WH LFBC PDF – Layers and scaling/rotation

These images are based on the White House Long Form Birth certificate PDF. 

I am using Adobe Illustrator to simplify matters for some people who do not appreciate low level tools. For those people: You can click on the image and bring up a larger version.

As various other people have documented, the WH document contains several monochrome bitmaps and a single JPEG encoded background. It’s these features which caused some concern amongst those who insist that President Obama’s LFBC must be fraudulent.

WH LFBCLet’s look at the background image and the mostly text image. Notice the 48% scaling and the -90 degrees rotation. Again, the differences in scaling and the rotation of the images were by some seen as evidence of a forgery

WH LFBC BackgroundAnd the foreground. Note the 24% scaling and the -90 degrees rotation

WH LFBC Mostly foreground

11 thoughts on “WH LFBC PDF – Layers and scaling/rotation

  1. NBC

    Just to clarify for the readers, the convention employed for rotation angles in Adobe Illustrator, is that a rotation of -90 degrees is a clockwise rotation. So, for example, the landscape orientation of the Xerox 7535 image would require a rotation of +90 degrees (i.e. counterclockwise) to be placed in the correct portrait orientation. However, this rotation would have to be applied after the PDF image file had been opened in the landscape orientation in Illustrator. This is different from the WH LFCOLB image where the image is automatically rotated by -90 degrees (clockwise) when the file is opened in illustrator.

    The difference in scale factors between the background and non-background layers is clear evidence of forgery. The different scale factors and larger image sizes of the externally linked images are necessary because the forger did all of his digital cut and paste operations on multiple images each having a common resolution of 72 PPI x 72 PPI. This was the default screen resolution of the Apple Macintosh computer. He then manually placed each separate image into Illustrator applied the clockwise 90 degree rotation and then the different reduction scale factors to the background and non-background layers. He then saved the file to disk to capture these final manipulations in the PDF. Anyone who subsequently open the PDF in illustrator would see the rotations and scalings in the Link panel data immediately after the file was opened.

  2. The difference in scale factors between the background and non-background layers is clear evidence of forgery.

    And yet the Xerox Work Centre also does it. So once again our friend Hermitian has identified the Xerox as our forger

    Well done.

    Of course, Hermitian still does not understand how MRC works, the poor guy. Will he be embarrassed when we explain how it all works.

    Sigh.. Hermitian is quite a time sink.

  3. I saved the VP Biden’s 2008 tax return in Preview.

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/assets/documents/VP_2009_Federal_Redacted.pdf

    It has the same scaling but it has negative 90 degrees rotation. Yet it open in Portrait mode in Preview. In Illustrator, it opened in landscape mode with the top of the tax form at the left of the screen. All other tax returns open with the top of the form to the right of the screen.

    So if the White House assistant put the LFBC upside down in the Xerox, e-mailed it and opened it on a Mac would it appear upside down? I don’t think so. How did Preview know which way to rotate the tax form? Is there a line of code that told it to rotate it clockwise but for the other tax returns does the code tell it rotate it counter clockwise? If there is than the Xerox must recognize the orientation of the top of the document and write that into the code.

  4. So if the White House assistant put the LFBC upside down in the Xerox, e-mailed it and opened it on a Mac would it appear upside down?

    Yes it would. At least in my case it did. The scanner may try to auto orient the document.

    What happens when you scan a document, it is actually scanned as landscape. Think about it: the long sides are parallel to the scanning.
    Xerox of course compensates for this by telling the renderer that the page has been rotated. In Illustrator this is ignored. When saving in preview, the approach is to rotate the individual images something Illustrator happily does,

    Preview is following the instructions /Rotate while Illustrator ignores this. Don’t know why

  5. NBC did mention that using the document feeder resulted in different behavior than using the glass when the page was upside down.

  6. “Preview is following the instructions /Rotate while Illustrator ignores this.”

    I understand what you are saying. But the 2010 VP Biden taxes open in Illustrator in landscape mode top facing to the right. Preview opens it in Portrait mode and saves it in Portrait mode and the layers show positive 90 degree rotation.

    The 2008 tax returns open in Illustrator with the top facing to the left. Preview opens it in portrait mode and saves it in Portrait mode , and the layers show negative 90 degrees rotation.

    In both cases I used exactly the same default settings in Preview. How did Preview know which way the document had to be rotated in order for the document to display right side up?

  7. Preview does not know all it does is to change the rotate 270 and rotate 90 to a +90 or -90 rotation for the objects. Remember that the objects are in landscape format already and need to be rotated either way. Let me play with it myself and I can show you the details I believe.

    Q: In preview both forms show up normally?

    Also complicating matters is that copiers can auto rotate pages themselves, but you would still see evidence as to how it was scanned. You can look at which sides of the foreground images touch the internal bitmap and which do not, this gives you an additional hint.

    So Xerox may have noticed the upside down scan and corrected for it.

    I need to read up on auto-rotate but it appears to work by temporarily applying OCR in different directions and determine what is the right way up. Some forms may provide better information for this to work.

  8. Gorefan: It seems to me that the Xerox auto rotated the pages as they were scanned upside down, the BC offers far fewer hints. I will have to run some tax forms through the scanner as well.

    Never ending story…

  9. “It seems to me that the Xerox auto rotated the pages as they were scanned upside down,”

    Does the Xerox have a setting to tell it if you are scanning a photo or a document or a document with both text and photos?

    Does the Xerox use an optical character reader to recognize when text is upside down?

  10. The documentation talks about auto rotation. I am using all the default settings but you can set it to different modes such as text, photos etc.

    I have not seen any evidence that it has OCR but I believe you can create searchable PDF’s so it must have some form of OCR.

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