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New (old) attack on Obama’s Selective Service registration

The signer of Orly’s latest affidavit sounds a little more expert than the usual birther volunteer document examiner, 20 years as a special agent with Homeland Security  and 20 years as an investigator with the Coast Guard. For some reason, though, Coffman has had a thing about investigating Barack Obama dating back at least to his Senate days in February of 2008.

I have to start off by saying that I don’t know if this Jeffrey Stephen Coffman has the qualifications listed on his affidavit. For the purposes of discussion, however, I will assume that he does. As with any expert testimony, a report is presented and the methodology is described, and it is the methodology that I will treat below.

Here’s the affidavit:

Affidavit: DHS Special Agent(ret) Stephen Coffman; Obama Selective Service Registration Forged – 1/2/2013 by ObamaRelease YourRecords

The first point that Mr. Coffman raises is that he was unable to verify Obama’s selective service record using the Selective Service’s “Check a Registration Function.” That would be a red flag except that the Selective Service told him that Obama was in their database. Other more recent attempts to verify the registration were successful. Spencer Kornhaber of the OC Weekly found Obama in the Selective Service database and reported it May 27, 2010, and I found it a few minutes ago:image

Indeed FOIA requests dating back to 2008, before Barack Obama took office, show that Obama was listed in the Selective Service System database, and Selective Service confirmed to Coffman that the record was there, and no one has explained why George Bush’s Selective Service System would be covering up for Obama in the first place before he was even the Democratic nominee. Coffman provides screen shots of his FOIA results, the computer screen print from September 2008, and the application form, but he does not provide a screen print of his alleged check of Obama’s registration. This is significant because the registration check facility requires entry of a social-security number, and Obama’s number wasn’t published in 2008, and Coffman makes no claim to have had it, much less explained how he knew it. Did he use the correct number? He doesn’t say.

Coffman’s second point is that the postal stamp on the registration form that he received by FOIA is dated the day before the form itself is dated, and that the “NO ID” block was checked. It is not clear how these items lead to Coffman’s ultimate conclusion that the form had been altered. A postal clerk not advancing the date on a hand canceling device is not hard to imagine and it’s hardly a mistake a forger would make. A simple error of omission is certainly more likely than fraud!

Coffman’s third point is that the postal cancellation shows only two digits of the year, not four. Coffman goes to lengths to argue that regulations call for a 4 digit date, and he will get no argument from me on this point. However, a forgery that looks so very much like other registrations from the period, would certainly have the correct 4-digit date. The more likely conclusion is that the century portion was just a little lighter than the rest and was rendered as white in the black and white scan. Experimentation I did confirms that this happened with postal cancellation examples I had around the house. Coffman never bothers to explain how the “19” being missing is different from part of the number “8” in the rest of the year also being missing.

While Coffman says that the 2-digit date was the “most outstanding aspect” still he had that document to look at since September of 2008, and writing for Debbie Schlussel in November of 2008 he still hadn’t noticed it!

Coffman makes one claim that is very troubling, and let me quote him:

Using my training and experiences, I analyzed the image of the postal cancellation stamp on the copy of the registration. It is my conclusion that a four digit year insert ending in “08” was modified by cutting off the first two digits and reinserting the “08” upside down into the postal cancellation to indicate a year of “80”

One obviously notes that the substance of this speculation is copied right out of the book by Jerome Corsi and Mike Zullo about the Cold Case Posse investigation. What is troubling, though, is that it cannot be true. Because the lower loop of an “8” is larger than the top in the Pica font, it’s easy to detect when it is inverted, and obviously not the case with the Obama registration. Here the honesty of Mr. Coffman’s affidavit meets a challenge. I have screen shots showing the inverted dates in my article, “Canceling the Cold Case Posse.” My speculation is that Coffman simply copied the Cold Case Posse report and added his own claim of “expert opinion” without actually examining anything beyond Corsi’s book.

One final anomaly that Coffman presents as an argument that the document had been modified is to note a difference between the number on the registration form and the number in the Selective Service database. An “8” as added to the “Document Locator Number” (DLN). This is an old argument that appeared in the Debbie Schlussel report from 2008. I never wrote about this myself, but it was debunked, and the debunking appears on the Birther Debunker’s Wiki.

