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WND confirms: expert finds no problem with Obama certificate image

Let’s spin this back down to neutral.

Readers may recall that Fox News quoted an Adobe PDF expert who examined Obama’s long-form birth certificate image file as saying “No Doubt Obama’s Birth Certificate is Legit.”

I was struck by this comment at the time asking myself how this fellow could determine the legitimacy of a document from an online image. One would expect that any competent expert would, at best, say that he found no problems with the document, and certainly not make a blanket pronouncement of legitimacy. I took the headline as hyperbole, and interpreted it as really meaning “no problems.”

Now WorldNetDaily has published an article in which they report talking to the expert, Jean Claude Tremblay, and him denying the Fox News story. WND goes to some length to emphasize Mr Tremblay’s displeasure over Fox News misquoting them. However, WND damns its own crank theories by quoting what Tremblay told them:

“First, I never thought that what I saw in the Birth Certificate PDF was a proof of its authenticity,” he wrote. “For me, what I have seen does not prove that it is legit, nor that it is a fake, nor that there has been any tampering whatsoever,” he wrote. “The title of the blog does not represent my conclusion. It would be unprofessional and simplistic within my area of competence to come to a conclusion one way or the other.”

Tremblay found nothing to indicate tampering — putting to the lie all those cranks who say otherwise. I had read the Fox News story correctly all along.

21 Responses to WND confirms: expert finds no problem with Obama certificate image

  1. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 22, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

    I left this comment at WND:

    I think that any thoughtful person would have seen past the Fox News hyperbole (I mean doesn’t WND use exaggerated headlines and overstatement all the time?) and gotten the real point, which WND in this article states clearly from Tremblay:

    “For me, what I have seen does not prove that it is legit, nor that it is a fake, nor that there has been any tampering whatsoever,”

    Reading the comments here, I think many of your readers still don’t realize what Tremblay said. While a number of crank experts claim to have discovered many elementary errors in the long-form certificate image, the real expert, Mr. Tremblay, didn’t find anything to make him conclude it had been tampered with.

  2. avatar
    GeorgetownJD June 22, 2011 at 3:53 pm #

    WOMP WOMP

    The sound of Fox News being thrown under the bus.

  3. avatar
    Rickey June 22, 2011 at 4:58 pm #

    This reminds me that Sandra Lines, who is a real forensic documents expert, said essentially the same thing about the images of Obama’s COLB which were released in 2008 – namely, that it is impossible to authenticate a document by only examining an image of the document.

    Of course, that didn’t stop Orly from claiming that Lines had determined that the COLB is a forgery.

  4. avatar
    richCares June 22, 2011 at 5:07 pm #

    Doc, I went through all the comments to find yours, it’s not there. The “I think many of your readers still don’t realize” part was too much for them. After finishing reading the comments I threw up, so you owe me a keyboard!

  5. avatar
    Tarrant June 22, 2011 at 5:48 pm #

    Standard WND modus operandi in my opinion – they have this odd habit of writing a headline that is a complete and utter fabrication, but then in the article not only keeping quotes intact that contradict their headline, and in fact will often were an entire article that contradicts their headline. I’ve never understood that methodology.

  6. avatar
    aarrgghh June 22, 2011 at 6:55 pm #

    Tarrant:
    Standard WND modus operandi in my opinion – they have this odd habit of writing a headline that is a complete and utter fabrication, but then in the article not only keeping quotes intact that contradict their headline, and in fact will often were an entire article that contradicts their headline. I’ve never understood that methodology.

    i’m guessing that the trick is to use the headline to plant the desired conclusion into the minds of the gullible and the willfully ignorant and the faithful before they read the actual text, if indeed they bother to.

  7. avatar
    Reality Check June 22, 2011 at 6:56 pm #

    WND is late to the party. I posted Mr. Tremblay’s “rectification” over a month ago at the Fogbow without the slanted BS that WND put on it of course.

    http://www.thefogbow.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=5793&p=244020&hilit=tremblay#p244020

  8. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 22, 2011 at 8:20 pm #

    richCares: I threw up, so you owe me a keyboard!

    I keep a case of them in stock; just give me your shipping address.

