Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Panamanchurian Candidate: McCain INELIGIBLE


Why John McCain is INELIGIBLE to be President of the United States


The question has been raised of the citizenship on John McCain in terms of his eligibility to be President. Please follow this VERY closely, as it is lengthy, but it shows that he is NOT eligible to be President; therefore he should be disqualified, decertified, and removed from all present and future Presidential ballots. His past results should be disallowed as well and all of his committed delegates unbound. The usual disclaimer of “I am not lawyer; this is not legal advice and should not be taken as such, etc.” applies. Don’t just take this document’s word for it: verify these facts. Resource citations are at the end.

Please note that all references to "citizen" and "citizenship" refer to United States citizens and United States citizenship, respectively.

To properly answer this eligibility question, several areas need to be examined: what the Constitution says on the issue, what the federal law says on the issue, what the federal regulatory policy is on the issue, and the legal status of John McCain’s place of birth. All of this, taken together, will determine what makes him eligible to be President, or not.

The Constitution

Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 of the Constitution:

No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

Amendment 14, Section 1, Clause 1 of the Constitution:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.

From Article II, it is clear that to be President, one must be a “natural born” citizen.

From the 14th Amendment, a citizen is a person either born or naturalized in the United States—not both, as they are mutually exclusive, and there is no third type of citizenship.

To be complete, the first question to answer must be whether or not John McCain is, in fact, a citizen. The answer and its references also help answer the natural born question as well.

In legal circles, the Latin terms of reference are jus soli (“right of the soil”) for born in the United States, and jus sanguinis (“right of blood”) for born to citizen parents. Naturalization is referred to by lex soli (“law of the soil”). John McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone in 1936 to citizen parents, so jus sanguinis definitely applies to him, and is not in dispute here. But jus sanguinis has no basis in U.S. law (only jus soli and lex soli do under the 14th Amendment), except through applicable legislation such as the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1952 (see the next section), so jus sanguinis falls under lex soli. To restate that, citizenship by bloodline is only done by legislation, which places citizenship by bloodline directly under naturalization. And therein lays the question: Is a citizen born in the Panama Canal Zone in 1936 a citizen under jus soli or lex soli (natural born or naturalized)?

The Untied States Code

A quick look at 8 USC 1400 appears to answers that question. That section of the United States Code comes directly from the Immigration and Naturalization Act (INA) of 1952, which was passed when McCain was 16 years of age. First, the citizenship question must be answered.

A look at 8 USC 1401(a) and (c) finds this:

The following shall be nationals and citizens of the United States at birth:
(a) a person born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof;
(c) a person born outside of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents both of whom are citizens of the United States and one of whom has had a residence in the United States or one of its outlying possessions, prior to the birth of such person;

8 USC 1401(c) addresses births outside the United States, meaning clearly that the “born in the United States” clause of the 14th Amendment cannot apply to this form of citizenship. Therefore a person that falls under 8 USC 1401(c) has to be a naturalized citizen

A key point to note here is that the term “at birth” encompasses birth both inside the United States and outside it. That means that “at birth” has a larger scope of meaning than “natural born” or jus soli alone, and therefore must include at least some forms of naturalization (lex soli). These sections here are included to refute the common arguments made in favor of McCain’s eligibility (that “at birth” only means “natural born”, which is not necessarily true), but these sections do not apply to him at all in the first place. Instead, 8 USC 1403(a) does apply.

A look at 8 USC 1403(a) finds it addresses McCain’s situation rather clearly:

(a) Any person born in the Canal Zone on or after February 26, 1904, and whether before or after the effective date of this chapter, whose father or mother or both at the time of the birth of such person was or is a citizen of the United States, is declared to be a citizen of the United States.

So it’s pretty clear that John McCain is a citizen. But is he a “natural born” (jus soli) citizen or a naturalized (lex soli) citizen?

Because 8 USC 1403(a) uses the phrase “is declared to be a citizen” (emphasis added), that leans heavily towards a lex soli position (naturalization). Actually, the fact that this section even exists implies naturalization since it was part of INA. Persons born to citizens between November 1903 (when Panama became independent from Colombia with United States intervention) and February 1904 are not declared citizens under this section, which indicates that the declaration of citizenship is simply naturalization and not citizenship by birth, since it is dependent upon the law and a calendar date.

