POLARIK'S FINAL REPORT: OBAMA'S 'BORN' CONSPIRACY - Forged Images, Phony Photos, and Felony Fraud
Ron Polarik, PhD
The following report is the culmination of over four months of intensive, empirical research whose sole purpose has been to determine if the images and photographs posted on the Internet are true reproductions of a genuine document purported to be Obama's original birth certificate. The idea for the research actually began from the time when the first image was posted on June 12 to the Daily Kos blog. I don't recall on which website I actually saw the story (most likely World Net Daily), but the news had gone viral basically from the moment that it hit the Internet.
Before seeing the image, I had no idea that Barack Obama's birthplace was in question, or that his status as a natural-born US citizen had never been proven. Like millions of other Americans, I believed the story he told about being born in Hawaii to an American Mother (and a U.S. citizen) and an African Father (a Kenyan national attending college on a student visa). I had no idea that this issue would mushroom and take on a life of its own. What I did know, however, was that from the first time I saw the Daily Kos image, or what I now call, "Obama's bogus birth certificate," that something was just not right about it. As someone who has scanned hundreds of thousands of documents in his lifetime, I had a hard time accepting that this was an original scan image made from an original paper document. As Fate would have it, right then, on June 13, I was looking at the conclusive evidence that the text on this image had been graphically altered, or "manufactured," as my first blog post would claim.
From that point onward, I had no inkling of what was to come. I had no idea that I would wind up being the only person on the Planet (at that time) to have spotted the anomalies that I knew were the by-products of intentional, graphic alteration, and to go on record as stating that the Daily Kos image was a fake. I was also not prepared for what came along with this knowledge, for what I had to endure for making it public. Basically, I had painted a big bullseye on my chest and my research findings, and the critics were now coming out of the virtual woodwork taking shots at me personally, and my research, secondly. I had started a new online game called, "Let's pile on Polarik," and every little error I made was magnified into a major transgression. Yet, the crux of my contention was never successfully refuted.
Now, if I had to do it all over again, I probably would not have done it at all, knowing that I'd be spending the next four months conducting further research and compiling evidence on not just the COLB image, but also the digital photographs that were to follow two months later. The personal costs to me were enormous, and I will not elucidate on them (but for those who know me, they also know what were those costs). What began as sort of a curiosity turned into my personal quest for the "Holy Grail," so to speak. I was guided only by the need to uncover the truth, and by the constant harassment by my critics. Had they left me alone from the beginning, I probably would not be writing this report today.
I debated, long and hard, about the title of my report. Aside from it being catchy, I ran the danger of being lumped into a group of false conspiracy theorists, and brushed aside as an idiot wearing a "tinfoil hat." (Actually, that's already happened, many times over). Perhaps there are a lot of false conspiracies, including some really outlandish ones, but there would not be laws on the books, both at a state level and a federal level, that specifically mention the act of conspiracy when the purpose of that conspiracy is to either engage in illegal activity, engage in a cover-up of that illegal activity, or interfering with the investigation of that illegal activity. Conspiracy can involve all of these. Yet, somehow, the word, "Conspiracy," has become a pejorative for "nutty theories from the fringe," as if there has never been a real "conspiracy."
Do you remember, or ever hear about, the "Watergate Conspiracy?" Do you remember, or ever hear about, what happened to President Richard Nixon as a result?
I would tell all of you who think that "conspiracies" are a joke and that the people who claim to have found them are "idiots wearing tinfoil hats," to just ask an FBI agent what he or she thinks about "conspiracy." Or, go ahead and ask a federal judge what he or she thinks about "conspiracy."
"Conspiracy" is no laughing matter, ladies and gentlemen, and neither is "document fraud," as in creating and passing a counterfeit birth certificate.
I should now alert you to the fact that I have been using the phrase, "Bogus birth certificate," as a euphemism for "Counterfeit birth certificate," which is defined as, "A copy or imitation of a state-issued birth certificate that is intended to be taken as authentic and genuine in order to deceive another."
Sound familiar? According to Authenticate-360:
Birth certificates are generally used as “breeder” documents to gain other identity documents and to perpetuate fraud. But unlike Social Security cards, birth certificates are issued by hundreds, if not thousands, of entities, with little regard to consistency or security. An accurately forged birth certificate is a dangerous document, allowing the bearer significant access to everything from driver’s licenses to passports...The increasing availability and affordability of high-quality digital scanners and copiers is a constant threat to the authenticity of government issued documents.
There are current Federal laws in place that prohibit the use of false identity documents, such as a birth certificate, and they are spelled out in Chapter 18 of the United States Code, Section 1028, Fraud and related activity in connection with identification documents, authentication features, and information. In particular, there are specific paragraphs that relate to the use of a false identification document:
The term "false identification document" means a document of a type intended or commonly accepted for the purposes of identification of individuals that - (A) is not issued by or under the authority of a governmental entity or was issued under the authority of a governmental entity but was subsequently altered for purposes of deceit; and(B) appears to be issued by or under the authority of the United States Government, a State, a political subdivision of a State, a foreign government, a political subdivision of a foreign government, or an international governmental or quasi-governmental organization.
What you are about to read in this report are well-documented facts arising from evidence collected over a period of four months and subjected to intense scrutiny and empirical evaluation. Given the overriding fact that the individual whose identity document is in question, has repeatedly failed to provide a genuine identity document, the charge that this individual, along with other individuals, did conspire to proffer in its place, a false identification document, is hereby levied by the American people, by way of one of its citizens. To summarize the seriousness of these actions and this charge, and to the importance of what is contained within this report:
There is conclusive and irrefutable evidence that the COLB image created and distributed by Obama's campaign to the Daily Kos, Annenberg's Factcheck, and the St. Pete Times, Politifact, is, unquestionably, a false identification document. Furthermore, there is conclusive and irrefutable evidence that the photos taken by Annenberg's Factcheck, in collusion with the Obama campaign, are themselves, false identification documents, having been made from the same false identification document image, as well as from additional false identification documents created for the same purpose; namely, to proffer these false identification documents as true reproductions of a genuine, Hawaii-issued and certified, "Certification of Live Birth" document, and thereby, intentionally deceive the American public into believing that Barack Hussein Obama is a natural-born citizen of the United States, and thereby, fully qualified to become their President.
I never imagined that my studies would amount to this. I thought, like most Americans, that maybe the information was accurate even though the document image was fake. I thought, like most Americans, that Obama would simply present a copy of his real, original birth certificate, and that would be that. Yet, here we are, more than twenty months after Obama announced his candidacy for the Presidency, and nearly three weeks after the election, and Obama still refuses to show his real birth certificate!
Sadly, mainstream media have totally ignored this inconvenient truth and are not even been willing to even look at this birth certificate issue. They are all still in-the-tank with Obama, but even more so now that he is in line to be President. They all bought into the lies and fraudulent documents proffered up as evidence on Obama's qualifications. They have been too quick to label as "trash" or "garbage" any legitimate questions asked about Obama's real birth certificate. Even thigh-ranking governmental officials in the state of Hawaii where Obama was allegedly born, won't reveal what's on Obama's original birth certificate. All they have said is that they have it. They have not said (1) where Obama was born. (2) when Obama was born, or (30 even to whom Obama was born.
The answer to "What's on Barack Obama's real, original birth certificate" ranks right up there with some of the great mysteries of our time -- and that is really hard to swallow. That a man, with a dubious background, has been elected to the highest office of the greatest superpower in the world without ever having to prove who he says he is! That is not "nutty," that's just plain insane!
With all that said, and without further ado, I present to you my final and complete report on Barack Obama's bogus birth certificate, The Born Conspiracy.
Since the beginning of Barack Hussein Obama’s Presidential campaign on February 11, 2007, there had been numerous rumors regarding Obama’s citizenship status. Several reporters had asked for a copy of Obama’s birth certificate, however, all requests were subsequently denied.
On or about June 12, 2008, the Daily Kos blog, a pro-Obama website, received an image from the Obama Campaign that they claimed was a scanned copy of Obama’s “original birth certificate,”. Before this document image was cropped to 2427 x 2369 pixels, it measured 2550 x 3300 pixels, or 8 1/2” x 11” when printed.
Also, on or about June 12, 2008, the Obama Campaign posted a smaller copy of the same cropped image, measuring 1000 x 1024 pixels:
“You may have recently heard right-wing smears questioning Barack Obama's birth certificate and citizenship. These assertions are completely false and designed to play into the worst kind of stereotypes. You can see Barack Obama's birth certificate for yourself and help push back with the truth...”
The very next day, which was on or about June 13, 2008, Obama’s Campaign replaced the first document image they posted with a smaller copy which they posted to a new website, “Fight The Smears” (fightthesmears.com). The smaller image was disproportionately reduced to 585 x 575 pixels, which was almost half the size of the original posted image, and one-third of its quality.
Also, on or about June 13, Politifact.org, a supposedly nonpartisan, fact checking website that is unquestionably pro-Obama, published a copy of the same image as that posted on the Daily Kos, but was also disproportionately reduced it to 811 x 786 pixels, or 1/3 of its size and 1/6 of its image quality.
On or about June 16, 2008, Factcheck.org, a pro-Obama fact checking website ,posted a full-sized image copy of same document image that appeared on the Daily Kos. Factcheck’s image copy was identical to the Daily Kos image copy before that image was cropped. Factcheck.org is owned by the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania; a center run by Obama supporters and funded by the Annenberg Public Policy Center.
Factcheck.org made the following statement to explain how they received their image copy:
"Bloggers raised questions based on the absence of evidence, specifically the lack of a publicly available copy of a birth certificate and the supposed secrecy surrounding it". According to FactCheck, Tommy Vietor at the Obama campaign sent a message to them and "other reporters" saying, "I know there have been some rumors spreading about Obama’s citizenship, so I wanted to make sure you all had a copy of his birth certificate."
I first noticed that the image posted to the Daily Kos and purported to be the “original birth certificate” of Barack H. Obama, did not look like a regular birth certificate. This image was made only from the front side of a COLB: no copy of the reverse side of this COLB has ever been made, :birth certificate” document was ever scanned, a side that contains all of the official certification instruments, such as the official Hawaiian Seal, State Registrar’s signature, and date stamp of when the document was printed.
To validate my findings that the text in this COLB document image was the result of graphic alternations, and not a result of any printer or scanner artifacts, I made over 700 test scans and images using an actual paper COLB and different scanners that were subjected to different combinations of scanning and image parameters. I was finally able to replicate the Kos image so closely that other image experts thought it was the same Kos image, and not my “clone.”
From this date forward, when I first discovered the evidence of tampering, and regardless of the unfamiliar format of the COLB and the questionable information it contained, I collected a great deal of additional evidence, that the scanned image alleged to be a true copy of Obama’s original COLB was forged, and that this altered image of an official state-issued document is nothing less than a false identification document as defined by Chapter 18, Section 1028 of the United States Code.
All of my findings pertaining to a single source image and the four copies made from of it that are still posted on the four (4) websites, DAILYKOS.COM, FIGHTTHESMEARS.COM, FACTCHECK.ORG, and POLITIFACT.COM, as referred to and described above, are outlined in my Final Report
On August 21, slightly more than two months after the publication of the image on the Daily Kos and Obama's website, Factcheck published their story about nine photos they claimed were allegedly taken of Obama's "real" COLB at his campaign headquarters – the same COLB used to make the document image they posted on June 16.
There was no longer any question in my mind that the COLB image Factcheck posted is a forgery and that Obama's real COLB, as proffered by Factcheck, is a nonexistent document. However, Factcheck created a conundrum for me: if the image Factcheck posted is a forgery of a nonexistent document image, then how can any genuine photos be made of it? The answer had to be that both the image and the photos were forgeries.
I have thoroughly examined the photographs that FactCheck published, and have subsequently found clear and irrefutable evidence of tampering with both the alleged COLB objects photographed and with the photos themselves. One of those COLB objects was, in fact, a printout of a forged document image with the Seal superimposed onto it for the final pictures.
FactCheck’s photos reveal both the absence of known, relevant features found on genuine COLBs along with the presence of illogical and impossible features that would never be found on a real 2007 COLB. Specifically, on the COLB objects photographed, the security border closely matches the border found on a real 2007 COLB. However, both the embossed Seal and the State Registrar’s Signature stamp do not match the same elements found on a real 2007 COLB, but perfectly match those found on a real 2008 COLB; or, in other words, something that would never happen in real life.
Hawaii made three important changes to their COLBs from 2007 to 2008, including the use of a larger certificate layout, a new security border, and, much to the chagrin of Factcheck and the Obama Campaign, a new Seal and Signature stamp that can now be stamped on a COLB by a machine.
With my experience and specialization in document imaging, my findings are conclusive and irrefutable that the COLB images posted by Obama to his campaign website, fightthesmears.com, to the dailykos.com, a pro-Obama blog, to FactCheck.org, a pro-Obama political research group, and to Politifact.org, are, in fact, image forgeries with the intent to defraud the American People into believing that these images were digitally scanned from Obama’s genuine, “original” birth certificate.
With my experience and specialization in photography and digital imaging, my findings are conclusive and irrefutable that the COLB photographs posted by FactCheck.org, a pro-Obama political research group, and to Politifact.org, are, in fact, photographic forgeries with the intent to defraud the American People into believing that these digital photographs were taken of Obama’s genuine, “original” birth certificate.
