The Obama Birth Certificate
Early on the morning of April 27, 2011 after Donald Trump challenged him to release it, at a special White House news conference, President Barack H. Obama revealed what he purported to be a certified copy of his "long form" birth certificate. While calling those who have been asking for a release of the certificates "silly," he put the purported document up on a screen for all the world to see. A computer image of the document had already been posted on the White House web page in a Portable Document Format, or PDF, file so the announcement didn't come as a surprise to the media. When I first saw it, I thought that the matter had been resolved, but that only lasted until I took a look at it and saw what was on the document.

I have been following the issue of the Obama birth certificate loosely since the question of where he was born was first raised during the 2008 Presidential Democrat Primaries by supporters of Hillary Clinton.
The issue of his having been born outside of the United States was raised early, not by Republicans but by Democrats during the primaries. And with good reason, because Article II of the Constitution states that a president must, without question, be a "native-born" citizen, meaning that they must have been born within the geographical confines of the United States. While I have plenty of issues with him, particularly that he rose to political power in the most corrupt city in America, I have not been placing any particular emphasis on the birth issue. My feelings have always been that he should have released his birth certificate during the presidential primaries. Instead, his campaign obtained the form that the State of Hawaii uses, a form that is not a replica of the original birth certificate as is the practice in many, if not most, other states. Instead, they released a Certification of Live Birth which is a computer generated document using information from a data base. In fact, not only did the Hawaii health department refuse to provide a copy of his original birth certificate, they indicated that it was no longer accessible.

While I have not been personally making an issue of where he was born, at the same time I have been very concerned about the attitude of Obama supporters and members of the media toward those who are concerned, referring to them as "birthers" and generally belittling them without acknowledging that they have a legitimate concern. Personally, I consider such people - the criticizers - as dupes, or dupers, meaning they have been duped by politics, specifically by politicans and in this case by the Obama campaign. It was a legitimate issue at the time it was raised and it is still a legitimate issue. Americans seem to have this idiotic idea that just because an official has been elected, they are above reproach. (Take a trip to the closest Federal correction facility and see just how many inmates are politicians who have been convicted of corruption!) Few Americans are aware that Adolph Hitler came to power through an election, as have dozens of other totalitarian dictators. or that communism became the state government in Eastern European countries in elections. For that matter, the President of the United States isn't even elected in the national elections. When Americans go to the polls on presidential election days, we are actually chosing a slate of electors from our state, who then go to Washington, DC and officially elect the president. It is a system that was established by the authors of the Constitution, with how the electors are chosen being left up to each state. Currently, nearly all states use a system of "winner take all" in which all of a state's electors go to the candidate who has the highest statewide vote, which is not truly representative of the population as a whole, but is slanted toward the major population centers of each state.

Now that President Obama has released a "certified copy" of his original birth certificate, one would think the issue of where he was born would be settled - and in the minds of his supporters it is - but in reality, it has actually raised more questions than it answers. When I first saw it, I thought it was legitimate, but then I started looking at the form. The first thing I noticed about the "certified copy" is that it is not a certified copy at all. In order for a document to be "certified," there MUST BE a seal of the issuing state affixed to the document, with the seal either being raised or multicolored so it may not be duplicated. Check the US State Department page for requirements for the issuing of a US passport - unless a submitted birth certificate has either a raised seal or is multicolored, it is not acceptable - with good reason. With today's technology, it is very easy to alter any document and present it as authentic. The raised or multicolored seal identifies a document as official, as it cannot be obtained by anyone outside of the office who uses it, at least in theory. The lack of a seal on the Obama document raises questions - even though a seal can't be determined as to being raised or not on an electronic copy, the image of it would be visibile if there was one. Instead, there is only a date stamp and a stamp with a statement and what also appears to be a stamped signature of the Registrar of the State of Hawaii. With the seal, the document would be official but without it, it is just a piece of paper. It is very easy to produce a birth certificate - after all, there have been birth certificates produced showing that Obama was born in Kenya! In fact, in 2000 the Federal Department of Human Services did a study on birth certificate fraud and found that it is wide-spread.

