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Passportgate

It seems that a certain group who deny (mistakenly) that Barack Obama is eligible to be president of the United States extend their point of view to denying every aspect of President Obama’s life including his birth certificate, his religion, his political views and, most recently, his US Passport.

Barack Obama traveled to Indonesia as a child, and to do that he needed a passport. To obtain a US passport, one needs to be and to prove that one is a US citizen. This is a sticky problem for the birther’s “Kenyan-born Obama,” one that would seem insoluble for birthers in an age before short form birth certificates. This is why false claims of lax birth registration laws in Hawaii and lying grandmothers were invented.

Later when it was learned that Barack Obama visited Pakistan as a college student, this offered another opportunity to deny Obama held a legitimate US passport, an opportunity that manifest in a demonstrably false story of a travel ban to Pakistan for persons traveling on US passports.

A recent White House video shows President Obama’s US Diplomatic Passport, and entry/visa stamps from various countries that he’s visited since becoming president, that carried the statement, anathema to the birthers, “the bearer is President of the United States.” Not surprisingly, this document is being “questioned” on the Internet including the web site: White House Fraud.

Let’s put the Obama Conspiracy Theories magnifying glass on this story.

One hardly begins to read when the first odd statement appears: “They never showed the cover of the passport from which they showed his picture (which is significant since it would show if it was a diplomatic one or not ).”

President Obama's Passport Cover

Well, it is a diplomatic passport, and they did show it at 1:47 in the video. This is not, however, the sloppily stupid remark that it appears to be at first glance. Later in the web site, the assertion is made that the passport cover perhaps doesn’t match the passport photo page.

The web page goes to considerable lengths to examine the blurred out date of issue. They assert that there is no good reason for this date to be blurred out in the White House video, but fail to provide any “bad reason” either. (In the normal world, unknown is not the same as evil.) They go to considerable length to show that the passport was issued in a month starting with “M” and then they look at blurry images and come to the conclusion that the possible dates of issuance for the passport do not match the dates visible (maybe) on a visa. They ask the question: “How can a visa that was issued in January be affixed to a passport that wasn’t even issued until the following March?”

One possible answer is the two-passport hypothesis

I haven’t completed my own fly speck analysis of the images (they see things that I can’t so far), but let’s assume that the web site is correct and that everything they conclude is true about what they see on the paper. The obvious explanation is that Barack Obama used his official passport (from when he was a senator) to supply the passport number used for the visa, and then got his diplomatic passport later. Folks are supposed to keep their current passport when receiving a diplomatic passport, so nothing irregular or illegal is implied. The video story works better (since its purpose was to show that US Presidents get their passports stamped just like everyone else) by conflating the current diplomatic passport with hypothetical one that had all the stamps. Introducing two passports would just have confused a story that only lasted a couple of minutes. This would be honest from the point of view of the question the  video was trying to answer, although some license might have been taken with the images.

Or not.

That said, it is my personal view that this explanation is wrong. I say that because of the visa and stamps on pages 6-7 of the passport. A current US passport for a private individual starts visa and entry stamps on page 8. While an official or diplomatic passport may start on an earlier page, I can’t fathom that Barack Obama’s travel as a Senator wouldn’t have filled up enough of the official passport to get them past page 6.

The White House Fraud page comes to the conclusion that the visa was issued in January based on things that look like blurs to me. I think their conclusion is dubious. The visa stamps on page 7 are for March 31, 2009, earliest. That would coincide with a  March issuance date for the passport. Everything 100% legit. The same argument WHF makes that it doesn’t take 2 months for the President to get a passport also applies to a visa. There was no reason to apply for either until closer to the date of travel–which explains the March issuance date for the passport, and argues against a January interpretation of the blurs on the visa.

The fact that there is a break between the video frame of the passport cover and the view of the internal pages is not significant. After flipping pages, the resulting page isn’t going to be in position and focused. Any video editor is going to edit out the part where they fumble to get the page exactly in position.

While the birthers go to great lengths to point out these little things, they have no coherent explanation of how they support their own views. It’s great for the conspiracy minded, though.


I wanted to make one note, and that is that we can tell from the video images that Barack Obama carries a “long form” (52 page) passport rather than a “short form” (32 page) passport based on the reference to “Page 51” at the bottom of the photo page and the endorsement “President of the United States” endorsement on page 51.