Chapter One: In the beginning
In the June 9, 2008 edition of National Review Online, writer Jim Geraghty posted the following story to his blog, the Campaign Spot:
Having done some Obama-rumor debunking that got praise from Daily Kos (a sign of the apocalypse, no doubt), perhaps the Obama campaign could return the favor and help debunk a bunch of others with a simple step: Could they release a copy of his birth certificate? Rreporters have asked for it and been denied, and the state of Hawaii does not make such records public...There are several (unlikely) rumors circulating regarding Obama’s birth certificate.
Geraghty listed these rumors as (1) Obama was born in Kenya, (2) Obama's middle name is really "Muhammad" and (3) Obama's first name is really "Barry," as he was called when he was a child growing up in Indonesia. Geraghty concluded his article by saying that "If the concern of the Obama campaign is that the certificate includes...some other data that could be useful to identity thieves, that information could easily be blocked out and the rest released."
Three days later, as if on cue, the pro-Obama Daily Kos blog posted an image of what that they claimed was a scanned copy of Barack Obama's "original birth certificate" that they had received from the Obama Campaign. Before the day was out, a duplicate copy of that same image (albeit it, much smaller in size and poorer in quality) appeared on Obama's own campaign website. A third copy of the same image would be posted on June 16 by FactCheck.org, a political website linked to Obama supporters and funders, followed by Politifact.org, a political website in the same mold as Factcheck.org.
From the first moment that this image was posted, reactions and criticisms spread through the Internet like a virus. Obama supporters stood by the claimed veracity of this document, while Obama critics protested it, not only for the data it held, but also for the way it looked.
To everyone not born in Hawaii, this "original birth certificate" looked nothing like what a traditional birth certificate should look like, and with good reason: it's not. This document is a short transcript of a person's birth record, and is called, a "Certification of Live Birth," or COLB as I came to call it. A COLB is what Hawaii's Department of Health now issues in place of actual photocopies of the original, long-form birth certificate. The COLB is a "short form birth certificate," and when duly certified, can be used for all intents and purposes that a regular birth certificate could be used.
At a minimum, original birth certificates contained the names of the hospital where the child was born and the doctor who delivered the baby. Birth certificates had signatures and stamped or embossed seals on them. By the second week of this controversy, the American public discovered that this type of document was not a photocopy of the original birth certificate completed at birth, but a short transcript of a person's birth record. The original birth certificate is stored on microfiche.
The major problem with a COLB is that the birth record it represents could have been requested late, after a child was born, and the place of birth as recorded may be anywhere in the world. Thus, if Obama was actually born in Kenya, his mother could have registered that birth with Hawaii's Health Department when she and her son returned to the island. Obama's original birth certificate which Hawaii's Health Department officials recently confirmed as being on file, could also have come from anywhere in the world. In other words, while Obama's original birth certificate on record does contain the actual time and place of his birth, the Certification of Live Birth would not if Obama was actually born overseas.
The COLB (as shown below) contains the names of the Father, Mother and Child, the "race" of the Mother and Father, the time and date of birth, and the island and city of birth:
Regardless of a person's actual birth date, anyone authorized to request this COLB, will receive the specific data currently listed on a person's actual birth record, on the date the copy was created. This last criteria is crucial to understand because so many of the criticisms had to do with the "apparent" conundrum posed by getting a computer-generated certificate for people whose birth predated the computer age.
Computer printout or not, many people were still agitated by the apparent lack of visually recognizable feature that attest to its veracity, such as the Seal, signature(s), and date stamps. Initially, I was also a skeptic, having never seen a Hawaiian COLB before. Although this COLB image did not look the same as a traditional birth certificate, what captured my attention were the image anomalies I saw -- anomalies that never would appear on any genuine scan of a document.
Specifically, I saw that the text in this image bore the telltale signs of being graphically altered after the image was created. From June 13 onwards, the unfamiliar format of this document, and the questionable information that it contained, became tangential to my discovery that the scanned image alleged to be a true copy Obama's original COLB, was a forged document image. Now, with four months worth of research and supportive evidence behind me, I can now say, without any reservations, that my initial recognition of this image forgery was absolutely correct.
Surprisingly, the same people who posted this forged image four months earlier, namely the Obama Campaign, the pro-Obama Daily Kos blog, Politifact, and the pro-Obama FactCheck group, are still passing it off as a genuine copy of Obama's original birth certificate. There are a lot of other people who are treating this iconic image as if it was an already established fact. At no time during this 4-month period, did the Obama Campaign submit a second scan image to corroborate the first one such as a scan of the reverse side where the certification elements appear: the embossed Seal of Hawaii, the date stamp, and the signature stamp of Hawaii's State Registrar.
No one on the Left seemed at all concerned that Obama had been given a pass on providing real evidence of his citizenship. So what if everyone else has to show a genuine document. This was Obama, after all, a man who could not do any wrong in the minds of his supporters. So adamant were his supporters about this document image, that anything challenging its authenticity was quickly and aggressively squelched. Even before Factcheck published a series of digital photographs purported to be Obama's real COLB, there were plenty of story lines already considering the birth certificate issue to be dead on the vine, with such titles as "Obama's birth certificate: case closed," or "Obama's birth certificate: the final chapter."
For more than two months, rather than make that second scan, FactCheck decided to gamble on pulling off the ultimate forgery by posting suspicious-looking photos of the same document that they claimed was used to make the scan image that they posted in June 16. Since I now have no doubt that their scanned image was fraudulent, I have no reason to believe that their "photographs" are any less fraudulent.
Supporters of Obama spent a great deal of time trying to explain away these suspicious actions, but logic and subterfuge are no substitutes for having independent observers examine not only Obama's original birth certificate, but also a current COLB containing his current birth record.
The "COLB" hard facts
Hawaii does not issue copies of the Certificate of Live Birth, aka, the traditional, long-form birth certificate. What Hawaii issues in its place is the Certification of Live Birth, aka COLB, that is a short transcript of a person's complete birth record on file -- it is only to be given to the person whose name appears under CHILD'S NAME, or to a member of that person's family, or someone authorized by the person to obtain it.
When people hear the word, "form," they typically envision a pre-printed document containing blank areas to be filled in later. In reality, nearly every form is of the "fill in the blank" variety. The COLB form is different in that it is not a pre-printed form at all, but a completely computer-generated graphic that is "redrawn" every time a COLB is requested.
Although the exact process for how these COLB forms are completed is not known, I imagine that either a computer operator manually enters the information into the blank areas provided, or a computer program automatically fills in these areas with the appropriate information, such as the child's name, parents' names, parents' race, place of birth, island of birth, and the date/time of birth. Perhaps the most important information written onto the form is the Certificate Number which uniquely identifies the birth record. Regardless of whether a person or computer fills in the "blanks," the information for those blanks come from the same place, a birth record database.
[IMPORTANT NOTICE] On Oct 31, 2008, the Directors of Health (Fukino) and Vital Statistics (Onaka) in Hawaii confirmed that there is a "birth record" for Obama in this database. However, that's about as informative as me saying, "I got a pen from my mother and it's in my pocket." You still do not know where, when, and by whom the pen was made. Logic dictates, however, that if birth record confirmed that Obama was born in Honolulu, the Department of Health would have thrown a huge luau in his honor by now.
OK, getting back to the business of creating a COLB, being a computer-savvy individual, I might find it hard to imagine that, in this day and age, a staff person has to manually type the birth data into the COLB form. Then again, we are talking about a State Government bureaucracy where paper forms still rule the roost. My bet would be that the completion of the COLB is not an automated process. Heck, every year when I have to renew my tag at the DMV, the clerks still have to manually type in my information. So, it's a good guess that it happens in Hawaii, too.
A confirmatory note on how these forms are filled in, is how Hawaii handles a request for a copy of a COLB. Individuals who wish to received a certified Certification of Live Birth (meaning that the requisite embossed Seal and Registrar's signature will be placed on it) are required to complete a form-fillable PDF file as shown below. Form-fillable PDF files have been around for some time, and it is worth noting that, by entering information into this request form, you are also replicating what a staff person might do to create the COLB itself.
As shown in the PDF form above, there are blank areas, called "fields," into which you are required to write the information requested. When this form is completed, you are then asked to print it and mail it in with the $10 fee. You cannot save this form with the information entered, and I would imagine that the same is true for the COLB form.
Now, here's the rub when it comes to requesting a COLB. When you fill out the form, you cannot simply enter the person's name (child's name) and expect to get back a fully-completed COLB. Hardly. In fact, if the name matches one on file, all you will get back is about the same as what Directors Fukino and Onaka said about Obama -- that a birth record exists. You only get back what you put into it. So, let's pretend that you had the legal authority to obtain Obama's real COLB (that is, Hawaii received both written and oral confirmation from Obama authorizing you to get it), and where it says, FATHER'S NAME, you type in "BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA II." If the birth record does not list BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA II as Obama's father, then what you'd get is a big, fat blank space where FATHER'S NAME would be.
I believe that the online COLB form is completed in much the same way. The staff person at Vital Records is presented with a blank COLB form -- which may or may not look like the finished product -- and, when the on-screen COLB form is completed, the COLB graphic is sent to a networked printer designated to handle all print requests for COLBs. Since all COLBs are printed on the very same device, all of the text in the COLB should look uniformly the same (Hold that "should look the same" thought in your mind as you read this report).
The COLB is printed on a special, green, Rattan-patterned paper. What makes it "special" and why some refer to it as "security paper" are the fibers embedded in the paper -- somewhat analogous to how our paper money makes use of specially-embedded fibers to distinguish counterfeit bills from the real thing (this point is also important to keep in mind here).
When I originally saw the COLB posted on the Daily Kos, I did not know that all of it was a graphic. I had recently ordered a copy of my own birth certificate and was expecting to see a similar document having text produced by printer fonts (vector fonts). So, when I saw that all of the text were written with bitmap fonts, or what a graphics editor produces, my attention was immediately drawn to it. Not so much that the fonts looked differently (which is what I originally reported back in June), but that they looked exactly like text that had replaced whatever was underneath. That is, the original text had been graphically altered from what was originally written there. The signs of this "overwriting" were patently obvious to me, yet, as I was soon to learn, not at all obvious to anyone else (anyone, that is, who had personally seen and analyzed this COLB image, who knew enough about how COLB's are made, and who wanted to prove to the public that it was a forged image).
Now, looking back on what I hypothesized four months ago, I find that I was spot-on about the altered text, and that's the one distinguishing feature that cannot be explained away by natural causes -- although many have tried their best to do so.
What is particularly important for the reader to realize is that, after four months of controversy over a single image allegedly scanned from Obama's original birth certificate, that image is still the only one ever made. Any time anyone on the Left is asked the birth certificate question, what we get back is a rhetorical question, like "Do you really think that a US Senator running for President would fake his own birth certificate?" How come they never ask why, with over $600 million dollars collected in campaign contributions, the Obama campaign could only afford to produce one lousy-looking image copy?
Of course, the real question is why not produce a real, paper one to show to the public? Why show just one image, and only of the front side of the COLB, but not the back side where the certified Seal and stamps reside? finally, why would one intentionally render that image to be flawed?
"Image" is everything
Time to clear the air here about what is, and is not, a "high-res" scan. The way some people on the other side of the COLB controversy have bandied that term about, you'd think they were talking about high definition TV. Many of these COLB believers maintain that this, now infamous JPG image, is a "high-resolution" scan. This term only makes sense in a relative way because, in comparison to the horrendously-smeared image posted on Obama's Fight The Smears website, every other copy looks "better" (as in "Easier to read"). In terms of image quality, size does matter, and the image copy that Factcheck posted to their website is the largest one of the four. Yes, it is big (2550 x 3300 pixels). Sure, it has a print resolution of 300 DPI (meaning that it would produce a letter-sized print). But, NO, it was never intended to be a high quality image, which is how "high resolution" should be defined.
If you've ever used a digital camera to take photos and transfer them to your computer, then you already know, or should know, what is a JPG image. JPG are the preferred format for photo and image files because they can contain a lot of visual information in a comparatively small amount of file space, due to what's called, file compression. All that you need to know about JPG files and compression is that there is a direct relationship between the amount of compression applied to the file and the visual quality of the image when it is viewed or printed: the greater the amount of compression, the smaller will be the file size, and the lower will be its visual quality. Appropriately, the JPG format is known as a "lossy" one because of the "loss" of visual information in exchange for a smaller (and more manageable) file size.
When it comes to posting images and photos to the Internet, file size is an important factor for several reasons. File size determines how quickly and easily an image can be downloaded and/or displayed on your computer. It determines the costs of maintaining image files on a website as well as the transmission of them to other computer. I mention these factors because they will be important in deciding whether a website owner replaced larger files with smaller ones for cost considerations, or solely to reduce the amount of information contained in them. Remember, the bigger the file, the better the image, all other things being equal.
Why is this discussion relevant to spotting a potential image forgery? Because, a forger knows that the evidence of graphical manipulation is more likely to be detected in a larger image of higher quality than in a smaller image of lower quality. In the case of digital camera photos, there is also additional descriptive information about how the photos were made stored within the photo images themselves -- information that may be incriminating. [NOTE: this additional information is called Exif data, and will be discussed later on in this report].
OK, you're probably asking yourself, "So what's so wrong with the size or quality of the Obama COLB image? It looks fine to me." That's like the guy who winds up in the emergency room, not believing that anything is wrong with him because he thought that he "looked just fine." There is also a lot wrong with the four image copies that a layperson would not notice.
