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by Sharon Rondeau

Screenshot of Wikipedia entry for “Barack Obama Citizenship Conspiracy Theories”

(Dec. 26, 2014) — As The Post & Email reported last weekend, an archive of Obama’s 2008 campaign website, “FighttheSmears,” has apparently been obstructed by Organizing for Action (OFA), Obama’s political action organization.

When a user attempts to access the archive of FighttheSmears, he is brought to an error message produced by OFA.

OFA redirects to barackobama.com, which reportedly has approximately 500,000 members.

The Wikipedia entry titled “Barack Obama Citizenship Conspiracy Theories” contains two footnotes referencing material drawn from “Obama for America,” both of which lead to the same error page generated by the Wayback Machine’s FighttheSmears archive.

Obama’s life narrative has been questioned since late 2007, when MSNBC commentator Chris Matthews stated on air that Obama was “born in Indonesia” and had “an Islamic background.”  It has been reported that Obama was born in Kenya, including by his former literary agent, in an official biography which the agent later said had not been property “fact-checked.”

Footnote entry #36 in the Wikipedia article reads:

  1. “The truth about Barack’s birth certificate”. Obama for America. June 12, 2008. Archived from the original on July 1, 2009. Retrieved February 2, 2011.

While the first link opens to a web page titled “WebCite Query” containing references to FighttheSmears content “as it appeared on 7/1/2009,” the links from there lead to OFA error messages.  In one case, a link brings the user to an active OFA page which depicts Obama stating, “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek,” followed by his public life story.

However, WebCite Query appears to have captured some of the content of FighttheSmears, which may have been taken offline during the 2012 campaign cycle.

The text in the box under the instructions to “Copy the text and paste it into your email” reads:

Hi everyone!

People who are determined to keep us divided start these rumors about Barack’s birth certificate to manipulate us into thinking he is not an American citizen.

The fact is Barack Obama was born in the state of Hawaii in 1961, a native citizen of the United States of America.

Learn the facts and see the birth certificate for yourself:


Together we can make sure these negative and divisive attacks don’t affect this election.

Thanks for your help.

On June 12, 2008, an image purported to be Obama’s “birth certificate” was published at FighttheSmears and The Daily KOS with the intended purpose of dispelling rumors that Obama was not born in the U.S. and/or was not a U.S. citizen.  Those doubting Obama’s birth in Hawaii or his constitutional eligibility to serve as president have been termed “birthers.”

A link at the WebCite Query website referring to a “PDF,” presumably of the birth certificate image, now leads to an OFA error message.

When The Post & Email first clicked on the link accompanying reference entry #249, it led to an OFA error message.  However, on our second attempt, it led to the following:

In a subtle reference to political action groups opposed to Obama’s agenda identified by the words “heritage” and “prosperity,” OFA states that “This is a grassroots movement.  Change only happens when you fight for it.”

A link from Wikipedia referring to a Factcheck.org article which reportedly “clarifies Obama’s citizenship” also leads to an error message.

The Wikipedia entry “Barack Obama Presidential Campaign 2008” contains links to “Obama for America” which either lead to current content or to an OFA error message.

Screenshot taken on December 26, 2014 from Wikipedia’s entry titled “Barack Obama Presidential Campaign 2008.” The links to “Obama for America” as well as other content have been disabled.

A reference within the article to an Agence France-Press article from June 12, 2008 returns an “Error 404” message generated by Google.  TIME also reported on Obama’s efforts to “fight the smears” on June 12, 2008.

Article II, Section 1, clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution requires that the president and commander-in-chief be a “natural born Citizen,” which meant more to the Founding Fathers than simply “born on U.S. soil” as evidenced by John Jay’s letter to George Washington on July 25, 1787 and essays written at the time the Constitution was drafted.  Emmerich de Vattel’s “The Law of Nations,” believed to have been a reference for the Framers, states in Section 212:

The citizens are the members of the civil society; bound to this society by certain duties, and subject to its authority, they equally participate in its advantages. The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens. As the society cannot exist and perpetuate itself otherwise than by the children of the citizens, those children naturally follow the condition of their fathers, and succeed to all their rights. The society is supposed to desire this, in consequence of what it owes to its own preservation; and it is presumed, as matter of course, that each citizen, on entering into society, reserves to his children the right of becoming members of it. The country of the fathers is therefore that of the children; and these become true citizens merely by their tacit consent. We shall soon see whether, on their coming to the years of discretion, they may renounce their right, and what they owe to the society in which they were born. I say, that, in order to be of the country, it is necessary that a person be born of a father who is a citizen; for, if he is born there of a foreigner, it will be only the place of his birth, and not his country.

