After losing at the Supreme Court, Obama conspiracy theorists meet the press.

After losing at the Supreme Court, Obama conspiracy theorists meet the press.

After losing at the Supreme Court, Obama conspiracy theorists meet the press.

Who's winning, who's losing, and why.
Dec. 9 2008 11:44 AM

Case Not Closed

After losing at the Supreme Court, Obama conspiracy theorists meet the press.

Barack Obama
Barack Obama

For the lawyers, radio hosts, and denizens of the Internet who want Barack Obama to be disqualified from the presidency, it was Black Monday. The Supreme Court had finally read Donofrio v. Wells, the lawsuit that accuses both Obama and John McCain of lacking "natural born citizenship." The court dismissed it. Its denial of cert was so curt—"The application for stay addressed to Justice Thomas and referred to court is denied"—that you might have thought the case had blown across a receptionist's desk and been filed by accident.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a reporter for the Washington Post. 

"Yes, they didn't take it to the next level of full briefs and oral argument," Donofrio wrote on his blog after the news came in. "But they certainly heard the case and read the issues. … Getting the case to the full Court for such consideration was my goal."


That was not what Donofrio's supporters had wanted. On Friday, about two dozen of them gathered outside the Supreme Court to talk to reporters, wave flags, and recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Some of them questioned whether they could prosecute Obama for spending "foreign money" they alleged had been donated to his campaign. One questioned whether Barack Hussein Obama Sr. was the president-elect's real father or whether his real filial relationship to Frank Marshall Davis or Malcolm X had been covered up.

"There aren't a lot of people out here today," admitted Steve Brindle, a Pennsylvanian huddling in the cold. "There are a lot of people talking about this back home. Really, everyone's asking questions."

Robert Schulz, whose We the People Foundation had bought full-page newspaper ads questioning Obama's citizenship, was ready for the high court outcome. On Monday afternoon he asked Donofrio and two other lawyers with outstanding suits about Obama to come to the National Press Club to discuss their next steps. Donofrio didn't show, but Pennsylvania attorney (and occasional 9/11 skeptic) Philip J. Berg joined California attorney Orly Taitz at the podium of the club's Murrow room.

The room filled up early: About half of the small room's overflow crowd consisted of worried Obama skeptics who gasped and nodded at the testimonies of the attorneys and their litanies of facts that the press had covered up. Most members of the media were, themselves, part of the Obama Truth squad. Shelli Baker, the host of AM radio's Morning Song, spent five minutes unspooling a theory that tied Obama to Arab sheiks and world government. "I would be willing to testify," said Baker, "that, indeed, the media has been corrupted by foreign oil money."


Thus corrupted, reporters spent two full hours listening to Schultz, Berg, and Taitz describe their allegations accusing Obama of document forgery, arrogance, radical ties, and "foreign allegiance" to Kenya. "This is the largest hoax in 200 years," said Berg. "Obama knows where he was born. He knows he was adopted in Indonesia. Obama places our Constitution in a crisis situation, and Obama is in a situation where he can be blackmailed by leaders around the world who know he is not qualified."

Taitz, one of the lawyers representing Alan Keyes in his suit to stop California electors from voting for Obama next week, argued that her client had been injured by Obama's hoax—he was on the ballot in California and had to compete against a fake candidate. (Keyes won 0.4 percent of the vote there.)

"I was born in the former Soviet Union," Taitz said. "I have to tell you, one of the reasons I am so up in arms about this case is that during this election, the media in the United States was worse than Communist Russia."

"You guys have been traveling with him for two years!" Berg said, white knuckles gripping his podium. "You guys have access. Someone could stand up and say where's your birth certificate? What's your status in Indonesia?"


After the lawyers had their say, Schultz recognized Rev. James David Manning, the Harlem preacher who has called Obama a "long-legged mack daddy," and a member (alongside Jeremiah Wright and Oprah Winfrey) of the "Trinity of Hell." For some reason, Shultz gave Manning a microphone to talk about Obama's parents.

"It is common knowledge," explained Manning, "that African men, coming from the continent of Africa—especially for the first time—do diligently seek out white women to have sexual intercourse with. Generally the most noble of white society choose not to intercourse sexually with these men. So it's usually the trashier ones who make their determinations that they're going to have sex."

Manning grew more intense as he went on. Berg and Taitz seemed to squirm in their chairs; Berg started taking quiet cell phone calls before Manning evoked the memories of Africans who lost their lives "packed like sardines" onto slave ships, now in "a watery grave." "Do you think we want to wake those people up and tell them that the womb of a 16-year-old white girl has produced your redeemer? Has produced your savior? I don't think they want to wake up to that. I think they want to keep sleeping in that grave until true justice might be given."

Every possible reason for disqualifying Obama was laid out, laboriously, if not exactly backed up with facts. After it was pointed out that the "forensic experts" who have accused Obama of forging the birth certification reproduced on have not even revealed their names, Berg pointed out that the certification denoted the race of Obama's father as "African." "In 1961, no one talked 'African.' It was 'Negro.' I mean, that's what shows how phony this document is."


"How about that?" murmured Shelli Baker.

Still, none of the lawyers, nor Manning, could agree on a path forward for Obama birth certificate skeptics. Schulz proposed a citizens' convention—"continental congress, We the People congress, call it what you like"—that could hash out the issues around Obama's eligibility. Taitz was still working her cases and claimed that Obama could be held liable for an Illinois bar form on which he didn't list any other names he'd gone by. Berg hinted at a secret lawsuit that he was participating in and couldn't discuss, as well as information from an unnamed "barrister from England, who spoke to me on his nickel," that the FBI and CIA had information proving Obama's Kenyan birth.

The press conference wrapped up with the lawyers meeting well-wishers and handing out documents, as the few reporters still in the room headed for the door. Ruth Mizell, the widow of former Rep. Wilmer Mizell and a volunteer for two of George H.W. Bush's campaigns, idled in her chair for a little while longer. She was frustrated that the people she'd told about this story kept blowing her off.

"I can't stand to watch Obama," Mizell said. "He looks so deceitful. I feel like it's witchcraft going all over everybody, that he's witchcrafting everybody. He doesn't say anything. He uses a lot of good words."

Can we sue him for that?