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Zullo: It’s the birthers’ fault

After years of failure, missed deadlines, unkept promises and a solid public record of doing nothing, Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Cold Case Posse commander Mike Zullo turns on the ones who made him, the birthers, blaming them for his lack of progress.

Recall in the beginning that Zullo came out into the media spotlight carried on the shoulders of birthers like Mara Zebest, Garrett Papit and especially Jerome Corsi. The first Cold Case Posse reports looked like material gathered from birther web sites and Jerome Corsi’s book. Indeed Zullo has said that his original job with the Posse was to vet information from Jerome Corsi. The problem seems to be that things were not objectively vetted, and birther critics were kept out of the loop. That’s probably how Zullo got caught presenting faked evidence (the infamous fake 1961 federal race code table); he used something a birther faked without checking. Indeed Zullo earned the media’s assessment of “long debunked” because he used old birther remnants as the foundation of his case before the jury of public opinion.

The widely-disproved notion that the president was born abroad rather than in Hawaii, as state officials have repeatedly confirmed, comes up regularly in Arizona.

Fox News Latino (2012)

Zullo’s first dodge was to shift gears from law enforcement to lobbying Congress, but that was essentially left to the birthers, and notably to Mike Volin with his “Sheriff’s Kit” (now in a new edition). The Sheriff’s Kit has proved to be a 100% failure in getting any member of Congress on board.

Nowadays, Zullo has retreated back into the law enforcement tent where he can use law enforcement practices as an excuse to keep his progress secret. (Of course, Mike Zullo has never been certified as a law enforcement officer in Arizona, according to Executive Director Lyle Mann of Arizona Peace Officers Standards and Training).

What is Zullo’s perspective on these events? How does he explain his abject failure? He blames it, at least in part, on the very birthers who made him. He says that their ineptitude has destroyed his credibility and limited his options. Zullo and his mouthpiece Carl Gallups were on the Peter Boyles radio show yesterday (October 3) . Here’s the entire show playable from this page.

 

On the show, which was a supposed to be a reset/recovery from what Boyles called a “dust up” previously between Lawrence Sellin and Carl Gallups, and a later segment with Brian Reilly, Boyles tries to be conciliatory, saying:

It doesn’t help our cause when we internally fight.

Still the issue of Zullo’s 3-year lack of progress, the non-appearance of any “universe-shattering” revelations, and pretty much zero from Zullo™, didn’t go away.

Zullo said:

[05:25] From that point [the 2nd press conference] forward that mandate [from Arpaio to vet Corsi’s information] stopped. The Sheriff wanted to get this to Congress. Was having difficulty. And part of the difficulty, Peter, was the fact that so many people, all over the Internet have weighed in on this, and made contact to Congress people with claims that are just unsubstantiated, and have muddied the waters. So the Sheriff changed the mandate and the he told me to take this in the direction now of a total law enforcement investigation.

What Zullo doesn’t appreciate is that he himself is one of those crazies hawking totally unsubstantiated claims. If Zullo were actually this important emissary from law enforcement that he describes himself to be, why is it that these “Congress people” didn’t see that? Why couldn’t they see that his evidence is substantiated? Zullo himself answers this question later on.

Zullo asserts his renewed investigation has “cultivated” evidence that doesn’t rely on “other people” and

[06:09]I’m hopping that in the very near future we’re going to be able to release that.

So mark the calendar—on October 4, 2014, Mike Zullo dangled the phrase “in the very near future” in front of the birthers, in reference to the “truth behind the document.” So anyone who might have gathered that Zullo had “moved on” from the birth certificate is wrong. Still Zullo wants to distance himself from the unwashed birther horde. He writes that his current mandate from Arpaio is to gather evidence to show:

[06:25] We are not birthers. We are here looking at a fraudulent document. This document should never have been perpetrated, should never have been proffered in the manner it does. As a matter of fact, to merely create this document is a federal offense. We’re concentrating on a fraudulent counterfeit1 document that was used to be proffered by Mr. Obama and his administration as proof positive that he’s an American citizen. We don’t have that evidence. We don’t have that proof of that claim. But that is what our mandate is.

No wonder Zullo can’t convince Congress: by his own words, Zullo admits that he doesn’t have evidence that proves the Obama birth certificate is fraudulent!

[07:27] This document has never been brought to trial. And if you go back on all these court cases, in a lot of these court cases, that people have burned jurisdictions on, that made it very difficult for us to proceed forward.

