Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sound Bite Politics: Obama's Long Form

Sound  bites don't count. Facts do. That is why I posted here instead of emailing...

Things like this are never simple.


In my email this morning, someone wrote:
Any questions/comments-----
regarding citations of the very interesting and potentially significant video being promulgated:


TEEN FIGURES OUT OBAMA BIRTH CERTIFICATE FRAUD.! !  Watch this over 1,300,000 hits

the message screams...


Well, once again, sound bite politics only work for the lower 47%. Large multicolored bold fonts and exclamation points don't do much for me (or anyone else with more than half a brain. So please just knock it off).

Fact checking does.


For starters, he isn't a teen. The presenter says "I do this for a living".

We all know that "teens" don't do anything for a living. They just go around trying to make themselves as copulable as possible... (New word, but you know the meaning... >:-)

I also do this for a living and decidedly am not a teen.


So, being a geek, and a graphics geek at that, I thought I might go on and check it out further.

On further checking, the URL cited in the video has changed. The cited

is now a long discussion of the topic, not a single file.

The first document offered there:

is a white printed form without signatures bearing no resemblance to the document in the video. It could have been generated anywhere.


But further down the page appears the document shown in the video:

I have also a GnuPG signature file that uniquely identifies this file:


This is the GPG signature for the file I downloaded from the White House. If a subsequent download's GPG signature does not match this signature then it shall have been changed.

If you don't understand GnuPG and signatures then I invite you to visit google:

This gives you the tools to protect yourself in situations like this, to be absolutely assured that the file you have on hand is indeed the file that was generated. And much much more. Recommended...


Examining the "metadata" (the overlying statistics about a file - available as an embedded XMP file) in Adobe Acrobat show that the file was created on a MAC by an "artiste" ("artistes" use MACs. Reeel engineers use Linux, but I digress) on 2011-04-27 12:09:24Z (7:09:24 EST or 8:09:24 EDT) and has not been modified since.

The metadata offer a unique "UUID" to identify the file:


So, if when you decide to check me out, if the uuid has changed then someone shall have changed the file on the site. Plus, the metadata shall show a different creation date. 

But I assure you, the GPG signature file cited above is a much more reliable and verifiable indicator of veracity.


OK, so let's talk about layers.

There now appears to seems be only one "layer" when viewed in either Adobe Acrobat (Windows) or the GIMP (Linux).

However, absent the availability of Adobe Illustrator (cited in the video), the unix/linux command pdfimages indeed shows nine layers.

andy@tm2t:~> pdfimages -list /data/gov/birth-certificate-long-form.pdf
page   num  type   width height color comp bpc  enc interp  object ID
   1     0 image    1652  1276  icc     3   8  jpeg   no         7  0
   1     1 mask     1454  1819  -       1   1  image  no         9  0
   1     2 mask      199   778  -       1   1  image  no        12  0
   1     3 mask       42   274  -       1   1  image  no        14  0
   1     4 mask      123   228  -       1   1  image  no        16  0
   1     5 mask       47   216  -       1   1  image  no        18  0
   1     6 mask       34    70  -       1   1  image  no        20  0
   1     7 mask      243   217  -       1   1  image  no        22  0
   1     8 mask      132   142  -       1   1  image  no        24  0

So someone has decidedly gone beyond a simple single layer scan, as noted in the video.

Fortunately you can extract and examine each layer with

    pdfimages -j /data/gov/birth-certificate-long-form.pdf /Desktop/

which gives you the nine jpg and pbm files listed above onto your Linux /Desktop.

(Sorry, too little time to figure this out for Windows users. If this doesn't make sense then just ask your friendly  neighborhood Linux geek. Maybe tomorrow I'll post these here. But it is too late right now.)

These images then can be viewed in any number of different programs, including (Linux) gwenview or GIMP, the latter available for Windows as well as Linux.

[Anyone interested in playing with this can easily download "The GIMP" for free (including for Windows):

to explore the world of digital imagery.]

The extracted layers are counter-rotated (anti-clockwise) by 90 degrees.

The extraction gives you nine files, n going from 0 to 8, and xxx either jpg or  pbm.

1. When you examine -000.jpg you see the basic document.

Except that everything except the signatures (and only part of the mother's signature, at that) have been ghosted to different layers.

