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Pajamas Media Debunks Another False Obama Rumor.--

Pajamas Media has done the work shooting down another false Obama rumor, this one spread by the notorious pro-Hillary website, No Quarter. It questioned whether Obama had registered for the draft, and thus whether he was allowed to serve in the executive branch.

PJM reporting:

After contacting the Selective Service System for an answer several times since late June, Pajamas Media obtained official confirmation from the Selective Service System via email that Barack Obama did indeed register for the Selective Service as required by law, and is eligible to run for the presidency.

Mr. Owens,

Barack Hussein Obama registered at a post office in Hawaii. The effective registration date was September 4, 1980.

His registration number is 61-1125539-1.

Daniel Amon Public Affairs Specialist

It is difficult to determine why no one had confirmed Obama's Selective Service registration until now. The mainstream media may have had no interest in pursuing the story for a multitude of valid reasons. New media sources aligned with the Obama campaign may have had no interest in conducting an investigation that may serve to impede their selected candidate, and new media opponents may have simply found confirmation of his registration too difficult to obtain — some have suggested that they had contacted the Selective Service, only to be told they would have to file a request under the Freedom of Information Act, which rather notoriously may take months to complete. Perhaps others found it more useful to keep the rumor alive than put it to rest. But the conclusive answer is now known.

Barack Obama fulfilled his Selective Service obligation and has every legal right to run for the presidency of the United States.

It's unclear from the story whether or not Obama signed up a month later than he should have, but in any event, at that point he was legal to serve in the executive branch.

Bill Poser (mail) (www):
I am perplexed by the idea that Obama's eligibility to serve in the executive branch depends on whether or not he registered for the Selective Service. There is no such requirement in the Constitution.
9.8.2008 3:45am
David M. Nieporent (www):
I am perplexed by the idea that Obama's eligibility to serve in the executive branch depends on whether or not he registered for the Selective Service. There is no such requirement in the Constitution.
I'm with Bill. It may indeed be the case that one is ineligible for ordinary government jobs if one hasn't registered, but only impeachment and conviction can render a 35-year old natural-born citizen ineligible for the presidency. (That, or operation of the 22nd amendment.)
9.8.2008 4:11am
TruthInAdvertising:
"It's unclear from the story whether or not Obama signed up a month later than he should have, but in any event, at that point he was legal to serve in the executive branch."

This is based on the assumption that this statement:

"The effective registration date was September 4, 1980."

is when he registered. Most likely, it reflects the time it took for the registration to be processed. I very much doubt that the federal bureaucracy of 1980 processed registrations the day that they were filed.
9.8.2008 4:12am
Tom Hanna (www):
I have to agree with two previous commenters. I checked my Heritage Foundation pocket Constitution and saw the same thing.

For those worrying about whether he's a Muslim, my Constitution also prohibits religious tests for public office.

On the other hand, he is a liberal loon who would destroy the economy, subvert the law and imperil the national security, and you shouldn't vote for him for that reason. But he is legally qualified to be President.
9.8.2008 4:33am
Hoosier:
Wow. Debunked before I'd even heard it. Score another for the Pajamahedin.

Now I'm waiting to hear that McCain is ineligible for the White House, since, while in the Navy, he failed to report for duty for FIVE &A HALF YEARS!
9.8.2008 4:45am
Bill Poser (mail) (www):

Now I'm waiting to hear that McCain is ineligible for the White House, since, while in the Navy, he failed to report for duty for FIVE &A HALF YEARS!


I have a friend who was caught trying to smuggle his girlfriend out of East Berlin when he was in grad school, as a result of which he was a guest of the East German state for two years. He reports that when he and some other prisoners were exchanged for a spy and he returned to the US in November, I think it was, his adviser, later mine as well, scolded him for registering late.
9.8.2008 5:03am
paul lukasiak (mail):

Wow. Debunked before I'd even heard it. Score another for the Pajamahedin.


To be fair to NQ, this "rumor" there apparently consisted of one post on that site from July 1, abetted by a number of posts that included Obama's Selective Service records as among those records that have not been released by Obama -- and these posts were all concerned primarily with Obama's citizenship status.

