Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio held a news conference yesterday to release the results of a “deep dive” into the question of whether Barack Obama’s birth certificate was genuine or a fraud. Surprisingly, after having teamed up with WND, Arpaio declared that the birth certificate and Obama’s Selective Service registration are fraudulent. The local NBC affiliate and the Arizona Republic covered the event:
Arpaio and his team answered questions about jurisdiction by claiming that a fraud taking place in Maricopa County means that local law enforcement would have to investigate it. However, if the fraud originated in someplace outside of Arizona, that technically would be the jurisdiction of the FBI, not Arizona. At some point Obama would have to submit an affadavit of eligibility to the state of Arizona for his 2012 re-election bid, and if that was fraudulent, then it would be a state matter.
However, in the massive effort to investigate the birth certificate, Arpaio and his “cold case posse” overlooked one detail:
The investigation relied on volunteers working with an electronic copy of the president’s birth certificate, which is available online, and pointing out inconsistencies with the electronic document. A representative with the Hawaii Attorney General’s Office said no one from the Sheriff’s Office ever requested to inspect or collect documents related to the authenticity of Obama’s birth certificate.
I’m no Columbo, but wouldn’t the first step in investigating a potentially fraudulent birth certificate be to check with the issuing authority to see if it matches their records? The state in Hawaii has twice validated Obama’s published birth records, and the Honolulu Advertiser published a notice of Obama’s birth the week these records say it happened, a rather significant piece of contemporaneous evidence that investigators would normally find interesting. Seems to me that an “investigation” might have would-be detectives talking with these officials to see what they know, or at least asking the state to recheck their records.
Sadly, this won’t stop the flow of e-mails we’ve been receiving since yesterday afternoon by people convinced that a President who can’t figure out supply and demand in gas prices can put together such a vast conspiracy to hoodwink the American people that it involves elected officials in the state of Hawaii and time travel to put a birth notice in the local paper in 1961. Have fun storming the castle, but the rest of us would rather work on reality-based issues.
Update: A good reminder from commenter Tom Servo: “[I]f you remember Rathergate, you will remember that all document certification professionals agree that a copy of an original can *never* be certified as an original or a fake, since too many uncertainties are created by the duplication process. Only the original can be certified; the failure to ask to see the original is pretty good proof that this commission was a joke right from the get-go.” Indeed. One would think professional “investigators” would know this.
Update II: The state director of health in Hawaii attested to the authenticity of the long-form birth certificate when certified copies were provided to the White House, too:
Correspondence released by the White House shows that Obama wrote a letter on White House stationary on April 22, 2011, authorizing the release of the original birth certificate.
It said, “I am writing to request two certified copies of my original certificate of live birth. With this letter, I hereby authorize my personal counsel, Ms. Judith Corley of Perkins Coie in Washington, D.C. to act on my behalf in providing any additional information or paying any fees required by the Department of Health to fulfill my request. Ms. Corley is also authorized to make any necessary arrangements for delivery of the certified copies from your office.”
That same day, Corley asked the state health director in Hawaii to waive its usual rules and release the original “long form” birth certificate.
“Waiver of the Department’s policy in this instance would allow my client to make a certified copy of his original birth certificate publicly available and would also relieve the burden currently pbeing placed on the Department of Health by the numerous inquiries it receives from the media and others relating to my client’s birth record,” wrote Judith Corley, an attorney at the firm.
Corley, who is based in Washington, apparently traveled to Hawaii. She said in the letter that she would “be coming to your offices to pick up the copies of the certificates.”
On April 25, Loretta Fuddy, the director of health in Hawaii, replied to Obama that she had the authority to approve the release of birth records. “Through that authority, in recognition of our status as President of the United States, I am making an exception to current departmental policy which is to issue a computer-generated certified copy.
“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 documents. Such inquiries have been disruptive to staff operations and have strained State resources,” Fuddy wrote.
She enclosed the copies Obama requested and said, “I have witnessed the copying of the certificate and attest to the authenticity of these copies.”