Skip to comments.Inconsistencies abound in FactCheck report on Obama "birth certificate"
Posted on 08/24/2008 8:10:04 AM PDT by pissant
The Annenberg Political Factcheck website has published photographs and an analysis of what it says is the "original birth certificate" of Barack Hussein Obama II. While the physical document depicted in the photos resemble the document image previously scanned and published by the Daily Kos website and Obama's own "Fight the Smears" site in June, FactCheck's case for authenticity and its claims to objectivity are undermined by a litany of process flaws, conflicts of interest and factual inconsistencies that raise doubts about its motives and methods of those of the Obama campaign.
The Factcheck.org report, titled "Born in the USA," accompanied by an image of the Bruce Springsteen album cover, starts:
In June, the Obama campaign released a digitally scanned image of his birth certificate to quell speculative charges that he might not be a natural-born citizen. But the image prompted more blog-based skepticism about the document's authenticity. And recently, author Jerome Corsi, whose book attacks Obama, said in a TV interview that the birth certificate the campaign has is "fake."
We beg to differ. FactCheck.org staffers have now seen, touched, examined and photographed the original birth certificate. We conclude that it meets all of the requirements from the State Department for proving U.S. citizenship. Claims that the document lacks a raised seal or a signature are false. We have posted high-resolution photographs of the document as "supporting documents" to this article. Our conclusion: Obama was born in the U.S.A. just as he has always said.
FactCheck claims that its staffers have "seen, touched, examined and photographed the original birth certificate" begs the question and obscures the truth. In fact, the article later goes on to make clear that this is in fact not "the original birth certificate" but "a 'certification of birth,' also known as a short-form birth certificate. The long form is drawn up by the hospital and includes additional information such as birth weight and parents' hometowns."
"The Hawaii Department of Health's birth record request form does not give the option to request a photocopy of your long-form birth certificate, but their short form has enough information to be acceptable to the State Department. We tried to ask the Hawaii DOH why they only offer the short form, among other questions, but they have not given a response."
This would seem to suggest that Factcheck went through the process of requesting the birth certificate (after all, why else reproduce and link the request form?), but no -- it turns out that they had a special invitation to visit the birth certificate at its residence, as if they were visiting some long lost relatives or a reclusive celebrity:
"Recently FactCheck representatives got a chance to spend some time with the birth certificate, and we can attest to the fact that it is real and three-dimensional and resides at the Obama headquarters in Chicago."
For an organization that claims to be fastidious with the facts, the sentence is vague and overly cute. Who made the invitation to "spend some time with the certificate"? How exactly did it happen that they "got a chance"? Did FactCheck approach the Obama Campaign or did the Obama Campaign approach FactCheck? And what are the forensic analysis credentials of the FactCheck staff that allows them to conclude definitively that the birth certificate is real and original?
And when is "recently"? The controversy over the birth certificate has been raging for ten weeks. Was it coincidental that it would emerge right after Obama returned from his "vacation" in Hawaii? The claim of "recently" is thrown into further doubt by the revelation that embedded date information in the photographs indicates that the photos were taken nearly a half year ago.
Factcheck.org posted 9 photographs of what it claimed were different aspects of Obama's "Certificate of Live Birth", all in less than optimal and idiosyncratic lighting conditions. All of them were taken over a less than seven minute period on March 12, 2008 from 10:40:18 to 10:47:02 at night.
No wonder FactCheck sufficed left it a vague "spend some time" when the duration of the entire photography session took 6 minutes and 44 seconds. Talk about: "Wham, bam, thank you, Obama!" Does that sound like a serious and thorough examination to
FactCheck will need to explain these hard chronological facts, which can be verified from the published photos by anyone with an EXIF reading tool, publically available on the net and as part of graphics software.
If the embedded graphical information is correct, it means that FactCheck is lying about doing the photo session "recently" and may be lying about much more, since it would be implausible that "FactCheck" was even checking facts about the birth certificate in March 2008.
Factcheck may try to argue that the photographer "forgot" to set the correct time. But that would further illuminate the shoddy level of professionalism in disregarding the need for exact documentation of the date, a carelessness echoed in the introductory remarks of its article ("recently" is not a fact, especially when it is not clearly associated with the location of the photo shoot ? where the documents "reside" is hardly the same thing). If so, FactCheck would also need to show some other published photos published with the same camera that show an identical offset between the camera's time and the real time.
