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(Politico)   Since Obama is in the news for using one. Here are 10 facts about the "autopen"   (politico.com) divider line 41
    More: Interesting, obama, Ken Lay, Vice President Dan Quayle, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, major piece, President Truman  
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7670 clicks; posted to Geek » on 03 Jan 2013 at 2:35 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-01-03 12:39:27 PM  
Heh... Sorry, Republicans, but you have no one to blame for your outrage but Bush...

FTFA:

President George W. Bush commissioned the U.S. Department of Justice to look into the auto pen's constitutionality. The result: A 29-page opinion saying it's legal.
 
2013-01-03 12:44:38 PM  
CSB:

Back in the early 90s, a friend bought what he thought was a pen plotter at a GSA auction for $5.

When he got it home and started farting with it, it sprang into action, and wrote the most perfect

upload.wikimedia.org

complete with pressure on the paper as Ronnie would have done IRL.
 
2013-01-03 12:56:39 PM  
  It's built from the bones of christian children and wood from a tree cursed by Pope Pious the 3rd.  It was built by Adolph Hitler to sign the death warrants for  concentration camp prisoners, but he was never able to use it.  From the very beginning it would only sign the name Barack Obama, Nazi engineers and occultists worked for 6 years to change it but eventually concluded that it was meant for the Antichrist and no one else.  Upon learning that he would never rise to such a powerful level Hitler killed himself on the autopen filling the inkwell with his blood.  To this day everything it signs is signed in Hitler's blood.
 
2013-01-03 01:03:34 PM  
#3 is downright puzzling. Why would there be a question as to its legality all of a sudden?
 
2013-01-03 01:04:00 PM  
Reprinted so nobody has to bother with TFA:

1) The earliest version of the autopen was actually invented in 1944 by an Australian inventor named Cecil Automan.
2) President Truman considered using an autopen instead of traveling to receive the official Japanese surrender after World War II, as he was notoriously afraid of both air and sea travel. However, the Japanese Emperor refused to sign the document if an autopen was used, claiming that such a device was "possessed of the most suspect spirits."
3) The KGB began equipping its spies with autopens as early as 1953. Later versions had a breakable thumb depressor that contained a fatal dose of cyanide.
4) The first weaponized autopen took the cyanide thumb depressor concept and recalibrated it so that the poison could be sprayed from the tip. Its limited range meant that it was not used successfully until 1972, however, which is when CIA autopen technology overtook the Soviets for the first time.
5) The first victim of autopen assassination was Stansislav G. Brienshievski, a low-level embassy aid in West Berlin and who was suspected by the CIA of delivering high-level information to the KGB. This happened in 1975; in 1980, evidence emerged that showed Brienshievski's innocence.
6) The first recorded use of conversation between separate humans recorded entirely via autopen took place in 1976, when Jim Henson, Ayn Rand, Sidney Nolan, and Yoko Ono engaged in a three-hour long-distance conversation using only autopens.
7) The Autopen DeWeaponization Act of 1982 was a direct response to the Brienshievski, Currently, all but three nations (North Korea, Pakistan, and China) are signatories to the UN-sponsored treaty.
8) The first autopen traveled into space on the shuttle Atlantis in 1987. Astronauts on the mission fit the autopen with a makeshift jet engine and successfully launched it using the shuttle's automatic arm (making it a double auto pen), then navigated it to inscribe the now-infamous quip "USA 4EVER" on the side of the  Milizis, a well-known Russian spy satellite.
9) The first colored autopen appeared in 1990 (blue). Prior to this, all models had been either black or white.
10) Barack Obama's autopen is inscribed with the word "Harambee," which in Swahili means "let us come to dominate you."
 
2013-01-03 01:08:23 PM  

Apos: #3 is downright puzzling. Why would there be a question as to its legality all of a sudden?


You have to be a US citizen to use it.
 
