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Hawaii Battles the Birthers, Again

For eight months, Hawaii State Department of Health Director Chiyome Fukino’s statement on President Obama’s original birth certificate has fed, not silenced, “birther” conspiracies. Specifically this part:

I as Director of Health for the State of Hawai‘i, 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 Hawai‘i State Department of Health has Sen. Obama’s original birth certificate on record in accordance with state policies and procedures.

The conspiracy went like this: Fukino didn’t say what was on the birth certificate, only that she’d seen it.

So Fukino has put out a new statement hammering home her point.

I, Dr. Chiyome Fukino, director of the Hawai’i State Department of Health, have seen the original vital records maintained on file by the Hawai’i State Department of Health verifying Barrack (sic) Hussein Obama was born in Hawai’i and is a natural-born American citizen. I have nothing further to add to this statement or my original statement issued in October 2008 over eight months ago.

This (bungled spelling and all) short-circuits an argument I’d heard from conspiracy theorists countless times, usually in the context of calling me a liar if I said that Fukino had verified that Obama was born in Hawaii. What’s it mean for the birthers? They’ll just move on.

WorldNetDaily’s response to this news has been to argue that “no mention was made of the specific document reviewed,” which suggests that birthers are far from done parsing every official statement from Hawaii in order prove that “A” meant “Z.” Conservative blogger Tom Maguire has been popularizing the ahistorical and illogical theory that Obama’s grandparents might — might! — have committed fraud by lying about where Obama was born in 1961, and that the state went along with it. And then there’s the booming industry of theories about how Obama could never, ever have been a “natural born citizen” because his father was Kenyan.

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