Exactly for such reasons -- the lack of professionalism, exactitude and transparency concerning the provenance of this paper and the circumstances of the photographic session -- the reasonable demand from the skeptics -- who were initially made suspicious by the fact that the purported certificate image was published first (initially in relatively low resolution and only later in high resolution) in the far-left partisan Daily Kos blog -- has always been that the paper certificate must be subjected to the scrutiny of objective media or document forensics specialists, and mainstream journalists who can ask the hard question not just about this document image or that document image but examine it for themselves and query Obama himself about the many lingering mysteries and evasions in this whole affair.
It is striking, too, that Newsweek reprints the FactCheck report under the organizational byline without the minimal scrutiny that one would expect from a serious news magazine. In effect it is an advertorial serving the interests of the Obama campaign, not an objective piece of journalist.
FactCheck itself, as a project primarily funded by the Annenberg Foundation, hardly fits the bill of being a disinterested party, especially given Obama's four year stint as founding chair of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, currently being investigated due to its massive withholding of papers which document the catestrophic failure of the project, including public funds wasted under Obama's leadership, and his relations in that project with former Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers.
Most curious, too, is the apparent lack of curiosity of FactCheck in pursuing the original "long-form" birth certificate that was supposedly used as the basis for the short form. After all, Barack Obama refers explicitly to possessing this document in "Dreams from My Father". Since FactCheck apparently has sufficiently close relations with the Obama teams to merit the exclusive privilege of being invited to "spend some time" (or at least 6 minutes and 44 seconds) with the reclusive short-form, one might think that if they were really interested in checking facts or examining original records they would doggedly pursue the paper source document -- the real thing from 47 years ago, not something cleaned and extracted from a database and thus subject to all kinds of potential revision and redaction.
Rather than asking the hard questions of Obama himself, or even the Obama campaign, or even requesting additional documents from the State of Hawaii in the public interest (they said they "tried" to ask about the long form but failed to get an answer), FactCheck falls back on the rather lame claim that the short form has "enough information to be acceptable to the State Department" and goes so far as to include a footnote linking to the State Department's Passport application requirements.
But isn't that bar set a bit too low for the man who wants to be President, especially as you can be a citizen without being natural born, especially when there are multiple reports coming from Kenya -- including several from Obama's own relatives -- that he was actually born in Kenya and came to Hawaii only days after birth, apparently at his mother's insistence that he would be recorded as being born in the USA? Apparently not too low for FactCheck. From their report it would appear that they are not interested or, perhaps more correctly, conflicted in their interests.
The photographs themselves of course superficially resemble what a real short-form certificate should look like, although it is impossible to ascertain from a series of jpg images. Remarkably, for an organization which purports to be dedicated to checking facts, no high resolution of the document's two sides was made so that professionals could compare that scan with the scan previously published in the Daily Kos. The Obama headquarters has no scanner? FactCheck has no scanner? Only a Canon Powershot 570 with an unset date? Or perhaps they were granted a mere six minutes and 44 seconds and had no time for a scan.
Comparing the high resolution Daily Kos scan (as opposed to the scan originally published) with the FactCheck photos, there are obvious and dramatic differences. The scan shows only the thinnest of fold marks at the top and none below, no seal and no signature block. Oddly, only the June 6, 2007 date stamp is visible. Only after extreme manipulations of the Daily Kos image did some graphic specialists managed to squeeze out the blurred and color enhance image of something that just might be a seal or a signature block. But even then, not in the correct size or expected location.
Those stark differences clearly validate the skepticism with which the scan was regarded by Israel Insider and others from the start. Why, then, did it take the campaign ten weeks to produce photos that show the missing seal, signature block and deep fold marks, so deep that they disrupt some letters and print of the seal? What changed between June 12 and August 21?
Then there is the issue of the redacted file number which for the last ten plus weeks has been blacked out . Here's the explanation that comes from the Obama campaign, according to FactCheck:
We asked the Obama campaign about the date stamp and the blacked-out certificate number. The certificate is stamped June 2007, because that's when Hawaii officials produced it for the campaign, which requested that document and "all the records we could get our hands on" according to spokesperson Shauna Daly. The campaign didn't release its copy until 2008, after speculation began to appear on the Internet questioning Obama's citizenship. The campaign then rushed to release the document, and the rush is responsible for the blacked-out certificate number. Says Shauna: "[We] couldn't get someone on the phone in Hawaii to tell us whether the number represented some secret information, and we erred on the side of blacking it out. Since then we've found out it's pretty irrelevant for the outside world."
