Thursday, September 24, 2009

Release the Obama Documents

By Michael Johns

One of the most constructive developments of the past eight months is that tens of millions of Americans appear to be reawakening to the critical importance and relevance of the U.S. Constitution. The brazen growth of the federal government, which now controls sizable portions of the economy (automobiles, banks, health care, mortgages and other industry segments), violates the tenets of free market capitalism, the system that has been the foundation of our nation's globally unprecedented growth and prosperity. But this debate is not merely a policy one. Increasingly, as millions of Americans associated with the burgeoning Tea Party and 912 Project movements are demonstrating, the debate is about whether such expansions of federal powers are even Constitutionally permissible.

It is difficult to pinpoint exactly when the dangerous disregard for our nation's founding legal document began. It certainly predates this administration. But the culture upon which it rests might be best exemplified in the apparent Congressional and media groupthink that our 44th President holds no obligation to respond to questions about his Constitutional eligibility, under Article II, Section I of the Constitution, to hold the office to which he ran and was elected. This Constitutional provision states unequivocally that no person except a natural born citizen shall be eligible to the Office of President.

Is Barack Obama a natural born citizen of the United States? Probably. But because Obama is going to great lengths to conceal the documents that would settle this issue definitively, it is impossible to say for sure. Since October 2008, Obama has spent in excess of $1.35 million in legal fees to file protective and privacy motions in at least eight federal lawsuits to avoid releasing the documents--his mother's hospital admission record, his Hawaii certificate of live birth, his educational records during his four years of residence in Indonesia, his Indonesian citizen status at that time and the time of his subsequent reentry to the U.S., and his college and law school admission records--that likely would definitively establish his Constitutional eligibility. Congress, the media, and even many Obama opponents, meanwhile, have failed to exert any pressure on him to halt his pro-active legal measures to avoid disclosure of these documents.

Quite obviously, the question of a President's Constitutional eligibility is serious business. It was serious business when, in February 2008, The New York Times called into question Senator John McCain's eligibility for the office because McCain was born on an American Naval base in the Panama Canal Zone, which was then under U.S. control. "It is certainly not a frivolous issue," The Times quoted Atlanta attorney Jill Pryor as saying at the time. The questions also were serious enough for the U.S. Senate to investigate them, with the Senate ultimately concluding in a unanimous vote that the U.S. administration of the Panama Canal Zone at that time meant that McCain was indeed a natural born citizen and eligible for the Presidency.

Whatever these records might reveal, Obama's extensive, year-long efforts to conceal them are now inexplicable, inexcusable and harmful to the nation. There is no innocuous explanation for his extensive efforts to conceal them, especially since their release is easily authorized and would settle the controversy, permitting the nation to move on with full confidence in his Constitutional eligibility and the Constitutional foundations of our nation in 2009. But Obama has refused to do this and, as a result, a frightening and growing number of Americans now understandably ask the question: What exactly is he hiding?

Let me stipulate that, despite following this issue for a year, I am utterly unable to answer that question. But logic dictates that one would not incur several million dollars in legal fees, as Obama is doing, knowing that the only likely result is that a certain percentage of the American people will view such efforts as non-transparent, or even malfeasant. Conversely, it also is wrong to conclude, in the absence of these documents, that Obama has necessarily misrepresented anything about his birth location or Constitutional eligibility, as some critics of Obama's concealment of these documents continue to do. Under pressure to settle the issue during his Presidential candidacy, the Obama campaign ultimately produced a Certification of Live Birth in 2007. But that document, skeptics argue, is manufactured by the state and is not an unequivocal authentication of his birth location.

The most important point is this: No national interest is served by permitting these important questions to linger and persist. To settle them, Obama should cease blocking release of the documents sought by the plaintiffs in the various federal cases over his eligibility. And going forward, it seems reasonable to insist that our nation's Federal Election Commission (FEC), which is charged with regulatory oversight of Presidential elections, require Presidential candidates to submit, along with their candidacy filing, the documents that clearly establish their natural-born eligibility for the office. Americans' confidence in our Constitutionally-rooted democratic political system requires no less.

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Call Me Mom said...

