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BLOGGERS BLOW FACTCHECK.ORG OUT OF THE WATER!
by WTPOTUS, ©2011
(Apr. 13, 2011) — This is in response to an article from FactCheck Blog, “Donald, You’re Fired!”, posted on April 9, 2011. Excerpts from their article are included for ease of rebuttal–an educational effort.
If FactCheck staffers worked for us, we’d have to say: “FactCheck, You’re fired–for incompetence, blatant obfuscation, and use of Alinsky tactics!” When it comes to getting facts straight, FactCheck fails miserably, again, and again, and again.
Point by Point Rebuttal
Trump claims the president’s grandmother says Obama was born in Kenya. In fact, the recording to which he refers shows Sarah Obama repeatedly saying through a translator: “He was born in America.”
TRUTH: She said this only after a “long pause” during which a conversation in a Kenyan tongue took place in the background, between several men and Sarah Obama, right after she very clearly stated that she was present in Kenya at his birth. Did these men intimidate her into changing her story? You be the judge. Many benefits subsequently flowed to the Obama family, such as a paved road, electricity, and piped-in water after they supported Obama in his endeavors. Early on, Kenyans did not realize the importance of a US birth for any presidential candidate.
FactCheck produced a supposed transcript of the conversation between Mr. McRae and Sarah Obama. But there’s no translation of the conversation in a Kenyan dialect that can be heard in the background, between what sounds like several men and Sarah Obama.
FactCheck transcribed another part of the conversation thusly:
Translator: Sir, she says he was born in Hawaii.
Translator: Yeah, in 1960 this was Hawaii, where his father, his father was also marrying there. This was Hawaii.
Obama claims that he was born in 1961. But Sarah said 1960.
Trump claims that no hospital in Hawaii has a record of Obama’s birth. Hospital records are confidential under federal law, but Honolulu’s Kapi’olani Medical Center has published a letter from Obama calling it “the place of my birth,” thus publicly confirming it as his birthplace.
TRUTH: The hospital promptly removed that letter from its website, where it had been used for fundraising, after its provenance was questioned and after persons who know stated that if the letter is fraudulent, the hospital would be in violation of the law. The letter is now hidden from view.
Senator Slom of Hawaii has repeatedly asked to see it but has not been allowed to see it. He is told, but does not know for certain, that the letter is on display in a private office for safekeeping.
Trump insists that the official “Certification of Live Birth” that Obama produced in 2008 is “not a birth certificate.” That’s wrong. The U.S. Department of State uses “birth certificate” as a generic term to include the official Hawaii document, which satisfies legal requirements for proving citizenship and obtaining a passport.
TRUTH: The “Certification of Live Birth” (COLB) that was posted as a digital image on partisan blogs (Daily Kos and FactCheck) and in a campaign ad (Fight the Smears) is NOT an “official Certification of Live Birth” nor is it a “birth certificate.” Obama did not produce it; it was released by his campaign, not by Obama. It’s a digital image.
When originally released, that digital image was modified, because the identification number on it was redacted. It says at the bottom of the image, “Any alterations invalidate this certificate.” It was altered; therefore, it is invalid.
It matters not what the State Dept. calls such documents, when they’re in three-dimensional form. The state of Hawaii did not, in 2007, consider a “certification of live birth” to be the same as a “birth certificate” or a “certificate of birth.”
It also matters not whether the State Dept. would accept a COLB (in 3-D form) to satisfy “legal requirements for proving citizenship and obtaining a passport.” Natural born citizenship differs from simple citizenship, which is sufficient to receive a passport.
No doubt, Arnold Schwarzenegger has a US passport. No doubt, today he is a US citizen. However, he is not and never can be eligible for the presidency, short of a Constitutional amendment.
Schwarzenegger is a citizen; he is NOT a “natural born” citizen, which is the standard for POTUS eligibility. As such, he has the same status as Obama: Ineligible, not a NATURAL BORN citizen.
The president has NEVER released any officially certified document that proves that he was born in Hawaii, to the parents he claims, at the time and on the date he claims, at Kapiolani or at Queen’s Medical. He has never produced a “birth certificate”, a “certification of live birth”, a “certificate of live birth”, a “certificate of birth”, or even a “hospital birth certificate”.
