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Birth certificate forensics and general points about birth certificates

Light fuse and run away: Paul Irey finds another “anomaly”

Paul Irey once more proffers a bogus argument that Obama’s birth certificate is a forgery, and then leaves the country.

In what he calls an “incomplete study,” Paul Irey, amateur birther image sleuth,  professional typewriter user, and newly minted American expatriate1, has pointed out yet another “anomaly” in Obama’s long form birth certificate that he thinks may be the “best yet.” Irey says:

… I feel that this particular evidence is impossible to refute.

Irey’s argument, in a nutshell, is that comparing Obama’s birth certificate to another example seems to indicate that the security paper pattern on one is a different size than the security paper pattern on the other. For your reference, here is the image Irey made to show his observation (click to enlarge):

The Hawaii Department of Health does not routinely issue birth certificates like the long form supplied to President Obama any more. It requires a special waiver. The “Alan” certificate was reportedly printed in 1998, and it was almost certainly made prior to the Department of Health adopting its 2001 policy to stop issuing photocopied certificates. That means 13 years elapsed between the creation of the two certificates, which hardly qualifies as “from the same period” as Irey describes it. I am not suggesting that the security paper changed in those 13 years because while possible, it is to my mind unlikely; however, the method of photocopying the book onto the paper, the copy machine and its settings are very likely to have changed.

Irey doesn’t actually explain his reasons, why he thinks the security paper in the two images should be the same. It looks like Irey did what I would have done for a first pass, “calibrate” by resizing the images to match up the printed text. If one does that (and I tested it myself), the Obama security paper basket weave pattern does appear smaller than that on the Alan certificate, and I get a result just like what Irey presents. That calibration method is valid if and only if the text used for calibration is the same size on both certificates. It turns out that it isn’t.

Doug Vogt states in Point 5 of his Washington State lawsuit affidavit, that the Obama certificate was reduced to 87.5% size before printing onto the security paper. The Alan certificate was also reduced before printing. I discovered this by taking a sheet of Simpson Design Secure™ paper, the paper that I believe is used by Hawaii to print birth certificates, and simply typing on it. I then scanned that text and adjusted the Alan certificate’s text to the same size. The pattern on the security paper in the Alan certificate appeared much larger than the real typewritten example, showing that the Alan certificate printing was reduced. How much? To get a number, I took the size of the clip of the Alan certificate I was using to match text. The width of the clip was 2774 pixels. Next, I reduced the size of the clip so that its security paper background matched that of the real typewriting on security paper scan, and the clip width became 1926. That is, the Alan image by my calculation was reduced to roughly 70% size before it was printed on security paper.

So naturally when you shrink Obama’s certificate down to match the smaller text of the Alan certificate. the pattern on the security paper background gets shrunk too—what we see in the Irey figure.

Irey doesn’t say how he calibrated his images, but it is clear that the text size ended up being the same for both. Since the Alan certificate was printed smaller than the Obama certificate, we should not expect the background security paper to match when shrunk to make the text the same size.

I haven’t done all the work there is to do on this, specifically trying to use the difference in printing size to see if the security paper background enlargement exactly matches what it should be based on my calculations. I only showed that it changed in the right direction. A thorough job would also verify Vogt’s number for Obama’s certificate.


1For more on Irey leaving the country, see my article: “Disgusted birther leaves country.”

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Is making a fake PDF image of a birth certificate a crime? Mike Zullo answers!

Here’s what Mike Zullo said:

Let me say something Carl. You know we have been focused on this issue and, you know, your listeners, everybody is so intently focused on the birth certificate. And I just really want to make it clear. The birth certificate as it’s, in the form that it is now, a PDF file is absolutely of no evidentiary value. It’s useless. And it doesn’t really matter to an extent other than from a conspiratorial standpoint in the commission of felonies. It doesn’t matter about all these anomalies because this thing has no evidentiary value. It is nothing. It is absolutely nothing, and the American people were shown absolutely nothing.

