Heard this one before?
Barack Obama is probably not a U.S. citizen, and therefore is probably ineligible to be President of the United States. There's some evidence that Obama was born here, but most of the evidence suggests that is simply not the case.
That is the argument put forth by John F. Gaski in an April 25 Investor's Business Daily opinion piece headlined, "Agnostic's Dreaded Verdict: Birthers Are (Mainly) Right." Gaski, a professor at the University of Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business, claims that while "some evidence exists" that Obama is a U.S. citizen, that evidence is "very meager" and is outweighed by significant "evidence to the contrary," including the fact that the president's birth certificate is "strangely absent." Gaski's piece runs more than 1,400 words and ominously promises that it is only the "first of two parts," but his case rests on long-debunked smears and provides no evidence that Obama is not a U.S. citizen.
Let's start with Gaski running with perhaps the oldest myth surrounding Obama's birth certificate: the claim that Obama hasn't released one. Gaski writes:
First, what makes anyone think that Obama is really a citizen of the U.S., natural born or otherwise? What hard evidence is there to rely on?
The evidentiary test for citizenship is a ridiculously low hurdle, and Obama has not been able to surmount it -- except to the satisfaction of 50 careless state secretaries of state who certified eligibility to run in the 2008 presidential election, even though the Obama campaign organization did not produce an original birth certificate or any other evidence of citizenship. Typical quality for government work!
Real U.S. citizens are required to demonstrate hard proof of that type all the time for countless purposes, from obtaining a passport to playing Little League baseball, and Obama still cannot find his birth certificate.
But in June 2008 Obama's campaign made public a copy of Obama's certificate of live birth, which was published on the Internet by the campaign and numerous media outlets. Many experts, including a team from FactCheck.org, reviewed the document in person and determined it was authentic. Dr. Chiyome Fukino, director of the Hawaii State Department of Health, certified that she had personally seen Obama's birth certificate in the original records maintained by the Hawaii government.
Gaski acknowledges that Obama released a certificate of live birth but remains unconvinced by its legitimacy because it might "have been derived (even unknowingly) from a forged birth certificate, even a very good forgery, containing key false information." But Gaski provides no evidence to support that allegation. Instead, he simply relies on his readers' Obama Derangement Syndrome. Gaski claims his hypothesis is well-founded because Obama "is a creature of the Chicago political machine" with "unsavory methods" and that "forgery is not an unknown practice among liberal Democrats."
Then there's Gaski's claim that Obama's birth notices in the Honolulu newspapers "prove nothing other than arousing more suspicion." Gaski again raises the possibility of forgery -- a practice, he says, was common in Hawaii at the time "for parents (or grandparents) in cases of nonisland (and potential non-U.S. citizenship) births." But again, Gaski offers no concrete facts to substantiate his assertion.
For someone who claims Obama has been remiss in not providing "sufficient evidence" that he is a U.S. citizen, Gaski's own charges are woefully lacking in evidence. Not only that, but every charge he's made has been made -- and debunked -- already.
We can't wait for Investor's Business Daily's publication of Part 2 of Gaski's piece.