes of the Cs, Ns, and Os.
In addition to raising a number of questions about the validity of the document posted by Daily KOS, the analyst also noted that any COLB made after 2006 did not show the raised seal in the scanned version - a point of contention amongst early skeptics of the certificate authenticity. He also verified that the date stamped on the back bled through on most copies. The full analysis can be found here.
In response to questions raised by the analyst cited above and bloggers who were concerned that the certificate number was blacked out, the Obama campaign allowed representatives from FactCheck.org to examine the document. Their report was released on August 21, 2008. Photographs from that examination are available on the site and they do show that the seal is present on President Obama's COLB and the Governor's signature is on it.
Factcheck.org also published a page debunking the possibility that Senator Obama held dual citizenship with Kenya. In that page, the website clearly denotes that Senator Obama's citizenship status was governed by the British Nationality Act of 1948. The page states that at the time of his birth, Senator Obama was both a US citizen and a British citizen.
A number of incidents have occured that have muddied the waters concerning President Obama's birth status. These incidents include a birth announcement supporting President Obama's Hawaii birth, a "Fight the Smears" statement that states President Obama was a "native born citizen", statements made by the Hawaii Health Director, false claims of knowing President Obama's birth doctor, misinterpreted claims of witnessing President Obama's birth, and claims by the Kenyan Parliament that Barack Obama was born there. A final piece of evidence comes in the form of legal fees. It appears that President Obama spent almost $2 million in legal fees to prevent the certificate from going public.
On July 23, 2008 a pro-Clinton blogger posted that she had found an entry in a Hawaii newspaper days after Brack Obama's birth that announced the birth of Barack Obama and gave their address in Hawaii. Later investigations found the announcement in both Hawaii newspapers - the Advisor and the Star Bulletin. The birth announcements took place in Sunday August 13 for the August 4 birth of Barack Obama.
Investigators have also attempted to verify the address, but a neighbor who has lived there since prior to President Obama's birth does not remember him as a child or his mother. The owners of the property at that time have passed away. Discussions with the newspapers have since revealed that the newspapers simply receive the information from the state and print that information. This means that the request for the certificate of life birth triggered the announcement and not the proud parents of Barack Obama. This has not been independently verified.
Fight the Smears
In response to repeated assertions concerning Senator Obama's legal status and other claims, the campaign created a website called "Fight the Smears." In stating that Senator Obama had released his birth certificate, the website states that Senator Obama was a "native citizen" and not a natural born citizen.
Statements by Hawaii Health Director
On October 31 of 2008, the Hawaii Health Director, Dr. Chiyome Fukino released a press statement noting that while it was not possible for the birth certificate to be released to people with no tangible interest, she herself and the registrar of vital statistics had seen the certificate. Dr. Fukino also stated that neither Governor Linda Lingle (R) nor any other person had requested that the certificate be treated any differently than any other certificate.
There have been numerous requests for Sen. Barack Hussein Obama’s official birth certificate. State law (Hawai‘i Revised Statutes §338-18) prohibits the release of a certified birth certificate to persons who do not have a tangible interest in the vital record.
Therefore, I as Director of Health for the State of Hawai‘i, along with the Registrar of Vital Statistics who has statutory authority to oversee and maintain these type of vital records, have personally seen and verified that the Hawai‘i State Department of Health has Sen. Obama’s original birth certificate on record in accordance with state policies and procedures
Paternal Grandmother Claims
In November of 2008, several sources ran stories that (Senator) Obama's grandmother on his father's side was claiming that she was present at his birth which presumably took place in Kenya. Audio of a discussion between Sarah Obama and Bishop Ron McRae discussing the birth were made public and Mrs Obama clearly states (through an interpreter) that she was present at the birth.
Eventually, a longer version of the audio surfaced in which Mrs Obama corrects herself and claims that Barack Obama was born in America. The full audio is available here.
Fraudulent Account of Birth
On Inauguration day in February of 2009 the Buffalo New ran a story about a woman who taught President Obama English in high school and who claimed to speak with a Hawaii doctor about the President's birth the week that it happened in Hawaii. As the lady tells the story, she was speaking to the doctor about the events of that week and he notes that "Stanley" had a baby in reference to Barack Obama's mother Stanley Ann Dunham. She claims that she liked the sound of the name "Barack Hussein Obama" so much that she wrote it down and that this was the reason she remembers it to this day. The problem with the story is that the doctor she references as delivering President Obama is a member of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Project and notes that he retired from practice in 1956. The story has been removed from the Buffalo News site but was captured and still available here with an image of the first section below.
