WorldNetDaily has spent the past year following President Obama's re-election playing down its increasingly discredited birther obsession -- presumably because it was destroying what little was left of WND's credibility. But the death of a Hawaiian official has reignited WND's birther fire.
Loretta Fuddy, director of the Hawaii Department of Health, was killed in a small-plane crash on Dec. 11. Bob Unruh immediately hints at sinister motives in a Dec. 12 WND article, pointing out that she was "a key Hawaii official in the dispute over Barack Obama’s birth certificate – who lifted state restrictions to allow the White House to present the document to the public." Then he launches into a boilerplate recitation of birther talking points:
The one official law enforcement investigation into the issue, conducted on the orders of Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio, concluded the document posted by the White House is a forgery.
Arpaio has said the investigation is ongoing and more evidence has been discovered to bolster his team’s conclusion.
WND reported Mike Zullo, the lead investigator for Arpaio’s Cold Case Posse in Arizona, has contributed evidence to a court case pending before the Alabama Supreme Court.
He has testified that the White House computer image of Obama’s birth certificate contains anomalies that are unexplainable unless the document had been fabricated piecemeal by human intervention, rather than being copied from a genuine paper document.
“Mr. Obama has in fact not offered any verifiable authoritative document of any legal significance or possessing any evidentiary value as to the origins of his purported birth narrative or location of the birth event,” he explained. “One of our most serious concerns is that the White House document appears to have been fabricated piecemeal on a computer, constructed by drawing together digitized data from several unknown sources.”
Well, no. As we've noted, researchers have found that the purported anomalies in the PDF of the Obama birth certificate that Zullo, Jerome Corsi and others have pounced on are easily replicated by scanning the image into a Xerox Workcentre 7655 multifunction printer. WND has never reported this development, nor has Zullo and Corsi acknowledgegd it.
Unruih goes to write:
More recently, Grace Vuoto of the World Tribune reported that among the experts challenging the birth certificate is certified document analyst Reed Hayes, who has served as an expert for Perkins Coie, the law firm that has been defending Obama in eligibility cases.
“We have obtained an affidavit from a certified document analyzer, Reed Hayes, that states the document is a 100 percent forgery, no doubt about it,” Zullo told the World Tribune.
“Mr. Obama’s operatives cannot discredit [Hayes],” the investigator told the news outlet. “Mr. Hayes has been used as the firm’s reliable expert. The very firm the president is using to defend him on the birth certificate case has used Mr. Hayes in their cases.”
Hayes produced a 40-page report in which he says “based on my observations and findings, it is clear that the Certificate of Live Birth I examined is not a scan of an original paper birth certificate, but a digitally manufactured document created by utilizing material from various sources.”
In fact, Hayes can be -- and has been -- very easily discredited. As we've also noted, Reed is an expert in handwriting analysis, and no evidence has been provided that he has any experience examining a computer copy of a document. Further, Zullo has so far refused to make Hayes' report public so others can examine his conclusions.
Unruh then writes:
Investigator Douglas J. Hagmann of the Northeast Intelligence Network reported this month that in October an affidavit was filed in a court case, under seal, that purportedly identifies the creator of the Obama birth certificate.
He said Douglas Vogt, an author and the owner and operator of a scanning business who also has an accounting background, invested over two years in an investigation of the authenticity of document.
Vogt, along with veteran typesetter Paul Ivey, conducted “exhaustive research of the document provided to the White House Press Corps on April 27, 2011 – not the online PDF, a critical distinction that must be understood,” Hagmann said.
In fact, as Dr. Conspiracy documents, Vogt's dissertation on the birth certificate fails to do something as basic as identifying or addressing the actual software used by the White House to create the PDF issued by the White House, thus giving him no basis to discuss the contents of a legitimate document. Vogt's dissertation also contains numerous factual and analytical errors.
Meanwhile, Irey has backtracked on some of the claims he has made about the birth certificate.
Of course, Unruh mentions none of the evidence that contradicts the birthers' claims or even the birthers' own admissions that some claims are wrong. But Unruh did find the space to reprint the opinions of non-experts like Donald Trump and Christopher Monckton.
The fact that Unruh is still dutifully regurgitating birther claims long after they've been discredited -- and won't even inform his readers there's another side to the story -- is just another reason nobody believes WND.