Daily archives: August 4th, 2009

Bill Clinton’s Lightning Diplomacy Frees 2 Journalists Held in North Korea

This just in from the WTAE Pittsburgh:

North Korea said Tuesday that two detained American journalists have been pardoned. The announcement came after news reports that former President Bill Clinton met Tuesday with the two journalists. ABC News reported that a government source with knowledge of the mission said Clinton’s meeting with journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee was very emotional.

The source was hopeful that Ling and Lee would leave North Korea on Tuesday night for the United States, ABC reported.

Earlier, Clinton met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il during his surprise mission to Pyongyang to negotiate the release of the two reporters, holding “exhaustive” talks on a wide range of topics, state-run media said.

Clinton “courteously” conveyed a verbal message from President Barack Obama, the official Korean Central News Agency said in a report from Pyongyang. Kim expressed his thanks, and engaged Clinton in a “wide-ranging exchange of views on matters of common concern,” the report said.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, however, denied Clinton went with a message from Obama. “That’s not true,” he told reporters.

I don’t know what was said behind closed doors, but this was incredibly fast. The fact that Clinton is not a member of the Obama Administration no doubt gave him greater flexibility in dealing with Kim Jong Il.

I look forward to hearing former President Clinton speak about this trip when he returns to the United States.

I especially look forward to hearing from Laura Ling and Euna Lee.

And I am incredibly impressed.

Kenyan Officials Flummoxed Over ‘Birther’ Controversy

I found it amusing that representatives of the Kenyan government are completely baffled by claims from the ‘birthers’ that President Barack Obama was born in Kenya.

From the Washington Independent:

Jon Chessoni, a first secretary at the Kenyan Embassy in Washington, can’t understand why his office gets so many baseless questions about whether Barack Obama was born in Kenya.

“It’s madness,” said Chessoni on Monday. “His father, in 1961, would not even have been in Kenya. When this matter first came up, the Kenyan government did its research and confirmed that these are all baseless claims.”

Nonetheless, Chessoni spent part of his day fielding inquiries about an image posted at the fringe conservative web site WorldNetDaily–a purported “certified copy of registration of birth” belonging to “Barack Hussein Obama II,” submitted by attorney Orly Taitz in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, part of her undying quest to get a judge to listen to the conspiracy theories about the 44th president of the United States. “I’m forcing the issue, where Obama will have to respond,” Taitz told the Website. “I am asking the judge to give me the power to subpoena the documents from the Kenyan embassy.”

Chessoni didn’t understand what Taitz was talking about or what her discovery (the gift of an “anonymous source” who’s “afraid for his life”) was supposed to prove. He showed the image to other embassy employees, who rolled their eyes at what was, for some, only the latest forgery being passed off as an official document from Kenya. “It’s a red herring,” said Chessoni. “Maybe there are not enough facts out there.”

The “birth certificate” is bogus.  We did our own debunking here on Turning Left, including the delicious revelation — which I haven’t seen reported elsewhere, by the way — that Orly Taitz misspelled her own name when she cited her Web site on the document she claims is Obama’s birth certificate.

Through all this malarkey, I can’t help but think through to that day in Matteson, IL, a few years ago, when I saw then State Senator Barack Obama sitting in his car, waiting patiently for a “Green Rally” to begin.  This event was about money for the south suburbs of Chicago, not about the environment at all.  There sat State Senator Obama, and no one noticed, except Mayor John Ostenburg of Park Forest, IL.  John stopped to chat with the man running for the U.S. Senate.

And no one else hardly noticed Obama was there.

How times have changed.

Get over it, Birthers.  Barack Obama is an American citizen, and these ridiculous attempts to prove otherwise are, well, just damn silly anymore.