Inconsistencies undermine FactCheck report on Obama "birth certificate"
|By Reuven Koret August 24, 2008|
|The embedded EXIF file information dates the image file from March 12, 2008, while FactCheck claims vaguely that the shot was taken "recently"|
| The Annenberg Political Factcheck website has published photographs and an analysis of what it says is the "original birth certificate" of Barack Hussein Obama II. While the physical document depicted in the photos resemble the document image previously scanned and published by the Daily Kos website and Obama's own "Fight the Smears" site in June, FactCheck's case for authenticity and its claims to objectivity are undermined by a litany of process flaws, conflicts of interest and factual inconsistencies that raise doubts about its motives and methods of those of the Obama campaign.|
The Factcheck.org report, titled "Born in the USA," accompanied by an image of the Boss in concert on the FactCheck homepage, starts:
In June, the Obama campaign released a digitally scanned image of his birth certificate to quell speculative charges that he might not be a natural-born citizen. But the image prompted more blog-based skepticism about the document's authenticity. And recently, author Jerome Corsi, whose book attacks Obama, said in a TV interview that the birth certificate the campaign has is "fake."
FactCheck claims that its staffers have "seen, touched, examined and photographed the original birth certificate" begs the question and obscures the truth. In fact, the article later goes on to make clear that this is in fact not "the original birth certificate" but "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 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."
This would seem to suggest that Factcheck went through the process of requesting the birth certificate (after all, why else reproduce and link the request form?), but no -- it turns out that they had a special invitation to visit the birth certificate at its residence, as if they were visiting some long lost relatives or a reclusive celebrity:
"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."
For an organization that claims to be fastidious with the facts, the sentence is vague and overly cute. Who made the invitation to "spend some time with the certificate"? How exactly did it happen that they "got a chance"? Did FactCheck approach the Obama Campaign or did the Obama Campaign approach FactCheck? And what are the forensic analysis credentials of the FactCheck staff that allows them to conclude definitively that the birth certificate is real and original?
And when is "recently"? The controversy over the birth certificate has been raging for ten weeks. Was it coincidental that it would emerge right after Obama returned from his "vacation" in Hawaii? The claim of "recently" is thrown into further doubt by the revelation that embedded date information in the photographs indicates that the photos were taken nearly a half year ago.
Factcheck.org posted 9 photographs of what it claimed were different aspects of Obama's "Certificate of Live Birth", all in less than optimal and idiosyncratic lighting conditions. All of them were taken over a less than seven minute period on March 12, 2008 from 10:40:18 to 10:47:02 at night.
No wonder FactCheck sufficed left it a vague "spend some time" when the duration of the entire photography session took 6 minutes and 44 seconds. Talk about: "Wham, bam, thank you, Obama!" Does that sound like a serious and thorough examination? FactCheck will need to explain these hard chronological facts, which can be verified from the published photos by anyone with an EXIF reading tool. Apparently the pros at FactCheck weren't aware that the undermining evidence was embedded in their own photos.
If the embedded graphical information is correct, it means that FactCheck is lying about doing the photo session "recently" and may be lying about much more, since it would be implausible that "FactCheck" was even checking facts about the birth certificate in March 2008.
Factcheck may try to argue that the photographer "forgot" to set the correct time. But that would further illuminate the shoddy level of professionalism in disregarding the need for exact documentation of the date, a carelessness echoed in the introductory remarks of its article ("recently" is not a fact, especially when it is not clearly associated with the location of the photo shoot ? where the documents "reside" is hardly the same thing). If so, FactCheck would also need to show some other published photos published with the same camera that show an identical offset between the camera's time and the real time.
Exactly for such reasons -- the lack of professionalism, exactitude and transparency concerning the provenance of this paper and the circumstances of the photographic session -- the reasonable demand from the skeptics -- who were initially made suspicious by the fact that the purported certificate image was published first (initially in relatively low resolution and only later in high resolution) in the far-left partisan Daily Kos blog -- has always been that the paper certificate must be subjected to the scrutiny of objective media or document forensics specialists, and mainstream journalists who can ask the hard question not just about this document image or that document image but examine it for themselves and query Obama himself about the many lingering mysteries and evasions in this whole affair.
It is striking, too, that Newsweek reprints the FactCheck report under the organizational byline without the minimal scrutiny that one would expect from a serious news magazine. In effect it is an advertorial serving the interests of the Obama campaign, not an objective piece of journalism. Indeed, at the end there is a credit: "Republished with permission from factcheck.org."
