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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.

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Wikipedia was in the forefront of the battle over the Smith birth certificate

I was over at Birther Report last night to see if anyone had picked up on my April Fool’s Takedown, and I came across a comment by RS1 under an article about the new Lucas Smith Oppenheim birth certificate:

Roadburner101 – please note also the british DD/MM/YYYY date format used this time as opposed to the american MM/DD/YYYY date format he used last time – this also means one or the other is fake, so which is it lucas?

Wrong dingbat, OBot Road Rash. We were onto your change “the Kenyan date format” operations way back when. A Dr. CONspiracy BS Ops.

I, and a few others caught OBots in the BS act back in the day. Post from FR. Like this one:
- – - – - – - – -

” “That document is a fraud. The dates on it are American style month/day/year, most other countries including the UK format dates day/month/year.” [ <-- OBot propaganda BS]

[The truth -->] “Without commenting on authenticity of the CPGH BC, I personally researched the Wiki date format by country page in Sept of 2009 and found that Kenya was one of only three countries, IIRC, employing both the European and US style date formats. When I put this information up on the web, the Wiki page was immediately hacked by an Obot named Mystylplx who flagrantly tried to expunge Kenya as showing dual use. A war ensued for months with folks trying to restore the original data and Obots hacking it to cover for Barry without regard to the truth of the original page.

I just checked the page and the dual date format for Kenya has been restored for the moment. Obots never succeeded in removing the color on the global map showing Kenya as a dual format country, which it still show.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Date_format_by_count…
93 posted on Thursday, July 19, 2012 9:37:04 PM by Seizethecarp”

- – - – - – - – - – -
This CON-job - “Mystylpxl” – - remember this poster OBot bonehead? You DUmbass OBots trying to pull a lying fast one on everyone again.

The essential claim in all of that is that anti-birthers altered the Wikipedia to hide the fact that Kenya uses both the US and British date formatting systems. Did they?

In January of 2011 the Date Formats by Country article was split off from the main Date Formats article. And indeed, when one looks at the Wikipedia history for that main article, as it appeared on February 15, 2009, one finds:

imageThe reference link [74] goes to http://www.communication.go.ke/, a link no longer valid, but that may be familiar to long-time readers here, since that web site is one promoted by Lucas Smith himself as an example of official use of the US date format in Kenya. You can see what it once looked like in my 2011 article, “Date formats in Kenya.” That reference is not a source by Wikipedia standards, because it doesn’t actually say what Kenyan date formats are, only uses them (and apparently in a broken manner). To say that Kenya officially uses US date formatting from this source would be a conclusion of “original research” not allowed on the Wikipedia. I say all of that to conclude that the US date format item in the Wikipedia article was faulty since February of 2009, being unsourced, and as such any Wikipedia editor could have legitimately removed it.

That said, can we blame the original Wikipedia MDY format entry for Kenya on Smith or one of his supporters?

No. Here’s the Wikipedia page from October 28, 2008, where the US date format entry originated. The entry is sourced from a Microsoft page that has since been moved; however, I found the current version, and indeed, it has m/d/yyyy formatting for “Kiswahili (Kenya).” Kiswahili became an official national language in Kenya in 2010. (Of course the Smith Obama certificate is not written in Kiswahili.)

image

At the time the editing wars occurred, the Microsoft link had gone bad, along with any hint that the MDY format related to Kiswahili. This whole controversy appears to be just a mistake, exacerbated by web reference pages whose links went bad, and politicized by the birther/anti-birther conflict.

I’ve fixed the Wikipedia.

Why did Bruce Steadman give Lucas Daniel Smith $5,800?

and was it a good investment?

In an timing error almost as monumental as that of the release of Jerome Corsi’s Where’s the Birth Certificate?, Lucas Daniel Smith misses April Fools by a scant 3 days with his latest article: “Lucas Daniel Smith arrested (2014) for extradition to Kenya.”

Smith wrote:

On or about the 4th day of February 2014 while I was physically present in the Dominican Republic, the National Police (Policia Nacional) raided my home in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic with an arrest warrant for extradition to Kenya on criminal charges of allegedly bribing government officials in Kenya.

Smith claims to be in the Dominican Republic, free on 250,000 Dominican Pesos (about $5,800) bond, the money provided by birther Bruce Steadman. Smith, known for his documents, provides an image of a complaint (“acta de denuncia”) in Spanish.

Research questions:

  1. Does the Dominican Republic have an extradition treaty with Kenya?
  2. Is the “acta de denuncia” authentic?
  3. Has Bruce Stedman been conned out of $5,800?

I’m still checking on the matter of the extradition treaty. So far I have not found any bilateral treaty between the Dominican Republic and Kenya. The Dominican Republic has an extradition treaty with the contiguous with Kenya, Commonwealth countries, the United States, Italy, Finland, Greece, Poland, Spain, Peru, Germany and perhaps some others, but if Smith had been sought by Kenya, one would have though that they would be looking in the US, and one wonders how they would have found him in the Dominican Republic. See also, “Foreigners under Dominican Criminal Law.”

Persons familiar with the Spanish language, commenting on the Internet and on this blog say, that the document is riddled with errors, and not written by a native speaker of Spanish.

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One more observation on the POSFKBC

I mentioned in my previous article, “Smith posts another version of his POSFKBC" that I had been trying to figure out precisely what font was used to make his image. I did an experiment towards making that identification, putting text in a trial font next to his text on his own image and looking for differences in the character shapes. I thought that what I found was interesting enough to publish.

