Even while US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pursues her five-day visit to India an event has occurred in the US that could conceivably snowball into a major controversy to cut short President Obama's tenure. Article 2, Section 1 of the US Constitution states: "No person except a US born citizen' shall be eligible to the office of president." During the last US campaign a controversy arose about Obama's birth place. Critics were unsure if he was born in the US or Kenya. Obama's campaign committee released a Hawaiian birth certificate on June 13 2008. Sceptics alleged that it had signs of forgery.
Obama maintained he was born in Hawaii. One hospital, Honolulu 's Kapi'olani Medical Center for Women and Children, claims it received a letter from the president declaring his birth there. But White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs refused to authenticate the letter. For nearly six months the Hospital proudly declared Obama was born at its facility to create poll hype. Later it covered up and refused to confirm if the letter actually existed. The letter was purportedly signed by Barak Obama. If the signature was forged it was a most serious offence. Was any action taken against the Hospital?
This week the controversy about Obama's birth place resurfaced dramatically. A U.S. Army Reserve, Major Stefan Frederick Cook, scheduled for deployment to Afghanistan refused to serve claiming that the order was illegal because the American President was not legitimate. He argued that he should not be required to serve under a President who has not proven his eligibility for office.
"As an officer in the armed forces of the United States, it is my duty to gain clarification on any order we may believe illegal. With that said, if President Obama is found not to be a 'natural-born citizen,' he is not eligible to be commander-in-chief," Major Cook said. "Then any order coming out of the presidency or his chain of command is illegal. Should I deploy, I would essentially be following an illegal order. If I happened to be captured by the enemy in a foreign land, I would not be privy to the Geneva Convention protections,"
The Military created shock waves by revoking the deployment order without giving any reasons. Thereby it evaded a reply to Major Cook's objection and implicitly acknowledged that it could offer no proof of President Obama's birth in the US. If the Military cannot vouch for President Obama's legitimacy the implications can be very far reaching. Major Cook's case is being heard in the court of US District Judge David O. Carter. The Judge told the plaintiffs to fix their paperwork and that he would listen to "the merits" of their case. The date of the hearing was fixed for July 16th.
It is unlikely that the US mainstream media will highlight the event. But regardless of the Judge's verdict, will the issue die? If it snowballs into a crisis America could face a cruel choice. While it battles a severe economic meltdown it may have to either remove a most popular President or violate its Constitution.