  9. avatar
    Dendo June 23, 2011 at 12:29 am #

    Hmmm. this is really getting strange. There is no doubt that the original document can be the only one used to authenticate.

    But I cannot in good conscience deny that what the white house put out was very strange. If it was just a scanned image of the original hawaii document that Obama went to great lengths to make clear the method of which they obtained the doc, then how did all those alterations and anomalies get in there. Scanning / OCR doesn’t do that.

    I really think he should let the original doc be examined to finally put an end to this.

    As a lifelong 2nd gen democrat, I too must be willing to face the truth if he in fact is not who he says he is. Country over party every day of the week.

  10. avatar
    richCares June 23, 2011 at 1:14 am #

    Dendo says “I really think he should let the original doc be examined to finally put an end to this.”
    .
    no need, the State of Hawaii verified and certified it (you must be a birther in disguise)
    Statement by State “On April 27, 2011 President Barack Obama posted a certified copy of his original Certificate of Live Birth.”
    http://hawaii.gov/health/vital-records/obama.html

  11. avatar
    gorefan June 23, 2011 at 1:36 am #

    Dendo: Scanning / OCR doesn’t do that.

    Do what, make up imaginery anomolies? So far no one has been able to document anyhting wrong with the PDF.

    You might be interested in the website – hacker factor

    http://www.hackerfactor.com/blog/index.php?/archives/428-After-Birth.html

    Dr. Neal Krawetz might be able to answer any of your questions. He is a real imaging expert.

  12. avatar
    obsolete June 23, 2011 at 1:40 am #

    Yup, end of story, Dendo. Hawaii has settled it.
    I mean, you seem reasonable, certainly you don’t subscribe to conspiracy theories involving multiple state administrations going back generations?

    BTW- Scanning/OCR software DOES add anomalies as well as make mistakes. Companies are constantly refining their software, and having yours make less mistakes than your competitors is a selling point.
    Surly you don’t believe any software is perfect?

  13. avatar
    Critical Thinker June 23, 2011 at 1:45 am #

    Dendo:
    I really think he should let the original doc be examined to finally put an end to this.

    Even if Orly Tatiz’s own document examiner reviewed the original birth certificate and said that it is genuine, there is not a chance in hell that it would put an end to birther conspiracy theories. Birthers will simply come up with another conspiracy thread to explain why this finding does not conclusively demonstrate that Obama was actually born in Hawaii.

  14. avatar
    Majority Will June 23, 2011 at 6:14 am #

    Dendo: As a lifelong 2nd gen democrat, I too must be willing to face the truth if he in fact is not who he says he is. Country over party every day of the week.

    He says who he is?

    I’ve never heard the state of Hawaii referred to as a he.

    The state of Hawaii has repeatedly vouched for the President’s birth in their state.

    It doesn’t matter if the certified copy is a stained cocktail napkin with the President’s name, birthday and place of birth scrawled in lipstick.

    Can you grasp that very simple concept?

    Is concern trolling just your latest giggle?

  15. avatar
    Tarrant June 23, 2011 at 9:10 am #

    This is a story where, I guess, both sides are right. It’s true that Tremblay never said it was authentic, just that he saw no evidence it was inauthentic. That said, its amusing for WND of all places to be complaining about “false headlines”. They’re the ones after all that took Governor Abercrombie’s statement of “His birth records are in our archives” to be “The governor says he couldn’t find any birth certificate!”

  16. avatar
    Reality Check June 23, 2011 at 9:50 am #

    I exchanged a couple of emails with Mr. Tremblay and invited him on my show but he declined. I believe he was speaking as a scientist and was upset that Fox had drawn conclusions that he knew were not warranted from the analysis of a single PDF. One thing that upset him initially is that he was attacked by BIrthers as an Obama operative because he had written a positive review of a book about Obama’s campaign.

  17. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 23, 2011 at 10:09 am #

    I’m sorry, but I have to question whether you are who you say you are. I have not seen any documentation to support your extraordinary claim.

    Dendo: As a lifelong 2nd gen democrat, I too must be willing to face the truth if he in fact is not who he says he is. Country over party every day of the week.