Update:

Rather than rely on the fairly low-resolution videos on YouTube, I downloaded the 180 MB MP4 HD version from the White House web site. Oh, didn’t you know about the HD version? 😉  I then used Apple Quick Time to single step through the video, frame by frame (use the arrow keys). There are three frames that are candidates for reading the visa valid dates from. I used the Quick Time copy function to capture the frames, cropped and saved them as 100% quality JPEG files. That’s the most faithful replication of the video frames I know how to do that you can see in your browser. The three frames follow. The digit we’re all trying to read is the one directly below the “S” in “ETATS”.

Passport Video Frame 1

Passport Video Frame 1

Passport Video Frame 2

Passport Video Frame 3

When I glance at the image hastily without concentrating, I see “06 – 03” (March 6). When I stare at it, I see nothing. I tried every photo enhancement tool I have, and didn’t get much. However, in just about every enhanced version, I saw what looked like a small “>” in place of the all-important digit. That leads me to “3” instead of “1” (your mileage may vary). I put the HD video up on our big screen TV and asked Ms. Conspiracy what she thought the digit was (she had no idea what it should be) and she said it looked like a “3” to her too.

I would invite others with perhaps more sophisticated video and photo enhancing skills than I to take a shot at the higher resolution version and let me know what you see. Maybe we’ll find the canals of Mars.

44 Responses to Passportgate

  1. avatar
    J Maine September 12, 2010 at 4:48 pm #

    That is the Schengen Visa passport, right? It is his Senate passport. It HAS to be as per the analysis.

    Why is he traveling on his Senate passport WHILE president?

    Again, you have to explain why the President can’t get a passport within 2 months time, which is extraordinarily ODD.

    Come on, Dr. They blur out the dates, the State department destroys passport files of a living person, 6 months later than the time request, and now we’re supposed to believe the president can’t get a passport within 2 months?

    How ARE those provided for by the “simple” explanations that your readers keep trying to hustle me with?

    You have to admit, at the very least, it is weird and fishy.

    Why blur anything at all? I thought the whole thing was legit and transparent?

    Yet WE’RE to blame, the ones who question?

    If you are legit why do you keep hiding things?

    Please, give me answers. None of it makes sense though so I’m skeptical you will do anything to even come close to explaining it away.

  2. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy September 12, 2010 at 5:34 pm #

    J Maine: That is the Schengen Visa passport, right? It is his Senate passport. It HAS to be as per the analysis.

    Why is he traveling on his Senate passport WHILE president?

    Again, you have to explain why the President can’t get a passport within 2 months time, which is extraordinarily ODD.

    The analysis asserts things that I can’t see in the images. Maybe you can seen them, but I can’t. Barack Obama didn’t travel to the European Union in January of 2009. You say that a President can get a passport quicker than 2 months. I agree 100%. A president can get a passport the same day. He can also get a visa in about the same amount of time. So if he traveled to the UK in March, explain to me why his visa is dated January.

    The most likely scenario is that the passport was requested and issued in March of 2009, that the Visa was requested and issued in March of 2009, and that your fly-speck document examiners are imagining blurry things.

    My current best guess is that when they were about to release the video somebody noticed the discrepancy between the secretary’s statement that one of the first things she did was fill out the passport request and the date on the passport itself.

    That definitely wasn’t from Obama’s senate passport. He traveled to Russia on his Senate and if you’ve ever seen a passport that’s been to Russia, you’d know right away: that passport had not been to Russia.

  3. avatar
    Northland10 September 12, 2010 at 6:40 pm #

    I have spent time looking at various fly-specks on other documents and I can see no way how they could state what date was there. They obviously missed they simple fact that the obscuring box is not parallel to the printed lines. Their fly-speck version of “Mar” is actually higher than the rest of the line and, at a glance, could just as easily be part of the security paper line.

    This is bad document analysis by even birther standards. Of course, Obama is probably hiding the expiration date that says, “Does not Expire – President for Life.” 😉

  4. avatar
    Gregory September 12, 2010 at 6:48 pm #

    Obama made his first overseas trip (to Europe) in late March 2009. So clearly the President did not need a diplomatic passport before March.

