The Final Word on Barack Obama’s Birth Certificate (Part 2)

Part 2: Allegations, Experts, and a Mystery Revealed

n Part 1 of this article, we took a good look at the “9 Points of Forgery” that Joe Arpaio, Mike Zullo, and Mark Gillar claimed they found in Barack Obama’s birth certificate.

We learned that those claims were not able to survive the light of reality. But we were also left with a two-part Mystery, which they brought up.

Three words line up nicely when you overlay one certificate with the other.

Why is it possible to line up certain words — specifically, “Honolulu,” “Oahu,” and “Oahu” — from Barack Obama’s birth certificate, and Johanna Ah’Nee’s, almost perfectly? And why are the angles on the date stamps as similar as they are? 

But before we solve our Mystery, let’s be sure we’ve done justice to Arpaio’s final press conference. After all, this was their Grand “Forgery” Finale.

In order to do that, there are two things we should comment on.

1. Zullo made several other allegations of “proof of forgery” during their final press conference. And,

2. Arpaio and Zullo claim to have real experts — “on two different continents” — who back up their conclusions.

So while the “9 Points of Forgery” are their major claims, they also have a couple of backup plans.

A second and third parachute, if you will, since the first one didn’t open.

Arpaio & Zullo’s Other Claims

Zullo claimed seven other things as “proof of forgery” in their Grand Finale conference. It’s easy to address these, because almost all of these claims have been debunked before.

Zullo says they acquired a Xerox office machine of the type Obama’s birth certificate was scanned on, and they were unable to exactly reproduce all of the effects in Obama’s PDF file.

That’s odd. Bloggers Reality Check and nbc were able to reproduce virtually every “anomaly” that birthers complained about just by taking a Xerox copier/ scanner, scanning an imperfect replica of Obama’s birth certificate to email using the default settings, and then opening it in Preview and rotating it 180 degrees — because someone put it on the copier upside down.

That’s it. That’s all that was needed. Scan, rotate, and save.

Aside from that, why on earth would Arpaio & Zullo ever expect to “exactly” reproduce every single effect?

In order to do that, they would have to have:

  • the exact same machine
  • in the same state of wear
  • running the exact same software version
  • with the exact same bulb brightness and color cast
  • with the exact same smudges and stray debris on the copier glass
  • scanning the exact same document
  • in the exact same position.

The only one of these they even claim to have had is the exact same software version.

But how do they know what software version was loaded onto the White House machine? 

They don’t. They can’t. Theoretically, it could’ve been the software version that was current in April 2011, or any earlier version of the same software — because software isn’t always kept up to date. Not even in the federal government.

So all of this is like an investigative team saying:

“We’re crack detectives. And we really want to believe that Mr. Boddy was shot from 15 feet across the conservatory, using the revolver. And he did indeed have a gaping bullet hole in his chest. But we stood up a crash-test dummy, and no matter how many times our guy shot the damn thing, he could never hit the exact same spot where Mr. Boddy was hit.”

“We couldn’t get the same blood splatter, either. And what’s more, we could never get the dummy to fall on the floor with its arms and legs in the exact same position as Mr. Boddy’s, and with the same grimace on its face.”

“We therefore conclude that Miss Scarlet killed Mr. Boddy in the kitchen with a candlestick.”

Aside from that, where was all of their desire to exactly reproduce every detail when they claimed that items were “copied” from Johanna Ah’Nee’s certificate onto Obama’s?

Completely nonexistent.

Zullo claimed that a couple of obscure grey bits hidden under a clipping mask (which was like a border or frame for the PDF image) are “pencil marks.”

These appear at the far right of the image, and Zullo correctly notes that they are not visible in the Savannah Guthrie photo.

This had been brought up long before their press conference. And it’s easily explained by smudges or stray debris on the copier glass.

Do you know of any busy office environment with a high-use scanner/ copier that’s totally free of such things? If you do, call me. I’d like to see it.

In fact, the grey areas along the edge don’t really even look like pencil marks. They look more like… smudges and/ or debris. You can see actual pencil marks — or, at least, a copy of a copy of them from the original long form — to the left. In the image above, they’re numbers used for counting statistics: 9, 9, 1.

And where on the copier glass do you most often tend to find smudges that miss getting cleaned off, and bits of debris? Right. Along the edges.

Zullo notes a “lack of metadata” in Obama’s PDF.

“Metadata” is information about the document itself. If a photo contains the date and time it was shot, for example, that’s metadata. In computer files, it can also mean things like what program was used to create the file.

And a lack of original metadata is precisely what you get when you open an image in Preview (the PDF viewing program on Mac OSX computers), rotate it, and save it again. Because Preview overwrites the original metadata.

Halos around the letters.

Blogger “Reality Check” had no difficulty reproducing halos around the letters using a Xerox scanner/ copier.

An allegation that the document started as a PDF file, was printed out, and then rescanned.

Where’s the evidence? With zero evidence, anybody can allege anything. The lack of evidence makes this a baseless accusation (more about those shortly).

Zullo goes on about the Associated Press image and the Savannah Guthrie photos (first photo, second photo).

I actually published a far more comprehensive (and more coherent) discussion of the PDF and the other three images in my book, months before Arpaio’s investigation began, and five years before this press conference.

That discussion was 18 pages long, and it showed that the AP and Guthrie images all but ruled out any theory that the image in Obama’s PDF had been significantly tampered with.

Why? Because they’re clearly different images of the same object, because these other images can’t possibly have come from the PDF, and because they all show the same thing.

Here’s just one of several verifications the State of Hawaii did of Obama’s birth there. However they worded it, it was never good enough for the birthers and people like Arpaio and Zullo.

Zullo says Hawaii validated the information, rather than the PDF file.

For the love of Mike.

The Hawaii Department of Health people are not public PDF examiners, provided at the courtesy of the State.

When they validate the information, that’s an official statement of, “Our official records confirm that Barack Obama was born in Honolulu on August 4, 1961.”

And of course, that’s exactly what they’re supposed to do.

That’s their job, and it’s exactly what they did. They’ve said again and again that they have the original birth documentation that confirms that Barack Obama was born in Honolulu.

All of that said, they did go further than that, by posting a link to the White House PDF, and noting, “On April 27, 2011 President Barack Obama posted a certified copy of his original Certificate of Live Birth.”

So they said it about every way possible. But according to Arpaio and Zullo, if they didn’t say, “Cross my heart and hope to die,” it doesn’t count.

So much for Zullo’s seven other claims.

In review, the “9 Points of Forgery” parachute has failed. The second, “But All This Other Stuff…” parachute has now failed as well. They only have one parachute left.

What About The Hired Experts That Arpaio & Zullo Quoted?

Here’s the strange thing about that:

Experts produce reports that detail and illustrate their findings. Those reports also explain exactly what they did, the results they got, and their conclusions — in detail.

Obviously, if those reports are well done and solidly back up your claims, then you’re going to want to release them to the public so that some actual proof — not just from a short video produced by Mark Gillar, but straight from your experts — is out there and people can see for themselves.

And when you’re making a big, BIG allegation — such as claiming that the birth certificate of the President of the United States is “100% a forgery” — people are really going to want to see those expert reports. 

So where are the reports?

Reed Hayes, a court qualified handwriting and document examiner in Honolulu, was hired by Arpaio and Zullo. He has some 40 years of handwriting related experience.

One of the two experts they quote, Reed Hayes, was hired by Arpaio way back in 2012. More than seven years later, Arpaio & Zullo have refused to ever let his report see the light of day.

Hayes has at least made a few public comments that amount to — my paraphrase, not a quote — “I produced an extensive report for Mike Zullo. Because he paid for it and owns it, I can’t say very much. Please ask Mr. Zullo instead. I will say that the PDF file looks really, really suspicious to me. However, I have never seen any original paper document, and I’m not able to declare anything with absolute, 100% certainty.”

Well, that would seem a bit less clear cut than the dramatic retelling by Zullo.

As for FORLAB, the group way over in Italy that Arpaio and Zullo hired? Here’s all the direct information we’ve ever been able to hear from those guys:

This lack of expert reports is not what you put forth when you have the experts really backing you up.

Could it be that those buried reports aren’t as strong as what Arpaio and Zullo were claiming?

A second issue here — at least in the case of Reed Hayes — is whether he was the right expert for this particular job.

I’ve actually spoken to Mr. Hayes on the phone. He sounds like an honest and professional individual. I have no doubt that he knows his business when it comes to handwriting analysis, which is his main specialty. He has decades of experience and has written at least half a dozen books on the topic.

However, he did confirm to me that the internal workings of computer graphics files are outside of his specialty. He has no experience with them.

And that would seem to be rather important in this case.

So… What About the Many Careful Analysts that Arpaio & Zullo Didn’t Quote?

All of the above caused me to wonder, in fact, whether Mike Zullo could possibly have set out to deliberately find an expert in a related field just distant enough that he perhaps wouldn’t look at some of the computer-related things in Obama’s birth certificate and say, “Well, that’s due to computer image optimization.”

Why might I ever suspect Zullo of expert-shopping like this? Well, in spite of Arpaio & Zullo’s repeated insistence that they only ever wanted to “clear the document” and find it genuine, they’ve made an entire career of dismissing and ignoring literally everyone who could have helped them do just that.


Instead, they have found and promoted just about anyone they could who would declare the birth certificate a “forgery.”

I was one of those that they brushed off and ignored, but I was far from the only one.

Published less than 4 months after Obama’s PDF was made public, the book has stood the test of time.
Although I correctly identified at the time that the phenomena in Obama’s PDF were the result of a computer algorithm, it was nearly two years before others pinpointed the source of that software as being inside a Xerox WorkCentre office machine.

When Sheriff Arpaio first announced an investigation into Obama’s birth certificate, I contacted the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. I offered them my assistance as the only person in the world ever to spend more than 500 hours carefully and meticulously examining every aspect of Obama’s birth certificate, honestly exploring every available theory of forgery, and writing a 221-page book about it.

Almost 9 years later, I’m still waiting to hear back from Sheriff Joe and his “Cold Case Posse.”

They did, however, mention me in their second press conference — just in passing, and in such a way as to sound as if they had considered everything I had to say and were able to safely dismiss it.

All without ever talking to me, even once.

Who else did they brush off? Well, for starters, up to and during their first two press conferences, Jerome Corsi was an integral part of Arpaio’s team. And World Net Daily, the publication Corsi works for, had already hired the following three experts to examine Obama’s PDF file.

  • Jim Pex of International Forensic Experts LLC
  • Jon Berryhill, of Berryhill Computer Forensics
  • Ivan Zatkovich, of eComputer Consultants (report here)

None of them found it to be a “forgery.”

Aaron Klein of World Net Daily (“WND”) described these men as “some of the nation’s foremost forensic graphic analysts” when he revealed their names on his radio show on May 1, 2011 (sound clip below, edited to condense Klein’s comments).

To Klein’s credit, he also publicly admits that even though they noted the image had been changed in some way — “very likely enhanced so that we can better read it” — none of them found any evidence of forgery. Klein adds, “I believe that this document is absolutely real. There is no evidence that it is not.”

For a transcript of Mr. Klein’s full comments, see here. And by the way, Aaron Klein was certainly no fan of Mr. Obama — he coauthored not one but three anti-Obama books.

Arpaio and his team were clearly monitoring the extensive online debate. They therefore could not have missed the other highly-credentialed experts who had given opinions that there was, in fact, nothing particularly suspicious about the “anomalies” in Obama’s birth certificate.

These included:

  • Dr. Neal Krawetz, security expert, expert on faked images, and forensic software author (see here and here)
  • Ken Colburn, of Data Doctors Computer Services & Data Forensics Labs
  • Professor Ricardo de Queiroz, former research scientist for Xerox and multiple patent holder for methods of compression technology similar to that which produced most if not all of the “anomalies” in Obama’s PDF
  • Nathan Goulding, Chief Technology Officer for National Review
  • Jean Claude Tremblay, an expert in Adobe’s PDF technology

And there were others, perhaps a bit less recognized, who had done careful, irrefutable and often very extensive work as well:

  • Kevin Davidson, who spent an entire career working “for and with local, state and federal government agencies, primarily dealing with health care and vital records data systems.”
  • Reality Check,” a blogger and internet talk radio host who chose not to reveal his real name in order to avoid interference with his day job. He verified that a Xerox WorkCentre produces a file virtually identical to Obama’s PDF if you simply scan a similar document to email using the default settings.
  • Frank Arduini, an IT executive who refuted Mara Zebest’s first report.

The list of analysts Arpaio and his team brushed off or ignored is long, including some who are court-recognized experts, at least two with PhDs, most with decades of relevant experience. All did careful work.
Arpaio & Zullo never published or publicized any of their hundreds of pages of analysis, or their conclusions.

The list of such people is long.

Arpaio and Zullo never made any of these a part of their investigative team, or produced any of their reports.

Based on the actions of Arpaio and Zullo, I personally can’t find any way to conclude anything other than that they ignored or dismissed every possible expert who might “clear the document,” and latched on to every possible expert they could find who might declare it a forgery, or even “suspicious.”

They did this even when they had to use people who didn’t have especially relevant expertise or credentials.

Photoshop writer Mara Zebest was one of Arpaio’s featured experts.
Yeah, I didn’t get the stripes, either. Must be an artist thing.

  • Mara Zebest was one of their quoted experts — but her main skills were in Photoshop. However, Photoshop wasn’t used to produce the birth certificate. And Zebest demonstrated an ability to come up with the wrong answers, even in dealing with basic computer graphics — as in this rather stunning case. She did, however, produce artistic, beautifully formatted reports.
Garrett Papit, Quoted by Arpaio's Posse

Garrett Papit went beyond the bounds of his expertise.

  • Garrett Papit was a genuine computer professional, but one who went beyond the bounds of his knowledge.  How do we know this? It was illustrated when he proclaimed that the kind of image optimization used in Obama’s birth certificate only ever produces a single 1-bit transparent text layer. That idea was quickly shot down by world-class expert Professor Ricardo de Queiroz, who actually invented a lot of the technology in question, and who holds at least half a dozen patents on it.
  • Tim Selaty, Jr. was another of Arpaio’s experts — when he was approximately 22 years old. (As I said at the time, you might easily wonder: Why, exactly, was Arpaio’s Posse relying on a 22 year old for an “expert opinion” regarding the birth certificate of the President of the United States?)

By the way, they selectively quoted Selaty, but never showed his report, which seemed in conflict with some of their other claims… such as the claim that the birth certificate was hand-constructed.

So the testimony of those they quoted wasn’t even consistent. And yet it was those they relied on, and not on others.

Does anybody see any kind of pattern here?

And guess what? As far as I can tell, every claim of “proof of forgery” from every report that Arpaio’s “Cold Case Posse” officially published or promoted, and from all three of their press conferences, has been shown to be baseless or false by at least one of the analysts whose work they never, ever presented.

Not once.

And the work of those critics runs into the hundreds of pages.

Their third parachute — the “Experts Back Us Up” parachute — has therefore failed, and all of their claims come crashing to the ground.


Oddly, Arpaio and Zullo refused to take even one single question at the end of their final press conference.

So it was really less of a press conference, and more of a press-invited information dump. Regardless, I’m sure all of us can agree with the now-former Sheriff Arpaio in his closing point:

Presidents should be vented.

Okay, I Promised You a Second Jaw-Dropper.

Here it is.

The day after the press conference, Mike Zullo admitted in an internet radio interview (at 1:35:38) that — instead of the Obama PDF being simply a hand-created forgery, as they had previously so loudly claimed — the image was created by a Xerox WorkCentre 7655, just as their critics had said:

“We took the tax returns from President Obama in 2011, we took the birth certificate that was released in 2011, and I had the forensics team over in Italy decipher the metadata that was actually in the tax return — that does have metadata — and we compared the quantization tables in both documents, and they actually did determine that it was indeed a 7655 copier that created both of those images. So now we knew there was a 7655 involved.”

No wonder we’ve never seen the report from FORLAB over in Italy.

That wasn’t misspoken. Just a month ago, over 3 years after their final press conference, their team member and video guy Mark Gillar admitted on Twitter:

I really couldn’t put it much better than a commenter to this blog:

“So the layers came from a Xerox 7655 except for the ones that were copied from the Ah’Nee certificate? Really? That’s ridiculous.”

Yes. It is.

They had previously claimed — through Mara Zebest’s “expert report” — that “this computer generated image never started out as a paper source document and was never scanned in as described by the White House—it was digitally created and manufactured.”

Now they admit otherwise.

And speaking of those troublesome layers that they had claimed were proof of “forgery”… Here’s what happened when they ran experiments (1:38:32 in Zullo’s interview):

“We could get really close, within one layer of the Obama certificate, but we could never get it to pull over the same information that it did off the Obama certificate. And the other thing that we couldn’t do is the haloing around the letters. The 7655 does have an ability to create haloing, but it’s not the same haloing that’s around the Obama certificate.”

That’s how close even they got to duplicating Mr. Boddy’s murder using their crash-test dummy (see the previous analogy above).

Now compare this very quiet admission with what Zullo had said publicly the day before, that they were motivated and committed to do (time stamp: 34:38 in the press conference video):

“This is about the truth. And there were a couple of times, I went to the sheriff and I said, ‘You know, Sheriff, we may find out that we’re wrong on this.’ First thing out of his mouth — ‘Well, we’re holding a press conference, we’re gonna tell the world we were wrong.’ You’re right we are.”

And yet here they were, holding their big press conference, and they never said one single word about having been wrong about their previous claims.

Their Theory Is Baseless.

If you want to go down their rabbit-hole, here’s the theory: That someone – and it would have to have been somebody inside the Hawaii Department of Health – went through and took a bunch of different 1961 birth certificates, including Johanna Ah’Nee’s, and copied elements from those to create Obama’s birth certificate.

It’s a nice theory. And like all such theories, it has the benefit of being something that is very difficult to thoroughly, absolutely, 100% disprove.

The problem is: There’s no real evidence for it whatsoever, and every bit of credible evidence in existence contradicts it.

This is what’s known as a baseless allegation.

Here are a couple of others.

“Mike Zullo is secretly a Communist. This is well known, and he has never bothered to deny it. He’s made many trips to Cuba in the 1990s, and had a romance with a niece of Ricardo Alarcón, the third most powerful Cuban official, until she threw him out of her apartment.”

Doesn’t that mustache look familiar?

Now this might not be true – but it’s been alleged… and can Zullo disprove it? Hmm?

And if he isn’t a Communist… well, why doesn’t he publicly come right out and say so?

As a lot of the birthers were fond of saying: “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire!”

Let’s try another one:

“Joe Arpaio is the Zodiac Killer, who was never caught. It’s pretty obvious… Arizona is right next door to California, and Arpaio understands police procedures, so he knows how to get away. AND he was the absolute right age – around 35 years old at the time of the Zodiac killings.”

We even have REAL photographic proof for this one!!

Just take away the wrinkles and imagine a younger Arpaio. Thirty-five years old, and on the prowl…

Look. Those same eyes. Those glasses. And he even has the exact same expression on his face!

All of this is nonsense, of course.

And that’s the entire point.

Just like they have zero credible evidence of a forgery, I have no good evidence whatsoever that Mike Zullo is a Communist, or that he dated Ricardo Alcarón’s niece, or that Joe Arpaio was the Zodiac killer.

Of course, unlike them, I haven’t yet conducted a five-year investigation into the matter, so I certainly can’t say with absolute, 100% certainty that such evidence doesn’t exist…

And it does make you wonder, doesn’t it?

Especially those glasses…

Anyway, I wonder how Arpaio would feel if some sheriff somewhere launched a nationally-promoted five-year-long investigation into whether he was the Zodiac killer…

I’m guessing not quite as great as he feels about the birth certificate investigation?

If you make your baseless accusations sensational, so as to catch the imagination, and especially if some people really dislike the person who’s the object of the accusation, they can really catch fire. And they’re hard to 100% disprove. “Was Joe Arpaio really the Zodiac killer? We may never know…”

But they’re nonsense. They’re BS. And we do nobody, and certainly not ourselves, any favors by believing them.

Even if we don’t like the accused or want to try and harm them politically. And it doesn’t really matter whether the baseless accusations are made against Barack Obama or Joe Arpaio.

Because every time we entertain such a baseless accusation, and every time we spread it, every time we hit the “Share” button on Facebook and pass such nonsense on, we degrade our public discourse.

Because baseless, 99% of the time, is really just another word for false.

And every time we personally believe baseless accusations, we show ourselves to be gullible. And we also reward those who are well-meaning but incompetent with the truth, as well as all of the shady little grifters who deliberately push such rumors for their own unscrupulous gain.

So We’ve Seen Some Incompetence on the Part of Arpaio’s Team. But Is There Also Anything That They Might Have to Gain from Baseless Claims of “Forgery?”

Is there any reason Joe Arpaio might have to push a false narrative?

Well, yes, it appears that there are millions of potential reasons.

In the 2014 documentary, The Joe Show,” Arpaio says, “It’s amazing what I say, and what I do, what I get away with. It’s amazing.

At one point in the film, Arpaio is discussing the Obama birth certificate “investigation” with his 2012 reelection campaign manager, Chad Willems, who tells him it makes him look like a nut.

“There ain’t gonna be no damage control,” Arpaio responds. “You’ll get more money [in campaign contributions] than you’ll know what to do with.”

Later in the documentary, Willems confirms this:

“Now, with Arpaio going to battle with Barack Obama, it’s meant literally millions of dollars for his campaign.”

How did Arpaio “go to battle with Barack Obama?” Partly on immigration, but perhaps most famously by accusing Mr. Obama of having a fake birth certificate.

Arpaio was first elected in 1993, and has been calling himself “America’s Toughest Sheriff” at least since 1996. Arpaio started his tough campaign against illegal immigration in 2005.

Both of those things helped popularize him. His 2008 campaign cost $610,000, which is a lot of money to raise.

But in 2012, he raised and spent $8.2 million.

So what changed between 2008 and 2012, to give him an extra $7.6 million in donations? Undoubtedly, he gained some additional fame for his illegal immigration stance.

But he also launched his baseless crusade about President Obama’s birth certificate, holding two high-profile press conferences in March and July of that election year.

In 2016, he raised a whopping $12.8 million.

And as much as 80% of his 2012 campaign funds came from out of state.

It was the same story in 2016.

If you do just a little math —  going from $610,000 per election cycle to what he raised later — you’ll see that during the 2012 and 2016 cycles, he raised in total nearly $20 million more than you might have expected based on his earlier total.

And most of this has come from people not just outside of Maricopa County, but outside of Arizona.

How much of this $20 million or so is due to publicity from his bogus investigation of Barack Obama’s birth certificate? It’s difficult to say, but however you cut it, it has to add up to millions.

And I haven’t even counted the money Arpaio’s raised for his legal defense fund — when he was on trial for criminal contempt of court — or for his failed 2018 Senate bid. Nor have I attempted to count money raised and spent on his behalf by outside political action committees (PACs).

