Obama Acknowledges Eligibility Issue

The Post & E-Mail

On Thursday, February 4, 2010, Barack Obama admitted that his “citizenship” is in question.

A poll completed last August revealed that at that time, just over half of the registered voters in the state of North Carolina believed that Obama was born in the United States.

The survey, conducted by PublicPolicyPolling, indicated that 54% of the state’s voters believed that Obama’s birthplace was the United States.  While 26% said they did not believe he was born in the U.S., 20% said “they were not sure.”

The article, dated August 11, 2009, referenced a statement made by the Hawaii Director of Health, Dr. Chiyome Fukino, on July 27, 2009, confirming Obama’s birthplace as Hawaii.  The statement reads:  “I, Chiyome Fukino, Director of the Hawai’i State Department of Health, have seen the original vital records maintained on file by the Hawai’i State Department of Health verifying Barack Hussein Obama was born in Hawai’i and is a natural-born American citizen…”,

However, The Post & Email reported earlier this week that the Hawaii Attorney General will not confirm the veracity of Dr. Fukino’s statement.

Questions arose about Obama’s constitutional eligibility during the 2008 campaign.  At that time, Hawaii Health Department officials had insisted that privacy laws prohibited them from revealing any information about Obama or any other citizen’s birth there.  In a Chicago Tribune article from October 30, 2008, Janice Okubo, Public Information Officer for the Health Department, was quoted as saying “she was not permitted to confirm the authenticity of the certificate released by the Obama campaign.”

On May 27, 2009, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs asserted that “the State of Hawaii provided a copy with the seal of the president’s birth” after ridiculing the WorldNetDaily reporter who asked why Obama would not release his long-form birth certificate to the public.  It still has not been released from the candidate who campaigned vigorously on the theme of “transparency.”

At the National Prayer Breakfast on February 4, Obama had been discussing the topic of “civility” when he stated, “Now, I am the first to confess I am not always right. Michelle will testify to that. But surely you can question my policies without questioning my faith, or, for that matter, my citizenship.”  The quip drew laughter and applause from the audience and a smile from Obama.

He went on to say, “”Challenging each other’s ideas can renew our democracy. But when we challenge each other’s motives, it becomes harder to see what we hold in common. We forget that we share at some deep level the same dreams – even when we don’t share the same plans on how to fulfill them.”

Obama’s statement on Thursday, his first public acknowledgement of the controversy raging about whether or not he is  a “natural born citizen” as required by Article II, Section 1, paragraph 5 of the U.S. Constitution, indicates that he is aware of the doubts surrounding his eligibility.  Yet he refuses to release any documentation about himself.

According to a January 8, 2010 article from “Political Insider,” Rep. Nathan Deal (R-GA) wrote, and the White House confirmed receiving, a letter requesting that Obama prove that he was constitutionally qualified to serve as president.  Deal is running for governor of Georgia.  No response to the letter has been reported.

While the speculation focuses on Obama’s birthplace, it is not the only factor in determining “natural born” citizenship.  Emmerich de Vattel, Swiss jurist and scholar, upon whose work “The Law of Nations” was relied heavily when the Framers wrote the Constitution, defines “natural born citizen as “those born in the country, of parents who are citizens.”  He goes on to say, “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 country of the fathers is therefore that of the children; and these become true citizens merely by their tacit consent…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.”

Therefore, because Obama claims a foreign national as his father, contrary to Dr. Fukino’s public statement, he never met the definition of  “natural born American citizen.”

Obama acknowledges having spent at least part of his childhood in Indonesia, calling Jakarta his “old home town.”  At that time, Indonesian law required a child to be a citizen of that country in order to attend school.  If Obama was or still is a citizen of another country, how can he be considered a “natural born [American] citizen?”

More than a year after his taking office, the American people are still waiting.


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