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Was Bush Wrong About Alito's Father?

When announcing Judge Sam Alito's nomination to the Supreme Court, President Bush said:

I'm sure, as well, that Judge Alito is thinking of his mom, Rose, who will be 91 in December. And I know he's thinking about his late father. Samuel Alito Sr. came to this country as a immigrant from Italy in 1914. And his fine family has realized the great promise of our country.

London Yank at Daily Kos checked out the elder Alito's military records (available online) for WWII.

Samuel Alito of Mercer, New Jersey was born in 1914 in New Jersey. There are codes on the data set for "Nativity" as well as "Citizenship" so there is no possibility of error here - unless Sam Sr. lied when he enlisted in 1938 to serve his country.

Go here and type in serial number 32186682. It appears that Sam Alito enlisted on 3/14/41 as a private. He was born in New Jersey in 1914. At the time of his enlistment, he was single and a teacher.

The New York Times reports that many of the elder Alito's friends were surprised to hear Bush refer to him as an immigrant:

...some colleagues and friends of the elder Mr. Alito, who died in 1987, said they had never heard some of the stories his son has recounted, including the episode about his support for the black student and the fact that his father immigrated from Italy as a child. Some of the elder Mr. Alito's colleagues said they first learned that he was born in Italy when President Bush mentioned it in announcing the nomination.

According to a commenter at Daily Kos,

the 1930 census records show Alito's grandfather, Anthony, came to the US in 1913. His wife, Mary, and his son Samuel (our Samuel's dad), came in 1914, which is also the year Sam père was born. The census record states that all three were born in Italy, and as of 1930, Anthony had been naturalized, but not Mary or Samuel père.

Personally, I think that Samuel père may have fudged his birthplace when he joined the army. That is, he might simply have failed to mention he was born in Italy.

The only reason this matters is because Bush is heralding Alito as the child of an immigrant who came to this country to seek his fortune -- as if he cares about immigrant rights, when we all know he is about to trample those rights.

So, if Alito's father was not born in Italy, we should know about it. I suspect Bush and his White House staff who did the vetting made the mistake, not Alito, but if it was wrong, shouldn't Alito have corrected the record at the earliest opportunity?

Especially now, when Republican talking points are using Alito's father as a reason to support the nomination, it's important for Judge Alito to address this issue.

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  • Re: Was Bush Wrong About Alito's Father? (none / 0) (#1)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:41 PM EST
    off-topic, deleted.

    Re: Was Bush Wrong About Alito's Father? (none / 0) (#2)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:41 PM EST
    TL:
    as if he cares about immigrant rights, when we all know he is about to trample those rights.
    Where is this? Are you talking about illegals? Got a link where he is going to trample legal immigrants rights?

    Re: Was Bush Wrong About Alito's Father? (none / 0) (#3)
    by john horse on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:41 PM EST
    Once again Bush is caught lying. Why does Bush keep doing this? Does he really believe that he can fool the people all the time? How can you trust someone who continuously lies? Doesn't he know he is disgracing his office every time he lies? What type of example is he providing?

    Re: Was Bush Wrong About Alito's Father? (none / 0) (#4)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:41 PM EST
    Whether he was born in the States or came to the States as an infant does not make a real difference. It was stupid of Bush to make a point out of this issue. One way or the other, Alito Sr. was brought up and educated in the USA basically from a cradle. That's one hack of an immigrant :).

    Re: Was Bush Wrong About Alito's Father? (none / 0) (#5)
    by learned hound on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:41 PM EST
    I guess it's like being born in a log cabin if your name ends in a vowel. And, of course, the Judge didn't correct the misstatement, did he.

    Re: Was Bush Wrong About Alito's Father? (none / 0) (#6)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:41 PM EST
    the 1930 census records show Alito's grandfather, Anthony, came to the US in 1913. His wife, Mary, and his son Samuel (our Samuel's dad), came in 1914, which is also the year Sam père was born. well, it sounds like alito was conceived back in the old country. maybe alito and bush are just taking the whole "life begins at conception" thing literally

    Re: Was Bush Wrong About Alito's Father? (none / 0) (#7)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:41 PM EST
    And why in the world would this make any differnce to his qualifications? John Horse - Bush lied. I am LOL. BHAW.

