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“African” proves birth certificate authentic

Birthers think that Obama’s birth certificate is an obvious forgery. Some of them knew it even before they looked at it. They claim that it was hurried and sloppy, but I argue that it is not.

A hurried, naive or sloppy forger would have done minimal research and selected the value “Negro” for the race of Barack Obama, Sr. The naive and sloppy birthers certainly selected that value and declared it must be the only valid entry.

A specialist in vital statistics like me would have known that this was wrong. Parental races are supplied by the parents, not assigned by the Department of Health. However, someone like me would not have known that in 1962, Kenya, the native country of Obama Sr., used “African” as a standard racial category in its census. Of course, “African” first appeared on Obama’s “short form” in 2008 and was much criticized at that time. That is a hugely obscure fact found in an academic archive (commenter TollandRCR at The Fogbow is the first I know to have reported it in July of 2009). The correct selection of “African” is simply beyond what a hurried, naive or sloppy forger could have done (either in 2008 or 2011).

The second point against the birther forgery theory is the penciled race code next to “African.” A hurried, naive or sloppy forger would have had big trouble getting those codes right. They probably would have assumed (incorrectly) that they were federal codes, but the 1961 federal code sheet was not on the Internet. I had to get it through FOIA and that took some months. The crank crack investigators of the Cold Case Posse couldn’t get that code sheet, and had to make up one that was wrong. But what a forger would be hard pressed to have known was that the codes were actually unique to the State of Hawaii, not federal codes. Indeed, it was not until quite recently that I was able to obtain from the State Library in Hawaii the 1961 Statistical Supplement to the Department of Health Annual Report that lists the code categories. Who could have guessed that Hawaii didn’t even have a race code for negro, and had to use code “9” for “other race” for Obama’s father? It took 3 years to figure out the correct race code to go with “African” using obscure sources not available on the Internet. A hurried, naive or sloppy forger simply could not have gotten it right.

The deeper we dig in any direction, whether into the file format and compression, or into the contextual data on the form, Obama’s birth certificate is recognized as more and more exactly what it should be.

Race tabulations in Hawaii–1961

Much discussion has taken place over the penciled notations found on birth certificates in Hawaii from 1961. Here’s an example from President Obama’s birth certificate showing a “9” at the right representing “African.”

Excerpt from Obama's birth certificate

The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Cold Case Posse devoted a significant part of their second news conference towards making an argument that the code “9” shown on the President’s certificate was inconsistent with the text entry of “African.” The posse made a number of false claims, one of which was that the penciled notation was part of a Hawaii state process of tabulating data for the federal government—actually the federal government did the tabulations themselves from microfilmed certificate copies provided by the states that year1. The second false claim was the the table shown following, captured from a Cold Case Posse video presentation, was the federal table used in 1961—actually it was from 1968 and different from the 1960-61 table.

1968 Race Code Table

The Cold Case Posse’s misrepresentations are covered in more detail in my article: “Code ‘9’: the Cold Case Posse’s big lie.”

Examination of a few Hawaiian birth certificates from 1961 proved that the penciled codes are not only inconsistent with the Cold Case Posse’s codes, but also with the real federal codes used in 1961 (where code “9” represents “Other nonwhite’)—Hawaii used their own codes. The question of interest for researchers of Hawaiian birth certificate lore is: what are the race codes?

From various known certificates, I pieced together what we knew about the race coding and published that in my article: “1961 Hawaii Race codes: disclosed!” The result of that exercise was the following:

Race Code
Caucasian/White 1
Hawaiian 2
Part Hawaiian 3
What “African” was called 9

Today I obtained from the Hawaii State Library pages from the Hawaii Department of Health Annual Report Statistical Supplement for 1961 that show the birth tabulations by race of father. Here’s the table (click image to enlarge):

The racial values listed in the order presented in the table are:

  • Caucasian
  • Hawaiian
  • Part Hawaiian
  • Chinese
  • Filipino
  • Japanese
  • Puerto Rican
  • Korean
  • Other race
  • Not specified

One immediately observes that the codes from the Zullo table could not have been used to create the Department of Health statistics for 1961 because the categories are different, not to mention the codes themselves.

Note that race codes “1,” “2” and “3” found on actual certificates correspond exactly with the first, second and third entries in the tabulation, and that code “9” for “African” on the Obama certificate matches the 9th entry (“Other race”). Based on the information available, I think it nearly certain that the race codes used to classify birth certificates by the Hawaii Department of Health in 1961 are 1-9 in the order that their tabulations were published in the preceding table. (“African” and “Negro” would fall into the same category.) For convenience, I’ll put it together :

Race Code
Caucasian 1
Hawaiian 2
Part Hawaiian 3
Chinese 4
Filipino 5
Japanese 6
Puerto Rican 7
Korean 8
Other race 9

This obscure bit of information is just one more indication of the authenticity of President Obama’s birth certificate.


