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How old was Obama when he moved to Indonesia?

I did a bad thing. I said something without checking my facts. I won’t make excuses. I did it and I apologize. What I said, in the article Math anomalies in new article, was that the date of the Obama divorce decree doesn’t jive with Obama moving to Indonesia at age 2  following the divorce. That’s wrong. Barack actually was 2 at the time of the divorce so a move at age 2 would be consistent with a move following the divorce.

imageSo, did Barack Obama really move to Indonesia at age 2, instead of age 6 as I have always said? Could the statue of Barack Obama in Jakarta, Indonesia, shown right, be that of a two-year old?

The way to answer such questions is to look at the record. The Washington Post says the move occurred in 1967, but they don’t source it. The Post wrote:

The son’s notion of his loving mother’s naivete began in Indonesia, when they arrived in the capital city, Jakarta, in 1967, joining Soetoro, who had returned to his home country several months earlier.

That Post article is the source the Wikipedia uses to document the date, and probably where all the conventional wisdom on the subject springs from.

To answer any lingering doubts, one must consult primary sources, and in this case there is a wealth of contemporary information obtained via the Allen FOIA. What we find in the record is that Barack’s stepfather Lolo Soetoro returned to Indonesia in late July or early August of 1966 and that while in Indonesia an application was filed to return to the United States to be with his wife and child. (The visitor program under which Soetoro had been in the US required him to return to his native country for two years prior to returning to the US.) In a document dated October 6, 1967, we find this (page 31):

The applicant’s United States citizen wife resides at 2234 University Avenue, Honolulu, Hawaii, with her 6-year-old United States citizen son by a prior marriage. The applicant, who returned to Indonesia and has been residing there for over 14 months in an effort to satisfy the foreign residence requirement, earns a very meager salary and is dependent upon members of his family. His wife has remained with his stepchild in the United States and earns about $400 per month. She has made an application for a visa for herself and her son to travel to Indonesia as she is determined to join her husband as soon as possible, if he is not permitted to return here, because she can lo longer endure the separation.

Obama was registered in school in Indonesia January 1, 1968. That pretty much nails it. Obama was 6 years old when he went to Indonesia. I should add that the date of the Soetoro marriage (also from the FOIA) is in March of 1965.

Why is anyone discussing this in the first place? There are two answer to that question. First the birthers want to cast doubts on every aspect of Barack Obama’s live story so that they can maintain that he is a “stranger” and is hiding his true self. The second reason relates to Indonesian law. If Obama was 6 (and he was) then Indonesia wouldn’t have granted him Indonesian citizenship without renouncing US citizenship (and that’s impossible for a 6-year-old). So it proves Obama was never an Indonesian citizen.

I want to thank Mario Apuzzo for pointing out my error on his blog, although it would have been more helpful if he had told me directly, since I don’t normally visit his blog.

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63 Responses to How old was Obama when he moved to Indonesia?

  1. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 4, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

    I posted a comment over at Apuzzo’s place, two actually. We’ll see whether he wants his fans to know about this information or he’d rather they didn’t.

  2. avatar
    gorefan January 4, 2012 at 5:58 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: We’ll see whether he wants his fans to know about this information or he’d rather they didn’t.

    My vote based on his recently embracing the whole Bari Shabazz nonsense is that “he’d rather they didn’t”.

  3. avatar
    J. Potter January 4, 2012 at 7:00 pm #

    “I want to thank Mario Apuzzo for pointing out my error on his blog, although it would have been more helpful if he had told me directly, since I don’t normally visit his blog.”

    Gosh, Doc, you don’t think Arpuzzo would opt for attempting to score points with his readers by calling out the great Dr. C over being helpful, do you?

    I am glad that you go to great lengths to try to preent the most correct record possible. The minutiae makes my eyes glaze and mind wander!

  4. avatar
    John January 4, 2012 at 7:04 pm #

    According to the law it is not “impossible” to renounce a US citizenship as a 6-year-old. It is a matter of proving that it is a voluntarily and conscious choice:

    “Thus, US citizens cannot renounce citizenship while in the US (except in time of war), nor can parents renounce citizenship on behalf of their minor children. A US citizen under the age of 18 must convince a diplomatic or consular officer that he or she understands fully the nature and consequences of the oath of renunciation and is voluntarily seeking to renounce his or her US citizenship. If a US citizen child is under the age of 14, US common law requires that the child’s understanding be established by substantial evidence.”

    In other words your chain of poof is broken.

  5. avatar
    Eric S January 4, 2012 at 7:31 pm #

    Doc; “If Obama was 6 (and he was) then Indonesia wouldn’t have granted him Indonesian citizenship without renouncing US citizenship (and that’s impossible for a 6-year-old). So it proves Obama was never an Indonesian citizen.”

