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My FOIA

Long-time readers here may recall that I filed my own FOIA with the US Department of state asking for records of passports issued to Stanley Ann Dunham. I filed it in January of 2009, over 16 months ago. The DoS accepted the request, assigned a case number to it last April (improper requests do not get a case assigned). And I have been sitting for a very long time waiting for an answer.

I’ve called the DoS 4 times and emailed them once. The email received no reply and the phone calls yielded no useful information except that it had be referred to the Passport section.

I called again today and the fellow I talked to at the DoS FOIA Hot Line was a little more forthcoming than the folks I talked to before. Here are some things I picked up from the call:

  1. Passport information requests are normally “pretty quick”.
  2. The fellow I talked to was aware of litigation by others over requests overlapping mine. That is, he knew exactly what was going on in the wider context.
  3. My request had been responded to by the passport section.
  4. For some reason the FOIA sent it back to Passport for further research.
  5. My request was now being looked at by the DoS “Legal advisor.”
  6. I got the impression that the reason I didn’t have results back is because of the complications created by the other lawsuits.
  7. I was promised that the DoS would review what was previously provided by the passport section to see if it was “responsive” to my request by this Friday.
  8. I think he said that there were 4 lawsuits related to this topic. [I only know of two: Allen and Strunk.]
  9. My impression (and this is just an impression) is that all of the other requests are “in legal”.
  10. My request is taking longer than it should.

I have no assurance of what will be disclosed. If Stanley Ann Dunham had no passport in 1961 then it would be a huge blow to the Kenyan birth story. If she did, we’re pretty much where we are now. I certainly would love to break the news here first, but in all fairness, others asked first. So stay tuned for one of two headlines: OBAMA HAD A US PASSPORT, or OBAMA HAD NO US PASSPORT.

PS: If I am the first to break this story, expect most of the BLOG features to be turned in preparation for the onslaught of visits.

Update: Upon reflection, I believe that my requests and the other overlapping requests were being handled together. One of the more complex requests had been referred back to the passport section. I was being told that if the passport section’s previous response was responsive to my limited question, then they could go ahead and send it to me (presuming the legal adviser isn’t in the way).

96 Responses to My FOIA

  1. avatar
    richCares May 26, 2010 at 2:23 pm #

    Your FOIA will tell you if a Passport was issued and when, this is basically all it will say. What the birthers expect is that it will show a visit to Kenya, but that is a visa stamp on the passport and will not be in the record. In the birther mind any answer that does not show the Kenya trip in 1961 will be a “cover up”

  2. avatar
    Sef May 26, 2010 at 2:30 pm #

    richCares: Your FOIA will tell you if a Passport was issued and when, this is basically allit will say. What the birthers expect is that it will show a visit to Kenya, but that is a visa stamp on the passport and will not be in the record. In the birther mind any answer that does not show the Kenya trip in 1961 will be a “cover up”

    While in the real world “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence” in Birferland it is evidence of “cover up/conspiracy/treason/…”

  3. avatar
    JustWondering May 26, 2010 at 2:30 pm #

    Doc, I’m a little confused.

    1) Why did you ask for passport data for “Stanley Ann Dunham” — wouldn’t she have been using her married name in 1961?

    2) Why do you expect the resulting headline to be “OBAMA HAD [A/NO] US PASSPORT”? Which Obama do you have in mind?

  4. avatar
    WTF? May 26, 2010 at 3:04 pm #

    Doc,

    Would it have been possible for Obama’s mother to obtain a British passport after marrying Obama Sr.?

    What if Dunhan-Obama obtained a passport between Feb. and June of 1961? Would that raise any red flags?

  5. avatar
    Scott Brown May 26, 2010 at 3:23 pm #

    Whew! I’m glad then by your definition, I am NOT a birther. I have been wondering for quite a while if I were considered as such by this democracy threatening blog or not. 🙂

    I think Obama was born in Hawaii via common sense. His being born out of country is a possibility, but just saying common sense tells us that more than likely he was born in the US.

    I also think you – again – underestimate the birthers. I don’t think most will jump to the conclusion that it is a cover-up should it come back that she didn’t have a passport. I actually think WTF? and JustWondering have great questions and wonder myself why your request was so narrow in scope. We really have no idea what names she used when – hence the need to ask for any alias’ as well.

    I think a lot of the birthers, and people like me (whom I’m not sure what my pseudo name is) just want the truth – we want answers to the questions from the one who promised transparency, while opaque is all we get.

    We want to know why according to Leahy, McCaskill, Obama, etc. that McCain needed 2 citizen parents to be NBC, but Obama only needed 1 citizen parent. But then again, I’m still waiting for ‘The One’ to get his butt down to the Gulf and part the waters so that BP can plug up that damn oil spill. I won’t be holding my breath. LOL

  6. avatar
    richCares May 26, 2010 at 3:28 pm #

    “I have been wondering for quite a while if I were considered as such by this democracy threatening blog or no”

    us democracy threatening people consider you to be a died in the wool birher as well as a _______________________!

    Now tell us why we are democracy threatening people.

  7. avatar
    JustWondering May 26, 2010 at 3:32 pm #

    Hey, Scott, why don’t you show us where Leahy, McCaskill, Obama, etc.said that “McCain needed 2 citizen parents to be NBC” if he was born on U.S. soil?

    In fact, why don’t you show us where any reputable constitutional scholar has said that?

  8. avatar
    Scientist May 26, 2010 at 3:33 pm #

    WTF?: Would it have been possible for Obama’s mother to obtain a British passport after marrying Obama Sr.?

    Why don’t you write to London and ask?

    WTF?: hat if Dunhan-Obama obtained a passport between Feb. and June of 1961? Would that raise any red flags?

    No.

  9. avatar
    Sef May 26, 2010 at 3:37 pm #

    Scott Brown: We want to know why according to Leahy, McCaskill, Obama, etc. that McCain needed 2 citizen parents to be NBC, but Obama only needed 1 citizen parent. But then again, I’m still waiting for The One’ to get his butt down to the Gulf and part the waters so that BP can plug up that damn oil spill. I won’t be holding my breath. LOL

    The answers to your questions have been given time & time again, but here it is one more time. McCain “needed” 2 citizen parents because he was born out of the country. Obama didn’t “need” any citizen parent because he was born on U.S. soil.

  10. avatar
    richCares May 26, 2010 at 3:40 pm #

    Sef,
    scott brown doesn’t pay attention to answers nor to questions. Typical birther!

  11. avatar
    Sef May 26, 2010 at 3:43 pm #

    richCares: Sef,
    scott brown doesn’t pay attention to answers nor to questions. Typical birther!

    Yes, I know that, but it’s good to try. Maybe someone else will finally get it.

  12. avatar
    richCares May 26, 2010 at 3:43 pm #

    WTF?: Would it have been possible for Obama’s mother to obtain a British passport after marrying Obama Sr.?
    .
    marriage doesn’t do that , sorry, no british passport. on marriage. Why do you ask?

  13. avatar
    SFJeff May 26, 2010 at 3:47 pm #

    Ah Scott, see I consider birthers all to be both threatened by democracy and threatening our constitution.
    .

    “I think Obama was born in Hawaii via common sense.”

    I am pretty certain Obama was born the normal way- or at least by Caesarean.

    “We really have no idea what names she used when – hence the need to ask for any alias’ as well.”

    Exactly how does one do that?

