First, a bit of an explanation.
I've been writing on this blog for quite a while now. More than five years, in fact. Over all these years, this blog has remained largely invisible. I post under a pseudonym for a number of reasons, which have a lot to do with why I don't make any real effort to promote this blog. A few people I know in real life know about this blog and occasionally visit it, but otherwise, people who find this blog do so either by accident/keyword searches, or by following my name through comments I leave on other blogs. Which means that I get about as many visitors now as I did five years ago - not many at all. Of those, hardly anyone leaves any comments. So when someone does leave a comment (that isn't spam), I appreciate that they've visited my blog and cared enough about a post to make the effort to say something in response.
So it was when someone posting as Anonymous left a comment on my Birther post. I was a bit surprised by how quickly a comment showed up, but appreciated the information left. I responded with thanks and added my own commentary on what I felt was still at issue.
With surprising speed, Anonymous answered my reply.
As mentioned above, I was originally going to respond in the comments, but decided I needed to do a bit of research first.
My first confusion was with this answer.
Re: “It still leaves the question of why due process wasn't followed, as it was for McCain. “The reason this confused me was because I'd never heard of people claiming Bush, Clinton et al. were not natural born citizens, as Obama and McCain were, nor did any of them go through the court system to prove their citizenship as McCain did, but Obama refuses to do.
Answer: Exactly the same process was followed for Obama as for Bush, Clinton, Bush41, Reagan, Carter, Ford, Nixon, LBJ, JFK, Eisenhower, Truman, FDR, Hoover, Etc. In short, for all of them.
Then there's this.
McCain was the exception. He got special treatment by the senate largely because he was a senator and, of course, because there was an issue with his birth being in the Panama Canal Zone and not in the territorial USA.
Wait. Hold on. McCain got special treatment? Because he was a senator? Implying, that Obama (also a senator) didn't get special treatment?
Anon then goes on to claim there is no issue with Obama because he was born in Hawaii, which makes even less sense. If there really was no issue, there would be no Birther movement and I would never have written my post.
On we go...
Re: “Or why his records were instead sealed, etc."
Answer. His records are NOT sealed. The records you are referring to are private, all of them.
The other records, kindergarten, grade school, high school, college, etc., are all private.
In the next presidential election, if Obama’s opponent shows his high school records, then Obama may do so too. Or not, it is his decision, and it should be.
This part started to get me suspicious. Private? Seriously? During the election campaign, McCain and Palin had every aspect of their past and personal lives dug up, dragged out and flailed around for all the world to see. People even made up complete lies about Palin's family that refuse to die even now. They sure as heck didn't make any decisions as to whether or not the general public could have this information. That decision was taken from them. When objections were raised we were told that, being public figures, they were fair game. Especially for people running for president/vice-president. In other words, public figures have no private lives.
Obama, on the other hand, was treated with kid gloves (what was that about special treatment?), with little to no attempt to look into his background. The double standard in the media was so obvious that even this Canuck with no real interest in US politics and an overall avoidance of mass media could see it. Usually, the mainstream media would be all over the tiniest hint of something as major as the legal qualifications of a potential president, and eager to find and flog any bit of dirt they could dig up. They didn't, and that alone makes me sit up a bit straighter and take notice.
Once I started looking around (more on that later) I began to see that his records and past really has been sealed, with or without an executive order, in the US, Kenya and, apparently, Indonesia as well.
Re; “I'm still confused by how US official birth certificates are handled. As I mentioned, if anyone asked for mine, I could show it to them because I have it."
Answer: So does Obama, and he has shown it. The Certification of Live Birth is the official birth certificate of Hawaii, used by thousands of people every year.
Further, if Congress were to pass the so-called birther bill, Obama would be able to comply easily. The bill would require presidential campaigns to submit “a copy of the candidate’s birth certificate” to the Federal Election Commission. The certificate Obama has released publicly would meet this requirement.’