So, no, creating a fake PDF of a birth certificate in and of itself is not a crime.

Mike Zullo also said:

We are here looking at a fraudulent document1. This document should never have been perpetrated, should never have been proffered in the manner it does. As a matter of fact, to merely create this document is a federal offense.

So yes, creating a fake birth certificate PDF is very definitely a federal crime.

I hope that clears it up.


1Some birther apologists may argue that the “document” referred in the second quote is not the PDF (an abbreviation for “portable document format”), but that cannot be for two reasons. First Zullo and the rest of the birthers claim that there was no paper Obama birth certificate to start with, and that the PDF was assembled electronically from bits and pieces. Second, the only thing the President posted for the general public, and the only thing Zullo could possibly be “looking at,” is the PDF.

BR v. BR

GerbilReportBirther Report (BR) has a new article up consisting of an email exchange involving Brian Reilly (BR). In an article titled “Cold Case Posse Initiator Reverses Course,” author George Miller exhibits an email exchange between Kevin “Pixel Patriot” Powell (is a pixel patriot like a keyboard warrior, only a lot smaller?) and Brian Reilly. I wanted to take a bit of what Powell wrote as an example of how confused birthers are about the facts and how they raise bogus objections.

The first item refers to the verification received by Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett from the State of Hawaii, one reason Reilly considers the Obama identity issue closed. Here’s what Powell said:

Dr. Onaka’s verification letter on May 22nd, 2012 did undermine the investigation to some extent but if you look at the circumstances in their entirety, it did not and should not have shut down the investigation which proceeded on many fronts beyond what you are privy to.

The first issue is the implication that Brian Reilly was not privy to the entire scope of the Cold Case Posse investigation; however, since there were only two people (Reilly being one of them) working on the investigation, it hardly seems credible for someone who wasn’t part of any of it (Powell) to make a claim that there were material things Reilly was not privy to. How could Powell know such a thing? If he could not know it, he must have made that claim up. Powell continues:

In reality, the so-called verification letter is missing two fundamental elements such as the name of the parents and the date of birth.

Without these, everything is suspect…

The article, to its credit, links to that verification. Powell claims that the parent’s name and date of birth, items which Powell calls “fundamental” elements, are not part of the itemized list of data elements that Dr. Onaka verified. How are they “fundamental”? Parents are irrelevant to presidential eligibility (no one ever alleged Obama’s father was an ambassador), and no one has ever suggested that Barack Obama was not at least 35 years old when he became president. So Powell is attempting to spin the non-critical items into something important. It is true that the itemized list doesn’t contain the two elements, but the verification also says:

Additionally, I verify that the information in the copy of the Certificate of Live Birth for Mr. Obama that you attached with your request matches the original record in our files.

Since the White House copy of the certificate includes the date of birth and parents’ names, the verification’s general matching statement verifies them too. For more on the verifications, see my 2012 article “Reverse engineering Dr. Onaka” and my 2013 article, “Onaka’s verification wording.” Further, the Bennett verification is not the only one.

Powell goes on to say:

…An honest evaluation undoubtedly demands full disclosure by the known liar waging war against the Constitution and the citizens of this Republic….

Given that Sheriff Arpaio has been sued by Obama’s Justice Department for abuses in his department, Arpaio is hardly the one to provide an unbiased evaluation, nor is Mike Zullo who has no specialization in law enforcement, beyond a short stint as a policeman in a small town 20 years ago, in any way qualified to lead, much less solely comprise the investigation.  Mike Zullo himself is a known liar, presenting a false race code table to the public and assuring his listeners that he had the original manual containing the codes. (He either lied about the content of the manual, or he lied about having it.) If an honest evaluation is to be done, Arpaio and his Cold Case Posse is one of the last places where it could be found.

