Friday, August 15, 2008

Janice Okubo Denies Impropriety with Posted Birth Certificate

Dan Nakaso of the Honolulu Advertiser writes an article about Janice Okubo and the Obama birth certificate (h/t Ray). First, I copy from the article, then my e-mailed response follows:

Birth certificate in high demand:

Hawai'i birth certificates — just as with death, marriage and certain divorce documents — are released only to people with a "tangible interest," such as the people themselves, their parents, spouses, grandparents or other relatives, Health Department spokeswoman Janice Okubo said. (Requests for divorce decrees after 2002 go through the state judiciary.)

"'Our state law is very firm on information on vital records. ... You cannot receive someone else's birth certificate — to protect the person's confidential information,'" Okubo said

"'The Obama campaign said it has posted a copy of his birth certificate at www.fightthesm in response to Internet chatter that the Illinois senator is not a natural-born citizen. But the posting has done little to curb the nearly weekly requests to the Health Department for copies of the original', Okubo said.

"'Some skeptics point to the lack of an official state seal on the birth certificate posted on the Obama campaign Web site.'

"'But seals often are placed on the back of the birth certificate', Okubo said, 'and whether it shows through depends on how much force was put into it.'"

"'Others wonder why a large black rectangle appears next to the words, "CERTIFICATE NO'."

"'The thing that's redacted is just our file number," she said. "Potentially, if you have that number, you could break into the system.'"

"'Health officials contacted the Obama campaign a few months ago in response to the persistent inquiries "to see if they could try and resolve the issue with the people who were asking questions,' she said.

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

My response to Dan Nakaso, the Advertiser reporter, via e-mail:

I am submitting a petition to the Federal Election Commission on Monday concerning the lack of an administrative system whereby identification and other information necessary to verify a candidate's eligibiligity are collected, reviewed and made available to the public as exemplified in the current questions about Mr. Barack H. Obama's birth certificate. At present, no state or federal agency, to include the state boards of election, the Federal Election Commission, the state Secretaries of State, the Internal Revenue Service (which oversees federal campaign money) or any other administrative body oversees collection of identification information, to include birth certificates, fingerprinting, drivers' licenses, criminal records and related information. In an age of identity theft, are we certain that no elected officials have made use of falsified identification? As a result, more than 5,100 people have signed the petition. Perhaps Ms. Okubo's story shifting and Mr. Obama's unresponsiveness to repeated inquiries have contributed to the public good by bringing the need for a comprehensive identification process for political candidates.

The petition is located at:

When I contacted Ms. Okubo in July to request a copy of Mr. Obama's birth certificate, she refused to provide it, but she did NOT indicate that there is a publicly available birth certificate nor did she indicate that she could verify the certificate as reflecting the true one. She could have mentioned that she had given a birth certificate to the Obama campaign but she did not. She could have verified that the one posted is the same one she gave them, but she did not do that either. Nor does she confirm this in your article.

There have been allegations that the certificate posted on the Obama website is a forgery on the Atlas Shrugs and other blogs that I've partially compiled here:

In particular, note Pamela Geller's Atlas Shrugs blog here:

Ms. Okubo does not state in the article that the certificate posted on the website is the same as the one she provided to Mr. Obama. And why did she neglect to tell me in her letter in July that a certificate was posted?

In addition, as a reporter have you contacted Mr. Obama to request a copy of the certificate, or have you accepted a single source? In your article, you do not quote Pamela Geller, Larry Johnson, or other bloggers who have taken an interest in this. You only quote Ms. Okubo, whose story now is not the one that she wrote to me about last month.

The fact that the Hawaii Revised Statutes permit anyone with a "direct and tangible interest" in the birth certificate ought to mean that anyone can obtain Mr. Obama's birth certificate since we all have a direct and tangible interest in it.

More than 5,100 individuals from around the country have signed the petition requesting the FEC investigate the birth certificate. The matter is one of inept administration of elections at the state and federal level.


richard said...


Thank you for taking on comments of Janice Obuko and challenging Dan Nakaso's investigative prowess. I found the hair on the back of my neck rising when I read her most recent comments.

I guess she feels that our interest in determining the eligibility of a presidential candidate is "ridiculous".

Unless this woman, who is the official spokeswoman for the Department of Health Hawaii, is willing to explain her comments with some degree of specificity, then I think she should keep her mouth shut.

Mitchell Langbert said...

Thanks for your comment, Richard. It is enlightening to see the lack of responsiveness on Janice Okubo's part, her inability to grasp the complaints that the bloggers have raised and the inability of rags like the Honolulu Advertiser, which seems to be in inferior to blogs with respect to reliability, fact checking and willingness to describe a story in a balanced way.

Polarik said...

Mitchell, do you have a way to revise this post?

I'm asking because you have a link to an Atlas Shruggs story about the "research" that someone named, "TechDude," produced.

Two weeks after this article, "TechDude" was outted as a fraud who not only fabricated his research but also stole the identity of a real forensic investigator.


Mitchell Langbert said...

Dear Polarik: Anonymous pro-Obama posters like yourself have been making this accusation all along. Whether it's so or not I do not know.

When Obama revises the repeated lies in his auto-biography and comes clean about his sleazy and criminal dealings with Tony Rezko then I'll revise the post.

But not until you reveal your real name and we contact Pamela Geller (who uses her real name, unlike you) and give her your claims about Techdude.

Then you and Techdude can discuss whether what you are saying is true like truthful men, not like leftists who lie and hide behind pseudonyms.