Obama Birth Certificate:
Federal Lawsuit, Berg v. Obama - Jeff Schreiber, Phillip Berg, More Questions, Comments from Readers, GOP Holding Out?
In a post as long as yesterday's Obama Birth Cerificate Federal Lawsuit: The Curious Behavior of the Obama Campaign, there's lots of stuff which gets left on the "cutting room floor".
We've collected a bit of it in this morning's UPDATES. Others have covered this for months and have a long list of archived stories. Readers interested in various aspects of the Obama citizenship debate may wish to check them out. They're listed at the end of this post.
Obama Birth Certificate - UPDATE
Follow up to: Obama Birth Cerificate Federal Lawsuit: The Curious Behavior of the Obama Campaign, Oct. 9 2008.
Readers wishing to stay abreast of current happenings in the Obama birth certificate/citizenship case in US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) would be wise to bookmark Jeff Schreiber's America's Right site.
Schreiber's a legal writer/reporter during the day, but then changes into his blogger's costume at night: he's located near the court and brings a lot of things, not the least which is knowledge of the case, to the table. America's Right was the site which first reported the Berg v. Obama lawsuit in August.
It's also the site where we first discovered a report on the federal suit.
Latest on the suit from America's Right: Berg v. Obama Update - October 9 2008: Berg Files Response to Defense Motion for Protective Order.
Schreiber's been all over this story from the beginning and it shows.
Schreiber's view seems a lot like our own. While he's conservative, he's also skeptical of some claims made in the Berg suit (perjury), but curious about the questions Berg raised.
Questions which have not been answered, to date.
The Obama birth certificate story is a lot like the John Edwards scandal: it's hard to get everything of interest in one post. An attempt was made yesterday to bring readers who had not heard about the case "up to speed".
A trip through Scheiber's archives on the subject, located on the site's right sidebar, will give readers all there is to know about the court case itself.
* BERG v. OBAMA UPDATE -- TUES., OCT. 7: INTERVENING PARTY FILINGS, AND POSSIBLE MEDIA ATTENTION
* TWO FILINGS: Berg Files Motion for Leave to File Amended Complaint, Obama and DNC File Motion to Delay Discovery Until Judge Decides on Prior Motion to Dismiss
More from Phillip Berg
In the wrap to yesterday's article here on the Federal Lawsuit in which Phillip Berg is asking Barack Obama to provide proof of U.S. citizenship, we left a few things out.
A couple of items we asked Mr. Berg in our phone conversation didn't make the article. Readers may be interested, so we'll include them here. They include the coverage Berg v. Obama has (not) received in the MSM, among other things.
MONDO: What has been the reaction of the Mainstream Media to this lawsuit? This sounds like a big story: a presidential candidate has balked at providing proof of citizenship. Have you been contacted by any MSM organizations?
PHILLIP BERG: There's been no reaction because they haven't covered it. There's been some interest, but nothing so far.
MONDO: What were your reasons for filing the lawsuit.
BERG: I filed the suit because I believe the Democratic National Committee hasn't performed its duties. I believe that the Republicans know about this and will bring it up right before the election. There may be time for the DNC to substitute someone on the ballot, but there may not be.
[The phrase "constitutional crisis" was discussed at this point.]
MONDO: You're alone on this. How could someone help you if they wished?
BERG: Get the word out on this. If enough people hear about it, it might create some pressure.
Maybe someone will do some investigating.
Resources Readers Can Use
Readers interested in the history of the Obama birth certificate debate can consult the following:
* Atlas Shrugged: Debunking FactCheck.org's original Obama BC, as well as the second FactCheck.org "fact check. Also debunked the "horrible forgery" that the DailyKOS offered as 'proof'.
* Yid With Lid: Assisted greatly with the digital examinations of the various photos provided by FactCheck.org. A lot of original work on the subject.
* Texas Darlin: Continuing coverage of the birth cerificate/citizenship issue. Does some original research. Asks excellent questions.
* America's Right: Excellent continuing coverage of the Federal case, Berg v. Obama.
Did the GOP Uncover an Obama Birth Certificate in Kenya?
Some good research into several of the citizenship issues were found at What's Your Evidence. The site's only agenda, upon first inspection, appears to be fact checking.
They discount the Indonesian citizenship issue, leave open the place of birth issue and leave open the citizenship issue in its totality.
From What's Your Evidence?, "Was Obama Born in Kenya? Is Obama a Kenyan Citizen?"
"[Madsen reported that the GOP] ... located a Certificate Registering the birth of Barack Obama, Jr. at a Maternity Hospital, to his father, a Kenyan Citizen and his mother, a U.S. Citizen. "
GOP dirty tricks operatives dispatched to Kenya .... believe they have found a "smoking gun." In this case, it is a birth certificate from the Kenyan city of Mombasa registering the birth of Barack Obama, Jr., on August 4, 1961.
However, the registration is a common practice in African countries whose citizens abroad have families with foreign nationals. Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, to his Ann Dunham of Wichita, Kansas, and Barack Obama, Sr., of Nyangoma-Kogelo, Kenya.
