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Combinations

Let’s say you have a list of things such as: Barack Obama, Stanley Ann Dunham, birth certificate, social-security number, selective service registration, fraud, college records, Frank Marshall Davis, etc. From the list you can pick some number of them to make a combination. This seems to be the process from which yet another Obama conspiracy theory has arisen, selecting the combination of “Stanley Ann Dunham,” “fraud” and “social-security number.”

The social-security number of Barack Obama’s mother is well-known and fully verified. The number, 535-40-8522, appears for example on her 1976 passport application that I obtained via FOIA. It’s also in the publicly available Social Security Death Index:

image

Given the availability of public records about deceased persons, I was more than a little perplexed to see an article claiming that she had a fraudulent social-security number (insinuating that the practice runs in the family). The article, “Obama’s Mama Had a Fraudulent Social Security Number Too!” appears at the We the People of the United States blog.

The basis of this claim is the familiar examination of a low-resolution copy of a document and speculation that there is something wrong with it, in this case, the Stanley Ann Dunham’s application for a social-security number. The writer “Bridgette” obtained a copy of Dunham’s application form from the Social Security Administration. Here is the image published:

orly-stanley-ann-application-for-ss-number-from-ssa

The argument that the application is a fake is based on the revision date on the form, which appears at the bottom.  The claim is that the blurry revision date on this form completed in 1959 doesn’t match any actual revision date of such forms, dates obtained from SSA. The author reads the date as 7-55, 7-65, or 7-68. The SSA response lists 9-42, 7-56 and 7-69 as the SS-5 form revision dates covering the time period. One might argue that birthers see only what they want to see in documents and question the interpretation of the smudgy date, but we can do better than that.

In the article there appears these paragraphs:

Using Ann’s number shown on the form above, 535-40-8522, numbers were checked in the final number sequence.  I started with 535-40-8518 – 28.  Only two people within the sequence died.  One was Stanley A. Dunham,   born  29 Nov. 29,  1942,  and died   Nov. 7,  1995 at age  52 in  96826 (Honolulu, Honolulu, HI)    (last benefit none specified).   SS # issued in  Washington.    She applied on  May 22, 1959 at age 16.

The other person in the sequence was  J. Henriksen with the number,  535-40-8526.  He/she  was born in  1926  and died in  1986.  His SS number was issued in Washington.   That meant he was  33 when he applied for a social security number in 1959 while Stanley Ann was only 16.     (The original Social Security Act  was  initiated in 1935 and was part of Roosevelt’s New Deal. ).

This mention of Henriksen, applying for a social-security number probably on the very same day that Dunham applied, and probably at the very same office (given that the numbers assigned were only 4 apart), certainly raised an immediate question in my mind: What form was used for Mr. Henriksen’s application? Apparently this thought didn’t enter the mind of the writer at the WTPOTUS blog, or if it did nothing was published about it. I, however, did not let the matter end there, but requested a copy of Mr. Henriksen’s social-security application and it arrived yesterday. The original copy I received from SSA seems clear enough to me to determine confidently that the revision date is 7-55, the same as was surmised by the WTPOTUS writer for Dunham’s application. Despite what the SSA thinks, the Social Security office in Seattle, Washington, in 1959 was using a form with a revision date of 7-55.

Henriksen SSA-5 Application

The forms appear identical, even to the employee initials at the lower left of the form. There’s nothing whatever wrong with Dunham’s social-security application.

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22 Responses to Combinations

  1. avatar
    Birther Weary December 29, 2012 at 4:07 pm #

    I’m afraid that, in the wingnut world, all you’ve proven is that J. Henriksen was in on the conspiracy too, and that it’s even bigger than anyone imagined.

  2. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy December 29, 2012 at 4:09 pm #

    I know; I know.

    Birther Weary:
    I’m afraid that, in the wingnut world, all you’ve proven is that J. Henriksen was in on the conspiracy too, and that it’s even bigger than anyone imagined.

  3. avatar
    LW December 29, 2012 at 4:27 pm #

    “The forms appear identical, even to the employee initials at the lower left of the form.”

    “Things appearing identical” is an unmistakeable sign of forgery.

