The doubters of Barack Obama’s birth certificate have pointed out that the State of Hawaii in its various statements and official verifications of the long-form Hawaii birth certificate released as a PDF file in April of 2011 decline to declare the White House image “identical” to the original, or to say that it is an “exact copy.” There is a growing consensus among experts that it is not, and cannot be identical to the original or an exact copy.
One expert is Kevin Davidson, a blogger who writes under the nom de Internet of Dr. Conspiracy. Davidson has over 35 years experience in the production of birth certificates and has worked on vital statistics information systems in 13 states. From the beginning Davidson has raised issues about the difference between whatever original document exists in Hawaii and what the White House released. He wrote on on his blog, Obama Conspiracy Theories, on April 27, 2011:
Finally, I want to comment on what the long form physically is. It is the original certificate from a bound volume photocopied (hence the curved edge) onto security paper. The date stamp and the state registrar’s stamp were then added below….
The original birth certificate, as noted by Davidson, was altered in at least four significant ways, possibly by the Hawaii Department of Health itself:
- Green basket weave security paper was added
- The Registrar’s stamp was added
- A date stamp was added
- Straight lines are changed to curves
In later articles Davidson, after reviewing photos taken of the paper document by NBC News White House Correspondent Savannah Guthrie, and after applying photo enhancement techniques to her photos, proved beyond doubt that further alteration was done to add the seal of the Hawaii Department of Health to the image of the vault copy.
Changes to the image
Beyond the changes and additions prior to the creation of the PDF noted by Davidson, other forensic documents experts have determined that White House PDF image itself had been altered.
Credentialed forensic document examiner Ivan Zatkovich in an April 29, 2011, report commissioned by WorldNetDaily, discussed his conversation with the Hawaii Department of Health in which they confirmed Davidson’s statement that the original in the department files was black on white paper, but Zatkovich added:
… my analysis indicates that there were modifications made to the PDF …
Most of the text in the document is surrounded by a white border which would not have been part of the Green copy produced by Hawaii. …
Only four days after the birth certificate was produced, two experts had found that it was not identical to the original!
Poorly done changes
Not only was the White House PDF version of Obama’s birth certificate altered, it was altered poorly, as indicated by internationally-recognized expert on electronic document processing, Ricardo de Queiroz of the University of Brazil. He wrote in an email to John Woodman:
The document has poor quality and it has been aggressively processed, no questions about it. The question is whether the corruptive processing was individual with the intent of forging it, or if it was automated within regular MRC segmentation.
If it was a forgery it was a very sloppy job. Any photoshop-knowledgeable person, of the garden variety, can do a much better job than that. If it is automated, it is a lousy job too, but bear in mind that algorithms for these jobs are not trained on specific documents. They were more likely developed, trained and tested on magazine pages and books. A US birth certificate is unlikely to give good results because it may be an outlier in the big picture of all documents they had in mind when developed their MRC tool.
Davidson added that the PDF processing converted gray-scale portions of the document to two-color bitmaps that resulted in the appearance of “TXE” in the Registrar’s stamp and the whimsical smiley face in Dr. Onaka’s signature.
It is clear from the testimony of three experts, one in vital records, one in forensic document examination, and one in computer processing of images, that the White House PDF image of Barack Obama’s Hawaiian birth certificate is not identical in appearance to the original in Hawaii.
As to the further question of forgery, these experts respond:
- Zatkovich: consistent with someone attempting to enhance the appearance of the document rather than change the content.
- de Queiroz: I do not see that.
- Davidson: Me neither.
As for the information on the certificate, Obama’s date of birth, place of birth and birth name, the State of Hawaii has verified that on multiple occasions, and those aspects of the original certificate are not in doubt.