Obama releases long form birth certificate

(Note, March 28, late night: I had replaced the cut-off short image of the certificate with a full length image on the morning of March 28, but due to some error on my part, the short image returned. The full-length image has now been posted again.)

Here it is (and here is a CNN article that repeats the same lies that every media organization in the country has been repeating):


Note that the document says “Certificate of Live Birth.” That does NOT mean that it is the document widely but incorrectly known as the “Certificate of Live Birth” that the Obama campaign released in 2008 and that no thoughtful person has accepted as genuine. As explained at VFR last January, the document released by the Obama campaign in 2008

was not a certificate of live birth, but a certification of live birth. They are two different things. A certification of live birth is a secondary document that is created at some time after a person’s birth, referring to the underlying official document, which is known variously as the certificate of live birth, or the long form birth certificate, or, simply, the birth certificate.

For yet further confusion, the certification of live birth is referred to as the COLB. The certificate of live birth is NOT referred to as the COLB.

In the past, Hawaii would issue a certification of live birth in cases where a person had been born somewhere other than Hawaii and needed an official record of his original birth data. So, for example, a person born in Tokyo who had moved to Hawaii would have Hawaii issue a certification of live birth verifying that he had been born in Tokyo, and referring to the data in his original, Japanese birth certificate.

The “certificate/certification” terminology is insanely, maddeningly confusing, but that’s the way it is.

* * *

Some initial thoughts.

As I have been saying all along, birthers should avoid speculative theories and stick with what we know. What we know is (1) that we have not seen Obama’s birth certificate, and (2) that Obama has been concealing it. The White House’s release of what is apparently the real birth certificate proves both my points. Notwithstanding all the lies and smears directed at birthers by the Democrats, the establishment Republicans, and the mainstream media, the White House’s release of the birth certificate establishes as fact that up until today we did not have the birth certificate, and that Obama had been concealing it.

Second, there are oddities in this document. It is cut off at the bottom, so that the signature of the “attendant” (the doctor?) cannot be read, and we don’t know how much more of the document is missing. [Note: that was due to a bad image of the BC being posted. It’s now been replaced by a full length image.] There is the oddity that there is only one line to be filled out by one parent of the child. Barack Obama Sr. did not sign the document.

There is the oddity that the mother’s maiden name is printed, correctly, as “Stanley Ann Dunham,” but that the mother’s signature, added to the document on August 7, 1961, three days after the birth, says “(Stanley) Ann Dunham Obama.” Was her name Obama? Is there any record of Barack Sr. marrying Stanley Ann? Is there any record of Barack Sr. divorcing Stanley Ann? The fact that she moved to Seattle two weeks after the birth of her child and never lived with (and apparently never saw) the father of the child from that point onward is further reason to suspect that they were not married and were never married (that is, they were never married even in an American ceremony which formally occurred but which would be legally void because he was already married to a woman in Kenya).

Then there is the biggest oddity of all: if this document is real, why has Obama been concealing it for all these years?

Also, let us give THREE CHEERS for Donald Trump for having the simple human guts to bring this issue into the mainstream and to keep revisiting it and not back away from it when he was attacked. Who can doubt that the release of this document is a direct result of Trump’s campaigning on the issue. The incident shows how a prominent person, simply by speaking up and continuing to speak up, can help break down a false and stifling orthodoxy.

- end of initial entry -

Michael D. writes:
Subject: Typo in “Obama Releases Long Form Birth Certificate”

It is in your second sentence below the image:

Note that the document says “Certificate of Live Birth.” That does NOT mean that it is the document known as the “certificate [should be certification] of live birth” that the Obama campaign released in 2008 and that no thoughtful person has accepted as genuine.

LA replies:

Thank you. That’s how maddening the “certification/certificate” terminology is. Even when a person is in the act of distinguishing the two, he is likely to mix them up.

Michael D. replies:

I almost made the same observation, but was in a rush to handle another small matter. It aptly demonstrated your assertion about the terminology. A non-fan reader might even suspect you did it on purpose!

