Obama’s legal identity problem
By Douglas J. Hagmann
5 July 2012
This week, Ohio private investigator Susan Daniels filed suit in the Geauga County, Ohio Court of Common Pleas to petition the Ohio Secretary of State to remove Barack Hussein Obama’s name from the ballot based on alleged inconsistencies with his social security number. If the controversy surrounding Obama’s social security number (SSN) is new or perhaps confusing to you, the explanation regarding the issuance of social security numbers is quite simple, but critical to understanding the issue as it pertains to his identity. As I’ve been an investigator for the last 27 years, I have a lot of experience in dealing with SSNs, identifying anomalies and outright forgeries, and posses the same documents, proprietary database results and associated investigative documents as Ms. Daniels.
A brief overview of SSNs
Every citizen of the U.S., permanent residents and some temporary residents as defined by the Social Security Act since 1935, when the New Deal Social Security program began, have been assigned a nine digit social security number in the following format: 123-45-6789. As you can see, the number has three “parts” separated by hyphens. Each part of the number has a specific meaning.
The first three numbers reflect a general geographical area of issuance, the second two numbers are “group numbers” that are internally assigned and have meaning but will not be addressed in the scope of this article. The last four numbers could be considered serial numbers of sorts, reflecting a numerical sequence between 0001 and 9999 that have a peripheral relationship to the group number but again, is beyond the scope of this report.
To be factually correct and all inclusive, I should also note that starting in 1963, U.S. railroad workers were exclusively issued numbers between 700 and 728 in place of the geographical code, although this procedure has since been discontinued. Also, there are no legitimate SSNs that use 000 or 666 for their geographical code.
The system was designed so that all social security numbers are unique to each person, never recycled or reused even after death of that person, and with very few exceptions, are rarely changed once they are issued. The age when a person was issued their SSNs has varied throughout the years. Some people born in the early part of the last century never applied for or assigned SSNs. As time progressed, nearly all Americans applied for and received SSNs.
Until the Tax Reform Act of 1986, minors were not required to obtain a social security number at birth, for example, as the numbers were never intended for identification purposes, but for income tracking by the IRS and for claiming children as dependents on their income tax returns. This process gradually changed over the years, and now the mother or parents of all babies born as U.S. citizens usually apply for the SSNs shortly after birth.
Changes under Obama
On June 25, 2011, the Social Security Administration initiated a new policy called the Social Security Number Randomization initiative, which essentially randomizes the issuance of SSNs. Perhaps the biggest impact is that a social security number will no longer reflect the geographical area of issuance. This initiative was implemented to ostensibly prevent the SSA from running out of numbers in any geographical area, and to allegedly make identity theft more difficult . Nonetheless, the timing of this initiative is interesting and not lost by this author.
The Obama SSN controversy