When I first encountered these claims, I asked World Net Daily about them, several times. I did multiple searches to see if I could find the source of these allegations, but I came up empty-handed. Then Joseph Farah published a column that debunked a lot of these statements, or at least put them in context. However, I still did not have my hands on the original World Net Daily article that they were based on, so it was a bit difficult to evaluate the situation.
Now thankfully a reader has provided the World Net Daily article that was the source of these allegations. It is an article written by Drew Zahn, and published in the August 23, 2008 edition of World Net Daily, right after Berg had launched the first lawsuit.
In Zahn's article:
*The names of the Forensic Document Experts they hired are not revealed, nor are their qualifications, and no link to their reports are provided.
*It is claimed that children cannot lose their citizenship under US law. I am not sure about that; I will leave questions about that issue to the lawyers and the courts to rule on, not a journalist.
*Annenberg's "Political Fact Check" organization's website, "factcheck.org" is incorrectly listed as "factchecker.org"
*As Farah notes, the "forgery experts" that World Net Daily relied on never saw the "real document" but only the scans available on the internet.
*The Zahn article states that some on the internet purposely altered the images of the scanned documents, but provides no examples or links. This might very well have happened, but I think at this point it can be safely ruled out as an alleged source of problems with the factcheck.org and fightthesmears.com images, and others. These have been checked and rechecked and triple-checked and cross-checked and analyzed repeatedly at this point. Multiple experts are involved and affidavits have been signed in one court case after another.
*The statements about Obama travelling to Pakistan on an Indonesian passport might be conjectural, or puffery, or bluff. The Zahn article noted that World Net Daily had not been able to establish their reliability. However, lawyers hold certain things back. It is part of the game. If any of these two dozen cases move into the discovery phase, then a lot more will be revealed.
As Berg has stated, when he first filed his lawsuit in August, he fully expected that he would be hit with a defamation suit by the Obama camp and that a certified copy of Obama's long form Hawaiian birth certificate would be made public. Neither of these events occurred.
Instead, Obama hired a team of lawyers, from Sandler, Reif and Young, PC (a lawfirm that has repeatedly defended "unindicted co-conspirators", the Council on American-Islamic Relations) to prevent the release of his birth records. And over the months, Obama spent considerable sums of money in one legal maneuver after another to keep his documents from being released.
In other words, Berg "called Obama out". That is, Berg "called Obama's bluff". The only way to tell if these discussions on the internet were just a dumb rumor or two about Obama's birth location and eligibility was to call Obama's bluff, which Berg did.
When Obama responded the way he did, then suspicions were raised. At that point, this turned from just another silly uncomfirmed rumor into a serious question.
Things have now been compounded after another two dozen lawsuits in various legal venues have been launched. In dealing with one complaint after another, Obama, through several teams of lawyers now, has stymied and blocked any and all attempts to probe into his true origins and eligibility.
The eligibility question is now far more visible. Several cases have reached the US Supreme Court, or various State Supreme Courts. The media has belatedly started to cover this story.
Obama's response to Berg's first legal action changed the minds of many, including me. I ignored this situation at first because it hardly seemed worthy of attention.
However, when I observed how Obama treated Berg's requests that he confirm his eligibility, I realized that there was something serious going on here. Where there is smoke, there is fire.
As they say in Washington, it is never the crime, it is the coverup. And Obama's efforts to cover something up raised my suspicions. I am sure this is true of many others as well.
An informal AOL survey with over 100,000 respondents shows that about 53 percent of those responding feel there are some unresolved questions about Obama's eligibility.
In other words, Berg's mission to call Obama's bluff has succeeded, wildly. Berg's lonely legal probing in August of 2008 was a tentative inquiry into some rumors. What it has evolved into is a much more substantial and widespread controversy.