The Obama document was released as a PDF file within less than 48 hours from the time it was generated and dated. Why the haste to make a matter of such importance public, especially since the matter was first raised over three years ago? At the same time, one would think that an honest official would seek to have the document authenticated by someone else in government before it was released. The proper person to examine it would be the Speaker of the House. The Senate Majority Leader might also be allowed to examine it, then both officials could have appeared with the president at the news conference. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court should also be present, to represent the third branch of government since the matter is against the second, the Executive Branch. But the document was released to the public as soon as it was received without having been examined by anyone in government outside of the Executive Branch. Furthermore, the entire process of obtaining the document, transporting it to the White House and releasing it was carried out by the attorney for the Democratic National Committee and the Obama 2012 election campaign, who is also his personal attorney.

When I first saw the news, I assumed the document was legitimate, but when I saw that there was no seal at the bottom, my suspicions were raised. Then, upon looking closely at the alleged birth certificate I noticed that the father's race is shown as "African" while the mother's is "Caucasian." This raised a massive red flag. Barack H. Obama Jr. was born in August, 1961. The use of the word "African" or "African-American" in official documents is very recent, as recent as the 1990s. The term didn't even come into use among Americans with African ancestry until the 1990s, with the first use appearing in 1987; it was picked up on by black academics advocating "Afro-Centerism," a philosophy that human history is centered on Africa. The phrase was first used by Negro historian Dr. Johnny Duncan in a poem he published in 1987. Jesse Jackson later claimed to  have originated the term and began advocating its use. Apologists are claiming that "African" was used because the father was from Africa. The problem with that theory is that each state has its own criteria for terms used for race on birth certificates. In my home state of Tennessee my birth certificate, which was issued in 1945, uses the term "race or color" in the block for parent's racial origin and whoever filled out the form wrote "White." I don't know for sure, but I imagine the word "Colored" was used for Negroes. Considering that "Caucasian" is used for the mother on the Obama certificate, "Negro" or "Negroid" would have been the most likely term used for a person of African ancestry in Hawaii at that time. After all, just because a person was born on the African continent doesn't mean they are of a specific race. Hundreds of thousands of Africans are of European descent. In the 1960 census, just under 1% of the population, 4,943 persons, of Hawaii was identified (in present-day documents reporting census results) as black. The other term used by anthropologists was "Mongoloid" for persons of East Asian Ancestry. Another term used was "Polynesian", which was the predominant racial strain in Hawaii. (Furthermore, Stanley Ann Dunham was a student of anthropology and would have known the various terms for the races and that her husband was a Negro.) Incidentally, the term "Negro" is once again a recognized term for people of the Negro race - it was included in the 2010 Census Form because many older black Americans prefer the term Negro over African-American. In more recent years the Congressional Office of Management and Budget has established specific terms for race, although Hawaii has additional terms because of it's uniquely multi-racial population.

There are two explanations for the word "African" being shown as Barack Obama (Sr)'s race. One is that this was what Stanley Ann Dunham gave to the hospital representative who came in to fill out the form - which would have been in long-hand, by the way, not typed. (That Hawaii retyped the results of the original form is a bit unusual since many states simply recorded all of the information in long-hand and sent it to the state office responsible for vital statistics.) But Stanley Ann was not an uninformed young girl, she was a very intelligent and well educated young girl, and she had an interest in anthropology. She knew that her husband's "race" and "origin" were two different things, and that his race was Negro or Negroid rather than African. Had the baby been in other states, the birth certificate might have used color in lieu of or in addition to race, but the one released by the Obama Campaign states "race." However, the recording clerk would have used whatever term the state stipulated for a particular race. Bear in mind that the Obama certificate is typed, which means someone had filled out the form using information previously obtained by a member of the hospital staff. The other explanation is that the "certificate" was faked by someone who is too young to know that terms used in 1961 are different from those used today. Incidentally, even today, the terms used are "Black" or "African-American." The Certification of Live Birth that was released in 2008 by Democratic political blog The Daily Kos had "African" for the father's race, so someone attempting to support it would naturally use the same term. The Daily Kos is described as a political blog with the goal of "influencing and strengthening the Democratic Party."

