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Have birthers found their one honest judge?

I’m still waiting to find one honest birther

Douglas Vogt filed something with the US District Court in Seattle, trying to force the judge to refer Vogt’s birther allegations to a grand jury. The Court responded that a civil lawsuit cannot be used to initiate a criminal case. The Court of Appeals agreed. Birthers have failed in every one of their more than 200 legal actions, and sometimes they (including Vogt) blame the judge, rather than their own ineptitude, and lack of a valid legal claim. It is the nature of a crank to disrespect authority (or else they wouldn’t be cranks in the first place).

Federal judges can refer matters to a grand jury for investigation, and I along with others wondered why Vogt didn’t just write the judge a letter rather than waste the resources of the Court by filing it formally. What I did not envision was what happened next: Vogt sent letters and 170 pages of crank forensic document stuff to 175 federal judges (their original list had 625)!

My reaction to the results is “the glass is mostly empty” as only 3 judges even bothered to reply, two of whom said they would pass the documentation on to the US Attorney, who normally runs federal grand juries. One judge, however, reportedly responded with something that put some birther hearts all aflutter:

“I was very impressed by the letter and attachments you sent to me. I do not dismiss the allegations you make as untrue.”

One of my pet peeves with US English grammar is the placement of the period in relation to quotation marks: The period always goes inside and so we do not know whether there is a period in the original at that point or not. Here’s the redacted image from Montgomery Blair Sibley, Vogt’s legal ghost writer (Sibley was disbarred and cannot actually represent Vogt):

Heavily redacted letter

I don’t think there is a period in the original, and that the second sentence extends beyond the word “untrue” and if so, I would expect a well crafted sentence to either continue in the same tone emphasizing what precedes, or to change direction with a word such as “but.” The redacted portion is unlikely to be supportive, or Vogt/Sibley would not have redacted it. Sibley paraphrases the rest: “The letter continued with the commitment to submit Doug’s affidavit to the Grand Jury for their consideration.” I speculate that the judge has added some additional conditions, such as consulting with the US Attorney, before making a submission to a grand jury, and that’s why there is a redaction.

One of the things I have learned about people lying is that they seldom rely on just their word when that should be enough, but they have to add something to make what they are saying plausible.1 In this case, the quotation from the judge was not enough—Sibley had to present an image of the letter from the judge, albeit bereft of any identifying information or signature, to add plausibility. The letter itself, since it would be trivial to fake, actually adds nothing to the believability of the claim, but apparently Sibley felt something was needed, even though the redaction stands out as a red flag that something is not quite right.

The reader might want to read the entire Sibley article including his fantasy scenario of leading a grand jury with no US Attorney at the helm. Well “good luck” with that.

Some birthers, however, noticed that the redactions didn’t make sense:

Orly Taitz: … this letter maybe a total nothing. the judge might be saying: you wrote a nice letter, but I have no jurisdiction or go to the DA. If there is such a letter, why hide it? It can be used as a precedent to seek jurisdiction in other courts. Until we see an actual letter, it is nothing

An anonymous commenter at Birther Report put it more bluntly:

Guest: This letter, heavily redacted-and in mid-sentence, no less, is proof of absolutely nothing. I am tired of being promised action by these assholes, and nothing EVER happens. No, that isn’t entirely correct: we get our hopes built up by these "experts" with snippets and scraps of incomplete information, and then it just fades away into oblivion. Montgomery Sibley is yanking our collective chains and the "Good Luck!" at the end of the letter certainly doesn’t sound like a concerned District Court Judge about to send damning evidence of the "President’s" Constitutional eligibility to a Grand Jury, now does it? C’mon you ******* morons, use your brains, or at least what’s left of them.

Read more:


1I once had a fellow deny to me that he has having an affair with a co-worker, explaining that he was a professional and would not do something that would jeopardize his career. He was lying.

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29 Responses to Have birthers found their one honest judge?

  1. avatar
    Benji Franklin February 6, 2014 at 8:59 pm #

    As reported in the Post & Email, and regurgitated on today’s Birther Report, another of our continuing Birther cranks, Montgomery Blair Sibley, blogging on his own http://amoprobos.blogspot.com/ has concocted an imaginary human hair sized path to an orgy of unlimited Obama-records discovery by trying to convince us that ONE of the 175 federal judges who received unrequested copies of Doug Vogt’s 95 page public affidavit – and 75 page sealed affidavit, is going to bring about delivery of that long-since-debunked pile of unscholarly legal crap to a Grand Jury for investigation.