Powell then states:

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie vowed to find Obama’s Birth Certificate but couldn’t produce it. Then, Gov. Abercrombie gave Dr. Onaka an award for modernizing the national vital statistics model law. Onaka also helped Hawaii implement EVVE as a Pilot state. The system can verify within 7 seconds whether a birth record is valid or fraudulent. Both AZ and Hawaii were early adopters of the EVVE System, yet Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett spent weeks exchanging emails with that same state registrar just so he could ask the question in the right way to get the “correct answer” while completely ignoring an official investigation by a sheriff that had declared it to be a forgery created by an act of fraud. The answer Sec. Bennett agreed to receive from Dr. Onaka did not include the date of birth, a critical component which was recommended to remain unchanged (p.59) in the national vital statistics model law because of the legal implications by the work group Dr. Onaka chaired for which he was given said award.

The claim that Abercrombie couldn’t find Obama’s birth certificate is bogus. Abercrombie was looking for some document he could release, and was told that by law he couldn’t release what they had.

Abercrombie giving Onaka an award is news to me. Did it happen? I couldn’t find such a thing. The Department of Health received an award from the Center for Digital Government (finalist in the Best of the Web contest), but that’s not from Abercrombie. The DoH received another award in 2007 (before Abercrombie became governor) from the same organization for its Electronic Death Registration System. Onaka received the Halbert L. Dunn award in 2008 from the National Association for Public Health Statistics and Information Systems, and another NAPHSIS award in 2011 for his work as chair of the committee that produced recommendations for updates to the Model State Vital Statistics Act. None of these awards has anything whatever to do with Governor Abercrombie.

Powell alleges that Bennett could have simply used EVVE (Electronic Verification of Vital Events), an electronic system used by participating government agencies to check the validity of birth certificates under the Real ID Act. Powell correctly states that EVVE implementation was complete in Hawaii and Arizona (as of January of 2011). The technical specifications for EVVE are not public, and I didn’t take stuff home with me from my prior job in vital records. What I can say from the research that I have been able to do, is that it is within the realm of possibility that Ken Bennett might have been able to call some office in some Arizona state agency and after a long discussion of whether there was authority for what he was asking, been able to verify some limited set of information on Obama’s birth certificate electronically.

The problem with that approach, assuming it was permissible, is that the results are not certified by anybody. Can you imagine a Secretary of State certifying a candidate for president based on a screen print of some terminal at the DMV? :roll: EVVE verifications are nothing more than a computer-to-computer data match, not an official record. Further, it is highly unlikely that such data elements as the name of the hospital are included in the EVVE transaction. One paper on electronic birth registration systems in the EVVE context listed the following data items as “birth identification data”:

  • registrant’s name
  • date of birth
  • city, county, and State of the place of birth
  • gender
  • mother’s maiden name
  • father’s name
  • mother’s address
  • birth certificate number
  • mother’s Social Security number
  • father’s Social Security number
  • date filed

If that is the correct list, then EVVE could not have verified the following elements that Bennett asked of Onaka:

  • Time of birth
  • Name of Hospital
  • Age of Father
  • Birthplace of father
  • Age of mother
  • Birthplace of Mother
  • Date of Signature of Parent
  • Date of Signature of Attendant
  • Date Accepted by Local Registrar

That means that only 3 of the 12 items Bennett requested for verification might have been verifiable by EVVE. Powell’s entire complaint is bogus from start to finish.

Now, about the gerbils. Gerbil Report (as I now prefer to call Birther Report) trots out the gerbils, in this gratuitous image, courtesy of Barry Soetoro, Esq.:

Update:

In an email Brian Reilly responds:

Birther Report has published selected communications between myself and individuals who embrace the position that President Obama’s birth certificate is a forgery.  My goal was to tell the numerous people who were open copied in Gary Wilmott’s recent email that former MCSO Chief Brian Sands’ new exposé entitled "Arpaio, DeFacto Lawman" is available from Amazon.com as an e-book for $4.99. I hit the Jackpot when Birther Report chose to advertise the book for all to see.  In the memorable words of President George Bush:  "Mission Accomplished!"