2013-01-03 01:09:38 PM  
List fails: no mention of it helping spread socialism.
 
2013-01-03 01:12:30 PM  

St_Francis_P: Apos: #3 is downright puzzling. Why would there be a question as to its legality all of a sudden?

You have to be a US citizen to use it.



I read your response in Bill O'Reilly's voice.
 
2013-01-03 01:12:55 PM  

Apos: St_Francis_P: Apos: #3 is downright puzzling. Why would there be a question as to its legality all of a sudden?

You have to be a US citizen to use it.


I read your response in Bill O'Reilly's voice.


As you should.
 
2013-01-03 01:17:01 PM  

markie_farkie: complete with pressure on the paper as Ronnie would have done IRL.


Okay that's awesome, way more interesting than the 10 facts in the link.
 
2013-01-03 01:21:33 PM  

Pocket Ninja: Reprinted so nobody has to bother with TFA:

1) The earliest version of the autopen was actually invented in 1944 by an Australian inventor named Cecil Automan.
2) President Truman considered using an autopen instead of traveling to receive the official Japanese surrender after World War II, as he was notoriously afraid of both air and sea travel. However, the Japanese Emperor refused to sign the document if an autopen was used, claiming that such a device was "possessed of the most suspect spirits."
3) The KGB began equipping its spies with autopens as early as 1953. Later versions had a breakable thumb depressor that contained a fatal dose of cyanide.
4) The first weaponized autopen took the cyanide thumb depressor concept and recalibrated it so that the poison could be sprayed from the tip. Its limited range meant that it was not used successfully until 1972, however, which is when CIA autopen technology overtook the Soviets for the first time.
5) The first victim of autopen assassination was Stansislav G. Brienshievski, a low-level embassy aid in West Berlin and who was suspected by the CIA of delivering high-level information to the KGB. This happened in 1975; in 1980, evidence emerged that showed Brienshievski's innocence.
6) The first recorded use of conversation between separate humans recorded entirely via autopen took place in 1976, when Jim Henson, Ayn Rand, Sidney Nolan, and Yoko Ono engaged in a three-hour long-distance conversation using only autopens.
7) The Autopen DeWeaponization Act of 1982 was a direct response to the Brienshievski, Currently, all but three nations (North Korea, Pakistan, and China) are signatories to the UN-sponsored treaty.
8) The first autopen traveled into space on the shuttle Atlantis in 1987. Astronauts on the mission fit the autopen with a makeshift jet engine and successfully launched it using the shuttle's automatic arm (making it a double auto pen), then navigated it to inscribe the now-infamous quip "USA 4EVER" on the s ...


Wow.

Just... Wow.

Bravo, sir.
 
2013-01-03 02:03:12 PM  

Pocket Ninja: Reprinted so nobody has to bother with TFA:

1) The earliest version of the autopen was actually invented in 1944 by an Australian inventor named Cecil Automan.
2) President Truman considered using an autopen instead of traveling to receive the official Japanese surrender after World War II, as he was notoriously afraid of both air and sea travel. However, the Japanese Emperor refused to sign the document if an autopen was used, claiming that such a device was "possessed of the most suspect spirits."
3) The KGB began equipping its spies with autopens as early as 1953. Later versions had a breakable thumb depressor that contained a fatal dose of cyanide.
4) The first weaponized autopen took the cyanide thumb depressor concept and recalibrated it so that the poison could be sprayed from the tip. Its limited range meant that it was not used successfully until 1972, however, which is when CIA autopen technology overtook the Soviets for the first time.
5) The first victim of autopen assassination was Stansislav G. Brienshievski, a low-level embassy aid in West Berlin and who was suspected by the CIA of delivering high-level information to the KGB. This happened in 1975; in 1980, evidence emerged that showed Brienshievski's innocence.
6) The first recorded use of conversation between separate humans recorded entirely via autopen took place in 1976, when Jim Henson, Ayn Rand, Sidney Nolan, and Yoko Ono engaged in a three-hour long-distance conversation using only autopens.
7) The Autopen DeWeaponization Act of 1982 was a direct response to the Brienshievski, Currently, all but three nations (North Korea, Pakistan, and China) are signatories to the UN-sponsored treaty.
8) The first autopen traveled into space on the shuttle Atlantis in 1987. Astronauts on the mission fit the autopen with a makeshift jet engine and successfully launched it using the shuttle's automatic arm (making it a double auto pen), then navigated it to inscribe the now-infamous quip "USA 4EVER" on the s ...


