Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Man From Mombassa

By Alan Caruba

I have a friend who recently referred to Sen. Barack H. Obama as “the man from Mombassa.”

It made me think of a line from the film, “Out of Africa”, in which the main character has dammed a tributary to irrigate her coffee farm only to have it break through. Her African man servant explains to her, “This river, memsab, wants to go to Mombassa”, perfectly capturing the futility of trying to alter its natural course.

The media, the Democrat Party, and the candidate have devoted all their energies to convincing America that Sen. Obama’s ascension to the presidency is inevitable. He is called, often derisively, “the One” and not long ago, Minister Farrakhan of the Black Muslim movement, declared him to be “the Messiah.”

Though the mainstream press has a virtual wall of silence around the story, the fact is that several civil suits have been filed in different states to require Sen. Obama to prove conclusively that he is a native-born American citizen. The best known of these suits has been dismissed because the attorney who initiated it was deemed not to have “standing” to do so.

However, as a citizen of the United States, it can be argued that he had plenty of standing!

That’s because the Constitution states in Article II, Section 1 "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 cliché is that where’s there’s smoke, there’s fire.

Here are some of the allegations refuting Barack Obama's claim of natural birth in the U.S., all raising doubt as to Obama's actual place of birth and qualification to run for president. It is asserted that he was born in Mombassa, Kenya in 1961 while his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, was married to Barack Obama Sr., a Kenyan.

Additionally, there is an allegation that Obama's Kenyan grandmother claims that Obama was born in Kenya. When his mother, divorced from Obama Sr., married Lolo Soetoro and moved to Indonesia, Obama was adopted by Soetoro and became an Indonesian citizen. While in Indonesia Obama’s name was changed to Barry Soetoro; Obama traveled to Pakistan in 1981 under an Indonesian passport when Pakistan was a no-travel zone for Americans.

A lawsuit in Honolulu in the First District Court is seeking a court-order to open Obama's birth records. Obama has thus far neglected a Freedom of Information request for the records at two hospitals in Hawaii.

Lawsuits in Washington, Georgia, California, Florida, New York and Connecticut are seeking state Superior Courts to force the states' Secretary of State, as the chief state elections officer, to perform their state constitutional duties to require original certifying birth records from Mr. Obama that would verify his birth in Hawaii.

Philip Berg's months-long lawsuit in Federal Court in Philadelphia reached a dramatic plateau as Mr. Obama and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) failed to respond to the court that Mr. Obama is not a natural born U.S. Citizen and therefore not qualified to run for office of President of the U.S.

Berg asserts that his campaign committee "admitted" to Obama's non-qualification by their failure to respond to a 30-day court ordered discovery in which Obama and the DNC were required to answer Berg’s petition. Mr. Berg, a Democrat, has stated that he will appeal all the way to the Supreme Court. As noted, his initial suit was dismissed, but even judges have ambitions to rise within the system and declaring a national election null and void because the presidential candidate does not meet constitutional requirements is a surefire way to put an end to such ambitions.

The only way left for citizens to avoid a Constitutional crisis will be to exercise their right by voting against Sen. Obama.

If, indeed, he is disqualified by virtue of not having been a natural-born citizen, it means that as a lawyer and teacher of constitutional law he clearly knew he did not qualify to do so. If so, that is such an egregious lie that he not only should not be permitted to hold the highest office, but should consider returning to the land of his birth.

He is surely not the only candidate for president to have lied to advance his campaign, but he may turn out be the only one who never had the right to have run at all.


smrstrauss said...

Let us suppose you were right and that Obama was not born in Hawaii.

He WAS born in Hawaii. I’ve seen pictures of his certificate of life birth and a notice in the Honolulu Advertiser.

Moreover the guy who brought the orginal suit has never shown his alleged evidence. He claims that he has an audio tape from his Kenyan grandmother, which of course could be from any old Kenyan woman. And even if it is the grandmother, she could be confusing him with some other grandkid. Good evidence would be something from the Kenyan records showing that Obama’s mother had traveled to Kenya at the time of his birth. There’s absolutely no evidence of that, not even a claim that the guy has evidence.

Is there an article in a Kenyan newspaper saying that they checked the records and find that he was born in Kenya? Is there a article in a Hawaii newspaper saying that they checked the records and Obama was not born in Hawaii? No in both cases.

