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Birther fallback on Obama’s PDF

Doc and abastract

Dr. Conspiracy considers latest birther image analysis

Besides the PDF does not have a chain of custudy (sic). The reporters (sic) copy does. His birth certificate is still a forgery with at least 19 points of forgery on just the reorters (sic) copy.

— Doug Vogt (comment at Native Born Citizen blog)

It’s interesting that Vogt admits that the Guthrie photos have a chain of custody, because they do. They went straight from the Hawaii Department of Heath to the White House press briefing in the custody of Obama’s attorneys, officers of the court. It’s interesting because Vogt once said: “There was no paper copy with a seal presented to the US Public therefore none to examine by anyone!” (Guthrie herself said that she felt the raised seal).

In most discussions birthers have largely ignored the Guthrie photos since they undermine their main position, that no paper document with a raised seal existed. It would take a book-length article to go into all the inane things the birthers have claimed about the PDF, but now that birther marks of forgery on the PDF have been shown to be simply workflow with standard office equipment (no surprise), the Guthrie photos have come to the front, and the pseudo-scientific typography fantasies of Vogt and Irey have become the fallback position.

The Guthrie photos are ideal for birther purposes because they are fuzzy and of low resolution, taken in less-than-ideal circumstances by a cell phone camera. It is well-documented that humans see things in fuzzy images that aren’t there. So what are these “19 points of forgery” in a document that Vogt used to deny existed? I don’t know the 19, but I found 25 points of a general nature in a list by Vogt at Conservative News and Views. Following, I’ll address the ones from the list that actually refer in any way to the Guthrie photos1, my comments in bold face.

  1. Birth certificate number out of sequence. This is simply not true. See my article.
  2. No evidence of raised seal. This is simply and obviously not true. Guthrie’s photo shows the seal, albeit dimly, and she herself said that the had felt it. You can easily see the seal yourself in contrast-enhanced photos.
  3. Several points about type are raised that have been discussed in detail on this blog, but are too complicated to include in this survey article. Suffice it to say that Vogt and Irey are mistaken. Watch the video.
  4. The age of Obama Sr. is wrong. Obama Sr. used different dates of birth in different contexts, not just on the birth certificate. This is not any evidence of forgery.
  5. “The certificate gives Obama’s race as ‘African.’ In those days, a clerk would say ‘Negro’ or ‘Black.’ No one ever used ‘African.’ No one even used ‘African-American’ until the Seventies.” This is simply not true. First “African” is the race of Obama’s father, and the race of the father is self-reported by the parent, not what a clerk says. Second the 1961 keying instructions specifically mention what to key if a parent responds “African American.” The claim is ludicrous. See my article.
  6. Shows cropping. The PDF conversion process in the Xerox WorkCentre machine that scanned the document as a PDF does a cropping function called “Edge Erase.” The Guthrie photo is of the original, and so not cropped.

I don’t know what the “19 points of forgery in the reporters document” are precisely, but from what I can tell, it’s a combination of birthers making stuff up (like the “African” race entry) or imagining things, such as the “rotated ‘e’” in “Male.” And of course, they just ignore most of the time the higher resolution AP image that is inconvenient for their position. Despite reports the contrary, birthers have no clothes.

1Savannah Guthrie originally posted the photos on her account at Lockerz.com, an account that no longer appears to be active. Her comment on the picture was that she “felt the raised seal.” I saved copies of the two photos (wide shot, zoom shot).

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33 Responses to Birther fallback on Obama’s PDF

  1. avatar
    The Magic M July 3, 2013 at 10:24 am #

    > and the pseudo-scientific typography fantasies of Vogt and Guthrie have become the fallback position

    I think you meant “Vogt and Irey”. Or are you referring to Paul “Jedi Pauly” Guthrie? Is the latter even concerned with the PDF?

    That shirt is still hilarious. I destroyed Vogt’s analysis on WND and he has been rather quiet ever since.

  2. avatar
    richCares July 3, 2013 at 11:02 am #

    in addition, birthers and the cold case pose avoid the Guthrie photo and they made no effort to contact the White House Press Corps that viewed the original Yet they have the nerve to say they did an investigation, what a joke.

  3. avatar
    Majority Will July 3, 2013 at 11:14 am #

    The standard birther bigot b.s. on legal documentation tries to place the burden of legitimacy on the President rather than accept the confirmation of the legally backed issuing authority of the state of Hawaii.

    That is asinine, puerile and ludicrous.

    Ask any birther bigot to provide proof beyond a doubt that his or her driver’s license, birth certificate or U.S. Passport is legitimate and not a forgery.

