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BR v. BR

GerbilReportBirther Report (BR) has a new article up consisting of an email exchange involving Brian Reilly (BR). In an article titled “Cold Case Posse Initiator Reverses Course,” author George Miller exhibits an email exchange between Kevin “Pixel Patriot” Powell (is a pixel patriot like a keyboard warrior, only a lot smaller?) and Brian Reilly. I wanted to take a bit of what Powell wrote as an example of how confused birthers are about the facts and how they raise bogus objections.

The first item refers to the verification received by Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett from the State of Hawaii, one reason Reilly considers the Obama identity issue closed. Here’s what Powell said:

Dr. Onaka’s verification letter on May 22nd, 2012 did undermine the investigation to some extent but if you look at the circumstances in their entirety, it did not and should not have shut down the investigation which proceeded on many fronts beyond what you are privy to.

The first issue is the implication that Brian Reilly was not privy to the entire scope of the Cold Case Posse investigation; however, since there were only two people (Reilly being one of them) working on the investigation, it hardly seems credible for someone who wasn’t part of any of it (Powell) to make a claim that there were material things Reilly was not privy to. How could Powell know such a thing? If he could not know it, he must have made that claim up. Powell continues:

In reality, the so-called verification letter is missing two fundamental elements such as the name of the parents and the date of birth.

Without these, everything is suspect…

The article, to its credit, links to that verification. Powell claims that the parent’s name and date of birth, items which Powell calls “fundamental” elements, are not part of the itemized list of data elements that Dr. Onaka verified. How are they “fundamental”? Parents are irrelevant to presidential eligibility (no one ever alleged Obama’s father was an ambassador), and no one has ever suggested that Barack Obama was not at least 35 years old when he became president. So Powell is attempting to spin the non-critical items into something important. It is true that the itemized list doesn’t contain the two elements, but the verification also says:

Additionally, I verify that the information in the copy of the Certificate of Live Birth for Mr. Obama that you attached with your request matches the original record in our files.

Since the White House copy of the certificate includes the date of birth and parents’ names, the verification’s general matching statement verifies them too. For more on the verifications, see my 2012 article “Reverse engineering Dr. Onaka” and my 2013 article, “Onaka’s verification wording.” Further, the Bennett verification is not the only one.

Powell goes on to say:

…An honest evaluation undoubtedly demands full disclosure by the known liar waging war against the Constitution and the citizens of this Republic….

Given that Sheriff Arpaio has been sued by Obama’s Justice Department for abuses in his department, Arpaio is hardly the one to provide an unbiased evaluation, nor is Mike Zullo who has no specialization in law enforcement, beyond a short stint as a policeman in a small town 20 years ago, in any way qualified to lead, much less solely comprise the investigation.  Mike Zullo himself is a known liar, presenting a false race code table to the public and assuring his listeners that he had the original manual containing the codes. (He either lied about the content of the manual, or he lied about having it.) If an honest evaluation is to be done, Arpaio and his Cold Case Posse is one of the last places where it could be found.

Powell then states:

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie vowed to find Obama’s Birth Certificate but couldn’t produce it. Then, Gov. Abercrombie gave Dr. Onaka an award for modernizing the national vital statistics model law. Onaka also helped Hawaii implement EVVE as a Pilot state. The system can verify within 7 seconds whether a birth record is valid or fraudulent. Both AZ and Hawaii were early adopters of the EVVE System, yet Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett spent weeks exchanging emails with that same state registrar just so he could ask the question in the right way to get the “correct answer” while completely ignoring an official investigation by a sheriff that had declared it to be a forgery created by an act of fraud. The answer Sec. Bennett agreed to receive from Dr. Onaka did not include the date of birth, a critical component which was recommended to remain unchanged (p.59) in the national vital statistics model law because of the legal implications by the work group Dr. Onaka chaired for which he was given said award.

The claim that Abercrombie couldn’t find Obama’s birth certificate is bogus. Abercrombie was looking for some document he could release, and was told that by law he couldn’t release what they had.

