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Continuing education: the Reed Hayes Report

After 6 years, memories can become less precise, and misunderstandings can gel into false memories. It’s useful for me to go back to sources and be sure I have things right. This morning, I woke up thinking I had a solid grasp on why the Reed Hayes report hadn’t been released.

The source we have for Hayes, a document expert from Hawaii, is what Mike Zullo said about the report Hayes produced for him, for what Zullo said, we can look to his “Alabama Affidavit” in which he quoted an anonymous document examiner that has to be Reed Hayes:

…based on my observations and findings, it is clear that Certificate of Live Birth I examined is not a scan of an original paper birth certificate, but a digitally manufactured documented created by utilizing material from various sources.” and

“In over 20 years of examining documentation of various types, I have never seen a document that is so seriously questionable in so many respects. In my opinion, the birth certificate is entirely fabricated.”

Because Hayes could contradict a false statement, I am assuming Zullo quoted him accurately. The context is slight, but this exact quote was enough to burst the bubble of my early morning conclusion. If I misremembered, so might someone else—so the purpose of this article is remind everyone of what Zullo said about the Reed Hayes report. That’s the “continuing education.”

Given the importance of the report, from the only credentialed document examiner to come up with a conclusion of fabrication , there must be some serious reason why Zullo has kept it under wraps, and the only reason left that makes sense to me is that Hayes has changed his mind and no longer stands behind the report or that his report is materially inconsistent with other Zullo claims.

See alsl this comment from ellen who talked to Hayes.

Mike Zullo: Birther misleader

I want to focus on two statements, one made by Mike Zullo before the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officer’s convention June 1, 2013, and one by Mark Gillar in an interview with Mike Volin the following December. I make the comparison to show that birthers who hear what Mike Zullo says can be misled. Here’s Zullo’s statement:

In 1961, the term used to describe black people on a birth certificate was “negro.”  In order to document this we obtained the 1960 vital statistics instruction manual containing the instructions for coding race on a birth certificate that where followed by every health department in the United States, including the Hawaiian Health Department. As you can see, if the parents race was reported as “colored,” “black,” “brown,” or “Afro-American” the Department of Health Services was required to consider the parents a “negro.” For those of you who may be wondering why the 1960 manual was consulted instead of the 1961 manual, it’s because the 1961 manual wasn’t published until 10 days after Barack Obama’s birth…

Anyone who is familiar with birthers knows that it is widely held among them that the Father’s Race (African) on the Obama certificate is not an allowable entry, and therefore the only reasonable purpose for Zullo’s statement would be to confirm that view. Upon careful examination, Zullo doesn’t say that the race reported by the parent is restricted or changed, but only considered “negro” (in context “considered” refers to the application of a set of rules for determining the race of the child). Zullo also does not say who does the considering—it is key operators at the National Center for Health Statistics who enter data from microfilm records from the states). Zullo also does not say that the 1960 manual was used to code Obama’s data, only notes its publication date. Since 1961 data was keyed in 1962, the August 1961 manual is the applicable document for all 1961 data. A careless listener might also think that the Zullo statement was applicable to the Obama certificate, even though the race “African” wasn’t a listed category. Finally Zullo may leave the impression that what he cited from the 1960 manual was not in the 1961 manual, but it is.

Now what happens when a birther hears the Zullo statement? Here is Mark Gillar’s impression:

It’s about law. In 1961 when Obama was born, the 1961 vital statistics coding manual had not come out. They were still using, even in August, they were still using the 1960 vital statistics manual, and what that manual clear states is that if someone represents themself as “African American,” which was abbreviated A. A., if they represented themself as “black,” if they represented themself as “colored,” the clerk at the department of health was still supposed to list them as a negro. And that’s what the 1960 book has. I can give that to you guys. I actually got them to turn that over to me.

Zullo’s “Department of Health Services,” an ambiguous term probably indicating the Department of Health and Human Services, the federal successor agency to the Department of Health, Education and Welfare that issued the 1960 manual becomes in Gillar’s mind “Department of Health,” which would be appropriate for the Hawaii Department of Health or other local health department. In Gillar’s mind, “considered as” (for statistical purposes) became “list them as.” The fact that Gillar makes the statement at all suggests that he also failed to notice that “African” wasn’t on the list in the instructions.

In the infamous tableau of false and misleading statements that was the second Cold Case Posse press conference, perhaps the highlight was the account of Jerome Corsi’s interview with Verna K. Lee, a registrar at the Hawaii Department of Health in 1961, the person who signed Obama’s birth certificate. Zullo attributed very little to Lee beyond the assertion that entries on Hawaiian birth certificates were double checked,  yet I have read birthers say that basically everything in that press conference related to race coding came from Lee, including the fake 1961 race code chart.

Here is what Zullo actually said:

These codings we learned through our investigation, and then locating the mysterious U.K. Lee, which has plagued this thing for four years, where people were wondering who this is, we located Verna Lee. Verna Lee is 95 years old, amazingly sharp. We spoke with her and she confirms to us what I’m going to share with you now.