    You’re trying to apply U.S. regarding loss of citizenship to Indonesia.

    While the U.S. does not recognize the ability of a parent to renounce U.S. citizenship for the child, that does not mean that Indonesia would not accept such a renouncement and grant him citizenship.

    It is clear that under U.S. law Obama’s mother could not cause the loss of his citizenship, but that doesn’t mean that Indonesia would not permit her to do so.

    You did not prove that Obama was never an Indonesian citizen. You only proved that he would not have lost U.S. citizenship if his mother did so for him. Further, if Soetoro adopted Obama under Indonesian law, that could have provided for Obama to have derivative citizenship. Even if Soetoro adopted Obama under Indonesian law, I don’t think the U.S. was ever notified, and has not recognized such adoption.

    Did we have a treaty with Indonesia at the time? What does it say about it?

  6. avatar
    bernadineayers January 4, 2012 at 7:51 pm #

    you’re a class act doc. i think it’s great you’re willing to research in the first place, and then stand up to correct any mistakes, there is know harm in that at all.

    .however, there shouldn’t be any confusion at all at this point.

    it’s common knowledge he got his passport at six or so.

    do you get along ok with mario ??

  7. avatar
    Paul Pieniezny January 4, 2012 at 8:24 pm #

    Eric S: Further, if Soetoro adopted Obama under Indonesian law, that could have provided for Obama to have derivative citizenship.

    But Indonesian law did not allow such an adoption either.

    Furthermore, under Islam, the actual father has to approve such an adoption. The father was still very much alive and living in Kenya. Since the stepfather, Soetoro, was a Muslim, Islamic law would have been applied. When Obama Sr visited Honolulu in December 1971, he obviously still considered himself Obama’s father.

    Not that it matters a jot to US law whether Obama ever had Indonesian citizenship.

    No treaty between the USA and a foreign country can take away US natural born citizenship from anyone. Unless the treaty became part of the constitution, as a result of an amendment.

    There never was such an amendment.

  8. avatar
    Hawaii Born January 4, 2012 at 8:31 pm #

    What we know to date:

    Ah’Nee – 09945 – August 23rd
    Nordyke, Susan – 10637 – August 5th
    Nordyke, Gretchen – 10638 – August 5th
    Obama, Barack – 10641 – August 4th
    Sunahara, Virginia– 10xxx – August 4th
    Waidelich, Stig – 10920 – August 5th

    I betting 10840 for Virginia.

    I think it would be helpful to footnote the above with where we learned about the Certificate numbers (ie the Waidelich COLB Number from the Birther report done for Anderson Cooper)

    That way, if anyone asks “How do you know!” we have a link ready to show them

  9. avatar
    Atticus Finch January 4, 2012 at 8:35 pm #

    Could Obama had been adopted by his Indonesian step-father?

    No.

    The law in question is Law No. 62 of 1958, Law on the Citizenship of the Republic of Indonesia, 62/1958 for short. Assuming an adoption took place, it would fall under Article 2 of this law.
    “Article 2.
    (1)A foreign child of less THAN 5 YEARS AGE who is adopted by a citizen of the Republic of Indonesia acquires the citizenship of the Republic of Indonesia, if such an adoption is declared legal by the Pengadilan Negeri at the residence of the person adopting the child.” (emphasis added)

    Note the age limit there – less than 5 years of age. Lolo Soetoro married Stanley Ann Dunham in either 1966 or 1967. This would have made Obama either five or six – over the age limit according to Indonesian law. Furthermore, they didn’t move to Indonesia until 1967, when Obama was six years old.

    Therefore, under Indonesian law, there was no way via adoption that Indonesian citizenship could have been granted to Barack Obama.

  10. avatar
    Paul Pieniezny January 4, 2012 at 8:35 pm #

    http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/2009/02/hollister-v-indonesian-citizenship-law/

    … is where you can find the Indonesian law at the time.

    Someone actually called the Indonesian embassy and the answer was …

  11. avatar
    Scientist January 4, 2012 at 8:37 pm #

    Eric S: You did not prove that Obama was never an Indonesian citizen.

    I don’t know how one could prove such a negative to a rigorous standard. The only ones who could say whether someone was an Indonesian citizen is whatever body in Indonesia is charged with determining citizenship. Has anyone ever asked this question of the Indonesian Embassy or the Indonesian government? Their answer would have to be taken as definitive.

    The question is, as Paul noted, irrelevant, since it has no effect on US citizenship. It is also irrelevant practically at this point, since we are not dealing with an unknown candidate , but someone who has been President for 3 years already. US policy towards Indonesia and Kenya and the UK has been indistinguishable from what it has been under the previous several administrations. Therefore one must conclude that if the President was ever a citizen of those countries, it has not given them any untoward influence over US policy. So the worries of the birthers regarding past or even present dual citizens are theoretical only and of no real-world importance.

