We will leave it up to the reader
to determine whether far right Conservatives have made serious errors in
judgment; whether they are traitors to America and the American People.
Although, they have all supported a Conservative Christian position
especially when it comes to Church and State issues, it is apparent from
the data collected, that the first amendment may be in danger from their
past and future actions.
We interviewed several of
these wingnuts and they stated that their position is that Hindu,
Shintoists, or Witches aren't "Real" religions." What is a real
religion? What you have been practicing? Read the following
and remember: "By their Works may they be known." This is a
summary of information collected from several sources about Birthers and
Far Right Extremists.
(Remember it is best to
investigate on your own when looking at allegations about anyone.
Don't believe us, think for yourself and investigate for yourself!
And remember, the Religious Freedom Coalition does not represent any
political party nor do we recommend any political candidate, nor are we
involving ourselves in the political process. BUT, we are here to
expose hypocrites who abuse our trust in them and will not stand for
public officials lying, stealing, making unethical choices, and not
representing the American People.
(TEA PARTY) REPUBLICANS ARE THE ENEMY AND TRAITORS TO AMERICA by R.
Extremist (Tea Party) Republicans are selfish, power hungry,
hateful of the poor, disloyal to the nation and its people, dishonest,
avaricious, scornful of the nation's history, the dignity of its
institutions, its standards of political morality, and its vision
of advancement for all the people. The Republicans love war as long as
they and theirs do not have to put on helmets and carry guns into the
fighting. They use lies to start wars that kill hundreds of thousands of
innocents and thousands of our own military service people. They love
massive war-time profits, unavailable to their rich masters if war is
Those Extremist Republicans hate the rest of us, which
they must, in order to pass away from themselves and onto us, the
financial burdens and losses their crimes, schemes and thefts cause.
They are prolific, incessant, and destructive liars. They are
blasphemers for they insist that their hateful and destructive deeds are
the work of God. They are apostates for they gleefully attack the poor,
the immigrants, the old and the sick, of whom God has commanded all of
us to be mindful.
There is no reasoning with them, for all their logic is built on
false premises. There is no appealing to them for honor's sake for they
have lost all sense of shame and have no honor, there is no appealing to
them for the nation's sake for that it what they hate the most.
Extremist (Tea Party) Republicans are the enemy.
Part X The Audacity
The Audacity of Hate: Birthers,
Deathers, Deniers, Racists and Barack Obama
Excerpts from an article by Walter
Brasch on BuzzFlash Blog at TRUTHOUT 5/21/2011
The latest garbage spewing hate as it
circles the Internet in a viral state of panic continues a three
year smear against Barack Obama.
The attacks had begun with the
extreme right wing spitting out Obama's full name-Barack HUSSEIN
Obama, as if somehow he wasn't an American but connected to the
Iraqi dictator who, despite the Bush Administration's best efforts,
had no connections to 9/11.
When the right-wingers and Tea
Party Pack get tired of their "cutesy" attempts to link Obama to
militant Muslims, they launch half-truths and lies to claim he
wasn't born in the United States. Like Jaws, Jason, or Freddy
Krueger, "birther" propaganda keeps returning, even when independent
state officials and analysts proved the claims false.
The issue simmered on Fox TV
and talk radio until Donald Trump, the man with the planet-sized ego
and the bacteria-sized brain, inserted his persona into the issue,
while pontificating about becoming the next president. The media,
exhausted from having to cover the antics of Lindsay Lohan and
Charlie Sheen, turned their news columns over to the man who would
be God-if only it paid better.
The Wing Nut Cotillion, with
Trump getting the headlines, then demanded Obama produce a long-form
birth certificate-which he did while leading a combined White
House-CIA-Pentagon effort to find and destroy Osama bin Laden. The
truth still hasn't quieted the conspiracy nuts.
Not willing to accept truth and
logic, the extreme right wing, grasping for anything they could
find, have attacked the raid that killed bin Laden. Among their
screeches are that bin Laden isn't dead . . . that he was killed a
week earlier or even years earlier . . . that Obama had hidden the
death until there was a more political time to reveal it . . . that
it was George W. Bush (who publicly said six months after 9/11 that
he didn't care about bin Laden) who deserves all the credit . . .
and that while Navy SEALS should get credit, Obama is too weak to
have overseen any part of the mission.
And now from the caves of
ignorance and hatred comes a much-forwarded letter, which the
anonymous author says "shouldn't surprise anyone." Written as fact,
the letter informs us Barack Obama: "never held a 'real' job, never
owned a business and as far as we know, never really attended
Harvard or Columbia since those transcripts have never been released
and no one remembers him from their time at either school."
The email of hate further
"enlightens" us that "Being a community activist only gives someone
insite [sic] on how to assist the less fortunate and dregs of
society on how to acquire government housing and government benefits
without ever contributing one penny in taxes."