  4. avatar
    Sactosintolerant July 3, 2013 at 1:01 pm #

    This is my favorite “African” one so far:

    http://www.wvculture.org/vrr/va_view.aspx?Id=5640145&Type=Death

    The parents are American, it predates Obama’s BC by over 50 years, and the last name…

  5. avatar
    Crustacean July 3, 2013 at 1:29 pm #

    Couldn’t agree more, Magic. Here’s what I’d love to see: someone (with way too much time and money on their hands) could make real T-shirts like this, but arrange those same letters to form carefully chosen words.

    SS cc AA nn tttt
    ff aa cc ttttttt ss
    RR aa cc ii SS tt
    ll ii aaaa RR SS
    nn UUUUU ttttt
    PP aa RR tt yy

    Maybe the words could even be hidden, like in a word-search game. That way the shirts could be sold to gullible birthers (pardon the redundancy). Who knows how many would be sold before they realize they’ve been duped yet again!

    The Magic M: That shirt is still hilarious

  6. avatar
    b,b,b,b,b,birther July 3, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

    more logorrhea.
    the pdf can be proved accurate through simple adult conduct from the prez.
    he refuses to do it and such conduct‹ suggests his accusers are correct and you are wrong.

  7. avatar
    gorefan July 3, 2013 at 3:50 pm #

    The CCP’s (Zullo in a Gillar interview or maybe it was a Gallup interview) take on the Guthrie photo is that it is the results of printing the master file (the one used to make the pdf) onto green security paper, then using a fake stamp, they say that Ms Guthrie felt the stamp but didn’t check it out to see if it was official.

    They seem to believe that they could turn off the green background on the master file without losing the vertical or horizontal lines.

  8. avatar
    Reality Check July 3, 2013 at 6:22 pm #

    I took a shot at summarizing the important findings that NBC and others have published in a post on my blog. I will add a link to this article too.

    Blogger NBC Identifies the “Forger” for the CCP: Grande Commandante Zullo – Better Go Slap the Cuffs on the Xerox Machine

  9. avatar
    Dave B. July 3, 2013 at 7:56 pm #

    Sactosintolerant:
    This is my favorite “African” one so far:

    Geez, that’s a murder ballad waiting to happen.
    http://www.wvculture.org/vrr/va_view.aspx?Id=5640145&Type=Death

    The parents are American, it predates Obama’s BC by over 50 years, and the last name…

  10. avatar
    justlw July 4, 2013 at 2:21 am #

    I mentioned this on “nativeborncitizen” — I’ve been having fun on ancestry.com lately, and I found the passenger manifest for the voyage that my great grandfather and grandfather came to America on in 1907.

    One of the columns on the form (500-B, US Department of Labor and Commerce) was “Race or People”, which is footnoted “List of races will be found on back of this sheet.”

    Since it’s in alphabetical order, the first of the “races” to choose from is:

    African (black).

  11. avatar
    y_p_w July 4, 2013 at 1:09 pm #

    I’d point out that the photo that was made available on Lockerz (no longer available because I think she deleted the account) was not exactly the original but rather a downsizing of the original.

    I’m thinking that the original was probably much higher resolution and a lot of the aliasing artifacts that the birthers are harping about would disappear, like the B&W high res scan of the photocopy in each reporter’s packet at the 2011 press conference that the AP released.

  12. avatar
    The Magic M July 5, 2013 at 3:52 am #

    y_p_w: I’m thinking that the original was probably much higher resolution

    Doesn’t get any higher than this (12 Mpixels):
    http://kbmt.images.worldnow.com/images/14523440_SS.jpg

  13. avatar
    Curious George July 5, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

    1Savannah Guthrie originally posted the photos on her account at Lockerz.com, an account that no longer appears to be active. Her comment on the picture was that she “felt the raised seal.” I saved copies of the two photos (wide shot, zoom shot).

    Wouldn’t S. Guthrie be the first person for the CCP to interview? Did they interview her?

  14. avatar
    Majority Will July 5, 2013 at 5:11 pm #

    Many birthers (and birther grifters) will ignore anyone who might spoil their paranoid, bigoted and delusional fantasies.

    Curious George:
    1Savannah Guthrie originally posted the photos on her account at Lockerz.com, an account that no longer appears to be active. Her comment on the picture was that she “felt the raised seal.” I saved copies of the two photos (wide shot, zoom shot).

    Wouldn’t S. Guthrie be the first person for the CCP to interview? Did they interview her?

  15. avatar
    misha marinsky July 5, 2013 at 6:05 pm #

    Curious George: Did they interview her?

    AFAIK, no. Nor did they look at an actual certified copy – just one lifted from the website.

  16. avatar
    Jim July 5, 2013 at 6:38 pm #

    Curious George:
    Wouldn’t S. Guthrie be the first person for the CCP to interview? Did they interview her?