This year — 2020 — Arpaio is running to try and recapture his old office as Sheriff of Maricopa County. To date, he’s raised far more than the current Sheriff who replaced him in 2016 — and once again, with about 7 out of every 8 of his larger donations coming from out of state.

This bogus investigation hasn’t just been a cash cow for Arpaio.

It’s been a whole damn dairy. 

And that, I think, is all we need to say about Arpaio, his Cold Case Posse, and their “forgery” claims.

But before we conclude, I promised we would solve the final puzzle that they raised.

The Mystery Solved; the Murderer Revealed At Last!

The detective has gathered all of the suspects in the drawing room.

He twirls his mustache, and begins.

The Mystery before us, my friends, is: Why do certain words line up almost perfectly when you do a transparent overlay of Obama’s birth certificate, and Johanna Ah’Nee’s — if they were not copied from one certificate to the other?

Like you, perhaps, I at first thought it was simple. Surely the typist must have used tab stops —  and both certificates had been typed on the same typewriter.

Ah, but a closer look shows that it is not so simple at all. If that were the solution, then all of the other fields on both certificates — or at least almost all of them — would have lined up as well. And as you can see from an inspection of the above image, they do not.

We can therefore eliminate our first suspect: It was not due to tab stops.

I spoke about this the other day with a friend who has followed the birth certificate debates closely. He put forth the theory that only those three fields had been typed using tab stops. But again, if you examine the overlay, this makes no sense at all. Why those fields only? If the typist used tab stops for those fields, then why not the other “Honolulu” and the “Honolulu, Hawaii” as well?

No, this will never do. We can therefore eliminate this second suspect, that of only three tab stops, as well.

“But surely,” my friend protested, “those words were often used — they were preprinted on the form!”

Ah, but no. For there was only one form for the birth certificates in Hawaii. It would have been expensive and unnecessary to print up a special one for just those births in Honolulu. And in any event, we have already seen that those particular words, on both certificates, have in fact been typewritten — and when you overlay them, one over the other, the specific letters do not exactly match.

Our third suspect — preprinted forms — had not the opportunity, and is not the murderer.

It is here that we begin to feel that sense of being stumped that any good Mystery provides. If none of our three suspects killed our Mr. Boddy, then who did?

And it was here that I realized that I needed to approach this problem in a more careful and systematic way.

It may be useful, for comparison, to have all of our known Hawaii birth certificates of the era available to us. Of these, there are nine. They include the certificates (in order below) of Obama, Ah’Nee, the two Nordyke twins, Edith Coats, Bruce Henderson, a boy named Alan, an anonymous boy from 1959, and the ragged but quite readable certificate of James Gravely, Jr. You may click on any of these for a large view.


Who Prepared the Birth Forms?

We might start by asking: Where were the Obama and Ah’Nee certificates prepared? The information on them tells us that these two certificates were processed in the same Registrar’s office — and by the same Registrar — Ms. Verna K L Lee.

But were they typed there? It is not likely. No, they had to have been typed earlier, and by someone with the birth information – else they could not have been signed on a previous date. Another certificate bears a signature nine days before the Registrar’s stamp.

The original long form contains the signatures of both a parent (in both cases, the mother) and of the birth attendant.

In Ah’Nee’s case, this was Dr. Noboru Ogami, who died at age 87 some five days before Obama’s birth certificate PDF was uploaded to the White House web site. And so, he missed this drama entirely. The birthers would undoubtedly have made something of his death — but in any situation with a large number of facts, there are a few things that simply, by sheer chance, coincide. It is mathematically inevitable. Perhaps the greater miracle is that he almost lived to see it. But he was not Obama’s birth doctor, in any event, although he was at the same hospital.

In Obama’s case, the physician was Dr. David Sinclair, who passed away in 2003, at the slightly younger age of 81.

But here is what is significant: In all nine birth certificates from the era, the certificate appears to have been signed first by the parent, then by the birth attendant, and then processed by the Registrar.

Five births took place at Kapiolani. These include Obama’s and Ah’Nee’s. And in every instance of a Kapiolani birth, the birth certificate was processed by the Registrar the same day it was signed by the birth attendant.

I do not know precisely where the Registrar’s office was in 1961 and 1962. I do know that Kapiolani was in the same place it is now. And today, it is only about five minutes from one to the other.

But no matter. Obviously, they were close. Perhaps someone at Kapiolani made it a standard practice to obtain signatures from all the available birth attendants in the morning, and then took all signed and ready certificates to the Registrar, where they were processed in the afternoon.

But before each certificate was signed by the birth attendant, it was signed by the parent. In every instance but two, this took place on an earlier day. In the case of Edith Coats, born at Wahiawa, some 20 miles away from Honolulu, and in the case of Alan, born at Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, the parent and birth attendant signed on the same day.

Two or three parents of the eight in total — the Nordyke sisters were twins, remember? — signed their certificates on the day of birth. Those were perhaps easy births, and one of those was Johanna Ah’Nee. One parent is known to have signed a day later. For Eleanor Nordyke, mother of the twins, it was two days. And in Obama’s case, and two others, the parent signed three days after birth.

But before the parent signed the certificate, there had to be something to sign.

And we have another clue as to how these certificates were processed. The “g” in the word “August” is quite different on Bruce Henderson’s certificate, processed by the Registrar less than a month after Obama’s, and only a week after Ah’Nee’s. This indicates a different typewriter was used.

We may reasonably conclude, therefore, that the original, long birth forms were prepared — typed up — by a nurse or administrator at the hospital of birth.

In all of 1961, a total of 14,874 children were born in Honolulu, or about 40 per day. We know from our certificates that some babies were born at the Kaiser, Kuakini and Tripler medical centers, and a quick Google search turns up a book on the Queen’s Medical Center written by a man who was born there in 1961. So expectant mothers had at least five hospitals to choose from.

Kapiolani seems to have been the most popular hospital in Honolulu. But even if they had 20 births per day, they would not have required a terribly large department to process. If entering the information takes 15 minutes — perhaps a generous estimate — even 20 births per day would represent five person-hours of work at the typewriter.

Possibly there was a single typewriter on which all Kapiolani birth certificates were typed. It seems more likely, however, that there were two or three machines of the same model. At a minimum, there ought to have been at least two, in case one broke down.

In either case — whether the same machine, or the same model — both the spacing and the font would have been the same.

This, of course, is why you can overlay a word such as “Honolulu” from both certificates, and the images fit.

And “Honolulu” and “Oahu” on both certificates can be lined up if they happen to be the same number of spaces apart.

The Mystery, then is why these words — and not others — happen to be the same number of spaces apart.

If you overlay either the Obama certificate, or the Ah’Nee certificate, with one from the Nordyke twins — or in fact, with any of the other seven birth certificates — you will not see this effect.

What is it that is so different — in a sense, so special — about Barack Obama’s birth certificate, and Johanna Ah’Nee’s?

It is almost as if these two particular certificates of birth, prepared some 16 days apart, have some secret… connection… one with the other.

You see it in the words “Honolulu”… “Oahu”… “Oahu.” But oddly, you also see it in the date stamps. Oddly, because the date stamps had to have been applied in a different office from where it was typed. 

To explore the possibility of this mysterious connection, I knew I had to dig deeper. I started by lining up the typing on both certificates — and I also created a grid that would further inform me about the relative placement of each letter. Note that I have lined the two forms up as close as they can get — while still snapping the letters into place.

And just as before, Honolulu, Oahu, and Oahu line up.

The grid will allow us to look at the relative placement of every single item of information on these two certificates. (You can get a greatly enlarged view of the image below by clicking to open the full image in another window, and then clicking again to maximize the image.)

There are 30 pieces of information on the form that are filled in that aren’t check boxes. Check boxes, of course, have to be marked in the same place, so there is no need for us to consider their alignment.

Of these, I previously discovered that the Sex, Month, and Day items on Obama’s form had to have been filled in as a separate line on Obama’s form. After that, the form had been either removed entirely and fed back into the typewriter, or the platen was released and the form readjusted. The giveaway is that these fields — all on one line — do not line up with anything else. (For a full discussion of this, see pages 193-200 of my book.)

So — as with the check boxes — we can’t compare the alignment of those as apples to apples.

And it’s obvious that the typist had to make a special adjustment to cram in the mixed-race descriptions of Johanna’s Ah’Nee’s parents. Johanna also has three middle names, not one, which required a big adjustment as well.

This leaves us with 24 remaining apples-to-apples fields that we can compare as to their placement.

At this point, I made a list — of where the beginning of the word for the newborn Obama child falls, in relation to the corresponding word on Ah’Nee’s certificate:

First name – 2 spaces past
Last Name – 2 spaces before
Year – 1 space before
Time – 1 space before
Honolulu – aligned
Oahu – aligned
Kapiolani – 1 space past
Honolulu – 1 space before
Oahu – aligned
Honolulu, Hawaii – 1 space past
Street address – 1 space before
Father first name – aligned
Father middle name – 1 space past
Father last name – 1 space past
Age of Father – 1 space past
Father birthplace – 4 spaces before
Usual Occupation – aligned
Kind of Business or Industry – aligned
Mother First Name – 1 space past
Mother Middle Name – 3 spaces past
Mother Maiden Name – 2 spaces before
Age of Mother – aligned
Mother Birthplace – 1 space before
Occupation – 2 spaces past

When we total these, we see:

4 spaces before: *
3 spaces before:
2 spaces before: **
1 space before: *****
aligned: *******
1 space past: ******
2 spaces past: **
3 spaces past: *

And now let’s turn this sideways for a comparison (with the “aligned” events in red):

And now the picture emerges.

It is striking. Do you see what I see? There’s a very clear and definite pattern here.

This is what in statistics is called a “normal distribution.” (Well, technically, it’s a binomial distribution — but for practical purposes, the two are almost the same.)

I’m sure you’ve seen the same kind of curve before in a chart.

This type of distribution is precisely what you get when events cluster around the same point — but with a certain degree of random chance.

The most common event of all is that the same items on both certificates landed in the same space. They align. This is true not only of “Honolulu,” “Oahu,” and “Oahu,” but of other fields as well.

The times of birth. The first name of the father. His occupation and type of business. The age of the mother.

We do not notice them because — unlike “Honolulu,” “Oahu,” and “Oahu,” they contain different information. And yet, they are just as much aligned.

The second most common event is that the fields landed within one space of each other. Five times, Obama’s came first, and six times, Ah’Nee’s came first.

In the third most common case, they landed within two spaces of each other.

And in only a couple of instances, they landed 3 or 4 spaces apart.

Always, Obama’s was just about as likely to come first as Ah’Nee’s.

The only item that even seems to be an outlier — a full four spaces early — is Obama’s father’s place of birth.

But is it, really? Or is it simply that the typist allowed extra room for “Kenya, East Africa,” not quite knowing how much room it was going to take?

In this normal curve, we see the element of random chance. But we also noted that random chance has to cluster around the same point. The typed fields on the two certificates had to be aimed at the precise same place. 

And why would they have been aimed at the precise same place?

Because both certificates were typed by the same person.

A person who had typed many of these certificates before.

And this person knew that if she — whether administrative assistant or maternity nurse, the typist would surely have been female — started the word “Honolulu” near the end of the word “Rural” on the form, it would be almost perfectly centered in the box.

She knew that beginning the word “Oahu” under the tail-end of “Year,” and the second “Honolulu” approximately under the colon in the line above, and “Oahu” near the end of “Island” would produce the same centering effect.

And she was a stickler for detail. She wanted her certificates to look just right.

And so we see on both certificates, the touch of an artist — who would no doubt be gratified to know that one of those carefully-typed, meticulously-centered newborn-baby birth certificates that she had prepared on an August day of 1961 would one day belong…

To the President of the United States.

Is it possible to be wrong about this? Of course. We do not have a video camera that will allow us to go back in time and see for sure.

But what are the chances? In order for our theory to be wrong, it would require two different people, on a very small staff of individuals who typed up long-form birth certificates at Kapiolani, to have prepared them in almost precisely the same way.

And this would require both of those persons to have had enough experience in doing so to get the items of information well-centered in almost every field.

If either one of those had a tendency to place items a bit off center, either to the left or the right, we would see a tendency for one of the certificates — either Obama’s, or Ah’Nee’s — to have its items come first. And this, we do not see.

So we would have to have two typists who consistently place things in almost exactly the same place.

That this does not seem likely is shown by the other seven certificates we have. Not one of them shows the same kind of skill at centering, or the same consistency, as the Obama and Ah’Nee certificates do.

Most of the typists — those who typed for Edith Coats, Bruce Henderson, and the ragged 1961 certificate — placed the majority of items at the beginning of the box. The typist who did the two Nordyke certificates, and the typist for the 1959 one, were rather random.

And what leads me to believe that the same typist typed both of the twins’ certificates?

If you will examine the six instances of the word “Honolulu” on the twins’ certificates, you will see that in at least two out of the three occurrences on each one, the second “o” appears to be lightly struck — an effect which you will see nowhere on any other certificate. And all nine certificates contain the word “Honolulu.”

We are left now with only the second and much smaller part of the Mystery.

The Angles of the Date Stamps

We have seen that the date stamps in the Obama and Ah’Nee certificates are similarly — though not quite identically — angled.

If we look at all of our certificates, we will see that the birth certificate person at Kapiolani wasn’t the only person who showed some consistency. Six of our nine certificates are signed by Registrar Verna K. L. Lee.

And of the 12 date stamps on these certificates, the most leftward tilted stamp of all doesn’t vary from the most rightward-tilted stamp by more than some five degrees in total. Most of the stamps, of course, are closer than that.

Not one of them transgresses the words at the top of the box or the line at bottom by very much, and seven out of the twelve don’t touch either the words or the line.

This was consistency, and especially in the angle, which in every instance is within just two or three degrees of level with the line of the form.

It is possible that a seventh certificate — Alan’s, with the Local Registrar signature blacked out, but the Local Registrar was obviously a military officer — may have been stamped by Ms. Lee as the Registrar General as well. The Registrar General date stamp is almost perfectly level, and is cleanly within the box. Of course, we cannot say for sure.

In all cases except for Alan’s, it appears that the Local Registrar and the Registrar General were the same. The similarity of the stamps is a clue. Not only are they always the same date; they always even seem to have about the same level of ink, and the stamping style on each certificate is similar.

Compare the stamps with the Lee signature with the ones placed on the Nordyke twins’ certificates, signed by Deputy Registrar Beatrice L. Ygnacio, shown at bottom above. Of the four Ygnacio stamps, three are either more sharply angled, or cross the bottom line. The Lee stamps are careful; the Ygnacio ones are haphazard.

And so, Johanna — it appears that you have something else in common with President Obama, besides being born in the same hospital, only 19 days apart.

Not only does it appear that the same hand that prepared the President’s birth certificate also prepared yours, both yours and his were also processed — as were most Hawaii birth certificates, it seems — by Verna K. Lee as Registrar.

And now you know.

A Final Word

Before beginning this article, I had thought that probably everything that might be known about Barack Obama’s birth certificate had been discovered. It turns out there was one more little hidden gem buried in the mists of history.

When I began my own personal investigation of Obama’s birth certificate in April of 2011, I was under the belief that while it was possible to show that allegations of forgery were baseless or false, it would probably never be possible to look at a few images of the certificate from the internet and render a judgment that the original was real.

While strictly speaking, this still must be the case, I will go on record as saying publicly, for the first time, that I personally am completely convinced that Barack Obama was born in Honolulu on August 4, 1961, and that the long-form birth certificate whose secondhand images we have seen is entirely and absolutely authentic.

My reasons for this are that not only do we have the testimony of the State of Hawaii — including officials from both major parties — and not only do we have a great mountain of other evidence that Obama was indeed born in Hawaii, but it is inconceivable to me that this document could pass all of the scrutiny it has gone through if it were not utterly genuine.

When you consider the large numbers of people who have spent so many hours considering its contents, it is undoubtedly, by far, the most-examined one-page document in human history.

And there are so many little things that point toward authenticity.

When this document was uploaded to the White House web site, for example, it already contained every subtle clue that would eventually lead us, nine years later, to conclude that it had almost certainly been typed by the same person who typed the birth certificate of Johanna Ah’Nee.

And yet, that certificate, in April of 2011, was safely locked in Johanna’s filing cabinet, and would not become known to the public, through the chance of a friend who happened to know an interested writer, for almost another five months.

So many times in the past, when I investigated something that someone claimed to be a problem, I ended up finding one or more other little details that whispered instead, “I am genuine.”

And this time also — this last time — that has turned out to be the case.

Epilog: After writing this, I acquired images of two new certificates: those of Vince Ebata and Brian Hoekstra. All evidence in these certificates is fully in harmony with, and further supports, the conclusions reached in this article. A brief discussion is here.

Posted in Conclusions, New Information, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, What's Happening | 21 Comments

The Final Word on Barack Obama’s Birth Certificate

Part 1: A Forensic Look at Arpaio’s “9 Points of Forgery”

Former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio turned claims of "forgery" into national publicity.

Former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio turned claims of “forgery” into national publicity.

ay back in 2012, after becoming the guy who wrote the book on Obama’s birth certificate – literally – and after dutifully following up on the resulting comments and debates for a year afterward, I publicly retired from commenting on the subject.

By that fall, I felt that just about everything had been said that needed to be. Various people had brought forward a huge number of claims that Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States, was just not eligible to that office. Other folks, including myself, had given a fair, careful and honest hearing to the mountain of evidence they piled up, and produced carefully thought-through responses that showed clearly that not a single one of these claims held up under honest scrutiny.

Every single allegation they had made to that point – yes, every single one – had been shown to be either baseless, irrelevant, or just plain false.

I made this graphic in 2012 to illustrate my summary of “birther” claims that had collapsed under scrutiny.

I even wrote an article summarizing a whopping 118 claims that had failed to hold up under the light of day.

Today, America seems to be once again stumbling through a fog of public confusion, misinformation, and even outright disinformation. This time, it isn’t to do with Obama’s eligibility. It’s a bunch of other things. People argue over them, and they usually get nowhere.

And yet, the truth is out there. And most of the time, even in the case of complicated and controversial issues, it can be known.

This great problem has sparked the creation of a new project – that I’m currently involved with – dedicated to helping all of us quickly tell the difference between truth and all kinds of doubtful stories, on any and every potential topic. It gives people on both sides of any issue the opportunity to compactly make their entire case. It organizes all of the arguments clearly and briefly, points to the evidence, and then lets people make up their own minds. is designed to be a fair, unbiased, and non-partisan truth engine.

And one of the issues we’re mapping out for you is that of Obama’s birth certificate.

Because of this, and since I personally never publicly responded to what seem to be the final major claims that Obama’s birth certificate is a “forged document,” I’ve decided to finally step forward and openly examine those.

So welcome, my friend, to The Final Forensic Analysis – and (Hopefully) the Final Word – on Obama’s Birth Certificate.

Officially, the Final Original Claims of “Forgery” Are In.

Back in December of 2016, Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona was on his way, reluctantly, out the door. After a series of troublesome issues – not the least of which was being put on trial for criminal contempt of court – Arpaio had lost his reelection bid to opponent Paul Penzone.

On his way out, “Sheriff Joe” held a press conference, in which he once again claimed to have proof positive that Barack Obama’s long-form birth certificate is “a 100% forgery, no doubt about it.” This was also, he said, the final wrap-up of an epic 5-year investigation.

The Sheriff and his investigative team claim to have proven
9 Points of Forgery.

Arpaio and his assistants, Mike Zullo and Mark Gillar, more or less tossed out all of their previous claims – or at least stopped pushing most of them – and trotted out nine new ones.

This was probably a good move, since their earlier claims had been well debunked, and since it had become known that Arpaio’s “Cold Case Posse” seems to have faked some of their key “evidence” in the last major press conference they had held on the subject. (Oops.) I can imagine that it would have been an embarrassment for them if somebody had brought that up.

[Aside: For a fairly long tour of some of that previous destruction of their earlier “forgery” claims, which involved quite a few people other than just myself, you could visit here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. For an even longer tour, you could spend a few hours or days exploring Kevin Davidson’s excellent site.]

By the way, Arpaio and his team never really responded to the charges and the evidence of their wrongdoing. Maybe there wasn’t much they could say.

But let’s not dwell on the past. Our purpose today is to professionally check and respond to their final claims that they have “proven a forgery.”

Now let me be clear: Even at this very late date, if I find any genuine, non-imaginary evidence that Obama’s birth certificate is in fact a forgery, I will tell you.

Arpaio has said, again and again, that his goal was “to clear the President” or “to be able to clear the document.”

If that was his goal, he’s gone about it in a really, really strange way. But… that’s what he says. So we’ll go with it.

Personally, I didn’t begin so charitably. I actually started out in the spring of 2011 just hoping that I could find some good evidence that Obama’s birth certificate was in fact forged.

Some of that had to do with the fact that I was a life-long Republican. Some of it had to do with the sheer possibility, even if it was a long shot, of changing history.

And of course it didn’t hurt that if I were to succeed, some pretty large form of national fame and fortune would almost certainly follow. At the very least, there might be some help with the college expenses for our six kids.

And so, I searched high and low, and day and night.

I never found any such evidence, in 2011, or in 2012, or at any time up until this week, when I began this fresh evaluation of Arpaio’s latest claims.

Now for the sake of full disclosure, I will make it clear that my general outlook on our politics has shifted since I first examined Obama’s birth certificate.

In the nine years since I started this journey, I’ve stopped basing my politics on ideology — and I had been fairly well steeped in the conservative side of this — and started basing it instead on a simple question that I think every one us ought to be asking:

“What’s in the best interest of the American People, and the future of our nation?”

Politically, I think that’s our key question. So I would describe myself differently today. I don’t tend to use ideological terms.

But in any event, my commitment to the truth is still exactly the same. Regardless of whether the truth were to help or hurt any particular side of the political aisle, I’m going to tell you the truth.

Because whatever your political philosophy may be, we are going to be far, far better off if we base our political discourse on truth and reality, than if we don’t.

So for this round… well, I’m not going to give the results away up front. I will tell you, though, that this journey has been an entertaining one, and I think you will enjoy the rest of the story.

Why? Because this is a pretty darn interesting little investigation. It has at least two jaw-dropping moments. And besides those, I’ve also uncovered a really cool new little nugget of discovery that possibly no one has ever really thought about until now.

A new Mystery, that Arpaio and his team brought up. They didn’t solve it, but they did bring it up.

And with that Mystery… I will reveal the solution that they and their hired examiners failed to figure out.

So Let’s Begin — With Their “9 Points of Forgery.”

That’s the heart of the matter.

Now they created an official video on this. It’s about 8-1/2 minutes long, but let me quickly summarize, as it’s pretty straightforward.

In short, they claim that nine different items from the birth certificate of a girl named Johanna Ah’Nee were copied to help create Barack Obama’s birth certificate. They call Ah’Nee’s birth certificate a “source document” for Obama’s.

“Points of Forgery” 1 through 5: They claim that five specific items were copied over at one time. These include the words “Honolulu,” “Oahu,” and “Oahu,” and two check boxes with an “X” in them.