My suspicions already raised, I decided to start doing a bit of digging for myself, rather than rely on Anon for information. In the process I've read the pertinent portions of Hawaiian regulations, about long forms and short forms and learned the difference between a Certificate of Live Birth (which is issued only to those actually born in Hawaii) and a Certification of Live Birth (which can be issued to anyone, even adults, and which Obama has - they are not the same thing). In the process I got to look at the official Obama Certification of Live Birth and see it compared to others issued in the same year (1961). They look completely dissimilar. I've also seen the "evidence" put forward to show that the official Certification of Live Birth is a forgery, and even read about a person who claims to have done the forgery, on request.
This also had me go searching for more information about Obama's grandmother, and Anon's claim that she didn't actually say she was at Obama's birth or that he was born in Kenya, and that they first found out about his birth through a letter from Hawaii. Well, I didn't find anything about a letter from Hawaii. I got distracted from looking, I suppose. Too busy listening to an interview with Obama's paternal grandmother, who very clearly claims to have been present during Obama's birth in Mombasa. I also found a sworn affidavit from the person who translated the interview claiming that, not only did she insist she was at his birth, but that her family members in the room kept trying to interject and tell her to stop saying it. When the translater asked a grandson why he was trying to stop his grandmother from saying she was present at Obama's birth, he wouldn't answer. Meanwhile, Obama's got a half-brother and half-sister who also say he was born in Kenya. Oh, and his Indonesian born half sister, Maya, apparently also has a Certification of Live Birth from Hawaii.
I also found a telephone interview with the Kenyan Ambassador to the US where he talks about the marker that's going to be built at the place of Obama's birth - in Mombasa. He mentioned that in Kenya, it's common knowledge that Obama was born there. That was no surprise to me, having already seen the clips of Kenyans, after he won the election, dancing and singing about how their Kenyan Muslim was now in the White House.
I found all sorts of other interesting things. Like there being a Kenyan birth certificate which, when compared to others issued in 1961, actually looks like it should. There are theories that Obama is actually an Indonesian adoptee, and so on. There's lots out there, most of which can be dismissed out of hand. Others, not at all.
As I was going through all this, there was something else niggling in the back of my head.
As I mentioned earlier, mine is a pretty invisible blog. I found myself wondering just how Anon came upon my blog, and why s/he would bother making such effort to respond to a Canadian about the eligibility of Obama. Especially after I'd already written that I, personally, didn't really care. My point was that the defenders of Obama were actually feeding the Birther conspiracy theories.
My curiosity was piqued even higher when I looked more closely at my stats. My dear Anonymous, you have broken a record. No one - not even the people who know me in real life - has spent 7 hours, 8 minutes and 11 seconds on my entire blog, never mind at one post.
I also found that Mr. Anonymous found me through a google search under the terms obama citzen kenya and obama citzen hawaii. Seventeen times. In fact, Anon came to me via the kenya version three times, the hawaii version ones, six times through the comments, and seven times either via bookmark or history, as there is no longer a referring link.
How dedicated! I'm rather flattered. Especially when I see that the first six visits were within only two minutes.
Now my curiosity is even greater, Mr. Anonymous from Arlington, Massachusetts.
I checked out the referring google links (it's spelled citizen, by the way, not citzen) to see how easily I was found. I tried the kenya version, first. After 25 pages and not finding my post, I was truly at a loss as to how Mr. Anonymous found my post. Then I noticed the "search blogs" button next to the "search the web" button at the top.
I'm on the second page.
The hawaii version found me on the second page, too.
So what do I have on my hands? Someone who is specifically searching for blogs that talk about Obama's citizenship in either Kenya or Hawaii. Someone who, for some reason, singled out the blog of a Canadian to spend so much time (7 hours, 8 minutes and 11 seconds) on.
What more could I find out?
Well, very little - yet something very interesting. Mr. Anonymous shows up elsewhere. It seems that there's a "Rapid Response Team" (or multiple teams, it seems, that go back to the election campaign) of volunteers who search out blogs and other media that question Obama's eligibility and the write comments to refute them. Mr. Anon (aka Granite elsewhere) appears to be one of them.
I've been hit by a "Birther Refuter."
addendum: One more note to Mr. Anonymous. Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog and leave your comments. You have achieved something I totally did not expect to happen when I first wrote my post. Thanks to the curiousity you piqued and my susequent searches, you have me convinced.
I am now officially a Birther.