Trump claims that there’s no signature or certification number on the document released by Obama. Wrong again. Photos of the document, which we posted in 2008, clearly show those details.
TRUTH: The “document” released by the Obama campaign is a digital image that has no certification number and no signature. Who would accept as a “document” a digital image released to partisan blogs and posted on a DNC-affiliated Obama campaign website? Trump refers to the image released by Obama’s campaign, not to photos on a partisan blog, which have no PROVENance. Has Obama or his campaign ever referenced those photographs on FactCheck blog or given them the nod as being authentic? If so, kindly, someone, supply a link.
In fact, no photograph that FactCheck produced of the document, which they claim is the source for the digital image posted on blogs and Obama’s campaign website, shows a certifying signature. They do not show a photograph of the entire back side of the document. Therefore, nobody can say with certainty what that cropped image of a signature block represents.
There is a certification number on photos of the front of the alleged document, which FactCheck blog posted weeks after they posted the original digital image, and only after others (mostly bloggers) questioned the missing certification number.
When bloggers questioned other details, FactCheck blog reduced the size and resolution of the photos and removed all embedded identifying properties. [See their story and note the difference between the claimed resolution and the actual resolution.] Is this how a nonpartisan factchecking organization should behave? Shouldn’t they be more than happy to answer questions? Shouldn’t they welcome examination of their claims? What about transparency? Why have no other members of the media been allowed to see and examine the document that FactCheck blog claims to have photographed?
Trump says newspaper announcements of Obama’s birth that appeared in Hawaii newspapers in 1961 ‘probably’ were placed there fraudulently by his now-deceased American grandparents. Actually, a state health department official and a former managing editor of one of the newspapers said the information came straight from the state health department.
TRUTH: Nobody knows with CERTAINTY that those announcements actually ran in newspapers in Hawaii in 1961. But even if they did, FactCheck blog, please NAME the “state health department official” and the “former managing editor” [Shapiro? See below.] who said that these announcements came only from the Hawaiian Department of Health (HDOH) and tell us upon what they base their knowledge about how things worked in 1961.
Nobody has ever seen these newspaper announcements in reality. That is, nobody has seen any newspaper. They have seen (again) digital images that are SAID to have come from microfilms at the State Library and at the Honolulu Advertiser.
A factchecker would investigate and then NAME the librarian who copied the images from microfilm at the State Library and sent them to a NAMED individual who sent them to the BLOGS where they first appeared.
A factchecker would locate and publish the underlying evidence that supports the provenance of the images, such as the letter or email making the request, the letter or email accompanying the images, and the receipt of payment for the copies.
A factchecker would investigate and then NAME the person at the Honolulu Advertiser who copied the images from microfilm at the newspaper and sent them to a NAMED person, who released them to BLOGS where they first appeared.
Why haven’t these birth announcement images been presented to any of the judges in any of the ineligibility lawsuits, if they are real? In fact, as blogger jbjd pointed out, the closest these images came to being entered into any court filing by Obama’s lawyers was in a footnote, which has no evidentiary value.
Nobody has stated with certainty that the only way a birth could be listed in those announcements in 1961 was if the HDOH sent the name to the newspaper.
Finally–there’s no PROOF whatsoever that the “son” announced in those newspapers (even if the images are authentic) is the person who is now president.
There’s no PROOF who the mother was. Barack Hussein Obama (BHO Sr.) had three if not four or more wives. Any of them could have been the “Mrs.” referred to in the announcements. BHO Sr. had many sons. Any of them could have been the son referred to in those announcements. BHO Sr. never lived at the address listed in the announcements. No place of birth is identified in those announcements.
So even if legitimate (which is in doubt until someone shows a contemporaneous, 3-D newspaper) the announcements do NOT prove that the POTUS was born in Hawaii.
But if BHO Sr. is his father, Obama is NOT a natural born citizen; so it doesn’t matter where he was born.
Trump claims “nobody knew” Obama when he was growing up and “nobody ever comes forward” who knew him as a child. “If I ever decide to run, you may go back and interview people from my kindergarten,” Trump said. Well, two retired kindergarten teachers in a 2009 news story fondly recall teaching a young Barack Obama.
