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Archive | November, 2013

Fake photos

Dr. Neal Krawetz is an impressive writer. We’re lucky to have his three articles on President Obama’s birth certificates. He published another article, “There will be blood” at The Hacker Factor Blog last week that I found simply fascinating.

The article is about an iconic photo of civilian casualties in Syria and how forensic image technologies plus close observation suggest that it is not what it seems.

More by Krawetz:

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Farah v. Esquire appeal unsuccessful

The Esquire article certainly didn’t fool me, any more than Klayman’s legal briefs fooled the judge.

— Dr. Conspiracy
— Comment at WorldNetDaily

imageIn a satirical article, Esquire Magazine made a birther joke, that since Obama released his birth certificate, Jerome Corsi’s ill-titled book Where’s the Birth Certificate were being recalled. Joseph Farah, perhaps seeing a publicity opportunity sued. He lost under a statute designed to prevent meritless lawsuits from chilling public comment, the court ruling that Farah had no reasonable chance of convincing a jury. Farah’s attorney was the well-known litigator, Larry Klayman.

Farah appealed the decision, and lost. WorldNetDaily announced the loss in an article a few minutes ago.

“It’s dishonest,” said WND’s attorney, Larry Klayman, of the decision. “This is an issue for the jury to decide. They took it away from the jury, and that’s inappropriate.”

Klayman blames the loss on the political ambitions of the judges who ruled against him.

“These judges know that if they make an unpopular decision against the establishment that they will never be able to be promoted to the Supreme Court or any other position they might get through political patronage,” he said.

Well, the purpose of the DC anti-SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation)  statute is to prevent the threat of litigation and its associated costs from chilling public participation. Klayman was unable to show the suit could win.

Is this one destined for the Supreme Court? Do pigs wish they could fly?

Update: This article previously stated, erroneously, and it was reported elsewhere, that there was a 2-1 spit decision by the court. This is not correct. All three judges agreed on the decision, but only two concurred on the opinion.

Related articles:

Media coverage:

  • Courthouse News Service – Warren’s reference to Corsi as an “execrable piece of shit,” is clearly his personal opinion as it “does not appear to convey any factual assertion, but is rather ‘the sort of loose, figurative or hyperbolic language which would negate the impression’ that a factual statement was being made,” Brown wrote (emphasis in original).
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Forensic accounting of the Cold Case Posse

About a month ago, I alluded to an investigation into the Cold Case Posse and said that some results could be expected in a month. I now have the expected information as promised.

In March of 2007, Mike Zullo as “Commander” of the Cold Case Posse applied to the IRS for exempt status. The IRS preliminary determination of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Cold Case Posse, Inc. states that it is not required to file Form 990 (financial reports), that it is a § 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization, and that it is a public charity under § 509(a)(2).

The IRS determination seems reasonable based on what Zullo told the IRS, and what Zullo told the IRS seems reasonable based on the original intent stated at the Posse’s creation in 2007.

The question that I raise now is whether the IRS determination is still appropriate. In order to obtain exemption from filing public financial reports on Form 990, the CCP had to submit a narrative describing itself. It hypothetically describes itself as “organized as a separate entity of the governmental unit that created it.”1 In that narrative, very little is said about financing, only:

The individual posse members, just like volunteer fire fighters, donate their time and efforts to solve these [cold] cases without expecting or receiving compensation.

and

Lastly, it should be noted that members of the applicant are all individually responsible for the costs necessary to pay for any and all equipment and uniforms that they may need to fulfill their duties to the sheriff’s department and any necessary equipment needed for their safety.

imageAs I read this, the Cold Case Posse represented to the IRS that it wouldn’t have any expenses. That reading is confirmed by explicit expense estimates on their Form 1023 Application for Exemption for tax years 2007, 2008 and 2009: $0. They also specifically state that no one with the Posse would receive compensation. That immediately raises a question for me because for each of those tax years, the CCP estimated revenue of $6,500 from “membership fees.” Why did they estimate $19,500 in revenue for the three years, but no expenses? What were they going to do with that money? If the IRS wondered the same thing, they approved the Application anyway.2

Part of classifying an organization involves its sources of funding. In 2007 all the funding was projected as coming from membership fees. Is that still true today? We simply do not know how much of their revenue today comes from membership fees and how much from the Sheriff’s Office (such as county cars, gas cards and deputy trips to Hawaii) and how much from non-member donations.

In 2007 no expenses were projected. Today there are least hints of expenses. Republic Media outlet AZCentral.com reported a year and a half ago (May 22, 2012):

The cold-case posse has spent about $40,000 on the investigation so far, according to the Sheriff’s Office.3

That might include the cost of sending a deputy with Mike Zullo to Hawaii, but not Zullo’s several lobbying trips this past year nor his three-week adventure “out west” this past month. It wouldn’t have included fees paid to Reed Hayes. The number, whatever it is, must be significantly larger today.