  5. avatar
    Dwight Sullivan September 12, 2010 at 7:34 pm #

    Doc C, I have both an “Official Passport” (not a diplomatic passport) and a personal passport. On my personal passport, the visas start on page 8. On my “Official Passport,” visas begin on page 4.

  6. avatar
    Gregory September 12, 2010 at 8:31 pm #

    There is also this Slate article about Presidential passports.

    One interesting fact: in contrast to other heads of state, the Queen of England does not need a passport (since all British passports are issued in her name).

  7. avatar
    Slartibartfast September 12, 2010 at 10:03 pm #

    J Maine,

    So what are you alleging that the White House was hiding in the video? What deep dark secrets are hidden by the blurring? Please let us know what could possibly have been hidden and why it is such a dastardly act as you seem to imply.

  8. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy September 12, 2010 at 10:09 pm #

    Dwight Sullivan: Doc C, I have both an “Official Passport” (not a diplomatic passport) and a personal passport.On my personal passport, the visas start on page 8.On my “Official Passport,” visas begin on page 4.

    Thanks for that detail. One thing I have observed is that there seems to be no rhyme or reason to where the stamps and visas get placed.

  9. avatar
    Slartibartfast September 12, 2010 at 10:15 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: if you’ve ever seen a passport that’s been to Russia, you’d know right away: that passport had not been to Russia.

    I’ve never seen a passport that’s been to Russia – what does it look like? (Not doubting, just curious…)

  10. avatar
    gorefan September 12, 2010 at 10:22 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: Thanks for that detail. One thing I have observed is that there seems to be no rhyme or reason to where the stamps and visas get placed.

    Our experience has been that the passports are stamped wherever the passport official feels like stamping them. On our last trip to Lisbon, the passports weren’t stamped at all.

    As to the 06 – 03, shouldn’t that be June 3rd? As in mm-dd-yyyy. The European standard is dd-mm-yyyy.

  11. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy September 12, 2010 at 10:27 pm #

    Slartibartfast: I’ve never seen a passport that’s been to Russia – what does it look like? (Not doubting, just curious…)

    They paste in this thick folded paper document that sort of sticks out the edges.

  12. avatar
    gorefan September 12, 2010 at 11:00 pm #

    Dr. C. – “I see “06 – 03‘ ”

    Then candidate Senator Obama announced he was going to visit Iraq on June 16, 2008. Is it possible, this was a visa prepared for that trip? And stamped 06-03-08.

  13. avatar
    gorefan September 12, 2010 at 11:15 pm #

    Dr. C – never mind the previous – just saw a Schengen Visa.

  14. avatar
    Rickey September 12, 2010 at 11:30 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    Thanks for that detail. One thing I have observed is that there seems to be no rhyme or reason to where the stamps and visas get placed.

    Agreed.

    I pulled out my old passport which expired in 2007. The stamps/visas begin on page 7:

    Page 7: four stamps/visas
    Page 8: three stamps/visas
    Page 9: three stamps/visas
    Page 10: three stamps/visas
    Page 11: two stamps/visas
    Pages 12-20: blank
    Page 21: one stamp

    Countries visited which didn’t make any entries:

    Italy
    Germany
    Switzerland
    France
    Spain

  15. avatar
    obsolete September 13, 2010 at 12:55 am #

    J Maine: Again, you have to explain why the President can’t get a passport within 2 months time, which is extraordinarily ODD.

    No one has to explain this, because it’s your error which led you to believe such nonsense!

    Again, my point is this-
    There is NO WAY that Obama had to wait two months for his presidential passport. Therefore, any conclusion you have reached that claims he did is WRONG. Why do you not understand this? It would be like me squinting & reading one of the visa stamps to say “Federation of The Moon”, and then start asking “Why did Obama hide his moon trip from the public?” instead of realizing that he couldn’t have possibly have visited the moon, therefore I should discard as incorrect any of my evidence & theories that led me to believe his visa was stamped on Luna.

    All you have is bad birther “research” which is nothing more than insanity and lead paint chips for breakfast.

  16. avatar
    US Citizen September 13, 2010 at 2:07 am #

    Besides, moon passports take at least 2 months to obtain.

