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.
- Birth certificate number out of sequence. This is simply not true. See my article.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- “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.
- 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).