    Sibley shows a likeness of the judge’s answer wherein the judge responded, “I was very impressed by the letter and attachments you sent to me. I do not dismiss the allegations you make as untrue.” But the most important part of the response, in the words following those sentences is blacked out, with Sibley substituting his own ambiguous words to convey what he wants us to believe that the judge will actually do!

    Sibley writes, “The letter continued with the commitment to submit Doug’s affidavit to the Grand Jury for their consideration.”

    Sibley undoubtedly doesn’t want us to see that the sober substance of the judge’s redacted “commitment”, was conveyed by words more like, “and will submit these materials to the United States Attorney who will determine if a Grand Jury investigation is appropriate.”

    Only three of the judges apparently even acknowledged they had received this mass of stinky material. Imagine how impotent these Birther clowns must feel, when all they can get out of mailing 175 pages filled with dreadfully misapprehended Constitutional and criminal law commentary, to 175 busy, serious, members of the judiciary, is an opportunity to PRETEND that they got one seriously interested response, by redacting the actual response wording.

    Okay, Montgomery Blair Sibley, nice try! You almost drew the ursurper out! But more importantly for your own legacy, you can claim this letter did work! Why sure! You can claim the threat of a Grand Jury Investigation coming from you was the sole reason that Obama didn’t seek reelection for a third Presidential term.

  2. avatar
    Arthur February 7, 2014 at 3:35 am #

    Benji Franklin: Sibley shows a likeness of the judge’s answer wherein the judge responded, “I was very impressed by the letter and attachments you sent to me. I do not dismiss the allegations you make as untrue.”

    The judge’s comment reminds me of comments I’ve made on student papers. Like the judge, I always try to say something encouraging before making a major criticism. For example, “I was very impressed by your good spelling, appropriate margins, and timely submission. I do not dismiss your thesis as untrue. . . however, the content of your paper is hob-gobbled from a number of unreliable sources and makes absolutely no sense at all. Better luck next time!”

  3. avatar
    The Magic M February 7, 2014 at 4:51 am #

    Benji Franklin: Sibley undoubtedly doesn’t want us to see that the sober substance of the judge’s redacted “commitment”, was conveyed by words more like, “and will submit these materials to the United States Attorney who will determine if a Grand Jury investigation is appropriate.”

    “Dear Mr Sibley, you are definitely not correct in your asinine assumption that President Obama is ineligible. I will not forward to the Grand Jury your brilliant piece of crap which is an example on how not to write a legal opinion. Thanks but no thanks. Go away. Sincerely, Judge Jericho Jonesy”.

  4. avatar
    The Magic M February 7, 2014 at 10:45 am #

    Even the peeps at Birther Report are not buying Sibley’s “redact, then paraphrase”.

    One of my pet peeves with US English grammar is the placement of the period in relation to quotation marks: The period always goes inside

    Something I prefer to ignore and do it my way, same with commas:

    I write “I went home”, he said
    instead of “I went home,” he said

    I also refuse to use New German Orthography (which has “dass” instead of “daß” or “Tipp” instead of “Tip”).

    One of the things I have learned about people lying is that they seldom rely on just their word when that should be enough, but they have to add something to make what they are saying plausible.

    Yup. When I ask someone in my team “Did you make that change to the code that broke our contact form yesterday?“, I expect an honest reply to be “no, it wasn’t me” and not “no, and look, I printed out the version control history, see, I didn’t submit any changes yesterday” – the latter would raise all my red flags (and I’d assume the guy changed and rolled out the code without committing to version control).

  5. avatar
    sfjeff February 7, 2014 at 10:51 am #

    “The letter continued with the commitment to submit Doug’s affidavit to the Grand Jury for their consideration.”

    The only acceptable reason for a redaction would be if the letter contained some personal and private information- like say a social security number(we know how much Birthers care about personal privacy lol).

    The paraphrase that Vogt gives us of the redacted text simply does not make any sense to a rational person to have been redacted- if the redacted portion says anything like what Vogt says, then they would not have redacted it.

    It makes far, far more sense to assume that Vogt and Co. are lying and don’t want us to see what the Judge said, because it doesn’t fit their narrative.

    And after all, Birthers are notorious liars.

