In his recent article, Cashill speculated that the reason for the cauterization might be connected to Obama’s 1981 trip to Pakistan, a trip mentioned by candidate Obama only after the passport files had been “cauterized.” This heretofore unmentioned trip amazed Jake Tapper of ABC News. Pam Geller of Atlas Shrugs also speculated that the passport breach was connected to Obama’s 3-week trip to Pakistan when he was a young college student. A logical theory. It’s covered in depth by Jack Cashill in his recent story.
Perhaps the passport file contained a copy of Obama’s original birth certificate, which had to be cauterized to match what Obama chose to reveal to the world in June 2008 on a campaign website (Fight the Smears) and on the blog The Daily Kos. That being his short-form certification of live birth (SFCOLB), which was released in response to a growing clamor among the electorate for proof of his eligibility.
Immediately upon release of that “document”, which was purported to be a scan of an authentic certified vital record from Hawaii, the image came under intense scrutiny from the “pajamas media”, but not the mainstream media, which chose to abrogate its sacred trust under the First Amendment and ignore anything questionable about this presidential candidate’s background.
The image looked nothing like how a scanned document should look. The embossed seal and registrar’s stamp were not evident, among other issues raised.
In response to the controversy, Obama-connected FactCheck blog posted what they implied were recent photographs of the paper document, taken by their representatives at Obama campaign headquarters in Chicago. Their story, with photos, was published August 21, 2008. The writer implied that the photos proved that the document was authentic and that Obama was born in Hawaii, although the FactCheck blog representatives are not certified forensic document examiners. Only FactCheck representatives have ever claimed to have seen that document in paper form. No member of the media. No member of the public. That remains true to this day.
Some readers of the FactCheck story were puzzled by the author’s insistence that the SFCOLB
has all the elements the State Department requires for proving citizenship to obtain a U.S. passport: “your full name, the full name of your parent(s), date and place of birth, sex, date the birth record was filed, and the seal or other certification of the official custodian of such records.”
Why was FactCheck blog writing about the State Dept.? Why were they writing about the data items required on documentation in order to obtain a passport? Especially in the context of whether or not a person has proved his eligibility for the presidency, which requires natural born citizenship–a standard much higher than simple citizenship?
Naturalized citizens are not eligible for the presidency, and yet they can and do receive passports from the State Dept.
Who was talking about passports? Not those questioning the SFCOLB. Soon those FactCheck photographs came under intense scrutiny, too.
It’s the EXIF data
FactCheck blog originally published nine high-resolution photographs of the “document”, taken from different angles and under rather odd lighting. Some dark, with shadows falling across particularly pertinent parts of the certificate, such as where the embossed Hawaii Dept. of Health seal should appear. Others had flares of light obscuring data, such as the father’s name.
Not one photo showed the entire back side of the certificate, which is where the registrar’s certification–signature and date stamp–should appear. However, the images were published with the embedded EXIF data intact:
Digital cameras will record the current date and time and save this in the metadata. Camera settings–This includes static information such as the camera model and make, and information that varies with each image such as orientation (rotation), aperture, shutter speed, focal length, metering mode, and ISO speed information.
Below are some metadata tags from the second photograph published in that article by FactCheck blog:
Camera: Canon PowerShot A570 IS
Lens: 5.8 – 23.2 mm
Shot at 5.8 mm
Exposure: Auto exposure, 1/60 sec, f/4, ISO 80
Flash: Auto, Did not fire
Focus: Single, Face Detect, with a depth of field of from 0.39 m to infinity.
AF Area Mode: Multi-point AF or AI AF
Date: March 12, 2008 10:41:26PM (timezone not specified)
File: 2,304 × 3,072 JPEG (7.1 megapixels) Image compression: 92%
Note the date: March 12, 2008. Fully five months before FactCheck blog claims they went to Chicago to photograph the SFCOLB, and three months before the SFCOLB was published on the Obama campaign’s Fight the Smears website and the Daily Kos blog.
What else happened in March 2008? Obama’s passport files were cauterized. The date of the final breach of his passport file was March 14, 2008–two days after these photographs were taken of an alleged SFCOLB in Chicago.
After the embedded EXIF metadata were reported on the Web by enterprising citizen researchers, FactCheck blog downsized the resolution of the photos and removed the EXIF data altogether. After the long-form birth certificate was published on the White House blog in April 2011, FactCheck again changed their story, removed most of the photos, and summarized the previous article.
Obama supporters tried to explain away the discrepancy in the dates of these photos by saying that the photographers, being amateurs, probably incorrectly set the date on the camera. The time on the EXIF data indicated it was around 10 p.m., except the photos seem to show sunlight streaming through windows. One theory is that the photographer never set the camera’s date and time since he or she bought the camera.
A check of several digital cameras, which had never had the date or time reset since the day of purchase, showed that both had the correct date, but the time was off by about 12 hours–something that may be attributed to the fact that most digital cameras are built on the other side of the globe. Check your own camera, if you’ve never changed the date and time. Let us know what you find.
Whatever the case, why did FactCheck, a partisan blog, so quickly remove that EXIF data, if it wasn’t indicative of something, shall we say, too revealing?
Three days after the photos were published, Israeli Insider newsmagazine staff wrote:
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. … The issue has never been whether or not Obama can prove U.S. citizenship well enough to get a passport. … 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.
This story from the Washington Times supplied a factoid which may indicate another link between the passport breach and the SFCOLB:
[The] intrusions appeared to be the result of “imprudent curiosity” on the part of contract employees who were hired last summer to help process passport applications.
In this instance, “last summer” was the summer of 2007, exactly when the SFCOLB was allegedly requested from and produced by the Hawaii Dept. of Health for the Obama campaign, according to FactCheck blog. It was the following summer that an image purporting to be a scan of that document appeared on the Internet. Coincidence? Perhaps, but there are an awful lot of coincidences and oddities swirling around Obama and his documentation.