This is easy to do with the GIMP or Photoshop or others: select by color (*they obviously chose black), then cut and paste to a new layer.

As seen in -000.jpg, when you cut areas from an image it leaves whitespace behind, unless you "flatten" the image, which this incompetent amendant clearly failed to do, but then s/he wasn't expecting to be caught out (and what can we expect from this Government but incompetence).

And except further, this image DOES NOT include the "certifying statement" by Alvin T. Onaka, PhD., ghosted or not. So it would seem that such a "certifying statement" did not exist in the originally scanned image.

[OBTW, layer manipulation is easy. Collapsing can be done with a single keystroke. On the other hand, layers can just as easily be created. So a knowledgeable person can fairly easily take selections of an image, cut them, and then paste them to a new layer. I do this all the time.

[So in short order one could, from a single layer scan, create a multiple layer document, as indeed this is. Whether they changed anything or not, this image has clearly been manipulated, if only to cut stuff from the original scan and move it to a different layer.

[Of course, it begs the question: "Why bother", unless you were going to change the stuff in the other layers.]

2. Now, when you examine -001.pbm you see all the stuff that was cut from -000.jpg, including the printed form data (Block numbers and descriptions) and the typwritten data, missing:   
    a. (Block 1a) the middle R in BA ACK,
    b. (Block 15) the first letter of [S]TANLEY
    c. (Block 18a) the first part of the mother's signature
    d. and various other little bits.

The background is black because the background was not cut from the original image, only the black selection. These programs let you choose your default background for new layers. I choose white. But the default is often black or empty, that ends up black. These people were lazy and used the default.

And again, the "certifying statement" is not present, neither in -000.jpg nor -001.pbm.

[Unfortunately, what they actually did change in the different layers cannot easily be discerned.Diddling with a particular layer before finalizing the document (and the resultant metadata is not recorded in either layers or the metadata. But the fact that they did indeed decompose the original image into multiple layers is irrefutable.

[Which goes back to "Why bother" unless it was to be able to change something.]

The point is that someone did a Select by color to extract black from the original scan to a new layer, so obviously, whether fair or foul, was messing with the original scan.


Scanners don't create layers. People create layers.

(Reminds me of a famous NRA Second Amendment quote, but I digress).

3. -002.pbm is particularly interesting. It is an entirely monochromatic and hence apparently digital image of the alleged "certifying statement", including the signature. by Alvin T. Onaka, PhD.

Again, easy to do when you know how. There are tons of signature fonts out there. Try these for starters:

4. -003.pbm, -004.pbm, -005.pbm are extractions (or creations) of date stamps. Again an indicator of manipulation.

5. The remaining two pbm files are just noise, presumably an attempt to clean up the document from residual static from the scan to "make it pretty".


So, without screaming multicolored bold fonts. exclamation points, and "PASS IT ON" crap:the temperate, objective, technically correct, and factual evidence and subsequent deduction are irrefutable:

the image has been manipulated, if not substantively altered.

More fuel (or perhaps gasoline) for the fire.


As a consequence,:

is a matter altogether different from the layering issue:

1. Block 18a: the signature for Ann Dunham Obama indeed appears to computer-generated after the D, as are many other parts of the document:

2. Particularly important is that the certification signature (Alvin T. Onaka, PhD) does not show any of the normal multicolor pixillation seen in the Ann D signature, indicating it also has been created digitally, perhaps with a signature font.

3. Block 1a:  The child's first name appears to be digital, except for the letter R, which is normally pixillated.

4. Block 13: Mother's name, only the first letter of the surname is normally pixillated.

5. Blocks 19a and 21 signatures ARE normally pixillated

So questions need to be asked for someone to explain these anomalies: Why are only parts of signatures and entries normally pixillated, while a large number appear to be monochromatically digitally created?

Fortunately there are smarter minds than mine to amnswer such questions.

But caution, some artifacts can be introduced by scanning at insufficiently fine resolution:

For example, you can tell the scanner to scan in color, greyscale (with different numbers of "levels" - numbers of gradations) or monochromatically. After the scan you can adjust these further.

