"Is there something on Obama's birth certificate he does not want us to see? Foe shizzle." - Pamela Geller
The White House, in releasing President Obama's long-form birth certificate this morning, has crushed once and for all the falsehood that animated the birther movement -- the claim that Barack Obama is not a citizen of the United States and is thus ineligible for the presidency. The birthers' zealous adherence to that ludicrous allegation has resulted in an impressive number of embarrassing failures for the movement, and now seems like a good time to chronicle the best of the worst.
10: Michelle Obama Accidentally Admitted Obama Was Born In Kenya... Twice
Last year, conservative websites promoted two video clips of Michelle Obama supposedly going birther. In the first, she called her husband "Kenyan," and in another she referred to Barack's "home country" as "Kenya." Rather than view both comments as what they clearly were -- a reference to the fact that Barack Obama's ancestors on his father's side hail from Kenya -- some of the leading lights of the conservative blogosphere suggested they were an accidental admission by Michelle Obama that her husband was born in Kenya.
American Thinker publisher Thomas Lifson wrote that Michelle's "rather whiny harangue" means that the question, "Is Michelle Obama a birther?" now "has to be asked." Fox Nation embedded one of the videos on their site with the headline "Birther Up in Arms Over First Lady 'Home Country' Video." Leading birther website/national laughingstock WorldNetDaily promoted both videos.
9. Obama's "Real" Fathers: Jimi Hendrix, Malcolm X, Anonymous "Black Guy"
One of the more amusing subsets of birtherism involved wild speculation regarding Obama's "true" parentage. Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs famously reposted an intricate theory suggesting that Obama was really the love child of Malcolm X. Anti-Semitic liar Andy Martin posited that Obama is actually the offspring of Frank Marshall Davis, a controversial writer and political activist who lived in Hawaii. Jack Cashill offered up Jimi Hendrix as a potential father for the first black president, but gave more credence to the notion that "a black guy had impregnated" Obama's mother, and Barack Obama Sr. was bribed by Obama's grandparents to stand in as the boy's father.
8. Obama Hid The Certificate Because It Proves He Is A Muslim And/Or Named Barry Soetoro
Numerous conservatives thought they had discovered the real reason Obama would not release his long-form certificate: it might reveal he is Muslim. This argument, recently popularized by Donald Trump during an appearance on The O'Reilly Factor (and subsequently hyped by Fox Nation), has been batted around on conservative websites for years.
Birthers also speculated that Obama's name on his long form would be revealed as "Barry Soetoro." In an editorial for Investor's Business Daily he probably wishes he hadn't published this week, John F. Gaski explained that the "most plausible scenario" for why Obama wouldn't release his long-form certificate "is that the presumed Mr. Obama never had his legal name changed from Barry Soetoro, and therefore has committed a form of fraud by signing official documents with a false alias, as well as perjury by falsely swearing to that effect on many occasions." Note for conspiracists: If the most "plausible" argument you can come up with to promote your conspiracy theory sounds like that, you might want to head back to the drawing board.
7. Jerome Corsi Detained In Kenya
One month before the 2008 election, WorldNetDaily's Jerome Corsi -- a leading force behind the birther delusion -- traveled to Kenya to investigate what he claimed were links between Obama and Keynan political leader Ralia Odinga. In the course of his investigations, Corsi was detained by Kenyan authorities over immigration issues and subsequently deported. Corsi blamed the entire incident on Obama ("call Barack's office and ask him why I'm being detained") and later claimed that he was told by unnamed Kenyan officials during the trip that Obama was born in Mombasa, not Honolulu.
6. Corsi: Internet "Analysis" Proved The Certificate Of Live Birth Was "Photoshopped"
In 2008, after the Obama campaign posted a copy of Obama's certification of live birth online, conservatives responded in predictable fashion by shouting "It's a fake, and this guy in my comments section can prove it!" The allegations that the Obama campaign had posted a fake certificate hit their peak when Jerome Corsi appeared on Fox & Friends and argued that the document posted online was a "false, fake birth certificate." He explained that "there's been good analysis of it on the Internet, and it's been shown to have watermarks from Photoshop."