i212.photobucket.com
 
2013-01-03 02:15:50 PM  

Apos: #3 is downright puzzling. Why would there be a question as to its legality all of a sudden?


Guess.
 
2013-01-03 02:21:35 PM  

Pocket Ninja: Reprinted so nobody has to bother with TFA:

1) The earliest version of the autopen was actually invented in 1944 by an Australian inventor named Cecil Automan.
2) President Truman considered using an autopen instead of traveling to receive the official Japanese surrender after World War II, as he was notoriously afraid of both air and sea travel. However, the Japanese Emperor refused to sign the document if an autopen was used, claiming that such a device was "possessed of the most suspect spirits."
3) The KGB began equipping its spies with autopens as early as 1953. Later versions had a breakable thumb depressor that contained a fatal dose of cyanide.
4) The first weaponized autopen took the cyanide thumb depressor concept and recalibrated it so that the poison could be sprayed from the tip. Its limited range meant that it was not used successfully until 1972, however, which is when CIA autopen technology overtook the Soviets for the first time.
5) The first victim of autopen assassination was Stansislav G. Brienshievski, a low-level embassy aid in West Berlin and who was suspected by the CIA of delivering high-level information to the KGB. This happened in 1975; in 1980, evidence emerged that showed Brienshievski's innocence.
6) The first recorded use of conversation between separate humans recorded entirely via autopen took place in 1976, when Jim Henson, Ayn Rand, Sidney Nolan, and Yoko Ono engaged in a three-hour long-distance conversation using only autopens.
7) The Autopen DeWeaponization Act of 1982 was a direct response to the Brienshievski, Currently, all but three nations (North Korea, Pakistan, and China) are signatories to the UN-sponsored treaty.
8) The first autopen traveled into space on the shuttle Atlantis in 1987. Astronauts on the mission fit the autopen with a makeshift jet engine and successfully launched it using the shuttle's automatic arm (making it a double auto pen), then navigated it to inscribe the now-infamous quip "USA 4EVER" on the s ...


......I...wow. You sir, are a great American.
 
2013-01-03 02:46:22 PM  
I liked how two of the Presidents spent thousands of dollars to fly documents to them to get signed personally instead of using it. Where's the outrage over that wasteful act? I'm sure they used military resources instead of just a FedEx envelope.
 
2013-01-03 02:51:54 PM  

Pocket Ninja: Reprinted so nobody has to bother with TFA:

