First I want to call attention to two new entries under this site’s Bookmarks menu. One is the Birther Timeline, a link to a Fogbow history of birtherism document. The second is called “Food for Thought,” a page on which I intend to provide links to articles and video that I think are helpful in providing interesting ways to look at things. One of the first “Food for Thought” articles is an interview with Clay Johnson that was suggested by a commenter. The quote of the day for today comes from that interview:
Who wants to hear to the truth, when they can hear that they’re right?
In that interview, I hear that I was right to decide to avoid regular consumption of such information sources such as MSNBC, The Huffington Post and The Fogbow. (I visit these sites only when searching for a particular topic or someone suggests a story.) They are good sources of information, but they tend to say things that I agree with, and I don’t think that’s good for critical thinking. Mr. Johnson agrees.
This principle of avoiding sources I agree with leaves me in somewhat of a pickle in publishing this site because it’s nearly 100% anti-birther in its conclusions. Would I read my site if I were you? That you will have to decide for yourself.
This meandering introduction leads me to the case in point, which is a couple of articles about Sheriff Joe Arpaio, suggesting that he may be guilty of some pretty serious crimes. One article is: “Is This the End of Joe Arpaio? Keep Your Fingers Crossed!” at Gather.com and the other is: “The Evidence That Might Be Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Undoing” at Talking Points Memo. Here’s a central quote from the latter:
A three-person disciplinary panel of the state’s high court said there was enough evidence to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the sheriff and three of his closest allies participated in what the panel believes was federal crime in December 2009.
The article refers to a federal lawsuit against Arpaio and former County Attorney Andrew Thomas that I wrote about in my article “Arpaio attacks enemies with questionable evidence.” Generally when I write an article like that one, I go to the original source, in this case the decision by Judge Wake denying a motion to dismiss in the federal suit. What I did not do was to read the Arizona Supreme Court disciplinary panel’s decision to disbar attorney Thomas, which is the basis for the quote above. (Hey, I was on vacation and the report is 247 pages.)
So did the Arizona Supreme Court disciplinary panel, after an investigation by independent counsel, actually say that Joe Arpaio is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of a federal crime, or is this spin and wishful thinking? I certainly have some wishes and opinions about Joe Arpaio. Are these web sites telling me the truth, or just what I want to hear?
Go get a cup of coffee or something, while I read a couple hundred pages.
They quote Eisenhower, Churchill, Shakespeare ❗
OK, here are things the report actually says:
Sheriff Arpaio, through Chief Deputy Hendershott, closing their eyes to his Constitutional rights, ordered Mr. Stapley arrested. They never filed any documents or charges but instead surreptitiously videotaped his arrest, and held him in jail for hours. It was testified that no one ever filed anything against Mr. Stapley regarding this event, but took the time to call the press to inform them that he had been arrested.
Here is the “smoking gun” (Pages 216-7):
481. The evidence clearly and convincingly suggests that Mr. Thomas and Ms. Aubuchon, together with Chief Deputy Hendershott and Sheriff Arpaio, met on December 9, 2008, with the intention of stopping Judge Donahoe from issuing a ruling at a hearing scheduled the next day by filing criminal charges against him. That evidence is detailed in full throughout this opinion. Perhaps most telling, however, is the testimony of Sergeant Brandon Luth, who recounted Hendershott’s and Aubuchon’s reactions upon learning that the hearing had been vacated after the direct complaint against Judge Donahoe had been filed.
Sgt. Luth testified that Aubuchon “looked pleased” when she mentioned to Sgt.Luth that the hearing had been cancelled. In addition, Sgt. Luth testified that when he handed the direct complaint to Mr. Hendershott and informed him that the hearing had been vacated, Mr. Hendershott uttered the word “checkmate.” This, together with all the evidence, clearly and convincingly suggests that Mr. Thomas and Ms. Aubuchon conspired to muzzle Judge Donahoe.
482. Were this a criminal case, we are confident that the evidence would establish this conspiracy beyond a reasonable doubt. Nevertheless, while Mr. Thomas and Ms. Aubuchon did violate ER 8.4(b) by violating 18 U.S.C. § 241, sanctions will not issue from this particular violation, nor will it be considered in aggravation. While a criminal charge or conviction is not necessary to a finding that Respondents violated ER 8.4(b), this Court is fully aware that it is not a criminal court. In criminal court, a finding that Respondents violated 18 U.S.C.§ 241 would involve additional pre-trial and trial criminal procedures and standards not applicable to this Court. As such, no sanctions will issue from this finding, nor will Respondents’ violation of 8.4(b) in this Claim be considered in aggravation.
The Supreme Court investigation involved a disciplinary action against three attorneys and not Sheriff Arpaio. However, it seems clear to me that the disciplinary panel considered Sheriff Arpaio part of a criminal conspiracy beyond a reasonable doubt. While the quotation doesn’t state this, at other points in the report it was stated that the arrest of Judge Donahoe was Arpaio’s idea. The liberal commentators got it right.
What is most disturbing from the point of view of this blog is the fact that the County Attorney and the Sheriff’s office made a false statement of probable cause to further their own interests and not the cause of justice. Sound familiar?
According to a major article at Salon.com:
“We are witnessing the end of the Joe Show,” says prominent Phoenix attorney Michael Manning, who requested a federal civil rights investigation of the sheriff in 2008. “I believe he will be indicted within the next 30 days.”