Agnostic's Dreaded Verdict: Birthers Are (Mainly) RightBy JOHN F. GASKI Posted 04/25/2011 06:49 PM ET
First Of Two Parts
I will give you the unpleasant punch line upfront: There is sufficient evidence to reasonably conclude that Barack Obama is probably not a U.S. citizen, therefore constitutionally ineligible to be president of the United States.
The fact that he has been serving in that office would then be not only the most audacious hoax in world history at least since the Trojan Horse. It also creates a constitutional crisis of the first magnitude that will take decades to straighten out.
We will now approach this one step at a time to break the news to you gradually.
First, what makes anyone think that Obama is really a citizen of the U.S., natural born or otherwise? What hard evidence is there to rely on?
The evidentiary test for citizenship is a ridiculously low hurdle, and Obama has not been able to surmount it except to the satisfaction of 50 careless state secretaries of state who certified eligibility to run in the 2008 presidential election, even though the Obama campaign organization did not produce an original birth certificate or any other evidence of citizenship. Typical quality for government work!
Real U.S. citizens are required to demonstrate hard proof of that type all the time for countless purposes, from obtaining a passport to playing Little League baseball, and Obama still cannot find his birth certificate. And now, in a remarkable coincidence, neither can the state government of Hawaii! More on that later.
Show The Evidence
Again, why should we believe that Obama is a U.S. citizen? Actually, some evidence exists that he is, but that evidence is very meager and must be weighed against the evidence to the contrary.
Some are persuaded by the birth notices in the Honolulu newspapers a few days after Obama's purported 1961 nativity, which claimed he was born locally. Now, what do you think would happen if you tried to use that quality of evidence in a court of law (or an Intro Logic class)?
I mean a real court with something other than a liberal Democrat-appointed partisan judge. To begin with, it would be conspicuous that the superior evidence, a birth certificate, is strangely absent. A scientific reaction would parallel that of a jurist, to wit: The primary source takes precedence.
Don't bother us with a secondary source like the ancient news clippings of unknown validity. Where is the primary source, the birth certificate? Why is that being suppressed? The newspaper items prove nothing other than arousing more suspicion. Where in those yellowed relics is there even a shred of proof that Obama was born in the USA?
Then, naturally, the question would be raised as to whether the putative evidence i.e., old newspaper clippings or photocopy images thereof could possibly be explained by something other than the otherwise unsupported assertion of native birth.
To that issue, we now have reports that it was common practice in Hawaii at the time for parents (or grandparents) in cases of nonisland (and potential non-U.S. citizenship) births to fabricate a paper trail with such false newspaper announcement submissions. All it required was an unsworn form filed with the state.
No, this was not necessarily done with the expectation that a newborn would want to run for president over 40 years hence to dispel a favorite canard of the Obama apologists but was motivated by a generalized expectation of future benefits of citizenship.
The contrived paper record, in other words, could help undergird a future citizenship claim, it was thought much as is being done now by Obama! Obviously, this would have been a natural motive with foreign off-island birth cases involving one noncitizen parent, which would have disqualified for citizenship otherwise. Q.E.D.
Then, again, there is the notorious "Certification of Live Birth," a decades-later reproduction of some of the information from an original birth certificate, supposedly. To those who want to believe that this neo-artifact is probative: Think really, really hard. Can you conceive of any way this evidence could be undermined or rebutted, in court or otherwise, as less than convincing?
The "certification" is a copy, after all. A copy of what? Perhaps it was indeed copied from Obama's true birth certificate, but not necessarily. It may have been derived (even unknowingly) from a forged birth certificate, even a very good forgery, containing key false information.
The origin of this scheme would have occurred around the time Obama was thinking about beginning a political career. And again, the primary source question looms. Why not just use the original document? And statements by Hawaii officials supporting the authenticity of this ersatz record have been likewise unsworn, tellingly.
An unlikely, extreme, paranoid hypothesis? Don't forget, Obama is a creature of the Chicago political machine. Ponder that group's reputation or recall some of the unsavory methods used by the Clintons, and that Obama bested them at their own game.
Appreciate as well that forgery is not an unknown practice among liberal Democrats. A recent example is the CBS News Bush/National Guard hoax, which relied entirely on forged documents. Al Sharpton's public career began with a blatant hoax, and he has risen to the stature of party icon. John Edwards could easily have become president in 2008 but for a few percentage points in the Iowa primary, and his whole life was a fraud. Then there is Bill Clinton's life.
We could conjure up Republican examples, too, but the forgery aspect is not even essential to the story. The Certification of Live Birth conspicuously omits some vital information, such as attestation of delivery hospital and physician, or anything that would conclusively confirm U.S. birth and natural citizenship.
In view of these troubling lacunae, and the lingering questions they allow, why wouldn't Obama just produce the original? Is it not time for that question to merit an answer?
The circumstances, which grow more bizarre almost daily, do not pass the smell test or the snicker test, and Obama is allowed to get away with it, especially by the media, which only selectively perform their political watchdog role these days. Unfortunately, because the implications are so ominous for our nation, this is not funny at all.
Concerning what some hypothetical court of law would do, what about the real courts? After all, there has been a string of Obama victories in legal cases challenging his constitutional qualification and birth records.
True, but all those dismissed cases have been decided on technicalities, usually the issue of plaintiff standing. There has been nothing close to a conclusive legal affirmation of Obama's citizenship or qualification for the presidency.
Personally, I have always been agnostic on the "birther" issue because the evidence truly cuts both ways. Some tidbits and apparent facts suggest, weakly, that the person now known as "Barack Obama" is a natural-born citizen. (If George W. Bush or any other politician had used as many aliases as B.H. Obama has, he would have been laughed out of politics in short order. Need we even suggest the basis for the double standard, enforced primarily by a compliant media?)
And, as to be shown, other information suggests that the Obama occupation of the White House is illegitimate. But on this matter of whether we have an imposter in our highest national office, we do not want the evidence to be equivocal. We want it to be decisive that the nominal president is not a usurper.
Now, however, things are really getting ridiculous crowned, perhaps, by the newly missing birth certificate in (or not in) Hawaii. This is just too rich. First the officials have it, then they don't. A Hawaii governor says he knows where it is and has seen it, then he doesn't and hasn't. (He also claims to remember Obama's actual birth, which may be a stretch too far, even for political fakery.)
Let us not forget that the public has never seen the mysterious but essential vital record. If it were not so serious in terms of precipitating the megaconstitutional crisis of all time, it would be comical.
Why all this Hawaiian sideshow now? That may be the only transparent aspect of the whole train wreck. Obama and accomplices want the suspiciously missing birth certificate to be old news by the 2012 election season.
This is why Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie's clumsy, absurd theatrics were not only indulged with silent approval by BHO, but also likely orchestrated.
Another tactical motive is that this recent episode gives the Obama forces an excuse to deny even the possibility of producing the birth certificate when the demand surfaces seriously next campaign year. A plausible excuse only in Obama's contemptuous impression of the American public's intelligence, that is.
Tomorrow: The cumulative evidence against our maybe-president's citizenship.
• Gaski is a professor at the University of Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business. His top research field is the nature of social and political power. He is the author of "Frugal Cool" and "The Language of Branding" and is a long-time, but former, registered Democrat.