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Anonymous does NOT have the facts

Reader comment on item: Predicting the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election
in response to reader comment: Check the facts

Submitted by Historian (United States), Nov 21, 2008 at 15:46

Dear Anonymous, Neither you, nor Campbell Brown, nor FactCheck.org nor anyone--except perhaps some members of the Dunham-Obama-Soetoro family and a few Hawaii officials--has EVER seen Obama's original long form birth certificate, and that is exactly the problem because it IS possible that his long form birth certificate MAY contain the information that Obama was born outside the US. We cannot know unless that long-form certificate is released to the public.

The Web image of a laser-printed, recent (2007) "certification of live birth" that the Obama campaign posted on its website is NOT Obama's original long-form birth certificate, which in 1961 would have been typewritten or handwritten, and would have looked like this1963 Hawaii example:

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_R-l1iejogZw/SQLJZbuSVXI/AAAAAAAABKM/9B2p--yZzDw/s1600-h/Obama+COLB.jpg.

As even gullible shills, like you, Anonymous, can see, the two forms (the recent, laser-printed short-form and the original type-written long-form) are nothing alike. The most important difference regarding where Obama was born is that the original long-form lists the hospital where the birth actually took place and the SIGNATURE of the attending physician/nurse/midwife who was present at the birth. In fact without the signature of the attending medical personnel and/or the mother, a purported "birth certificate" is worthless for the historical record and any legal dispute, as it does not contain the attestation of those who actually witnessed the birth, confirming when and WHERE the birth occurred. Without such a signature, anyone can cook up a document and claim it is a birth certificate.

Even if the Web image that the Obama campaign released is an accurate abstract of some information on his long-form birth certificate it does not necessarily mean that Obama was born in Hawaii, because Hawaii law (Revised Statute 338-17.8) allows "an adult or the legal parents" of the child (any adult: notice how broad that is!) to obtain a Hawaii birth certificate for a child BORN OUTSIDE HAWAII provided that the parents has shown proof while living outside Hawaii that Hawaii was their legal residence for a year prior to the birth. http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/hrs2006/Vol06_Ch0321-0344/HRS0338/HRS_0338-0017_0008.HTM

So, yes it is POSSIBLE that Obama could have both a long form birth certificate showing his birth in a foreign hospital, and a short-form Hawaiian "certification of live birth" listing Honolulu as the place of birth, because his mother claimed to be a legal resident of Honolulu for the year before the birth.

The question you raised about whether McCain was a natural-born citizen exactly illustrates the point that has been made about how a "short-form birth certificate" can contain significantly different information from the "long-form birth certificate." McCain claimed to be born in the Canal Zone, and released a short-form birth certificate, which was compatible with that claim, since the short-form does not have the hospital information. Then a long-form certificate was released which shows that he was born at a hospital in Colon, Panama which is apparently not in the Canal Zone, thereby complicating the question of whether he was a "natural born citizen" even more than had he been born in the Canal Zone.

http://panamajohn.dominates.us/articles/McCain_Certificate_1_1936x2.jpg

Had McCain been elected, only the Supreme Court could definatively have ruled on whether, given the complicated circumstances of his birth (to American citizens in the US Army stationed in the Canal Zone, in a Panamanian hospital), he qualified as a "natural born citizen." But unlike Obama, McCain was open and HONEST enough to release the photocopies of BOTH his long-form and short-form birth certificates, and let the judicial system rule as it may regarding his eligibility to be president. We have yet to see Obama be open and HONEST enough to release his original long-form birth certificate and let the judicial system determine his eligibility for president.

I can assure you that as a professionally-trained historian who has been trained to always document vital assertions with PRIMARY SOURCE EVIDENCE that NO serious historian or biographer worthy of the name would make a claim about where a 1961 baby was born based on a Web image of a 2007 laser-printed abstract of their short-form birth certificate which lists no hospital on no signature of those who witnessed the birth, rather than based on the original document, i.e. the long-form birth certificate listing the birth hospital and birth witnesses.

Because of the lack of transparency surrounding this issue, we don't even know which Honolulu hospital Obama suposedly was born at, as none of the Hawaii officials who claim to have looked at Obama's original long-form birth certificate has even publically verified which hospital he was born at. Obama's duplicity about his original birth certificate indicates that he is hiding something, although it may not be whether he was born inside the US. (It could be that his birth name was not Barack Obama, that his parents were not married at the time of his birth, that his father is someone other than Barack Obama Sr., that his father's race was not listed as "Negro"--note the strange designation "African" race on the recent short-form, which probably was not used as a "race" on the 1961 original--that his mother put a foreign address as her "usual residence"--note the Hawaii 1963 long-form birth certificate section 7C allows the mother to do this).

Regardless, it is unconscienable that Obama would let embarassment about such issues, which do not disqualify him as president, to be an excuse for not showing the American public, and the Supreme Court that he meets the Constitutional "natural-born citizen" requirement. At some point in time, Hawaii tourism promoters will want to put a plaque on the hospital where Obama was supposedly born, and will try to confirm which hospital it was. Serious historians, too, will gain access to the original birth certificate (unless it is destroyed first), and if it shows that Obama undermined the very Constitution he is supposed to uphold, well, let's just say that what it says about Obama will not be, to put it politely, complimentary.

Submitting....

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