You can’t have a document coded like other documents double-checked and have a code that says 9, “not stated” and have a piece of information sitting in the box. That just can’t happen. Verna Lee confirmed that for us.

See how easily one could fall into the false impression that Zullo was saying that Lee had confirmed a specific 1961 code and that she had confirmed everything that followed. Does “what I’m going to share with you now” refer to the next paragraph or more? It’s ambiguous. In fact birther listeners widely believe that it was Zullo who interviewed Lee over the phone rather than Jerome Corsi; that is after all what one expects the lead investigator to do.

The human mind expects that points in an argument are relevant and logically consistent, and it will fill in some obvious gaps. I do this myself. In the case of Mike Zullo, filling in those obvious omissions is a mistake because sometimes the obvious relevance and logical connection one would fill in isn’t true.

See also:


Note: I have found it curious that neither Zullo nor Gillar has been willing to provide the title of this 1960 manual. I think I know why.

Why the silence from the Cold Case Posse?

There could be some big announcements in the case soon and forthcoming.

— Carl Gallups
Facebook January 2013

Sheriff Arpaio & Mike Zullo Are Saying Investigation Press Conference Forthcoming

— Carl Gallups
— Freedom Friday February 2015

My habit is to goad the birthers by explaining the Posse’s years of silence, saying “they have nothing.” That’s true in the sense that it is unlikely that the Cold Case Posse, with no manpower to speak of, no resources, and no expertise, would scoop everyone else in the country in uncovering some infamous crime related to Obama’s presidency. My reason might apply to a real law enforcement investigation where standards of evidence apply, but what does that have to do with the Cold Case Posse?

Mike Zullo, fronted by Sheriff Joe Arpaio, presented a raft of issues in his first two press conferences. The standards of evidence didn’t come into play in the selection of that material–arguments and evidence that utterly fell apart under scrutiny. Looking behind the curtain, we found conspiracy theorist author Jerome Corsi feeding much of the bogus evidence. We still don’t know how the fake race code table from the Daily Pen Blog made it to the Posse, but we know Corsi had a hand in getting a bogus confirmation of it. Even with Corsi apparently out of the birth certificate business, there must still be many birther sleuths with their own pet theories being sent to Mike Zullo. I cannot believe that the absence of a third press conference can be attributed to a lack of material. As we know, birthers believe anything, and Zullo is easily fooled. I suppose it is possible that Mike Zullo is too busy pursuing other ways of making a living, to assemble a presentation with the appropriate official-sounding trappings.

In my mind, a strong contender for an explanation is to avoid embarrassing questions. Since the 2nd press conference, two mini scandals arose: Zullo’s acceptance of $10,000 for his personal use from a birther who was also supplying material to the Posse’s investigation, and the disclosure that Arpaio had paid over $100,000 to a con man for evidence supposedly related to the Justice Department (I think this was the source of the universe-shattering revelation that fizzled). If a press conference were held, hard questions about these would certainly be appropriate.

While I think it unlikely, it is conceivable that members of Arpaio’s staff, some of whom are serious professionals, have counseled the Sheriff about the poor quality of the Cold Case Posse work product and that Arpaio has required that any new material be vetted by real detectives. That would effectively screen out anything birther.

It might be that yet another press conference, followed by no indictment, would highlight for the birthers the futility of the entire exercise.

One final possibility is that the difficult situation Arpaio faces with a federal judge scrutinizing his department, and threatening contempt of court against Arpaio, might have convinced him that now is the time to keep his head down and not make bogus accusations against the President.

Whatever the underlying reasons, I think that the most reasonable explanation for the silence is that Joe Arpaio considers it not to his political advantage that a press conference be held.

(I’m assuming that no press conference is actually forthcoming. If it really were forthcoming, then the appropriate thing would be to announce the press conference and give a date.)


The full Gallups quote from 2013 is:

PPS has been in direct contact with the Sheriff Arpaio investigation. We have just again been assured by Lt. Mike Zullo lead investigator that the investigation and potential angles of prosecution are still going full steam ahead. Just because it’s not in the news right now does not mean they are not feverishly working on the matter. There could be some big announcements in the case soon and forthcoming.

Is there a leak in the Cold Case Posse?

We’re going to stop leaking stuff because stuff is being leaked!

This from Bob via The Fogbow:

Zullo update [from Gallups]: Both Zullo — and Arpaio — say that the “conference” is “forthcoming.”
No new information because there were “concerns” about leaks in the CCP.

Commenters at The Fogbow express obvious bewilderment over how a group of one has a leak, but certainly Mike Zullo can do the leaking of 10 men.

imageConsider his amazing leak that someone had traced something to an organization with a DARPA artificial intelligence project! That compromised the entire birther IP harvesting project, and put all the DARPA folks, who wouldn’t have clue that they need to hide their IP addresses, on alert that they need to up their game. Now we’re all running Tor from an encrypted drive.

Consider the stunning revelation that the Cold Case Posse had discounted proof that the Obama long form birth certificate was consistent with a document scanned by a Xerox WorkCentre 7655. Obots could have remained complacent and oblivious to this development until Zullo was ready to shoot the theory down. Now they can work on alternatives.

