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Obama Conspiracy Theory books

De Facto Arpaio

Former Deputy Chief Brian Sands of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office has written a memoir titled “Arpaio De Facto Lawman” detailing his experiences with Sheriff Arpaio and the office. Stephen Lemons of the Phoenix New Times has an article on it. Fine Stephen, but we already know that Sheriff Joe is a narcissist. Tell us about the birthers!

For that, you will have to buy the book, and you will not be disappointed. The birthers get their own short chapter (7) titled, duh, “Birthers.” It mentions “probable cause,” a concept Sheriff Arpaio was not too fluent in. Sands puts it this way in terms of the Obama birth certificate investigation:

Arpaio’s perspective is I want to be involved, so let’s figure out how to establish an excuse for the reasonable test.

One of the questions surrounding the Cold Case Posse investigation was: just who was the Cold Case Posse. Sands answers this by saying:

At first, Zullo had several other Posse people “working” on the case, two of whom were civil private practice attorneys. The attorneys, for whatever reasons, distanced themselves. Now it was primarily Zullo and the newly-recruited [Brian] Reilly.

Enter Jerome Corsi, who was given office space by Arpaio. The Hawaii trip is discussed. When Deputy Chief Sands questioned Zullo about what evidence he had that would lead to a probable indictment, Zullo said nothing.

Sands does not take a firm stand about where Obama was born, but he maintains skepticism about Arpaio and the CCP investigation and makes this reasonable statement:

When the State of Hawaii came out and officially said that Obama was born in the State and denied Arpaio’s claims of not maintaining secure records[, y]ou would think nothing more could be investigated.

Of additional interest, Sands confirms Brian Reilly’s story on some detail points, some up until now, unpublished.

Update: A comment from Brian Reilly

Having just completed reading chapter 7, entitled "Birthers," I have a few comments to make about former Chief Deputy Sand’s new Kindle book on Amazon.

Sands wrote that Arpaio asked us as Tea Party members to do a petition requesting the birth certificate investigation, and we were to bring the petition back to Arpaio. This was not an accurate statement. When we first met with Arpaio on August 18, 2011, we presented him with a petition with 242 signatures that we gathered the previous night on August 17, 2011. The petition idea was mine and mine alone. Arpaio knew nothing about the petition idea until it was presented to him at the August 18 meeting. At the August 18, meeting, Arpaio asked us to write a formal letter requesting an investigation of the Obama birth certificate and he said "put me in a box" and told me to come back to give all of our evidence and the petition and the letter to him on August 22, 2011, which I did alone.

Additionally, Chief Deputy Sands confirmed that I was unhappy with the conduct of the Zullo birth certificate investigation. (I was not impressed at the time with the biased way in which the investigation was being conducted along with other issues related to liability and I resigned from the Cold Case Posse. )

Chief Deputy Sands also confirmed that no taxpayer dollars were to be used in the investigation, and in fact tax dollars were used.

Sands also confirmed that Zullo had a few years of law enforcement, not the "decades" of law enforcement experience that Carl Gallups has advertised on his Freedom Friday radio show.

Of special note was what Sands related about Zullo’s lack of evidence regarding the birth certificate investigation. Very telling indeed.

I was very impressed with Chief Deputy Sands when I met him on August 18, 2011 when I was a Tea Party member and also when I was a Cold Case Posse member. Chief Sands was the only one to question whether the Jerry Corsi provided "witnesses" were actually considered "experts" and whether they had ever testified in court as experts. As a Cold Case Posse member, I can honestly say, I respected Chief Sands and his "by the book" approach to police work.

And one final note, Sands confirmed that Zullo and I were the only Cold Case Posse members who were actively involved in the investigation.

Other critical books about Joe Arpaio:

The People vs. Barack Obama

That’s the title of an yet unreleased book by Ben Shapiro. An excerpt from the book concludes:

RICO provides that any person who is part of an organization that commits any two on a list of crimes can be prosecuted for racketeering, fined up to $25,000, and sentenced to twenty-five years in prison per count. Those charges include murder, kidnapping, gambling, arson, robbery, bribery, extortion, dealing in obscene material, dealing in drugs, bribery, counterfeiting, embezzlement, …

A private individual bring a civil RICO action would have a title like, “Ben Shapiro vs. Barack Obama,” not “the People.” The idea of getting the president through a civil RICO action is not new. The most visible of those who tried it is Orly Taitz, whose case languishes in Mississippi federal court.

