Cliff Kincaid, the editor of Accuracy in Media, has released a copy of his own birth certificate, in order to demonstrate what needs to be done to resolve the growing controversy over the alleged birth certificate of President Barack Obama. “My birth certificate includes the names of my mother and father, my mother’s doctor, and the hospital in which I was born,” said Kincaid. “This certified copy of an original long form document is what anyone who wants to be president should be prepared to produce.”
Article II, Section 1 of the United States Constitution, states, “No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.”
The problem, of course, is that this provision does not require public disclosure of detailed information, in the form of a birth certificate with the names of the parents, hospital, and attending physician, and it does not mandate who makes the decision as to whether a particular candidate is constitutional eligible to be president. Our media should be performing that function.
Kincaid described what was on his own birth certificate: “It reveals that my mother’s maiden name was Beverly Ann Mason and my father’s name was Clifford Paul Kincaid. It says that my mother’s doctor was Walter Washburn. He certifies in the document that I was born at 8:38 in the morning. It says that I was born in Research Hospital in Jackson County, Kansas City, Missouri, on May 16, 1954. It says my father worked as a warehouse supervisor for Owens-Corning Fiberglas.”
By contrast, the “birth certificate” released by the Obama presidential campaign includes no name of a hospital, a location of that hospital, or a physician. “The contrast between what is on so many birth certificates for ordinary Americans, such as mine, versus what the Obama campaign has released, is striking,” said Kincaid. “This contrast is what accounts for the many questions that have arisen and which have given rise to the so-called ‘Birther’ Movement. Many ordinary Americans are wondering why the major media have not explained why the Obama ‘birth certificate’ is so lacking in basic and essential information about where he was born and which doctor by name was there when he was born. If he was born in Hawaii, as he claims, then this information should be readily available and printed on the original birth certificate.”
What Happened To Journalism?
“Journalism used to ask who, what, when, where, why and how,” said Kincaid. “But today’s pro-Obama journalists want to ignore those questions when it comes to the constitutional eligibility of the current occupant of the oval office. They would rather accept what the Obama campaign (and now administration) wants them to believe. The Obama document may reflect what is in another document, but we really have no way of knowing. The only way to address these questions is to identify where exactly he was born, in what hospital, and what doctor was present. All of this information should be on an original birth certificate.”
Kincaid continued, “It is not unreasonable to ask questions about Barack Obama’s birthplace. Anybody who has an original copy of their own birth certificate, or a certified copy of their own original birth certificate, should immediately understand that the Obama version is lacking in basic information that should be publicly available.”
Kincaid asked, “Whatever happened to the public’s right to know?”
A Newsmax.com story by David A. Patten noted that, contrary to widespread media reports, Hawaiian health officials have not publicly released President Obama’s original, “long-form” birth certificate. He explained, “Many media reports have insisted the President’s actual birth certificate is available on the Internet for anyone to download. It is not.” What is posted, he noted, is Obama’s “certification of live birth.”
Patten said, “The document is essentially a summary of the actual long form birth certificate. The certification does not list the attending physician, the address or hospital where the delivery took place, or the parents’ occupation. Typically, this information is included on the birth certificate.”
Indeed, this is the kind of information on the birth certificate posted by AIM Editor Cliff Kincaid
Patten said that, throughout the controversy over whether Obama was not born in the United States and therefore is not constitutionally eligible to serve as president, “anchors and reporters have assumed wrongly that Obama’s ‘certification of live birth’ contains the same information as an original, long-form birth certificate.”
For example, Patten noted that MSNBC Hardball host Chris Matthews, who interviewed Rep. John Campbell, R-Calif., on July 21, lambasting him for co-sponsoring a House bill that would require presidential candidates to submit documents to establish their constitutional eligibility to serve as president, held up a copy of Obama’s certification of live birth-not his birth certificate-as if it put the controversy to rest.
Another MSNBC host, Rachel Maddow, stated on June 11: “This baseless, mouth-breathing, whack-job theory became such an issue during the presidential campaign that Mister Obama did actually release a certificate of his birth from Hawaii, showing that he was born in Honolulu in 1961. And yet, the ‘birther’ movement persists.” Over on CNN, anchor Rick Sanchez held up a document for cameras to zoom in on. “This is a reprint of his birth certificate . . . or as it says here, certificate of birth.” The document presented by Sanchez was clearly marked “certification of live birth.” It was not the real birth certificate.
Patten noted that critics “point out that Obama is the only modern president whose precise place of birth remains undetermined. Honolulu’s Kapiolani Maternity & Gynecological Hospital has been widely cited as his birthplace, but another Honolulu location has been mentioned as well. The hospital has declined to address whether Obama was born there. Presidential birthplaces typically receive recognition and commemoration.”