In other words, no one took seriously the July 1 post that Obama might be ineligible had he failed to register; and its difficult to find anyone discussing the issue of Obama's draft status outside of the issue of his citizenship.
9.8.2008 6:06am
Splunge:
September sounds about right. As I recall, in order not to have to cope with a tidal wave of registrations, Carter's order provided for a step-wise registration. Those born in 1960 (who were 20 in 1980) had to register immediately, July I think. Following a little later those born in 1961 and 1959 had to register, then those in 1962 and 1958, then 1957 et cetera until they got to 1954, the cutoff age of 26. Thereafter, you had to register when you turned 18, but that was a trickle compared to the original flood. Obama was born in 1961, IIRC, so he would have been in the second "class" of those required to register, and may well have had until September to do so.
9.8.2008 7:16am
Thales (mail) (www):
Paul Lukasiak: "the issue of his citizenship" is of course, a non-issue, as no one has presented even any rudimentary evidence to call Obama's citizenship into doubt.
9.8.2008 8:21am
Arkady:
Heh. I enlisted in the Marines on my 17th birthday (a long time ago). When I got out four years later, I received a notice from my draft board that I had not registered (true) and should come down. WTF! Anyway, I went down to the board and registered. The lady I spoke said not to worry, it happened all the time with guys who enlist before they're 18. As I recall, my classification was 5-Y, which I was told meant that retired presidents would go before me. :)
9.8.2008 8:30am
cirby (mail):
This extremely minor revelation does throw one thing into the mix: Obama's recent claim that he was thinking about joining the Army in high school due to having signed up for Selective Service - in 1979. The 1980 date means he registered after one year of college.

It only shows that his slightly-unbelievable claim of thing about signing up was completely unbelievable, and that's about it.
9.8.2008 8:32am
Jerome Cole (mail) (www):
@cirby: Cut Obama a break man. Do you really think that a liberal would never consider joining the military? Soldiers do trend conservative and Republican, but suggesting that Democrats and liberals have completely lost interest in military service is just silly.

This is probably just a case of not remembering something from nearly 30 years ago with perfect recall.
9.8.2008 9:00am
Jerome Cole (mail) (www):
@cirby: Cut Obama a break man. Do you really think that a liberal would never consider joining the military? Soldiers do trend conservative and Republican, but suggesting that Democrats and liberals have completely lost interest in military service is just silly.

This is probably just a case of not remembering something from nearly 30 years ago with perfect recall.
9.8.2008 9:00am
Jerome Cole (mail) (www):
Now that I think about it, the date he registered for selective service is in fact evidence (albeit, weak evidence) that Obama really was considering a stint in the military. My understanding is that if you enlist or go to a service academy you are exempt from registration. Perhaps I am wrong. Correct me if I am.
9.8.2008 9:02am
paul lukasiak (mail):

Paul Lukasiak: "the issue of his citizenship" is of course, a non-issue, as no one has presented even any rudimentary evidence to call Obama's citizenship into doubt.


To suggest that this does not represent at least "rudimentary evidence" is to deny the obvious.

Now, sure, that can be explained away by saying that Obama's stepfather lied about Obama's citizenship for whatever reason -- but the fact that Obama refuses to release a slew of records that could settle the question once and for all is what fuels speculation. (My pet theory is that he was born under the name of Barack Durham for insurance purposes, and never had it legally changed -- but that's just a theory to explain why Obama is so reticent about releasing documents that should be made available as a matter of course.)
9.8.2008 9:08am
Arkady:
@Jerome Cole


My understanding is that if you enlist or go to a service academy you are exempt from registration. Perhaps I am wrong. Correct me if I am.


See my post above.
9.8.2008 9:17am
Zubon (www):
The notorious website did not want to wait through the notoriously slow FOIA process? That's more notoriety than I am used to this early in the morning.
9.8.2008 9:34am
Philistine (mail):


To suggest that this does not represent at least "rudimentary evidence" is to deny the obvious.



Ummm... that link reaffirms that he was born in Hawaii. Which means, by definition, US Citizen. So I'd say, no, it's not even rudimentary evidence.
9.8.2008 9:39am
Ryan Waxx (mail):
Its obvious that the Obama campaign failed to fully vet their candidate, otherwise all these allegations would not be springing up. /sarc
9.8.2008 9:39am
Daniel Wolf (mail):
I'm a month younger than Obama, and like him, went to college away from my home town. Jimmy Carter's plan to re-introduction of registration was subject of a public and legislative controversy that took place throughout my senior year (78-79) of high school and first year of college (79-80). The system only went into operation in the summer of 1980 and we were required to register at a permanent address and the post office local to that address; use of a temporary college address on the form was not possible. My own fall quarter began in late September, so I was able to register before going away to college for the year, Obama's college (Occidental), on the semester system, started earlier and he presumably used the mechanism for registration by post, hence the relatively late date. I must add that the likelihood of any male student eligible for registration delaying or avoiding registration was rather small if the student was receiving any form of financial aid. There was a great deal of concern in financial aid offices about registration and it was routine at that time to require evidence of registration before enrollment.
9.8.2008 9:49am
paul lukasiak (mail):

Ummm... that link reaffirms that he was born in Hawaii. Which means, by definition, US Citizen. So I'd say, no, it's not even rudimentary evidence.


