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Sarah Obama breaks her silence: admits the facts of the President’s birth!

Reporter Irin Carmon got through the heavy security surrounding the President’s step-grandmother in Kenya to find out whether what the birthers say, that she was present in Mombasa, when President Obama born, is true or not. published the ground-breaking report.

Barack Obama wasn’t born in Kenya

Well, what were you expecting? We now return to your regularly scheduled programming.

Mama Sarah Obama injured in auto accident

Sarah Obama - 2010 photo with US Ambassador Michael RannebagerKenya’s newspaper of record, The Nation, reports that President Obama’s step-grandmother, Sarah Obama (shown in this 2010 photo with US Ambassador Michael Rannebager), was injured in an automobile accident last month. Obama, age 91, was an occupant of an automobile when the driver lost control and rolled the car. The elderly Obama survived with bruises and was released from hospital. Relatively minor accidents  can be serious for persons of that age.

Mama Sarah, as she is called locally for her advocacy and care for children, is well known for a recording in which she states through a translator that President Obama was born in Hawaii.

MCRAE: Wh-whereabouts, whereabouts was he born? I, I thought he was
born in Kenya.
TRANSLATOR OGOMBE: No he was born in America, not in Mombasa.
MCRAE: OK. Do you know whereabouts he was born?
MCRAE: Do you know where he was born? I thought he was born in Kenya. I was gonna go by and see where he was born.
VOICE (background): It was Hawaii.
BROTHER TOM (background): Hawaii, yeah?
TRANSLATOR OGOMBE (background): Yes.
TRANSLATOR OGOMBE (to McRae): Sir, she says he was born in
TRANSLATOR OGOMBE: Yeah, in 1960 this was Hawaii, where his
father, his father was also marrying there. This was Hawaii.
MCRAE: Was, was, was Mrs. Obama, was sh–was she present? Was, was
Mrs. Obama, see I thought you said she was present. Was she, was, was she, was she able to see him being, being born in, in Hawaii?
TRANSLATOR OGOMBE: (pause, silence) Hoh? (pause) Uh, yeah would
you please pronounce?
MCRAE: OK I’m sorry. I, I thought she said she was present when he was
born. I was—
TRANSLATOR OGOMBE (sounding exasperated): No, no! The, the
woman was not present. She was uh not, a what–you see, she was here in Kenya, and Obama was born in America. That is, that’s obvious.
TRANSLATOR OGOMBE: Because, because the grandmother was married here in Kenya, and Obama was born in America, oh yeah, so his son, the little Obama, was marrying, was marrying, in America, in United States.
MCRAE: Oh, OK, fine. I mean, I–I just, I misunderstood what she was
saying. I thought you said she was present when he was born.
TRANSLATOR OGOMBE: No, not present there. The present with me here was tonight. Not present so she can leave.  No she was here in Kenya while he, uh, her son, the little Obama, was marrying in America. And, uh, he be present if it–
WOMAN’S VOICE (background): It was in Hawaii.

Transcript Copyright 2009 by Greg Doudna. Used by permission.

Secret codes: what the heck is the NSIS?

The NSIS (National Security Intelligence Service) is sort of the Kenyan equivalent of the US CIA, used by conspiracy theorists as sources for rumors that cannot be verified by the public. Recall various claims about the CIA collecting DNA from the Dunham family.

Of course we have learned that sometimes government secrets are leaked. How can one tell whether a report from one of these secret organizations is real or just made up? Actually, we can get a great deal of help from the website WorldNetDaily. When WND reports on one of these sources they use code words to indicate whether the source is legitimate or a fake. A case in point is their May 30 article,  Kenya probed claim Obama born in Africa: Internal intelligence reports indicate government investigation.

How to read WorldNetDaily

When reading WorldNetDaily, one should immediately disregard the article title.  Titles correlate rather poorly with story content at WND, and appear to be designed throw the uninitiated reader off the track (or perhaps for marketing purposes). If anything of value is to be found, one must look into the article, and often at the very end.

In this article we are discussing three documents with Kenyan sources written on them. Two contain the name of Kenya’s immigration secretary as the author. These are, of course, confidential documents and cannot be verified by the source. In order to see if they are genuine, one needs to look at each and every reference to the documents in the article looking for the code word that indicates whether they are genuine. Among the many references in the article, we see one saying “purportedly written by” and that is the key phrase by which WND tells the initiated reader that WND believes them to be fakes. Continue Reading →


Donald Trump told the NBC Today Show’s Meridith Vieira this morning that  he has people on the ground in Hawaii looking into Obama’s origins and that we wouldn’t believe what they are finding out. Apparently his team has been digging deeply into old birther blogs because that was what Trump was repeating today.

I wrote an article in 2010 titled “We all came out of Berg’s suit” about how much of the birther story comes from the old Berg lawsuit from 2008, which itself came largely from Internet blogs. Berg’s theories still form the backbone of the birther story. Of course Berg, being the the instigator of the first lawsuit Barack Obama had to defend, couldn’t make the $2 million dollar legal fee claim (that had to wait until the number of birther lawsuits mounted, even though Obama wasn’t even named in most of them, and Obama actually defended himself in only 3, and none of those even came to trial).

Let’s look at what Trump said this morning (see NBC closed caption transcript).

  1. Obama doesn’t have a birth certificate (“he doesn’t have one”). Trump later softened this to a growing doubt that he has one and then “I hope he does.”
  2. “He has what’s called certificate of live birth [sic] that’s something that’s easy to get…It’s not the equivalent of a birth certificate, not even close.”
  3. “I read it [Obama’s Certification of Live Birth] very carefully. It doesn’t have a serial number , doesn’t have a signature. There’s not even a signature.”
  4. Obama’s grandmother says she was there when Barack Obama was born in Kenya.
  5. Obama has spent $2 million in legal fees “trying to get away from this issue.”

I think most of this is covered pretty thoroughly on this blog. I am considering an update on Obama’s legal fees since this seems to be so central to just about every birther narrative, and the rumored expense keeps going up.

Read more:



Trust, but verify

Dr. Conspiracy

The inspiration for this article came from, of all places, a fortune cookie at lunch today. It said, “Trust, but verify. — Ronald Reagan.” I’ve run across this saying from Conservatives from time to time and on occasion, from “birthers”. I thought it might be interesting to apply it to the birther controversy by describing my own experience trying to trust, but verify.

The most basic weapon in any birther’s arsenal is the belief that Barack Obama’s maternal step-grandmother, Sarah Obama, said on tape that she was present when Obama was born in Kenya. While it doesn’t appear on the recording, “hospital in Mombasa” is often added to the story. My first step was to try to verify that the audio recording was itself authentic and over time it became clear that it was; however, in my search to verify its authenticity, I came across the fact that it was incomplete. When I heard the complete tape, it became obvious that the earlier comment by Sarah Obama was simply misunderstood. She states quite plainly (through her translator) later on that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii. The complete audio recording and the transcript are in my article: Sarah Obama Speaks!

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 →