The issue is even more complicated than your explanation.
Until the senate unanimously passed SR 511 in support of Mr. McCain's eligibility, there had been no effort on the part of Congress to define the term "natural born citizen" for the purpose of presidential eligiblity. That being the case, it could be argued that since there is no definition there is no way to exclude anyone from that office.
However, since the senate used langauge indicating that this was specifically for the purpose of defining that term to legitimitize Mr. McCain's eligibility to sit as president and that resolution indicated that his eligibility rested on the fact that he was born of American citizens(note the plural) on American soil, and since that resolution was passed before the election, even though the resolution was non-binding, it may well be used to define the term "natural born citizen" in a way that would exclude Mr. Obama from eligibility.
At least it seems that way, in my opinion.

J.R. said...

Not many high profile figures are willing to risk exposure on this issue Mike and that's the problem. If anyone raises the issue they are immediately painted as "birthers",conspirators,racist,wack jobs,etc..

It's one failure after another to getthis case heard as it is thrown out of every court for ridiculous reasons like "no standing"or "not harmed" by Obama being president EVEN IF he isn't natural born.

NO ONE in the court system is going to risk challenging Obama.

Just recently it was discovered that Obama's Hawai'i records have been amended. Shy would they have had to be amended if they contained the correct information.

Great Post Mike.


hippership said...

Having gone through the process of becoming a citizen last year, I can tell you that Obama's actions are not that of a legal citizen, Call me birther all you want. As a citizen I can now sponsor family to become US citizens, just like any other citizen of this country can sponsor a relative. If this was the case with Obama, why hasn't he sponsored his illegal aunt, he claims to care so much for? Why not give his other relaties in Kenya a chance to live in America. I also understand that if you give up your citizenship, like he did when he was adopted by the Indonesian, you have to reapply for to regain your American citizenship. Why are there no records of this and how was he able to travel to Pakistan when American's were not allowed to. What passport did he use then? Where are Woodward and Bernstein when you need them. This is something that those two kids that shot the ACORN Videos should be able to come up with the answers. How about his school records? Did he apply as a foreign student and receive aid. Come on this should just be too easy to figure out.

Beckwith said...

Re: It was serious business when, in February 2008, The New York Times called into question Senator John McCain's eligibility for the office because McCain was born on an American Naval base in the Panama Canal Zone, which was then under U.S. control.

That information is incorrect.

John Sidney McCain III was born at the Colon Hospital, located at Avenida Melendez and 2nd Street, Manzanillo Island, City of Colon, Republic of Panama. The time of birth on the birth certificate issued by Panama Railroad Company (which owned the Colon Hospital) was 5:25 PM and the day and date of birth was Saturday, August 29, 1936.

McCain, like Obama, is not a "natural born citizen." McCain, because he was not born in the US mainland, and Obama, because he did not have two US citizen parents.

cj_in_tx said...

In Obama's own words his father was never a US citizen. In his own words (so he says) he was a British subject at birth. This is all in his book that William Ayers wrote and Obama lied about writing, which all by itself, should get him impeached for misrepresenting himself to the American people. We do not need the birth certificate! That is just smoke and mirrors to keep us from addressing the real issue: DEFINE NATURAL BORN CITIZEN. The man is a communist operative, here to take down America and so for our damn elected non-representatives are doing absolutely nothing to stop him when they should be leading the Bogus POTUS out of our house in chains. Thank you for standing up even if it is not what I believe to be the main issue.

Anonymous said...

"Is Barack Obama a natural born citizen of the United States? Probably."

I would say probably not based on our founding father's definition of the term.

Unknown said...

Parental citizenship has no bearing on natural born status. As long as a person takes their first breath on US soil, they are Americans. That's the issue behind the "anchor baby" controversy. An illegal comes across the border, gives birth, and because of the law, they are allowed to stay because the child is a US citizen and cannot take care of themselves.

As far as McCain, US military bases, although on foreign soil, are like embassies. They are legally US soil. McCain IS a natural born citizen.

As for Obama, Hawaii law allows for a foreign born citizen to be certified as a US birth as long as certain procedures are followed. As far as the law goes, Obama IS a naturalized citizen. When they refer to Obama's birth record as being amended, this is what they are referring to.

This whole argument is taking time away from holding this administration accountable for it's actions, which is EXACTLY what Obama wants. He wants us to focus on a non-issue. You all need to get past this.

jj solari said...

barak obama is a legal citizen of kenya. i have seen how he behaves in kenya. he behaves like someone who is home.

Call Me Mom said...

Naturalized is not equivalent to natural born for the pupose of being eligible for the presidency. "Naturalized" has been defined in the law. Natural born citizen for the purpose of being eligible for the presidency has not. (unless, as do I, you regard SR 511 as a definition created and unanimously accepted by the US senate.)
There are also quite a number of folks who have opined reasonable arguments for the point of view that simply being born here does not, under the law, make one a citizen. Something about the words "subject to the juridiction thereof" in the 14th amendment.