It is interesting to note that our “expert” Coffman said some things back in 2008 that he doesn’t say in the current affidavit. From the Schlussel site:

The new Postal Service [USPS] officially began operations on July 1, 1971. Why was an old, obsolete [USPO] postmark round dater stamp used almost ten (10) years after the fact to validate a legal document . . . that just happened to be Barack Obama’s suspicious Selective Service registration form?

Coffman had to abandon that bit of expert testimony when examples, lots of them, appeared from 1980 showing USPO date stamps still in use.

Essentially, we have an old birther report, long ago debunked, fortified with some obviously false material from the Cold Case Posse. We have an expert that makes mistakes, does sloppy work, and draws conclusions not supported by the evidence. He would be a defense attorney’s nice dream.

Read more:

41 Responses to New (old) attack on Obama’s Selective Service registration

  1. avatar
    aesthetocyst January 30, 2013 at 6:34 pm #

    To throw Coffman a (very generous) bone, I’ll point out the Coast Guard was rolled up into Homeland Security in 2003. So, he was serving sentences concurrently (heh).

    Still, assuming that is an accurate resumé for the man, implying 20yrs in 2 separate depts would be … *gasp* … disingenuous.

    http://www.uscg.mil/top/missions/

  2. avatar
    Thinker January 30, 2013 at 7:10 pm #

    The first link in Doc’s article contains Coffman’s 2008 analysis of Obama’s Selective Service registration. He doesn’t even mention the alleged anomaly of the 2-digit year stamp. This is a bit odd considering that in his current affidavit, he says this: “The most outstanding aspect of the registration card was that the aforementioned US Postal Cancellation Stamp had only a two-digit year instead of the usual four-digit year. […] Over several weeks, I researched this issue on the internet attempting to find any other incident where the model cancellation stamp had a two digit year instead of the usual four digit year.”

    The 2-digit year stamp was the most outstanding aspect and he researched it for several weeks, but he didn’t include a single word about it in his initial criticism of the document in 2008.

    Somethin’ ain’t right with that.

  3. avatar
    Majority Will January 30, 2013 at 7:20 pm #

    Thinker:
    The first link in Doc’s article contains Coffman’s 2008 analysis of Obama’s Selective Service registration. He doesn’t even mention the alleged anomaly of the 2-digit year stamp. This is a bit odd considering that in his current affidavit, he says this: “The most outstanding aspect of the registration card was that the aforementioned US Postal Cancellation Stamp had only a two-digit year instead of the usual four-digit year. […] Over several weeks, I researched this issue on the internet attempting to find any other incident where the model cancellation stamp had a two digit year instead of the usual four digit year.”

    The 2-digit year stamp was the most outstanding aspect and he researched it for several weeks, but he didn’t include a single word about it in his initial criticism of the document in 2008.

    Somethin’ ain’t right with that.

    It makes perfect sense when someone reaches a conclusion first and then work backwards to justify it in any way possible no matter how implausible.

  4. avatar
    MattR January 30, 2013 at 7:27 pm #

    One final anomaly that Coffman presents as an argument that the document had been modified is to note a difference between the number on the registration form and the number in the Selective Service database. An “8” as added to the “Document Locator Number” (DLN). This is an old argument that appeared in the Debbie Schlussel report from 2008. I never wrote about this myself, but it was debunked, and the debunking appears on the Birther Debunker’s Wiki.

    I think it is worth pointing out that Coffman was Schlussel’s source.

  5. avatar
    Rickey January 30, 2013 at 7:54 pm #

    It should be pointed out that “Chief Investigator” does not mean that he was THE chief investigator for the Coast Guard. “Investigator” is a Coast Guard rating (i.e., specialty) and Chief is the rate (rank) of a Chief Petty Officer. So Coffman was a Chief Petty Officer Investigator for the Coast Guard, a senior enlisted man. Note, however, that he was in the Coast Guard Reserves, so he wasn’t doing it full time.

    http://www.gocoastguard.com/find-your-career/reserve-opportunities/reserve-opportunities/reserve-enlisted-ratings-descriptions/investigator-%28iv%29

  6. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 30, 2013 at 8:07 pm #

    This article has been updated. Note: this article was not derived from the Birther Debunker Wiki, which I only found at the end when I needed to address the locator number thing. I found the Wiki on Google. It has good stuff.

