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Obama's Political Motivations to Not Produce Documentation

The political spam has really been flying lately. People are getting so emotionally into this election – so desirous to not just show a candidate to be the better choice of the two, but to choose one by demonizing the other – they will latch on to almost anything. For example, I received a bogus email about Obama’s, the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem. The email says Obama made the outlandish statements during the 7 September 2008 airing of Meet the Press, and we’re talking seriously crazy stuff here. Obama likes to go to flag burnings, wants to change the National Anthem to "I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing," and all sorts of other stuff. He didn’t actually say any of it, of course. He wasn’t even on Meet the Press that day. No, the quotes were actually snatched directly from a satirical piece almost a year old. Seriously.

"Come on, people," I thought after hitting reply-to-all and sending out the snopes.com link above for the third time in one day, "Is that the best you’ve got?" Not to disappoint, I then got one labelling the owners of snopes.com as "flaming liberals." I wasn’t to believe anything the site told me – ever – because, well, because the spam said so, of course.

The day wasn’t a complete spam-waste, however. I got something a little different late in the afternoon. The subject line and pitch were typical ("This video could change the election. Please take ten minutes and watch it to the end." That sort of thing.), the intro guy obviously didn’t like Obama, and the interviewee came off a little nutty at first. Needless to say, this didn’t give me very high expectations. A few minutes in, though, I began to think there might actually be something weird going on.

I’m getting ahead of myself, though. First, the video. It’s a good ten minutes long, but I can sum it up nice and easy for you: Phillip Berg has sued Obama, the Democratic National Committee and the Federal Election Committee stating Obama has not provided full documentation of being a "natural born citizen." Obama’s council has filed to have the suit dismissed based on legal technicalities. I looked around online and there was a lot about his birth certificate. Factcheck.org seems to have investigated that claim thoroughly. I don’t have the expertise to say whether or not it’s a fake, and Mr. Berg seems to think there’s a conflict of interest there, but the thing I really don’t understand is: If factcheck.org has handled this document and has posted pictures of it on the Internet and the DNC has done the same thing, why wouldn’t Obama submit it to the court rather than file for dismissal for other reasons? The campaign has to realize how this must look.

There are allegations about other documents being withheld, too – his medical and college records – documents that might show Obama to have been an Indonesian citizen as a child. According to Berg, Indonesia does not allow dual citizenships, and once you lose your natural born citizenship you can only get the citizenship part back (i.e., not the natural born part). Again, why not just provide these documents and get it over with?

I came up with a few possible reasons:

  • There is something to hide that might bring his natural born citizenship into question.
  • There is something unrelated to his natural born citizenship on the records that would be embarrassing – like failing Intro to Ethics or How to be PUSA 101.
  • The technicality just seemed like the easiest way out.
  • Obama wanted to make a point about the value of privacy.

I’m essentially optimistic, so it’s difficult for me to swallow the intentional hiding of heinous information (i.e., the first option), but the alternatives don’t seem any more likely. Am I missing something?

In the end, I must admit I wouldn’t be up in arms calling for Obama to step out of the race even if it is revealed his father had little Barry’s U.S. citizenship revoked. I would however, be concerned about Obama not being completely forthcoming. If there’s anything the government needs, it’s transparency.

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Indonesian school by galton

As a European, I have a broadly disinterested perspective on the various controversies surrounding Obama. ( For the record, I would support Obama over McCain, albeit primarily because after the Messianism and euphoria that will accompany an Obama victory, the reality of failure and divisiveness that will follow will serve to persuade people to govern their own lives without waiting for some self-seeking imbecile politician to do it for them. ).

I don’t understand the minutiae of US citizenship laws, but I’m also aware of the allegation that Obama was a Muslim in his youth. Unless this picture is a fake, Obama, then known as Barry Soetero, was registered in his Indonesian school as Indonesian citizen of Muslim faith. This means he would, like every other Muslim pupil, have taken part in the daily Islamic prayers, washing and Koran recital.

I don’t have a problem with any of this, and I can’t imagine how this could preclude the adult Obama from being ‘suitable’ for the Presidency. But again, as the blog post above observes, the Obama campaign has chosen to dissemble rather than confront this question. And his media associates have been quite explicit in stating that anyone who pursues these questions is obviously a racist or religious bigot.

Perhaps the motivation for doing so is a belief that the US public are essentially racists and religious bigots who would react accordingly. But I find this to be an unsettling attitude from one who aspires to be a ‘transformational figure’, as Colin Powell would put it.

When I was viewing the PDF I noticed something odd. The first thing that’s weird is seen on the bottom of each page of the PDF : bc.. C:\Documents and Settings\Geoff\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.Outlook
RUX63DMNObamaMemSupportTRO082108 (2).doc
That’s an odd thing to have displayed on an official document, I thought. Then I noticed that the main window title block says bc.. To: Souderton Area School Board June 5, 2006
and in fact when you look at the file properties, that’s the document title and the author is someone named “Barbara May”. A secretary maybe? I decided to do a Google search on “ Souderton Area School Board” and “Berg” (the lawyer). Amongst the other blog links was an interesting post in which the person noticed some of the things I did and posed the question asking if the whole thing was a just a hoax. The main point was that the court case, 08 cv-4083, was not on record as having even been filed. I also agree with the authors “cut and paste” theory showing the handwritten court case numbers to appear exactly the same on all the documents. (I also found it odd that a legal submission would cite Wikipedia as examples of the information in question, but that’s just me.) Apparently this Phillip Berg is a real character.
I agree with Brandon when he questions the motivations behind not producing the proper documentation, but then again if the court case wasn’t even actually filed maybe he’s just ignoring this group, or waiting for it to become a more public issue before nonchalantly bringing them forth. (Timing is everything in politics.)
(If someone with more legal knowledge than I have could re-verify whether the court case was actually filed it would be an important finding either way.)

It’s being reported now by pundits that the Governor of Hawaii has sealed Obama’s Birth Certicate after Obama allegedly visited his ailing grandmother (were there any reporters there? is there a tape? I haven’t seen it, so it’s an alleged visit). If that is true; it puts more negative light on the situation. Standing on Principle is one thing, but being stubborn just because you can is another.

Were I in Obama’s shoes, I would immediately release the Birth Certificate for public inspection. To do anything else appears as though you have something to hide; and makes many suspicious.

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