Upon closer examination of the document in a PDF viewer, I noticed something very odd. Although it appears to be a copy if viewed at 100%, when it is blown up, starting at 200%, strange things happen. As the document opens, the blanks that were to be filled in appear momentarily as white spaces. Then after the words are filled in, there is a white "halo" around each word pertaining to the birth information but not around every item in the document. This indicates that the original document as scanned has been altered, with major alterations. It is exactly because of the ease with which documents can be altered that the United States State Department requires that birth certificates presented for passports must have either the raised or embossed seal or have a multi-colored seal. Such anomalies will not show up on a paper copy at normal scale, but they do show up on a computer generated file when it is enlarged if it has been "layered" by the addition of additional images on top of the original. Granted, some "experts" are explaining this away, claiming that it was the machine they used that created the layers, but the question is, how the hell do they know what kind of scanner was used and what program was used? OCR converts text so it can be converted into a word processing program such as MS Word for editing, but they were scanning an image, not text. For that matter, why would they even use a scanner in the first place? Normally, when someone wishes to copy an important document in an archive, they use a simple camera and take a photograph. Most serious photographers own a set of close-up lens which are nothing but small lens that are screwed onto the end of a 55-MM lens and used to photograph documents and copy photographs. (I've owned a set for years.) The image can then be imposed into a document which is then printed off on official paper, and then properly certified - its that simple. Instead, whoever produced this document seems to have used a scanner to scan an original, then instead of just placing the image into the document, there appears to have been an attempt to impose it with a background. This raises another question - the original document would be fifty years old, and at that time birth certificates were simply filled out on white paper. The copies sent to the parents were photostatic copies, which come out as a black document with white lettering. But this document shows a green background, which is the modern official paper used in Hawaii for a Certification of Live Birth. If it is authentic, then the Hawaii Health Department has at some point scanned or copied the original certificates and has saved scanned or copied copies printed on official paper rather than the actual certificates themselves - if that is the case, then the document presented by the Obama Campaign is still not the original certificate.

Hawaii's practice of sending out computer generated certification certificates rather than certified copies of the original birth certificate as other states do raises another question - why? They state that it is for administrative purposes, but the question is still - why, or maybe how? Perhaps they use a data base which shows pertinent information but again the question is - why? Whenever someone asks for a copy of a birth certificate, they are asking for a copy of the original certificate that was issued at the time of the child's birth. I've seen comments about "souvenir copies" given to the parents. No, the original certificates are not "souvenir" copies; they are actual copies of the certificate of birth that the local offical places in the state public record. They are not given out at the hospital, they are mailed to the family from the state office which maintains the birth certificates. Death certificates are handled the same way, except the funeral home normally will obtain a certain number of copies for the family to use to settle the deceased's affairs. Marriage certificates are sent out by the local city or county court clerk where the marriage is registered.  The image to the left is the "Certification of Live Birth" that the Obama Campaign used in 2008. It is not a facsimile of the original birth certificate, but is a computer-generated "certification" that he was born in Hawaii. However, since it is not a birth certificate but rather a certification, it will probably NOT meet US State Department Requirements for a US Passport.

Speaking of passports, there has been a lot of discussion on the Internet about Stanley Ann Dunham's passport records. Yet, in truth, in 1961 she may not have even needed one to travel to East Africa with her husband. Passport requirements are established by each country and even today some countries don't require one for US citizens - this is changing however, since the US now requires a passport for reentry into the country. I have held a US passport off and on since 1964, when I was required to obtain one after I became a US Air Force aircrew member. Even so, in eleven years of military service in which I traveled extensively in Europe, Asia and Africa I only recall one country where I had to actually present a passport and that was in Saudi Arabia in 1968. I don't recall even having to present one during a visit to Karachi, Pakistan the same year, although we were required to wear civilian clothes for the flight in, while we were there, and on the flight out. After I left the military and went into commercial flying I did not obtain a passport until fairly recently for the simple reason that I didn't really need one. All I needed for most countries was a certified copy of my birth certificate. It was only after the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon that the US started requiring passports for re-entry, and even then Customs and Immigration - now Homeland Security - continued to accept a certified copy of a US birth certificate until recently. 

