I never believe anything I read - especially on the internets - until I research it. Even things I think are silly, or out and out lies. Lately, there has been a glut of video and "proof" that Barack Obama isn't an American citizen. Seemed like desperation and lies to me - not to mention libel and slander (which is pretty darn illegal), so I checked into it. Following are the facts.
Probably the most widely e-mailed Obama "tip" at the moment alleges that he isn't a natural-born American citizen and thus isn't eligible to run for president. This began in the die-hard pro-Hillary section of the blogosphere, which spent part of the summer discussing laws that deal with the citizenship of a child with one American parent born abroad. When it emerged that this challenge wouldn't hold water if Obama had been born in the United States, the focus shifted to the allegation that he had been born outside the United States.
In August, a Pennsylvania lawyer, Philip Berg, filed suit in federal court in Philadelphia. Berg, who also has been active in arguing that there was "government complicity" in the attack on the World Trade Center, demanded that the court force Obama to produce his original birth certificate. The court dismissed the lawsuit.
So why isn't this getting wide coverage? Well, first, there's lots of evidence that Obama was born in the United States, and none that he wasn't. The campaign handed over an official copy of his short-form birth certificate — the standard document produced by the Hawaii Department of Health — to Factcheck.org. And Poliltico has confirmed the authenticity of a contemporaneous announcement of his birth in the Honolulu Advertiser.
Berg fights on, though, on a website with supporters known as ChileMan, ChileWoman and MommaERadioRebels. He recently told conservative talk radio host Michael Savage that he has an audiotape of Obama's Kenyan grandmother recalling the candidate's birth in a Kenyan hospital.
"l'll release it in a day or two," he said six days ago.
A spokeswoman for the Hawaii Department of Health, Janice Okubo, said she's forbidden by state law from releasing birth certificates, but directed a reporter to the FactCheck.org item dismissing the rumors.