Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Be All You Can Be.

Is Barack Obama a legal citizen of the United States? Apparently even asking such a question puts one in danger of suffering castigation by such media paragons as Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, and their minions. Despite this state of affairs, I choose to venture forth. Why? Because as odd as the folks are who are singing in the "Obama was not born in the U.S." chorus, their demeanor, and more importantly their case seems more compelling than the one offered by the many powerful characters who are lined up against them. Check out the "debate" recently on CNN, and see for yourself who seems to be making the most sense. I must admit, I fully expected that the CNN discussion would reveal Alan Keyes and Orly Taitz to be obviously way off the beam in this affair. I'm sorry to report it was their attackers who seemed more than a tad desperate and hysterical, incapable of offering anything to allay one's concerns with anything but bluster and empty appeals to authority.

What spawned the lively television tete a tete was a little known case involving U.S. Army Major, Stefan Cook, who recently challenged his deployment orders to Afghanistan on the grounds that the Commander in Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces, President Barack Obama, is not a legal citizen of the United States. As a prerequisite for obeying his deployment orders, Maj. Cook, with the assistance of the aforesaid Orley Taitz acting as a sort of quasi professional legal advocate, demanded President Obama's proof of citizenship. A date in court was set to judge the matter, but before Judge Clay D. Land could hear the case in Middle Georgia District Court, the Army rescinded Major Cook's deployment orders.

My first thought upon hearing about this outcome was the following: Since when does the U.S. Army cave in to a lone soldier on a matter so important as a deployment order, and why didn't the U.S. Army simply produce, as requested, a copy of the "Long Form" certificate of live birth, demanded by Major Cook? Long form birth certificates include, among other information, the name of the birth hospital, the attending physician, and time of birth. The long form birth certificate also contains a state seal proving the document's authenticity. Even if the U.S. Army legitimately decided, at the last minute, that it did not want Major Cook serving in Afghanistan, it must have been mindful of the potential fallout from rescinding deployment orders, especially on such an arcane basis. So, why didn't the Army simply provide a copy of the long form birth certificate, thereby settling not just Major Cook's case, but all cases that might arise on such a basis? Perhaps because there was no long form birth certificate used in Hawaii when Obama was born. It is unclear, as yet, if that is the case. However it seems equally clear that, even if this is the case, it is not, by any means, necessarily exonerating. Bear with me.

It is worth nothing that the brouhaha over Obama's citizenship goes back well before the Presidential election. As it happens, The Daily Kos blog, in an attempt to put to rest claims arguing against Barack Obama's citizenship, posted a birth document that did not, by any means, provide compelling evidence to make the claim disappear. At this point, I can't help but note the not so faint sophistry of Donald Rumsfeld, who observed while Secretary of State under George Bush Jr. that "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence." Be that as it may, The Daily Kos is a highly trafficed blog, and well known to those who operate in Democratic political circles, and it simply stretches credulity to imagine that the Obama campaign was not aware of the Daily Kos' efforts on their candidate's behalf. How could Team Obama, not to mention Obama himself, countenance the release of such an obviously phony birth document if a genuine one already existed? Suffice it say, that tabulating all the data on this question does little to remove my own growing skepticism regarding The President's supporters claims that he was born on U.S. soil.

In the meantime, whatever views one may hold towards Major Cook and Orley Taitz regarding their motivation in making their case, there are now serious implications for the armed forces. Will this case, now that it has been, after a fashion, successfully prosecuted, snowball in such a way as to motivate other military personnel to challenge their deployment orders? If so, matters could get very interesting for all branches of the armed services both at home and overseas.

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