Alexis Zarkov writes:

Mr. Auster asks whether “(Stanley) Ann Dunham Obama” was her name. I think the answer is yes, at least in her own mind. The form has a printed entry (Number 13) titled “Full Maiden Name of Mother” with a printed entry that reads “Stanley Ann Dunham.” That is correct. Entry Number 18a carries the title “Signature of Parent or Other Informant” and has a cursive signature that reads “(Stanley) Ann Dunham Obama” which is also correct. That was her married name and that’s the likely way she signed documents. The “(Stanley)” looks like it was inserted either as an afterthought. Most likely she signed documents and went by the name “Ann Dunham Obama” after marriage and either “Ann Dunham” or “S. Ann Dunham” before marriage. Her father, wanting a boy, named her “Stanley” which gave her an awkward name for a women. Lots of people who don’t like their first name use their middle name sometimes preceded by the first letter of their first name. I see nothing irregular or suspicious about her signature. [LA replies: I didn’t say that there was anything irregular or suspicious about her signature. I was simply raising the question whether she was indeed married to Obama Sr.] Moreover this form only requires one parent or someone else to sign entry 18a. I see nothing irregular about the father’s signature not appearing on the form. [LA replies: I didn’t say there was. Obviously, the form only asks for the signature of one parent, so how could the signature of only one parent be suspicious. Mr. Zarkov protests too much.]

We are left to wonder why Obama resisted releasing this form. I’m sure it will get attacked as a forgery. That would mean the State Registrar is lying. One would think that would be a crime, so I doubt it. Why would the Registrar want to put himself at risk of committing a crime? I think the birth certificate issue is over at this point. Obama might have tried to use this issue to distract from some other irregularity in his background. Nevertheless it’s possible that Obama is everything he says he is. His father was a very intelligent African, and his mother was most likely also had a high IQ and so might Obama. It would be interesting to see his LSAT score which he need to apply for law school. There are some very intelligent Africans. I knew a Nigerian as an undergraduate who was an absolutely outstanding student and is now a professor in a very difficult technical subject. If black Africa had an ample supply of such people it would not be the mess it is. [LA replies: I fail to see the relevance of African intelligence to the birth certificate issue.]

Mercedes D. writes:

For what it’s worth, this morning on KSFO Brian Sussman interviewed Joseph Farah of World Net Daily on the birth certificate issue.

Farah said that if this is the actual long form birth certificate, it proves that Obama is not a natural born U.S. citizen, and therefore is ineligible to be President, because:

1. His father is listed as an African citizen born in Kenya.

2. His mother’s age is listed as 18 years, too young to confer her American citizenship on her son. At the time Obama was born, a parent had to be at least 19 years old to confer citizenship.

LA replies:

I think Farah doesn’t know what he’s talking about. By my understanding of the issue (which was discussed at length here in December 2008), Stanley Anne’s being 18 rather than 19 would only prevent her son from being a natural born citizen if he had been born abroad and if the father was not a U.S. citizen. But since the Obama was apparently born in the U.S., he is of course a natural born citizen. Indeed, as everyone knows (except apparently for Farah), someone born in the U.S. is considered a natural born citizen even if his parents are both illegal aliens. (The fact that this is based on a wrong-headed reading of the Constitution doesn’t change the fact that it is the currently authoritative interpretation of the Constitution.)

I may be wrong, but that is my best understanding of these issues.

Also, I still haven’t read the material sent to me the other week by Lawrence Sellin, who like Farah believes that a child born in the U.S. of a citizen parent and a non-citizen parent is not a natural born citizen.

Mercedes replies:

Farah probably doesn’t know what he’s talking about, and I don’t put any stock in the accuracy of anything reported by World Net Daily. I think he said something about Obama’s birth taking place before we had the “anchor baby” laws that confer citizenship on children of illegal aliens who are born here.

As I said, for what it’s worth … :- )

He’s probably just trying to keep people interested in Jerome Corsi’s new book.

Raymond M. writes:

I don’t know if you’ve seen these posts over at Karl Denninger’s site, The Market Ticker, but he’s indicating that the certificate of live birth was altered and the changes are available to see in Adobe Illustrator: See this and this.

If the document was in fact altered, wow, things could get interesting really quickly (provided the MSM picks up on this)….

LA replies:

I went there. I was troubled by something which to me is always a sign that someone is full of it. Denninger’s tone was extremely knowledgeable, yet he didn’t adequately explain his points. He didn’t show—to the satisfaction of a reader who wanted to understand what he was saying—that in fact there were alterations in the document. He was only declaring with great assurance and knowingness that there had been alterations. People who speak that way are not to be trusted.

Lydia McGrew writes:

This refutes my favorite theory—that he was born at home (in Hawaii, of course).

Hard to conjecture Obama’s reasons for sitting on this so long, and even more, for trying to force Americans to accept the short-form certificate in the meanwhile. I have two possibilities: (1) sheer contempt for anyone who dares to question him; (2) hope that an opponent would fall into the trap of questioning his citizenship. Trump didn’t fall into that trap, but Obama still seems to be playing “gotcha.” I think already from some private conversations that this is arousing resentment of Trump for “wasting our time” by even raising the issue. I hold no brief for Trump as a candidate but think it was entirely legitimate for him to ask about the certificate.

