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WERE THEY “SILENCED?”
by Sharon Rondeau
(Jul. 3, 2015) — In a brief unattributed article on the front page of the Rockford (IL) Register Star dated August 12, 2008, it is reported that former Democrat presidential primary contender Hillary Clinton decided against using a strategy which would have highlighted Barack Obama’s “roots to basic American values and culture.”
Clinton and Obama were engaged in a fierce battle during the 2008 Democrat primary season.
The title of the article is “Hillary Rejected ‘Roots’ Strategy.” Its contents read:
Hillary Clinton’s top campaign strategist advised her to cast presidential rival Barack Obama as having questionable “roots to basic American values and culture” and use the theme to counter the image that his background is diverse and multicultural.
Clinton did not take the advice, revealed by a report in the September issue of The Atlantic magazine.
The 35-page August 12, 2008 edition of the Register Star contains many articles which are unattributed, although some within the Sports section are attributed to a specific writer. On other pages, articles are generally credited to “Business Rockford Wire Reports,” with some photos credited to the Associated Press.
Below the text in bold type are lead-ins to two articles on the 2008 presidential campaign on an inner page, one dealing with a campaign ad of McCain’s and the other with who Obama might choose as his running mate. On June 3, 2008, Obama was declared the Democrat primary winner; in late August, he received the Democrat Party’s official nomination at its convention held in Denver, CO.
The article referenced in The Atlantic is still available on the web as of this writing. [Editor’s Note: Contains strong language quoted from Clinton campaign staffers’ correspondence. Not for children.] In his piece titled “The Front-Runner’s Fall,” Joshua Green provided an in-depth analysis using first-hand sources as to why Clinton’s primary campaign was unsuccessful. Green quotes one of Clinton’s campaign strategists, Mark Penn, as having advocated adopting the narrative that a “very strong weakness” of Obama’s was that “his roots to basic American values and culture are at best limited.”
Penn reportedly continued in an internal memo to Clinton:
I cannot imagine America electing a president during a time of war who is not at his center fundamentally American in his thinking and in his values. He told the people of NH yesterday he has a Kansas accent because his mother was from there. His mother lived in many states as far as we can tell—but this is an example of the nonsense he uses to cover this up….
Let’s explicitly own ‘American’ in our programs, the speeches and the values. He doesn’t…
Green concluded that “Clinton wisely chose not to go this route,” then presented in detail several factors which appeared to have contributed to Clinton’s implosion including infighting among campaign staffers, depleting campaign coffers such that Clinton had to loan her campaign $5 million, and Obama’s gain of delegates and primary votes in states Clinton had hoped to win.
In 2012, Los Angeles-based filmmaker and producer Bettina Viviano and screenwriter Gigi Gaston reported “systematic corruption” within the 2008 Nevada Democrat caucus alleging “deliberately miscounted votes to favor Senator Obama, deliberately counted unregistered persons as Obama votes,” and “deliberately counted young children as Obama votes,” among other irregularities.
Article II, Section 1, clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution requires that the president and commander-in-chief be a “natural born Citizen.” While much controversy surrounds the term inserted by the Framers at the suggestion of John Jay, the first U.S. Supreme Court chief justice, virtually all Americans understand that it signifies, at a minimum, that anyone born in a foreign country is not eligible. The president must also be at least 35 years old and have resided in the United States for 14 years. In contrast, the requirement for U.S. senators and representatives is stated in the Constitution as “a Citizen,” with respective residency and age requirements lower than that of the chief executive.
Many believe that the citizenship of a presidential candidate’s parents, or at least the father, at the time of the candidate’s birth is equally important to the his birthplace, or perhaps more so.
Barack Obama claims a birth in Hawaii on August 4, 1961 to a Kenyan-citizen father and a U.S.-citizen mother. No hospital in Hawaii has confirmed his birth.
