Skip to comments.Polarik's Final Report: <i>Obama's 'Born' Conspiracy</i>
Posted on 09/17/2008 11:58:31 AM PDT by Polarik
Polarik's Final Report: Obama's 'Born' Conspiracy
In the June 9, 2008 edition of National Review Online, writer Jim Geraghty posted the following story to his blog, the Campaign Spot:
Obama Could Debunk Some Rumors By Releasing His Birth Certificate.
Having done some Obama-rumor debunking that got praise from Daily Kos (a sign of the apocalypse, no doubt), perhaps the Obama campaign could return the favor and help debunk a bunch of others with a simple step: Could they release a copy of his birth certificate? Reporters have asked for it and been denied, and the state of Hawaii does not make such records public...There are several (unlikely) rumors circulating regarding Obamas birth certificate.
Geraghty listed these rumors as (1) Obama was born in Kenya, (2) Obama's middle name is really "Muhammad" and (3) Obama's first name is really "Barry," as he was called when he was a child growing up in Indonesia. Geraghty concluded his article by saying that "If the concern of the Obama campaign is that the certificate includes...some other data that could be useful to identity thieves, that information could easily be blocked out and the rest released."
Three days later, as if on cue, the pro-Obama Daily Kos blog posted an image of what they claimed was a scanned copy of Barack Obama's "original birth certificate" sent to them by the Obama Campaign:
By the end of the day, the Obama Campaign posted a duplicate copy of that same image on their website, Fight The Smears, (FTS) although the size of their copy was reduced to about 42% of the Kos image:
What very few people know about this image is that it was taken down the very next day, replacing it with one half as big and poorer in quality (the original FTS image was 1024 x 1000 pixels, the replacement is 585 x 575 pixels). Did FTS take down the original because some people were finding anomalies in it? The entire FTS web site has only one purpose: to mislead the American public by labeling as "smears" all of the factual statements made about Obama. Posting a bogus birth certificate on their website fits their modus operandi.
The headline that redirects readers to their statement about Obama's birth certificate is shown below. Following it is the text of the email that FTS urged supporters to send to their friends.
Barack Obama has made his birth certificate public and it can be seen here .
You may have recently heard right-wing smears questioning Barack Obama's birth certificate and citizenship. These assertions are completely false and designed to play into the worst kind of stereotypes. You can see Barack Obama's birth certificate for yourself and help push back with the truth...
As of September 13, I can confirm that FTS is still posting the same image, the same headline, and the same email letter. What is also of interest on the FTS website is a reference to "the independent group, Factcheck.org." FactCheck.org is most definitely not independent group, but belongs to the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania: a Center run by Obama supporters and funders.
FactCheck.org was also the third group to post a copy of the now infamous Obama "birth certificate" image to their website four days later. Only this time, an uncropped copy of the image was posted:
FactCheck claimed that "bloggers raised questions based on the absence of evidence, specifically the lack of a publicly available copy of a birth certificate and the supposed secrecy surrounding it". According to FactCheck, Tommy Vietor at the Obama campaign sent a message to them and "other reporters" saying, "I know there have been some rumors spreading about Obamas citizenship, so I wanted to make sure you all had a copy of his birth certificate."
Three months later, no other "reporters" have ever received a copy of this "birth certificate" image, or any other birth certificate image, for that matter, from Tommy Vietor or any one else. To reiterate, there has been one, and only one, image alleged to have been scanned from Obama's "original birth certificate," and that the only people alleged to have received a copy of this document image from the Obama Campaign have been (1) Markos Moulitsas, the creator of the Daily Kos, a pro-Obama blog, and (2) FactCheck, a pro-Obama political research group.
The wildfire begins
From the first moment this image was posted to the Internet, the reactions and criticisms spread like a wildfire through a forest. While Obama supporters -- who still cling to its claimed veracity today -- celebrated its appearance as a way to squelch Obama's skeptics, Obama detractors not only protested its appearance for the data that it held and lacked, but also for the way it looked to them; that is, nothing like this one:
To anyone not born in Hawaii, Obama's "original birth certificate" looked nothing like what a traditional birth certificate should look like (such as the one above). At a minimum, original birth certificates contained the names of the hospital where the child was born and the doctor who delivered the baby. Birth certificates also had signatures and stamps or embossed seals on them that certified their validity. By the second week of this controversy, the American public discovered that this type of document was not a photocopy of an original birth certificate completed at birth, but was, instead, a shortened transcript of a person's birth record.
