by Bernice Lipkin

Because of recent events, the procedures for vetting people requesting jobs in the American government have become an issue. We discuss two instances where people with questionable affiliations have successfully infiltrated into the highest reaches of the American political structure. In the first case, we aren't sure what the certification procedure is -- if it exists at all. In the second case, a vetting procedure exists and is in routine use. But we don't know whether it failed or was circumvented.


OVER THE YEARS, AN INFORMAL KLUDGE of procedures has evolved for selecting candidates for the job of president of the United States of America. Special interest groups and even ordinary voters have intersecting and often contradictory criteria. Political parties search for that mystical substance called electability and fear that some hitherto unknown fact or minor mishap will become a major scandal that spells disaster in the voting booth. The tasks the potential presidential candidate must perform to persuade his political party, the press, donors and voters that he can -- and should -- win the election are so grueling they make Hercules's tasks seem child's play.

While the informal vetting process is in the news for months, in contrast we hear nothing about how the candidate satisfied the basic legal requirements for serving as president of the United States of America as set down in the Constitution.

I had always assumed that the initial step in running for office was to contact the official body that can certify that he or she is legally eligible. Obviously, there's no point going through the hurdles if the hopeful isn't legally allowed to be president, should he be elected.

The criteria for eligibility are simple enough: the President must be at least 35 years old, have lived in the United States for at least 14 years and be native born, not a naturalized citizen. According to the Constitution [1] and the majority of legal opinions, the President can be born abroad and still be eligible if both his parents were U.S. citizens when he was born. 8 USC § 1401 later added some residency requirements. Under some conditions, it is sufficient that a single parent is a citizen.

I wasn't able to discover who is officially responsible for vetting candidates for the office of President. In fact, the answer seems to be: there is no such entity. It seems it hasn't been deemed necessary. Usually it is obvious whether someone is native American or a naturalized citizen. Apparently it is assumed that those who are not native-born just won't bother running for the office of President. They self-select themselves out of the race. Moreover, a candidate usually has a long previous career in politics so his background is common knowledge to an alert media.

It isn't clear whether the 14 years of residency need be consecutive, but it hasn't been an issue to date. However, in the 2008 election, questions were raised about birth place for both candidates. John McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone at the Coco Solo U.S. Naval Air Station before it became officially part of the USA but both parents were American citizens. McCain also met the requirements of 8 USC § 1401, passed in 1940 [2] which adds residency requirements for at least one of the parents for those born outside US possessions. Moreover, his father was "honorably serving with the Armed Forces of the United States -- he was stationed aboard a submarine in Coco Solo."[3]. McCain met the requirements for native born, though many in the media denied it. The supposedly neutral allowed that McCain was a citizen by Section 1, Article II of the Constitution but thoughtfully shared its unease that, because no President had been born outside the U.S.A, should McCain win, "these congressional statutes might be challenged in the courts."[4]

Barack Obama was said to be born in Kenya, not Hawaii. This wasn't a statement of fact or non-fact. It was a statement of uncertainty. Unnecessary uncertainty. That so many people questioned -- and continue to question -- that Barack Obama is a natural born citizen has in large part been brought about by his own behavior. Obama refused to release his Long Form birth certificate. Nor could the uncertainty be resolved by anecdotal information from friends and relatives about events surrounding his birth. If anything, they've supported the opposition. His paternal grandmother has claimed he was born in Kenya. Michelle Obama, in making a different point, said that Kenya was Obama's homeland.[5]

Moreover, unlike the mountain of information usually available on anyone in politics, little was known about him, his early associates, his ideological affiliations. Much of what was asserted was not substantiated by official documents. His autobiographies have been pretty much discredited,[6], some of the disclaimers coming from Obama, himself.