That's right. The Whackadoodles
Wearing Tinfoil Caps crowd has escaped again.
Among those community activists
who worked with the "dregs of society," apparently on ways to scam
the government, are St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226), founder of
the Franciscan order and patron saint of animals and the
environment; Jacob Riis (1849-1914), a journalist and photographer
who exposed the squalor of slums and tenement buildings; Dorothy Day
(1897-1980), a journalist who founded the Catholic Worker Movement
that advocated nonviolent action to help the poor and homeless, and
who the archdiocese of New York, at the direction of Pope John Paul
II, began a process leading to beatification; and Jane Addams
(1860-1935), who fought for better conditions for children and
mothers, was active in the progressive campaigns of Teddy Roosevelt
and who, like Roosevelt, earned a Nobel Peace Prize. Those who rail
against community activists for not having "real" jobs would also
oppose Saul Alinsky (1909-1972), who tirelessly established the
nation's most effective organizational structure to help the poor
and disenfranchised to gain a voice against political, economic, and
social oppression; Dr. Benjamin Spock (1903-1998), America's
foremost pediatrician, for leading antiwar campaigns; Cesar Chavez
(1927-1993), who helped get farm workers respectable pay and decent
working conditions; Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968) who, with
hundreds of thousands of others, forced a nation to finally confront
its racism; and innumerable leaders of the feminist and gay rights
communities who got America to confront their other prejudices. All
were community activists.
Not dregs because they have
"real" jobs are the bankers and Wall Street investors who brought
about the housing crisis that led to the worst depression in the
past seven decades. Also exempt from contempt are the business
owners who downsized, right-sized, and shipped their production
overseas, throwing millions of Americans out of work.
Barack Obama, castigated for
not having a "real job," worked more than a year as research
associate and editor at the Business International Corp., three
years as director of Developing Community Projects, a church-based
group for eight Catholic parishes, and summer jobs at law firms.
Other "not real" jobs include being an author, civil rights lawyer,
and a professor of Constitutional law at one of the nation's more
prestigious colleges. Frankly, it's rather nice to have a president
who actually understands the Constitution-as opposed to the rabble
who misquote, misstate, and misappropriate it all the time.
Those propagating the email of
hate believe Obama couldn't earn degrees from Ivy League colleges;
the subtext is as clear as their refusal to believe in an integrated
nation. So, I contacted the registrars at Columbia and Harvard. In
less than 10 minutes, the registrar at Columbia confirmed that
Barack Obama received a B.A. in political science, and the registrar
at Harvard Law School confirmed Obama received a J.D. These are
public records. Anyone can ask the same questions, and get the same
answer. Logic alone should have shot down these accusations. Obama
was editor of the Harvard Law Review, something as easy to
verify as his graduation, and he passed the Illinois bar exam-which
requires graduation from college and law school, and a personal
character test-also a matter of public record.
Even if Obama provided official
transcripts, which are confidential, the wing nuts of society will
claim that, like the birth certificate and the death of bin Laden,
the transcripts were faked.
The truth is that the politics
of hate, combined with media complicity and Internet access, has led
not to a discussion of issues but to character assassination, with
racism and bigotry as its pillars.
Obama Birth Certificate
Was Released By The White House
The following are excerpts from
an article by Sam Stein posted on huffingtonpost.com 04/27/11
WASHINGTON -- The White
Wednesday President Barack Obama's "long form"
the document whose absence has long been at the heart of the
conspiracy-riddled discussion over Obama's legitimacy to serve as
the nation's commander in chief.
The move came as a surprise to
the press corps, many of whom had not shown up for Wednesday's
early-morning White House briefing. By the time word had spread that
Obama would be making a 9:45 a.m. statement on the matter, however,
the top anchors at all the networks had scurried into the briefing
Once there, they received a
presidential scolding for their concern with "silliness." Obama
began his five-minute statement with the complaint that he wouldn't
be able to get the networks to break into their regularly scheduled
programming for a speech on policy proposals.
"I know that there is going to be a segment of people for which no
matter what we put out, this issue will not be put to rest," Obama
said. "But I am speaking for the vast majority of the American
people as well as for the press. We do not have time for this kind
of silliness. We have better stuff to do. I have got better stuff to
do. We have got big problems to solve."
"We are not going to be able to
do it if we are distracted, we are not going to be able to do it if
we spend time vilifying each other ... if we just make stuff up and
pretend that facts are not facts, we are not going to be able to
solve our problems if we get distracted by side shows and carnival
barkers," the president declared earlier.
The document released by the
White House differs from the one that Obama's aides made public
during the 2008 presidential campaign. Instead of a "certification"
of live birth, this was a "certificate," clearly recording that the
president was born on Aug. 4, 1961 in the Kapiolani Maternity and
Gynecological Hospital in Honolulu.
