"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:

This strikes me as very odd, because right now there's a mini blogswarm occasioned over Sarah Obama's "claim" that not only was Obama born in Kenya, but that she was right there in the delivery room:

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 Internet

"Obama's grandmother on his father's side, half brother and half sister claim Obama was born in Kenya."


Conclusion: We have found no evidence of this alleged report.

Through a variety of Google searches, we have found dozens (and dozens) of references to this alleged report, but have not located the actual report(s). Therefore, we conclude at this time that the allegation must be false. As noted above, we are actively soliciting additional evidence and, if such information is submitted to us, we will update this post accordingly.

So, 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.

The APPC accepts NO funding from business corporations, labor unions, political parties, lobbying organizations or individuals. It is funded primarily by the Annenberg Foundation.

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.)

Berg is a famous 9/11 Truther, and I think that stuff like this speaks volumes about him.

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:

Law Clerk

This is legal work performed by employees who, although having graduated from an accredited school of law, have not yet been admitted to the Bar of Pennsylvania. The incumbent of a Law Clerk position is considered for a Deputy Attorney General class upon receipt of proof of admission by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania to the Pennsylvania Bar. Assignments involve conducting legal research and participating in the preparation of cases for trial.

Deputy Attorney General I

This is entry level professional work providing legal services of a varied nature. Primary assignments involve assisting attorneys of higher rank by researching, interpreting and applying laws, court decisions, and other legal authorities in the preparation of briefs, pleadings, complaints, presentments and other legal papers in connection with suits, trials, and other proceedings. The difficulty of legal problems encountered ranges from simple to moderately complex. Attorneys in this class seldom appear in court without attorneys of higher rank.

The minimum qualifications for this class are graduation from an accredited law school and admission to the Bar of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

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


Way nto much energy being wasted on this crap.

How about some focus on what Obama told the plumber?

Larry Sheldon   ·  October 13, 2008 9:59 PM

Way too much energy being wasted?

But way, way too many people are believing it. I'm unable to avoid seeing it in blogs I respect, or hearing about it on talk radio. Sorry, I might have low standards, but I can't ignore things when people rub them in my face.

Especially when I think they are lies that need debunking.

Eric Scheie   ·  October 13, 2008 10:09 PM

Yeah. I speak typo. Sorry.

Way too much energy being wasted.

Labeling lies and nonsense only takes a few characters. More make it look like it is important.

Even if this one is true, it isn't important. Nobody that can do anything about it cares.

Larry Sheldon   ·  October 13, 2008 10:37 PM

I've never really understood this line of attack.

Say Obama was indeed born in Kenya.

So what?

His mother was a U.S. citizen.

That makes him a U.S. citizen -- natural (as opposed to naturalized), and at the time of his birth.

So he's still eligible.

So... what's the point, here?

Clint   ·  October 14, 2008 12:14 AM

As I understand it, when only one parent is an American citizen, the child is NOT necessarily an "natural born" American. I believe that the law requires that for a child to be automatically a "natural born" citizen, BOTH parents must be American citizens at the time of the child's birth.

So it matters if Barack Obama was born in Kenya, because if he was not born in the U.S., federal law regulates whether he would be a "natural born" American. The fact that his mother was only 18 when he was born most likely means that Obama is ineligible unless he was born in the USA.

"US Law very clearly states: . . . If only one parent is a U.S. Citizen at the time of ones birth, that parent must have resided in the United States for minimum ten years, five of which must be after the age of 16. Barack Obamas father was not a U.S. Citizen is a fact." http://middleeastinfo.org/forum/lofiversion/index.php/t15573.html

Stanley Ann Dunham was only 18 when he was born and therefore could not have fulfilled the federal requirement. Since she was 18 when he was born, if he was born outside the U.S., he is not a "natural born" American.

This matters because if Barack Obama is not eligible to be elected president, and he running anyway, it demonstrates that he is a man who doesn't care what he puts the nation through, and that he doesn't respect U.S. law when it is inconvenient for HIM. He is a lawyer. He is supposed to have taught classes on constitutional law. This suggests that he know the law, but does not respect the law unless it suits him.

I am under the impression that Barack Obama has not produced a valid birth certificate showing that he was born in Hawaii. The Certificate of Live Birth (COLB) posted on Daily Kos and on the Obama "anti-smear" site has been shown pretty conclusively to be a forgery, according to what I have read.

To read more about this, go to TexasDarlin website. http://texasdarlin.wordpress.com/2008/10/11/obama-born-in-kenya-new-information/

I wonder if David Freddoso actually has seen the official birth certificate. (Not the "Certificate of Live Birth." That is a completely different document, according to what I have read.) Has the actual, official Birth Certificate been released? If it has, I am not aware of it. I would like to know if it has.