  12. avatar
    JD Reed January 4, 2012 at 8:38 pm #

    Eric, it seems simple to me. If Indonesia didn’t allow dueal citizenship back in the day, it could not have under its own laws have granted young Obama citizenship, for that would have required him to lose his US citizenship. But no country has the right to take someone’s foreign citizenship away, against the laws of that foreign country, in order to make that person a citizen of its own, That is, “Indonesia could not unmake young Obama an American citizen in order to make him an Indonesian citizen. A bedrock aspect of sovereignty is getting to decide who can be citizens of your country, without the permission of any other country on Earth.

  13. avatar
    Eric S January 4, 2012 at 8:52 pm #

    Atticus Finch: Note the age limit there – less than 5 years of age. Lolo Soetoro married Stanley Ann Dunham in either 1966 or 1967

    Per Dr. Conspiracy “I should add that the date of the Soetoro marriage (also from the FOIA) is in March of 1965″.

    You guys are just birthers from another side.

    The statutory provisions of Indonesia control the law in Indonesia. In Indonesia, Obama could have been recognized as a citizen, and only an Indonesian citizen.

    You guys make some pretty goofy arguments. I see all of you talking about how English/Kenya law didn’t govern Obama while he was in the U.S., but you don’t share the same sentiment when he was in Indonesia. That’s just silly.

  14. avatar
    richCares January 4, 2012 at 9:07 pm #

    Haskin is claiming that Obama stole and used the little girls BC, even though the COLB does not have same number as Obama’s. But the brilliant Haskins will show that the long form has Obama’s BC number, game over, frog marching to start. Really sick people.

  15. avatar
    Majority Will January 4, 2012 at 9:16 pm #

    Eric S: In Indonesia, Obama could have been recognized as a citizen, and only an Indonesian citizen.

    He could have been considered an amazing dancer and a blossoming polymath.

    “You did not prove that Obama was never an Indonesian citizen.”

    You never proved he was or more importantly, that it matters one whit.

    Your move, Chachi.

  16. avatar
    Scientist January 4, 2012 at 9:24 pm #

    Eric S: You guys are just birthers from another side.
    The statutory provisions of Indonesia control the law in Indonesia. In Indonesia, Obama could have been recognized as a citizen, and only an Indonesian citizen.

    I could have been centerfielder for the Yankees, if only I could hit, field, throw and run the bases. What is your point?

  17. avatar
    J L Sherman Oaks CA January 4, 2012 at 9:36 pm #

    Dr. C … it is like fingernails drawn across a chalkboard. if something JIBES, it goes along with, matches, lines up, etc. If something JIVES, however, it is just doing the boogie, swing, mash potato, two-step, etc. Sorry, and I’m not even a teacher, but I had to tell you.

  18. avatar
    richCares January 4, 2012 at 9:38 pm #

    I coulda been a contender!
    Terry (Marlon Brando)

  19. avatar
    Daniel January 4, 2012 at 9:59 pm #

    Eric S: The statutory provisions of Indonesia control the law in Indonesia. In Indonesia, Obama could have been recognized as a citizen, and only an Indonesian citizen.

    Coulda/woulda/shoulda

    The simple fact is that the US does not allow any other country to dictate it’s sovereign right to determine citizenship for Americans. Who Indonesia considers citizens is simply not relevant.

    Consider this, if Indonesia’s supposed claim trumped the US claim, then any country with an axe to grind, say Iran, could simply declare all person’s everywhere for all time, to be Iranian citizens. By your logic that would mean no one wold ever again qualify as POTUS, and we would never have our own government, ever again.

    Does that seem logical to you?

    The simple fact is that The US determines who it considers to be US citizens, period. No other countries claims are relevant.

  20. avatar
    Eric S January 4, 2012 at 10:38 pm #

    Daniel: Who Indonesia considers citizens is simply not relevant.

    It is in Indonesia. -You know, the place that could have made Obama a citizen while he was there.

    None of this is relevant to Obama’s eligibility. It only has to do with the fact that Obama could have had Indonesian citizenship while he lived there…regardless of whether or not the United States approved. -Obama would have been recognized as a U.S. citizen when he returned to the U.S. Any hearing on the matter (if precedent was followed) would have resulted in the U.S. not recognizing an y loss of U.S. citizenship. Whether or not he had or would retain any Indonesian citizenship would be up to Indonesia. (Unless one of you wants to claim that the U.S. controls Indonesian law.)

    Daniel,

    Countries can claim any nutty thing they want. Whether or not they have any rightful claim is another story.

    I don’t think you fully understand what being a citizen or subject provides. I don’t think you understand the correlation between allegiance and protection. I don’t think you even understand the customs that permit a country to acknowledge as citizens/subjects those born without their territorial jurisdiction.

