OR WAS HE?
by Sharon Rondeau
(Jul. 24, 2017) — On Monday evening, as President Trump addressed the annual Boy Scout Jamboree in West Virginia, CBS White House correspondent tweeted the names of past presidents who were once members of the organization, founded in 1909.
In the list, along with “JFK, Ford, Clinton, and GWBush” was “Obama.”
At approximately the same time as his first tweet, Knoller said that seven former presidents attended and spoke to Boy Scout Jamborees “since 1937, the last being GWBush in 2005.”
The crowd on Monday evening was estimated to be between 40,000 and 45,000. During his remarks, Trump raised the fact that Obama had not attended the event during his eight years in the White House.
This writer cannot recall a time when Obama or anyone in his administration ever claimed that Obama was a Boy Scout. Obama reportedly spent four years living in Indonesia between the ages of 6 and 10.
Today, boys who wish to join the Boy Scouts of America begin at age 7 as a “Tiger” and can graduate up to “Wolf Scouts” in the second grade to Bear Scouts as third-graders and Webelos Scouts in fourth and fifth grades.
“Webelos Scouts do more advanced activities to get ready to graduate into Boy Scouting,” the BSA website states. A boy who begins later than age 7 does not have to complete the activities associated with the levels he missed.
An article at The Huffington Post dated November 10, 2015 claims that Trump, while campaigning for the Republican presidential nomination, labeled Obama the “worst Boy Scout ever.”
“The would-be Republican nominee for President is now demanding the President turn over the records from his days as a Boy Scout,” wrote author Paul Lander.
The photo of Obama at the top of the article is obviously photoshopped, as Obama is depicted as an adult in a Boy Scout uniform.
Lander’s article also appears, with an earlier date, at a website named “HumorTimes” which declares it to be satire.
In addition to CBS, a number of mainstream media outlets reported on the jamboree as Trump was speaking, including his remarks apparently aimed at Republican members of Congress, who have not followed through on their many pledges to repeal and replace Obama’s health care bill known as “Obamacare.”
Other aspects of Obama’s life have been presented differently at different times. A 1991 promotional booklet containing Obama’s purported biography reported him as “born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii” and remained so through April 2007, when it was quietly changed to say that he was “born in Hawaii.”
At some point before Obama ran for president, he declared himself as born in Honolulu, HI on August 4, 1961 to a U.S.-citizen mother and British-citizen father.
In 2008, Michelle Obama described Kenya as being her husband’s “home country.”
Prior to his presidential run, mainstream writers reported Obama as born in Indonesia, later changing their narratives to claim adamantly that he was born in Hawaii.
Article II, section 1, clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution requires the president to be a “natural born citizen,” which most Americans understand means, at a minimum, “born in the United States.”
Many scholars and others studying the issue have questioned whether or not an individual whose father was never a U.S. citizen can be considered “natural born.”
As the satirical article referenced, in early 2011, Trump urged the White House publicly to release Obama’s “long-form” birth certificate to prove that he was born in the United States and presumably eligible to the office of president. At the time, Trump was considering challenging Obama in the 2012 election.
On April 27, 2011, the White House published what it said was a scan of a certified copy of Obama’s original birth record from the Hawaii Department of Health. However, within days, experts in the fields of computer graphics design declared the image a poor forgery.
A five-year criminal investigation led by former detective Mike Zullo of Maricopa County, AZ, commissioned by then-Sheriff Joseph Arpaio, led to evidence demonstrating that the birth certificate image is a “computer-generated forgery.” Also found to be fraudulent was Obama’s purported Selective Service registration form.
The Obama White House did not issue a response to the the claims of forgery of Obama’s only publicly-proffered documentation, and the FBI declined to investigate.
Regarding presidents who were Boy Scouts, the website reference.com states that “John F. Kennedy was the first U.S. President to be a Boy Scout, reaching the level of Star Scout. As of 2014, Gerald Ford was the only President to reach the level of Eagle Scout. Both George W. Bush and Bill Clinton were Cub Scouts. Barack Obama was not a part of the Boy Scouts of America; rather he was a member of Gerakan Pramuka, the Indonesian Scout Association, and he reached the equivalent of Cub Scout.“
Answers.com posted a similar response to the question of whether or not Obama was a Boy Scout. “He was never a Boy Scout of America. But he was a boy scout in Jakarta,” the statement said.
The Post & Email cannot vouch for the veracity of either of the aforementioned claims regarding Obama’s alleged scouting experience in Indonesia.
In 2013, Obama opined on CBS News that the Boy Scouts of America should permit homosexuals to join, which had been against their policy. Although upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Boy Scouts changed their policy later that year to allow boys who identified as “gay” to become members.
In 2015, the organization voted to allow “gay” men to become Scout leaders. At the time, NBC News reported that despite the change in policy, “The Boy Scouts national organization said it would defend any local scouting group’s ‘good faith refusal’ to admit a scouting leader based upon the group’s religious principles.”