Tuesday, March 20, 2012

How I Faked Obama's Short-form Birth Certificate

     Over the past couple of years, copies of Barack Obama’s alleged Certificate of Live Birth (COLB) have circulated the Internet. At the least, mucho gigabytes of bandwidth have been used attempting to prove that it was a fake, and to explain—in their not-so-humble opinions—just how it was faked. Usually, they use such highly technical language that my eyes glaze over with each attempt to understand their explanations.
     As far as I know, no one—until now—has attempted to duplicate the Obama team’s alleged fakery. In the image below (click image for enlargement), you will see a fake COLB, supposedly proving that “Barack Hussean O’Bama” was born in the town of Colonia, Yap State, Federated States of Micronesia, on April Fools Day 2012. If you compare this image to the second image, you’ll see that my version of the COLB was Photoshopped from the form that Obama claims is legitimate.
My fake Obama COLB:
(Click image for enlargement.)
Obama's fake COLB:
(Click image for enlargement.)
     After completing the fake, I examined it and was surprised to see that my lettering was better done than the lettering in the original. If you save the images to your computer and zoom in on the print in Obama’s version, you’ll see that some of the letters have white spaces where white spaces shouldn’t be. The words I added to my version of it don’t have that problem.
     I used Photoshop CS3, which is an older version of Photoshop. I copied part of the background, in a rectangular shape, and layered it over the original lettering. Then I reduced the opacity of the new layer so that I could see the lettering.
     To add my version of the words, I clicked the type tool and used an Arial font. For most of the lettering I was faking, the 9-point and 10-point lettering were perfect matches. In some of the lettering at the top, when I went to 12-point font, it wasn’t perfect, but it was still pretty close.
     Once I got the lettering in place, I returned the layer (matching the background pattern) opacity back to 100% and used the "select" tool to single out only that part of the layer that the lettering would cover. I then clicked “select inverse” and deleted all parts of the layer that were not covered by the lettering. Then I flattened the image.
     As for the official seal of Yap State, I found the seal on the Wikipedia page, saved it and moved it to the fake COLB. I increased the size so that it was similar to the seal of Hawaii, moved it into place, and reduced the opacity by half so that I could see the seal of Hawaii and the seal of Yap State at the same time. Using the same process I had used for the lettering, I put the background pattern in front of the Hawaii state seal, removed the white from the Yap State seal, and improved the seal’s contrast and brightness/darkness balance. Then I flattened the image.
     People who believe in the validity of Obama’s version of the COLB have suggested that it would have been extremely difficult to fake it. They also suggest that a high degree of computer savvy must have been involved; and that, if it’s a fake, it must have taken a long time to accomplish a fake as convincing as the one Obama has presented to us. They’re wrong on all three counts.
     Anyone who knows me knows how little I know about computers. I’ve been using the same Photoshop program for about ten years and still use the same basic functions that I used ten years ago. I believe that most teenagers know more about computers and computer programs than I do.
     As for time, it took me less than an hour to fake “O’bama’s” Certificate of Live Birth. If a lao-ko-ko (old fogey) such as I can do it that easily, how hard can it be for someone with the resources of the presidency behind him?

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