    “I think a lot of the birthers, and people like me (whom I’m not sure what my pseudo name is) just want the truth”

    You repeat the obvious- Birthers can’t handle the truth.

    ” we want answers to the questions from the one who promised transparency, while opaque is all we get.”

    Birthers want the Presidents kindergarten records- thats not transparency, its idiocy.

    “We want to know why according to Leahy, McCaskill, Obama, etc. that McCain needed 2 citizen parents to be NBC, but Obama only needed 1 citizen parent.”

    Really, if you haven’t figured out that issue by now, my repeating the answer won’t influence you again. I would call it willful ignorance.

  14. avatar
    Dave May 26, 2010 at 3:47 pm #

    Scott Brown: … I’m not sure what my pseudo name is …

    I thought you knew — it’s the name of the most liberal Republican in the Senate.

  15. avatar
    WTF? May 26, 2010 at 3:52 pm #

    Sef: The answers to your questions have been given time & time again, but here it is one more time. McCain “needed” 2 citizen parents because he was born out of the country. Obama didn’t “need” any citizen parent because he was born on U.S. soil.

    Sef, Are you saying that John McCain is both a naturalized citizen and a natural born citizen?

  16. avatar
    WTF? May 26, 2010 at 3:56 pm #

    richCares: WTF?: Would it have been possible for Obama’s mother to obtain a British passport after marrying Obama Sr.?.marriage doesn’t do that , sorry, no british passport. on marriage. Why do you ask?

    richCares, I know that being from Hawaii is supposed to make one a de facto expert on citizenship, but I have to wonder why the U.S. State Department says that someone can acquire foreign citizenship by marriage, but you say they cannot.

    “A U.S. citizen may acquire foreign citizenship by marriage”
    http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1753.html

  17. avatar
    Expelliarmus May 26, 2010 at 4:01 pm #

    Scott Brown: We want to know why according to Leahy, McCaskill, Obama, etc. that McCain needed 2 citizen parents to be NBC, but Obama only needed 1 citizen parent

    Because McCain was NOT BORN in the U.S. — and every legal scholar in history would recognize it as an open question whether an individual who acquired his citizenship via his parents rather than place of birth is a “natural born Citizen”. So McCain sought a resolution from his fellow Senators to help pave the way for his nomination.

    Sorry, SB, but this sort of question is why “birthers” get characterized as stupid. You can’t seem to understand a simple logical sequence, like:

    If A (born in US), then eligible,

    else,

    If B (citizen parents), then eligible,

    else,

    Not eliglble.

  18. avatar
    Walter White May 26, 2010 at 4:03 pm #

    Mr. Allen has now filed a “Motion to Compel” asking that the defendants, the Departments of State and Homeland Security, release the information which the judge has so ordered.

    The Motion to Compel begins:

    Plaintiff (Kenneth L Allen) respectfully moves this court pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act, 5 USC § 552 and 552(2), the FRCP 37(a) and LRciv 37.1 to compel the Defendants, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of State (DOS) to comply with their agreement made between Mr Bowen and Myself [ Kenneth Allen] during discussion before our Joint Status Report [ Doc.33] .and in accordance with Rule 26(f) FRCP., disclosing any matter under A to J , 1 thru 16 of the order directing Defendants to process plaintiffs (“FOIA”) requests. Mr Bowen said that the defendants had some of the document and they could be delivered as on or about 4 to 6 weeks that was 3-10-2010 it has been more than 8 weeks.

    http://www.thepostemail.com/2010/05/24/motion-to-compel-filed-against-state-dept-and-dhs/

    Allen opines, “They haven’t given any reason. I believe they’re stalling because Stanley Ann wasn’t in Hawaii when Obama was born. I also believe that she was out of the country long enough to lose her own citizenship!”

  19. avatar
    richCares May 26, 2010 at 4:05 pm #

    WTF, it says MAY not can!
    name one country that accepts marriage as a basis for citizenship, the US does not.
    Japan does not, Britain does not.
    Which country does?

  20. avatar
    SFJeff May 26, 2010 at 4:09 pm #

    “but I have to wonder why the U.S. State Department says that someone can acquire foreign citizenship by marriage, but you say they cannot.”

    So the question is- under the UK law that existed at that time, could Ann Durham been granted automatic UK Citizenship by marrying Obama Sr?

    I don’t know- and I thought of looking it up- and I thought- why? If you want to know, you look it up. Because its not germaine.

    Even if Ann Durham had become a British Citizen by marriage, she would still be a U.S. Citizen, and even that doesn’t matter since President Obama was born in Hawaii.

    Oh I see- if we speculate that Ann might have had a British passport- then if her American passport records show that she didn’t have an American passport to make that highly improbable trip to Kenya while pregnant, Birthers can then claim she did it on a British passport, and keep the hope alive that the black man was really born in Kenya.

  21. avatar
    Sef May 26, 2010 at 4:09 pm #

    Walter White: I also believe that she was out of the country long enough to lose her own citizenship!”

    Where does Allen get this stuff. He needs some Beano.

  22. avatar
    SFJeff May 26, 2010 at 4:12 pm #

    Walter quoting Allen:

    “I also believe that she was out of the country long enough to lose her own citizenship!”

    Would some birther please educate me- how long would a natural born citizen need to be out of the United States in order to lose her citizenship?

  23. avatar
    Black Lion May 26, 2010 at 4:17 pm #

    Walter White: Mr. Allen has now filed a “Motion to Compel” asking that the defendants, the Departments of State and Homeland Security, release the information which the judge has so ordered.The Motion to Compel begins:Plaintiff (Kenneth L Allen) respectfully moves this court pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act, 5 USC § 552 and 552(2), the FRCP 37(a) and LRciv 37.1 to compel the Defendants, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of State (DOS) to comply with their agreement made between Mr Bowen and Myself [ Kenneth Allen] during discussion before our Joint Status Report [ Doc.33] .and in accordance with Rule 26(f) FRCP., disclosing any matter under A to J , 1 thru 16 of the order directing Defendants to process plaintiffs (“FOIA”) requests. Mr Bowen said that the defendants had some of the document and they could be delivered as on or about 4 to 6 weeks that was 3-10-2010 it has been more than 8 weeks.http://www.thepostemail.com/2010/05/24/motion-to-compel-filed-against-state-dept-and-dhs/Allen opines, “They haven’t given any reason. I believe they’re stalling because Stanley Ann wasn’t in Hawaii when Obama was born. I also believe that she was out of the country long enough to lose her own citizenship!”

    Allen’s opinion is meaningless. He can think all he wants. The bottom line is that he has already decided that the President’s mother was in Kenya in 1961. If this comes back that she did not have a passport in 1961, then the records were scrubbed. If it does then she is guilty, even though having a passport does not necessairly mean she was in Kenya. Allen would have to find proof that she ever traveled there. But that is not his real interest. Allen is interested in innuendo and supposition.

  24. avatar
    richCares May 26, 2010 at 4:18 pm #

    “citizen need to be out of the United States in order to lose her citizenship?”

    a neighbors friend went to Poland in 1945, he has voted in every Pesidential election since (as a US Citizen)
    .
    in the US marriage can help you get a green card, not citizenship. Why is this an issue?

  25. avatar
    misha May 26, 2010 at 4:21 pm #

    “I also believe that she was out of the country long enough to lose her own citizenship!”
    “how long would a natural born citizen need to be out of the United States in order to lose her citizenship?”