FactCheck itself, as a project primarily funded by the Annenberg Foundation, hardly fits the bill of being a disinterested party, especially given Obama's four year stint as founding chair of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, currently being investigated due to its massive withholding of papers which document the catestrophic failure of the project, including public funds wasted under Obama's leadership, and his relations in that project with former Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers.
Most curious, too, is the apparent lack of curiosity of FactCheck in pursuing the original "long-form" birth certificate that was supposedly used as the basis for the short form. After all, Barack Obama refers explicitly to possessing this document in "Dreams from My Father". Since FactCheck apparently has sufficiently close relations with the Obama teams to merit the exclusive privilege of being invited to "spend some time" (or at least 6 minutes and 44 seconds) with the reclusive short-form, one might think that if they were really interested in checking facts or examining original records they would doggedly pursue the paper source document -- the real thing from 47 years ago, not something cleaned and extracted from a database and thus subject to all kinds of potential revision and redaction.
The Ides of March: A link with the pilfering of Passport files at State?
Rather than asking the hard questions of Obama himself, or even the Obama campaign, or even requesting additional documents from the State of Hawaii in the public interest (they said they "tried" to ask about the long form but failed to get an answer), FactCheck falls back on the rather lame claim that the short form has "enough information to be acceptable to the State Department" and goes so far as to include a footnote linking to the State Department's Passport application requirements.
But isn't that bar set a bit too low for the man who wants to be President, especially as you can be a citizen without being "natural born" as article two of the Constitution require, especially when there are multiple reports coming from Kenya -- including several from Obama's own relatives -- that he was actually born in Kenya and came to Hawaii only days after birth, apparently at his mother's insistence that he would be recorded as being born in the USA? Apparently not too low for FactCheck. From their report it would appear that they are not interested or, perhaps more correctly, conflicted in their interests.
But the repeated references to State Department requirements for a passport take on a new significance in the light of the recognition, pointed out by an Israel Insider reader, that this "new" certificate of live birth is recorded as being photographed on March 12, 2008, and a contract employee of an Obama advisor -- allegedly a former CIA agent -- was caught breaking into Obama's passport files on March 14, 2008. Indeed, his passport file was looked at twice before--both times BEFORE this "certification of live birth" (not "certificate of birth," as FactCheck sloppily calls it) was photographed.
Shades of Watergate dirty tricks! Were those passport file break-ins ever investigated or prosecuted? Is it coincidental then that FactCheck inexplicably and repeatedly points out that this certificate of live birth contains all data required by the State Dept. to receive a passport?
The issue has never been whether or not Obama can prove U.S. citizenship well enough to get a passport. He gets around just fine, on one passport or another. The issues are where he was born, whether he is a natural born citizen under the Constitution, whether he ever was a citizen of another country, and, if so, whether he ever renounced that foreign citizenship. So why exactly was someone associated with Obama's campaign looking into his passport files? A suspicious mind might speculate that it was to see whether there was already a certificate of live birth (or a birth certificate) on file in the passport office and/or to see which data it contained and whether ALL data matched up with what was on the photographed certificate and to ensure that all data matched up with what Obama wants us to believe about his birth?
A cynic might speculate -- and it is only speculation, not a fact claim -- that these photos were originally taken to proudly show off how wonderful this document looked, complete with every detail necessary to obtain a U.S. passport -- the generation date, the embossed seal, the signature, the place of birth. And, based the embedded image information (unfortunately, for them, overlooked), it was conveniently photographed late one night in March 2008, before anyone even began to question his birth certificate in the blogosphere. "Recently", as FactCheck claims, being a relative term. Given these circumstances, it is incumbent on FactCheck to provide the exact date, place, and all participants in its photo shoot, and the circumstances by which this visit was arranged.
All of this, of course, would mean that FactCheck is working hand-in-glove with the campaign of that other Annenberg grantee, Barack Hussein Obama II. Either that, or their camera has a defective date function or special time machine capabilities worthy of their subject. In any case, Israel Insider and millions of Americans would really like to hear the clarifications about these discrepancies from the fellows at FactCheck, rather than accuse them of malfeasance.
A Very Short Photo Session: Wham, Bam, Thank You, Obama
The photographs themselves of course superficially resemble what a real short-form certificate should look like, although it is impossible to ascertain from a series of jpg images. Remarkably, for an organization which purports to be dedicated to checking facts, no high resolution of the document's two sides was made so that professionals could compare that scan with the scan previously published in the Daily Kos. The Obama headquarters has no scanner? FactCheck has no scanner? Only a Canon Powershot 570 with an unset date? Or perhaps they were granted a mere six minutes and 44 seconds and had no time for a scan.
