Let’s say you have a list of things such as: Barack Obama, Stanley Ann Dunham, birth certificate, social-security number, selective service registration, fraud, college records, Frank Marshall Davis, etc. From the list you can pick some number of them to make a combination. This seems to be the process from which yet another Obama conspiracy theory has arisen, selecting the combination of “Stanley Ann Dunham,” “fraud” and “social-security number.”
The social-security number of Barack Obama’s mother is well-known and fully verified. The number, 535-40-8522, appears for example on her 1976 passport application that I obtained via FOIA. It’s also in the publicly available Social Security Death Index:
Given the availability of public records about deceased persons, I was more than a little perplexed to see an article claiming that she had a fraudulent social-security number (insinuating that the practice runs in the family). The article, “Obama’s Mama Had a Fraudulent Social Security Number Too!” appears at the We the People of the United States blog.
The basis of this claim is the familiar examination of a low-resolution copy of a document and speculation that there is something wrong with it, in this case, the Stanley Ann Dunham’s application for a social-security number. The writer “Bridgette” obtained a copy of Dunham’s application form from the Social Security Administration. Here is the image published:
The argument that the application is a fake is based on the revision date on the form, which appears at the bottom. The claim is that the blurry revision date on this form completed in 1959 doesn’t match any actual revision date of such forms, dates obtained from SSA. The author reads the date as 7-55, 7-65, or 7-68. The SSA response lists 9-42, 7-56 and 7-69 as the SS-5 form revision dates covering the time period. One might argue that birthers see only what they want to see in documents and question the interpretation of the smudgy date, but we can do better than that.
In the article there appears these paragraphs:
Using Ann’s number shown on the form above, 535-40-8522, numbers were checked in the final number sequence. I started with 535-40-8518 – 28. Only two people within the sequence died. One was Stanley A. Dunham, born 29 Nov. 29, 1942, and died Nov. 7, 1995 at age 52 in 96826 (Honolulu, Honolulu, HI) (last benefit none specified). SS # issued in Washington. She applied on May 22, 1959 at age 16.
The other person in the sequence was J. Henriksen with the number, 535-40-8526. He/she was born in 1926 and died in 1986. His SS number was issued in Washington. That meant he was 33 when he applied for a social security number in 1959 while Stanley Ann was only 16. (The original Social Security Act was initiated in 1935 and was part of Roosevelt’s New Deal. ).
This mention of Henriksen, applying for a social-security number probably on the very same day that Dunham applied, and probably at the very same office (given that the numbers assigned were only 4 apart), certainly raised an immediate question in my mind: What form was used for Mr. Henriksen’s application. Apparently this thought didn’t enter the mind of the writer at the WTPOTUS blog, or if it did nothing was published about it. I, however, did not let the matter end there, but I requested a copy of Mr. Henriksen’s social-security application and it arrived today. The original copy I received from SSA seems clear enough to me to determine that the revision date is 7-55, the same as was surmised by the WTPOTUS writer. Despite what the SSA thinks, the Social Security office in Seattle Washington in 1959 was using a form with a revision date of 7-55.
The forms appear identical, even to the employee initials at the lower left of the form. There’s nothing whatever wrong with Dunham’s social-security application.
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