Since there is little new debunking to accomplish, let me go back to some unfinished debunking. Douglas Vogt was one of a string of litigants who attempted to show that President Obama’s birth certificate is a forgery. Vogt attempted to force a federal court in Washington State to convene a grand jury to investigate. Vogt lost in that attempt. A significant part of his filing was an analysis by him purporting to prove that that Obama’s birth certificate was a crude forgery. Part of that proof was made public, and part of it was included in a sealed affidavit, which became unsealed when it was submitted as part of an appeal to the US Supreme Court. The original court filing was debunked in part by me on this blog, and also in full by Frank Arduini. Vogt’s analysis was wrong largely because he let his bias cause him to jump to unfounded conclusions, and to ignore obvious problems. More objective observers such as I and Arduini were able to spot the mistakes. See:
- Debunking Vogt’s 20 points of forgery: Part 1
- Debunking Vogt’s 20 points of forgery: Part 2 (draft)
- 20 Shades of Vogt – Arduini
At the time those articles were published the Vogt sealed affidavit was unavailable, and so when it did come out, except for noting that I was one of his putative forgers, I didn’t address it.
We find in the sealed affidavit that Mr. Vogt fits the classic mold of the conspiracy theorist who when presented with evidence that his theory is false just makes the conspiracy larger to account for the evidence. The repeated verifications by the State of Hawaii of Obama’s birth there led Vogt to conclude that Hawaii officials were part of the conspiracy, and known birth certificates that invalidate some of his theories must be forgeries too. Vogt, of course, doesn’t realize what he is doing, recasting the facts in order to fit his theory, rather than starting with facts and testing the theory against them. (I should add that I am as certain that I am right as Vogt is sure that he is right. The difference between us is that I attack my own work critically from time to time to make sure my biases haven’t caused me to overlook things. I also have a community on this blog who can criticize any analysis I do. I publish all I have—unlike Douglas Vogt and Mike Zullo.)
What follows uses the section numbers in Vogt’s sealed affidavit.
1. The introductory introduces the fact that two individuals made available Hawaiian birth certificates for themselves. One is named. It also introduces, but does not discuss, a claim that the certificate number on one of the certificates is “off by 25 days.” I’ll go into that later.
2. The next paragraph introduces the second person who made her birth certificate public, a person born in 1961. This is Vogt’s principal forger.
3. The third paragraph mentions me and claims that I did research for the previous two conspirators. I can debunk this by my personal testimony. I never assisted those persons with forging any birth certificates.
4. The Hawaii State Registrar and Chief of the Office of Health Status Monitoring, Alvin Onaka, is named as someone who knew about the forgeries.
5. Former Hawaii Department of Health Direct, the late Loretta Fuddy, is alleged to have unexplained income. This is the first claim with sufficient specificity to debunk, and it has been long debunked. Vogt’s claim is nothing more than ineptitude in reading a financial statement. For a detailed analysis see my article “Fault found with Fuddy’s financial facts—fraud?” and particularly the section at the end labeled “Update.”
6. This section introduces an unsubstantiated claim (i.e. speculation) that Obama released his birth certificate because he was afraid of an upcoming book by Jerome Corsi.
7. In this section Vogt documents that birther Miki Booth gave “copies” of her family’s Hawaiian birth certificates to Jerome Corsi.
8. In this section Vogt claims that Corsi gave to him and to Paul Irey the “copies” from Booth. In this section Vogt shows tables of Hawaiian birth certificate numbers and dates of birth in order to test his hypothesis of how certificates were numbered. When the certificates failed to meet the hypothesis, he simply asserted that 8 of them were forgeries!
Miki Booth is known in some circles as the “Birther Princess.” She has impeccable credentials as a birther. Of all the people Vogt might have named as an accomplice in forging Obama’s birth certificate, she is one of the most outlandish and nonsensical choices.
9. In section 9, Vogt makes an argument from ignorance. He observes that (according to his image) that the certificate number on the Booth certificate from 1949 contains a leading zero that is misaligned with the rest of the digits, and appears to be of a different font. He then concludes that this indicates forgery because he doesn’t know of a 4-digit numbering machine, nor why they would use such a machine when there were more than 9,999 births a year in Hawaii. I can think of a reason—the baby boom following World War II might have required adding an extra digit in some way so they could still use the old machine. What is most troubling about what Vogt does is to present an image of what the certificate number “should have looked like,” an image fabricated by Vogt himself (since there is no way Vogt could have obtained an image of Booth’s certificate number apart from what Booth herself provided). That is, the real certificate number (bottom) is wrong, and Vogt’s own image (top) is right.