Comparing the high resolution Daily Kos scan (as opposed to the scan originally published) with the FactCheck photos, there are obvious and dramatic differences. The scan shows only the thinnest of fold marks at the top and none below, no seal and no signature block. Oddly, only the June 6, 2007 date stamp is visible. Only after extreme manipulations of the Daily Kos image did some graphic specialists managed to squeeze out the blurred and color enhance image of something that just might be a seal or a signature block. But even then, the blurry seal trace did not appear in the correct size or expected location.
Those stark differences clearly validate the skepticism with which the scan was regarded by Israel Insider and others from the start. Why, then, did it take the campaign ten weeks to produce photos that show the missing seal, signature block and deep fold marks, so deep that they degrade some letters and print of the seal? What changed between June 12 and August 21?
Black out: Who forgot about concealing that all-important, or unimportant, file number?
Then there is the issue of the redacted file number which for the last ten plus weeks has been blacked out . Here's the explanation that comes from the Obama campaign, according to FactCheck:
We asked the Obama campaign about the date stamp and the blacked-out certificate number. The certificate is stamped June 2007, because that's when Hawaii officials produced it for the campaign, which requested that document and "all the records we could get our hands on" according to spokesperson Shauna Daly. The campaign didn't release its copy until 2008, after speculation began to appear on the Internet questioning Obama's citizenship. The campaign then rushed to release the document, and the rush is responsible for the blacked-out certificate number. Says Shauna: "[We] couldn't get someone on the phone in Hawaii to tell us whether the number represented some secret information, and we erred on the side of blacking it out. Since then we've found out it's pretty irrelevant for the outside world."That's odd. What "rush" to release the document? Who exactly was rushing them? The bloggers over at Daily Kos? Why was the Obama campaign in such a "rush" if there was no problem and no real pressure to produce? They couldn't wait another few hours or a day to talk to the Hawaii Health Department before rushing to print at the Daily Kos? And then, after the redacted document was up, they couldn't have replaced it with an unredacted image, just as Kos later replaced, without telling anyone, a medium resolution with a high resolution image? Who told them to do that?
Only last week, the Honolulu Advertiser quoted Janice Okubo, Director of Communications in Hawaii's Department as Health, as saying that with the file number one could hack into the system. "Potentially, if you have that number, you could break into the system." Okubo seems on intent on defending the Obama campaign even if she admits that the image they presented as authentic lacked visible stamps and seals. "They responded and apparently it isn't good enough that he posted his birth certificate," Okubo said. "They say they want it because they claim he is not a citizen of the United States. It's pretty ridiculous."
So which is it? Is the file number irrelevant, as the campaign now claims, or is it a data that could be used to hack into the system, as Hawaii claims. If it is irrelevant, why is Janice Okubo providing excuses for the Obama campaign? If it is dangerous for data security, why is the Obama campaign ignoring that danger? And why does Okubo say it's "ridiculous" to be asking questions about the provenance of a vital record of a presidential candidate when the proffered proof clearly lacked the requisite stamps and signatures. Or did Obama's people and Okubo have a heart to heart between body surfing sessions at Waikiki?
Despite the points scored by the Obama campaign in gaining high level media coverage for a favorable puff piece, the FactCheck photospread -- revealing so much that the scan did not --unwittingly serves to validate the legitimacy of the probing questions and analyses that have been asked over the past two and a half months by Israel Insider and various bloggers, document examiners, and average citizens.
While the quality and consistency of the analyses of these amateur sleuths have been irregular, and have taken wrong turns on several occasions, shouldn't the burden of proof for documenting one's citizenship and producing the original vital records fall on the candidate and the legal authorities empowered for this purpose, not ordinary citizens disturbed by the lack of transparency of a presidential candidate and his arrogant unwillingness to produce documents expected of regular Americans?
The FactCheck report may have Obamatons humming "Born in the USA", but anyone serious about getting to the truth of Obama's constitutional qualifications will be disappointed by their casual and smug report. And they will expect more from a candidate who, like the protagonist in the opening lines of the Springsteen song, seems to "spend half [his] life just covering up."
The evidentiary and analytical shoddiness of the FactCheck report, both in terms of the dubious dating of the photos, the inexactitude in the circumstances of the shoot, apparent inconsistencies between the photos and the scan, and the failure to pursue the more significant, truly original, long form birth certificate, all point to the inadequacy of the proof presented to date to validate Obama's claim to being a "natural born" US citizen.
That question, it now seems, will need to be answered in federal court.
