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Response to Zebest

Response to Zebest



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Published by Frank Arduini
Adobe expert Mara Zebest has become the latest Bierther "analyst" to offer he opinions on the authenticity of president Obama's Birth Certificate. In this response, Frank Arduini discusses not only why her position is wrong, but why her ideas are absurd.
Adobe expert Mara Zebest has become the latest Bierther "analyst" to offer he opinions on the authenticity of president Obama's Birth Certificate. In this response, Frank Arduini discusses not only why her position is wrong, but why her ideas are absurd.

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Published by: Frank Arduini on Jun 30, 2011
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Page | 1
The Barack Obama Long Form Birth Certificate
A Response to Mara Zebest
Mara Zebest uses Adobe Photoshop.She uses it very well. She has helped write books about how to use it. She is without any serious doubtan
on how to use it. And there is little doubt that if someone wanted to create a document inPhotoshop, then Mara Zebest is your go to girl.Mara Zebest has also now written a report onthe alleged forgery of Barack Obamas long formbirth certificate
. And that would probably be avery interesting thing were it not for one simplefact.
The document she is analyzing was not created in Adobe Photoshop.
 As such, her analysis is a little like asking aneurosurgeons opinion on endocrinology. I amconfident that any decent neurosurgeon couldwrite up a superficially passable report on, say,the adrenal insufficiency of a particularpatient. There will undoubtedly be a certainappearance of competence, a shared vocabularyif nothing else. But would a neurosurgeon beconsidered an
on the suite of adrenaldisorders that might explain that insufficiency?Frankly, no. A neurosurgeon is just
an endocrinologist.And Mara Zebest is
an forensic digital image analyst.Rather than offering a point by point rebuttal of her 12 page tome, lets instead talk about the actualhypothesis she has assembled for the forgery of this PDF. The details are just details unless theysupport a particular theory of history. And what is most clear from reading her analysis (and that of herfellow travelers) is that their theory of history is absurd.She begins by building a weighty case that frankly does not even need to be built; that the PDF was
digitally altered 
and compiled
 (emphasis hers). This point is in fact the single and most centralconclusion she draws in her entire analysis. So lets get this one out of the way out of the gate.She is correct.
Zebest, Mara, 2011.
Barack Obama: Long Form Birth Certificate.
Zebest, P2
Page | 2It is absolutely and completely conceded by everyone that has spent any effort debunking the Birtherclaims of forgery that the PDF
has been
digitally altered and compiled. The features of this particularPDF have never been explainable in any other way, and no debunker has denied that obvious fact.Returning to the medical analogy, Zebest has identified an adrenal insufficiency. But now comes the
work; diagnosing the adrenal
that caused it.There is absolutely evidence of 
digital alteration
. But there is no evidence of 
.At the most fundamental level, the simple act of scanning
is digital alteration
. A three dimensionalpaper document is, through a combination of hardware and software, recreated in the form of a digitalcopy. Such a copy is not a forgery since it fairly and accurately represents the original in all significantdetails. There will always be some differences, minor and major, between the digital image and thematerial original. And in this way, the document is digitally altered, but it is
forged.Zebests challenge is not to demonstrate digital alterations that are already fully conceded byBirthers and Obots alike, but to make a compelling case that the alterations
are the result of forgery 
 rather than ordinary digital processes. Forgery demands that the alterations be the result of 
 action by one or more
beings with the
to materially deceive.Zebest not only fails that challenge, she inexplicably
to even notice the overwhelming evidence thatthe digital alterations in this PDF are the result of 
actions by
computer algorithms
. They haveno intention at all, but are simply following preprogrammed procedures for taking a paper documentand sharing it over the Internet. This is evidence that
never have escaped the consideration of a
forensic digital document examiner. And it
never have escaped the consideration of adigital author with the experience of Mara Zebest.
The Two Competing Hypotheses:
There are only two general ways the PDF can have come to possess the features it does. It is either acomposite document, created by somebody or something combining parts of multiple other originalfiles,
it was originally a single document that was deconstructed by somebody or something into itsseveral current components. The first option implies deliberate forgery, and so is the preferredconclusion of those who wish to declare the President ineligible. The second is fairly neutral on the issueof forgery, but is the preferred conclusion of those wishing to debunk the Birther claims.Zebest is of the opinion that the PDF is the product of forgery, and her analysis depends upon havingalready reached that conclusion. With that as the starting point her report is primarily an exercise intechnical anomaly mining. When anomalies are found, she seeks to explain them within thepresumed framework of a forgery. With the exception of a single straw man (which will be discussedlater) she makes no effort to suggest alternative explanations.The competing hypothesis that I am proposing is that all the features she considers anomalous areactually the ordinary and expected results of the scanning and optimization process that an ordinarypaper document underwent in its preparation for publishing on the web. In fact, I intend to make ascompelling a case as possible that the pattern of these features comprehensively rules out explanationby a human forger, and renders the conclusion of the PDF being a composite document patently absurd.
Page | 3So we must begin with the software used to create the PDF itself.
To Shop or Not To Shop:
Zebest writes, I believe the certificate image was compiled and created in Photoshop.
This is aninteresting assertion, given that the software that created the PDF is not actually a function of belief butone of easily ascertainable fact. Right clicking on any PDF (in Microsoft Windows) will reveal theDocument Properties to include the software used to create the file. Here are those properties fromthe Obama birth certificate:As can be quickly seen, no Adobe product wasused to create this PDF. The application usedwas Preview; the basic graphics applicationmade by Apple that has come bundled with allMacs since OS X (the current Mac operatingsystem) was introduced in 2001. In newerversions of OS X such as the one used here(Mac OS X 10.6.7) you can simply attach ascanner to any USB port and Preview willwork as the scanner controller without havingto install any extra software and/or drivers.Quartz PDFContent is a component of the Mac OS itself that provides a broad suite of graphicsfunctionality that Macs use system-wide for a number of different tasks to include printing to a file andoptimizing a file for eventual publication to the Internet. In other words, the document properties of theObama PDF not only
 fail to show any use of an Adobe product 
, but provide
the complete suite of software components necessary 
to scan a document from paper to PDF. Nothing else is required.As an instructive aside, we can use the same process to take a look at the report issued by Zebest, also aPDF.As we can see, Zebest assembled her reportusing Adobe InDesign CS5, a desktoppublishing tool. Adobe PDF Library wasused to create the actual PDF file that shewent on to publish. The use of Adobeproducts is explicitly and readilyascertainable in Zebests document butcompletely absent from Obamas.
Zebest, P7