TRUTH: While the usual set of “friends” and “teachers” put themselves forward, repeatedly, to claim that they knew him as a child, numerous discrepancies in their various reports raise suspicions. For example, he attended third grade in two countries, on opposite sides of the world.
The two retired teachers were actually student teachers who said that they did not teach Obama at the same time. One says she assisted his kindergarten teacher during the first part of that school year, while the other says she assisted his kindergarten teacher during the second part of the school year. Of course, the records are missing.
One student teacher described him as “heavy build”, which certainly does not sound like the POTUS. (Look at the photo: He looks thin, not “heavy build”, and his head looks pasted on. A tropical climate, but he alone wears long sleeves.) These women did not know each other at the time but met later, became good friends, compared notes (according to the 2009 story), and were Obama supporters. His actual kindergarten teacher, if the story is true, was Alice Sakai, who died in 2006, and so conveniently cannot be interviewed.
These two student teachers, Obama supporters and good friends, had the same photograph that was already published in the 2008 story. They claimed that Alice Sakai sent the photo to one of them; but of course, she cannot confirm that as true, being sadly deceased.
The evidence that Obama was born in the U.S.A. is so overwhelming that we haven’t had much to say lately about the sort of bogus claims that Trump repeats. Hawaii’s top official in charge of vital records stated long ago, for example, that the confidential records underlying Obama’s official birth certificate show that he was born in Hawaii and is “a natural born American citizen.”
TRUTH: There is NO EVIDENCE that Obama was born in the U.S.A. None. If there were, he would have presented it to the courts. If EVIDENCE existed, a MORAL INDIVIDUAL would present it instead of hiding it.
Obama is not a “natural born American citizen.” He may be a US citizen now; but he never was a “natural born” citizen of the USA, unless he’s not telling the truth about the identity of his father.
The father that Obama claims, BHO Sr., was never a US citizen, never an aspiring immigrant, never a permanent resident. Thus, Obama was (as his website indicated) born a British subject, later a Kenyan citizen, and later still an Indonesian citizen (as AP evidence shows). Obama’s site also referred to him as a “native” (not natural born) citizen of the USA.
If he was born outside the USA, he was not even a US citizen at birth. He may now be a naturalized citizen; but if so, he is ineligible for the presidency. No documentation has been found to verify that he ever changed his status: his foreign citizenships may remain active.
But when a leading prospect for the Republican presidential nomination embraces and repeats these spurious claims and groundless conspiracy theories on national television, we are forced to wade into this swamp once again. For details of where Trump goes wrong, and full documentation of the facts, please read on to our Analysis section.
TRUTH: No truly nonpartisan, factchecking organization would use terms such as “spurious”, “groundless conspiracy theories” or “swamp” when describing one side of an argument to be analyzed with an open mind and resolved via the presentation of facts. By using such terms, they prove their partisan BIAS.
Trump echoed claims that are often repeated by those who wish to believe Obama is not a natural-born American citizen.
TRUTH: We don’t “wish to believe” that Obama is not a natural born citizen; we know that he’s not, unless he’s lying about his father’s identity. Blood AND Soil. The two requirements: Birth on US soil to two US citizen parents. No allegiance to any other country or sovereign, ever, as documented in a detailed analysis by Leo Donofrio, Esq.
The proof of Obama’s citizenship has long been apparent to us and, we think, to any reasonable person with a mind open to evidence.
TRUTH: “Citizenship” is not the issue; natural born citizenship is the issue. FactCheck blog has provided no admissible ”evidence” of Obama’s natural born citizenship, to the people or to the courts. What’s apparent to FactCheck is not apparent to REASONABLE persons with open minds who wish only to see PROOF of Obama’s eligibility, which any serious employer would require.
The proof is not just the official birth certificate issued by the state of Hawaii and made public by the Obama campaign in 2008.
TRUTH: There is no such document. No such document has EVER been presented. It’s a digital image on a partisan blog and in a campaign advertisement. No official birth certificate has ever been presented to any court of law. Nor has any such document been shown to We the People or to our elected representatives or to journalists in the mainstream media.
As we wrote when we published detailed photographs of that document in our “Born in the U.S.A.” article, that document constitutes legal proof of citizenship sufficient to meet all U.S. Department of State requirements for issuance of a passport.