  17. avatar
    Lupin September 13, 2010 at 2:20 am #

    You all seem to forget something which I have pointed out a few times before, which is that Obama said during an interview with a French TV journalist (from Canal-Plus if I recall correctly) that he had visited the South of France before, when he was a student (so that would have been in the early 80s, right?) and cursory interviews dug up a few locals who remembered the tall American. So Obama has a standard US passport back then.

  18. avatar
    Jules September 13, 2010 at 4:57 am #

    When the birthers’ “analysis” began, they were alleging that page 6 of the passport was the data page of the passport and they noted that this was obviously different from the data page clearly shown a few seconds earlier. I am pleased that close scrutiny has confirmed by hypothesis that page 6 contained a Schengen visa.

  19. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy September 13, 2010 at 7:45 am #

    Jules: I am pleased that close scrutiny has confirmed [my] hypothesis that page 6 contained a Schengen visa.

    That’s true. Unfortunately, the birthers have now moved from an analysis of what can be seen and what they imagine they see.

  20. avatar
    J. Edward Tremlett September 13, 2010 at 9:30 am #

    Having traveled a lot on my old passport, I can confirm that the passport officer usually just stamps it where he wants to. They do flip through them a bit, sometimes, and I think that’s to see if you just arrived from someplace interesting (or fishy).

    For example, if you were in Israel, and then tried to enter a Muslim country in the Middle East, they might not let you in. This is why Israeli passport control often offers you a blank extra page for your passport so they can stamp you in. Then when you leave, you can take it out and toss it so no one will ever know you were there.

  21. avatar
    richCares September 13, 2010 at 11:03 am #

    I can’t wait for james/johns comments when Lakin is pronounced guilty and sent to Leavenworth. That will be funny! What will be their next failing OMG moment. For bithers failing is a way of life and that is really pathetic.
    .
    james/john are positive proof that hating Obama causes brain damage.

  22. avatar
    Sean September 13, 2010 at 1:04 pm #

    Just playing Devil’s advocate here. Do we know for sure that a 6 year old boy from the US would need a Passport when entering Indonesia with his Mother?

  23. avatar
    Dr Kenneth Noisewater (Bob Ross) September 13, 2010 at 1:10 pm #

    Sean: Just playing Devil’s advocate here. Do we know for sure that a 6 year old boy from the US would need a Passport when entering Indonesia with his Mother?

    Yes

  24. avatar
    Bovril September 13, 2010 at 3:21 pm #

    To clarify

    Said 6 year old would either have had to have his/her own passport OR be a named child on his/her parents (usually mothers) passport in the days when you could get a “family” passport.

    When travelling on his/her own or without a parent, (accompanied or un-accompanied minor) the child would require his/her own passport.

    No Tickee, No Travel

  25. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy September 13, 2010 at 6:34 pm #

    I think that it is the “emperor has no clothes” syndrome at work on some of this birther image analysis both here and in the original things from Ron Polarik (Polland). The birther either couldn’t follow the argument or couldn’t see artifact, but didn’t want to admit that they were not competent to follow or see it.

  26. avatar
    Sean September 13, 2010 at 7:25 pm #

    Bovril: To clarifySaid 6 year old would either have had to have his/her own passport OR be a named child on his/her parents (usually mothers) passport in the days when you could get a “family” passport.When travelling on his/her own or without a parent, (accompanied or un-accompanied minor) the child would require his/her own passport.No Tickee, No Travel

    Is a birth certificate required to have said 6 year old put on a family Passport?

  27. avatar
    G September 13, 2010 at 8:53 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: That’s true. Unfortunately, the birthers have now moved from an analysis of what can be seen and what they imagine they see.

    In other words, just another typical standard birther behavior pattern.

  28. avatar
    Bovril September 13, 2010 at 8:57 pm #

    Either BC or other acceptable comparable official legal paperwork

  29. avatar
    Gregory September 14, 2010 at 1:27 pm #

    Bovril: To clarify Said 6 year old would either have had to have his/her own passport OR be a named child on his/her parents (usually mothers) passport in the days when you could get a “family” passport.

    Instead of being added to a parent’s passport, a child could also be added to another sibling’s passport (even if both children were underage). My eight-year old sister was listed on my passport when I was 10. Therefore she could not travel to foreign countries unless I accompanied her (yet, as the passport-holder, I could travel without her).