You can click any of these images for a bigger view.

“Points of Forgery” 6 and 7: Each certificate has two date stamps at the bottom — one at the left, and one at the right. Obama’s both say “AUG -8 1961,” and Ah’Nee’s both say “AUG 24 1961.” Arpaio and his team claim that the stamps at the left are the exact same angle, and the stamps at the right are the exact same angle. They say this is impossible, so it means that Obama’s two date stamps must be copies of Ah’Nee’s.

“Points of Forgery” 8 and 9: They claim that ONE of the check boxes from Ah’Nee’s certificate was copied over to Obama’s TWICE, to create two of the check boxes on Obama’s birth certificate.

And that’s their flagship argument. They make some other claims as well — which we can consider — but this is the heart of it. This is what the major video is on. And this is the major announcement that their entire “five-year investigation” comes down to.

Jaw-Dropping Moment Number One

If you watch the video carefully, and follow it in very close detail, you will likely notice something that first makes you go, “Huh?” and then makes you go “Wait..?” and then makes your jaw drop, and then — in my case at least, explodes into laughter.

At the beginning of the video, they claim that Obama’s “7e” check box (with its particular filled-in “X”) was created by copying Ah’Nee’s corresponding “7e” check box over. This is their “point of forgery” #4.

Obama’s 7e Checkbox

But at the end of the video, they claim that Obama’s “7e” check box was created by copying over Ah’Nee’s “6d” check box. This is “point of forgery” #9.

Now Gillar, the narrator in their video, actually calls the “6d” box “6e,” but there is no “6e” box, and he’s shown clearly enough in the video that he’s talking about box “6d.”

So — just to make this crystal clear — first they claim Obama’s “7e” box is a direct copy of Ah’Nee’s “7e” box — and then later in the same video, they claim it’s a direct copy of Ah’Nee’s “6d” box.

But it can’t possibly be both. They’ve flatly contradicted themselves in their flagship video!

The Keystone Kops were a bunch of bumbling policemen who were popular in the days of silent-picture comedy.

This is all the more astonishing and funny when you consider that they had five long years to get their theory and their final press conference right.

FIVE YEARS!! And they still couldn’t produce a conclusion, or a video, in which they didn’t directly contradict themselves!!

This is clown-car stuff. This is Keystone Kops.

It’s all the more astonishing and funny when you realize that they even show you their own error!

Right in their big press conference.

NINE Points? Ah, no.

After the second run-through of the “9 Points of Forgery” video, they show a brief wrap-up video. Mark Gillar says, “Now let’s take a look at all the items that were taken from the Ah’Nee document and used to digitally create Obama’s long-form birth certificate” (this is at 54:48 in the press conference video).

Count ’em. There are eight of them, not nine.

How did they even manage to produce the video without realizing that they claimed the same item on Obama’s certificate was a copy of two different items on Ah’Nee’s? This is truly a crack investigative team.

And it’s even more jaw-dropping when you realize that in their last major press conference before this one, they also contradicted themselves in their big-reveal video — showing two different tables for race codes (used for federal government birth statistics), all in the same video, that they claimed were both from the very same 1961 document!

In reality, one came from a 1968 document, and the other was from a separate 1969 document.

They were mostly the same, but still had multiple clear differences, because the way they counted statistics on race had changed between 1968 and 1969.

So twice in a row, Arpaio and his team put on major press conferences in which they couldn’t even keep their own story straight until the reporters had left the room!

It actually goes deeper than this. This isn’t even the worst of it — as we shall see later.

But it’s certainly remarkable.

Okay, But Could They Be Right Anyway That One or More of These Items Were Copied?

As funny as all this is, they might still be right in their claim that at least something was copied from Ah’Nee’s birth certificate to make Obama’s.

So let’s take a peek at these one by one.

The Guiding Principle: If Something’s a Copy, You Can Usually Tell It By Looking.

I remember many years ago, when digital cameras and video first started to enter the consumer market.

The great thing about digital graphics is that it’s so precise. You have an exact value for every single pixel.

No more of the old chemical-based film to fade and change color. No, with digital technology, we know that every particular tiny little pixel is supposed to have exactly this much of red, this much of blue, and this much of green.

And those three colors of light will combine to reproduce any precise color we want pretty much exactly. There may be a tiny bit of natural variation between different screens, but that’s it.

Also, if we want to copy one thing to another — we get the exact same results. And you can tell it by looking at it.

Now that isn’t to say you can’t copy something over and then run it through some process that changes it. You can warp it, you can do wild and crazy effects on it, or you can paint over it entirely if you like.

But if you want evidence that Image B was copied from Image A, then image-wise, they’ve got to have something in common.

Otherwise, there’s no evidence there at all. And it quickly becomes ridiculous to say that this item was copied from that one.

By the way, it doesn’t matter if two different items are at the same angle, either.

Even if it’s the exact same angle.

Because if they’re two entirely different images, then it’s clear that they are not copies.

Now this isn’t limited just to pictures of different types of things. If we had a photo of a white cow, and one of a brown cow, you could still tell quite easily if someone had done something like start out with the photo of the white cow and then color it brown.

It’s pretty clear when two things are or are not the same exact thing, even though they may be the same type of thing.

With that in mind, let’s look at these supposedly copied items one by one.

(And by the way, if you have a computer graphics program and know how to use it, it’s possible to replicate everything I’ve done at home if you so choose.)

“Points of Forgery” 1 Through 5

Note that Arpaio and his team did not show you this kind of comparison of images. 

Why not? Perhaps because doing so utterly destroys their claims that these nine items from Ah’Nee’s certificate were the source of the corresponding items on Obama’s?

Here I’m going to use the best image available of Ah’Nee’s certificate, and compare that with the Obama PDF.

But I’m going to go beyond that. Because the highest resolution view of Obama’s birth certificate we have is not the PDF file posted on the White House web site.

It’s the Associated Press image of Obama’s birth certificate.

Now this image isn’t remotely new. It was released by the White House the same day as the PDF. I talked about it extensively in my book, which was published before Arpaio’s five-year “investigation” even began

We can also use the PDF image as well. But as you will see, the AP image is generally of higher quality.

Click for bigger image.

Our first item is the word “Honolulu.” Ah’Nee’s image is on top. Second is Obama’s PDF, and third is the Obama AP image.

Feel free to click on that for a better view.

Look at the “H.” It’s got more ink, especially at the top right and at the bottom. It doesn’t have a gap in it like the Obama one does.

Look at the next letter — the first “o.” You can see that it, too, has more ink, especially at the upper right. We could continue with a couple other letters, but that should be enough.

It shouldn’t be too difficult to see how a computer algorithm can use a rough approximation to reproduce an image close to what we see at bottom, and get something like what we see in the middle. Bear in mind that the PDF image in the middle wasn’t created from the bottom image — instead, they are both different images, with different quality settings, of the same original paper birth certificate.

But you don’t digitally copy a “H” with no gap, and get an “H” with a gap, and you don’t digitally copy a thick “o” and get a thin one.

The first letters don’t even line up.

It only gets worse from here.

In Item 2, the “O” on Obama’s certificate is visibly higher in the Obama images. This kind of “flying capital letter” made by a typewriter is caused by the fact that the typing mechanism wasn’t fully shifted to the capital-letter position when the letter was struck.

Click for bigger image.

When you overlay Obama’s “Oahu” with Ah’Nee’s, the initial capital letters don’t even line up!

It also looks visibly different. Once again, Obama’s “O” has some thin places. Look at the top of the letter and at its upper right. Also compare the two “u”s in particular. On the Ah’Nee certificate, her “u” is bleeding together at the top.

Clearly, Item #2 on Obama’s certificate is not a digital copy of the corresponding one on Ah’Nee’s.

Click for bigger image.

And the third item is even worse — in fact, it’s impossible.

It’s impossible, because the “a” on Ah’Nee’s certificate is so heavily inked that you can’t see the top gap in the letter at all.

Even the gap in the bottom part of that “a” is almost invisible. But the top one is gone completely.

You don’t digitally copy an “a” with no gaps and get one with gaps. So there’s simply no way that Obama’s second “Oahu” is a direct copy of the Ah’Nee one.

Items 4 (left) & 5 (right).

For items four and five, the X’s aren’t even in the same place in the box. Once again, this is clown car stuff.

Compare the top images (Ah’Nee) with the bottom ones (Obama).

Of course, if the audience doesn’t look closely for these things, they will never know. And Arpaio and company have always had the ability to attract more news coverage and publicity than those who have critically analyzed what they’ve done.

But Here’s the Mystery.

All of that said, they have uncovered a mystery.

Why can you copy “Honolulu,” “Oahu,” and “Oahu” from Ah’Nee’s certificate onto Obama’s and have those three words line up almost perfectly?

See the overlaid image below.


Isn’t that actually a bit odd?

This was the one thing that puzzled me in going through Arpaio’s “9 Points of Forgery.” All of the other things have clear answers. But this?

And yes, we know that — assuming both certificates are genuine — they were likely typed up on the same model of typewriter, or quite possibly the exact same machine. So the spacing and line feeds would be the same, or at least extremely close.

But still… why would these three words — and only these three words — line up so… obediently… like that?

This is the thing that stands out most impressively in Arpaio’s video.

At first, I thought it was simply that the typewriter had tab stops, and the typist just used those tab stops. But… no, that’s not it. If that were the case, a bunch of other things would line right up as well.

Now it turns out that we can identify a really, really good reason for this strange phenomenon. 

Can you guess what it is?

Dwell on it, and we’ll come back to it later — especially as there’s another bit of mystery just ahead.

“Points of Forgery” 6 and 7 — Are the Date Stamp Angles Identical?

First of all, this is a bit of a nonsense question… because Zullo admits in the video that his colleague Mark Gillar had to first rotate the image in order to get any of these stamps to line up!

Aside from which, even if the date stamp angles were identical, that doesn’t matter as long as it’s clear that you simply can’t get the date stamps on Obama’s certificate by copying the date stamps from Ah’Nee’s — and as we will see in a moment, that is, in fact, clear. (See also the earlier photo with Arpaio and cow.)

If it isn’t the exact same physical stamp that was used on both certificates, it appears to be the same model. But the ink has flowed differently. Compare the “9”s in each case, for example. Then compare the “6”s. Like a picture of one cow and a different cow, it’s obviously not the same image.

And of course, the dates aren’t even the same.

Once again, you can’t get Obama’s by copying Ah’Nee’s — the letters and numbers look different, and the dates aren’t even the same.

For this reason, even if the angles on the two stamps were absolutely identical, it would be a very remarkable coincidence, and nothing more.

But are they?

It wouldn’t necessarily be surprising if they were very close, but it would be surprising if we checked the angles and came out with a result that those angles are totally identical.

So how might we check whether the angles might be the same?

Well, I can think of a way.

If the angles are identical, and the “stamp a” sides line up perfectly, then the “stamp b” sides will as well.

If both angles are identical, then you can line one pair of angles up perfectly, and the other pair will also have to line up exactly.

See right for an illustration of how this works.

Now we don’t need to work with all of the form items in between the date stamps, so we’ll copy just the date stamps into a new graphic.

We’ll make sure that in all cases, we copy them over without rotating anything, so that we perfectly preserve their original angles. Digital graphics will do this with 100% precision.

We’ll put the Obama ones on one layer, so that we can move those together. (That’s like putting the first triangle on a single transparency, that we can then rotate.)

We’ll put the Ah’Nee ones on a second layer, so that the Ah’Nee items — making up her triangle — will also rotate perfectly together.

And then we will rotate one of these layers (it doesn’t matter which one) so that the two date stamps on the left are as perfectly aligned as we can get them.

How do we measure whether they’re perfectly lined up? Pretty simple. First, we create a rectangular box. We can rotate the box and use it as a guide to the angle. The graphics program will keep the top and bottom of the box perfectly, absolutely parallel to each other.

Once we have the date stamps on the left perfectly aligned with each other, using our box as a guide, then we can create a similar box for the date stamps on the right.

And if all of the date stamps have the exact same angle, then our box on the right will show that.

If they aren’t, the box will show that as well.

So that’s what I’ve done below. (Again, you can click for an even bigger view.)

Nope! The angles are close, but they’re not “identical.”

As you can see, the date stamps on the left are now lined up at precisely the same angle, or as close as we can possibly get.

If Arpaio and Zullo’s claim is correct, then the date stamps on the right will now have to line up with absolute precision as well.

But note that the bottom of the blue box is not exactly in line with the second Obama date stamp, at the bottom right. See what’s happening? That line, which is exactly in line with the one for the top date stamp, is eating right into the lower right portion of the bottom right date stamp.

If we want a line that’s the same angle as the bottom right date stamp, we have to draw it in — which I’ve done, in red.

All of this shows that the angles are notin fact, the same!

Yes, they’re close. But they aren’t the same.

So what’s the difference in angles? The graphics program will allow us to measure that, too – and pretty precisely. All I have to do is to rotate that red line until it’s as exactly parallel with the blue one as I can get it. And the program will tell me how many degrees it takes.

It’s about 1.43 degrees of difference.

Is this perfectly precise? Or, to put it another way: If I do the exact same experiment again, will I get the exact same value, right down to the 1/100th of a degree?

Well, probably not. But I will likely get something close.

So I think we can go with approximately 1.43 degrees.

Now 1.43 degrees is a pretty small angle. I’ve isolated the angle above, so you can get a good feel for it.

But here’s the problem. In order for their claim to be true, this angle can’t be 1.43 degrees.

It has to be so close to zero that we can’t even tell the difference. And it isn’t.

And we would also need to get that “indistinguishable from zero” result every time we were to test it.

You see, with digital graphics, you don’t copy over one angle and get another one that’s clearly different — unless you deliberately rotate something.

And that was their entire point: that the angles were supposedly perfectly identical, without anybody having to rotate any of the stamps.

So even by their own measure, their theory fails.

Still, it does seem a bit odd that the date stamps are so close to the same angle. We know these date stamps weren’t digitally copied – we’ve proven that now. And not one way, but two. First we showed that they weren’t copies of each other, and then we showed that they weren’t even at the same angle.

But it does seem a bit odd that they’re so close to being the same angle.

In fact, let’s call that Part B of the Mystery.

So now we have a two-part Mystery.

Why do we have three words that line up very closely on both certificates, and why are the date stamps at such similar angles?

And they’re not just at similar angles – they’re also placed very similarly in their respective boxes, too.

We’ll come back to these questions shortly — because some additional detective work is going to crack the Mystery.

But first, let’s quickly wrap up our nine points.

“Points of Forgery” 8 and 9 Fail, Too.

Close, but no cigar.

For this, I’m going to use the high-resolution AP image — because the PDF is so blocky that all you can see is pixels. It’s so rough and approximate that you really can’t tell what’s going on.

The illustration shows field 6d from Ah’Nee’s certificate (top), and fields 6d and 7e from Obama’s. Arpaio and Zullo claim 6d was copied to create both of these.

By the way, that’s the same 7e on Obama’s certificate that they previously told you was copied from 7e on Ah’Nee’s, remember?

All of these are close, but if you look carefully, the first Obama X is definitely lower than Ah’Nee’s — there’s space between “o” and “X” — and to the left.

And the second Obama X is quite close. But look at the bottom right. It appears to be just a bit further left in the box than Ah’Nee’s.

Not to mention: Look at all the space visible between the legs of the X in the bottom box. Now look at the same area of the top X. Once again, you can’t copy something that has no gap, and get a gap.

Close, but no cigar.

Utterly Demolished.

And with this, we have completely and utterly demolished Arpaio/ Zullo/ Gillar’s theory that “9 points of forgery prove Johanna Ah’Nee’s birth certificate was used as a source document to create Obama’s.”

There’s nothing left but a dusty pile of rubble.

But we are still left with our Mystery.

We will uncover another Jaw-Dropper, and solve that Mystery, in Part 2.

Posted in Conclusions, New Information, Sheriff Joe Arpaio | 57 Comments

An Easy-to-Find Guide to the Content of This Site

Is Barack Obama eligible to be President?

Is his birth certificate a forgery?

Does it take two citizen parents to be eligible to be President?

If you’re interested in finding out the truth, you’re in the right place. Here’s a guide to the tons of useful information you’ll find here. The content can be divided up as follows:

  • Conclusions Regarding the Claims of the Birther Movement
  • Presidential Eligibility and the Meaning of “Natural Born Citizen”
    • Legal Authorities and Case Law
    • Historical Authorities
    • Discussion and Debate
    • News
  • The Obama Birth Certificate Forgery Theories

Conclusions Regarding the Claims of the Birther Movement

Overall Conclusions on the Birther Movement Claims:

On the Forgery Theories:

Presidential Eligibility and the Meaning of “Natural Born Citizen”

Legal Authorities and Case Law

US v Wong Kim Ark:

Minor v Happersett:

Elk v Wilkins:

Lynch v Clarke:

American Common Law:

Zephaniah Swift:

St. George Tucker:

Horace Binney:

Historical Authorities

The Natural Law Origin of “Natural Born Citizen:”

The Historical Meaning of “Natural Born Citizen”

Early Usages (early to late 1700s):

Emer de Vattel (mid to late 1700s):

“Natural Born Subject” and “Natural Born Citizen” Used Synonymously by Massachusetts Legislature (late 1700s):

Was There a Conflict Between Alexander Hamilton’s Vision of Presidential Eligibility and John Jay’s? (Constitutional Convention, 1787)

Rep. John Bingham (mid 1800s):

Chester A Arthur (late 1800s):

US Government Policy (late 1800s):

Discussion and Debate

Why the Birthers Lost (Feb 2012)

An Open Letter to Mario Apuzzo (Feb 2012)

I Destroy MichaelN’s “Rebuttal” to the Open Letter to Mario Apuzzo (Feb 2012)

A wide-randing debate involving Mario Apuzzo, ehancock and John Woodman regarding Mario Apuzzo’s claims (March 2012, external link)

Laurie Roth AGAIN Ignores Reality to Repeat Disproven Claims of “Verified” “Total Forgery and Fraud”

The “Grandfather Clause” Regarding the “Natural Born Citizen” Requirement of the Constitution — Was It Ever Needed or Used? (October 2012)

Posted in Conclusions | 1 Comment

Epilogue: Confirmed, Confirmed, and Reconfirmed

For Those Who Care About Reality, Its Light Has Driven the Last Nail into the Coffin of Birthers' Claims that the PDF is a "Forgery."

For Those Who Care About Reality, Its Light Has Driven the Last Nail into the Coffin of Birthers’ Claims that the PDF is a “Forgery.”

More than a year has passed since I wrapped up my public commentary here on the claims of the “birther” movement, and brought this blog to its official close.

And I hadn’t intended to ever post again.

However, a few things happened during this year of 2013 (and one in particular) that have finally led me to write this epilogue.

Confirmed, Confirmed & Reconfirmed

Even though I thought the issue had already been beaten to death, over the course of the past 14 months a few additional little bits of information have come forth.

Not so much on the legal and Constitutional front, though. About the only one left still beating the worn-out “citizen-parents-required-to-be-a-natural-born-citizen” drum is Mario Apuzzo, and he hasn’t had anything new to say since before I quit the scene 14 months ago. Apuzzo posted a total of 4 articles this year, and all were just a rehash of his same claims that have been widely debunked.

In fact, we might list as our first confirmation:

1. What I wrote here about the meaning of “natural born citizen” has been confirmed by every judge and every legal expert of any real stature who has ever ruled or otherwise spoken on the matter.

Next, from the technical point of view regarding the Presidential birth certificate and related matters:

2. It’s still true at the end of 2013 that — birther assertions to the contrary notwithstanding — no birther “expert” has ever factually disproved even one significant point of the technical analysis that I published in a 221-page book back in the summer of 2011.

Although a number of the birther “experts” have quietly dropped their public involvement, I find it pretty remarkable that they continued to make the “forgery” claims for so long without ever being able to factually deal with such critiques published by myself and others. That has to do with the nature of the people making the claims, though, rather than with the nature of the evidence.

A few are still pushing the “forgery” claims to this day, of course. The hard-core birthers, almost by definition, live in a world where facts don’t matter — unless, of course, they happen to be facts that they like. But really, the only thing that matters to them is the meme.

3. We now know to a good degree of certainty what the penciled race codes on 1961 Hawaiian birth certificates mean. And it now seems that yes, not only did the Cold Case Posse actually lie to the nation about what the federal race codes meant, they also apparently fabricated what the State of Hawaii race codes meant as well.

As with the federal codes, they publicly claimed in the summer of 2012 to have the Hawaii race codes. But they never produced the slightest evidence that they actually did.

And the documentation that has come forth recently indicates that those codes never meant what the Posse claimed, in full-blown press conference, that they meant.

“9” never meant “Unknown or race not stated,” as claimed by Corsi / Arpaio / Zullo & company. It meant “Other races,” and in a state with so few black people that there was no “black” race designation in the rest of the codes, it was precisely appropriate and accurate for the race of Obama’s father.

The exact meaning of the penciled Hawaii codes was one of two remaining mysteries I knew of when I left the issue in the fall of 2012 (and the other will be addressed by the end of this post). It was the one thing I wished I had been able to uncover but didn’t, and I’m gratified to Kevin Davidson (Dr. Conspiracy) for finally solving it.

In fact, it seems to have been the last little mystery. In solving it, Dr. Conspiracy has helped bring the title of this blog — Investigating the Obama Birth Mysteries — to its final resolution.

Great work, Doc!

4. The full birth certificate of the woman I referred to as “Hawaii Girl” in an attempt to guard her privacy was leaked online this year by birther attorney Orly Taitz. And that full certificate entirely confirms that I accurately discovered every important detail about this birth certificate by analyzing a leaked image of the back of the certificate.

Among those details, I accurately identified:

and a few other details like parents’ names, address where they lived at the time, and so forth.

Orly Taitz’s recent publication of the full certificate completely confirmed my conclusions, in particular, of what the birth certificate number and the parents’ race designations were.

5. Finally and most importantly, the “forger” of President Obama’s birth certificate has been discovered, named, and verified.

Yes, the So-Called “Forger” of Obama’s Birth Certificate Was Outed in 2013.

Back in the summer, I learned that blogger “nbc” had identified the specific type of machine that produced the PDF image of Mr. Obama’s birth certificate.

It was a Xerox WorkCentre.

A couple of different models in this product line use the same basic algorithms. (An “algorithm” is a pre-defined sequence of exact steps to do something.) The White House is verified to have possessed and used a Xerox WorkCentre (model number 7655) during the exact time frame when Obama’s birth certificate was published. 1 Models 7655 and 7535 operate very similarly.

WANTED: For Producing the Anomalies in Obama’s Birth Certificate — the Xerox WorkCentre 7655. Approach With Caution.

And all you have to do to reproduce the many “suspicious” effects seen in Obama’s PDF, is use one of these Xerox WorkCentres to scan a birth certificate into an Apple computer, then rotate the image and save it as a PDF file.

That’s it.