The original, forged source image began its existence as a full-size scan of a real paper COLB. The COLB is printed on a standard, letter-sized piece of paper. Two of the four image copies (those residing on the Daily Kos and Factcheck) are full-size as well (although the Kos image was cropped close to the COLB's borders). The other two images (on Fight The Smears and Politifact) are 1/4 to 1/5 the size of the original source image. The fact that these four image copies vary in their size and quality is the primary reason why many people thought that they were made from other document scans, instead of from only one "scan." Listed in the table below are the four COLB images along with their image size (in pixels), their file size (in Kilobytes), and the amount of memory (in Megabytes) that they would consume when viewed on a computer. You can get a rough idea of how much JPG compression was applied to an image by comparing the file size to the memory required to view it (shown as a percentage of file size divided by memory size):
Size of image
2427 x 2369
575 x 585
2550 x 3300
811 x 786
The amount of compression and the color count tend to vary with the actual size of the image because, all things being equal, the larger the image, the more memory it consumes, and a greater amount of image compression is needed to save disk space and to improve download times. Keep these factors in mind as you read the table and view the images. The color count is an indicator of image quality, as is the amount of JPG compression. Obviously, the size of an image directly affects how much of the image can be seen and how clearly. The image that is the smallest in size and has the lowest color count is the Fight The Smears image. It is also the hardest to see clearly, and that is exactly the result the Obama Campaign wanted: if you cannot clearly see the image, then you cannot see any alterations made to the image.
The image with the highest compression ratio, where lower is better, and the second highest color count, where higher is better, was the original Daily Kos image, with a 3% compression ratio, and a 70,604 color count. Next in line was the Factcheck image with a 6% compression ratio and a 77,903 color count. Although the Fight The Smears image, and Politifact image had lower compression ratios than the images posted on the Daily Kos and Factcheck, they were also the smallest in terms of file size and image size, and had less than half of the colors displayed in the two largest images. As for which of these characteristics are most important, a larger image size and a higher color count can compensate for higher levels of image compression. Although the Factcheck image was larger in size than the Daily Kos image, when it is cropped to the same dimensions of the Daily Kos image (2427 x 2369 from 2550 x 3300), and saved at a JPG quality level of 46%, the resulting Factcheck image will now have the same file size and use the same amount of computer memory as the Daily Kos image. However, its new color count will virtually be the same as the original, full-size image (from 77,903 to 77,478). Normally, when a JPG image is saved with a quality level, or compression level, less than 40%, the image that results will not appear to be clear and sharp unless it is viewed at its original size. However, if you only get to view an image that was reduced to be a fraction of its original size, let's say, at the size of the COLB images displayed on Obama's Fight The Smears website, it will seem to look "just fine" when small, but look horrible when you try to enlarge it. One of the other main differences between the FTS image and the Daily Kos image is its resolution: the FTS image is 100 DPI versus 300 DPI for the Daily Kos image. When you enlarge the FTS image to be the same size as the Daily Kos image, you will see a lot of visual gibberish, which as I said, is exactly what FTS wanted you to see.
The image with the highest compression ratio, where lower is better, and the second highest color count, where higher is better, was the original Daily Kos image, with a 3% compression ratio, and a 70,604 color count. Next in line was the Factcheck image with a 6% compression ratio and a 77,903 color count. Although the Fight The Smears image, and Politifact image had lower compression ratios than the images posted on the Daily Kos and Factcheck, they were also the smallest in terms of file size and image size, and had less than half of the colors displayed in the two largest images.
As for which of these characteristics are most important, a larger image size and a higher color count can compensate for higher levels of image compression. Although the Factcheck image was larger in size than the Daily Kos image, when it is cropped to the same dimensions of the Daily Kos image (2427 x 2369 from 2550 x 3300), and saved at a JPG quality level of 46%, the resulting Factcheck image will now have the same file size and use the same amount of computer memory as the Daily Kos image. However, its new color count will virtually be the same as the original, full-size image (from 77,903 to 77,478).
Normally, when a JPG image is saved with a quality level, or compression level, less than 40%, the image that results will not appear to be clear and sharp unless it is viewed at its original size. However, if you only get to view an image that was reduced to be a fraction of its original size, let's say, at the size of the COLB images displayed on Obama's Fight The Smears website, it will seem to look "just fine" when small, but look horrible when you try to enlarge it.
One of the other main differences between the FTS image and the Daily Kos image is its resolution: the FTS image is 100 DPI versus 300 DPI for the Daily Kos image. When you enlarge the FTS image to be the same size as the Daily Kos image, you will see a lot of visual gibberish, which as I said, is exactly what FTS wanted you to see.Not only was their original image intentionally shrunk down to the size of an image "thumbnail," it was not resized proportionately; i.e., if you change its height to be the same size as the Daily Kos image, its width would be seventeen (17) pixels narrower than it should be. In other words, its aspect ratio was changed, calculated as height divided by width.
The image with the lowest compression level and the second highest color count was the original Daily Kos image. Next in line was the , Fight The Smears image, the smallest image with three times more compression than the Daily Kos image and less than half of the color count. Politifact's image, although bigger than the Fight The Smears image, had almost twice as much JPG compression and a lower color count.
Most surprising of all, however, was the Factcheck image. Although it had a higher color count, the Factcheck image, when cropped like the Daily Kos image, was the same size as the Daily Kos image and used the same amount of memory. However, its compression level was more than five times greater than the Daily Kos image, and almost as compressed as the Politifact image, that is less than 1/4 its size. Normally, any JPG image saved with a compression level less than 40% is not going to look that great when it is viewed at its original size. However, if you only get to view the image at a fraction of its original size, let's say, at the size of the COLB images displayed on Obama's Fight The Smears website, it will seem to look "just fine" -- that is, until you try to enlarge it. Then, all you will see is visual gibberish, which, as I said, is exactly what FTS wanted you to see. Not only was the original image intentionally shrunk down to the size of an image "thumbnail," it was not resized proportionately; i.e., it is wider than it should be.
When you consider that this image copy came from the same source file as its largest "cousin," at the Daily Kos, you begin to understand the total futility of FTS's deliberate attempt to hide any evidence of foul play. Additionally, the very last thing that Obama's campaign would want anyone to see, is the COLB image enlarged to its original size of 8 1/2" square, and that also goes for Politifact's image. Both of these websites displayed their copy of the original forged source file at a fraction of the original size (about 20 to 25% smaller than what the Daily Kos posted).
The only other scans ever made of a "Certification of Live Birth," or COLB, are those that are genuine paper copies, and are in the possession of other people (myself included), and that, in real life, look decidedly different from the deliberately altered image pretending to be what Obama's COLB might have looked like, if it were, in fact, not a forgery.
No matter how many challenges to my conclusions have come my way, I have never wavered from the inescapable truth, that an image of someone's real COLB had been markedly altered to look like it belonged to Obama. Or so the forgery conspirators thought.
To summarize, there was one, original source image that was forged, and four copies of this source image were distributed to (1) the pro-Obama Daily Kos blog, (2) Obama's Fight The Smears campaign website, (3) Annenberg's Factcheck website, and lastly, the St. Petersburg times Politifact website.
On all of these images, there is a telltale "dot" (a piece of dirt left on the scanner glass) that proves they all came from a single source file.
What is also important to know is that I was the first one, and, really, the only one, to prove conclusively and honestly, that the images posted to these four websites were all made from the same forged image, and to explain exactly how the original forged image would have been made.
In the following image, there is a visual anomaly in the upper left quadrant that can be seen in all four image copies. This anomaly is located directly to the right from the phrase, STATE OF HAWAII on the left side, and below the letters, "E" and "R" in the border banner, CERTIFICATION OF LIVE BIRTH (follow blue arrows). This anomaly was caused by a piece of dirt left on the scanner glass when the original source image was scanned.
Even though the size and resolution of these four images vary, with the Fight The Smears image being the smallest (585 X 575 pixels) and poorest in quality (100 DPI) , all four can still be seen in this comparison:
How the forgery was made
The timing of all these images is something that also confuses a lot of people new to this birth certificate brouhaha. As I mentioned in Part One, the "birth" of this conspiracy began on June 10 when Jim Geraghty questioned whether or not Obama was really born in the US. Two days later, on June 12, the first forged copy appeared on the Daily Kos, followed shortly thereafter by a smaller copy (originally 1000 x 1024 pixels) on Obama's own website, BarackObama.com. When Obama's Fight The Smears website spin off was launched on June 13, the image copy was moved to that location, and its size was cut in half to what it is now (575 x 585 pixels). Politifact was next according to claims that they also posted their copy on June 13 (although I was not able to find it until June 27, and I suspect it was back-dated). Factcheck's copy comes in a distant fourth in this phony COLB derby:
Date first posted
The forgery began its life as an actual scan of a real, 2007 Hawaiian "Certificate of Live Birth," (COLB) that belonged to someone other than Obama (No, not his sister). The image acquired by the scanner was then saved as a JPG file. This is the file that was sent to the person who would do the actual forging. Whoever that person was, he or she was sent the information that was to go on the image. I doubt that the forger was the same person who did the scan (or scans, plural. In my analyses, I discovered that there had to be more than one COLB image used to make the forgery). Whoever did the scan did not have Obama's real birth certificate on hand, nor did he or she pull the birth information out of thin air. Only Obama, himself, knows the full truth of his birth origin, and only Obama would know which parts of it needed to be "modified." Somehow, and by some mean, that information needed to be relayed to the forger.
Recall that I referred to this forged image as being unique. What makes it unique is that this image went through three format conversions before it was ever released to the websites mentioned above. Essentially, the red flags for me were the predominance of white and gray pixels in between the letters of the CHILD'S NAME. The almost total lack of green pixels which should normally be there told me that the editing of the text was not done when this image was either a JPG file or a Windows BMP file -- the two predominant file format options when scanning a document.
Bitmapped graphic images are represented by colored dots called pixels. The more dots an image has, the higher the resolution, but also the larger the file. Likewise, the more colors an image has, the more that image will look like the document that is scanned (or the subject that is photographed). Unlike a JPG file where there is a loss of image information due to file compression, the BMP bitmap image does not discard any of the colored dots created from the original source or subject.
There is a third type of file, not previously mentioned, that is most commonly used on websites. This format is known as GIF, and it is also a bitmap image. However, the number of possible colors is limited to only 256; whereas, in JPG and BMP files, there are millions of possible colors. The actual number of colors, though, is dependent on the size of the image. It is strictly a matter of room here, for when the size of the JPG or BMP image gets smaller, there are fewer actual colors available.
I realize that this is a bit technical, but nevertheless, important to know because, when a document is scanned, a temporary, bitmap image is created in the computer's memory. From that internal, temporary image, you, the user, select the image format that you would like the final, permanent image to be, and the computer program then converts that internal bitmap image into that permanent image format you chose.
Logically and actually, if you request the program to use a bitmap image format for the permanent image, then you will have a file that is as large as the amount of computer memory used, with the maximum number of pixels and colors available for an image of that size and format. If you save the scan as a JPG file, depending on how small a file you wish or alternately, the amount of quality desired, you will lose some image information along with some of the colors.
Now, here is why this is critical to the COLB image forgery.
if the Obama COLB JPG image was created directly from the scanned internal image with a known amount of file compression, there would be a fairly predictable range of colors within that image. If there is a large deficit between the number of colors in a JPG image that was claimed to be made from a scan, and the predicted or expected number of colors, you can that postulate that the JPG image was not made directly from the scan image. Additionally, if there is also a deficit in the expected number of pixels of a given color, then you can also postulate that something was done to the image in between the time the internal scan was made, and this particular JPG image was analyzed.
Therefore, since the actual number of colors in the full-size, 300 DPI Factcheck image is far lower than what it should be, and there are a significant number of green pixels missing in the areas between the letters, it is a safe bet to conclude that this image took a detour somewhere along the line. It is that detour, I postulated, which diverted the original scan image to the forger before it ever arrived in Factcheck's inbox.
This deficit in the total number of colors counted in an image, coupled with the specific deficit in green pixels, is absolutely the result of human intervention, and not any artifacts known to Man.
With that fact firmly in place, then it is a somewhat simple, but lengthy and tedious, process, to figure out what would cause these deficits to be there, and then to reproduce the conditions to validate the process. The answer turned out to be, that the original scan image was saved as a GIF file, with its restricted color count, then edited as a GIF image, and finally, resaved as a JPG file with a moderate amount of compression. It should also be noted that neither the GIF nor the JPG, were subjected to any additional smoothing techniques to enhance the image. Had these techniques been applied, then the pixel patterns I found would likely not be there.
The resulting JPG image has a final color count of approximately 70,000, when, if it had been made directly from the image scan, as those complicit in the forgery claim, then the color count would have been well over 83,000, at a minimum. Only through sheer determination and a lengthy trial-and-error process, that produced over 400 test images, was I able to discern the right combination of factors that not only marked the image as a forgery, but also outlined the steps necessary to produce it. I followed these steps to make a clone of the Kos COLB image. Unfortunately, I did not keep track of all the difference changes I made, and so, the actual recipe to make it will need to be rediscovered.
The steps for making the clone involves processes that are familiar to most people who work with graphics. The GIF image, created from the JPG image, was then imported into a graphics program (NOT Photoshop) where the existing text was covered over with portions of the background pattern, and on top of that, in the spaces where the original text formerly information appeared, fraudulent information was typed in to make the image LOOK like it was Obama's COLB. I say, "fraudulent" information, because if it were true information, then Obama simply cold have gotten a copy of his COLB from Day One.