On Fight the Smears, Obama claimed to have been born a dual citizen of the U.S. and Kenya because of his Kenyan-citizen father.  Many constitutional scholars claim that Obama’s father’s citizenship alone was enough to disqualify him from the presidency.

While the Obama campaign first claimed that the “Certification of Live Birth” posted on FighttheSmears was Obama’s only government birth record, the White House later produced a different image which it claimed was Obama’s “long-form birth certificate” obtained by special dispensation of then-Hawaii Department of Health Director Loretta Fuddy.

On the day the more detailed image was released, The New York Times opined that “If there was ever any doubt about Mr. Obama’s citizenship, which there was not, the issue was settled years ago when Hawaii released his birth certificate. The fuller document that Mr. Obama had to request contains some extra information, including his mother’s signature and the name of the hospital where he was born, but it was unnecessary to show his legitimacy.”

The Times further stated that “it will not quiet the most avid attackers. Several quickly questioned its authenticity. That’s because the birther question was never really about citizenship; it was simply a proxy for those who never accepted the president’s legitimacy, for a toxic mix of reasons involving ideology, deep political anger and, most insidious of all, race.”

However, within 24 hours of the image’s appearance on whitehouse.gov, experts detailed on camera how they had concluded that it was a poor forgery.

A criminal investigation carried out by the Maricopa County, AZ Cold Case Posse beginning in September 2011 concluded in March 2012 that the image is a “computer-generated forgery.”  The team also studied Obama’s purported Selective Service registration form and found it to be similarly fraudulent.  In May 2013, Cold Case Posse lead investigator Mike Zullo told The Post & Email that the long-form birth certificate image was released “with the intent to deceive.”

The mainstream media has featured stories about Obama having laughed off challenges from “the birthers.”

In defending Obama from criticism as “the country’s first black president” this past week, a writer at Salon claimed that “the Democrats, the mainstream media and elements of the Republican establishment have managed to push the birthers to the fringes of the GOP,” while relying on Wikipedia in his reference to “the birthers.”

Salon has participated in attempts to discredit “birthers.”  In an article dated August 5, 2009, Salon writer Alex Koppelman wrote, “In the spirit of public service, Salon has compiled this list of the most popular Birther myths, along with all the debunking you could ever ask for.”  The photo accompanying the article currently depicts radio show host Rush Limbaugh with the caption, “This photo provided by the presidential campaign of Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., shows Obama with his mother Ann Dunham in an undated photo from the 1960’s. Dunham met Obama’s father, Barack Obama Sr. from Kenya, when both were students at the University of Hawaii at Manoa; they married in 1960.”

Photo appearing on December 26, 2014 in an article published on August 5, 2009 by Salon, with a caption indicating that the photo is of Obama and his purported mother, Ann Dunham Obama
Lower half of screenshot of Rush Limbaugh photo where Obama and his mother are said to be shown

Following the 2008 presidential election, Koppelman wrote:

Barack Obama was, without question, born in the U.S., and he is eligible to be president, but experts on conspiracy theories say that won’t ever matter to those who believe otherwise.

Another WebCite citation leads to a cached Washington Post article dated June 30, 2008 which attempted to negate “rumors” that an Obama presidency would mean “a Muslim in the White House.” Early in his 2008 campaign, however, Obama had said that “nobody is suffering more than the Palestinian people.”

“Among the very first” phone calls Obama made as de facto president was to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.  Today, Obama employs Muslims with connections to The Muslim Brotherhood. His half-brother Malik reportedly is the chief investment “architect” for the organization, which seeks to destroy Western civilization and implant Sharia law as its political system.

We controlled the media.” — Anita Dunn, 2008 Obama campaign communications director and admirer of Chinese communist murderer Mao Tse Tung

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  1. It bears repeating that a “Natural-Born Citizen is a person born in a country of parents who are BOTH citizens themselves at the the time said person is born”. This was AFFIRMED by the United States Supreme Court in Minor v Happersett.