James N., writes:

Hard to know what to make of it.

If it’s a forgery, it’s the result of “a conspiracy so vast … “—ergo, quite unlikely.

If it’s real, why not before today?

We may never know.

LA writes:

A correspondent to me today that given Obama’s three year delay in releasing the birth certificate, which means there was something he was concealing, and given that what was released to the public today was an image, not a hard document that can be checked by skeptics, we should assume that this birth certificate is false.

Joseph writes:

I don’t think I am the first to write to you, but it is now assumed that the BC is a PhotoShopped fake. Please look here:

LA replies:

What you sent is at Gateway Pundit (which by the way a partisan Republican site with no intellectual framework independent of Republican partisanship). The entry presents the analysis of “Photoshop expert Mara Zebest.” She makes points similar to Karl Denninger about changes that have supposedly been made in the document.

Then she ends with this:

Finally, also wanted to make the point that regardless of where Obama is born, he’s still not a Natural Born Citizen since both parents were not born on U.S. soil but I won’t hold my breath waiting for the media to educate the public on this fact.

She’s just destroyed her credibility. People who believe what Zebest, Joseph Farah, and Lawrence Sellin believe, i.e., that you must be born on U.S. soil of two U.S. citizens in order to be a natural born citizen, don’t know what they’re talking about and discredit the birther position. And, as Lawrence Sellin admitted to me the other week, given their belief about the requirements of natural born citizenship, Obama’s birth certificate is entirely irrelevant, since, having a foreign father, he would not be a U.S. citizen regardless of the circumstances of his birth. So why do these people pretend to care about the birth certificate?

However, Zebest goes even further than the above position and adds that to be a natural born citizen you must be born on U.S. soil of two parents who not only are U.S. citizens but who were born on U.S. soil. In other words, both of your parents must be natural born citizens. And, of course, for them to be natural born citizens, their parents would, by this definition of natural born citizenship, also have to have been natural born citizens. If this idiocy were true, then the only people who were natural born U.S. citizens would be people who were descended exclusively from ancestors who were in the United States at the time of the Founding.

It’s people like Zebest who give credibility to the media and establishment people who dismiss all birthers as brainless partisan idiots.

Joseph C. writes:

I have seen the certificate released by the White House today. Document authentication is not my bailiwick, so I will not comment on its genuineness. My initial observations are as follows:

First, the Race of Father is listed as “African.” This I never heard of on a birth certificate. The only races I have ever seen recognized are Caucasian, Black, Hispanic, Asian, and Other. Africa is a continent, not a race. The term African American (which I have never before used except in this sentence and will never use again) came into vogue only in the 1990s. Nobody was referred to as African rather than Black in 1961. Maybe things were different in Hawaii. Perhaps those with more knowledge of Hawaiian customs can comment, and if I am wrong I will stand corrected.

Second, there is no baby’s footprint, fingerprint, etc.

Third, the signature of the attendant is dated the following day. This seems odd, but maybe due to the fact that the birth occurred at 7:24 PM.

Corey N. writes:

In your piece on Karl Denninger and the certificate:

He didn’t show—to the satisfaction of a reader who wanted to understand what he was saying—that in fact there were alterations in the document. He was only declaring with great assurance and knowingness that there had been alterations. People who speak that way are not to be trusted.

Wait a minute. You can’t be bothered to follow the simple instructions he lists—and therefore you call HIM the liar?

The fault here is yours, not his. I don’t know much about detecting this sort of thing, but I was certainly able to duplicate to my own satisfaction the things Denninger is pointing out. Even if you don’t have a copy of Illustrator, you can do the following:

1. Go here.

2. Click-drag with your mouse to put a box around the text in standard the Adobe viewer. Right click mouse on the box. Choose “Copy Image.”.

3. Paste into standard Microsoft Word. See what shows up.

Denninger is assuming that is audience is capable of following directions, which he gives. That isn’t unreasonable, and doesn’t make him untrustworthy. In any case Ann Barnhardt has further info on all this on her site. The Smoking Gun (not exactly a right-wing partisan site) has graphics experts asserting that the document is constructed, not scanned. When I don’t know much about a topic, I tend to read and listen until I do, and not opine that those discussing it are untrustworthy.

