thanks to repubx.com
The White House issued a video showing the Presidents passport in response to a question . It can be seen here ( starts about 1:20 in ). Watch the video then read my analysis.
They pulled a little bait and switch with the passport. I have provided screenshots of the video. The first view of the passport is of a closeup of the passport page with his picture on it. They then cut to a different shot of them opening a passport to show the stamps on it. They never showed the cover of the passport from which they showed his picture ( which is significant since it would show if it was a diplomatic one or not ). Now about the screenshots.
This is the page with his picture. They blur out the date of issue and the date of expiration. Why do that ? It is obvious his presidential passport was issued shortly after his taking office. There is no need to redact that info. Even if for some reason there was, can there be a reason why the year is redacted ? I think it is pretty well known that he became president in 2008.
Throughout the video of the closeup of the photopage of the passport, both the Date of Issue and the Date of Expiration are blurred out. However, in a few frames, the blurring drops a bit and we are able to see one line of the Date of Issue. It is from this line that I can determine the date of issue to being the month of March or May ( March more likely ) and the day of 10, 12,13,18, or 19. The year is not revealed.
Below, you can see the video frame where they revealed a line of the Date of Issue:
Now, how did I determine the day and month ? I found an exemplar of a passport. It can be seen below :
Notice under Date of birth, we have 24 Mar:. I will use that as the comparison field. Although the header is Date of birth, the only section we are interested in is the Date of. The spacing for that is exactly the same for the Date of Issue.
The date format is DD-MMM-YYYY, where the month is the first 3 letters of the month. All we are concerned about is the first letter. That leaves us with the letters J,F,M,A,S,O,N,D.
Now let us look at a close up of the comparison field :
The only letter that makes those two points ( under the red dots ) and line up under the o and the f , is the letter M. Therefore the month of issue can only be March or May. Similarly with the date, the first number can only be 0, 1, 2, or 3. Since 0, 2, and 3 all have rounded tops and the number in the image doesn't, it is obvious it is a 1. The second number has a rounded top. That corresponds to a 0, 2, 3, 8, or 9 ( though the angle of the curve seems a little big for a 9 ) Therefore, the Date of Issue is most probably March 10, 12, 13, or 18.
When they show the view of the stamp page, you get a glimpse of the top of a visa that was issued to him. It is a SCHENGEN visa. ( It has the words Etats Schengen across the top ) That is a visa that can be used in all the countries that are Schengen members. All of the European countries that he visited are members. Thus, he only needed one visa for all of those countries.. Below is an actual Schengen visa. Notice right under the Etats Schengen is the Date Valid From in the format DD-MM-YY. (dashes included ):
Here is the screenshot of the Obama visa:
Now some enhanced close-ups of the Date Valid From:
The day looks like the 4th, or the 24th ( , the base of the number is a little wide to be a 1 ), followed by a dash. The important field to look at though is the month. The first number of the field is definitely a 0. The second digit is definitely a 1. This is proven as follows. The only month numbers we need to be concerned with are 1, 2,and 3, since he has an entry stamp for the United Kingdom in March . Now the pixel length of the base of the number 3 is the same as that of 0. If the second number in the month field were 3 ( indicating that it was issued in the same month the passport was issued ), its base length will be equal to that of 0.
Here is an enlargement of the numbers with the base length of each number underlined in red:
Obviously, the base length of the second number is much shorter than the 0, Therefore, the number cannot be 3 or even 2 ( since the base length of 2 is the same size as 3 ). The base length confirms what is obvious on a visual inspection- that number is a 1. Since the Date Valid From cannot be earlier than the Date of Issue, the date of issue was sometime in January.
Maybe Heads of State are handled differently and the foreign embassy doesn't affix the visa, but instead turns it over to the State Department and they affix it. Still,that begs the question.:
They needed a passport number and that wasn't available until March. Line 14 of the Schengen visa application requests the passport number. The form can be seen here:
Also, on the full Schengen visa you see right next to the Date of Issue ( under the place of issue ) a space for the passport number. Obviously, the passport number on the visa has to match the passport number of the passport to which it is attached.
When a new passport is issued ( and his secretary filed for a new passport, not a renewal ), a new passport number is assigned. Therefore, they couldn't just use the passport number from his Senate passport.
His personal secretary said one of the first jobs she had was to fill out his passport application. That would have been one of the top priorities since he had a scheduled trip to Canada on Feb 19 ( on which he could not have used this passport ). It took 7 to 8 weeks to get it issued. Maybe they waited a few weeks before filling out the form. That would bring it down to 4 to 6 weeks. That is the normal time anybody waits. According to the State Department, you can get one issued in under 2 weeks if an appointment is made at the local regional office. There are even private companies that can get one issued in less than 10 days ( 1 day in an emergency ) (see Link ). For diplomatic passports, the State Department even has a separate office to handle those requests. Since there is less volume to process, requests through this office are handled quicker.(see State Department ) I am sure a request for a passport for the President would go to the top of the list and be handled in a matter of days . So why was this one issued in the middle March ? Especially since his trip to Europe was at the end of March. The Schengen visa was issued on or before January 24. The earliest they could have applied was January 21. So a foreign embassy took at the most 3 days to approve the visa, but the State Department takes 2 months to issue a passport for the President ? I find that hard to believe.
1 ) A presidential passport that takes 2 months to be issued
2) A visa that was approved 2 months prior to the passport being issued, yet is affixed to that passport and must have the same number of that passport to which it is affixed.
The only logical conclusion to this is that the passport to which the Schengen visa is attached is a valid passport issued before the 24th of January. The passport used for the closeup is a different passport issued in March ( year unknown ). Therefore, 2 passports were used in the video - thus explaining the separate video shots ( needed if using 2 passports ) instead of one long continuous shot. The question that remains is WHY ? What is on the second passport that he doesn't want to be seen that necessitated using a different passport for the close up ?
Even if unavailability of a passport number needed for the visa could be explained away ( maybe heads of state are allowed to ammend at a later date ), what CAN'T be explained away is the date of issue of the passport used in the closeup. THERE IS NO WAY ON THIS EARTH THAT IT WOULD TAKE CLOSE TO 2 MONTHS TO GET A PASSPORT ISSUED FOR THE PRESIDENT. ESPECIALLY SINCE THERE IS A SEPARATE OFFICE IN THE STATE DEPARTMENT SET ASIDE FOR DIPLOMATIC PASSPORTS. Thus the blurring of the date of issue. They would not be able to explain that away.
Note: A holder of a diplomatic passport can retain his personal passport. Actually he must . see State Department link above -under Applying For And Traveling With Your No-Fee Passport