View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Obama not a legal citizen!?

This video has two allegations - Obama was not born in the U.S., and as a child became an Indonesian citizen and did not seek naturalization when he came back to the U.S. The allegation is that under either circumstance he would not be eligible to be President. The claims are now part of a lawsuit. I believe the Keny birth story has been refuted (or at least put into doubt) since the filing. I don't know about the Indonesia citizenship part.

Still - Hmm.


Anonymous Richard Grabman said...

This is total nonsense. The guy was born in Hawai'i and no matter what else happens in his life, being born in the United States makes one a U.S. citizen. As is being born abroad to a United States citizens, as was the case with Panamanian-born John McCain.

Even with Obama's mother marrying an Indonesian citizen, he was a minor child at the time, and had his step-father applied for Indonesian citizenship for his step-son (which does not seem to be the case) it does not change one's American citizenship one whit.

Even if one becomes a naturalized citizen of a foreign country (and I know several U.S. citizens who have become Mexican citizens for various reasons -- and requires positive affirmation of such as an adult), and -- as the law used to require -- making an oath to that effect before a consul of the United States -- you do not lose your United States citizenship.

3:25 PM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

Perhaps so. I'm not an expert in these matters.

But it's just part of an overall chipping away at his credibility.

Obama has a problem with not telling the whole truth (even when there's nothing wrong with the truth) unless pushed, and with his attempts to delay this case, this just seems like more of the same.

3:33 PM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

I'm not alone. Consider this article:

3:53 PM  
Anonymous Richard said...

I don't mind people trying to "chip away" at a politician's credibility, but this is a non-issue, and an insult to those of us -- whether as businesspersons, military personnel, diplomats, scholars. teachers or missionaries -- who live and work outside our own country.

There's no "expertise" involved in this... all your post does is feed into a "know nothingism" and you'd think, being the son of an immigrant yourself -- and an educator --, you'd know better than to repeat this kind of obvious attempt to bambooze people with bull-hockey.

4:52 PM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

It's a lawsuit, not a non-issue.

And even if it ultimataly proves groundless, it's another way to point to a pattern of Obama attempting to conceal a part of his background. The issue is not what he conceals - it's that he conceals.

What got Nixon in trouble was not Watergate, it was the coverup.

What got Clinton in trouble was not the infidelity, it was the lie.

10:23 PM  
Anonymous Clare said...

The thing is, he's not concealing anything. The Republicans are pulling issues out of thin air and then accusing him of trying to conceal things that are completely untrue. Obama is a US citizen. He has released copies of his birth certificate showing that he was born in Hawaii. He has never tried to cover up that he lived in Indonesia, but there is no reason to think that he became a citizen while he was there.

I think Richard is saying that this is a non-issue because there are absolutely no facts to back up the accusations of dishonesty.

8:48 AM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

"He has never tried to cover up that he lived in Indonesia, but there is no reason to think that he became a citizen while he was there."

- Obama's campaign now admits that he had dual citizenship - U.S. and Kenyan. The Kenyan citizenship apparently lapsed in the early 1980s.

The school enrollment papers in Indonesia lists his citizenship as Indonesian, which aparently he became when his mother married his Indonesian step-father and they moved to Indonesia.

9:04 AM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

From, as reported on Obama's Fight the Smears site:

“When Barack Obama Jr. was born on Aug. 4,1961, in Honolulu, Kenya was a British colony, still part of the United Kingdom’s dwindling empire. As a Kenyan native, Barack Obama Sr. was a British subject whose citizenship status was governed by The British Nationality Act of 1948. That same act governed the status of Obama Sr.‘s children.

Since Sen. Obama has neither renounced his U.S. citizenship nor sworn an oath of allegiance to Kenya, his Kenyan citizenship automatically expired on Aug. 4,1982.”

Note: His Kenyan citizenship.

9:23 AM  
Anonymous Clare said...

Okay, so he had dual citizenship that does that bring his US citizenship in to question? And I did some reasearch on the Indonesian citizenship issue. You may be right that he had Indonesian citizenship briefly as a child while he was in school there, as Indonesian law automatically makes the adopted child of an Indonesian citizen become a citizen themself. But, that does not invalidate his US citizenship, and the Indonesian citizenship would have lapsed when he was 15 because he lived out of the county for more that 5 years. Unfortunately, I cannot find any reputable websites discussing this issue, so I don't know anything beyond that. All I know is that both and are confirming that he is and always has been a US citizen.

All I have to say is, John McCain said it best himself:

1:26 PM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

1. He needs to answer the questions directly and clearly. He tends only to admit things grudgingly. This would just be another example.

2. The dual citizenship from birth issue might be problematic depending on how the courts interpret the Constitution - you have to be a natural born U.S. citizen. Is dual citizenship a potential conflict? Are you a "natural born" citizen if you are born with dual citizenship? I don't know.

Moreover, he got involved in Kenyan politics boosting the presidential campaign of Odinga (who claims to be a cousin - there's a tribal relationship but it's not clear if there is any blood relationship between the two). Odinga has now been implicated in the massacre of people - including a churchful of Christians - after he lost under questionable circumstances. Wait for that one to come out! Forget Ayers - he's got ties to a man who may be guilty of mass murder!

3. The Indonesian citizenship issue might be a problem if he never officially renounced it. I don't know the laws here, but at least some folks argue that if he did not renounce it, he is still technically an Indonesian citizen - and hence ineligible to run for U.S. President.

Another twist in that one is that he was known in Indonesia by his step-father's name. When he applied for the bar in Illinois, he was asked on the documents if he was known by any other name, he did not mention the Indonesian name. It could be just a simple mix up. But if someone wantds to be picky, does it mean he is no longer allowed to function as a lawyer? I don't know.

1:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Indonesia don’t recognize dual citizenship, When Barry Soretoro was adopted by Mr. Soretoro Barry (barrack) became a citizen of Indonesia. And being born to a US citizen out side the county doesn’t automatically make you a citizen. Laws today are more lax than when we are talking about. The law on the books at the time was very specific. Barry Soretoro aka ( Barrak Obama) is not a natural born citizen.

6:34 PM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

anonymous - I think it would take an immigration lawyer to figure out the citizenship rules and any changes to them over the years - and a Constitutional lawyer to figure out the election complications.

Both are above my pay grade.

But I do know when life begins!

7:02 PM  
Anonymous Richard said...

One note on that supposed "dual nationality". Other country's citizenship requirements have no bearing on what the U.S. laws say, or do the U.S. laws apply to the other country. To be theoretically eligible to become a citizen of another country doesn't mean you are, or have any intention of doing so.

As far as I know, Lee, you might have been eligible to become a British subject yourself at one time... though the thought probably never crossed your mind.

I know plenty of "native born" U.S. citizens who are Mexican citizens by choice. Even so, they hold United States passports and are still U.S. citizens when in the United States. Even those who -- as you used to have to do -- abjured their citizenship before a United States Consular Officer (usually political refugees from the Vietnam War era) -- are still U.S. citizens when they are in the U.S.

5:21 PM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

Sorry latest anonymous - I had to delete your commment.

While I don't agee with Obama on many issues and I have serious doubts about his basic honesty, I think racial and religious cracks cross the line.

5:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What if Hawaii is not legally a state of the union? The Clinton Administration said it is not.

12:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What makes me suspicious is Barry's refusal to simply produce his birth certificate. Showing us his birth certificate could possibly put an end to the speculation. It could be checked, verified, and if a valid US document - end of the problem. But has he done that? Why not? And how lax is the US system if anyone can step up without the necessary documentation and simply assume office?

10:51 PM  

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