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Writing this almost two years ago:
The sad thing about conspiracy theories is that once they get started, they never really die. The 9/11 "Truthers" are a case in point. The evidence that they were wrong has been presented so many times, in so many ways, that you'd have to be deliberately ignoring it not to see it. No doubt, there are still people who believe that the Clintons had Vince Foster killed.And yet, as Taylor Marsh notes, we now have at least one "serious" Presidential candidate who says he thinks that Barack Obama isn't a natural-born American citizen. This is beyond absurd.
Now, we have a new conspiracy theory for a new age. The adherents of this theory believe that Barack Obama isn't a natural born U.S. citizen, and therefore not qualified to be President.
Another Wacko Conspiracy Theory Is Born
Let me quote from the individual whose job it was to check the validity of birth records in Hawaii, back in 2008:
There have been numerous requests for Sen. Barack Hussein Obama’s official birth certificate. State law (Hawai‘i Revised Statutes §338-18) prohibits the release of a certified birth certificate to persons who do not have a tangible interest in the vital record.For convenience's sake, I added the link to the law the document refers to.
Therefore, I as Director of Health for the State of Hawai‘i, along with the Registrar of Vital Statistics who has statutory authority to oversee and maintain these type of vital records, have personally seen and verified that the Hawai‘i State Department of Health has Sen. Obama’s original birth certificate on record in accordance with state policies and procedures.
Statement By Dr. Chiyome Fukino
As the non-partisan organization Fact Check pointed out back in 2008:
We beg to differ. FactCheck.org staffers have now seen, touched, examined and photographed the original birth certificate. We conclude that it meets all of the requirements from the State Department for proving U.S. citizenship. Claims that the document lacks a raised seal or a signature are false. We have posted high-resolution photographs of the document as "supporting documents" to this article. Our conclusion: Obama was born in the U.S.A. just as he has always said.That link has photos taken by Fact Check's reporters of the original birth certificate.
Born In The U.S.A.
Politifact also looked into the allegations. Here is their conclusion, also from 2008:
At PolitiFact.com, we're all about original sources. We don't take anyone at their word or take the reporting of other media organizations as proof. We go to the heart of the story, the source of the truth — original, corroborating documents.The pathetic excuse that Obama didn't publish the long form of his birth certificate is some of the most feeble grasping for straws that I've witnessed in American political discourse. No one who isn't convinced by the evidence produced so far is going to be convinced if that form ever makes it into the public record. As Fact Check notes:
When the official documents were questioned, we went looking for more answers. We circled back to the Department of Health, had a newsroom colleague bring in her own Hawaii birth certificate to see if it looks the same (it's identical). But every answer triggered more questions.
And soon enough, after going to every length possible to confirm the birth certificate's authenticity, you start asking, what is reasonable here?
Because if this document is forged, then they all are.
Obama's birth certificate: Final chapter
The certificate has all the elements the State Department requires for proving citizenship to obtain a U.S. passport: "your full name, the full name of your parent(s), date and place of birth, sex, date the birth record was filed, and the seal or other certification of the official custodian of such records." The names, date and place of birth, and filing date are all evident on the scanned version, and you can see the seal above.In sum, the short form indicates that someone in officialdom has checked the long form, and it's as legitimate as any form can be in a U.S. government bureaucracy.
Born In The U.S.A.
As National Public Radio points out, there was plenty of corroborating evidence for his birth in the local newspapers:
FactCheck.org and Politifact and a number of independent fact checking groups have also pointed out that there are two contemporaneous birth announcements in newspapers, The Honolulu Advertiser and The Honolulu Star-Bulletin, announcing the birth of Barack Obama on August 4th, 1961.Which, as far as anyone who is in the least bit sane is concerned, is enough. I'm as skeptical as the next guy, but there comes a point where skepticism becomes obstinacy, and that's where these people are now. Note how often the words "in 2008" and "in 2009" come up just in this short article. This matter was settled long ago.
What Impact Do 'Birthers' Have On GOP's 2012 Field?
I wish Barack Obama weren't the President. The man is worse than useless. If you want a list of reasons, check this list, or just check the Barack Obama keyword here, and have at it. But the man was born in the United States, and he was elected President by a wide margin. That makes him at least as qualified for the office as his predecessor, whose legitimacy seems to be beyond question to nearly all of the people who don't want to believe Obama belongs in the White House.
It's absolutely depressing to realize that I will probably have reason to write about this subject two years from now, because people refuse to listen no matter how obvious it is that I'm telling the truth. The same fools will believe the same nonsense two years from now, just as people keep believing that George W. Bush knocked down the World Trade Center, and that progressives will get what they want some day by supporting Democrats hard enough.
The human ability to ignore basic facts would be absolutely awe-inspiring if it weren't so damn depressing.