The problem with invoking the civil RICO statute is that in a civil RICO action, the one bringing the suit must be individually harmed by the criminal enterprise. A RICO lawsuit must pass the same hurdle as any federal lawsuit in proving individualized and specific harm, not a general grievance common to everyone.

So while the book may sell some copies, and may spur a host of crank lawsuits, I don’t think it will succeed in removing the President (something a court can’t do in the first place).

Read more:

Anti-Obama books

I dropped by Amazon.com today and as always, they suggested some books I might want to buy. I was shocked by the array of anti-Obama books offered, headed by the aptly-named: The Anti Obama Book by David Nordmark:

  • The Anti Obama Book – The Straight Facts As To Why Obama Sucks by David Nordmark
  • Obama’s Enemies List: How Barack Obama Intimidated America and Stole the Election by Floyd G. Brown
  • The Muslim Brotherhood in the Obama Administration by Frank Gaffney
  • How Obama Betrayed America….And No One Is Holding Him Accountable by David Horowitz
  • Black Skin Privilege and the American Dream by David Horowitz and John Perazzo
  • Barack Obama’s Rules for Revolution: The Alinsky Model by David Horowitz
  • President Obama’s Plan To Bankrupt the USA by Jerome Corsi
  • Obama and Islam by Robert Spencer
  • Impeachable Offenses: The Case for Removing Barack Obama from Office by Aaron Klein
  • Saul Alinsky:The Evil Genius Behind Obama by Jerome Corsi
  • Breaking the System: Obama’s Strategy for Change by Liz Blaine and David Horowitz
  • Obama: The Greatest President in the History of Everything (Voices of the Tea Party) by Frank J. Fleming (satire)
  • Obama’s America: Unmaking the American Dream  by Dinesh D’Souza
  • The Amateur by Edward Klein
  • Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States by Bob Thiel
  • Obama and the War Against the Jews by Jacob Laksin and David Horowitz
  • The Ultimate Obama Survival Guide: How to Survive, Thrive, and Prosper During Obamageddon by Wayne Allyn Root
  • Obama’s Four Horsemen: The Disasters Unleashed by Obama’s Reelection by David Harsanyi
  • OBAMA: God’s Judgment Upon America? by Gary Lee Roper
  • Confront and Conceal: Obama’s Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power by David E. Sanger
  • The Roots of Obama’s Rage by Dinesh D’Souza
  • Obama: The Worst President Ever! by Joey Kaplan
  • The Cult of Common Core: Obama’s Final Solution for Your Child’s Mind and Our Country’s Exceptionalism by Brad McQueen
  • Leading from Behind: The Reluctant President and the Advisors Who Decide for Him by Richard Miniter
  • The Obama Blogs by Robert Sherwood
  • Fool Me Twice : Obama’s Shocking Plans for the Next Four Years Exposed by Aaron Klein and Brenda Elliott
  • Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion by Jeffrey St. Clair, Joshua Frank, Kevin Alexander Gray and Kathy Kelly
  • 2012 Election: The 106 BEST Reasons NOT to Vote for Obama by Lawrence Allen
  • The ABC’s of Barack Obama: Understanding God’s Greatest Gift to America (Lies Obama Told Me) by Teri O’Brien
  • Obama: Our National Nightmare by Nelson Anderson
  • Obama’s Globe: A President’s Abandonment of US Allies Around the World by Bruce Herschensohn
  • Barack Obama & Larry Sinclair: Cocaine, Sex, Lies & Murder by Lawrence W. Sinclair and Jeff Rense
  • Barack Obama & Larry Sinclair: Cocaine, Sex, Lies & Murder by Lawrence W. Sinclair and Jeff Rense
  • Barack Obama and the Enemies Within (Trevor Loudon) by Trevor Loudon, Rodney R Stubbs and Joel Barbee
  • The People Vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against the Obama Administration by Ben Shapiro
  • Obama’s 1984 by Mark Tapson
  • The Obama Confession: Secret Fear. Secret Fury. by Andrew G Hodges MD
  • False Idol: Barack Obama and the Continuing Cult of the Presidency by Gene Healy
  • The Obama Timeline:From his Birth in 1961 Through his First 100 Days in Office by Don Fredrick  (has communist symbols on cover)
  • No Higher Power: Obama’s War on Religious Freedom by Phyllis Schlafly and George Neumayr
  • The Obama Syndrome: Surrender at Home, War Abroad by Tariq Ali
  • OBAMA’S WORLD: Secrets and Deceptions by Will Clark
  • How Obama Embraces Islam’s Sharia Agenda (Encounter Broadsides) by Andrew C. McCarthy
  • Obama’s Ring: The Seat of Satan by Will Clark
  • Obama The Imperial President by Harley Love
  • Trickle Up Poverty: Stopping Obama’s Attack on Our Borders, Economy, and Security by Michael Savage
  • Blacklash: How Obama and the Left Are Driving Americans to the Government Plantation by Deneen Borelli
  • Injustice: Exposing the Racial Agenda of the Obama Justice Department by J. Christian Adams
  • The Pandora President: Why We Cannot Reelect President Barack Hussein Obama by Donald William Johnson
  • King Obama: America’s Greatest Danger by Will Clark
  • Promoting Decline: Obama vs. America by Scott Wheeler
  • Obama and the Middle East: The End of America’s Moment? by Fawaz A. Gerges
  • The Obama Error – Second Edition as Amended by Stephen Pidgeon
  • Spreading the Wealth: How Obama is Robbing the Suburbs to Pay for the Cities by Stanley Kurtz
  • Gangster Government: Barack Obama and the New Washington Thugocracy by David Freddoso
  • Obama’s Secrets by Gil Peretz and Nili Peretz
  • Obama Zombies: How the Liberal Machine Brainwashed My Generation by Jason Mattera
  • The Blueprint: Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency by Ken Blackwell
  • Obama Exposed by Steve Elliott and John Aman
  • The Obama Nation by Jerome R. Corsi
  • The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America by Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller and John Bolton
  • Obama’s Education Takeover (Encounter Broadsides) by Lance T Izumi
  • Obama 2.0 – Uncivil War by D T Pollard
  • Obama’s Economy: Recovery for the Few by Jack Rasmus
  • The Obama File by Frederick Meekins
  • Deconstructing Obama: The Life, Loves, and Letters of America’s First Postmodern President by Jack Cashill
  • Radical-in-Chief: Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism by Stanley Kurtz
  • Obama and the Fourth Reich (And other discourses) by Dov Ivry
  • Obama’s Radical Roots: Saul Alinsky, Jeremiah Wright, and the Others who Shaped his Worldview by William Washington Bragg
  • Obama Must Go by David Pimentel
  • Obama and the Crash of 2013 (Encounter Broadsides) by Peter Ferrara
  • The Obama Identity by John LeBoutillier and Edward Klein
  • Obama’s War on the Young by John Perazzo