Well, if he was an indonesian citizen, and was not "renaturalized"....
9.8.2008 10:40am
Andy Freeman (mail):
> I must add that the likelihood of any male student eligible for registration delaying or avoiding registration was rather small if the student was receiving any form of financial aid.

Why the assumption that Obama received financial aid? His grandmother, who was footing the bills, is reasonably well off.
9.8.2008 10:40am
Houston Lawyer:
I also remember well signing up with the Selective Service. I'm a year older than Obama. The cut off for registration was for those born after January 1, 1960. This meant the older guys in my class weren't required to register. I was two years out of high school when the registration started in the summer. I remember that there were girls who showed up and tried to register and other protests at post offices. I showed up about 7:00 a.m. at the post office in my home town mentally armed to battle protestors. It was just me and the post master there that morning, very anticlimactic.
9.8.2008 10:42am
Milhouse (www):
paul lukasiak, what are you on about? Why would he have to be "renaturalised", whatever that means? If he was born in Hawaii he's a US citizen. The most the document you cited can show is that he is (or at least once was) also an Indonesian citizen; if that is true, so what? Where is it written that a president can't have other citizenships?
9.8.2008 10:47am
Dave N (mail):
I want to second and third the comments by those who (like me) are approximately Senator Obama's age. In the summer of 1980, I had an out-of-state summer job and signed up approximately when he did. And since I am slightly older than Obama, his sign-up date makes complete sense to me.

If I remember right, you also had to certify that you registered when asking for any kind of college financial aid--something I personally did not do until 1982.
9.8.2008 10:58am
Hoosier:
Why would a US-born child, who lived overseas, have to be "renaturalized," even if he was accorded citizenship of the second country? He's covered by the 14th Amen, unless he formally renounces US citizenship before a cosular officer, right?

In the sepcific case of Obama, he was a minor when in Idonesia. How could he have legally renounced anything at that age.

I'd be happy to see the presidency restricted to those who, at the time of inauguration, are citizens of the US only, regardless of anything to do with Obama. But that does not seem to be the law today. And that's all that's relevant in this election.
9.8.2008 11:09am
Jerome Cole (mail) (www):
How did a threat about Obama supposedly not registering for selective service morph into one about naturalization? Are you you here Mr. Roland? The Constitution is in danger and only you can save it. WE NEED YOU.
9.8.2008 11:21am
byomtov (mail):
On the other hand, he is a liberal loon who would destroy the economy, subvert the law and imperil the national security, and you shouldn't vote for him for that reason. But he is legally qualified to be President.

Are you saying Obama would merely continue Bush's policies? I doubt it.
9.8.2008 12:32pm
Hoosier:
Are you saying Obama would merely continue Bush's policies?

Heavens no. He could come up with his own bad policies if he really wants to.
9.8.2008 12:38pm
Bruce:
Great work. Now Pajamas Media does not owe me a beer.
9.8.2008 1:00pm
Daniel Wolf (mail):
Regarding the question of Obama acquiring Indonesian citizenship, Indonesia was still in its post-Independence phase, a period in which all Dutch citizens (excepting Jesuits and Jews) were expelled as well as most so-called Indos (of mixed Indonesian-Dutch background) and acquisition of citizenship in the Republic was difficult and not guaranteed by marriage or adoption in connection with marriage. Acquiring Indonesian citizenship requires, even now, formally renouncing citizenship in the previous country of citizenship. Neither Obama nor his mother renounced their US citizenship, and neither acquired Indonesian citizenship. Obama's half-sister, however, automatically received citizenship in both countries by virtue of her parents' respective citizenships.
9.8.2008 1:26pm
Alix Cavanaugh (mail):
Hoosier:

People with "dual citizenship" are, from the point of view of U.S. law, American citizens only. It's just that they're also, from the point of view of the law of country X, citizens of country X only.

No state that I know of has a category in its domestic law ascribing both citizenship of that state and citizenship of another state to an individual. Dual citizenship is a conflict-of-laws phenomenon, not a status that a person has within one particular legal system.

There could be, I suppose, a constitutional amendment requiring presidents to renounce foreign citizenships before taking office. (Although I think it would be silly.) But whether foreign states would view that renunciation as valid is not something over which the candidate, or the United States, would have any control.
9.8.2008 2:15pm
tgb1000 (mail):
Boy, I really hope Obama wins, if for no other reason than to witness the collective head-explosion of about 2/3rds of the VC commentariat.
9.8.2008 2:26pm
AKD:

This is probably just a case of not remembering something from nearly 30 years ago with perfect recall.