1) The earliest version of the autopen was actually invented in 1944 by an Australian inventor named Cecil Automan.
2) President Truman considered using an autopen instead of traveling to receive the official Japanese surrender after World War II, as he was notoriously afraid of both air and sea travel. However, the Japanese Emperor refused to sign the document if an autopen was used, claiming that such a device was "possessed of the most suspect spirits."
3) The KGB began equipping its spies with autopens as early as 1953. Later versions had a breakable thumb depressor that contained a fatal dose of cyanide.
4) The first weaponized autopen took the cyanide thumb depressor concept and recalibrated it so that the poison could be sprayed from the tip. Its limited range meant that it was not used successfully until 1972, however, which is when CIA autopen technology overtook the Soviets for the first time.
5) The first victim of autopen assassination was Stansislav G. Brienshievski, a low-level embassy aid in West Berlin and who was suspected by the CIA of delivering high-level information to the KGB. This happened in 1975; in 1980, evidence emerged that showed Brienshievski's innocence.
6) The first recorded use of conversation between separate humans recorded entirely via autopen took place in 1976, when Jim Henson, Ayn Rand, Sidney Nolan, and Yoko Ono engaged in a three-hour long-distance conversation using only autopens.
7) The Autopen DeWeaponization Act of 1982 was a direct response to the Brienshievski, Currently, all but three nations (North Korea, Pakistan, and China) are signatories to the UN-sponsored treaty.
8) The first autopen traveled into space on the shuttle Atlantis in 1987. Astronauts on the mission fit the autopen with a makeshift jet engine and successfully launched it using the shuttle's automatic arm (making it a double auto pen), then navigated it to inscribe the now-infamous quip "USA 4EVER" on the side of the Milizis, a well-known Russian spy satellite.
9) The first colored autopen appeared in 1990 (blue). Prior to this, all models had been either black or white.
10) Barack Obama's autopen is inscribed with the word "Harambee," which in Swahili means "let us come to dominate you."


images.wikia.com
 
2013-01-03 03:05:31 PM  
there has to be something else happening today
 
2013-01-03 03:07:44 PM  
CSB: The teleautograph, which is the predecessor to the autopen and the fax machine, was invented by my great-great-great grandfather. He also invented the telephone, but Bell stole it.
 
2013-01-03 03:08:37 PM  
4. While Bush avoided it, his Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld didn't. Rumsfeld was criticized in 2004 for autopenning condolence letters to families of soldiers killed in the Iraq war. One of the relatives told The Guardian at the time: "He had time for golf and the ranch but not enough to sign a decent signature with a pen for his beloved hero soldiers."

Yep, THAT'S a douchebag move right there... Jesus, the least he could have done is hand signed the letters for the people he supported sending to war.
 
2013-01-03 03:11:21 PM  

Pocket Ninja: 1) The earliest version of the autopen was actually invented in 1944 by an Australian inventor named Cecil Automan.


A collaborator of Dr. Kintobor, perhaps?

/How do you come up with this stuff?
 
2013-01-03 03:14:48 PM  

Pocket Ninja: Reprinted so nobody has to bother with TFA:


www.umdamsa.org
 
2013-01-03 03:17:51 PM  

Apos: #3 is downright puzzling. Why would there be a question as to its legality all of a sudden?


I think it's more puzzling because people are actually taking the word of Bush's Justice Department.
 
2013-01-03 03:27:54 PM  

St_Francis_P: As you should.


Would of been better in Sean Hannity's voice.

/as O'Reilly isn't a birther
 
2013-01-03 03:33:03 PM  
No one needs a high capacity legislative device like the autopen. The Founding Fathers couldn't have imagined such a thing.
 
2013-01-03 03:35:00 PM  
Why do we still take signatures seriously, again?
 
2013-01-03 03:40:59 PM  
Funny, the article doesn't bother to explain what the autopen actually is. Modern "journalism" I guess
 
2013-01-03 03:43:27 PM  

Grapple: I liked how two of the Presidents spent thousands of dollars to fly documents to them to get signed personally instead of using it. Where's the outrage over that wasteful act? I'm sure they used military resources instead of just a FedEx envelope.


I have imagine Eric Cantor and Rand Paul upset as they waited at the end of the runway with SAMs ready to take care of the bill once and for all.
 
2013-01-03 03:49:59 PM  
My signature has become ever more gloriously illegible over time.

Autopens would hate me and run under the bed to hide from me.
 
2013-01-03 05:13:50 PM  

FirstNationalBastard: FTFA:

President George W. Bush commissioned the U.S. Department of Justice to look into the auto pen's constitutionality. The result: A 29-page opinion saying it's legal.


Funny thing about that report: it was written out in flawless longhand. And a few days later the body of its supposed author was found in a ditch, dead from a hundred shallow, ink-stained wounds.
 
