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WorldNetDaily's Stupid Birth Certificate Tricks

WND is betting it all that President Obama's birth certificate is fake -- which explains the increasingly desperate and dishonest ways Jerome Corsi and Co. are trying to prove it.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 6/8/2011

WorldNetDaily is quickly running out of ways to keep its birther conspiracy alive.

A few weeks before release of Jerome Corsi's WND-published book "Where's The Birth Certificate?" President Obama answered the question by releasing the long-form version WND has been demanding he release for lo these many years -- thus undercutting the impact (and revenue potential) of Corsi's book.

Despite the fact that no court has ever definitively weighed in on the issue, Corsi's book pushes the strictest definition possible of "natural born citizen" -- that both parents must be citizens in order to confer "natural born" citizenship on a child -- in order to devise a way to exclude Obama. WND has been pushing that same strict definition, deliberately ignoring contradictory evidence in the process.

But two of WND's closest allies don't buy that definition, as WND itself conceded. From a May 22 article by Joe Kovacs:

"There's nothing that I'm aware of that says you have to have two American parents," said Gary Kreep, executive director of the United States Justice Foundation. "My understanding of it is if you're born in the United States, you're a natural-born citizen, period."

Floyd Brown, head of the Western Center for Journalism who has actively sought the impeachment of Obama, told WND that he, too, considers someone born "on the soil" a natural-born citizen.

WND has hired the USJF to represent it in various legal actions over the years. WND editor Joseph Farah co-founded of the organization Brown now heads, and WND and the WJC cooperated on a falsehood-ridden book agitating for Obama's impeachment.

What is prompting WND to go wobbly on this? Because WND's rigid definition also excludes two potential future Republican presidential candidates, Bobby Jindal and Marco Rubio. Kovacs also quoted the usual birther suspects backing up WND's two-parent definition, but the fact that two of its closest allies -- one a right-wing legal foundation -- aren't buying its definition of "natural born citizen" doesn't bode well for the success of that line of attack.

So, with the long-form birth certificate got released and its definition of "natural born citizen" is being questioned by it's own allies, WND is going all in on the only thing it has left: a conspiracy theory that the long-form birth certificate released by President Obama is a fake.

Corsi and WND are so blinded by their hatred for Obama, however, that they are being consumed by it, and the desperate and absurd lengths they're going to utterly discredits them. Let's examine at a few of those self-discrediting efforts.

The layers flip-flop

Immediately after Obama released the certificate, WND sought to downplay the idea that the multiple layers in the PDF file of Obama birth certificate was an issue. In an April 28 article, WND declared that "it appears that the 'layer argument' can be easily explained," quoting a National Review writer as saying that "scanning an image, converting it to a PDF, optimizing that PDF, and then opening it up in Illustrator, does in fact create layers similar to what is seen in the birth certificate PDF."

But WND quickly flip-flopped when it was decided that the layers could be manufactured into an issue -- or, at least, when it found some guy who would do that. Completely ignoring WND's previous conclusion, a May 8 article by Corsi cites a claim by purported expert Ivan Zatkovich that "the multiple layers of the PDF document are anomalous." Corsi waits several more paragraphs to fully explain:

Zatkovich told WND that the White House image "has specific content extracted from that base layer and enhanced."

He said, "This was done through an explicit operation to edit and/or enhance the printing in the document. There is no ambiguity here. There was an explicit action by a person to modify the document. … Mostly like to enhance the legibility, but still an explicit action none the less."

In other words, the Obama administration was involved in a conspiracy to make the birth certificate easier to read.

A May 13 WND article lists the layers claims as among the "A to Z" claims about "what's wrong with Obama's birth certificate," again completely ignoring its own reporting that the layers weren't an issue at all.

The "TXE" stamp

In a May 13 article, Corsi asserts that the birth certificate "is a crude, computer-generated forgery" because "a close inspection of the Hawaii Department of Health state registrar's stamp on the birth records reveals an apparent typographical error":

The stamp, affixed April 25, 2011, says "TXE RECORD."

Yet, on a copy of a Hawaii long-form birth certificate issued only one month earlier, the stamp says "THE RECORD."

Of course, it's abundantly clear that the registrar's stamp was overinked on the word "THE," making the H look like an X. But Corsi seems to have decided that Occam's Razor doesn't apply here: "Even allowing for the possibility that the stamp was distorted by using too much ink or pressing too hard, the "X" in 'TXE' bears no resemblance to the 'H' in the 'THE' of the March 15, 2011, document."

Except that it does. Corsi simply refuses to acknowledge the truth because it will undermine his agenda.

The OCR "hidden text"

Corsi actually wrote this in a May 21 WND article:

Recalling Dan Brown's bestselling novel "The Da Vinci Code," computer experts have discovered strange anomalies in the Obama birth record released by the White House.

