Smiley Face Birtherism

10/04/2011 05:36 pm ET | Updated Dec 04, 2011

"Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Arizona has constituted a special law enforcement posse to investigate allegations brought by members of the Surprise, Ariz., Tea Party that the birth certificate Barack Obama released to the public April 27 might be a forgery," WorldNetDaily recently reported.

Partly because I was wondering about the kinds of forensic evidence Sheriff Arpaio and his birther posse will be considering as their investigation gets up to speed (I'm a big fan of CSI), and partly because I am correcting proofs for my forthcoming book on right wing conspiracism and want to make sure that everything's up to date (The New Hate, Pantheon, February, 2011), I found myself reading this Jerome Corsi article this morning--"'The Obama Code': Hidden Messages in Birth Document?" I missed it when it was published last spring and you might have too. Click on the link and read it -- there's a lot to chew on -- but if you're in a hurry, its high point is the "Smiley Face."


As you can see in the illustration above, if you magnify Hawaii State Registrar Alvin T. Onaka's stamped signature 800 times, "the distinct form of a smiley face can be seen on the side of the 'A' in Onaka's first name. The figure appears to be a side profile of a face with a nose, eye and mouth."

If you still can't see it, WND provides an illustrator's rendering (see below), which turns the A into a pretty determined-looking fellow--to my eye, he looks something like a jolly spermatoza, swimming single-mindedly towards his goal.


But why go to all the trouble to embed a microscopic smiley face in Obama's "birth certificate?" Simple. It is the "forger leaving his mark, laughing at those who take the document seriously." With pointed understatement, Corsi dryly adds that "whoever proof-read the stamp or examined the document for accuracy at the Hawaii Department of Health before releasing it to the White House either was negligent or had a unique sense of humor."

Clearly, he's just being polite. Since it's inconceivable that any self-respecting Hawaii Department of Health proofreader could have ever omitted to check each letter of the document at 800 times magnification (if they were really doing their job, they would have put it under an electron microscope), they must have been co-conspirators. Maybe a Tea Party sheriff in Hawaii will open an investigation.