In 1866, Rep. John Bingham, considered the author of the 14th Amendment, defined a “natural born Citizen” as “born within the jurisdiction of the United States of parents not owing allegiance to any foreign sovereignty.”
In 1916, future Ambassador to Italy, U.S. Senate candidate and Third Assistant Secretary of State Breckinridge Long wrote an essay published in the Chicago Law Journal arguing that presidential candidate Charles Evans Hughes was not a “natural born Citizen” because of his birth to two British-citizen parents on U.S. soil. An excerpt from his essay reads:
The Constitution of the United States puts a particular qualification upon those who shall become President and Vice-President. For all other offices it requires that they be “citizens of the United States,” but for the Presidency and Vice-Presidency it requires that they be “Natural Born citizens.” The word “natural” means “of the nature of”; “naturally a part of”; “by the lawsof nature an integral part of” a system. Following that line of thought, a“natural born” citizen would be one who was naturally, at his birth, a member of the political society; naturally, a part of the political system into which he was born; by the laws of nature a citizen of the society into which he was born. It would mean, further, that no other government had any claim upon him; that his sole allegiance was to the government into which he had been born and that that government was solely, at the time, responsible for his protection. “Native born” does not mean quite the same thing. He might be born in a country under conditions similar to the conditions under which Mr.Hughes was born, and subsequently become a citizen of that Country…
Beginning in 2000 when he first ran for president, Sen. John McCain’s eligibility was questioned because of his birth in Panama to two U.S.-citizen parents. Today, at least four declared or presumptive Republican candidates are seeking the nomination for president in 2016: Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who was born in the U.S. to two non-citizen, legal-resident parents; Sen. Marco Rubio, who was born in Florida to two non-citizen parents who fled Castro’s Cuba; Sen. Ted Cruz, who was born in Canada to a U.S.-citizen mother and Cuban, then Canadian-citizen father who much later became a U.S. citizen; and former Sen. Rick Santorum, whose father is reported to have been a citizen of Italy when his son was born in the United States.
Just as the Democrat Party has not addressed questions about Obama’s eligibility, the Republican Party has remained silent on the qualifications of its current field of candidates.
In an interview with Jerome Corsi dated April 3, 2012, Viviano said that questions as to whether or not Obama met presidential eligibility requirements was first raised by “the Clintons.” “It was Hillary and Bill, and it percolated up from there…Bill Clinton would make references to it; he would say it; he would go on camera and jokingly make comments about ‘Is Obama qualified to be president…?'” Viviano said. Referring to Hillary Clinton, Viviano told Corsi, “…in the world that we were in with her super-delegates and delegates, it just was ‘he’s not legitimate; that’s the end of it; period; end of story.’ We were always told that Bill was going to tell the truth.”
Viviano added that “four years later, I’m actually shocked that anybody thinks he is legit.” Referring to Gaston’s film, “We Will Not Be Silenced,” produced in response to their observations of the 2008 Democrat primaries, Viviano said that people involved in its production were “threatened” with their jobs, party memberships, or even their lives. She stated that Bill Clinton’s reported “best friend,” Arkansas Democratic Party chair Bill Gwatney and a Hillary Clinton super-delegate, was murdered by a gunman who entered his office and shot him in cold blood without an apparent motive. “I was told that that was ‘Shut up, Bill, or you’re next” “about Obama’s birth certificate,” Viviano told Corsi.
In reviewing scores of newspaper articles written about Obama while he was serving as an Illinois state senator from 1996 to 2004, The Post & Email has observed that it appears no one questioned Obama’s background or citizenship when he first entered public service. Rather, coverage focused on Obama’s political positions and statements in which he advocated “universal” health care for Illinois, more money for his district’s public schools, improvements to the district’s roads and bridges, better benefits for the state’s military veterans, and government assistance to the poor.
A state senator, representative or governor can be foreign-born and legally serve as a naturalized U.S. citizen, as can U.S. representatives and senators.
