Why would WND dispatch Jerome Corsi to London to publish a series of reports on the trial of a conspiracy theorist? As is often the case with Corsi and WND, there's an utterly bizarre explanation: the guy on trial thinks President Obama's mother isn't his real mother.
After the nonsensical conspiracy that President Obama lacked a proper American birth certificate was finally put to rest when he released the long-form version of that document in 2011, birther conspiracy theorists have forged increasingly convoluted and bizarre allegations to try to keep the story alive. Right-wing fringe sites like WND -- which, not coincidentally, sells a wide range of birther swag at its online store -- have spent the years since the release of the long-form certificate desperately trying to breathe life back into the conspiracy. Based on things like a smudged stamp ink and a supposedly-hidden "smiley face" in the long-form certificate, writers like Corsi have declared the document to be a forgery (a ridiculous claim also endorsed by people like Donald Trump).
Hand-in-hand with the conspiracy that Obama lacks or is hiding an authentic birth certificate, conspiracy theorists have also obsessed over the idea that Barack Obama Sr. is not the president's real father. Candidates for the "real father" have included Malcolm X, an unidentified "American black," "some Indonesian," and, most prominently, Communist poet Frank Marshall Davis. (The latter theory was the focus of an inane 2012 "documentary," which found fans in Corsi and Fox News contributor Monica Crowley.)
In an article filed earlier this week from London, Corsi highlighted the outlandish claims of Michael Shrimpton, "a middle-aged London barrister by profession and self-proclaimed intelligence expert." Shrimpton is currently awaiting trial in England for allegedly intentionally misleading the British government by falsely claiming terrorists planned to detonate a nuclear weapon during the 2012 Olympics that he claimed was stolen from a sunken Russian submarine.
Corsi explained that Shrimpton was previously known for a 2008 video "in which he claims to have been privy to shocking intelligence information on Obama's origins." In the video, Shrimpton alleges that Obama was born in Mombasa, Kenya, a fact that is present "in British intelligence files, because that territory was under the British Empire at the time."
Shrimpton also suggested that Obama's mother is not his real mother because she supposedly was not pregnant the month before Obama's birth. According to Shrimpton, the CIA stole water glasses from Obama and one of his maternal gradparents at a campaign fundraising dinner and concluded that their DNA did not match.
Corsi rightly notes that the video "naturally has raised questions about Shrimpton's credibility and his qualifications to make such an extraordinary claim." Indeed it does. Corsi himself essentially detonates Shrimpton's theory in the first article on the trial by explaining that Obama's maternal grandfather died in 1992 and that his grandmother "was not know [sic] to have made public appearances in Obama's campaign," making it unlikely they were drinking water together at a 2008 campaign event.
But apparently WND is desperate enough to keep birther conspiracies alive that they are willing to highlight allegations that even they seemingly find implausible.
According to Corsi, Shrimpton "doubled down" on the allegations from the video in an interview with WND, "asserting that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, as part of his negotiations to leave Hong Kong, agreed to deliver to Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow the classified U.S. military intelligence file on Obama's DNA." Seems likely.
Since that first article, Corsi has followed up with two more pieces about Shrimpton's upcoming trial. In the subsequent pieces, both of which have been featured prominently on WND's homepage, Corsi has reiterated Shrimpton's charge that the CIA has secret DNA evidence "establishing that Stanley Ann Dunham was not Obama's biological mother." Corsi writes that Shrimpton "intends to subpoena from the CIA and British intelligence any records either agency may have on Obama's DNA."
Shrimpton's conspiracy has since made the leap to Floyd Brown's Western Journalism Center (which spawned WND in the 90s). WJC dispensed with WND's relative nuance, labeling the Shrimpton story the "Trial That Could Expose Obama As Kenyan." WJC called Corsi's first report "groundbreaking," with the potential to "tear apart Barack Obama's carefully crafted backstory."
According to WJC writer B. Christopher Agee, "WorldNetDaily was reportedly the only media outlet present during the hearing despite -- or perhaps because of -- the fact that this case could blow the lid off of Obama's much-disputed birth story." Agee concluded his post by suggesting that the case "has the potential of forever changing American history."