Principles are things we believe even when it is inconvenient or when it makes us look bad to the rest of the world. If We the People are willing to discard the Constitutional principles of the rule of law upon which this country was founded, then they are not principles, they are preferences.
This is not a small matter. It divides us as a people and undermines our military chain of command during wartime. It needs to be resolved.

Anonymous said...

"Is Barack Obama a natural born citizen of the United States? Probably."

There is no probably - by his own admission he is a British Citizen at birth (and still is). There is zero chance he is a natural born citizen. And thus, zero chance he is eligible to be POTUS.

Julie Z. said...

You said it:
"The most important point is this: No national interest is served by permitting these important questions to linger and persist."

No NATIONAL interest. But nothing he does is in the interests of our nation. It is quite possible that he keeps the question open simply for the purpose of keeping his opponents off balance and distracted, so that he can keep his own supporters behind him, and that includes their proclivity to ridicule.

I am convinced that he believes that any festering he can get going is to his advantage.

Joy Leftow said...

very interesting! Glad to read something of substance on the matter.

Unknown said...

While he may be "natural-born," a "citizen," or even a "natural-born American citizen"(as Fukino asserted), he most certainly, 100%, is not a "natural born citizen" (since according to Obama, his father was a Kenyan, & thus Jr. was British at birth)....*unless* ...Obama comes up with an "I'm sorry, my dad was not who I really said he was, but was ____, a US citizen." As crazy as that sounds, I have seen that idea being floated, & that's the only way Obama has even a most remote chance of being a natural born citizen.

Dr Doc dlcs said...

You Sir are a very wise man and i respect you for your great and well written blog. I think when some people gain a lot of money and power, it goes to their head and they think they are ABOVE the law. The rich get richer and the poor and struggling honest Americans suffer. I am crippled with parkinsons disease and other health issues, my wife and i are on a fixed income and as a Vietnam Era Veteran (Honorable) I use the Veterans Hospital and V.A. Doctors. I wonder how much longer I will have the use of it, as the liberial politicians have to keep takeing care of the rich who helped them with$ to get them there. How meany dead people do you think voted in the last election? How meany broke the law and voted more than one time? One of the organizations to help them is Acorn. They broke the law, but as usual liberial democrates are above the law it seems. Barack Hussein Obama is NOT playing with a full deck, look at the people he deals with. As for me, i plan to suport and vote for Mike Huckabee, God please let him run again. He plays with a full deck and he is a GOOD Christian. He was a great govener of Arkansas for ten years and we never herd bad things about him, ever. He is a man of good morals. Barack Hussein Obama scares me. There is just something about tat isn't right. This country is in bad need of good leadership.
Dr Doc dlcs

Clay Barham said...

Every family should have a “go to” person who can give answers to political and issue concerns, as suggested by Rush Limbaugh. Learning how means starting at the roots, the beginnings and differences between two sides of the same coin, which is all there is. One side is long established, where the few rule the many, irrespective of their labels. The other side is the newest, that of individual freedom and limited government. Why do many follow each side, and why the conflict between them? What side do current issues come from, such as health care, cap and trade as well as amnesty for illegal immigrants? What side of the coin most impacts the lives of your family, to whom you provide the answers? Call up for the roots of both sides and improve your understanding of the issues so you have the answers.

KAK said...

Yes the reawakening to the critical importance and relevance of the U.S. Constitution is a sighn of hope. Since George W Bush has trashed the constitution of this country it is refreshing to see the renewed interest.

Lovers said...

This is not heaven that someone could sue The Power Person in court , even courts are nothing , even United Nations are nothing

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Aaron said...

Thanks you for the good post. Why wouldn't they simply release these docs and back up their claims? Its suspicious to me however the story is getting hardly any air time.

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Aaron said...

I truly hope that this story starts to get more air time as these cases begin to be presented to the supreme court. There must be a reason to be hiding the documents?

Mark said...

Thanks for the great post. I liked it very much.

Mike Roberts said...

Every reawekening is a positive by all means. Nice text.

"Guppy" Honaker said...

Wow - the President of the USA doesn't want people to know where he was born, and other relevant (and pertinent) facts about his life. Given the way he's screwing up the USA, one has to wonder if he was trained by the KGB.

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