    Well, no. They made sure not to interview anyone there for the release. In fact, they avoided those folks like the plague. Makes sense though, why interview anyone who could destroy their non-examination of a PDF file on the web…harder to scam the birthers.

  17. avatar
    nbc July 5, 2013 at 6:48 pm #

    Curious George: Wouldn’t S. Guthrie be the first person for the CCP to interview? Did they interview her?

    Unlikely that they approached her. It would ruin the narrative.

  18. avatar
    Curious George July 5, 2013 at 7:16 pm #

    Ok, so probably no interview with S.G. Hard to believe. How was it determined that race was self reported? What were the steps to determine the number coding? Were they wrong about the coding on the b.c. too?

  19. avatar
    CarlOrcas July 5, 2013 at 7:41 pm #

    Curious George: Wouldn’t S. Guthrie be the first person for the CCP to interview? Did they interview her?

    What crime occurred in Arizona that she could be interviewed about?

    What could she tell them? What expertise does she have?

    All that assumes, of course, that this really is a legitimate investigation by real police officers. But…..since it is neither of those things it really doesn’t matter, does it?

  20. avatar
    CarlOrcas July 5, 2013 at 7:43 pm #

    Curious George: Ok, so probably no interview with S.G. Hard to believe.

    If you were a member of the posse and Commander Zullo dispatched you to interview Savannah Guthrie exactly what would you ask her about the piece of paper she held?

  21. avatar
    Keith July 5, 2013 at 10:07 pm #

    Curious George:
    Ok, so probably no interview with S.G. Hard to believe.

    Why would you think that?

    How was it determined that race was self reported?

    By whom?

    The CCP? They are only interested in keeping the confusion at a maximum – so they have carefully avoided determining that fact.

    ‘Us’? I’m sure you can find the complete discussion here: The Debunker’s Guide to Obama Conspiracy Theories. Just in case you are one of those who needs their hand held when they cross the street, here is the link to the specific story: The African Race

    What were the steps to determine the number coding? Were they wrong about the coding on the b.c. too?

    Again by whom? The CCP? Their steps were: 1) figure out the answers we want. 2) find a code table that confuses the issue and can therefore be used to fool someone. 3) LIE about where the table came from.

    “Us?” 1) Find the actual code table in use at the time. 2) Check if the code table matches the actual data. 3) Expose the CCP as the lying pieces of fecal matter that they are.

    Again, I am sure you can find a full discussion of these processes at the first link above. I am not going to hold your hand this time.

  22. avatar
    Curious George July 5, 2013 at 10:26 pm #

    “All that assumes, of course, that this really is a legitimate investigation by real police officers. But…..since it is neither of those things it really doesn’t matter, does it?”

    Why do you think they are they doing it?

  23. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy July 5, 2013 at 10:31 pm #

    The parents’ race is self-reported and it’s whatever the parent says it is. This is documented in the various vital statistics manuals over the years. You can read these at the CDC web site.

    It’s important to understand who did what. In 1961 the federal government coded and keyed data from the states. Only a couple of states keyed their own federal statistical data, and Hawaii wasn’t one of them. This data was keyed for statistical purposes, and so only a sampling was keyed, specifically the even-numbered certificates. That is, they didn’t key Obama’s certificate.

    The rules for federal coding are available for 1961, and can be found here:

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/101153224/Coding-and-Punching-Geographic-and-Personal-Particulars-for-Births-Occurring-in-1961

    Zullo has tried to create some diversion by citing bits from a 1960 manual, but in fact the federal race codes for 1960 and 1961 are the same. He makes a big deal about how Hawaii didn’t get the 1961 book until after Obama was born. This is irrelevant because the codes Hawaii used weren’t federal codes.

    Since the federal government coded data for federal purposes from microfilm copies of records, no document in Hawaii bears federal coding marks. That means that the marks on the Obama form and on other examples of 1961 certificates were done by the State of Hawaii for its own purposes. It turns out that by examining other certificates we see that the 1961 federal codes were not used by Hawaii.

    I have 36 years experience with public health coding systems, and I’ve seen race codes from many states. While codes vary, one can be sure of one thing with numeric codes, the more common codes get lower numbers. In the Hawaiian system we know that code 1 is for White and code 2 is for Hawaiian and code 3 is for part Hawaiian. That is definitely a coding system devised by the State of Hawaii. See my article:

    http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/2012/07/1961-hawaii-race-codes-disclosed/

    The race codes reported by Zullo in his video were federal codes for 1968-69 differing from both the 1961 federal codes, and from the codes Hawaii used in 1961.

    For background reading, see:

    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/vsus/vsus_1961_1.pdf
    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/dvs/birth_edit_specifications.pdf

    Curious George: How was it determined that race was self reported? What were the steps to determine the number coding? Were they wrong about the coding on the b.c. too?

