Friday, March 21, 2008

Is Obama a Foreign Citizen?

Over at the National Review, Jim Geraghty wonders, given that passport records don't contain travel records, just what the people snooping in Obama's file were looking for.

Let me offer a suggestion.

Obama was born on August 4th, 1961 - before Kenya became an independent nation. However, when Kenya became independent two years later the Kenyan Constitution provided the following:

Every person who, having been born outside Kenya. is on llth December, 1963 a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies or a British protected person shall. if his father becomes. or would but for his death have become, a citizen of Kenya by virtue of subsection (1). become a citizen of Kenya on 12th December. 1963.

In plainer English, it's quite possible that Obama acquired Kenyan Citizenship at birth. More than that, I've been wondering - and it's possible that the people who were looking at these files were wondering the same thing - how Obama travelled to Kenya in the late 1980's.

Kenya isn't a Visa Waiver country now, and I doubt if it was in 1988. Presumably, as is the case in any other country, he'd have had to go to the Kenyan Embassy or consulate for a Visa to travel. However, I imagine that it's quite possible that, once there, he might have had a conversation with the consular official which went something like this:

OFFICIAL: Why do you want to travel to Kenya?

OBAMA: My father was Kenyan. I want to go and visit his family and see where I came from.

OFFICIAL: Oh. You don't need a Visa then. Do you have your birth certificate?
(Obama hands it over)

OFFICIAL (Con't): Yes, yes. If your father was Kenyan, then you're a citizen as well.

OBAMA: Really? Neato.

But, if you add to that, there's actually another potential issue here.
In what status did the "Barry Soetoro" of the late 1960's and early 1970's reside in Indonesia? I can't find an exact copy of the 1958 Indonesian Nationality Law online, but a brief review suggests that it's possible, especially given that Obama's step-father was an Indonesian government official, that Obama might have taken Indonesian nationality.

After all, if one reads about his background, it seems to be fairly clear that his stay in Indonesia (where he attended local schools and was taught in the local language) was intended to be permanent.


Blogger Michael said...

That would give him dual citizenship. You know? Something you don't have. Being a foreign citizen. Or subject of the Queen. Whatever you foreigners call yourselves.

March 26, 2008 6:47 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Barack was born in Honolulu in 1961. That simple fact plus the citizenship clause of the 14th amendment means that he is an American citizen.

But that's not your bonehead point is it? No no no, you're reaching for the tin-foil hat crowd with the insinuation that Obama is a manchurian candidate.

You're really sounding desperate these days. Obama got you worried?

March 27, 2008 6:24 AM  
Blogger mikeinportc said...


Adam, from here ,you are a "foreign citizen" . What do you care? That "issue" is none of your business, btw . If you want to help, how about a (factual) critique of the details of his positions ? He's a citizen, period. Ditto McCain. This is a waste of time and effort.

(not the "mike"s above, btw. - there's just a lot of us ;)

March 30, 2008 5:36 PM  

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