Michael Gaynor
Is the President-Elect blackmail-able over his birth certificate?
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By Michael Gaynor
November 26, 2008

It IS cause for concern that the President-Elect is hiding his birth certificate and the logical questions presenting themselves are, why is the President-Elect hiding his birth certificate?, and Is the President-Elect blackmail-able over his birth certificate?

I submit that there is a legitimate public interest in the birth certificate of the President-Elect.

Is the truth about his birth what he wrote in his autobiography, Dreams from My Father, or what he said at the last Alfred E. Smith dinner, or something else?

Is America at risk because the President-Elect is determined to conceal his birth certificate?

Professor Matthew J. Franck feels oppressed over the interest in President-Elect Obama's birth certificate.

Professor Franck, in a National Review Online Bench memo titled "Dear Lord, Make It Stop":

"It's a week after the election, and I'm still getting e-mails that holler about how Barack Obama is ineligible to be president because he's not a 'natural born citizen' under Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution. Enough already!

"Last winter, even the New York Times was suckered into taking seriously the loopy theory that John McCain is not a natural born citizen because he was born in the Panama Canal Zone. As I explained then, his parentage sufficed no matter where he was born, since his parents were U.S. citizens.

"So too with Obama. All indications are that he was born in Hawaii in 1961. The state authorities say they have his birth certificate (though the fact that a modern printout of an electronic record has been made available rather than a photocopy of the 1961 original has sent some people round the bend).

"And what if Obama was not born in the U.S. but instead, as some claim, in Kenya? Well, his mother was an American citizen, and as UCLA law prof and blogger Eugene Volokh explained to the Chicago Tribune, the applicable statutes about foreign birth with one U.S. citizen parent are on Obama's side here."

With all due respect to Professor Franck (and that is plenty), there is more to this than perhaps a legal issue as to whether a child of one United States citizen born abroad is eligible to serve a President of the United States (which should be determined based on principle, not personality). The President-Elect chose to hide his birth certificate instead of to produce it for public inspection. THAT is strange.

How many Presidents of the United States have hidden their birth certificate?

I am not aware of any.

How many presidential candidates have hidden their birth certificates?

To the best of my knowledge, only...THE ONE.

At the Alfred E. Smith dinner this year, then presidential candidate Obama said that he was born on Krypton and sent to earth by his father Jor-El.

Perhaps the truth is stranger than that.

Would a smart politician hide his or her birth certificate if there was nothing problematic about it?

The answer is no.

Such hiding instills or increases doubt about the candidate in some voters and it is in a candidate's best interests to eliminate such doubt if the truth is good.

So, it seems that the President-Elect elected to hide his birth certificate because there is something troublesome about it becoming generally known, and more important than allaying suspicion.

Professor Franck concluded his Bench Memo: "Give it up and get on with life. Barack Obama is going to become president on January 20, 2009. He won, fair and square, an office he is eligible to occupy. So stop with the fetid, fervid, fevered e-mails, okay?"

It may well be that the President-Elect is eligible to occupy the Oval Office, but without examining that birth certificate, how can Professor Franck assure us that the President-Elect "won, fair and square"?

A November 21, 2008 post by "Nice Deb" titled "Kenyan Ambassador: Obama's Birthplace "Already Well Known In Kenya" suggests that the President-Elect lied about his birthplace and while I don't care per se where he was born, I do care about lying.

"Nice Deb":

"I wasn't going to say any more about the Obama birth certificate controversy, but I found this intriguing.

"Mike in the Morning, a radio talk show out of Detroit MI, (of all places!), decided to call the Kenyan embassy a little over a week ago, and talk about the reaction in Kenya to Obama's victory in the 2008 Presidential election. I think it was meant to be a light hearted interview...it doesn't seem like they went into this with the intention of making headlines. They started off talking to a secretary, but were eventually patched through to the Kenyan Ambassador, H.E. Peter Ogego.

"The pertinent part of the audio starts at 2:35.

"My impression is that the question about Obama's birthplace was meant as a joke... not to be taken seriously. But His Excellency Peter Ogego answered it seriously, and frankly.

"A few things to consider in case you're thinking this was some sort of prank:

1. The audio of this conversation (the first part of the call can be heard, here) is posted at the WRIF radio station's website. I doubt the station would put its reputation and FCC radio license on the line for a hoax.

2. That sure sounds like H.E. Peter Ogego's voice. Compare here.

3. Listen to the genuine surprise of the talk show hosts after the call.The only argument that detractors can convincingly make, is that the Ambassador and most, if not all of Kenya's citizen's, including Obama's Kenyan grandmother, (who claims to have witnessed his birth), are mistaken about this.

"WND reports:

'At least two of his relatives in Kenya claim to have been present at his birth in Mombasa, Kenya. In addition, the Obama machine has scoffed at requests to see the form of the Hawaiian birth certificate that includes the specific hospital in which the delivery took place. The form released by the campaign does not include that information, leading to suspicions Obama might have been one of the foreign-born babies of the 1960s who were, nonetheless, provided birth certificates by the state of Hawaii.'

"And:

"'Hawaii Revised Statute 338-178 allows registration of birth in Hawaii for a child that was born outside of Hawaii to parents who, for a year preceding the child's birth, claimed Hawaii as their place of residence,' the document said. 'The only way to know where Senator Obama was actually born is to view Senator Obama's original birth certificate from 1961 that shows the name of the hospital and the name and signature of the doctor that delivered him.'"

Americans regularly receive tax and medical information about their President.

It is NOT too much to expect a presidential candidate to provide his or her birth certificate.

It IS cause for concern that the President-Elect is hiding his birth certificate and the logical questions presenting themselves are, Why is the President-Elect hiding his birth certificate?, and Is the President-Elect blackmail-able over his birth certificate?

© Michael Gaynor

 

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Michael Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member... (more)

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