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Strunk revisits the passport issue in a motion

Birther Report reports Chris Strunk’s latest 231 page motion to reargue Strunk et al v. United States Department of State et al (other named plaintiffs are the CIA, Eric Holder, the New York State Board of Elections, Barack Hussein Obama, II, US Copyright Office). The case was filed June 10, and dismissed June 16, 2014.

I left the following comment at Birther Report (assuming that they are correct in that somewhere in that massive filing is something about Ann Dunham’s passport records):

I find myself in the unusual position of having some sympathy with Chris Strunk on the passport question. I filed my own FOIA around the same time that Stunk filed his and was waiting for my results while his earlier lawsuit was ongoing. It appears that my response got delayed due to the lawsuit, and when I got a response, it was the same that Strunk got. I appealed and got a little more, but I still believe that there is a passport issuance card on microfilm that to date hasn’t been released. We know for a fact that Dunham had a passport that the State Department hasn’t released (either because they don’t have it or because they just haven’t released it).

GAO documents make it clear that routine passport applications were destroyed in the 1980’s to save storage space; however, the government’s argument for allowing the destruction was that a permanent record of the passports issued was retained on microfilm. There is a Dunham passport that SHOULD be on microfilm, but hasn’t been released.

I personally think that the birthers have so pissed off the State Department that any request in this area gets dumped into a black hole. They certainly gave me the runaround for over a year on a request that usually takes a couple of months at the most.

For the record, I have no reason to think that there is anything in this unreleased passport file (including the first passport issued to Ann Dunham) that helps the birthers. Indeed, I think it hurts the "born in Kenya" theory by showing that Dunham had no US Passport prior to her trip to Indonesia.

My first FOIA for Dunham’s passport records was in 2009, and I didn’t get a response until 2011. My follow-up request submitted in January of 2012 is still awaiting a response.

Shocking results from Google image search

One of the neat features of Google is its ability to search for images. I took this photo of Barack Obama, taken circa 1991 and asked Google to find it. Reader, please note that all of what follows are the actual Google image search results. This is not a spoof article. Truth is stranger than fiction.

And here’s what Google said:

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Like father, like son so they say. Among the full results for the image are the actual original photo of President Obama that matches, and many of the Fake Columbia ID card with this picture, mentioned in the previous article. Now for the shocking part (and remember that I was searching with an image, not a name). The similar image display returned:

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These photos are of Obama’s mother Ann Dunham, his father Barack Obama Sr., then the weird ones: poet Frank Marshall Davis and Ralph Waldo Emerson Dunham Sr., the President’s great grandfather.

High school photos? Let’s try:

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And the similar results are:

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So we have Obama photos and similar ones of Ann Dunham, and another high school yearbook photo of a girl named Hillary Clinton. OK, my head is like totally spinning at this point.

So where does this go? Here’s a nice young photo of the President.

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And the results are:

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Frank Davis is back, along with the unidentified girl, the caption beneath which is “Our dream is to live like Lenin.”

Are we having fun? Let’s spin the wheel one more time, buy a vowel, and see if you can guess this one, from an Obama toddler photo:

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Lots of photos of Obama, his mother, Mitt Romney and Brigham Young.

Update:

Obviously those images weren’t selected just because they were “visually similar.” There’s got to be some textual context being taken into account. To add to Frank Marshall Davis, Hillary Clinton, Mitt Romney and Brigham Young, we get for:

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George Clooney, Mayor Harold Washington, James Baldwin and Fidel Castro. If you repeat this Google search, avoid the 4th image which links to a suspected malware site.

No, no, no, CNN!

Thank you for your efforts debunking the birthers, CNN. Now if you could only get it right….

I’m referring to the recent article, Debunking the birther claim, on the CNN web site — pretty good stuff, but not all. Zeroing on the offending section:

“Most scholars, including me, believe that natural born citizenship extends further, to all of those who obtain citizenship at birth by law,” writes Gabriel “Jack” Chin in a CNN.com opinion piece. “If this argument is right, then even if Obama had been born overseas, he is still a natural born citizen, because he obtained citizenship at birth through his mother who unquestionably was a U.S. citizen.”

Who am I to criticize a mainstream scholar of constitutional law like Prof. Jack Chin, author of the seminal presidential eligibility paper in the Michigan Law Review? I couldn’t touch his credentials on constitutional law, but his error is on citizenship law. Continue Reading →

Oldie Kenyan Birth Certificate rumor found

Deep Birther sent me an email about something including the initials “WMR.”  A little digging pointed to me to an iconoclastic journalist named Wayne Madsen, and to a pre-COLB June 9, 2008, article that says Republican operatives in Kenya had found a birth certificate for Barack Obama there.

The Online Journal republished Madsen’s original article from the Wayne Madsen Report, saying:

GOP dirty tricks operatives dispatched to Kenya to dig up any useful “dirt” on Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, Jr., and his late Kenyan father Barack Obama, Sr., believe they have found a “smoking gun.” In this case, it is a birth certificate from the Kenyan city of Mombasa registering the birth of Barack Obama, Jr., on August 4, 1961. However, the registration is a common practice in African countries whose citizens abroad have families with foreign nationals. Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, to his Ann Dunham of Wichita, Kansas, and Barack Obama, Sr., of Nyangoma-Kogelo, Kenya. Obama’s parents were enrolled at the University of Hawaii. They divorced when Barack Obama was two years old.

No authentic birth certificate from Kenya has ever been published. If President Obama was registered as a foreign birth in Kenya, the place of birth would, of course, say Honolulu. However, I think such a registration is unlikely as President Obama never visited Kenya until an adult.

Stanley Ann, not a commie radical after all?

Recent disclosures by Allen and Strunk’s Freedom of Information Act releases have fueled an old conspiracy theory about Barack Obama and his mother. Rather than being a commie radical, she was actually a spy for the CIA! That’s what an article titled Obama’s Pedigree at the Opinion Maker web site this past Friday. It’s been copied and reprinted on other web sites.

Wayne Madsen, writing for Opinion Maker, sees the destruction of routine passport applications in the 1980’s as part of a CIA coverup of the undercover activities of Obama’s mother — that eventually resulted in the recruitment of Barack Obama by the CIA after his graduation from Columbia University in 1983.

Strunk FOIA results for Obama’s mother

Stanley Ann Dunham

The FOIA results of Christopher Strunk’s Freedom of Information Act request for passport applications of Stanley Ann Dunham, President Obama’s mother, were released July 29. A copy of the results appear at the end of this article.

Strunk asked for the “passport applications” of Dunham along with other information specifically about Barack Obama. That latter information is not available under FOIA according to regulation. Strunk sued the Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security. (See my article: “What does Strunk know and when did he know it?”)

Now we have a series of documents that are not as helpful as one might hope. The earliest application in the file is a passport renewal from 1968 that references a passport issued in 1965 (prior to Obama’s trip to Indonesia to live with her new husband). However, the Department of State does not have the 1965 document (presumably destroyed in the 1970s when old records were cleared out). So from this material we cannot definitively say that Stanley Ann Dunham’s first passport was in 1965.

There are two things of interest in the 1970 application. First, there is a signed statement by Dunham that she had not naturalized in any other country (addressing the myth that she became an Indonesian citizen) and second she listed her child named “Barack Hussein Obama”, not “Soetoro”.

A curiosity is that after Barack’s name is the word “(Soebarkah)”. Because it is under the name in parenthesis, I am guessing that it is a nickname. “Soebarkah” is an Indonesian surname.

Readers here may know that I submitted my own passport FOIA for Dunham in January of 2009, two months after Strunk. My request differs from that of Strunk in that he asked for “passport applications” and I asked for “passports issued.” While the application records from 1965 (and earlier) were presumably destroyed, the Department of State says that they have passport records since 1925. I still hope, therefore, that my FOIA will conclusively show that Stanley Ann Dunham either had or did not have a passport before 1965.

The Strunk FOIA documents were first reported to be on the Orly Taitz web site, and subsequently  found on Scribd uploaded by Mario Apuzzo. Read the documents following: Continue Reading →