When the alterations were completed, it was intentionally resaved as a JPG, at a 45% compression ratio -- to hide the areas where the forging was made. That's the reason why the image looks the way it does.
Added to these steps, are the ones taken by the four websites, in changing the size, resolution, dimensions, and amount of cropping (*Politifact claims to have posted their copy on June 13, but according to the creation date on the image I downloaded from their site, it was July 8th, meaning that their web page was rewritten to reflect the earlier date). As I mentioned in Part One, while the forged image was most likely distributed to these four websites by the Obama Campaign, the person who manufactured it could be anyone inside or outside of the Campaign, or even inside Factcheck. The reason why I believe that the original forgery might have been made at Factcheck, is by virtue of their photo session with Obama's alleged real COLB and their efforts to squelch any claims of fraud on their part or on Fight The Smears.
The most salient point about the person who created the forgery (a person I dubbed, "Dr. X") is that he or she was not very diligent in its construction, even though the process used was sound. The original image, that served as the basis for the forgery, was made from a scan of a real, 2007 COLB that belonged to someone other than Obama (No, not his sister). This image acquired by the scanner was then saved as a GIF file (an image format different from the JPG format of the four image copies posted online). This GIF image was then imported into a graphics program (NOT Photoshop) where the existing text was covered over with portions of the background pattern, and on top of that, in the spaces where the original text formerly information appeared, fraudulent information was typed in to make the image LOOK like it was Obama's COLB. I say, "fraudulent" information, because if it were true, then Obama would have had no reason to refuse showing a real, paper copy of his COLB from Day One.
After the alterations were made to the text, it was intentionally resaved as a JPG, at a 45% compression ratio -- to hide the areas where the forging took place. This is the reason, and the only reason, why the image (especially the borders) looks so poorly copied.
When the bogus COLB image was first posted on the Daily Kos, people immediately wondered why was there a black rectangle covering up the Certificate Number. I can tell you now, that this black rectangle was added to the image using Photoshop CS3 after the forgery was created in a different graphics editing program (Not Photoshop). If the entire forgery were to have been created using Photoshop CS3, it would never have looked the way it did. To put it another way, the level of Photoshop skills required to change a decent-looking scanned image into this lousy-looking, COLB image, exceed what would be required to make a good-looking, forged image. So, even though the Kos and FactCheck images both had the same Exif data put there by Photoshop, it is wrong to assume that the entire forgery was created inside Photoshop (Exif data is information embedded within an image that describes how, and by what device or process, that image was made. Most graphics editors, except for basic ones like MSPaint, can display this Exif data, and even control which parts of it will be kept).
When the Daily Kos first published the forged Obama COLB image, the publisher admitted that they had only cropped the image (remove blank areas on the image) that was sent to him. However, after examining the Exif data Factcheck published their copy of the forged image, their image had the same Exif information as in the Kos image, with the major exception being the size of the image. A real paper COLB consists of an 8" square certificate graphic printed on a letter-sized (8 1/2" x 11") page of security paper, with no printing on the top 3" of the page. The front side of the paper has that green-and-white Rattan pattern and a blank area on the reverse side - on which the embossed Seal, date stamp, and signature stamp are placed.
The forged image contained a full-sized copy of the scanned image whose dimensions, as measured in pixels, are 2550 pixels (width) by 3300 pixels (height) at a print resolution of 300 DPI, or Dots Per Inch (actually pixels by inch). The print resolution determines what the size of the document will be when it is printed out. If you divide the number of pixels by the print resolution, you will get the size of the image, in inches, when printed. In this case, dividing the width (2550 pixels) by 300 equals a width of 8 1/2 inches, and dividing the height (3300 pixels) by 300 equals 11 inches. The image that Factcheck posted was a full-size copy (2550 x3300, 300 DPI).
Where things get strange is in the Exif data contained within the Kos image. If you recall what the publisher of the Daily Kos said, that the image sent to him was cropped before posting, then you can find the size of the cropped image reflected in the height and width measurements shown by the Exif data. In other words, the image after cropping was now 2427 pixels (height) by 2369 pixels (width) but with the same print resolution.
Not only was the cropped image also 300 DPI, but also the first half of the Exif data remained unchanged, including the date and time that the image was saved, the name of the graphics program saving it (Adobe Photoshop CS3 on a Mac computer), and three other variables. However the Exif data contained in the full-size Factcheck image, has information not found in the Kos image, including the dimensions of the thumbnail image and the amount of image compression applied when saving. A JPG image files can contain a much smaller version of it, called a "thumbnail") embedded in it.
If Obama's real birth record does not match anything on the forged image, regardless of what it actually says, then that is prima facie evidence of document fraud.
I have been collecting and analyzing information ever since the Daily Kos image was posted on June 12th. Not only did I discover that this image was a forgery, but I also discerned and demonstrated the methods used by the forger by using them to recreate an Obama COLB clone -- thus, validating my initial theory. Any attempt at recreating the COLB image MUST show the same, exact pixel patterns that I found between the letters in the original forged images. If it does not show those pixel patterns, then it does not look like the forgery does, and it does not demonstrate how the forgery was made.
On August 21, when Factcheck published photos that were allegedly taken of the same COLB used to make the image they posted two months before, many people thought that the controversy was over. Yet, two months before the photos, writers like Amy Hollifield had already dubbed the arrival of the bogus image scan as the "Final Chapter" in the birth certificate saga.
When Factcheck published their photos of what I had proven to be a bogus image, they created a major conundrum:
The photos cannot possibly be real if the image pictured in the photos is bogus. If the image is bogus, then so are the photos. Not just by logic, however, but by careful examinations of these photos that proved they were not made from a real, paper COLB, or even several paper COLBs (Yes, there was more than one COLB object photographed). Some of the photos were taken of a color laser printout made from the original forged source image rather than a real, paper COLB.
To date, no one has been able to show that this bogus image was the result of scanner artifacts, JPG artifacts, anti-aliased text, or any other naturally occurring phenomenon. There is only one possible way for the Obama COLB image to look the way it does, and that's by direct graphic alteration of the text made after the scan image was saved.
Basically, this is the smoking gun, and the only smoking gun in this birth certificate conspiracy. Yes, it is a real conspiracy considering who and how many people are involved in this forgery and cover-up.
This image is shown below. It was first posted on the pro-Obama Daily Kos blog who claimed that it was sent to them by the Obama Campaign:
On the same day, the Obama Campaign posted a duplicate copy of that same image on their website, Fight The Smears, (FTS) although the size of their copy was reduced to about 42% of the Kos image:
What very few people know about this image is that it was taken down the very next day, replacing it with one half as big and poorer in quality (the original FTS image was 1024 x 1000 pixels, the replacement is 585 x 575 pixels). Did FTS take down the original because some people were finding anomalies in it? The entire FTS web site has only one purpose: to mislead the American public by labeling as "smears" all of the factual statements made about Obama. Posting a bogus birth certificate on their website fits their modus operandi.
The headline that redirects readers to their statement about Obama's birth certificate is shown below. Following it is the text of the email that FTS urged supporters to send to their friends.
You may have recently heard right-wing smears questioning Barack Obama's birth certificate and citizenship. These assertions are completely false and designed to play into the worst kind of stereotypes. You can see Barack Obama's birth certificate for yourself and help push back with the truth...
As of September 13, I can confirm that FTS is still posting the same image, the same headline, and the same email letter. What is also of interest on the FTS website is a reference to "the independent group, Factcheck.org." FactCheck.org is most definitely not independent group, but belongs to the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania: a Center run by Obama supporters and funders.
FactCheck.org was also the third group to post a copy of the now infamous Obama "birth certificate" image to their website four days later. Only this time, an uncropped copy of the image was posted:
FactCheck claimed that "bloggers raised questions based on the absence of evidence, specifically the lack of a publicly available copy of a birth certificate and the supposed secrecy surrounding it". According to FactCheck, Tommy Vietor at the Obama campaign sent a message to them and "other reporters" saying, "I know there have been some rumors spreading about Obama’s citizenship, so I wanted to make sure you all had a copy of his birth certificate."
Three months later, no other "reporters" have ever received a copy of this "birth certificate" image, or any other birth certificate image, for that matter, from Tommy Vietor or any one else. To reiterate, there has been one, and only one, image alleged to have been scanned from Obama's "original birth certificate," and that the only people alleged to have received a copy of this document image from the Obama Campaign have been (1) Markos Moulitsas, the creator of the Daily Kos, a pro-Obama blog, (2) FactCheck, a pro-Obama political research group, and (3) Politifact.
Update to Part One
There have been a number of significant changes that have taken place on the websites mentioned in Part One.
As you recall, on June 12, the Obama Campaign posted a copy of the original scan image to their website, My.BarackObama.com, which became, "Fight The Smears," (FTS) on the very next day. The image that FTS posted was greatly reduced in size and quality from the copy they had posted on My.BarackObama.com (from 1024 x 1000 pixels to 585 x 575 pixels).
The original headline on Obama's FTS website (which has recently been changed without comment) redirected readers to their statement about Obama's alleged "original birth certificate." The text from the original web page is shown below.
You may have recently heard right-wing smears questioning Barack Obama's birth certificate and citizenship. These assertions are completely false and designed to play into the worst kind of stereotypes. You can see Barack Obama's birth certificate for yourself and help push back with the truth...
This headline and story line remained unchanged until sometime in the last week in September when, inexplicably (except to me), FTS totally changed their headline and story line, although the same COLB image as was posted on June 12, remained the same.
FTS also modified its home page as well replacing what was there with a rather, bulky table, measuring two columns wide by nine rows high, with an additional top row or masthead spanning both columns:
This table now takes up at least three-fourths of the FTS home page. Each of the 18 boxes in this table contains a separate story about one of the "smears" they found. The last box in the left column of this "Smear matrix," is the "new" story about Barack's "birth certificate :
Clicking on that box will take you to a revised headline and story line:
What following this introduction is the exact, same image that has been on their website since it was posted on June 12. HOWEVER, there's a new wrinkle here -- not about the birth certificate or his US citizenship, but about his Kenyan citizenship which Obama had previously denied ever having. The source of this new story is none other than FactCheck.org, the supposedly independent, nonpartisan political action group owned by the Annenberg Group, wholly owned and operated by loyal Obama supporters. It says the following:
“When Barack Obama Jr. was born on Aug. 4,1961, in Honolulu, Kenya was a British colony, still part of the United Kingdom’s dwindling empire. As a Kenyan native, Barack Obama Sr. was a British subject whose citizenship status was governed by The British Nationality Act of 1948. That same act governed the status of Obama Sr.‘s children.
Since Sen. Obama has neither renounced his U.S. citizenship nor sworn an oath of allegiance to Kenya, his Kenyan citizenship automatically expired on Aug. 4,1982.”
So, now, in addition to chiding others for insisting on seeing Obama's original, certified, paper birth certificate, we now learn that Obama really was once a citizen of Kenya (and maybe was one at birth, too).
Why did FTS change its web page regarding Obama's "birth certificate, and include a nonsensical statement about Obama's birth certificate, namely that "Smears claiming Barack Obama doesn't’t have a birth certificate aren’t actually about that piece of paper — they’re about manipulating people into thinking Barack is not an American citizen?"
Everyone born in this country has a birth certificate, so if Obama was born here, too, then he should have one. This isn't rocket science. Yet, Obama is the only one, out of millions of natural born Americans, who refuses to show his original birth certificate to verify his citizenship status. Obama is also the only person and politician to ever submit a forged document image in place of a genuine, certified birth certificate, hoping that this act of fraud would go unnoticed.
FactCheck: fraudulent forensics and fabricated images
Up until now, I've limited my discussion to uncovering evidence and motives for fabricating an image that Obama supporters still claim is a genuine copy of Obama's actual Certification of Live Birth (or COLB). I have not talked about the concerted efforts of people and organizations intimately tied to Obama to squelch this process of discovery. Additionally, there have been no shortage of critics and detractors who claim to have no allegiance to, or support for, Obama as a Presidential candidate. Whatever are their real motives, which they have kept hidden, their animosity towards the researchers who question the validity of the COLB image is patently obvious.
Why would anyone, with no professed interest in Obama or this national election, would want to thwart the honest vetting of a Presidential candidate -- one, whose continued efforts to hide his past are both unprecedented and unconscionable -- is a mystery to me. Nevertheless, their repeated attempts to both squelch my research and discredit me personally, will eventually backfire on them, if it hasn't already. Nothing says, "credibility," as allowing your opponent to find the evidence you need, while letting them think that they've got the "proof" to negate your theories.
Sometimes it's better to let your opponents think that you're as dumb as they say you are. After all, your opponents are not going to willingly give you anything that you can use against them.
In this section, I'll show you how and why the forged Obama COLB image was not the only fabricated COLB image being circulated on the Internet, nor was it the only COLB image supported by fraudulent affirmations. It was in this context that FactCheck was determined to have the last word on Obama's "birth certificate." What FactCheck thought would be the end-all to speculation about the veracity and legitimacy of Obama's birth certificate, turned out to be the bomb that would blow apart every claim they made about this fraudulent document, along with everyone connected with what is really, a conspiracy to hide Obama's origins.
