UPDATED 9/15/11 5:30 p.m.
The birther conspiracy — i.e., the theory that Barack Obama was not born in the United States and is thus ineligible to be president — seemed to have been put to rest when the White House posted Obama’s long-form birth certificate on the Internet in April.
But, while the mainstream media may have dropped coverage of the matter, birthers continue their work.
This week, Dean Haskins, executive director of The Birther Summit, is in Honolulu to promote a $10,000 award for whomever can produce the actual edition of the Honolulu Advertiser or the Honolulu Star-Bulletin that reported Obama’s Aug. 4, 1961, birth.
Even if the print version is produced, however, Haskins’ mission will continue.
UPDATED Civil Beat spoke with Haskins Tuesday outside Kapiolani Medical Center, where the president was born — a fact that Haskins disputes.1
An earlier version of this story read “where the president says he was born.”
This is not the first time that Haskins has made the $10,000 offer, which he said comes from an “anonymous benefactor.”
What’s different this time is that he is in town, accompanied by Miki Booth, author of the upcoming book, “Memoirs of a Community Organizer From Hawaii.”
The two are toting a large facsimile of the $10,000 check, looking to garner attention. His travel expenses are paid by the benefactor.
But, even if someone does produce the editions of the Honolulu papers — the duo plans a visit to the offices of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser — Haskins says it won’t change his goal.
That goal is the holding of a three-day “Birther Summit” in Washington, D.C., next March that Haskins hopes will lead to a congressional investigation of Obama’s birth origins.
“We believe the investigation would conclude that he is not eligible (to be president) and that what he has produced so far have been nothing but forgeries,” said Haskins.
Haskins said he and like-minded folks have pushed to see “the actual document — the long-form birth certificate” since before Obama was elected.
“And he has refused — in fact, not only refused, but my understanding is that he has spent upwards of $2 million to prevent anyone from seeing that actual document,” he said. “We don’t even know if that actual document exists anywhere. All we know is that it is purported to exist.”
Haskins and Booth say the long-form birth certificate posted on the White House website is a digital fake, and they have the experts to prove it. In fact, they’ve offered Colin Powell $15,000 (also from an anonymous benefactor) to sit down with those experts for three hours to see the evidence.
Haskins says they’ve had no response from the former Army general and U.S. secretary of state.
“He mentioned it on NPR recently, but they later scrubbed it from their site,” said Haskins.
Civil Beat asked Haskins what he thought about Hawaii’s former governor, Linda Lingle, confirming her view that the president was indeed born in Hawaii. Here’s his response:
From what I understand, the Republican governor, Lingle, is that you would have to put quotation marks around the word Republican. … as far as anyone certifying, I think the Department of Health has parsed their words very carefully to produce plausible deniability. But I think they are also very probably just a few loyal party operatives. You know, it doesn’t have to be a vast conspiracy of thousands of people. It just needs to be a few loyal party operatives who will cover. And I think probably, in for a penny, in for a pound. I don’t think that the realized when they went in for a penny originally, that the issue was not going to be settled, it was not going to be resolved. And as it grew, so did their covering of the issue.
Haskins, a Virginia-based musician and freelance author, says his interest in the birther work is not political but rather a constitutional issue. The Birther Summit, however, does list supporters with links to the Tea Party movement.
Those supporters include Miki Booth, a Tea Party leader in Oklahoma. The publisher of her book, New Patriot Publishing, also publishes “Tea Party: An Awakening.”
Booth’s business card, meanwhile, features a quote from Jerome Corsi, author of “The Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality”: “From the perspective of a homegrown Hawaiian Islander, Booth shows in stunning contrast, the difference between a community organizer from Hawaii and the product of affirmative action, community organizer from Chicago.”
While in Honolulu, Booth will seek to obtain copies of the birth certificates of her husband, Fred, and son Alan, who were born at Kapiolani Medical Center, respectively, in 1949 and 1981. Fred Booth is a retired police officer who served with Hawaii County and the Honolulu Police Department.
“I am hoping to get that from the Department of Health, but we have been denied time and again,” she said. “They are lying to us. They said that the law was changed, and there’s been no proof that the law was changed. And the law is that anyone with a direct and tangible interest in a record is entitled to have a copy of it.”
It wasn’t clear exactly which law Booth was referring to. But last year a “vexatious requestor bill”was signed into law by allowing government agencies like the DOH to deny duplicate requests for state records from a single requestor.
Haskins and Booth believe that the birth certificates may be of use in comparing them with the documents Obama has posted.
Both birthers are well aware of criticism of their movement, but they remain committed, even passionate.
“Everything we have done, we have paid for on our own,” said Booth. “Tea Partiers get slammed by the media, saying we get paid to be at these rallies. And that’s so not true. We make time for this, because Obama and all the people who have enabled him are destroying this country. … These are forgeries, the law has been broken, and we are standing up to say this but no one will listen to us.”
Haskins: “We don’t know where he was born. He has not provided any evidence that would tell us where he was born. But, wherever he was born, if it was not in Hawaii, then probably the grandmother applied for the birth certificate, which would have triggered an announcement that would have been sent to the newspaper.”
Booth: “With every record that we have been able to uncover, there have been anomalies. There are anomalies of the microfiched copies of the newspapers that they found. And we really don’t know where they came from. So, by finding a copy of this newspaper, it’s going to tell us a lot. … that short from that’s been out there, it says certification of live birth, it doesn’t say certificate. The long form says certificate of live birth.”
Haskins and Booth plan to return to Honolulu later this fall.
The reason for the trip this week was because a court hearing involving a woman named Orly Taitz had been scheduled. Taitz, a member of Haskins’ Birther Summit, has sought (so far, unsuccessfully) to subpoena the DOH to produce Obama’s actual birth certificate.
A hearing is pending.
“It is still our intention to show Orly Taitz our support and gratitude for her tireless pursuit of justice,” Haskins wrote to George Peabody, publisher of the “Molokai Advertiser-News. “And this postponement will allow us some extra time not only to coordinate a larger gathering in front of the court building in November, but also to procure some investigative documents for comparative purpose.”