About a week ago President Barack Obama had his birth certificate shared on the White House blog. In addition, he went before the press to talk about the release of evidence regarding “the site of my birth”.
This following video is of President Obama addressing the nation regarding the release of his birth certificate. This preceded the blog post, but was presumably right around the same time.
This link is to the direct download of the PDF from the official WhiteHouse.GOV site:
And in case it gets taken down eventually, here is a copy of the file which I personally downloaded and then uploaded to my own server:
President Obama’s Birth Certificate.
After this was posted to the web, a YouTuber by the handle of orangegold1 posted a video walk through of an examination of the birth certificate in which he claims that it has been “faked”.
It does indeed appear to me that someone has gone in and heavily edited this document. Questions arise such as:
- Why would someone do this?
- Who did it?
- Was it done at the President’s order?
- Is the President even aware of the editing?
Some people will jump to the conclusion that there is some sort of conspiracy going on here. But what are some other alternatives? I could imagine the following scenario:
President Obama, wanting to put the matter of his citizenship to rest tells some staffer to go ahead and post his birth certificate.
They go and get it from whereever it is normally kept, but the document is 50 years old and faded. They discuss it with the President and he says, “Can you enhance the image a bit so people can read it better or something?” Because he’s just thinking they can use a really good scanner or something to make it look right.
The staffer decides to spend like 10 hours doing a crappy job of “cleaning up” the birth certificate in Adobe Illustrator, and then like a complete amateur posts a PDF of their work on the site with all of the layer information still present.
What do YOU think?
Why do you presume he is a kid? I checked his Youtube channel, says it’s a 37 years old man, that does this for a living. While the document might not be fake, he has valid points.
However I am pretty sure, random people do not work in/for the White House, therefore if they wanted to cover up something, they could have just showed you a .jpg file for some sort of image, instead of giving you access to a PDF file with all of its layers etc.
However there are some other videos on YouTube, by Infowars they basically do the same. They swear that image is fake.
Around a month ago however in April 2011, Obama showed a certified long version of the certificate, and announcements in local newspapers in 1961.
Anyways this is just a technicality. Why is everyone so focused on it. Why not judge him on what he has done or hasn’t done, rather than a piece of paper that really means nothing at this point.
Wolfteam Hacks says
I personally do not doubt in President Obama. I think he is a great man and a great leader for United States of America.
Alice Young says
The guy who made this video really doesn’t understand scanner technology. I had to laugh out loud when he said that scanners “detect” all the different colors in ink, and that proves that his mother’s signature was “added by computer”… it’s called antialiasing. And all of the layers (they are groups, not layers) were not part of the original scanned image. He also gets confused between vector and raster graphics. He’s a fool who made a foolish video. To prove this, just wait a little while. When governments misuse PDF technology to incorrectly redact information (e.g. the British and their submarine docs from a couple of weeks ago), it generates headlines. This “discovery” will generate no headlines.
Kurt Kohlstedt says
It seems to me they’d never release a fake simply because you can aLWAYS count on someone to disprove a fake. I know it’s weird reasoning, but … in a way it further proves it real (to me anyway, but then again, I never really doubted it heh)
How do you explain then that certain parts of the signature are darkened by a computer and some appear to be scanned? This still seems to be altered to me.
Christopher E P says
I have to say that would be one big shock if we found out he was not US born.
Why would he fake it and what would he get?
Marc Newman says
The replaced text acts like OCR software, be it very sophisticated OCR software. The NSA has computers verifying every piece of correspondence that the President receives. Humans don’t do this job anymore. Everything goes through OCR.
I’ve been looking for other examples of this kind of processing, and I’m finding a great deal of OCR’s docs, but they are all near perfect. The best one that’s similar, that I can find (given I don’t want to spend all day on this) is http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/assets/omb/inforeg/comments/comment2.pdf On page 87 it clearly has very similar issues getting the form correct, as the OCR did with the birth certificate.
This is not a cover up. Maybe a bit of incompetence. The person doing the scanning should have turned off the OCR.
John P. says
That is great info Marc! Thanks for tracking that down. It answers a lot of questions.
Brian Sullivan says
Here are some other explanations:
1. Bad file.
2. Other source you quoted was altered, not the President’s certificate.
3. State of Hawaii altered it for some reason.
4. Network slightly corrupted the file.
5. OCR layering–done all the time in documents.
The goofy thing is this vast BIRTHER conspiracy is stupid. He has to get a passport. He has to prove that his a citizen and eligible to get on ballots in each state. It has been proven more than 50 times over.
It does not matter. It is not news.
It’s simple. Since the kid who made this video wasn’t there when the document was generated, he’s not actual insight into the process… so he can speculate all he wants, but it means nothing.
The White House could have released the certificate as a flat GIF file, and people bitch that it wasn’t animated.
I was reading elsewhere that the layers could have been created by accidentally leaving OCR tech on during the scan process. Not sure that explains everything, though.