The usual procedure when you want to prove something is that you produce the evidence to prove it. You do not claim that the other side’s not producing evidence against what you say is proof of what you say. The burden of proof is on you.

But suppose on a wild chance that all the evidence that Obama was born in Hawaii is wrong.

Suppose that Obama were born outside the USA. Suppose that this fact were to be proven before the election. Would this make McCain president? No. It would merely make Joe Biden the presidential candidate of the Democratic party.

Would Biden win just like Obama would? Sure.

Would he win even bigger than Obama would? Maybe. You can’t call him inexperienced or a terrorist or a friend of Ayers, nor would people who vote against Obama because of his race or alleged Arab ties or alleged Moslem religion vote against Biden.

Biden would get all the votes of Obama and maybe a few more.

Suppose it was proven after the election. Would that make McCain the president? No. If the Congress really bought the fact that Obama was not naturally born in the USA, and that Obama was not eligible to be president (which is a stretch because it is controlled by Democrats), then Biden would be president. If it were to go to the Supreme Court (which is a stretch because the court in the past said that the Congress has to decide such things), then would they give the election to McCain? No, at most they would give it to Biden.

So, what is the point?

Ted said...

Handled right, the Fed District Court throwing out Berg for lack of standing can present a political check-mate “win” on appeal for the anti-Obama side (if not in law, in the Court of Public Opinion). Here’s how: SIMPLY SPREAD AROUND OBAMA’S APPELLATE BRIEF HAVING TO ARGUE AGAINST AN AMERICAN VOTER’S RIGHT TO RAISE THE QUESTION UNDER THE CONSTITUTION. Should be a PR disaster for the Dems and Obama!!!

Alan Caruba said...

It could well be that all the talk of Obama's place of birth is part of the desperation that the GOP is feeling over what may likely be a massive loss of power in Congress and the White House.

This is one of those "iffy" topics that a commentator must approach with considerable care. Air it out and then we both move on.

Alan Caruba said...

This topic has been less "iffy" with news on Oct 27 that the Governor of Hawaii has "sealed" access to Obama's birth records from review.

Why are these documents being kept from public knowledge?

Eddy said...

Smrstrauss said: what's the point? Well, the point is that if there is a problem with his nationality, Obama is a liar and a cheater and then Biden is elected VP on the basis of the lying and cheating of such liar and cheater. I thought that is quite a point. You really need additional explanations?
Of course, I'm not saying there is a problem. Even if born abroad from an American mother, this should be enough to be an American born citizen. My kids were born abroad, and only one of their parents is American and still, they are both "US born citizens".
What bothers me is that McCain, also born abroad, immediately submitted his birth certificate when he was challenged on this issue and cleared things up: right there and then. Obama keeps playing legal games and providing unclear photo's of unclear certificates; mystery after mystery; secrecy after secrecy. Why?
Same regarding his university records. How did he get in? What did he do and accomplish. All big mysteries and the records remain sealed. Is this America or some Latin American banana republic where only emotions rule?
I understand people LOVE Obama, but ... Love can be blind, and many love affairs ended in horrible drama's because one pretended to be what he/she was not.
Good luck, US of A!

smrstrauss said...


Which reads in part:

“Born in the U.S.A.
August 21, 2008
Updated: August 26, 2008

The truth about Obama's birth certificate.


In June, the Obama campaign released a digitally scanned image of his birth certificate to quell speculative charges that he might not be a natural-born citizen. But the image prompted more blog-based skepticism about the document's authenticity. And recently, author Jerome Corsi, whose book attacks Obama, said in a TV interview that the birth certificate the campaign has is "fake."

We beg to differ. staffers have now seen, touched, examined and photographed the original birth certificate. We conclude that it meets all of the requirements from the State Department for proving U.S. citizenship. Claims that the document lacks a raised seal or a signature are false. We have posted high-resolution photographs of the document as "supporting documents" to this article. Our conclusion: Obama was born in the U.S.A. just as he has always said.”

And let me add: What evidence do you have that he was born in Kenya?
You may say that the document cited by FactCheck does not appear valid. But (1) that is an opinion and (2) it has nothing to do with Obama being born in Kenya. It is not evidence that he was born in Kenya.

What makes you believe that he was born in Kenya? What makes you believe that in 1961 Obama's mother traveled from Hawaii to Kenya? Do you have Kenyan documents?

Alan Caruba said...