    Never. I wrote this before: when I was in Israel, I was asked to serve in the IDF, so I went to the US embassy in Tel Aviv. I spoke with a legal affairs officer, because there is a proviso that serving in a foreign army can cause loss of citizenship.

    He told me the only way I could lose US citizenship, is to renounce it in writing.

    No matter how long Dunham would have lived as an expat, she was a citizen for life. If someone claims I am wrong, prove it.

  26. avatar
    WTF? May 26, 2010 at 4:29 pm #

    richCares: WTF, it says MAY not can!name one country that accepts marriage as a basis for citizenship, the US does not.Japan does not, Britain does not.Which country does?

    richCares, Section 6(2) of the British Naturalization Act of 1948 (The same act the gave Obama his British Nationality) permits citizenship upon application.

    “(2) Subject to the provisions of subsection (3) of this section, a woman who has been married to a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies shall be entitled, on making application therefor to the Secretary of State in the prescribed manner, and, if she is a British protected person or an alien, on taking an oath of allegiance in the form specified in the First Schedule to this Act, to be registered as a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies, whether or not she is of full age and capacity.”

    We don’t know what she did or did not do. All we know is that the door was opened, and that she could have passed thru it. That’s why questions get asked. Answers to those questions would be helpful.

  27. avatar
    Black Lion May 26, 2010 at 4:37 pm #

    WTF?: richCares, Section 6(2) of the British Naturalization Act of 1948 (The same act the gave Obama his British Nationality) permits citizenship upon application.“(2) Subject to the provisions of subsection (3) of this section, a woman who has been married to a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies shall be entitled, on making application therefor to the Secretary of State in the prescribed manner, and, if she is a British protected person or an alien, on taking an oath of allegiance in the form specified in the First Schedule to this Act, to be registered as a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies, whether or not she is of full age and capacity.”We don’t know what she did or did not do. All we know is that the door was opened, and that she could have passed thru it. That’s why questions get asked. Answers to those questions would be helpful.

    The point was that she did not automatically become a citizen of the UK. She was entitled to upon application to apply to become a citizen. Just like in the US if someone from another country marries a US citizen, they can apply to become a US citizen. It is not guaranteed or automatic. So again if you feel that somehow the President’s mother would apply to become a UK citizen, then apply for a UK passport to travel, then you are willing to believe in any conspiracy theory. Since she was an American, there was no plausable reason why she would do that rather than just apply for a US passport when she was ready to have one.

  28. avatar
    Black Lion May 26, 2010 at 4:41 pm #

    WTF?: We don’t know what she did or did not do. All we know is that the door was opened, and that she could have passed thru it. That’s why questions get asked. Answers to those questions would be helpful.

    You are right. Questions sould be asked. But questions that make sense. Not this variation of the infamouse “when did you stop beating your wife” question. This ridiculous exercise in “what ifs” is so far fetched is is laughable. Maybe you should write to the UK Foreign Secretary and ask if there was ever a passport request by the President’s mother. To present illogical and farfetched questions as plausable scenarios shows the ridiculous nature of the birthers and why they are laughed at by most mainstream individuals…

  29. avatar
    Scientist May 26, 2010 at 4:43 pm #

    WTF?: Answers to those questions would be helpful.

    Helpful? How? Would it:

    1. Solve the European financial crisis?
    2. Resolve the conflict between North and South Korea?
    3. Turn Afghanistan into a stable democracy?
    4. Stop the oil gushing into the Gulf?

    In fact the passport of someone who has been dead for about 20 years would not be helpful at all in addressing any of the many problem we face.

  30. avatar
    richCares May 26, 2010 at 4:44 pm #

    no WTF, here is actual UK link on this:
    http://www.ukimmigration.com/family/uk_citizenship.htm#Naturalisation%20after%20three%20years
    In the UK, a person married to a UK citizen may apply for naturalization after 3 years, marriage does not grant citizenship. They have to apply
    in 1948 was slightly different because of Jewish problems, but not since.
    .
    In the US, a person married to a citizen may apply and receive a green card, but for citizenship they must go through the naturalization, no short cuts.
    .
    Are these questions weasel words for a failed FIOA request?

  31. avatar
    WTF? May 26, 2010 at 4:46 pm #

    Black Lion: The point was that she did not automatically become a citizen of the UK. She was entitled to upon application to apply to become a citizen. Just like in the US if someone from another country marries a US citizen, they can apply to become a US citizen. It is not guaranteed or automatic. So again if you feel that somehow the President’s mother would apply to become a UK citizen, then apply for a UK passport to travel, then you are willing to believe in any conspiracy theory. Since she was an American, there was no plausable reason why she would do that rather than just apply for a US passport when she was ready to have one.

    BL, U.S. Law does not permit an alien to become a U.S. citizen by mere application. An alien spouse can get a permanent resident “green card”, but they must be naturalized in order to become a citizen. The 1948 British Law permitted an alien spouse to become a citizen by application.

  32. avatar
    WTF? May 26, 2010 at 4:48 pm #

    richCares: no WTF, here is actual UK link on this:http://www.ukimmigration.com/family/uk_citizenship.htm#Naturalisation%20after%20three%20yearsIn the UK, a person married to a UK citizen may apply for naturalization after 3 years, marriage does not grant citizenship. They have to applyin 1948 was slightly different because of Jewish problems, but not since..In the US, a person married to a citizen may apply and receive a green card, but for citizenship they must go through the naturalization, no short cuts..Are these questions weasel words for a failed FIOA request?

    The controlling law with regard to Stanley Ann becoming a British Citizen in 1961 was the BNA of 1948.

  33. avatar
    SFJeff May 26, 2010 at 4:49 pm #

    WTF: “Answers to those questions would be helpful.”

    How?

    “that she could have passed thru it.”

    Probably the only entity with answers to that question would be the British Government. Good luck with your requests for that information.

    A good follow up question for you:

    how long did it take to apply for an receive UK citizenship for a spouse married to a UK colonial citizen who was living in Hawaii?

  34. avatar
    Rickey May 26, 2010 at 5:03 pm #

    Scott Brown: We want to know why according to Leahy, McCaskill, Obama, etc. that McCain needed 2 citizen parents to be NBC, but Obama only needed 1 citizen parent.

    They never said that McCain “needed” two citizen parents. They said that McCain “was born to” citizen parents. Once again, you are confusing “sufficient” with “necessary.” Besides, as has been pointed out, McCain was not born in the U.S., whereas Obama was born in the U.S. Obama is natural-born even if neither of his parents were citizens.

    Whereas John Sidney McCain, III, was born to American citizens on an American military base in the Panama Canal Zone in 1936: Now, therefore, be it

    Resolved, That John Sidney McCain, III, is a `natural born Citizen’ under Article II, Section 1, of the Constitution of the United States.

    http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=sr110-511

    we want answers to the questions from the one who promised transparency, while opaque is all we get.

    He promised transparency in the way government is run. He never promised that every detail of his life would be made available to you.

  35. avatar
    richCares May 26, 2010 at 5:14 pm #

    The 1948 law did not apply, there was the:
    British Nationality Act, 1958
    http://www.uniset.ca/naty/BNA1958.htm

  36. avatar
    Rickey May 26, 2010 at 5:23 pm #

    SFJeff:
    how long did it take to apply for an receive UK citizenship for a spouse married to a UK colonial citizen who was living in Hawaii?

