Friday, 15 July 2011

Corsi's "Where’s the Birth Certificate?"

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Where's the Birth Certificate? The Case That Barack Obama Is Not Eligible to Be President, by Jerome R. Corsi, Ph.D., Washington, D.C.: WND Books, 2011, 392 pages, hardcover.

It’s a simple concept as laid out in Article II, Section 1, of the U.S. Constitution: “No Person except a natural born Citizen … shall be eligible to the office of President.” For over 200 years this straightforward requirement has pretty much limited those seeking the nation’s highest elected office to individuals born on U.S. soil of parents who are U.S. citizens. Until now.

With the election of Barack Obama, the nation has faced an array of troubling questions about how constitutionally qualified the 44th President of the United States really is to occupy the White House. At the heart of the matter is whether or not Obama was even born on American soil, something that has long been a concern to a large group of Americans the major media has deridingly labeled “birthers.”

But beyond this simple query are other key issues concerning Obama’s eligibility to be President. His father was an African national from Kenya, making Barack Obama a dual citizen of both the United States and Kenya at birth. Would this violate the intent of the Founding Fathers in their stipulation that only a “natural born” citizen can be President? How about the fact that when his mother later married a man from Indonesia, a young Barack Obama moved to that country and became one of its citizens? Would this compromise his U.S. citizenship and disqualify him to serve?

And what of Obama’s refusal to provide crucial passport and travel records stretching back to his early childhood, or the stonewalling by Columbia and Harvard Universities in providing records of Obama’s applications, grades, or financial aid — records that might, for instance, reveal that he was a foreign student studying in America?

As with past Presidents and presidential candidates, one might naturally assume that the history of Barack Obama would be an open book for the public to scrutinize — that, in fact, the major media would have an intense interest in ferreting out every tidbit of information and trivia in the rich and colorful biography of this altogether unique American executive.

One would be wrong on this count. In fact, not only has the media demonstrated a troubling inclination to give Obama a pass on filling in the holes in his personal history, in some cases they have actually allowed him to change his story in mid-stream without challenge.

Enter Jerome Corsi, an investigative journalist for the World Net Daily (WND) franchise, whose intense research over the past few years has resulted in an exhaustive WND-published report entitled Where’s the Birth Certificate? The Case That Barack Obama Is Not Eligible to Be President.

Unfortunately for Corsi, the title of the book is predicated on Obama’s ongoing refusal — or inability — dating back to 2008 to produce a legitimate birth certificate that would prove beyond doubt that he was born in the United States. What makes the title so regrettable for the author is the fact that just weeks before the book hit the newsstands the President did, indeed, produce what appears to be his actual long-form birth certificate, which includes crucial information missing from previous birth certificates he has provided, such as the hospital where he was born and the signature of an attending physician. Where’s the Birth Certificate? Here it is, insists President Obama, in a perfectly timed move that seems to blow the premise for Corsi’s book out of the water.

While such a turn of events might well have relegated Corsi’s book to the humiliation of bargain shelves and dollar stores, Where’s the Birth Certificate? has continued to sell briskly, with Corsi, predictably, attacking Obama’s suddenly appearing long-form birth certificate as a forgery — something experts have confirmed would not be tough to accomplish.

But with or without the latest “proof” that Obama was actually born in Hawaii, there is still, in Corsi’s words, “a compelling body of evidence … that Obama is not a natural born-citizen as is required of all presidents by Article 2, Section 1, of the Constitution.”

Central to the case — which actually gets somewhat short shrift as Corsi spends more time and space on the more sensational issue of the birth certificate —  is the fact that Obama’s father, Barack Obama, Sr., was in no way a U.S. citizen, but a native of Kenya who had come to the United States for his education. In 1961, Kenya was a part of the British Empire, and, writes Corsi, under the British Nationality Act of 1948, “Barack Obama Jr. was both a U.S. citizen … and a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies, or the UKC, by virtue of being born to a father who was a citizen of the UKC.”

Such a state of affairs would have raise red flags for the Founding Fathers, who “believed it critical that the nation’s chief executive and commander in chief possess undivided loyalty to the United States,” writes Corsi. He notes that the thinking of the Founders was profoundly influenced by 18th-century Swiss philosopher Emerich de Vattel, who believed that any given society can only exist and “perpetuate itself” through the efforts of “natural-born citizens,” which he defined as “those born in the country of parents who are citizens.” Vattel emphasized that “in order to be of the country, it is necessary that a person be born of a father who is a citizen; for, if he is born there of a foreigner, it will only be the place of his birth, and not his country.”

To ensure that a President’s loyalties would not be divided between the United States and a second country, the Founders stipulated that only natural-born citizens (their definition mirroring Vattel’s) would be eligible to serve in that office. “Given this definition,” writes Corsi, “a person born in the United States to one U.S. citizen parent and a second who is a citizen of another country would not qualify.” Adds the author: “Obama’s situation is precisely this: He says he was born in Hawaii to a Kenyan father and a U.S. citizen mother.”

The phrase “says he was born in Hawaii” is significant to much of Corsi’s case because, until Obama’s long-form birth certificate suddenly appeared (out of nowhere it seems), he had apparently been unable to provide sufficient proof that he really was born in Hawaii. In fact, up to that time the most he had provided as evidence of his U.S. birth was a short-form “Certification of Live Birth” (COLB), which lists neither the attending physician nor the hospital where he was born. Significantly, the hospital changed in Obama’s story from the Queen’s Medical Center to the Kapi’olani Center for Women and Children, both in Honolulu, something that never seemed to trouble Obama’s supporters or the major media.

While much of Corsi’s research (including 83 pages of photographic documents) focuses on proving that the now largely irrelevant COLB is a fraud, the evidence he marshals in the process nonetheless strongly suggests that the President has engaged in an ongoing — and deeply troubling — campaign to hide the specifics of his background. Although the President had, no doubt, hoped to finally put the entire controversy to rest (and make Corsi look foolish in the process) by introducing his long-missing official birth certificate, Corsi’s account of Obama’s obfuscation about his personal history serves to cast severe doubt on this latest document.

In fact, Corsi’s contention that the President’s latest birth certificate is itself a fraud is given solid corroboration from a former senior elections clerk for Honolulu that Corsi cites in the book. Tim Adams recalled that when Obama’s constitutional eligibility became a serious issue in 2008, he was faced with answering the tidal wave of requests to verify the then-U.S. Senator’s birthplace. In his official capacity as an elections official, Adams had direct access to such state records as the Social Security database, the national crime computer, and state driver’s license and international passport records — “basically anything you can imagine to get someone’s identity,” Corsi quotes Adams as saying.

Concluded Adams, “There is no birth certificate. It’s like an open secret. There isn’t one. Everyone in the government there knows this.” As if to stress his certainty, Adams reiterated, “I can say without a shadow of a doubt that he was not born in Hawaii, because there is no legal record of him being born here.”

Of course, one state government official’s emphatic testimony does not, in and of itself, prove anything. But when it is added to the weight of evidence brought to bear by Corsi’s years of intensive research, one is left with grave concerns — not just about Barack Obama’s constitutional eligibility to be President, but about the veracity of his official history, and how someone with so many unanswered questions about his past could somehow worm his way into our nation’s highest elected office.