Abercrombie giving Onaka an award is news to me. Did it happen? I couldn’t find such a thing. The Department of Health received an award from the Center for Digital Government (finalist in the Best of the Web contest), but that’s not from Abercrombie. The DoH received another award in 2007 (before Abercrombie became governor) from the same organization for its Electronic Death Registration System. Onaka received the Halbert L. Dunn award in 2008 from the National Association for Public Health Statistics and Information Systems, and another NAPHSIS award in 2011 for his work as chair of the committee that produced recommendations for updates to the Model State Vital Statistics Act. None of these awards has anything whatever to do with Governor Abercrombie.

Powell alleges that Bennett could have simply used EVVE (Electronic Verification of Vital Events), an electronic system used by participating government agencies to check the validity of birth certificates under the Real ID Act. Powell correctly states that EVVE implementation was complete in Hawaii and Arizona (as of January of 2011). The technical specifications for EVVE are not public, and I didn’t take stuff home with me from my prior job in vital records. What I can say from the research that I have been able to do, is that it is within the realm of possibility that Ken Bennett might have been able to call some office in some Arizona state agency and after a long discussion of whether there was authority for what he was asking, been able to verify some limited set of information on Obama’s birth certificate electronically.

The problem with that approach, assuming it was permissible, is that the results are not certified by anybody. Can you imagine a Secretary of State certifying a candidate for president based on a screen print of some terminal at the DMV? :roll: EVVE verifications are nothing more than a computer-to-computer data match, not an official record. Further, it is highly unlikely that such data elements as the name of the hospital are included in the EVVE transaction. One paper on electronic birth registration systems in the EVVE context listed the following data items as “birth identification data”:

  • registrant’s name
  • date of birth
  • city, county, and State of the place of birth
  • gender
  • mother’s maiden name
  • father’s name
  • mother’s address
  • birth certificate number
  • mother’s Social Security number
  • father’s Social Security number
  • date filed

If that is the correct list, then EVVE could not have verified the following elements that Bennett asked of Onaka:

  • Time of birth
  • Name of Hospital
  • Age of Father
  • Birthplace of father
  • Age of mother
  • Birthplace of Mother
  • Date of Signature of Parent
  • Date of Signature of Attendant
  • Date Accepted by Local Registrar

That means that only 3 of the 12 items Bennett requested for verification might have been verifiable by EVVE. Powell’s entire complaint is bogus from start to finish.

Now, about the gerbils. Gerbil Report (as I now prefer to call Birther Report) trots out the gerbils, in this gratuitous image, courtesy of Barry Soetoro, Esq.:

Update:

In an email Brian Reilly responds:

Birther Report has published selected communications between myself and individuals who embrace the position that President Obama’s birth certificate is a forgery.  My goal was to tell the numerous people who were open copied in Gary Wilmott’s recent email that former MCSO Chief Brian Sands’ new exposé entitled "Arpaio, DeFacto Lawman" is available from Amazon.com as an e-book for $4.99. I hit the Jackpot when Birther Report chose to advertise the book for all to see.  In the memorable words of President George Bush:  "Mission Accomplished!"

Regards,
Brian Reilly

80

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 frenzy of discovery

It’s always helpful in the frenzy of discovery when nearing a solution to a complicated puzzle, to take a step back for a reality check. Case in point is the identification of what Sheriff Joe and his Posse have been incessantly promising Universe-shattering results about. Recent revelations in the Phoenix New Times that Arpaio has paid big bucks to a notorious scam artist for information about US Federal District Judge G. Murray Snow and US Attorney General Eric holder provide an emotionally satisfying answer: Arpaio and his Posse are credulous fools. In this moment of excitement where all of the pieces seem to line up it’s worth considering whether we are fooling ourselves and to ask a few questions:

  • Does any part of the story require unusual complexity or implausibility?
  • Has confirmation bias caused contrary evidence to be pushed aside?
  • Are the sources credible?
  • Is there a plausible alternative narrative?

I can’t answer these questions for you, as they involve trust and value judgments, but I will attempt to answer them for myself.