For years, Obama's circle of aides had resisted calls to make the
latter form public, noting that a certification is legally sound and
what any citizen of Hawaii receives upon requesting documents of
birth. And indeed, for some time, that explanation -- supported by a
a wide swath of other contemporaneous evidence - seemed to suffice.
But some who challenged the
president's citizenship remained unsatisfied, and in recent weeks
they found a high-profile megaphone for their cause: business tycoon
and presidential flirt Donald Trump.
"This issue was resolved in
2008. It has not been an issue," White House Communications Director
Dan Pfeiffer said during a morning briefing in which he and other
officials took care not to mention Trump's name. "None of you have
asked about it, called about it or reported on it until the last few
weeks ... [not releasing it] would probably be good for the
president politically. Despite that, the president said he was
struck by how this was crowding out the debate."
Last Friday, the president
himself wrote Loretta J. Fuddy, the director of health at the State
of Hawaii, requesting "two certified copies of my original
certificate of live birth." Fuddy complied. Shortly thereafter, the
president's counsel, Judith Corley of the firm Perkins Coie, flew to
Hawaii to pick up two copies of the form. The trip was not taxpayer
funded but, rather, paid out of the president's personal account.
Corley returned on Tuesday at roughly 4 p.m. with the copies. The
White House announced a "morning gaggle" for reporters shortly
thereafter. One aide explained that they did not want to "hold" on
to the documents for release on a later date.
Many members of the press
confessed to being "stunned" as it became clear what was about to be
discussed. White House press assistants handed out a six-page
stapled packet of photocopies showing the new and old birth
certificates as well as the White House's legal correspondence with
Hawaii's Department of Health.
And yet it was the press that
played a large role in forcing the administration's hand. CNN's Ed
Henry had pressed White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on the
issue just one day earlier, despite the fact that his own network
had done a thorough investigation debunking the claims of the
"There will always be some
selection of people who will believe something. That is not the
issue," Pfeiffer said when asked if Wednesday's move would silence
the doubters. "This issue is, this is not a discussion happening
just among conspiracy theorists. It is happening here in this room,
on all of the networks, and it is something that every major
political figure of both parties -- instead of talking about real
issues -- is being asked about this. So the president decided to
(HERE IS A
PHOTO OF HIS
BIRTH CERTIFICATE AND A
VIDEO OF OBAMA'S RESPONSE)
WHO ARE THE BIRTHERS?
Barack Obama was, without
question, born in the U.S., and he is eligible to be president, but experts
on conspiracy theories say that won't ever matter to those who believe
Excerpts from an
article written by Alex Koppelman for salon.com Dec. 5, 2008
There are, sadly, a lot of
Birthers out there. A
recent poll showed that 11 percent of Americans -- including 28 percent
of Republicans -- don't believe President Obama was born in the U.S. Another
12 percent aren't sure.
So, at some point, you're likely
to find out that a friend or relative is
a Birther. Your Uncle Floyd will forward you a chain e-mail that says
Obama was actually born in Kenya and
there's a Kenyan birth certificate that proves it and hundreds of
government officials and reporters are in on a conspiracy to hide the truth
of his ineligibility for the presidency from the public.
A few of the theories:
"Barack Obama can't be president: He wasn't
really born in Hawaii, and the
certification of live birth his campaign released is a forgery. He was
born in Kenya. Or maybe Indonesia. Or, wait, maybe he was born in Hawaii --
but that doesn't matter, since he was also a British citizen at birth
because of his father, and you can't be a "natural-born citizen" in that
case. (But then, maybe his "father" wasn't really his father; maybe his real
dad was an obscure communist poet. Or
You might think these rumors would
have died off after Obama produced proof in June 2008 that he was, in fact,
born in Hawaii to an American citizen, his mother, Ann, or after Hawaii
state officials confirmed in October that he was born there. You might think
the rumors would have died off after he was elected by a comfortable margin.
Instead, they've intensified. There have been
paid advertisements in the Chicago Tribune questioning the
president-elect's birth certificate and eligibility, and one group is
raising money to run a similar ad on television. The right-wing Web site
WorldNetDaily has been reporting on the issue almost nonstop. Numerous
plaintiffs have filed lawsuits in various states. And Friday, the Supreme
Court's nine justices will decide whether they want to hear one of those
suits, which also contends that John McCain, born in the former Panama Canal
Zone, does not meet the Constitution's requirements to hold the presidency.
The people hoping this is a sign
the court will agree with them and stop Obama from becoming president are
almost certain to be let down. The fact that the case has gone to conference
doesn't mean anything about its merits -- the court will also be deciding
whether to take up a number of other cases, and the chances that the suit
will actually be heard is exceedingly small. Eugene Volokh, a law professor
at UCLA, has
calculated that over the past eight years the court has considered in
conference 842 cases that sought a stay. Only 60 of them were actually
heard. Seven hundred and eighty-two were denied.
