Yesterday the Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto took note of the genuine issue surrounding Obama’s British birth by discussing the fact that his father was never a US citizen. The article discusses citizenship laws regarding the possible lack of citizenship for Obama if he were born abroad.
Taranto prints what amounts to a blatant lie – stating that persons born to an alien father and a US citizen mother could be “natural born citizens” even if born abroad due to a fictional piece of legislation signed by Ronald Reagan.
But no such legislation exists.
This is an evil attempt to persuade Wall Street Journal readers into thinking all statutory grants of citizenship at birth equal “natural born citizen” status as required by Article 2 Section 1.
And with this lie, the Wall Street Journal is signaling that the issue is getting out of control for the handlers. They are resorting to desperation by taking journalism to a new level of propaganda. For that’s what this is – propaganda. I am really shaken. I really am.
Here’s the legally offensive passage:
Obama was born before 1986 to married parents, and his father was an alien. Thus if it were an overseas birth, his mother would have to have lived in the U.S. for 5 years after age 14 in order for her child to be a natural-born American. Mrs. Obama was only 18 when Barack was born, so she had not even lived 5 years after age 14.
This is something of a technicality: Someone born overseas and after 1986, but otherwise in identical circumstances to Obama, would be a natural-born citizen thanks to a law signed by President Reagan. (Emphasis added.)
There is no legislation signed by Reagan which uses the words “natural born citizen”. None. Nada. Zilch. But that little fact means nothing to the Wall Street Journal. What do they care for facts?
Statutory grants of citizenship are needed to rescue persons who would otherwise not be automatically citizens at birth as their birth does not – by itself – make them natural born citizens. Statutes rescue their citizenship.
The Wall Street journal, with all of its money and access to legal scholarship has failed to explain to its readers that natural born citizens do not require statutes to be US citizens – hence the term “natural born”. Their citizenship is naturally self evident.
Those who get their citizenship from a statute are not natural born citizens. If they were, no statute would be necessary.
Regardless, Taranto’s article does much more damage than simply misunderstanding the law it discusses. The article makes it appear as if the law contains words in its text which are not in its text. The words “natural born citizen” are NOT in the statute the article discusses.
Mr. Taranto must have some amazing journalistic super powers in that by a wave of his pen he manages to add the words “natural born” to a statute where those do not exist. But Taranto really needs to go back to Hogwarts because the statute – as of this morning – still doesn’t bear the words “natural born” anywhere in its text.
Here is the text of the law quoted by Taranto:
§ 1401. Nationals and citizens of United States at birth
(g) a person born outside the geographical limits of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents one of whom is an alien, and the other a citizen of the United States who, prior to the birth of such person, was physically present in the United States or its outlying possessions for a period or periods totaling not less than five years, at least two of which were after attaining the age of fourteen years…
The statute does not use the words “natural born citizen” but the Wall Street Journal has no problem telling you it does. This is shady journalism at its worst. If Taranto had simply intended to make a legal argument that “citizens at birth” are the same as natural born citizens, then that’s the argument he should have made. It’s not legally correct at all, but whether it was or wasn’t would have been a proper form of journalistic inquisition.
Taranto didn’t do that. He didn’t make that comparison. Instead he wrote the article as if the text of the statute included the words “natural born citizen”. It doesn’t. And no link is provided to the statute. So the reader is left to believe that that Reagan signed a law making such persons natural born citizens.
This is truly a desperate attempt at propaganda. This article by the Wall Street Journal is a portent. The British birth issue must be getting on some nerves deep in the new Amerika.