It Starts: Smear Campaign Makes Bogus Claims About the Obamas
1 year ago
Anonymous emails spread lies about the First Couple's law licenses
Do we have another smear campaign, similar to the ones the birthers started?
A widely-circulated chain letter is attacking the President and First Lady for “surrendering” their licenses to practice law in the state of Illinois. When chain letters -- of any sort -- land in the recipients' inboxes, the original source is generally impossible to determine or is simply an anonymous tipster who’s purportedly in “the know.”
In this case, the letter begins with these lines: “This is from a former Chicago lawyer now practicing law in Tyler, Texas. This is legit.” If it’s legitimate and from a lawyer who is practicing law in the state of Texas, why isn’t his or her name listed? Sources, especially the names of experts, are important to note when reading things of this nature.
There are also a number of inaccuracies about the claims themselves. The letter has 11 reasons to question “a phony” (meaning the President of the United States of America) who, apparently, finds it “hard to keep facts straight.” Because when a letter calls the President “a phony” and “this guy,” the veracity of the claims shouldn’t be questioned, right?
The letter then claims that both the President and the First Lady “surrendered” their licenses to practice law.
[ALSO READ: GOP Senator Tweets 'Obama is Stupid']
The first source – IARDC.org (Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission of the Supreme Court of Illinois) – is legitimate. It does show that the Obamas are no longer licensed to practice in the state of Illinois. But after citing this reliable source, the rest of the claims become unsubstantiated and fuzzy. There are too many inaccuracies in this chain letter, so only a few will be noted.
First, the claim that the President surrendered his license is not really accurate. A quick search for Barack Hussein Obama shows the following about his Illinois Registration Status: “Voluntarily retired [my emphasis] and not authorized to practice law.”
The chain letter also asserts: “President Barack Obama, former editor of the Harvard Law Review, is no longer a ‘lawyer.’ He surrendered his license back in 2008 in order to escape charges he lied on his bar application.” What’s the source for this claim? A blog posting by a “licensed professional” named Johnny Alamo (that’s a real name, to be sure) from 2009.
[ALSO READ: Beyonce Sends Letter to Michelle Obama]