Recently FactCheck representatives got a chance to spend some time with the birth certificate, and we can attest to the fact that it is real and three-dimensional and resides at the Obama headquarters in Chicago. We can assure readers that the certificate does bear a raised seal, and that it’s stamped on the back by Hawaii state registrar Alvin T. Onaka (who uses a signature stamp rather than signing individual birth certificates). We even brought home a few photographs…
The document is a “certification of birth,” also known as a short-form birth certificate. The long form is drawn up by the hospital and includes additional information such as birth weight and parents’ hometowns. The short form is printed by the state and draws from a database with fewer details. The Hawaii Department of Health’s birth record request form does not give the option to request a photocopy of your long-form birth certificate, but their short form has enough information to be acceptable to the State Department. We tried to ask the Hawaii DOH why they only offer the short form, among other questions, but they have not given a response.
The scan released by the campaign shows halos around the black text, making it look (to some) as though the text might have been pasted on top of an image of security paper. But the document itself has no such halos, nor do the close-up photos we took of it. We conclude that the halo seen in the image produced by the campaign is a digital artifact from the scanning process.
Much more plus high-rez photos at the link. This piece would have been helpful two months ago, when the conspiracy nonsense really started raging. If our e-mail tips are any gauge it’s petered out over the past month, thanks in part to Politifact’s debunking and the revelation of Obama’s birth announcement in a Honolulu newspaper in late July. Hopefully this is the final nail, although don’t be surprised if COB Truthers come back insisting that nothing but the long-form will do. Exit question: Why didn’t Team Barry simply produce the document for the media from the start?