    The other red flag sign is if things appear to be not identical.

  4. avatar
    SluggoJD December 29, 2012 at 5:17 pm #

    LW:
    “The forms appear identical, even to the employee initials at the lower left of the form.”

    “Things appearing identical” is an unmistakeable sign of forgery.

    The other red flag sign is if things appear to be not identical.

    LOLOLOL, I’m gonna call George and tell him he needs to find better forgerers. Perhaps He, Lying Lucas Smith, would be interested in resuming his craft?

  5. avatar
    Paul December 29, 2012 at 5:44 pm #

    LW:
    “The forms appear identical, even to the employee initials at the lower left of the form.”

    “Things appearing identical” is an unmistakeable sign of forgery.

    The other red flag sign is if things appear to be not identical.

    It’s so funny because it’s so true!!!

  6. avatar
    Rickey December 29, 2012 at 8:17 pm #

    Birther Weary:
    I’m afraid that, in the wingnut world, all you’ve proven is that J. Henriksen was in on the conspiracy too, and that it’s even bigger than anyone imagined.

    I’m sure that some birther will notice that John Henriksen checked his sex as “female,” a clear sign of fraud.

    Henriksen was an alien at the time, which explains why he did not apply for his SSN until he was 33.

  7. avatar
    Again December 29, 2012 at 8:48 pm #

    AGAIN!
    It seems to me that there are three phony SSN numbers out there in the Soetero, Obama, Sorebacha (spelling) clan.

    You! AGAIN, forgot the White House phony, his aunt and his uncle who have phony SSN numbers… WHY?

  8. avatar
    gorefan December 29, 2012 at 9:04 pm #

    Again: his aunt and his uncle

    How do you know their SSNs are fraudulent?

  9. avatar
    SluggoJD December 29, 2012 at 9:45 pm #

    Again:
    AGAIN!
    It seems to me that there are three phony SSN numbers out there in the Soetero, Obama, Sorebacha (spelling) clan.

    You! AGAIN, forgot the White House phony, his aunt and his uncle who have phony SSN numbers… WHY?

    Poor loser.

    Just because you post BS, doesn’t mean it magically becomes true.

    The End.

  10. avatar
    Daniel December 29, 2012 at 9:45 pm #

    Again:
    AGAIN!
    It seems to me that there are three phony SSN numbers out there in the Soetero, Obama, Sorebacha (spelling) clan.

    You! AGAIN, forgot the White House phony, his aunt and his uncle who have phony SSN numbers… WHY?

    Because, AGAIN, the only problem with them is in the weak and distorted minds of delusional birthers. Is that clear enough for you, or should I explain it… AGAIN!?

  11. avatar
    Arthur December 29, 2012 at 10:18 pm #

    Again: It seems to me

    Ok.

  12. avatar
    bgansel9 December 30, 2012 at 12:03 pm #

    “The other person in the sequence was J. Henriksen with the number, 535-40-8526. He/she was born in 1926 and died in 1986. His SS number was issued in Washington. That meant he was 33 when he applied for a social security number in 1959 while Stanley Ann was only 16. (The original Social Security Act was initiated in 1935 and was part of Roosevelt’s New Deal. ).”

    Why no mention of Henricksen’s being born in Norway and apparently having emigrated at some point? Was that not pertinent information? This argument that Henricksen was 33 and Dunham was only 16 seems to indicate that time has lapsed when none has. The simple explanation is that Henricksen couldn’t apply for Social Security earlier because he was either in Norway or not eligible.

    When something so simple gets so twisted in knots, I’m beginning to think that Birther should be a new category in the DSM and these people should be put on medical disability (mental illness) because they can’t be relied on to perform simple tasks. Leaps of faith and flights of fancy will obviously be the result.

    By the way, I was in elementary school when I got my Social Security Card. Fifth grade I think it was, it was a lesson exercise we had to complete. I wouldn’t have use for it for several more years, does this mean that, in the minds of the insane Birthers, I was committing fraud too?

  13. avatar
    PaulG December 30, 2012 at 2:13 pm #

    Thanks for doing this!