Regards,
Brian Reilly

Pat Boone predicts: Birth certificate fraud will be proven by September

Despite the blackout of birther coverage at the major conservative media outlets, notably the Fox News TV, liberals are all to happy to talk about it and give voice to prominent birthers, evidenced by the  recent interview of Pat Boone by Alan Colmes on Fox News Radio yesterday (June 23).

In a rambling comment, Boone predicted that something would happen by September, that a “smoking gun” would do something, but the actual verb eluded me. What follows is my transcript of part of the of the broadcast that differs in minor ways from what appeared on the Fox web site, and is extended in length:

imageBOONE: What I’m going to predict here is by September of this year, the major smoking gun, which is a high crime, not just a misdemeanor, but a high crime, that supposed copy of the birth certificate that is displayed on the White House website as we talk, by many experts has already been proven  to be not a copy of anything, of something perhaps that doesn’t exist, which is an actual birth certificate, but it is a Photoshopped fraud created to look like what they wanted it to look like. And I say “they” because I don’t think it was the President himself, but those around him, but experts who understand the techniques of these things, including a guy in my own office, who knows how things are Photoshopped, and knows the telltale signs of things that have been pasted onto other documents or other things, that it is obviously, to anybody that knows that process, a fraud. It is not a copy of anything, and that is a high crime.

COLMES: Are you saying this will be revealed?

BOONE: Yep.

COLMES: When?

BOONE: The evidence. I say by September.

COLMES: And what… And tell me how you know this.

BOONE: Well, I’m talking to some people that, you know, they are trained. I’ll say this that they are trained detectives and investigators. And I have been trying to get people in Congress to pay attention to these things and create .. That we shouldn’t have to be, us citizens, say “wait a minute, this thing doesn’t look real.”

Colmes then pushed back saying that the State of Hawaii verified Obama’s birth.

BOONE: There are trained investigators who are finding out, and I can’t divulge anything more, than I will make a prediction that by September of this year it will be proven that that is not the case. …

BOONE: It’s all going to come out, I think. It’s taken a while. It’s taken an awful long while. But, and I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but boy when you keep…

COLMES: But don’t you think you might sound like one?

In the full version of the interview, Boone brings out many of the usual birther shibboleths: sealed records, anybody can put announcements in the newspaper, wrong hospital name on birth certificate, etc.

Boone, however, is in deep denial when he says:

I’m not a birther. :shock: :roll: :shock:

While Boone isn’t very specific, it seems pretty obvious that he’s been talking to someone at the Cold Case Posse. What other “trained detectives and investigators” could it be? Boone has a longstanding connection with the Surprise Arizona Tea Party Patriots, and at one time was scheduled to appear at an event they sponsored, at which Mike Zullo was scheduled to speak. He appeared via Skype at a Surprise Tea Party Patriots event honoring Joe Arpaio (starting around 8:51 in the video). And if the CCP is feeding Boone inside scoop on the Posse timetable, one has to wonder why they are doing that, and one answer that comes to mind is that Boone is giving them money.

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.

Continue Reading →

Hawaiian occupation coding for births and deaths in 1961

I received more than just the race summaries from the 1961 Statistical Supplement to the Hawaii Department of Health Annual Report. They also sent occupation counts. The table values were as follows (listed in the same order as the report), prefixed by a sequential number I’ve assigned:

  • 0 No occupation
  • 1 Professional, technical and kindred workers
  • 2 Farmers, managers, officials and proprietors
  • 3 Clerical and kindred workers
  • 4 Sales workers
  • 5 Craftsmen, foremen and kindred workers
  • 6 Operatives and kindred workers
  • 7 Private household and service workers
  • 8 Farm laborers and foremen
  • 9 Laborers, except farm and mines
  • R Armed forces
  • Not stated

It turns out that those assigned numbers fit penciled codes on all the birth and death certificates I have access to from 1959 to 1963. Continue Reading →