  18. avatar
    JoZeppy June 23, 2011 at 10:11 am #

    Dendo: Hmmm. this is really getting strange. There is no doubt that the original document can be the only one used to authenticate.

    No, nothing strange to the remotely rational person. The only strange thing is that some people are so disconnected from reality, they’ll believe the most implausible conspiracy theories, junk law, and junk science. And while I agree with you to the extent that if we were in a court of law, the only document that would matter would be the original, but no, there would be no need for authnetication, it is a self-authenticating document under the FRE, and additionally, the State of Hawaii says it’s the real deal. That is authentication. Finally, we’re not in a court of law. Why would we be authenticating anything?

    Dendo: But I cannot in good conscience deny that what the white house put out was very strange. If it was just a scanned image of the original hawaii document that Obama went to great lengths to make clear the method of which they obtained the doc, then how did all those alterations and anomalies get in there. Scanning / OCR doesn’t do that.

    Again, there is nothing strange. There are no alterations. Any “anomalies” are the product of the scanning process. Anyone who has done any amount of scanning knows that scanning does strange things at times. There is no evidence of any tampering. There is no evidence that the document was created rather than scanned. Add to that, the state of Hawaii vouched for the document. The document agrees with the COLB, and the index, and the birth announcements. There is no reason to doubt it, all other known legitmate documents corroborate the information. Again, the only strange thing is a small minorities willingness to accept the statements of crackpots with no evidence.

    Dendo: I really think he should let the original doc be examined to finally put an end to this.

    Funny, but didn’t you birthers say the same thing about releasing the “long form”? All the while we said that noting will put the birthers’ insantity to an end, because they’ll just make B.S. up, and call it a forgery and craft a new conspiracy. And again, who should examine it? The state of Hawaii already said it’s the real deal, what higher authority can you get? They created the document, so by definition, it can’t be a forgery.

    Dendo: As a lifelong 2nd gen democrat, I too must be willing to face the truth if he in fact is not who he says he is. Country over party every day of the week.

    Sure you are. And as the Supreme Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Zeppy I, as I sit on the throne of Peter, I declare my statements above as part of the Sacred Magisterium, thus infalible. The birth certificate is legit, and everyone who denies it birther malconent, damned to an eternity of being unable to distringuish reality from their delusional world of fantasy. See, I can make stuff up too. Your “lifelong 2nd gen democrat” is about as believable as me being Pope….that might sell on Orly’s board, but some of us aren’t as gullible as other.

  19. avatar
    Scientist June 23, 2011 at 10:42 am #

    Reality Check: I believe he was speaking as a scientist and was upset that Fox had drawn conclusions that he knew were not warranted from the analysis of a single PDF

    Science can never prove a postulate true, it can only falsify competing hypotheses. In the case of the birth certificate (either the short or long variety), given the provenance, it is the burden on those who claim it is a forgery to prove their case. So far, all we have are the “analyses” of Mr Vogt and Mr Irey. These show the variable lettering one would expect from a 1961 typed document and thus argue for the document being real. Mr Tremblay notes nothing suspicious. Taking all the evidence together, the forgery hypothesis is falsified. Given the provenance, the only credible hypothesis remaining is that the document is real and correct.

  20. avatar
    Thrifty June 23, 2011 at 11:14 am #

    Dendo: I really think he should let the original doc be examined to finally put an end to this.

    The original is not his property. It belongs to the state of Hawaii. Besides of which, what’s to stop any of you birthers from just saying “the original is a fake!”? You’ve already declared that the COLB and the LFBC fakes even after representatives of the state of Hawaii vouched for it.

  21. avatar
    Tarrant June 23, 2011 at 12:40 pm #

    The original, according to the state back when they did the release, is in a bound book (hence the bending on the left side of the document).

    Even if Hawaii took the book out and opened it and let people see, birthers would claim that they made a fake document, took an existing book apart, then rebound it (and they’d use Corsi’s claim that a “fake certificate” was going to be added to the archives last Fevruary as “evidence”.

    Nothing will satisfy these people, they will always find a reason to disbelieve, and frankly anyone that is, currently, a birther isn’t going to vote for him regardless of what he presents. So he has no incentive to do anything else given that the political media no longer sees it as an issue.