  6. avatar
    Judge Mental February 7, 2014 at 10:55 am #

    In addition to Doc’s observations and comments, the use of the closing remark “Good Luck!” indicates to me a number of possibilities and likelihoods not the least of which is that it suggests that whatever is in the redacted part it probably mainly concerns action that the writer has suggested that Vogt takes, not action that the writer himself is going to take.

    To me it makes very little sense for a judge to say eg ……”therefore I am submitting your affidavit to a Grand Jury for their consideration”…….”Good Luck!”

    “Good Luck!” ?????????

    He isn’t going to need any luck for it to be submitted to a Grand Jury if the judge is submitting it to a Grand Jury ????????

    ….and no judge is going to wish him good luck as regards getting a ‘result’ from a grand jury….come on now Vogt, pull the other one.

    Nope…..I suspect that the judge has perhaps suggested some further action that Vogt himself ought to take now….and that it is Vogt implementing and taking forward that action that the judge is wishing him good luck with. It is possible that he has linked any potential further action by himself (the judge) to Vogt coming back to him after Vogt has had the said luck and accomplished what has been suggested.

  7. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 7, 2014 at 10:59 am #

    Exactly. I speculate that there is some sort of conditional commitment, like:

    I was very impressed by the letter and attachments you sent to me. I do not dismiss the allegations you make as untrue; however, since the Court has no direct knowledge of the commission of a crime, submission of a matter directly to a grand jury would be inappropriate improper. Neither I nor my staff have the technical facilities and expertise to evaluate your submission, so I will refer the matter to the US Attorney, and if it is found to have validity, then I can assure you that the matter will be taken up by a grand jury.

    Should you wish to contact the US Attorney directly, his contact information is ….

    Good Luck.

    Something like that.

    sfjeff: The paraphrase that Vogt gives us of the redacted text simply does not make any sense to a rational person to have been redacted- if the redacted portion says anything like what Vogt says, then they would not have redacted it.

  8. avatar
    aarrgghh February 7, 2014 at 11:00 am #

    vogt’s letter, with the interesting bits unredacted.

  9. avatar
    roadburner February 7, 2014 at 11:19 am #

    oh the birfoon slap fight has started between them all over on BR.

    half are saying it´s crap, half are `any…day…now´.

    this one will be hard for the moderator to decide which posts to censor

  10. avatar
    justlw February 7, 2014 at 11:42 am #

    Any letter I ended with “Good luck!” — exclamation point and all — would not be an encouraging one.

    The address line redaction is a nice touch, even though if you enter his name and unredacted zip code an address shows up that clearly matches the bits you can still see.

  11. avatar
    W. Kevin Vicklund February 7, 2014 at 11:57 am #

    I can make out one of the redacted words. On the third line, below “to me. I do” I can see the baseline of a word. Based on the typeface, the word is “improper” – that is the only English word that has that shape at the baseline. Make of that what you will.

  12. avatar
    Jim February 7, 2014 at 12:13 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    Exactly. I speculate that there is some sort of conditional commitment, like:

    Oh boy…another Doc contest…fill in the black out. I’m in!

    I was very impressed by the letter and attachments you sent to me. I do not dismiss the allegations you make as untrue; however, since it is obvious that you are off your medication it might be a good idea to turn yourself and your evidence into the nearest Mental Health Facility and allow them to help you to get rid of the demons that have taken over your mind.

    Good Luck.

  13. avatar
    Curious George February 7, 2014 at 12:23 pm #

    The Vogt letter is consistent with Birther evidence. Conceal anything that doesn’t advance the narrative. Captain Z and his followers have learned well this technique that always stifles the truth.

  14. avatar
    Curious George February 7, 2014 at 12:29 pm #

    “I’m still waiting to find one honest birther”

    If found, they wouldn’t be a birther. The words “birther” and “honest” are antonyms.

  15. avatar
    JPotter February 7, 2014 at 12:41 pm #

    Judge Mental: the use of the closing remark “Good Luck!”

    Absolutely, that’s the first thing that popped out to me as well. The setup, a straining to be polite qualifier (“I do not dismiss as untrue..” doesn’t mean he finds them true nor untrue, just not dismissed ;) ) followed by a terminal closing (“good luck!”) is a typical structure for a Dear John letter. Like the classic, “Although your qualifications are impressive …. we wish you luck in your continued search.”