I think the story is plausible because the actors in the alleged narrative do things that they have done in the past. Sheriff Joe has gone after political enemies with bogus investigations, and he has bought into conspiracy theories. Dennis Montgomery has scammed people and used their technological ignorance to his advantage. He has fabricated evidence before in the form of altered emails, according to expert court testimony. There are plausible mechanisms for the two to connect up because Sheriff Joe’s Obama investigation is widely reported in the national press. Also another Cold Case Posse source, Doug Vogt, lives close to Montgomery. The nearest thing to implausibility in the story is the amount of money, $200,000, allegedly spent by the Sheriff’s Office on Montgomery’s information. That’s a lot of money and it allegedly come from a secret fund—one should always be wary of secret boxes where the best evidence is. Still, given the power of Arpaio, I can sort of buy the $200,000. Montgomery got $20 million from the US government for fake information.

One contrary item is that Cold Case Posse insider Brian Reilly had never heard of Dennis Montgomery. However, the Universe-shattering investigation allegedly involving Montgomery didn’t start until after Reilly had left the Posse. Nothing else comes to mind.

I tend to trust the Phoenix New Times. What is my source? Most of what I know about the New Times comes from the New Times. That’s problematic. The bulk of their information comes from an anonymous source.  They portray themselves as journalists with integrity battling the evil empire of Joe Arpaio. In their favor, they won a $3.5 million settlement against the Sheriff’s Office. Indeed the County has lost $55 million in payouts for false arrest and prosecution charges against the Sheriff’s Office and the Prosecutor. The story’s author, Stephen Lemons has won a string of journalism awards. I do not have wide experience with stories in the New Times and whether they are always reliable. There is one thing strongly in favor of the credibility of the story which is the account of both Arpaio and Montgomery refusing to deny their relationship, which it would have been trivially easy to do so. I would say that if the story is baseless, the New Times runs the risk of getting sued (or arrested?).

There are any number of alternate scenarios:

  1. The New Times made it all up out of spite.
  2. The New Times’ informant made it all up out of spite.
  3. Montgomery really has used his technical skills to uncover damning evidence against Eric Holder and Judge Snow, and is providing it to Arpaio. Indictments to follow.

None of those seems likely, with #2 the only one remotely plausible.

I invite readers to suggest things I overlooked, or to weigh in with their own evaluations, and other questions that need to be asked.

Breaking: Arizona Corporations Commission responds to complaint against Cold Case Posse

Dissolution threatened

Today the Arizona Corporations Commission issued a letter to Arizona resident Brian Reilly, containing this statement:

We have received your complaint regarding the above company. In these situations, our process is to send a letter to The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Cold Case Posse, in care of their statutory agent, informing them that we have information that they have been without a valid statutory agent and/or known place of business address, or that they have failed to notify us of a change in one or both of those addresses.

If we do not receive a response back within the specified time period, we will begin the administrative dissolution process. If we do receive a response from The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Cold Case Posse, or if they change their statutory agent and/or known place of business addresses in our records, we will act accordingly, based on the information they provide.

The time allotted for a response is 15 days.

Listen to Brian Reilly discuss the letter on Reality Check Radio. For background on the story, see my article: “Cold Case Posse plays fast and loose with the law.”

Arizona Auditor General may look into Cold Case Posse donations

According to the Arizona’s Politics blog, the Arizona Auditor General will consider information about the County/MSCO/Posse relationship. Information published on this blog, Brian Reilly’s first hand accounts of the Posse, and my investigation of the lack of CCP financial accountability, are things that may be considered.

I do not understand, however, how the Arizona Auditor General can audit the Cold Case Posse when they are a private non-profit.

Brian Reilly answers commenter questions IV

Final Answers, Part IV

(Answers in bold italics.)

Dr. Conspiracy:

Brian,
Shortly after you resigned from the CCP, they held their July 17, 2012, press conference at which they presented a fake race code table represented as from a 1961 vital statistics manual. Do you have any idea how the fake codes got from an obscure birther web site into the Posse’s “store of evidence”?

