Friday, December 11, 2009

Obama's Kenyan Birth Certificate?

The document is an obvious forgery and appears to be a joke played on Birthers to further discredit them.1  The Kenyan government did not issue birth certificates to foreign nationals born abroad at the time of Obama's birth, and the presentation on this document purports that it was issued by the government of jurisdiction to a resident born within the boundaries of said jurisdiction. . . .  Mombasa was never a part of Kenya before 1963, and Obama Junior was born two years before in 1961. Mombasa belonged to the state of Zanzibar, the semi-autonomous region of present-day Tanzania. And some things just bear repeating: if Obama Junior were born anywhere in Kenya, it would have been in Nyanza.
This has always been a red flag for conspiracy theorists, so it deserves some explanation. Barack Obama Sr. was born and educated in Nyanza Province, in southwestern Kenya, on Lake Victoria. This is the area where Obama's family lived and continues to live; Sarah Obama, the step-grandmother of the president, lives in Nyang'oma Kogelo, a small town in the province. But Mombasa is a city on the Indian Ocean, a thousand miles to the east. . . .  And the city wasn't even part of Kenya when the future president was born. Mombasa was a part of Zanzibar until December 12, 1963, when it became part of the newly independent Kenya
(" 'Birthers' Latch onto Forged Kenyan Birth Certificate"; David Weigel; Washington Independent; August 3, 2009).

It's a forgery all right, but David Weigel assumes too much in his analysis, which entails the apparent contradictions between the document's registration/publication dates and the historical record of Kenya's fledgling government. These things are merely a matter of interest for further research, research the author clearly did not do. For example, how does he know for sure without looking at the finer legal and historical details that official documents were not issued under the authority of the Republic of Kenya before it became official? And as absurd as that might sound to some, consider this: Weigel is describing a relatively short transitional period of time during which it may have been permissible to do so under the law while the government was gearing up to make the switch—an inevitable and uncontested process.

All Weigel needed to point out was that Mombasa was not part of Kenya in 1961, but a part of Zanzibar. Regardless of the official status of Kenya's government at the time of Obama's birth, it could not have issued this certificate. The document alleges that either the Commonwealth of Kenya or the non-existent Republic of Kenya affirmed that Obama Junior's birth took place in Mombasa, Zanzibar, that he was a Zanzibari citizen at birth or that he was a Kenyan citizen at birth, albeit, born in Zanzibar. . . .  Huh?  Of course this madness is a hoax aimed directly at the Mombasa myth of Birtherism.
1Birthers Punk'd!

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