Things have materially changed since the Cold Case Posse’s charge to assist the Maricopa County Sheriff’s office on unsolved homicides with volunteers who pay their own way. Now it’s an expensive donation-driven investigation of President Obama’s identity documents, which is neither a homicide, nor any case in Maricopa County.

I wonder if the IRS would classify today’s Cold Case Posse the same way it did in 2007? I hope not.

Related article:


1Some other Maricopa County Sheriff’s Posses do file IRS Form 990.

I use the word “hypothetically” because of the odd language in the narrative:

Chapter 501 (C)(3) states that an organization may request an exemption from federal income tax if it is organized as a separate entity of the governmental unit that created it.

The statement is true, but it says nothing about the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Cold Case Posse, Inc., although the careless reader might get that impression. The Cold Case Posse was chartered by the Sheriff’s Office, but they didn’t create the corporation that was seeking tax exemption. It was created by private citizens, and no one in their official capacity with the Sheriff’s Office signed the Articles of Incorporation.

2There are a few other curious things on the CCP Form 1023 Application. For example, Box XI (2) should have been checked, but it wasn’t.

3The Sheriff’s Office wrote to me that they had no financial records on the Cold Case Posse, who operate independently. That seems at odds with the Office being able to provide expense information to the Arizona Republic.

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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:

Continue Reading →

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Vogt loses, fails to get message

Whether it was a publicity stunt to promote his upcoming book (along with Paul Irey), From Forgery to Treason, or a sincere but profound misunderstanding of the law, Douglas Vogt filed a legal action in federal court that was dismissed. I covered the story extensively on this blog.

Vogt makes error

Before continuing with the progress of the legal action, I wanted to show the following screen shot from the book’s web site. The book is subtitled “Two Typographers Present their Proof of Forgery of Obama’s Long Form Birth Certificate.”

image

One would think that typographers advertising their book, a book relying on claims of typographical expertise, would be at least moderately careful to avoid typographical errors in their promotional material, but there it is writ large: “United Sates.”1

Vogt’s forgery claims are ludicrous, but so was his legal action, an attempt to force a court to declare him “not guilty” of a hypothetical future crime, and to use a civil filing in an attempt to compel a criminal prosecution. Judge Robart explained why the action was ludicrous in his Order to Show Cause.

Vogt makes another error

Nevertheless, it appears that Vogt is going to give it another go with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, itself no stranger to birther lawsuits. I use the future tense because no appeal appears on the court docket as of this writing. Vogt’s appellate petition, a writ of mandamus, appears on the obamaforgerybook.com web site. So let’s examine the document:

image

That helps us sort matters out. The imaging crackpot is Douglas Vogt and the legal crackpot is Montgomery Blair Sibley (a former attorney).

Vogt’s petition demands the Court of Appeals direct Judge Robart to do the things he decided not to do for good reason when dismissing the action. Vogt repeats his claim that the district court clerk mischaracterized his action. Finally Vogt gives us his term it, “Miscellaneous matter.” Wow, that certainly makes it clear.

Vogt launches skyward calling the Judge’s characterization of his case as “intentional libel” and suggests that the captioning of his case as Vogt v. Obama in an order may be a felony. (The law cited doesn’t apply to captioning a case.)

For those giving odds as to who Vogt’s Jane Doe #2 is, we get this tantalizing sentence:

Coupled with the clear circumstantial evidence contained in Vogt’s sealed affidavit which links Barack Hussein Obama, II with the forger of his putative Certificates of Live Birth, the “public interest” in having these matters determined is overwhelming.

In any case, there are two important questions raised by the appeal:

  1. How long will it take the Ninth Circuit to affirm the lower court’s action
  2. Will the opinion be long or short?

1At least he didn’t say “United Snakes.”

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Birther arrested for threatening the President

People can mouth off about things, but when you threaten to kill the president, the Secret Service comes knocking at your door because it’s their job to determine whether you’re a threat or just an idiot.

Elwyn Nels Fossedal of Wisconsin, age 81, reiterated his threat to the Secret Service that if “President Obama was here I would shoot him right there and kill him right now,” so reads the criminal complaint filed in Wisconsin federal court this past Thursday. Fossedal is said to be proficient with firearms.  The initial threat was reported in October.

Threatening the president is a violation of the US Code Title 18 § 871.

Fossedal gets both birther and “ditto-head” creds from a comment at the Western Center for Journalism web site back in 2009:

Rush, You should show up and EMBARASS THE LIVING DAY LIGHTS OUT OF THEM. President Obama does not need a BIRTH CERTIFICATE, why should you need an invitation. Other people can get into White House Parties without an Invitation, why not an Icon in the MEDIA?

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