In Part One, I spoke about the research I began immediately after seeing the suspicious-looking COLB image posted on the Daily Kos website in mid-June. While I focused on the construction of the COLB image, other critics were focused on its content, such as why "AFRICAN" was listed as a race and how could a laser printed document exist in 1961.
On July 20, another researcher on the forged COLB image took a different approach than mine, and decided to get his work published as an "Exclusive story" on three popular blogs. This publication was accompanied by press releases proclaiming that a "Computer Forensics Expert" had found the Obama COLB image to be a " Horrible forgery that was made using a COLB belonging to Obama's sister, Maya Soetoro." This researcher's expose gained a lot of traction on the Internet precisely because of the exemplary credentials he provided which touting his many years of experience working for the Federal Government as a forensic image expert. Naturally, everyone assumed that anyone with such a solid resume would be beyond reproach as a credible researcher.
However, as things turned out, Obama was not the only one pretending to be something he is not.
At first, I also thought that, given his credentials, he seemed to be credible, albeit not trustworthy or reliable when it came to keeping his promises, or even that knowledgible about the field he professed to represent. I also discovered a lot of inconsistencies and questionable statements in his research, as did a number of his critics. Although the hoopla created by his "exclusive story" tended to be a bit of a distraction, I never let it influence my research.
When I received image copies of an original 2007 COLB, not only did I discover that the border resembled the Obama COLB border, but also that this other researcher had been lying about having one. When he said that the 2007 COLB border was identical to the 2008 COLB border, that blew the lid off his deception. The resume was real enough, but it did not belong to him!
The reason why I brought up this story about this person's now-discredited research is because his fall from Grace as an "image expert" gave FactCheck all the ammunition it needed to shoot down all forgery research, and specifically mine.
In Part Two, there is more emphasis on what FactCheck did in the four months after June 16, the date they posted their copy of Obama's COLB image. This is not to say that the Obama Campaign website, Fight The Smears, did not engage in any shenanigans (which they did), but that their actions pale in comparison to the overt, fraudulent scam that FactCheck was cooking up last August.
If you recall from Part One, FactCheck initially thought that no one would question the veracity of Obama's COLB image after they posted their full-length copy of it. However, they were flat-out wrong to think that no one would notice the flaws in that image. Even if someone, like myself, were to challenge it, FactCheck was prepared to squelch any assaults on its credibility.
They almost pulled it off without a hitch, thinking that their image copy -- and their adamant statements that accompanied it -- had settled the questions about Obama's birth certificate. Yet, for every question that FactCheck thought it answered, other questions began to crop up.
On August 16, FactCheck held a "photo shoot" with Obama's alleged "real, paper COLB" at Annenberg's Chicago headquarters. What was it that compelled FactCheck to run off to the friendly confines of Annenberg, and allegedly take a series of high-resolution (and highly suspicious-looking) digital photos of Obama's "real" paper COLB? Why did they include with these photos a thoroughly confusing and inconsistent account of their actions on August 16, only to add an update to that story five days later?
Why all the changes at FTS and FactCheck?
The answer is simply this:
During the three months of research and evidence that I gathered about the forged COLB image, everyone thought that all this "forgery nonsense" would eventually "roll over and die" as they fully expected it would. If anything, my research and analysis became an albatross around their necks, a modern version of the Sword of Damocles dangling above their heads that just would not go away.
Now, with Obama facing a lawsuit demanding that he produce his "vaulted" original, long-form birth certificate to prove his citizenship, along with steadfastly refusing to present even a current, certified paper COLB, that would have settled the issue and only cost him $12 to obtain, we have reached a point in this saga where the folks at FactCheck and the Obama campaign are circling the wagons, still hoping against hope, that they can sweep under the rug, one of the greatest political frauds ever perpetrated in our nation's history.
All those jokes about us wearing "tin-foil hats" are no longer funny. This is now very serious business, and the longer they obfuscate and attempt to obstruct this investigation, the worse this scandal will become.
Unfortunately for FactCheck, all their efforts to thwart an investigation into their use of forgeries to cover up the malfeasance of a Presidential Candidate will have been for naught, because "this bulldog is not letting go of their leg" until the truth is known.
In case you're wondering who is that "bulldog," all I can say is, "Woof!"
FactCheck's phony photo forgeries
If we've learned anything about Factcheck.org, it is that FactCheck most definitely is not an independent nonpartisan group, but belongs to the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, owned and operated by zealous Obama supporters and funders.
On June 16, 2008, FactCheck was the third group to post a copy of the now infamous Obama forged COLB image to their website :
As I mentioned in Part One, FactCheck claimed that " Tommy Vietor at the Obama campaign sent a message to them and to "other reporters" saying, "I know there have been some rumors spreading about Obama’s citizenship, so I wanted to make sure you all had a copy of his birth certificate."
Nearly four months later, no other "reporters" have ever received a copy of this "birth certificate" image, or any other birth certificate image, for that matter, from Tommy Vietor or any one else.
Which brings us to FactCheck's phony photo session that they allegedly held in August, or as they described it, "recently." The embedded photo data, know as Exif, tell a completely different story. According to the date and time stamps, the photos were taken on March 12 from 10:40 pm to 10:47 pm, or not exactly recently. The Exif data was extensively detailed and provided little wiggle room for FactCheck to try and worm their way out of the date/time stamp conundrum.
Israel Insider called them on it, too, and queried them as to why the date/time stamp was so long ago. However, they did not pursue it past that point. Their response was that the cameraman "forgot" to update the date and time, which Israel Insider took as incompetence on the part of the cameraman. But, was it just that, or something more intentional?
There is clear evidence of sunlight streaming through windows or doors, so the 10:42 pm time is definitely wrong. But, there are some curious parallels to the date and time of the alleged original scan of Obama's COLB. The original image was posted on June 12, and the Exif data in the image indicated that it was allegedly scanned on June 12 at 8:42 am, or that date and time may simply reflect the date and time set by Adobe Photoshop CS3, the program used to modify it.
I wonder: did the cameraman also "forget" to change the the The story that appeared on FactCheck talked about the COLB as if they were visiting a sick friend in the hospital.
The wildfire begins
From the first moment this image was posted to the Internet, the reactions and criticisms spread like a wildfire through a forest. While Obama supporters -- who still cling to its claimed veracity today -- celebrated its appearance as a way to squelch Obama's skeptics, Obama detractors not only protested its appearance for the data that it held and lacked, but also for the way it looked to them; that is, nothing like this one:
To anyone not born in Hawaii, Obama's "original birth certificate" looked nothing like what a traditional birth certificate should look like (such as the one above). At a minimum, original birth certificates contained the names of the hospital where the child was born and the doctor who delivered the baby. Birth certificates also had signatures and stamps or embossed seals on them that certified their validity. By the second week of this controversy, the American public discovered that this type of document was not a photocopy of an original birth certificate completed at birth, but was, instead, a shortened transcript of a person's birth record.
This transcript is called, a "Certification of Live Birth," or COLB as I came to call it. A COLB is what Hawaii's Department of Health now issues in place of actual photocopies of the original, long-form birth certificate. The COLB is a "short form birth certificate," and when duly certified by them, can be used for all intents and purposes that a regular birth certificate would be used.
A genuine COLB (as shown below with private data covered by tape) contains the names of the Father, Mother and Child, the "race" of the Mother and Father, the time and date of birth, and the island and city of birth. Regardless of a person's actual birth date, anyone authorized to request this COLB, will receive the specific data currently listed on a person's actual birth record, on the date the copy was created. This last criteria is crucial to understand because so many of the criticisms leveled against it had to do with the "apparent" conundrum posed by a computer-generated certificate for people whose birth predated the computer age.
This is the front side of a genuine COLB:
And, this the reverse side of a genuine COLB:
Computer printout or photocopy, notwithstanding, many people were still agitated by the apparent lack of visually recognizable features on the Obama COLB that would attest to its validity, such as an embossed seal, official signatures, and a date stamp as shown in the images above. Keep in mind that the public was shown only one scanned image of Obama's alleged COLB, and that was its front side. Had a scan of the reverse side been made, the questions about the absence of seals and stamps would have been answered.
That is, of course, IF the scanned image was genuine. Which it never was from the beginning.
The birth of the forgery
Initially, as someone who had also never seen a Hawaiian COLB before, I was also critical of the omissions apparently absent from Obama's COLB. However, once I got to examine the alleged Obama COLB up close, the focus of my criticisms quickly changed.
Although Obama's COLB image did not look the same as a traditional birth certificate, what captured my attention was not its contents, or lack thereof, but the image anomalies I saw -- anomalies that never would appear in any genuine scan of this document.
Specifically, I saw that the text in this image bore the telltale signs of being graphically altered after the image had been created. From June 13 onwards, the unfamiliar format of this document, and the questionable information that it contained, became tangential to my discovery that the scanned image alleged to be a true copy Obama's original COLB, was a forged document image . Today, with three months worth of research and supportive evidence behind me, I can now say, without any reservations, that my initial recognition of this image forgery was absolutely correct.
Surprisingly, the same people who posted this forged image three months earlier, namely the Obama Campaign, the pro-Obama Daily Kos blog, and the pro-Obama FactCheck group, are still passing it off as a genuine copy of Obama's original birth certificate. At no time during this 3-month period, did any of these pro-Obama groups submit a second scanned image to corroborate the first one, such as a scan of the reverse side where the certification elements appear: the embossed Seal of Hawaii, the date stamp, and the signature stamp of Hawaii's State Registrar.
Rather than make that second scan, FactCheck recently compounded their role in the forgery by posting suspicious-looking photos of the same document that they claimed to have scanned in June 16. Since I now have no doubt that their scanned image was fraudulent, I have no reason to believe that their "photographs" are any less fraudulent. Later on, I will explain why these photos are so suspicious.
Supporters of Obama spent a great deal of time trying to explain away these fraudulent actions, but logic and subterfuge are no substitutes for having independent observers examine not only Obama's original birth certificate, but also a current COLB containing his current birth record -- two things that the American public have yet to see.
I've been working with computers, printers, and scanners, going back to 1969, and with graphic arts as far back as 1965, and given a set of printed letters, I can discern what kind of device made them. Printer output is quite different from the text created by a graphics program, and even if a document looks "official," it may not be. More importantly, graphically altered text in an image would look the same regardless of what was scanned to create the image.
For comparative purposes, shown below is the same copy of Obama's alleged ""original birth certificate," a.k.a, a COLB, that was posted June 12 on the Daily Kos website. Following the Kos image is the only other Hawaiian COLB found on the Internet at that time. I verified that finding by doing an exhaustive Internet search looking for any other COLB examples, only to come back to that same, single image:
Both of these images are in JPG format, which is the most commonly used format with scanners and digital cameras. The reason why JPGs are the preferred format is because they can compress a lot of picture information into a much smaller file size. For example, the image of the Kos COLB shown above would consume over 16 megabytes of file space if it were not compressed; but, as a compressed JPG image, it only consumes one-half of a megabyte of file space. The tradeoff in space savings, however, is a loss of fine detail that was present in the original image produced by a scanner or camera.
Like any printed certificate, the COLB has a border that "frames" the body of information it contains. The original COLB certificate is printed on an 8 1/2" x 11" letter-sized sheet of paper having a green-and-white "Rattan" pattern. The top part of the COLB is blank, and when removed, what remains is an 8 1/2" square of paper. The crosshatched border, however, measures 8.09" x 7.90" and is not exactly square. The COLB borders are changed from year to year as a way to distinguish them from other genuine COLBS, and from fraudulent COLBs whose date stamp (and other year-relevant information) does not corresponds to the border used that year.
Until I received a copy of a genuine 2007 COLB and confirmed that its borders were similar to Obama's COLB, critics were still taking issue with the look of its border, as compared to the borders on 2008 COLBs.
Once the COLB Genie was out of the bottle, other genuine COLBs started made their appearances on the Internet:
After seeing how differently the Obama COLB borders looked in comparison to these other COLB images, I also had issues about its validity and purpose. Yet, unlike other critics and researchers, verifying the border was never crucial to my investigation. From the very beginning, I theorized that the Obama COLB image had been "manufactured" using someone else's COLB as a template or starting point. I also made allowances for the possibility that a real 2007 COLB could have provided the border for the forgery, even if the rest of it was not used for the other components of the COLB. I had not actually seen what a genuine 2007 COLB looked like, so I focused my research on everything else that lay inside of the border. If the Obama COLB image was, in fact, graphically altered to make it look like an "official" birth certificate, then the border pattern would be inconsequential compared to passing off fraudulent information as genuine -- especially when no one else had ever seen a genuine 2007 COLB before.
Then, the unthinkable happened when I received a genuine 2007 COLB issued less than three months before Obama's COLB was allegedly issued to him or to one of his family members. It was a deal-breaker!
Here was a genuine 2007 COLB, with a border similar to the Obama COLB, that Obama supporters could triumphantly claim was proof that the Obama COLB was genuine. It was also a death knell for another researcher who had based his work on his claim that 2007 COLBs had the same border as 2008 COLBs (as shown above). Needless to say, I was also aware of other fabricated evidence that he produced, but I had pledged to a friend that I would keep the revelations to myself.
Before I ever received a genuine paper COLB, I had no idea how it would look and feel in person. The most surprising thing about the COLB is how thin is the paper that it's printed on. It's as thin and light as a piece of cheap copy paper. The green and white pattern is only on the front side, and whatever pattern that one sees on the reverse side is actually coming from the pattern on the front side.
