Reporter smacked down for asking about issue governor raised
by BOB UNRUH
Upon taking office, Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie once declared he was going to solve the mystery of Barack Obama’s missing birth certificate.
But after searching for it, he suggested it might not exist.
If the governor couldn’t find it, how is it that the Hawaii Health Department produced it so quickly upon the request of the White House?
That’s a question Abercrombie is no longer eager to address.
In fact, in Hawaii, questions about the authenticity of the document released by the White House are still considered radioactive.
This week WND sought to ask today what happened in the governor’s self-promoted research into the issue of Obama’s birth documentation, resulting in his statement that there was a “written record” but not much other detail.
After all, just a few weeks later when Obama dispatched a private lawyer to Hawaii to fetch his documentation, the state apparently had only to run off the copies.
In Abercrombie’s office, spokeswoman Donalyn Delacruz expressed that she was happy to help WND with questions – until she found out the subject.
When WND asked in an email for the explanation of why Abercrombie’s investigation could not turn up the documentation, she refused to answer.
“What news organization are you with?” she demanded. “We get frequent ‘birther’ questions and this would fall in that category.”
Subsequently, she refused to respond to email questions about the issue that the governor raised.
When WND called, a receptionist in the office responded to the same inquiry with “That’s been done” – apparently meaning president had released the birth certification image. But she indicated she would not respond to further questions, promising to take a message and have someone call back.
No one did.
WND had questions about the anomalous results: The governor’s stated inability to find the documentation, and the state agency’s later simple recovery and alleged duplication of the same record.
It was shortly after his election that Abercrombie vowed to end the questions from those who doubted Obama’s status as a “natural born citizen.” Those questions centered on his concealed birth certificate because of the belief that an individual born out of the United States would not be a “natural born citizen.”
Stated Abercrombie then, “We’ll do what we can as quickly as we can to make it inevitable that only those who wish the president ill, only the ones with a political agenda, will be the ones doing this kind of thing.
“The president is entitled to the respect of his office and he’s entitled to have his mother and father respected,” he said.
He said he was instructing his attorney general and the chief of the state’s health agency looking at what legal avenues can be used to release information.
“This is a transparent state in terms of our communication with one another,” Abercrombie said. “This is the Aloha state. We care for each other, we look out for each other, we’re family.”
He told CNN in that interview that he would pursue the information regardless of the feelings of the White House.
“It’s a matter of principle with me. I knew his mom and dad. I was here when he was born. Anybody who wants to ask a question honestly could have had their answer already,” he announced.
CNN reported that he charged ahead, declaring that his response and what he would release publicly would not be left up to the president’s whims.
“It’s not up to the president,” he said. “It has nothing to do with the president. It has to do with the people of Hawaii who love him, people who love his mom and dad. It has to do with respect the office of the president is entitled to. And it has to do with respect that every single person’s mother and father are entitled to.”
Obama’s narrative states that he was born Aug. 4, 1961, at Kapiolani Hospital in Honolulu. That report came after several earlier reports alleged he was born in Queens hospital.
However, after a flurry of high-profile media interviews in which he blasted “birthers,” Abercrombie suddenly went silent even though polls reveal nearly six on 10 doubt Obama’s own eligibility story.
He told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser about Obama’s documentation: “It actually exists in the archives, written down.” The Daily Mail however, said Abercrombie “suggested that a long-form, hospital-generated birth certificate for Barack Obama may not exist within the vital records maintained by the Hawaii Department of Health.”
However, when Obama wanted the records, the state instantly waived a ban on reproducing long-form birth certificates and copies were produced to be delivered to Judith Corley, a private attorney.
Loretta Fuddy, director of health in Hawaii in 2011 when Obama made the request, wrote, “We hope that issuing you these copies of your original Certificate of Live Birth will end the numerous inquiries received by the Hawaii Department of Health to produce this document.”
That document Abercrombie said “may not exist” later was the subject of a law enforcement investigation, which concluded that it likely is a forgery, and if presented as a valid government document, that action could constitute fraud.
Abercrombie has refused all interviews with WND staff since 2011.
“The governor did an interview … in which this topic [Obama's eligibility to be president under Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution] was raised,” Delacruz, Abercrombie’s press secretary, said in an e-mail to WND.
“He [Abercrombie] has been on vacation since Saturday and is unavailable. Hope this helps you understand. You are in no way being singled out as your e-mail suggests,” she said.
But despite the denials, Delacruz at the time did not respond when WND followed up with a request for an interview with Abercrombie at the governor’s convenience after he returned from vacation.
Eventually, Delacruz said the attorney general had announced privacy laws bar the governor from disclosing documentation.
Abercrombie had said earlier he wanted the issue finished because of the “political implications” it would have during the 2012 election. Those, he said, “we simply cannot have.”
But as part of Abercrombie’s promotion of the issue, it was revealed that his links to the controversy run deep.
For example, although he has acknowledged he was not present at the still-unidentified hospital in Honolulu to witness Obama’s birth, Abercrombie long has claimed he socialized with Barack Obama Sr. and Ann Dunham Obama when Barack Obama Jr. was yet a baby.
