Green Room

Is the Birth Certificate Fake? The Games Have Begun

posted at 2:31 pm on April 27, 2011 by

In an earlier post at the Greenroom, Steven Den Beste whimsically spoke of Round Two in the birther chronicles. Steven, I salute your prescience.

It’s been only four hours since President Obama’s official long-form birth certificate became part of the public record, and already the skeptics have begun crying “Foul!”

The Smoking Gun expresses some doubts, though these are largely directed at what the site refers to whimsically as the “certers” (the replacement term for “birthers”?)

Noting that the document will now receive the same scrutiny as the clearly fabricated Texas Air National Guard memos that ended the career of CBS veteran Dan Rather, the gun points out a few “nutty points about the birth certificate sure to be seized upon by the nonbelievers:”

Chief among these is the unexplained disparity between the curvature on the left side of the page (seeming to suggests the certificate was taken from a multipage volume) and the unbroken pattern on the green security paper. Shouldn’t the pattern also curve? Is a puzzlement, no?

A more detailed (and more serious) analysis was performed by NKYvoice at the blog The Northern Kentucky Voice. NKY claims to have opened the official White House PDF of the birth certificate in Photoshop:

What I found was 9 different layers in the PDF document, and some clear signs from looking at the page(s) in an image editor that this birth certificate appears to have had some editing, or ‘touching up’ done….

Just to be clear, I did not make these layers, they can be found in the PDF provided by the White House. It looks like there were several images in an image editor that were put together as one document, then saved as a PDF. Any one have any ideas?

This is curious, I must admit. For what it’s worth, I tried opening the PDF in Photoshop myself and found only a single layer. Then again, I don’t profess to be in possession of the kinds of graphics skills necessary for this type of sleuthing.

Will the document turn out to be a forgery? I wouldn’t bet on it. Dan Rather and his producer Mary Mapes may have thought they could pass off an obvious fake as authentic, but the Obama White House team is made up of members of a younger generation. Even if they were to attempt to “create” a long-form birth certificate—which would be an absurdly costly gamble for the president—they would be sure the end-product of their labors was unimpeachable.

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Comments

PDF Layers in Obama’s Birth Certificate

What’s plausible is that somewhere along the way — from the scanning device to the PDF-creation software, both of which can perform OCR (optical character recognition) — these partial/pseudo-text images were created and saved. What’s not plausible is that the government spent all this time manufacturing Obama’s birth certificate only to commit the laughably rookie mistake of exporting the layers from Photoshop, or whatever photo editing software they are meant to have used. It’s likely that whoever scanned the birth certificate in Hawaii forgot to turn off the OCR setting on the scanner. Let’s leave it at that.

CommentGuy on April 27, 2011 at 2:59 PM

…absurdly costly gamble for the president…

Not if they’ve destroyed all copies of the original which they’ve obviously done.

erp on April 27, 2011 at 3:00 PM

I will note that one issue still becomes troubling by this documentation.

In one of Obama’s books he talks about looking at a copy of the long form birth record he found in his mother’s effects after her passing. He even quotes the birth weight for him in that book passage.

The long form birth record the WH released today does not contain that information on it.

Read more: http://nanosecondinv.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=genpoltical&action=display&thread=19033#ixzz1Kkf3RJTb

CommentGuy on April 27, 2011 at 3:00 PM

The curve can be explained this way: The original cert was microfilmed and the copy was taken from the curve in the film (you can see the beginnings of another cert going around the curve). This was copied on to safety paper – thus all the green lines up. The “cut” in the paper at the top isn’t an edge at all but is an image of the original edge of the cert.

However, the layers are weird. Obviously somebody put this thing together. I’m suspicious that the number 1 is obviously pixelated (with the naked eye if you blow up the image), and the “seal” is a layer all by itself.

Obviously the White House employs an amateur hack… and a bad document forger too.

Daisy_WI on April 27, 2011 at 3:04 PM

In one of Obama’s books he talks about looking at a copy of the long form birth record he found in his mother’s effects after her passing. He even quotes the birth weight for him in that book passage.

The long form birth record the WH released today does not contain that information on it.

CommentGuy on April 27, 2011 at 3:00 PM

Bill Ayers was probably looking at his own BC when writing that passage, and figured Hawaii did the same.

rbj on April 27, 2011 at 3:12 PM

It shows layers in Adobe Illustrator not Photoshop.

