© Miri WTPOTUS 2011
In part one of my analysis, A Tangled Web: Tales of Obama’s LFCOLB, I introduced you to Savannah Guthrie, who remains, so far as we know, the only member of the media who claims to have actually seen, touched, and photographed the original paper document that is said to be a certified copy of Barack Hussein Obama II’s original long-form certificate of live birth (LFCOLB). No other member of the media has come forward to say she or he has examined the document. In addition to logical inferences anyone can derive from the back-and-forth conversation during the news gaggle, Jake Tapper of ABC News later wrote,
At an off-camera gaggle with reporters this morning, [White House Communications Director Dan] Pfeiffer held up a certified copy of the President’s original Certificate of Live Birth. A copy is now on the White House website. [Emphasis added.]
This further evidence backs up my assertion that other reporters saw the certified copy only when Pfeiffer held it up and flashed it from a distance at the press conference. The copy posted on the White House (WH) website, in Portable Document Format (PDF) form, is referenced below. Being a digital image, it is insufficient. In fact, it’s useless as evidence because no citizen could possibly use an image on a website as proof of identity or citizenship, much less natural born citizenship.
Reporters were given one-sided copies of the LFCOLB, printed out on what looks like white paper. No reporter but for Guthrie says he or she was allowed to view the original up close and personal, or to photograph it.
Savannah Guthrie, lawyer and NBC journalist–who attended Georgetown University Law Center and probably knows very well the incoming White House Counsel, Kathryn Ruemmler–claimed that she photographed the LFCOLB and even felt the “raised seal” on it. Below are her photographs:
Click to enlarge.
Guthrie said that on April 27, 2011, “today,” she took two photos. In the White House? She didn’t specify.
Unfortunately, the metadata from the photos contain no date/time stamps. Below is a transcription of the EXIF data for the second photo (the one showing the full LFCOLB):
Flash: No flash function
File: 450 x 600 JPEG 92,237 bytes
Image compression 88% (versus 113,506 bytes; compression 86% for photo #1)
Camera Model Name:
Orientation: Horizontal (Normal)
Software: Rim Exif Version 1.00a
Y Cb Cr Positioning: Centered
Exposure Time: 0
Exif Version: 0220
Components Configuration: Y, Cb, Cr, -
Exif Image Size: 600 x 450
Subject Distance: 0 m
Light Source: Unknown
Flash: No flash function
Color Space: sRGB
Device Setting Description: (0 bytes binary data)
Resolution: 72 pixels/inch
File type: JPEG
MIME Type: image/jpeg
Exif Byte Order: Little-endian (Intel, II)
Encoding Process: Baseline DCT, Huffman coding
Bits Per Sample: 8
Color Components: 3
File Size: 90 kB (versus 111 kB for photo #1)
Image Size: 600 x 450
Y Cb Cr Sub Sampling; YcbCr4:4:4 (1 1)
Shutter Speed: 0
Software: Rim Exif Version 1.00a apparently means that the photo was taken with a Research in Motion Blackberry–the same device Anthony Weiner used to snap photos for his most unfortunate tweets.
The first photo raises several questions: Why is it cropped just above where the alleged raised seal should be seen on the document?
The seal is cropped out of view in the only photo that’s a close up.
Why is the color of the paper so off? It should be bright green security paper, but looks gray-green, at best. Don’t Blackberries capture color accurately? Or does this happen because there’s no flash function?
The first photo indeed appears to be a photograph of a paper document, because the paper seems distorted by the angle from which the photo was taken. That is, what should be parallel straight lines are not parallel. Would or could any other method of imaging produce that result?
One of our ever-helpful commenters, bdwilcox, reported that the photos were downsized, with reduced resolution, and the EXIF data was modified. Any reader with expertise in “metadata” is welcome to interpret the data transcribed above. (Share it in comments, below, or use the contact box at the top, for a private message.) My own research shows that there are many software programs available for changing or removing what was originally captured in EXIF data, including dates.
The second photo, the photo of the full document, also raises questions: Why is it so dark? Too reminiscent of the infamous FactCheck photos of the questionable Obama short-form certification of live birth (SFCOLB).
Again, why is the green paper so gray? With ordinary room lighting, would a photo taken by a RIM Blackberry look so–let’s face it–bad? But it, too, appears to be of a paper document because the paper seems bent in places, from being handled.
Now you can see that the document appears to be placed on a wooden table, next to a stack of other papers. An oriental-style rug is visible in the lower right-hand corner, beneath the table (again reminiscent of a FactCheck photo).