  7. avatar
    Northland10 January 30, 2013 at 8:07 pm #

    aesthetocyst:
    To throw Coffman a (very generous) bone, I’ll point out the Coast Guard was rolled up into Homeland Security in 2003. So, he was serving sentences concurrently (heh).

    Still, assuming that is an accurate resumé for the man, implying 20yrs in 2 separate depts would be … *gasp* … disingenuous.

    http://www.uscg.mil/top/missions/

    The affidavit does state the Coast Guard was “reserve” so he could be doing both. I found an earlier statement that said he was ICE which did end up in the DHS (along with the Coast Guard).

    Oddly, one part of his affidavit gives me reason to not doubt his background. Item 6 states, “On my own and not as an Investigator or Special Agent with any state or federal agent.” In my thinking, it is more likely a person who has the background would remember to include this tidbit.

  8. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 30, 2013 at 8:13 pm #

    Thanks for pointing that out. I’ve added it to my article.

    Thinker: The 2-digit year stamp was the most outstanding aspect and he researched it for several weeks, but he didn’t include a single word about it in his initial criticism of the document in 2008.

  9. avatar
    That Other Mike January 30, 2013 at 9:35 pm #

    Well whallopped, Doc!

  10. avatar
    Scientist January 30, 2013 at 9:48 pm #

    Which case was this affidavit for? What relevance does Selective Service registration have to anything? Aren’t all of Orly’s cases moot?

    Why does the US legal system allow moot cases to procede at cost to the parties and the taxpayers and profit to the attorneys?

  11. avatar
    gorefan January 31, 2013 at 1:19 am #

    PJMedia also received a confirmation from the Selective Service Administration in August, 2008.

    ====================================================================
    After contacting the Selective Service System for an answer several times since late June, PJ Media obtained official confirmation from the Selective Service System via email that Barack Obama did indeed register for the Selective Service as required by law, and is eligible to run for the presidency.

    Mr. Owens,

    Barack Hussein Obama registered at a post office in Hawaii. The effective registration date was September 4, 1980.

    His registration number is 61-1125539-1.

    Daniel Amon
    Public Affairs Specialist
    ====================================================================

    http://pjmedia.com/blog/obama-did-obama-actually-register-for-selective-service/?singlepage=true

  12. avatar
    The Magic M January 31, 2013 at 4:18 am #

    Scientist: What relevance does Selective Service registration have to anything?

    Before the elections and for most birthers (including Corsi/WND), it was mostly about the propaganda value – “if the President has forged records, something’s very fishy and I won’t vote for the guy”.

    That propaganda value is gone; Obama will never face voters again and even a 100% disapproval rating would not severely affect his presidency now.

    For those birthers who still pursue this issue, it’s pure obsession. They believe that if they find enough that looks “fishy” either about a single issue (BC, SSN, …) or all issues combined, they will get “one honest judge” to start investigations – which they believe will then “blow the whole thing wide open”.

    Or, as Archimedes said, “Give me a fulcrum and I will lift the world.”

  13. avatar
    Shame on Liberals Shame January 31, 2013 at 5:34 am #

    Dr. ignorance, the negro is not god you know. He’s just an illegal skinny Kenyan negro who in your racist thinking should outdo whites.

    Did you know negroes never invent anything?
    They never farm.
    They never prosper any country.
    They live off of whites.
    They are lazy
    Raise prison population wherever they go.
    Are the most racist people on this planet.

    Did you know that Dr. ignorance?

    [I had to approve this one. Doc]

  14. avatar
    katahdin January 31, 2013 at 8:06 am #

    Having heard of George Washington Carver, I was quite surprised to hear this.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Washington_Carver

    Gee, that was easy.

    Shame on Liberals Shame: negroes never invent anything

  15. avatar
    roadburner January 31, 2013 at 8:14 am #

    Shame on Liberals Shame:
    Dr. ignorance, the negro is not god you know.He’s just an illegal skinny Kenyan negro who in your racist thinking should outdo whites.

    Did you know negroes never invent anything?
    They never farm.
    They never prosper any country.
    They live off of whites.
    They are lazy
    Raise prison population wherever they go.
    Are the most racist people on this planet.

    Did you know that Dr. ignorance?

