- Law Cases
by John Charlton
(Feb. 26, 2010) — In response to the public outcry over my last report regarding Okubo’s apparently false response to my request for index data from the Hawaii Birth Index, Miss Janice Okubo has directed staff at the Hawaii Department of Health to release a pdf file containing what appears to be scans of a computer printout containing redacted pages from the Hawaii Birth Index for those sections, which would contain the surnames Payne, Dunham, Soetoro and Obama.
My initial UIPA request of January 22, 2010, sought the index data for all children on the Hawaii Birth Index whose parents’ surnames were either Obama, Payne, Soetoro or Dunham. The Certificate of Hawaii Birth was issued from 1911 to 1972 for those who wished to have a document proving that they were born in Hawaii. It was a way to apply for a document for those who were born a year before the request was made and who did not have a standard birth certificate, presumably because they were born at home, not in a hospital. I had made my UIPA request to determine if Obama was born before Hawaii became a state, but a name on this Index does not exclusively prove that. If you read the link on “Certificate of Hawaii Birth” you can see that it was granted to those who provided what the Department of Health considered sufficient proof of a a birth in Hawaii. Thus it provided a vehicle to claim a Hawaii birth without actually being born in Hawaii, if only one succeeded in convincing the Department that you were.
In response to the evasive denials of my original UIPA request and the outright claim I had written what I did not write, Miss Janice Okubo admitted to me last week that microfiches of the Hawaii Birth Index did exist and that they did not contain the said surnames. Following my disclosure of that to several friends, I was given a copy of a Treasury Department Document from 1949 showing that at least one individual with the surname Dunham was born in Hawaii during the period in which the Hawaii Birth Index was used.
As a consequence, I wrote Miss Okubo and asked for copies of the microfiche to prove the veracity of her claim and offered to pay for them. I also suggested to readers of The Post & Email that they contact Mrs. Lingle, the governor of the State of Hawaii, asking for an outside review of the matter.
Today’s release of a pdf file appears to be the Department of Health’s way of responding to this public outcry, even though the documents do not prove anything, since they are not prima facie evidence of anything, other than that
1) the Department does not understand how to respond to a UIPA request: I asked for microfiche copies, not pdfs of computer printouts,
2) does not understand how to respond to the Press: obstructed my UIPA request for three weeks, made false claim, and never responded to my email to Miss Okubo asking her to look into this matter,
3) and does not understand how to respond properly to a public call for investigation with solidly confirmatory documents: if the Department thinks these images are corroborating evidence, I would hate to think what kind of evidence they accept to issue a Certificate of Hawaii Birth! If this is the standard of evidence in 2010, what was it in 1961?
Indeed, an impartial observer to this present affair, considering this manner of response of the Department to my UIPA request, now has even more evidence to regard the claim of Obama being born in Hawaii (based on having a Hawaii Birth Certificate) as even more dubious, as that Department evidently does not understand or use any professional sense of the term “prima facie evidence.” This can only mean that any Certificate of Live Birth that they might issue is worthless as evidence without a concomitant disclosure of all supporting documentation filed to obtain it — which has been the contention of this e-Newspaper from the beginning.
Please note that it is not an unimportant fact that the images released do show that the Birth Index data does contain the names of the parents. In her correspondence with me, Okubo denied that I could ask for the Birth Index information for children based on the surnames of the parents. So if these images are evidentiary in any manner, they are evidentiary of Okubo’s obstruction of my initial UIPA request, since I never asked for the parents’ names, only the names of the children. She has the names of the parents right there; why did she refuse to do a search on that basis?
Finally, it should be emphasized that this UIPA request is not in itself very important, but the manner in which the Department of Health has responded to it is what is important. If the actual microfiche shows no such surnames, then Miss Okubo will be vindicated, and I will apologize, as all I am interested in is the truth. Miss Okubo, we, the press or the public cannot know what that is unless you cooperate with the UIPA in a timely, courteous, exact, and coherent manner. When you fail to do this, you only undermine the reputation of your own department, even if on account of such failures, we might at times doubt or believe you when we ought to do the opposite.
Below are electronic images of the PDF file, in a format which makes their viewing accessible to the readers of this electronic paper. I have only reduced them and converted them to jpg.