In order to drive this point home, WorldNetDaily.com editor Joseph Farah has offered $10,000 to the hospital where Obama was born that is listed on his long-form birth certificate.
Farah, whose website has been covering the controversy on a regular basis, says that “Barack Obama claims to have been born in Honolulu Aug. 4, 1961. His entire constitutional claim to the presidency rests on this premise. Yet, he refuses to release a copy of his long-form birth certificate-the only document that could possibly corroborate his claim. Instead, he has released to select news organizations and posted on the Internet a document that could never serve as proof he was born in the United States-a so-called ‘certification of live birth,’ a digital document that could, can and has been obtained by people who were actually born outside the country. The American people can never be certain their president is legitimate constitutionally without proof.”
There were two newspaper birth announcements appearing contemporaneously in two Hawaii daily newspapers about Obama’s birth but it’s not clear whether they were generated by the issuance of the “certification of live birth” document or something else. In any case, they do not have the information that most people are seeking and which appears in original birth certificates.
WND had previously run on August 23, 2008, an article by Drew Zahn reporting that a group known as FactCheck.org had “obtained Obama’s actual certification of live birth and that the document was indeed real.” Furthermore, it said, “A separate WND investigation into Obama’s certification of live birth utilizing forgery experts also found the document to be authentic.”
FactCheck.org had claimed that its staffers had “seen, touched, examined and photographed the original birth certificate” and that “We conclude that it meets all of the requirements from the State Department for proving U.S. citizenship.” But it was clearly not the “original” birth certificate. And whether it meets the Constitutional requirement to be president is questionable.
In other words, FactCheck.org may have seen an “authentic” document, but it was not Obama’s real birth certificate. The same group had also defended Obama’s misleading campaign ads about his upbringing. Those ads claimed that he was raised mostly by his grandparents, when we know that Communist Frank Marshall Davis was his mentor for 10 years of his young life. Davis, who was black, had been picked by his grandfather, who was white, to be Obama’s father-figure.
Columnist Frank Salvato has noted that hosts on the liberal MSNBC and CNN cable networks haven’t been the only ones to attack those who raise questions about Obama’s birthplace. He pointed out that Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck and Michael Medved have been quick to condemn the “birthers” as “a fringe group and a group detrimental to the conservative cause.” Salvato says this attitude “is not only irresponsible, it is the antithesis of what they say they provide the public: media entities acting as serious governmental and constitutional watchdogs.”
He adds, “What we need is for the conservative media to honestly look out for the Constitution…and right now, they are not.”
On April 1, 2009, Andrew Walden, a conservative journalist based in Hawaii, tried to claim on Frontpagemag.com that Obama was in fact born in Hawaii and that “By refusing media requests for a look at the actual paper birth certificate, Obama’s campaign gave sly backhanded assistance” to those claiming the version posted was a forgery. He noted, “The internet release of the birth certificate via hyper-partisan website Daily Kos on June 12 before posting it on a campaign website was likely calculated to fuel the frenzy.” Walden asserted that the failure to release the long-form document was part of a Marxist strategy by Obama to “redirect the opposition down a blind alley.”
He added, “It is time for folks to stop being played by the Obama campaign and drop this counter-productive ‘phony birth certificate’ nonsense. Obama opponents can find plenty of real material by focusing on the hard-left alliances, stated positions, personnel appointments and policy actions of the Obama administration and of the Democrat-controlled Congress.”
Taking a different tack, former CIA officer Larry Johnson believes that Obama was born in Hawaii but that the original birth certificate is being withheld for other reasons.
He wrote on his blog http://www.noquarterusa.net that “Barack Obama was not named ‘Barack’ in the original birth certificate. He was ‘Barry’ not Barack. But that’s not all. The birth certificate was amended when he was adopted by Lolo Soetoro, an Indonesian muslim, around 1968. David Axelrod and Barack Obama decided against trying to explain these issues, worried that the Soetoro birth certificate would reinforce the charge that Barack was a secret muslim. Such a charge would have muddied the waters and alarmed too many folks in the midwest and south. They covered it up and, with the help of an incurious media, kept these questions tamped down.”
Meanwhile, CNN’s Lou Dobbs has come under a vicious attack by Media Matters, the far-left media “watchdog” group, for merely covering the issue and raising questions about where Obama was born. The leftist group insists that Dobbs is guilty of promoting “racially charged conspiracy theories” because Obama is black.
Media Matters had previously criticized AIM Editor Cliff Kincaid’s comments at the Conservative Political Action Conference, when he merely noted that while we knew where President Reagan was born, we don’t know for sure where Obama was born.
