From MEDIA MATTERS:
Advancing the conspiracy theory that President Obama lacks a valid birth certificate and is therefore ineligible to be president, radio host G. Gordon Liddy falsely claimed during the July 23 edition of MSNBC’s Hardball that there is “a deposition, which is a sworn statement, from the stepgrandmother, who says, ‘I was present and saw [Obama] born in Mombasa, Kenya.’ ” In fact, while the conservative news website WorldNetDaily claims to be “in possession” of affidavits from Anabaptist minister Ron McRae and Rev. Kweli Shuhubia, two individuals who purportedly took part in a telephone interview with the president’s stepgrandmother, McRae’s and Shuhubia’s accounts have been discredited, and even WorldNetDaily does not claim to have a “sworn statement” from the stepgrandmother herself.
(That’s Lou Dobbs in the upper right corner, if you were wondering.)
According to WorldNetDaily, McRae and Shuhubia each asserted in their affidavits that President Obama’s stepgrandmother, Sarah Hussein Obama, told them that President Obama was born in Mombasa. However, in a December 4, 2008, Slate.com article, David Weigel noted that McRae provided Pennsylvania attorney Philip J. Berg with only a “partial transcript of the call” and that the “rest of the call” showed that McRae was repeatedly told during the interview that “the president-elect was born in Hawaii”:
On Oct. 16, an Anabaptist minister named Ron McRae called Sarah Hussein Obama, the president-elect’s 86-year-old paternal step-grandmother, at her home in Kenya. Two translators were on the line when McRae asked if the elder Obama was “present” when the president-elect was born. One of the translators says “yes.” McRae contacted Berg and gave him a partial transcript of the call with a signed affidavit. He opted not to include the rest of the call, in which he asks the question more directly — “Was he born in Mombassa?” — and the translators, finally understanding him, tell him repeatedly that the president-elect was born in Hawaii.
In a December 5, 2008, War Room post, Salon.com’s Alex Koppelman similarly noted that the full audio of the interview indicates that McRae was told “over and over again, that Obama was born in the U.S.”:
During the interview, which was conducted through a translator by a street preacher named Ron McRae, Sarah Obama does in fact say she was present. But it’s clear that there was a mistranslation, because as soon as McRae very excitedly starts to try to get additional details, the people on the other end of the line realize what’s happened and say, over and over again, that Obama was born in the U.S.
As Media Matters has detailed, Liddy served four and a half years in prison in connection with his conviction for his role in the Watergate break-in and the break-in at the office of the psychiatrist of Daniel Ellsberg, the military analyst who leaked the Pentagon Papers. Liddy has acknowledged preparing to kill someone during the Ellsberg break-in “if necessary”; plotting to kill journalist Jack Anderson; plotting with a “gangland figure” to kill Howard Hunt to stop him from cooperating with investigators; plotting to firebomb the Brookings Institution; and plotting to kidnap “leftist guerillas” at the 1972 Republican National Convention — a plan he outlined to the Nixon administration using terminology borrowed from the Nazis. (The homicide, firebombing, and kidnapping plots were never carried out; the break-ins were.) During the 1990s, Liddy reportedly instructed his radio audience on multiple occasions on how to shoot Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms agents and also reportedly said he had named his shooting targets after Bill and Hillary Clinton.
You can read the partial transcripts of the conversation with Obama’s stepgrandmother and Chris Matthew’s interview with G. Gordo, as well as watch the Hardball interview over at the Media Matters link.
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Tip of the hat to uc booker for the Werther’s idea!