The birth certificate is an essential document in determining whether a candidate is a native citizen. Yet four years into his presidency, there remains the bizarre fact that President Obama continues to spend large amounts of money to keep his birth certificate from public inspection. Huge amounts of media time have been devoted to sneering at those who wonder why this is so. People who insist it is important that the birth certificate be made public are reviled as paranoiacs, birthers, islamophobes (which rather suggests an underlying worry that Obama is indeed Muslim), silly old fuddy-duddies and trouble-makers. Concerned citizens have become an acceptable target of our court jesters on TV. They are so discredited that no one seems to be bothered that the judiciary (which agreed that a woman who scalded herself when she opened the lid of a boiling hot coffee cup she was holding between her knees had the right to sue the store where she bought the coffee) has for the most part rejected suits brought to find out the facts. In fact, the bluster and demonizing and jokes-screen have helped everyone ignore one simple but critical fact: Barack Obama will not make public a document that is so ordinary that all ordinary citizens routinely produce it when asked. How extraordinary![7]

Even if Obama were born in Hawaii, there are several issues that turn the matter into a tangle never encountered with any previous candidate. Considering how the Bureaucracy rejected the claim of an American woman that her in-vitro twins were natural citizens though they were otherwise fully qualified to be native born American citizens,[8] these may cloud his claim of native birth:

  1. His father wasn't an American citizen. When Barack Obama was born, he automatically became a citizen of Great Britain, then in control of what would become Kenya. So there is the issue of the obligations and allegiances of an American President with dual citizenship.[9]
  2. Depending on the parameters involved in dual citizenship, it may be an issue that his mother does not seem to have met residency requirements for the American parent of a child with dual citizenship. The law at the time was that she would have to be in the USA at least 10 years prior to his birth, 5 years of which had to be after her 14th birthday. But she was under 19 when he was born. The law was made less stringent in November 1986 but the changes were not retroactive.[10]
  3. He acquired a Muslim stepfather, Lolo Soetoro, when he was 3 and was adopted by Soetoro when he and his mother moved to Indonesia in 1967, when he was 6. This raises the question whether one can claim native citizenship if he later becomes a citizen of another country either through his own doing or by adoption. In this country, adopted children are considered naturalized citizens as soon as they are adopted and come to live with their adopted parents in the U.S.A. They are not considered dual citizens. Other countries have their own rules.

More recent claims have been made both by pro- and anti-Obamites that he was (or was not) adopted.[11]

It is safe to say that the facts of Obama's childhood family relationships seem not to be firmly established. Considering the doubts raised about McCain being a natural born citizen, where the facts were well-known and there was documentary substantiation that McCain held natural citizenship, the facts or non-facts in Obama's case are a lawyer's dream. They call for examination of multi-leveled, nuanced, novel and contradictory arguments.


IT SEEMS PRUDENT THAT applicants for the job of President should receive the vetting given to any other applicant for a sensitive job in the American government -- particularly if the media doesn't take inquisitorial responsibility. Accurate information on his previous life is applicable in judging whether his ideology is inimical to the United States and the Constitution.

During his childhood Barack Obama lived as a Muslim in Jakarta in Indonesia, a country that is predominantly Muslim. A registration document from the Fransiskus Assisi School, a Catholic school in Jakarta, lists Barry Soetoro as being born in Honolulu in 1961. His religion is listed as Islam and his nationality as Indonesian.[12]

Barry Soetero's school
Barry Soetero's school registration in Indonesia.

Unless he attended the mosque even more infrequently than he did later Reverend Wright's church -- apparently he didn't attend church any more frequently that he does now as president -- we can assume he learned to read the Koran in Arabic, because every Muslim is required to read and recite the "Holy Koran" as Obama calls it in Arabic.[13]

The issue is not one of religion. The problem is one of political ideology. Resurgent Islam as sponsored by Saudi Arabia and Iran is actively attempting to make Sharia law the law of the land in non-Muslim countries. To date, it has made more headway in Europe than in the United States, but it has infiltrated our infrastructure and political system.

To get a feeling why his being Muslim is significant, ask yourself this: In World War 2, would someone adopted by a German and brought up from age 6 to 10 in Germany be allowed into an American government building, let alone be considered for a high position? The analogy to being raised in an Axis country and asking for security clearance in WW2 is relevant because we are at war with resurgent Islam, whether we like it or not. It has declared war on us and told us so in no uncertain terms. The strikes on Washington and New York City on 9/11 were not the first of their military attacks, but they were too blatant to ignore, just as Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor in WW2 was a dramatic act of war.