At this point it should be obvious beyond doubt that Vogt is operating on pure bias, with regard to the evidence. When you look at the actual Booth certificate is is pretty obvious that the “11 – 49 0” was printed at a different time than the 4-digit number, and almost certainly preprinted. It’s even more obvious in this image from Booth’s book (that Vogt cites, but doesn’t display):
10. Here Vogt uses his judgment to conclude that the last 2 digits of the certificate number are too close together. I can’t see any difference between Vogt’s “should be” and Booth’s “is.” Later Vogt blows up the image so that these tiny numbers are two inches tall (with computer software filling in image detail where none exists in the original) and then says that there is overlap between the 8 and the 2. Well duh.
11. Vogt concludes that a Booth certificate is a forgery based on his unsubstantiated theory of certificate numbering and the obvious mistake assuming that the “0” was part of the numbering machine rather than preprinted.
12. Here Vogt “finds” other purported anomalies in the Booth certificate. One prominent anomaly is the well-known fact that Hawaiian birth certificates are photocopied in reduction, which Vogt confuses with hand assembly of characters on the page because he can’t get them to line up with a full-sized grid. This error was discussed by me in my debunking of his public affidavit points 5 and 6. In this section, Vogt sees thing that aren’t there in the Booth images.
13. This is more typewriter stuff, which Vogt making claims of what should be, rather than what is. If he had published a good sampling of certificates from the same hospital and period, one might have been able to draw a scientific conclusion, but Vogt doesn’t. It’s all Vogt’s (and Irey’s) completely inexpert and biased opinion.
Sections 14-19 continue the unscientific methodology (asserting what Vogt and Irey things should be), ignoring the much more mundane hypothesis that old typewriters don’t align perfectly or type consistently.
Section 20 alludes to a “proof” contained in the public affidavit. He says “Capital letters cannot fall below the baseline” and in this instance the letters “TH” at the end of “BOOTH” appear to be lower than the rest. They also appear heavier than the rest, which could account for them appearing to be lower. It is also possible that the “BOO” are flying capitals, and that the “TH” us normal.
Section 21. What is interesting here in exposing bias is that Vogt assumes his conclusion that Obama’s certificate is a forgery to impeach that of Booth, saying that they have similar anomalies! But if they are the similar, how are they anomalies? The more direct conclusion is that they are both authentic.
Section 22 claims, with a good bit if hand waving, and no evidence, that some periods appear in places that are impossible. I don’t see any thing in this argument that makes sense.
Section 23 jumps to the conclusion that a particular person is the Obama forger, and then documents that Booth knows this individual.
Section 24 introduces Section 25 which invokes the silly Onaka smiley face as proof that the state of Hawaii was “in on it.” The smiley face is simply an optical illusion resulting from the human predilection in finding faces in images. For more on this see:
Section 26 invokes even more fantasy in Vogt’s mind as he believes he can see into the forger’s mind using smudges on the registrar’s signature stamp, and this amounts to a “confession.”
Section 27 reprises the assertion that another Booth certificate is numbered off by 27 days. Why would that be? There is a simple answer. All of the Booth certificates begin with the letter B, which force them hear the beginning of an alphabetic sequence of certificates within a monthly batch. All the known 1961 Hawaiian certificates fit the same pattern, alphabetic by last name within birth facility. There are sound administrative arguments for doing this, particularly in simplifying indexing of records for efficient lookup.
Section 28 is where I make my full appearance: “the perfect front man who created and also invested decades creating his credentials and history.” Doesn’t everyone who is a few decades old fit that description? But yes, I invested decades living my life and gaining my experience and building credentials.
Section 29 has Vogt assuming his conclusion, that Obama’s birth certificate is forged and then working backwards to assign guilt to the persons who did it. Of course any assumption of a false conclusion leads to an invalid argument.
Section 30-31 mentions this site. Vogt “thinks” my real name is Kevin Davidson. One point for Vogt. He cites my experience in vital records by quoting me. Two points for Vogt.
