Diana West

Barack Obama's birthday is Aug. 4, and I hereby urge the president to bestow a party favor on the nation that elected him: a verifying look at the original "long-form" version of his birth certificate. It's important to grasp the weird fact that this simple request, requiring nothing more than a nod of the presidential head, ranks as fightin' words to American journalists. Right wing, left wing, these ladies and gentlemen of the Fourth Estate seem to want nothing less than to gain access to the one piece of evidence that could lay the "natural born" issue to rest once and for all. The media have made their aversion to proof perversely clear: Whatever Obama does, their jarringly unified message is that he certainly should not direct the state of Hawaii to make public his original, long-form birth certificate.

Even though such a presidential directive would instantly dispense with the divisive question of whether President Obama's still-secret, long-form birth certificate contains compromising information, it's unlikely we'll get a peak. The entire controversy would disappear forever if there were nothing more sensational on that document than the name of the Hawaiian hospital where baby Barack came into the world. Such mundane info is the kind of thing that's missing from what We the People have been provided to date: brave-new-world-like Internet images of the short-form Certification of Live Birth (COLB) that the Obama campaign made available in 2008 online.

I emphasize the web-projected, liquid-crystal display nature of the imagery that the mainstream media (MSM) have unquestioningly relied on, even as they have imperiously dismissed all questions regarding its veracity and provenance as "Internet-fueled rumor." In MSM eyes, the Obama campaign document becomes the rock-solid truth, while questions about it amount to "Internet-fueled rumor." To be sure, there is COLB-corroborating evidence available -- contemporaneous announcements of baby Barack's arrival in local Hawaiian papers are usually cited as the clincher -- but none of it is definitive. The president's maternal grandparents could have been the ones who placed the birth announcement in the papers, regardless of whether their first grandchild was in state residence. Even the oracles of the Hawaiian health department, periodically trotted out to pronounce that all is as should be with the president's top secret birth papers, leave us with nothing concrete. Why won't the president just give us a look at the thing and be done with it?

This is the mystery behind the unease "out there," unease the MSM are now simultaneously picking up on even as they try to squelch it. And this is true particularly after CNN's Lou Dobbs raised the issue in a historically resonant manner: Dobbs trusts that Obama is a natural-born citizen but would like the president to verify his status regardless.

And why not? It is no accident that history and literature are replete with rocky tales of doubtful succession, of the maladjustment brought on by pretenders to thrones. There is something in human nature that yearns for the rightful leader. And there is something in our Constitution that requires it. So why won't this president, who, after all, promised the American people an unprecedented level of transparency, reveal his original long-form birth certificate? Unheeded, the "natural born" controversy will roil indefinitely, further fired by the vagaries of Hawaiian law -- specifically, Section 338-17.8, titled "Certificates for children born out of State" (WorldNetDaily.com) -- which makes state birth documentation available to children born out of state, even born out of the country.

None of this is healthy, not the president's suspicious secrecy and not the MSM's protective incuriosity. It almost seems as if someone has something to hide.


Diana West

Diana West is the author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character (St. Martin's Press, 2013), and The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization (St. Martin's Press, 2007).