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Fox Continues Promoting Birther Lawsuit While Ignoring Red Flags Indicating It’s A Hoax

Reported by Ellen - July 16, 2009 -

On Tuesday (7/14/09), I posted about several instances in which Fox News had added legitimacy to the irrational and baseless conspiracy-theorist “birthers” who continue to insist, despite evidence to the contrary, that Barack Obama was not born in the United States and thus an illegitimate president. One such effort came from Sean Hannity, reporting on a soldier challenging his deployment to Afghanistan on the grounds that Obama is not eligible to be president. Hannity had failed to note in his report the availability of Obama’s birth certificate and how the birther claims have been completely investigated and debunked. Hannity gave an update to the Afghanistan story last night (7/15/09) and took it a step further by suggesting, along with the plaintiff, that the subsequent revocation of the soldiers deployment orders indicated that his allegations were proved true. But Hannity omitted key details that point to a scam by the soldier. With video.

At about 40 seconds into the video below, Hannity says, “We told you yesterday about an Army Reserve soldier who challenged his deployment orders on the grounds that President Obama HAS NOT PROVEN (Hannity’s emphasis) that he is a U.S. citizen. Now that soldier, Maj. Stefan Frederick Cook, who was supposed to deploy to Afghanistan in coming days, has now had his order revoked. According to his lawyer, ‘They just said, ‘Order revoked.’ No explanation, no reasons – just revoked.’ Now Major Cook and his lawyer expressed joy at this outcome and they took it as an admission on the part of the military that the president is not, in fact, a legitimate citizen by birth.”

A Fox News producer similarly suggested that the Obama administration was trying to sweep the matter under the rug by posting the banner: After claiming Obama not U.S. Born soldier has his order revoked.

Once again Hannity failed to point out that Obama’s birth certificate has been produced, that FactCheck.org, (hardly a liberal or Democratic organization) has concluded that Obama was “Born in the U.S.A.”

Had Hannity bothered to do the simplest of Google searches, he would have also uncovered this key piece of information from that day’s Georgia Ledger-Enquirer newspaper:

Earlier today, (Lt. Col. Maria Quon, U.S. Army Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Army Human Resources Command-St. Louis) said Cook submitted a formal written request to Human Resources Command-St. Louis on May 8, 2009 volunteering to serve one year in Afghanistan with Special Operations Command, U.S. Army Central Command, beginning July 15, 2009. The soldier's orders were issued on June 9, Quon said.

"A reserve soldier who volunteers for an active duty tour may ask for a revocation of orders up until the day he is scheduled to report for active duty," Quon said.

She added that there is an administrative process to request revocation of orders. As of this afternoon, Cook had not asked for his orders to be revoked, Quon said. She could not say why the soldier's orders were pulled today by 3 p.m. CDT.

So, Maj. Cook filed a request to serve the Commander-in-Chief in Afghanistan on May 8, well after Obama had assumed the presidency, but now, about two months later, is claiming that Obama is not qualified to be president. And instead of going through the administrative process to revoke his orders, which would seem to be a pro forma matter, he sued in federal court.

I wasn’t the only one to smell something rotten in Wingnuttia.

Greyhawk, at Mudville Gazette, put those details together with the fact that Cook had boasted about challenging Obama’s presidency in another lawsuit (with the same lawyer) in March. In other words, two months after formally declaring he didn’t think Obama is a legal president, Cook volunteered to serve in Afghanistan under Obama. Two months later, he filed another lawsuit, even though a lawsuit was not necessary, to revoke his deployment because Obama is not a legal president, a view Cook had all along. (H/T Priscilla)

As Greyhawk also pointed out:

Because Cook waited to the last minute to take this action, either someone is going to get a very short notice non-volunteer assignment, or else the unit in Afghanistan will have to get by without one soldier for a while. Since that soldier would be a field grade officer, it's likely that the position will be of some significance.

But don’t count on Great American Hannity or anyone else at Fox to investigate that aspect of the story.