    [I had to approve this one. Doc]

    yep, lazy porch monkeys never do anything for their country, nor ever prosper

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuskegee_Airmen

  16. avatar
    realist January 31, 2013 at 8:24 am #

    Yet another Black “non-achiever”.

    http://www.blackinventor.com/pages/charles-drew.html

  17. avatar
    Scientist January 31, 2013 at 8:49 am #

    Shame on Liberals Shame: [I had to approve this one. Doc]

    Finally, a birther who is honest about what is behind the entire movement.

  18. avatar
    Thomas Brown January 31, 2013 at 9:02 am #

    Shame on Liberals Shame:

    Did you know negroes never invent anything?
    They never farm.
    They never prosper any country.
    They live off of whites.
    They are lazy
    Raise prison population wherever they go.
    Are the most racist people on this planet.

    We, the People of the United States, have determined that your kind of ‘thinking': your attitudes, your lies, your hate, your racism, will die off and fade out of the picture permanently.

    Count on it.

  19. avatar
    misha marinsky January 31, 2013 at 9:57 am #

    Shame on Liberals Shame:They never prosper any country.

    Just thought you should know about this: During the Chinese New Year,firecrackers are set off by the hundreds here in Chinatown. The smoke caused an asthma episode so badly, I collapsed.

    A black police officer saved me. I’m Jewish.

    What do you have to say about us?

  20. avatar
    misha marinsky January 31, 2013 at 10:04 am #

    Thomas Brown: your kind of ‘thinking’: your attitudes, your lies, your hate, your racism, will die off and fade out of the picture permanently. Count on it.

    The 20th century began at the end of the Great War. The 21st century began with Obama’s election. The descendant of slaves is now the First Lady.

    Their world is ending, and they’re frightened.

  21. avatar
    Rickey January 31, 2013 at 10:39 am #

    Shame on Liberals Shame:

    Did you know negroes never invent anything?

    Except for these people.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_African-American_inventors_and_scientists

    SOLS proves what I have said many times before – give a racist enough time and the racism will rise to the top.

  22. avatar
    The Magic M January 31, 2013 at 10:48 am #

    Shame on Liberals Shame: He’s just an illegal skinny Kenyan negro

    Whatever happened to the anti-Obama claim that he allegedly had AIDS? It was quite popular among Obama haters at the beginning of his first term. Somehow this rings back to it, otherwise why mention it?

  23. avatar
    Thomas Brown January 31, 2013 at 11:10 am #

    misha marinsky:

    Their world is ending, and they’re frightened.

    не достаточно быстро!

  24. avatar
    Lupin January 31, 2013 at 11:57 am #

    Shame on Liberals Shame:
    Dr. ignorance, the negro is not god you know.He’s just an illegal skinny Kenyan negro who in your racist thinking should outdo whites.

    Did you know negroes never invent anything?
    They never farm.
    They never prosper any country.
    They live off of whites.
    They are lazy
    Raise prison population wherever they go.
    Are the most racist people on this planet.

    Did you know that Dr. ignorance?

    [I had to approve this one. Doc]

    Orly, is that you?

  25. avatar
    Crustacean January 31, 2013 at 12:21 pm #

    misha marinsky: What do you have to say about us?

    I just want to say, I’m seein’ an awful lot of “troll feeding” here today. And now you ask for more, Misha!

    Do you really have to ask?

    Ah, who am I kiddin’… truth is I LOVE seeing y’all give trolls the limb-from-limb treatment; it’s great fun! But like the child entertaining himself by pulling the legs off of insects, it’s not very nice! :)

    Then again, if the insect is a racist puke, maybe he’s got it comin’!

  26. avatar
    Crustacean January 31, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

    The Magic M: Whatever happened to the anti-Obama claim that he allegedly had AIDS?

    I think by now we’re well aware of this fact: with birther allegations, it’s about quantity, not quality. It doesn’t matter how good the claims are, as long as there are plenty of ‘em!

  27. avatar
    Thomas Brown January 31, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

    Lupin: Orly, is that you?

    Can’t be. This racist can write more or less correctly.

  28. avatar
    Mitch January 31, 2013 at 12:56 pm #

    Shame on Liberals Shame:
    blah blah blah…

    [I had to approve this one. Doc]

    Why approve it? It adds nothing to the conversation.

  29. avatar
    Grung_e_Gene January 31, 2013 at 1:07 pm #

    @ The Magic M,

    You also need a place to stand.

    As for the Birthers that’s a key problem; No Standing.