In Section 32 Vogt says that ObamaConspiracy.org became the “propaganda wing” of the Obama administration. Of course, Vogt thinks that anyone who criticizes birther nonsense is supporting Obama. I suppose that ideological motivation is a concept that feels natural to Vogt, but I started out basically knowing nothing about Obama, except what birthers claimed. I debunked birthers before I learned about Obama. Vogt then takes some insulting language I published about birthers, and then lies about it, saying that was all I could muster. Certainly Vogt knew of hundreds of substantive articles published on this site.
Section 33 was the first thing in the sealed affidavit that lightened the mood and gave me a chuckle.
After looking at [Dr. Conspiracy’s] articles and other obots (stands for “Obama Robots”) who post comments on his web site, it was obvious to me, that his web site was part of the disinformation program orchestrated by the White House through Jim Johnson a supporter of Obama and former head of Fannie Mae.
The Jim Johnson (aka JimBot) story was a “punk the birthers” operation that evolved over time. Even Jerome Corsi was taken in by that. That’s a long and hilarious adventure that you can read about in several articles here and at The Fogbow.
Just for the record, I have never had any direction from Obama, Jim Johnson, or anyone at the White House or the Obama campaign in running this web site. It is an independent activity whose sole content comes from the named writers and commenters here.
Section 34 contains a mistaken reading of an article that I wrote. I listed generic steps in the process of filing and numbering birth certificates. Because I worked on software for a number of states, I know the steps. I also know, and this was one of the original specifications for our software, that certificates are numbered at different times in the process indifferent states. I have not worked on certificates for Hawaii. Vogt just assumed that I intended to assert that certificates in Hawaii were numbered in the particular order that I listed the generic steps. Vogt asserts that I said something that I did not say when he used the words “at the same time and date,” something that is, as a general statement, false. Different states have differing procedures.
In fact, numbering certificates “at the same time and date”presents an administrative challenge because the process may result in a duplicate certificate, or one that is eventually rejected for some reason. If the certificate are numbered as they come in, then there are gaps in the certificate numbers for those that are removed. Accounting for voided certificates and number gaps is a complication. Some states get around this by assigning a “local file number” when the certificate is received and then a “state file number” at the end of the process. There are several variations. Vogt, lacing any knowledge of vital records process, would not know this.
Sections 35-36 deal with my reconstruction from 2009 of what I though Obama’s birth certificate might look like. He asks why I would do such a thing. Duh. I was presenting in graphic form what we knew and what we didn’t know about what would be on Obama’s birth certificate, should it ever come out. This is topical for a blog that spent a great deal of time on Obama’s birth certificate. He wonders why I updated my reconstruction in 2010. It was to improve it. Duh.
Vogt again demonstrates his bias and his ignorance by regurgitating the old birther saw about nobody using “African” for a birth certificate in 1961 because it was not on the approved list—it should have been “black” or “negro.” That is debunked thoroughly on this site (see here and here for example). What is interesting is that in Hawaii, neither African, black or negro was on the race code list for tabulations. There were so few black parents in Hawaii that they didn’t get their own category, being lumped into the category “other race” (see here).
In section 37 Vogt notes that I put “24 ?” for the age of Obama’s father and concludes that the “?” meant that I was doing research for what should be in the block. Well yes, the reconstruction was a research project, not some secret Obot plot, but a public discussion. Vogt then claims that Obama lied about his age, and I didn’t know about it. There is no mystery about the question mark, since my own article explains it:
Block 10. Obama Sr. was born in 1936 according to the Wikipedia, but the exact date is unknown. He might have been 24 or 25 years old.
I later learned that Obama Sr. use two different years of birth on various documents. I don’t know for sure which is correct. His tombstone says 1936.
Sections 38-39 note that when I reconstructed Obama’s birth certificate, the “0”) in the certificate number was above the baseline, just like Obama’s later-published certificate. Wow, I must have been the source for that anomaly! In fact, my article explained:
Note the imprecise registration of the digits on the Nordyke form that I roughly imitated.
Vogt puts it: “There is reason to display the numbers like this on a mockup unless you are copying something you have?” That’s true, but what I had in 2009 is not an Obama birth certificate, but the published Nordyke certificate, that looks like this:
That’s the certificate number of Susan Nordyke, which had been published prior to my reconstruction.
If you are not bored to tears by now, stay tuned for Part 2.