Obama smear author D’Souza indicted

imageI only touched briefly on Dinesh D’Souza in an article mainly about Joel Gilbert. D’Souza wrote two anti-Obama books, the The Roots of Obama’s Rage and a 2012 follow-up, 2016: Obama’s America. The latter is also the title of a film that earned $33 million in 2012. The books claim Obama has some anti-colonial rage inherited from Kenyan roots that drives him to do everything possible to destroy the country. From the book description at Amazon.com:

Obama came into office with an eight-year plan for America, argues D’Souza. In almost four years, he’s crippled our economy, healthcare system, and global stature through invasive big-government policies. If he’s re-elected in 2012, he will be able to finish the job, and destroy America’s future.

A federal grand jury in New York indicted D’Souza last week charging that he used straw donors to funnel money to a US Senate candidate Wendy Long in violation of campaign finance laws.

  • Count 1 charges a violation of Title 2 USC Sections 441f and 437g(d)(1)(D) and Title 18 USC Section 2 by reimbursing others to make political contributions in the amount of $20,000. If I read the statute correctly, the maximum penalty for this count is 2 years imprisonment and a fine of 3 times the amount of the contribution (in this case $60,000).
  • Count 2 charges a violation of 18 USC Sections 1001(a) and 2 by causing the submission of false representations to the FEC by a campaign committee. Violation of this section carries a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment.

D’Souza was released on $500,000 bond and asked to surrender his passport and agree to travel restrictions.

Under the “too good to be true” category, D’Souza is scheduled to debate none other than Bill Ayers this week on the topic “What’s So Great About America?” at Dartmouth College. The debate is at 7: 30 PM EST and will stream live.

