Lord Monckton, questioning Obama's citizenship
Look, I don't like writing "birther" posts. I don't jump onto the latest story of an attention-seeking lawyer demanding proof of Barack Obama's citizenship. I'm working on other posts about last night's FreedomWorks-organized tea party on the Mall. But it was jarring to hear Lord Monckton, the British politician who has become a celebrity in the climate change skeptic community (the BBC was following him for a documentary it was filming), claim that Obama was born outside the United States.
"America!" said Monckton at the start of his speech. "Land of opportunity! You can be born in Kenya and end up as president of the United States!"
That remark was well received in the crowd, if not as boisterously applauded as Monckton's other jokes. After the speech (and after rapper Hi-Caliber included a line in his latest song about how "the media calls us birthers"), a reporter from USA Today and I both asked Monckton whether he was joking.
"I have no idea where he was born," said Monckton, who was working the crowd and signing autographs. "What I do find strange is that the public records of his Hawaiian birth have been sealed, and can not be obtained by the public. His lawyers have spent a lot of money trying to seal the records of his public life. All of those records should be open to the public, as they always were for previous presidents."
I pointed out to Monckton that the state of Hawaii released Obama's certification of live birth nearly two years and ago, and that the persistent challenges to his citizenship have inspired some members of the military to refuse to serve under Obama. "The effective classification of all of these documents of his early life is surely contrary to the spirit of freedom and openness in the Democratic west," said Monckton. "It's bound to raise questions in some peoples' minds. However! I have no idea where he's born, but it made a nice joke."
April 16, 2010; 8:51 AM ET
Categories: Fringe | Tags: Barack Obama, Barack Obama citizenship conspiracy theories, Climate change, Hawaii, Kenya, Lord Monckton, President of the United States, United States
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