Obama dogged by claims of birth certificate forgery
Published: Friday August 22, 2008

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Smear campaigns against presidential hopeful Barack Obama have reached a new low as continued accusations -- and now a lawsuit -- claim the candidate is not a natural born US citizen.

A non-profit, national fact-checking organization concluded that "Obama was born in the U.S.A. just as he has always said."

An official from the Hawaii Health Department called speculation on his citizenship "pretty ridiculous."

But that hasn't prevented a prominent Philadelphia attorney and avowed Hillary Clinton supporter from filing a lawsuit against the candidate on grounds that he is constitutionally ineligible, America's Right.com reported.

The suit seeks to stop Obama from continuing his candidacy and to legally prohibit the Democratic National Convention next week from formally nominating him.

"I filed this action at this time to avoid the obvious problems that will occur when the Republican Party raises these issues after Obama is nominated," said the attorney, Philip Berg, who is also a former gubernatorial and senatorial candidate for the Democratic party.

Attacks on Obama's eligibility to run for president include claims that his Hawaii birth certificate is a forgery, citing a black rectangle and the lack of an official state seal as evidence.

But those allegations were squashed when Annenberg Political Factcheck and the Hawaii Health Department both verified the document.

The health department has been denying nearly weekly requests for the original because -- like death, marriage and divorce documents -- birth certificates are only given out to relatives, The Honolulu Advertiser reported.

To help quell the rumors that Obama wasn't a US citizen, the Obama campaign posted a photo of the certificate on the campaign Web site as well as the Fight The Smears site, but for skeptics that didn't prove anything.

"They responded and apparently it isn't good enough that he posted his birth certificate," said Hawaii Health Department spokeswoman Janice Okubo. "They say they want it because they claim he is not a citizen of the United States. It's pretty ridiculous."

Jerome Corsi, author of Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality, stated on Fox News that the birth certificate displayed on the candidate's Web site is a forgery, Media Matters for America reported.

"The campaign has a false, fake birth certificate posted on their website," Corsi said. "The original birth certificate of Obama has never been released, and the campaign refuses to release it."

When asked by co-host Steve Doocy why it certificate wasn't simply a "State of Hawaii-produced duplicate," Corsi replied:

"No, it's a -- there's been good analysis of it on the Internet, and it's been shown to have watermarks from Photoshop. It's a fake document that's on the website right now."

Annenberg Political Factcheck spent time with the original birth certificate, located at the Obama headquarters in Chicago, and debunked every argument against its authenticity and included photos taken of the document to prove its points.

The following video aired on Fox News on August 15.