    Since my parents each had their own passports, my sister and I could also travel without our parents (and could therefore travel with just our grandmother).

  30. avatar
    richCares September 14, 2010 at 2:58 pm #

    “Is a birth certificate required to have said 6 year old put on a family Passport?”
    .
    I was at the passport/post office yesterday with my wife who applied for a passport, the couple just ahead of us had 2 children one in a stroller the other about 5 yrs old, they were told their application can’t be completed until they return with BC of the children, though the couple pleaded, the passport lady would not budge, they need to get the kids BC’s.

  31. avatar
    Sean September 14, 2010 at 4:27 pm #

    richCares: “Is a birth certificate required to have said 6 year old put on a family Passport?”
    .
    I was at the passport/post office yesterday with my wife who applied for a passport, the couple just ahead of us had 2 children one in a stroller the other about 5 yrs old, they were told their application can’t be completed until they return with BC of the children, though the couple pleaded, the passport lady would not budge, they need to get the kids BC’s.

    Then we can safely conclude a long form birth certificate was presented to the Passport office in order for little Barack Obama to travel to Indonesia. This is backed up by the State Dept’s 1967 memo stating Obama’s citizenship and DOB.

  32. avatar
    Dr Kenneth Noisewater (Bob Ross) September 14, 2010 at 4:59 pm #

    Sean: Then we can safely conclude a long form birth certificate was presented to the Passport office in order for little Barack Obama to travel to Indonesia. This is backed up by the State Dept’s 1967 memo stating Obama’s citizenship and DOB.

    Long forms aren’t required to get a passport

  33. avatar
    Bernard Sussman September 14, 2010 at 10:32 pm #

    Yes, to have a baby (even a newborn) on a passport (or, before ca 1972, added or included in someone else’s passport) you’d need to have a US birth certificate for the baby. If the parent was a US citizen but the baby was not a US citizen, the baby could NOT be added/included in a US passport.

  34. avatar
    SvenMagnussen September 15, 2010 at 10:31 am #

    Bernard Sussman: Yes, to have a baby (even a newborn) on a passport (or, before ca 1972, added or included in someone else’s passport) you’d need to have a US birth certificate for the baby. If the parent was a US citizen but the baby was not a US citizen, the baby could NOT be added/included in a US passport.

    Can a 6 year old become a Naturalized citizen of the U.S.? Are U.S. Naturalized citizens allowed to obtain a U.S. Passport? Are children born in a country other than the U.S. and adopted by U.S. parents able to naturalize in the U.S.?

    Do U.S. Naturalized citizens show a BC (from the country of their birth) or a Certificate of Naturalization?

    What is a Certificate of Naturalization and how is it different than a Certificate of Citizenship?

  35. avatar
    Bovril September 15, 2010 at 10:48 am #

    Can a 6 year old become a Naturalized citizen of the U.S.? Are U.S. Naturalized citizens allowed to obtain a U.S. Passport? Are children born in a country other than the U.S. and adopted by U.S. parents able to naturalize in the U.S.?

    ===========================================

    Yes, Yes, Yes

    However irrelevant to your underlying question as none apply to President Obama

    ===========================================

    Do U.S. Naturalized citizens show a BC (from the country of their birth) or a Certificate of Naturalization?

    Both

    However irrelevant to your underlying question as none apply to President Obama

    ===========================================

    What is a Certificate of Naturalization and how is it different than a Certificate of Citizenship?

    “Certificate of Citizenship”

    The Certificate of Citizenship (Form N-560 or N-561) is a document issued by the US government as proof of U.S. citizenshipg based on either by action of law while residing in the United States or by having been born outside the United States to U.S. citizen parents, has the right to apply for a U.S. Certificate of Citizenship.

    “Certificate of Naturalization”

    The Certificate of U.S. Naturalization (form N-550 or N-570) is a document issued by United States government as proof of a person having obtained U.S. citizenship through naturalization. A Certificate of Naturalization is proof of an individual’s U.S. citizenship through naturalization. Only naturalized United States citizens can apply for a Certificate of U.S. Naturalization. If you are not a United States citizen, you must first apply for US citizenship.

