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Colmes v. Arpaio

The Fox News Channel has pretty much banned the discussion of birthers on its television network, but that doesn’t apply to Fox News Radio, where the lone liberal, Alan Colmes, has free reign. What happens when Alan Colmes gets to tackle Joe Arpaio, one on one?

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Turning dark

Mike Zullo spoke to the Surprise Arizona Tea Party Patriots November 18, and according to interviewer Sharon Rondeau of the Post & Email:

Zullo “said that the investigation that they started ‘turned very dark,’ whatever ‘dark’ means,” the individual added.

Indeed, what does that mean?

Here’s a quotation from the Associated Press just today:

A detective investigating the high school shooting in Washington state that left five teens dead says in court papers that the young shooter’s texts turned dark the week before he opened fire, with references to his funeral and the message: “Bang bang I’m dead.”

Writing in the American Journal of Forensic Psychiatry (2007) we see something similar in the Columbine school shooting:

Three days after his arrest, Klebold made one of his few entries into his diary. He wrote about his love for a female student and wondered if the feelings were mutual. But the note turned dark. He talked about suicide, blowing himself up with a bomb strapped to his neck.

I certainly hope that there is not some kind of murder-suicide pact about to be acted out by the Cold Case Posse!

Barry Cooper, a former drug enforcement officer said:

In fact, governments have always turned dark and corrupt which has always led to mass suffering.

Certainly there are suspicions of corruption in the Cold Case Posse, and they have clearly lied to the public about evidence. Still, I find it unlikely that Mike Zullo would be admitting this to his Tea Party audience.

Turning dark can be a sign of illness. In a chilling true story titled “Biohazard,” author Ken Alibek discusses a case of the Marburg virus:

By the fifteenth day, the tiny bruises on Ustinov’s body had turned dark blue, and his skin was as thin as parchment. The blood pooling underneath began oozing through. It streamed from his nose, mouth, and genitals.

Enough of that. Generally “turning dark” refers to reduction in light, nightfall, or a scene being obscured by smoke. It’s also associated with the end of an activity, such as a company going out of business (turning out the lights). A blog goes dark when it disappears from the web. “Going dark” in police jargon can refer to the failure of an investigation due to lack of evidence and leads. FBI Director James B. Comey spoke last month at the Brookings Institution of the conflicts between the need for privacy and criminal investigation:

Unfortunately, the law hasn’t kept pace with technology, and this disconnect has created a significant public safety problem. We call it “Going Dark,” and what it means is this: Those charged with protecting our people aren’t always able to access the evidence we need to prosecute crime and prevent terrorism even with lawful authority. We have the legal authority to intercept and access communications and information pursuant to court order, but we often lack the technical ability to do so.

It probably makes more sense to view the comment in some kind of context, and a commenter here reminded us of this quote from Carl Gallups 22 November 2013:

…the investigation has gone “deeper and darker” than they ever imagined…

I think that what Zullo intended was that his audience assume that the Cold Case Posse had uncovered some great evil in its investigation, but in fact to say nothing. Even back to the early Cold Case Posse press conferences, Zullo proved himself a master at leaving his audience thinking he said things he didn’t actually say. So as far as I am concerned, “turned dark” coming from Mike Zullo means exactly nothing.


I want to give credit to the Tea Party member who spoke to Rondeau. He didn’t jump to any conclusion about what Mike Zullo meant. I also want to credit Rondeau who, no matter what one thinks about her slant on things, does an outstanding job of getting birther stories.

52

Taitz berates a and Z

Perhaps we need a word in the English language to describe the particular blend  of factual, linguistic, legal and typographical errors we see commonly from Orly Taitz. Here’s a headline on her blog from October 31:

Mike Zullo, president of old case Posse for sheriff arpaio admits to getting large donations, such as a $10,000 check from a donor. Neither Zullo, nor CCP, no arpaio never filed a complaint against Obama with the authorities on the issue of Obama’s bogus IDs, even though moneys were collected for investigation and evidence was collected

What Taitz from her standpoint as a birther wouldn’t realize is that the evidence the Cold Case Posse based all of their publicity on so far has been discredited. A case cannot be built on speculation.

Mike Zullo’s business card

I just wanted to document for reference this business card from the Newsblaze site, supposedly that of Mike Zullo.

michael-zullo-businesscard[1]

Just looking at it, one might get the mistaken impression that Zullo was an employee of the Sheriff’s Office.

Turning the tables: Investigating the Cold Case Posse

CBS 5 Investigates logo

Morgan Loew and the CBS 5 TV investigation team in Phoenix have been digging into the Cold Case Posse and the money trail. Tonight their story aired and it opens with a shocker:

After two years of denying he personally profited from the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office investigation into the validity of President Barack Obama’s birth certificate, the head of the sheriff’s Cold Case Posse [Mike Zullo] admitted to CBS 5 Investigates that he accepted a large monetary gift from one of the sources in the investigation.

