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Kapi’olani digging

So Rambo Ike asked me over at Birther Report (before I gave it up for Lent) just when was the earliest reference to Obama being born at Kapi’olani hospital. Of course I wasn’t going to kick over a hornet’s nest and mention the birth certificate, which in all fairness didn’t see the light of day until 2011. I had to do a little digging, and here’s my reply:

The earliest Kapi’olani reference is a really good challenge. Most of my interest started with the birthers, and my knowledge of pre-birther history is pretty light. But let’s see what I can do.

The earliest Kapi’olani reference I know of without looking is the one in the Honolulu Advertiser from November 9, 2008, citing “family sources.” You can read about that here:

That’s the interview that contains Tong’s comment;

“We don’t have plans to do anything,” said Kapiolani Medical Center spokeswoman, Claire Tong, when asked how the center plans to commemorate the soon-to-be 44th U.S. president, who, according to Obama’s family and other sources, was born at that hospital on Aug. 4, 1961.

“We can’t confirm or deny it — even though all the information out there says he was born at Kapiolani Hospital. And that’s because of the HIPA (sic) law.”

Tong acknowledged that the center has received daily inquiries from news agencies far and wide asking for confirmation of Obama’s birthplace. Much as she wishes she could do it, Tong said it’s not possible.

“Our hands are tied,” she said.

David Maraniss, who would later write a Biography of Obama, wrote of Obama’s birth at Kapiolani in an article in the Washington Post August 24, 2008. Maraniss doesn’t give a source

The Honolulu Star Bulletin article: “Punahou left lasting impression on Obama” from February 8, 2007 says Kapiolani.

Another article from the Star Bulletin from March 21, 2004 also lists Kapiolani as Obama’s place of birth. That article was copied, mentioning Kapiolani, at the Free Republic forum also in 2004, so we can be pretty sure it wasn’t changed.

FR - Kapiolani 2004

That’s as far back as I can find.

I believe Barack Obama was born at Kapi’olani Medical Center

We’ve been discussing hospital births vs home births lately, and what difference, if any, there is in the original birth certificate for those two. I want to get into that in more detail in a future article, but I thought now might be a good time to state clearly why I believe Barack Obama was born at what is now called the Kapi’olani Medical Center for Women and Children.

I don’t have the kind of proof that I would like to have making this assertion. I have that nice birth certificate to put the location of President Obama’s birth officially in Honolulu, but the evidence for birth in the hospital is less official. Let’s look at the evidence.

Barack Obama says he was born at Kapi’olani Medical Center in Honolulu, and I’ve never seen anything in the way of evidence to cause me to doubt that. The hospital was only 7.9 miles from his mother’s reported address, and the Honolulu Advertiser newspaper said that Obama was born at Kapi’olani according to “family sources.” From this there is a strong presumption of a hospital birth at Kapi’olani.

Route: Kapi’olani hospital from Obama residence

If you want to add to that, there is the letter from Barack Obama congratulating Kapi’olani Medical Center on its 100th Centennial that was read before the hospital’s gala celebration in front of the hospital officials, local dignitaries and even the Governor of Hawaii. Just look at the video editing of what follows with the close up of the “Born at Kapi’olani” t-shirt following Obama saying (as read from the letter) that Kapi’olani was “the place of my birth.”

You might also add the newspaper article from the Buffalo News, where Barbara Nelson talked about a 1961 conversation between her and Dr. Rodney T. West where he mentions the unusual names of the mother and son (“Stanley had a baby”). Dr. West was delivering babies at Kapi’olani in 1961. I’m not saying that Dr. West delivered Barack Obama (and he’s dead so we can’t ask him) but a doctor at that hospital was at least aware of the birth, which is something unlikely if Obama weren’t born at the hospital.

If you go to Honolulu today and take a guided Obama tour, Kapi’olani Hospital will be where the guide will tell you Obama was born. And knowing nothing else, the statistical probability of Obama being born outside a hospital is less than one percent, because the vast majority of Honolulu births were in hospital.

Of course Nelson, an Obama family friend, could have been lying about her conversation with West, and Kapi’olani could have gone along with a false Obama letter just to help with their fund raising, the tour companies could be misinformed, and improbable events do happen — but there’s no reason to think any of those things.


Three weeks after the publication of this article, the White House released President Obama’s long-form birth certificate confirming his birth at Kapi’olani.

Comment for Michael Patrick Leahy

Dr. Conspiracy

Dr. Conspiracy

“to investigate without a reason is what I call a smear campaign”

I received an email from Mr. Leahy, directing me to a post on his blog and asking for my comments. Leahy (self-described Conservative author and grassroots new media strategist)  raises a number of “questions” rhetorically posed to Hawaiian officials to dig into all the nits of what they did and said. Some of the questions are ones I might ask out of curiosity, but some presume long-discredited conspiracy theories, or would be unlawful to answer.

I replied to the email this way:

I think your “questions” can be categorized into three groups:

1. Questions which cannot by law be answered by the persons to whom they are directed.
2. Questions which have already been answered, deal with scenarios which are contrary to law or contain misstatements of law.
3. Questions which are irrelevant to the time and place of the President’s birth.

President Obama’s Certification of Live Birth says on the face of it: Location of Birth: Honolulu. What exactly don’t you understand about that?

If there were ONE TINY FACT that contradicts Hawaiian birth for President Obama, perhaps raising questions would make sense, but to investigate without a reason is what we call a smear campaign. Continue Reading →

The Fall of the House of Birther

While there never was any credible objection to President Obama’s constitutional eligibility to be president, some issues were raised that looked good, at least until they were examined. Over the course of the last 6 months, this web site has examined these issues, digging to find if there were some substance in them, exposing fraud and replacing rumor with fact.

People believe what they want to believe, and in the face of that fact simply showing that there is no basis for the belief is not enough. Refutation, when possible, is better. Many contributors here and elsewhere have searched the pubic record for information for refutation. I have searched as well. Here are the results of that search, addressing the four major objections to Obama’s eligibility:

  1. President Obama was born in Kenya
  2. President Obama renounced his US Citizenship and became an Indonesian citizen
  3. President Obama traveled to Pakistan when travel to US citizens was banned.
  4. A president of the United States must be the child of US Citizen parents, and President Obama’s father was British.

President Obama was born in Kenya

This was always an implausible scenario and it probably wouldn’t have persisted except for a tape recording, with barely audible sections in an African language, that purports to be Sarah Obama (the President’s paternal step grandmother) saying that she was present when President Obama was born. The tape recording, available on this web site, and its associated transcript by researcher Greg Doudna, clearly shows in its complete and unedited version, that the speaker is saying President Obama was born in Hawaii. The details and evidence are in my article: Sarah Obama Speaks! Continue Reading →

Where Obama was born

Was it in Kenya? Was it in Canada? Was it at home in Hawaii, attested to by one parent?

No. It seems President Obama was born exactly where we always thought he was, at the Kapi’olani Medical Center in Honolulu.

Kapi’olani letter (image from WorldNetDaily)

The letter was read aloud at the Health Center’s 100th anniversary gala [link, see Page 6] , attended by such dignitaries as Republican Governor Lingle. Not only do we have President Obama’s own letter stating the place of his birth, but the confirmation of the hospital through their publication and celebration of the fact. See the celebration, Governor Lingle’s proclamation and the reading of the letter from President Obama by Hawaii Congressman Neil Abercrombie.

[The persistent Internet rumor that Barack Obama’s half sister Maya claimed that he was born at Queens Hospital, is not true.]