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Obama Selective Service registration: POSSIBLE!

An interesting objection by retired federal agent Stephen Coffman to Barack Obama’s Selective Service registration was cited by Debbie Schlussel back in 2008: Obama could not have registered for the draft in Hawaii because he was attending classes at Occidental College at the time:

On the previous FOIA response, they stated that it was filed on September 4, 1980. In my second request I mentioned that Obama could not have filed it in Hawaii on September 4, 1980 as he was attending Occidental College in California, the classes of which commenced August 24, 1980.

That’s certainly a serious objection—if it were true. Obot research has obtained documents previously unavailable on the Internet showing that Fall Term activities at Occidental College actually started on September 21, 1980, not August 24.

I do not know where Mr. Coffman got his August 24 date from. Perhaps he got it from a class schedule for later years. Indeed it would have been incredibly difficult for retired federal agent Coffman to have found out the exact dates from 1980; he would have had to contact the registrar and ask, and that would have risked him being proven wrong. On the other hand Coffman may have learned better, because this objection did not appear in his 2013 affidavit for Orly Taitz.

This is a great example of how birther claims fall apart under scrutiny.

Occidental College Academic Calendar for 1980-81 School Year by Reality Check 1776 on Scribd

H/t to RC for the information.

The Clinton–Obama conspiracy

Today I have added Suzanne Hamner to my list of Birthers from A to Z. It was an oversight. Hamner is one of those birthers who can’t even call President Obama by his right name. Right Wing Watch has the story of Hamner’s conspiracy theory that Barack Obama is supporting Hillary Clinton, not to preserve his presidential legacy and not because she’s the best candidate running, but rather in a quid pro quo to pardon him for usurping the presidency once he leaves office. Hamner was writing for Bradlee Dean’s The Sons of Liberty Media web site. She wrote:

Hussein Soetoro (sic) is not the “forgive and forget” type.  His backing of Hillary has only one purpose – to secure a pardon should he be subsequently charged with crimes against the united (sic) States once he leaves office.

This is one of those conspiracy theories with no evidence behind it, one that will persist until Obama leaves office and has been gone a while. Then they will just stop talking about it.

With this article, I am adding a new main category to the blog: Post presidency conspiracies.

Donald Trump: Birther

The New York Times has a new article today titled, “Inside the Six Weeks Donald Trump Was a Nonstop ‘Birther’” that describes Trump’s birther trial balloon during the 2011 presidential campaign, a trial balloon that burst in Trump’s face when the President released his birth certificate in April of 2011.

The article certainly makes it appear that Trump is a genuine conspiracy theorist, who pursued the theory by contacting Joseph Farah of WorldNetDaily.

I don’t want to paraphrase the Times article. It’s their story. We can discuss it below.

I think it is, however, useful to revisit Trump’s Hawaii statement, and this is what he said, courtesy of the Daily News:

“I have people that have been studying it and they cannot believe what they’re finding,” the would-be presidential candidate told NBC’s “Today.”

“You have people now out there searching – I mean, in Hawaii?” asked host Meredith Vieira.

“Absolutely,” Trump replied. “And they cannot believe what they’re finding.”

Notice that Trump’s initial statement is more or less true. There were people investigating the birth certificate. He doesn’t actually say that they work for him. But when pressed he doubled down with a bigger lie, as he does almost daily on Twitter.

Pardon this slight delay

I refer the reader to my July 15, 2013, article titled “Department of State FOIA Delay” for the story of how I had submitted a FOIA for a specific microfilm passport issuance card for Ann Dunham in January of the previous year. They told me back then that they would supply me with an estimated completion date in “a day or two.” I said at the time:

Anybody want to bet me that the response won’t be either (a) not in a day or two, or (b) we cannot tell you when to expect a response, or  both?

Nobody took that bet. The correct answer was (a). Indeed, I never did hear back from them until today. In a letter dated June 28, 2016 Eric F. Stein, Co-Director, Acting, Office of Information Programs and services wrote:

I refer to our letter dated January 30, 2012, regarding the release of certain Department of State material …

The Department of State is undertaking a comprehensive effort to clear up its backlog of information requests. As part of that effort, we are writing to inquire whether you are still interested in pursuing this case. …

Zullo ties naturalization oath guidance to Obama Selective Service registration

After the recounting of a great deal of irrelevant birther history, The Post & Email’s Sharon Rondeau gets to the point in a new article this week: “Are Forgeries Concealing a ‘Hidden’ Agenda?” The point comes from an interview with Mike Zullo about new guidance in federal regulations on the citizenship oath taken by new citizens, which allows them omit or modify the part about taking up arms in defense of the country. This is then tied by Zullo to his specious claim that Obama himself never registered for the Selective Service System. The new oath guidance, Zullo contends, shows Obama’s long-time attitude towards defending (or rather not defending) the country.

I left my reply at the P&E (currently in moderation):

The new guidance on the oath of allegiance brings it in line with the rights and obligations of EVERY American. Natural born citizens have the option of being conscientious objectors. Why should we treat naturalized citizens differently?

As for the goofy idea that Obama never registered for the Selective Service, I just point out that the document Mike Zullo claims is faked (and Zullo has zero expertise in document fraud) was obtained from the Selective Service Administration UNDER THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION, and Obama was duly registered in the agency’s computer system as verified by FOIA and the press independently.

Arpaio, trailing in the polls, says the birth certificate investigation is not over

Arpaio trailing in polls for his re-election bid in Maricopa County is something new. In a recent poll result released by his opponent Paul Penzone and reported by News 12, Arpaio loses 44 – 48%.

And for something that is in no way new, Sheriff Arpaio, once again questioned by the media about his attempts to prove Barack Obama’s birth certificate a fraud, replied in  Politico interview that the investigation is not over. (It’s not going to be over as long as Sheriff Joe needs campaign contributions.)