The Corner

Nixonian Secrecy

The whole birther thing is lunacy, and I’m glad NRO smacks it down so thoroughly. But Glynn Custred of Prop. 209 fame elaborates, in an e-mail, on a point briefly mentioned in the NRO editorial:

The question of Barack Obama’s birth certificate has provoked a surpisingly aggressive response from the White House and near hysteria from Obama supporters. If the question is so crazy, and especially since conservatives have joined the Obama supporters in their condemnation of those who asked them (Bill O’Reilly, Ann Coulter, the National Review), why all the fuss?

The question on which the “birthers” hinge their complaint is, is there a more specific document that the president is purposefully witholding from the public? No one seems willing or able to answer that question in a straight forward manner, thus fostering an atmosphere in which doubts linger and conspiracy theories thrive. [Actually, I think that’s been addressed. — MK]

The real problem, however, is not the president’s place of birth (it is highly unlikely that he was born anywhere but where he claims) but the Nixonian secrecy with which he has chosen to surround himself. Has Obama released his transcripts from Occidental College and Harvard? (we know all about Bush’s mediocre grades at Yale). Has he given permission for his theses and publications to be released? If not, why not?  Michelle got into hot water when her thesis was publicized. Maybe Barack learned a lesson from that episode. And why the secrecy about the grades of such a smart guy as Obama? Might they reveal some kind of favoritism along the way?

We do know that there are things Obama tried to hide, such as his association with Jeremiah Wright and Father Pfleger as well as William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn. Do his records reveal other questionable associations or statements?  Where is the transparency we expect of public officials? Why is Obama getting a pass when other presidents do not? And why the hysteria when the topic is brought up?

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