    I can’t vouch that the same rules were in effect in 1961, but by today’s standards Obama’s mother could not possibly have become a British citizen by the time he was born.

    The requirements for naturalisation as a British citizen depend on whether one is married to a British citizen or not.

    For those married to a British citizen the applicant must:

    * hold indefinite leave to remain in the UK (or an “equivalent” (for this purpose) such as the right of abode, Irish citizenship, or permanent residency as a citizen or family member of an EU/EEA)
    * have lived legally in the UK for three years
    * be of “good character”, as deemed by the Home Office (in practice the Home Office will carry out checks with the police and with other Government departments)
    * show sufficient knowledge of life in the UK, either by passing the Life in the United Kingdom test or by attending combined English language and citizenship classes. Proof of this must be supplied with one’s application for naturalisation. Exemption from this and the language requirement (see below) is normally granted for those aged 65 or over, and may be granted to those aged between 60 and 65
    * meet specified English, Welsh or Scottish Gaelic language competence standards. Those who pass the Life in the UK test are deemed to meet English language requirements

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_nationality_law#British_citizenship_by_naturalisation

  37. avatar
    WTF? May 26, 2010 at 5:30 pm #

    richCares: The 1948 law did not apply, there was the:British Nationality Act, 1958http://www.uniset.ca/naty/BNA1958.htm

    No provision of the 1958 Act (which amended the 1948 Act) applied to Stanley Ann. That means the 1948 Act was controlling.

    That can’t really be that difficult to understand.

  38. avatar
    J. Edward Tremlett May 26, 2010 at 5:32 pm #

    Scott Brown: Whew! I’m glad then by your definition, I am NOT a birther. I have been wondering for quite a while if I were considered as such by this democracy threatening blog or not. <

    A few other words come to mind.

    If Obama really want to perform a miracle, he’ll come here and make you answer the questions your fail-tacular posts engender.

  39. avatar
    WTF? May 26, 2010 at 5:33 pm #

    Rickey: I can’t vouch that the same rules were in effect in 1961, but by today’s standards Obama’s mother could not possibly have become a British citizen by the time he was born.The requirements for naturalisation as a British citizen depend on whether one is married to a British citizen or not.For those married to a British citizen the applicant must:* hold indefinite leave to remain in the UK (or an “equivalent” (for this purpose) such as the right of abode, Irish citizenship, or permanent residency as a citizen or family member of an EU/EEA)* have lived legally in the UK for three years* be of “good character”, as deemed by the Home Office (in practice the Home Office will carry out checks with the police and with other Government departments)* show sufficient knowledge of life in the UK, either by passing the Life in the United Kingdom test or by attending combined English language and citizenship classes. Proof of this must be supplied with one’s application for naturalisation. Exemption from this and the language requirement (see below) is normally granted for those aged 65 or over, and may be granted to those aged between 60 and 65* meet specified English, Welsh or Scottish Gaelic language competence standards. Those who pass the Life in the UK test are deemed to meet English language requirementshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_nationality_law#British_citizenship_by_naturalisation

    Current law requires 3 years residence. The law in effect during the period of Feb. thru Aug. 1961 had no residency requirement.

  40. avatar
    richCares May 26, 2010 at 5:35 pm #

    Current law requires 3 years residence. The law in effect during the period of Feb. thru Aug. 1961 had no residency requirement.

    this could not have been done from Hawaii, so what passport did she use?

  41. avatar
    SFJeff May 26, 2010 at 5:36 pm #

    WTF-

    Unanswered questions:
    a) why does it matter whether Ann Durham could possibly become a British citizen?
    b) Current law requires 3 years residence. The law in effect during the period of Feb. thru Aug. 1961 had no residency requirement.- citation please.

  42. avatar
    Jules May 26, 2010 at 5:39 pm #

    WTF? asked: “Would it have been possible for Obama’s mother to obtain a British passport after marrying Obama Sr.?”

    Section 6(3) of the British Nationality Act 1948 (long since repealed) stated: “Subject to the provisions of subsection (3) of this section, a woman who has been married to a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies shall be entitled, on making application therefor to the Secretary of State in the prescribed manner, and, if she is a British protected person or an alien, on taking an oath of allegiance in the form specified in the First Schedule to this Act, to be registered as a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies, whether or not she is of full age and capacity.”

    I suppose that it may have been possible for Ms Durham to go to the nearest British consulate after, her marriage, complete the necessary paperwork, and declare, “I swear by Almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabth the Second Her Heirs and Successors according to law.” However, I believe that US law in force at the time in the US would have considered her to have lost her US citizenship if she had done so. Even if we assume that she may have done this and tried to hide the fact from the US authorities (which is rather unlikely, to say the least), she would have had difficulty when coming back to the US if she held only a British passport.

    Subsequent case law has established that it is unconstitutional to deprive someone of their US citizenship in such circumstances unless it can be shown that the person acted with the intention of relinquishing US citizenship. However, re-entry to the US after travelling to Kenya would have involved dealing with the law as practised at the time, not later precedents. The treatment of US citizens who acquired foreign nationality would surely have deterred someone who was a US citizens permanently resident in Hawaii from deciding to register as a British national just for the sake of getting a British passport.

  43. avatar
    J. Edward Tremlett May 26, 2010 at 5:43 pm #

    We don’t know what she did or did not do. All we know is that the door was opened, and that she could have passed thru it. That’s why questions get asked. Answers to those questions would be helpful.

    She could have been conked over the head, thrown in a suitcase, and smuggled into kenya in the belly of the plane, too, for all we know. Should we debate whether she would have suffocated during the trip? Maybe we can all argue over how good portable oxygen systems were in 1961.

    I’m hearing the lyrics to Animotion’s “Obsession,” for some weird reason.

  44. avatar
    WTF? May 26, 2010 at 5:44 pm #

    richCares: Current law requires 3 years residence. The law in effect during the period of Feb. thru Aug. 1961 had no residency requirement.this could not have been done from Hawaii, so what passport did she use?

    And why could it have not been done from Hawaii?

  45. avatar
    richCares May 26, 2010 at 5:46 pm #

    Jules:
    maybe the scenario is possible, however Britain only issues passports in the UK or UK protectorates or colonies, Hawaii is neither. So what passpert does common sense say that she used?

  46. avatar
    Rickey May 26, 2010 at 5:49 pm #

    WTF?:
    Current law requires 3 years residence. The law in effect during the period of Feb. thru Aug. 1961 had no residency requirement.

    Let’s see a citation which sets out the rules which were in effect in 1961.

    It is difficult for me to believe that British naturalization rules were so lax that a woman who married a British citizen in February, 1961 could have obtained British citizenship AND a British passport within six months, all without ever having set foot in the U.K.

