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Anti-Obama folks are busy ridiculing him for making such a “deal” of releasing his long-form birth certificate. Hard-core “birthers” are denying that the long form proves he was born in the U.S. They claim it is a forgery. The vast majority of folks — both Democrats and Republicans — agree that the issue was simply a silly conspiracy theory from the beginning.

Although not a true birther myself, I contend that a constitutional issue is not silly. When the allegation was first made that Barack Obama was not born in the U.S., his campaign responded with a “certificate of live birth” about which allegations were promptly made regarding its genuineness and its sufficiency. The federal judiciary was implored to settle the matter and refused on technical grounds. However, that the certificate of live birth is genuine has been confirmed to the satisfaction of all but a small hard-core [birther contingent].

The sufficiency is another matter because the short form does not reveal relevant information about the circumstances that the long form does. Since I have seen and heard little to no open discussion of that information in the media, I think it deserves mention. A long form or complete birth certificate not only identifies the place of birth but also the name of the attendant who signed the hospital record — but, of course, only if the birth was attended in a hospital. As everyone knows, out-of-hospital births are not rare and neither is it rare that no physician nor midwife is in attendance. In such cases, birth certificates (long forms) as well as certificates of live birth (short forms) are based on the statements of people such as close relatives (e.g., mother, father, grandparents, etc.,) willing to vouch for the circumstances. Verification might be casual.

If such were the case with Obama, his certificate of live birth would state that he was born in Hawaii but there would be no hospital record of it. Such circumstances would encourage the birthers and it would explain why Obama did not promptly release the long form when the issue was first raised.

So, it is somewhat to my surprise that the long form contains only the usual information and there’s no reason I can see why it was not released 2 ½ years ago. That, to me, is the silly part.

Frank Leitnaker

Bruchmuehlabch-Miesau, Germany

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