And that’s obviously how Obama’s PDF was produced. A White House staffer took a paper birth certificate (which was seen by reporters, and which we have two actual photographs of, courtesy of reporter Savannah Guthrie), placed it haphazardly on the scanner glass of a Xerox WorkCentre (all indications are it was the 7655), scanned it into a Mac, rotated it, and saved it as a PDF.

Simple experiments reproducing these steps have been conducted that give the same “anomalies” that birthers wailed and filed lawsuits about.

Back in 2011, when I wrote my book, I speculated that someone might well discover the exact software, and I said that if they did, they would earn a mention at my web site.

It’s time to live up to that promise.

I already mentioned “nbc.” Another person who deserves such a mention is commenter “justlw,” who seems to have been the first person to bring up the Xerox WorkCentre, way back in March of 2012.

And another is “Reality Check,” who this year has conducted experiments that produced results virtually identical to the President’s birth certificate.

Congratulations and good work, you three. My hat is off to you.

Well, I could go on and on. But I really don’t want this to go over into 2014. It’s a new year coming.

But there we have it. Confirmation after confirmation after confirmation. All of the Obama birth mysteries are solved, and this blog can rest peacefully as an archive.

I’m now going to post this epilogue, and wish you all — birthers, non-birthers and those who were never interested either way — a happy and prosperous 2014.


John Woodman

1The proof that the White House actually had a Xerox WorkCentre 7655 in its possession and use during April of 2011 is easily seen in a White House information release written by Jay Carney and dated 2:10 pm Eastern Standard Time, April 18, 2011 — 9 days before the release of Obama’s birth certificate.

For as long as it’s available on the web, that release may be accessed here.

All one needs to do to see the proof that the White House was using a Xerox WorkCentre 7655 to scan and produce PDF files is: Open up either Obama’s tax return or Biden’s in Adobe Acrobat Reader and look at the Properties.

For the sake of more permanent archiving, I am saving an unaltered download copy of Obama’s tax return here, and a copy of Biden’s here.

These documents, like the birth certificate, were also scanned and saved as PDF files. Unlike the birth certificate, they are much cleaner and graphically simple. They have no stamps of varying darknesses and no colored safety-paper background. For this reason, they show little to no layering. However, even in these relatively simple documents, some layering is visible when the documents are opened in Adobe Illustrator (as for example, on page 6 of the Biden return, and in an actual separation of numbers on page 1 of the Obama return similar to that seen in the birth certificate.)

Finally, that the White House continued to own or lease at least 1 Xerox WorkCentre (albeit of a different model number) following the April 27 publication of the birth certificate is confirmed by the fact that Obama’s 2010 Financial Disclosure form, published on the White House web site on May 16, was produced using a Xerox WorkCentre 7765.

Note: An earlier version of this article erroneously stated that Mr. Obama’s 2010 Financial Disclosure PDF had been produced using a WorkCentre model number 7655. The error was noted on Dr. Conspiracy’s blog by birther Hermitian.

As is typical of birthers, Hermitian is delighted to have found a tiny flea on the cat, which he then uses to try and argue that — since most people tend to associate fleas with dogs — this means that the cat cannot possibly be a cat at all, but must instead be some form of miniature German Shepherd.

In other words, any excuse at all — no matter how minuscule — is gleefully considered to be full justification for hanging on to the birther fantasy like a soaked rat clinging to a shattered bit of shipwreck in the midst of an Atlantic gale.

But back to the specific case at hand: We know that a simple and quite obvious and intuitive work flow produces the exact effects seen in Obama’s birth certificate PDF. And we also know that the White House was using a Xerox WorkCentre 7655 within 9 days of the date Obama’s PDF was posted in April of 2011, and that they continued to use one or more Xerox WorkCentres after Obama’s PDF was posted.

As far as I know it hasn’t been proven to date, but I would frankly be a bit surprised if the image-compression-to-PDF algorithms in the WorkCentre 7765 were much if any different from the image-compression-to-PDF algorithms in the WorkCentre 7655. A quick web search reveals, for example, an entire line of Xerox WorkCentres with very similar model numbers — including 7655, 7665, 7675, 7755, 7765, and 7775 — which all use the exact same drum. And based on the product literature, the 7655 / 7665 / 7675 appear so visually identical to the 7755 / 7765 / 7775 that it seems impossible to me to tell any of them apart without actually hunting for the model number.

So once again, we come back to the title of this post. To the degree that further information has emerged over time, it has failed to disconfirm or disprove anything that was published in my book. Instead, those conclusions have been repeatedly confirmed by the emergence of new information.

PS: Yes, cats get fleas too.

(go back)

Posted in Conclusion, New Information, What's Happening | 1 Comment

“Birther’s Digest:” A List of Obama Ineligibility Claims — With Their Status

It's a Wrap! This "Special Edition" Post Brings This Blog to a Close.

For people who haven’t really evaluated the claims that the current President (Barack Obama) is ineligible to his office, this page should serve as a handy quick guide to the major claims that have been made by birthers, and the status of each.

The list below should come close to representing all the major claims made by birthers. There are more than 100 of them.

All major claims have been investigated and evaluated for their value as evidence. These include:

  • Claims that Barack Obama Was Born Somewhere Other Than Hawaii
  • Claims that Barack Obama’s Birth Certificate Is a Forgery
  • Claims that It Takes Two Citizen Parents for a Person to Be a Natural Born Citizen
  • Claims that Obama Is Ineligible for Other Reasons
  • Miscellaneous Claims

The following evaluation is from a non-partisan point of view.

I have given reasons and references elsewhere for the conclusion regarding each and every claim in the list (generally, either on this site or in the book authored last year by myself). If you would like more information on a specific claim, please search this site, and/ or refer to the book.

Current approximate count of major claims: 118. It depends of course on how you count them. I’m sure this list is not exhaustive. There are often multiple sub-claims made under a particular point, so a truly exhaustive list of claims that have been made by birthers would probably run into the hundreds.

Out of these 118 or so major claims, the way that I have counted them, we have:

  • 115 claims that are invalid, not decent evidence at all, true but irrelevant, false, or (in at least a few instance) known and documented to be outright lies.
    • At least 85 claims in this category have been shown to be outright False.
    • 17 more are Unsubstantiated, which means they are just accusations without sufficient evidence to back them up. Anybody can accuse anybody of anything.
    • 2 are Invalid, which pretty much means they don’t even make sense.
    • 11 are True But Irrelevant.
  • 3 claims that are True but Insufficient.

Finally, we have:

  • 0 claims that have been found, after investigation, to provide any good evidence that the current President is not legally and Constitutionally eligible to his office.

This tells you what kind of track record the birthers have. In short: The entire birther movement is a great big huge pile of nonsense.

And yes, it’s true: I personally have investigated at least 118 claims of “evidence” or “proof” that the current President is ineligible. And I found not one single one that — in my carefully-considered, willing-to-be-persuaded judgment — could actually stand up to scrutiny.

I’m sorry if that upsets some readers. But please note that your difficulties in coping with reality are not anybody’s problem except your own. If you want to know the specific reasons I found not one single significant birther claim that could stand up to scrutiny as being any good evidence of the birther claims, the details are contained in two sources: The book I authored on the forgery theories, and this blog. Read the book, which has 221 pages and 175 references. Read the blog, which contains even more content than the book, and which covers the issues not covered in the book.

Statuses: True and Valid, False, Invalid, Unsubstantiated, True But Irrelevant.

I have assigned a status to each claim of True and Valid, False, Invalid, Unsubstantiated, True But Irrelevant, or True But Insufficient.

“Unsubstantiated” sounds a lot weaker than “False,” and I suppose it is. “False” means something that is known to be false. “Unsubstantiated” means no real evidence exists that it is true.

However, “unsubstantiated” is still, in most instances, pretty strong. Here’s an example:

Claim: George W Bush is secretly married to Britney Spears.
Status: Unsubstantiated.

See how that works?

“True But Irrelevant” means that the claim may indeed be true, but a conclusion that Obama’s birth certificate is a “forgery” or that it takes two citizen parents to make a natural born citizen does not logically follow.

Now: I’m not going to get into the details of any one of these claims in this post. This is just a summary, with my understanding of the current status of the claim.

Claims of Evidence Barack Obama Was Born Somewhere Other Than Hawaii

1. Birth certificate supplied by Lucas Smith is Obama’s.
Status: False. It’s a fake.

2. Birth certificate with faint Dutch printing in background is Obama’s.
Status: False. It’s a fake.

3. Obama’s mother flew to Kenya and back.
Status: Unsubstantiated. At best. And just not remotely plausible. In fact the United States government recorded a grand total of ZERO US citizens who arrived in the United States from Kenya by air for the entire YEAR ending June 30, 1962. It thus appears the ONLY way this could even remotely have happened would have been for Obama’s mother to deboard in London, stay a night or two, reboard, and then be recorded as an arrival from the UK. But flight itineraries seem to have been pretty tight and definite, so this again is extremely implausible.

And that’s just ONE aspect of the extreme implausibility of the claim.

4. There is evidence in the British archives that Obama Sr. had a child born in Kenya in 1961.
Status: Entirely Unsubstantiated.

5. Obama’s mother took a ship from Africa to England.
Status: Entirely Unsubstantiated.

Claims of Evidence that Barack Obama’s Birth Certificate Is a Forgery

1. It has layers. This means it’s a fake.
Status: False.

2. There are too few layers for them to have been created in an optimization process.
Status: False. The number of layers is right in line with what we might expect.

3. The text shows clear signs of editing.
Status: False. See book.

4. The form area is slightly blurred.
Status: True But Irrelevant.

5. There’s no “chromatic aberration” (made by Karl Denninger).
Status: Apparently False. At the very best, Unsubstantiated.

6. The white halo is reasonable evidence of forgery.
Status: False.

7. Duplicate letters mean that it’s a hand-created forgery.
Status: False. They’re a sign of optimization.

8. “Different sized pixels” in the background are a sign of forgery.
Status: False. They’re a sign of optimization.

9. The images seem rotated.
Status: True But Irrelevant.

10. There is variation in the colors in the stamps.
Status: True But Irrelevant. It’s a sign of optimization.

11. The font sizes are different in the rubber stamps (Douglas Vogt).
Status: False.

12. White dots are evidence of forgery (Tom Harrison).
Status: False.

13. “Obots” have failed to exactly duplicate the PDF using automated software. This means it’s a fake.
Status: The first part is True But Irrelevant, for reasons detailed in my last post. The latter part is False.

14. Two different versions of the PDF were posted on the White House web site.
Status: False.

15. “Kerning” is “absolute proof” the birth certificate is a forgery (Denninger).
Status: False. There is no “kerning.”

16. Marks on the birth certificate align with those on a known forgery (WorldNetDaily).
Status: False.

17. A lack of text curvature means it’s a fraud (Denninger).
Status: False. The text curvature exists.

18. The lack of tab stops means it’s a fake (Denninger).
Status: False. Same lack of tab stops on Nordyke certificate. Even if true, it would be True But Irrelevant, as the conclusion does not necessarily follow.

19. There’s no seal in the PDF.
Status: False.

20. The seal is the wrong size.
Status: False. Same size as on other certificates.

21. The seal doesn’t distort the lines or type on the form. This means the birth certificate is a fake.
Status: Invalid. Or Unsubstantiated. There’s simply no way anyone can tell this.

22. “Hidden text” reveals a different birth certificate number (WND).
Status: False. This article by Jerome Corsi touted the inaccurate reading of OCR run on the image as “hidden text.” I can’t tell you how bogus this is.

23. Dr. Chiyome Fukino described a different document.
Status: False.

24. a. The birth certificate number is out of sequence (Jerome Corsi/ WND).
Status: False. It’s in partially-alphabetized sequence, same as other known certificates.

b. Charles Bennett’s 1955 article tells us that birth certificates were numbered sequentially by date order (Jerome Corsi/ WND).
Status: False to the max.

c. Stig Waidelich’s birth certificate number is a fraud.
Status: Unsubstantiated. There’s no evidence for this.

d. Obama’s birth certificate number was “stolen” from an infant baby girl who died the week she was born.
Status: Unsubstantiated. There’s no evidence for this.

e. “Hawaii Girl’s” birth certificate doesn’t refute this claim.
Status: False. The number on this certificate, accidentally leaked by Corsi/ WorldNetDaily, killed any plausibility of their own theory. Oops.

25. The birth certificate says “Certificate of Live Birth,” not “Birth Certificate.”
Status: True But Irrelevant. That’s exactly what it should say.

26. There are different typefaces used in Obama’s birth certificate, proving it’s a fake (Paul Irey/ WND).
Status: Unsubstantiated. Paul Irey stretches out all the stops to reach this conclusion. I personally spent many days on this one, and you just can’t get there.

27. The registrar’s stamp has a misspelling in it.
Status: False.

28. There’s a “smiley face” left in the certificate by the forger (Corsi/ WND).
Status: False. Or at the very best, WAY Unsubstantiated.

29. The birth certificate is encoded with the initials of a forger (Corsi/ WND).
Status: Way Unsubstantiated.

30. The hospital name is wrong.
Status: False.

31. A different doctor was reported earlier.
Status: True But Irrelevant.

32. Two different hospital names have been given.
Status: Probably True, But Irrelevant.

33. There are no hospital records for Stanley Ann Dunham Obama (Corsi and others).
Status: Unsubstantiated. It’s a crime for anybody to release any. Privacy laws.

34. Barack Obama, Sr.’s race indicates fraud.
Status: False.

35. Barack Obama, Sr.’s age is incorrect.
Status: True But Irrelevant.

36. The wrong name was used for Kenya.
Status: False.

37. The registrar’s name is a “joke.”
Status: False.

38. Barack Obama paid more than $2 million on lawyers in order to avoid releasing his long form birth certificate.
Status: Way Unsubstantiated. Almost certainly False.

39. An official from Hawaii testified that there was no birth certificate (Tim Adams/ Corsi/ WND).
Status: True But Irrelevant. He was in no position to know, quoting others who were in no position to know.

40. Some customs records of airline flights into Honolulu, Hawaii from the summer of 1961 are missing (Corsi/ Arapaio Posse).
Status: Apparently True, But Irrelevant. Anyone flying in from Kenya would’ve passed Customs in New York.

41. The Governor of the State of Hawaii stated that there was no birth certificate (Corsi/ WND).
Status: False.

42. The Democratic Party refused to certify that Obama was Constitutionally eligible.
Status: Invalid. They simply used the same language they’ve used for many years for all of their Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates. And as I recall, there was in at least one state an actual certification that Obama was, in fact, Constitutionally eligible.

43. The spacing indicates that Obama’s birth certificate is a forgery.
Status: False.

44. a. The penciled codes on Obama’s certificate are federal statistics markings, and show a conflict that is good evidence of forgery (Corsi/ Arpaio Posse/ publicized by Mark Gillar).
Status: Oh, gosh. False. A well-documented fraud on the part of Arpaio’s birther Posse.

b. The 1961 Vital Statistics Instruction Manual says “9” means “not reported” or “not stated” (Corsi/ Arpaio Posse/ publicized by Mark Gillar).
Status: False. Part of the fraud.

c. An image shown in the Arpaio posse’s July 2012 official video gives the 1961 federal codes (Corsi/ Posse/ Gillar).
Status: False. Part of the fraud.

d. A second image shown in the Arpaio posse’s July 2012 official video gives the 1961 federal codes (Corsi/ Posse/ Gillar).
Status: False. Part of the fraud.

e. “9” in the Hawaii statistical codes means “not reported” or “not stated” (Corsi/ Posse/ Gillar).
Status: Completely unsubstantiated.

45. Obama’s lawyer admitted the birth certificate was a forgery (Dan Crosby/ Daily Pen).
Status: False.

46. Mara Zebest is a credible expert on whether Obama’s birth certificate is a forgery.
Status: False, for reasons detailed in articles in this blog. Look ’em up.

47. Garrett Papit is a credible expert on whether Obama’s birth certificate is a forgery.
Status: False, for reasons detailed in articles in this blog. Look ’em up.

48. MRC (“Mixed Raster Content”) optimization never produces more than one “1-bit” “text layer” (Papit).
Status: False.

49. With MRC compression, there will always be color variation in the “text layer,” never a single color value throughout (Papit).
Status: False.

50. MRC compression always requires a foreground layer, rather than having an entire bitmask specified as a single color (Papit).
Status: Invalid. It’s all a matter of semantics. Doesn’t really matter anyway. Irrelevant. There’s no limit on the number of text layers.

51. If the file were optimized, then the lines from the form would certainly have been transferred to a “text layer” along with (some of) the letters.
Status: False.

52. Obama’s short-form birth certificate is a forgery.
Status: Unsubstantiated. At very best.

Claims that It Takes Two Citizen Parents for a Person to Be a Natural Born Citizen

Now these are fun.

1. Minor v. Happersett established a “binding precedent” that it takes two citizen parents to make a natural born citizen (Leo Donofrio, Mario Apuzzo, and others).
Status: False.

2. US v. Wong Kim Ark confirmed this precedent (Donofrio/ Apuzzo/ etc.)
Status: False.

3. Minor v. Happersett gave a complete definition of “natural born citizen” (Donofrio/ Apuzzo/ etc.)
Status: False.

4. US v. Wong Kim Ark stopped short of declaring Wong a natural born citizen (Donofrio/ Apuzzo/ etc.)
Status: Not really. The Court made clear that Wong was both “natural born” AND a “citizen.” Birthers exploit the technicality that they didn’t put it all into a single phrase to claim they “stopped short of” declaring Wong a natural born citizen. Overall, the claim is really, by any reasonable measure, False.

Incidentally, the minority — whom the birthers agree with — complained that the ruling made Wong eligible for the Presidency. Only natural born citizens are eligible for the Presidency. So it’s clear that even the minority understood the implications of the ruling in the case.

5. The Framers of the Constitution were referring to Emer de Vattel’s concept when they wrote “natural born citizen” (Donofrio/ Apuzzo/ etc.)
Status: Unsubstantiated, in a big way. Not a shred of evidence to support the claim.

6. “Natural born citizen” refers to natural law, which means “born of two citizen parents.”
Status: False. “Natural born citizen” refers to the natural law, derived from the writings of St. Paul, which stated that one should obey the authorities God has set in place. The theory was that if one was born into a Kingdom, then one had a “natural” allegiance to that Kingdom and that King, and the King in turn had a “natural” and God-given duty to protect his subjects and provide good governance.

7. “Natural born citizen” has roots in the writings of an ancient Roman writer named Quintilian (Apuzzo).
Status: Totally unsubstantiated, in a this-is-really-bogus kind of way.

8. “Natural born citizen” in early America meant “born on US soil of two citizen parents.”
Status: False. There is no real evidence to support the claim, and tons of real evidence against it.

9. Early American laws implied one had to have two citizen parents to be a natural born citizen.
Status: False.

10. People born in America to non-citizen parents were regarded as aliens, and were naturalized.
Status: False.

11. “Natural born citizen” comes from the “Law of Nations” (Donofrio/ Apuzzo/ etc.)
Status: False.

12. Thomas Jefferson wrote a law for the Commonwealth of Virginia which provided for naturalization for children born in Virginia to non-citizen parents (Apuzzo, etc.)
Status: False. Jefferson wrote a law in which everyone born in Virginia was a citizen.

13. A 1781 proposed treaty between the US and France showed that the Founding Fathers and Framers of the Constitution were referring to Emer de Vattel’s writings.
Status: False.

14. The Framers of the Constitution “rejected” Alexander Hamilton’s proposal that the President should be “born a citizen” in favor of a stronger suggestion by John Jay that the President should be a “natural born citizen.”
Status: False. Hamilton never presented the language to the Convention.

15. A 1789 treatise by David Ramsay indicates the Founding Fathers wanted a person to have two citizen parents to be a natural born citizen (Apuzzo, etc.)
Status: False. Ramsay’s views were solely his own.

16. The 1797 translation of Vattel’s “Law of Nations” used “natural born citizens” because the translator knew Vattel’s concept was what the American Founding Fathers meant in the Constitution (Apuzzo, etc.)
Status: False. Waaaay bogus on this one.

17. The Naturalization Acts of 1790, 1795, 1802, and 1855 addressed the citizenship status of children born in the US to non-citizen parents (Apuzzo).
Status: False.

b. These laws “abrogated” American rules on the citizenship status of children born on US soil to non-citizen parents (Apuzzo).
Status: False. A law doesn’t “abrogate” a matter it doesn’t address.

18. Zephaniah Swift, in his 1795 treatise, was referring to Connecticut citizenship, and not citizenship of the US as a whole.
Status: True But Irrelevant. Swift’s treatise certainly isn’t conclusive for the entire country, but it did influence key individuals in all States, and it does provide some evidence regarding what “natural born” meant in early America.

19. St. George Tucker indicated one had to have two citizen parents in order to be a natural born citizen (Apuzzo).
Status: False.

b. Tucker’s footnote only means that the American laws agree with each other (Apuzzo).
Status: False. This is one of the most bogus claims I’ve ever seen. Mario Apuzzo made it.

c. The footnote actually refers to the sentence following the one it footnotes, and not the sentence that it is a footnote to (Apuzzo).
Status: False. This is DEFINITELY one of the most bogus claims I’ve ever seen.

20. The 1811 James McClure citizenship case shows you have to have two citizen parents (Apuzzo, etc.).
Status: False.

b. “Publius” was James Madison (Apuzzo, etc.).
Status: Unsubstantiated and unlikely.

c. The Madison Administration found that James McClure was a naturalized “Citizen of the United States” under the Naturalization Act of 1802.
Status: False.

21. The 1814 Supreme Court case of “The Venus” defines the meaning of “natural born citizen” as requiring two citizen parents (“John Charlton,” Apuzzo, etc.).
Status: False.

22. William Rawle’s definition of “natural born citizen” is not reflective of what the Founding Fathers meant.
Status: False. His definition is in accordance with everything we know of written by Founding Fathers and individuals close to them. Rawle himself was also a personal friend of prominent Founder Benjamin Franklin.

23. The 1830 Supreme Court case Shanks v. Dupont supports the birther claim (Apuzzo, etc.).
Status: False.

24. The 1830 Supreme Court case Inglis v. Sailor’s Snug Harbor supports the birther claim (Apuzzo, etc.).
Status: False.

25. “American common law” (including common law derived from the Law of Nations) supports the birther claim (see Lynch v Clarke, 1844) (Apuzzo, etc.).
Status: False. It’s the exact opposite.

26. Horace Binney’s quote supports the two-citizen-parent claim (Apuzzo, etc.).
Status: False. Binney refutes birthers.

27. Scott v. Sandford (1857) supports the two-citizen-parent claim.
Status: False.

28. The wording of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 supports the two-citizen-parent claim.
Status: False.

