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IS WIKIPEDIA GUILTY OF DEFAMATION?
by Sharon Rondeau
(Jan. 8, 2011) — On December 27, 2010, The Post & Email reported that Andy Martin would be announcing his candidacy for the office of President of the United States for 2012. Martin had planned to make the announcement in Chicago, but the location was changed due to a snowstorm which grounded flights and closed many airports in the Northeast.
Of his decision to run for President, Martin stated:
I want to thank Hawai’i Governor Neal [sic] Abercrombie for motivating me to make a final decision to run. Abercrombie’s Christmas Eve attacks on ‘Birthers’ were disgraceful. (link below) While I am not a reluctant candidate I am not particularly looking ahead to criss-crossing the nation.
The presidential campaign website for Martin is here. To date, Martin has been interviewed by radio hosts Peter Boyles of Denver, CO and Brian Tilton of Concord, NH.
Martin has described himself as “one of America’s leading corruption fighters and political reformers.”
The Post & Email has interviewed Mr. Martin about his initial lawsuit to obtain the release of Obama’s original typewritten birth certificate and his subsequent lawsuit filed against then-Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle for “suborning election fraud.”
On December 29, The Post & Email asked Mr. Martin if he would be willing to release his long-form birth certificate, information about his parents and their citizenship, and anything else that would prove that he is a “natural born Citizen” consistent with the constitutional requirements to serve as president.
On January 2, 2011, Mr. Martin responded:
We have had a couple of more requests similar to yours to release personal data. I strongly support the concept. However, I believe that the overall goal of making Obama release information in his case is better served by making my information available as part of a reciprocal agreement with other candidates including Obama. Premature release on my part does not serve the larger cause of getting Obama to comply. In other words, we are working to obtain release of all candidates’ information as part of a larger strategy.
In the past I have made my personal information available and no one else followed through.
Personally I would welcome the adoption of a statute requiring release, so that all candidates would then be on the same level playing field. Candidate releases should not come individually but as part of an overall plan. Unlike Barack Obama, which is an unusual name, identity theft is a very real problem for lesser known candidates with more common names. I was recently the victim of an identity theft incident that has made me more cautious in this regard.
We certainly need more candidate disclosure, but how and why remain to be determined as part of an overall regulatory or statutory process. Perhaps congress will designate the Federal Election Commission to receive these documents under seal for federal candidates such as president, senator and representative. My mind is always open. But we have a campaign game plan and we are proceeding with that plan. Not everyone may agree with my campaign team but we have given the matter considerable thought and feel comfortable with this approach.
On January 7, 2011, a reader of The Post & Email sent a Wikipedia link which referenced a person by the name of “Anthony Robert Martin-Trigona,” aka “Andy Martin.” The information provided there appears to this writer to contain content which would not normally be included in a factual news summary. While some of the information coincides with that which Martin has presented, the Wikipedia article falsely claims that “Hawaii…does not use long-form birth certificates.” However, a researcher last summer filmed a video of a person requesting and paying $10.00 for a copy of her long-form birth certificate at the Hawaii Department of Health.
Martin’s response to our inquiry regarding the Wikipedia summary reads:
We have sued Wikipedia alleging that their claims about me are fraudulent. The case is pending in the Circuit Court of Sangamon County, Illinois. I think we even posted a copy of the lawsuit on the Internet last year. Wikipedia is a tax-exempt pro-Obama smear organization that has been exposed as supporting Obama by censoring news of his past and seeking to defame his opposition. I would be very, very careful about dealing with anyone who is seeking to have you rely on Wikipedia. They are probably Obamabots who are seeking to undermine your efforts.
Looks like Obama is very worried about my candidacy if he is attacking me already.
Please feel free to publish this response to your inquiry.
A New York Times article from October 2008 asserted that Martin had started “false rumors” about Barack Hussein Obama’s background and that “Obama…is Christian.” However, since that time, there have been credible reports that Obama has himself stated that he is a Muslim.
The author of the New York Times article shows no proof of his claims, instead criticizing Fox News for having “allowed Mr. Martin to assert falsely and without challenge that Mr. Obama had once trained to overthrow the government” during an appearance on the show “Hannity’s America.” Some of the links provided in the article lead to general topics rather than supporting references for the writer’s specific statements. No documentation is provided to support such contentions as “In the 1990s, Mr. Martin was jailed in a case in Florida involving a physical altercation.”
The Post & Email contends that any statement made without supporting documentation or evidence can be considered nothing more than rumor, innuendo, or falsehood of which many in the mainstream media are guilty. Journalism is asking questions and presenting factual answers to them, not editorializing.
On October 4, 2010, The Post & Email had filed a Motion to Intervene in the second of Martin’s cases filed in Hawaii, Civil Number 10-1-969-05 RAT. On November 8, 2010, the First Circuit Court in Honolulu issued a “Non-Hearing Motion” stating that Judge Rom A. Trader “hereby denies the motion. The court finds that the application for intervention is untimely under Rule 24 of the Hawaii Rules of Civil Procedure because the case has already been dismissed pursuant to order granting motion to dismiss, filed September 7, 2010 and movants failed to set forth reasons why they did not attempt to intervene earlier.”
Of the decision of the court, Martin stated that Judge Trader acted outside the law by dismissing the case without informing him.
Martin has stated that he is appealing the premature dismissal of the case.