Since 2007, with virtually no documentation made public, millions of Americans have questioned Obama’s background, perhaps beginning with MSNBC commentator Chris Matthews, who on December 18, 2007, questioned rhetorically whether or not Clinton would raise the issues of Obama’s having been “born in Indonesia” and possession of an “Islamic background” during the primary season.
In September 2011, the Maricopa County, AZ Cold Case Posse, at the request of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, launched an investigation into the authenticity of the long-form birth certificate image posted on the White House website on April 27 of that year. On March 1, 2012, in the first of two press conferences, Cold Case Posse lead investigator Mike Zullo declared the birth certificate image a “computer-generated forgery” and provided details as to how the team reached its conclusions. In addition, Zullo revealed that Obama’s purported Selective Service registration form, mailed to various FOIA requesters by the Selective Service System, is also fraudulent.
Major media failed to report the findings. According to Zullo, several journalists have been threatened with their jobs, careers, or worse were they to have chosen to write about it. Although Congress failed to launch its own investigation as Arpaio had urged, some have publicly questioned Obama’s allegiance and opined that he lacks “an American experience.”
Arpaio has been sued twice by the Obama U.S. Department of Justice, which also placed him under criminal investigation for alleged “abuse of power,” the latter of which was abruptly abandoned in late August 2012. One civil action was resolved out of court, while the remaining case alleging civil rights violations is scheduled for trial on August 10.
A civil lawsuit filed in late 2007 against Arpaio by Hispanic plaintiffs alleging racial profiling resulted in a judgment for the plaintiffs in December 2013 but has gone silent since Atty. Larry Klayman accused five of the plaintiffs’ attorneys of violating the Bar’s code of ethics by failing to disclose their professional relationship with a confidential informant whose work was unwittingly brought into the trial hearings in April by Judge G. Murray Snow.
Despite Obama’s claim to be a devout Christian while a state senator, during his White House tenure, he has appeared to many to shield Islam from criticism while marginalizing Christians and Jews. Prior to a “summit” held on the topic of violent extremism in February, Obama wrote in The Los Angeles Times, “Groups like al Qaeda and ISIL promote a twisted interpretation of religion that is rejected by the overwhelming majority of the world’s Muslims. The world must continue to lift up the voices of Muslim clerics and scholars who teach the true peaceful nature of Islam. We can echo the testimonies of former extremists who know how terrorists betray Islam. We can help Muslim entrepreneurs and youths work with the private sector to develop social media tools to counter extremist narratives on the Internet.”
In 1991, Obama’s then-literary agent, Acton & Dystel, published a biography in advance of his upcoming book stating that the author was “born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii.” After the revelation was made public by Breitbart News in May 2012, Miriam Goderich explained in a statement, since removed from the web, that a “fact checking error” had resulted in the erroneous claim that Obama was “born in Kenya and not Hawaii.”
Matthews has never explained how he came to believe or know that Obama was “born in Indonesia.” In a January 2006 article in The Honolulu Advertiser, Will Hoover wrote that Obama was born in Indonesia, then quickly altered the article to say that Obama was born in Hawaii, citing hasty research in order to meet a deadline at the time.
Hoover’s position was eliminated after The Honolulu Star and The Honolulu Bulletin merged into The Honolulu Star-Bulletin several years ago.
During a 2006 trip to several African countries as a U.S. senator, Obama was hailed as a “son” of Kenya, ostensibly because of his father’s birthplace and citizenship from that country. On July 23, 2006, the Register Star quoted Sen. Richard Durbin, the senior U.S. Senator from Illinois, as having said of Obama’s upcoming trip to Africa, “They realize that he is truly a son of Africa, and his election means something to them personally.”
On November 5, 2008, then-Kenyan ambassador to the U.S. Peter Ogego was elated to tell a radio show host that Obama, who had just won the presidential election, was born in Kenya and that his Kenyan birthplace “is already well-known” and an “attraction.”