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The "Birther" Conspiracy Theory

Is Our President an Identity Thief?



President Obama's inauguration may have been the first presidential installation celebrated in two countries - the United States, and Kenya.

Getty/Danita Delimont

The “Birther” movement has been in the news for a while. I’ve been watching it, waiting for something more than speculation to come out. I’ve kept away from the subject as a matter of course, because you read these articles for factual information about identity theft, not for speculations or opinions. My job is to get them straight. But now real, credible news has come up that really needs to be addressed.

First, a note on conspiracy theories, though.

A theory is an idea that has a factual basis, and must be evaluated on the strength of those facts… that covers everything from science to philosophy. Until there are facts, though, there is nothing more than a story – purely fictional and not worth credible consideration. But when you start adding facts to the theory, it becomes something different – it becomes a theory. It is no longer fictional until the facts are evaluated properly. It does not disappear just because we don’t like the facts.

A “conspiracy” theory puts forth the idea that more than one person got together to do something. Really, that’s all it means. The word “conspiracy” has some pretty dark overtones, though, because we’ve used it almost exclusively to talk about sinister things. Dictionaries tend to define it with evil, dark or unlawful overtones, but the word literally means “to be together in spirit”.

So, “conspiracy theory” may be a term that the mainstream media uses to laugh something off, but the truth is that a conspiracy theory needs to be evaluated based on the facts related to it. The “birther” movement has been labeled a conspiracy theory by mainstream media, but why that has happened is beyond me. No matter, though. Since there are facts to consider, the theory has come before a Georgia court.

At issue is none other than our very own President of the United States. The theory claims that President Obama is an identity thief. The case before Georgia Judge Michael Malihi deals with whether or not our President can legally be on the ballot in the next election. The President was subpoenaed to appear before the court, but failed to show, forcing the prosecution to argue the President is in contempt of court – but Malihi did not address that issue in the recent court hearing.

Evidence presented for the case are Obama’s birth certificate, which was publicly released after a public outcry, and an alleged Social Security Number Verification “failure” by (if I have my research straight) Gregory Hollister. The birth certificate in question show’s Obama’s father was a citizen of Kenya, and the Social Security Number document says the SSN on Obama’s draft card was never issued.

There are tons of sources on the internet to argue the point to one side or the other. Any Google search will give you enough results either way to thoroughly cloud the issue. Attacks on the social security number document seem to hinge primarily on the fact that it was run illegally (the verification system is only to be used to verify the social security number of an employee, any other use is a felony.) So Hollister will probably have to go to court for obtaining the information in the first place – but I don’t see how that will change the fact that the information is now before a state judge, and I’m certain that the attorneys will be able to have their own verification done, to nail the debate down once and for all.

The other argument seems to circle around the fact that Obama’s father was not an American Citizen. The Congressional Research Service penned this piece in 2011 concerning the term “natural born citizen” – and says that if a child is born to parents “subject to the jurisdiction of” the United States, that qualifies for the term “natural born citizen” (as in contrast to “naturalized”.) So the question may be, “How is a citizen of Kenya subject to the jurisdiction of the United States?” But I am quite sure Judge Malihi will take that (along with many other points of law) into consideration before deciding the case.

By the way, in researching this article, I found this site quite helpful – every link I followed went to a credible source, and the site owner seems to be well informed on the birther conspiracy theory.

So, is our President an identity thief? I wouldn’t put money on it, but since I don't gamble that doesn't say much. From an identity theft perspective, if he is, it would make one of the most astounding hoaxes pulled off before the eyes of the American public.

But (if you'll pardon the pun) the jury's still out on that one.

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