    Re: Was Bush Wrong About Alito's Father? (none / 0) (#8)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:41 PM EST
    Maybe this needs scrutinized, I don't know. If Bush opens his mouth lies tumble out so I suppose you could start a thread questioning everything he posits. Alito, taxes, war, the enviroment, healthcare, science, it doesn't matter, he lies about them all.

    Re: Was Bush Wrong About Alito's Father? (none / 0) (#9)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:41 PM EST
    The Bush administration always creates a myth around its candidates--phony hardship is a favortite theme. Of course to Bush and many of his peers anyone whose ancestors didn't arrive on the Mayflower qualifies as an outsider. Alito's father was raised as an American from his birth. Any distinction between that and being born here can only be in the minds of GOP bigots.

    Re: Was Bush Wrong About Alito's Father? (none / 0) (#10)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:41 PM EST
    As far as Alito père goes, well, it was common to lie about one's age to enlist at that time. He might have thought that lying about his birthplace was a similar white lie. (There's a small chance that he was confused about the timeline.) He might not have known that foreign birth is generally no bar to enlistment. *shrug* As for Alito fils, it's hard to say. He might be genuinely vague about where his father was born. If someone could prove that he knew otherwise and was keeping quiet for personal gain, that would be interesting.

    Re: Was Bush Wrong About Alito's Father? (none / 0) (#11)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:41 PM EST
    Sorry, guys, red herring. When the President announced Alito's nomination, he described Alito's father as "an immigrant child." When Alito spoke after that, he said "I also owe a great deal, of course, to the members of my family. I wish that my father had lived to see this day. He was an extraordinary man who came to the United States as a young child, and overcame many difficulties and made many sacrifices so that my sister and I would have opportunities that he did not enjoy." (source) It's not possible to say for certain, but I'd guess that Alito père lied about his birthplace to be sure of being able to enlist.

    Re: Was Bush Wrong About Alito's Father? (none / 0) (#12)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:41 PM EST
    Boy, talk about a tempest in a freaking teapot? WTF difference does it really make?

    Re: Was Bush Wrong About Alito's Father? (none / 0) (#13)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:41 PM EST
    Madeline Albright. [link deleted not in html format] Didn't know her three grandparents were killed in the Holocaust, until a reporter revealed it. Much ado about nothing, in both cases, but whereas the misrepresentation was not furthered by Alito, it was in the case of Albright. Either story is so overrated in its importance...but one could argue that in the case of Albright, more relevant.

    Re: Was Bush Wrong About Alito's Father? (none / 0) (#14)
    by Kitt on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:41 PM EST
    Boy, talk about a tempest in a freaking teapot? WTF difference does it really make? Outside of being an outright mischaracterization, in certain arenas quite a bit. As the granddaughter of Norwegian immigrants (for real), I'm privy to specific scholarships, grants, & the like for under & post-graduate work. As the daughter of Norwegian immigrants there are many more opportunities education-wise. Now, what's available for the offspring of Norwegian immigrants is considerably less (considerably!) than what's available for those with Italian-born parents or grandparents. Perhaps the 'good' judge benefited from such. (?) Apparently, the only sticking point is who's doing the 'lying.' {"I did NOT have sex with THAT woman."}

    Re: Was Bush Wrong About Alito's Father? (none / 0) (#15)
    by Kitt on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:41 PM EST
    [Damned 'post' is too close to the 'preview' button.] As I'm sure we all know, only natural-born citizens can become president. Another instance of where foreign-born vs natural-born becomes vital. Mr. Alito, Sr. was claiming to be a natural-born citizen.

    Re: Was Bush Wrong About Alito's Father? (none / 0) (#16)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:41 PM EST
    Once again Bush is caught lying. In fairness, I don't think this is so much a lie as a fantasy (Here I am, appointing a poor, downtrodden, little immigrant boy to the Supreme Court. [Flashes on old Bowery Boys movie] I am SUCH a nice Leader of the Free World) from a guy who can't quite be bothered to distinguishing between the two.