A possible reason why Hawaii does not issue actual copies of birth certificates may have something to do with the state's population, which is made up to a large extent of people of Pacific Island (Polynesian) and Japanese ancestry. It also includes people who have been born in the Philippines, which were a US possession until 1946, and from islands in the Western Pacific that were administed by the United States. American parents who had children born abroad normally would report the birth to the US Consulate, but if they for some reason failed or were unable to do so, they would report the birth upon their return to the United States and the birth would be recorded in that state because that was where it was reported. Just how such births were reported is unclear, but the requirement for the reporting of any birth is one year. If both parents of a child born outside the US were American citizens, the child could automatically be granted citizenship if the birth was reported to the local US Consulate where the child was born. If only one parent was a US citizen, certain stipulations applied, particularly that parent's age. It is likely that quite a few babies were born outside the US of parents of which only one was a US citizen and that parent did not meet the age requirements. The parents would logically want their child to be a US citizen and have the benefits of citizenship. How they would have handled this would have to have been by using some illegal means of recording the child's birth so that it appeared that it had been born in the US. Perhaps there were unscrupulous doctors in Hawaii who were willing to sign a birth certificate for a fee and the State has simply avoided the issue. Hawaii is not the only place where births of children born overseas were recorded so that the child could have US citizenship, nor is President Obama the only person whose birthplace is questioned. Noted news commentator Charles Krauthammer claims that he was born in New York City even though he spent his childhood and teen years in Canada, but there are some who believe he was actually born in South America. His parents were both French citizens who immigrated to the Americas after World War II and eventually settled in Canada after living in New York for a short time. Very little has been revealed about his parents at all, other than that they were French and that they lived in Montreal.

The White House site also contains copies of the correspondence that went forth between the White House, Barack Obama's "agent," an attorney from Perkins and Coie, a large legal firm, and the Hawaiian Health Department. In the letter from the Health Department, the director states that she will produce two copies of his original birth certificate. (Obviously, that is what someone did!) The "agent" who wrote the letter and evidently went to Honolulu to pick up the documents is Judith Corley of Perkins and Coie, who is Obama's personal attorney and also the attorney for the Obama Campaign and the Democratic National Committee. She had no official capacity of any kind with the White House or the United States government. In her letter to the president, the chief of the Hawaii Health Department said she would make two "certified copies" but the one that was posted on the White House web site contains no seal of certification, just a stamp and signature. Evidently the Obama Campaign became concerned that Donald Trump was raising the issue of Obama's birth and had his own detectives working on the case so the campaign sought to make a political move to defuse the issue and, hopefully, gain political points. This explains why the birth certificate wasn't submitted to Congress for verification before it was released to the public. The document, real or fake, was released for one purpose and one purpose only - to influence the 2012 Presidential election.