I dunno. He said he considered joining when he graduated and had to register in 1979. Turns out he actually registered either just before or after the start of his second year at Occidental College. He has said (and Occidental claims) that his two years at Occidental College were when he became an social activist and for that reason decided to go to Columbia.

I find it very hard to believe that he would misremeber whether or not he was interested in social activism or in military service during his second year of college and end up claiming both.

I think it was just a BS pandering statement.
9.8.2008 3:03pm
Gary McGath (www):
As several others have pointed out, Congress doesn't have the right to set conditions on running for president. Draft-dodgers have the same right as anyone else to run, and to serve if elected. Hopefully they would work to abolish Selective Slavery.
9.8.2008 3:21pm
Splunge:
it was routine at that time to require evidence of registration before enrollment.

I think that's wrong on two counts. First, as I recall it was a later addition to the law to require that male students have registered with the SSS to receive financial aid. I vaguely recall it coming down in my junior year in college (1982-83). Secondly, the "evidence" was a bit of a joke: you merely had to sign a statement (provided by the college on piece of paper) that said you'd registered, or you were not required to register because you were (choose one) a veteran, older than 26 or younger than 18, or a girl.

That last in particular was a subject of some contention at the time. People questioned rather stridently why there was this extra burden on male students.

In principle, the SSS could have checked up on your statement by cross-referencing their data with at least the D of Ed data on who got Federal grants, but, remember, this was long before the day of the Internet and Perl scripts. To do so would probably have required some Federal COBOL programmers to load 500 pounds of punched cards onto hand trucks and move them from building to building, then fire up the mainframe et cetera. I'm guessing they probably didn't.
9.8.2008 4:02pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
It's one thing to enlist to fight in an ongoing war.
It's entirely another to enlist to be part of a deterrence force.
IOW, Obama may have figured adding his miniscule "don't even think it, Ivan" to the existing force structure didn't justify two or three years of lousy food, bad accomodations (leftover Wehrmacht kasernes in Germany, ex.), and repetitive training.
Both are valuable, but for young guys with more thyroid--we're in polite company--than judgment, the latter is not particularly compelling.
Unless getting his dates wrong point to something serious, wtf is up with this?
9.8.2008 4:20pm
CB55 (mail):
I was number 24 in the Vietnam War draft lottery and when called for the exam. I shared with the draft board staff my thoughts and feelings, and they were not amused. Since I was born in the Jim Crow Era and in the South, I knew nothing about Civil Rights/Bill of Rights as seen, taught and explained to me. I explained that I had no reason to defend, protect or fight what I did not and could not enjoy. I am 4-F and not fit in mind and body for duty.
9.8.2008 5:30pm
Smokey:
tgb1000:
Boy, I really hope Obama wins, if for no other reason than to witness the collective head-explosion of about 2/3rds of the VC commentariat [sic].
Those are your odds for the dual citizen, eh? I think it will be a little closer than 2:1.

CB55:
...I had no reason to defend, protect or fight what I did not and could not enjoy. I am 4-F and not fit in mind and body for duty.
You refuse to fight for this country. And you don't enjoy it anyway [but of course, you stay]. You're 4-F, and you're neither mentally nor physically fit.

Lemme guess: you're an Obama guy all the way, right?
9.8.2008 6:32pm
Daniel Wolf (mail):
Splunge:

My University was absolutely paranoid about draft registration. My only financial aid was a small scholarship from a private trust in my hometown, but it was disbursed by the financial aid office of my college, and that office required an interview and paperwork, including a signed affidavit of draft registration, before the scholarship was released.

AKD:

Obama registered at the beginning of his sophomore year which was exactly the point in which young men in his age cohort were first allowed to register in the revived system.
9.8.2008 11:15pm
Daniel Wolf (mail):
The title of the PJM article ("Did Obama Actually Register for Selective Service?") seems to be deliberately misleading for an article that actually debunks the rumour. A casual reader just scanning the page might well assume that the veracity rumour is still an open question.
9.8.2008 11:21pm
neurodoc:
Is eligibility for federally funded student loans conditioned upon being registered for the draft? Did Obama receive such loans?
9.9.2008 12:09am
Hoosier:
//Daniel Wolf :
The title of the PJM article ("Did Obama Actually Register for Selective Service?") seems to be deliberately misleading for an article that actually debunks the rumour. A casual reader just scanning the page might well assume that the veracity rumour is still an open question.//

This would have been a good point, if we still had "casual readers."
9.9.2008 12:43am