  47. avatar
    WTF? May 26, 2010 at 5:54 pm #

    Jules: WTF? asked: “Would it have been possible for Obama’s mother to obtain a British passport after marrying Obama Sr.?”Section 6(3) of the British Nationality Act 1948 (long since repealed) stated: “Subject to the provisions of subsection (3) of this section, a woman who has been married to a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies shall be entitled, on making application therefor to the Secretary of State in the prescribed manner, and, if she is a British protected person or an alien, on taking an oath of allegiance in the form specified in the First Schedule to this Act, to be registered as a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies, whether or not she is of full age and capacity.”I suppose that it may have been possible for Ms Durham to go to the nearest British consulate after, her marriage, complete the necessary paperwork, and declare, “I swear by Almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabth the Second Her Heirs and Successors according to law.” However, I believe that US law in force at the time in the US would have considered her to have lost her US citizenship if she had done so. Even if we assume that she may have done this and tried to hide the fact from the US authorities (which is rather unlikely, to say the least), she would have had difficulty when coming back to the US if she held only a British passport. Subsequent case law has established that it is unconstitutional to deprive someone of their US citizenship in such circumstances unless it can be shown that the person acted with the intention of relinquishing US citizenship. However, re-entry to the US after travelling to Kenya would have involved dealing with the law as practised at the time, not later precedents. The treatment of US citizens who acquired foreign nationality would surely have deterred someone who was a US citizens permanently resident in Hawaii from deciding to register as a British national just for the sake of getting a British passport.

    Jules, The oath you provided is close to the required oath, but it is an oath taken by public servants. The oath taken by naturalized citizens of the UK is “I, [name], [swear by Almighty God] [do solemnly, sincerely and truly affirm and declare] that, on becoming a British citizen, I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, her heirs, and successors, according to law.”

    You’ll notice that such an oath does not require the subject to renounce all other allegiances. That’s very different from the U.S. Oath “I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.”

    It looks like she could have had dual nationality.

  48. avatar
    misha May 26, 2010 at 5:54 pm #

    WTF?: And why could it have not been done from Hawaii?

    Does Hawaii have a British consulate? If so, please provide the date opened, and address. No conjecture, please.

  49. avatar
    WTF? May 26, 2010 at 6:00 pm #

    Rickey: Let’s see a citation which sets out the rules which were in effect in 1961. It is difficult for me to believe that British naturalization rules were so lax that a woman who married a British citizen in February, 1961 could have obtained British citizenship AND a British passport within six months, all without ever having set foot in the U.K.

    I provided the law (The British Nationality Act of 1948) and the Section applicable to Stanley Ann.

    There are probably many things that are difficult for you to believe, but that doesn’t make them any less real.

    We already know that Obama Sr. was very tight with Tom Mboya. We also know that the key to expediency is who you know.

  50. avatar
    WTF? May 26, 2010 at 6:01 pm #

    misha: Does Hawaii have a British consulate? If so, please provide the date opened, and address. No conjecture, please.

    Show me where the oath would have to be taken at the British consulate. Show me that it was not just a matter of filling in the blanks on a form, and signing it.

  51. avatar
    richCares May 26, 2010 at 6:09 pm #

    WTF is locked into Stanley Ann may have had a British passport in 1961, don’t know why. Though everything points to this as being unlikely. Probably for cover when the FOIA thing fails to show a passport for her in 1961. Birthers can dream up a lot of wierd stuff, like I said hate for Obama causes brain damage. Misha tore this dream of Kenyan trip to shreds.

  52. avatar
    SFJeff May 26, 2010 at 6:21 pm #

    Show me that whether or not Ann Dunham ever received a British Passport is relevant to Obama’s eligibility.

    Show me any evidence that Ann Dunham was ever in Kenya

    “We already know that Obama Sr. was very tight with Tom Mboya.”

    Do we? What evidence do we have to prove that?

  53. avatar
    racosta May 26, 2010 at 6:26 pm #

    WTF
    The British Government says “If you think you’re eligible through marriage or civil partnership
    Married women
    Women who are not British and who married a British man after 1 January 1949 do not automatically gain British citizenship because of their marriage. This applies whether the man was a UK citizen before 1 January 1983 or a British citizen after 31 December 1982.”

    http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/TravelAndTransport/Passports/WhoiseligibleforaBritishpassport/DG_174146

    sorry to burst your bubble

  54. avatar
    Jules May 26, 2010 at 6:29 pm #

    richCares: The UK does issue passports at high commssions, embassies, and consulates abroad today. I have no clue whether consulated registered spouses of British citizens and issued passports in 1961. As I have noted, however, US nationality law of the time would have deterred her from registering as a British citizen and would have made it prohibitively difficult to get back into the US.

    Rickey: I have cited the BNA 1948, though I note that I was quoting it as apparently in force when enacted in 1948. There may have been subsequent amendments before its repeal. (Looking up the Act in a normal legal database simply shows the act as in force, meaning that the text is replaced with a note of the Act’s repeal.) You can read the original text of the act here.

    Obviously, it used to be easier to obtain British nationality by marriage than it is today. I have not done any research as to what forms were involved and the consulate to which a registrant domiciled in Hawaii would have used. The consideration of the options available to Mrs Obama under British law are, of course, academic, as we have no reason to believe that she would have wanted to be British and every reason to believe that she would not have regarded it to be in her interest.

    WTF?: I was quoting from the First Schedule of the 1948 Act, not the oath routinely used today. (I did modify it slightly by assuming that by 1961 it had been amended to reflect the change in monarch.)

    You rather missed my point about dual nationality. Dual nationality only arises if the laws of both countries state that the person is a citizen, as each country has a sovereign right to set its own rules for citizenship. You note correctly that the UK oath did not require renunciation of existing nationality. However, sections 401(a) and 401(b) of the Nationality Act 1940 stated that someone would lose their US nationality upon being naturalised in a foreign state or declaring allegiance to a foreign state, respectively. Thus, Mrs Obama (nee Dunham) would have been deemed to have lost her US citizenship under the statutes in force at the time if she acquired British nationality. I very much doubt that she would have been so foolish as to invite such a situation.

  55. avatar
    richCares May 26, 2010 at 6:35 pm #

    Jules:
    that’s all moot, I just read this UK Government link:
    http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/TravelAndTransport/Passports/WhoiseligibleforaBritishpassport/DG_174146

    “Women who are not British and who married a British man after 1 January 1949 do not automatically gain British citizenship because of their marriage.”, So no British passport, wild huh!

  56. avatar
    WTF? May 26, 2010 at 6:40 pm #

    racosta: WTFThe British Government says “If you think you’re eligible through marriage or civil partnershipMarried womenWomen who are not British and who married a British man after 1 January 1949 do not automatically gain British citizenship because of their marriage. This applies whether the man was a UK citizen before 1 January 1983 or a British citizen after 31 December 1982.”http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/TravelAndTransport/Passports/WhoiseligibleforaBritishpassport/DG_174146sorry to burst your bubble

    No. Sorry to burst your bubble. 🙂 Maybe you could try looking at the law applicable at the time instead of looking at today’s law.

  57. avatar
    racosta May 26, 2010 at 6:44 pm #

    WTF please translate this : “after 1 January 1949 ”
    will wait for your brilliant answer
    .
    again why are you so hot on this, what reason

  58. avatar
    Sef May 26, 2010 at 6:46 pm #

    racosta: WTF please translate this : “after 1 January 1949 ”
    will wait for your brilliant answer
    .
    again why are you so hot on this, what reason

    He must have gotten a new can of Brasso, so he feels he has to polish the shiny object.

  59. avatar
    SFJeff May 26, 2010 at 7:01 pm #

    WTF consistantly refuses to answer why whether or not Ann Dunham could possibly have been a British Citizen matters. I suspect WTF is once working on another complex theory of improbables that trying to set us up to be supporting it.

    WTF first innocently asked whether it was possible that Ann Dunham could have had gotten a British passport after marrying Obama Sr.- which of course under any circumstances is possible.