This transcript is called, a "Certification of Live Birth," or COLB as I came to call it. A COLB is what Hawaii's Department of Health now issues in place of actual photocopies of the original, long-form birth certificate. The COLB is a "short form birth certificate," and when duly certified by them, can be used for all intents and purposes that a regular birth certificate would be used.
A genuine COLB (as shown below with private data covered by tape) contains the names of the Father, Mother and Child, the "race" of the Mother and Father, the time and date of birth, and the island and city of birth. Regardless of a person's actual birth date, anyone authorized to request this COLB, will receive the specific data currently listed on a person's actual birth record, on the date the copy was created. This last criteria is crucial to understand because so many of the criticisms leveled against it had to do with the "apparent" conundrum posed by a computer-generated certificate for people whose birth predated the computer age.
This is the front side of a genuine COLB:
And, this the reverse side of a genuine COLB:
Computer printout or photocopy, notwithstanding, many people were still aggitated by the apparent lack of visually recognizable features on the Obama COLB that would attest to its validity, such as an embossed seal, official signatures, and a date stamp as shown in the images above. Keep in mind that the public was shown only one scanned image of Obama's alleged COLB, and that was its front side. Had a scan of the reverse side been made, the questions about the absence of seals and stamps would have been answered.
That is, of course, IF the scanned image was genuine. Which it never was from the beginning.
The birth of the forgery
Initially, as someone who had also never seen a Hawaiian COLB before, I was also critical of the omissions apparently absent from Obama's COLB. However, once I got to examine the alleged Obama COLB up close, the focus of my criticisms quickly changed.
Although Obama's COLB image did not look the same as a traditional birth certificate, what captured my attention was not its contents, or lack thereof, but the image anomalies I saw -- anomalies that never would appear in any genuine scan of this document.
Specifically, I saw that the text in this image bore the telltale signs of being graphically altered after the image had been created. From June 13 onwards, the unfamiliar format of this document, and the questionable information that it contained, became tangential to my discovery that the scanned image alleged to be a true copy Obama's original COLB, was a forged document image . Today, with three months worth of research and supportive evidence behind me, I can now say, without any reservations, that my initial recognition of this image forgery was absolutely correct.
Surprisingly, the same people who posted this forged image three months earlier, namely the Obama Campaign, the pro-Obama Daily Kos blog, and the pro-Obama FactCheck group, are still passing it off as a genuine copy of Obama's original birth certificate. At no time during this 3-month period, did any of these pro-Obama groups submit a second scanned image to corroborate the first one, such as a scan of the reverse side where the certification elements appear: the embossed Seal of Hawaii, the date stamp, and the signature stamp of Hawaii's State Registrar.
Rather than make that second scan, FactCheck recently compounded their role in the forgery by posting suspicious-looking photos of the same document that they claimed to have scanned in June 16. Since I now have no doubt that their scanned image was fraudulent, I have no reason to believe that their "photographs" are any less fraudulent. Later on, I will explain why these photos are so suspicious.
Supporters of Obama spent a great deal of time trying to explain away these fradulent actions, but logic and subterfuge are no substitutes for having independent observers examine not only Obama's original birth certificate, but also a current COLB containing his current birth record -- two things that the American public have yet to see.
I've been working with computers, printers, and scanners, going back to 1969, and with graphic arts as far back as 1965, and given a set of printed letters, I can discern what kind of device made them. Printer output is quite different from the text created by a graphics program, and even if a document looks "official," it may not be. More importantly, graphically altered text in an image would look the same regardless of what was scanned to create the image.
For comparative purposes, shown below is the same copy of Obama's alleged ""original birth certificate," a.k.a, a COLB, that was posted June 12 on the Daily Kos website. Following the Kos image is the only other Hawaiian COLB found on the Internet at that time. I verified that finding by doing an exhaustive Internet search looking for any other COLB examples, only to come back to that same, single image:
Both of these images are in JPG format, which is the most commonly used format with scanners and digital cameras. The reason why JPGs are the preferred format is because they can compress a lot of picture information into a much smaller file size. For example, the image of the Kos COLB shown above would consume over 16 megabytes of file space if it were not compressed; but, as a compressed JPG image, it only consumes one-half of a megabyte of file space. The tradeoff in space savings, however, is a loss of fine detail that was present in the original image produced by a scanner or camera.