There is another little-known issue regarding the Obama birth certificate and his father and mother. The current governor of Hawaii claims that he "was friends with" the Obamas and that he saw them with the child "at social events." But there's a problem with his recollection. Stanley Ann Dunham became disenchanted with her husband at some point prior to or immediately after the birth of the child. She had only been in Hawaii for a very short time when she met him, and had actually wanted to attend college in Washington State, where she had graduated from high school in 1960 and where she maintained close contact with her friends. In fact, the Dunhams moved to Hawaii immediately after her high school graduation and it was allegedly her father who insisted that she attend the University of Hawaii. She made a visit to Seattle sometime in 1961 and told her friends she was excited about going to Kenya with her husband. By the end of 1961 she had returned to Seattle without her husband and enrolled at Washington University. Just why she had become disenchanted with her Kenyan husband is not immediately revealed, but it was most likely because she had discovered that he had another wife and several children back in Kenya. She did not return to Hawaii until after he left the island for Boston to attend Harvard. Just exactly when she returned to Seattle is not clear, but it may have been as early as September, 1961 only a few weeks after her son's birth or even by the middle of August. Her Wikipedia biography states that she attended the University of Washington starting in September, 1961. According to school records, she enrolled in extension courses from the school in August, 1961 the same month that Barack Obama II was born, and there is evidence that she was living in an apartment in Seattle at the time. If that is the case, it's doubtful she would have been at very many social events with her husband and son since she left the island within a month after his birth. She was definitely gone by the end of the year or in early January, 1962 when the child was four months old. The governor has been stating that he was "seeking a way to settle the matter" ever since he took office.

There is no definite evidence that Stanley Ann went to Kenya with her new husband, but if she did the only time she could have done so would have had to have been in the summer of 1961, the very time when the boy was born. Her high school best friend recollected that she was making plans to go, although whether she was referring to a trip to meet her husband's family or to eventually moving there to live is not clear. It is logical that Barack Obama, Sr would have wanted to take his new wife back to the old country, and the earliest he could have done it would have been after the spring semester at the University of Hawaii, where he was the school's first Kenyan student. A conjecture offered by those who are suspicious of Obama's actual birthplace is that the couple went to Kenya for a visit and then, because she was too close to her due date to travel, they had to stay until she had the baby and was able to travel again. If this is what happened, there is a big problem for Barack Obama. Under US law at the time,a child born out of the country to parents of which only one was a US citizen was only eligible for citizenship if that parent had lived in the United States for a total of ten years, of which five of those years were after their fourteenth birthday, meaning that parent would have to be at least 19 years of age at the time of the child's birth. If the baby was born abroad, as has been conjectured, it would have presented a major problem for Stanley Ann, who was only eighteen years old at the time. Under US law, the child would not have been a US citizen. There would have been only one way for her to obtain citizenship for her child - by paying a physician in the United States to sign a Certificate of Live Birth stating that the child was born in the United States. The only other option would be for the child to become a naturalized citizen when it was old enough.

How easy is it to create a fake document? All that is really required is to have a template, meaning an actual document that can be copied and then altered. Such a template was allegedly used to create a Kenyan birth certificate for Barack Obama. Debunkers quickly claimed it was a fake, and claimed that it was constructed from a template of a birth certificate of the birth of an Australian. This particular document was evidently created using an actual piece of paper, rather than using Photoshop or some other imaging program on a computer. Regardless of how this document was created, it illustrates that (1) it is not that hard to do and (2) there are those on both sides of the political spectrum who will go to extremes (although this particularly document was created to sell on eBay.)

Why would the POTUS go to the extreme of having a forged document made? Come on! Get real! The Presidency of the United States is the most powerful office on the entire face of the earth! Power and the desire for power is probably the most corruptive force in the human experience. Men and women have killed for power, and even started wars to gain or keep power. Creating a fake document would be a minute drop in the bucket.

Am I saying that the recently released document is a forgery? Not necessarily - what I am saying is that there a number of anomolies associated with the document itself and with the manner in which it was released. Both the President of the United States and the Governor of Hawaii, under whose jurisdiction the Hawaii Department of Health falls, have a political stake in the matter. So does the Democratic National Committee and the Obama 2012 Election Campaign, all of which are associated with Judith Corley, the attorney who acted as President Obama's "agent". None of them are exactly disinterested parties. For that matter, with the exception of the President, none of them are associated with the government of the United States.