That's odd. The "rush" to release the document? Who exactly was rushing them? The bloggers over at Daily Kos? Why was the Obama campaign in such a "rush" if there was no problem and no real pressure to produce. They couldn't wait another few hours or a day to talk to the Hawaii Health Department before rushing to print at the Daily Kos? And then, after the redacted document was up, they couldn't have replaced it with an unredacted image?
Only last week, the Honolulu Advertiser quoted Janice Okubo, Director of Communications in Hawaii's Department as Health, as saying that with the file number one could hack into the system. "Potentially, if you have that number, you could break into the system." Okubo seems on intent on defending the Obama campaign even if she admits that the image they presented as authentic lacked visible stamps and seals. "They responded and apparently it isn't good enough that he posted his birth certificate," Okubo said. "They say they want it because they claim he is not a citizen of the United States. It's pretty ridiculous."
So which is it? Is the file number irrelevant, as the campaign now claims, or is it a data that could be used to hack into the system, as Hawaii claims. If it is irrelevant, why is Janice Okubo providing excuses for the Obama campaign? If it is dangerous for data security, why is the Obama campaign ignoring that danger? And why does Okubo say it's "ridiculous" to be asking questions about the provenance of a vital record of a presidential candidate when the proffered proof clearly lacked the requisite stamps and signatures. Or did Obama's people and Okubo have a heart to heart between body surfing sessions at Waikiki?
Despite the points scored by the Obama campaign in gaining high level media coverage for a favorable puff piece, the FactCheck photospread -- revealing so much that the scan did not --unwittingly serves to validate the legitimacy of the probing questions and analyses that have been asked over the past two and a half months by Israel Insider and various bloggers, document examiners, and average citizens.
While the quality and consistency of the analyses of these amateur sleuths have been irregular, and have taken wrong turns on several occasions, shouldn't the burden of proof for documenting one's citizenship and producing the original vital records fall on the candidate and the legal authorities empowered for this purpose, not ordinary citizens disturbed by the lack of transparency of a presidential candidate and his arrogant unwillingness to produce documents expected of regular Americans?
The FactCheck report may have Obamatons humming "Born in the USA", but anyone serious about getting to the truth of Obama's constitutional qualifications will be disappointed by their casual and smug report. And they will expect more from a candidate who, like the protagonist in the opening lines of the Springsteen song, seems to "spend half [his] life just covering up."
The evidentiary and analytical shoddiness of the FactCheck report, both in terms of the dubious dating of the photos, the inexactitude in the circumstances of the shoot, apparent inconsistencies between the photos and the scan, and the failure to pursue the more significant, truly original, long form birth certificate, all point to the inadequacy of the proof presented to date to validate Obama's claim to being a "natural born" US citizen.
That question, it now seems, will need to be answered in federal court.
Not at all true. First of all, double negatives are grammatically and logically incorrect.
Secondly, you are the one who threw down the gauntlet by claiming that an image forgery has not been proven, which you could only have made based on your knowledge and/or belief that the FactCheck image is real.
On the other hand, I've already provided 12 weeks of solid evidence that the FactCheck image is not a true copy of Obama's genuine paper COLB, as well as evidence that the FactCheck photos are likewise unreal.
The burden, therefore, falls upon you to provide evidence that the image is a real, and you're already 12 weeks behind in that department.
Citing the efforts of others who only think they've debunked my findings will not suffice either, because they are also based on the supposition that the image is genuine. Word-of-mouth will not suffice as evidence, especially when it comes from Obama supporters and/or funders. Personal beliefs won't work either since they are not empirically testable. So, this is your big chance to do what no one has ever done -- to prove the FactCheck image is real and not a forgery. I certainly will applaud that research.
I didn’t use a double negative, you in fact are asking me to prove a negative.
You have provided flawed evidence. Someone claiming that they looked at a scanned jpeg and could tell it was fake isn’t going to cut it in a court of law. Therefore you have no proof that the certificate is fake.
You can dick around discussing logic or you can produce the document for non-partisan analysis. Factcheck is tainted. Pick someone else that’s above reproach and deliver. If you continue to refuse, you are obstructing. The documentation will be challanged in court so you had best review the meaning of:
The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth
No, you are taking the word of others who said that my evidence is flawed.