LA replies:

When people have something important and difficult to convey, they spell it out step by step. They don’t just assert it. So I am automatically suspicious of people who speak too assuredly and without sufficient specifics about difficult and complex matters. I didn’t call him a liar.

April 28, 5:56 p.m.

LA continues to Corey N.:

Also, I did not say that Denninger’s argument was false. I have no position on that, and I have absolutely no desire to get in the way of the fair debate that needs to be had on Denninger’s assertion. I was only speaking of my personal reaction of skepticism, based on a lot of experience, to people who make certain kinds of overly broad claims in a certain kind of all-knowing tone.

Adam S. writes:

I’ve observed an effect that could explain the layers in the birth certificate. I believe that some scanners, when scanning directly to pdf, try to be intelligent and pick things out of the document and put them in separate layers. Presumably if it was a forgery, they would have gone to the trouble of making a clean image transfer. Perhaps not.

Paul Nachman writes:

Andrew McCarthy, summing up the issue, repeats that it cost Wonderboy at least several thousands in legal fees and perhaps a lot more. I still dunno about that. But he makes the parallel point that it cost plenty for other people, including a court martial, that was all wholly unnecessary. And one of the commenters points out that, when liberals went after McCain, he provided his document right away.

James Nelson writes:

I posted my analysis of Denninger’s forgery evidence on his blog. Because I do not pay the man for the right to comment I have apparently been blocked from replying. I have posted my explanations below if you care to read them. Along with subsequent evidence and outside explanations of the compression used in PDFs:

I took the time to read the analysis and watch the videos. I also downloaded the pdf from the White House website, I also printed and scanned the document, and recreated near perfectly the artifacts pointed out. Here is the real explanation for what people are seeing.

What you are looking at are the byproducts of converting and optimizing a scanned document into a pdf. Adobe Acrobat contains algorithms that are used to optimize pdfs which create an overall smaller size and quicker load time when it draws the pdf on the screen.

When the original scanned image was saved as a pdf, Acrobat automatically took the blacks its algorithm could identify and created new layers from them. It saves these layers individually. Acrobat then converts the areas behind the blacks it identified into white space to reduce the color contrast of the colored sections of the image. Then Adobe saves those colored parts of the image as a single jpg layer. When it loads, it builds up loading the colored layer, then the black layers.

Because this conversion is done by algorithm and not by hand, it is not 100 percent perfect, so not all black layers are identified perfectly in one nice neat layer. Multiple link layers are created because the algorithm runs multiple times trying to identify the black layers. During the algorithm any rasterization artifacts (the color areas around the text when you zoom in) that are identified are converted to either black or white based on the closest matching saturation. This is why you get solid black text areas versus the rasterized text areas that the algorithm could not identify as being solid black.

So there you have it. It is not a fake as far as can be determined through any of the so-called technological evidence that is being reported.

Here My subsequent replies to other commenters who decided to research me rather than my explanations:

Jeffrey_thomason: “Gen: Can you do a similar analysis on http://global.nationalreview.com/pdf/pas…. “


Jeffrey, if I open the NR PDF in AI again I see a list of link layers, 66 to be exact. Are we to assume they forged the passport renewal request? Attached is the window showing some of the link layers. You will notice again how they are passed on blacks and how there is no specific definable pattern.

CJ, 15 yrs of experience? You need to study harder apparently. Just open any other optimized PDF based on a scanned image in AI. All the “evidence” you claim to find in Obama’s exists, does this mean all these other documents are forgeries too?

Here you can read the technical specifications on the MRC compression algorithm if you so choose to purchase the report, but even the summary is enough to explain exactly the technique I described:


I have attached the image mentioned in the replies that shows the link layers in the National Review PDF.


LA replies:

The posted image may be too small to be useful, as I had to reduce it substantially to fit it on the page.

Matthew writes:

Here in the UK a birth (or death or marriage) certificate is a public document. That’s what genealogists use to build their family trees.

I take it this is not the case in the USA?

Alan Levine writes:

Joseph C. noted rightly that “African American” is a recent neologism. However, so is “black,” which was not conventionally used by either whites or blacks until 1966-1967, at least on the U.S. mainland. The conventional and official term for “black American” at the time of Barry the Magnificent’s birth was “Negro,” or among older whites, maybe, “colored.” As Joseph C. says, maybe it was different in Hawaii. Or, possibly, whoever filled out the document used a term designed to make clear that Obama senior was an African, not an American Negro.

