Did Obama go to Pakistan/Afghanistan against U.S. travel bans without using a U.S. passport in 1981?
The idea here is that Obama must have used either a Kenyan or an Indonesian passport to get into to Pakistan/Afghanistan since the United States allegedly banned Americans from traveling to these countries in the early 1980's. Now, why would that matter? Well, because Obama must have retained dual citizenship. He must have reaffirmed his Kenyan or Indonesian citizenship with an oath of allegiance after his 18th birthday in order to obtain a usable passport. Under U.S. law this would have constituted an act of expatriation, a formal renunciation of U.S. citizenship.
Since Obama Senior was a British citizen at the time of his son's birth, the future president was, regardless of where he was born, a British citizen, too, by right of blood under British law. When Kenya gained its independence approximately two years later, his British citizenship was transfered to Kenya. Hence, President Obama could have secretly affirmed his Kenyan citizenship and used a Kenyan passport. The other possibility, of course, is that he acquired a passport from Indonesia predicated on his naturalized citizenship there. Either way, under U.S. law, if the acquisition of a passport from either of these countries entailed an oath of allegiance, he thereby jeopardized or effectively terminated his U.S. citizenship.
This theory has some big problems.
First, there is no evidence that Obama was ever issued a Kenyan passport or formally asserted his claim on Kenyan citizenship. (He had up to the age of 21 to do so before it expired under Kenyan law.)
Second, there is no evidence that he ever was ever issued an Indonesian passport on the basis of his naturalized citizenship before or after his 18th birthday. His American passport was all that he needed to get to Indonesia with his mother and future stepfather and then back to Hawaii with his mother a few years later where she then divorced Mr. Soetoro who did not contest.
Third, it was Obama himself who broke the mountains-out-of-mole-hills, Pakistan-travel story as he casually related a bit of biographical history at a San Francisco political fundraiser.
Fourth, there is not a shred of evidence that Obama ever set foot on Afghan soil before July, 2008. None.
Fifth, and this is the real kicker, the U.S. government never barred its citizens from traveling to Pakistan in the early 80's. The executive branch of the United States never ordered such a ban, and, therefore, the State Department has no record of such a ban. Congress never enacted such a ban. Also, Pakistan never issued such a ban against U.S. citizens. The entire story is a complete fabrication conjured up out of thin air.
The revised Travel Advisory 81-33A issued by Passport Services, Bureau of Consular Affairs of the Department of State, dated August 17, 1981:
BEFORE TRAVELING TO PAKISTAN, AMERICAN CITIZENS SHOULD BE AWARE OF THE FOLLO[WING] UPDATED VISA REQUIREMENTS: 30 DAY VISAS ARE AVAILABLE AT PAKISTANI AIRPORTS [FOR] TOURISTS ONLY. AS THESE VISAS ARE RARELY EXTENDED BEYOND THE 30 DAY TIME PER[IOD,] TOURISTS PLANNING TO STAY LONGER SHOULD SECURE VISAS BEFORE COMING TO PAKIS[TAN.] . . .ANY NON-OFFICIAL AMERICAN WHO IS IN PAKISTAN FOR MORE THAN 30 DAYS MUST REGIS[TER] WITH THE GOVERNMENT’S FOREIGNER REGISTRATION OFFICE. EXIT PERMITS ARE REQUI[RED] FOR THOSE WHO HAVE STAYED LONGER THAN 30 DAYS BEFORE THEY ARE ALLOWED TO LE[AVE T]HE COUNTRY. ALL AMERICANS TRAVELING TO PAKISTAN ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS OR [FOR] PRIVATE EMPLOYMENT ARE REQUIRED TO HAVE A VISA BEFORE ARRIVAL, AND, AS [THE] GOVERNMENT OF PAKISTAN’S CLEARANCE PROCESS IS OFTEN QUITE LENGTHY, WE WOULD URGE TH[OSE] COMING TO APPLY AT THE NEAREST PAKISTANI EMBASSY OR CONSULATE AS FAR IN ADVA[NCE] OF THEIR SCHEDULED ARRIVAL AS POSSIBLE.
Well, looky there, not only were the travel advisory conditions pretty run-of-the-mill at the time of Obama's visit, one could pick up a visa at the terminal. How convenient!
Also, we have a New York Times travel piece that anyone can casually access online to confirm that the author of that piece, a U.S. citizen, had absolutely no problem going to Pakistan by train from India. She clearly was not aware of any such ban: "LaHore, A Survivor with a Bittersweet History" by Barbara Crossette, June 19, 1981. Also see the letter to the Times from the U.S. Consul General of Lahore: "Lahore", August 23, 1981.
Obama would have had no problem getting into Pakistan with a U.S. passport. The terms of visitation were nothing extraordinary while Pakistan was under military rule, and even the 30-day limit for tourists was imposed by Pakistan, not the United States. Ever since this claptrap was debunked, most of the sites that have been stirring the pot—including WorldNetDaily (WND)—changed their reports to read that travel to Pakistan was "very difficult" instead of "banned". But the qualifier "very difficult" is dishonest, too. But don't hold the author of this piece to that observation like glue. While WND, for example, did in fact temper its language in later reports, it has been known to reintroduce debunked claims about Obama in slightly altered versions in the past after a cooling off period—after attention spans have expired—and then toss them back out into the "hoax infested waters" of the Internet.
But wait a minute! The vague suggestion behind the language of WND's qualifier is one of those slightly altered versions! No cooling off period there ("Was young Obama Indonesian citizen?", Aaron Klein).
On second thought, Gorilla Glue is best. Feel free to apply a generous amount.