2013-01-03 05:52:51 PM  

Kittypie070: My signature has become ever more gloriously illegible over time.

Autopens would hate me and run under the bed to hide from me.


as is mine, you can sort of make out the first initial of my first and last name, and then it's all a scribble
 
2013-01-03 06:05:54 PM  
Autopens wage their battle to destroy the evil forces of
the Decepticrayons
 
2013-01-03 06:38:02 PM  

MrEricSir: Why do we still take signatures seriously, again?


It's a pinkie swear for grownups.
 
2013-01-03 06:38:56 PM  
11. Gives righties something else pointless and meaningless to biatch about.
 
2013-01-03 07:22:18 PM  
I wonder how often the signature recorded in the autopen is updated.

1.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-01-03 08:15:48 PM  
Yep, THAT'S a douchebag move right there... Jesus, the least he could have done is hand signed the letters for the people he supported sending to war.

And Obama did the same thing for the SEALs that were killed, so there is douchebaggery all over the place.
 
2013-01-03 08:34:59 PM  
i.imgur.com
 
2013-01-03 08:57:05 PM  
I have used a device like the autopen. It consisted of a template of the signature to be signed and an actual pen in a sort of contraption like a folding clothes rack (or a criss-cross extension device like you see in cartoons with a bomb or a glove at one end, used to injure or insult the villain).

You put the template in the machine with a pointer in one end and the pen in the other and push a button, et voilà, you get a perfect copy of a signature in real ink. The only flaw is that real signatures are all different--the autopen signatures are almost exactly alike provided they are done with the same pen at the same angle and can be detected by super-imposing two or more copies. Some operators use more than one pen just to vary the signatures a bit.

Ministers of State and other top officials use these autopens to save time and hand fatigue when signing routine correspondence, when signing documents while they are out of the office campaigning, or when they have to sign a lot of certificates such as birthday wishes, Christmas cards, and so forth.

In order to use one you must have authorization of the signatary and access to the machine, which in the case of Canadian government officials would mean a Secret clearance, but in the case of the President of the United States would probably mean Top Secret and the confidence of the executive. They can be used to sign official documents and even contracts in much the same way a stamp or seal can be used to sign legal documents and to endorse cheques. In fact, they are no different from using the Great Seal of Office--they are legally-binding provided the person whose authority they represent authorizes their use. You can't just steal them and be King of England, Pope or President of the United States. The more important the official and the documents which he or she signs, the more security surrounds the autopen or seals of office. In olden times, a king or emperor might send a recognizable ring as proof that a message comes from him or as authorization to act on his behalf and with his rights and authority. Abuse this delegated power and you would end up dead or hanging upside down in a dungeon.

The Canadian feminist and SF writer, Margaret Atwood, a major bugbear of conservatives, invented a device which allows her to autograph books by long-distance. She writes on a pad whereever she is and the device duplicates her signature and inscription on a book or what not. This is a bit more personal and authentic han an autopen signature and since it is probably almost impossible to tell such a signature from the "real" thing, it probably means her autographs are worth about the same either way.

An autopen is the sort of toy that would amuse a small child for a few minutes but which could do serious damage if it fell into the wrong hands--like a hand-gun, say.

And anybody who says that documents signed with an autopen aren't legal is a bigger twerp than the average Birther. It's as legal as a rubber stamp from several hundred Congress people who never took the time to read page one of a 4,000 page bill, say, something like the Patriot Act One and Two.

Any way, nobody has any rights whatsoever. See the Patriot Acts and subsequent auto-penned legislation for details. If you can. They won't tell you what is in some of this stuff. Hell, they don't even tell Congress or the White House.
 
2013-01-03 09:38:08 PM  

The6502Man: Yep, THAT'S a douchebag move right there... Jesus, the least he could have done is hand signed the letters for the people he supported sending to war.

And Obama did the same thing for the SEALs that were killed, so there is douchebaggery all over the place.