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tpcollins liked this
Sezze78 added this note
The final word on the alleged forgery of the PDF can be found here: http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/2013/1...
Adrien Nash added this note
You're a brilliant fool. "Hawaii said..."? So your approach to authentication is: NO ONE IN POLITICS EVER LIES! NO POLITICAL PERSON SERVES IN GOVERNMENT! NO GOVERNMENT PERSON EVER LIES! Tell me, how many bridges have you been sold? The "original" is a counterfeit! (even though the pdf is not). It's forger 101. Paper counterfeit. Not digital counterfeit. A Nash
1 thousand reads
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Reality Check 1776 added this note
nbc has up a new article that is a good debunking of some of Zebest's claims on his blog. He explains the different scaling in different layers that Zebest claims cannot happen during optimization. She is wrong again. http://nativeborncitizen.wordpress.co...
Sezze78 added this note
For those who care... Sezze78 is me Frank Arduini. The comments post differently based on which computer I'm using, and I'm too lazy to change it.
Frank Arduini added this note
I had no idea this conversation was even taking place... so if I miss stuff coming into to late that's because frankly my responses are going to be a bit casual. I really can no longer take this as seriously as the Birthers do. At this point I'm playing just for fun.
Desmond Gaban added this note
Joe Arpaio is a moron and you should be ashamed of yourself for supporting him, Mark Gillar. You must be some kind of megaracist shithead for beileving in that birther ****. *******.
Mark Gillar added this note
Frank, you don't seem to have a complete handle on the term "straw man" so I'm including this link to help you out. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man While many in the forgery denier movement had dropped their belief that OCR played a part in creating the anomalies in Obama's LFBC, not all had come to that conclusion. It was important for Mara to debunk it once and for all and she did!

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