The White House today released what it said was a “long-form birth certificate” from the State of Hawaii. But the release seemed to raise more questions than it answered.
The document, available from the White House as a PDF file, appears to be a photocopy of a page in a bound volume, printed on paper having a green pattern that appears often as a background for documents of this kind. It bears identifying numbers from the Hawaii Department of Health. It says that one Barack Hussein Obama II was born on August 4, 1961, at Kapiolani Maternity and Gynecological Hospital,6086 Kalanianaole Highway, Honolulu, Hawaii. The parents are listed as Barack Hussein Obama (Senior), age 25, and Stanley Ann Dunham, age 18. A photograph appeared on “TwitPic” with the bottom third of the form slightly out-of-focus, but these PDF scans are well within focus.
“We do not have time for this kind of silliness,” Obama said at a special White House briefing that broke in on an announcement by Donald J. Trump that he had just received information that the White House had released “a birth certificate.” Trump reserved judgment on the authenticity of the document, but suggested that he hoped that the document was authentic and the people need not fear that someone actually got elected President who was not eligible to the office.
The document is superficially similar to this document that a House of Representatives candidate produced for comparison, saying that this was the sort of document she wished to see from Obama. But today several activists raised other questions, chief among them: why did Obama spend three years, and two million dollars in legal fees, trying to suppress this document when he could have produced it three years ago? And if he was deliberately trying to cause people to make fools of themselves, why release it now, instead of waiting another year and a half? Why especially did he, as President, allow anyone to raise a cloud of suspicion that he had something to hide that the document would show, when in fact the document reveals nothing that most people do not already know or suspect? Informal polls on a number of social-network sites suggests that those who have followed this story most closely are not willing to accept the PDF release (a scan of a photocopy) as genuine without further corroboration.
Donald R. Laster Jr pointed out that the document does not prove the truly important fact about Obama: the citizenship status of his parents when he was born. It does say that his mother was 18 years of age at the time, and this should be easy enough to verify by comparing dates of birth. But it says that the father was born in Kenya, and does not give citizenship status for either of them. Laster’s point: to be a natural-born citizen, Obama needed to be born in-country to two citizen parents. This latest document, if authentic, establishes that Obama was born in-country, and suggests that his mother is a native-born citizen (because she was born in Kansas). But it says nothing about whether Barack H. Obama Senior had become a US citizen in 1961. If he did not, then he remained a British subject. Laster and Nicholas E. Purpura have a lawsuit pending against the Obama healthcare-reform bill, a lawsuit alleging that Obama had no authority to sign the bill into law because he is not a natural-born citizen. The suit cites Obama Senior’s British subjecthood as the key disqualifier.
John F. Gaski at the Mendoza School of Business said in this two–part article (which appeared in Investors’ Business Daily before the document release) that Obama’s conduct in this matter had raised some disturbing questions, and asked why, if Obama had a valid birth certificate, he attempted to suppress it. Neither Obama nor any White House official has attempted to answer that question.
UPDATE: Already someone is suggesting that the document is inauthentic because no such institution as “Kapiolani Maternity and Gynecological Hospital” exists or existed. In fact, the hospital where House candidate Miki Booth was born has the name “Kapiolani/Children’s Medical Center,” clearly not the same name.
FURTHER UPDATE: The reason that Miki Booth’s certificate gives a different name is that Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children is in fact one institution formed from the merger of two other institutions. One of these is variously reported as having had the name “Kapiolani Maternity Home” and “Kapiolani Maternity and Gynecological Hospital.”
Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
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