  24. avatar
    Curious George July 5, 2013 at 10:38 pm #

    “Just in case you are one of those who needs their hand held when they cross the street, here is the link to the specific story: The African Race”

    Just trying to get up to speed. Not interested in holding hands.

  25. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy July 5, 2013 at 10:44 pm #

    Why does any conspiracy theorist do what they do?

    Jerome Corsi, a slick propagandist went to the Surprise Arizona Tea party with stuff from his book, half true and misleading. They were well-disposed to believe bad stuff about Obama, and they heard a one-sided version of the story. They went to Arpaio who shuffled them off to his Cold Case Posse. Enter Mike Zullo, who worked closely with Corsi, listening to the birther version of reality, and refusing to listen to anyone who would present the other side. Zullo (putting the kindest face on things) got sucked in, bolstered by confirmation bias, and probably believes the whole thing. Unfortunately, he just uncritically repeats what others tell him. That’s probably why he lied his ass off about race codes — not because he intentionally presented faked evidence, but because he uncritically believed evidence that someone else faked.

    Conspiracy theorists convince themselves, and then the are immune from refutation. I have seen it over and over and over.

    Curious George: Why do you think they are they doing it?

  26. avatar
    Dave B. July 5, 2013 at 10:53 pm #

    They were a lot more interested in that poor mailman from Illinois.

    Curious George: Wouldn’t S. Guthrie be the first person for the CCP to interview? Did they interview her?

  27. avatar
    Dave B. July 5, 2013 at 10:55 pm #

    And I believe the first person Zullo had a sit-down with was…Jerome Corsi.

    Curious George: Wouldn’t S. Guthrie be the first person for the CCP to interview? Did they interview her?

  28. avatar
    CarlOrcas July 5, 2013 at 11:24 pm #

    Curious George: Why do you think they are they doing it?

    Got me!

    Like the good Doctor I’ve dealt with this sort of nonsense for a long time and it still baffles me how some people can be so immune to facts or just simple skepticism.

    In this case…Obama….the root cause is, in my opinion, simple racism. They just can’t deal with the fact that a black man is living in the White House.

  29. avatar
    Curious George July 5, 2013 at 11:28 pm #

    “I have 36 years experience with public health coding systems, and I’ve seen race codes from many states. ”

    Dr., has the CCP ever interviewed you? With your background, you could have given them some direction. Thanks for the links. I have some reading to do.

  30. avatar
    gorefan July 5, 2013 at 11:49 pm #

    Curious George: How was it determined that race was self reported?

    The Hawaii DOH told us.

    “Kurt Tsue at the DOH told us that father’s race and mother’s race are supplied by the parents, and that “we accept what the parents self identify themselves to be.” We consider it reasonable to believe that Barack Obama, Sr., would have thought of and reported himself as “African.” It’s certainly not the slam dunk some readers have made it out to be.”

    http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/born_in_the_usa.html

    As to the race “African”, here is what the Kenyan government told it’s citizens when they did a census in 1962,

    “Column 5. Race – Write European, Arab, Somalia or African, etc. Asians must write Indian or Pakistan.”

    http://www.hist.umn.edu/~rmccaa/IPUMSI/CensusForms/Africa/ke1962ef_kenya_enumeration_forms.en.pdf

  31. avatar
    richCares July 6, 2013 at 1:31 am #

    Curious George: “Wouldn’t S. Guthrie be the first person for the CCP to interview? Did they interview her?”
    ..
    no interview or contact with Savannah Guthrie plus they never contacted any of the reporters that saw the BC, and they made no attempts to view the original which was available at the White House, yet Zullu the clown says he did an investigation.

  32. avatar
    Whatever4 July 6, 2013 at 2:07 am #

    Curious George:
    Ok, so probably no interview with S.G. Hard to believe. How was it determined that race was self reported? What were the steps to determine the number coding? Were they wrong about the coding on the b.c. too?

    Lots of internet surfing. They also interviewed Butterdezillion, thus absorbing her “knowledge.”

  33. avatar
    Keith July 6, 2013 at 2:22 am #

    Curious George:
    “Just in case you are one of those who needs their hand held when they cross the street, here is the link to the specific story: The African Race”

    Just trying to get up to speed. Not interested in holding hands.

    OK. Then Doc’s ‘Debunker’s Guide’ should be just what you need.

    It can be found from the link I provided, or even easier, from the ‘Features’ menu item at the top of every page on Doc’s site.

    I didn’t really word that other post correctly, you needing hand-holding wasn’t what I meant to convey. I really meant ‘in too much of a hurry to look through the table of contents to find the correct article’. Doc has pointed you to other articles which may be better.

    The guide is a marvelous resource, there is not much that has been missed.