D. in Seattle writes:

It seems to me that most people, birthers and non-birthers alike, are too naive to contemplate many ways that this issue can be twisted. Consider the following: if you were David Axelrod (let’s say he is Obama’s chief handler) and you really wanted to hide something, maybe a fact that Obama lost U.S. citizenship through adoption by an Indonesian citizen and never re-gained it, how would you hide it?

Well of course you’d create multiple layers of smokescreens. You’d take a known fact and make it suspicious, and let your opponents spin wheels for years while nobody is discussing the real issue. So you take a known (to you, at least) fact, i.e. Obama was born in Hawaii to a U.S. citizen mother, and you’d create fake controversies: he was born in Kenya, he was born in Hawaii but is not a U.S. citizen because his father wasn’t, his father was someone else, etc. etc. ad nauseam. You’d waste a couple of years of your opponents’ time by refusing to release documents, stirring the controversy even further, and then you release THE document, and discredit your opponents. But there’s a twist: you make a legitimate document look fake, even though all the data are correct. Then your opponents lose another year trying to demonstrate the forgery, and then you release the original paper copy and it’s a real document, and your opponents now look like utter fools.

Meanwhile, nobody is discussing the issue that you really want to hide …

Corey N. replies to LA:

Thank you, that’s a fair answer.

Also, James Nelson’s comment was very interesting, and answers my particular concern—that Adobe does indeed create such artifacts as a matter of normal operation under at least some conditions.

If that is true—and right now I am aware of no reason to think otherwise (although this whole matter has been a definite roller coaster ride!)—then it is something Denninger really should address.

Also, James Nelson may simply not be able to post comments yet—I believe that forum has a time delay before enabling new accounts.

Sophia A. writes:

I have felt all along that our prankster Prez (riffing on Diana West, who called him “deeply creepy and manipulative”) had an ace up the sleeve, which he was just waiting to pull out at the opportune time. And he did. The media duly went along, portraying poor Barack as aggrieved and persecuted, when in fact he could scarcely conceal his triumphant delight.

But wait…. might this not backfire? Trump now wants him to release his Columbia U. transcripts. All along, THIS is what I have wanted to see. Call me loony, but I would not put it past Columbia to release faked transcripts.

LA replies:

Prankster Prez, I like that.

Neil Parille writes:

The thing I find most interesting is the letter from Obama’s law firm to the Hawaii health department asking for a certified copy of the birth certificate.

The attorney says that the birth certificate is confidential and asks for a waiver of Hawaii regulations so that Obama can have a copy. The Health Director says she will waive the requirements. The implication is that Obama didn’t have access to the certificate before and, presumably, people in Hawaii don’t have access. Is this really the case? What about the other birth certificates from the people born within days of Obama that we’ve seen on the web? Did they have to get exceptions made for them? Did they get their copies before a change in Hawaii regulations? Why hasn’t anyone mentioned this?

LA replies:

I don’t understand it at all. I’m mystified by it. How could there by any question of a person having the right to his own birth certificate?

April 29

James Nelson writes;

Because people still seem to doubt my explanation, here are the steps to produce the effect and verify the results:

1) Scan document, save as jpg.

2) Open Acrobat, select create PDF from file, select your jpg from step 1.

3) Go to the Documents menu, select OCR text recognition, Recognize text using OCR, then click “OK”

4) Go to the Document menu, select Optimize scanned PDF. Move the size slider to small size then click OK.

5) Save your PDF and close Acrobat.

6) Open Illustrator.

7) Open your newly created pdf.

8) Go to the Window menu, select Links.

9) In the Link menu click on one of the layers.

10) At the top right of the link window is an icon that looks like three horizontal lines, click on it and select go to link and the clipping mask for the layer will be shown.

James Nelson continues:

I forgot to include the image from the PDF I created in the steps I outlined in my last comment. As you can see from this image the Monochromatic Effect ticker is fixated on exists in it as well. I did not do anything special or difficult. I just scanned a document and saved it as an image, I opened that image in Acrobat and ran the OCR function and the Optimize scan PDF function, both of which are common to do when trying to create a small useable PDF from a scanned document.


April 30

LA to James Nelson:

Take a look at this entry.

Did I get the image you sent? It’s looks like just one tiny segment of a larger image.

James Nelson replies:

Thank you for the response. A tiny portion of the overall image is exactly what I sent. Denninger insists now that the proof of his evidence is the monochromatic effect on most of the text characters in the White House document. I am attempting to show that following the steps I laid out to produce an optimized PDF from a scan document produces the exact same monochromatic effect he claims can only be done on purpose by hand. You’ll notice the “198” have the effect where the other characters do not.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at April 27, 2011 09:44 AM | Send

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