July 6, 8:46 AM
Joseph Farah is founder, editor and CEO of WorldNetDaily and a nationally syndicated columnist with Creators Syndicate. He is the author of Taking America Back: A Radical Plan to Revive Freedom, Morality and Justice. He is also the editor of the online intelligence newsletter Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin. He has been at the forefront of the campaign to compel President Obama to release more detailed evidence of the circumstances surrounding his birth and citizenship status. Various other well-known figures, including Alan Keyes and Jerome Corsi have questioned the sufficiency of the evidence released so far. Last week, Mr. Farah was kind enough to take the time to answer my questions concerning the controversy over Mr. Obama’s qualifications to be President. My questions and his responses were as follows:
1- How did you first get involved with the effort to verify the legitimacy of Barack Obama’s claim that he is a natural born citizen of the United States?
This issue was first raised to me in a serious way by our senior staff writer Jerome Corsi, author of The Obama Nation. My first major involvement came when Corsi and an aide went to Kenya to investigate Obama's ties there – including the possibility that it was the place of his birth. As you know, Corsi and company were taken into custody by government thugs armed with AK-47s and held for 24 hours. I was Corsi's only link with the outside world during that time. It was a very dangerous day. Corsi was very ill and we were concerned about his health before the trip. He did come home with a sworn affidavit from the translator of the interview with Sarah Obama, Barack's grandmother, who said she was at his birth in Mobassa. Because the major news media showed little curiosity about this possibility, it became more and more intriguing to me.
2- What made you suspect that he might not have been born in Hawaii?
The oddities are that no hospital in Honolulu will even confirm his birth there. That is highly suspicious given the historic nature of Obama's presidency. Hawaii has never before been able to boast a presidential birth – let alone the first black president. Why would a hospital not make a claim? Why would one not be renaming a wing after its most famous patient? Why would it not be sending out press releases? Why all the mystery? I also consider it strange that the only living person in the world who claims to have been present for his birth is his Kenyan grandmother. No doctor, no nurse, no relative, no family friend has come forward to say they can confirm his birth in Honolulu. And, of course, the biggest question of all is: Why won't he release the one document that can confirm this – his long-form birth certificate?
3- Could you explain why the ‘Certification of Live Birth’ displayed in Mr. Obama’s website is insufficient proof that he is a natural born citizen of the United States? Can such a document be obtained on behalf of someone not born in the U.S.?
I don't believe this document can be obtained by someone born outside the country today, but it most definitely could have been obtained in 1961. All that was needed was an affidavit from one parent. Many people born in foreign countries can boast a Hawaiian certification of live birth. That's why that document is not even accepted by the state of Hawaii as proof of being a native born Hawaiian for its home lands program, as we have documented in WND.
4- What kind of documentation would you like President Obama to make public in order to show conclusively that he is qualified to be President under the Constitution?
The most important document is the long-form birth certificate. The computer-generated certification he posted on his website proves nothing. But, personally, I believe if a birth certificate confirms his life story, that he is indeed the son of Barack Obama Sr. and Stanley Ann Dunham, that his "natural born citizenship" is still very much in doubt. His father, in that case, was a citizen of Kenya and a subject of the British crown. The purpose of the "natural born citizen" clause in the Constitution was to avoid "dual allegiances." He may have also given up his citizenship when he lived in Indonesia. There is much about Barack Obama's life that remains a mystery beyond what he has told us in his autobiography. Nothing has been verified by any controlling legal authorities in the United States. It's really quite amazing.
5- I understand that you have made substantial efforts to obtain additional information concerning Mr. Obama’s birth. Have these included specific requests to the White House for documents? If so, what response, if any, have you received?
As you probably know, we have made repeated requests privately and even publicly at a White House briefing. But our primary focus has been for the personal rather than the public. Beside the birth certificate issue and the passport issue, Obama steadfastly has refused to release his college records. I believe his college records would reveal much about who he was, who funded his college education, whether he was a "foreign" student, what he wrote, who he claimed to be back then.
6- Could you summarize your additional efforts, if any, to obtain pertinent information from other sources? What have you been able to find out from sources other than the President and his staff?
Most of what we have found about Obama's early years can be found in our reports in WND and in Corsi's No. 1 New York Times bestseller from last year. Aaron Klein, our Jerusalem bureau chief, has also come up with quite a few scoops – including the Bill Ayers' connection.