The "good analysis" from "the internet" to which Corsi referred was likely from Pamela Geller's website. She posted a series of articles over the course of 2008 promoting the analysis of an anonymous "expert" named "Techdude." (Stop laughing! He's apparently been "performing computer based forensic investigations since 1993.") Techdude's final report was posted by Geller as "irrefutable, empirical evidence" that Obama's "birth certificate is a forgery. " Here's a sample:
The 2008 image's rate of compression was calculated to an approximated 80% quality factor at 300 dpi with an image size of 2550 x 3300 pixels in a portrait orientation and also contained no EXIF data.
You can't explain that.
5. Obama's Visit To His Ailing Grandmother Was Actually A Birth Certificate Cover-Up
In late October 2008, Barack Obama's grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, fell gravely ill and Obama suspended his campaign to travel to Hawaii and be at her side. Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, and Jerome Corsi all speculated that Obama's grandmother's illness was actually just a cover story, and that Obama was really going to Hawaii to, in Savage's words, "fudge the birth certificate." Dunham passed away on November 2, 2008, two days before the election.
4. Hillary Will Obtain "Proof Positive That President Obama Was Born In Kenya" So She Doesn't Have To Kill Him
Writing at WorldNetDaily last month, the litigious Larry Klayman posted a column headlined "Hillary Clinton: Budding 'birther'?" In it, he suggested that "femme fatale" Hillary and Bill Clinton may have been behind the deaths of "over 80 material witnesses" during the 90s, including their friend Vince Foster.
Klayman argued that since it is now "passé" for Hillary to "get rid of people by having them disappear," she will "obtain proof positive that President Obama was born in Kenya, and not in Hawaii as he claims, then she will not have to send him on a day trip to Fort Marcy Park to retire him as president."
3. The Obviously Forged Kenyan Birth Certificate
In August 2009, WorldNetDaily reported that birther maven Orly Taitz "has released a copy of what purports to be [Barack Obama's] Kenyan certification of birth." The document released by Taitz was dated February 17, 1964, and was allegedly produced by the "Republic of Kenya." Taitz claimed she obtained it from an anonymous source who was "afraid for his life." The document, however, was almost immediately proven to be a hoax. The Republic of Kenya did not exist until December 1964, and an anonymous blogger took credit for creating the forgery, having created the document from an Australian birth certificate. Even WorldNetDaily later conceded that the "Kenyan birth document released by California attorney Orly Taitz is probably not authentic."
2. The "Heat Maps"
After Jerome Corsi and the WorldNetDaily supersleuths, Pamela Geller has been perhaps the most creative/consistently ridiculous birther in the conservative blogosphere. We mentioned her promotion of "Techdude" and his crackerjack analysis of Obama's birth certificate, but her "work" is truly deserving of its own entry. Among other prescient observations, Geller has proclaimed (based on the work of "Techdude") that "the previous ovner [sic] of Obama's forged birth certificate is a 'female.'"
Earlier this year, Geller reprinted the following "detailed images of RGB value heat maps" from Techdude's "report," seemingly to buttress the "very simple and plausible answer" to why Obama hadn't released his long-form birth certificate: that his name is listed on it as Barry Soetoro. Have a look:
As a reward for her years of embarrassing herself over the issue, Geller announced on her blog today that she "will be on Eric Bolling's show on FOX Business tonight to discuss the release of Obama's birth certificate." That sounds about right.
1. Where's The Birth Certificate?
Really no contest on this one. After years of "investigation," Jerome Corsi was all set to release his new book, Where's The Birth Certificate? The Case that Barack Obama is not Eligible to be President, on May 17. Corsi even got a banner link from Matt Drudge, who promoted an "exclusive" peek at the book's "devastating" conclusions. Corsi's book was also promoted by Fox News and Glenn Beck's The Blaze.
Of course, when your book's premise is that Obama is hiding his birth certificate, the release of said birth certificate would seem to render your book moot. But Corsi is undeterred. WorldNetDaily reported this afternoon that Corsi says all Obama has done is "fuel the fire," insisting: "When people read the book, they will see that Obama is not eligible to be president."
That seems unlikely, but if there's a silver lining for Corsi, it's that he still has time to change the title to: "OK, Here's The Birth Certificate, But Obama's Still Not Eligible To Be President."