1The federal tabulations only coded even-numbered certificates, and the final totals were multiplied by 2. President Obama’s certificate was odd-numbered, and so not actually coded by the federal government. (See Vital Statistics of the United States 1961 – Volume 1 – Natality pages 227 and 232.)

Somebody call the cops!

But, but, but I am the cops

Police car and text: "Come out with your hands up"In a bizarre story that has been floating around and now appears with details at the Phoenix New Times, the police were called to force Maricopa County Cold Case Posse leader Mike Zullo to leave a Hawaii assisted living facility where aging Hawaiian vital records registrar Verna K. Lee resides. Lee signed Barack Obama’s birth certificate back in 1961. Read the narrative at Phoenix New Times.

Zullo’s credibility is in tatters after his squalid press conference back on the 17th of July left anti-birthers with a cornucopia of evidence to expose the dishonesty of the Posse, including outright lies and fabrication of evidence.

Zullo dragged Verna Lee into the story by naming her as a consultant to the Posse (the 95-year old Lee actually contributed nothing much of note) to give it a veneer of respectability. This is where he presented a fake “1961 vital statistics instruction manual” to show internal inconsistencies in Obama’s certificate. Only it was quickly discovered that his images came from a totally different 1968 and 1969 manuals, and a certificate published by WorldNetDaily disproves the code table they presented as well as disproving the certificate numbering theory they presented as fact.

Zullo is no doubt desperate to salvage his discredited reputation by interrogating Lee and persuading her to say something that would help him wiggle out from under the pile of lies he’s buried himself in.

Birthers say, of course, that somebody “got to Lee” and that’s why she refused to see Mike Zullo: classic conspiracy thinking.

See also:

Media reacts to Arpaio press conference

The bizarre claims from Arizona that Hawaii is a “national security threat” may be sensational enough to warrant some national press attention, despite any real evidence. Here’s a sampling, and commenters can add others they find in comments. John Woodman gave an interview to ABC 15 in Phoenix this evening and I’ll be looking for that.

According to ABC 15 in Phoenix, Hawaii issued the following statement in response to today’s press conference:

The State of Hawaii has repeatedly confirmed the indisputable evidence of President Obama’s birth in Hawaii. An exhaustive accounting of this is provided on the State Department of Health (DOH) website.

My own article is going to take a while — the title is “Cross examining Mike Zullo.”

I never cease to be amazed

Orly Taitz has done some odd things over the past couple of years, but I never cease to be amazed.

This one comes from her lawsuit, Taitz v Astrue, to compel the Social Security Administration to turn over Obama’s social-security records. As readers may recall, Taitz issued something not entirely unlike a subpoena to the Hawaii Department of Health for a copy of SnowballHellBarack Obama’s birth certificate (apparently not satisfied by the two copies already released by President Obama and posted on the Internet). The State replied that it could not comply as a matter of law. So Taitz has filed a motion with the court in DC to compel Hawaii to comply.

I’m not a lawyer, but 42 pages seems a little long for a motion to compel. Taitz being long-winded is par for the course, but in the way of evidence, I was not prepared for what she submitted as Exhibit 3 on Page 16:

Continue Reading →

Reply to Douglas Vogt

Dr. Conspiracy

Douglas Vogt, president of a company that sells scanners and scanner software, published a letter claiming to have proved that Barack Obama’s long form birth certificate is a forgery, and for that matter that Barack Obama is a criminal. I wrote about it in my article” “Expert” claims: birth certificate fake.

I was mildly surprised when Mr. Vogt appeared and left the following comment here on the blog:

Dear Kevin, You called me a liar without even reading my report and then told your readers that I was “just a salesman.” I have 11 years in the typesetting business and 18 years selling scanners, designing document imaging software and installing such systems in city and county offices here in the Northwest. All the scanner manufacturers and distributors know be very well. I was consulted by the Justice Department regarding the Kodak purchase of Bell & Howell two years ago. Your only experience seem to be working as a bureaucrat in vital records for the State of South Carolina so you should know that what Obama presented to the public was only a PDF of a Certificate of Live Birth and not a birth certificate. There was no paper copy with a seal presented to the US Public therefore none to examine by anyone! My expanded 22-page report is downloadable here: http://www.vectorpub.com/Obamas_Certificate_Forgery.html. I bet you cannot prove me wrong that the Obama COLB is a forgery. You also owe me an apology for unfairly calling me a liar and defaming my character and good name.

Our personal squabble is probably not of general interest, but since Mr. Vogt is the closest thing to an “expert” the birthers have, it’s worthwhile to look at what he says; however, I can prove Mr. Vogt “wrong” in his contention that the long form is a forgery quite simply: The State of Hawaii’s web site says: “On April 27, 2011 President Barack Obama posted a certified copy of his original Certificate of Live Birth.” QED. So there is no need for me to prove that Vogt is wrong, but I will explain why he is wrong.1 Continue Reading →