  21. avatar
    John Reilly January 5, 2012 at 12:57 am #

    I think the Indonesian Citizenship folks are missing an important point. There is no evidence of anything in Indonesia. There is a document on the web which says certain things. So what? Documents on the web (much like President Obama’s birth certificate) are not evidence of anything, other than they are on the web. The birth certificate is proved by giving the court a certified copy with original signatures and a seal, stuff like that. The Indonesian records: who do our “birther” friends intend to call to testify that the Indonesian school record is genuine and the information in it reliable? Do any of our friends ever think about this stuff?

    As to the wilder theories, our friends do not even have a document on the web.

    Our friends have nothing.

  22. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 5, 2012 at 1:07 am #

    No John, your citation isn’t authoritative and complete.

    John: In other words your chain of poof is broken.

  23. avatar
    y_p_w January 5, 2012 at 1:38 am #

    Daniel: Coulda/woulda/shoulda

    The simple fact is that the US does not allow any other country to dictate it’s sovereign right to determine citizenship for Americans. Who Indonesia considers citizens is simply not relevant.

    Some countries have convoluted processes for determining whether or not someone is a citizen. I’ve heard of some that grant citizenship to those born on its soil if the child will otherwise be stateless according to the law(s) of the parents countries. That’s a case where another country’s laws affect one’s citizenship in another country.

    However, the US makes it simple. Just be born on US soil and you’re a natural born citizen.

  24. avatar
    Lupin January 5, 2012 at 3:56 am #

    It’s a really cute statue; makes me smile every time I look at it.

  25. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 5, 2012 at 8:48 am #

    No, that’s not accurate. Indonesian law prohibits dual citizenship and only allows one to acquire Indonesian citizenship if a mechanism in the country of prior citizenship for the person to renounce the prior citizenship (which there isn’t for children).

    Further, the Indonesian embassy stated to a commenter here who called (and who I believe) that Obama was never an Indonesian citizenship and the US State Department has said that Obama was never an Indonesian citizen and that he was never adopted by Soetoro (court filing).

    Eric S: Further, if Soetoro adopted Obama under Indonesian law, that could have provided for Obama to have derivative citizenship.

  26. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 5, 2012 at 8:52 am #

    I certainly have no reason to think that is so. In fact, I think it much more likely that young Obama got his first passport in July of 1965 (at age 4).

    bernadineayers: it’s common knowledge he got his passport at six or so.

  27. avatar
    Scientist January 5, 2012 at 8:59 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy: I certainly have no reason to think that is so. In fact, I think it much more likely that young Obama got his first passport in July of 1965 (at age 3).

    In July 1965, he would have been 4 and just about to turn 5.

  28. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 5, 2012 at 9:04 am #

    No, the marriage was in March of 1965 in Hawaii. The FOIA document is fuzzy, but it looks like the 13th.

    Atticus Finch: Note the age limit there – less than 5 years of age. Lolo Soetoro married Stanley Ann Dunham in either 1966 or 1967.

  29. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 5, 2012 at 9:06 am #

    We are assuming here that Indonesia acted according to its own laws and Constitution. I discussed this some time ago in my article:

    http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/2009/02/hollister-v-indonesian-citizenship-law/

    Eric S: It is in Indonesia. -You know, the place that could have made Obama a citizen while he was there.

  30. avatar
    Majority Will January 5, 2012 at 9:36 am #

    Eric S: I don’t think you fully understand what being a citizen or subject provides. I don’t think you understand the correlation between allegiance and protection. I don’t think you even understand the customs that permit a country to acknowledge as citizens/subjects those born without their territorial jurisdiction.

    What a strange coincidence. I’ve been waiting for an anonymous, self-proclaimed expert with zero authority or credibility to set the record straight for every actual Constitutional expert, government agency, lawmaker and jurist in the U.S.

    Whew. Thanks in advance.

  31. avatar
    Thomas Brown January 5, 2012 at 9:52 am #

    Could we extend some kind of Spay/Neuter program to Birthers? Voluntary, of course. But as long as they have the option… (snark)

  32. avatar
    Arthur January 5, 2012 at 10:32 am #

    Majority Will: What a strange coincidence. I’ve been waiting for an anonymous, self-proclaimed expert with zero authority or credibility to set the record straight for every actual Constitutional expert, government agency, lawmaker and jurist in the U.S.Whew. Thanks in advance.

    +good chuckle-bility

  33. avatar
    ellen January 5, 2012 at 11:52 am #

    Re: “So it proves Obama was never an Indonesian citizen.”

    It provides additional proof. But the actual proof is the answer that you get when you call the Indonesian Embassy in Washington and ASK. They say that he was never an Indonesian citizen.

