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Sheriff Joe, Birthers, Birth Certificates, Posses. and Lies.

In August 2011, after receiving requests from constituents of his county, controversial and outspoken Maricopa County Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio announced he would investigate the controversy surrounding the Obama birth certificate using his “Cold Case Posse.”

Arpaio has always thought out of the box when it comes to law enforcement. He has made jails a less than ergonomically friendly place in which to spend time. The results of this are mixed as there are disputes as to whether the recidivism of criminals is lessened by the conditions at the jail. It also appears that for the most part, money saved by the spartan jail conditions are lost in defending lawsuits on those conditions.

Arpaio is a polarizing figure. You either love him or hate him. You either support or attack him. In a world of political correctness, Arpaio proudly stands as a man who does what he thinks is right and best for the people who elect him.

Good for him. Even if one disagrees with him, one should admire someone who stands on their principles.

Arpaio’s formation of a “Cold Case Posse” goes back to at least 2006 when Arpaio announced he was adding another “posse” to his list of over 55 “posses” that were currently involved with the Sheriff’s office. Other posses were looking into dead beat dads, prostitutes, illegal immigrants, etc. Adding a “posse” to look into “cold cases” was a way for Apaio to have someone looking at cases whose lack of leads and investigation paths had resulted in dead ends. With nowhere else to go and more cases coming in, the cases without leads were put into a cold case file.

The “Cold Case Posse” would be given the ability to look into the cases with a new, fresh eye. As the posse members were not on the payroll, there were no direct costs to the taxpayers and administrative costs were financed through donations and a 501(c) program. The posses are pretty much a win for all involved.

However, to be fair, we should say the qualifications to be on this “Cold Case Posse” are non-existent.

America’s toughest sheriff is seeking retirees, ex-police officers, Realtors, and lawyers for his cold case posse. Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said he’d like journalists for the posse because “they’re great investigators.”

“I’ll even take a psychic,” he added. “People will laugh at that, but I don’t care.”

For those few of you who aren’t familiar with Arpaio’s posses, his office has more than 55 posses that include about 3,000 people who track down the likes of deadbeat parents, prostitutes and illegal immigrants.

About 40 people, including new recruits and some current posse members, will be on the cold case group that will focus on 225 unsolved murders dating back to 1963, Arpaio has announced.

There don’t seem to be any specific qualifications for the unpaid post.

When Arpaio announced he was going to have his Cold Case Posse look into the Obama eligibility issue, birthers and birther sites were euphoric.

Let the spinning begin.

One of the main players in the birther issue is the website WorldNetDaily. This is how they described Arpaio’s decision to have the Cold Case Posse look into the eligibility issue: “Elite team of 5 assigned to seek truth on Obama”

The WND article does not mention the names or qualifications of the five member team, yet somehow WND deems them to be “elite.” Given WND’s propensity to support and declare anyone who agrees with them on the birther issue as an “expert,” we are not impressed by WND declaring unnamed people “elite” without listing any qualifications whatsoever.

Fast forward to last week when Arpaio appeared in front of a Tea Party crowd in Arizona. Part of the meeting was filmed and is shown below. The video starts with Orly Taitz (more on her in a moment) talking to Arpaio:

At approximately 2:47, Arpaio says:

“Thanks for your input. We’re looking at this very closely. I can’t tell you everything, but there could be a shock there somewhere that my guys came up with. I can’t talk too much about it. It’s in the process.”

Here’s WND’s headline on Arpaio said: “Sheriff Joe predicts Obama investigation to be a ‘shock'”

Other birther sites have used the same or similar headlines.

The problem is, Arpaio did not promise or say there was a shock in the results of the investigation, he only says “there could be a shock there somewhere.”

The WND headline, and similar headlines on other birther sites are not supported by Arpaio’s words.

“There could be a shock in there somewhere” is not the same thing as predicting a “shock in the Obama investigation.”

The question is then, “why lie?”

Why lie if the birthers are looking for the “truth?”

Even the video we show above is called “Sheriff Joe predicts Obama investigation to be a ‘shock’.” Another release of the same footage is described as “Sheriff Joe Arpaio Discovered Shocking New Evidence About Obama – 10/25/11.”

Whether you believe in the birther cause or not, there is something disturbing going on when people feel they have to lie, misrepresent and distort about what is said in order to advance a cause or belief.

Truth does not need to be enhanced by falsehoods.

Which brings us to Orly Taitz.

Orly Taitz is the dentist / lawyer who has been at the forefront of the legal action on the eligibility issue. (And by forefront, we mean “person most likely to try and get press for their actions.”) Taitz is “oh-fer” in this legal quest, failing, as near as we can tell, every court battle she has faced on the eligibility issue. Along the way she has incurred the wrath of the Middle Georgia Court who sanctioned her in the amount of $20,000.