For information and a trailer from D’Souza’s film, America, scheduled for release this July 4, visit the Hollywood Reporter.

This is the first shoe to drop.

Update (5/20/2014)

D’Souza pled guilty today.

Woodman writes retrospective

John Woodman, computer guy, author, and birther forgery debunker extraordinaire retired a year ago to devote himself to his family and his real job. Woodman’s book Is Barack Obama’s Birth Certificate a Fraud? remains the seminal work documenting and debunking the twists and turns of the birther mind trying to find an excuse to deny the evidence of President Obama’s birth certificate.

An important event in forgery debunking happened in 2013 with the publication of evidence that the White House birth certificate was scanned on a Xerox WorkCenter 7655 office machine and then rotated with Preview on a Mac, and thereby explaining pretty much the whole birther forgery “evidence.”

Now John Woodman has published a year-end “Epilog” to the forgery debunking saga, summarizing the old and new evidence, and putting the last nail (just kidding) in the birther certificate forgery coffin. Now that the nail is in, birthers wishing to revitalize the corpse of their theories must obtain one of these before moving the goalposts.

Alinsky v birthers

Photo of Saul AlinskyI haven’t read Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, and in fact I had never heard of it before some right-wing type accused someone else of using “Alinsky tactics” online. I was reminded of it again by one of the birthers at Birther Report listing the rules (according to the Wikipedia article correctly). What I thought I would do here is take each rule and think about how it has been used, or might be used in the birther context. Some of the rules I think are good ones to follow, and some I do not.

The Rules

image“Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.”

That’s certainly true. I can go as far back as the story of Gideon in the Bible for an example. This is a poor rule to start off with, because I don’t see much application to birtherism. I suppose that the birthers do overestimate the power of their opponents (that the entire government, courts and media are all against them), but their actions don’t appear to be dampened by that belief and call into question how genuine it is.

At the beginning, I suppose I overestimated the potential for birtherism to reach a tipping point, but that proved not to be the case and I don’t think any anti-birther today is concerned about any future birther ascendancy. We think that birthers are toothless.

“Never go outside the expertise of your people.”

This is wonderful advice for everyone, and everyone is guilty of violating it at least sometimes. Birthers, however, build their entire world view on crank experts from their own ranks. Not following this rule is their greatest weakness.

“Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.”

This is an anti-birther tactic, and it is easy to employ because the birthers themselves are so utterly inexpert—from the pathetic legal briefs of Orly Taitz, to crank image analysts too laborious to list. Using this tactic is not a conscious anti-birther choice, but it is rather forced on us—birther expertise is so tiny that it is hard not to go outside it.

“Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”

If birthers have any rules, I haven’t been able to discover them. Their tactics, such as making stuff up, claiming false expertise, and invalid argument are definitely not consistent enough to make a birther live up to them. Sometimes we do point out the hypocrisy of a birther asking for proof from Obama that they wouldn’t ask of another president, but we have never had success at making birthers be consistent.

“Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.”

Pretty much any time you hear Alinsky invoked as a counterargument (i.e. a diversion) it is in relation to this rule. I would point out that the Alinsky defense against ridicule is itself ridicule. I personally think that ridicule can be overdone. I regularly use phrases like “nonsense” (fairly and accurately), but I reserve “complete idiot” for special cases.

One tactic I have use against the particularly vulgar commenters at Birther Report is to say “does your mother know you talk like that.” It is often effective at ending a thread. A tactic that I want to try to use more is the whining defense, something like:

Anti-birther: That’s a stupid thing to say.

Birther: You’re using Alinsky tactics.

Anti-birther: Stop whining.

“A good tactic is one your people enjoy.”

I don’t know what birthers enjoy except saying degrading things about Barack Obama. I like figuring out rigorous refutations of birther theories; debunking is a tactic I enjoy, as do I think many others on the anti-birther side. I also think a number of anti-birthers enjoy the ridicule tactic.

“A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.”

The birther tactic of appealing to future evidence is certainly one that has  been over used and has worn thin, with even the birthers becoming frustrated with it. The lawsuit as political theater tactic has also lost its luster. I don’t think debunking the one thousand and first birther claim has much impact either.

“Keep the pressure on. Never let up.”