  34. avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater (Bob Ross) January 5, 2012 at 12:09 pm #

    Eric S: It is in Indonesia. -You know, the place that could have made Obama a citizen while he was there.None of this is relevant to Obama’s eligibility. It only has to do with the fact that Obama could have had Indonesian citizenship while he lived there…regardless of whether or not the United States approved. -Obama would have been recognized as a U.S. citizen when he returned to the U.S. Any hearing on the matter (if precedent was followed) would have resulted in the U.S. not recognizing an y loss of U.S. citizenship. Whether or not he had or would retain any Indonesian citizenship would be up to Indonesia. (Unless one of you wants to claim that the U.S. controls Indonesian law.)Daniel,Countries can claim any nutty thing they want. Whether or not they have any rightful claim is another story.I don’t think you fully understand what being a citizen or subject provides. I don’t think you understand the correlation between allegiance and protection. I don’t think you even understand the customs that permit a country to acknowledge as citizens/subjects those born without their territorial jurisdiction.

    How exactly could he have been an indonesian citizen? Indonesia law 62 does not allow dual citizenship

  35. avatar
    Thomas Payne January 5, 2012 at 12:21 pm #

    Obama’s citizenship is moot. The Constitution requires that a candidate for the office of the President be a “natural born citizen” i.e. from a citizen father and a citizen mother.

  36. avatar
    Majority Will January 5, 2012 at 12:30 pm #

    Thomas Payne:
    Obama’s citizenship is moot.The Constitution requires that a candidate for the office of the President be a “natural born citizen” i.e. from a citizen father and a citizen mother.

    Quote the exact wording in the Constitution that states that:

    “. . . a candidate for the office of the President be a “natural born citizen” i.e. from a citizen father and a citizen mother.”

    Take your time.

  37. avatar
    jayHG January 5, 2012 at 12:51 pm #

    Scientist: I could have been centerfielder for the Yankees, if only I could hit, field, throw and run the bases. What is your point?

    I could have been Mariah Carey except that God made Mariah Carey, Mariah Carey instead of making me Mariah Carey………see how stupid this stuff gets, Eric………

  38. avatar
    ellen January 5, 2012 at 2:03 pm #

    Thomas Payne said:’

    “Obama’s citizenship is moot. The Constitution requires that a candidate for the office of the President be a “natural born citizen” i.e. from a citizen father and a citizen mother.”

    Yes the Constitution does require a Natural Born Citizen. But the MEANING of Natural Born Citizen refers to one who was born in the USA, not to the parents.

    Here is an example of how Natural Born Citizen was used in the USA shortly after the Constitution was written:

    “Prior to the adoption of the constitution, the people inhabiting the different states might be divided into two classes: natural born citizens, or those born within the state, and aliens, or such as were born out of it. The first, by their birth-right, became entitled to all the privileges of citizens; the second, were entitled to none, but such as were held out and given by the laws of the respective states prior to their emigration. …St. George Tucker, BLACKSTONE’S COMMENTARIES: WITH NOTES OF REFERENCE TO THE CONSTITUTION AND LAWS OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES AND THE COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA. (1803)

    As you can see, that refers ONLY to the place of birth, not to the parents. Natural Born Citizens were “those born within the state.”

    And here is an example of how it was used in 1829:

    “Therefore every person born within the United States, its territories or districts, whether the parents are citizens or aliens, is a natural born citizen in the sense of the Constitution, and entitled to all the rights and privileges appertaining to that capacity.”—William Rawle, A VIEW OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. 2d ed. (1829)

    And that, by the way, is the way that the vast majority of Constitutional scholars use it.

    Wikipedia quotes the following:

    “Ronald Rotunda, Professor of Law at Chapman University, stated, “There’s some people who say that both parents need to be citizens. That’s never been the law.”[28] Polly Price, Professor of Law at Emory University, added, “It’s a little confusing, but most scholars think it’s a pretty unusual position for anyone to think the natural born citizen clause would exclude someone born in the [United States].”[27] Professor Chin concurred with that assessment, stating, “there is agreement that ‘natural born citizens’ include those made citizens by birth under the 14th Amendment.”[29] Similarly, Eugene Volokh, Professor of Law at UCLA, found “quite persuasive” the reasoning employed by the Indiana Court of Appeals, which had ruled “that persons born within the borders of the United States are ‘natural born Citizens’ for Article II, Section 1 purposes, regardless of the citizenship of their parents.”[30][31] Daniel Takaji, Professor of Law at Ohio State University, agrees the citizenship status of a U.S.-born candidate’s parents is irrelevant.”

  39. avatar
    Rickey January 5, 2012 at 3:38 pm #

    Thomas Payne:
    The Constitution requires that a candidate for the office of the President be a “natural born citizen” i.e. from a citizen father and a citizen mother.

