October 13, 2008
"Someone is lying" (And I don't think it's Granny)
Meet Sarah Obama, Barack Obama's step-grandmother.
She lives in a rural Kenyan village, and in this video she says nothing about being present at the birth of her step-grandson in Kenya, even though she's very proud of the fact that he's running for president
In a longer interview broadcast on Al Jazeera television, she also said absolutely nothing about Obama's birth in Kenya, even though she said he made three visits there:
Someone is lying. According to Obama's Kenyan (paternal) grandmother, as well as his half-brother and half-sister, Barack Hussein Obama was born in Kenya, not in Hawaii as the Democratic candidate for president claims. His grandmother bragged that her grandson is about to be President of the United States and is so proud because she was present DURING HIS BIRTH IN KENYA, in the delivery room. -This, according to several news sites and Pennsylvania attorney Philip J. Berg (see video below) who is, surprisingly, a life long democrat himself. Berg is the former Deputy Attorney General of Pennsylvania, and he has an impressive background in his activities as a democrat, but his support for the party seemingly stops when it comes to his trust in Barack Hussein Obama.The problem is, it's not "according to Obama's grandmother." Nor is it according to his half-brother and half-sister. Nor is it reported in "several news sites."
By "grandmother," Berg means Obama's step-grandmother, because in the widely linked video by "Molotov Mitchell," he shows Sarah Obama's picture, and then he (Berg) claims that she and the half-brother and half-sister were there:
His paternal grandmother, who still lives in Kenya, has gone around telling everyone that my grandson is going to become president of the United States and she's so proud because she was in the delivery room in Kenya with Barack Obama's brother and sister, I guess half brother and half sister, when he was born in 1961.OK, that's Berg's claim.
Other than Berg (and the sites quoting him) I can't find any source anywhere which reports it was ever said to anyone by Sarah Obama.
If she's "gone around telling people" that, where? Where's the document? Where's a single link pointing to one actual news report?
The only stuff I can find points back to Berg, and his allegation:
17. Obama claims he was born in Honolulu, Hawaii on August 4, 1961; however, has never given the name of the hospital he was born in; whereas Obama's grandmother on his father's side, half brother and half sister claim Obama was born in Kenya. Reports reflect Obama's mother went to Kenya during her pregnancy; however, she was prevented from boarding a flight from Kenya to Hawaii at her late stage of pregnancy, which apparently was a normal restriction to avoid births during a flight. Stanley Ann Dunham (Obama) gave birth to Obama in Kenya, after which she flew to Hawaii and registered Obama's birth. There are records of a "registry of birth" for Obama, on or about August 8, 1961 in the public records office in Hawaii.That's Berg's allegation, to which he never swore to the truth under penalty of perjury, nor is it supported anywhere by declarations, exhibits, or evidence that I can find.
This site has spent a lot of time researching Berg's claims, and concluded that there is no evidence of the following:
Analysis of "Evidence" Available on the InternetSo, unless there's a missing "report" out there that no one has seen, what this boils down to is a credibility dispute:
Philip Berg's allegations on one side, versus the State of Hawaii's official document.
In the past I've used the phrase "Birth Certificate Truthers," but I think that is not strictly accurate, because no longer is this a question of whether an official birth certificate exists. It does. Too many investigators have seen it. Not only is Factcheck.org satisfied, but so are WorldNetDaily and David Freddoso (author, The Case Against Barack Obama).
What's going on now is that they're making the claim that the birth certificate was procured by fraud even if it was valid. So, even though "Official Hawaiian Vital Statistics Truthers" is a mouthful, it might be a better name.
Frankly, it would not surprise me if Berg himself accepts that there is an officially issued Hawaiian birth certificate. That would not matter to him, though, because his claim does not depend on it being a forgery. Rather, his argument is that it should not have been issued, because (claims Berg) Obama's mother lied to obtain the Hawaiian birth certificate, as her son was born in Kenya. Berg offers no proof for this other than his own allegations.
Remember, the birth certificate is simply a certification by the State of Hawaii of the baby's birth there. There is a legal presumption that government records such as vital statistics are accurate records, and Berg has not overcome it. (I'm not sure he's even in the right court; perhaps he needs to sue the Secretary of State of Hawaii. With his total lack of evidence, good luck with that!)