My evidence is substantial, and it is clear to me by what you said above that you have maybe read one thing I said, and have not read everything else I wrote in the past twelve weeks.
Therefore, you cannot make your assertion about the bulk of my evidence that you evidently did not read beforehand.
Even after I scaled back on some of my points of contention as more information became available to me, there is still a substantial core of evidence, which includes infinitely more than merely looking at a JPG, that overwhelmingly proves that the image is fake, that it has always been fake, and that there are none who can prove that the opposite is true.
They only think that they have refuted my evidence, but they really haven't come up with any believable alternatives. In fact, it's downright amazing what they say is proof.
The bottom line is that none can refute everything that I've done and have proven to exist. They never demonstrated how the image was made, but I did. Twice. Who else has shown how the forgery was created by actually doing it themselves? Just me.
You see, you put too must trust in those foul-mouthed, hacks who know less about computer graphics than they do about acting as mature adults.
No one can prove that this image is real because it is not real. "Saying that it is real" is bogus, as is "saying that my evidence is flawed."
And that's the reason why I can easily make this bet with you, because you, personally, have absolutely nothing to offer in return, except hearsay.
You're the one who has something to prove, not me. I have 12 weeks of proof, and I have more than proved my point.
On the other hand, you are sort of correct. I did look at a JPG and I did suspect that it was a fake based on the pixels I found. Not by eyeballing them, but by counting each and every pixel of a given color within a 300 DPI grid of pixels.
That was Day One of my analysis.
So, listen, I'll make it simple for you. Go find me the evidence that "scanner artifacts"`did cause the pixel patterns I found between the letters of "HUSSEIN," and did not cause the same pixel patterns between the letters of "HAWAII & HEALTH" (to name a few).
I can dick around discussing logic? Interesting because I’m simply trying to get people to use logic. If you don’t trust factcheck, go to Obama’s HQ in Illinois.
I’m not taking their word, I’m being realistic. You are looking at a jpeg that was scanned. You cannot prove that the actual certificate is a fake by looking at a scanned copy. You claim that no one has refuted your evidence, yet your evidence wouldn’t hold water in a court of law.
The burden of proof still lies with you.
Im not taking their word, Im being realistic. You are looking at a jpeg that was scanned. You cannot prove that the actual certificate is a fake by looking at a scanned copy.
***Yeah, duhh. All the Obama campaign needs to do is release the document. The item they released on their website is a forgery. Why is that?
You claim that no one has refuted your evidence, yet your evidence wouldnt hold water in a court of law.
***It’s already holding water in a court of law, Berg Vs. Obama. The judge has not thrown out the lawsuit as trivial because the evidence is strong enough to consider.
The burden of proof still lies with you.
***He has proven there’s a forgery in offerance. And that JPEG on the website is vouched for by the campaign. When more evidence is offered, more proof will be given. However, the lapse of time is very, very telling. How long did it take McCain to release his birth certificate (a paper copy)? About 2 days. How long for Obama? So far, several months. The delay gives him opportunity to generate better forged evidence. He spent a whole week working on the forgery-to-back-up-the-forgery and it was shot down within a matter of a couple of days.
If you dont trust factcheck, go to Obamas HQ in Illinois.
***I don’t trust factcheck because they are in the same Annenberg foundation that Obama ran. So far, hundreds have called up Obama’s HQ and requested copies of his certified birth certificate. No cooperation from the candidate. So use your logic to figure out why that’s happening.
Proof that is is real is the absence of proof that it is fake, therefore you are the one who has the burden.
Of course not. That was never my contention. What is my contention is that the image proffered by the Daily Kos, FactCheck, and Fight the Smears is not a genuine, scanned copy of a real, paper document that those people
You claim that no one has refuted your evidence, yet your evidence wouldnt hold water in a court of law. The burden of proof still lies with you.
Watch Court TV much? Hold water? How, when you have none to offer. There are two sides in every court case, one side is the Plaintiff, and the Other Side is the Defendant. Each side is required to provide supporting evidence to bolster their claims and counter claims. If you walked into court and told the judge and jury that "The burden of proof is only on the other side," you'd hear the gavel before you could day "burden of proof."
The court in which I have presented a claim is the court of public opinion, which is solidly behind those who believe that this Obama COLB image is as phony as a $3 bill with Barack's face on it.