But that doesn't matter.
The false controversy isn't going to go away soon. Yes, Obama was born in
Hawaii, and yes, he is eligible to be president.
But according to several experts in conspiracy theories, and in the
psychology of people who believe in conspiracy theories, there's little
chance those people who think Obama is barred from the presidency will ever
be convinced otherwise. "There's no amount of evidence or data that will
change somebody's mind," says Michael Shermer, who is the publisher of
Skeptic magazine and a columnist for Scientific American, and who holds an
undergraduate and a master's degree in psychology. "The more data you
present a person, the more they doubt it ... Once you're committed,
especially behaviorally committed or financially committed, the more
impossible it becomes to change your mind."
Any inconvenient facts are
irrelevant. People who believe in a conspiracy theory "develop a selective
perception, their mind refuses to accept contrary evidence," Chip Berlet, a
senior analyst with Political Research Associates who studies such theories,
says. "As soon as you criticize a conspiracy theory, you become part of the
Evan Harrington, a social
psychologist who is an associate professor at the Chicago School of
Professional Psychology, agrees. "One of the tendencies of the conspiracy
notion, the whole appeal, is that a lot of the information the believer has
is secret or special," Harrington says. "The real evidence is out there,
[and] you can give them all this evidence, but they'll have convenient ways
to discredit [it]."
Whatever can't be ignored can be
twisted to fit into the narrative; every new disclosure of something that
should, by rights, end the controversy only opens up new questions,
identifies new plotters. Perhaps the most common
of those questioning Obama's eligibility is that he should just release his
full, original birth certificate, rather than the shorter certification,
which is a copy. His failure to do so only proves there is reason to be
suspicious, they say, and if the document was released, the issue would go
away. But that's unlikely. It was, after all, the Obama campaign's release
of the certification this summer that stoked the fever of conspiracy
For believers, it works like this:
So what if Dr. Chiyome Fukino, the director of Hawaii's Department of
released a statement saying she has verified that the state has the
original birth certificate on record? So what if she said separately that
the certification looks identical to one she was issued for her own
Hawaii birth certificate?
Why didn't her statement specify Obama's birthplace? So what if a Hawaii
Health Department spokeswoman later
clarified that Fukino meant that Obama was born in Hawaii? So
what if researchers for FactCheck.org actually saw the physical copy of the
much of the key "evidence" supposedly proving that
the image posted online is a forgery? They're
not really independent. They're funded by the Annenberg Public Policy
Center, and Obama once (with Bill Ayers, no less) ran an entirely unrelated
program that happened to be paid for with money donated by Walter Annenberg.
And on and on and on.
If the long-form birth certificate
were released, with its unequivocal identification of Hawaii as Obama's
place of birth, the cycle would almost certainly continue. Rush Limbaugh
suggested that Obama's trip to Hawaii to see his ailing grandmother, who
died not long after, was somehow connected to the controversy. Others, like
Michael Savage, followed Limbaugh's lead,
saying Obama was going to Hawaii to alter the record.
Not surprisingly, almost all of
the people who've been most prominent in pushing this story have a history
of conspiracist thought. There's Jerome Corsi, who's best known as the
co-author of the book that launched the Swift boat vets; he's a chief
proponent of the claim that the government is secretly planning to form a
"North American Union" with Canada and Mexico. Philip Berg, who filed the
lawsuit that had until now drawn the most public attention, is a
Andy Martin, who's credited with starting the myth that Obama is a
Muslim and has been intimately involved in the birth certificate mess as
well, was denied admission to the Illinois bar because of a psychiatric
evaluation that showed he had "moderately severe character defect manifested
by well-documented ideation with a paranoid flavor and a grandiose
character." He also has a long history of anti-Semitism. Robert Schulz,
who's responsible for the ads in the Tribune, is a fairly notorious tax
protester. In 2007, a federal judge
ordered Schulz to shutter his Web site because he and his organization
the words of the Justice Department's Tax Division, using the site to
promote "a nationwide tax-fraud scheme."
We could be dealing with the
repercussions of the tangled web these people have woven for years after
Obama is inaugurated. We already have some hints of what's to come. Gary
Kreep, who heads the United States Justice Foundation and is representing
Alan Keyes in one of the lawsuits over the president-elect's eligibility,
has said his group will file suit to challenge each and every one of Obama's
actions as president.
He may well inspire others. There
are a surprising number of people out there --
tax protesters, for instance -- who rely on similarly
creative legal thinking based on conspiracy theories for their defense.
So don't be too surprised if, sometime after Jan. 20, defendants in federal
trials suddenly claim they can't be prosecuted. If Obama isn't really
president, then laws he signs have no effect, Department of Justice
prosecutors have no authority and judges he appoints aren't legally judges.
Anyone who tells you otherwise is just part of the conspiracy.