7- In his books Dreams of my Father and The Audacity of Hope, President Obama discussed various aspects of his early life. Do you know whether his birth certificate would contain any confidential information that has not already been made public in his books or through other sources? If not, have you been given any reason for Obama’s decision to keep the document sealed?
Well, he revealed what he chose to reveal. What I don't understand is: Since when do we as Americans accept at face value what politicians say about their lives? Why isn't there a mechanism in place to demand proof? For a guy who wants all of our most personal health and financial information to be the business of government, he seems overly concerned with his own privacy.
8- What pertinent information do you think could be obtained from Mr. Obama’s college and law school records?
As I said, I'd like to see how he registered, who paid for his education, what he wrote, how he got into Harvard and so on. John Kennedy and other presidents release transcripts even when some of them were quite embarrassing. What is it that Obama is hiding? The answer seems to be – everything.
9- Is it unusual for a presidential candidate or a sitting President to conceal birth, marriage and school attendance records?
As far as I can determine, it is unprecedented. You can't take a sworn oath to honor and obey the Constitution and then refuse to prove you are constitutionally eligible to serve. It's a contradiction in terms. I don’t like to see the Constitution subverted like this. That's why I am so concerned.
10- Recently, you began a campaign to press Mr. Obama to allow release of his actual birth certificate by renting billboards with the message “WHERE’S THE BIRTH CERTIFICATE?” I understand that several large advertising media companies, such as CBS and Clear Channel have refused to rent you billboard space for your campaign. What reasons have these companies given you? Do you believe pressure has been exerted on these companies to silence your message?
The companies gave no reason. But these companies are heavily regulated by government and I believe they are hyper-sensitive about offending this administration. I don’t even think they needed to hear from the White House to make this business decision. But that's tragic given that these are large media conglomerates – CBS and Clear Channel among them. The purpose of a free press is to challenge government, to serve as a watchdog on government, not to cower in fear of it.
11- How’s that campaign going? How many billboards do you currently have? Have you selected any additional future locations?
After two months, we have seven billboards scattered around the country with plans for many more. We have raised about $100,000 and we plan to continue this campaign until we get an answer to the question: "Where's the birth certificate?"
12- How are you raising the funds to pay for the billboards? Where can interested persons send contributions to?
We're raising money exclusively online at WND.com. If people go to the site, they will see a little button – an image of a billboard. If they click on it, it will take them to the donation site.
13- If it was determined that Barack Obama was not a natural born citizen of the United States, what effect do you believe that would have with respect to the acts he has already performed in his capacity as President?
Legally, everything he has done should be null and void. Do I expect that to happen? Not today in this America, in this political climate. This, I believe, is the biggest fear people have of this issue. All elected officials – Republicans and Democrats – are genuinely fearful about that remote possibility. They are afraid of race riots. They are afraid of political chaos. But, at least he would not be a contender in 2012. That, I think, would be assured.
14- What mechanism should be followed to determine who would become President of the United States?
No idea. I am not a constitutional lawyer. And even they disagree.
15- On more than one recent occasion, Keith Olbermann of MSNBC, in his program ‘Countdown’, has named you one of the worst people in the world, a distinction you have shared with other well-known media personalities, such as Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Michelle Malkin and Bernard Goldberg. Do you see this as a sign that your efforts are paying off? Do you think you’re making some folks nervous?
When people have to lie about what you do and say repeatedly to mock and criticize you, then you know you must be doing all right. Olbermann obsesses over the fact that one WND news report seemed to challenge the idea that the certification of live birth was fraudulent. But this has never been an issue for me or WND. I have never challenged the certification of live birth as a forgery. The problem is that the real thing is meaningless to the issue of whether he is constitutionally qualified.
16- Finally, do you have any theories, or suspicions as to where the truth lies in connection with Mr. Obama’s citizenship? What do you think is the most likely scenario? Was he born abroad? Did he assume Indonesian citizenship? What was his legal status when he resided in Indonesia? Does anyone know?
I think there is a lot we don't know about Obama and much that would surprise, even shock, the American people. I believe it will all come out in the fullness of time. I'm not even sure we know who his real parents are. And, without a legitimate birth certificate, we'll never know.