As I reported on Tuesday, Barack Obama has yet to provide an explanation for how he came to have a Social Security number that begins with the Connecticut prefix “042.”
Filmmaker Joel Gilbert read the piece. He has been in Hawaii doing follow-up research on his insightful new documentary, Dreams from My Real Father, and he sent me the single best explanation I have yet to see.
What intrigued me about this story from the moment Ohio private investigator Susan Daniels first came across Obama’s Connecticut SSN was the ineptness of the left-wing explanations.
“Numbers are assigned based on the return address on the request envelope, not residency,” crowed Jason Linkins in the Huffington Post, as though he had said something meaningful. Linkins suggested two possible explanations, both preposterous.
One is that Obama applied for his SSN as a little boy in Indonesia for no known reason, and the application just happened to be processed in Connecticut for no known reason, too.
For the second, Linkins cited the argument […], “In fact, Barack Obama’s dad attended college in Connecticut and in 1977, Obama was college aged; is it beyond reason to consider that he might have checked out his father’s alma mater?”
Last time I checked, Harvard was in Massachusetts. The closest town to Harvard in Connecticut is about 90 minutes away, and there is no record at all that Obama Sr. lived there, let alone that Obama visited his imaginary alma mater and just happened to apply for a Social Security card while visiting.
On the respectable right, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly finessed this claim. “[Obama’s] father lived in Connecticut for several years,” O’Reilly said inaccurately on air last April. He added that “babies sometimes get numbers based on addresses provided by their parents.” Wrong again.
The left-leaning fact-checking service Snopes.com […] repeats the irrelevant detail that Obama would only need to have sent his application in from Connecticut, but how or why the 16-year-old Obama could or would have done so is overlooked.
Snopes concludes that “the most likely explanation” is a “simple clerical or typographical error.” Obama, they contend, lived in the Hawaii zip code of 96814, while the zip code for Danbury, CT is 06814. As it happens, “clerical error” is the same excuse used to explain away Obama’s claim to a Kenyan birth in his literary agent’s 1991 promotional piece.
Joel Gilbert suggests a more likely explanation. In doing his research in Hawaii, Gilbert heard from several sources that pre-statehood, every institution or branch of government in Hawaii was dominated by the Japanese syndicate known as the “Yakuza, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), and a complicit bureaucracy. “After statehood in 1959 the Federal Government came in, and the syndicate went underground, but maintained the same control, and does so to this day,” says Gilbert.
“Hawaii was and is a corrupt state,” Gilbert continues. He was told by retired Honolulu police detectives that in the state bureaucracy, “anything could be purchased, including Social Security numbers.” These were real numbers, likely available because the original card holder was dead. The sellers trafficked in SSNs that did not originate in Hawaii. That way, if the person using the phony SSN were ever caught, the crime would be traced back to the issuing state, not the Hawaii office.
Gilbert’s theory is that the SSN problem is related to the question of Obama’s birth certificate, which is required to get a SSN. Lacking a valid birth certificate, Obama was forced to buy an SSN so he could get his first job at the Baskin Robbins in 1977. In this theory, Obama was sold an SSN that was Connecticut-based so it couldn’t be traced back to the Hawaii office.
The easiest way to test this theory and establish the truth is to ask the people who know. WND’s veteran White House correspondent Les Kinsolving tried to do just this at a press briefing a few years back. Predictably, Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs laughed Kinsolving off and switched the subject to the birth certificate.
In a televised address two years ago, Obama famously said, “The only people who don’t want to disclose the truth are people with something to hide.” So could someone in the media please ask him about that “042”? We can be sure they would be asking questions if Mitt Romney had a Hawaii-based SSN, and they would not be satisfying themselves with “clerical error.”