Psycotte on April 27, 2011 at 3:22 PM

Layers

Psycotte on April 27, 2011 at 3:23 PM

OK, Drudge has a link to the layers story, and a link to the certificate on Google Docs, which now doesn’t show the document.

And on the date & time time, the 4s don’t match up, the 4 for the time is lower. Everything else seems to match up. Probably just a sloppy typer.

rbj on April 27, 2011 at 3:25 PM

Bill Ayers says Obama’s LFBC is genuine. It’s one of his best pieces of work!

Roy Rogers on April 27, 2011 at 3:33 PM

Ironically, Obama mentions his birth certificate in passing on Page 26 of his 1995 memoir, “Dreams of My Father.” “I discovered this article, folded away among my birth certificate and old vaccination forms, when I was in high school,” he wrote.

CommentGuy on April 27, 2011 at 3:46 PM

The thing that struck me right off this morning at first view, was that the two “AUG -8 1961” stamps at the bottom were clearly made using the same stamp, but are not sized the same.

Until this morning, I thought the POTUS was born in Hawaii.

Aristomenes on April 27, 2011 at 4:43 PM

Howard, it wasn’t very difficult to predict.

Steven Den Beste on April 27, 2011 at 5:20 PM

Someone ticked the OCR checkbox in Acrobat. I think it’s called scan to layers.

The end.

PS: Birthers are stupid.

triple on April 27, 2011 at 5:39 PM

Someone ticked the OCR checkbox in Acrobat. I think it’s called scan to layers.

The end.

PS: Birthers are stupid.

Not a birther, just genuinely curious: shouldn’t some of the text be selectable if this was the case?

Hesiodos on April 27, 2011 at 6:05 PM

Look i don’t have to prove this. Get a trial copy of Acro, scan a document, see what happens.

triple on April 27, 2011 at 6:06 PM

Look i don’t have to prove this. Get a trial copy of Acro, scan a document, see what happens.

triple on April 27, 2011 at 6:06 PM

Dry your eyes buttercup, no one said you had to prove anything. Based on the link in the first post, it seems groups do indeed show up in AI when opening documents that were scanned directly to pdf.

I was just curious as to why, if this were due to OCR, none of the characters in the document are, ah, OCR’ed. I thought you might have some insight as to why.

Hesiodos on April 27, 2011 at 6:15 PM

The Constitution says you must be a natural born citizen. And Obama’s just released birth certificate says he is not elgible.

tarpon on April 27, 2011 at 7:02 PM

The Constitution says you must be a natural born citizen. And Obama’s just released birth certificate says he is not elgible.
tarpon on April 27, 2011 at 7:02 PM

I’m with you tarpon but it’s a tough sell.

VBMax on April 27, 2011 at 9:48 PM

The Constitution says you must be a natural born citizen. And Obama’s just released birth certificate says he is not elgible.

How is that?? “Natural Born” merely mean you were a citizen at birth, not a naturalized immigrant.

It does not matter if he was physically born in Hawaii, Kenya or the moon. He was born to an undisputed Citizen Mother which, per the laws at that time, automatically makes him a natural born us citizen. The only real argument I have heard here is that he may, and that is a stretch, be eligible to claim or is also a British citizen since is father was born in a British colony. However the natural born clause was to prevent someone from holding the high office that would have an allegiance to another nation, I dont think anyone would claim that Obama has treated the UK with anything other than disrespect and contempt.

This is a none issue, I dont care if the documents are faked, he is a us citizen even if he was born in Kenya, France, India or the moon

the_ancient on April 27, 2011 at 11:07 PM

In one of Obama’s books he talks about looking at a copy of the long form birth record he found in his mother’s effects after her passing. He even quotes the birth weight for him in that book passage.

The long form birth record the WH released today does not contain that information on it.

– CommentGuy

Don’t see any mention of birth weight in that passage using Google Books.

But still, in the passage he does indeed claim to have a hard copy of the top secret document that even he was forbidden to ever see. (or so the media once said he was forbidden to ever lay eyes on it, lol)

whatcat on April 28, 2011 at 12:18 PM

Ukulele?

Really?

Rebar on April 28, 2011 at 6:37 PM

Are you implying that Obama’s team should be forgery experts?
It’s notlike they could enlist the CIA in faking a document.

LeeSeneca on April 30, 2011 at 1:31 AM