--Wayne Madsen, "GOP dirty tricks machine readies a charge that Obama is not eligible to be president," OnlineJournal.com (June 8, 2008).
NOTES: We have not yet found evidence to support or refute Madsen's contention that such registration is a common practice.
"[Did the GOP, in fact, locate a Certificate Registering the birth of Barack Obama, Jr. at a Maternity Hospital, to his father, a Kenyan Citizen and his mother, a U.S. Citizen?]"
Although we can find no evidence that the GOP located a Kenya "certificate registering the birth" of Obama (other than Madsen's unsourced assertion), political parties may elect to withhold information until a time they deem politically expedient. Thus, it is possible that the GOP located such information and just has note yet released it. Thus, we do not know whether this statement is true or not.
In yesterday's story, Obama Birth Cerificate Federal Lawsuit: The Curious Behavior of the Obama Campaign, from the comments section:
* Robert, Phantom's Lair: "Sounds just like Kerry and his second DD-214 which has never appeared, even to the day."
* Crippy, Crippy's World: "What’s will happen if he is elected then it is revealed that was in fact born in Kenya? Also, did you hear about Obama suing Citibank on behalf of Acorn under the CRA?
Obama Sued Citibank On Behalf of Radical Group ACORN
* Bob V: "There is nothing “curious” about hiring a lawyer and moving to dismiss a silly suit like this one. And, by the way, the court did NOT order Obama to do anything. The purported document circulating on the internet is not a court order but a proposed order submitted by the plaintiff as required by local rules. This lawsuit will meet a quick and deserved dismissal, but I’d rather have you guys focus on nonsense like this instead of addressing the issues the American people care about in the worst economic crisis since the depression. That’s why “That One” is headed for a landslide victory on November 4th."
[NOTE: We amended our post to reflect that it was the court filing of Phillip Berg which wanted the documents and not the judge in the case, who has not ruled on any of the motions yet--and we apologized for that inaccuracy.]
* Sister Rosetta, Rosetta Sister: "I don’t know what to think. Can this be?"
“Berg Files Response to Defense Motion for Protective Order” Phil Berg v Barack Obama
* Chicago Joe [referring to Bob V]: "Hey Drama queen… the ecomony of 1980 1981 was far worse then our current condition. The One is heading for a landslide victory because too many people have their fingers in their ears and the media will not do its job. There is nothing wrong with asking for proof of their citizenship. You or I would have to do the same thing if we ran."
* LBG: "Nice job of moving the goal posts, Bob. You say “silly lawsuit”, we say this is a matter of public interest. As we mentioned before, the rest of us have to do it, why not Obama? Have nice day, Bob."
* Russell: "I had heard about the rumors involving Barack Obama’s birth certificate since the summer, but assuming they were petty right-wing nonsense, I never bothered checking up on them. I happened to stumble-upon this site (strangely enough, using (Firefox’s Stumble-Upon feature), and spent the requisite time to read the entire saga from prologue to epilogue. My original estimation was correct."
* PJ's Heart Attack: "I suggest everyone who reads this click the Drudge Report and report it as a tip.
Its a blockbuster. The Democratic presidential candidate was born a Muslim in another country? Never."
* pat: "So why won’t Obama let anyone see his long form Birth Certificate?"
* Sandra McDonald: "You’re right Russell, its huge news, and it could change the election completely."
* Bob V: "LGB1 - Sincere thanks for the good wishes, and I wish you a good day as well. I actually am having a good day - Obama is up 11 points nationally in the Gallup poll for the second day in a row, and is now, for the first time, ahead in West Virginia for the first time - up 8 points, according to the ARG poll just released today. West Virginia!
With respect to the birth certificate nonsense, those of your readers who would like to get the real facts from an objective source can go to http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/born_in_the_usa.html, to read about and see the genuine Hawaii birth certificate for Senator Obama, as well as the birth notice published at the time in the local Honolulu newspaper. (I know - his parents must have forseen that they would need to fake his natural born citizenship when he was born, in case he wanted to run for President.)
Really, you know when Ronald Reagan was running for President, conservatives appealed to American voters by talking about ideas - free enterprise, limited government, civil liberties. That was the high road, and it worked. It’s sad to see what the movement has become 28 years later. No wonder real conservatives like Charles Krauthammer and George Will are so despondent about what’s happened to formerly intellectual conservatism."
[NOTE: We referenced FactCheck.org in our story--both of their articles, as well as why others, as well as DBKP, had some problems with their facts and fact checking.]
* pat: "Here is the thing, if the public is curious about this innocuous issue, Obama should simply provide it. If Obama feels people are a bit too conspiratorial, it would serve him well to laugh about it , blow it up, and explain the contents in front of a friendly crowd. It would get huge play and be a good joke.
IF HE WANTED TO DISMISS THE LAWSUIT, HE SHOULD HAVE ATTACHED THE BC TO THE MOTION. Over. Summary Judgment. Hmmmmmmm. Now that is curious. Because he did not."
