Hawaii plane crash fires up Obama conspiracy theorists
Death of official who certified president's birth certificate attracts the attention of ‘birthers' including Donald Trump
THE death in a plane crash of the Hawaiian official who certified Barack Obama's birth certificate has sent conspiracy theorists into a frenzy.
A small but significant number of Americans believe Obama was born in Kenya, not Hawaii, and is therefore ineligible to be the president of the United States. These ‘birthers', as they are known, are convinced that the death of Hawaii's public health director Loretta Fuddy on Wednesday afternoon may not have been an accident.
Fuddy was killed when the single-engined Cessna aircraft she was travelling in crashed into the sea shortly after takeoff from Kalaupapa Airport on the island of Molokai. Seven other passengers and the pilot were rescued, but Fuddy was trapped in the wreckage, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The 65-year-old was briefly in the spotlight in April 2011, when she verified the authenticity of the president's birth certificate. Obama was forced to produce the document after a concerted campaign by ‘birthers', the most prominent of whom is the property tycoon Donald Trump.
When Obama offered his birth certificate for scrutiny he said: "I know that there's going to be a segment of people for which, no matter what we put out, this issue will not be put to rest."
He was right. Trump and his fellow ‘birthers' declared the document was probably a forgery and continued their campaign. Now they have “seized” on Fuddy's death to suggest that something - it's not clear what - doesn't add up.
Trump lead the way by tweeting: "How amazing, the State Health Director who verified copies of Obama's 'birth certificate' died in plane crash today. All others lived."
Other birthers were more explicit. "The WH tying up loose ends?" asked one. "What did she really know?" and "R.I.P. Loretta Fuddy - we'll know the truth about Barack Hussein Obama, regardless."
In the meantime, Fuddy's family, friends and colleagues are mourning her death and crash investigators were trying to determine if the accident was due to human error or mechanical failure. A spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board said the agency's findings should be ready within 14 days. ·