    I.e. “Thanks but no thanks”, i.e. “Beat it.”

    The first reports I saw of this attempt at selective editing were funny enough, but the closing seals it! Birfer needs to be pick in his pickin’ and choosin’!

  16. avatar
    ArthurWankspittle February 7, 2014 at 12:45 pm #

    Good Luck

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GS7l4imeIg

  17. avatar
    Woodrowfan February 7, 2014 at 1:24 pm #

    “Good Luck” #2

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-3VxOqHI-4

  18. avatar
    CarlOrcas February 7, 2014 at 1:44 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: Exactly. I speculate that there is some sort of conditional commitment, like:

    Frankly I have a hard time believing a judge would write ANY response to something like this…..especially to someone he, or she, probably doesn’t know.

    I wonder if the court staff uses the same letterhead as the judge and whether this might have been written by someone in the office.

  19. avatar
    gorefan February 7, 2014 at 1:57 pm #

    Jim: I was very impressed by the letter and attachments you sent to me. I do not dismiss the allegations you make as untrue;

    Dear Mr. Vogt,

    I was very impressed by the letter and attachments you sent to me. I do not dismiss the allegations you make as untrue, now please don’t come and shoot up the court house.

  20. avatar
    Rickey February 7, 2014 at 1:59 pm #

    It’s obvious to me that either a comma or a semicolon follows the word “untrue.” If it were a period there would be no reason to redact it. Sibley or Vogt was careful to make sure that it was redacted, so there is no doubt that “untrue” is not the end of the sentence.

    A sign-off of “Good luck” is typical of what you would see in a rejection letter.

  21. avatar
    The European February 7, 2014 at 2:08 pm #

    I have one thing to mention:

    it seems that Mr. Sibley does not censor comments on his blog. I guess that we all appreciate that.

  22. avatar
    Rickey February 7, 2014 at 2:15 pm #

    W. Kevin Vicklund:
    I can make out one of the redacted words.On the third line, below “to me. I do” I can see the baseline of a word.Based on the typeface, the word is “improper” – that is the only English word that has that shape at the baseline.Make of that what you will.

    I believe that you are correct. Good catch.

  23. avatar
    CarlOrcas February 7, 2014 at 3:29 pm #

    Rickey: A sign-off of “Good luck” is typical of what you would see in a rejection letter.

    I’ve spent more than my share of time in federal court and don’t ever recall getting a personal letter from the judge.

    And, of course, my lawyer would have had me committed if I’d written a letter directly to the judge.

  24. avatar
    JPotter February 7, 2014 at 6:43 pm #

    W. Kevin Vicklund: I can make out one of the redacted words.

    Now home, I notice that Sibley posted this in the form of a PDF. Wouldn’t it have been deliciously hilarious if he had performed his “redaction” digitally—and, predictably, incorrectly—and posted a PDF consisting of a layer of black over an undisturbed scan?

    Would have been… could have been …. delicious.

  25. avatar
    aarrgghh February 7, 2014 at 7:12 pm #

    finally found one honest birfer:

    Marco: Doesn’t matter to Liberals.
    I have family members who don’t care if he’s 7% Black
    He looks Black and that’s why we hate him.

  26. avatar
    RanTalbott February 7, 2014 at 9:36 pm #

    CarlOrcas: And, of course, my lawyer would have had me committed if I’d written a letter directly to the judge.

    Well, Vogt doesn’t have to worry about that: his lawyer is under an order of suspension, so he can’t do anything official ;-)

  27. avatar
    The Magic M (not logged in) February 9, 2014 at 7:05 am #

    JPotter: Wouldn’t it have been deliciously hilarious if he had performed his “redaction” digitally—and, predictably, incorrectly—and posted a PDF consisting of a layer of black over an undisturbed scan?

    That was my first thought when I saw it, but I don’t have Acrobat (the full one, not the reader) or Illustrator at work and couldn’t check.

  28. avatar
    interestedbystander February 9, 2014 at 8:52 am #

    aarrgghh:
    finally found one honest birfer:

    I wonder if this is why ORYR is down, for violating common decency, along with their TOS.

  29. avatar
    JPotter February 9, 2014 at 2:14 pm #

    The Magic M (not logged in): That was my first thought when I saw it, but I don’t have Acrobat (the full one, not the reader) or Illustrator at work and couldn’t check.

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