Zoom in and look closely at the papers in the stack to the left of the document. Do they not also appear to be pages of green, cross-hatched security paper, or do my eyes deceive me? Odder still, under magnification, the table itself appears to have a pixelated, cross-hatched pattern, quite like the pattern on the security paper.
Judith Corley, Obama’s personal lawyer, hand-carried two certified copies of his original LFCOLB back to the WH (if you believe the story). But there appears to be more than one (other) page of security paper in that stack on the left. How could this be? Does the WH staff keep a stock of green, cross-hatched security paper on hand?
I’m open to other explanations. Is this a photographic anomaly? Can colors bleed over onto other objects within a digital photograph? Can patterns?
The document in Guthrie’s photo is wider than the image in the WH PDF, which is cropped on both sides. Guthrie’s photo of the document is not actually a full view of the paper (again reminiscent of FactCheck) which can be seen by comparing it to the WH image, below. She cut off the top and bottom of the document (if she photographed the same item represented by the WH PDF).
A question for technically savvy readers: Does that paper actually rest upon the table, or does it look more as if it was superimposed upon a photograph of a wooden table? I ask because to me it looks as if it’s floating in space, perfectly straight, above the table.
Now look closely at the edges of the “paper” in Guthrie’s image. They are very, very sharp. The stack of papers casts quite a shadow. Zoom in to see how the edges of the document itself do not pixelate.
Why are there flares of light along the edges of the paper, especially on the right side? (See full image above.) The light comes from which direction?
Going by the shadow thrown by the stack of papers, the document looks as if lit from the left; but there’s light along the lower right side as well as the lower left. Granted, these effects appear only after the brightness and contrast are changed, but something looks strange. Notice the bright light on the table surface, which does not seem to extend across the paper itself. Notice how the light that falls along the lower right-hand edge of the paper seems not to strike the table. How strange.
Refer to the full image: Does the perspective look right? Does the paper look too large? Closer to you, the viewer?
Now let’s look at that “raised seal,” which becomes apparent only when the contrast and brightness on the image are radically changed.
You can indeed see something that looks like a seal on that image, but merely a hint of the outside circle of the seal, not any of the details that are crucial for proving whether or not it’s a legitimate embossed seal of the state of Hawaii. That’s a cropped section, enlarged by 230%. The “seal” looks more like a ring left by an errant coffee mug!
If this is truly an embossed, raised seal that Guthrie could feel, then why did so little of the embossing catch the light? Just that ring. Very little of the center. No way to compare it to the official seal of the state of Hawaii. Convenient.
As usual, our friend and fellow blogger butterdezillion has done an excellent analysis of that darned seal. butterdezillion points out that the seal is a different size than the seal supposedly embossed on the FactCheck SFCOLB. And so it is. Easy to see. Just count the crosshatches between the top and bottom of each seal. Different size.
Surely the Hawaiian Department of Health (HDOH) uses uniform seals when they emboss, even if there are multiple embossers, in order to be official. Surely there are uniform specifications for the seal.
The “raised seal” is practically non-existent in the WH PDF and it is truly non-existent in the copy posted by the AP, replicated from the one-sided papers handed to the media. (See images above for comparison.)
Guthrie’s photograph could be a photo of a printout made from the WH PDF; and the WH PDF itself could have been put together from scanned images, at least one of which was a scan of an actual piece of paper that contained an embossed seal, but not necessarily any document belonging to Obama.
In other words, she may have taken a photograph of a printout made from a PDF that came from a scan of a document that had a raised seal on it. It does appear to be a photograph of a paper document, because of the dimpling that appears on the page, from handling. The process may have gone like this: PDF created, printed out, then the printout was photographed by Guthrie. In which case there was no raised seal to feel, unless somebody put one on it at the WH.
However, since Guthrie says she felt a raised seal, perhaps the process was reversed. She may have photographed a document with a raised seal (but not necessarily the seal of the state of Hawaii, especially since the entire center of the seal is missing in her photo. A circular “seal” is there, but barely embossed.)
Whatever that piece of paper was, perhaps it was scanned (before or after the photo session) to create the WH PDF. If so, the embossing must have been very light indeed, since the scanner didn’t pick out any details.
The image, for some reason, was cropped in the WH PDF from the full width evident in Guthrie’s photo; and Guthrie’s photo, for some reason, cut off the top and bottom of the document, evident by looking at the WH PDF.
Does Savannah Guthrie have a clue what the official seal of the state of Hawaii looks like? Miss Tickly, another fellow blogger, asked her; but so far she has not responded.
Anybody can go to a stationary supply store and buy a contraption that will emboss paper with an official-looking seal.