I'm not asking to be made whole, or for damages or for reparations. I'm only asking for those responsible for perpetrating this fraud on the American public to be held accountable for their actions.
That's Number One.
Number Two is the fact that I served as a statistical expert in three court cases, so don't insult me by pretending to know what will and what will not "hold water" in a class action lawsuit -- which is what I would prefer to initiate against the Obama campaign.
What we, as American citizens, would demand is injunctive relief against Obama for failure to release his current birth record to the public. There is plenty of evidence to support this legal action, and it does not even require any of the research I've done to have its "day in court."
That's Number Three.
An alleged "genuine COLB, dated Jun 6, 2007 is NOT a satisfactory piece of evidence, either real or fake, that would meet the requisite demands of the Plaintiffs.
That's Number Five.
Number Six is that you neverhad any intention of carrying through with this bet, and you are desperately grasping at straws to weasel out of it, as I knew you would do.
So, run along now. Your relieved of your wager. However, the next time you wish to challenge me and my research, you'd better have something substantive and definitive that registers a zero on the old BS Meter.
We've already had way too much bluster and way too much empty rhetoric from folks, who, like yourself, are tilting at windmills and biding their time until this "dust up" simply blows away like so many leaves in Winter.
Trust me, That is not going to happen. The heat is going to be turned oin "incinerate" after the Labor Day weekend, and if I was a forgery doubter, I would not want to be in the vicinity without some SPF 5000 sun screen to splash on my body.
First thing, I don’t have a bong, but thanks for your concern. Obama did not run the Annenburg Foundation, thanks for proving your ignorance in the matter. No one has PROVEN the doc to be a forgery, the court of law has not ruled in favor of anyone, and Obama did release the COLB to the first person who asked to see it.
Thanks for playing.
“What is my contention is that the image proffered by the Daily Kos, FactCheck, and Fight the Smears is not a genuine, scanned copy of a real, paper document that those people”
That is your contention, a contention that you have not proven to be true. There are two sides in every court case, but the responsibility of the one making the accusation is to prove guilt.
“Number Six is that you neverhad any intention of carrying through with this bet, and you are desperately grasping at straws to weasel out of it, as I knew you would do.”
I am waiting for you to agree that you will prove your accusations. If you can prove your case, you win.
You don't listen very well. I've already proven my case.
Obama did not run the Annenburg Foundation, thanks for proving your ignorance in the matter.
***Are you saying there’s no connection between Obama and the Annenberg foundation?
No one has PROVEN the doc to be a forgery,
***You are being disingenuous. Why? No one CAN prove the doc to be a forgery because the doc HAS NOT BEEN RELEASED. The JPG on the FightTheSmears website is a proven forgery. Why? If the Obammeroid has nothing to hide, why is he hiding this document, when it is causing so much damage right now?
the court of law has not ruled in favor of anyone,
***The court has an obligation to throw out trivial lawsuits. The first threshold has been passed.
...and Obama did release the COLB to the first person who asked to see it.
***Bull shiite. Who are you shilling for?
Thanks for playing.
***Welcome to Free Republic, newbie.
First thing, I dont have a bong,
***You mean you were sober when you wrote that? I guess that means you’re just a piss-poor writer, newbie.
I think other people should also file suit, this plaintiff looks unreliable. They may drop the suit, and leave the search for truth. that would leave Obama to sail to the election with a potentially faulty birth certificate.
The chaos caused by an election winning president, who is then determined ineligible could be catastrophic.
McCain also needs his birth eligiblity confirmed by the courts for the same reason. (He has a Panamanian birth certificate, and lawsuits filed as well.)
So, you contend the Obama campaign showed its sister organization, Factcheck, a different document than the one used to generate the proven forgery hosted on the official Obama campaign site.
That dog won’t hunt.
“So, you contend the Obama campaign showed its sister organization, Factcheck, a different document than the one used to generate the proven forgery hosted on the official Obama campaign site. That dog wont hunt.”
That would come close to making sense if I were of a low enough IQ to call the Obama campaign and Factcheck sister organizations.
“McCain also needs his birth eligiblity confirmed by the courts for the same reason. (He has a Panamanian birth certificate, and lawsuits filed as well.)”
There was actually a panel on that matter that determined McCain is eligible.
“You mean you were sober when you wrote that? I guess that means youre just a piss-poor writer, newbie.”
No, it means that it doesn’t take much to go over the head of an idiot like yourself.
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