The role of a journalist is to raise questions or respond to the fact that allegations exist. I did not take sides in my commentary on this topic, but presented the facts as I understood them.

smrstrauss said...

Re: "The role of a journalist is to raise questions or respond to the fact that allegations exist. I did not take sides in my commentary on this topic, but presented the facts as I understood them.''

I understood the profession to have an higher duty: to attempt to check out the alleged facts.

Raising questions is good, but only when there are facts to back them up, and when allegations are made and no facts back them up, a fair journalist would point that out.

If Obama were born in Kenya, how could you prove that he was born in Kenya?

Simple. His mother would have had to go to Kenya. A record of her arrival in Kenya would be in the government records of Kenya. Would such a record be a public document? Probably.

Has such a document been presented? No.

In any case, the facts of the Obama matter continue to roll in. On Monday a court in Virginia found no evidence that Obama was born in Kenya and good evidence that he was born in Hawaii. (See:

After Berg, several other cases against Obama on the natural born citizen issue were brought in other states.

While most of them just did what the Berg case did, which was to rule that Berg had no standing to sue, some of the others looked at the “evidence” - and concluded that the stuff was absurd.

In Ohio, for example the judge (magistrate) said:

“(Neal) presented no witnesses but himself. From that testimony, it is abundantly clear that the allegations in [Neal]’s complaint concerning “questions” about Senator Obama’s status as a “natural born citizen” are derived from Internet sources, the accuracy of which has not been demonstrated to either Defendant Brunner or this Magistrate … Given the paucity of evidence… this Magistrate cannot conclude that Defendant Brunner has abused her discretion in failing to launch an investigation into Senator Obama’s qualifications to hold the office of President of the United States. ” See:

In Virginia, which was just ruled on Monday, the judge went further and said that the certificate of live birth was good proof that Obama was born in Hawaii, and there was NO proof presented that he was born anywhere else.

Here is a report from a web posting that is not official, of course, but it seems accurate mainly because the fellow who posted it was AGAINST Obama. He is disappointed, but accepts the ruling. You can find this post at : (

(Note that sometimes the author correctly puts COLB correctly and sometimes he types it as CLOB, but he means certificate of live birth throughout.)


The Court made the following findings:

1. The Certification of Live Birth presented to the court is unquestionably authentic.

The court noted that the certification had a raised seal from the state of Hawaii, had a stamp bearing the signature of the registrar of vital statistics. The court found “wholly unpersuasive” any of the internet claims that the birth certificate was altered in any way. Furthermore, the document itself was accompanied by an affidavit from the State Health Director (of Hawaii) verifying that the document is an authentic certification of live birth. The court held that there could be no doubt that the document was authentic unless one believed that the state of Hawaii’s health department were in on an elaborate and complex conspiracy – and that there is not a shred of evidence that this is the case.

2. The Certification of Live Birth establishes that Mr. Obama is a natural born citizen.

The affidavit of the State Health Director states that the information on the CLOB is identical to the information on the “vault” copy of the birth certificate, and that both documents establish that Mr. Obama was born in Honolulu. The Court noted that the CLOB is valid for all citizenship purposes. The court noted our argument that the COLB is not valid for determining citizenship, but referred us to Hawaiian law that states otherwise. “There is no difference between a certificate and a certification of live birth in the eyes of the state. For instance, either can be used to confirm U.S. citizenship to obtain a passport or state ID.” The court found that Hawaiian law makes the COLB valid for all purposes with the exception of determining native Hawaiian heritage for certain state and federal benefits. The court held that if Mr. Obama were born elsewhere and the birth registered in Hawaii, the “place of birth” line on the COLB would reflect that fact. The court stated that there could be no doubt that Mr. Obama was born in Hawaii and that any argument to the contrary was fanciful and relied on completely unsubstantiated internet rumors.

3. For that reason, 8 U.S.C. §1401(g), which at the relevant time provided as follows:

“The following shall be nationals and citizens of the United States at birth: ***(g) a person born outside the geographical limits of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents one of whom is an alien, and the other a citizen of the United States who, prior to the birth of such person, was physically present in the United States or its outlying possessions for a period or periods totaling not less than ten years, at least five of which were after attaining the age of fourteen years:…..
is irrelevant to this matter, as Mr. Obama was conclusively born in Hawaii.

