MCSO birther posse: Our evidence is ironclad

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Sheriff Joe Arpaio at the news conference he held Tuesday on his "birther" investigation. Sheriff Joe Arpaio at the news conference he held Tuesday on his "birther" investigation.

The lead Cold Case Posse investigator looking into the authenticity of President Barack Obama's birth certificate claims that Hawaiian regulation for obtaining the document is so lax, it would cast doubt on any birth records from Hawaii.

"Considering the fact that Hawaii appears to be very lax in its distribution of birth certificates, it is possible, though certainly not proven, that President Obama, through the actions of others, may have benefited by the ease with which one can obtain a birth certificate proving U.S. citizenship," said investigator Mike Zullo. 

Sheriff Joe Arpaio revealed the second set of findings at a Tuesday afternoon news conference, revelations that MCSO touted as "breathtaking."

The MCSO birther posse repeated its claims that Obama's birth certificate is a forgery.

"We are fully persuaded we can prove this document is manipulated," Zullo said. "We don't believe the document would hold up under scrutiny."

The sheriff's office said it promised to provide details gathered in the posse's recent trip to Hawaii and an update on the ongoing investigation.

When asked by CBS 5 News reporter Morgan Loew how anyone could believe the MCSO findings, the sheriff shot back.

"That's an insult," Arpaio said. "Look at the evidence and forget who's in bed with who. Talk about the evidence."

Among the "evidence" MCSO said it has uncovered since its March 1 news briefing, investigators said:

  • They learned that Hawaii Department of Health utilizes a coding system defined by the federal government to categorize and code the required information on all birth certificates registered by the state including those registered in 1961. The process involves writing specific number codes by hand and in pencil, placed next to relevant information contained on the birth certificate. The coding numbers seen on the president's long-form birth certificate are not consistent with the coding responses required by the federal government to match the information presented, MCSO said. The incorrect codes indicate that the president's long-form birth certificate has been altered or amended, MCSO said.
  • They tracked down the person who was the local registrar at the time of Obama's birth who allegedly signed and coded the document, which Obama now says proves his birth place as Hawaii. Verna K. Lee, 95, allegedly signed the document on Aug. 8, 1961. She provided information about the vital information codes and their corresponding meanings. The information she provided challenges the president's claim that his birthplace in 1961 was the Kapiolani Maternity and Gynecological Hospital.
  • They were slowed down by the Hawaii state government offices as well. Sheriff's investigators in Hawaii were stymied by the state registrar of the Hawaii Department of Health, Alvin Onaka, as well as the Attorney General's Office in Honolulu when investigators asked to compare the White House version of Obama's birth certificate to the original document presumably held in Hawaii, MCSO said. Investigators met with the Hawaii Assistant Attorney General Jill Nagamine. Nagamine refused to give MCSO permission to see the original birth documentation held by the Hawaii Department of Health, which was used to create the president's long form birth certificate, investigators said. Nagamine refused to verify whether the PDF birth certificate released by the White House is in fact an exact copy of the document released to Obama's attorneys, MCSO said. 

Arpaio again called on Obama to come clean.

"Show us the microfilm and we'll go back home and forget this," Arpaio said. "Where is the microfilm? In Hawaii? The Department of Health? What's the big secret?"

Hawaii officials said there is no secret. Joshua Wisch, Special Assistant to the state's Attorney General, said in a statement Tuesday that the allegations from Arpaio's office are "untrue, misinformed and misconstrue Hawaii law."

Wisch went on to say that:

"The purpose of section 338-17.8, Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS), is to accommodate foreign-born individuals whose parents were residents of Hawaii but were temporarily outside of this state due to employment or military service. Similar to section 338-20.5, HRS, which provides for a certificate of foreign birth, anyone who receives a birth certificate under this section would have noted on their birth certificate the physical location of their actual birth. It does not confer citizenship, which is, of course, a power of the federal government.

"We also note that section 338-17.8 was not passed until 1982, so it cannot apply to President Obama, who was born at the Kapiolani Maternity and Gynecological Hospital in Honolulu in 1961, as is reflected on his certificate of live birth, a copy of which can be viewed on the White House website, a link to which is provided on DOH's website."

CBS 5 News took a hard look at how much this investigation has cost so far, and how many county tax dollars his investigators spent on the trip to Hawaii. Arpaio has denied any taxpayer money was spent on the trip.

According to records obtained from the county:

  • The trip cost roughly $9,600 overall.
  • $750 for airfare for a deputy.
  • $1,300 for lodging.
  • More than $1,100 for meals.
  • The lone "sworn" deputy spent $103 a day on meals for 11 days. That's the maximum amount the county allows as per diem.

The sheriff and his Cold Case Posse have been investigating Obama's presidential eligibility and promising revelations since a March 1 press conference.

Arpaio has said he was approached by members of the Tea Party to investigate. He enlisted the services of volunteer deputies with investigative backgrounds to look into the authenticity of the president's birth certificate.

At that conference, Arpaio announced that the sheriff's office believed there was probable cause to suspect that Obama's long-form birth certificate was a forgery. He also said the posse found probable cause that Obama's Selective Service registration form was fraudulent.

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