    Cite for us a single history textbook, civics textbook, or law textbook which says that a natural born citizen must have two citizen parents.

  40. avatar
    ellen January 5, 2012 at 4:49 pm #

    I believe that smrstrauss might appreciate a little help from Constitutional scholars over at http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=7466841558189356289&postID=909525113481608842&page=1&token=1325799991696

  41. avatar
    John January 5, 2012 at 11:57 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    No John, your citation isn’t authoritative and complete.

    Not authoritative?

    http://travel.state.gov/law/citizenship/citizenship_776.html
    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/8/1481.html

    You may also want to pay attention to TITLE 8 > CHAPTER 12 > SUBCHAPTER III > Part III > § 1481 (a)(5)
    It does not have an age restriction as far as I can see. Correct me if I’m wrong.

  42. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 6, 2012 at 2:33 am #

    I don’t know him socially.

    bernadineayers: do you get along ok with mario ??

  43. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 6, 2012 at 2:49 am #

    You’re right insofar as you went, but you are trying to apply the rule devoid of what the terms in it mean (and I should have said that your interpretation of the rule is not authoritative, not the rule itself). A person too young is automatically deemed unable to give the proper consent. The US Department of State Foreign Affairs Manual 7-FAM-1291(i)(2) says: “Children under 16 are presumed not to have the requisite maturity and knowing intent;”

    http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/120538.pdf

    This is why birthers haven’t been able to find any record of a child renouncing US citizenship.

    John: Not authoritative?

    http://travel.state.gov/law/citizenship/citizenship_776.html
    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/8/1481.html

    You may also want to pay attention to TITLE 8 > CHAPTER 12 > SUBCHAPTER III > Part III > § 1481 (a)(5)
    It does not have an age restriction as far as I can see. Correct me if I’m wrong.

  44. avatar
    The Magic M January 6, 2012 at 9:43 am #

    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater (Bob Ross): How exactly could he have been an indonesian citizen? Indonesia law 62 does not allow dual citizenship

    Well, the birfer answer to this is, correctly stated: “Indonesian law trumps US law and thus nullified Obama’s US citizenship when he allegedly became an Indonesian citizen”.

    Of course, wishful thinking and the legal “expertise” of laymen, just like the “If Obama is ineligible, Biden isn’t legally vice president either” meme.

    Note that AFAIK, except Orly, not even birfer lawyers (like Apuzzo or Donofrio) claim that Obama could have lost his citizenship in Indonesia. That should tell even birfers that it’s wrong.

  45. avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater (Bob Ross) January 6, 2012 at 9:54 am #

    John: According to the law it is not “impossible” to renounce a US citizenship as a 6-year-old. It is a matter of proving that it is a voluntarily and conscious choice:“Thus, US citizens cannot renounce citizenship while in the US (except in time of war), nor can parents renounce citizenship on behalf of their minor children. A US citizen under the age of 18 must convince a diplomatic or consular officer that he or she understands fully the nature and consequences of the oath of renunciation and is voluntarily seeking to renounce his or her US citizenship. If a US citizen child is under the age of 14, US common law requires that the child’s understanding be established by substantial evidence.”In other words your chain of poof is broken.

    If its so easy you should be able to show instances of children renouncing their citizenship and being believed by the counselor.

  46. avatar
    JD Reed January 6, 2012 at 10:11 am #

    Re the Biden ain’t legit if Obama ain’t legit meme: To believe this, you would have to be ignorant of the constitutional provisions for the election of president and vice president, and the lesson of the 2000 election.
    2000 first: Millions of Americans were surprised that the candidate who received the most votes, by more than half a million, was not elected president. That’s because the constitution tasks the electoral college, not the Amiercan citizenry, with electing the president. The constitution also requires (via the 11the Amendment) that the president and the vice president be elected separately. So if the electors chosen in 2008 for the Obama-Biden ticket distinguished their votes between president and vice presiden (and there’s zero evidence that they didn’t) Biden was elected veep independently of Obama, even though they shared the Democratic elector slates the general public chose in November. Not that there’s any chance that Obama wasn’t legally elected as well, but if theoretically he wasn’t, that would have had no effect on Biden’s legitimacy.

  47. avatar
    Obsolete January 6, 2012 at 10:25 am #

    I wish John would type out a fantasy transcript of what he thinks the conversation would consist of between a State Dept. official, and a six-year old Obama trying to renounce his citizenship.
    Please humor me and write how you believe the conversation would go, (and try to leave your spanking fantasies out of it).

  48. avatar
    The Magic M January 6, 2012 at 11:56 am #

    JD Reed: but if theoretically he wasn’t, that would have had no effect on Biden’s legitimacy.