Moreover, President Obama seems on the wrong side of American interests in matters involving Muslim countries. In the face of all the factual evidence, and contrary to the Muslim Brotherhood's own writings, he and his administration have argued that the Muslim Brotherhood is secular and not involved in overthrowing governments that are not under sharia law. He ignored the pleas for help by the Iranians who protested the rigged election that keeps President Ahmadinejad in power but he brought down the regimes of Hosni Mubarak and Muammar Gaddafi. Both of them were indeed dictators, but ousting them didn't bring about democracy. In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood took power; in Libya, some of the winning rebels are al-Qaeda. On the other hand, he has reacted minimally to the very real threat of an Iran with nuclear capability.

Given that resurgent Islam has declared war on us, Obama's associations and sympathies may be a security risk. To certify that Obama isn't subject to foreign influences -- a major reason that a presidential candidate must be native-born -- would likely require many supplementary decisions on many levels. It is easy to see why the judiciary and the politicos have shrunk from the idea of an investigation. But kicking the can down the street won't make it rust away.


THE SAME SLOPPINESS AND VAGUENESS appears to have permeated the selection of much less lofty government officials. And here, vetting methodology has been in use with increasing refinement for three quarters of a century. When a potential employee in a defense agency or non-elected executive position is being considered for a security clearance, having family members who belong to an extremist foreign organization is automatically a red flag.

Clear information on the State Department security clearance is available on the State Department's website on clearances.[14] The degree of close examination depends partly on the sensitivity of the position that is being filled.

"The Bureau of Human Resources determines if a Department of State position requires a security clearance based on the duties and responsibilities of the position. If the position requires access to classified information, the position will be given an appropriate security classification. Individuals applying to these positions must undergo a personnel security background investigation."

Loyalty to the USA and the Constitution are important areas of investigation. The subject is asked:

"Have you EVER been a member of an organization dedicated to the use of violence or force to overthrow the United States Government, and which engaged in activities to that end with an awareness of the organization's dedication to that end or with the specific intent to further such activities?"

Some conditions are obviously of concern. We'd expect these to be disqualifying:

(a) involvement in, support of, training to commit, or advocacy of any act of sabotage, espionage, treason, terrorism, or sedition against the United States of America;

(b) association or sympathy with persons who are attempting to commit, or who are committing, any of the above acts;[15]

Other conditions that raise security concerns are more subtle. One reason for the vetting is to prevent someone from being put in a position where his different interests conflict and "the individual's access to protected information may involve unacceptable risk to national security."

(a) contact with a foreign family member, business or professional associate, friend, or other person who is a citizen of or resident in a foreign country if that contact creates a heightened risk of foreign exploitation, inducement, manipulation, pressure, or coercion;

(b) connections to a foreign person, group, government, or country that create a potential conflict of interest between the individual's obligation to protect sensitive information or technology and the individual's desire to help a foreign person, group, or country by providing that information;

(c) counterintelligence information, that may be classified, indicates that the individual's access to protected information may involve unacceptable risk to national security;"[16]

Throughout the document, the emphasis is on detecting foreign contacts that might under certain circumstances influence the individual to act against the interests of the United States:

Foreign contacts and interests may be a security concern if the individual has divided loyalties or foreign financial interests, may be manipulated or induced to help a foreign person, group, organization, or government in a way that is not in U.S. interests, or is vulnerable to pressure or coercion by any foreign interest. Adjudication under this Guideline can and should consider the identity of the foreign country in which the foreign contact or financial interest is located, including, but not limited to, such considerations as whether the foreign country is known to target United States citizens to obtain protected information and/or is associated with a risk of terrorism."[17]

No special vetting innovations are necessary. You want to be a messenger in the mail room at the Pentagon, you go through the routine process. You want to write ordinary computer programs for the CIA, you go through the process. How much more important is it to certify that those who can influence foreign policy aren't agents of the very people who declare they will not stop until the West adopts Sharia law?

Now we hear that the family of Huma Abedin, the Deputy Chief of Staff to Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton at the State Department, no less, has had long term and close ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, the very organization that has actively been plotting to conquer us by any and all means possible, from advocacy to terrorism. As Andrew McCarthy wrote,[18]

"The Brotherhood is not only the font of Sunni supremacist ideology, it spearheads the international support network for Hamas, the terrorist organization that openly proclaims itself as the Brotherhood's Palestinian branch."