A GUIDE TO REFUTING THE
Excerpts from an article written by Alex
Koppleman and published by salon.com on Aug. 5, 2009
In the spirit of public service,
Salon has compiled a list of the most popular Birther myths, along with all
the debunking you could ever ask for. Now you can just e-mail this
list to Uncle Floyd and get on with your life.
Unfortunately, there is some small
print involved in this offer. We can't promise this article will convince
Uncle Floyd that Obama was born in the U.S. and is the legitimate president.
In fact, we can just about guarantee that it won't have much effect at all.
the way conspiracy theories work: Believers are unlikely to change their
minds, no matter how much evidence you present.
Still, it's worth a try.
Myth 1: Obama wasn't
born in the U.S.
This is the big one. It may also
be the most easily refuted. First of all, during the presidential campaign,
Obama released a
certification of live birth, which is
the official document you get if you ask Hawaii for a copy of your birth
certificate. There are allegations that what Obama released is a forgery,
but state officials have
repeatedly affirmed its authenticity and said they've checked it against
the original record and that Obama was indeed born in Hawaii. PLUS on April
17 The White House released his long form Birth certificate.
If that wasn't enough, two
Hawaiian newspapers carried announcements of Obama's birth in August 1961.
(Read the Honolulu Advertiser's item from Aug. 13, 1961, nine days after
here.) The traditional joke that Birther debunkers make is that his
grandparents must have placed those announcements because they knew that
he'd want to run for president nearly five decades later. The truth, though,
is that the notices are even stronger pieces of evidence than that. Obama's
family didn't place them --
Hawaii did, as it does for all births. The announcements were based on
official records sent to the papers by the state's Department of Health.
Myth 2: Obama can't be
president because his father was a British citizen
Some of the Birthers -- like de
facto leader Orly Taitz -- believe that Obama wouldn't be eligible for the
presidency even if he were born in the U.S. That's because, in their
infinite wisdom, the Founding Fathers included in the Constitution a fair
amount of phrases they never really bothered to define. One of those is this
explanation of who can be president: "No person except a natural born
The Supreme Court has never ruled
directly on the question of what "natural born citizen" means. So the
Birthers have simply settled on their own definition -- someone born to two
citizen parents -- and found a source,"The Law of Nations," a 1758 book by
the Swiss philosopher Emerich de Vattel, to back them up.
There are a couple of problems
with this. Most important, Obama isn't the first president with a
non-citizen parent: Chester A. Arthur, the 21st president, was. His father
was from Ireland and
did not become a U.S. citizen until more than 10 years after the future
Plus, even if the Founding Fathers
did rely on Vattel as much as the Birthers say -- always a dubious
proposition -- Swiss philosophy books aren't legal precedent in the United
States. British common law is. And in 1898, in the case of
U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark, the Supreme Court looked into the meaning of
"natural born" in the common law and concluded that a non-citizen's mere
presence in the U.S. is enough to make their child, if born here, a
Myth 3: A Kenyan birth
certificate for Obama, showing he was born in Mombasa, has been discovered
It's a hoax. Once Taitz released
the document, purportedly a certified copy of a Kenyan birth certificate, it
took less than two days for Internet sleuths to prove that it had been
The first signs were a couple of
small but revealing errors: The certification is dated Feb. 17, 1964, when
newly independent Kenya was known as the Dominion of Kenya. It wouldn't
start calling itself the Republic of Kenya until December of that year --
but the document refers to the republic. Additionally, the document's header
refers to "Coast Province," but as two British professors who are experts in
pointed out to Salon, at the time the certificate was supposedly
produced, the country's provinces were referred to as regions.
For the final nail in this myth's
coffin, one particularly enterprising man, Steve Eddy,
the original Australian document on which the Kenyan certificate was
apparently based. The two documents share several identical numbers,
including the page and the book of records in which they can be found, and
minor changes were made to the names of the registrars responsible for the
Australian copy. Taitz
the Australian certificate "was created to try to discredit my efforts" but
it was in fact available on the Internet as far back as 2007.
Myth 4: Obama's
grandmother said he was born in Kenya
a kernel of truth to this one. In an interview with a street preacher
named Ron McRae, Sarah Obama, the second wife of the president's
grandfather, did say she was there, in Kenya, for her grandson's birth.
Unfortunately for the Birthers, it
was the result of a miscommunication -- or perhaps a
-- and as soon as McRae started pressing the issue, Obama's family realized
what had happened and corrected him. Most Birthers simply ignore the
corrections, excising them from audio and transcripts of the conversation
posted online. McRae just believes it's part of the conspiracy and that
Obama's younger relatives were coached to hide the truth.
The full audio can be downloaded
here. What follows is a transcript of the relevant portion of the
MCRAE: Could I ask her about his
actual birthplace? I would like to see his birthplace when I come to
Kenya in December. Was she present when he was born in Kenya?