Sure he did. Totally plausible! And well-documented, too!!
 
2013-01-03 10:59:17 PM  

Pocket Ninja: Reprinted so nobody has to bother with TFA:

1) The earliest version of the autopen was actually invented in 1944 by an Australian inventor named Cecil Automan.
2) President Truman considered using an autopen instead of traveling to receive the official Japanese surrender after World War II, as he was notoriously afraid of both air and sea travel. However, the Japanese Emperor refused to sign the document if an autopen was used, claiming that such a device was "possessed of the most suspect spirits."
3) The KGB began equipping its spies with autopens as early as 1953. Later versions had a breakable thumb depressor that contained a fatal dose of cyanide.
4) The first weaponized autopen took the cyanide thumb depressor concept and recalibrated it so that the poison could be sprayed from the tip. Its limited range meant that it was not used successfully until 1972, however, which is when CIA autopen technology overtook the Soviets for the first time.
5) The first victim of autopen assassination was Stansislav G. Brienshievski, a low-level embassy aid in West Berlin and who was suspected by the CIA of delivering high-level information to the KGB. This happened in 1975; in 1980, evidence emerged that showed Brienshievski's innocence.
6) The first recorded use of conversation between separate humans recorded entirely via autopen took place in 1976, when Jim Henson, Ayn Rand, Sidney Nolan, and Yoko Ono engaged in a three-hour long-distance conversation using only autopens.
7) The Autopen DeWeaponization Act of 1982 was a direct response to the Brienshievski, Currently, all but three nations (North Korea, Pakistan, and China) are signatories to the UN-sponsored treaty.
8) The first autopen traveled into space on the shuttle Atlantis in 1987. Astronauts on the mission fit the autopen with a makeshift jet engine and successfully launched it using the shuttle's automatic arm (making it a double auto pen), then navigated it to inscribe the now-infamous quip "USA 4EVER" on the s ...


YOU PRICK!! You forced knowledege into my head without my permission! I choose not to read the damn articles on purpose. Dammit, man.
 
2013-01-03 11:32:46 PM  

jaytkay: The6502Man: Yep, THAT'S a douchebag move right there... Jesus, the least he could have done is hand signed the letters for the people he supported sending to war.

And Obama did the same thing for the SEALs that were killed, so there is douchebaggery all over the place.

Sure he did. Totally plausible! And well-documented, too!!


Setting aside the question of whether Obama also authorized a break-in exactly like the one Nixon authorized at the Watergate, I think most people would have been willing to let Rumsfeld off the hook for using an autopen if they'd had the slightest goddamn reason to think that American soldiers dying was anything more to him than sunk costs.

Seriously, friend or foe, who thinks that Donald Rumsfeld greeted the news of each new American war casualty by saying to himself, "my God, a man is dead because of decisions I made. Please, please let this have been the right decision." At the end of the day, who thinks that?! Donald Rumsfeld, we're talking about, just to clarify. If anyone actually did, they'd be pissed at him for not using an autopen, to free up time in his workday.

But you go to war with the Donald Rumsfeld you have, not the Donald Rumsfeld you want. So I'm guessing when people are angry at his use of an autopen, what they're really trying to say is that if Rumsfeld actually had had to sign 5,000 condolence cards with his own precious hands, he might eventually have stopped to consider that Americans dying was more than a political hassle. (This is not a view I subscribe to myself.)

Anyway, it's about intent. Did Obama intend for this bill to become law? Yes. Nobody doubts that. So there you go.
 
2013-01-04 09:11:15 PM  
Still as long as it is documented that the president authorized the autopen to sign x bill, I have no problem with it. Maybe he should fax over a signed order saying "Autopen my signature on the HB 666 to make it law."

Why are presidents still signing laws on paper? Just have the president sign the bill on an iPad (or his favorite alternative). At least that way he can see what he is signing.
 
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