Barack Obama’s Foundational Lie

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©Jack Cashill - September 24, 2014

In researching Barack Obama’s many deceptions for my forthcoming book--“You Lie!”--I can find none more fundamental than the one he put over when first introduced to America writ large at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston.

“My parents shared not only an improbable love,” he told the gathered masses. “They shared an abiding faith in the possibilities of this nation.”

Following the convention, Obama and his media acolytes invested enormous political capital in what biographer David Remnick called Obama’s “signature appeal: the use of the details of his own life as a reflection of a kind of multicultural ideal.”

Those details included the canard he told the nation’s schoolchildren in September 2009, “My father left my family when I was two years old, and I was raised by a single mother.”

In truth, the love was not “improbable.” It was impossible. The couple never lived together, and if they shared anything, it was their contempt for America.

In a 2012 interview, Obama-friendly biographer David Maraniss dismissed the beliefs of so-called “birthers” as “preposterous” and wondered why they clung to them since “every fact and document leads in another direction.”

Yet the one core belief that united “birthers” was that Obama had consistently lied about the first two years of his life. Ironically, Maraniss confirmed their doubts in his 2012 biography, “Barack Obama: The Story.”

“In the college life of Barack Obama [senior] in 1961 and 1962,” wrote Maraniss, “as recounted by his friends and acquaintances in Honolulu, there was no Ann; there was no baby.”

The one friend who claimed to see the couple together, the soon to be deposed Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie, has whittled his original fable of having been there at the birth down to a more credible, “I remember [Obama] as a little boy with his grandfather.”

One friend, a Cambodian named Kiri Tith, knew the senior Obama “very well.” He had also met Dunham through a different channel. “But he had no idea,” wrote Maraniss, “that Ann knew Obama, let alone got hapai (pregnant) by him, married him, and had a son with him.”

The casual reader of the Maraniss book is left with the impression that Dunham and Obama had a one-night stand that they both regretted, but that they consented to marriage because that is what people did back in 1961. The more cynical reader wonders whether Barack Obama Sr. was fronting for someone else as father.

As to the February 1961 wedding, the usually thorough Maraniss offered no detail at all. His endnotes said only this, “Marriage facts recorded in divorce records.”

The immigration authorities certainly wondered about the wedding as well. An April 1961 INS memo notes, "If his USC [United States Citizen] wife tries to petition for [Obama Sr.] make sure an investigation is conducted as to the bona-fide of the marriage."

To be sure, Dunham and Obama claimed a wedding. It suited both their purposes, Obama to extend his visa and Dunham to legitimize her bi-racial baby with a melanin-rich husband.

As to the divorce, Dunham at the time was desperately trying to keep her future husband Lolo Soetoro in Hawaii. The INS believed her to be married to Obama. Even if she were not married, a divorce would have been useful to clear the way for a marriage to Soetoro.

Like all other mainstream biographers of the Obama family, Maraniss shared not a single word about Dunham’s whereabouts in the six months between the alleged February wedding and Obama’s August 1961 birth.

On the subject of the birth, the usually voluble Maraniss was as tight-lipped as he was on the wedding. He reported that Obama was born at 7:24 in the evening of August 4, 1961 at Kapi’olani Hospital.

As reference, he cited “State of Hawaii Certificate of Live Birth,” presumably the unverified document posted online in April 2011.

To confirm the Hawaiian birth, Maraniss offered only one story, an elaborate one that he took two pages to tell. It came down to this: a woman was having lunch shortly after Obama’s birth with an ob-gyn, who told her, “Stanley had a baby. Now that’s something to write home about.”

The woman had been telling this story for several years. Maraniss added the clarification that the doctor in question was not the one who delivered the baby, as first reported, but someone who had heard the “Stanley” anecdote on the grapevine. That was it.

As to the claimed two years the happy multicultural family lived together, Maraniss broke the news to the Obama faithful that this too was a lie.

At the time of Obama’s birth, Dunham’s parents were sharing a residence with the Pratt family at 6085 Kalanianole Highway, the address listed on the birth certificate.

As Maraniss related, the Pratt daughter, then an adolescent, “has no memory of the Dunhams’ daughter bringing an infant home.” He added, “[Ann] and Obama and the infant never lived [at 6085 Kalanianole].”

Indeed, the young family never lived together, and this Maraniss conceded. “Within a month of the day Barry came home from the hospital,” he wrote, “he and his mother were long gone from Honolulu.”

The first confirmed sighting of mother and Child was in Seattle weeks after Obama’s birth. Dunham and the baby would live there for a year. “Birthers” had known this since 2008.

Before Maraniss, Obama’s mainstream biographers-- the New Yorker’s David Remnick, the Boston Globe’s Sally Jacobs, and the New York Times’s Janny Scott and Jodi Kantor—all felt obliged to contort the timeline of Dunham’s Seattle hegira to sustain the illusion of a functioning Obama family.

Having confirmed the facts that those crazy “birthers” long knew, Maraniss refused to explore the implications of his own reporting, namley that Obama grounded his 2008 campaign, his very persona for that matter, on a family story that was pure fraud.

Obama had to figure that if the media let him get away with this whopper, they would let him get away with anything. And about that, he was right.

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Editor's note: Jack Cashill, newest book, You Lie: The Evasions, Omissions, Fabrications, Frauds and Outright Falsehoods of Barack Obama will be available October 7.


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