Huma's family's is mission-oriented. They have devoted their lives to making Sharia dominant in the West. There are many more details about their doings in Walid Shoebat's article in this issue of Think-Israel.[19] For now, note that the Abedin family has been an efficient and dedicated promoter of Brotherhood ideology in the West. Huma,[20] herself served as deputy editor of the Journal of the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs (JIMMA) for over a decade. For much of that time, she was a close associate of Abdullah Omar Naseef, who founded IMMA in the 1970s, financed it and was actively involved in its activities for many years. IMMA has been a major instrument in developing activist front groups to promote sharia law in the West. Naseef also helped launch several charities that funneled funds to al-Qaeda, including the Rabita Trust, which was run by Wael Jalaidan, cofounder of al-Qaeda.

Huma and Hillary

Did the vigorous vetting given to anyone applying for a job in the Executive Branch just miss these details when examining Huma's application? Did Huma forget to include some of her family's lurid history? Was someone bribed so he just happened to lose some papers and hand-carry others through the complicated clearance process? Or was the breach in security initiated by someone high enough in the government that he or she could command the FBI to become derelict in doing its job? Is there now some loophole so that people under the protection of the Administration can avoid being vetted altogether? If so, why bother with an expensive apparatus for guarding state secrets if the enemy is welcomed at the front door, protected by the Administration itself?

I would have expected that this story with all its puzzling features and its exotic cast of characters has all the elements to cause a sensation even in the current climate where the news media have lost the drive to report anything that might reflect badly on the President and his entourage.

But nothing much happened. No headlines. No action. A handful -- literally, a handful -- of congressmen requested clarification: how did a person with her family ties get a security clearance? That did stir up some action? Some. But not what we should expect. Instead, the congressmen were criticized for speaking out, even vilified. The accusatory choir was bipartisan, some prominent republicans singing along with the rest.

Do I think they have all been compromised by the Islamists? No. It's more likely they want to avoid trouble with the press and with the street-smart Left. They don't want to rock the boat so close to election time.

It's a replay of what we saw during the last presidential campaign. Everyone was too timid to ask whether a man who lived as a Muslim in his childhood and was taught to pray to Allah probably in Arabic was a good choice as president when Resurgent Islam had declared that we were their enemy and they had every intention of taking over. To talk about Obama possibly being a Muslim was considered fascistic, a new form of McCarthyism, nasty. The subject was taboo until Barack Hussein Obama himself declared in his now-familiar circuitous fashion he was a Muslim. After he was president.[21] Nor was this in name and birth only. In The Audacity of Hope, he had written that he had been told by Muslims that after 9/11 "hard stares from neighbors had shaken their sense of security and belonging." He vowed that in the future "I will stand with them [Muslims] should the political winds shift in an ugly direction."[22] I have no reason to doubt him.


YEARS AGO, SOMEONE WROTE, "What if they declared war, and nobody came." Cute, no? The implication was that there'd be no war -- it takes two to fight. In the real world at the present time, that wouldn't work. Our government and many of our elected officials may not be willing to fight, but that just makes it easier for the other side. It doesn't stop the war.

No, I'm not forgetting our troops are in Afghanistan - and dying. But watch a couple of old movies from WW2 --and you'll understand the difference. Everyone was involved then in the war effort. And if you weren't enthusiastic -- you kept it to yourself. A proven case of sympathy with the enemy in a government official or even a strong whiff of such collusion -- it wouldn't take long before he was out. And those that had permitted it would have much to answer for.

So how did Huma get her job at the State Department? Who vetted her? If she wasn't vetted, who used their political clout to hire her despite her past history? Why aren't the media tracking this like pigs in a truffle patch?

Instead we get the superficial and the fuzzy. Here's one from the NY Times. They do misdirection so well. The July 10, 2012 edition carries an article written by Kate Taylor called "Accusation and Interview Put Spotlight on Weiner's Wife."[23]

Its construction is worth examining. Huma Abedin is described as glamorous but nobody of importance, just someone standing in her boss's shadow, "perhaps holding her shawl." Now isn't that pathos personified. Almost as good as Oliver Twist's Please, sir, may I have some more soup? We are then reminded that her husband, Anthony D. Weiner, lost his job in a sex-on-the-net scandal that was both embarrassing and snicker-making -- an excellent distraction from the important issues.