Like any printed certificate, the COLB has a border that "frames" the body of information it contains. The original COLB certificate is printed on an 8 1/2" x 11" letter-sized sheet of paper having a green-and-white "Rattan" pattern. The top part of the COLB is blank, and when removed, what remains is an 8 1/2" square of paper. The crosshatched border, however, measures 8.09" x 7.90" and is not exactly square. The COLB borders are changed from year to year as a way to distinguish them from other genuine COLBS, and from fraudulent COLBs whose date stamp (and other year-relevant information) does not corresponds to the border used that year.
Until I received a copy of a genuine 2007 COLB and confirmed that its borders were similar to Obama's COLB, critics were still taking issue with the look of its border, as compared to the borders on 2008 COLBs.
Once the COLB Genie was out of the bottle, other genuine COLBs started made their appearances on the Internet:
After seeing how differently the Obama COLB borders looked in comparison to these other COLB images, I also had issues about its validity and purpose. Yet, unlike other critics and researchers, verifying the border was never crucial to my investigation. From the very beginning, I theorized that the Obama COLB image had been "manufactured" using someone else's COLB as a template or starting point. I also made allowances for the possibility that a real 2007 COLB could have provided the border for the forgery, even if the rest of it was not used for the other components of the COLB. I had not actually seen what a genuine 2007 COLB looked like, so I focused my research on everything else that lay inside of the border. If the Obama COLB image was, in fact, graphically altered to make it look like an "official" birth certificate, then the border pattern would be inconsequential compared to passing off fraudulent information as genuine -- especially when no one else had ever seen a genuine 2007 COLB before.
Then, the unthinkable happended when I received a genuine 2007 COLB issued less than three months before Obama's COLB was allegedly issued to him or to one of his family members. It was a deal-breaker!
Here was a genuine 2007 COLB, with a border similar to the Obama COLB, that Obama supporters could triumphantly claim was proof that the Obama COLB was genuine. It was also a death knell for another researcher who had based his work on his claim that 2007 COLBs had the same border as 2008 COLBs (as shown above). Needless to say, I was also aware of other fabricated evidence that he produced, but I had pledged to a friend that I would keep the revelations to myself.
Before I ever received a genuine paper COLB, I had no idea how it would look and feel in person. The most surprising thing about the COLB is how thin is the paper that it's printed on. It's as thin and light as a piece of cheap copy paper. The green and white pattern is only on the front side, and whatever pattern that one sees on the reverse side is actually coming from the pattern on the front side.
While both the Daily Kos and Obama's website (aka, "Fight The Smears") posted trimmed copies of the same COLB image, FactCheck.org posted the letter-sized version of the same image copy. Although these three image copies are made from the same source image, they were intentionally made to look different from one another (this will be explained later on).
For display purposes, I am using the Kos copy of the image because it was the first one posted on the Internet, and the first one to catch my eye. Obama's "Fight the Smears" website posted their small, illegible copy of the image after the Kos did, and a week later, FactCheck.org posted theirs.
How Hawaii creates (and how one gets) a genuine Hawaiian COLB.
The entire Hawaiian Certification of Live Birth is a computer-generated graphic that is printed on specially patterned, green and white paper (as shown above). Usually, official certificates are printed on patterned paper that also have a ready-made border. As a safety measure (or as a recognition tool), Vital Records has generated different border patterns every year since November 2001, or when this form was put into service (as indicated by the footnote in the bottom left corner). Although the border patterns were changed annually, the border dimensions have remained the same (well...not exactly as I'll explain below).
The computer-generated COLB is like a form-fillable PDF file. In fact, you can order a copy of a Hawaiian COLB (if you're authorized to get one) by completing an order form that is a form-fillable PDF file on Hawaii's Vital Records website:
Certificate Order Form.
More than likely, what a computer operator at Vital Records gets to see, when responding to a request for a COLB, is a graphically-created template with blank fields that are replaced by the information requested on the order form. That's the Catch-22 in ordering a COLB: you only get back what you correctly request to see. If the name of the father on the form does not match the name of the father on the official birth record, then what you get back is a blank space where the father's name would be.
Once the birth record data has been inputted into the COLB form, it is then sent to a networked laser printer to be printed off on a sheet of COLB paper.
Recognizing "red flags" in an image forgery.
