The question of President Obama's draft card: Has evidence been destroyed?

The Washington Times

Alan Jones
5/7/2012

Excerpt:

"WASHINGTON, May 7, 2012 — Changes in the wording of Selective Service System record-keeping requirements, made days after the opening of an investigation into the alleged forgery of President Barack Obama’s selective service registration form, raise serious questions about U.S. Government intentions.

The new rules allow existing copies of documents that may be sought by investigators to be destroyed.

The Selective Service System’s new privacy rules were published in the Federal Register on Tuesday, September 20, 2011, four days after the September 16 announcement by World Net Daily that the Maricopa County (Arizona) Sheriff’s Office “Cold Case Posse” was opening an inquiry with full subpoena power into alleged forgery of several documents concerning Obama’s birth and draft registration.

The new rules, which constitute the first update to Selective Service System privacy regulations in eleven years, were published under the title, “Privacy Act of 1974; Publication of Notice of Systems of Records.”

Ongoing controversy surrounding allegations that some of Obama’s personal identification documents and records, including his Selective Service draft registration form, are forgeries came into sharp focus seven months ago. The “Cold Case Posse,” under the leadership of Sheriff Joseph M. Arpaio, opened an inquiry in response to those allegations.

“This is a full-fledged criminal investigation,” Michael Zullo, lead investigator, told Communities @WashingtonTimes.

“Sheriff Arpaio sent two written requests in March to the Selective Service System requesting President Obama’s draft registration records. Selective Service System officials responded to Arpaio in writing, but did not turn over any of President Obama’s registration records.”

“We believe they are stonewalling,” Zullo added. "In their latest reply letter to the Sheriff, they do not comment on, or even allude to, the microfilm being available to inspect."

Changes in the wording of the privacy rules alters the status of federal records, like the requested draft registration records, from “record copies” to “nonrecord copies.” Nonrecord copies are subject to disposal.

Previously unnoticed, the new rules allow the government to destroy microfilm copies of Selective Service registration records and may create new obstacles for law enforcement agencies that are requesting records access for investigative purposes.

This change also hampers media organizations and government watchdog groups from seeking records access under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). A second change, to a section of the rules governing the sharing of information with state and local governments, seems aimed squarely at blocking inquiries like the one launched by the Cold Case Posse.

If microfilm copies of selective service records are destroyed, it would make it difficult to prove whether or when Obama registered with the Selective Service. At issue is whether he attended Occidental College in Los Angeles as a foreign student, possibly using an Indonesian passport. Foreign students are not required to register with the Selective Service, hence if there were no record of his registration, this would raise questions about Obama’s legal status at that time. Was his status that of a U.S. citizen or a foreign student, possibly with dual passports?

A paper copy of Obama’s selective service registration card, called a form “SSS-1,” was obtained days before the 2008 elections through a FOIA request by Stephen Coffman, a retired Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent. A spokesperson from ICE, an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, confirmed that Coffman retired from the agency in June, 2007.
Selective Service card copy (click to enlarge)

Selective Service card copy (click to enlarge)

Investigators with the Cold Case Posse concluded that the copy of Obama’s Selective Service registration card obtained through Coffman’s FOIA request was “fraudulently created.” Those findings were announced at a March 1, 2012 press conference in Phoenix.

“The selective service card (copy) that we showed in our press conference,” said Zullo in an interview with radio host Frank Beckmann, “We believe that document was fraudulently created to give the appearance that it was accepted [by Selective Service] in 1980.

“That has some far reaching implications, implications that the President himself – at some point in time – may have to answer for.”

Richard S. Flahavan, Selective Service System Associate Director of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs, confirmed in a March 2009 letter to Kenneth Allen that Obama did register for selective service on July 29, 1980 at a Honolulu, Hawaii post office.

The original microfilm record of that should be in the care of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). An independent review of the entire microfilm record, not just Obama’s record, would confirm whether the record supplied by Flahavan to Coffman and Allen is a true copy of the original document.

Review of official documents posted on the websites of the Government Printing Office, NARA, and the Selective Service System confirms that if Obama registered for selective service in 1980, the original paper card would have likely been destroyed, but only after being transferred into original microfilm records, microfilm record copies, and computer storage systems.

If the status of those microfilm copies are now “nonrecord” rather than “record,” as would be the case under the new requirement, most of those records could be permanently destroyed.

Even if the microfilm copy at the Selective Service System Data Management Center in Illinois has been destroyed, however, the original microfilm should be held at one of the Federal Record Centers, long term record facilities operated by NARA.

A popular film scenario has an investigator looking for a document confronted by hundreds of shelves filled with thousands of boxes full of documents. If the Cold Case Posse goes looking for Obama’s record, the change in classification might make its task akin to finding a specific piece of hay in a haystack.

CIA Used “Non-record” Designation to Burn “Enhanced Interrogation” Videotapes

In 2007, the Central Intelligence Agency used the “non-record” designation as defense for destroying ninety-two videotapes of alleged terrorist Abu Zubaydah. The tapes, recorded in 2002 at one or more “black sites”, reportedly showed Zubahday undergoing enhanced interrogation, including waterboarding.

“The bottom line,” a CIA spokesman asserted, “is that these videotapes were not federal records as defined by the Federal Records Act.”

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