Now for the second time, this self-effacing woman, through no fault of her own, is in the spotlight: some people are concerned that someone with her access to policy people in the Government, policy plans and classified information is related to people prominent in the Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood has been labeled a terror organization by the very same State Department where Huma now holds a high-level job. To hear the press describe her job, they weren't able to get Stepin Fetchit, so they hired her. A female dogsbody to do a job about on the level of the guy carting around the mail. An important personage? An adviser on the Middle East and a character witness for organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood? Don't be silly.

The implications of the actual facts are not pursued by the Times. Instead, we read -- using words out of the mouth of a spokesman for Secretary Clinton, "these accusations are nothing but vicious and disgusting lies" [emphasis added]. Aha. Now we comprehend. The problem isn't about someone with access to government policy makers who has relatives prominent in an organization that has been working on making Sharia law universal. The problem is the dastardly behavior of some Congressmen, condemning a poor child, for their own dastardly reasons. The point's been made, but the Times, worrying about our mental (in)capacity, reinforces the message. Again we are back to Mr. Remorseful Weiner, and the bravery of his little woman standing up for him and at his side. Sh'awl, folks.

Let us be clear. Over the years, many blogs -- Think-Israel included -- have pointed out ways that Resurgent Islam has infiltrated America's infrastructure, including our defense agencies, our media, our educational system and our law courts. We really do have a termite problem and we really do have to squash the termites or we will have no house. Wake up folks and smell the stench.


Footnotes and End Notes

[1] Section 1, Article II of the Constitution

[2]  See (c), 8 USC § 1401,

[3] G (a), 8 USC § 1401,


[5] Obama's paternal grandmother is cited in has Michelle saying that Barack's Home country is Kenya.


[7]  Whenever annoyance reaches a crescendo, we have been pacified by being given documents or photos of documents which purport to be a GEN-YU-INE certificate or ones just like the real thing. Yet over the years the supposed certificates and the pictures of the this-certificate-is-just-like-Obama's have been proven forgeries or been short form Certificates. The last one -- the one that has been touted as the Long Form and genuine since April 2011 -- has been demolished by several techniques, one an elegantly simple proof using an ungrouping algorithm. If the birth certificate were a direct scan and unretouched, it would not be composed of separate parts. But it can be ungrouped into separate components. The pixels that remain after the inked text is digitally removed are white, not green, indicating altered text because the camera can not see the green form "under" the superimposed text in the composite. The only conclusion is that the purported certificate is a digitally created composite photo, a genuine fake.

Barry Soetero's
 Certificate of Live Birth
Barack Hussein Obama's Latest Released Certificate of Live Birth.

There are several sources for the investigation for the latest document alleged to be Barack Obama's genuine birth certificate:; and An analysis by Mara Zebest for another group is discussed here.   See also and a video at


[9] jul 2, 2012


[11] It is true that some sites have only anecdotal material to suggest that Obama was adopted but then again it's hard to take a source only identified as The Fogbow as authoritative when it asserts that Obama is native born, no matter how authoritative it claims to be. The FogBow site is at is a strong anti-native site; World Net Daily has taken a strong role in disseminating evidence against Obama's claim to be a native American citizen. There is also this tantalizing bit: according to AfricanPress, October 15, 2008,, Michelle Obama said, "My husband was born in Hawaii and adopted by his step father ..."]

[12] Daniel Pipes, "Obama's Muslim Childhood,

[13] What languages does Obama speak? I'm not a linguist, but judging from videos he pronounces koran and salem alechem like a native. Left to his non-teleprompted devices, in English, he is mostly incoherent, linking oddball and unrelated phrases (See, e.g., and He uses words in unusual contexts, to say the least. Even years ago, in his last year at the Harvard Law Review, Obama said things like: "I don't know that it was possible to do it any other way than I did it, but I would have liked to have had the luxury of being more strategic about my tenure." [emphasis added.] "Strategic about my tenure." I have no idea what that means. It suggests that though English was likely his first language when he was a baby and toddler, by the time he became fluent in a language, he was probably using official Indonesian in school, colloquial Indonesian at play, Arabic to study the Koran and Kitchen-English at home. He didn't go to an English-speaking school until he came to live with his mother's parents in Hawaii when he was ten.


[15] Guideline A.

[16] Guideline B.

[17] Guideline B.





[22] Barack Obama, Audacity of Hope, 2006.


Bernice Lipkin has been Managing Editor of Think-Israel since its inception in 2002.

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