While both the Daily Kos and Obama's website (aka, "Fight The Smears") posted trimmed copies of the same COLB image, FactCheck.org posted the letter-sized version of the same image copy. Although these three image copies are made from the same source image, they were intentionally made to look different from one another (this will be explained later on).
For display purposes, I am using the Kos copy of the image because it was the first one posted on the Internet, and the first one to catch my eye. Obama's "Fight the Smears" website posted their small, illegible copy of the image after the Kos did, and a week later, FactCheck.org posted theirs.
How Hawaii creates (and how one gets) a genuine Hawaiian COLB.
The entire Hawaiian Certification of Live Birth is a computer-generated graphic that is printed on specially patterned, green and white paper (as shown above). Usually, official certificates are printed on patterned paper that also have a ready-made border. As a safety measure (or as a recognition tool), Vital Records has generated different border patterns every year since November 2001, or when this form was put into service (as indicated by the footnote in the bottom left corner). Although the border patterns were changed annually, the border dimensions have remained the same (well...not exactly as I'll explain below).
The computer-generated COLB is like a form-fillable PDF file. In fact, you can order a copy of a Hawaiian COLB (if you're authorized to get one) by completing an order form that is a form-fillable PDF file on Hawaii's Vital Records website:
More than likely, what a computer operator at Vital Records gets to see, when responding to a request for a COLB, is a graphically-created template with blank fields that are replaced by the information requested on the order form. That's the Catch-22 in ordering a COLB: you only get back what you correctly request to see. If the name of the father on the form does not match the name of the father on the official birth record, then what you get back is a blank space where the father's name would be.
Once the birth record data has been inputted into the COLB form, it is then sent to a networked laser printer to be printed off on a sheet of COLB paper.
Recognizing "red flags" in an image forgery.
Transferring the computer-generated COLB into a high-quality image file can easily be done with any computer scanner (even with ones that cost less than $100). Scanning a full-sized letter document into a digital image file initially requires a lot of computer memory and file space. However, as a way to reduce the file size while maintaining some of the document quality, the image is saved in a compressed image file format known as JPG (pronounced, "Jay-Peg"). With JPG files, there is always a tradeoff between the file size and the amount of detailed information that can be saved in it. As a consequence of scanning text documents and saving them as JPG files, there will always be some degree of distortion in parts of the document image, particularly around areas of line art and text in the document.
However, the distortion patterns that I initially found when examining the text in the Obama COLB image, were ones that are not produced by either a printer, scanner, or the compression factor of the JPG image. Critics of mine have tried to explain away these patterns as "scanner artifacts" or "JPG artifacts," but to no avail. The anomalies that I found should not be there if a document was faithfully scanned from an original paper document. Yet, these anomalies are there for all to see, and are proof-positive that the text in an original image was deliberately altered, after the image was created, by someone using an image editing program.
Normally, there should be a lot of green pixels from the background showing up between the letters on the COLB, but there is noticeable lack of green pixels can be seen in the first four letters of the word BIRTH (taken from CITY, TOWN, OR LOCATION OF BIRTH) as shown in the following two enlarged images. A grid was laid on top of these images so that the corresponding pixels could be better identified and compared between images. The first example is from the Obama COLB image followed by an example from the genuine 2008 COLB (which I will call "Michele's COLB")
Take a look at the area between the letters in the Obama COLB: very little, if any, hint of green from the background. Plenty of grey and white pixels instead -- exactly the pattern that would result from replacing the existing text with other text.
Now, look at the area in between the letters in Dan's COLB. Lots of green shades from the background -- exactly what should be there if an image is a genuine scan of a laser-printed document.
All of the type on this document was produced by the same graphics program. Whatever made the text for all of the headings also made the text for all of the entries.
Any text made by a typewriter, laser printer, or even ink jet printer, on a piece of colored paper, would have that color showing between the letters. When the paper is digitally scanned, it would still have some of that color showing between the letters. What it would not have, are only smeared, black & white pixels between them. Pixels are the dots that combine to make a digital image or photo. There would always be several pixels bearing the same color as the paper. Printed type produced by a graphics program will look about the same regardless of the magnification, with a minimal number of white and grey pixel patterns between the letters.
Here are some examples:
Here is the "HOUR OF BIRTH" header from Barack's COLB enlarged 5 times:
Here's the same data header taken from Dan's 2007 COLB scanned at the same resolution with the same amount of file compression.
This is how this text data should look on a genuine, unretouched, scanned document image.
Their fate was "Sealed"
When Factcheck published their own copy of BHO's COLB image, it was no more genuine than any of the other three copies made from the forged source image, as I explained in Part One above. Factcheck's COLB image constitutes a counterfeit document image, that was graphically "manufactured by cobbling together parts of images made from real COLBs, covering over the existing textual information with pieces of the background, and then adding deceptive identity information to it, thereby creating a false document made to look like what Obama's genuine COLB might be, if it actually existed in point of fact. The Factcheck image was the exact, same image as first posted to the Daily Kos, with the exception being that the Daily Kos cropped off the extra background on the top and the sides, as can be seen here:
There is a difference between questioning the authenticity of a document image and questioning whether the document image is a deliberate forgery -- especially in this era of manufactured news stories like Dan Rather's discredited "expose" of President Bush's military records. If there were any early critics who were convinced from the moment they saw it on June 12, that they were looking at a stone-cold forgery, they did not make themselves known to the public or the blogsphere until after I began my research to prove that the image posted was unquestionably manufactured.
There is a quantum leap of a difference between someone who just suspects that the image might have been "Photoshopped," (a term I define below), to someone actually conducting empirical studies to answer the question of its authenticity. I can safely say now that I was the first person to do this empirical research and to carry it through until I was 100% certain that I have found irrefutable evidence of a forgery. Whatever anyone thinks of me or my research, I am going to let the evidence speak for itself, because the evidence leaves no more room for alternate theories. That is the reason why it has taken me four months to get to the point where the evidence is so overwhelming, that all I need do is present it, explain it well enough for as many people as possible, and let the chips fall where they may.
The three major players in this little" con game include Obama, his campaign staff, and Annenberg's Factcheck group, with a supporting role played by Politifact: a Factcheck sister organization allied with the St. Petersburg Times. The Daily Kos was just picked as a testing ground for the fledgling forgery. If the Left bought it, and they did, hook, line, and sinker, then with enough word-of-mouth, the rest of the American electorate would also buy it. From the very beginning, this was a clever plan to both deflect any claims that Obama might not be a natural-born US citizen and qualified to run for President, and to promote Obama to the American electorate as a fully American, a self-made man.
On August 16, two months to the day after the publication of the image on the Daily Kos and Obama's website, Factcheck published their story about nine photos they allegedly took of Obama's "real" COLB at his campaign headquarters.
As far as I was concerned, there was no longer any question that the COLB image is a forgery what people posted published is a forgery and that Obama's real COLB is a nonexistent document. Because based on the photographs that Factcheck made of a nonexistent document that they claim is both tangible and authentic. Because it would be an oxymoron and a non sequitur for people to say that they now believe that the COLB document image is a genuine copy
There are no gray areas concerning the evidence I've collected and presented about the COLB image being a bogus, nonexistent document, and that same reality must apply to any and all images and photographs allegedly made from that same document: they cannot be real if their source is bogus. If even one aspect of one photo is demonstrated to be fraudulent, i.e., intentionally altered to create the illusion of authenticity, then all of the other photographs must also be fraudulent. The facts are clear. The evidence is black & white, cut & dried: If anything about the source document is not real or authentic, then everything about the source document is false and fraudulent.
Nevertheless, I have thoroughly examined the photographs that Factcheck published, and have subsequently found clear evidence of tampering with both the alleged source of the photos, and the photos made of that source. Factcheck has committed sins of omission and sins of commission given that their photos reveal both the absence of known, relevant features found on genuine COLBs along with the presence of irrelevant and illogical features that would never be found on real COLBs.
What makes a COLB image genuine?
Feature #1: The tell-tale pixel patterns
On June 12, when I first saw the image claimed to be a true copy of Obama's birth certificate posted on the Daily Kos and Obama websites, I immediately noticed a number of graphical oddities. What bothered me were the fuzzy grey and white pixels that I found in between the letters of the text on the Kos image -- the highest quality copy of the images posted online. I have been making digital document scans for over 30 years, and I have never seen any scanner produce results such as these. In other words, these pixel patterns were not "scanner artifacts" as many others have claimed.
More than that, however, from my experience in working with digital images, I also knew that the pixel patterns I saw were not the result of image compression typically found in JPG files. What I did recognize is how graphically-created text looks when it has been applied over an existing image whose original text had first been covered up with copies made of background on which the original text was written.
Below are some comparisons made between Obama's 2007 COLB image and the image of a real 2007 COLB and a real 2008 COLB. I will compare the word, "BIRTH," that appears in "HOUR OF BIRTH," on the COLBs. The two comparison COLBs were made to have the same size,color count, and level of image compression.
Normally, there should be a lot of green pixels from the background showing up between the letters on the COLB, but there is noticeable lack of green pixels can be seen in the first four letters of the word BIRTH (taken from CITY, TOWN, OR LOCATION OF BIRTH) as shown in the following two enlarged images. A grid was laid on top of these images so that the corresponding pixels could be better identified and compared between images. The first example was made from Obama's alleged 2007 COLB image followed by an example made from a genuine 2008 COLB. The first four letters in the word, "BIRTH," are enlarged five times normal size, and a pixel grid was placed over it to better identify the individual pixels:
Obama's alleged 2007 COLB:
A real 2008 COLB:
Take a look at the area between the letters in the Obama COLB: very little, if any, hint of green from the background. Plenty of grey and white pixels instead -- exactly the pattern that would result from replacing the existing text with other text.
Now, look at the area in between the letters in the 2008 COLB. Lots of green shades from the background -- exactly what should be there if an image is a genuine scan of a laser-printed document.
Here's another comparison between the word, "BIRTH" on Obama's alleged 2007 COLB:
And the word, "BIRTH" on a real 2007 COLB:
The anomalies that I found should not be there if a document was faithfully scanned from an original paper document. Yet, these anomalies are there for all to see, and are proof-positive that the text in an original image was deliberately altered, after the image was created, by someone using an image editing program.
As I mentioned in my first blog post, it is my opinion, as an experienced user of computers and computer graphics, that the images posted on the Kos website, the FactCheck website, Barack Obama website (aka, Fight The Smears), and Politifact, are not the original scanned images of Obama's Certification of Live Birth or COLB, but are graphical forgeries.
Amazingly, four months after I published my original thesis, that the pixel patterns found in between the letters of text on the bogus Obama 2007 COLB were definitive signs of graphical alterations, aka, forging, the claim is the most enduring, irrefutable, and also one of the most damning pieces of evidence supporting my contentions!.
The specific details that differentiate between a real COLB image and a fraudulent one will be presented later on in this report. For now, I wish to discuss what had been the two most prominent features missing from the COLB image when it was first seen. Missing from the COLB image, at initially as seen with the naked eye, were the Seal and signatures. These two elements, along with a missing second fold line, would subsequently appear in the photos allegedly made from Obama's real COLB, and the same COLB allegedly used to make a scanned COLB image. Although the faded outline of the Seal was revealed, after the image was run through edge detection, and the signature stamp revealed, albeit barely, after color enhancements, the lower fold was still nowhere to be found in the image:
Compared to the scans I have that were made from a real 2007 COLB, both the Seal and the lower fold are more easily seen than the Obama COLB -- either with the naked eye:
-- or with edge detection applied:
For that matter, both the Seal and the folds are easily recognized on a real 2008 COLB without edge detection:
The Seal, signature stamp, and the second fold line were all visible in the other real COLB's that have been posted on the Internet:
Jason Tomoyasu's COLB:
Jeremy Smith's COLB:
The PD COLB:
Of all the features found on real COLBs, the embossed Seal, the date stamp, and the Registrar's signature are what distinguishes a certified COLB from one that is not. So, it is understandable why they were also the main points of contention when the first COLB image was released on the Daily Kos. Basically, however, it was the fact that the COLB looked nothing like what an original birth certificate looked like, that caused the most disbelief among people not familiar with the short-form "transcript" of a person's birth record. Once people understood what was (and was not) supposed to be seen on the COLB, they were more accepting of the images despite the fact that the second fold line could not be found anywhere in the image.
The people who doubted the authenticity of this image included those who pointed to the obviously missing Seal, Signature, and second fold line, but there was a great hue and cry raised about the use of the word, "AFRICAN" for the RACE of Obama's father. To date, that question has not been satisfactorily answered, but it would be such an obvious mistake to make if, in fact, the term was never used on any other COLBs. Perhaps, if African-American was listed as a race, and the father was not an American, then Obama Sr, would have the
What is "Photoshopping?"
Before continuing, I need to explain the process of copying one portion of a photo and pasting on top of the same one, or a different one -- which is the first thing that comes to mind for most people when the verb, "Photoshopped," is mentioned. To reinforce this association, the two most notorious "Photoshopped" photographs to ever be published in the mainstream media involved "cloning", a process of duplicating a part of an image and transferring it one or more times, in successive locations, on the same photograph. There is a tool in Photoshop, that is also found in most image editors, called the "Clone" tool (appropriate name). The way it works is that you place the tool over the area that you want to copy, press the SHIFT-ALT key combination to set a marker over the starting point, and then move the mouse cursor over to the area where you wish to place the copy. When you begin to trace over the area with the marker, whatever is under the marker will be transferred to the area under the mouse cursor.