29. The wording of the Fourteenth Amendment supports the two-citizen-parent claim.
Status: False.

30. Senator Jacob Howard supported the two-citizen-parent claim.
Status: False.

31. Senator Lyman Trumbull supported the two-citizen-parent claim.
Status: False.

32. Representative John Bingham supported the two-citizen-parent claim.
Status: False.

33. The Slaughterhouse Cases (1872) supports the two-citizen-parent claim (Apuzzo, etc.).
False. As analyzed by the Supreme Court in US v Wong Kim Ark, the statement was dicta, and erroneous dicta at that. The Court did not intend to issue any authoritative prohibition on natural born citizenship for children of non-citizen immigrants.

34. Alexander Porter Morse supported the two-citizen-parent claim.
Status: True But Way Insufficient. Morse isn’t much of an authority.

35. Chester A. Arthur was the “original usurper.” (Donofrio, Tracy Fair).
Status: False.

36. Chester A. Arthur, in asking for a “uniform rule of naturalization,” was calling for Congress to clarify the status of children born to immigrants (Fair).
Status: False.

37. Elk v. Wilkins supports the two-citizen-parent claim.
Status: False.

38. US State Department policy in the late 1800s supports the two-citizen-parent claim.
Status: True But Way Insufficient. This was the brief “birther era” of US foreign policy, and it was overruled and ended forever in 1898 by US v Wong Kim Ark.

39. Breckinridge Long’s paper about Charles Evans Hughes supports the two-citizen-parent claim.
Status: True But Way Insufficient. Long was a partisan propagandist against Charles Evans Hughes, and isn’t much of an authority.

40. US naturalizaton regulations in the 20th century support the two-citizen-parent claim (Apuzzo, etc.).
Status: False.

41. Legally, being a “natural born citizen” has always required citizen parents (Apuzzo, etc.).
Status: False.

42. Historically, being a “natural born citizen” has always required citizen parents (Apuzzo, etc.).
Status: False.

43. Calvin’s Case (1607) ruled that aliens were subjects. Therefore, one has to have citizen parents to be “natural born.” (“Michael N,” etc.)
Status: False. Aliens in England were “subjects” only in the sense that they were “subject” to the King. Just as aliens in the United States are “subject to the jurisdiction of” the United States.

44. The 2011 Congressional Research Service report on Presidential eligibility was “propaganda” (Donofrio).
Status: False.

Claims that Obama Is Ineligible for Other Reasons

1. Barack Obama was born a dual citizen of the US and the UK.
Status: True But Irrelevant.

2. Barack Obama was adopted in Indonesia.
Status: Unsubstantiated, and would be Irrelevant if true. An adoption would not have affected his status as a natural-born American citizen.

Other Claims

1. Obama’s Selective Service registration postmark is evidence of forgery.
Status: False. Probably the best discussion of this is at

2. Those who debunk birther claims are all a bunch of “Obots.”
Status: False.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: If you don’t want Obama to be President, then vote him out. Vote for Romney and Ryan, as I will (as of this date) shortly be doing myself. Or, if that doesn’t work, look forward to a major change in 2016, because by then it will happen.

But don’t twist the Constitution, mislead the American public — conservatives in particular — and try to poison American politics (eventually, for conservatives as well as for everyone else) by promoting claims that just simply aren’t true.

Posted in Conclusions, New Information | 162 Comments

The Arpaio Posse’s Fatally Flawed “Analysis” of Barack Obama’s Birth Certificate

This Extremely Large Ditch, a Feat of Ancient Engineering, Was Dug by Native Americans in the Southwest, for Drainage and to Provide Shady

This Extremely Large Ditch, a Feat of Ancient Engineering, Was Dug by Native Americans in the Southwest — for Drainage and to Provide Shady Areas Where They Could Live and Store their Corn. (While Some Might Doubt this Claim, It Can Be “Indisputably Proven.”)

This is the 5th and final part of my response to the July 17, 2012 press conference by Sheriff Joe Arpaio (“America’s Toughest Sheriff”) in which he and his “Cold Case Posse” claimed to have “indisputable proof” that Barack Obama’s birth certificate was a “forgery.”

This article was actually written back in August, and was intended to be Part FOUR of my response to Arpaio’s press conference. However, right when the article was almost finished, Arpaio Posse consultant Garrett Papit turned up here to claim that he had absolutely “proven” the PDF was “tampered with.” That was a rabbit-trail that eventually led to this article, which documented the fact that Papit had based much of his “analysis” on technical claims he made that were simply wrong. In addition, it revealed that the PDF had been examined by one of the major inventors of the kind of technology that was used to compress (or “optimize”) the President’s birth certificate image, and that genuine, world-class expert had seen nothing he would attribute to manual intervention or tampering.

After that, I had pretty well decided to let this almost-finished article simply die. I honestly was not going to publish it. But then an email exchange with Mr. Papit impressed upon me that birthers are going to keep demanding a “demonstration” that innocently reproduces every characteristic of Obama’s PDF in detail, and will keep claiming that the lack of such a demonstration is “proof” that the birth certificate is a “forgery.”

So this article is still relevant, and I decided to publish it as Part 5, the final part of a series.

Part 1 revealed some important information on what I knew and could document regarding the background of the Arpaio “Posse’s” investigation.

Part 2 exposed that Arpaio’s posse fabricated their most important evidence and in fact lied to the nation.

Part 3 revealed that not only do the fraudulent codes presented to the public by Arpaio’s posse fail to match the real 1961 federal codes, they don’t match the 1961 Hawaii statistical codes, either.

And finally, Part 4 (as mentioned above) showed that Papit’s foundational technical claims that the PDF was “not possible” to have been created using MRC (or MRC-like) compression were just simply wrong, and revealed that one of the world’s top experts in this type of technology saw nothing that really suggested any kind of forgery or “tampering.”

The rest of this article, with the exception of the very end which I am having to finish, is pretty much as I wrote it in August.

An Absolute Sham of an “Investigation,” From Beginning to End.

Before commenting on Arpaio’s “expert analysis,” let me state that I find it astonishing that I should even have had to write this response. If any genuine, complete, competent, real investigation had been done, my writing this would never have been necessary.

There are many indications that the Arpaio posse’s inquiry was never a professional investigation — from its earliest inception. Whether conceived as such or simply steered that way by birther promoter Corsi, the “investigation” seems to have been nothing more than a witch hunt with a pre-determined conclusion.

Aside from the flat-out fraudulent claims regarding the statistical coding, the only other thing the Posse produced of note was two new “experts” who supported their desired conclusion.

In passing, I’ll note that even though they unquestionably knew of me and others (they even mentioned my name during their first press conference) they obviously didn’t invite anyone onto the team who wasn’t likely to further the witch hunt.

This hand-picking of agreeable authorities would explain their choice of Mr. Garrett Papit. Papit has been a birther now for quite a while. In the past, he’s made an entire series of birther assertions that have been shown to be entirely invalid.

For this reason, Mr. Papit’s eagerness to reach the Posse’s desired conclusions — rather than any track record of accuracy — looks to have been his most important qualification.

Lest you think I’m exaggerating, below is an example of 7 separate birther claims made in the space of just a few hours by Mr. Papit last year. And every single one of those 7 claims had already been debunked as good evidence of Obama’s ineligibility prior to the time he made them.

This One Series of Facebook Postings by Mr. Papit from November 2011 Shows Seven Different Discredited and/or Disproven Birther Claims

I’m not going to go into detail on each of these, because every one of them has been exhaustively covered already. The falsehood of #1 has been shown both here (several different ways!) and by many other writers. The remaining six points were covered at length in my book, published months prior to Papit’s posts.

Now these aren’t the only known invalid birther claims that Mr. Papit has bought into and promoted. But seven in a row, on one single page, ought to be enough to show that Mr. Papit — regardless of whether he may do IT stuff for a Fortune 500 company (as he pointed out to me in an email) is not a credible authority on the facts.

And Mr. Papit was their major new “expert witness.”

Having said that… I noted earlier that I thought (at the time, at least) that Garrett’s work was better than that of some of the other birther “experts.” Some of these descend into the downright awful.

So Mr. Papit comes out with yet another birther report — this one’s 30 pages — which makes technical arguments that Obama’s birth certificate just has to be a hand-created forgery. According to his theory, certain kinds of compression just “can’t produce” the effects seen in Obama’s birth certificate.

But as I noted in an email to Mr. Papit, since we have known examples of all of the important characteristics of the document (the layers, the color-background-plus-multiple-single-color layers, the to-the-pixel-duplicated characters, and so on) in other files that are known to have been scanned and optimized, that’s rather like arguing that black swans can’t possibly exist. [Update: As noted, it’s now been shown that Papit’s major technical claims did not hold water.]

I frankly found their second expert, Tim Selaty, Jr. more credible than Papit. When it comes to basic computer knowledge, Selaty seems quite competent enough. And at this point, I don’t doubt his sincerity; although I must confess I’ve been burned by assuming good motives of birthers before.

In any event, Mr. Selaty didn’t even get his paper presented to the public by Arpaio’s posse. Instead, it was published at his own site (unforunately, as of 2020, it’s no longer available).

Why did Arpaio’s posse use Selaty’s name but not his paper? I suspect two reasons. First, I suspect they didn’t want to reveal Selaty’s age. Selaty is about 22 years old, and has no known prior track record of this kind of analysis at all. There’s nothing wrong with that in itself; but personally, I’ve been working with computers since before Selaty was born. So Selaty is hardly the kind of distinguished expert the Posse would like for you to believe. They’re basing their claims that the birth certificate of the President of the United States is “indisputably a forgery” on the statement of an unknown 22 year old? Really?

Secondly, while Selaty was generally supportive, his paper seemed to contradict some of the Posse’s earlier claims.

Like the claim that the birth certificate is a hand-constructed work of graphic art.

Now I’m not going to do a blow-by-blow against either of these papers, because not only is such a response entirely unnecessary, it’s not even appropriate. Both papers were fatally flawed from the very beginning, because the entire approach and methodology used by both authors was wrong from the very start.

Why Their Methodology Is About as Invalid as One Can Even Imagine

Whatever their basic technical competence, I can hardly describe to you how bad, how flawed, how invalid the methodology used by both Garrett Papit and Tim Selaty, Jr. is. And it’s the same methodology used by other birther critics of the PDF.

Here is their method, in a nutshell:

  • Start with the knowledge that any graphics or computer file that can be created, can be created by hand. (This is a true fact, by the way; at least in theory; although in practice it may be a different story.)
  • Assume that IF Obama’s PDF file was created through optimization and other innocent processes, you can find those exact processes, duplicate them, and get results that are really, really close to the original.
  • Assume that if you fail to find the exact processes that produced Obama’s PDF, then the PDF must be a hand-created “forgery.” Or — at the very least — that it must have been “tampered with.”

Now on the surface, this sounds like a fairly reasonable method. But it isn’t.

Let me show you a couple of gigantic flaws here.

The first one seems obvious, at least to me. It assumes that all of the relevant equipment, software and settings that produced the PDF is readily available to you, both in terms of your knowledge of what is out there, and in practical terms. It also assumes that you can test the trillions or quadrillions of possible combinations exhaustively enough (both of their testers ran “more than 600” tests) to find what you’re looking for.

Entities like the United States government tend to (let’s be frank here) spare no expense when it comes to outfitting themselves. A multi-million-dollar budget for White House IT equipment seems not only plausible, but most likely. I frankly don’t have the millions required to buy and test all available multi-million-dollar systems, and I doubt folks like these birther experts do, either. I also know from experience in working with the federal government that the budget is also likely to include custom software as well as modification of commercial software.

So the notion that we can find exactly what software and hardware systems the White House used unless they tell us is a bit unrealistic. To say the least.

The second gigantic flaw is perhaps a bit more subtle, but just as deadly. If not more so.

It has to do with testing one theory and not the other.

Test Only the Theory You Want to “Disprove.”

We have two basic ideas of how the file could have been produced:

Theory A: All the characteristics of the file were produced through optimization (or “compression”) and other innocent processes, such as a couple of smudges on the scanner glass, maybe somebody adding a clipping mask to clean it up a bit and hide those smudges, and so forth.

Theory B: The file is a hand-created forgery. (Or at least, it was “tampered with.”)

Now we propose to test ONE — and ONLY one — of those two theories. And if we can’t produce the file by that means, then we will accept that the other theory is correct.

Do you see the hole here big enough to drive a train through?

If you’re going to take an approach of demanding that a theory must be able to produce a duplicate, then in order for your approach to be even remotely valid, you have to test BOTH of your theories. Not just one. And you’re going to have to do so objectively.

Not to mention exhaustively, which is a very, very tall order.

Why? Well, you’re presuming that by ONE theory you ought to be able to produce a duplicate. You can’t just assume that they theory you like will produce a duplicate. If you demand that the theory you don’t like must be able to produce a duplicate, then you have to also demand the same thing of the theory you DO like.

Now if you’re only testing the optimization theory, then you stand a really good chance of simply proving your own ignorance. Because given the unlimited range of possible software that might have produced what you see — including obscure high-end programs, and custom programs whose code and algorithms aren’t even publicly available — and given the possibility of some innocent multi-stage process (e.g., it passed innocently through multiple users including multiple operating systems and software packages) there’s a really, really good chance that it is simply beyond your scope to determine the exact process.

The Grand Canyon Was “Indisputably” Dug by Native Americans.

Let’s make this concrete.

The same method used by Arpaio’s Cold Case Posse allows us to easily “prove” that the Grand Canyon was dug by the American Indians.

We go out west. We find this enormous canyon, with a river at the bottom. In many places, the canyon is over a mile deep.

Wow. That’s what we call “anomalous.” That’s really anomalous.

And right away, we can think of two possible theories to explain it.

Theory A: The Grand Canyon was produced by innocent natural processes (erosion by the river?)

Theory B: The Grand Canyon isn’t really natural. It must have been hand-dug by somebody, and simply made to look natural.

So let’s use the same basic method Arpaio’s Posse used on the birth certificate.

First, let’s look around and see if rivers ever produce canyons like this one.

2,500 Miles of the Mississippi River -- Plus Hundreds of Other Examples from All Over the World -- "Prove" that Even Massive Rivers Just Don't Create Mile-Deep Canyons.

2,500 Miles of the Mississippi River — Plus Hundreds of Other Examples from All Over the World — “Prove” that Even Massive Rivers Just Don’t Create Mile-Deep Canyons.

We look at the Mississippi River. Nope. No canyon over a mile deep there. Not remotely.

We look at the Amazon. Nope. No canyon there over a mile deep. Not at all.

We look at a bunch of other rivers: The Ohio River, the Tennessee, the St. Lawrence, the Missouri. We look at a bunch of rivers in Europe and Asia.

Not a single one produces a canyon thousands of feet deep.

True, we do find some rivers with canyons (just as Arpaio’s posse admitted that optimization does produce layers).

But nothing like this.

Okay. So we proclaim on that basis — tentatively, of course — that rivers simply do not create canyons like the Grand Canyon.

So now that we have eliminated that possibility…

It must have been dug by the Indians. There is “simply no other conclusion.”

When our idiotic — I mean invalid — conclusion is challenged, we then go out and find people to “investigate whether it’s possible” that a river could have created the Grand Canyon.

Again, we are using the EXACT SAME basic method here as that used by Arpaio’s Cold Case Posse.

And those hand-selected experts — because we take care to avoid choosing anyone to be a part of the team who’s likely to reach a different conclusion — build models of rivers. We have two experts who each build 600 different models of rivers. They even go so far as to use the same kind of rock found in the Grand Canyon, and to estimate erosion over a long period of time. A particular problem is that rivers just don’t cut very deep.

And so our experts, using their methods, are unable to duplicate a Grand Canyon.

It’s “conclusive,” then! We call a nationwide press conference to announce the news. Voila! By the process of elimination, we have “absolutely,” “indisputably” “PROVEN” that the Grand Canyon was dug by the Indians!

Now, do you see the “mistake” we made? Or perhaps — depending on our motives — the sleight of hand that we pulled?

We failed to equally and realistically test the plausibility of our second theory as well.

We failed to apply the same kind of standards in testing whether the Indians could have dug the Grand Canyon. And we assumed that if we couldn’t reproduce the first theory, then the second theory “must” be true.

Garbage In, Garbage Out.

A conclusion is only as good as the method used to produce it. And This… One… Is… Garbage.

And this is absolutely nothing new. As I said in my book — published more than a year ago:

To those who would claim that we must duplicate the document using the exact software and settings: Let’s try this.

Why don’t we take the same standard of proof that you want, and apply it to YOUR theory?

Those who claim that the optimization and clarity-enhancing artifacts mentioned are proofs of forgery have never duplicated the file, either.

So… you produce a credible forgery, working by hand, showing ALL of the characteristics that we see in the Obama birth certificate PDF, AND THAT YOU CLAIM ARE EVIDENCES OF FORGERY.

Every single one…

And once you’ve finished with that project — once you’ve successfully duplicated the document — THEN YOU MUST CLEARLY EXPLAIN EXACTLY WHY, AS A FORGER, YOU CHOSE TO DO ALL THAT YOU DID IN PRECISELY THAT WAY.

Oh, It’s Been Tried.

I will briefly note that the experiment has been attempted. Ron Polland, a birther from way back, hand-created a “duplicate” of Obama’s long form birth certificate that at first glance looked similar. But it lacked many of the known characteristics of Obama’s PDF — such as the to-the-pixel duplicated letters. As such, it came nowhere near actually reproducing the document.

And by his own account, it took him five months to create it.

Five months, to hand-create a “duplicate” that wasn’t even a duplicate.

And with not the slightest of remotely plausible explanations for why such a “forgery” would have been created in exactly that way, or why those “anomalies” would have been hand-inserted into such a document.

A Far Better Method

There’s a far better method of considering the origin of the PDF:

List the theories, list the known characteristics of the file, and evaluate which theory or theories can explain the observed characteristics and which can’t.

Such a method will almost certainly produce one of two possible results.

Either we will find that there’s more than one theory which can adequately explain what we see, or we will find that one theory passes, and the other one fails.

I have done just that in the table below.

A green “check mark” means that a particular theory is consistent with the observed characteristic. Two check marks mean that the characteristic clearly supports a particular theory, and three check marks mean that the characteristic strongly supports a particular theory.

Likewise, a red “X” means that a particular characteristic does not seem consistent with a theory. Two red X’s mean that the characteristic really isn’t consistent with the theory, and 3 X’s mean that the characteristic can be considered strong evidence against the theory.

PDF Characteristics Versus the Two Possible Explanations

Characteristic of PDF Forgery Theory Optimization & Other Innocent Processes Theory
Existence of Layers
Lower quality than AP document – Would require either two separate forgeries, or some means of transforming — optimizing — the original forgery into the PDF we have.
Existence of Savannah Guthrie photo with seal
Information identical with AP & Guthrie (as long as we ignore the problems above)
Basic nature of layers: color background, 8 other layers of exactly one color each Manually created documents almost never have only one color per layer. – known to exist in scanned, optimized documents
Elements of form scattered over multiple layers – utterly, totally inexplicable by a forgery theory – similar effects known to exist in scanned, optimized documents
Letters touching images and lines are grayscaled (or “antialiased”); letters not touching are “bitmapped.” – completely inexplicable by forgery theory – similar effects known to exist in scanned, optimized documents
Signature split over multiple layers, partly grayscaled, partly bitmapped – a forger would be insane to do this
Safety paper background Would have to be scanned
White halo Very unlikely. A forger or graphic artist would have the safety paper background on its own layer — and it would be pristine, unmarred by bits of other stuff, including the halo. The white halo wouldn’t exist. Seems unusual, but explainable through innocent mechanical processes
White halo separated onto different layer from some letters (bitmapped), but on same layer with some letters from same words (antialiased) – Why? For heaven’s sake, why?
Scattered pixels” in background image Pretty hard to get there this way. – obvious and known artifact of optimization – this file WAS optimized.
File size – Shows clearly that the file was optimized, which casts an enormous cloud on this whole theory. – Proof again that the file was optimized
Difference in scaling Would be extremely unusual – identical to effect known to exist in scanned, optimized documents
Form area slightly blurred Absolutely no reason for this in a forgery Not an obvious artifact of optimization, but likely explainable by some feature or glitch of the scanner or image processing software
Letters are image of letters, not actual text — A forger would’ve had to scan all the letters in — and place them by hand
Precise exact placement of letters
Fonts match fonts from known good certificates perhaps a slight advantage here, not much
Green stamps – ludicrous in a forgery – exactly what we would expect
Apparent lack of chromatic aberration – if there is in fact an actual, complete lack of chromatic aberration – slight advantage here, as there is apparently a very small amount of chromatic aberration detectable, exactly as we would expect
To-the-pixel duplicated letters — including those in the form – absolutely insane from the forgery point of view. There might well have been duplicates in the actual data — but the form would’ve simply been scanned, and that would’ve been it. – STRONG evidence of optimization. This duplicates the same thing seen in files KNOWN to have been merely scanned and optimized, and not hand forged.
Apparent rotation of images — could happen either manually or innocently.
Marks at right, under clipping mask Claimed to be statistical coding marks — that is, numbers, but not identifiable as numbers They frankly look like little bits of gunk on the copier glass that got scanned along with the birth certificate.
Presence of clipping mask Could’ve been manually placed — but wouldn’t show forgery. May have been mechanical, as left/right and top/bottom margins are identical — unexpected if done manually. Even if done manually, no reason to think it would be anything other than covering smudges
Alleged “kerning” does not exist alignment of letters appears authentic
Alleged lack of text curvature actually, it curves. slight curvature exists, same as form lines
Use of tab stops we have no real evidence tab stops were used we have no real evidence tab stops were used
Official seal difficult to duplicate by hand faint, not “overdone;” consistent with authenticity
Certificate number Consistent with authenticity
Description of document Consistent with authenticity
The alleged “TXE” Viewed in AP document, it’s clear it’s an “H.” Consistent with authenticity.
Hospital name Consistent with authenticity
Name of Kenya Consistent with authenticity
Father’s race False allegations made by birthers Consistent with authenticity
Statistical codings False allegations made by birthers Not federal, Hawaiian. Awaiting analysis.
Spacing – A good test, and consistent with authenticity
Inability so far to exactly reproduce document through optimization, etc. As shown in this article, your inability to exactly reproduce something may simply mean you lack the resources or ability to reproduce it
Inability of birthers to exactly reproduce document — with all of its characteristics — through manual processes — and to explain exactly why they did it that way — ALL characteristics are plausible via optimization and other innocent processes. Virtually no characteristic of the document is plausible via the forgery theory.
Attestation from Hawaii

There Are Multiple Characteristics Here that Just Don’t Occur Naturally in Hand-Produced Graphics Files.

The basis of the crank birther claim that Obama’s PDF is “forged” is that it contains “anomalies” that — according to them — do not occur naturally in optimized files.

I say “according to them” because — as demonstrated in the book I wrote on the topic — we have known examples of all of the most important anomalies actually occurring in files that are known to have been scanned and optimized.

What they won’t tell you is that this kind of analysis — applied to their own theory — destroys it.

