Obama birth certificate mystery still unsolved

Clarice Feldman
Controversy swirls among conservative bloggers over questions that have been raised over the authenticity of Barack Obama's birth certificate posted at the Daily Kos and (a different one) posted at his campaign's "Fight the Smears" website. Yesterday Jim Geraghty of NRO dismissed the claim that they were fake:

I spoke to Ms. Okubo[ Director of Communications of the State of Hawaii Department of Health]late Wednesday afternoon, and she said she had seen the version of Obama's certificate of live birth posted on the sites. While her office cannot verify the information on a form without the permission of the certificate holder (Obama), she said "the form is exactly the same" and it has "all the components of a birth certificate" record issued by the state. In other words, she sees no reason to think the version posted on Obama's web site and Daily Kos is not genuine.

The "embossed seal" in question is, she said, probably on the back of the document provided to Daily Kos, but not visible (as in another certificate posted on Israel Insider for contrast). She thinks the difference in visibility can be attributed to the pressure used when applying the seal.

jmh, a commenter at Just One Minutewho does know what she's talking about, says, not so fast, Jim:

Contra [Geraghty's] admonition, the birth certification question may, in fact, be a related issue [to Obama's missing legislative records]. On the technical side, I suspect that Ms. Okubo is not very familiar with what a scanner picks up at a 300ppi resolution (as in the image Kos posted). Embossing works by actually deforming the paper itself, so no matter how light the impression might be, if it were even barely discernable on one side of a page, it would necessarily distort the pattern (and show up in the pixels) on the reverse. Indeed, high resolution scanning often picks up more than is immediately visible to the naked eye, not less! When a simple ink stamped date does show through on the reverse, Ms. Okubo's hypothetical makes almost no sense. I was suspicious of the Obama certification, but when I saw the comparison document that Isreal Insider posted, it certainly removed any doubt in my own mind.

I have no idea why the Obama campaign would take such a risk. I've even wondered if perhaps his mother didn't list a father at all, but who knows? For some reason, however, I keep thinking back to that early campaign story about an attempt to gain access Obama's passport records. It turned out to have been made by Obama's own staffers, not someone else's oppo research team, which seemed peculiar at the time, and which was never explained, IIRC. Why were they trying to see - or feel the need to check -- what the passport office had on file? [emphasis added]

I admit to the uncomfortable feeling that I'm verging on truther territory here, but considering how clean the Obama slate seems to have been wiped, and how few of his past associations -- which keep turning up by ones and twos in a blog here, or a report there -- actually show up on his c.v., my antennae just keep buzzing away. It may be exceedingly difficult to put the puzzle together because the pieces are currently so dispersed, but there's a story here.


Controversy swirls among conservative bloggers over questions that have been raised over the authenticity of Barack Obama's birth certificate posted at the Daily Kos and (a different one) posted at his campaign's "Fight the Smears" website. Yesterday Jim Geraghty of NRO dismissed the claim that they were fake:

I spoke to Ms. Okubo[ Director of Communications of the State of Hawaii Department of Health]late Wednesday afternoon, and she said she had seen the version of Obama's certificate of live birth posted on the sites. While her office cannot verify the information on a form without the permission of the certificate holder (Obama), she said "the form is exactly the same" and it has "all the components of a birth certificate" record issued by the state. In other words, she sees no reason to think the version posted on Obama's web site and Daily Kos is not genuine.

The "embossed seal" in question is, she said, probably on the back of the document provided to Daily Kos, but not visible (as in another certificate posted on Israel Insider for contrast). She thinks the difference in visibility can be attributed to the pressure used when applying the seal.

jmh, a commenter at Just One Minutewho does know what she's talking about, says, not so fast, Jim:

Contra [Geraghty's] admonition, the birth certification question may, in fact, be a related issue [to Obama's missing legislative records]. On the technical side, I suspect that Ms. Okubo is not very familiar with what a scanner picks up at a 300ppi resolution (as in the image Kos posted). Embossing works by actually deforming the paper itself, so no matter how light the impression might be, if it were even barely discernable on one side of a page, it would necessarily distort the pattern (and show up in the pixels) on the reverse. Indeed, high resolution scanning often picks up more than is immediately visible to the naked eye, not less! When a simple ink stamped date does show through on the reverse, Ms. Okubo's hypothetical makes almost no sense. I was suspicious of the Obama certification, but when I saw the comparison document that Isreal Insider posted, it certainly removed any doubt in my own mind.

I have no idea why the Obama campaign would take such a risk. I've even wondered if perhaps his mother didn't list a father at all, but who knows? For some reason, however, I keep thinking back to that early campaign story about an attempt to gain access Obama's passport records. It turned out to have been made by Obama's own staffers, not someone else's oppo research team, which seemed peculiar at the time, and which was never explained, IIRC. Why were they trying to see - or feel the need to check -- what the passport office had on file? [emphasis added]

I admit to the uncomfortable feeling that I'm verging on truther territory here, but considering how clean the Obama slate seems to have been wiped, and how few of his past associations -- which keep turning up by ones and twos in a blog here, or a report there -- actually show up on his c.v., my antennae just keep buzzing away. It may be exceedingly difficult to put the puzzle together because the pieces are currently so dispersed, but there's a story here.