    However irrelevant to your underlying question as none apply to President Obama

  36. avatar
    SvenMagnusssen September 15, 2010 at 11:38 am #

    Bovril: Can a 6 year old become a Naturalized citizen of the U.S.? Are U.S. Naturalized citizens allowed to obtain a U.S. Passport? Are children born in a country other than the U.S. and adopted by U.S. parents able to naturalize in the U.S.?===========================================Yes, Yes, Yes

    Thank you, Bernard. You’ve been very helpful.

  37. avatar
    Bovril September 15, 2010 at 11:59 am #

    “Bernard”…?

  38. avatar
    Sean September 15, 2010 at 12:12 pm #

    Dr Kenneth Noisewater (Bob Ross):
    Long forms aren’t required to get a passport

    Back then, a copy of the original is all you got.

  39. avatar
    Dr Kenneth Noisewater (Bob Ross) September 15, 2010 at 12:14 pm #

    Sean: Back then, a copy of the original is all you got.

    But the point is you can’t get one now its obvious his was lost and he had to get a new copy from the state of Hawaii

  40. avatar
    Daniel September 15, 2010 at 12:42 pm #

    Dr Kenneth Noisewater (Bob Ross):
    But the point is you can’t get one now its obvious his was lost and he had to get a new copy from the state of Hawaii

    Or that “He” (Obama) was never in possession of a copy of his “long form” BC. At six, I didn’t hold my own BC, my mother did. When I became an adult I ordered my own copy.

  41. avatar
    Bernard Sussman September 15, 2010 at 1:28 pm #

    According to Obama, the 1961 copy his mother has was lost in a house fire some years ago. The copy on green security paper that he posted on his website in 2008 was a replacement certificate issued by the Hawaii Dept of Health. Yes, it would be sufficient to prove US citizenship to obtain a US passport. The original “long form” which would have been filled out by a doctor or midwife would include a lot of personal data about the parents which are nobody’s business – the parents’ birth dates, their jobs, whether the baby was tested for STDs and for certain other problems, the hospital, etc. BUT, I have never found a court decision that says that a birth certificate, to be “official”, needs to include more than the date & place of birth and name of baby and parents. {It sometimes happens that birth certificates are issued for “Baby Girl Smith” or the parents have second thoughts about the name after they get the baby home …. or there is some problem about identifying the father. There are procedures and work-arounds for that.}

    Yes, small children can be naturalized. Naturalized citizens obtain US passports with their Certificate of Naturalization, which is or was issued by the Dept of Justice. If recent enough, the Cert. of Naturalization by itself, because it includes a photo, would obtain a passport without requiring a driver’s license or other photo ID.

    Once someone has been issued (or included in) a US passport, the Dept of State will consider that old passport, no matter how long ago it was issued, as sufficient proof of citizenship. If someone has lost that passport it is (usually) sufficient to tell the Passport Office the details of that old passport – the serial number and date of issue, in particular, or enough to ferret out the old records – to have the requisite proof of citizenship for a new passport.

  42. avatar
    Dr Kenneth Noisewater (Bob Ross) September 15, 2010 at 2:11 pm #

    Daniel: Or that “He” (Obama) was never in possession of a copy of his “long form” BC. At six, I didn’t hold my own BC, my mother did. When I became an adult I ordered my own copy.

    Exactly I didn’t get mine until I went away to college and I had lost it several times during subsequent moves. I was issued a COLB. Also I’ve noticed the contention about misspellings that birthers bring up. To this day my mother’s name is misspelled on my birth certificate and it is still valid.

  43. avatar
    Sean September 16, 2010 at 6:52 am #

    Dr Kenneth Noisewater (Bob Ross):
    But the point is you can’t get one now its obvious his was lost and he had to get a new copy from the state of Hawaii

    I wasn’t saying you can get one now. My point was, an original BC was presented proving his birthplace and DOB.

    Birthers want to validate the original. This shows it already was checked by authorities when he was 6.

  44. avatar
    AnotherBird September 16, 2010 at 9:04 am #

    Sean: an original BC was presented proving his birthplace and DOB.

    Birthers want to validate the original.

    The state of Hawai’i Department of Health stated that they have the original birth certificate. Even the birth certificate that was originally given to his parents was a copy. It was a certified copy that was presented and not the original.

    Birthers use the words such as “original” to obfuscate their arguments. The document in question is a copy, and the original is kept so that new copies can be issued.