4. Mr. Obama did hold dual citizenship in the U.S. and Kenya until he became an adult. When Barack Obama Jr. was born Kenya was a British colony. As a Kenyan native, Barack Obama Sr. was a British subject whose citizenship status was governed by The British Nationality Act of 1948. That same act governed the status of Obama Sr.’s children: “British Nationality Act of 1948 (Part II, Section 5): Subject to the provisions of this section, a person born after the commencement of this Act shall be a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies by descent if his father is a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies at the time of the birth.” In other words, at the time of his birth, Barack Obama Jr. was both a U.S. citizen (by virtue of being born in Hawaii) and a citizen of the United Kingdom by virtue of being born to a father who was a citizen of the UK. Obama’s UK citizenship became an Kenyan citizenship on Dec. 12, 1963, when Kenya formally gained its independence from the United Kingdom. The court noted that Chapter VI, Section 87 of the Kenyan Constitution specifies that:

1. Every person who, having been born in Kenya, is on 11th December, 1963 a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies or a British protected person shall become a citizen of Kenya on 12th December, 1963…

2. Every person who, having been born outside Kenya, is on 11th December, 1963 a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies or a British protected person shall, if his father becomes, or would but for his death have become, a citizen of Kenya by virtue of subsection (1), become a citizen of Kenya on 12th December, 1963.
Thus the court held that as a citizen of the UK who was born in Kenya, Obama’s father automatically received Kenyan citizenship via subsection (1). So given that Obama qualified for citizen of the UK status at birth and given that Obama’s father became a Kenyan citizen via subsection (1), thus Obama did in fact have Kenyan citizenship in 1963.

However, the court further held that the Kenyan Constitution prohibits dual citizenship for adults. Kenya recognizes dual citizenship for children, but Kenya’s Constitution specifies that at age 21, Kenyan citizens who possesses citizenship in more than one country automatically lose their Kenyan citizenship unless they formally renounce any non-Kenyan citizenship and swear an oath of allegiance to Kenya. The court held that there was no evidence that Mr. Obama has ever renounced his U.S. citizenship or sworn an oath of allegiance to Kenya, his Kenyan citizenship automatically expired on Aug. 4, 1982.

The court held that there was no legal requirement that Mr. Obama renounce his Kenyan citizenship or affirm his U.S. citizenship in order to maintain his status as a natural born citizen.

5. Mr. Obama did not lose his U.S. Citizenship based on the acts of his parents, including adoption by an Indonesian citizen. The Court held that no action taken by the parents of an American child can strip that child of his citizenship. The court cited to the 1952 Immigration & Nationality Act, Title III, Chapter 3, Sections 349 and 355, which was in effect in the late 1960s when Obama went to Indonesia, and which stated that a minor does not lose his US citizenship upon the naturalization of his parents or any other actions of his parents, so long as the minor returns to the US and establishes permanent US residency before the age of 21. Thus the adoption of Obama did not serve to strip him of his U.S. citizenship. The fact that Indonesian law does not allow dual citizenship is irrelevant, as U.S. law controls. Furthermore, the Court held that traveling on a foreign passport does not strip an American of his citizenship. The Court noted first that there was no evidence that Mr. Obama traveled on an Indonesian passport (Mr. Berg and others we reached out to for evidence never provided any evidence of this claim or any other of the claims we could have used some proof of.) Nonetheless, the court held that such travel does not divest an American of his citizenship.

The Court makes other holdings and findings that I won’t bother you with here. Needless to say, the decision is wholly against us. The court finds the claims against Mr. Obama’s citizenship “wholly unpersuasive and bordering on the frivolous, especially in light of the complete absence of any first-hand evidence on any critical issue” and further classifies it as “conspiracy theory of the lowest sort, fueled by nothing than internet rumor and those who truly want to believe egging each other on.”

I like the part about “conspiracy theory of the lowest sort.”

Repeat: “The court held that if Mr. Obama were born elsewhere and the birth registered in Hawaii, the “place of birth” line on the COLB would reflect that fact. The court stated that there could be no doubt that Mr. Obama was born in Hawaii and that any argument to the contrary was fanciful and relied on completely unsubstantiated internet rumors.”

Alan Caruba said...

As I understand it now, even if born in Kenya, his American mother could have registered his birth with the American embassy there. This used to be common practice for children of Americans born overseas, but may not even be required these days. It is unlikely this will be an issue any longer.