If Zullo had been a real law enforcement officer and someone related to an investigation gave him $10,000 for his personal use, I think most people would call it a bribe. But then Mike Zullo is not a real law enforcement officer and he is not bound by any legal or ethical rules in his attempts to get some dirt on President Obama. The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office declined comment on whether they thought such a gift was proper.

The $10,000 came from someone whose name I didn’t immediately recognize, Bill Wolf, but it turns out that Wolf supplied not only money to Zullo, but was also a major source for investigative material. (Wolf was also a plaintiff in a 2011 lawsuit against Loretta Fuddy and the Hawaii Department of Health.) Zullo finally came clean about the money in a series of emails, linked from their story. Wolf is deceased, so we can’t ask him about any of this.

I thought the Morgan Loew story was very effective. Footage from the Joe Show corroborates Reilly’s claim on camera that this the birther investigation was all about getting campaign donations. It shows Zullo denying accepting money one day, and admitting it the next. It brings in the IRS loophole (what Reilly calls a “black hole’) that keeps their money off the books. It points out that even after Secretary of State Bennett authenticated the birth certificate, WorldNetDaily and the Cold Case Posse are still soliciting donations. For someone like me, the story had almost nothing new, but the report makes a strong case and this package on a major local news outlet must have appeared shocking to some folks in Phoenix.

Here’s the video:

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Birthers’ basket case

Santilli loose on the White House lawn?

Mike Volin was on the Pete Santilli radio show a few days ago. A YouTube video has part of the show, and a discussion. From the show:

Santilli: I’m going to offer this to Mike Zullo, all right? Do you believe, based on the information you have on your web site, the investigation that Sheriff Arpaio’s Cold Case Posse has investigated, do you believe that right now, that if you were to put everything into a basket, OK, or a brief case, that there is enough information, set aside “willing to” or “not willing to,” set that aside. Is there enough information right now that could get Barack Obama arrested if we apply the law, that he has broken the law and he needs to go behind bars, and of course in a court of law all this evidence needs to be presented. But is there enough evidence to throw him in jail?

Mike Volin: Absolutely, beyond any shadow of a doubt.

Fox NewsSantilli: OK, here’s what I am going to offer up to you. You ready? You can do this. I could call up Mike Zullo and offer this. I’m not going to. OK? I’m going to put out a challenge to Mike Zullo and Sheriff Arpaio. With the assistance of law enforcement, if they have information right now that shows that Barack Obama has committed fraud, has perpetrated fraud upon the American people, tell him I’ll meet him in front of the White House and I will volunteer with them, with with the assistance of law enforcement and the United States Marine Corps and the Secret Service, I will jump over, with the assistance of course of law enforcement, lawful and constitutional, of the front fence of the White House and go in there and deliver that information of course they probably will just let me go. They won’t stop me, of course. But if there’s enough evidence, OK, that he’s broken the law, I would be prepared in order to bring this to the American people. I’ll live stream it, if Zullo will meet me out front. I’m not going to wait until an election. If he wants to meet me, I’ll jump on a flight, right now and I will meet him in front of the White House, on principal, on law, on Constitutionality, and with the help of law enforcement, with the military, with the Secret Service, with the Department of Justice, all of those people, I’d volunteer do that. And if they want to arrest me, I’ll bring evidence to court to show that I am justified in doing so, on behalf of the people of the United States of America. Will you get that information to Mike Zullo?

This is what I heard in all of that. Pete Santilli, unwilling to stand for election, has made himself the representative of the American people, and has offered to lead a military coup against the President of the United States. While he talks about “Constitutionality,” he totally ignores the Constitution in several ways. He ignores the fact that our Founders set up a system of checks and balances, and it is the Congress of the United States that the Constitution assigns the power to remove a President upon conviction for “high crimes.” It is not assigned to the military, the Secret Service, the Justice Department, law enforcement or some talk show host. The second major unconstitutional flaw is in the Bill of Rights (part of the Constitution):

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger…

It is the opinion of prior US Attorneys General that a sitting President cannot be indicted or arrested for a crime. To allow that would impede the functioning of government and violate the separation of powers under the Constitution.

Santilli just wants to jump over the fence with his information. Of course Santilli would be arrested just like any other fruit cake who tries such a stunt. Santilli would never have the opportunity to present any of his birther “information” before the court because it is irrelevant to the crime of violating the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011. Who made Pete Santilli the representative of the American people? I seem to recall that Barack Obama is the one elected President.