It is abundantly clear that Zullo has taken the appropriate action to stem leaks from the Cold Case Posse by shutting himself up.

</snarky part>

This sounds like just one more excuse for having nothing from Mike Zullo.  If there are leaks from the Cold Case Posse (beyond what Zullo and Gallups say on the radio), they don’t get to me. Whether I believe it or not, at least Gallups and some of the birthers do. Here is part of a comment from AmazingGrace6 at Birther Report about an hour ago:

This will get bumpy–I am good with that because the enemy must be stripped of all credibility. I don’t believe Gallups would have said this today without the conferences being imminent. Keep praying because the safety of those involved with the reveal are truly in danger. And when this finally happens savor each minute. We have been right about him being a fraud.

Even Falcon at BR who made this comment on the 17th:

Here’s where I’m at – I don’t care about Carl Gallups and his boring Freedom Fridays. No one else cares, at all. We want action. If you and Gallups are going to dick around – [expletive redacted] you.

Seemed to come back into the fold:

Gallups: “Sheriff Arpaio & Mike Zullo Are Saying Investigation Press Conference Forthcoming”
 
No sense announcing it – unless you want to see Breitbart, in the afterlife.
 
God Speed, Gents.

The Brian Reilly resignation letter

I have said on several occasions that I had read Brian Reilly’s letter of resignation from the Cold Case Posse. I never shared the letter because it was provided “off the record.” I take such confidences seriously, and so I publish it now only with Brian Reilly’s permission. Here is the PDF, exactly as Mr. Reilly sent it to me.

Mike Zullo’s sometime spokesperson Carl Gallups said on his Freedom Friday program last November, and on the Internet, that Brian Reilly was fired by Zullo. Zullo himself seems to contradict this in interviews with Mark Gillar and Peter Boyles, but nevertheless the consensus among the birthers is that Reilly was indeed fired. It was published on the Surprise Arizona Tea Party Patriots site, for example, and Falcon from Birther Report made two comments just this past week:

Brian Reilly was under a previous or current criminal investigation. He failed to disclose that to Zullo who fired him.

Reilly never disclosed to anyone his current / previous history – that was discovered outside of his CCP involvement.

Falcon explains the source for that comment in this post at Conservative Victory News aka Navy Gentlemen:

I can’t tell you everything, but I had an encounter in the last few days with a person in the CCP – online. Not nice. Could have sparked it all. Brutal. And it’s online and in my comment stream. Check it. Look around page 9/10 due to new comments it could change.

Zullo himself made a similar statement, according to a transcript on the PPSIMMONS web site:

PPSN: In your opinion, did Mr. Reilly make any other false claims in the interview, or leave out any other important information pertinent to the interview?

ZULLO: Absolutely. Mr. Reilly also failed to mention that he was a fired former volunteer law-enforcement officer.

Birthers later came up with a different story, that Zullo didn’t fire Reilly, but asked him to stay on because he was a loose canon and unreliable. Yeah, that didn’t make any sense to me either.

Continue Reading →

Arpaio 2nd criminal investigation canned?

Gary Wilmott (Give Us Liberty 1776) posted 2 comments at Birther Report™ yesterday that give some inside information about the Maricopa County Sheriff’s maybe investigation of Barack Obama or something:

For what it’s worth. I had some face time with Arpaio in mid-October. He wasn’t interested in talking about the issue. In fact he was somewhat irritated and dismissive. I also asked him some very direct questions in a public forum. Also dismissive. I just talked to a good friend and well-known activist who has had 3 conversations on the phone with Zullo in the last month. While there is no representation that A & Z have folded their tents…it was quite apparent that they are not poised to release any information in the near future. Personally as much as it pains me to say it and my friend agrees…we are not optimistic that anything will happen. I think that A & Z have been betrayed by the politicians, they have no viable media outlets (although Arpaio told me that if he needs to get the story out he can do it…but wait he got no traction in his last press conference) and I think they have been intimidated and threatened by forces and powers that we can only imagine. As more time goes by it would seem that there is increasingly less chance that Obama can be convincingly exposed and ultimately removed. I pray that I am wrong. Remember however that Obama has been committing his crimes (at the direction of the puppet masters) with the help of the republican establishment. These traitors will do anything to ensure the status quo.

He followed up with:

Once again…for what it’s worth. Of course I don’t have the inside scoop…I am merely putting 2 and 2 together in my mind and giving my opinion. I want this to happen more than you can imagine. I am living a nightmare. However…let me just say this…I am in regular though infrequent communications with someone who DID have access to the investigation (not Gallups) and was privy to SOME of the universe-shattering info. At one time that person thought that something would be released late last August. That person does not think anything will now happen and that is also part of my calculus. Sorry…I pray that I am wrong because this country is in a world of hurt and its only going to get worse. I love RG’s [BR commenter Reagans_ghost] positive attitude…but my hopes are waning. We are in late January and the focus is going to be on the presidential race and all irresponsible wannabes jockeying for position.

Wilmott has all the pieces — [mixing metaphors] now he just has to read the handwriting on the wall. Mike Zullo never had anything. He was just stringing you on.