Further Statements by Hawaii Health Director
On July 28, 2009 USA Today reported statements made by Hawaii's Health Director that she had seen and verified President Obama's original birth certificate.
I, Dr. Chiyome Fukino, director of the Hawaii State Department of Health, have seen the original vital records maintained on file by the Hawaii State Department of Health verifying Barack Hussein Obama was born in Hawaii and is a natural-born American citizen. I have nothing further to add to this statement or my original statement issued in October 2008 over eight months ago....
Health Department spokeswoman Janice Okubo also stated that in 2001, Hawaii's paper documents were reproduced in electronic format but that any paper copy still exists.
(In 2001, Hawaii's paper documents were reproduced in electronic format, but) any paper data prior to that still exists. We have backups for all of our backups.
Statements by Kenyan Parliament
On March 25, 2010 the Kenyan parliament was discussing legislation and the Minister for Lands (Mr. Orengo) stated the following:
In October of 2009, World Net Daily posted numerous letters and Federal Election Commission Records showing that President Obama's fundraising entities has paid roughly $1.7 million to attorneys that represented Senator and President Obama in lawsuits concerning his eligibility.
Claims by Governor Abercrombie
On December 24, 2010 recently elected Governor Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii was interviewed by the LA Times and claimed that he was present at Barack Obama's birth.
What bothers me is that some people who should know better are trying to use this for political reasons. Maybe I'm the only one in the country that could look you right in the eye right now and tell you, 'I was here when that baby was born.'
We'll do what we can as quickly as we can to make it inevitable that only those who wish the president ill, only the ones with a political agenda, will be the ones doing this kind of thing. The president is entitled to the respect of his office and he's entitled to have his mother and father respected.
As quick as we can we will. This is a transparent state in terms of our communication with one another. This is the Aloha State. We care for each other, we look out for each other, we're family.
We haven't had any of those discussions (the White House and Abercrombie). It's a matter of principle with me. I knew his mom and dad. I was here when he was born. Anybody who wants to ask a question honestly could have had their answer already.
At that time, the Governor announced that he was going to use his full powers to determine the location of President Obama's birth certificate and to make it public so that the controversy could be ended.
On January 20, 2011 noted celebrity columnist Mike Evans appeared on a Minnesota radio show and stated that he had been in contact with Governor Abercrombie's office and that Governor Abercrombie had been forced to admit that there is no birth certificate for Barack Obama.
Yesterday, talking to Neil's office, Neil says that he searched everywhere using his powers as governor ..... there is no Barack Obama birth certificate in Hawaii. Absolutely no proof at all that he was born in Hawaii.
In the following days, Mr Evans again appeared on radio and corrected himself. He noted that he had done numerous radio interviews that day and simply misspoke at that one particular interview. What he meant to say was that there was not certificate at the two hospitals in Hawaii at the time of Obama's birth.
Only this I can you tell you is 100 percent fact: that Neil never told me there was no birth certificate. I never talked to him. ... I was on 34 radio stations that morning. That was the only station where I said, instead of saying ‘the hospital said there’s no birth certificate’ I misspoke and said Neil said that. ... I misspoke and I apologize for that. I apologize to Neil.
On January 22, 2011 the Governor's office was forced to end it's investigation into the matter noting that privacy issues were forcing him to end the matter. His office stated that following:
There is nothing more that Gov. Abercrombie can do within the law to produce a document. Unfortunately, there are conspirators who will continue to question the citizenship of our president.
In the time between the initial statements noting his intention to end the controversy and his ending efforts to find the certificate, Governor Abercrombie was forced to withdraw his claims that he was present at the birth. There are unconfirmed reports that the Governor has claimed to see Barack Obama as a child playing T-ball with his father looking on. These claims have also been refuted as Barack Obama Sr was no longer in President Obama's life by the time he was 2 years old and the entire family relocated to Indonesia when his mother remarried and he was 5.
Questions Raised by Donald Trump
In March and April of 2011, Donald Trump appeared on numerous television shows to discuss a possible run for the Republican nomination for President in 2012. In those shows, he asked why President Obama would not simply make the document public and end the discussion.