In fact, I would go so far as to say that it is probably not possible to find one single graphics file, hand-produced by anybody, created before April of last year, that contains ANY of the following characteristics… let alone ALL of them at once:

  • A full-color, JPEG-pre-optimized background, plus multiple graphic layers on top of that which contain precisely one color each
  • A background form in which letters are scattered, apparently randomly, over multiple layers.
  • Letters touching images and lines are antialiased; letters not touching are “bitmapped.”
  • A signature is split over multiple layers, partly antialiased, and partly solid-color bitmapped
  • An original graphics file, containing all the layers used to produce the graphic and all kinds of graphic data over 9 layers, which is roughly the same file size as an optimized JPEG of a graphic the same size (normal, multi-layer graphics files are almost always MUCH larger than similarly-dimensioned optimized JPEGs)
  • A representation of an official document, in which six different layers of information — intended to be represented as typed information — all appear as varying shades of green (that is, as varying shades of the non-white background color)
  • A large number of to-the-pixel duplicated bitmapped letters — including such letters in the form! (Let me add here that it is very unusual in a graphics file of this type not to use any antialiased letters to start with. Antialiasing is generally a default setting. And it is simply ludicrous to maintain that the form was “hand-faked” by copying letters one by one.)

These are characteristics that simply do not occur “in the wild” of any kind of normal computer graphic art. And the claim that “the forger was incompetent” is absolutely no excuse. Not even a total newbie, or a complete graphics idiot, would create any of these characteristics.

Indeed, the only two things the forgery theory has going for it are the fact that it has layers (which is no advantage at all) and the fact that non-birthers “haven’t duplicated the PDF.”

On the other side of the equation — taking the characteristics of the document one by one — we can see that EVERY known characteristic of the PDF is consistent with authenticity.

As we’ve seen, all of the most important “questionable” characteristics in the PDF are already known to exist in other scanned and optimized files.

In short, the birthers’ call to duplicate the document — if applied equally — is utterly disastrous for the forgery theory.

Of course, they will never apply such a standard equally. Because for a birther:

  • A bald birther assertion equals “proof.”
  • A person accused by a birther is guilty until proven innocent.
  • Non-birthers must disprove every single birther claim or such claims are automatically true (in spite of a track record of over 100 such claims demonstrated to be without merit, at least 85 of which have been shown to be outright false).
  • And the requirement to actually prove a claim applies to non-birthers, but never birthers.

Same Conclusion on the PDF As that Reached a Year Ago.

I said it in the book — over a year ago — and the same conclusion holds true today:

Having thoroughly investigated the matter in every respect that we could come up with, we’ve been able to find no good evidence at all — in regard to the characteristics of the PDF file itself — to support the idea that the file is a hand-built forgery.

Not one single point.

On the contrary, the evidence is pretty overwhelming that the PDF document — far from being hand-built by a human — was simply optimized by the computer.

A year later, there are only two small things I would adjust in that statement.

First, I would include the fact that there may be one or two small characteristics that might be the result of innocent processes that don’t fall into the category of optimization. A couple of smudges on the scanning glass. Maybe — though this is far from certain — a small amount of human intervention to add a margin to the document and make it more presentable.

Secondly, I would be more emphatic.

So here is the edited statement, a year later:

The evidence is overwhelming that the PDF document — far from being hand-built by a human — is the result of normal and innocent duplicating and presentation processes. By far, the most significant of these is optimization.

Finally: Arpaio’s So-Called “Investigation” Was a Crime Against the Dignity and Authority of Legitimate Law Enforcement Investigation.

As far as I can see, such an “investigation” — including its fraudulent claims regarding the 1961 statistical manual — can only have happened through outright corruption, gross incompetence, or some combination of the two.

Law enforcement agencies have a responsibility to ferret out wrongdoing. But they also have a responsibility not to trump up charges, not to engage in witch hunts, and to have genuine probable cause before making either arrests or public accusations.

Whether Sheriff Joe Arpaio possesses any technical competence of his own is irrelevant. If he was going to sponsor an investigation, Mr. Arpaio had an obligation to make sure it was accurately and professionally done, and that the results would reflect reality — rather than brushing aside the competent evidence, merely to parrot birther fantasies.

Posted in Birther Scam, Conclusions, New Information, Sheriff Joe Arpaio | 91 Comments

Genuine, World-Class Computer Expert Evaluates Obama’s Birth Certificate PDF

Opinion Solidly Addresses the Second of Two Major Claims Made by Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Press Conference in July.

If You Want to Know What A Computer Process Really Will and Won't Do, Ask a Genuine Expert... Like Professor Ricardo de Queiroz of the University of Brasilia.

If You Want to Know What A Computer Process Really Will and Won’t Do,
Ask a Genuine Expert in the Field —
Like Professor Ricardo de Queiroz of the University of Brasilia.

On July 18, Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona (“America’s Toughest Sheriff”) stated, at a press conference, that President Obama’s birth certificate was a “proven” forgery.

In doing so, Arpaio relied almost entirely on two things. The first of these two major claims has been examined here.

The second was the opinion of two individuals — Garrett Papit and Tim Selaty, Jr. — that the characteristics of the birth certificate PDF simply could not be innocently explained.

Mr. Papit’s report was published by Arpaio’s office. But although the Sheriff’s office mentioned Mr. Selaty’s name, they didn’t publish his report or give him much prominence. Instead, Mr. Selaty had to post the report on his own web site (unfortunately, as of 2020, it’s gone and there is no archive). That seemed odd at the time. However, it seems to me that this was probably for two reasons.

First, Selaty didn’t reach all of the same conclusions that some of the other individuals quoted by the Posse did. It appears that publishing Selaty’s report would have raised questions about why this was the case.

In other words, the testimony of their “experts” was not consistent (!)

Secondly, Mr. Selaty is approximately 22 years old. One might easily wonder — with no disrespect intended to Selaty, who seems to have decent enough general computer skills for someone at the beginning of a career — why, exactly, was Arpaio’s Posse relying on a 22 year old for an “expert opinion” regarding the birth certificate of the President of the United States?

Personally, if I were accusing the President of the United States of having a forged birth certificate, I would rely on real, recognized experts in the appropriate fields. And most certainly, no 22-year-olds would be in the mix. Unless, of course, they were legitimate, indisputable, widely recognized, certifiable geniuses who had finished their first PhD by, say, age 18.

Again, no disrespect intended to Tim Selaty. But this is not the case here.

Garrett Papit Claims to Have “Proven” that Obama’s PDF File Has Been “Tampered With.”

Garrett Papit, Quoted by Arpaio's Posse

Garrett Papit, Quoted by Arpaio’s Posse

It didn’t take long for Garrett Papit, the more prominently-showcased individual, to show up at this blog and proclaim with confidence that he had proven Mr. Obama’s birth certificate PDF file had been “tampered with.”

He was very emphatic about that point.

For any readers who are unfamiliar with the background of the issue, my own technical evaluation — published just over a year ago after some 500 hours of completely independent investigation — was that every single characteristic of the PDF file that was known at that time could easily be explained by innocent processes. The most prominent of these was optimization (or compression) of the file.

In fact, I found the technical evidence to be overwhelming in that direction. In other words, not one of the significant birther allegations — and I examined all of them — stood up under honest and competent scrutiny.

And going beyond those to test Obama’s PDF in every additional way I could come up with, I was unable to uncover any other genuine evidence that would demonstrate any manner of “forgery.”

Garrett Papit, of course, claimed that I was absolutely wrong about the technical evidence. In fact, he went further than merely disagreeing with me technically. Bizarrely, Mr. Papit publicly and falsely accused me of having “lied” about myself “on multiple occasions.”

Challenged to prove his charges, Papit could not do so. He eventually retracted his false accusation and apologized. However, it took several days for him to do so.

The Essence of Garrett Papit’s Technical Claims

Garrett Papit Claimed that an Optimized File Can Have Only One Text Layer.

Garrett Papit Claimed that an Optimized File Can Have Only One Text Layer.

The gist of Mr. Papit’s paper — the one publicized by Arpaio’s office — was that there are really only two forms of file optimization or compression — and that the characteristics of Obama’s file most assuredly fit neither.

Probably most importantly, he claimed that “mixed raster content” compression never produces more than one bitmap layer. Since Obama’s PDF file has 8 bitmap layers, this claim — if true — could raise some legitimate questions.

After reviewing Mr. Papit’s paper, I personally found his technical claims to be dubious — especially in regard to “mixed raster content” file compression. They seemed to be more assertions on Papit’s part than solid statements backed up by any documented technical evidence. And there were other strong reasons (perhaps a topic for another post) to doubt Papit’s claims.

Nonetheless, I did not have at my hands any immediate and concrete proof that would categorically show his technical claims to be wrong.

In fact, while I have broad experience in many different aspects of computer technology dating back more than 30 years, I am not an expert in the specific field of mixed raster content (MRC) compression.

Neither, by the way, is Garrett Papit.

Papit is basically a computer programmer for JC Penney. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Information Systems, and an MBA with a concentration in Managerial Information Systems.

In his paper, he states that he is “also familiar with the methodology involved in PDF optimization and compression.”

I’m sorry, but “familiar with” doesn’t cut it for the type of blanket claims that Papit has made in his paper — and on this site as well. I’m “familiar with” carburetors, but I can’t give you a definitive opinion of what one is and is not technically capable of. And if I were to pretend to do so, I would be far exceeding my level of expertise regarding carburetors. That would be unprofessional… at best.

Evaluating Papit’s Claims

In order to evaluate Garrett Papit’s claims regarding mixed raster content file processing, I searched for US patents on the basic technology — and found well over 100 of them.

It seems that MRC compression is not quite as simple and cut-and-dried a process as Mr. Papit — in the half-dozen sparse pages he wrote about the technology — would have people to believe.

There were two possible ways to evaluate the truth of Papit’s claims. The first would have been to invest a great deal of time to really learn and understand the various possible ins and outs of mixed raster content (MRC) compression. And the second option was to consult a real, existing expert in the field.

I chose the second option, for two reasons. First, I’ve invested far too much of my time into this issue already. I didn’t want to invest the time to develop an entire body of knowledge about MRC compression, without any need or intent to apply that knowledge in my own profession. And secondly, I felt that the opinion of a recognized expert in this field would be of far more value than my own opinion anyway.

For These Reasons, I Contacted a Real Expert. In Fact, I Contacted One of the Foremost Experts in the World.

As I examined patents and technical papers written on MRC compression, one name in particular seemed to pop up again and again — that of Ricardo de Queiroz.

Ricardo de Queiroz is one of the primary fathers of this entire technology.

The very first “mixed raster content” patent in the United States was granted to Leon Bottou and Yann Andre LeCun… But the 2nd, 4th, 5th, 7th, 8th, and 13th patents were granted to Ricardo de Queiroz and his team. That’s about half of the first dozen or so patents. And some of his team members and students have also gone on to further develop the technology.

In addition, Professor de Queiroz appears again and again as an author of the available technical papers on MRC compression.

Now there are certainly many other individuals who have contributed to the development of this technology; and several in particular have made really big contributions. But I decided, based on what I read in the patent filings and technical papers, that if I were going to contact one expert in the world on this particular technology, the person I would pick would be Ricardo de Queiroz.

So I contacted him. And Dr. de Queiroz was gracious enough to reply — for which I thank him. In clarifying what compression technology is capable of, he has rendered a genuine service to all who have held any interest in this controversy.

Before I present Professor de Queiroz’s response to my inquiries, we should briefly note a couple of other things.

1) Professor de Queiroz did not simply volunteer an opinion on Obama’s birth certificate PDF. His expression of an opinion was a response to being asked for an opinion.

2) American politics has little impact on a Brazilian living in Brazil. This being the case, it would be very difficult to attribute any political motive to a technical opinion expressed by Dr. de Queiroz.

3) In any event, a technical expert of de Queiroz’s stature, generally speaking, gives technical opinions, not political ones. And such an expert, generally speaking, would never risk the reputation he’s built up over decades by issuing an opinion that would be easily shot down by the other top experts in his field.

4) In terms of expertise in this specific field:

Garrett Papit is to Ricardo de Queiroz:
As high school football player is to Tim Tebow.
As Sunday golfer is to Tiger Woods.
As high school physics teacher is to Stephen Hawking.

Well, you get the idea.

Now it’s very possible that Garrett Papit might well be a better banjo player than Ricardo de Queiroz. He might even be better at wood carving, or Volkswagen engine repair.

But when it comes to MRC compression, he doesn’t even approach being in the same league. (Nor, incidentally, do I — or virtually anybody else who’s ever previously commented publicly on the artifacts in the PDF.)

Professor de Queiroz’s evaluation was expressed in an email letter to me. I have boldfaced some of the most important points. I have also added a few notes of my own, in brackets.

Evaluation of Obama PDF File by Professor Ricardo de Queiroz

Dear Mr. Woodman,

There is no possible way I can tell if the PDF of President Obama’s birth certificate (POBC) made available by the White House is a “forgery” or not. The forgery can happen before being processed not to mention that the paper document itself could be forged, before the scanning. Thus, this is not the point.

[Note: This is very similar to what I said in my book on the birth certificate — JW.]

The question is whether all these artifacts we see after rendering the PDF of POBC are signs of forgery. I do not see that. I see them more likely as a result of inadequate processing.

The document has poor quality and it has been aggressively processed, no questions about it. The question is whether the corruptive processing was individual with the intent of forging it, or if it was automated within regular MRC segmentation.

If it was a forgery it was a very sloppy job. Any photoshop-knowledgeable person, of the garden variety, can do a much better job than that. If it is automated, it is a lousy job too, but bear in mind that algorithms for these jobs are not trained on specific documents. They were more likely developed, trained and tested on magazine pages and books. A US birth certificate is unlikely to give good results because it may be an outlier in the big picture of all documents they had in mind when developed their MRC tool.

MRC is about separating the single-image document into multiple layers, hopefully each one with a given characteristic. This has to be done automatically, in what we call segmentation. What I see in the document are signs of MRC segmentation consistent with strategies in line with the techniques pioneered by DjVu. I (and my students) do not advocate doing the segmentation that way, but that is not the point either. In fact, I would not be surprised if the software which segmented the WH document was derived from some DjVu tool.

An Illustration From a Technical Paper by Prof. Ricardo de Queiroz Shows Multiple, Different-Colored Bitmask Text Layers. Hmmm. Didn't Garrett Papit Claim That Was Impossible?

An Illustration From a Seminal 1999 Technical Paper by Professor and Inventor Ricardo de Queiroz Shows Multiple, Different-Colored Bitmask Text Layers. Hmmm. Didn’t Garrett Papit Claim That Was “Impossible?”

They first try to “lift” the text to another layer. They can find more than one type of text and place them in different layers. The rest is background and they compress with standard image compression methods. In the POBC [President Obama Birth Certificate] I see lots of signs of that. It missed a lot of text, like the R in BARACK and in many other places. The missed text is aggressively compressed with JPEG for example, which justifies the damage to those text parts.

About the halos around some text: I am not sure why they do it, but it may be trying to suppress another halo problem caused by “lifting” scanned text that leaves some of the foreground in the background and vice-versa causing trouble to compress the layers. We wrote some papers about it. You can still see background through inside some “O” letters and inside the check boxes.

There might be morphological dilation around the text mask or the segmentation is block-based. The halo could be caused by the foreground in a dilated mask, or by processing the background. One plausible alternative is that the algorithm finds text as the letters with a bit of the surrounding background for safety. Some Adobe tools do that.

Furthermore, the text is lifted to the foreground and sharpened (nearly binarized) making the background surroundings to disappear. When the text layer is pushed back onto the background plane the letter surroundings become halo. There is also some grayish lifted text, which was perhaps found to have different statistics and was then treated differently. The mask is binary, the foreground (text) can have any color or texture, or even parts of the background around the text. All these are conjectures; different algorithmic choices might produce similar results.

I took a birth certificate which has a similar background pattern, scanned and compressed using an older DjVu tool. It has shown the same problems as POBC, like text letters that were missed and sent to background, and multiple text styles. It didn’t have halo, though, because its algorithm decided to obliterate the whole background pattern. Perhaps if I had time to toy around with packages and parameters I might find something very close to what was used to generate the document shown by the WH, but I unfortunately do not have the time right now.

In summary I can only say I see much stronger signs of common MRC algorithmic processing of the image rather than some intentional manipulation.


Ricardo L. de Queiroz

Questions and Answers

Professor de Queiroz was also gracious enough to answer a few questions I asked him regarding his opinion. Again, I have italicized his replies, and boldfaced the more important points.

1) I understand (and since initially writing you, I have also found an example of this in a paper you wrote) that MRC compression can have multiple bitmasks without necessarily having to have corresponding foreground layers. I also understand that there is no particular reason why a bitmask would need to be more than one color. And it seems to me that having multiple single-color bitmasks is likely a space-saving technique. Would you say all this is correct?

Yes and no. MRC can have a flat color for the whole foreground layer. This is equivalent of a mask without a foreground plane as a bitmap? Yes. But there is an implicit foreground plane, with all pixels at the same color. If there is a foreground plane/layer or not is a semantic question. Just to add to your confusion, these DJVu like algorithms do not necessarily follow the MRC standard. They are MRC-like. As for the space saving, it depends on what is done. Because of the redundancy of multiple layers there are many ways to generate the same rendered image. This question perhaps needs to be worked a little more before I can give you a good answer.

[Professor de Queiroz’s comments above highlight a very fundamental problem with Garrett Papit’s paper, and his claims. In Papit’s world, there are only a couple of different compression algorithms, and every computer program in the world follows those 2 basic algorithms. In the real world, there are almost limitless possible variations. There are, for example, adaptive compression algorithms, algorithms that fully follow the MRC standard, MRC-like algorithms, similar DJVu algorithms, DJVu-like algorithms, and so forth.]

2) You referred to “multiple text styles.” What did you mean by that? (Another person claimed that different fonts were present in the document’s typed information; I earlier analyzed that at length and found no significant evidence this might be the case.)

What text styles you see in the document? As a human, I would wild guess the following: (a) title is one, (b) the typewritten data is another, (c) the boxes titles like “1a Child’s first name” is another, (d) the signatures are another, and same goes for the (e) handwritten stuff and the (f) stamped dates. Not sure I missed any other. But the segmentation algorithm apparently decided to divide the document into few types of text information.

First there is what it thought it was black text (a; b with mistakes like the R in BARACK; c with mistakes like the 1 in box number 10; parts of the signatures as the last letters of Dunham’s signature, some handwritten stuff in boxed 18b and 19b). Second, there are a few gray text or whatever quality it thought to make any distinction from the first case. Parts of the boxes 17a, 20 an 22 seems to be put in one pot. The stuff on the bottom is all placed in another pot, even though there are lots of different styles there. But there are a few sub-parts of that that might be yet another text color. I think this is a stamp. Thirdly, everything else is background, which includes a lot of the text and graphics.

3) I understand your overall conclusion to be that the things you see (including the bitmask layers, etc.) are explainable by MRC compression; and you do not see anything that appears to you likely to have been the product of manual manipulation. Is this correct?


So there we have it. The bottom line? Not only is it NOT “proven” that the bitmap layers and other obvious artifacts in Obama’s PDF are the products of manual manipulation; one of the fathers of the kind of compression technology used in the birth certificate has now examined the file, and he sees no indication that the artifacts — including the multiple bitmap layers — are anything BUT the result of innocent, technological processes.

In other words: The Arpaio Posse’s most recent claims, just like their earlier claims, are worthless. And after a year and 5 months of literally dozens upon dozens of such claims by birthers, there’s still no real indication in Obama’s PDF of any kind of manual manipulation or “forgery…” at all.

Meanwhile, Joe Arpaio / Jerome Corsi / Joseph Farah / WorldNetDaily (and other birthers) continue to studiously ignore and brush aside all real and competent technical opinions in favor of whatever “expert” they can find — whether 22 years old or not — who will back the claims they want to promote.

Click here to continue to the fifth and final part of this series of articles.

Posted in Conclusions, New Information, Sheriff Joe Arpaio | 429 Comments

Exclusive! “Hawaii Girl” Confirms Her Parents’ Race — and I Crack the Actual Entries, Confirming that Arpaio’s Codes Don’t Match the Hawaii Codes, Either.

This Birth Certificate, Revealed by Jerome Corsi Last Fall, Shows that the Posse's Claimed Codes Aren't from Hawaii in 1961, Either

This Birth Certificate, Revealed by Jerome Corsi Last Fall, Shows that the Posse’s Claimed Codes Aren’t from Hawaii in 1961, Either

Today I talked to “Hawaii Girl,” the owner of the birth certificate posted by WorldNetDaily last year which destroyed their claim that President Obama’s birth certificate number was “out of sequence” and therefore “proof of forgery.”

You can get a sense of the kind of person someone is by talking to him or her. I was extremely impressed with “Hawaii Girl.”

Let me ask of persons reading this blog: If you should know who “Hawaii Girl” is (and a few people do) please do not publicly mention her name, or contact her about her birth certificate.

She does not want to be a part of any controversy, and she doesn’t want or need any disruption in her life. She is busy with her work and her family. She frankly does not know much or care much about Mr. Obama’s birth certificate. She has no “dog in this race.”

She was willing to have one conversation, and gave generously of her time to do so. But she does not want to talk any further about her birth certificate. And at the moment she has some additional personal things that require her time, attention and emotional energy. So please respect her privacy and emotional space.

If you must call me a liar and claim that I never spoke to her, then go right ahead. Attack me, but please leave this nice woman alone.

In fact, after talking to “Hawaii Girl,” I debated about whether I should mention the conversation at all. In the end, I weighed the odds of other people contacting her if I said nothing — based on questions already raised — versus my making public that I had spoken to her and asking people specifically to respect her wishes. After my conversation with “Hawaii Girl,” I am hoping that everyone will honor that request. It is really her request, and I am supporting her in it.

If you absolutely must contact someone about this birth certificate, then contact Jerome Corsi — and ask him to release an image of ONLY the small section of that birth certificate that shows the parents’ race — without disclosing any further personal information about “Hawaii Girl.” We will be able to tell based on the image that I present here whether what Corsi releases is authentic or not.

Why Nobody Actually Needs to Bother “Hawaii Girl,” In Any Event

In this article, I will also give good evidence as to why nobody needs to bother “Hawaii Girl” at all.

I think we have plenty of information to authenticate that her birth certificate does not say “Indian,” or anything that would be classified “Indian,” as would be the case if the Posse’s codes matched those from Hawaii in 1961.

You see, both sets of codes from the Posse (which are really 1968 and 1969 federal codes, and of course not from the 1961 manual that they claimed) say that “3” means (American) “Indian.”

If “Hawaii Girl’s” parents aren’t Indians, then, it’s clear that the race codes presented by Arpaio’s posse can’t be the Hawaiian state codes for 1961 either.

Before moving on to the evidence: I also want to go on record as saying that I completely believe that what “Hawaii Girl” did in making her birth certificate available to Corsi (and therefore through him to WorldNetDaily) was 100% honorable, admirable and commendable. I wholeheartedly believe that she acted completely in good faith, having no partisan agenda, in order to honor the request of a friend, and to provide some useful information to someone she had no reason to think she couldn’t trust.