February 2013, letter to Sheriff Arpaio excerpts: “Since my resignation I have sent several emails to your attention and I have yet to receive a single reply from you or your office. I noticed that after I sent you the August 31, 2012, letter about what I believed to be erroneous conclusions regarding the numerical vital statistics data coding presented by Mike Zullo at the July 17, 2012, press conference, there has never been a mention of the coding again in press releases or affidavits by you or Mike Zullo. I have also noticed the absence from the investigation of Jerome Corsi. I would assume that Mr. Corsi provided the questionable data coding information…..The continued release of “teasing” remarks to the media that new information will soon be forthcoming is counter-productive….I humbly suggest that your investigation should be brought to a conclusion with a formal statement of findings….The investigation is quickly losing its credibility, which will ultimately have a negative impact on your base of supporters.”

As of March 18, 2014, I have never received a written reply by Sheriff Arpaio to any of my letters and emails since my resignation from the CCP on June 30, 2012.



In an appearance on the Tea Party Power Hour in mid June 2012, Zullo said that the Mafia regularly provided fake Hawaiian birth certificates to Japanese-born children. Were you aware of any evidence that Zullo had to support this claim, and that Hawaii was a hotbed of vital statistics fraud? Unknown He also said at an earlier time that he had examples of individuals born around the time of Obama whose births appeared in Honolulu newspaper birth announcements, but were not actually born in Hawaii. Did you see or know any evidence of this? Unknown

Did you hear the Verna K. Lee (Hawaii retired vital statistics clerk) interview recording? No Do you know for a fact that Zullo had heard it? Unknown

Did you have any involvement or knowledge of the testing of office machines to see if they could replicate the Obama birth certificate PDF? Involvement: No,

Knowledge: Only of the CCP copy machine testing DVD displayed to the public. you see or know about any actual Hawaiian birth certificates being used for testing? I didn’t see any Hawaiian birth certificate office machine testing take place while with the CCP.

RC:
What evidence?

RC, you took my quote out of context. The most important part of my quote that you omitted was:

“The more that people see that this “investigation” continues, in spite of Zullo’s and Gallup’s claimed evidence of a “100% forgery,” with NO action taken, the more people will hopefully wakeup to the political theater. In my opinion, the CCP has no legitimate “court ready” evidence other than the Verification of Birth from the Hawaii Department of Health, which they have apparently chosen to ignore since May of 2012.”
Again, it’s time to call the CCP’s bluff.

CarlOrcas:

(Mr. Reilly, do you know who pays for the badges?)
Sheriff Arpaio swore me in and handed me the badge.



Dr. Conspiracy:
Oh, I don’t doubt that Zullo has evidence. He’s got his Verna K. Lee interview. He’s got his Reed Hayes report. His affidavit had 207 points on it. He’s got plenty of evidence, but so far it’s all crap, and a reasonable person might expect the rest of it to be crap. As long as has his evidence evades scrutiny, he can make it sound as great as he wants to the birthers.

Exactly.

This concludes my answers to your questions.  Thank you to all for the courtesy that you have shown me.  A special thank you to Mr. Davidson for allowing me to post openly about my opinions and my experiences. Many thanks to all.

Regards,
Brian Reilly 


Afterword by Dr. Conspiracy

I want to thank Brian Reilly for the remarkable insights and personal story of his time inside the Cold Case Posse. I hope this provides some closure for him in this saga of good intentions gone wrong.

Even after all of this material, important facts from an evidentiary standpoint remain unanswered because Mike Zullo didn’t lay out the facts even to his own team. The Cold Case Posse has a remarkable lack of transparency and accountability.  And frankly, its claims to competence were pure BS.

I will add that I have also received some “off the record” material that I’m not going to talk about because it is private in nature, but it supports in some detail the date that Brian Reilly notified Zullo of his resignation.

I’m going to close comments on this final article, but feel free to leave comments on the prior ones. We don’t need the discussion fragmented any more than it is.

Here’s a photo of the Crown Vic courtesy of Brian.

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