There are three recordings relating to Barack Obama’s birth on the Internet. Two regard his paternal grandmother in Kenya and one involves the Kenyan Ambassador to the United States.
The first grandmother tape is on YouTube. Before you visit the Obama Grandmother audio recording, let me offer a suggestion. Close your eyes and listen to it without watching the titles added to guide your thinking. You probably won’t get much out of it. The recording is of a transatlantic telephone call of the poorest quality. From accounts I have read, the actual call dropped multiple times and what you just heard was edited together from multiple calls. The point here is that neither you nor I, nor the participants of the call would have had an easy time following this strained conversation. What Obama’s grandmother actually says in the call is inaudible, and what we hear (barely) is someone else on her end translating both ways. The recording was made in the US and that end of the conversation is crystal clear.
Here’s an excerpt of the transcript of the translation copied from the YouTube video titles:
McRae: Mrs. Obama, you can rest assured that I am praying for your son, for your grandson.
Translator: Yes, it is also helpful towards it is beginning to help.
Sarah Obama: (unintelligible)
Translator: She says she is cover your prayers for her (unintelligible) for her son.
McRae: Okay. And tell her that I will be coming there in December and that I would like to come by and pray with her.
Translator: Yes. Ye atakuwa mweze Desemba.
Kweli Shuhubla: In December. He will come in December and he wants to come and talk with you.
Sarah Obama: (unintelligible)
Translator: Oh, she says you’re so encourage her. Your coming in December, so you can talk with her.
McRae: Amen. I am so thankful. Could I ask her, uh, about his, uh his actual birthplace? I would like to see his actual birthplace when I, when I come to Kenya in December. Uh, was she present when he was, was she present when he was born in Kenya.
Translator: Ailuma zalima Obama (unintelligible)
Kweli Shuhubia: He is asking her, he wants to know something was ah she present when he was born?
Translator: Yes. She says “Yes she was!” She was present when Obama was born:
What can one make of this tape? The first obvious fact is that the communications were difficult and that the parties were having a hard time understanding each other. After sleeping on it, though, the essential problem jumped out. Look back at the transcript, at the question: “was ah she present when he was born?” Who is “he”? The last person mentioned was by Sarah Obama “(unintelligible) for her son”. Read it carefully. She is saying that she was present at the birth of her son, our president elect’s father! (Actually Barack Obama, Sr. is Sarah’s step son, not her biological son.)
Ron McRae, outspoken anti-abortion advocate, identifies himself as the “bishop of the Anabaptists Churches of North America”. The transcript above is same as the sworn affidavit by him in Berg v. Obama. Given the penalties for making a sworn false statement, I will give McRae the benefit of the doubt. However in the end the tape simply does not say that Barack Obama II was born in Kenya, but in fact the tape says a lot more as we will see in a moment.
The audio tape sounds to me like it was designed to trap Sarah Obama into saying that her grandson was born in Kenya. The rest was padding; the only thing of substance was this birth question. Whether the interviewer intentionally interjected the confusion when he said: ” am praying for your son, for your grandson” or did said it by accident, he misled Sarah. The rest of the “i was with him in the delivery room in Mombasa” stuff you see on the Internet is not in the transcript at all. (Third hand accounts of the tape have grown in the telling.)
A reader and listener with critical thinking could have listened to the Grandmother tape or read the transcript and seen that the tape doesn’t way what it is represented to say. I congratulate someone who got that far. But that is not how far it goes. The YouTube tape and the Berg v. Obama affidavit ends premature; the audio recording itself has much more on it, and here is the real “smoking gun”. The full tape contains a clarification where Sarah Obama makes it clear that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii, in America. The full version is available here, and the clarification starts around 5 minutes into the tape. At some point, the tape was edited to remove the clear statement from Sarah Obama that her grandson was born in Hawaii.
In a professionally done video of Sarah Obama here where she clearly says that she got to meet her grandson when he came to visit Kenya as an adult. (For some reason the poster of this tape has requested that it not be embedded in web sites, so you will have to link to YouTube to view it.)
Now compare the first audio recording to the recording of another phone conversation, this time with the Kenyan Ambassador to the US. Once again, the call is an obvious trap designed to get the person on the other end to say that Obama was born in Kenya. Whether the Ambassador meant Barack Obama (the father) or whether he meant the birth lineage of Barack Obama the son is not clear. But it is unlikely that the Ambassador is saying that Barack Obama II was born in Kenya (how would he know?). Indeed, in a follow-up statement, the ambassador says he doesn’t know where Obama was born according to the radio station that made the original call, WRIF.