    Re: Was Bush Wrong About Alito's Father? (none / 0) (#17)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:41 PM EST
    Well, let's start with the obvious:
    only natural-born citizens can become president. Another instance of where foreign-born vs natural-born becomes vital. Mr. Alito, Sr. was claiming to be a natural-born citizen.
    Literally true, but of no relevance. Alito Sr. is not, never did, and never will run for President, which would be the only circumstances in which this would become relevant.
    as if [Bush] cares about immigrant rights, when we all know he is about to trample those rights.
    This is pretty silly stuff. Bush is, in point of fact, one of the most enthusiastically pro-immigration Republicans, to the point that, prior to Miers, it was one of the most seriously divisive fracture points in the GOP (see National Review, Dec. '04, "GOP Crackup ahead?"). Furthermore, there is zero indication, none at all, that any Republican who is taken seriously has any desire to trample the privilege - not right, privilege - of immigrating to this country. What most Republicans are trying to stamp out is illegal immigration, which is a very different issue, and well they should. I say the foregoing not as some armchair quarterback, but as someone who DID immigrate to this country, and feels deeply grateful for the privilege of having been able to do so. You will find no stronger constituency for clamping down on illegal immigrants than people who came here legally.

    Re: Was Bush Wrong About Alito's Father? (none / 0) (#18)
    by chemoelectric on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:41 PM EST
    My family thought my great grandfather was born in Ireland, but only when I looked up the census records did we learn he had been born in Massachusetts and grew up in Illinois. His parents were Irish, but he was 100% USAn. These things happen.

    Re: Was Bush Wrong About Alito's Father? (none / 0) (#19)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:41 PM EST
    John Horse... Once again Bush is caught lying. When the libs actually realize the difference between mis-stating something and lying...it will truly be a great day! John... please consult a dictionary... if you know what that is?

    Re: Was Bush Wrong About Alito's Father? (none / 0) (#20)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:41 PM EST
    Don't know whether or not his father being born here or elsewhere really matters too terribly much, but methinks the vaunted intellect of our right wing brethren shines through once again when they fail to see that it is about why didn't Alito correct the Emperor Chimp when he stated something that even Alitos dads friends found to be specious. The Christian Science Monitor went as fa as to say that Sam Alito was fourteen when he came to the states, so which is it? Alito knows but doesn't care to tell the truth about it and this leads directly to his untruths about being in the group at Princeton that tried to keep women out, that he only lied on a job application to get into the Reagan DOJ, that his values won't color how he looks at a womens freedom in regards to reproductive choice. Granted the last bit is supposition (in right wing speak that means a "guess") but the others are spot on. So the real question isn't whether Chimpy lies (and what Preznit hasn't ever openly lied to the citizens of this country) but just how often and with what forethought does Alito.? Seems to me the boy can't tell a lie from the truth even if it jumped up and bit him on the a$#.

    Re: Was Bush Wrong About Alito's Father? (none / 0) (#21)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:41 PM EST
    BB- what witty repartee! you really should try and become the first right wing comedian! you truly are a mental giant amongst wee liberal minds here!

    Re: Was Bush Wrong About Alito's Father? (none / 0) (#22)
    by john horse on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:42 PM EST
    BB So in your opinion, Bush is not lying. Bush only constantly "mistates" the facts. Is this supposed to make us feel better about Bush? Assuming there is a difference (and I can't see any), I would not put a person who constantly mistakes facts in any type of position of responsibility, would you?

    Re: Was Bush Wrong About Alito's Father? (none / 0) (#23)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:43 PM EST
    John Horse..... So in your opinion, Bush is not lying. Not in this case...no. As Shermbuck kinda pointed out...politicians by their very nature are liars...however...I and most other people (not on the 'left') in this country are tired of the constant liar label you put on Bush. Even if he mis-states something.... (which if you consult a dictionary you will find is not a lie!) you all jump on the liar thing again. The left has managed to get the rest of the country to effectively tune them out now because of this constant blathering about lying....(Does chicken little mean anything to you?)... No matter how much proof is presented to all of you about all the different intelligence agencies take on WMD's and the reason for going to Iraq... you all just continue to harp about Bush lying! It's getting old..it's not true..and you all need to move on! Good luck in the next election... you are really going to need it.

    Re: Was Bush Wrong About Alito's Father? (none / 0) (#24)
    by Andrew on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:47 PM EST
    According to Daily Kos: "A manifest of alien passengers on the S.S. Ancona sailing from Naples, Italy for the United States (Philadelphia), dated 23 Aug 1914, includes Maria Albani [sic] from Montebello, Italy, and her son Salvatore Alati [sic], age 5 months. Final destination: Trenton, NJ. Looks like George was telling the truth, for a change." http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/12/6/125442/420 So, Daily Kos admits that Bush and Alito were telling the truth, but Talkleft continues to insist that there's ome devious conspiracy here?