The silly debate over Obama’s citizenship

A vocal group of conspiracy theorists known as "birthers" are riling the White House with their persistent claim that Barack Obama is not an American citizen and therefore ineligible to be president.

The claim that the United States’ first African-American president was born in Kenya, not Hawaii, first emerged during his presidential campaign, but it has garnered more media attention in the summer "silly season," a traditionally slow news period when many Americans are on vacation.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs looked exasperated at his briefing on Monday when a reporter asked him, "Is there anything you can say that will make the birthers go away?"

"If I had some DNA, it wouldn’t assuage those that don’t believe he was born here," Gibbs replied. "But I have news for them and for all of us: The president was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, the 50th state of the greatest country on the face of the earth. He’s a citizen.

"A year-and-a-half ago I asked that the birth certificate be put on the Internet because Lord knows, you got a birth certificate and you put it on the Internet, what else could be the story?"

The digitally scanned copy of the "certification of live birth" from Hawaii’s Department of Health shows Obama was born in Honolulu at 7:24 p.m. on August 4, 1961.

The nonpartisan, a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, examined, handled and photographed the original certificate in an effort to put the controversy to rest.

"We conclude that it meets all of the requirements from the State Department for proving U.S. citizenship. Our conclusion: Obama was born in the USA, just as he has always said." also pointed out that Obama’s American mother and Kenyan father placed an advertisement in a local Honolulu newspaper on August 13, 1961, announcing their son’s birth.

Gibbs, who has ridiculed "birthers" in the past, impatiently dismissed the claims as "made-up, fictional nonsense." "There are 10,000 more important issues for people in this country to discuss, rather than whether or not the president is a citizen."

Despite the seemingly incontrovertible evidence, the issue shows no sign of disappearing off the radar of right-wing radio talkshow hosts and others who say the birth certificate is a forgery to hide the fact that Obama is foreign-born.

Republican Congressman Mike Castle was booed at a town hall meeting after he insisted Obama, a Democrat, was an American citizen. Video of the meeting went viral and has been viewed nearly 700,000 times on YouTube.

Fellow Republican Congressman John Campbell is a co-sponsor of legislation that would in the future force presidential candidates to produce their birth certificates.

Meanwhile, several lawsuits challenging Obama’s eligibility to serve as president have been dismissed; and a U.S. army major made headlines by arguing he should not be deployed to Afghanistan on the grounds that the commander-in-chief of the U.S. armed forces was not an American citizen.


  1. griff

    Yep…With the economy tanking, endless wars, endless profiteering on Wall Street, bailouts and government takeovers, what is left but to hunker down and defend your messiah right to the bitter end?

    The Republicans did it with Bush, and the Democrats will do it with Obama. That’s how the system works.

    And all the while the American People will blindly suffer in their obedience to this corrupt system.

    Government creates every problem we face right now. Every one of them. And we continue to ask – no we beg on our kness – for them to solve the very problems that they create, by giving them more money and more power to do as they please.

    And the corporate media is there to constantly remind us of how much we need them. To shape our very thoughts and ideas. To guide us by the noses to their preconceived outcomes.

    We have truly gone insane.

  2. woody188

    It’s all just a distraction from the fact it doesn’t matter whether Barry or John won. The war, the lies, the secrecy, and even the torture and indefinite detention without charges or trial continues.

    See even if you burn Barry, Joe still sells out our sons and daughters to defend Israel and mega-corporations, and make debt slaves for China. They don’t even bother to hide it anymore.

    So please maintain your tolerance. Because when you start a post with, “What little tolerance I might have had for those on the Republican side of the political spectrum is now gone.”

    You are a “part of their partisan gamesmanship” too.

  3. acf

    What little tolerance I might have had for those on the Republican side of the political spectrum is now gone. I expect whack jobs on the far right fringes to buy into this stuff, but for anyone mainstream enough to get elected to Congress and even the minority leadership to partake of this as part of their partisan gamesmanship is just too much to handle.

  4. bryan mcclellan

    ..From that farm,
    it appears thrust upon the man,
    and that, is a crime in itself.

    The talk of manipulators is passe..
    Manipulated or not is an individual right,
    the other side is not too friendly.
    When they litter the ditches with names of false promises.
    ..with one more sign..

    …Vote for me!

    Think of Plato.

  5. almandine

    Another good link Carl.

    From my perspective, I think we will likely not find fault with his credentials, vis-a-vis the Constitution. BUT, his lack of forthcomingness says alot about our “citizen” Pres.

    I once applied for a federal job, and the need for historical detail from cradle to the present was stringent. Dates, names, relatives, friends, acquaintenances, jobs, schools… you name it – was omnipresent. Provide no details – get no job. Heck, I didn’t even want to work in DC.

    A rhetorical question… should we expect less from him?

  6. Carl Nemo

    Close to one million dollars have been spent by Obama supporters to prevent his original birth certificate from being disclosed to the public. Why such an expense? Why such an intense, over the top effort? As it’s said, “the truth shall set you free”. Why would they spend so much money to supress such a simple disclosure?

    At first the State of Hawaii said the original birth certificates had been destroyed once they created digital archives. Now they say they’ve kept the originals. So what’s the problem with disclosing the original for scrutiny?

    If you apply for a modern, federally mandated drivers license in the State of Washington they require that you bring the original with it’s “embossed” seal or a “certified” true copy of the same. That’s what John Q. Citizen has to endure in order to get one of these upper tier drivers licenses that allows one to go to and from Canada without the need of a passport. Evidently one doesn’t have to prove they are citizen when they aspire to the highest office of this land…no?!

    Lou Dobbs of whom I do not follow regularly nor push his broadcast agenda said today, what’s the problem here? Obama and company should simply have the original made accessible to the public and for folks to move on. Instead, Lou has been attacked vociferously for having said such publicly.

    Something smells here as far as I’m concerned and the powers that have spent many years grooming Obama for high office don’t want their NWO agendist applecart overturned.

    I suggest those that care to read the following link content and ask themselves as to why our leadership would be so adamant about keeping the simple truth from America and its citizens.

    Gazelle, I’ve got to give you credit for being such a good, although somewhat gullible citizen. You’d have had no trouble just simply following orders during the “Third Reich” era in Nazi Germany. A wavemaker not; but, you’d surely have survived the regime. If the “state” certifies something as being true, then it “must” be true…no?! /:|

    Carl Nemo **==