As best I can make out, Zullo is saying that birther lawsuits have precluded him taking some action. I’m not sure what Zullo thinks jurisdiction means. Zullo said on the Carl Gallups show back in 2013 that Orly Taitz "doesn’t understand what jurisdiction means…." None of the birther lawsuits were criminal cases, so how could they possibly impact one way or another, some putative future criminal prosecution. It is pretty well established, long before Obama came along, that a sitting president cannot be indicted for a crime. Arpaio could try to get an indictment (if he ever got some evidence), but nothing any birther did before has any relevance to that.

Mike Zullo says “the evidence has to support the allegation,” yet he says that he certain that Obama’s birth certificate is fraudulent, and that he doesn’t have the evidence to prove it. That seems to me to be a very weak position to be in. Zullo further states that he does not even have probable cause that Barack Obama’s social-security number is not legitimate.

My parting words for Carl Gallups: if you have to say that you are not being evasive, you probably are.


1Counterfeit: “made in exact imitation of something valuable or important with the intention to deceive or defraud.” Apparently Zullo doesn’t know what counterfeit means. Later in the interview, he describes it as a “fraudulent facsimile of an official state document.” Perhaps he doesn’t understand “facsimile” either.

Buy high, sell low

I stumbled across this January 27, 2o14 video by Jerome Corsi titled: “Take Retirement Money out of Stock Investments ASAP!” In the video Corsi advises:

I’ve been warning for months that the stock market bubble we’re in is going to burst. … Right now, get out of any stock investment that you have in your retirement fund. … Sell your stock fund now. Listen to my advice.

His more nuanced complete narrative advises moving all ones funds from stocks to bonds and money market funds. He doesn’t say when the bubble will burst, only that it will. One of the valid points he makes is that one might make this move for “peace of mind.” Of course, Corsi is doing his best to disturb the peace in the video.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 15,837 on January 27, and today at 17,137, up 8.20%. Bonds didn’t do nearly as well. I suppose if one waits long enough, the stock market will eventually go down, but so far this is not the year for that.

Anybody can be wrong, but Corsi seemed so sure!

My favorite YouTube title is: “Interview with Jerome Corsi who really killed Kennedy.”

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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 Corsi/WND/Arpaio/Zullo/Montgomery connection

Up until a just a few days ago, I had never heard of Dennis Montgomery, the fellow we’re calling the “Seattle scammer” because according to a 2010 article in Playboy Magazine, he sold fake intelligence information to the CIA for big bucks. He now lives in the Seattle area.

The Phoenix New Times, using confidential sources at the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, reports that Montgomery has been paid $100,000 and given $50,000 in computer equipment by Arpaio for intelligence information about federal judge G. Murray Snow and Attorney General Eric Holder. (Phoenix New Times Reporter Stephen Lemons will talk about this on a special edition of  Reality Check Radio tonight at 9 PM Eastern.)

I had noted that Douglas Vogt, a birther volunteer expert who supplied information to the Cold Case Posse, lives a scant 8.6 miles (using actual addresses) from Montgomery, and speculated that proximity might account for the connection between Sheriff Arpaio and Dennis Montgomery.

There may be a closer connection. According to multiple sources, Jerome Corsi worked closely with the Cold Case Posse at the beginning, providing most of the information they used. Zullo and Corsi co-authored a book about the CCP investigation, some of which derived from Corsi’s articles at WorldNetDaily. Here’s a photo of Corsi with Mike Zullo, “commander” of the Cold Case Posse at a presentation that included Sheriff Arpaio.

image

Now we have to connect the dots. Continue Reading →

Sheriff Joe’s universe may be shattering

It sucks to be Joe Arpaio this week.

imageFirst there is the Phoenix New Times story today (BANG!) by award-wining journalist Stephen Lemons, that opens up a big can of worms. It begins with some behind-the-scenes comments from Joe Arpaio suggesting that the birther investigation was motivated by fundraising, citing footage from a new film about Arpaio, The Joe Show, The New Times writes:

The most revealing part of Phoenix filmmaker Randy Murray’s recent documentary The Joe Show was a strategy meeting during Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s 2012 re-election campaign that included Arpaio, his top flack, Lisa Allen, Chief Deputy Jerry Sheridan, and campaign manager Chad Willems.

The group huddled in the back of a Fountain Hills restaurant to discuss how to spin Joe’s negatives — the misspending of more than $100 million, the deaths in the jails, the scores of millions in lawsuit payouts — for the public.

At some point, Arpaio’s “birther” investigation came up.  …

At the mere mention of the birther investigation and the future press event, Allen and Willems practically rolled their eyes.

Willems called the birther probe “nuts.”

Allen said the sheriff might as well go the press conference “in big ol’ clown shoes.”
Arpaio shrugged, literally.