Another claim Berg made in the video was this:
Factcheck.org is owned by Annenberg of Chicago. Annenberg of Chicago is an organization that Obama sat on the board for for a number of years, disbursing up to 60 million a year, so there's a little bit of a conflict there.Dead wrong:
The Annenberg Political Fact Check is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. The APPC was established by publisher and philanthropist Walter Annenberg in 1994 to create a community of scholars within the University of Pennsylvania that would address public policy issues at the local, state and federal levels.Obama ran the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, and the only thing that had in common with Factcheck.org is that both received money from the Annenberg Foundation. (More here.)
Berg also claims that even if Obama was born in Hawaii, he lost his citizenship because his mother married an Indonesian and took up residence in Indonesia. Nonsense. Even if his mother expatriated herself (and there's no showing that she did), she could not legally have expatriated Obama. In order to be valid, acts of expatriation have to be performed by the citizen himself, knowingly and voluntarily, when he is over 18.
A more minor error (repeated in the video and in Berg's pleadings) is that Obama is constitutionally ineligible to run for president.
Here's Article II, Section 1:
No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty-five years, and been fourteen years a resident within the United States.It may sound crazy, but (state election laws aside) there doesn't seem to be anything in the Constitution to stop ineligible candidates from running; only from being sworn in and serving as president. If an ineligible candidate were to campaign for president, that might pose problems, but I don't think it would be constitutionally permissible either to prevent an ineligible person from campaigning for president or to prevent ordinary voters from voting for him. (For starters, there would seem to be a free speech right to vote for anyone.) Whether votes for an ineligible candidate are valid is another matter. They might be a nullity.
Whether the Electors could vote for an ineligible candidate is also another matter, for it is their Constitutional duty Under Article II, Section 1 (as amended) to elect the president, and they might be violating their duty if they cast their votes for someone ineligible to serve. To my mind, this means that a non-citizen or someone under 35 can run for president, but the Electors are not allowed to vote for him, no matter how many votes he gets.
So I don't think a federal court has the power to stop Obama from running. If he were ineligible, that might screw up the election results and it might violate certain election laws, but I don't see a constitutional problem with running. If Obama ran and won, and was declared ineligible, he would be elected but unable to serve, and under those circumstances I suspect Biden would become president.
Has anyone verified Berg's claim that he is a former Deputy Attorney General of Pennsylvania? People seem to be accepting it on faith, and although I've confirmed that he is a licensed Pennsylvania attorney, I can't find confirmation (other than recitals) of his former Deputy Attorney General status anywhere.
Bear in mind that this is a man who said that "Bush should be jailed for slaughter and high treason," and he operates a well known 9/11 Truther website, where he carries on at length about his representation of famed 9/11 Truther William Rodriguez. (Google "William Rodriguez" and Berg together, and you won't be disappointed.)
Plenty of Truthers are mad at Berg, and while I haven't spent a lot of time researching the issue, Berg and his famous client Rodriguez seem to have had a falling out. (At least, according to this video.)
And of course, there's the famous Truther Alex Jones. What he sees in Berg's latest antics I'm not sure, but there's video here:
By any reasonable standard, Philip Berg's credibility is open to question.
Yet the claim that the birth certificate was obtained by Obama's mother's fraud hinges entirely on Berg's credibility.
The more I look, the more skeptical I am about anything the man says. I do not say this in defense of Obama, but I can find not one iota of evidence to support the words Berg has put in the mouth of Barack Obama's grandmother.
These people did a better job of putting words in the mouth of their pit bull!
Unless Berg can come up with some proof, I'd say that Sarah Obama is one grandmother who Barack Obama doesn't need to throw under the bus.
UPDATE: Regarding Berg's claim that he is a "former Deputy Attorney General," the title is not as impressive as it might seem to outsiders. At the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office website, I found six job categories bearing the name "Deputy Attorney General" and the first level is barely above law clerk:
The following is a summary of class levels and the minimum qualifications required:There are five more categories of positions. It's entirely possible that Berg was a "Deputy Attorney General," but if it was at the entry level, it's hardly evidence that he was a mover and shaker.
posted by Eric on 10.13.08 at 09:46 PM
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