I can also tell you that it did not sound to me like she expected any portion of her certificate to be published. She has not followed the issue and seemed surprised to hear from me about it.

The Extreme Unlikelihood (1 out of Almost 1,500) that This Certificate Would Have Listed the Parents as “Indians”

It’s already been proven that the codes presented by Sheriff Arpaio’s posse were NOT the federal codes that they claimed they were. So let’s entertain the idea instead that the codes they showed were accurate for the State of Hawaii. Yes, I know that’s unlikely, given that we know where they came from — 1968 and 1969 federal codes, nowhere near 1961 — but let’s entertain the idea anyway.

This would mean (according to their chart) that “Hawaii Girl’s” parents, both with a penciled code of “3,” would’ve both had to be “Indians.” And she would’ve had to be Indian, too.

The US government reported (Table 2-4) that a grand total of 12 children — out of 17,616 born in Hawaii in 1961 — were “Indian.”

Therefore, given a random Hawaii birth certificate from that year — such as “Hawaii Girl’s” — we could expect only 1 chance out of 1,468 of getting one in which the parents’ race was “Indian.”

But a glance at this enhanced image extracted from the WorldNetDaily image of the back of “Hawaii Girl’s” certificate — and showing the subtle bleed-through — shows that whatever the her parents’ race entries is, they are quite long in both cases. They are not short and sweet, like “Indian” or even “Navajo.”

The mother’s race is the bottom line of text; and the father’s race is the top line, mostly obscured by the seal. Can you read it? I tried last fall, and couldn’t make it out.

Still, based on what we can see on the certificate itself, it does not appear at all likely that her parents were Indians. Certainly, neither race says “Indian,” or any obvious Native American tribe that comes to mind. Both are way too long.

Jerome Corsi: Please Give “Hawaii Girl’s” Birth Certificate Back.

“Hawaii Girl” mentioned that she had loaned her birth certificate to Jerome Corsi last year, at the request of a friend. This was with the understanding that Corsi was going to use it to compare to other known birth certificates, and that she would be getting it back.

She has twice requested its return — probably through her friend who asked her if she would loan it — but Mr. Corsi has not returned the certificate.

This is the only copy of her long form birth certificate that “Hawaii Girl” possesses. It is her valuable personal property, and Hawaii Department of Health rules now make it very difficult to get a replacement. It is an intensely personal document, and I would expect it has some emotional value to her.

“Hawaii Girl” herself seemed rather resigned to the fact that in spite of Corsi’s promises, and in spite of the fact that the certificate is hers, she won’t be getting it back any time soon.

Now I don’t want to create any hassles whatsoever for “Hawaii Girl.” But I do think that “Hawaii Girl’s” friend should quietly get Mr. Corsi to return the certificate to “Hawaii Girl,” without “Hawaii Girl” having to be at all further involved.

So why am I telling you this? Mostly to let you know why I was unable to obtain an image of her parents’ race. I think “Hawaii Girl” would probably have been willing to provide that for us, but Corsi has her certificate.

I Previously Identified “Hawaii Girl’s” Mom as Having Hawaiian and Korean Roots, and Her Dad as Having Hawaiian and Chinese Roots.

Actually, I had also identified an Anglo ancestor in her mother’s background as well, but I didn’t mention that publicly, so we won’t count that.

In any event, “Hawaii Girl” was able to be even more specific. She stated that her mother’s background was “Hawaiian / Korean / German / English,” and her father’s background was “Hawaiian / Chinese / Portuguese.” I had not known about the German and Portuguese parts.

Cracking the Race Entries on “Hawaii Girl’s” Certificate

Even armed with this knowledge, I must confess that the race entries eluded me for a little while longer. What “Hawaii Girl” had told me seemed even longer than what was there. And the father’s race in particular had always seemed virtually hopeless, being obscured by the seal except for the last few letters.

I had already decided, even before speaking to “Hawaii Girl,” that the last word of her mother’s race (bottom line) was likely to be “Korean.” And it almost looked as if the first part was “Hawaiian,” except… that just wasn’t right. It certainly looked like there was an “ian” before the presumed “Korean.” But for the first part to be “Hawaiian,” the letters simply did not fit.

And there seemed to be no “German” or “English” in the mix at all.

And then, staring at the certificate, it hit me.

“German” is much more of a nationality than it is a race. And generally speaking, Germans are…


Using a fixed-width font (since that’s what the typewriter had) to check the spacing on the letters, and assuming that what looked like a very short word starting with “H” was an abbreviation for “Hawaiian” (since spelling out all three words would run the typist completely out of the box) gives us:

Bingo! Compare it, letter for letter, white versus black. This very clearly appears to be the correct solution to the puzzle.

Cracking the Father’s Race

I immediately surmised that if I had reached the correct solution on the mother’s race, then her father’s race would likely have been recorded as “Hawn-Caucasian-Chinese.”

The obvious test was to type that phrase, using the exact same fixed font and spacing, and see if the letters fit.

Being careful to align the left edge, this gave:

And the puzzle is busted! When you carefully compare the letters “i,n,e,s,e,” you can see that they do indeed match. And the entire phrase is the exact length we would expect if the father’s race is “Hawn-Caucasian-Chinese.”

So the race entries on “Hawaii Girl’s” certificate almost certainly say “Hawn-Caucasian-Chinese” for her father, and “Hawn-Caucasian-Korean” for her mother.

Does This Mean the Cold Case Posse Lied About the Hawaii Codes?

In my previous article, I quoted Cold Case Posse Lead Investigator Michael Zullo as having said: ““The number 9 for the federal code, and the number 9 per the State of Hawaii’s own statistical code, means ‘information not provided’ or ‘information not stated.’”

The short answer is: The evidence presented is not enough to establish conclusively that the Posse lied about the Hawaii codes.

However, they have made a clear claim that “9” in the Hawaii codes meant “not stated.” And we know at this point that they did lie about the federal codes.

We have also established that the 1968/ 1969 federal codes they presented are not, overall, an accurate representation of the 1961 Hawaii codes. If they had been, then the codes on “Hawaii Girl’s” certificate would have both been “6” (Hawaiian/ part Hawaiian) rather than “3.”

Finally, we know that they have claimed to have received pretty much zero cooperation for their birther investigation from the authorities in Hawaii. And we also know that they did not produce any set of codes claimed to be from Hawaii.

Given that they flat-out lied about the federal codes, I’d say it’s pretty clear at this point that they can’t be trusted regarding any Hawaii ones.

Note: I originally referred to this person as “New Girl.” I have edited the article to reflect my newer name for her — “Hawaii Girl.” If you see “New Girl” mentioned in some of the comments below, it’s all the same person.

Note, Again: Some time after I wrote this post, “Hawaii Girl’s” birth certificate was publicly leaked, along with her full identity. (Sorry, Johanna, I did all I could to keep you anonymous!)

The publication of Hawaii Girl’s birth certificate 100% confirmed the detective work I had done in this article. Her father’s race is indeed listed as “Hawn-Caucasian-Chinese,” and her mother’s race is given as “Hawn-Caucasian-Korean.”

Click here to continue to Part 4 of this series of articles.

Posted in Birther Scam, New Information, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, What's Happening | 351 Comments

Exposed: Sheriff Joe Arpaio Birther Scam — Here’s the Proof that Arpaio’s Posse Fabricated Evidence and Lied to the Nation

The 1961 manual Arpaio’s Posse claimed to have has been found. And it completely contradicts everything they claimed it said.

So why won’t Arpaio’s office either produce their supposed evidence or publicly retract their claims? Because doing so would be admitting they’ve been caught in a major fraud. That’s why.

There's Been a Fraud, All Right -- Sheriff Joe Arpaio and His Lead "Investigator" Michael Zullo Present Their Faked Evidence to the Nation Last Week (July 17, 2012)

There’s Been a Fraud, All Right — Sheriff Joe Arpaio and His Lead “Investigator” Michael Zullo Present Their Faked Evidence to the Nation Last Week (July 17, 2012)

Sheriff Joe Arpaio (“America’s Toughest Sheriff,” Maricopa County, Arizona) has been widely criticized for his “birther” investigation claiming that President Obama’s birth certificate is a forgery. And his “Cold Case Posse” has been widely portrayed as inept.

But the evidence clearly shows that Arpaio’s Posse goes well beyond the “inept” — into the downright fraudulent.

For some important background, see: Statement Regarding Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s July 17, 2012 Press Conference: Part 1

Arpaio and His Posse Based Their Most “Solid” Claim on a 1961 Manual They Claimed to Have, And Obviously Didn’t — But Which They Showed the World Faked Images Of Nonetheless.

Arpaio’s posse was clear and unambiguous in claiming that they had the 1961 Vital Statistics Instruction Manual from the US government, and that that manual backed their claim Obama’s birth certificate was a forgery.

Listen to them claim to have this 1961 “Code Book,” and the 1961 Hawaii codes, too:

Mark Gillar, in the official video presented on July 17: “In order to decipher these codes, the Cold Case Posse obtained information from the 1961 Vital Statistics Instructions Manual for births. Please note that the number ‘9’ was the code used to indicate that an answer to a particular question was ‘not stated.'”

Jerome Corsi Says They Searched "For Months" to Find That 1961 Manual. Really, Jerry? He Also Says He's Going to Publish It Any Day Now. Somehow I Have the Feeling He's Going to Be Searching For a Few More Months To Come.

Jerome Corsi Says They Searched “For Months” to Find That 1961 Manual. Really, Jerry? He Also Says He’s Going to Publish It Any Day Now. Somehow I Have the Feeling He’s Going to Be Searching For a Few More Months To Come.

Jerome Corsi, July 18, Peter Boyles show: “In the 1961 code book, which we worked for months to get ahold of — we finally found it — uh, ‘9’ means not reported or not stated.”

Michael Zullo, July 18, KABC Interview: “Number ‘9’ — and we have the documentation to prove it from 1961 — that signifies information was not presented, or unknown or not stated.”

Michael Zullo, July 18, Peter Boyles show: “The number 9 for the federal code, and the number 9 per the State of Hawaii’s own statistical code, means ‘information not provided’ or ‘information not stated.'”

Jerome Corsi, July 19, Peter Boyles show: “We’ve got the documentation. We’re just going to release it over the next little bit of time. But [in] the original code book in 1961, if the race of the father was not listed or not recorded or not stated, that was coded number ‘9.’ You wrote that in by hand, number ‘9.’”

From the official video, prepared and narrated by Mark Gillar:

Mark Gillar, July 18 (Comment posted as “TeaPartyPowerHour” at the official video): “We have the 1961 manual… We have the V.K.L. recording and the manual. Only a few left in the US. Hard to get.”

“Hard to get,” indeed — as we shall soon see.

Let’s See What They Presented to the World As Being Supposedly From Their “1961 Vital Statistics Instruction Manual”.

The following images “morph” from the images they presented, to the originals that they took them from. You may find it easier to view the images if you click on them to display them on a separate page, and then return to the article.

The first falsified image from the official video:

Want the actual 1968 source that this came from? Here it is, sourced from the web site of the National Bureau of Economic Research.

And the page that they pulled their graphic from quite clearly says, at the top of the page:

If you have this document, there’s simply no way that you can miss that it’s from 1968 — not 1961.

The second falsified image from the official video:

This one is even more rich. In spite of their claims to the contrary, they didn’t even get this one from the US government, or any government web site! They plagiarized it right out of a discredited article from birther web site “The Daily Pen.”

In fact, the Posse’s “we have the 1961 manual” claim was originally made by the Daily Pen in the same article that the Posse stole the graphic from. And the claim was already proven to be a fraud last March.

Incidentally, we can find a copy of the original 1969 US government document this image was fraudulently taken from over here. The source, again, is the web site of the National Bureau of Economic Research.

The Actual Manual Has Been Found. And It Directly and Absolutely Contradicts What Arpaio’s Posse Claimed it Said.

Since the United States Department of Health and Human Services told blogger Kevin Davidson — and he asked them twice — that they thought this particular manual no longer existed, the Posse may have been confident it could pull off this little scam without being held accountable for it. All they had to do was just not show the imaginary manual. Right?

Unfortunately for them, blogger ladysforest (who doesn’t even believe Obama is eligible!) asked a different government office, and was able to turn up a copy of the real manual.

According to the real 1961 Vital Statistics Instruction Manual and the closely-related tape specifications, the parents’ races weren’t even coded for the federal statistics. They were simply looked at and then used to determine the race of the child, which was coded for US statistics. The mother’s place of birth was also recorded — but only as “native,” “foreign” or “unknown.”

So that’s another false claim made by Arpaio’s posse, who apparently didn’t even have the 1961 manual.

And if they did, they obviously lied about what it said.

Below is an image from the real 1961 manual, showing the only race codes it has. Again, these are codes for the race of the child. And while some determination of parents’ races was made — in order to code the child’s race — that data was not coded by the feds.

The Real Codes from the Real 1961 Vital Statistics Instruction Manual (Contrast Enhanced for Readability)

The Real Codes from the Real 1961 Vital Statistics Instruction Manual
(Contrast Enhanced for Readability)

By the way, as you can clearly see, “9” isn’t “not reported or not stated.” It’s “other nonwhite,” which (according to the manual’s instructions) actually happens to be how Obama’s father’s race would’ve been classified.

You can download the complete general instructions part of the manual here.

But that’s not even the full extent of how far the posse’s claims are from reality… because — as we are about to see — that particular manual isn’t even a key to the penciled statistical codes on Obama’s birth certificate at all!

Actually, the States Didn’t Even Have to Do ANY Statistical Coding to Report Their Data to the Federal Government in 1961.

Instead, they sent the US government all of their actual birth records on microfilm, and the statistics information was both classified and transferred to punch cards by workers who referred directly to the actual, microfilmed birth certificates. From page 5-3 of the US government’s 1961 report on birth statistics:

With the exceptions noted in the next paragraph [which didn’t include Hawaii], natality [that is, birth] tabulations for 1961 are based on information obtained from microfilm copies of the original certificates. These copies were received from the registration offices of all States, certain cities, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. The statistical information on these records was edited, classified, placed on punchcards, and tabulated in the National Vital Statistics Division (NVSD).

Here’s Where They Likely Change Their Story and Start Claiming, “Actually, Those Were State Codes, and It’s the State of Hawaii Manual We Have.”

But this story won’t fly, either.

First of all, they’ve already quite clearly claimed it was a very specific federal code book they had — the “1961 Vital Statistics Instruction Manual” — so the lie is on record for all time.

Secondly, they’ve publicly mourned a complete “lack of cooperation” for their birther “investigation” from the Hawaii Department of Health.

And third:

The “Hawaii Girl” Certificate Establishes that the Real Hawaii Codes in 1961 Weren’t What They Showed You, Either.

First, This Certificate Posted in a Corsi Article Disproved One of His Major "Forgery" Claims. Now, It's Shown that Their Claimed Code Set Wasn't Used by Hawaii in 1961.

First, This Certificate Posted in a Corsi Article Disproved One of His Major “Forgery” Claims. Now, It’s Shown that Their Claimed Code Set Wasn’t Used by Hawaii in 1961.

In September of last year, WorldNetDaily published a Hawaii birth certificate from a baby girl born in August of 1961.

I subsequently caught them scrubbing information from their site that contradicted and destroyed one of their major conspiracy theory claims.

That claim was that the certificate number on Obama’s birth certificate was “out of sequence.” I was alerted by a reader that WorldNetDaily had changed the images of the birth certificate, for no apparent reason. Curious to find out why, I fished the original images out of Google’s cache, and was able, by enhancing the image of the back of the certificate, to read the certificate number.

And that certificate number completely destroyed the claim that Obama’s certificate number was “out of sequence.”

The “certificate number problem” claim was based in turn on a clearly and indisputably false claim made publicly by Jerome Corsi, that Charles Bennett, Hawaii’s Registrar General, said that “birth certificates were numbered upon acceptance by the registrar-general, and there was no provision that would allow an accepted birth certificate to be put in a pile for three days before a number was stamped on it.”

By the way — I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned this publicly before, but in the new image they substituted onto the site, they specifically and deliberately copied a section of safety paper from the bottom of the certificate over the upper left corner, in order to hide the certificate number.

So they went to pains to cover up the certificate number — which contains no personally identifying information — but left enough personal information visible that I and others were able to figure out exactly whose birth certificate it was.

Odd, that.

To give you yet another idea of the honesty level of the Cold Case Posse, in last week’s press conference, they even repeated the debunked “certificate number is proof of fraud” claim — even though it was known and verified to be false last autumn, and no new information has emerged to change that. WorldNetDaily hid “Hawaii Girl’s” certificate number of 61-09945 last fall — after Jerome Corsi brought her certificate to the world and verified that it was genuine — and Corsi and the Cold Case Posse are hiding it now, in order to keep claiming that Obama’s birth certificate is “out of sequence.”

“Hawaii Girl” Came From a Hawaiian/ Asian Family.

Of interest to us now is the coding on what I call the “Hawaii girl” birth certificate.

The race fields for mother and father both have the number “3” written by them. According to the supposed codes from Jerome Corsi, Mark Gillar and the Cold Case Posse, this means that both parents were supposedly (American) Indians.

But they weren’t.

Online genealogical information indicates that “Hawaii Girl’s” mother was born to a (mostly) Hawaiian father and a mother with a Korean surname. [Note: I have now spoken directly and personally with “Hawaii Girl” herself to confirm her background, and deciphered her parents’ race entries — see my next article!]

Her father has a Hawaiian middle name, and a last name of Chinese origin.

There’s no sign of any American Indians anywhere — let alone on both sides of the family.

Lies, Lies, and More Lies

In the course of the past fourteen months, I have personally investigated something well beyond 60 different significant birther claims that President Barack Obama is ineligible to his office.

These include the claims that his birth certificate is a “forgery,” and also the claims that it takes citizen parents to be a natural born citizen.

Out of all that huge mountain of claims, I have never found even one single significant birther claim that actually stood up to scrutiny.

Simply put, there is plenty of evidence that Barack Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1961.

Likewise, the evidence is simply and utterly overwhelming that “natural born citizen” means pretty much what everybody always thought it meant. And Barack Obama, born in the United States, is perfectly eligible from a Constitutional, legal and historical point of view to be President of the United States.

So if you don’t like him, do as I will be doing in November, and vote for somebody else.

In the meantime, there is more than enough evidence for any reasonable person to conclude that the birther movement is not just based on misconceptions, mistakes, or “production errors” — as Mark Gillar so eloquently termed the presentation of the second fraudulent image in his video.

It’s a scam from beginning to end. And it’s a scam — for the most part — on conservatives.

This evidence includes:

  • Corsi’s known false statement about Charles Bennett’s 1955 article
  • the long list of 23 claims in a row, published in my book, that Corsi peddled to the public that don’t hold water
  • the fact that Corsi and WND have never retracted his false statement about Bennett or the disproven “certificate number fraud” theory
  • Loren Collins’ discovery that one of Corsi’s articles was plagiarized from British news sources
  • the fact that Joseph Farah and Corsi and WorldNetDaily practically covered up all of the contrary evidence that I sent them in August of last year
  • the fact that they DID cover up the “Hawaii Girl’s” birth certificate number
  • the most recent lies from the Cold Case Posse
  • and the very long list of transparently false claims made by Mario Apuzzo, Leo Donofrio and others, documented here and elsewhere, to the effect that it takes two citizen parents to be a natural born citizen.

The inevitable conclusion, for any rational person who acquaints himself or herself with the evidence, is that the birther movement is not a mistake. It’s a scam. And while there may have been some honest mistakes on the part of some in the beginning, it is now based on nothing more than lies, lies, and more lies.

Response from Mark Gillar, Producer of the Posse’s Official Video

After an extensive email discussion with Mark Gillar, producer of the official video which contains the falsified images, Mr. Gillar stated that he received all materials and the script from Mr. Zullo of the Cold Case Posse and had no editorial control. A direct request to the Cold Case Posse for a copy of the “1961 Vital Statistics Instruction Manual” resulted in no reply.

Blogger and internet radio host “Reality Check” also reports that he engaged in a series of email contacts with Jerome Corsi. He states that Corsi provided no further evidence to back his claims. He has since issued a written challenge to Corsi and Zullo to produce the documentation they claimed to have.

Update — The Cover-Up Continues: Jerome Corsi has responded to calls for the Posse to show the manual they claimed to have by making excuses as to why they won’t produce it, and by making additional false claims regarding those who’ve asked them to do so.

Jerome Corsi appeared this week in a YouTube video intended to rally the birther faithful. In that video, he characterizes those calling for the Cold Case Posse to back up their claims as wanting some kind of inside window into the investigation — and as asking for all kinds of different documents. He claims that people who have asked for the evidence have “lost their mind.” He also indicates that the Posse won’t back up their fabricated claim; and he makes excuses as to why.

At around the 8 minute mark, Corsi says:

“August is still gonna be a research month. You’re gonna find Sheriff Arpaio’s group is gonna get increasingly closed-mouthed about the evidence that’s been created. It’s not gonna be released. The Obots are dying to find out what Sheriff Arpaio has, they’re going nuts over on various Obot websites, demanding we show this, demanding that the investigation produce another document, this document, I mean, they’re, they’ve lost their mind.”

Of course, anybody who doesn’t believe the fabricated evidence produced by Corsi and the Posse — including folks who are supporting Romney, like myself — is an “Obot” — an “Obama robot.”

The key thing here is the excuse Corsi makes for not backing up their clearly fabricated claim. And note the interesting wording Corsi uses to describe the Posse’s evidence:

“August is still gonna be a research month. You’re gonna find Sheriff Arpaio’s group is gonna get increasingly closed-mouthed about the evidence that’s been created.”

The evidence that’s been created? I always thought evidence was uncovered, or discovered, or revealed. Or maybe found. The word “created” would not normally seem to fit into that particular place — at all.

Unless, of course, evidence actually has been created.

Which we now know it has.

Click here to continue to Part 3 of this series.

Posted in Birther Scam, Conclusions, New Information, Sheriff Joe Arpaio | 691 Comments

The “Grandfather Clause” Regarding the “Natural Born Citizen” Requirement of the Constitution — Was It Ever Needed or Used?

“No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.”

“Natural Born Citizen” Clearly Didn’t Include George Washington — Says TJ McCann

Recently, a Mr. TJ McCann showed up at this blog (in the comments section of the post giving my reaction to Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s original “birther” press conference back in July, claiming to have great knowledge and authority in his opinion on the meaning of the term “natural born citizen.”

Mr. McCann has written a paper which makes certain claims that have been discussed in times past on this blog. He is of the opinion that his position is absolutely true, and that those who disbelieve the claim that it takes two citizen parents to make a natural born citizen know nothing at all about the issue.

And he would like to debate that proposition.

I won’t go into all of the discussion that’s taken place so far — it’s available in the comments section of that article, as there has been no way to get Mr. McCann to actually read the relevant contents of this site, and get him to post in any thread other than that one.

