Aug. 4, 2007— -- As President Obama prepares to celebrate his 48th birthday today with friends and family, another group of folks is saying the day should be yet another reminder that the man in the White House has no business being there.
For so-called "birthers", a loose-knit network of activists and lawyers intent on proving the president is not a natural born citizen of the United States and therefore ineligible for the post of president, his first birthday in office is being met with a simmering outrage.
"We should be reminded on his birthday, if it really is his birthday, that we still do not know the truth about when and where President Obama was born," said Dr. Orly Taitz, a dentist-cum-lawyer from Orange County, Calif., and the de facto head of the birther movement.
"People should go to the White House and protest," said Taitz, reached by phone in Europe at the start of a three-week vacation. "Then again, for me this birthday is insignificant. I have seen numerous birthdates in numerous places; some say Aug. 1, some Aug. 4. So this is just another day."
Despite ample evidence that Obama was born in the United States, the birthers insist on questioning the president's bona fides. The din has become so loud that the White House addressed the conspiracy theory as recently as last week, an attempt to throw water on the rumors but which likely served only to fuel the fire.
On Monday -- just in time for the president's birthday -- WorldNetDaily, a conservative Web site that has become the clearinghouse for birther conspiracies, published an unauthenticated document purporting to be a birth certificate for Obama issued in Kenya.
'Birthers' Go to Court Seeking Evidence of Obama's Eligibility to Be President
The document was discovered by Taitz, who has filed several lawsuits seeking evidence on Obama's eligibility to be president.
This is the second such document making rounds on the Internet. This first Kenyan birth certificate was discredited last week as an obvious hoax.
Liberal bloggers have already picked apart the new document, citing inaccuracies in the name of the hospital where the document claims Obama was born and pointing out the document uses the name the Republic of Kenya, though it is dated before the country officially began calling itself that.
WorldNet Daily has also produced a documentary starring Taitz, which she said would likely be released today.
In truth, there is ample proof that Obama was born in Hawaii on this day in 1961.
Last October, Hawaii state health director Dr. Chiyome Fukino issued a statement that she "as director of health for the state of Hawaii, along with the registrar of Vital Statistics who has statutory authority to oversee and maintain these type of vital records, have personally seen and verified that the Hawaii State Department of Health has Sen. Obama's original birth certificate on record in accordance with state policies and procedures."
Both of Honolulu's major newspapers, the Advertiser and the Star Bulletin, have provided, from their archives, birth announcements from that week: "Mr. and Mrs. Barack H. Obama, 6085 Kalanianaole Highway, son, Aug. 4."
Several courts have also rejected another birther theory that Obama can't be a citizen because his father was not a U.S. citizen.
Despite all the proof, the rumors persist. Though a fringe movement, birthers have made enough noise that White House spokesman Robert Gibbs addressed them recently.
At a press conference July 27, Gibbs dismissed the rumors as "made-up fictional nonsense of whether or not the president was born in this country."
"If I had some DNA, it wouldn't assuage those who don't believe he was born here," said Gibbs, who added that he posted the president's birth certificate online last year.
"The president was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, the 50th state of the greatest country on the face of the earth," he said.
Obama's Citizenship 'Has Been Proven,' White House Says
Gibb's said the president's citizenship "has been proven ad nauseam."As to why the rumors persist, Gibbs said, "because for $15 you can get an Internet address and say whatever you want."