There is speculation that Senator Obama was adopted by Lolo Soetoro and has been a citizen of Indonesia since age 4 or thereabouts. I have also read that the senator traveled to Pakistan during his college years using an Indonesian passport. Was he, is he, a citizen of Indonesia? As well as a former citizen of Kenya?

I have read that the reason the presidency is restricted to "natural born" American citizens is to make sure we have a president whose deepest, natural loyalties are to the united States, and not divided with another native country.

If the senator is not eligible to be president, he is doing our country a terrible disservice.

Whatever Mr. Berg's credibility or lack of credibility, why does Senator Obama not simply produce his birth certificate? Instead, Obama has hired a lawyer who also has represented the the arguably radical Council on Islamic-American Relations (CAIR), to fight the Berg lawsuit and get it dismissed. How hard is it to produce your birth certificate? This is a man who wants to run the executive branch and he cannot produce his birth certificate?

I wonder just who the Senator is, that he thinks he should not have to produce his birth certificate, but he wants us to trust him to be the president.

I have read that the New York Times has written THREE front-page articles examining whether Senator McCain is eligible to be president, because McCain was born on an American naval base in the Panama Canal Zone. THREE. But BOTH McCain's parents were American citizens. So McCain was AUTOMATICALLY a "natural born" American, no matter where he was born. (But of course, the Time wants to thoroughly examine THAT issue. Don't ask anything about Senator Obama, though!)

I think this is a big deal. I think the fact that so much of Senator Obama's past is a big secret is a big deal.

Who is he? A valid birth certificate is the absolute starting-point minimum. Does he think this is a game? Does he think he is so special that the normal laws that apply to all other Americans don't apply to him?

That he still has not produced a valid birth certificate at this point, and as far as I know, he has not, shows a disregard for the American people.

If the valid birth certificate has been produced, I would like to know about it.

So - the fact that his mother was an American citizen does NOT make him automatically an American citizen. And this is a big deal.

summer day   ·  October 14, 2008 5:08 AM

SD, so many people have seen the official birth certificate (as opposed to whatever mockup was posted at Daily Kos) that it really isn't opeb to serious debate. There's a long discussion here:



Here's Snopes:


And for those who don't trust the above, WorldNetDaily did its own investigation:


However, FactChecker.org says it obtained Obama's actual birth certificate and that the document was indeed real. The site discredited some of the claims of Internet bloggers, such as that the certificate as viewed in a scanned copy released by Obama's campaign lacked a raised seal. FactChecker.org also established that many of the alleged flaws in the document noted by bloggers were caused by the scanning of the document.

A separate WND investigation into Obama's birth certificate utilizing forgery experts also found the document to be authentic. The investigation also revealed methods used by some of the bloggers to determine the document was fake involved forgeries, in that a few bloggers added text and images to the certificate scan that weren't originally there.


Someone did float a forgery, but that does not discredit the real birth certificate, which by any reasonable standard exists, and is an official Hawaii state document.

Berg and his "supporters" (a word I use advisedly) do not care, as they maintain that the birth certificate was issued based on lies told to the Hawaiian government by Obama's mother after her return from Kenya where the baby was born.

I wrote this post because after spending a great deal of time on it, I could see that there is not one iota of evidence that Barack Obama was born in Kenya.

An official document (which the Hawaii birth certificate is) cannot be set aside on the basis of unsubstantiated rumor.

So I think Berg has no case.

As to the Indonesian travels, any acts of expatriation cannot be performed by a child or by his parents, so those allegations are irrelevant to Obama's citizenship:


Not that it matters, but WorldNetDaily drew the same conclusion:


***QUOTE***the suit claims Obama was not born an American citizen; lost any hypothetical American citizenship he had as a child (Editor's note: This point is not supported by U.S. citizenship law); may not now be an American citizen and even if he is, may hold dual citizenships with other countries.

Again, I don't think Berg has a chance.

Anonymous   ·  October 14, 2008 9:01 AM

Who cares if it's true? If there's one thing the past eight years have shown us, it's that the liberals and the media in America have zero interest in truth.

The question should be, is it USEFUL?

Of course it's useful. Anything which might tend to delegitimize an Obama presidency is useful. Some convenient lie to put on stickers and scrawl on signs. Something to make documentaries about. Something to bring up in conversations when the liberals might actually be trying to make a logical argument. Something to troll in liberal blog comments.

It doesn't have to be true. It just has to be repeated.

You see, Mr. Moore? Mr. Rather? Mr. Carville? We're learning.

Trimegistus   ·  October 14, 2008 10:46 AM

It's not entirely wasted. This "controversy" has helped me learn a lot about an obscure area of federal law.

In my entirely baseless and unimportant opinion, all presumptions are in favor of the official position of the State of Hawaii. So long as it recognizes the validity of the Hawaiian birth certificate, opposing evidence would have to be strong. The burden of proof is on the Truthers, not Obama.

tim maguire   ·  October 14, 2008 11:05 AM
Dan   ·  October 15, 2008 5:18 PM

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