Furthermore, “naturalization” is defined in 8 USC 1101(a)(23):

(a) As used in this chapter—
(23) The term “naturalization” means the conferring of nationality of a state upon a person after birth, by any means whatsoever.

In other words, naturalization means a person is made, conferred, or “declared” a citizen after birth, by legislation, leaving “natural born” to only mean becoming a citizen by birth, sans legislation. This is consistent with 8 USC 1403(a), which was enacted when John McCain was 16 years of age. So at age 16, John McCain was naturalized as a U.S. citizen by legislation, with that legislation being the INA.

This evidence of naturalization by itself is enough to disqualify John McCain from the Presidency. Yet, some will still claim he is “natural born” because he was born to citizen parents, so it becomes necessary to prove that he is not a “natural born” citizen, despite the fact that citizenship is an either-or (but not both) proposition in terms of “natural born” and “naturalized”.

“Natural Born”

The Supreme Court has never addressed the specifics of what is a "natural born" citizen, except once in passing, in the dissent of the infamous Dred Scott case, of all places, so it really has no bearing, since dissents are not binding law anyway. Other Supreme Court cases have looked at citizenship, but not specifically the "natural born" part of it.

Historically, the term “natural born” was put into Article II at the request of John Jay, in a letter dated 25 July 1787 to George Washington. (Jay later helped write the Federalist Papers, became the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and also pointed out in 1796 in Brailsford v. Georgia that jury nullification is a right and duty of the People.) The term is never defined anywhere in the United States code, either (nor should it be, for constitutional reasons!).

McCain has claimed that the Naturalization Act of 1790 (26 March 1790) covers his status as a “natural born” citizen. That is entirely not true. A close look at that Act indicates that it only covered “admission as a citizen”—meaning naturalization—and in any case, that Act was repealed in part on 29 January 1795, and the rest was repealed on 14 April 1802. So that argument does not work, because it was repealed long before McCain was born, and because it created naturalization instead of natural born citizenship were it still in effect.

Federal Policy

It turns out that the policy put forth by the State Department on citizenship—specifically, their Foreign Affairs Manual, in 7 FAM 1100—addresses the situation quite clearly:

7 FAM 1111.2 Citizenship

(TL:CON-64; 11-30-95)

a. U.S. citizenship may be acquired either at birth or through naturalization.

b. U.S. laws governing the acquisition of citizenship at birth embody two legal principles:

(1) Jus soli (the law of the soil), a rule of common law under which the place of a person’s birth determines citizenship. In addition to common law, this principle is embodied in the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the various U.S. citizenship and nationality statutes.

(2) Jus sanguinis (the law of the bloodline), a concept of Roman or civil law under which a person’s citizenship is determined by the citizenship of one or both parents. This rule, frequently called “citizenship by descent” or “derivative citizenship”, is not embodied in the U.S. Constitution, but such citizenship is granted through statute. As laws have changed, the requirements for conferring and retaining derivative citizenship have also changed. (emphasis added)

7 FAM 1116.1-4 Not Included in the Meaning of "In the United States"

(TL:CON-64; 11-30-95)

c. Despite widespread popular belief, U.S. military installations abroad and U.S. diplomatic or consular facilities are not part of the United States within the meaning of the 14th Amendment. A child born on the premises of such a facility is not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and does not acquire U.S. citizenship by reason of birth. (emphasis added)

So citizenship is either by birth, or by naturalization, according to 7 FAM 1111.2(a). Furthermore, the principle of jus sanguinis is NOT part of the law, except by statute (lex soli) according to 7 FAM 1111.2(b)(2).

McCain may put forth the argument that 7 FAM 1111.2(b)(2) indicates that one can be a natural born citizen through bloodline. However, that claim misses the point of that section, which is that citizenship by bloodline at birth is only recognizable IF the laws recognize it. As stated above, jus sanguinis is only recognized under lex soli. Congress never has had any power under the Constitution to define what “natural born” means—Congress’ power is restricted to naturalization (reference Article I, Section 8, Clause 4, and the 10th Amendment). Therefore, 7 FAM 1111.2(b)(2) refers to naturalization.