“Maybe I’m the only one in the country that could look you right in the eye and tell you, ‘I was here when the baby was born,’” Abercrombie told the Chicago Tribune in an attempt to provide personal testimony to buttress the argument Obama was born in Hawaii as he has long claimed.
Abercrombie was a graduate teaching assistant in sociology at the University of Hawaii when Barack Obama Sr. arrived in 1959 from Kenya to enroll as the first African-born student in the university’s history.
The problem with Abercrombie’s testimony is that Barack Obama Sr. and his wife, Ann Dunham, did not live together as man and wife with their baby son as Abercrombie claims to have witnessed.
WND has published transcripts from the University of Washington in Seattle that prove Ann Dunham was enrolled in extension classes there, across the Pacific, within three weeks of the baby’s birth.
WND further has documented Ann Dunham’s Seattle address in authoritative Seattle street directories from the period and interviewed Barack Obama Jr.’s babysitter in Seattle to further document the presence of Ann Dunham and her baby in Seattle, not Hawaii as Abercrombie has claimed.
WND also has reported that the address used in the two Hawaii newspapers in 1961 announcing the baby’s birth was 6085 Kalanianaole Highway in Honolulu, an address maintained by Ann Dunham’s parents, Madelyn and Stanley Dunham.
In August 1961, when Barack Obama Jr. was born, Barack Obama Sr. maintained a separate address on 11th Avenue, in Hawaii.
There is no documentary evidence that Barack Obama Sr. and Ann Dunham ever lived at the same address together as man and wife.
Moreover, university transcripts from the University of Washington and the University of Hawaii demonstrate that Ann Dunham remained in Seattle, fully enrolled in university courses, until she returned to Hawaii in 1962 to re-enroll in the University of Hawaii after Barack Obama Sr. had left Hawaii to attend graduate school at Harvard in Cambridge, Mass.
Also, contrary to Abercrombie’s assertion that he spent social time with Barack Obama Sr., his wife, Ann Dunham, and their child, Barack Obama Jr., the documentary evidence strongly suggests that while Ann Dunham was in Seattle attending the University of Washington, Barack Obama Sr. lived the life of a bachelor in Honolulu.
WND has published a photo of Barack Obama Sr. at a University of Hawaii student party that he attended without his wife, Ann Dunham; the photo clearly shows his left hand absent a wedding ring.
Barack Obama Sr. at party with University of Hawaii students in the early 1960s
WND also reported on a letter Barack Obama Sr. wrote from Hawaii to his political benefactor in Kenya, Tom Mboya, in May 1962, discussing his wife, but he does so without mentioning Ann Dunham, his Hawaiian bride and the mother of the president, Barack Obama Jr.
Toward the end of the 1962 letter, Obama wrote, “You know my wife is in Nairobi there and I would really appreciate any help you may give her.”
Clearly Barack Obama Sr. is referring to his first wife, Kezia Aoko, whom he had married in 1954 when he was eighteen years old while she was pregnant with their first child.
He instructs Mboya that his wife Kezia was then staying with her brother, Wilson Odiawo, in Nairobi.
WND has reported, and continues to report, on multiple legal challenges to Obama over his status as a “natural born citizen.” The Constitution, Article 2, Section 1, states, “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.”
Some of the lawsuits question whether Obama actually was born in Hawaii, as he insists. If he was born out of the country, Obama’s American mother, the suits contend, was too young at the time of his birth to confer American citizenship to her son under the law at the time.
Other challenges have focused on Obama’s citizenship through his father, a Kenyan subject to the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom at the time of his birth, thus making him a dual citizen. The cases contend the framers of the Constitution excluded dual citizens from qualifying as natural born.
Further, others contend it’s impossible for him to be considered a “natural born citizen” as his father was a foreign national.
Prior to Abercrombie’s tenure, former Gov. Linda Lingle explained she had her health director “go personally view the birth certificate in the birth records of the Department of Health.”
She continued, “We issued a news release at that time saying that the president was, in fact, born at Kapiolani Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii. And that’s just a fact and yet people continue to call up and e-mail and want to make it an issue and I think it’s again a horrible distraction for the country by those people who continue this.”
In fact, it was the health director in the state, Chiyome Fukino, who stated, “I as Director of Health for the State of Hawaii, along with the Registrar of Vital Statistics who has statutory authority to oversee and maintain these type of vital records, have personally seen and verified that the Hawaii State Department of Health has Sen. Obama’s original birth certificate on record in accordance with state policies and procedures.
“No state official, including Governor Linda Lingle, has ever instructed that this vital record be handled in a manner different from any other vital record in the possession of the State of Hawaii.”
Several months later, in July 2009, she added another comment: “I, Dr. Chiyome Fukino, Director of the Hawaii State Department of Health, have seen the original vital records maintained on file by the Hawaii State Department of Health verifying Barack Hussein Obama was born in Hawaii and is a natural-born American. I have nothing further to add to this statement or my original statement issued in October 2008 over eight months ago.”
At that time, in two separate telephone interviews with WND, Janice Okubo, the Health Department’s public information officer, told WND that Hawaii law prohibited her from commenting on the birth records of any specific person.
But Fukino’s statement never clarified what records were on file, and what they said.
Among the various campaigns that are intended to raise questions about Obama’s past are: