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Obama denies Indonesian citizenship

Birthers speculate based on the words “Nationality: Indonesian” on a school registration form that Barack Obama was adopted by his step father, Lolo Soetoro, and by an impossible application of Indonesian law, became an Indonesian citizen.

Previously, the US Department of State in the case of Strunk  v. U. S. Department of State denied that Barack Obama was adopted by Soetoro and

To the extent this paragraph alleges that President Obama is not a natural-born citizen of the United States or that President Obama is or ever was a citizen of Indonesia, those allegations are denied. (Page 8)

One might expect the US State Department to know about such things, and I have taken this statement as authoritative; however, one might want to hear this from a source who is definitely in a position to know the details, and one such person is Barack Obama himself. Now we have that in the form of a the August 9 “answer of Barack Obama” in the Kentucky ballot challenge of House v. Obama. Barack Obama, through his attorney, J. Scott Wantland, once and for all denies that he was ever a citizen of Indonesia.

Obama denies ever becoming an Indonesian citizen.

So, rational reader, if you ever wondered about this question, now you know.

Fulbright scholarships for Indonesian undergrads

Yes friends, the 2009 April Fools joke about Obama attending Occidental College as a foreign student on a Fulbright Scholarship is getting a boost with the discovery of the Fulbright Global Undergraduate Exchange Program (Global UGRAD) promoted on the Indonesian Universitas Gadja Mada web site.

According to World Learning, (they administer the program for East Asia and the Pacific, including Indonesia)  the Global UGRAD program spans the years 2008 – 2013. According to World Learning:

All participants are issued U.S. student exchange (J-1) visas. Upon conclusion of their scholarship, students must return to their home countries to complete their undergraduate degree.

Students must meet these criteria:

  • Be citizens of participating countries: Burma, Cambodia, China, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nicaragua, Panama, Philippines, South Korea, Thailand, Venezuela, and Vietnam. 
  • Apply through the U.S. Embassy (Public Affairs Section) or Fulbright Commission in their home country. Students are selected on the basis of academic excellence, leadership potential, and preparedness for study in the U.S.
  • Be enrolled as an undergraduate in good standing and not be entering the final year of their studies at the time of application.

Indonesian comment dump

Certain persons (who shall remain BIRTHERS), dump unrelated comments onto our current topics. The current open topic is pretty full, so I’m making this a place for birthers to dump their Indonesian citizenship junk. Maybe I should start charging a waste recycling fee.

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.

Birther math (part 4)

Here we continue the analysis of a A Catalog of Evidence – Concerned Americans Have Good Reason to Doubt that Putative President Obama Was Born in Hawaii by attorney Mario Apuzzo. We’re adding up the value of the items in his catalog picking up from Birther math Part 3.

So far our total is zero. Parts 1 and 2 summed a compendium of non-specific statements from people who had no reason to know what Apuzzo would lead us to think they said. Part 3 covered primarily innuendo based on the lack of evidence. Nothing thing he has presented so far would be admissible as evidence in court, since at best it is hearsay, and at worst outright misrepresentation. Apuzzo continues to rely on the tabloid web site WorldNetDaily for his research.

Let’s move on to item 16.

(16) Obama’s application to the Franciscus Assisi Primary School in Indonesia states he was an Indonesian citizen; Continue Reading →

We all came out of Berg’s suit

There is a very influential work in Russian literature by Nikolai Gogol titled (in translation) The Overcoat. The importance of this work and its effect on subsequent writers was memorialized by a famous quotation from Fyodor Dostoyevsky: “We all come out from Gogol’s ‘Overcoat’.”

Philip Berg

In the same vein, virtually all of the present birther mythology is found in the original Berg v Obama lawsuit from 2008 and all the birther lawsuits are little more than warmed over Philip J. Berg. (Berg also believed that the US Government was responsible for blowing up the Twin Towers on 9/11. Berg appears to be a credulous person with a conspiracy theory mindset.) Berg’s lawsuit in some small way legitimized the conspiracy theories in the popular mind.

Here are some of the ideas that came from Berg v. Obama in his Original C0mplaint:

  1. The threat of civil disobedience should an ineligible person become the Democratic nominee for President.
  2. The claim that Obama has “refused to prove” his eligibility. (Note: this is after Obama had published his birth certificate online).
  3. Berg had a copy of the Obama divorce papers back in August of 2008 while others claimed to have “first discovered it” later. Continue Reading →