  30. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 31, 2013 at 1:09 pm #

    Even white kids in rural Alabama attending segregated schools in the 1950’s knew about the Peanut Wizard!

    katahdin: Having heard of George Washington Carver, I was quite surprised to hear this.

  31. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 31, 2013 at 1:11 pm #

    It adds an anecdote to the charge that racism is behind the hatred of Obama.

    Mitch: Why approve it? It adds nothing to the conversation.

  32. avatar
    misha marinsky January 31, 2013 at 1:47 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: Even white kids in rural Alabama attending segregated schools in the 1950′s knew about the Peanut Wizard!

    Don’t forget Carver made the discovery that tomatoes were healthful, not poisonous.

    Not to belittle Carver, but you should have seen the treatment the National Lampoon gave Carver in a comic novel. It ended with two schoolchildren in a cafeteria:

    “Same thing for lunch?”
    “Yeah.”

  33. avatar
    Origuy January 31, 2013 at 1:58 pm #

    misha marinsky: The descendant of slaves is now the First Lady.

    Also the President. One of Ann Dunham’s ancestors was the first documented African slave in colonial Virginia.
    http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/07/30/13036039-ancestry-website-obamas-mother-descended-from-first-us-slave?lite

  34. avatar
    Kate1230 January 31, 2013 at 1:59 pm #

    Crustacean: I think by now we’re well aware of this fact: with birther allegations, it’s about quantity, not quality.It doesn’t matter how good the claims are, as long as there are plenty of ‘em!

    It doesn’t matter if the claims contradict each other. Every birther knows that there is truth in each one of those claims. Orly used the alleged registration form from PBO’s school in Indonesia as proof his name was changed and that he was a (gasp!) Muslim! She also said during many interviews after speaking about this form, that PBO was born in Kenya or that there was no proof he was born in Hawaii. She conveniently overlooks the fact that on this form from Indonesia that she touts as proof of all sorts of nonsensical claims, that the form says he was born in Hawaii. I know, difficult to believe, right? Not when it comes to Orly. If her lips are moving, she’s lying.

  35. avatar
    misha marinsky January 31, 2013 at 2:26 pm #

    Origuy: Also the President. One of Ann Dunham’s ancestors was the first documented African slave in colonial Virginia.

    Great story. Thanks for posting.

  36. avatar
    misha marinsky January 31, 2013 at 2:44 pm #

    Kate1230: It doesn’t matter if the claims contradict each other. Every birther knows that there is truth in each one of those claims.

    Frank Marshall Davis is Obama’s real father.

    Two US citizen parents, right? Wrong. Davis was a communist.

  37. avatar
    SluggoJD January 31, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

    Shame on Liberals Shame:
    Dr. ignorance, the negro is not god you know.He’s just an illegal skinny Kenyan negro who in your racist thinking should outdo whites.

    Did you know negroes never invent anything?
    They never farm.
    They never prosper any country.
    They live off of whites.
    They are lazy
    Raise prison population wherever they go.
    Are the most racist people on this planet.

    Did you know that Dr. ignorance?

    [I had to approve this one. Doc]

    Dr. C, this goes way too far. People like this need sunlight.

    Anything you can do to disinfect this loser is a good thing.

  38. avatar
    Horus January 31, 2013 at 4:26 pm #

    Unfortunately, the troll is probably my neighbor.
    The racism in Arizona is overt.

  39. avatar
    Dave B. January 31, 2013 at 5:28 pm #

    Now how could anybody retire in 2007 after twenty years in the Department of Homeland Security?

  40. avatar
    Welsh Dragon January 31, 2013 at 8:55 pm #

    Dave B.:
    Now how could anybody retire in 2007 after twenty years in the Department of Homeland Security?

    He was a Customs Special Agent before it was absorbed into Homeland Security. I looked a while back and found him popping up in court cases back to the early 90s.

  41. avatar
    richCares February 2, 2013 at 1:32 am #

    “Just thought you should know about this: During the Chinese New Year,firecrackers”
    .
    We have had the same problem in Hawaii during New Years, one New Year, my roommate at U of H arrived on Chinese New Years, he was in the shower when the fire works went off, he ran out screaming and asked “What’s happening”, I shouted “The Russians are attacking”, he ran out and rushed nude down the street until the cops stopped him. This was in 1959 and Cold War still on.
    .
    my roommate later on became a well known popular singer and asked me not to tell this story. (with his name)