    Of course, but you seriously expect any birther to accept that?
    I mean, it’s not like they actually understand or accept the Constitution, or plain English, for that matter, once it gets in the way of what they want.

    I’m currently tackling a couple over at WND (whose relaunch reopened uncensored comments, at least for the time being) on that particular subject, one of them already fell back to fecal fetish talk. ;)

  49. avatar
    J. Potter January 6, 2012 at 12:02 pm #

    The Magic M: WND (whose relaunch reopened uncensored comments, at least for the time being)

    Got to give it to WND, they have drastically improved their appearance! Just in time for their 15th anniversary, they time warped 10 yrs ahead, now only 5 years behind the times.

  50. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 6, 2012 at 12:50 pm #

    I concur, but I think they have a way to go. One problem is the prominence of advertising on the home page — the ad is about the biggest thing, and for a crank book to boot. Also I personally think that lots of animation on a page is annoying on a new site. The big scrolling picture pulls the reader away from the text. Compare WND to CNN.com, which is also a “magazine” layout and you’ll not see the BIG AD and the BIG Animation.

    J. Potter: Got to give it to WND, they have drastically improved their appearance! Just in time for their 15th anniversary, they time warped 10 yrs ahead, now only 5 years behind the times.

  51. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 6, 2012 at 12:54 pm #

    Over the course of time, two commenters here called the Indonesian embassy in Washington and were told that Obama was never an Indonesian citizen. I wrote a letter to one of the persons spoken to by a commenter, but never received a reply.

    Scientist: Has anyone ever asked this question of the Indonesian Embassy or the Indonesian government?

  52. avatar
    J. Potter January 6, 2012 at 1:15 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: I concur, but I think they have a way to go. One problem is the prominence of advertising on the home page — the ad is about the biggest thing, and for a crank book to boot. Also I personally think that lots of animation on a page is annoying on a new site. The big scrolling picture pulls the reader away from the text. Compare WND to CNN.com, which is also a “magazine” layout and you’ll not see the BIG AD and the BIG Animation.

    Oh, absolutely, Doc, i was not at all defending WND, it was a sarcastic way of saying, “All that work, and it still sucks. Same ol’, same ol’, in a newer old dress.”

    A designer’s use of space and position is determined by priority placed on the elements. WND remains, as ever, a sales organ.

    Wording and flow tactics indicate style …. WND is a fright-fueled sales organ.

    Content selection indicates standards of quality and ethics … WND is an unprincipled, anything goes, fright-fueled sales organ!

    My favorite piece of hypocrisy spotted there was a link yesterday to a blurb about a Mexican “sorcerer” (a tarot card reader apparently) that predicted defeat for Obama. WND now endorses fortune-telling, a form of witchcraft? They do when they like what they have to day! Doesn’t seem to agree with their hawking of “spiritual warfare” tomes.

  53. avatar
    G January 6, 2012 at 2:59 pm #

    Agreed. WND’s site still screams “Scam”…Buy our product!!! It still comes across as a very amateur operation as a result.

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    I concur, but I think they have a way to go. One problem is the prominence of advertising on the home page — the ad is about the biggest thing, and for a crank book to boot. Also I personally think that lots of animation on a page is annoying on a new site. The big scrolling picture pulls the reader away from the text. Compare WND to CNN.com, which is also a “magazine” layout and you’ll not see the BIG AD and the BIG Animation.

  54. avatar
    ellen January 6, 2012 at 3:01 pm #

    Scientist asked: Has anyone ever asked this question of the Indonesian Embassy or the Indonesian government?

    I see no reason whatsoever that Scientist could not call the Indonesian Embassy and ask for herself or himself. If she or he does, it would be good to ask for the press officer.

  55. avatar
    Scientist January 6, 2012 at 4:36 pm #

    ellen: I see no reason whatsoever that Scientist could not call the Indonesian Embassy and ask for herself or himself. If she or he does, it would be good to ask for the press officer.

    I’m a he. I later found out that the Indonesian Embassy has already addressed the question-Obama was never an Indonesian citizen. Since they are the definitive source of who is or is not an Indonesian citizen, there is really no point to further discussion of this.

  56. avatar
    misha January 6, 2012 at 4:42 pm #

    bernadineayers: do you get along ok with mario ??

    Whenever there’s been an accident in Camden, which I can see from my window, I call him. It’s a private line I call the Batphone.

  57. avatar
    misha January 6, 2012 at 4:47 pm #

    Scientist: I could have been centerfielder for the Yankees, if only I could hit, field, throw and run the bases.

    If my grandmother had wheels, she would have been a trolley car.

  58. avatar
    misha January 6, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

    Thomas Payne: The Constitution requires that a candidate for the office of the President be a “natural born citizen” i.e. from a citizen father and a citizen mother.

