The internet was abuzz today as images of a "purported" Kenyan Birth Certificate of President Obama flew around the blogosphere. My public position before this little viral outbreak was that there is absolutely zero credible evidence to support the claim that President Obama was born in Kenya. After looking into the facts surrounding the origins and dissemination of this digital image, I see absolutely no reason to change my position.
Let's start with the originator of this little adventure in internet viral communications, Dr. Orly Taitz, Esquire. Ms. Taitz called me on the phone in late 2008, to follow up on an article I had written about the facts of President Obama's early life (which later became a few chapters in a book I wrote on the President). In that conversation, I tried to explain to her the factual elements surrounding his early life in a logical and thoughtful manner. Even at that early stage of her adventures, Ms. Taitz showed little interest in anything I told her. She kept pressing me for details and facts that might support his Kenyan birth. I told her I had investigated it thoroughly, and that there was absolutely no credibility in any claim that I had examined to date on that matter.
I give Ms. Taitz credit for persistence, because she hammered on that theme for much of the forty five minutes or so we spoke. I give her no credit for discernment, however, and that pattern appears to continue with the sudden appearance of this digital image that purports to be a photo of President Obama's birth certificate. I won't post a copy of the image here, because I don't attach any weight to its credibility. However, a quick google search will allow you to find the image on your own.
Let's examine how this image came into the public arena.
Ms. Taitz apparently filed this image as an exhibit to a Motion she filed with the Federal Court for something called "Rogatory Discovery." Attorneys probably can give a better definition of the term, but to me it looks like a legal term to authorize a fishing expedition. The motion was filed electronically by Ms. Taitz. with the court at about 10 pm Saturday night, August 1. Shortly thereafter, Ms. Taitz published the motion in its entirety, as well as a copy of the digital image in question on her web site. You can see this filing and the image here.
The most significant omission in Ms. Taitz filing is the following: she fails to indicate how this digital image came into her posession. Think about it for a moment. Ms. Taitz is asking a Federal Judge to authorize a fishing expedition for documents pertaining to President Obama's birth that might exist in the Governmental files of the Republic of Kenya, and she fails to offer any evidence as to the origin of the digital image upon which this request is based ? If I were the judge, that is the first of many questions I would ask Ms. Taitz when she comes before me next in court.
But the most telling aspect of all this little episode in modern viral communications is the following: Ms. Taitz filed the motion and then published the text of the motion and the accompanying image to her website over the weekend, a time when the court was not in session, knowing she would not have to immediately respond to the judge's inquiries as to the origin of the digital image.
She also knew that within seconds of the publishing of this digital image to her website, it would begin spreading virally throughout the internet.
This is, at the very least, an exercise in poor judgement on Ms. Taitz part. I think the judge presiding over her case may not be so charitable in his assessment of her actions.