During the Second Hezbollah-Israel War, the Reuters news agency published a photo of Beirut -- taken by an Arab "stringer" (aka, freelance photographer) -- showing multiple plumes of black smoke billowing in the distance. To the trained eye, familiar with the "cloning" tool found in Photoshop and many other programs, it was obvious that most of these smoke plumes were copied from one plume and pasted next to it to give the impression that Beirut had suffered much more serious damage from the battle that ensued there.
This act of photo deception was a deliberate attempt by the stringer, and a very willing, historically anti-Israel, media outlet to bring further condemnation on Israel. In fact, making fake photos and videos is a cottage industry for the Palestinian propaganda machine.
The second, more recent Photoshop deception, was a photo of an Iranian missile launch that was made to look like a barrage of missiles had been fired. Recently, there were other likely Photoshopped photos that surfaced on the Internet, one of North Korean president, Kim Jong-Il, apparently standing amidst army officers reviewing a parade. There was also a graduation photo of Barack Obama apparently standing amidst his classmates, but there were a number of objects that were out-of-place, including some shadows that should have been cast if an actual person was standing where Obama was allegedly standing.
There is another process similar to "cloning" that is found in Photoshop and other image editors. It is called, "stamping" and involves taking one area of an image and "pasting" it over another area. It was this simple but somewhat tedious process that the forger used to take portions of the green-and-white background from one or more source COLB images, and paste them over the existing text on the target COLB image. This is the process that a self-admitted, pretend forger, Jay McKinnon, used to create blank and partially filled COLB images that some people seriously thought were the source images for the forgery.
It wasn't until July 3, that this charade was put to rest in a story that first broke on the Israel Insider and the Free Republic forum. Unfortunately, what should have made people more aware of how easily they can be fooled by an image, never seem to have a lasting affect on anyone's mind. Nevertheless, the original image forgery that was posted on four different websites were still drawing a lot of believers and had a lot more staying power than any of the "imitation forged images" made since then.
An interesting subplot to the story about the McKinnon charade is for how long it has remained on the Free Republic as a place where the original Obama COLB forgeries could be discussed along with all the efforts made to get Obama to release his real birth certificate to the public. This July 3 story, appropriately titled, "Blogger admits Hawaii birth certificate forgery, subverting Obama claims (Uh-oh)," has become one of the longest running, and most active, topics on the forum this topic, at last count, was viewed over 17,650 times with 6,643 comments left by visitors to that post. "Uh-oh," indeed!
The number of people who believe that this forged image is a genuine copy of an actual document really blows my mind because it does not take a person with a trained eye, or any proficiency in Photoshop, to spot the obvious alterations to this image. The same can be said for the pictures proffered by Factcheck as genuine photographs of Obama's real COLB. Basically, anyone with a good, "old-school" working knowledge of photography; e.g., how to take into account different shooting angles and different lighting conditions, and to manually adjust a camera accordingly," should be able to recognize when a photo does not reflect reality.
Yet, there may not be that many photo-savvy people left with all of the improvements made in digital photography. Even a novice can take professional-looking photos at the push of a button with a $100 digital camera set on AUTO.
As someone who has been taking pretty good photographs with some pretty good cameras for the past 40 years, I do know an unreal photograph when I see one. For example, if I know that a photo was taken in the afternoon, when the sun is setting in the West, and I see shadows from other objects projected to the East, I do not expect to see any shadows going in the opposite direction, and neither should anyone else.
I don't ask or expect people to accept what I say solely on the basis of my stated experience (as many of my critics have done with theirs). If I cannot explain to a lay person, in common sense terms, why a photo or image appears to be bogus, using concrete demonstrations to convey to them what I see, then I don't bother saying it. Period.
What is an "overlay?
Now that I'm done with the basics of "cloning," Photoshop-style, let me summarize it by saying that, whether a person is copying an object to make it appear multiple times, or copying it to superimpose (overlay) it on top of another part of the same image, the process is identical. The difference lies in whether the pasted part is kept solid, as-is, or is changed in some way so as to blend it into the photo or image.
Therefore, you can take it as a given, that when I am talking about how the forgery was "manufactured" or "Photoshopped," I am talking about how a solid-appearing object, in one photo or image, was actually taken from another photo or image (or even from another part of the same source), and pasted onto that first photo or image to make it look like a genuine, unmodified original.
Conversely, when I'm talking about creating an overlay for demonstration purposes, I am referring to the same process of copying and pasting, with the main difference being that the copied part is made to be partially transparent so that the viewer can simultaneously see both the original image or photo and the part that was copied from another source and pasted over it.
Feature #2: The Seal
Here are the images of real 2007 Seals as they actually appear on a real 2007 COLB (color enhanced), both before and after edge detection:
And, here are the entire COLBs from which the images of these Seals were made:
One feature readily apparent from the real 2007 COLBS seen above, is that a real Seal leaves a dent in the surrounding area of the paper when it is pressed into it.
In stark contrast to the real 2007 COLBs, the bogus 2007 COLB as shown in Factcheck Photo #5 (from the Factcheck COLB collection), there is not even so much as a minute deflection of the paper that would be left by a real, embossed metal seal:
Here's a picture of a stamper, similar in effect to what Hawaii might use to make their Seal:
It is, basically, a clamp, and since I have a real, paper COLB to examine, I can tell you that there is no mistaking what sort of object made its Seal impression. If you have ever had a document notarized, the process and results are identical.
The fact that, in every photo showing the fake Seal -- especially on close-ups of it, there are no deflections whatsoever in the surrounding paper. Why should there be, when you consider that these "fake Seals" were Photoshopped on a printout of a "paper COLB" and not stamped on anything genuine?
The Seals show up best under a form of image enhancement known as edge detection:
Think of it as a way to trace the outlines of objects regardless of their different colors. A real 2007 Seal has two wide double circles:
The fake Seal has two narrow ones no virtually space between them:
Notice also that in the real Seal, there is a break in both outer circles, between the "O" and the "F" in "DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH." No such break can be found in the fake Seals:
The example below is an overlay where the date and registrar stamps on the back of a fake COLB are matched for size with those on a real 2007 COLB. In order to make the comparison possible, the real COLB was color enhanced and flipped horizontally, and the fake Seal was made semi-transparent and overlaid on top of the real Seal. The result aptly shows that the real 2007 Seal is noticeably larger than the fake 2007 Seal:
This finding is the norm, and not an anomaly. On every Factcheck photo, allegedly made of a 2007 COLB, in which a Seal can be seen, its size is not the same as the real 2007 Seal pictured above. As also noted above, The word, "of" is missing from the Seal's bottom logo, STATE of HAWAII, and in its place are what appear to be two dashes. In photo #1, the word itself appears to have been intentionally "scratched out" (and was not caused by light hitting it):
Below are photos after an edge detection filter was applied to make the Seal's details visible:
Notice that "DEPARTMENT" in the "DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH" logo is always blurry. Just as this word is missing, so, too are all of the letters malformed.
In the middle of the Seal is the Caduceus, the symbol of the American medical profession for almost a century. The Caduceus consists of two serpents criss-crossed around a staff topped by a round knob and flanked by wings.
In the real Seal, it looks like this:
In the false Seal, it looks like this:
The wings and serpents in the real Seal are smaller and symmetrical, whereas they are unequal, uneven, and almost touching the inner ring in the false Seal. In fact, wherever the false Seal is shown, it has less detail than the area around it.
The reverse side of a real, embossed seal can be seen from the front side of the COLB, and right-reading on the back of the COLB. However, if you were to take the image of a real COLB, and flip it horizontally, it would not look to identical how the Seal actually appears on the reverse side. In other words, the reverse side of a real Seal is concave with the Seal right-reading. On the front side, it is convex, with the Seal reverse-reading.
Yet, when the front side of the false Seal is flipped over, the reverse side looks identical to how it appears on the back side. The reason for this match is that the front-side image of the false Seal was, indeed, flipped horizontally, and superimposed on the back-side image.
When you recognize and realize that the Seal shown in the photos were not impressed into the document, but were Photoshopped onto the document photo. In other words, the Seal is bogus.
In all, except two, of the photos showing the Seal, the Seal appears to fit inside a circle, or more accurately, a circle that is barely bordering on being elliptical:
Either way, this situation would only be possible when viewing the Seal on the COLB laid flat, with the orientation of the camera perpendicular to the COLB in all directions. The COLB is shot with the camera held vertically (in a portrait layout) and the picture has to be rotated 90 degrees to the left to view the COLB in its upright position:
Also, if you take the photo of the Seal (photo #7) and flip it horizontally, so that the Seal is right-reading, copy it, increase its transparency, and then overlay it on top of the Seal in photo #6, you will have a perfect match between them -- not possible since the two photos were taken of different sides of the COLB and the Seal and from two, very different angles:
If you also look at where the Registrar's stamp is placed (although it is at a steeper angle due to the odd angle of photo #7, you will see that the words, STATE REGISTRAR, fall inside the bottom border. This positioning can also be seen by overlaying photo #9 on top of photo #2.
Because the Seal appears too faint to see all of it, I applied edge detection to this overlay to make it stand out more:
The position of the Registrar's stamp would never be put that low on a real COLB because its position is fully dependent on the position of the Seal. If the Seal is too low on the page, as shown in both the real COLB and the fake COLB, the stamp would go off to the right, and not below the Seal. If you look at where the real Seal is on the real COLB, and compare it to the faked COLB, you will plainly see that the Seal on the faked COLB is lower than the Seal on the real COLB - which has its Registrar stamp off to the left.
For this overlay, I used photo #6 because the photo that I took of the real 2008 Seal is approximately from the same angle -- although the paper was laid almost flat, whereas the subject in photo #6 is bent along the bottom fold line. However, as I noted above, the top part of the Seal above the fold line does not appear to be sufficiently angled with respect to the bottom part of the Seal below the fold line. This is also the reason why the entire Seal can almost be circumscribed by a circle drawn around it. Aside from the minor perspective shown in the upper left quadrant of the Seal in photo #6, there is a very close match between this Seal and the 2008 Seal I photographed.
Here is the "alleged 2007" Seal shown in photo #6:
Here is the actual 2008 Seal shown in my photo of a 2008 COLB:
I used the elliptical selection tool to highlight just the Seal itself, made a separate image copy from it, made a minor color adjustment, and reduced it to be approximately the same size as the Seal in photo #6.
Then, highlighting just the Seal, I copied it and pasted it on top of photo #6 as a separate layer.
Now, here is an animated GIF showing the correspondence between the two: focus your attention on the right side where the word, "HEALTH" and the narrow, double circle exhibit the most correspondence:
There is another anomaly with this Seal, along with the date stamp and the Registrar's signature stamp. For starters, the Registrar's stamp is too placed low. The Registrar stamp is positioned within the middle of the bottom border, which would never occur on real COLBs.
Back when some enterprising individual had hoped to prove that the Factcheck image (and all the copies of it) was real, and that I was wrong, he was able to partially reveal the hidden Registrar's signature by changing the color balance on the image by moving the Magenta/Green slider all the way over to the Magenta side, and sliding the Cyan/Red slider all the way to the Red side (while preserving Luminosity). This rendered the pixels of the Registrar stamp partially visible to where most of it could be interpolated.
Another individual, also hoping to prove me wrong, created an animated GIF by taking the date stamp and Registrar stamp from the 2008 COLB that I have posted on my Photobucket account and overlaying it on top of this color-altered Factcheck image, using as a guide, the omnipresent JUNE 6, 2007 date stamp that bled through whatever was used to manufacture the image.
The result is an animation that alternates between the Registrar stamp and date stamp of the 2008 COLB and the graphically-enhanced Factcheck image. As can be seen from this creation, the Registrar stamp and date stamp are placed where they appear in the two Factcheck photos (#7 & #9) of the reverse side:
However, the Registrar stamp is, again, placed lower than what is actually done on either 2007 COLBs or 2008 COLBs, as can be seen by this enhanced copy of a 2008 COLB whose border on the front side can be seen from the rear side:
It also is too low on a real 2007 COLB, a shown in this overlay:
There is a remarkable (as in "too close to be real") match between the stamp used for the 2008 COLB and that used for the faked 2007 COLB:
The COLB coup de grâce
Now, here comes the coup de grâce -- that's French for a "death blow" -- that really does deal a death blow to these bogus photos ever being real. Ready?
If you recall from the above discussion, I demonstrated, fairly convincingly, why the Seal shown in all of the photos did not resemble the real 2007 Seal in any meaningful way. There's a good reason why:
The Seal is actually a 2008 Seal! And the Registrar's stamp is actually a 2008 Registrar stamp!
We saw the effects of this cobbling together of COLB features on the Seals. The front view of the Seal should look vastly different from the reverse, given the change in angles and in the Seal itself, yet the reverse side Seal image perfectly overlays the front side Seal image -- except for the 25% cropped of the top of the Seal as shown on the reverse side COLB photo. There is no logical or acceptable reason for not including the entire Seal in at least two photos made of the back side. Likewise, there is no logical or defensible reason for doing any cutting on the Seal, let alone the 20-30% sliced off the top of the Seal. The front view has the fold bisecting the top part of the Seal and is at a 30 degree angle from the bottom part.
