Piercing the Cone of Silence
Barack Obama was undoubtedly born in Hawaii in 1961 - verified not just by his own word (for whatever that's worth), but by the automatic triggering of the registration of his birth in the public State of Hawaii birth index, and by the contemporaneous printing of his birth announcement in the local newspaper, and by eyewitnesses, and by his father's student-visa INS records.
But 13 months ago I found myself among the skeptics who felt that the president was hiding something because of the two years of stonewalling before he released to the public an image of what he claimed was his long-form birth certificate, under pressure because the issue was turning into a political liability for him.
Like most folks, when this document was released, showing a hospital birth with family and medical information, I assumed that the question was settled. I was satisfied.
And I wasn't the only person satisfied at the time. Most all of the public, and everybody in the mainstream media, accepted the image as genuine. There was a brief flurry of interest when Adobe Photoshop aficionados revealed that the PDF had "layers," but the White House said the computer scan of the "birth certificate" was with optical-character-recognition logic turned on, and that created the layers. Sloppy -- but believable (if you didn't pursue the issue further).
At that point, most everybody stopped looking. The mainstream media categorized anybody who thought the PDF might be fake as a "crazy birther." The internet sources that we rely on for facts, FactCheck.org and Snopes.com, also stopped looking.
Let's be honest -- given the charged political atmosphere, with Donald Trump revealing his long-form birth certificate for political advantage and with a biased press eager to torpedo Trump's pubescent presidential campaign, in the process instantly marginalizing anybody who might have agreed with Trump -- it would be very natural for everybody to stop looking at this point.
The only people who persisted were those who felt that the president is a fraud (on many levels, not just with the "birth certificate") and were determined to prove it. Now, while I felt that the issue had been settled, I always remain curious and receptive to new information -- and what I discovered was that while you might not like the messengers, the research they were performing was valid, because it was based on the document (the digital PDF forgery) itself, not on the biased opinions of people commenting on it without first examining the evidence contained within the document.
I must admit to having had a mental reluctance at that point to accept the possibility of a forged birth certificate. After all, the president was clearly born in Hawaii, so there would be no need to release a fake -- just release the real thing and let the speculation die down. Furthermore, I thought, the president wouldn't have the balls to release a document that could be proven fake. If he did, and the forgery was discovered, and that information became widely known, it would put his presidency at risk. He wouldn't take that chance.
So I began to study the PDF image myself, specifically looking for flaws that didn't require computer expertise or software to understand. By late July 2011 I had developed my "pitch test" which proves forgery (Figure F in "Oblivious to the Obvious," published by American Thinker on April 10, 2012, and the subsequently published Figure FD in "Birth Certificate Whac-A-Mole").
I thought other people might be interested in what I had uncovered. But I had a problem: there was nowhere to publish my findings. The cone of silence that had descended on this story was so enveloping -- so overpowering -- that the subject was taboo even in conservative circles. No publisher would be able to even mention the possibility of forgery, much less research it, for fear of irreparably tarnishing the publication's reputation.
This cone of silence began to crack this spring -- first on March 22, when Lord Christopher Monckton (a Britisher very knowledgeable about climate change and a former policy adviser for Margaret Thatcher's government) said on the Dennis Miller radio show, "And the birth certificate -- I do know that birth certificate isn't genuine -- It appears in layers on the screen in such a way you can remove quite separately each of the individual dates. You use Adobe Illustrator and each of the individual dates is in its own separate layer. This thing has been fabricated -- But the point is, is what he [Obama] has done on the White House website is he has put up a document which is plainly a forgery and I would regard that as a very serious matter." Lord Monckton has the advantage of being beyond the reach of an IRS audit, so he could say what he really thought.
Next, on March 23, was syndicated columnist Diana West's must-read "Silence of the Lapdogs," which took to task the mainstream media for ignoring Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio's "cold case posse" report on the forgery. Most of her syndicated outlets declined to publish this column; it appeared in a few smaller newspapers across the country.
