June 19, 2009
The Birth Certificate Question: An Open Letter to Shephard Smith at FOX News
Col. Bob Pappas (USMC, ret.)
I am a regular viewer of your program, specifically the evening news, since I work. I appreciate your show and the news you deliver. As one who watches Fox because of its Fair and Balanced coverage, It is most unsettling that you would refer to those who challenge Obama's eligibility as "right wing crazies." Your definitive statement, "there is no truth whatsoever that Obama is not a natural born citizen" is problematic.
As one not given to "conspiracy theories," the larger issue surrounding Obama's eligibility strikes at the heart of the Constitutional underpinning of virtually all oaths of office at the Federal level, including Obama's. Your comments trivialize that exceptionally important issue for all Americans and for me personally and millions of past, present and future military service personnel or for that matter anyone who takes an oath of office to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States.
First, your assertion suggests that you have seen his original birth certificate. Okay, since you are in effect a "star witness" in a case of monumental proportions with millions Fox News viewer's being the jury, have you? If not, you might consider doing some no kidding investigative journalism and apologize to your viewers for the unfounded blather.
Second, there is considerable anecdotal evidence that Obama is not a natural born citizen. His eligibility is complicated further by his sojourn in Indonesia, or did you know that? It is my understanding that his step-father adopted him, is that true, or not? If so, the question then would be, "did that act confer Indonesian citizenship?" If so, where are the documents that "restored" his U.S. citizenship, if indeed he was natural born?
It is complicated even more by the fact that at the time of his birth his father, "The Old Man," was a British citizen, which alone would not be a show stopper, but given his paternal (Obama's father) grandmother's claim that she was present at Obama's birth in Kenya raises a legitimate question about citizenship, not to mention the "natural born issue." Is he a British citizen born of an underage American girl in Kenya? Would he then be a British citizen or an American citizen? Or, is he a dual citizen, and can a person with dual citizenship be President of the United States of America?
I would appreciate a definitive explanation of your rationale and sources, i.e., where did you get your information and an explanation so that would I can put this to rest. Because I would like to do exactly that, but it bugs the hell out of me that he is so clinched fisted about it, and so far you are an accomplice. I would expect that of MSNBC, CBS, ABC, and CNN, but it disappoints me greatly that Fox News would stoop, no grovel for Administration approval at the expense of the right of the American public to know.
On the other hand, if you do not have any definitive data and please don't brush anyone off with the "old saw" that "Hawaii issued a certificate," especially since it is well known that Hawaii issues or issued certificates for people born elsewhere, please make it your business to find out.
Given Mr. Obama's commitment to be totally transparent with the American people, please explain in detail why he has gone to such lengths to deny discovery of any of his records. Or, is that an untrue allegation? If he has nothing to hide, what's the problem? Either way, you have a responsibility to the public to find out not summarily sweep the matter aside especially with unbecoming derisive comments.
One must conclude that you have a set of journalist integrity problems:
1. Either you have your mind made up without regard to the issues, or
2. You have been told what to say by someone with power over you.
3. You don't know what you are talking about,
4. Someone is buying you off,
5. You are biased and don't care about truth much less letting the truth to be known,
5. You are too lazy to discover the facts, or
6. All of the above, and more.
Finally, we either have a Constitution or it is an anachronistic piece of paper. In addition to the "natural born" requirement, which is arguably suspect in Obama's case, it appears that there is a legitimate argument that the courts are shirking their responsibility by refusing to adjudicate the matter. So, absent the legal process, how does one clear the air? It would not matter that 100% voted for Obama, if he is not qualified, he cannot be President under the provisions of the Constitution. To repeat what I've already noted, we either have a Constitution or we do not.
Sorry, but your backhanded and insulting treatment of those who have a right, not merely a desire, but a right to know, and that includes every American citizen, diminishes both you and Fox News.
Please reconsider your comments at the least, or better, do some serious growing up with respect to those whose sacrifices have given you the right and opportunity to be who you are and dig into it. You have an historic opportunity and you are blowing it.