President Obama Draft Card: Selective Service System blocks access to records

Administrative regulations allow only federal law enforcement access to Obama's Selective Service records.

WASHINGTON, May 17, 2012 — Selective Service System officials are denying the public access to microfilm records of President Obama’s draft registration form.

In a dramatic jurisdictional showdown between local law enforcement and federal government, the Selective Service System is blocking investigators with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (Ariz.) Cold Case Posse, led by Sheriff Joe Arpaio, from inspecting microfilm critical to determining if two previously released copies of President Obama’s selective service registration were forged.

In response to a May 9, 2012 emergency letter from lead investigator Michael Zullo to Selective Service System Director Lawrence Romo, demanding to know if the agency is in possession of original microfilm and microfilm copies of President Obama’s draft registration records, Associate Director for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs Richard Flahavan responded with an evasive, general letter. That response on March 10, 2012 provided general guidelines and regulations concerning draft registration records, but failed to clarify anything about President Obama’s records specifically.

Letter sent from Maricopa County Sheriff's office to SSS

Letter sent from Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office to SSS (click to enlarge)

The letter also failed to specifically address Zullo’s concerns that microfilm rolls which should hold Obama’s draft registration records could have been destroyed since being designated federal nonrecords under new privacy rules.

In their latest response, the Selective Service System did not provide Cold Case Posse investigators with requested specifics about the location of the record copy of microfilm registration records for men born after January 1, 1960, which would presumably include the registration records of President Obama, beyond a general statement that “they are stored at a secure Federal Records Center facility”.

“For security purposes and to prevent workflow disruption in servicing public inquiries, access to the record copy and the non-record working copy of microfilm reels is not available to the public. However, access is available to law enforcement organizations with Federal jurisdiction that are conducting an authorized Federal investigation.” – Richard S. Flahavan, Associate Director for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs, Selective Service System

Lead investigator Zullo responded to the federal agency’s latest letter Thursday afternoon in a statement to Communties @WashingtonTimes.com:  “That statement [by Associate Director Flahavan] is concerning to our investigational team and brings us around again to the microfilm issue, and we are going to seek clarification on the statutory authority for this information to be withheld from any bona-fide law enforcement agency.”

Selective Service System officials maintain that Obama registered for selective service on July 29, 1980 at United States Post Office Makiki Station in Honolulu, Hawaii.

The latest response from Selective Service System officials dovetails with the legal strategy Communities @WashingtonTimes.com predicted the agency would pursue following a subtle rewording of privacy rules which promulgate access to registration records by law enforcement agencies.  

The new privacy rules, published on September 20, 2011, four days after World Net Daily announced the opening of the “Cold Case Posse” investigation of Obama’s selective service registration records, reworded language that might have previously been interpreted as permitting local and state law enforcement agencies to access the records. The new wording appears to allow only federal law enforcement agencies such access.

The new privacy rules also replaced the phrase “microfilm copies” with “microfilm non-record copies,” which changed microfilm copies from “federal records” to “nonrecords”.  Nonrecords are subject to disposal.

The Selective Service System, in its most recent response to Sheriff Arpaio and the Cold Case Posse, is now arguing that microfilm copies of registration records are off-limits to local law enforcement agencies, such as the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.

At a March 1, 2012 press conference in Phoenix, lead investigator Zullo announced that the Cold Case Posse had concluded that the copy of Obama’s selective service registration form released under the Freedom of Information Act was “fraudulently created.” 

If those allegations are true, then a registration form for President Obama might not exist on the original microfilm roll of records processed by the agency on September 4, 1980.

 Also see: The question of President Obama’s draft card:  Has evidence been destroyed?


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Alan Jones

Alan Jones is an investigative journalist covering a wide range of areas.  He has worked in the financial industry and has lived overseas.

 

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