TRANSLATOR: Yes. She says, yes,
she was, she was present when Obama was born.
MCRAE: When I come in December.
I would like to come by the place, the hospital, where he was born.
Could you tell me where he was born? Was he born in Mombasa?
TRANSLATOR: No, Obama was not
born in Mombasa. He was born in America.
MCRAE: Whereabouts was he born?
I thought he was born in Kenya.
TRANSLATOR: No, he was born in
America, not in Mombasa.
MCRAE: Do you know where he was
born? I thought he was born in Kenya. I was going to go by and see where
he was born.
TRANSLATOR: Hawaii. Hawaii. Sir,
she says he was born in Hawaii. In the state of Hawaii, where his father
was also learning, there. The state of Hawaii.
Myth 5: Hawaii allows
parents to get birth certificates for their foreign-born children
This one is actually true -- just
not in the way the Birthers think. Here's their position,
as outlined by World Net Daily, a conservative news site that's become
the unofficial Birther Web headquarters: "The 'Certification of Live Birth'
posted online and widely touted as 'Obama's birth certificate' does not in
any way prove he was born in Hawaii, since the same 'short-form' document is
easily obtainable for children not born in Hawaii."
Children not born in Hawaii
get a birth document from the state. But it won't say they were
born in Hawaii, as Obama's does.
"If you were born in Bali, for
example, you could get a certificate from the state of Hawaii saying you
were born in Bali," Janice Okubo, the director of communications for the
state Department of Health,
told the Washington Independent's David Weigel recently. "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."
Myth 6: Obama traveled
to Pakistan using an Indonesian passport
When the Birthers tire of arguing
that Obama wasn't born in the U.S., they take another tack. At some point
during the time he spent in Indonesia growing up, they say, Obama must have
taken Indonesian citizenship or renounced his American citizenship or both.
As proof, they cite the trip he took to Pakistan in 1981 with a friend from
college, and say the U.S. government had issued a ban on travel by its
citizens to the country.
Thing is, there was no travel
ban. "We have no record of any travel ban between America and Pakistan
during that period or since," a State Department spokesman
told Weigel. And FactCheck.org's Brooks Jackson
notes that the New York Times printed
an article about travel to Pakistan on June 14, 1981, which said
Americans just needed a visa to travel there. Two months later, the U.S.
consul general in Lahore, Pakistan, wrote to the Times to say he'd "welcome
an influx of Americans."
Myth 7: Obama hasn't
released his birth certificate
Strictly speaking, what Obama's
campaign originally released wasn't called a birth certificate; it's a
certification of live birth. But there's no functional difference between
the two: Ask Hawaii for your birth certificate, and
you'll get the certification of live birth back. (BUT, as I've
stated, The WH released the original long form Birth Certificate on
"Our Certificate of Live Birth is
the standard form, which was modeled after national standards that are
acceptable by federal agencies and organizations," Okubo told the Honolulu
Advertiser. "With that form, you can get your passport or your soccer
registration or your driver's license."
There had been some confusion
about whether the original even still exists, but that's now been cleared
up. (You can see a image of it above) Okubo told the Advertiser that
in 2001 the state's paper documents were put into an electronic form, but
"any paper data prior to that still exists ... we have backups for all of
Myth 8: If Obama
would just release his birth certificate, he could end all this
He did and it hasn't ended has it.
So why didn't the state of Hawaii release the original paper document? By
law, the state can't release Obama's birth records without his OK. State law
says that the document can only be released to or "inspect[ed]" by someone
"direct and tangible" interest. (Though, again, except for "permit[ting]
inspection," the law refers to the release of copies and certified copies,
not the original record.) So Obama sent a rep to pick it up and bring
it back to the White House where it was released to the Media.
Conspiracy theorists cling to
their theories in the face of all evidence, and in this case the groundwork
for disputing an original birth certificate has already been laid. In
October of 2008, Rush Limbaugh
suggested that Obama's trip to Hawaii to see his dying grandmother might
really have been made in order to do some quick forgery. Limbaugh's fellow
talk radio host Michael Savage jumped on that bandwagon, too.
