Thinking outside of the box, the ability to come up with innovative solutions to problems, is a virtue. Thinking outside the box a good thing is when it is accompanied by a feasibility filter. An innovative solution that doesn’t work isn’t a solution. In extreme cases, thinking outside the box all of the time sounds like a mental illness.
Mike Zullo has never laid out a neat and organized explanation of how he believes Barack Obama’s birth certificate was forged. He seems now to have admitted that creation of the document released by the White House somehow involved scanning a piece of paper with a Xerox machine (whereas before he said it was wholly computer-generated file). Zullo seems to be saying now that Obama’s birth certificate was assembled from some large number of other birth certificates, one letter from one, one word from another, and for some little more than an angle was copied. It seems like a hugely time-consuming task fraught with painstaking alignment and selection. It also requires collusion from someone with a large number of birth certificates at their disposal (i.e., the Hawaii Department of Health). Positing a nearly-impossible document creation process and a big conspiracy is certainly thinking outside the box, but I think that the boundaries of that box are the limits between normal and crazy.
If the job of forging the president’s birth certificate were given to you, how would you do it? It’s relatively straightforward. The hard part, something that even Mike Zullo stumbled over, is getting the form contextually right, knowing all those little penciled codes, and the name of a physician at Kapi’olani Hospital and a clerk at the Hawaii Department of Health.1 Once you know what to put on the certificate, then you get a blank birth certificate form. If you’re the Hawaii Department of Health, maybe you have one in the archives, and if not you can just take any existing certificate and clean it up in its entirety. (Remember that the certificates in the archives are not on security paper.) Next you buy an old typewriter and type the information in. Forge some signatures, photocopy it onto readily available security paper, add a rubber stamp, seal, and you’re done. I mean, that’s how the guy who forged Obama’s Kenyan birth certificate did it. It makes no sense to get letters from dozens of birth certificates when an old typewriter will make a perfect imitation of an old typewriter.
Indeed before Mike Zullo, the scenario I offered was posited by birthers. This appeared at the RepubX forum on or before April 2009:
They have already prepared the forgery with special paper and ink. The document was printed on a fully functional 1960 Heidelberger printing press located at a print museum in Toronto. Access was arranged by a trustee of the museum who is connected to a large Canadian banking/investment firm with major US interests.
The blanks in the forged form were filled in with an old Underwood Manual typewriter bought at an estate sale in Skokie, IL. The raised seal was the easiest piece to fake, since you can by [sic] a special order corporate seal from just about any online office supply store.
The only reason they haven’t rolled out the foregery [sic] yet is that it is “seasoning” under mild UV light and a back and forth rotation between between a humidifier and a sauna. Get ready….one to two months tops.
1One of the great unsolved problems of the birther movement is that if Obama’s birth certificate is a fabrication, whose certificate has Obama’s number? The one thing that the birthers got right is that birth certificate number are sequential. Some birthers think that the certificate is that of Virginia Sunahara, but if that is so, then who owns the number shown on Sunahara’s certificate? It’s the same problem birthers have with Obama’s social-security number—if it’s not his, then whose is it?