Hat tip: Atlas Shrugs
This is the eleventh of a series on the identity and citizenship of the candidate who now calls himself Barack Hussein Obama II. Here's where you can find Part 1, 2, 3 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10.
Obama disguising ties to radical leftist group?
Organization convicted of voter fraud, pushes 'authoritarian socialist' agenda
Posted: August 24, 2008
8:45 pm Eastern
By Aaron Klein
© 2008 WorldNetDaily
Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.
JAFFA, Israel – Did Sen. Barack Obama's campaign attempt to hide a paid working relationship with a radical leftist organization that has admitted to major financial improprieties and has been convicted in numerous major voter fraud scandals?
That question is being openly asked by the Republican National Committee after it was disclosed Obama's campaign paid more than $800,000 in services to Citizen Services Inc. (CSI), a nonprofit organization that is an offshoot of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN.
ACORN is the nation's largest community organization of low- and moderate-income families. It has held violent, disruptive protests, seeks to regulate banks, supports left-leaning education policies, is accused of working on urging partisan voter turnout for elections, and seems to promote driving businesses from cities.
CSI is headquartered in New Orleans in the same building as ACORN. The three directors of CSI are also top leaders of ACORN. The two groups have close financial ties.
The Obama campaign's payments to CSI – first reported by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review – raise questions about the nature of Obama's current relationship with ACORN. Obama has been closely linked with the radical group and may have even helped drive large amount of money to the organization.
According to FEC records reviewed by the Tribune-Review, the Obama campaign paid CSI $832,598.29, from Feb. 25 to May 17, including $564,342.21 for "stage, lighting and sound."
That payment immediately stood out after a pro-Hillary Clinton blogger contacted CSI Director Sunday Alabi, who also serves as an ACORN leader. Alabi said CSI doesn't perform stage, lighting or sound services.
Also unusual was payment to CSI of $63,000 and $75,000 for advance work. Excluding the large payments to CSI, the average amount the Obama campaign spent on advance work paid to other organizations was $558.82.
Antoin "Tony" Rezko
FROM THE "NRA"
On the Second Amendment,
Don’t Believe Obama!
But his real record, based on votes taken, political associations, and long standing positions, shows that Barack Obama is a serious threat to Second Amendment liberties. Don’t listen to his campaign rhetoric! Look instead to what he has said and done during his entire political career.
FACT: Barack Obama voted against the confirmation of 2 of the 5 Justices that affirmed an individual right to keep and bear arms.
FACT: Barack Obama voted to allow reckless lawsuits designed to bankrupt the firearms industry.1
FACT: Barack Obama wants to re-impose the failed and discredited Clinton Gun Ban.15
FACT: Barack Obama voted to ban almost all rifle ammunition3 commonly used for hunting and sport shooting.
FACT: Barack Obama has endorsed a 500% increase in the federal excise tax on firearms and ammunition.9
FACT: Barack Obama has endorsed a complete ban on handgun ownership.2
FACT: Barack Obama supports local gun bans in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and other cities.4
FACT: Barack Obama voted to uphold local gun bans and the criminal prosecution of people
who use firearms in self-defense.5
FACT: Barack Obama supports gun owner licensing and gun registration.6
FACT: Barack Obama refused to sign a friend-of-the-court Brief in support of individual Second Amendment rights in the Heller case.
FACT: Barack Obama opposes Right to Carry laws.7
FACT: Barack Obama was a member of the Board of Directors of the Joyce Foundation, the leading source of funds for anti-gun organizations and “research.”8
FACT: Barack Obama supported a proposal to ban gun stores within 5 miles of a school or park, which would eliminate almost every gun store in America.9
FACT: Barack Obama voted not to notify gun owners when the state of Illinois did records searches on them.10
FACT: Barack Obama voted against a measure to lower the Firearms Owners Identification card age minimum from 21 to 18, a measure designed to assist young people in the military.11
FACT: Barack Obama favors a ban on standard capacity magazines.12
FACT: Barack Obama supports mandatory micro-stamping.13
FACT: Barack Obama supports mandatory waiting periods.2
FACT: Barack Obama supports repeal of the Tiahrt Amendment, which prohibits information on gun traces collected by the BATFE from being used in reckless lawsuits against firearm dealers and manufacturers.14
FACT: Barack Obama supports one-gun-a-month handgun purchase restrictions.16
FACT: Barack Obama supports a ban on inexpensive handguns.9
FACT: Barack Obama supports a ban on the resale of police issued firearms, even if the money is going to police departments for replacement equipment.9