    George Romney was born in Mexico, ostensibly to US citizens. He ran for president in ’68, and we don’t know for sure who was his mother.

    His father was a polygamist, so who was his actual mother?

  59. avatar
    Whatever4 January 6, 2012 at 8:01 pm #

    Scientist: I’m a he.I later found out that the Indonesian Embassy has already addressed the question-Obama was never an Indonesian citizen.Since theyare the definitive source of who is or is not an Indonesian citizen, there is really no point to further discussion of this.

    Have they issued their finding in any linkable/postable format? I’m looking for links for the Official Sources section on Fogbow, which can also be mined for the Birther Debunkers Wiki.

  60. avatar
    Paul Pieniezny January 7, 2012 at 5:39 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    Over the course of time, two commenters here called the Indonesian embassy in Washington and were told that Obama was never an Indonesian citizen. I wrote a letter to one of the persons spoken to by a commenter, but never received a reply.

    I see a diplomatic issue here. There is no problem for an Indonesian diplomat, even the Ambassador himself to state from the security of his Embassy, to say on the telephone that Obama never had Indonesian citizenship. But a letter from the Embassy, even if not from the Ambassador, would leave that security perimeter and enter 100% US territory. By now, the Indonesians know that this is a political question in the United States.

    One of the reasons why Ambassadors and their personnel enjoy diplomatic immunity, is that they are supposed to refrain from intervening in local politics. Sending a letter asserting that Obama was never an Indonesian, may be interpreted as such an intervention.

    Apart from that, it would not solve anything, since the birfers who believe in the Indonesian adoption (Berg and Orly, bien étonnés de se retrouver ensemble) would claim Indonesia is just doing it as a service to Obama.

    I suppose they may send you an answer on January 23rd 2017.

    The reason I believe those two who claim they phoned the Indonesain Embassy, is that there must be a lot more birfers who phoned and never told us they did. Because they got the same answer.

  61. avatar
    Judge Mental January 7, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

    I don’t buy any of this stuff about the indonesia Embassy saying this or that.

    In the albeit highly unlikely hypothetical situation that Obama had in fact somehow obtained Indonesian citizenship during his few years in residence in Indonesia as a child, the Indonesian Embassy in USA today would have absolutely no reason to know anything about it, unless at some stage over the years he had personally reported to the Embassy that he was an Indonesian who had come to USA to live eg if his Indonesian passport had expired and he wished to renew it via the Indonesian Embassy in USA or if he needed some other consular assistance from them.

    Embassies in foreign countries do not keep records or have easy access to records of everyone who has ever been a citizen of their own country. For example the US Embassy in Indonesia wouldn’t know if any particular “Indonesian” in the public eye was once secretly an American citizen nor would they have the means to find out without sending full details of the person concerned’s name, date of birth and parents names etc back to USA for a full search to be done there.

    It’s hugely unlikely that any member of the public phoning up the Indonesian Embassy and asking if Obama was now or was ever an Indonesian citizen would be given a yes or no answer. They would probably be told that wasn’t information the Embassy were in possesssion of nor could give out to the public even if they did hav it. At the very most they would be told that they had no record of any Indonesian citizen called Barack Obama requesting any Indonesian Consular assistance at their Embassy in USA.

    The same goes for any Embassy of any country in any other country. Embassies just don’t do that sort of thing.

    Sorry to be such a cynic but I’m very sceptical about anyone having phoned the Indonesia Embassy in USA and being told that he wasn’t an Indonesian citizen and/or that he never had been one. I’d guess that anyone who claims to have been told that was fibbing, or their question had been misunderstood by the Embassy or they misinterpreted the answer they were given.

  62. avatar
    Majority Will January 7, 2012 at 12:37 pm #

    Judge Mental: I’d guess that anyone who claims to have been told that was fibbing, or their question had been misunderstood by the Embassy or they misinterpreted the answer they were given.

    Or they had been abducted by aliens and the conspiracy spans several light years and eons and involves several unidentified, viscous species with dark political secrets hidden somewhere on Easter Island.

    Details are in the just released NWO recruitment guide.

  63. avatar
    Scientist January 7, 2012 at 12:47 pm #

    Judge Mental: Embassies in foreign countries do not keep records or have easy access to records of everyone who has ever been a citizen of their own country

    But the Embassy, as an official government agency, would be able to contact the agency back in Jakarta that deals with citizenship and passports. Since Obama was not an Indonesian by birth (even the birthers don’t say that), you would only need to consult naturalization records. I’m sure Indonesia has a record of who naturalizes, just as the US does. No such record = not a citizen.

    I’m not saying that’s what they did, nor commenting on whether anyone actually asked the Embassy nor what their response was. But it is certainly far from impossible for them to answer the question in a factual yes or no fashion.