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10 Facts that Suggest Birthers are Fake

This is a response to an article: “10 Facts That Suggest Obama’s Birth Certificate is Fake” at MrConservative.com. The bold-face numbered items are from that article.

1. No one knows where Obama’s real birth certificate is.

We actually know exactly where it is. Fox News reported in 2011:

More than a month before Donald Trump began his media blitzkrieg over the issue of President Obama’s birth certificate, the document was quietly moved to a more secure location within a dual combination-key lock safe inside the state’s health department vault.

The certificate was moved there by Alvin Onaka, Hawaii’s State Registrar, in response to what had already become an increasing number of media requests by FoxNews.com and others, according to sources.

Mr. Conservative goes on to write: A document that’s scanned will have only one layer, which is the image itself, something that even most birthers today know is false.  The conservative National Review published an article in 2011 immediately after the first layer nuttery surfaced on the Internet explaining that layers are normal. Nathan Goulding wrote:

I’ve confirmed that scanning an image, converting it to a PDF, optimizing that PDF, and then opening it up in Illustrator, does in fact create layers similar to what is seen in the birth certificate PDF. You can try it yourself at home.

And indeed I have done it myself. You can even see the process in a YouTube video.

2. Classmates at Colombia (sic) University think Obama lied about going there.

Maybe “Wayne Allen (sic) Root” doesn’t remember Obama, but others do. See, for example, this article at Columbia College Today. There are also Columbia classmate interviews in the PBS/Frontline video, The Choice 2012.

Here’s the graduates list from Columbia courtesy of Breitbart News:

3. British National Archives confirm Obama Sr. had a child in 1961 Kenya [Photo of fake certificate from Lucas Smith shown]

No one has ever produced a shred of evidence that such documentation ever existed in the British National Archives, but there is ample evidence from the US archives obtained by FOIA that Barack Obama Sr. was in the US continuously from 1959-1964.

There was a release of documents to the British National Archives in 2012, relating to the Kenyan colonial period. One of them includes Barack Obama Sr. on a list of students; however, there is nothing about him being in Kenya (which he was not) nor about a child. You can read an article on this at The Guardian newspaper.

Barack Obama's father tops a list made by British colonial officials of Kenyans studying in the US

4. Obama claimed in a literary agent’s bio that he was born in Kenya.

The literary agent says otherwise. The author of that bio, Miriam Goderich, told Yahoo News:

You’re undoubtedly aware of the brouhaha stirred up by Breitbart about the erroneous statement in a client list Acton & Dystel published in 1991 (for circulation within the publishing industry only) that Barack Obama was born in Kenya.  This was nothing more than a fact checking error by me — an agency assistant at the time.  There was never any information given to us by Obama in any of his correspondence or other communications suggesting in any way that he was born in Kenya and not Hawaii.  I hope you can communicate to your readers that this was a simple mistake and nothing more.

5. Obama used the name Barry Sotero (sic) when he went to college.

Obama used the nickname “Barry” in high school and for a while in college, but he never went under the name “Sotero” (or “Soetoro”) in college. He’s on graduation lists as “Obama,” and his college friends knew him as Obama. There are many interviews of Obama’s college friends in David Maraniss’ biography, Barack Obama: The story. There’s no College document anywhere linking the President to any name but “Obama.”

6. Yahoo News posted Obama’s country of birth is Kenya…….. By accident?

If you visit that Yahoo News article today, it says:

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the president’s birthplace.

Where does Mr. Conservative think Yahoo got their earlier information? Facts need a source, and there is none.

7. Document examiner tied to Obama’s attorney says Obama’s birth certificate is fake.

This one may have a grain of truth in it; however, the report of that document examiner, Reed Hayes has never been published, and Hayes himself refuses to discuss it publicly. All we have is second-hand reports of what he supposedly said. In any case, forensic document examiners typically work with original documents, not software-compressed 2nd generation photocopies.

The statement “tied to Obama’s attorney” is a bit misleading. Hayes once did unspecified work for an attorney in Seattle who works at a large national law form, Perkins-Coie, many years before that firm started representing Barack Obama and the Obama for America campaign.