So the monochromaticity of portions of the image are not damning in themselves as they could have resulted from incompetent scanning, but the layer extraction and/or creation is proof that the image was manipulated, whether for fair or foul.

So the the questions should be asked, especially of Alvin T. Onaka, PhD.

And what should we do?

Vote. Vote with our heads and vote with our feet.

We need a change.


smrstrauss said...

Obama has shown both his short form birth certificate and his long form birth certificate, and the officials in Hawaii of both parties in Hawaii have repeatedly confirmed that they sent it to him and that ALL the facts on it are correct, and this is further confirmed by the public Index Data file and also by the birth notices sent to the newspapers of Hawaii by the DOH of Hawaii in 1961.

Only birther "experts"---who have not proved that they are really experts, and who certainly have not proved that they are fair and impartial say that there is anything wrong with the image of Obama's birth certificate.

The birther "experts" include Paul Irey, who has repeatedly claimed that Obama did not attend Columbia College, despite the fact that Columbia University has stated that Obama did attend (and that he graduated). And they include Doug Vogt, who claims to have found the original altar of Abraham. It is such "experts" as these that the birthers rely on for their case.

There are many real experts who say that there is nothing wrong with Obama's birth certificate, including John Woodman, who happens to be a member of the Tea Party and who dislikes Obama and Obama's policies, but shows that the birther "experts" are wrong. They also include Ivan Zatkovich, who was hired by WND to examine the image of Obama's birth certificate, and when he submitted his report that there was nothing wrong with Obama's birth certificate, WND simply did not publish it.

It is clear that rational conservatives do not believe the "birth certificate was forged" claims. Ann Coulter, Glenn Beck and the National Review certainly do not.

And the conservative secretary of state of Arizona asked Hawaii to confirm that Obama was born there and to confirm specified facts on Obama's birth certificate. Hawaii did, stating that it compared the image of Obama's birth certificate with the file copy (which is an additional confirmation that there was a file copy BTW) and that Obama was born there and that the facts match. The secretary of state of Arizona accepted this confirmation and ruled that Obama will be on the ballot in Arizona in November. This indicates that he does not believe the claims that the birth certificate is forged (including those of Sheriff Joe) and that he does believe the officials in Hawaii.

How do we know that there is an Obama birth certificate in the files in Hawaii and that it says that Obama was born in Kapiolani Hospital in Honolulu (which by the way did exist in 1961)?

The first way is the short form birth certificate. That was created by a clerk copying the information off of the original document in the files. If there were no document, there could be no short form birth certificate. Hawaii has confirmed that it sent a short form birth certificate (COLB) to Obama.

The second reason for knowing that there is a birth certificate in the files is that Hawaii said that there is, several times, under both Republican and Democrat governors. (No, Governor Abercrombie NEVER said that he could not find the birth certificate in the files.)

The third reason is that the current director of health of Hawaii stated in a letter that she had seen the long form birth certificate being created by photocopying onto security paper the original document that was in the files.

The fourth reason is that the existence of Obama's birth certificate in 1961 is proven by the birth notices sent to the newspapers of Hawaii in 1961 by the DOH of Hawaii. Only the DOH could send those notices to the Health Bureau Statistics section of the papers, and the DOH sent only sent those notices for children whom it had issued birth certificates for.

Would you like me to post the citations of the confirmations by the officials in Hawaii?

Andy L said...

I think the point of the video (and certainly mine) is that in the case of this one document downloaded from the White House site there is irrefutable evidence that the image has been manipulated into layers.

Those are the irrefutable facts, verifiable and repeatable by anyone cognizant of the methods I have outlined in the post.

Now, whether anything was changed is an entirely different matter, on which I cannot offer any evidence.

But I can and have confirmed the allegation that a flat scan image was converted into multiple layers.

That is a physical fact. Scanners don't create layers. PEOPLE create layers.

The purpose for such an unnecessary and relatively difficult action is a matter of conjecture at this point.

Facts, opinions, conjecture (guesses).

Your choice.

I rely on facts. The fact is that the image has been manipulated: parsed into layers.

Thank you sincerely for your reading and your commentary. Engagement is essential.

Political Correctness and its attendant Cowardice shall be the death of this Nation.

Have a nice day. And do come back.