    “The SSA response lists 9-42, 7-56 and 7-69 as the SS-5 form revision dates covering the time period.”

    As I recall, the response given by Social Security for the FOIA request for Dunham was that SSA provided a list of revisions they had record of, but indicated that there might be others they hadn’t got. At the time, the SS records were handled by the Treasury Department, and when transferring over to a separate SSA years later, some things might have gotten lost.

  14. avatar
    gorefan December 30, 2012 at 2:36 pm #

    bgansel9: The simple explanation is that Henricksen couldn’t apply for Social Security earlier because he was either in Norway or not eligible.

    His SS-5 also has “Alien” written on the top.

  15. avatar
    Rickey December 30, 2012 at 3:06 pm #

    bgansel9:
    “The other person in the sequence wasJ. Henriksen with the number,535-40-8526.He/shewas born in1926and died in1986.His SS number was issued in Washington. That meant he was33 when he applied for a social security number in 1959 while Stanley Ann was only 16. (The original Social Security Actwasinitiated in 1935 and was part of Roosevelt’s New Deal. ).”

    Why no mention of Henricksen’s being born in Norway and apparently having emigrated at some point? Was that not pertinent information?This argument that Henricksen was 33 and Dunham was only 16 seems to indicate that time has lapsed when none has. The simple explanation is that Henricksen couldn’t apply for Social Security earlier because he was either in Norway or not eligible.

    When something so simple gets so twisted in knots, I’m beginning to think that Birther should be a new category in the DSM and these people should be put on medical disability (mental illness) because they can’t be relied on to perform simple tasks. Leaps of faith and flights of fancy will obviously be the result.

    By the way, I was in elementary school when I got my Social Security Card. Fifth grade I think it was, it was a lesson exercise we had to complete. I wouldn’t have use for it for several more years, does this mean that, in the minds of the insane Birthers, I was committing fraud too?

    As usual, the birthers see anomalies where none exist.

    My father, who was born in New York City in 1912, didn’t get a Social Security Number until he was 48 years old because he was self-employed. Prior to then self-employed people did not participate in Social Security. My mother, who didn’t work outside the home, got her SSN in 1963.

  16. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy December 30, 2012 at 8:07 pm #

    As far as can tell from the article Bridgette did not have that information. She didn’t even know the person’s first name. I only know because I requested the SS-5.

    bgansel9: Why no mention of Henricksen’s being born in Norway and apparently having emigrated at some point? Was that not pertinent information?

  17. avatar
    John Reilly December 30, 2012 at 8:24 pm #

    Ancestry.com suggests that Henriksen is buried in Norway.

  18. avatar
    gorefan December 30, 2012 at 8:34 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: She didn’t even know the person’s first name.

    Is the first name John or Joan?

  19. avatar
    LW December 30, 2012 at 9:15 pm #

    gorefan: Is the first name John or Joan?

    In both printed names it looks like it’s a capital “H”, and the script signature definitely has a lowercase “h”.

  20. avatar
    gorefan December 30, 2012 at 10:32 pm #

    LW: In both printed names it looks like it’s a capital “H”, and the script signature definitely has a lowercase “h”.

    And the sex is listed as female?

  21. avatar
    LW December 30, 2012 at 11:40 pm #

    gorefan: And the sex is listed as female?

    Didn’t Johnny Cash do a song about this? “A Girl Named John” ?

    I’m sure birthers will come up with a way to make this surefire proof that Obama herp derp blah blah blah.

  22. avatar
    Yoda December 31, 2012 at 1:39 pm #

    Doc, what you are illustrating very nicely is the lack of scientific method in birferstan. When the find any perceived anomaly they scream fraud or corruption without doing any investigation. For example with the alleged “forged” selective service card, they did not check to see if any other cards from the same time frame from the same office showed the same two digit date before screaming “fraud”. This goes to the basic problem with all birfer “research”–it involved inductive reasoning–they came to a conclusion and then out to prove the conclusion and ignored or refused to even investigate anything that did not support their conclusions.

    Note that we, the anti birthers, have taken the time to research and debunk birfer “facts” while birfers only say that anything that does not support birferism is part of the conspiracy.