8. Obama’s selective service card bears a number showing that it was issued in 2008.

The Selective Service System verifies the card as authentic, since it came from them! The serial number on the card is from 1980, when Obama was supposed to register. Copies of the 1980 form were first obtained in 2008 (during the Bush Administration) of Obama’s registration. Selective Service also confirmed that their computer records show Obama registered in 1980. What Mr. Conservative calls “forensic analysis” was done by a volunteer with no background in document analysis, nor any special skills, someone trying to find a way to discredit it, not an objective investigator.  It is true that the century part of the date on a postal stamp is missing on the form, but poor postal stamp images with parts missing are common. A fake card forger wouldn’t have made a mistake like that. Other articles on this site dealing with selective service discuss this in more detail.

9. There at least five Social Security numbers associated with men named Barack H. Obama who lived in at addresses associated with President Barack H. Obama.

This is a large topic, but the main issue is that this information (and I have never actually seen the 5 numbers listed anywhere) comes from large unverified public records aggregation databases. These database are full of errors. No one has actually found a public record for Barack Obama using any other than his known social-security number. All they have is unverified index entries. Other articles on this site (and there are many) deal with this topic.

10. Alabama Supreme Court reviewed shocking evidence that Obama’s birth certificate is likely a forgery.

The affidavit from Mike Zullo (a fellow who was a policeman a few decades ago, a used car sales man and bar bouncer) was submitted to the Alabama Supreme Court in the Case of McInnish v. Chapman. Since that affidavit, consisting of hearsay and bits copied off the Internet, had no relevance to the narrow question of Alabama law before the court, it’s unknown whether they reviewed it or not. In any case, the appeal to which the affidavit was attached, was denied by the Court.

Conclusion

It’s a pretty pathetic list, poor even by birther standards.

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16 Responses to 10 Facts that Suggest Birthers are Fake

  1. avatar
    CarlOrcas May 29, 2014 at 11:40 am #

    Mr. Conservative needs to read Frank Arduini’s series. And a visit to your Debunkers Guide wouldn’t hurt either.

  2. avatar
    Dave May 29, 2014 at 2:18 pm #

    I know the title of this article is a joke, but seriously, I’m beginning to wonder if anyone who posts at BR is actually a birther.

  3. avatar
    MattR May 29, 2014 at 2:49 pm #

    You gotta love that they are bragging about the evidence that they presented in a losing case. Sure the court decided it was worthless and had no bearing on their decision, but they REVIEWED it and that is all that matters.

  4. avatar
    RanTalbott May 29, 2014 at 3:50 pm #

    8. Obama’s selective service card bears a number showing that it was issued in 2008.

    I believe this actually refers to the SSS response to the change-of-address form filed by a certain party in Colorado who impersonated Obama, which was falsely claimed to be his registration. For a while: I think pretty much all the other birfers have dropped that one since its exposure as a hoax.

  5. avatar
    Steve May 29, 2014 at 11:50 pm #

    With No. 4, it seems kind of hard to convince people that President Obama did not write the bio and that he let it go uncorrected for as long as he did.
    The literary agent is telling the truth, I’m sure, but it doesn’t seem to ring true for many people.

  6. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 30, 2014 at 12:08 am #

    Intuitively one thinks folks write (or at least draft) their own bios. This is special case because the bio was not for general distribution, but only to some publishers to promote a book that was never written. Obama had to reason to even see it.

    However, what is much worse, and I have seen this just this past week is that birthers take that rumor and embellish it in one of two ways: That the bio appeared on the dust jacket of Dreams from My Father (and I had one who swore they had seen it on the book) or they call it his Harvard Law Review bio. There are even graphics with the bio image from Breitbart labeled Harvard.

    Steve: With No. 4, it seems kind of hard to convince people that President Obama did not write the bio

  7. avatar
    Steve May 30, 2014 at 12:41 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    Intuitively one thinks folks write (or at least draft) their own bios. This is special case because the bio was not for general distribution, but only to some publishers to promote a book that was never written. Obama had to reason to even see it.

    However, what is much worse, and I have seen this just this past week is that birthers take that rumor and embellish it in one of two ways: That the bio appeared on the dust jacket of Dreams from My Father (and I had one who swore they had seen it on the book) or they call it his Harvard Law Review bio. There are even graphics with the bio image from Breitbart labeled Harvard.