TRUTH: The photographs are hardly detailed, especially after being downsized. Notice the conveniently placed shadows and the flares of light that obscure pertinent information. Is this how a reasonable person would photograph a document?
Requirements for obtaining a passport are not the same as requirements for the presidency, as FactCheck well knows. A passport is available to any “citizen”, including naturalized citizens, who are ineligible for the presidency. They are comparing apples and oranges in a transparent and deliberate attempt to reframe the issue. The issue is NATURAL BORN citizenship. See how cleverly they mislead, these so-called, self-proclaimed, “nonpartisan” factcheckers?
There also were public announcements of Obama’s birth published in Hawaii newspapers shortly after his birth in 1961.
TRUTH: Nobody has ever produced a newspaper from 1961 that contains that announcement.
And the state’s top vital records official, Dr. Chiyome Leinaala Fukino, director of the Hawaii Department of Health, issued a statement in 2009 stating that she had “seen the original vital records maintained on file” and that those records, which are confidential under state law, verify that “Barack Hussein Obama was born in Hawai‘i and is a natural-born American citizen.”
TRUTH: The vital records, plural, themselves purport to verify that he was born in Hawaii. An affidavit “verifies” a claim, when “to verify” is used in the legal sense of the word. Fukino claimed to have consulted the Hawaiian Attorney General prior to releasing her statement. It was a carefully parsed press release that does not DESCRIBE the contents of those vital records. Obama can release these records. All he has to do is make the request. But he does not.
That these records, whatever they are, “verify” that Obama is a “natural-born American citizen” is Fukino’s interpretation, which is certainly open to argument. What does she mean by “natural-born American citizen” as compared to the requirement of the US Constitution, which is “natural born citizen of the United States?” Is Mexico, arguably, America? Yes, it is. Is Canada? Yes, it is. Is Argentina? Yes, it is.
A reporter for an Indianapolis television station filed this story shortly after Obama was elected in November, 2008. And in it Sarah Obama tells (again, through translators) of her grandson’s first visit to Kenya — when he was 25 years old.
TRUTH: That would have been 1986 or 1987, if this is correct. 1983, according to Sarah Obama in another story. 1985, according to Kezia. 1988, according to Obama and one of his biographers. Stories vary, as usual. See our timeline for more details.
It’s true that the rather poor image that the Obama campaign at first made public showed only one side of the document (the official signature was on the reverse) and the campaign unaccountably obliterated the number, for reasons never fully explained. But when we pressed the campaign for a better image, we were allowed to come to campaign headquarters and photograph it for ourselves, which we did.
TRUTH: The “rather poor” FactCheck photos show only one side of that purported document. Who exactly are “we?” Will those persons sign affidavits attesting, under oath, that what FactCheck wrote about visiting that document is absolutely true? Will FactCheck provide evidence that the persons who examined the document have the expertise to determine its authenticity? Did FactCheck ever ask the HDOH if they produced and certified that document? Did the HDOH ever state that they produced and certified that document? NO, they did not!
Had Trump looked at our 2008 article, he would see the signature stamp of Alvin Onaka, certifying that the document is “a true copy or abstract of the record on file,” issued to Obama June 7, 2007 as he was preparing to run for president.
TRUTH: Trump would have seen no such thing because FactCheck did not photograph the entire back side of the supposed document, making it impossible to validate their claims. There’s no context for the signature stamp and the date shown in their article. Why didn’t they photograph the entire back side?
Furthermore, the serial number (actually a “certificate” number) shows quite clearly in our photos. The number is 151 1961 – 010641, for whatever that’s worth.
TRUTH: It’s not worth much. Can they explain why the number is out of sequence with the numbers of the Nordyke twins? Did they even try to explain this discrepancy, as real factcheckers would?
We were amused to see Trump make a show recently of producing what he said was his own “birth certificate,” which wasn’t an official document and wouldn’t qualify him for a passport [a non sequitur]. “It took me one hour to get my birth certificate,” he told the conservative-leaning news site Newsmax [Newsmax is conservative? Who knew?]. “It’s inconceivable that, after four years of questioning, the president still hasn’t produced his birth certificate.”