As we have previously reported, in order to clear up the controversy, Rep. Bill Posey of Florida introduced H. R. 1503, whose purpose is to “amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to require the principal campaign committee of a candidate for election to the office of President to include with the committee’s statement of organization a copy of the candidate’s birth certificate, together with such other documentation as may be necessary to establish that the candidate meets the qualifications for eligibility to the Office of President under the Constitution.” It was referred to the House Committee on House Administration.
If passed, however, this legislation would only impact the 2012 presidential election.
If it were to be proven that President Obama was ineligible to hold office, Salvato notes, “it would throw our country into a constitutional crisis the likes of which has never been seen. There is no provision for removing someone from the office of President or Vice President of the United States who has been deemed-after the fact- ineligible to have run for the office.” He says the only possible remedy, impeachment, would be a practical impossibility, considering that Obama’s political party controls Congress.
What’s more, he raises these points:
- “If someone is not technically the President of the United States how does the Legislative Branch remove him or her from the position?
- “Because the Commander in Chief would not technically exist and the Vice President wouldn’t be technically seated as the President, would the military be prohibited from executing any order to remove the usurper? And who would give that order?
- “If the Supreme Court ruled that Article 2, Section 1 was not satisfied, where in the Constitution does it authorize them-or any other body-to nullify a federal election?
- “What would be the constitutional procedure for validating that the usurper was indeed ineligible to hold office and for removing him or her from control of the US military, the Executive Branch departments and the United States’ nuclear arsenal?”
Interestingly, back in the Winter 1992-93 edition of Parameters, the U.S. Army War College Quarterly, Charles J. Dunlap, Jr. published a fictional article, “The Origins of the American Military Coup of 2012,” in which he speculated about a military takeover because “Americans became exasperated with democracy. We were disillusioned with the apparent inability of elected government to solve the nation’s dilemmas. We were looking for someone or something that could produce workable answers. The one institution of government in which the people retained faith was the military.”
CRONKITE’S BIASED LEGACY DESERVES REVISITING
*By Herbert London
At long last someone had the temerity, or is it courage, to tell the truth about Walter Cronkite. Writing for his blog, the redoubtable Cliff Kincaid, notes that the “voice of God”-as Mara Liasson referred to him-embodied every liberal and radical idea on the political waterfront and to some degree, had had a baneful effect on the news and public opinion.
Cronkite was the quintessential transnational progressive who believed and spoke in behalf of world government, United Nations authority, and all the treaties that would ultimately reduce American national sovereignty. He received the Global Governance award, addressed the leftist People for The American Way, and challenged President Ronald Reagan’s unilateral military actions. Later he attacked the Bush administration for its arrogance.
But more than any other matter was his egregious role in the Vietnam defeat. Some misguided media types have described this role as the highlight of his career. Yet Cronkite’s public verdict that the 1968 Tet offensive was a major defeat for the United States’ forces is widely regarded as a turning point in the war, leading directly to the incremental withdrawal of troops and an ignominious defeat.
Cronkite also claimed the Vietcong had held the American embassy for six hours and that its offensive “went on for two months.” The facts show this was wrong. Moreover, as historians have continually pointed out, the Tet offensive was a defeat for North Vietnam. But why let facts stand in the way of a good story? Cronkite could not be dissuaded from his firm ideological commitment.
This commitment was on display in other matters as well. In 1979 Cronkite gave an interview to the Soviet magazine Literary Gazette and said, “the Soviet threat” was “most likely . . . a myth.” He went on to note that “I will never believe in a Soviet threat.” This statement was made in the same year Soviet troops invaded Afghanistan.
I believe it is inappropriate to speak ill of those who have passed this mortal coil, but Cronkite, regarded as a national hero, was wrong about the Soviet Union and misguided on most public policy questions. Sure, his voice is the one Americans heard on the moon landing. He recounted historic moments and his daily pronouncements reached millions, but the one thing he was not is a dispassionate, fair-minded journalist. Cronkite had an agenda. Was the country lucky to have him in that anchor seat, as Chris Wallace contended? I doubt it. Most Americans probably didn’t recognize the propagandistic dimensions of his editorials confusing a mellifluous voice with biased prescriptions.
At a time when sophistry is in vogue, it is useful to recall that an anchor usually reads the news that someone writes for him. It is useful to recall that The New York Times is the paper of record for those on television stations. If a story leads in the Times, it will undoubtedly lead on the 7 p.m. news. Therefore, it isn’t surprising Cronkite has espoused the views he did. The only surprise, as I see it, is that the public never seemed to catch on that he was a pitchman for an ideological position. May he rest in peace and may we revisit the news reports he once gave us.
*Herbert London is president of Hudson Institute and professor emeritus of New York University. He is the author of “Decade of Denial” (Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books, 2001) and “America’s Secular Challenge” (Encounter Books).