Hawaii’s governor goes to war against ‘birthers’

By Daniel Tencer
Sunday, December 26, 2010 16:30 EDT
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Ever since Barack Obama entered the national spotlight more than two years ago, “birthers” have been demanding that Hawaii produce more evidence he was born in the state.

Now the state’s Democratic governor wants to meet those demands — but not without taking the rhetorical fight to the group of people who believe Obama was secretly born in Kenya and doesn’t have the right to serve as US president.

“It’s an insult to his mother and to his father, and I knew his mother and father; they were my friends, and I have an emotional interest in that,” Gov. Neil Abercrombie told the New York Times. “It’s an emotional insult. It is disrespectful to the president; it is disrespectful to the office.”

“Birthers” have launched numerous legal challenges to Obama’s authority, but most have been dismissed. One Army doctor was recently sentenced to six months in military prison for refusing to deploy to Afghanistan on the grounds that Obama doesn’t have the authority to send him there.

The claims have persisted despite numerous fact-checking groups’ declarations that Obama’s Hawaiian birth certificate — which the state posted online to dispel the rumors — is genuine.

Abercrombie says he is in talks with the state’s attorney general and Health Department chief to find a legal way to release more information about Obama’s birth at the Kapi’olani Maternity & Gynecological Hospital in Honolulu on August 4, 1961.

Orly Taitz, dubbed by some the “birther queen” for her multiple lawsuits challenging Obama’s citizenship, told the Guardian that she would continue to be suspicious even if Abercrombie released more information.

She said she would only be satisfied if she and a private detective were given access to all the original documentation on Obama’s birth and if they were allowed to carry out “tests.”

“To me this sounds like a very coordinated effort,” Taitz said. “As soon as a friend of the Obama family gets into the governor’s office he has access to all the documents. I would put nothing past this establishment.”

The Times reports that “although [Abercrombie] did not see the elder Obamas at the hospital with their newborn son, he did remember the couple bringing the baby to social events. He says the critics who suggest that Mr. Obama’s mother slipped off to Kenya to give birth are engaging in a ‘demonological fantasy.’”

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