14 August 2008

Jerome Corsi Refuted (and refuted, and refuted, and refuted)

Team Obama wasted little time sorting Jerome Corsi out, and I imagine we’ll be hearing a series of refutations of Corsi's Obama Nation over the next several days. (update: the Obama camp now encourages people to note Corsi's inaccuracies in letters to the press via this webpage).

For now, here’s some excerpts from Unfit for Publication (pdf), found at Fight the Smears. These snips address two of the most common rumors perpetuated by the anti-Obama crowd: his parents' marriage and the question of Kenyan citizenship. Each "False" note signifies a quote from Corsi's book, which researchers then correct.

FALSE: "We find there is even uncertainty whether Stanley Ann and Obama Senior were ever married in a church." [p. 44] REALITY:CORSI ADMITS ON THE SAME PAGE THAT OBAMA'S PARENTS HAD A LEGAL AMERICAN MARRIAGE

TIME Reported On Obama's Parents' Divorce Records. TIME reported, "On Feb. 2, 1961, several months after they met, Obama's parents got married in Maui, according to divorce records." [TIME, 4/9/08]

Corsi Cites Time Story To Say "Divorce Papers Confirm..." Corsi wrote, "Other sources say divorce papers confirm that a civil ceremony was held on Maui, on February 2, 1961, when Ann was three months pregnant with Obama." Corsi cites the April 9th, 2008 Time story for his reference to Obama's parents' wedding. [p. 44]


FALSE: "Senator Obama could claim to be a citizen of Kenya, as well as of the United States. Obama can trace his heritage back to his mother, who was born in the United States and was an American citizen when he was born, and to his father, who was born in Kenya and was a Kenyan citizen when Obama was born." [p 103]


Kenya Does Not Allow Dual Citizenship Applications for People Over 21 Years of Age. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management writes of Kenya, "DUAL CITIZENSHIP: Not recognized except for persons under 21 years old." The Kenyan Constitution writes, "A person who, but for the proviso to section 87 (1), would be a citizen of Kenya by virtue of that subsection shall be entitled, upon making application before the specified date in such manner as may be prescribed by or under an Act of Parliament, to be registered as a citizen of Kenya: Provided that a person who has not attained the age of twenty-one years (other than a woman who is or has been married) may not himself make an application under this subsection, but an application may be made on his behalf by his parent or guardian." [U.S. Office of Personnel Management; Kenyan Constitution]

Even if Obama Had Applied for Dual Citizenship Before He Was 21--Which He Did Not--It Would Have Expired. "A person who, upon the attainment of the age of twenty-one years, is a citizen of Kenya and also a citizen of some other country other than Kenya shall, subject to subsection (7), cease to be a citizen of Kenya upon the specified date unless he has renounced his citizenship of that other country, taken the oath of allegiance and, in the case of a person who was born outside Kenya, made and registered such declaration of his intentions concerning residence as may be prescribed by or under an Act of Parliament." [Kenyan Constitution]

So there. Can we stop with the "he's not an American citizen!" rumors now? (answer: of course not. The conspiracy-minded have already started suggesting that Obama is a citizen of Indonesia. When that gets refuted, my guess is that they'll try Papua New Guinea or Libya--either country would fit into their increasingly outrageous conspiracy plots).

Back to the refutations. Outside of Obama's group, we've got The Washington Post, which has chimed in with a column that corrects a variety of Mr. Corsi's "facts," and then concludes:

Mr. Corsi has dismissed criticisms of his book as "nit-picking," an odd defense coming from an author happy to inflate any possible omission into a full-blown evasion. Mary Matalin, the Republican political strategist who heads Threshold Editions, the Simon & Schuster division that published "The Obama Nation," described the book to the New York Times as "a piece of scholarship, and a good one at that." That would not be our description.

From what I've heard at this point, Corsi's reviewers have achieved a consensus, and it's not a flattering one.

I'd like to add that, although you might have heard that Corsi's book shall be number one on the New York Times' bestseller list this Sunday (17 August), it's not because of individual book sales. According to the Times, it's because "the book is being pushed along by a large volume of bulk sales." This suggests that, after the bulk purchase, the text is meeting one of two fates: it is being sold at right-leaning functions or distributed for free to Conservative groups--those people who aren't really Obama-inclined voters. In other words, Corsi will be preaching to the choir (as I, um, said earlier this month).

Aside: Might I add that, according to Media Matters, Corsi is all lined up to appear on a white supremacist radio talk show? Oh, yes. Mr. Corsi will be sitting down with James Edwards on 17 August's edition of The Political Cesspool: "the South's Foremost Conservative Populist Radio Program." The blog claims that the newly released film Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 promotes "white genocide." That is, Caucasian women having sex with men of other races.
Should be charming.

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