He did, however, propose that a separate thread be set up where he and I could engage in a debate.

I retired from the “natural born citizen” claims in July, having satisfied myself that I had conducted a thorough survey of the legal, historical and Constitutional meaning of the term, and had addressed every significant claim that I could find on the subject. And at this point, I have other things I am trying to accomplish, and really don’t have much time to any more devote to birtherism.

Slartibartfast, however, a long-time and distinguished participant at this site, has proposed the following to Mr. McCann:

“I would like to challenge you to an honest debate on the question of whether or not the grandfather clause of the Constitution has ever been used and, in particular, how the citizenship status of four men: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton and St. George Tucker; changed throughout the course of their lives.

This, as John mentioned, has not been a topic addressed here (or, really, anywhere else that I’m aware of) and it is only peripherally related to the issue of President Obama’s eligibility, so it is as innocuous and self-contained a topic as we are likely to find and neither of us has much of a head start (although I have spent some time thinking about it, I’ve never done any research).

McCann has been very clear in his claim that the Founding Fathers required the “grandfather clause” (“or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution”) because none of the Founding Fathers were natural-born citizens of the United States.

To save you from having to click through to McCann’s claim, I will reproduce it here:

This shows how thoroughly you do not understand the subject matter.

Washington was not a natural born citizen. Not only was Washington not born on American soil (as there was no United States), and his parents were not only not citizens of the United States, but rather SUBJECTS of the Crown, providing Washington with undelible allegiance to the Crown from birth. This is why Washington and the other signers of the Declaration knew they must “hang together, or they would assuredly hang seperately”. Washington was guilty of treason against the Crown.

However to qualify under the Article II requirement, the founders included the “grandfather clause” allowing those who were citizens at the time of the signing to be President. This Grandfather Clause of Article II applied to the qualifications of 1) Washington, 2) Adams, 3) Jefferson, 4) Madison, 5) Monroe, 6) J.Q. Adams, 7) Jackson, and 9) Harrison, all of whom were born on British Soil, and to parents who were British subjects.

The first President not qualifying under the Grandfather Clause, but as a natural born citizen, is 8.) Martin Van Buren. Van Buren was born on Dec. 5, 1782, near Albany, NY, to two parents who were both U.S. Citizens. Every predecessor to Van Buren was born British Subjects and with British allegiance through the British subjecthood of their parents.

You should really read the Constitution sometime.

So I have decided to set up this thread that would facilitate debate on the matter. And how Mr. McCann fares on this particular topic could be an initial test of his scholarship in general. If he is able to prove his point, and — convincingly — factually and historically demonstrate that neither Washington, nor Adams, nor Jefferson, nor Adams, Monroe, etc., were natural born citizens, then he will have passed his initial test.

On the other hand, if he can’t convincingly prove the point factually from the historical and legal record, then I think it is safe to assume that Mr. McCann is a bloviating failure of a pretended historical and legal scholar who in fact doesn’t have the faintest clue what he’s talking about.

Sound reasonable? It sounds reasonable to me.

So let the discussion begin.

Posted in Challenges, Natural Born Citizen, New Information | 644 Comments

Statement Regarding Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s July 17, 2012 Press Conference: Part 1

Following Arpaio's Press Conference, I Was Interviewed by ABC-15 in Phoenix

Following Arpaio’s Press Conference, I Was Interviewed by ABC-15 in Phoenix

On July 17, Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona presented a second press conference in which he reiterated earlier claims that President Barack Obama’s birth certificate is a forgery.

In his first press conference on the subject (March 1, 2012) Sheriff Arpaio and his posse brought to the American public the same claims that birthers had been making about Mr. Obama’s birth certificate for some time. Virtually all of the claims made by Arpaio and his posse, however, had been debunked in the book I wrote on the subject, which had been released some 6 months prior to the press conference. This was before Arpaio’s “investigation” even began.

Many were also debunked by other authors, such as Frank Arduini. Unlike myself, I understand that Mr. Arduini is an Obama supporter. I have just reread his paper on Mara Zebest’s birther claims, which are the same claims presented by Arpaio’s posse (in fact, by the same person!) Whatever Mr. Arduini’s political affiliation, his technical comments are accurate.

Another debunking of the Mara Zebest claims was available here (Update, 2020: This has now disappeared, with no web archive). A brief debunking is here. All of these debunkings publicly appeared before the Cold Case Posse even began their “investigation.”

Arpaio’s Posse Completely Failed to Recruit Viewpoints from Both Sides, and Brushed Away the Most Extensive Investigation that Had Been Conducted Regarding the Forgery Claims and the Birth Certificate.

As soon as Sheriff Arpaio announced he would be conducting an investigation (September of 2011) I wrote to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s office, as the only person to have already conducted a full, independent and impartial investigation — and to have authored a book on the forgery theories — and offered my assistance. My investigation was essentially full-time for some 3 months, or approximately 500 hours of very careful research which yielded, by my estimation, around 20 new interesting items of information that were largely, and in some cases completely, unknown.

Sheriff Arpaio’s office never replied.

Birther Conspiracy Theorist Jerome Corsi

Birther Conspiracy Theorist Jerome Corsi

Instead, they received literally days’ worth of “briefing” from birther conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi, public backer of some 23 different conspiracy theory claims that had already — all — been factually debunked in my book. I had found no significant claim backed by Corsi that could stand up to scrutiny.

They followed up on this by making Corsi — a person with a direct and substantial financial interest in the existence of a “forgery” — a member of their investigative team.

To give you an idea of what we’re talking about here, Corsi at one point claimed to be on track for selling 100,000 copies of his book “Where’s the Birth Certificate? The Case that Barack Obama is not Eligible to be President.” These were generally selling, as near as I can determine, for around $20 each. You do the math on WorldNetDaily’s projected gross sales. WND has their own publishing arm, and a great many of these sales were via WND’s web site. This means they didn’t have to split the profits on those particular sales with anybody else (like Amazon.)

Of course most of these sales were prior to the Arpaio venture. But in addition to the book sales, WorldNetDaily has sold a variety of other “birther gear,” and solicited donations from the public for “independent investigations” and a “Where’s the REAL Birth Certificate?” billboard campaign. They are currently selling more than a dozen “eligibility products” and are still soliciting donations, at up to $5,000 a pop. Monthly, if you wish. They’ve also used the supposed “forgery” to drive traffic to their web site, where they make further profits through advertising (“Power Companies HATE This!”), sales of other WND products, etc.

And an ebook on the investigation itself, authored by Corsi and lead investigator Michael Zullo, went on sale the day before their March press conference, with profits split between Corsi and Zullo. (Mr. Zullo claims to have made less than $1500 from the ebook sales, which he says he gave to his church.)

Critics will be quick to point out that I have myself recently added “donate” buttons to this site and asked readers to consider making a contribution (and in fact, a monthly one if they are willing and able).

The problem is not in presenting an honest product to the public and making a profit by so doing. That’s called free enterprise, and it is a system I wholeheartedly support.

There are two places where there’s a problem. The first is when people profit by presenting invalid and false information and/or products to the public. As mentioned above, Corsi and WorldNetDaily have a long track record of presenting spectacular claims that do not stand up to scrutiny — as shown in the book that I wrote — and of using those dubious claims as a means to advertise and motivate people to buy their claim-related products.

The second problem is when a supposedly professional investigative team — an official law enforcement agency — conducts a high-profile “investigation,” makes a person with a known and substantial personal financial interest in the outcome of that investigation an integral part of their “investigative team,” and then has their lead investigator split the profits with him.

What kind of “investigation” was that?

Others besides myself who had written articles critical of the birther forgery claims, to my knowledge, were likewise not contacted by Arpaio’s posse. (I specifically confirmed this, for example, with Mr. Arduini.)

It is not as if I and these other authors are that difficult to find. A number of people have commented publicly and critically on the birther forgery claims. And Arpaio’s posse can’t credibly claim they didn’t know I existed. Aside from being easily findable through search engines, YouTube videos and the like — and the fact that I actually took the initiative to contact them — they actually mentioned my name during their first press conference.

I was not asked or informed that I would be mentioned, or given any chance whatsoever to rebut what they said.

What kind of “investigation” was that?

Arpaio claims (as he did in today’s press conference) “My initial intent was to clear the President of the United States.” In light of the completely one-sided way that his posse’s “investigation” has been conducted, the claim seems literally laughable.

Joseph Farah Was Sent the Evidence that Not One of the Corsi-Backed Claims Could Stand Up to Scrutiny. WorldNetDaily Never Uttered One Word About That Evidence. Instead, They Continued to Publicize the Debunked Birther Claims, with an Advertisement on Virtually Every Page.

Joseph Farah, CEO of WorldNetDaily -- Who Along With Jerome Corsi Has Stood to Profit from the Birther Claims

Joseph Farah, CEO of WorldNetDaily — Who Along With Jerome Corsi Has Stood to Profit from the Birther Claims

Incidentally, Jerome Corsi’s editor Joseph Farah at WorldNetDaily was one of the first people in the world to be given a copy of my book. I sent an electronic copy to Mr. Farah via his personal assistant a day or two before the book was published, and my wife followed up a couple of weeks later with a complimentary physical copy addressed to Mr. Farah. This was basically at his personal assistant’s request.

Although a couple of weak attempts have been made by Corsi’s “experts,” to my knowledge not one single significant point in the 221-page book has ever been successfully debunked. The only thing that I have so far had to retract in the nearly 10 months since publication was my inadvertent erroneous use of the phrase “Democrat Party,” when “Democratic Party” is the proper name for that organization.

Neither Jerome Corsi (whom I actually debated on internet radio back in January) nor his boss Joseph Farah have the slightest excuse for not knowing that the masses of information they have been peddling to the public are absolute baloney. I have not followed WND’s articles since early this year, but from what I saw until that time, they continued to publish multiple birther articles weekly for months after they received a copy of my book, and every article that I saw advertised their birther wares. Usually, multiple times.

Corsi would later be dispatched by Arpaio’s posse to examine flight records from 1961, and (according to tonight’s press conference) to phone 95-year-old Verna Lee, the local Registrar of record listed on Obama’s birth certificate. Corsi was also a member of the official Arpaio press team at their first press conference in March; and birther activist Mara Zebest authored the Posse’s official report.

“Party Unity, My A**” — Arpaio’s Official Report Was Authored by Disgruntled Hillary Supporter With an Activist Anti-Obama Axe to Grind.

Anti-Obama, Birther Activist Mara Zebest -- Author of the Posse's Official Report

Anti-Obama, Birther Activist Mara Zebest — Author of the Posse’s Official Report

In an early interview, Mara Zebest sounded as if she was simply a random, uninvolved graphics expert who got a phone call one day and was shocked to examine the PDF file posted by the White House and discover that the President of the United States was attempting to foist a forgery off on the American public.

There’s a lot more to it than that, however.

Ms. Zebest is known to have been a dedicated anti-Obama activist from the 2008 primary season, when she publicly stated of Mr. Obama, “It’s what I live for – my goal to make him a mockery of the very crowd he seeks for adulation.” (comment # 424 by mzebest)

[In post #503 of the same thread, Ms. Zebest both identifies herself by name and invites “Firebelle Puma” to visit to see books Ms. Zebest has worked on.]

That site — pumapac — was a hub for “PUMAs,” disgruntled Hillary Clinton supporters who, when asked to unite behind presumptive nominee Obama, responded: “Party unity, my a**!” (“P.U.M.A”) and continued to oppose Obama’s nomination.

Since When Does a Professional Investigative Team Repeat Long Debunked Claims?

We’ve already noted that virtually every claim made in Arpaio’s initial press conference had been shown to be invalid or false before they ever even began their “investigation.”

And as far as I can tell, every significant new claim made by Arpaio’s team in March was entirely debunked within days of the press conference. Most notable of these, in my opinion, was the claim that the postmark on Obama’s Secret Service registration from 1980 was proof of forgery regarding that document. Because the “19” was missing from “1980,” Arpaio’s team claimed that somebody had fraudulently created the postmark from a recent postmark stamp, by removing (or otherwise not using) the “20” and arranging other numerals to read “80.” Presumably, an insert for the year “2008” might have been used, with that date cut in half and the “08” inverted to make an “80.”

This claim was entirely debunked, literally the very next day, by Mr. Kevin Davidson of, who noted that the stamp read “USPO” rather than “USPS.” The “United States Post Office” was replaced by the “United States Postal Service” (USPS) in July of 1971. Postmark stamps were replaced as they wore out, with the last known “USPO” stamp apparently surviving until 1987.

What kind of “investigative” operation is it, when one of your most important claims — in which you publicly accuse “someone” (Arpaio will never say who, but it’s supposedly not the President!) of having forged the Selective Service registration of the President of the United States — a serious crime — and your accusation is debunked by someone on the internet the next day?

What kind of “investigative” operation is it, when you actually then repeat that debunked accusation, in another press conference, 4-1/2 months later, as Arpaio did today? (“We also looked into the President’s Selective Service form, and we believe that that form is fraudulent.“)

The Arpaio Posse’s New Claims from the July 17, 2012 Press Conference

Today Arpaio’s posse presented several new claims.

At this time, I am going to go ahead and post this as “Part 1.” I intend to return later to comment on the claims that Arpaio’s posse made today.

Update and Part 2: It turns out that Sheriff Joe’s Posse fabricated evidence and lied to the nation in their press conference last week. See here.

Posted in Conclusions, New Information, What's Happening | 54 Comments

The Historical Meaning of “Natural Born Citizen” —
Part 7: Summary and Conclusion

[To start at the very beginning, click here.] 

What Color Is the Sky?

In October 2008, Leo Donofrio filed a lawsuit alleging that Barack Obama, as the son of a Kenyan (and therefore British) father, was Constitutionally ineligible to be President of the United States.

That December, the US Supreme Court declined, without comment, to hear the case.

Since then, there’s been a lot of publicity (on the internet, at least) around the claim that it takes two citizen parents at the time of a person’s birth for that person to be a natural born citizen.

The claim, however, was like saying that the sky was orange: It flew directly in the face of what most Americans thought they knew about the natural born citizen clause.

The understanding of most people is that the sky is blue. Yes, there might sometimes be some other colors up in the sky — the white of clouds, or the orange, yellow or pink colors of sunset. But fundamentally, the sky is blue. That, at least, is our accepted belief.

This is very like the common understanding of “natural born citizen.” The government, the media, and our school textbooks all tell us that if you were born in the United States, then you are a natural born citizen; and that any kid born in American can one day grow up to be President.

It can sometimes be healthy, though, to challenge assumptions, and to test the conventional wisdom. Sometimes we find out new things when we do.

Maybe there’s a lot more to physics than old Sir Isaac Newton thought there was. Maybe man can build machines that fly after all.

Maybe the sky is orange.

But believing such a thing — that a heavier-than-air flying machine is possible, at a time when only balloons have ever flown before, or that the sky is orange, or that there is life on the moon or Mars — requires some compelling evidence.

Getting a Big Picture

You might possibly have noticed that throughout this series of posts, I’ve included a little block of color in the headline of each section. And, you may have noticed that some of these blocks have varied in color.

Those blocks represent what that particular piece of evidence seems to say. Here’s what those colors actually mean:

Clear evidence for the conventional understanding — against the 2-citizen-parent claim
Some evidence in favor of the conventional understanding
No real evidence either way
Some evidence in favor of the two-citizen-parent claim
Clear evidence in favor of the two citizen parent claim

The little blocks serve two purposes. First, they will let you go back and compare your own assessment of a particular bit of evidence with mine. And secondly, they will help us summarize the vast body of historical evidence and visualize an overall picture.

A Historical Picture, Rather Than a Legal One

When we speak of “evidence” here, it’s important to note that we are not necessarily talking about evidence regarding the legal definition of the term “natural born citizen.”

Legally speaking, any real argument has been settled — as Congressional Research Service attorney Jack Maskell notes, for more than a century.

First, Minor v Happersett clearly does not say what some have claimed it says. We know this for a variety of good reasons. In this blog, I myself have given no less than five.

And US v Wong Kim Ark (1898) quite clearly established that persons born in the situation of our current President are indeed natural born citizens, and therefore eligible to the Presidency.

So legally, the issue was settled 114 years ago. This is the ultimate reason why every case birthers bring on this issue is absolutely, 100% doomed to fail. (Incidentally, if you’ve been financially supporting any of these lawsuits, it is of benefit to you to understand this. You are quite literally throwing your money away.)

A fairly extensive analysis of the legal meaning of “natural born citizen” is available through this blog’s posts on legal authorities and case law.

But maybe the courts have been wrong? Maybe Americans have always understood “natural born citizen” to mean something else?

That is why we have taken an in-depth look at the historical meaning of the term.

Having done that, we are now prepared to take a “big picture” look at the historical evidence of what Americans have always understood the term to mean.

The Scales of History

We have carefully examined 41 different pieces of evidence. If we should give them all equal weight, they would look like this:

If We Were to Give Every Item of Historical Evidence Equal Weight, Our Results Would Look Like This

If We Were to Give Every Item of Historical Evidence Equal Weight,
Our Results Would Look Like This

Ignore, if you will, the stack of irrelevancies in the middle, and focus on the real evidence to the left and to the right.

Rather lopsided, isn’t it?

The only historical events we have found that weigh in birthers’ favor are the opinions of Alexander Porter Morse (orange) and Breckinridge Long (light orange), and the fact that the US State Department sometimes denied passports, in the late 1800s, to persons born on US soil of non-citizen parents who had removed them in childhood to other countries.

Some other historical events have been claimed to weigh in the birthers’ favor — such as Minor v Happersett — have been found completely wanting.

The above illustration, however, presumes that all items are worth equal weight. But this is not the case. Let’s compare the sum total of our “pro-birther” evidence to just ONE of the bits of evidence — that is, just ONE of the 19 solid blue blocks at left — that weigh AGAINST their claim:

The Total of ALL Evidence For the Two-Citizen-Parent Claim Compared to Just One Block of the Evidence Against It

The Total of ALL Evidence For the Two-Citizen-Parent Claim
Compared to Just One Block of the Evidence Against It

The above diagram compares the opinions of Alexander Porter Morse, Breckinridge Long, and the presumed opinions of several Secretaries of State to the single list of known quotes regarding natural born citizenship and Presidential eligibility from legal authorities.

And once again, this is still an uneven, charitable comparison! I haven’t attempted to add in any of the “blue” opinions of Secretaries of State (such as William Evarts and undoubtedly many others) or the policies of Secretaries of State since Perkins v Elg.

And I’m counting the opinions of Morse and Long as if they were equal with those of many more highly distinguished and recognized legal experts, including Justices of the US Supreme Court.

We have many highly authoritative sources — including some who speak in the list of quotes represented above, and some who don’t — that indicate that citizen parents are not and never were necessary for a person born on US soil to be a natural born citizen. These include, for example:

  • Philip Mazzei, close friend and neighbor of Thomas Jefferson
  • the Marquis de Lafayette, “natural born citizen forever” and personal friend of our first six Presidents
  • St. George Tucker and his authoritative comparison of American and English law
  • the lack of any known quotes indicating the necessity of citizen parents, or of reference to Vattel, during the entire lifetime of the Founders or Framers
  • the authoritative word of early legal expert and friend of Ben Franklin, William Rawle
  • comments by esteemed Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story
  • a comprehensive analysis of centuries of law by Judge Sandford in the case of Lynch v Clarke
  • the proud campaign literature of the first Republican Presidential candidate and son of a Frenchman, John Charles Frémont
  • the clear analysis and word of the US Supreme Court in US v Wong Kim Ark
  • the quotes mentioned from 62 different legal experts throughout American history
  • quotes from several hundred other sources that reveal the popular understanding throughout history
  • and a virtually absolute lack of any quotes that legitimately and in context claim or even imply a birther definition.

Elsewhere, in fact, I’ve estimated the total number of known book quotes, prior to 2008, that give evidence against the citizen-parents claim as being approximately 395, and the number of known “book quotes” giving evidence that could legitimately be said to be in favor of the claim — Morse’s book and Long’s newspaper article — as being 2.

In short, the evidence stands overwhelmingly against the two-citizen-parent claim, not only from a legal perspective, but also from a historical perspective as well.

We have only the personal opinions of Morse and Long, spoken a century after the Founding, as well as some implied evidence from several US Secretaries of State (from the same era as Morse and Long) — against a veritable mountain of historical evidence spanning the entire course of American history, that “natural born citizen” does not and never did mean what the birthers claim.

A Non-Partisan Conclusion

That Barack Obama, born in Hawaii to an American mother and a Kenyan father, is Constitutionally eligible to be President is not a partisan conclusion; nor is it one that simply benefits Democrats.

As we’ve seen, the first Republican Presidential candidate in history — John Charles Frémont — was in very much the same situation as Barack Obama. So, too, was Republican Presidential candidate Charles Evans Hughes.

Today the Republican Party has interesting candidates in Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal and Nikki Haley. They aren’t the Republican Party’s only candidates, by any means. But we would be worse off without the possibility that one or another of these home-grown, American individuals might become a future President.

The birthers have done no one any favors. Not the Republicans. Not the Democrats. Not the American public. Not the Constitution. And not the Founding Fathers.

The Sky Is Still Blue

Some reading this article undoubtedly will have hoped that we would find the sky, as alleged in birther mythology, to be orange.

But it isn’t. The very few small bits of orange in the sky are merely the reflection of the sun going down on the two-citizen-parent claim.

Let’s return to the quote that we began this article with:

“…historically a ‘natural born Citizen’ had only one definition, i.e., a child born in the country to citizen parents. There never has been any other definition.”

It is quite true that historically, the term “natural born citizen” has only ever had one definition.

But the claim that that definition requires citizen parents for persons born in the United States is false — to the point of total, absolute absurdity.

It could hardly be more false. It’s about as false as publicly claiming that car windshields are made from heat-treated sugar water, that Bozo the Clown invented the internet, or that 2 plus 2 equals 17.

And an accurate historical evaluation is perfectly in harmony with the legal reality.

For a person born on US soil, it does not — and never did — require citizen parents for that person to be a natural born citizen.

Thanks to the Readers, Participants, and Contributors of This Blog

This post completes a 14-month, thorough evaluation of the claims of the birther movement.

That evaluation began by looking into claims of “proof of forgery.” It continued with an investigation of the legal claims of the birther movement and the status of actual US law. And it has ended with a complete tour of the meaning of “natural born citizen” in the light of history.

In the course of that evaluation, I have written and published one book — on the forgery claims — and also published, here, more than enough material for a second book.

This has been this blog’s final post, and it’s time for me to move on to other things. I would like to thank all — both birthers and anti-birthers — who have read, participated or otherwise contributed to this blog.

For any readers who appreciate having been told the truth and would be willing to make a financial contribution to help offset the enormous cost of time, energy and effort over the past 14 months that this blog has taken, any such contribution would be welcome and will be put to good use.

Again, thanks — and I wish all of you — yes, even the birthers — the best.

John Woodman

Posted in Conclusions, Natural Born Citizen, New Information | 19 Comments