July 07, 2009
By Joe Kovacs and Jerome Corsi
More than eight months after Barack Obama was elected president, the mystery surrounding his precise birthplace is deepening as the myth-busting website Snopes.com – along with several news agencies and an Obama community blog – directly contradict the president's own claim regarding the hospital in which he was born.
In an official letter signed by Obama on White House stationery, the president celebrates his birth at the Kapi'olani Medical Center for Women and Children in Honolulu, Hawaii. The facility has posted that letter on its website, along with video of the letter being read in public.
Barack Obama states in this letter on White House stationery that he was born at the Kapi'olani Medical Center for Women and Children in Honolulu. The letter was posted by the medical center on its website.
But according to Snopes, the popular online hoax-buster that many rely on as the final word on both important and frivolous stories, Obama was born at a different hospital in the Hawaiian capital.
In Snopes' entry concerning allegations that Obama is a "radical Muslim," the site addresses the birth history of the commander in chief, stating, "Barack Hussein Obama was born on 4 August 1961 at the Queen's Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii."
WND took a screen shot of the entry and highlighted the name of the hospital.
In this screenshot of Snopes.com highlighted by WND, the myth-busting website asserts [Alleged] President Obama was born at the Queen's Medical Center in Honolulu, not the Kapi'olani Medical Center in which Obama claims to have been born.
Interestingly, in Snopes' entry focusing on the natural-born citizenship controversy, no mention is made of the birth hospital.
But Snopes is not alone in asserting Obama was born at a hospital other than the one he personally claims.
A number of news articles published both in the U.S. and abroad name Queen's Medical Center – not Kapi'olani – as the correct birthplace.
A United Press International report from Nov. 4 states:
"Obama described his birth at Queen's Medical Center in Hawaii Aug. 4, 1961, to a young white woman from Kansas and a father of Luo ethnicity from Nyanza Province in Kenya, as an 'all-America' story transcending orthodox racial stereotypes and experience."
A screenshot of a United Press Inrernational story dated Nov. 4, 2008, indicates Barack Obama was born at the Queen's Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii.
A November 2004 report from the Rainbow Edition News Letter, published by the Education Laboratory School in Hawaii, noted in its lead sentence:
"Barack Obama was born on August 4, 1961 at the Queen's Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii."
This screenshot of the November 2004 edition of the Rainbow Edition News Letter states at its outset Obama was born at Queen's Medical Center.
Adding a twist to the dispute is a separate claim on the MyBarackObama.com campaign website that lists a genealogy for Obama citing his birthplace as Queen's Medical Center.
The campaign website blog image:
Claim on MyBarackObama.com that Obama was born in Queen's Medical Center
The site documents Obama's lineage back to his great-great-great grandparents, who lived in the mid-1800s.
It states: "Barack Hussein OBAMA was born on 4 August 1961 at the Queen's Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Barack Hussein OBAMA, Sr. of Nyangoma-Kogelo, Siaya District, Kenya, and Ann DUNHAM of Wichita, Kansas."
William Addams Reitwiesner, genealogist at the Library of Congress, first listed the birth location at Queen's.
Reference to Queen's attributed to Library of Congress
Now he's listing it at Kapi'olani.
Reference to Kapi'olani attributed to Library of Congress
Kenya's East African Standard, in an Aug. 24, 2006, article titled "From Young 'Barry' to Top American Senator," said of Obama: "The Harvard Law School and Columbia University graduate was born at the Queen's Medical Centre in Honolulu in Hawaii, where his parents were studying at the East-West Centre of the University of Hawaii in Manoa."
But news agencies are hardly unanimous on the exact hospital.
The Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Honolulu Advertiser and Washington Post have all published stories indicating Obama was born at the Kapi'olani Medical Center, in agreement with the president's letter to the facility.
The Encyclopedia Britannica mentions only that Obama was born Aug. 4, 1961, in Honolulu, but makes no reference to any hospital.
The Associated Press reports that Internet users are far from ignorant about the questions over Obama's birthplace and documentation.
"Among the top search terms paired with Barack Obama: biography, Israel, news, jokes, stimulus package, birth certificate (related to those persistent but unfounded rumors that Obama is not a natural-born citizen and thus ineligible to be president.)," the news organization stated.
Makana Shook, corporate communications coordinator for Queen's, told WND, "The hospital is not allowed to give out any information to the public about patients without the patient's permission, because of federal HIPAA law restrictions."
Kapi'olani officials said they would release any documentation they may have about the president's birth if the president gives his permission to make the documentation public.
The White House did not respond to a WND request for comment.
The question to the White House noted the multiple references to Queen's. "Then, beginning sometime after the start of 2009, the president and various members of his family, including his sister Maya Soetoro, changed the story and gave interviews (or wrote letters as above) claiming [Alleged] President Obama was born at Kapi'olani Medical Center.
"Why did the president claim to be born at two different hospitals in Hawaii?" WND asked. "Which is the true hospital where the president was born?"
Snopes responded to a WND request for comment about the conflict between its report and Obama's statement with an automated message that shed no light on the matter.
WND has reported that among the documentation – besides his birth certificate – not yet available for Obama includes his kindergarten records, his Punahou school records, his Occidental College records, his Columbia University records, his Columbia thesis, his Harvard Law School records, his Harvard Law Review articles, his scholarly articles from the University of Chicago, his passport, his medical records, his files from his years as an Illinois state senator, his Illinois State Bar Association records, any baptism records, and his adoption records.
That may very well be intentional on the part of Obama, who used his first full day in residence in the Oval Office to issue an executive order restricting the release of presidential records.
"Upon receipt of a notice of intent to disclose presidential records, the attorney general (directly or through the assistant attorney general for the office of legal counsel) and the counsel to the president shall review as they deem appropriate the records covered by the notice and consult with each other, the archivist, and such other executive agencies as they deem appropriate concerning whether invocation of executive privilege is justified," the order states.
"If either the attorney general or the counsel to the president believes that the circumstances justify invocation of executive privilege, the issue shall be presented to the president by the counsel to the president and the attorney general."
The result is that the president ultimately would decide if those records can be released.
"After receiving such notice, the archivist shall not disclose the privileged records unless directed to do so by an incumbent president or by a final court order," the order said.
Meanwhile, there are some who maintain Obama was not born in the U.S. at all as he claims, but in Africa.
An affidavit submitted to WND by Rev. Kweli Shuhubia, an Anabaptist minister in Kenya, who is the official Swahili translator for the annual Anabaptist Conference in Kenya, asserts "it is common knowledge throughout the Christian and Muslim communities in Kenya that Barack Hussein Obama, Jr., was born in Mombasa, Kenya."