The all-around treatment of President Obama's refusal to disclose his original "vault" long-form birth certificate has been mind-boggling.
Members of the media have attempted to ignore or, more recently, belittle the story; they have published incorrect facts, such as stating the original certificate was released (if you're confused, see below). CNN head Jon Klein even said the original certificate was destroyed in 2001 when Hawaii digitalized their records, which turned out to be completely untrue.
Respected conservatives roll their eyes at the story and suggest that the President releasing the original certificate "wouldn't work" because apparently those who would like to see it are nuts, while National Review Online this week published a factually muddled editorial saying the controversy should end.
Those who would simply like the President to disclose the original certificate, including the name of the hospital where he was born, are derided as "Birthers," akin to the 9/11 "Truther" conspiracy nuts or the crazies who insist Sarah Palin didn't give birth to her youngest child.
How refreshing, then, that today National Review published a lengthy, detailed article by respected former prosecutor Andrew McCarthy, which not only corrects his own publication's errors on the topic but clearly sets out the facts of the controversy.
McCarthy explains that while the public has been shown a "Certification of Live Birth," which is simply a certified abstract of some of the information on the original birth certificate, the President's original birth certificate has not been released. McCarthy writes "Regardless of why people may want to see the vault copy, what’s been requested is a primary document that is materially more detailed than what Obama has thus far provided," and he asks a pointed question for the naysayers: "When did information suddenly become a bad thing?"
McCarthy also puts this controversy in the context of the President's constant changes to his life story, using example after example -- with many links -- to show that "Obama has demonstrated himself to be an unreliable source" on the facts of his own life. In this situation, it seems all the more important to have clear primary source documentation about the man who is, after all, President of the United States. Why should the current American public not be able to see something responsible future historians will surely wish to view?
McCarthy, incidentally, is also curious about the President's trip to Pakistan as a young adult, at a time when Americans were warned not to travel to that country, and whether Obama made the trip on an Indonesian passport. A reasonable question to ask about the man who is President of the United States.
In conclusion, McCarthy notes: "Why don’t the media — the watchdog legions who trekked to Sarah Palin’s Alaska hometown to scour for every kernel of gossip, and who were so desperate for Bush dirt that they ran with palpably forged military records — want to dig into Obama’s background?
"Who cares that Hawaii’s full state records would doubtless confirm what we already know about Obama’s birthplace? They would also reveal interesting facts about Obama’s life: the delivering doctor, how his parents described themselves, which of them provided the pertinent information, etc. Wasn’t the press once in the business of interesting — and even not-so-interesting — news?
"And why would Obama not welcome Hawaii’s release of any record in its possession about the facts and circumstances of his birth? Isn’t that kind of weird? It would, after all, make the whole issue go away and, if there’s nothing there, make those who’ve obsessed over it look like fools. Why should I need any better reason to be curious than Obama’s odd resistance to so obvious a resolution?"
And finally, he says:
"The point has little to do with whether Obama was born in Hawaii. I’m quite confident that he was. The issue is: What is the true personal history of the man who has been sold to us based on nothing but his personal history? On that issue, Obama has demonstrated himself to be an unreliable source and, sadly, we can’t trust the media to get to the bottom of it. What’s wrong with saying, to a president who promised unprecedented 'transparency': Give us all the raw data and we’ll figure it out for ourselves?"
Thank you, Mr. McCarthy, for being a much-needed voice of reason on this topic.
(Hat tip: Thomas Lifson at American Thinker.)
Previously: November 25, 2008 and December 4, 2008.
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