Debunking the Birthers

Donald Trump has been getting a lot of attention for his “birther” crusade.  He’s doing it for attention, which is a a shame, because he actually makes a lot of sense on other, non-conspiracy theory, issues.

Tommy Christopher, a diehard liberal journalist, actually does a good job from time to time.  Most recently, he’s thoroughly debunked the birthers:

Why Doesn’t President Obama Release His Long-Form Birth Certificate?

I’m going to start here, because this is the piece of the puzzle that nagged at me for a long time. For the uninitiated, much of the Birther conspiracy centers around the Obama campaign’s release of a Certification of Live Birth (COLB) to prove his eligibility for the office of the presidency, rather than an original “long-form” birth certificate. The COLB is the equivalent of the certified copy I use whenever I need a birth certificate, or whenever anyone else does the same. Nobody carries around their “original” birth certificate (although, according to Stephen Wright, George Washington carried around a dollar bill for this purpose).

While Hawaii state officials have sworn that the certified copy is a valid and true copy of the original birth certificate, and have sworn that they have personally inspected the original with their own eyes, they are unable to produce a copy of it for our consumption. In all fairness, there are competing explanations for this. The first, offered at the conclusion of Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s fruitless quest to end the controversy, is this: (emphasis mine)

State Attorney General David Louie told the governor that privacy laws bar him from disclosing an individual’s birth documentation without the person’s consent, Abercrombie spokeswoman Donalyn Dela Cruz said Friday.

Right, so why won’t Barry Hussein O’SecretmuslimBama give his consent, huh? Well, according to a spokesman for the Hawaii Attorny General’s office, he can’t:

“It’s a Department of Health record and it can’t be released to anybody,” he said. Nor do state laws have any provision that authorizes such records to be photocopied, Wisch said. If Obama wanted to personally visit the state health department, he would be permitted to inspect his birth record, Wisch said.

They can’t both be true, right? Well, they kind of are. According to the Hawaii state law in question, Hawaii Revised Statutes §338-18(b), only those who meet the specific criteria of having a “direct and tangible interest” may “inspect” or have a “certified copy” issued to them. Now, “direct and tangible interest” isn’t something you get to argue about. You’re either on the list, or you’re not. The list consists mainly of those with particular legal relationships with Obama, or those with a court order.

No biggie, though. We’ve already seen the certified copy, and heard from those who have inspected the original. But where does the law say Obama can’t authorize release of the original, or a copy of the original? From HRS §338-18(a): (emphasis mine)

To protect the integrity of vital statistics records, to ensure their proper use, and to ensure the efficient and proper administration of the vital statistics system, it shall be unlawful for any person to permit inspection of, or to disclose information contained in vital statistics records, or to copy or issue a copy of all or part of any such record, except as authorized by this part or by rules adopted by the department of health.

That means only disclosures specified by law are permitted under any circumstances, and photographing or copying an original record is not listed anywhere, either with or without a “direct and tangible interest,” or a court order. Unless Eric Cantorchanges the law, a photograph or photocopy of Barack Obama’s original birth certificate is not permitted under any circumstances. Barack Obama himself couldn’t release a photograph of the original record.

Check out the rest at  Here’s the link to Mr. Christopher’s well-researched piece.

The birther conspiracy is a ridiculous sideshow.  I’d be much happier if Trump talked about his other ideas, like seizing Iraqi oil to pay for the war or militarizing the border to prevent illegal immigration.  The oil idea is impossible and silly, but I wish it could happen.  The border militarization is actually a great idea that could happen but will never happen as long as Obama is in the White House.


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