“There ain’t gonna be no damage control,” Arpaio promised Willems. “You’ll get more money [in campaign contributions] than you’ll know what to do with.”

imageIt gets worse on that topic (read the New Times article), but we then are given some idea what the Universe-shattering investigation is all about. The Sheriff’s Office confirmed some kind of investigation was in the works, but not about the birth certificate. Informants tell the New Times that the investigation is about Eric Holder and federal judge G. Murray Snow, the one who is overseeing enforcement as a result of a lawsuit proving pervasive racial profiling within Arpaio’s Department. And then there is the Seattle scammer. Sources say that $100,000 has been paid to notorious con man Dennis Montgomery. When asked, both Arpaio and Montgomery declined to deny that they were working together.  You just have to read the thing to believe it.

Next there is the sad story of Maricopa County deputy Ramon Armendariz who appeared to be shaking down undocumented aliens.  He apparently committed suicide by hanging and cannot be questioned as to how widespread the misconduct was within the department, but perhaps these facts have a very different interpretation. Further, 900 hours of videos of traffic stops that were supposed to be turned over to the Court were found in his house. This story was widely reported by the national press. It certainly leaves a lot of questions and I’ll be interested to see how the story plays out.

And if that weren’t enough, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals released its decision on Monday, awarding $975,000 to former Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox in a lawsuit against Arpaio and other county officials for false arrest and prosecution, bringing the total to over $12 million for those cases.

Finally an investigation has uncovered evidence suggesting that Maricopa County Sheriffs Office personnel and equipment were involved in the production of Jerome Corsi and Mike Zullo’s for-profit eBook, A Question of Law Eligibility: A Law Enforcement Investigation into Barack Obama’s Birth Certificate and his Eligibility to be President. The book, copyrighted by Jerome Corsi and Mike Zullo drew initial criticism as some dollars rolled in to Mike Zullo for what many think should have been the property of the non-profit Cold Case Posse not for Zullo’s personal use. Zullo sidestepped that issue by claiming he gave the money to his church. Now the question is more difficult with County resources involved. This topic led me to review that book, and in the light of what we know now about the Obama birth certificate PDF file, it looks pretty bad. For details on this investigation, check out “MCSO Public Information Officer Brian Lee Helped Write ‘A Question of Eligibility’ eBook” at the RC Radio Blog.

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The moral dimension of birtherism

The reason that I have so much motivation to combat birtherism is that I consider it immoral, and not just immoral in and of itself, but a movement that promotes immorality and encourages others to act badly, and not only does birtherism encourage birthers to be immoral, it also entices its opponents to act badly as well.

The scripture text for today’s sermon comes from St. Paul’s letter to Rome:

And as they didn’t keep God steadily in mind, God left them to their unsteadiness of mind to do things that decency forbids, filled as they were with all kinds of unlawfulness, meanness, greed, and evil, rampant with envy, murder, discord, treachery, and disorderly conduct: rumormongers, character assassins, God-haters, criminals, haughty, boastful, fabricators of evil stories, disobedient to parents, with no comprehension, no cohesion, no affection, no compassion.

Gaus, Andy (1991-01-01). The Unvarnished New Testament (New Translation from the Original Greek) (Kindle Locations 5157-5161). Red Wheel Weiser. Kindle Edition.

While several items from the indecent list fit things I see in the birther movement, the one that I think most characterizes it is “character assassins.” (I could have picked the closely-allied “fabricators of evil stories.”) What is the birther movement, after all, but an attempt to find something bad about Barack Obama, initially to keep him from being elected president, and later to try to make him fail in office, or to get him out of office? Birtherism springs from and promotes a visceral dislike of Barack Obama, whether it is because he beat out Hillary Clinton, or that he is black, or urbane, or progressive, or has an Arabic-sounding middle name.

Birtherism has had its consequences, and I can think of no greater waste than former Army physician Terry Lakin, who ruined his career, lost his medical license, and lost his pension because of birtherism. On the other side consider Adam Cox who was convicted of threatening Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Would he ever have done this if not enraged by the character assassination of the birthers?

It is important to try to distinguish those who make up stories and market them from those who just spread the stories. At the top of the food chain we have folks like Joseph Farah, Jerome Corsi, Bob Unruh and Jack Cashill. They make money stirring up ill will. While folks like that deserve greater condemnation, still people who spread stories (like, for example, Donald Trump), the “rumormongers,” bear responsibility for not checking out stories before they pass them on.

Web sites such as Birther Report are noted for the “meanness” of the comments as much as their misleading stories. And when I see meanness and “haughty,” “boastful” fabricators of evil stories, it makes me angry and under that influence I can sometimes be mean too (that’s why I gave up BR for Lent).

Birtherism is not just wrong; it is indecent.