    They also like to say, that he was lying about being born in Kenya to increase book sales or some such thing. I pointed out that there were several other publications around the same time that correctly reported his birthplace as Hawaii.
    The response I got was “He was trying to pass himself off differently to different people.”
    Huh?

  8. avatar
    gorefan May 30, 2014 at 1:58 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy: Intuitively one thinks folks write (or at least draft) their own bios.

    Jay Acton (Acton & Dystel) told Breitbart that almost no authors wrote their own bios but probably the authors did review the finished bio.

  9. avatar
    RanTalbott May 30, 2014 at 2:22 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy: or they call it his Harvard Law Review bio. There are even graphics with the bio image from Breitbart labeled Harvard.

    That one’s actually a couple of years old. It came out about the same time of the Breitbart story: http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/birthers/booklet.asp

    But, like all birther myths, it’s a zombie that keeps coming back, even if you shoot it in the head by pointing out that the morons left in the Breitbart watermark that ties it to the original story.

    What I also find mind-boggling is the idiocy of birfers like Farrar, who is absolutely adamant that he could go to a judge and say (my rephrasing of his claim, for sarcastic effect) “Please ignore the fact that this paragraph contains multiple errors of fact: we want you to pluck out this one little ‘born in Kenya’ sentence fragment and accept it as evidence”.

  10. avatar
    justlw May 30, 2014 at 2:46 am #

    Steve:
    With No. 4, it seems kind of hard to convince people that President Obama did not write the bio and that he let it go uncorrected for as long as he did.
    The literary agent is telling the truth, I’m sure, but it doesn’t seem to ring true for many people.

    Many aspects of reality are at odds with peoples’ casual perception of reality. It does not mean that reality is at fault.

    The “bio” originally had one very specific purpose: it was part of a brochure aimed at an extremely limited audience — an audience which did not happen to include Obama himself.

    Next week, I’m participating in an event, and was asked by the organizers to provide my bio, which I did. They’ve presumably sent this bio out to the target audience… which does not include me, so I have no easy way to check whether they made any changes to it. (I could ask them, but honestly, it’s just not a raging concern of mine.)

    A few years ago, for a similar event, I found out months later that they got my first name wrong in the promotional material.

    We know for a fact that before the literary brochure went out, Obama was interviewed in several national publications and in each was quoted as saying he was born in Hawaii. We know for a fact that after the brochure went out, and during the time that the content of the brochure was on the agency’s web site, Obama wrote two books where he said he was born in Hawaii.

    Just as I can’t think of any reason why I’d want people to think I had a different first name, I can’t think of any reason why Obama would tell the entire world he was born in Hawaii while at the same time intentionally telling a very, very small group of people — people who would also have have access to the publications that said he was born in Hawaii — that he was born in Kenya.

    I think it’s much more likely that he submitted a bio, it got tweaked after he submitted it, and no one noticed it was improperly tweaked until years later. It’s even possible that he was given a copy to review, which he approved, and it was then tweaked after his approval. Things like that do happen.

  11. avatar
    RanTalbott May 30, 2014 at 3:20 am #

    justlw: Many aspects of reality are at odds with peoples’ casual perception of reality. It does not mean that reality is at fault.

    That’s one way you distinguish the crazy and the sane.

    When your theory conflicts with reality, sane people conclude there’s something wrong with their theory.

    Crazy people conclude there’s something wrong with reality.

    (And, yes, once in blue moon, as with quantum vs Newtonian mechanics, we discover that the crazy person was right, and our understanding of reality was wrong. But, while they laughed at Edison, and they laughed at Einstein, they spent a lot more time laughing at the circus clowns)

  12. avatar
    roadburner May 30, 2014 at 4:53 am #

    justlw: It’s even possible that he was given a copy to review, which he approved, and it was then tweaked after his approval. Things like that do happen.

    …which is quite likely.

    the other thing worth remembering is that barack hussein obama WAS born in kenya, and at the time was probably better known than his son – barack hussein obama II.

    doing research into the name after and forgetting the `II´ would naturally throw up his father.

    it´s the simplest explaination.