Her comments, as well as Lord Moncton's, were echoed by Thomas Lifson, editor of American Thinker, on March 23, when he concluded: "One does not have to believe that Obama was born in Kenya to be disturbed by the evidence of a digitally-constructed birth certificate being passed off as authentic by a president. Those who are more worried about their public image and about being attacked by the media and political establishment than about getting at the truth will in the end be judged by their actions. Facts are facts, and Sheriff Joe's cold case posse has come up with facts that will not be silenced or controverted by social pressure. History will render its verdict on Obama, his critics, and his defenders."
Then, on March 24, respected author and writer Roger Kimball, in discussing Diana West's column, wrote: "The most effective form of censorship is also the quietest. It operates not by actively proscribing speech but by rendering certain topics hors de combat, literally undiscussable. It does this by propagating an atmosphere of revulsion and taboo. Ordinary censorship prohibits the dissemination of particular opinions or bits of information. The more subtle engine of silence I have in mind goes further. It stanches not only the flow of speech but also the flow of thought. Ordinary censorship occupies itself with the results of human curiosity. What I am talking about attacks human curiosity itself."
On March, 25 in his American Thinker article "Calling out self-censorship on the right," Lifson wrote: "An insidious form of self-censorship has gripped not only the mainstream media but most of the conservative media as well. All Americans who believe in the quest for the truth should be concerned that a rigid taboo is being enforced to prevent the discussion of serious evidence that the President of the United States has presented documents that were constructed on a computer as his genuine birth certificate." With this story, plus stories on presidential eligibility by Monte Kuligowski that were published in American Thinker, I felt that at last there was a conservative publisher (not tarnished with the "kooky birther" moniker) willing to pierce the cone of silence.
So I then wrote and submitted my first article, "Oblivious to the Obvious," which was published on April 10, and which has led me to author a series of articles on the Obama "birth certificate" forgery, of which this is the fifth.
Have we reached the point where the forgery can be discussed by conservative commentators, and where it can be researched, while the authors and researchers retain their respectability? I think so -- marginally. I would be happier if more of this information were syndicated and if it appeared in print, not just electronically on the internet -- but it's a beginning. Have we reached the point where the liberal media are willing to review the research rather than shut down discussion by labeling its proponents kooks and racists? No way.
If you have been reading my articles, along with the articles by Thomas Lifson and Monte Kuligowski and others, you know by now that the Obama long-form "birth certificate" is forged.
You also know that you put your own reputation for credibility at risk if you try to show others the evidence you've seen. The cone of silence suppressing the truth has been so powerful that you will automatically be guilty by association with the "lunatic fringe" should you even dare to bring up the topic. It is impossible to open the mind of somebody trapped by this cone of silence; that person's mind is made up -- facts and evidence are irrelevant, case closed. But you know the truth -- if others won't listen, that's their problem. Don't make it yours, and you will sleep well at night.
My wife says I've become obsessed with the topic. She's right. I am obsessed partly because there have been very, very few instances in my life where I know I'm right on a subject (because it's within my area of expertise) and most of the rest of the world is wrong -- but this is one of those times. My sense of self-worth compels me to prove it, even in the face of nasty appellations being hurled at me.
I am also obsessed because we have here a real-life mystery -- a bold scam, but also a scam that is tenuous because it relies on the silence of the media for its perpetuation (and the media can be fickle). What is it, exactly, on the genuine long-form birth certificate that is so politically inconvenient that the public is not allowed to see it? We do not yet know -- and because we don't know the motive for releasing the forgery, it's that much harder to convince others to take a look for themselves, even when the physical evidence overwhelmingly supports our view.
Nick Chase is a retired but still very active technical writer, technical editor, computer programmer, and stock market newsletter writer. During his career he has produced documentation on computers, typewriters, typesetters, headline-makers, and other pieces of equipment most people never heard of, and he has programmed typesetting equipment. You can read more of his work at contrariansview.org.