The regulation at 7 FAM 1116.1-4(c) puts forth the policy that a military installation abroad, or diplomatic or consular facilities aboard, are not part of the United States under the 14th Amendment; therefore, children born in those places must be naturalized in order to be considered citizens.

For 7 FAM 1116.1-4(c) to apply to John McCain, who claims to be born in a United States Military facility in the Panama Canal Zone, it must be shown that the Canal Zone was not “in the United States”.

That terminology is defined in 8 USC 1101(a)(38):

(38) The term “United States”, except as otherwise specifically herein provided, when used in a geographical sense, means the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands of the United States.

Note the Canal Zone is not listed. However, since the Canal Zone is no longer under United States control as of January 1, 2000, this is only an indicator, and it is not conclusive.

To get a better understanding of the status of the Canal Zone, the place to look is the relevant treaties. The first one is the Hay-Bunau Varilla Treaty of 1903, which established the Canal Zone for the actual building of the Panama Canal. The second one is Torrijos-Carter Treaty of 1977, which transitioned control of the Canal Zone back to Panama by December 31, 1999.

Who Owned The Canal Zone?

Was the Canal Zone actually a territory under United States law, or was it just a leased area? To answer that question, refer to the original Hay-Bunau Varilla Treaty of 1903, negotiated by Theodore Roosevelt and his Secretary of State, John Hay. Of note are both Article II and Article III:

Article II

The Republic of Panama grants to the United States in perpetuity, the use, occupation and control of a zone of land and land under water for the construction, maintenance, operation, sanitation and protection of said Canal of the width of ten miles extending to the distance of five miles on each side of the center line of the route of the Canal to be constructed; the said zone beginning in the Caribbean Sea three marine miles from mean low water mark and extending to and across the Isthmus of Panama into the Pacific Ocean to a distance of three marine miles from mean low water mark with the proviso that the cities of Panama and Colon and the harbors adjacent to said cities, which are included within the boundaries of the zone above described, shall not be included within this grant. The Republic of Panama further grants to the United States in perpetuity, the use, occupation and control of any other lands and waters outside of the zone above described which may be necessary and convenient for the construction, maintenance, operation, sanitation and protection of the said Canal or of any auxiliary canals or other works necessary and convenient for the construction, maintenance, operation, sanitation and protection of the said enterprise.

The Republic of Panama further grants in like manner to the United States in perpetuity, all islands within the limits of the zone above described and in addition thereto, the group of small islands in the Bay of Panama, named Perico, Naos, Culebra and Flamenco.

Article III

The Republic of Panama grants to the United States all the rights, power and authority within the zone mentioned and described in Article II of this agreement, and within the limits of all auxiliary lands and waters mentioned and described in said Article II which the United States would possess and exercise, if it were the sovereign of the territory within which said lands and waters are located to the entire exclusion of the exercise by the Republic of Panama of any such sovereign rights, power or authority.

In Article II, Panama grants the United States “the use, occupation and control of a zone of land and land under water” for the Canal. It does NOT say it cedes that land to the United States, nor does it say that Panama grants ownership of the land to the United States; only the use and control of it are granted. This is a lease, not a transfer of real estate; Panama still owned the land. Article III is exactly the same in nature, but it applies to auxiliary areas if Panama owns them. Read the sovereign clause carefully, as the “it” in there refers to Panama, not the United States.

Also of note is the resource use grant in Article IV:

Article IV

As rights subsidiary to the above grants the Republic of Panama grants in perpetuity, to the United States the right to use the rivers, streams, lakes and other bodies of water within its limits for navigation, the supply of water or waterpower or other purposes, so far as the use of said rivers, streams, lakes and bodies of water and the waters thereof may be necessary and convenient for the construction, maintenance, operation, sanitation and protection of the said Canal.

In other words, the landowner or lessor (Panama) granted water rights to the renter or lessee (United States).

