Adelaide man caught up in bid to oust Obama
Dina Rosendorff reported this story on Tuesday, August 4, 2009 18:36:00
MARK COLVIN: An unsuspecting Adelaide public servant has found himself swept up in a conspiracy to oust the 44th President of the United States from office.
A movement known as the Birthers, which originated in California, is attempting to prove that Barack Obama was born in Kenya, not Hawaii, therefore making him ineligible to be President.
In a bid to stake their claim they released what appeared to be a Kenyan birth certificate with Obama's name on it.
Sceptics soon traced the bogus birth certificate and found it to be a forgery. The document turns out to have been based on the birth certificate of an Adelaide man called David Jeffrey Bomford.
Dina Rosendorff broke the news to him.
DINA ROSENDORFF: David Jeffrey Bomford's language was a touch too colourful for radio when PM first contacted him with news his birth certificate had been used in a bid to oust Barack Obama.
Now that he's come to terms with his unwitting involvement in an international conspiracy, he's slightly more amused.
DAVID JEFFREY BOMFORD: (Laughs) That is ridiculous. Little old person in Adelaide, the President of the United States. I don't know whether to laugh about it or not, be worried about it.
It is interesting someone from here being involved in a conspiracy - that is so funny.
DINA ROSENDORFF: It's believed computer hackers found Mr Bomford's birth certificate on his family's genealogy website.
They used it as the basis for a forgery in an attempt to prove President Obama was born in Kenya rather than Hawaii.
Only people born in the USA can be president.
The fake Kenyan birth document has been circulated by political opponents of Obama's, called the Birthers, who are out to unseat him.
A growing online community who are against the Birthers quickly picked apart the bogus birth certificate and traced it back to about as far from Kenya as you can get - Thebarton Community Hospital at Mile End in South Australia and David Jeffrey Bomford.
As for the unsuspecting man at the centre of the political storm, he says he's not a Birther - just a public service clerk from Adelaide.
DAVID JEFFREY BOMFORD: I'm not involved in anything. To think that someone like me would be involved in an international conspiracy, considering I'm a conspiratist myself, I believe everything in all the old Roswell and all that rubbish. So this is quite funny.
DINA ROSENDORFF: Do you have anything against President Obama?
DAVID JEFFREY BOMFORD: No. I think he was a good choice for President. Apart from that, I didn't at first think he was a good President but he's proved himself alright so he changed my mind.
DINA ROSENDORFF: Looking over the documents in question Mr Bomford still can't quite believe his eyes.
DAVID JEFFREY BOMFORD: It's little old me and my mum and everything else up there. Oh I definitely confirm that the birth certificate was mine. That was quite easy to see - my address, even the style of the birth certificate was an old South Australian one.
So it's quite easy to identify that it's mine.
DINA ROSENDORFF: And looking at the fake Kenyan birth certificate what do you make of it?
DAVID JEFFREY BOMFORD: It's definitely a copy of my certificate. It's so laughable it's ridiculous.
DINA ROSENDORFF: Internet security expert Dr Asha Rao from RMIT University says although this case is quite funny, it's also very dangerous.
ASHA RAO: It just shows you what is possible on the Internet; that ultimately digital documents come down to a string of zeros and ones. This is an extreme case. Of course they must have trawled around and found something they could use.
But it's also, you know, you really don't, if you put that up, that is the main document that shows your identity. So, identity theft starts with getting hold of that document. So it's very dangerous to put stuff like that online.
DINA ROSENDORFF: Mr Bomford agrees with the experts and says he'll definitely be removing it from the website.
DAVID JEFFREY BOMFORD: I'm very surprised at how anyone would even find it on the net unless they were looking for something like that because it's buried on a little known research site that's particularly for my family.
So I was very, very surprised that anyone would even find it on the net. I'll be certainly contacting my friend who runs that web and asking him to remove it.
DINA ROSENDORFF: But he reckons it's a good story to tell his friends and family.
DAVID JEFFREY BOMFORD: I'm not particularly worried about it because no-one would honestly believe that anyone like me would be involved in it - just a grey-haired old guy sitting in a corner in quiet old Adelaide.
MARK COLVIN: Adelaide public servant David Jeffrey Bomford ending that report by Dina Rosendorff.
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