They include a different birth registration number that shows up in "hidden text," remnants of the short-form certificate apparently bleeding through the long-form and a "smiley face" in the registrar's stamp that does not show up on other recently issued Hawaii birth records.

Curiously, in a simple process run by Optical Character Recognition software that reveals hidden text, the registration number 10611 turns up, instead of 10641, the number displayed on the two birth records authorized for publication by the White House.


Is 10611 Obama's true birth registration number, the number on a document used by a forger or just a meaningless symbol beneath the text?

Corsi seems to be counting on the possibility that his readers are so ignorant about computers that they don't know how OCR software works. It's a way to convert scanned text on a printed page into a computer; while robust and well-trained OCR software -- Corsi doesn't name the software he used -- will generally do a good job of doing such a conversion, it will fall short when the text isn't clear, and it will also attempt to interpret non-text elements like lines or dust spots as text, resulting in meaningless gobbledygook.

The number on Obama's birth certificate coming up different in OCR software is easily explained. It is clear to the naked eye as 10641, but because the copy Obama made public is itself a copy apparently made from a record book, enough of the "4" did not transfer over, causing the OCR software to read it as a "1."

For Corsi to treat this and other OCR gobbledygook -- generated when the software tried to interpolate non-text markings as text -- as secret "hidden text" is the height of absurdity.

The birth certificate and the Antichrist?

WorldNetDaily put up a video-only post on May 16, with the headline "Video 'proves' Obama birth certificate is fake; Simple examination of lettering leaves little doubt Barack's long-form fraudulent." The video was created by "ppsimmons," supposedly the nom de YouTube of "a highly successful and respected businessman in Birmingham, Alabama -- and also another man who is a youth minister in the gulf coast area" that features the narration of a pastor named Carl Gallups, who insists that he isn't "ppsimmons."

This, however, is not the first time WND has promoted a "ppsimmons" video. Back in July 2009, Joe Kovacs devoted an entire article to a "ppsimmons" video strongly suggesting that President Obama is the Antichrist. But as blogger Richard Bartholomew documented (and as ConWebWatch noted as part of WND's obsession with portraying Obama as the Antichrist), the video's proof is based on a fallacious reinterpretation of Scripture.

If "ppsimmons" is changing Scripture to push a political agenda, it's more than likely that the "SMOKING GUN!" its video claims to provide isn't one.

Interestingly, the YouTube channel of "ppsimmons" includes a playlist of 10 videos it claims to have "produced for WND." Funny, we don't recall WND explaining that "ppsimmons" is on the WND payroll. In fact, in that 2009 article, Kovacs went to great pains not to reveal the videomaker's real identity, claiming that he "spoke to WND under condition of anonymity out of concern for members of his local church."

An April 29 WND article by Bob Unruh also embedded a "ppsimmons" video, who is described only as someone "who previously has analyzed and provided commentary on the issues of eligibility to the presidency," not as an apparently paid WND contractor.

(Is "ppsimmons" the same cowardly filmmakers who wouldn't allow themselves to be credited for WND's error-laden video "A Question of Eligibility"? Then again, if we had made such an amateurish, factually challenged production, we'd be ashamed to put our names on it too.)

Of course, WND loves hiding behind anonymous sources, despite Farah's dismissal of anonymous claims as "usually quotes made up out of whole cloth to help make the story read better."

Corsi's mysterious private investigator

Corsi writes in a May 8 WND article:

A private investigator claims employees of the state Department of Health forged three Hawaiian birth certificates for Barack Obama to "screw with birthers."

Takeyuki Irei told WND one document placed the birth at Kapiolani hospital, another at Queens Medical Center and a third in Kenya.

The 57-year-old detective, who has been a P.I. since the 1980s, said he was stunned when he discovered that the purported copy of Obama's original birth certificate released by the White House was more or less an exact image of one of the forgeries.

But Corsi himself manages to discredit Irei by noting that "he was focused on finding evidence that Obama was born in Kenya, which he thought would provide a financial windfall." In other words, he got into this for the money.

Corsi also doesn't explain if Irei was among the private investigators WND has claimed to have hired to skulk around Hawaii for dirt on Obama. If Irei has taken money from WND, he seems to have found the "financial windfall" he was looking for and, thus, can't exactly be trusted.

Further, as the Obama Conspiracy blog has noted, a search of Hawaii’s professional license database yields no one named Takeyuki Irei, raising the question of just how legitimate a private investigator he is. (Corsi later claimed he had a copy of Irei's professional license, but he apparently has not released it.)

* * *

This is the kind of "evidence" WND is forwarding to back up its contention that Obama's birth certificate is a fake. Is it any wonder that so few people take WND seriously?

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