Further, note the payment schedule in Article XIV:

Article XIV

As the price or compensation for the rights, powers and privileges granted in this convention by the Republic of Panama to the United States, the Government of the United States agrees to pay to the Republic of Panama the sum of ten million dollars ($10,000,000) in gold coin of the United States on the exchange of the ratification of this convention and also an annual payment during the life of this convention of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) in like gold coin, beginning nine years after the date aforesaid.

Article XIV never says these payments are compensation for the land, just the “rights, powers, and privileges” to use it. This is RENT.

One last part adds to the lease argument, Article XXV:

Article XXV

For the better performance of the engagements of this convention and to the end of the efficient protection of the Canal and the preservation of its neutrality, the Government of the Republic of Panama will sell or lease to the United States lands adequate and necessary for the naval or coaling stations on the Pacific coast and on the western Caribbean coast of the Republic at certain points to be agreed upon with the President of the United States.

If the United States owned the Canal Zone land, thereby making it a United States territory or possession, then this clause would not have been necessary, as they already could have built such stations within the Canal Zone.

It is clear from the original treaty that the Canal Zone was actually Panamanian land leased to the United States. The Torrijos-Carter Treaty of 1977 further backs this up:

Article I

2. In accordance with the terms of this Treaty and related agreements, the Republic of Panama, as territorial sovereign, grants to the United States of America, for the duration of this Treaty, the rights necessary to regulate the transit of ships through the Panama Canal, and to manage, operate, maintain, improve, protect and defend the Canal. The Republic of Panama guarantees to the United States of America the peaceful use of the land and water areas which it has been granted the rights to use for such purposes pursuant to this Treaty and related agreements.

Article 1, Section 2 of this treaty declares Panama to be the territorial sovereign, meaning they own the land and water, and they grant to the United States use of the land and water.

It is conclusive that the Panama Canal Zone was Panamanian sovereign land administered and operated under treaty by the United States, and that popular belief that the Canal Zone was a United States territory or possession is completely mistaken. This also is consistent with the State Department policy in 7 FAM 1100 and the law at 8 USC 1403(a), both cited above.

Since the Canal Zone was not “in the United States” with respect to the 14th Amendment, it must follow that the only place it could have been was outside the United States! John McCain was born outside the United States in the Canal Zone, and as we have already seen, was covered in terms of his citizenship status under 8 USC 1403(a).

INA Revisited

A second look at 8 USC 1403(a) shows its consistency with the 14th Amendment. 8 USC 1403(a) “declares” citizenship by naturalization. This is consistent with the treaties as well IF the Canal Zone was not part of the United States. The only logical conclusion is that the Canal Zone was considered to be outside the United States, else 8 USC 1403(a) was never needed to be codified into law in the first place, and 8 USC 1401(a) would apply instead (see above). That conclusion is also consistent with the term “at birth” meaning more than only “natural born” (as is popularly and mistakenly believed and explained above.


All of that leads back to the Constitutional requirements. The citizenship definitions of both Article II and Amendment 14 apply in terms of McCain running for President.

So, to tie it all together:
1. The 14th Amendment and matching policy limit citizenship to either natural born or naturalized, but not both.
2. John McCain was born in 1936 in the Canal Zone to citizen parents.
3. 8 USC 1403(a) declares naturalized citizenship in 1952 on persons born in the Canal Zone to citizen parents.
4. Therefore, 8 USC 1403(a) applies to John McCain at age 16.
5. Therefore, John McCain is a naturalized citizen.
6. By treaty, the Canal Zone was not part of the United States.
7. Therefore, John McCain was not born in the United States.
8. Therefore, John McCain is a citizen not born in the United States.
9. Therefore, John McCain is not a natural born citizen.
10. Article II of the Constitution states to be President a person must be a natural born citizen.
11. THEREFORE, John McCain is not eligible to be President of the United States under Article II of the Constitution; he should be decertified and removed from all present and future Presidential ballots; and his past results should be disallowed, including unbinding all of his committed delegates.