  13. avatar
    aarrgghh May 30, 2014 at 7:29 am #

    RanTalbott: What I also find mind-boggling is the idiocy of birfers like Farrar, who is absolutely adamant that he could go to a judge and say (my rephrasing of his claim, for sarcastic effect) “Please ignore the fact that this paragraph contains multiple errors of fact: we want you to pluck out this one little ‘born in Kenya’ sentence fragment and accept it as evidence”.

    farrar insists on the same cherry-picking regarding his georgia smackdown, where judge malihi ruled that:

    “The Court finds the testimony of the witnesses, as well as the exhibits tendered, to be of little, if any, probative value, and thus wholly insufficient to support Plaintiffs’ allegations.”

    simple folk don’t realize that the words “of little” are actually the two most important ones in the entire dismissal, since to farrar they mean that malihi agreed with some element of his claims, thus proving that his argument had some merit and his case was not frivolous. that farrar cannot quote any elements malihi agreed with is of no concern. neither of concern is the fact that simple folk who don’t suffer from obama derangement syndrome easily comprehend that the words “of little”, when hitched to the next two words “if any”, form a very clear and commonplace idiom expressing malihi’s dry understatement of his real appraisal of farrar’s little dog and pony show.

  14. avatar
    Keith May 30, 2014 at 9:25 am #

    With respect to number 3: I personally spoke with Professor Tony Badger, the current Paul Mellon Professor of American History at Cambridge University, and master of Clare College, Cambridge. Professor Badger was the historian appointed to oversee the review and transfer of the Migrated Colonial Documents from the State Department to the National Archives. He was in Australia a couple of years ago accompanying the Clare College Choir on their tour of Australia. While he was here, he gave a few lectures about his specialty: “post-World War II Southern American political history”.

    I attended one of his lectures at the University of Melbourne. It was interesting and he is a good speaker. After the lecture, and after the Q and A, while the audience was breaking up, Professor Badger was happily mingling with some of the other audience members.

    I approached him, and apologized for not asking my question during the Q&A, but it had nothing what-so-ever with the topic, and nobody else would actually be interested.

    I said: there is a bit of kerfuffle in the anti-Obama blog-o-sphere about the Migrated Documents, somebody reported that they were going to London because they had been told that the ‘smoking gun’ (the report that Obama Sr. had a baby in Kenya at the time he was supposed to have been in the USA) had been released to the National Archives and that anyone could go in and look, and by God he was going to do it. I mentioned that I had promised some folks (on this Blog) that I would try to ask him about it.

    Professor Badger said in no uncertain terms that there was no such document in the Migrated Colonial Documents. Obama Sr. was on a list of students that were studying in the USA. Apparently that list had not been seen before.

    Professor Badger was most gracious about answering my silly question, and I thanked him for letting me waste his time.

    I reported that response here, and if I recall correctly to Birther Report. Shortly thereafter, BR (again IIRC) started talking about how the British National Archives were a dead end.

    I’m sure there are people who either didn’t “get the memo” or chose to ignore it for their own purposes, but it is indeed a dead end.

    National Archives release colonial papers – Wednesday 18 April

    Here’s what they have published from the files today:

    • The name of Barack Obama, the father of the American president, is on the top of a list of names revealed in a hitherto secret British colonial file of Kenyans studying in the US.

    • In June 1957, Eric Griffiths-Jones, the attorney general of the British administration in Kenya, wrote to the governor, Sir Evelyn Baring, detailing the way the regime of abuse at the colony’s detention camps was being subtly altered.

  15. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 30, 2014 at 10:14 am #

    Keith, thank you for your contribution to the story, which I have added to the article. Note that the list was alphabetical, and the page starts with “O” so Obama’s name is naturally at the top of the page.

    Keith: • The name of Barack Obama, the father of the American president, is on the top of a list of names revealed in a hitherto secret British colonial file of Kenyans studying in the US.

  16. avatar
    Keith May 31, 2014 at 2:06 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy: Note that the list was alphabetical

    Well, approximately anyway. Notice three different Ochiengs separated by a couple of Ocholas.