In her report Mara Zebest writes
I, Mara Zebest, am preparing this report at the request of Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office in support of the Cold Case Posse investigation.
The PDF birth certificate document released by the White House (shown in Figure 1) is a completely manufactured and fabricated computer generated image. The same source file was used to print a copy handed to the AP (shown in Figure 2), in which the AP scanned in the version handed to them. A third photograph version (Figure 3) was touted by Savannah Guthrie who claimed to have held and felt the seal on the document, but the original Internet posted images have been scrubbed.
The White House wants us to believe the PDF document started out in printed form on security paper retrieved from Hawaii—but this is not possible. All three versions manifest itself as a printed document only when the PRINT button is pressed from within the original manufactured document file. This would account for the transformation of a document containing different color backgrounds, and the ability to print with or without safety paper pattern (by turning a layer on or off ).
There is no doubt in my mind that this computer generated image never started out as a paper source document and was never scanned in as described by the White House—it was digitally created and manufactured.
As I have shown however, a simple workflow used on a Xerox WorkCentre such as the 7655 owned by the Whitehouse explains the artifacts much better than the appeal to a forger. The AP provided copy shows the data from President Obama’s COLB (Certification of Live Birth, aka short form) shining through, so it is clear that it was created by placing the original on a printer. Another version shows a PDF containing an embedded JPEG. As I will show, nothing in these documents supports a conclusion of fraud. On the contrary, I will show that a far more reasonable explanation is the workflow(s) used to create these documents.
Savannah Guthrie’s photographs are still available on the internet and shows, in addition to the document, also the raised seal.
I will show that Mara Zebest’s so called ‘artifacts’ can all be accounted for by realizing the simple workflow used to create the PDF file.
First observation is that the PDF is much smaller than a 300 DPI TIFF file. This means that the document has been heavily compressed. A simple workflow available on a Xerox WorkCentre helps understand how the document was ‘created’:
Note how the standard preset is “for Sharing & Printing”
- A staffer placed the original document which has been verified and certified by the Department of Hawaii, upside down on the printer
- The staffer selected ’email scan’ and entered the email address
- The staffer pressed print and the scanner captured and emailed the document
Behind the scenes however, the scanner creates a low resolution 72 DPI PDF and has segmented the text and the background using a proprietary Xerox approach which separates a document in one JPEG background layer and multiple monochrome bitmap layers of JBIG2 encoded text glyphs.
In addition, Edge Erase places a masking layer to hide imperfections found around the edges
These are standard settings found on the Xerox WorkCentre.
- The staffer receives the email with the attached document and opens it. She/he notices how the document is upside down and rotates it 180 degrees and then prints it as a PDF
As I have shown, the resulting PDF will explain all the artifacts.