Release of Birth Certificate
On April 27, 2011 President Obama announced that he was releasing the long form of the birth certificate. In a press conference, he stated that the issue had become too much of a distraction and needed to be dealt with. The certificate was released after months of accusations by Donald Trump that there must be some reason as to why the President was not releasing the document.
The Nordyke Twins
Jerome Corsi has written numerous articles and even books covering the problems surrounding President Obama's birth. He has published stories on World Net Daily discussing two birth certificates he had authenticated that belonged to Susan and Gretchen Nordyke; twins that were born in the same hospital as President Obama the day after he was born there. Mr Corsi has listed numerous discrepancies between the certificates of the Nordyke twins and the long form certificate released by President Obama.
Among the differences cited are inconsistencies in numbering for the registration numbers of Barack Obama and the Nordyke twins, and grammatical and typographical differences between the two sets of certificates. President Obama's certificate and those of the Nordyke twins should have been made by the same set of machines within days of each other. Some of these differences are listed below, along with an image of one of the Nordyke twins's certificate. A full list can be found here.
- Numerical problems with registration numbers
- Susan Nordyke, the first twin, was born at 2:12 p.m. Hawaii time on Aug. 5, 1961, and was given Certificate No. 151 – 61 – 10637, which was filed with the Hawaii registrar Aug. 11, 1961.
- Gretchen Nordyke, the second twin, was born at 2:17 p.m. Hawaii time Aug. 5, 1961, and was given Certificate No. 151 – 61 – 10638, which was also filed with the Hawaii registrar Aug. 11, 1961.
- Yet, according to the Certification of Live Birth released by FactCheck.org during the 2008 presidential campaign – and now according to the long-form, hospital-generated birth certificate the White House released yesterday – Barack Obama was given a higher certificate number than the Nordyke twins.
- Barack Obama was given Certificate No. 151 – 1961 – 10641, even though he was born Aug. 4, 1961, the day before the Nordyke twins, and his birth was registered with the Hawaii Department of Health registrar three days earlier, on Aug. 8, 1961.
According to Mr Corsi, in 1961, the birth certificate numbers were not assigned by the hospitals but were stamped to the birth record by the Hawaii Department of Health at the main office in Honolulu. He also stated that this is the only place birth certificate numbers were assigned, that the date the birth document was accepted by the registrar general was the same date the birth certificate number was stamped on the birth record, and that the birth certificate number was stamped on the form by a rubber stamp that automatically increased the birth certificate number by one each time the birth certificate was stamped. Mr. Corsi draws the conclusion that the Barack Obama certificate is forged based on the evidence that he was born and registered before the Nordyke twins and yet has a registration number higher than them.
- Grammatical differences
- In the Nordyke twins' birth certificate, in Box 20, "Date Accepted by Local Reg." and Box 22, "Date Accepted by Reg. General," the date is stamped "AUG 11 1961," while the date is stamped on Obama's birth certificate as "AUG -8 1961," with a dash before the middle number designating the day.
- The Nordyke twins' birth certificates in Box 5a lists the birthdate as Aug. 5, 1961, with the month abbreviated, while Obama's in Box 5a lists the birthdate as August 4, 1961, with the month spelled out.
In May of 2010, WND began reporting that independent investigators had determined that President Obama's social security number began with the numbers 042. The first three numbers of any social security number denote the state where the number was assigned. The social security website shows that those numbers are withheld for numbers issued to people in Connecticut.
World Net Daily also claimed that the numbers before and after President Obama's were issued to Connecticut residents between 1977 and 1979.
In June of 2010, the White House Press Secretary was asked about the issue and redused to discuss it.
In May of 2012, Breitbart.com reported that it had found an promotional booklet put out in 1991 by Barack Obama's then-literary agency, Acton & Dystel. The booklet, which was distributed to "business colleagues" in the publishing industry, includes a brief biography of Obama among the biographies of eighty-nine other authors represented by Acton & Dystel. It also promotes Obama's anticipated first book, Journeys in Black and White--which Obama abandoned, later publishing Dreams from My Father instead. The bio clearly lists Barack Obama as born in Kenya and raised in Hawaii and Indonesia.
The following day, World Net Daily was able to look at the literary agency's website through the wayback machine and find that in August of 2003, the agency still listed Barack Obama as being born in Kenya.
Again using the wayback machine, WND found that on April 2, 2007 the literary agency still listed Senator Obama as being born in Kenya. The next entry available in the wayback machine is April 21, 2007 and lists Senator Obama as being born in Hawaii.