Presuming that the Smith document was at some point scanned, and given that scanners generally reduce the size of documents they scan just a bit to make counterfeiting more difficult, the font size of the Smith image is probably not a standard size. The program I used does not allow fractional point sizes, so my text is not precisely the same size. Also my text is a computer-generated original not printed and scanned, and Smith’s original document was saved as a JPG file at 44% quality, both reducing the crispness of the text appearance.

The font I used is True Type Garamond version 2.40, a font that was already on my computer and something that either comes with Windows or Microsoft Office. I do not claim any expertise on typography, but I think the similarity of my results to the Smith text is remarkable. What do you think1? Here’s the document (click to enlarge):


1I would not equate what I did here with the Dan Rather moment when the Bush National Guard letter was exposed as a likely-computer generated phony. The technique is similar, but the results not quite so compelling.

Smith posts another version of his POSFKBC

We’ve seen an evolutionary process in the document from Lucas Smith that purports to be a certified copy of a birth certificate (affectionately known by anti-birthers as the POSFKBC), that he says he obtained in Kenya, showing Barack Obama born at the Coast Province General Hospital in Mombasa. First, all we had was a shaky image in a video, purportedly made in Kenya. Then we got a wrinkled still version submitted in the Keyes v. Obama lawsuit by Orly Taitz. In 2012 we were treated to a photograph showing the raised seal more clearly. More recently, Smith claims to have obtained scans of details from the original from which the certified copy was made, and finally he has released the entire document that follows (click to enlarge):

Since this purports to be a copy of the original (not of the certified copy), it would lack the certifying elements of the earlier copy, elements that were troublesome due to internal contradictions. Some internal faults remain, such as the reversed date order (American style mm/dd/yyyy instead of Kenyan style dd/mm/yyyy), and the missing full date of birth of Obama’s father (which was not known at the time the certificate was published). And of course, no other birth certificate of this form has ever been put forward.

I did a cursory forensic analysis of the new document and about the only thing that stood out was the remarkably low quality of the JPG file (44%). In the earlier version of the certificate, it appeared that there is kerning in the word “Kenya” that one would not expect from 1961 typesetting equipment. The kerning is not evident in this document and this one is consistent with blotchy copying on the former. In that one instance, the new document helps the old.

Just for fun, I tried to identify the font used in the preprinted sections of the form (excluding the title) and the top result was Simoncini Garamond, a font designed in 1961. :shock: That’s not the right font because of a difference in the uppercase “B”. [When the quoted material consists of a single character, the period appears outside the quotation marks.] (Some anonymous person calling himself “the pressman” said that the font was Adobe Caslon, but it obviously isn’t.]

Anyway, I get to open the year with a shiny birther object to object to.

Doubling down

I wrote a while back about an account of Barack Obama finding his original hospital keepsake birth certificate from Kapi’olani hospital, as described by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann in their book Double Down: Game Change 2012. Since then I have been enjoying the rest of the book, a riveting story of the 2012 presidential election campaign.

Obviously, if Kapi’olani Hospital issued Obama a hospital souvenir with his little infant footprints on it, a certain other document purportedly reporting his birth on the same day at the Coast General Hospital in Mombasa, Kenya, also with Obama’s name and infant footprints, just can’t be real. And indeed, I and others have spent some time debunking that second document, which is sometime called the POSFKBC (President Obama’s Second Fake Kenyan Birth Certificate, or something else.) One Lucas Daniel Smith is the immediate source of the POSFKBC, claiming that he got it at the Kenyan hospital after paying a bribe.

Smith launched a web site in support of the POSFKBC and his claims about Obama, and I announced that event in a 2011 article “Unrepentant Smith doubles down on fake birth certificate.” Smith’s web site includes some rather creepy material invading my personal life and family. I get mentioned again now in a supporting role in a new article, which if not creepy, is certainly strange.

Smith’s latest embeds a draft lawsuit where Smith is the plaintiff, and Double Down authors Halperin and Heilemann (Barack Obama, Penguin Books, etc. ) are defendants. In the article Smith alleges that a distinguished law professor, Michael C. Dorf (who based on what I know so far is an innocent bystander who knows nothing about any of this), was negotiating with Smith to purchase the POSFKBC for $3,000,000. Then along came the Double Down book and nixed the deal. (My supporting role is that Dorf, who allegedly reads this web site “daily” found out about the book from my article.) Smith, of course, claims that the story of Obama’s certificate in Double Down is bogus, and that is the basis of the suit. The draft lawsuit discusses purported communications between Smith and  Dorf at some length and I will not summarize those here as they are in the draft lawsuit at Scribd. Smith also chronicles his prior attempts to sell the POSFKBC on eBay.

One addition to Smith lore in the document is a “digital scan” image of the footprint on the POSFKBC.  Let’s back up to the POSFKBC itself. Following is an image extracted from the POSFKBC image in the complaint PDF.

 

image

You can see that the image is monochrome and of very poor quality. However, the actual scan is at 200 dpi, not that low a quality. The scan is also not monochrome because a stamp on the POSFKBC upper left is in color. Therefore, the original paper POSFKBC has an extremely low-quality footprint on it, which is monochromatic.

And below is what Smith alleges is as a digital scan of the footprint from Obama’s original Kenyan birth certificate (a document which has not been shown to even exist). This image is at a resolution of 122 PPI, and appears to be a shrunk and rotated version of another image that’s included on page 60 of the draft complaint.

image

One is invited to ask why, if the second image (at 122 dpi) is as good as it it, why the original is so crummy. Since Smith claimed to have obtained his POSFKBC at the hospital where the original was kept, he can’t claim it was faxed, and what photocopy machine would make so crummy an image? Was it microfilmed? I printed out the second footprint and made a black and white copy of it looked much better than the POSFKBC version, and mine was only a copy of a copy of a copy.

Links to original images extracted from the Smith PDF with Adobe Acrobat:

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