What do you make of that stack of paper sitting on the table, next to what Guthrie claims is the official, certified LFCOLB? Paper that looks like the security paper used for COLB’s, (unless my eyes deceive me).
butterdezillion has shown that the seal on Guthrie’s LFCOLB is a different size from the seal on the FactCheck blog SFCOLB, when logically, they should be the same size. (btw, the FactCheck “seal” does not match the official seal of the HDOH, either.)
But there is one similarity between Guthrie’s LFCOLB and FactCheck’s SFCOLB: There seems to be a lighter impression along the bottom of the circle on each seal.
From these facts one can conclude that
- the embossing machine at the HDOH has a problem, meaning that it always fails to completely indent the seal right along the bottom edge (in which case there ought to be other examples we can compare to) and somehow it can also emboss two different size circles; or
- the “seal” was cut and pasted from another document and in the process mistakenly was enlarged or made smaller (LFCOLB versus SFCOLB); or
- perhaps the embosser with the problem is the one purchased for this purpose alone. Used perhaps twice. To deboss rather than to emboss. See Miss Tickly’s post about the issue of debossment versus embossment.
Based upon butterdezillion’s experiments, as well as images of other Hawaiian COLB’s extant on the Internet, if the seal of the state of Hawaii was indeed impressed upon the paper in Hawaii, by Hawaiian officials, to certify its authenticity, and later on photographed by Guthrie, then the full image of the seal should be readily apparent in her photograph. But it’s not apparent.
During the news gaggle, Pfeiffer was asked whether or not the LFCOLB he held up had a stamp on it. Instead of answering that question, he spoke about the seal. Did he intend to focus reporters’ attention on that seal so they would believe that it proved the document’s authenticity?
Sleight of hand? A magician’s trick? Pay attention to the seal, not the stamp. (Was the stamp missing, too?)
Obviously, the reporter who asked the question was looking at the reverse side of the LFCOLB, where Onaka’s stamp should have been, or at least would have been on a SFCOLB. (Onaka’s stamp was allegedly placed upon the reverse side of the SFCOLB that was released in digital form to partisan blogs in 2008. The reverse side of that document, despite WH disinformation, has never been seen in its entirety by the media or the public.)
Even if Guthrie felt something (besides a tingle), that something doesn’t make it the official seal of the HDOH registrar.
A very important point, in my opinion, is that Obama’s lawyer used the fact that they were going to make a certified copy of the long-form available to the public in order to obtain a waiver.
NO CERTIFIED COPY IS AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC. WHY NOT?
A commenter at Citizen Wells’s blog stated his belief that the WH PDF was made by scanning the document that Guthrie photographed:
Sadly those pictures Guthrie posted online prove that all the analysis of the PDF on the WH website are USELESS because that PDF is a poorly done scan of the Document she held in her hand and photographed. … The real question is WHY was such a horrible scan done and published? A two year old could have done a better job. Was it to keep it from being studied too closely or was it done to keep the controversy going? … the only way to determine if there is an original is to have experts examine the real paper document in Hawaii.
jerome introduces speculation that, if true, says much about the character of the people in this administration.
Of course, Obama supporters would explain that certainly the WH PDF was made from the document Guthrie photographed, because Guthrie photographed one of the two official, certified LFCOLB’s that Corley hand-carried back to the WH.
Except the document she photographed cannot be one of those two LFCOLB’s, because WHAT the document SAYS and what it does NOT say makes it an obvious fake. See Bridgette’s take on the LFCOLB. Many other blogs and news articles document its inauthenticity. Most notable is the statement by much-decorated, retired Major General Paul Vallely, regarding the Obama LFCOLB:
We’ve had three CIA agents, retired, and some of their analytical associates look at it, and all  came to the same conclusion, that even the long-form was a forged document.
It’s BOGUS. At this point, does anyone but a rabid Obama supporter believe otherwise? It’s almost like beating a dead horse to write this (promised) analysis of the LFCOLB photos, but I did it, anyway.
There’s no official seal of the state of Hawaii on that LFCOLB that Guthrie photographed.
If there were, it would show up as clear as day. It would also be the same size as the seal on the other “real” Obama birth certificate–the SFCOLB. But it’s not the same size, which fact cannot be explained, other than perhaps it was computer generated or copied and pasted from another image.
WorldNetDaily (WND) asked the governor of Hawaii whether or not the documents given to Judith Corley were exempt from the embossing rule; Governor Abercrombie did not respond.
Similarly, the HDOH wouldn’t answer WND’s questions about whether the vital records on file at the HDOH match what was released to the public and the media by the WH . . .
and allegedly photographed by well-connected Savannah Guthrie.