    She could have been secretly issued a British passport by MI6. Her parents could possibly have been dual U.S./British citizens and perhaps regularly flew her back to old London. Perhaps her real parents were British. All of them improbable, but possible.

    WTF then made various assertions about what the BNA of 1948 said- basically his point seems to be that once a woman married a british citizen she became an automatic british citizen as soon as she applied to be one.

    WTF consistantly refuses to provide an actual citation that supports his conclusion, nor explain why this tortured examination of British immigration law of 1948 is relevant to President Obama’s eligibility.

    Why bother answering him anymore?

  60. avatar
    Jules May 26, 2010 at 7:01 pm #

    richCares: I don’t think that the quotation fromDirectGov contradicts the 1948 Act at all. In fact, the sentence that you quote refers to the 1948 Act in relation to the loss of the automatic grant of citizenship on marriage, as it cites 1 January 1949 (the date on which the 1948 came into force pursuant to section 33(2) thereof).

    The 1948 Act provided for a procedure under which the spouse of a British citizen could complete formalities, including an oath of allegiance, to become British; that is, the marriage would not automatically confer the citizenship because the grant of citizenship would simply not occur unless the requisite application and similar formalities took place after the marriage was formed. Along similar lines, marrying a British citizen and living in the UK for three years (along with meeting the other requirements) does not automatically confer British citizenship today; rather, meeting such requirements simply makes one eligible and it is the successful completion of the full application process that confers British citizenship.

  61. avatar
    richCares May 26, 2010 at 7:06 pm #

    Why bother answering him anymore?

    I.m sorry, you are correct, no sense anwering someone locked into a tortuous story.

  62. avatar
    Sef May 26, 2010 at 7:13 pm #

    This subject of a possible passport has all the earmarks of the “return to Kenya” dscussion some time back. With WTF it’s deja vu all over again. His nom de blog seems quite appropriate.

  63. avatar
    misha May 26, 2010 at 7:16 pm #

    WTF?: Show me where the oath would have to be taken at the British consulate. Show me that it was not just a matter of filling in the blanks on a form, and signing it.

    Name the form which she could have filled out at home, without a British government witness. Links, please.

  64. avatar
    Jules May 26, 2010 at 7:18 pm #

    SFJeff: I think that the debate here has become rather confused. I must admit that my mildly pedantic research into the BNA 1948 has probably brought more attention to a minor side issue and away from the main issue.

    As I see it, the questions to ask in addressing WTF’s argument in relation to the possibility of a British passport are as follows:
    1. Was Mrs Obama eligible to become a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies in 1961?
    2. If the answer to the first question is yes, did she actually become a a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies in 1961?
    3. If the answer to questions 1 and 2 is yes, did she obtain a British passport before she ever obtained a US passport or without ever having obtained a US passport?

    If the answers to questions 1 to 3 inclusive are all yes, then the absence of a US passport issued to Mrs Obama by 1961 would not have prevented her from travelling to Kenya, but almost certainly would have prevented her from returning to the US easily.

    I think that the answer to Question 1 is yes, as the BNA 1948 had a formal procedure in which those whose spouses were citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies could voluntarily acquire such status for themselves. However, the answer to Questions 2 and 3 is a near definite no.

  65. avatar
    Sef May 26, 2010 at 7:33 pm #

    Jules: 1. Was Mrs Obama eligible to become a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies in 1961?

    I think a better wording of this would be (asuming the 3 year wait & required residence in a UKC country):

    1. Would Mrs. Obama eventually have become eligible to become a citizen of UKC?

  66. avatar
    Sef May 26, 2010 at 7:35 pm #

    Jules: 1. Was Mrs Obama eligible to become a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies in 1961?

    I think a better wording of this would be (assuming the 3 year wait & required residence in a UKC country):

    1. Would Mrs. Obama eventually have become eligible to become a citizen of UKC?

  67. avatar
    Jules May 26, 2010 at 8:11 pm #

    Sef:
    I think a better wording of this would be (assuming the 3 year wait & required residence in a UKC country):1.Would Mrs. Obama eventually have become eligible to become a citizen of UKC?

    I think that you are confusing today’s UK nationality law with that in force during the time in question. The current rules, which require that spouses of British citizens reside in the UK for at least three years before naturalisation, are contained in the British Nationality Act 1981, not the 1948 Act. UK nationality law today has little in common with that of fifty years ago.

    Strictly speaking, the process by which Mrs Obama had the ability to become a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies if she so chose was not called naturalisation, but rather registration. Today, the process of registration as a British citizen is limited to a much smaller class of individuals.

    As I have noted several times now, little to none of this is particularly relevant to President Obama’s place of birth. I am mainly just enjoying the task of interpreting an archaic statute.

    The question of Mrs Obama’s passport only deals with whether it would have been possible for her to travel to Kenya, not whether she actually did so and gave birth there. The very strong evidence that she actually gave birth to Barack Obama in Hawaii is what addresses the matter of the President’s birth. The rest is pedantry.

  68. avatar
    Jules May 26, 2010 at 8:35 pm #

    I should provide a further note to my statement that the process by which Mrs Obama had the option to become a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies was registration rather than naturalisation: The different label had meaning under UK law, but would have been treated as naturalisation in the UK for the purposes of loss of US citizenship under the Immigration Act of 1940.This is because section 101(c) of the Nationality Act of 1940 defined any conferring of nationality after birth to be naturalization for the purposes of that Act.

  69. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 26, 2010 at 8:46 pm #

    Jules: SFJeff: I think that the debate here has become rather confused. I must admit that my mildly pedantic research into the BNA 1948 has probably brought more attention to a minor side issue and away from the main issue.

    As I see it, the questions to ask in addressing WTF’s argument in relation to the possibility of a British passport are as follows:
    1. Was Mrs Obama eligible to become a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies in 1961?
    2. If the answer to the first question is yes, did she actually become a a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies in 1961?
    3. If the answer to questions 1 and 2 is yes, did she obtain a British passport before she ever obtained a US passport or without ever having obtained a US passport?

    If the answers to questions 1 to 3 inclusive are all yes, then the absence of a US passport issued to Mrs Obama by 1961 would not have prevented her from travelling to Kenya, but almost certainly would have prevented her from returning to the US easily.

    I think that the answer to Question 1 is yes, as the BNA 1948 had a formal procedure in which those whose spouses were citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies could voluntarily acquire such status for themselves. However, the answer to Questions 2 and 3 is a near definite no.

    Thanks for anticipating what the birther response would be should we find that Stanley Ann Obama had no US passport before 1961. They will say that she traveled under a British passport. However, if she had actually naturalized in Britain (something as totally outlandish as the birth trip to Africa) would this entail her loss of US citizenship, and prevent the subsequent acquisition of a US passport which the FOIA would also reveal?

  70. avatar
    richCares May 26, 2010 at 9:24 pm #

    “…FOIA would also reveal”
    .
    If that happened yes it would, but as we know there won’t such revelation, then we can safely assume what the birther response will be. “She got a British passport to go to Kenya”
    .
    Guaranteed

  71. avatar
    Jules May 26, 2010 at 9:28 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    Thanks for anticipating what the birther response would be should we find that Stanley Ann Obama had no US passport before 1961. They will say that she traveled under a British passport. However, if she had actually naturalized in Britain (something as totally outlandish as the birth trip to Africa) would this entail her loss of US citizenship, and prevent the subsequent acquisition of a US passport which the FOIA would also reveal?