Transferring the computer-generated COLB into a high-quality image file can easily be done with any computer scanner (even with ones that cost less than $100). Scanning a full-sized letter document into a digital image file initially requires a lot of computer memory and file space. However, as a way to reduce the file size while maintaining some of the document quality, the image is saved in a compressed image file format known as JPG (pronounced, "Jay-Peg"). With JPG files, there is always a tradeoff between the file size and the amount of detailed information that can be saved in it. As a consequence of scanning text documents and saving them as JPG files, there will always be some degree of distortion in parts of the document image, particularly around areas of line art and text in the document.
However, the distortion patterns that I initially found when examining the text in the Obama COLB image, were ones that are not produced by either a printer, scanner, or the compression factor of the JPG image. Critics of mine have tried to explain away these patterns as "scanner artifacts" or "JPG arifacts," but to no avail. The anomalies that I found should not be there if a document was faithfully scanned from an original paper document. Yet, these anomalies are there for all to see, and are proof-positive that the text in an original image was deliberately altered, after the image was created, by someone using an image editing program.
Normally, there should be a lot of green pixels from the background showing up between the letters on the COLB, but there is noticeable lack of green pixels can be seen in the word BIRTH (taken from CITY, TOWN, OR LOCATION OF BIRTH) as shown in the following two examples. The first example is from the Obama COLB image followed by an example from the genuine 2007 COLB (which I will call "Dan's COLB")
Take a look at the area between the letters in the Obama COLB: very little, if any, hint of green from the background. Plenty of grey and white pixels instead -- exactly the pattern that would result from replacing the existing text with other text.
Now, look at the area in between the letters in Dan's COLB. Lots of green shades from the background -- exactly what should be there if an image is a genuine scan of a laser-printed document.
All of the type on this document was produced by the same graphics program. Whatever made the text for all of the headings also made the text for all of the entries.
Any text made by a typewriter, laser printer, or even inkjet printer, on a piece of colored paper, would have that color showing between the letters. When the paper is digitally scanned, it would still have some of that color showing between the letters. What it would not have, are only smeared, black & white pixels between them. Pixels are the dots that combine to make a digital image or photo. There would always be several pixels bearing the same color as the paper. Printed type produced by a graphics program will look about the same regardless of the magnification, with a minimal number of white and grey pixel patterns between the letters.
Here are some examples:
Here is the "HOUR OF BIRTH" header from Barack's COLB enlarged 5 times:
Here's the same data header taken from Dan's 2007 COLB scanned at the same resolution with the same amount of file compression.
This is how this text data should look on a genuine, unretouched document image.
Some of my original complaints about this COLB image was the lack of a signature from individuals within the State's Department of Health who are authorized to reproduce the document, and an embossed seal to certify that the document is genuine, along with a date stamp. However, the date stamp did bleed through from the other side, and it was clear enough to read with the naked eye: June 6, 2007.
Not long after this uproar, there were ways discovered for restoring this lost detail in the image. Via image enhancements, the seal, and the signature block were visible, albeit not nearly as evident as in the genuine image scans. However, a significant feature was not recovered at all in the Obama COLB -- and that is the second fold line that always appears in geniune COLBs.
In Part Two, I will explain how the forgery was made, and also demonstrate how to make one. I will also provide a full deconstruction of the phony photographs that FactCheck posted on August 16.
Is that your Final Answer? ;-)
Ping for later
Ping for later. Good work!
Also, thank you Polarik, for the time and effort you spent researching this project. You are greatly appreciated by those of us who have followed this issue.
OUr friend (sarcasm) Bill O ‘ Reilly took the wind out of our sails last night by proclaiming that right wingers were using smear tactics to mislead the public into thinking that Obama’s parents were not married and that he was born in Kenya.
Nice, straightforward presentation.
Obama is willing to SACRIFICE the lives of AMERICAN SOLDIERS to ADVANCE his POLITICAL career.
AND, he might not even be American???
This is surely TREASONGATE!!!!!!!!!
As I was reading, bho’s communist mentor Franklin Marshal Davis, wrote about seducing a “13 year old Ann”. Could it be we have a Barry Davis on our hands. It’s frieghtening.
Thanks for all of your hard work on this attempted travestry by Obama and his thugs.
Megadittos to that!!!!
I'm really looking forward to that!
This is how this text data should look on a genuine, unretouched document image.
Got to hand it to you, the way you set that out, even a dummy like me could understand...
You have done a fantastic job in explaining your work.I am looking forward to reading the second part.
I think you meant that praise for Polarik....
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.