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Issue Home August 25, 2010 Site Home

Letters to the Editor Policy

Accept The Facts, Not Fiction

As usual, the sour grapes right-wingers are trying to make trouble where there is none. Geesh, go home and accept that you lost the election. Sarah Palin did not become our VP in order to destroy the civilized world. This insistence that Obama was not born in the US is beginning to sound like a gnat buzzing in one's ear.

The Obama campaign made a copy of his Certification of Live Birth from the State of Hawaii available on the Internet in June 2008. The certificate shows his full name to be "Barack Hussein Obama II," it lists his father's race as "African" and his mother's as "Caucasian," it contains no information about religion, and reports his birthplace as being Honolulu, Hawaii.

A number of self-proclaimed experts immediately seized the opportunity to pronounce the certificate a forgery (even though none of them had actually seen the original, just a scanned image of it), picking on such specious details as minor variations from other Hawaii-issued certificates and the lack of an embossed seal and signature. Some forgery claimants even maintained that the certificate was actually an altered version of one issued to Barack Obama's half-sister, Maya. Aside from the inherent absurdity of such claims (i.e., that a major party presidential nominee would risk his entire candidacy on a fraud that could be uncovered simply by a check of state health records), the supposedly incriminating details don't pan out: that the certificate is consistent with others issued in the same time and place, and the embossed seal and signature don't show through very well on the scanned front image made available on the Internet because they were applied to the back of the original document, not the front. Those who have actually touched and examined the original certificate have verified and documented that it bears all the elements of a valid certificate of live birth.

Moreover, both of Honolulu's major newspapers (the Advertiser and the Star-Bulletin) published announcements in August 1961 documenting the birth, in Honolulu, of a son to "Mr. and Mrs. Barack H. Obama" on August 4, 1961.

In August 2008, Philadelphia attorney Philip Berg included claims of a forged certificate (among other rumors) as the basis for a suit in U.S. District Court challenging Barack Obama's eligibility for the presidency on the grounds that Obama was actually born in Kenya (not Hawaii) and/or subsequently gave up his U.S. citizenship and thus does not qualify as a natural-born citizen of the U.S. In October 2008 a federal judge dismissed the complaint: In a 34-page memorandum and opinion, the judge said Berg's allegations of harm were "too vague and too attenuated" to confer standing on him or any other voters.

Surrick ruled that Berg's attempts to use certain laws to gain standing to pursue his claim that Obama was not a natural-born citizen were "frivolous and not worthy of discussion." The judge also said the harm Berg alleged did "not constitute an injury in fact" and Berg's arguments to the contrary "ventured into the unreasonable."

In October 2008, and again in July 2009, Hawaiian officials reported that they had personally verified that Barack Obama's original birth certificate was in the Hawaii State Department's files: State officials say there's no doubt Barack Obama was born in Hawaii. Dr. Chiyome Fukino, director of the Hawaii State Department of Health says that no state official, including Gov. Linda Lingle, ever instructed that Obama's certificate be handled differently from any other. She says state law bars release of a certified birth certificate to anyone who does not have a tangible interest in it.

In January 2009, a teacher at the Honolulu prep school attended by Barack Obama recalled discussing his birth with the obstetrician who had delivered him: Barbara Nelson of Kenmore will undoubtedly think back to the day he was born. It was Aug. 4, 1961, at Kapi'olani Medical Center for Women & Children in Honolulu.

"I may be the only person left who specifically remembers his birth. His parents are gone, his grandmother is gone, the obstetrician who delivered him is gone," said Nelson, referring to Dr. Rodney T. West, who died in February at the age of 98. Here's the story: Nelson was having dinner at the Outrigger Canoe Club on Waikiki Beach with Dr. West, the father of her college friend, Jo-Anne. Making conversation, Nelson turned to Dr. West and said: "So, tell me something interesting that happened this week," she recalls. His response: "Well, today, Stanley had a baby. Now that's something to write home about." The new mother was Stanley (later referred to by her middle name of Ann) Dunham, and the baby was Barack Hussein Obama.

She also remembers her coworker mentioning that the baby's father was the first black student at the University of Hawaii and how taken he was by the baby's name. "I remember Dr. West saying 'Barack Hussein Obama, now that's a musical name,'" said Nelson.

A birth certificate produced in August 2009 which purportedly documented that Barack Obama was born in Kenya was quickly revealed to be a forgery.


Margaret Karmazin

Susquehanna, PA

Letters To The Editor MUST BE SIGNED. They MUST INCLUDE a phone number for "daytime" contact. Letters MUST BE CONFIRMED VERBALLY with the author, before printing. Letters should be as concise as possible, to keep both Readers' and Editors' interest alike. Your opinions are important to us, but you must follow these guidelines to help assure their publishing.

Thank you, Susquehanna County Transcript

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