Loss of Citizenship in Indonesia
Sometime between 1966 and 1967, Barack Obama's mother married Lolo Soetoro and moved to Indonesia. It was not clear whether Soetoro adopted Obama, either in Hawaii or in Indonesia.
In 2008, an AP photos surfaced that showed a log book and class photo indicating that Barack Obama was enrolled in a private Assisi school under the name of Barry Soetoro. All Indonesian students were required to carry government identity cards, or Karty Tanda Pendudaks, which needed to bear the student's legal name, which should be matched in public school registration filings. It is therefore likely that Barack Obama was legally adopted by his stepfather and may have become an Indonesian citizen.
The possibility that President Obama may have held Indonesian citizenship is given credence by statements he made in a fundraiser concerning his knowledge of foreign affairs. At a fundraiser, Senator Obama stated:
I traveled to Pakistan when I was in college – I knew what Sunni and Shia was [sic] before I joined the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
When asked about these statements, the Obama campaign stated that in 1981 – the year Obama transferred from Occidental College to Columbia University – Obama visited his mother and sister Maya in Indonesia and then went on to Pakistan with a friend from college whose family was from that country. Obama was in Pakistan for about three weeks.
Pakistan in 1981 was under military rule. It was difficult for U.S. citizens to travel to the country without assistance. It would have been easier for someone to enter Pakistan on an Indonesian passport.
Although there is ample evidence to support the claim that Barack Obama was adopted by Lolo Soetoro, there is little to no evidence that this alone would have nullified President Obama's citizenship. A website known as What's Your Evidence addresses a lawsuit questioning President Obama's status. The cite notes that even the laws cited in the suit do not support the claims that President Obama lost his citizenship.
Whether or not President Obama ever took the name of Barry Soetoro in the US, and his ability to travel into Pakistan remain in question. According to Illinois state filings, when Obama registered as an attorney in 1991, under the name Barack Obama, he stated he did not have any former names.
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 Website: Israel Insider Article: Unstamped certificate suggests Obama may not be "natural born" US citizen Author: NA Accessed on: 04/13/2010
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 Website: ABC News Article: Obama's College Trip to Pakistan Author: JPT Accessed on: 04/13/2010
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 Website: KITV Article: Obama's Birth Certificate Verified By State Author: AP, KITV Accessed on: 03/10/2011
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 Website: FactCheck.org Article: Born in the USA Author: NA Accessed on: 03/10/2011
 Website: The Obama File Article: Letter to Kapiolani Hospital Author: NA Accessed on: 03/11/2011
 Website: Pearl Harbor Survivor Project Article: Rodney West, M.D. Author: NA Accessed on: 03/11/2011
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 Website: AP - Sunday Standard Article: Kenyan-born Obama all set for US Senate Author: AP Accessed on: 03/11/2011
 Website: LA Times Article: For Hawaii governor, discrediting anti-Obama 'birthers' is a top priority Author: Michael A. Memoli Accessed on: 03/11/2011
 Website: New York Daily News Article: Neil Abercrombie, Hawaii governor drops mission to dispel birthers, prove Obama was born in state Author: ALIYAH SHAHID Accessed on: 03/11/2011
 Website: Fox News Article: Celebrity Journalist: I Never Spoke to Hawaii Gov About Obama Birth Certificate Author: Jana Winter Accessed on: 03/11/2011
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 Website: What's Your Evidence Article: Did Obama Become an Indonesian Citizen when His Mother, Ann Dunham, married Lolo Soetoro, and moved Author: NA Accessed on: 04/28/2011
 Website: Photobucket Article: Letter to George Washington Author: John Jay Accessed on: 05/02/2011
 Website: Justia.com Article: The Venus Case Author: NA Accessed on: 05/03/2011
 Website: Cornell University Law School Article: Minor Vs Happersett Author: NA Accessed on: 05/03/2011
 Website: Justia.com Article: Shanks v Dupont Author: NA Accessed on: 05/03/2011
 Website: Cornell University Article: 1401. Nationals and citizens of United States at birth Author: NA Accessed on: 05/03/2011
 Website: FactCheck.org Article: Does Barack Obama have Kenyan citizenship? Author: Joe Miller Accessed on: 05/03/2011
 Website: World Net Daily Article: A tale of two birth certificates Author: Jerome R. Corsi Accessed on: 09/03/2011