Update: as evidence and argument trickle in, the likelihood that the interview discussed below is authentic increases. I contacted Mr. Omolo by email and his reply was basically that since he did not know my motives, he would not talk to me. This is a theme in the Charlton interview too, and adds credibility. It looks like Mr. Omolo is aware of the dangers of talking to the wrong person and having his remarks interpreted for purposes he doesn’t approve of.
I have come upon a most curious article at the Post & Email blog from last August. The blog, whose articles appear under the name of John Charlton (thought by some to be the sock puppet of Charles E. Lincoln III, the disbarred lawyer writing Orly Taitz’s briefs of late). As a general rule, what I see at the Post and Email is the most outrageous of birther nonsense.
But this time, the Post & Email publishes what purports to be an interview with Leo Omolo, said to be a journalist and a family friend of the African Obama family, an interview which emphatically debunks the “grandmother tape” and asserts that President Obama was born in Hawaii. In the interview Mr. Omolo says that he listened to the “grandmother” tape, that he recognized the voice of Sarah Obama and that Sarah Obama said that she was present in Mombasa at the time the President was born in Hawaii, learning of the birth by telegram from her husband. (Mr. Omolo is a native speaker of the Swahili language and the Luo language.) This is a very important statement because it is the first published report of which I am aware which doesn’t rely on the real-time translation on the tape.
This article leaves two questions:
- Why would a birther blog publish an article that strongly asserts Obama was born in Hawaii?
- Is the interview authentic?
I cannot speculate on the first question, but I certainly have doubts that the interview is authentic for these reasons:
- There would have to have been a very long exchange of emails to create the interactive dialog presented in the article
- Mr Omolo’s name could have been harvested easily from the blog post cited in the article.
- The article asserts that Sarah Obama learned of her grandson by a telegram that reached her in Mombasa, but a previous newspaper report says she received a letter.
- The article asserts that Sarah Obama, in the taped interview, said she was in Mombasa when Obama was born, but Obama was in Hawaii. I have seen no interpretation of the tape before that suggests this. The phrase, it seemed to me, was introduced out of the blue by Bishop Ron McRae, who did not hear it from the translator. And what would Sarah Obama be doing in Mombasa in the first place, on the other side of the country from where she lived?
The article has Omolo call the president “Barry”, which I have never seen from an African before.
- The article calls the President’s step grandmother “Sarah Hussein Obama”, but she is never called that in other reports, rather: Sarah Onyango Obama or Sarah Ogwei. Omolo does not use this name in other writing about her.
- The language and vocabulary in the article doesn’t seem consistent with the authentic writing of Omolo.
The articles asks readers NOT to contact Mr. Omolo.Mr. Omolo asked me not to contact him too, so this one is shot down The claim that Omolo was Obama Sr’s “drinking buddy” seems a gratuitous detail. In an authentic article, there no hint that Omolo ever knew the President’s father.Other press reports say that Omolo was indeed Obama’s “drinking buddy.”
- The article says Omolo used italics at one point in his email, but Omolo doesn’t use italics in other writing that I have found.
- The Post & Email is not known for truthfulness.