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A certain law school classmate of mine sent a message to a bunch of us:

   I’m interested to hear your thoughts on these. . . . On what grounds could Obama not answer / refuse to answer? Why wouldn’t he answer just to shut this guy down? . . .

   http://www.youtube.com/... [Video arguing that Obama's not American, and forged his birth certificate.] This video has close to 2.5 million hits.

Oy!  What what he thinking?  Anyhow, I’m a compulsive researcher, so I took a look, and wrote this:

I did some "due diligence", and have found that the video contains many untruths and disingenuous arguments.  So much so, that I lost interest in pursuing it.  I like to apply the science-investigation ethic  — "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."  In addition to the distortions, the video fails this test for sure.

Here’s what I found, before I got fed up:

Intro screen: "I invented the Internet"
This trope is a common right-wing distortion, IMO.  Al Gore didn’t say this, and what he did actually say is correct.  I’ve been involved with the Internet since 1986, when it was still often called the "Arpanet", and I can give you all the details if you like.

Berg: "Barack Obama is not a natural born citizen"
Conclusory and unsupported.  I mean, duh!  This is what the video aims to prove.  Begs the question, etc.  I find this fairly shameless, and also belies the disingenuosness: he’s not just a concerned citizen; he has an axe to grind.

"FactCheck.org . . . supposedly checks out documents to make sure they’re correct."
A very slanted characterization of factcheck.org with no supporting details or evidence.  And then he goes on to something else.  This is pure propaganda intended to create doubt.  (And further, what does it mean, "to make sure they’re correct"?  Not very precise language.  There’s probably no answer for that.)

"[in re Annenberg] There’s a little conflict of interest there, I believe."
Same as previous.  This is tossed out, and then not followed up.  Is he claiming that Factcheck is wrong?  If so, where?  Did they fabricate?  If so, where?  He doesn’t say.  This is pure propaganda.

"John McCain . . . immediately released his birth certificate . . . he immediately released his medical records . . . . He said, ‘Whatever you want, I’ll give it to you.’ and he did, right away."
This is apparently false.  I found no evidence of this.  I did, though, find lots of evidence to the contrary of the above statement.  It seems to have taken 4 months for his certificate to become public, and not through McCain’s organization:

Feb. 21: Earliest mention I could find of McCain’s citizenship question. [1]

May 2: Dept. of Homeland Security refuses to hand over copy of McCain’s birth certificate in response to a subpoena, claiming improper service. [2]

June 20: The Dallas News runs picture of birth certificate, courtesy of a source, "Don Lamb in Panama." [3]

"Obama . . . has refused to release any records . . ."
Untrue on its face.  The video itself talks about the records Obama has released.

[1] http://newsbusters.org/...
[2] http://www.washingtonpost.com/...
[3] http://dallasmorningviewsblog.dallas...

Originally posted to denk on Wed Oct 22, 2008 at 09:30 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Why even bother disecting this garbage? (5+ / 0-)

    It's like writing a restaurant review for a garbage dump.

    John McCain - Like W. Only Older.

    Funny McCain Pics archive last updated 8/29

    by InsultComicDog on Wed Oct 22, 2008 at 09:35:43 PM PDT

  •  More information and Politifact.com link (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NeuvoLiberal, mofembot

    Obama IS a U.S. citizen, as has been proven by copies of his birth certificate (see http://fightthesmears.com/... ) Clearly, he HAS provided the required information. And the State of Hawaii seal is on the BACK of the certificate, which is why it doesn't appear. And Annenberg foundation is a Republican organization. It's hard to imagine that Hilary wouldn't have dug this up, or that the hundreds of reporters searching out Obama trivia wouldn't have dug this up.

    See: "http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2008/jun/27/obamas-birth-certificate-part-ii/ "

    See: "http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/born_in_the_usa.html"

    This video is an outright, flagrant lie from beginning to end, a total toxic dump of imaginary "facts" and accusations by a single delusional individual.

    BTW, the claim that Gore said that he "invented the Internet" is another outright lie by Republicans.  The original quote, distorted and then publicized by Gore's opponents, was "During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet", and he was: Robert Kahn and Vinton Cerf, designers of TCP/IP, jointly issued the statement, "Al Gore was the first political leader to recognize the importance of the Internet and to promote and support its development." And Gore coined the name "Information Superhighway."

    These guys are psychotic liars.

  •  Remember alt.flame? (0+ / 0-)

    Those were the days.

    Like the post.

    I've seen Berg's video.  It's stunning that anyone falls for his bullshit.

  •  Why bother... really, why bother (0+ / 0-)
  •  This smear is Circulating Big Time (0+ / 0-)

    Even though it's been debunked.

    Choose Hope not Hate in 2008, Reject McCain/Palin

    by HouTxLib on Wed Oct 22, 2008 at 09:51:25 PM PDT

  •  911 Truth (0+ / 0-)

    Berg is a 911 Truther..ask your classmate about that.  John Cole asked this question too..see the comment thread on his site for other fisking.

  •  Tip Jar (0+ / 0-)

    Hmmm ... I'm new at this ... I guess one posts a response to one's own diary entry, and then ... this adds into one's karma or something?

  •  Free free to borrow from my diary on the topic (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    denk

    I was accused of being the guy who counterfeited Obama's birth certificate. For that reason I paid some attention to the fraud rumors as they developed.

    See Beyond a Reasonable Doubt. Search the page for "Is Senator Barack H. Obama a natural born US Citizen?"

    --- My real name is droogie6655321.

    by opendna on Wed Oct 22, 2008 at 10:45:22 PM PDT

  •  This is a great ethics topic for law schools! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    denk

    The description of the video contains:

    This episode is brought to you by:

    www.nohussein.org
    www.obamacrimes.com

    ObamaCrimes.com is a website set up by Philip J. Berg in support of his lawsuit against Obama and the DNC (BERG v. OBAMA et al). Berg alleges (based on un-named internet reports) that Obama was born in Kenya and that Obama and the DNC are committing fraud to hide this "fact" from the American people. He has issued a number of press releases and granted interviews to anyone who will talk with him in a transparent attempt to manipulate the court of public opinion (cite blogsearch.google.com).

    Go ahead a review Berg's filings. Then consider the ethical implications of his public statements and representations of the case. This article found on law.com is also worth some consideration:

    "Other attorneys should look to Mr. Berg's actions as a blueprint for what not to do when attempting to effectively and honorably perform the duties of the legal profession," (U.S. District Judge J. Curtis) Joyner wrote.
    ...
    Joyner blasted Berg for filing the fraud claim, calling it an "irresponsible decision" because the claim was "utterly barren of any scintilla of legal principles."
    ...
    Joyner agreed, finding that Berg's fraud claim was "frivolous" and was motivated by an intent "to harass Carpenters Health and the Holsworths, as well as to delay and disrupt the administration of justice."

    The claim was fatally flawed, Joyner found, because Berg had no standing to bring suit against Carpenters Health and had "failed to conduct even a minimally reasonable inquiry before filing his complaint."

    While I discovered many of these things independently, a hat tip to YesToDemocracy is in order.

    --- My real name is droogie6655321.

    by opendna on Wed Oct 22, 2008 at 11:12:45 PM PDT

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