Interestingly, there seems to have been a belief among Kenyans that the current POTUS was born in Kenya as early as 2004, when candidate Barack Obama was running in the US Senate race in Chicago. An Associated Press article about the election was published in a Kenyan newspaper under the headline "Kenyan Born Obama All Set for US Senate." The lead sentence also described the candidate as "Kenyan-born." When the article was found and made public, Obama supporters lost no time in claiming that the article had been altered by the Kenyan newspaper and "Kenyan-born" had not been in the AP release. Well, duh? That is what newspapers do! They use AP releases as a source and alter them to reflect local interest. Does the article prove that Obama was born in Kenya? No, but it does illustrate that the idea that he was didn't originate with the so-called "Birthers."

One of the "independent" organizations that "debunked" the Kenyan newspaper article - which is an actual article, not a fake - was, the "research organization" run by David and Barbara Mikkelson, a California couple who claim to be "apolitical" because David at one time was a registered Republican (so was Hillary Clinton) while Barbara is a Canadian citizen - as if Canadians and other non-citizens aren't interested and sometimes involved in US politics even if they can't legitimately vote. The actual "non-partisan" status of Snopes was questioned in my mind during the 2008 elections when they failed to address an Email and article from a blog that was being circulated by Obama supporters about how their candidate was such a caring person who had lent money to a stranded woman he met at an airport in Miami. I received the Email from one of my friends who was supporting Obama and as soon as I read it, something stood out. The widely-circulated Email gave the woman's name and showed her picture with her husband, as well as her assertion that she had sent a check in payment to "his mother's address in Kansas". Well, Barack Obama's mother never lived in Kansas after leaving the state as a child! Her parents were Kansans and she was born there but they left the state after World War II and moved around the US until finally settling in Honolulu immediately after Stanley Ann graduated from high school in the spring of 1960.
In November, 1988 when the incident is supposed to have taken place, Obama's mother was in Jakarta, not Kansas. There is no logical reason for her to have had an "address in Kansas."Although she had relatives in Kansas, there is no mention of her ever having lived there herself. Her closest relatives, her parents, were living in Honolulu.  The article was originally circulated in early October, 2008, barely a month before the election. The Norwegian magazine has stated that all of the information was provided by the woman who claimed the incident. Although she is in Norway, her parents are Californians. They allegedly contacted Senator Obama in 2006 after they heard that he was considering running for president. (The woman, who has been living in Norway since 1988, also claimed that she had "already voted" for Obama and sent a $100 check to his campaign.) The article contained a copy of a letter allegedly writtern on Obama's US Senate stationary thanking the woman's parents for writing him about the incident. There are a number of things about this story that are suspect besides the "address in Kansas." For one thing, some versions  were sanitized by removing the comment about the "address in Kansas" and substituting "this took place after Obama had finished his community organizing work in Chicago and was on his way to Harvard." He was not "on his way to Harvard, he was already there. The Harvard Law School reports that Barack Obama enrolled in the Harvard Law School, a three-year course, in 1988 with the Class of 1991.The big question is - what would he have been doing in the Miami International Terminal on November 2, 1988 anyway?  The article in the Norwegian newspaper gave a specific date - November 2, 1988. It is very doubtful that Barack Obama would have been away from Harvard, where he had recently enrolled in the school of Law, at that time. The only break he would have had would have been the fours days during Thanksgiving Break. How is this connected to the recent birth certificate? Well, it is just one more supicious item that has been circulated about Obama containing a copy of a document that may well have been created for the campaign.

There is a way that this birth certificate matter could be settled for once and for all, and that is for the Speaker of the House and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to visit Hawaii along with the Senate Majority Leader and to physically inspect the documents in the Hawaii Department of Health Archives and to verify that they are real. Until that is done, the matter will never be settled and it will blow up in President Obama's face in the 2012 election.

Stanley Ann Dunham
Birth Certificate Fraud is Widespread
Article on Race Reporting in North Carolina
Modern OMB Race Classifications
Hawaii Census Reports 1900-1990
2004 Kenyan Newspaper Article
Obama "Good Samaritan Article"
Original "Good Samaritan" Blog 
Harvard Law School
US Citizenship Requirements for Children Born Abroad

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Updated October 27, 2011