Latin terms from Black’s Law Dictionary.
State Department Foreign Affairs Manual from
United States Code from Findlaw.
Hay-Bunau Varilla Treaty of 1903 from
Torrijos-Carter Treaty of 1977 from

Original: February 14, 2008

UPDATE: 9/20/08: A judge in CA has ruled that a AIP candidate lacks standing to sue on this issue, which is bullshit. He also claimed that even if there was standing, there was no doubt that McCain was natural-born, which is even more bullshit.

AIP Attorney Mark Seidenberg claims that McCain is not even a US citizen, but his claim neglects INA 1952.


In your posting you stated that John S. McCain was born on a military base. John McCain was not born on a military base nor even in the Canal Zone. John Sidney McCain III was born at the Colon Hospital, located at Avenida Melendez and 2nd Street, Manzanillo Island, City of Colon, Republic of Panama. The time of birth on the birth certificate issued by Panama Railroad Company (which owned the Colon Hospital) was 5:25 PM and the day and date of birth was Saturday, August 29, 1936.

At the time of John Sidney McCain III’s birth he was born an alien. That was because at the time of his birth, viz., August 29, 1936, the terms of Revised Statute # 1933 did not apply to that location in the Republic of Panama, because the island of Manzanillo was under the jurisdiction of the United States, but external to the territory of the Canal Zone.

By the collective naturalization act of August 4, 1937, viz., United States Code title 8, sections 5d and 5e governed the naturalizations of certain classes of persons born in either the Canal Zone or the Republic of Panama. Section 5d covered the Canal Zone and 5e covered the Republic of Panama. The Act of August 4, 1937 was S2416 and Public Law 242. It was repealed by Congress in early 1941. Therefore, if John McCain III’s parents had him included under the terms United States Code title 8, section 5e they would have to [had] completed the process before the Act was repealed in January of 1941. That is why a look at John McCain first passport application is very important. It would show if he is a citizen or not. Under the terms of section 5e, John McCain III’s parents would have to provided many documents to the INS during a window between about the ages of one and the age of four years of age. This would only make him a naturalized citizen and not a natural-born citizen.

It is my current understanding John McCain was not “entered” in the United States in late 1936 on Roberta McCain return to the United States with her two children, viz., John Sidney III and Jean Alexandra (who is now about 74 years of age and lives in or near Houston, TX now with her husband an heir to JP Morgan estate.) Roberta McCain lives in Washington, DC.

It should be noted here that Revised Stat. 1993 did not apply to either the Canal Zone or the Republic of Panama after February 25, 1904. And that was based on the Act of February 10, 1855, chap. 71, sec. 1. Remember John Sidney McCain III was born on August 29, 1936 in the Republic of Panama. I have found no documentation yet that show John McCain is not a citizen of Panama, because he was born in the Republic of Panama.

Under section 5e, John McCain III can not base his rights to naturaization based on his mother Roberta being a United States Citizen at birth, because she was not employed at the time of by either the United States Government or the Panama Railroad Company or it successors.
That is why a trip to Mexico is so important to see if the January 21, 1933 marriage between Jack and Roberta McCain was valid. I was informed several mouths ago by the biographer of Admiral John “Slew” McCain, that the witnessing of the January 21, 1933 marriage certificate may have made it void. The marriage on January 21, 1933 took place if valid at Ceasar’s Bar in TJ, Baja California, Mexico.

Sincerely, Mark Seidenberg, Vice Chairman, American Independent Party


In the above I stated that the Act of August 4, 1937 was repealed in early 1941. I could not remember that date when I wrote it. I know the date now, viz., The Act of August 4, 1937 was repealed January 13, 1941.

I have found out that there is no known record of Senator John Sidney McCain III ever visiting as an adult the “Ministreio de Gobierno Y Justicia” of Panama, which is the agency governing citizenship in Panama.

Sincerely, Mark Seidenberg, Vice Chairman, American Independent Party

P.S. Under Panama law the way to lose citizen status is to make a personal appearance to the Ministreio de Gobierno y Justicia to give up citizenship. It can not be done by mail. There is no other way to volentary loss citizenship in Panama. Therefore, John Sidney McCain III is a “natural born citizen” of Republic of Panama only.

Revised: March 4, 2008