.Basically, when you are mindful of the perspective at which the document was allegedly photographed, you begin to see the unreality of the elements depicted in those photos. Round Seals that should be elliptical. Flat Seals that should be bent at an angle. Seals illuminated in ways that are technically impossible. Seal sides that should be different, but are the same. Parts of Seals intentionally cropped out of photos. Seals that appear on different types of paper never used for COLBs. Taken together, all of the attempts at creating a convincing illusion of a real Seal on a real COLB actually failed to do so. Instead, these bogus Seals represent an intentional ruse used to fool the public.
As noted above, one of the photos (birth_certificate_1.jpg) was made from a real Seal on a real COLB, that was subsequently Photoshopped to eradicate features that are not present on the bogus Seals.
The macro shot of the Seal from almost the height of the paper, shows two major anomalies: the text fields off in the distance are either out-of-focus or not in the photo at all. Test shots of a real Seal confirm that all of the fields should be visible, albeit, as dark blurry lines. There are two lines of text missing, and there are no natural reasons that explain their absence, such as overexposure from a light source.
The center of the Seal and paper also appears to have been compromised by tool work (Photoshop image too), and not by any beam of light.
The texture of the Seal in all shots is also unrealistic, especially in the close-up of #1. The texture is suggestive of hand-engraving a photo of a Seal to make it look raised or embossed. The fact that the word, "of," and interior sections of the letters, such as the slanted lines that connect the two parallel lines of an "M", or an"N", are absent, confirms that this Seal is not real.
Feature #3: Self-defeating evidence presented in support of the COLB.
Case in point: the set of stamps and folds seen in the COLB. After a COLB is stamped and embossed, it is trifolded to fit inside a standard #10 envelope. No other envelope is used for this purpose. Either the COLB you get was trifolded, or not folded at all, and it was for this reason -- that the first fold line was present but the second one was absent from the Obama COLB image -- that caused some people to be skeptical of it:
The presence of a very prominent second fold line cutting through a very prominent Seal should have made people wonder; i.e., those who saw Factcheck's alleged scan image, how in the world did the "scanner" not pick these up? Yes, the Seal was plainly visible, albeit faded and illegible, under edge detection. Yes, even parts of the Registrar's signature stamp on the reverse side could be made recognizable. So, why is it that with all of the different types image enhancements available on Photoshop and GIMP, no one has ever been able to show that second fold line -- not even to show where it might have been?
As might be expected in this, "Say whatever comes to mind" debate between the Obama COLB believers and apologists and myself, hearing them play the "Well, it was not a very good scan" card as an excuse for why it was never found, is just, plain disingenuous. Didn't these same critics say, nary a month before, that the Factcheck image is a "high resolution" scan? Sounds like this Factcheck scan is only "high-res" when it reveals what the COLB believers and apologists think exists in it.
Before I received a real, 2008 COLB for examination, the owner of it had first emailed me, on separate occasions, three sets (front and back) of high resolution, full-page scans that were made from it. The first set contained images that were twice the size and twice the resolution of Factcheck's scan (5500 x 6600 @ 300 DPI versus 2550 x 3300 @ 300 DPI). They also contained all of the owner's personal information. So, I requested a second set of scans be sent to me, but with the owner information covered up.
That set of scans was still at twice the size of the Factcheck image, so I requested that the owner send me a third set, but this time, made to be the same size and resolution as Factcheck's image and also a little darker than the first two sets. I got three more images: one set of front and back images, and a third one of the front side with the Seal traced with a pencil to make it visible (not by my request, though).
Where I'm going with this side story is to say that, on July 8, I posted the second set of scans to the Internet because I needed to post them, like yesterday. however, before I posted them, I reduced these images to the same size and resolution as the Factcheck image. It was on these scans that, when subjected to the same edge detection procedure as applied to the Factcheck image, the Seal appeared just as it had on the Factcheck image.
Actually, it showed up better on the last set I received. My critics hailed this evidence as "Proof positive" that the Obama COLB image was a genuine copy. Now, the COLB believers and apologists had the ammunition they thought they needed to shoot down the conspiracy theories about a forged COLB. The missing Seal had been found along with the Registrar's signature stamp, thus countering the arguments that the image was bogus because these two elements were missing from the image as shown. The date stamp, the second of the three critical features on a real, certified COLB, was hard not to see because the ink from the stamp had apparently, and allegedly, bled through the paper to the front side.
There is a fourth critical feature of real COLBs that only someone who had actually handled one would know: that they are printed on the thinnest paper imaginable for an official State document. If you look at the reverse side of a COLB held up to the light, you can clearly see what is printed on the front. If a person makes a scan of a real COLB using the software that came with it, and lets the scanner's software adjust the brightness and contrast of the image automatically, he or she can make a copy of a COLB where the Seal can be seen with the naked eye, as well as show up more clearly after edge detection. There was another consequence of making a scan using more contrast and less brightness than the previous one: the text printed on the front side of the COLB could now be seen on a copy made of the reverse side of the COLB:
In other words, to really ensure her privacy, the 2008 COLB owner also covered up the reverse side of the COLB where the personal information was also visible. The ability to see on one side of a COLB scan what was printed on the reverse side proved to be an essential asset to differentiating a real COLB from a fake one. For example, by seeing where the actual Registrar's stamp is placed relative to the position of the COLB border, I was able to judge whether or not that enhanced Factcheck image displayed the registrar stamp in its proper location. When you look at all of the other COLB images posted online by their owners, you can clearly see the Seal, the date stamp, and the Registrar's signature stamp on them, either with, or without, the benefit of edge detection. You will also see that the Seal, the date stamp, and the Registrar's signature stamp are not consistently located in the same place from COLB to COLB. The fact that the placement of these features vary from COLB to COLB would also turn out to be a critical factor in judging what is real from what is not.
As would be the case in nearly all of the evidence presented in favor of there being a genuine Obama COLB image, the end-result turned out to be just the opposite, to where the evidence provided more support to my theories than it did to my critics. At the very least, using the same evidence that my critics produced took away their counterargument that I had somehow "fabricated" them. So far, if any of them had fabricated their evidence to use against me, none of them have stepped forward to admit it.
Feature #4: a shot to the midsection
If you have ever taken an art class or a photography class, then you probably learned something about perspective, or the visual cues that tell us the orientation of an object that we see. Whether it is far away from us, or right under our noses. Whether it lays flat on a table, or is leaning off the edge. Likewise, it is the perspective of the COLB object that we see in Factcheck's photographs that tells us whether we are looking at a two-dimensional object, or a three-dimensional one.
The photographer and/or the person directing this photo shoot, made sure to capture the COLB object positioned at different angles. There is not a single, point-blank photo of the front of the COLB, nor is there one of the COLB fully flat. The only photo in which the COLB was opened up to its original size (but not opened all the way) was photo #3. Yet, even here, the object was still shot at an angle to it, and was also out of focus with a large shadow of the photographer's arm covering the Seal area.
These complications were not accidental, but were intentionally caused. Had Factcheck taken only one clear photo of the whole front side, and another of the whole back side, they would not have needed to convince the reader that the object being held in place was a "three-dimensional" COLB. Factcheck went to great lengths in its discussion of the COLB to remind the reader that they would be looking at a "three-dimensional" COLB that, in Factcheck's words, "FactCheck.org staffers have now seen, touched, examined and photographed the original birth certificate." This statement, by itself, is a lie because a COLB is not an original birth certificate, and Factcheck knows it.
Technically-speaking, since we are discussing photographs, it is not the object in the photograph that is "three-dimensional," but our perception of that object as it appears in three-dimensional space, namely height (up and down), width (left and right), and depth (forward and backward). Depending on how the photos were made, that third dimension, depth, may or may not be visible.
For example, if you have ever watched any of the CSI shows on TV, then you have probably seen how they take photographs of objects in their lab. They use a digital camera mounted on a frame directly over a table on which the object lies. The camera lens is facing downwards and perfectly perpendicular to the table in all directions. Now, when a CSI takes a photograph of a printed piece of paper laid flat on the table, what is captured by a camera's digital imaging system is perceptually equivalent to what is captured by a scanner's digital imaging system. In other words, what is captured is an image of a flat piece of paper with only two of its three dimensions visible (with depth being the missing dimension).
To accomplish the same perpendicular positioning of an object, as if it were lying on a table with the camera mounted to a frame or tripod directly above it, both the photographer and the holder have to be directly facing each other, and the camera has to be held at the same height as is the object being held. The camera also has to be aimed point-blank at the object.
Clearly, such was not the case with any of the Factcheck photos as all of them were taken at an angle -- some more than others.
Granted that taking pictures of an object with a hand held camera will never be perfectly inline with the object as it could have been if a mount or tripod was used, there are guides within the camera viewfinder that can be used to position the photo. In other words, the photos of the date stamp and signature block could have been taken without any accompanying angles. Of the two photos, photo #9 is the closest one to being perpendicular to the stamps, but it is still off slightly to the left side. I mention this because I will be making comparisons between the photos taken of the stamps by Factcheck with some of the photos I took of the stamps on the paper COLB I have. I also will make comparisons between the image allegedly scanned from Obama's COLB with the scan images I made and have of the 2007 and 2008 COLBs.
For moderately experienced Photoshop users, manipulating all three dimensions in an image is child's play. If anything, visually adding depth, or modifying its existing depth with Photoshop (or another image editor), does tend to confirm in our brain that we are looking at an object that actually exists in the real world, and for that reason, Factcheck decided to take high resolution photos of the COLB object positioned at different angles to accentuate its depth. What they did not realize is that whenever you photograph a printed document from different angles, you are also photographing whatever is printed on it from the same angles. Whatever perspective was created by angling the COLB object in three dimensions, that same perspective should be discernible across the entire COLB image.
For example, logically speaking (and in actuality), if you rotate a printed piece of paper to the left so that the top and bottom edges of the paper are angled to the left, and if the printed text on the paper is parallel to the top and bottom edges, then the text should remain parallel to the edges and be tiled at the same angle as the top and bottom edges. Now, what if, after tilting the paper to the left, let's say at a 45 degree angle, the text on the printed paper is no longer parallel with the edges of the paper; that is, they remain level from left to right as if the paper were never rotated in the first place?
Well, you'd say, "What's wrong with this picture. Something does not look right here," and you'd be on-the-mark, for that is exactly what happened in the photographs taken of the COLB.
Regardless of whether Factcheck photographed the COLB object angled in three dimensions simply to prove that it was a 3-D object, or to obscure the evidence of forging, the end result for me was the same: showing the COLB from different angles allowed me to find a lot of things that did not "look right." In fact, there were a lot of things about the text on the COLBs that did not look right. So, giving credit to whom credit is due, I say, "Thanks, Factcheck," for providing me with a greater number of unrealistic features to find in your photographs.
For the purpose of these next experiments, I'm going to use Factcheck's photo #2 and photo #5, which are the clearest ones made of the COLB's midsection, and are also the ones showing multiple angles of the COLB.
The first characteristic of these pictures to which I draw your attention, is the way that Factcheck kept them partially folded as a way of emphasizing that this COLB object had two folds -- something their image did not have. Again, by adding additional angles into the pictures, I can better see if the text on each folded part is flowing along at the appropriate angles.
As can be seen in the photo #2 below, the COLB is rotated at two distinct angles of incident: (1) angled upwards from left to right, and (2) angled down and away from the camera. These angles result in the upper right corner (or quadrant) of the COLB appearing to be closer to the camera, and the lower left corner (or quadrant) appearing to be further away. The COLB is sharply angled on both the top and bottom folds in their appropriate direction of folding (top, folded back, and bottom, folded forward).
Since the printed elements on the COLB itself should be similarly aligned with the four sides of the COLB border and the four edges of the paper, there are four primary perspective effects in the printed elements that should be readily visible to the viewer, such as the angle of the lines of text with respect to the border, to the paper, and to the camera' POV. To put it simply, if the paper is tilted down to the left, then the horizontal lines of text directly facing the camera should also be tilted down and to the left. If the paper is angled away from the camera lens so that the two fold lines appear to converge rather than remain parallel, then the lines of text should also appear to converge.
Unlike the paper on which they are printed, the position of letters can only vary on two dimensions: left and right and up and down. We can see in the scan image, allegedly made from the same document in the photos, that the lines of text are parallel to the top and bottom borders, and that the orientation of the letters in the text are placed parallel to the sides of the borders. Therefore, if one were to draw a straight horizontal line along the bottom of all the letters in a text string, as well as to draw a line perpendicular to this baseline, right next to (or through) the vertical stroke of one of these letters. "E," "F," "H," "I," "K," "L," "R," or "T", these two lines should also run parallel to the borders (either the inside edge or the outside one):
When looking at photo #5, the center portion (middle 1/3) of the COLB is facing towards the camera, the top 1/3 is folded back and away from the camera, and the bottom 1/3 is folded forward and towards the camera. Since the top 1/3 and bottom 1/3 are folded by approximately the same amount, then their surfaces would also be parallel to each other. This means that the lines of text on both the top 1/3 and the bottom 1/3 will be wider at the base, the closer it is to the camera, and narrower at the top the further away it is from the camera.
These angles and perspective are the critical features of a document bent, turned and folded in different directions. So, when I discovered that the printed lines of text (and objects like the Seal and stamps) do not appear at all like they should, then something was deliberately done to either the document, to the photo of the document, or both, that speaks directly to the way the COLB document was artificially constructed.
To put it bluntly, the Factcheck photos have been "Frankensteined," just as the Factcheck scan image was cobbled together with the parts of different COLBs. The use of the term, "document" is simply for expediency sake, as no, single "real" document was used for these photos or for the scan image.