Plus, the Birthers have a long
list of other demands. Here's one sent out by Gary Kreep, who's representing
Alan Keyes in his lawsuit challenging Obama's eligibility. Read it, and
abandon all hope:
- Actual long-form birth
certificate (NOT an easily-forged electronic copy of a short-form
document that is not even officially accepted in Hawaii)
- Passport files
- University of Chicago Law
School scholarly articles
- Harvard Law Review articles
- Harvard Law School records
- Columbia University records
- Columbia University senior
thesis, "Soviet Nuclear Disarmament"
- Occidental College records,
including financial aid that he may have received
- Punahou School records, where
Mr. Obama attended from the fifth grade until he finished high school
- Noelani Elementary School
records, where Barack Obama attended kindergarten (according to the
Hawaii Department of Education, students must submit a birth certificate
to register -- but parents may bring a passport or student visa if the
child is from a foreign country)
- Complete files and schedules
of his years as an Illinois state senator from 1997 to 2004
- Obama's client list from
during his time in private practice with the Chicago law firm of Davis,
Miner, Barnhill and Gallard
- Illinois State Bar
- Baptism records
- Obama/Dunham marriage license
- Obama/Dunham divorce
- Soetoro/Dunham marriage
- Soetero/Dunham adoption
THE BIRTHERS IN CONGRESS
Seventeen men and women
who are either enabling the fringe movement or having trouble admitting
Obama is president
Excerpts from an
article by Gabriel Winant in salon.com, July 28, 2009
Reuters, AP, Handout photos
Clockwise from top left, Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla.; Rep. Bill Posey,
R-Fla.; Rep. Mary Bono Mack, R-Calif.; Rep. John Culberson, R-Texas;
Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.; Rep. John Campbell, R-Calif.
"The only people that
I know who are afraid to take drug tests are the people who use drugs," says
Rep. Bill Posey. The Florida Republican is the author of the so-called
"Birther" bill, which would require future presidential candidates to submit
their birth certificates. The fact that President Obama has already
submitted -- forgive the extension of Posey's metaphor -- a clean urine
sample seems to be completely irrelevant. Whether it's out of cynicism, fear
of the GOP base or a simple inability to read and reason, the ranks of
Birthers in Congress seem to be growing.
Here are a list of 17 names of
members of Congress who have either expressed support for, or refused to
oppose, the idea that America has a foreign president problem. You'd be
surprised how hard it is to get a member of Congress to say that Barack
Obama is a natural-born citizen with the right to be president. Or maybe you
wouldn't. Meet the Birthers on the Hill:
Rep: Bill Posey, R-Fla.:
Though rumors of then-candidate Barack Obama's ineligibility for office
incubated in right-wing fever swamps during the campaign, they found their
first congressional ally in the actual swamps of Florida. Posey, a
first-term representative from the
"Space Coast" of Florida, is the sponsor of a bill that would require
presidential candidates to submit their birth certificates. Posey has said
that he can't
"swear on a stack of Bibles" that Obama is a citizen. The congressman
told Lou Dobbs, "The eligibility of the president to serve under the
Constitution has arisen five times, and Congress has failed to do anything
about it thus far." Barry Goldwater was born in Arizona Territory, Posey
points out. George Romney was born in Mexico. Shoot, John McCain was born in
the Panama Canal Zone, and, claims Posey, the New York Times and Washington
Post thought that made him ineligible. (We must have missed those editions
of the Times and the Post. Posey's office has not responded to a request for
Stephen Colbert has demanded that Posey disprove the rumors about his own
parentage. An outraged Posey denies the allegation. "There is no reason
to say that I'm the illegitimate grandson of an alligator."
Rep. John Campbell,
Though he wasn't the first member of Congress to board the birther train,
Campbell is perhaps the most infamous, thanks to
an interview on the topic with an unamused Chris Matthews. Campbell
cites the same talking points -- Romney, Goldwater and McCain -- as Posey
did. "Nice try," responds Matthews, who then showed him the president's
birth certificate. "You're verifying the paranoia out there. You're saying
to the people, 'You're right, that's a reasonable question, whether he's a
citizen or not.'"
Campbell spends the interview
trying to weasel out of the question. "As far as I know, yes," he says of
Obama's legitimacy. "Say it now: Barack Obama is president of the United
States and he was born in this country," Matthews insists. "He is president
of the United States," responds Campbell. Finally, under duress, Campbell
concedes that Obama enjoys natural-born status: "Yes, I believe so."
With a hint of malice, Matthews
half-jokes his way through the end of the segment, saying, "Congressman John
Campbell, who does believe -- watch the rerun at 7 -- that Barack Obama is a
native-born American. So those wackos in your district out there, don't vote
for this guy, because he fundamentally disagrees with you. I'm just
kidding." Campbell winces visibly.
Sen. Jim Inhofe,
Probably the know-nothingest member of the Senate, Inhofe
thinks climate change is
"the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people."
Coming in second, presumably, is the current fraudulent presidency. The
Oklahoma conservative recently told Politico that the Birthers "have a
point," adding, "I don't discourage it ... But I'm going to pursue defeating
[Obama] on things that I think are very destructive to America." In a later
clarification, he accused the White House of
not doing "a very good job of dispelling the concerns of
Sen. Richard Shelby,
Asked about the president's eligibility at an Alabama town
hall meeting back in February, Shelby said, "Well, his father was Kenyan and
they said he was born in Hawaii, but I haven't seen any birth certificate.