    As I have noted previously, the US law in effect in 1961 meant that Mrs Obama would have been considered to have lost her US citizenship if she had acquired a British passport. However, this loss of citizenship would not necessarily be in her passport record, as there could be circumstances in which the State Department fails to learn about a loss of US citizenship. Someone who wanted to avoid detection would, however, try to keep any part of the US government from learning about their acquisition of UK citizenship and would definitely not travel to the US on a UK passport.

    Of course, someone who secretly acquired a foreign nationality could well have decided to stop keeping it a secret after the Supreme Court rulings in Afroyim v. Rusk and Vance v. Terrazas. If they did so and decided to honestly complete later passport applications, the passport file would presumably include the records of someone’s explanation of how they performed the “Acts of Conditions” on the form but remained a US citizen.

    I suppose there might be records in the INS archives that would reveal the details of how and when Mrs Obama ever entered the US. The Foreign Office or the Home Office may also have records in their archives of all registrations made under section 6(2) BNA 1948, but a request made under the UK’s Freedom of Information Act 2000 for such a thorough records search would probably be denied on the basis that complying with such a request would create an unreasonable burden.

    The bither narrative may well change now to suggest that Mrs Obama gave birth abroad after having lost her US citizenship and that her lack of US citizenship gave her a desire to create a fraudulant Hawaiian birth record for her son.

  72. avatar
    Scientist May 26, 2010 at 9:33 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: However, if she had actually naturalized in Britain (something as totally outlandish as the birth trip to Africa) would this entail her loss of US citizenship, and prevent the subsequent acquisition of a US passport which the FOIA would also reveal?

    Under today’s law there would be no question that she would remain a US citizen. In 1961, it would be less certain, though the question arises as to how the US would know that one acquired citizenship in another country, especially if you continued to live in the US. My guess is that if she simply applied for a US passport it is hard to imagine she would have been turned down.

  73. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 26, 2010 at 9:41 pm #

    JustWondering: Doc, I’m a little confused.1) Why did you ask for passport data for “Stanley Ann Dunham” — wouldn’t she have been using her married name in 1961?2) Why do you expect the resulting headline to be “OBAMA HAD [A/NO] US PASSPORT”? Which Obama do you have in mind?

    I used the name “Stanley Ann Dunham” in my article, since this is the name usually applied to her. My FOIA request included Dunham, Obama and Soetoro.

    You have to understand that while articles here are usually dead serious, misleading headlines are often used for fun. The “Obama” the headline would refer to would be the President’s mother.

  74. avatar
    Rickey May 26, 2010 at 9:46 pm #

    Jules:
    Strictly speaking, the process by which Mrs Obama had the ability to become a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies if she so chose was not called naturalisation, but rather registration.

    That much is clear, now that I have read the BNA of 1948. However, the act also requires “making application therefor to the Secretary of State in the prescribed manner” by the spouse requesting citizenship, but the Act nowhere spells out what the “prescribed manner” is. We would have to know what the prescribed manner was before we can know if it was feasible for Obama’s mother to obtain British citizenship without leaving Hawaii. The act also does not indicate who was authorized to adminster the Oath of Allegiance.

    Of course, the entire scenario posited by WTF is nonsense. We’re supposed to believe that Obama’s mother became a British citizen, then obtained a British passport (was it even possible for a new British citizen to obtain a first British passport – as opposed to replacing a lost passport – while living in the United States?), then flew to Kenya to give birth, then rushed back to Hawaii, traveling with an infant and a British passport, to created the illusion that the infant was born in the U.S.

    It is difficult to imagine a more convoluted and improbable chain of events.

  75. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 26, 2010 at 9:48 pm #

    WTF?: Doc,Would it have been possible for Obama’s mother to obtain a British passport after marrying Obama Sr.?What if Dunhan-Obama obtained a passport between Feb. and June of 1961? Would that raise any red flags?

    Your first question will no doubt be hashed to death if results show she had no US passport in 1961.

    While I think the travel to Africa story is fully disproved, still a passport issued during that time period would certainly be curious because people do not typically get passports without a reason, although it could well be that Stanley Ann Obama did intend to travel to Africa at some time in the future. What I expect to see is either that she had a passport long before (perhaps an overseas trip with her parents) or got one shortly before her trip to Indonesia. But we will just have to see what turns up.

  76. avatar
    Scientist May 26, 2010 at 10:02 pm #

    Rickey: then rushed back to Hawaii, traveling with an infant and a British passport, to created the illusion that the infant was born in the U.S.

    Even an infant would need a passport. So she would either have to get the “falsely-registered” Hawaiian BC and go to the US embassy and get him a US passport or get him a British pasport. Either way they would have trouble entering the US, because with parents and a husband in the US (remember Obama Sr was enrolled at U Hawaii while all this was going on and he got his degree and got admitted to grad school at Harvard, so he wasn’t just pretending to be a student) she and the baby would be presumed to be coming to the US to live. If she was a British citizen she would need a visa. The baby would need one too if he was a British citizen.

    This seems an awful lot of trouble to go to rather than just having the baby in Hawaii.

  77. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 26, 2010 at 10:12 pm #

    Walter White: Allen opines, “They haven’t given any reason. I believe they’re stalling because Stanley Ann wasn’t in Hawaii when Obama was born. I also believe that she was out of the country long enough to lose her own citizenship!”

    That (frankly impossible) theory would only apply to the Department of Homeland Security. The Department of State doesn’t have any travel records.

  78. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 26, 2010 at 10:15 pm #

    SFJeff: how long would a natural born citizen need to be out of the United States in order to lose her citizenship?

    Until her next reincarnation.

  79. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 26, 2010 at 10:25 pm #

    richCares: The 1948 law did not apply, there was the:
    British Nationality Act, 1958
    http://www.uniset.ca/naty/BNA1958.htm

    It does not appear that the British Nationality Act of 1958 repealed BNA 1948, and unless repealed or contradicted, its provisions would continue.

  80. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 26, 2010 at 11:01 pm #

    Rickey: It is difficult to imagine a more convoluted and improbable chain of events.

    That’s because you don’t think like a birther.

  81. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 26, 2010 at 11:04 pm #

    Rickey: We would have to know what the prescribed manner was before we can know if it was feasible for Obama’s mother to obtain British citizenship without leaving Hawaii. The act also does not indicate who was authorized to adminster the Oath of Allegiance.

    Well obviously she went to Canada. Of course if she went to Canada, why go to Africa at all, if her main intent was to screw with the conspiracy theorists from her grave?

  82. avatar
    NbC May 26, 2010 at 11:44 pm #

    SFJeff: Would some birther please educate me- how long would a natural born citizen need to be out of the United States in order to lose her citizenship?

    Anyone familiar with US law and precedent would know that SCOTUS has ruled that a citizen born or naturalized on US soil cannot lose his/her citizenship other than through their own voluntary action. This requires an explicit denouncing of one’s citizen in front of an immigration official.
    Voting in or even serving in a foreign office or military is not sufficient for one to lose one’s citizenship.

  83. avatar
    G May 26, 2010 at 11:59 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: SFJeff: how long would a natural born citizen need to be out of the United States in order to lose her citizenship?

    Dr. C’s response: Until her next reincarnation.

