WHEN FORMER WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR SAID IT WAS OBTAINED FROM THE HAWAII DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH?
by Sharon Rondeau
(Oct. 15, 2015) — On April 27, 2011, the White House released what it said was a scan of a certified copy of Barack Hussein Obama’s long-form birth certificate held by the Hawaii Department of Health.
Directly following its release, Obama gave a press conference in which he claimed the newly-uploaded image to be an accurate representation of the “site of my birth.”
On June 12, 2008, an image titled “Certification of Live Birth” bearing Obama’s name and purported birth details was posted at The Daily KOS, with other websites following suit shortly thereafter, including the Obama “FighttheSmears” website, which is now defunct but accessible through the Wayback Machine.
In late May 2009, then-White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told WND reporter Les Kinsolving during a press conference that the White House had posted Obama’s “birth certificate” “on the Internet,” laughingly dismissing Kinsolving’s inquiry as to why Obama had not released the “long-form” birth certificate containing more detail about his alleged birth in Hawaii.
At the time, Gibbs and others contended that there was no other document available from the state of Hawaii other than the Certification of Live Birth. Gibbs did not state exactly where “on the Internet” the White House allegedly posted the “birth certificate,” nor did The Daily KOS state its source of the image.
On April 27, 2011, then-White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer wrote, “In 2008, in response to media inquiries, the President’s campaign requested his birth certificate from the state of Hawaii. The state sent the campaign the President’s birth certificate, the same legal documentation provided to all Hawaiians as proof of birth in state, and the campaign immediately posted it on the internet. That birth certificate can be seen here (PDF).”
Questions about Obama’s constitutional eligibility to serve as president arose in late 2007 when MSNBC commentator Chris Matthews stated that Obama was “born Indonesia” and possessed “an Islamic background.” Matthews did not cite his sources, but rather, speculated as to whether or not Hillary Clinton would raise such issues during the 2008 primary campaign cycle.
Article II, Section 1, clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution states that the president must be a “natural born Citizen.” While there is disagreement as to the exact meaning of the term because it is not defined in the Constitution or in any founding documents, most Americans today generally interpret it to mean that the candidate must have been born in the United States. However, as The Post & Email has reported over the last 6+ years, the citizenship of the parents was historically more important, if not of paramount importance, in determining the citizenship of the child.
FighttheSmears claimed in June 2008 that Obama qualified for the presidency under the 14th Amendment.
Today, children of foreign diplomats stationed in the United States to conduct business who happen to be born on U.S. soil during the parent’s service to his country are not considered U.S. citizens.
While sources such as Factcheck.org and ABC News claimed that the short-form birth certificate contained a “seal,” purportedly to demonstrate its authenticity, the short-form birth certificate image posted on the White House website following the April 27, 2011 release of the long-form image contains no such seal.
In July, The Post & Email submitted a request under Hawaii’s UIPA law for the document or form allegedly used by the “Obama campaign” to obtain a copy of Obama’s birth certificate from the Hawaii Department of Health. During the early part of Obama’s first term in the White House, the HDOH posted a form to be used by members of the public requesting copies of vital records, which include birth certificates, death certificates, marriage certificates, and divorce decrees. Today, however, the form may have been replaced by an online portal to request such documents.
Our request, directed to HDOH Director Dr. Virginia Pressler, was responded to by Vital Statistics Registrar Dr. Alvin Onaka, who routinely does not interact with the press. In his response, which was sent both by email and by USPS, Onaka contended that the department did not possess the form or letter used to request a copy of Obama’s birth certificate.
The document Onaka provided was said to be a receipt issued by the department to a requester and was dated May 30, 2007. The form contained no name or contact information of the alleged requester and indicated that both a marriage certificate and birth certificate had been requested.
Both the short-form and long-form Obama birth certificate images have been reported to be forgeries by various examiners.
In September 2011, the Maricopa County Cold Case Posse was commissioned by Maricopa County Sheriff Joseph M. Arpaio to analyze the long-form image as a result of approximately 250 concerned constituents having approached him with the request for an investigation. After approximately six months of scrutiny, the posse concluded and made public in a formal press conference that the long-form birth certificate image and Obama’s Selective Service registration form are “computer-generated forgeries.”
Snopes.com reports that the contention that Obama’s short-form and long-form birth certificates are forgeries is “false.”
The short-form birth certificate image posted at Snopes.com contains a green background rather than the white background of the White House version and is denoted with a different url than the White House’s version. In “contrast,” FighttheSmears had depicted the short-form birth certificate with a green background and without a reference to Snopes.
This story was updated October 16, 2015 at 7:56 a.m.