All the way back in November of 2008, we had claims that Barack Obama’s selective service registration, obtained directly from the Selective Service through FOIA mind you, was a fake. Debbie Schlussel was the main proponent of this theory that must have involved some heavy-duty conspiracy on the part of the government to have taken place as she suggests. Thanks to the Birther Debunkers for this image (click to enlarge).
At that time, conspiracy theorists focused on the “USPO” circular hand cancellation mark, claiming it should have been “USPS.” Since then other contemporary Hawaiian examples with “USPO” have been found, debunking that claim. What we did learn from this exercise is that Obama’s hand-canceled Selective Service registration form was stamped by an obsolete cancellation device that was still in use by a postal clerk in Honolulu (and long after).
Now the objection is the two-digit year on the stamp, when it should have been a 4-digit year. Again, we have something curious. I went through a couple of hundred old envelopes I have (I’m a stamp collector) and every circular hand cancel I found had a 4-digit year, even one from the 19th century!
However, postal regulations say that a 2-digit stamp is acceptable on metered mail:
The mailing date in meter indicia must meet the format standards in this section. The year must be represented by all four digits or by the last two digits. Mailers may print the indicia directly onto mailpieces or onto separate labels or tape affixed to mailpieces. The mailing date format used in the indicia is also subject to the following conditions.
Also, the “19” could have fallen out, or been too-far recessed to get ink. It’s certainly curious and very unusual, but to jump to allegations of fraud is unwarranted, and completely outside what one would expect from professional law enforcement.
I’m poking around for some other examples with the missing year, and if I find one, I’ll publish the results. There are hundreds of thousands of stamp collectors out there and it only takes one with an old Honolulu cover to blow Sheriff Joe out of the water on this point. My guess is that with 48 hours, someone will come up with an example.