    LOL! Good one! My vote for funniest response line of the day! 🙂

  84. avatar
    Lupin May 27, 2010 at 3:38 am #

    Scott Brown: We want to know why according to Leahy, McCaskill, Obama, etc. that McCain needed 2 citizen parents to be NBC, but Obama only needed 1 citizen parent.

    Ain’t so.

  85. avatar
    Sef May 27, 2010 at 10:14 am #

    Lupin:
    Ain’t so.

    I have been “out of school” for quite a while, so could someone please inform me when logic ceased to be part of the curriculum.

  86. avatar
    DCH May 27, 2010 at 10:36 am #

    “This seems an awful lot of trouble to go to rather than just having the baby in Hawaii.

    Bingo.
    The entire Kenya trip would be pointless in the context of Obama’s mother’s situation living in Hawaii in 1961 and not a single fact supports this complete fiction. This fundemental flawed element lies at the heart of the birther kenyan-birth narrative. They can never explain WHY a teen (with no real money) in her ninth month of pregnacy would buy an very expensive set of air tickets and travel to Kenya to give birth and then return to Hawaii
    So birthers, why did she go to Kenya to give birth and then return to Hawaii and falsely register the birth in Hawaii?

  87. avatar
    SFJeff May 27, 2010 at 12:08 pm #

    “So birthers, why did she go to Kenya to give birth and then return to Hawaii and falsely register the birth in Hawaii?”

    DCH- you are missing out on the essential birther logic: If it is possible- and would disqualify the black man- then it must be disproved otherwise he must be a Muslim-Communist-Fascist-Kenyan radical Ursurper(and kicks puppies too!)

  88. avatar
    richsadz@q.com May 27, 2010 at 1:44 pm #

    “So birthers, why did she go to Kenya to give birth and then return to Hawaii and falsely register the birth in Hawaii?”
    .
    why is was finaced by the CIA, it was to prepare the Musilm communits, DUH!

  89. avatar
    Lola Getz May 28, 2010 at 2:48 am #

    WTF?: Doc,Would it have been possible for Obama’s mother to obtain a British passport after marrying Obama Sr.?

    The short answer is “no.” Marrying a British citizen does not automatically bestow British citizenship. Without British citizenship, there’s no getting a British passport. Also, given that Stanley Ann Dunham-Obama never lived in either Kenya or the UK, I doubt she’d have jumped through the numerous hoops necessary to obtain citizenship. It’s a long, fiddly process.

    My husband is British and I’ve lived in the UK for 24 years, but I don’t have a British passport because I’ve never applied for citizenship.

  90. avatar
    Jules May 31, 2010 at 6:31 pm #

    CORRECTION:
    Following a link on another thread to the original text of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, I now realise that I was citing the wrong statute. The relevant sections are 349(a)(1) and 349(a)(2) of that Act, which had exactly the same effect in 1961 that the aforementioned provisions of the 1940 Act had prior to the 1952 Act.

    I apologise for this error. I had assumed, wrongly, that the 1940 Act was the relevant law on loss of nationality in 1961 because of the later case of Afroyim v. Rusk that dealt specifically with a provision of the 1940 Act (but, I now realise, in relation to an act that Afroyim took prior to 1952).

  91. avatar
    Jules May 31, 2010 at 6:45 pm #

    Further to my correcting post above, section 101(a)(23) of the INA 1952 defined naturalisation as any acquisition of nationality after birth, meaning that section 349(a)(1) of that Act would have treated voluntary registration as a British citizen as naturalisation causing automatic loss of US citizenship.

  92. avatar
    Sef May 31, 2010 at 6:56 pm #

    Jules: Further to my correcting post above, section 101(a)(23) of the INA 1952 defined naturalisation as any acquisition of nationality after birth, meaning that section 349(a)(1) of that Act would have treated voluntary registration as a British citizen as naturalisation causing automatic loss of US citizenship.

    Gee, I guess it was a good thing he was born in Honolulu.

  93. avatar
    dunstvangeet May 31, 2010 at 7:04 pm #

    Jules: Further to my correcting post above, section 101(a)(23) of the INA 1952 defined naturalisation as any acquisition of nationality after birth, meaning that section 349(a)(1) of that Act would have treated voluntary registration as a British citizen as naturalisation causing automatic loss of US citizenship.

    You again forgot one thing, Jules…

    Read the Supreme Court decision of Perkins v. Elg (1933). A registration of a baby to the British Citizen would not be treated as a voluntary act by the minor. Once the baby actually has U.S. Citizenship, they would not be able to relinquish U.S. Citizenship until they reach the age of majority. Perkins v. Elg is very clear on this point.

  94. avatar
    Jules June 1, 2010 at 4:16 am #

    dunstvangeet:
    You again forgot one thing, Jules…Read the Supreme Court decision of Perkins v. Elg (1933).A registration of a baby to the British Citizen would not be treated as a voluntary act by the minor.Once the baby actually has U.S. Citizenship, they would not be able to relinquish U.S. Citizenship until they reach the age of majority.Perkins v. Elg is very clear on this point.

    You really ought to have read the original post that I was correcting. Had you done so, you would have realised that I was talking only about Mrs Obama’s citizenship and not that of her son. My understanding of section 5(1) of the British Nationality Act 1948 is that the British nationality conferred upon Barack Obama II applied at the moment of birth rather than at some point thereafter. For this reason, it would not have constituted naturalisation and could not have been expatriating under either the Nationality Act of 1940 or the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952.

    I was stating that Mrs Obama would have been considered to have lost her US citizenship if she had registered as a citizen of the UK and colonies and obtained a British passport. For this reason, she would have been deterred from registering as a British national and surely would have encountered difficulty if she had tried to re-enter the US on a British passport after going to Kenya. For this reason, we can dismiss as implausible the assertion that Mrs Obama may have travelled on a British passport in the event that she did not have a US passport.

  95. avatar
    Jules June 1, 2010 at 4:31 am #

    Sef:
    Gee, I guess it was a good thing he was born in Honolulu.

    Indeed. It’s a good thing that she both gave birth in Hawaii and almost certainly never registered as a British national.

    Another thread addressed how Obama would have been treated under the immigration law at the time had Mrs Obama given birth in Kenya to a child who was not born a US citizen. As noted in that thread, the law at the time would have enabled a US citizen in such a scenario to get her child a permanent residence visa to go to the the US and then would have been able to quickly naturalise him upon arrival in the US. Getting a British passport would, of course, have created problems in this regard and she definitely would not have got a British passport if she had been planning to go back to the US.

    Curiously, the only major consequence of being born in the US rather than naturalised as a US citizen as a child is presidential eligibility. I suppose the birthers would have us believe that Mrs Obama wanted to create an appearance that her son was a natural born citizen just in case he ever wanted to run for President. (I suppose this narrative works better if you are among those who believe that his entire presidency is part of a vast CIA conspiracy.)

    Those of us who want to go for the simplest logical explanation will, of course, just accept that Mrs Obama would not have had any reason to go to Kenya whilst pregnant and gave birth in Hawaii.

  96. avatar
    Expelliarmus June 1, 2010 at 5:08 am #

    Jules: I suppose the birthers would have us believe that Mrs Obama wanted to create an appearance that her son was a natural born citizen just in case he ever wanted to run for President.

    Yes, and of course she would have had to anticipate the passage of the Civil Rights Act and the outcome of the entire civil rights movement — because in 1961 the idea of a racially mixed baby growing up to be President would have been far-fetched, to put it mildly.