You have to be born in America to be president." Almost immediately
afterward, his spokesperson was saying that the local paper had distorted
what happened, adding, "While [Shelby] hasn't personally seen the
president's birth certificate, he is confident that the matter has been
Rep. Marsha Blackburn,
This Tennessee politician, a co-sponsor of the Posey bill, trusts that the
president is a natural-born citizen, says a spokesperson. She just thinks
it's mighty odd that candidates for office don't have to meet
"the same basic identifying standard as a 16-year-old Tennessean aspiring to
a driver's license." Obviously, as government bloats and journalism
withers, the DMV is much easier to trick than the international media.
Rep. Dan Burton, R-Ind.:
Paranoia is how Burton gets in the news. In the 1990s, the Indiana
Republican shot a pumpkin in his backyard to demonstrate how the Clintons
could have whacked Vince Foster. Now he's a co-sponsor of the birther bill.
Says a spokesperson, explaining Burton's co-sponsorhip,
"You don't want to needlessly expose presidents to crazy conspiracy
theories." No, of course not.
Team Stonewall: Mike Stark, of the
blog FireDogLake, wandered around the Capitol
trying, and mainly failing, to get a straight answer.
Rep. Cathy McMorris
Rodgers, R-Wash., tells
Stark she "would like to see the documents." One wonders what's stopping
Rep. Charles Boustany,
says the issue of Obama's eligibility "is certainly being looked at."
(Though apparently not by him.) "I think there are questions. We'll have to
Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb.,
asks Stark, "Do you have some evidence that he is or isn't?"
Rep. Greg Harper, R-Miss.,
says that he thinks that "the Constitution speaks for itself, and it'll be
up to others to look into that." Michigan's
Rep. Thaddeus McCotter,
asked whether Obama was born in the United States, says, "I'm focused on
healthcare issues." (When the question was reiterated by Salon, a McCotter
spokesperson again refused to comment, saying, "He's focused on healthcare
like he said.") However, Rep. Tom Price, who sprinted away from Stark's
camera, apparently doesn't want to be a member of Team Stonewall. A Price
spokesman told Salon that Price was only running because he was late for a
vote, and that Price does in fact believe that Obama was born in the United
The Gaggle of Unknown Texans:
Reps. John Carter, John Culberson, Kenny Marchant, Ted Poe and Randy
Neugebauer, all backbench Texas
Republicans, have signed on to the Posey bill. Says Neugebauer, "I don't
have the documentation one way or the other. And so my assumption is that he
is a natural-born citizen, that hopefully the appropriate people checked
that." Apparently, Neugebauer also does not have access to the Internet.
Explains a spokesperson for Carter, "The requirement is there in the law
upfront. So all of our candidates in the future should respond and
present the documentation upfront, and then there can't be any of these
type of charges." Chalk all these charges against Obama to his tardiness in
presenting his documentation. He waited all the way until June of 2008.
The Facebook Friends: A number of
prominent Republicans are friends with birther leaders on Facebook. Of
course, Facebook friendship need not imply an endorsement, in any form, of
the denial of the president's eligibility for office. For example, New
Jersey's Rep. Scott Garrett is Facebook friends with
Philip Berg, a big-time Birther.
"Oh my," said Garrett communications director Erica Elliott in response to
this information. Elliott had never heard of Berg, but explained that
Garrett doesn't manage his Facebook account, and a staffer must have
confirmed Berg's friendship request, unaware of who he is.
The most aggressive Facebook user
among the Birthers is Orly Taitz,
the California dentist-lawyer-real estate agent who may also be the
best-known Birther, even though she is a Facebook novice. "Today," she
posted Sunday, "is the first day my assistants Vivian and Theresa opened my
Facebook account to wide audience." Already she counts Rep. Eric Cantor, the
House minority whip, among her virtual friends. But Cantor's spokesperson
says much the same thing that Garrett's did: "She is registering her support
for Eric Cantor, and nothing more.
Not vice versa." (Taitz is also Facebook friends with Republican
National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, whose office did not respond to
a request for comment.)
Taitz claims that she was friended by
Rep. Mary Bono Mack of
California shortly after becoming active on Facebook. "Amazingly,
Congresswoman Mary Bono asked to be my friend on Facebook."
A spokeswoman for Bono Mack told
Salon that the Facebook friendship with Taitz doesn’t indicate support for
Taitz, and is just a form of general, broad outreach. However, given three
opportunities to agree on behalf of Bono Mack that the president was born in
the United States and is qualified to command the armed forces, the
spokeswoman refused to comment.
Counting the Facebook friends,
that's 17 Republican elected officials who either seem doubtful that Obama
is a legal head of state or are more than willing to indulge and even fan
the unfounded doubts of their constituents. Nearly one in 10 members of the
House Republican Caucus can fairly be said to have Birther sympathies, and
those are just the ones we know about. The evasiveness doesn't really look
great either. After all, as Posey says, the only people who won't take drug
tests are the ones doing drugs.