Friday, April 03, 2009

Birthers form "citizen grand jury," "indict" Obama"Having been stymied at every turn by the courts, by elected officials and by the facts, the "Birthers" -- those people who believe Barack Obama is not eligible for the presidency -- are now getting even more creative. In the movement's latest big action, a group in Georgia formed a "citizen grand jury" and "indicted" Obama on charges including fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud.
This is no April Fool's joke; the people behind it are deadly serious. Georgia resident Carl Swensson, who took the lead in forming the "grand jury," has even been aping a prosecutor's language in discussing his actions, saying he can't discuss the indictment in detail because of the possibility Obama will be prosecuted. And he's sent the indictment to the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia and the state attorney general, among others.
Swensson claims the authority to do this under a rather novel interpretation of the Magna Carta, the 13th century document laying out the rights of British nobles. It appears Swensson based his legal reasoning on the arguments of a tax denier named William Thornton. (As Jason Zengerle wrote in the latest New York Times Magazine, tax deniers are a whole other subset of conspiracy theorists, who rely on similarly creative and frivolous arguments in an attempt to get out of paying federal income taxes. They're almost always unsuccessful.)"

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