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Is the Sheriff’s Kit the best strategy?

Mike Volin is a birther with a plan. He has assembled a collection of material that he calls the Sheriff’s Kit, and he has been giving it to sheriffs and to members of Congress. While I reject the conclusions Mike has come to, I respect his approach. He has the constitutional right to petition Congress and he is exercising that right.

I contrast what Mike is doing with what I consider the abuse of the legal process by birthers seeking relief in the courts for things outside their jurisdiction (the cases that were dismissed for lack of standing—a jurisdictional requirement). And don’t get me started on the “citizen grand juries.”

Under the Constitution, birthers had exactly two options: convince the voters not to elect Obama or convince Congress to remove Obama from office. The first option (which is no longer available) involved moving public opinion, and it made some sense to put up web sites, send chain email letters, show up at rallies with signs and write letters to the editor. It didn’t work. Now Congress is the only option.

I think the problem is that Volin is taking a shotgun approach to Congress, sort of a “throw it out there and see if it takes root.” That’s not been very effective and I don’t know of anyone in Congress convinced by a Sheriff’s Kit—and if there is, they aren’t admitting it. And if someone in Congress were convinced by a Sheriff’s Kit, there is no political cover for them. Birthers are considered crazy nut-job conspiracy theorists by enough people to decide just about any election against a birther candidate. Any congressman who went birther would become a laughingstock and the subject of embarrassing newspaper political cartoons. And of course, it takes more than one congressman to impeach the President.

What the birthers need is one respectable birther whose personal gravitas legitimizes the movement. They need to focus all their energies on that individual and convince him with their evidence. So far, the best they have is Sheriff Arpaio, and Arpaio didn’t even investigate the birth certificate. He wasn’t willing to commit his own department resources, but shunted the investigation to some volunteers with no qualifications and no resources. And of course Sheriff Joe himself is a hugely controversial figure, costing the County tens of millions of dollars in lawsuit settlements for wrongful deaths in his jail, and for his personal abuse of power in trumped-up charges against political enemies. He is damaged goods not to mention his well-publicized axe to grind against the President over immigration. Arpaio is trivially dismissed with the Obama saying against the right-wing nut jobs: “we all know what that’s about.”

No, what the birthers need is a supporter with credentials, either political, legal or scientific. I don’t mean some obscure document examiner who won’t even release his report or a celebrity. I mean someone that everyone has heard of and is widely respected, someone who doesn’t have an axe to grind and can be seen as an honest broker. A bunch of nobodies and political partisans are not going to create the tipping point necessary to change the status quo. Volin’s dilemma, however, is that the kind of person I described wouldn’t buy the birther nonsense in the first place.

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Birther Erik Rush to host Volin show tonight

Erik Rush joined the list of Birthers from A to Z at spot 359 today. Rush is an African-American writer and columnist for WorldNetDaily, who also hosts a streaming radio program, Erik Rush: Full Contact, from his web site. He does not like Barack Obama.

Rush guest-hosted Mike Volin’s Where’s Obama’s Birth Certificate show a year ago. On that show Rush questioned the use of the term “birther” to apply to a wide range of people, only some of whom believe Barack Obama was born in Kenya. Rush operates in the ambiguous area of the doubter, who would discount the official statements of the State of Hawaii that state unambiguously that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii and say that they don’t know where he was born. That’s another way of saying something that I am sure Rush would not mind me putting in his mouth: Obama’s birth narrative is dubious.

I personally have no respect for someone who hides behind doubt language in order to cover up something darker, and we know that Rush is in dark territory based on what he said on that December 14, 2013, broadcast:

We have a birth certificate that was obviously forged.

That makes him a birther by any reasonable definition.

In any case, Rush will be hosting the Volin show again tonight, January 9, 2014, at 8 PM US Eastern Time. There is supposed to be an update on the mailing of Sheriff’s Kits.

Read more:

  • Erik Rush – Encyclopedia of American Loons

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.

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.

This is your brain on birthers

Sometimes I attempt to get inside the heads of birthers. If this were a television show, the narrator would be saying about now, “do not try this at home.”

Certainly I can understand the desire to be distinctive, special. Birthers think that they are in a unique group that knows the truth, that are awake, and are not fooled by the government, media, nor by popular opinion. It’s an attractive idea to be “in the know.” Mike Volin is the image in my mind right now, and perhaps that is because he gets a little “inside hints” from the Cold Case Posse. Volin, Gallups and who knows how many other people, like [mumble] who paid for Reed Hayes, fall into that category.

It’s also attractive to feel like you’re making a difference and supporting an important cause. This is harder to understand because birthers haven’t made any difference and it’s hard to imagine how they could think otherwise. Trying too hard resulted in this:

BrainOnBirthers