Photo of may carrying signThe birthers have certainly followed this rule well. Some birther blogs have closed down, but most of the main characters are still birthin’. Birther Report publishes multiple articles per day, even though many of them are old, or repeats of recent articles. I remember the blog, The Steady Drip, as having a title exemplifying this principle. The Cold Case Posse (more on that later) also uses this tactic, and the continuing meritless lawsuits against Obama and others falls under this category.

One must give the birthers credit for taking an unsubstantiated remark on a right-wing blog and convincing a majority of Republicans that it was true, and for rebounding magnificently after the hit caused by the release of President Obama’s long form birth certificate. Clearly steady pressure has had an effect, but not on the people that matter (the electoral majority).

“The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.”

Birthers do not use this to effect. For example, I get threats all the time that I am being investigated or that I will be tried for treason. For a threat to be believed, it has to have some grain of truth behind it, and these threats do not.  I think very few consider anything the birthers do a threat. Birthers use threats to motivate other birthers to more effect, creating anxiety about the destruction of the country, marshal (sic) law, economic collapse and dictatorship. (Note: the subtle ridicule in the previous sentence).

“The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.”

Birther organizations don’t seem to have been effective—birthers don’t play well together. Conspiracy theorists are by nature loners in the first place. The only organizations that hold together in birtherism are a few online communities, such as this blog, The Fogbow, the Free Republic and Birther Report. The problem with those operations is that they don’t really maintain any pressure upon the opposition.

The closest thing that the birthers have to an operational tactic is the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Cold Case Posse, that attempts to maintain pressure through press releases and lobbying Congress. The problem with the CCP is that its pressure is ineffectual.

I would draw a sharp contrast between the success of the Tea Party and the failure of the birthers. This alone speaks strongly against birthers having the kind of funding and resources that the Tea Party did.

“If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive.”

This was explained by Austin Cline saying:

You can’t win every battle, but you also need to avoid admitting to having lost any battles. Losing can breed an attitude that you’re losers; winning can breed the attitude that your winners. So, whatever happens, you need to find ways to turn losses into victories.

Birthers are big on not admitting that they have lost. The Cold Case Posse has made so many stupid mistakes that I’ve lost count. There is an entire Facebook group dedicated to the lies of Mike Zullo and Carl Gallups. Still Zullo has never, ever, admitted a mistake. Birthers in general never admit defeat in arguments—they just advance to the next talking point.

On the other hand, folks like myself, regularly admit when they are wrong (fortunately it doesn’t happen all that often). And when we do that, the birthers are instantly on the offensive, to divert from their own failures that they do not admit to the failures of others who do admit them.

Birthers operate more in an excuse making mode than pressing negatives; birthers who lose lawsuits blame it on the judge or technicalities.

The best example I can think of for turning a loss into a victory was when Donald Trump, after the humiliating refutation of his crank claims by the release of President Obama’s birth certificate, declared victory for clearing the issue up by forcing the President’s hand. President Obama countered with ridicule a few days later at the White House Correspondents Association dinner when he said:

Now, I know that he’s taken some flak lately but no one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than the Donald. And that’s because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter, like, “Did we fake the moon landing?’” “What really happened on Roswell?” And “Where are Biggie and Tupac?’”

“The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.”

Birthers will never have a “successful attack” so they really don’t need to find a constructive alternative. Their goal is destruction and they do not see beyond that.1 The anti-birther alternative is the 2016 presidential election.

“Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”

I think that both sides use this tactic. A number of folks have tried to “out” their opponents, to publicly identify anonymous persons with an opposing viewpoint. Especially the birthers tend to go to extremes to make up wild accusations about the persons they personalize.

Conclusion

I haven’t detected anyone consciously basing their strategy on Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. Maybe someone like Sam Sewell thinks about it, but I don’t know. The only principles that I have made any attempt to follow beyond basic integrity are the occasional reference to a chart on correcting misinformation that I have taped up next to my monitor.


1When I wrote that, I was reminded of the ending of Bernard Malamud’s novel, The Fixer. The protagonist had been unjustly accused of a crime by the anti-Semitic Russian authorities and mercilessly badgered by the police. At the very end, he is being conveyed to court and somebody throws a bomb that I suppose was part of a revolutionary plot. (The story is based on a historical event.) The book (as I recall) ends at the point of violence, not the redress of the wrong.

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