BORN IN THE USA?
Obama's 'birth certificate' not acceptable in Hawaii?
Even state requires long-form document for some eligibility, identification issues
Posted: June 07, 2009
4:10 pm Eastern
From the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands website
WASHINGTON – The Hawaiian certification
of live birth Barack Obama posted on his campaign website and distributed to select news organizations as proof he was a "natural born citizen" would not be accepted as a "birth certificate" even for some Hawaiian state government eligibility issues, WND has learned.
The investigation follows a Honolulu Star Bulletin column Saturday, which quotes a state Department of Health spokeswoman as saying the state's current certification of live birth is recognized "as an official birth certificate meeting all federal and other requirements."
The website of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, however, states clearly the certification of live birth touted by the Obama campaign, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs and a host of other Obama defenders is not acceptable as a form of identification to qualify under this program.
As WND has reported, certifications of live birth were widely issued to Hawaiians born in foreign countries in 1961, the year Obama was born.
Are you motivated yet to join the billboard campaign and clear up the air of mystery surrounding Barack Obama's constitutional eligibility to serve?
The Star Bulletin column goes on to report: "The issue of what constitutes an official Hawaii birth certificate received national attention during last year's presidential campaign. Those who doubted Barack Obama's American citizenship called the copy of the Hawaii birth document posted on his campaign website a fake."
However, Obama's "citizenship" was never the question raised during the campaign or after the election. The issue raised by WND has consistently been that Obama failed to prove he was actually born in Hawaii and thus constitutionally qualified to become president as a "natural born citizen" – which requires that the birth took place in the United States.
The qualifications for the Hawaiian Home Lands program require a certified copy of a standard birth certificate – also known as the "long-form certificate" filled out in the hospital and including details such as the name of the hospital and the attending physician.
"In order to process your application, DHHL utilizes information that is found only on the original Certificate of Live Birth, which is either black or green," the qualifications state. "This is a more complete record of your birth than the Certification of Live Birth (a computer-generated printout). Submitting the original Certificate of Live Birth will save you time and money since the computer-generated Certification requires additional verification by DHHL."
According to Hawaii's Department of Health spokeswoman Janice Okubo, the state only issues "certifications" of live births since 2001 when the health department went paperless. It is only available in electronic form, she said.
"At that time, all information for births from 1908 (on) was put into electronic files for consistent reporting," she is quoted as telling the Star Bulletin. "The electronic record of the birth is what (the Health Department) now keeps on file in order to provide same-day certified copies at our help window for most requests," Okubo said.
She did not explain how those needing a standard long-form birth certificate to qualify for programs such as those offered by the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands or to establish proof of eligibility to be president could be fulfilled. She said the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized the state's current certification of live birth "as an official birth certificate meeting all federal and other requirements." She did not, however, cite any specific rulings, and the Supreme Court has not taken up the issue of whether the certification of live birth would qualify a presidential candidate as eligible under the "natural born citizen" clause.
Many of members of the public commenting on the Star Bulletin column raised similar questions:
"I'm fifty years old and I need to apply for a passport," wrote one. "So I scan some representation of COLB onto my Facebook page. If I take my laptop to the DMV, can I just open my laptop to show my web page to the clerk who will then verify my citizenship and issue me a legal passport? I'm sorry but some documents need a paper trail."
"To be president you need to be a 'natural born citizen,'" said another. "That means you are born in this country of 'parents that are citizens.' Note that both 'parent' and 'citizen' are plural. His father was a British subject and, yes, under the laws of both the United States and the UK at the time [when] he was born, Obama's citizenship was passed by descent of the father. These are the facts. We have laws and no one is above them."
"There seems to be a great deal of secrecy surrounding this whole situation," said another. "I've read that he has three legal teams keeping his info private. He has also had all his college records sealed. So this is transparency and change? Why all the mystery?"
Additional controversy over where Obama was born came when the woman the president says is his paternal grandmother, Sarah Obama, claimed to have been present at her grandson's birth in Mombasa, Kenya.
Joseph Farah, WND editor and chief executive officer, launched a national billboard campaign last month in an effort to keep the issue before the American people. The billboards, being leased around the country, ask the simple question, "Where's the birth certificate?" Farah is asking the public to support his campaign with donations. So far, more than $75,000 has been collected.
Last week, CBS, the largest provider of outdoor advertising in the country, announced it would refuse requests for space for the campaign. But Farah says CBS' refusal to lease space for the campaign will not hinder it.
"There are plenty of other billboard companies willing and eager to take our money," said Farah. "The only obstacle to this campaign is raising the money necessary to make it truly a national phenomenon."
The billboard campaign followed one launched months earlier to collect the names on an electronic petition demanding accountability and transparency on the issue. So far, that petition has gathered nearly 400,000 names.
The campaign got a boost last week when WND White House correspondent Les Kinsolving asked Obama's press secretary, Robert Gibbs, why the president wouldn't release his birth certificate. Gibbs' response was covered live on C-SPAN and by Fox News Channel and others – excluding CBS.
It was the first time any member of the press corps has publicly asked a member of the administration a question directly related to Obama's constitutional eligibility for office as a "natural born citizen."
Congressional hearings were held to determine whether Sen. John McCain was constitutionally eligible to be president as a "natural born citizen," but no controlling legal authority ever sought to verify Obama's claim to a Hawaiian birth.
Both the petition and the billboard campaign are part of what Farah calls an independent "truth and transparency campaign."
The first sign to be posted under the campaign, a digital, electronic one, is up and online on Highway 165 in Ball, La. – the result of a donation by the owner. In addition, based on the heavy volume of financial donations in the first days of the campaign, WND was able to commit to leasing three more standard billboards – one in Los Angeles, another in Orange County, Calif. and a third in Pennsylvania.
Birth certificate question being raised in Ball, La.
Many have asked why Obama's name is not included in the billboard. Farah said the matter was carefully considered.
"There are several reasons we chose the message: 'Where's the birth certificate?'" he explained. "There is only one birth certificate controversy in this country today – despite the near-total absence of this issue from coverage in the non-WND media. This is a grass-roots issue that resonates around the country, as our own online petition with nearly 400,000 signers suggests. In addition, I like the simplicity of the message. I like the fact that the message will cause some people to ask themselves or others about the meaning of the message. It will stir curiosity. It will create a buzz. I'm assuming when these billboards are springing up all over the country, it might even make some in the news media curious. And there's one more factor that persuaded me this was the way to go.
"Come 2012, campaign laws will pose restrictions on political advertising mentioning the names of presidential candidates. This one clearly doesn't. I would like to see the federal government make the case that this is somehow a political ad," he said. "Imagine the problems we'd have finding billboard space if Obama's image or name was part of the message. CBS is afraid of four innocent words – even though it is a purveyor of highly offensive four-letter words in its entertainment portfolio."
Farah said the campaign was born of frustration with timid elected officials in Washington, corrupt judges around the country and a news media that show a stunning lack of curiosity about the most basic facts of Obama's background – especially how it relates to constitutional eligibility for the highest office in the land.
"As Obama transforms this country from self-governing constitutional republic to one governed by a central ruling elite, the simple fact remains that no controlling legal authority has established that he is indeed a 'natural born citizen' as the Constitution requires," Farah said. "Obama's promises of transparency have become a bad joke as he continues to hide simple, innocuous documents like his birth certificate and his student records."
If you are a member of the media and would like to interview Joseph Farah about this campaign, e-mail WND.