IS OBAMA’S ELIGIBILITY A “CONSPIRACY THEORY?”
by Sharon Rondeau, h/t CDR Charles F. Kerchner, Jr. (Ret)
(Feb. 4, 2020) — A widely-circulated article by Matt O’Brien of the Associated Press published Monday reports that YouTube, which is owned by Google, has disallowed videos about “birtherism” in the months leading up to the 2020 presidential election.
“Better late than never, YouTube is making clear there will be no ‘birtherism’ on its platform during this year’s U.S. presidential election,” the article begins. “Nevermind that the conspiracy theory around former President Barack Obama’s citizenship emerged in 2008 and has not been a widespread issue since he last ran for president in 2012.”
The edict also bans videos containing manufactured political parodies which may appear authentic, known as “deepfakes,” O’Brien reported.
The article hearkens back to early 2011, when then-businessman Donald J. Trump called publicly for then-White House occupant Barack Hussein Obama to release his “long-form” birth certificate to prove his constitutional eligibility to serve as president and commander-in-chief.
Article II, Section 1, clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution requires the chief executive to be a “natural born Citizen” without defining the term.
“Trump repeatedly voiced citizenship doubts even after Obama produced his long-form birth certificate,” O’Brien further wrote. “Trump only fully backed off from the idea in the final stages of his 2016 presidential campaign,” a reference to Trump’s public declaration in September 2016 that “President Obama was born in the United States, period.”
Although a myriad of evidence exists that Obama was reported to have been born in Kenya or Indonesia by mainstream media outlets, those same outlets have since inexplicably insisted that Obama was born in Hawaii.
The media has not disputed that Obama’s claimed father, Barack Hussein Obama, was a British citizen who became, by virtue of Kenya’s declared independence from the Crown in December 1963, a Kenyan citizen, which he remained until his death in 1982.
In 2008, Obama claimed on his campaign website that his presidential eligibility stemmed from the 14th Amendment, ratified in 1868, some 77 years after the Constitution’s ratification by the necessary nine of 13 colonies.
During a round of media appearances on the subject, on April 7, 2011, speaking of Obama, Trump told NBC News, “If he wasn’t born in this country, which is a real possibility, then he has pulled one of the great cons in the history of politics.”
As with earlier AP reportage on the subject, O’Brien failed to mention that a 5+-year criminal investigation into the “long-form” image posted on the White House website on April 27, 2011 concluded it to be a “computer-generated forgery” followed by concurrence by two well-known forensics experts.
Over the course of the probe, lead investigator Mike Zullo held three press conferences revealing successively more detail as to how the image proved fraudulent. Broadcast reportage on the pressers was virtually nonexistent, and no media outlet launched its own investigation into Zullo’s claims.
Following the initial press conference on March 1, 2012, Zullo was scheduled to interview with Lawrence O’Donnell of MSNBC and Sean Hannity on radio, but both canceled shortly before air time, Zullo reported last April.
In November 2017, The New York Times, which frequently attributed the “birther movement” to Trump, reported that the question of Obama’s eligibility, as defined by the “birth certificate,” remained on Trump’s mind, citing an unnamed administration source. A link to that article embedded in a CNN report now leads to an article about the “Access Hollywood” recording released by Billy Bush.
“Eligibility” for office is virtually never a topic of discussion within the mainstream media complex, with an exception having been U.S. Senator from Texas Ted Cruz, who sought the 2016 Republican presidential nomination while maintaining that his birth in Calgary, Alberta, Canada presented no obstacle to his being a “natural born Citizen.”
Cruz’s father was a Cuban citizen when son Ted was born and took Canadian citizenship while the family resided in Calgary in the late 1960s/early 1970s. While Cruz claims his birth in Canada to a U.S.-citizen mother was enough to make him “natural born,” some sources reported that Eleanor Darragh Cruz also assumed Canadian citizenship at one point.
Cruz has released no documentation demonstrating that he was declared a dual Canadian-U.S. citizen at birth or that he was naturalized as U.S. citizen later, when he left Canada with his mother to settle in Texas at the age of four, prompting questions as to whether or not he met the constitutional requirements to serve in the U.S. Senate. He did, however, release documents showing that he renounced his Canadian citizenship in 2014, the year before he announced his presidential candidacy.
As The Post & Email has reported over the years, a number of constitutional scholars interpret “natural born Citizen” to mean, “born in the United States to citizen parents.” In 1916, Democrat Breckinridge Long wrote in the Chicago Legal News that Charles Evans Hughes, a Republican challenging then-President Woodrow Wilson for the White House, was not eligible because of his birth, albeit in the United States, to a non-U.S.-citizen father.
Long began his essay:
Whether Mr. Hughes is, or is not, a “natural born” citizen within the meaning of the Constitution, so as to make him eligible or ineligible, to assume the office of President, presents an interesting inquiry.
He was born in this country and is beyond question “native born.” But is there not a distinction between “native born” and “natural born”? At the time he was born his father and mother were subjects of England. His father had not then been naturalized. The day after Mr. Hughes was born his father had a right, as an English subject, to go to the British consul, at New York, and to present his wife and infant and to claim any assistance he might need from the consul as the representative of the English government.
If war had broken out between this government and England this government would have had a right to interne the father, the mother and the son as subjects of an enemy power.
Several current or former 2020 Democrat presidential contenders do not meet Long’s definition of “natural born Citizen.” U.S. Senator from California Kamala Harris was born in the United States to two non-citizen parents; similarly, available information on Andrew Yang indicates that his parents, though resident in the State of New York when he was born, never naturalized.
An unanswered question remains as to the eligibility of Rep. Tulsi Gabbard for both her House seat and the presidency given her birth to U.S.-citizen parents in American Samoa, an unincorporated territory which does not automatically confer U.S. citizenship to those born there.
O’Brien’s article did not explain why Google deemed “eligibility” and “birtherism” objectionable. Over the last several years, many creators have claimed that Google and YouTube have practiced “censorship,” prompting several congressional hearings on the subject last year.
As chairman of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, Cruz presided over one of the hearings, decrying what he said is a “pattern of political bias from YouTube” and Google.
In an interview stemming from the hearing, Cruz told “Fox & Friends” hosts on July 17, “Google is a monopoly. Google may well be the most powerful company on the face of the planet because they have a monopoly on information, on what you know and what I know. And not only that, but Google owns YouTube, which is the second most popular website on the face of the planet. And the problem is, they use monopoly powers to silence voices they don’t like.”
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