TRUTH: FactCheck shouldn’t be amused; they were punked. Trump did this to demonstrate bias in the mainstream media, many of whom immediately jumped on Trump for presenting a non-official document. Ironic, considering they’ve never vetted Obama’s “document”, never asked to examine forensically that so-called document.
They might have asked Obama to request another COLB from Hawaii, to be certified and delivered directly to a media source that’s unimpeachable, although who that might be in the age of Obama, is hard to say.
They might have asked him, very simply, why he didn’t produce that document to any court of law. Can there be any explanation other than that it’s “embarrassing” or that it’s not legitimate so, therefore, it’s a crime to present it in court?
Trump’s “birth certificate” was actually an unofficial “Certificate of Birth” generated by Jamaica Hospital Medical Center (in Queens, N.Y. — not the island nation) stating that Trump was born there June 14, 1946. But because it was not “issued by the city, county or state” as required by the State Department, it does not constitute legal proof of citizenship sufficient to obtain a passport. When confronted with these facts, Trump later coughed up what he said was his official birth record issued by New York City’s Bureau of Records and Statistics. It is a certified photocopy of a “Certificate of Birth” signed by a physician. This one does appear to meet State Department requirements. And so does Obama’s.
Trump showed the media an actual 3-D document, and so his evidence is very different from Obama’s lack of evidence. FactCheck and others in the media went for Trump’s bait…hook, line, and sinker.
Obama’s COLB is actually an unofficial digital image that would be accepted by NOBODY as proof of identity or birth. Try getting a passport by showing a digital image on a blog. A photoshopped image at that.
It’s also true that at least one news story (which was later corrected) incorrectly reported a different hospital as the birthplace, allowing Obama’s foes to engage in unfounded speculation that family members disagreed.
TRUTH: Multiple sources stated that Obama was born at Queen’s Medical. A student journalist interviewed Maya Soetoro. He reported that Queen’s Medical Center was the site of Obama’s birth. He has never, so far as we know, “corrected” that article. (FactCheck refers to another story.) It’s insulting to this student journalist to assume that he was lax in his research and reporting, simply because he was a student. There are (or were, prior to Internet scrubbing) MANY citations of Queen’s Medical as Obama’s place of birth.
It is also true that Kapi’olani can’t legally release individually identifiable health information without that person’s permission because of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.
TRUTH: Kapiolani hospital posted a letter claiming that Obama was born there on a fundraising website, so they already released the information. Illegally? Why doesn’t FactCheck ask Obama to give Kapiolani permission to release the information, again?
It’s also very simple to make a false claim.
TRUTH: They should know.
Advertiser, Nov. 9, 2008: Advertiser columnist and former Star-Bulletin managing editor Dave Shapiro was not at either paper in 1961, but he remembers how the birth notices process worked years later when both papers were jointly operated by the Hawaii Newspaper Agency — which no longer exists. “Those were listings that came over from the state Department of Health,” he said. ‘”They would send the same thing to both papers.”
TRUTH: Mr. Shapiro is a FORMER employee of the newspaper and he admits that he did not know how the process worked in 1961. He spoke only about how it “worked years later.” While he says that some listings were sent from the Dept. of Health, he did not say that there could be no other source for these listings.
Our job is simply to assess evidence and call out falsehoods and factual mistakes when we find them.
TRUTH: Physician, heal thyself.
Nov. 1, 2008: Of all the nutty rumors, baseless conspiracy theories and sheer disinformation that we’ve dealt with at FactCheck.org during campaign 2008, perhaps the goofiest is the claim that Barack Obama is not a “natural-born citizen” and therefore not eligible to be president under the constitution.
TRUTH: If the “facts” that Obama himself has presented regarding his parentage are true, the FACT is that he is NOT a natural born citizen of the US and, therefore, is NOT eligible to be president under the Constitution.
FactCheck (a project of the Annenberg Foundation, for which Obama worked) and others are free to continue to ridicule, in Alinsky fashion, Donald Trump and all “birthers” who seek only to verify that every candidate for the presidency is eligible. Eligible to SERVE us, We the People. TRUTH will out.
We close with wisdom from Barack Hussein Obama II himself:
The only people who don’t want to disclose the truth, are people with something to hide.