* Serpico: "Shhh. Don’t remind anyone how well the DNC vetted Joe Lieberman and John Edwards."
* PJ, PJMcIlvaine: "I think this story is as silly as claiming that John McCain can’t run for office either cos he was born in Panama. Well, I have a pretty good hunch this story will go the way of Biden “leaving” the ticket on October 5th…."
"Bob, it’s just so much more fun for people to spout rumor and nonsense….why cloud the issue with facts? I hope you go to fivethirtyeight.com Great polling site…."
* Bob V: "PJ - Fivethirtyeight.com is my favorite polling site. Whenever I get discouraged by reading all this drivel on the internet, I get my spirits right back up by seeing what real people are thinking. It looks like it’s going to be a landslide! Keep the faith!"
* Maricela: "I can not imagine that anyone serving in any governmental office did not have to prove their citizenship with a birth certificate. Racism is well an alive in our United States but remember latinos and blacks are the growing majority. Be nice cause we are. Do not become like McCain —Divisive, creating hate mongers and terroistic inciters and the sad part, he now hides behind 2 skirts"
* Da Truth: "PJ, Except John McCain was born in a US Naval hospital 30 years before Hawaii was even a US State, and has provided a valid birth certificate."
* Maricela: "For all skeptics on Senator Obama’s birth certificate at http://www.factcheck.org
They researached well and received information from the following sources:
United States Department of State. “Application for a U.S. Passport.” Accessed 20 Aug. 2008. State of Hawaii Department of Health. “Request for Certified Copy of Birth Record.” Accessed 20 Aug. 2008. Hollyfield, Amy. “Obama’s Birth Certificate: Final Chapter.” Politifact.com. 27 Jun. 2008.
[Again, we included multiple references to the FactCheck.org piece above in our article--including why we, in a hasty decision, depended on their fact checking for 4 months and why we now question it.]
* Bob's Vagina: "Don’t forget John Kerry was winning in a landslide victory ON ELECTION DAY polls. That don’t mean Shiite (the type of Islam both Obama’s father, his five muslim college roommates and his four muslim brothers practiced)."
* Another Joe: "A very good report in spite of your last minute claifications.
Even though I am a Democrat and find this unbelievable, the fact that some of your readers simply blink at this really shows what a fine sense of patriotism and respect for the rule of law they have.
The core of a civilized society, whether it leans to or is totally to the left or right, is the rule of law, for without it, there is anarchy. The respect anyone shows by producing pertinent documents when requested is the respect to that rule of law. So, why would a constitutional lawyer refrain from doing so? It’s VERY “curious”."
* Jacksonian: "I have two reactions to this post: Paranoia runs deep; GET A LIFE."
[NOTE: That's a keeper for our "Raves" marquee!]
* Gregg: "Dear Jacksonian, Paranoia? It’s paranoid to have a problem with someone who won’t produce his lousy birth certificate when requested by a judge becoming President of the United States? You know, I’d come to agree with Charles Johnson that there was nothing to this whole birth certificate flap, but I’m no longer so sure."
Gregg's comment above would describe our present position exactly. We don't know if this is true and clearly said so.
BUT, politicians exhibiting "curious behaviors" interest us. For some reason, we want to ask questions.]
In the John Edwards scandal, the National Enquirer's initial story on the affair passed without comment at DBKP because it contained very few facts that could be checked. That changed after the December Enquirer story: there were plenty of facts and the Edwards' campaign and the principals involved exhibited curious behavior for a group of people surrounding a presidential candidate--if they had nothing to hide.
Likewise, the issue of the Obama birth certificate did not excite our interest initially. The curious FactCheck.org language and the the debunking of several of their "facts" caught our interest. Also, FactCheck's post comes across as extremely biased in our closer reading. Why hurl invective at people who ask a fact check site to check facts? Why post that digital images have not been altered when it quickly established that they had? That was interesting.
Finally, the Obama campaign's curious behavior in reaction to Berg v. Obama was the kicker. This "silly suit" could have been dispatched PDQ by ponying up the documents requested. The Berg suit says as much. That the campaign, rather than just produce the vault copy birth certificate has decided to devote legal resources to fighting it just doesn't make sense. They could put this issue to bed with on FEDEX delivery.
That they chose not to led to our article.
It does not help that Obama:
- has been less than forthcoming about his past associations;
- Changed his story as more facts become available on several of these questions, particularly Jeremiah Wright. Initially, Obama vigorously defended Wright before claiming that he "didn't hear him say those things" while sitting in his church for 20 years. This is also clearly the case the more Obama talks about his years-long relationship with William Ayers;
- has refused to make many documents available which might help his case--or hurt him badly. IN particular, his thesis from college falls into this category. The problems Stanley Kurtz had in obtaining the Chicago Anneberg Challenge records also comes to mind.
Who is Barack Obama?
images: Michael Ramirez, IBD; dbkp file