Counsel Orly Taitz is hereby ordered to pay $20,000.00 to the United States, through the Middle District of Georgia Clerk’s Office, within thirty days of the date of this Order as a sanction for her misconduct in violation of Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

The Court finds that counsel’s conduct was willful and not merely negligent. It demonstrates bad faith on her part. As an attorney, she is deemed to have known better. She owed a duty to follow the rules and to respect the Court. Counsel’s pattern of conduct conclusively establishes that she did not mistakenly violate a provision of law. She knowingly violated Rule 11. Her response to the Court’s show cause order is breathtaking in its arrogance and borders on delusional. She expresses no contrition or regret regarding her misconduct. To the contrary, she continues her baseless attacks on the Court.

Counsel’s frivolous and sanctionable conduct wasted the Defendants’ time and valuable judicial resources that could have been devoted to legitimate cases pending with the Court. When she filed the Rhodes case, counsel indicated that it was urgent that the matter be heard because her client was facing imminent deployment. The Court rearranged its schedule, took time to read the legal papers, and conducted preliminary research in preparation for the hearing. The Army had to activate its legal team on short notice, sending a Major from the Army Litigation Division in Washington, D.C. and a Captain from the CONUS Replacement Center at Ft. Benning. In addition, the Assistant U.S. Attorney had to accompany them. Like the Court, the government attorneys had to prepare in an expedited manner for the hearing. During the week preceding Captain Rhodes’s deployment, the Court was in the midst of a jury trial. Therefore, the Court had to alter the trial schedule to conduct the hearing during an extended lunch break, thus affecting other counsel and jurors. The Clerk’s Office was burdened by Ms. Taitz’s inability to follow the Court’s rules regarding pro hac vice admission and the Court’s rules for electronic filing. On five separate occasions in a short period, the Clerk’s Office personnel error-noticed counsel for her failure to follow simple rules. At the hearing, counsel failed to make coherent legal arguments but instead wasted the Court’s time with press conference sound bites and speeches.

Earlier this year, U.S. District Chief Judge Royce Lamberth gave Taitz a similarly blistering rebuke in saying:

Taitz’ statement is an admission that even her redacted version was submitted in violation of rule 5.2. Plaintiff admits that she did the opposite of what the Rule requires – she deleted the last four digits of the social security numbers contained in her proposed redacted opposition. The Rule requires that she delete all but the last four digits of a social security number.

After making the somewhat hysterical claim in her motion for reconsideration that there may be “an employee in this court, who is intentionally sabotaging” her, plaintiff engaged the Court’s Courtroom Deputy Clerk in a lengthy, accusatory conversation. On July 22, 2011, she sent the Courtroom Deputy Clerk her proposed redacted opposition via email. The Court has received that document and it will not be filed. In the document, plaintiff deletes the last four digits of the social security numbers contained therein – again, the opposite of what Rule 5.2 requires.

On this day, the Court received by mail another version of the plaintiff;s opposition. It will not be filed. Yet again, all of the document’s redactions are improper.

Plaintiff is either toying with the Court or displaying her own stupidity. She made the correct redactions when she re-filled her Complaint and Amended Complaint. There is no logical explanation she can provide as to why she is now wasting the Court’s time as well as the staff’s time, with these improper redactions.

Taitz’ latest courtroom escapade lasted an hour and resulted in eight words from Judge Rhonda Nishimura in Hawaii:

The court will grant the motion to dismiss.

To say that Taitz does not have the best record in court is an understatement of epic proportions.

It was after the defeat in Hawaii that Taitz rolled into Arizona and presented documents to Sheriff Arpaio.

As you can see in the video, Taitz explains she is giving him documentation from her “research” on Obama’s social security number, and affidavits from others who had done research through the E-Verify system established by the Federal government to allow employers to verify social security numbers.

What you don’t hear is how those documents have been ruled to be obtained through fraud.

In an August 30, 2011 ruling against Taitz by Judge Lamberth, he notes:

Plaintiff submits the Selective Service registration acknowledgment form associated with security number xxx-xx-4425, Pl.’s Opp’n to Mot. for Summ. J. Ex. 1 [31], which apparently is “readily available on the world wide web.” Pl.’s Am. Compl. 3 [3]. She argues that this form establishes that the President is fraudulently using social security number xxx-xx-4425, Pl.’s Opp’n to Mot. for Summ. J. 13 [31], and that the Selective Service and the SSA are “engaged in a cover up” of his fraud. Pl.’s Am. Compl. 3 [3]. The Selective Service does not release registration acknowledgment forms to the public; only a registrant himself can request proof of his registration. See Registration Information, http://www.sss.gov/ack.htm. The Court can only conclude that plaintiff has submitted a form that some individual obtained through a false request and subsequently posted online. Plaintiff also submits a “verification results” page from the Social Security Number Verification System (“SSNVS”) indicating that social security number xxx-xx-4425 is “not in file (never issued).” Pl.’s Opp’n to Mot. for Summ. J. Ex. 2 [31]. She argues that this page is further evidence that the SSA is covering up the President’s use of social security number xxx-xx-4425. The SSA uses the SSNVS to provide employers with a means of verifying the names and social security numbers of employees. See SSNVS Handbook, http://www.ssa.gov/employer/ssnvshandbk/ssnvsHandbook.pdf. “Anyone who knowingly and willfully uses SSNVS to request or obtain information from SSA under false pretenses violates Federal law and may be punished by a fine, imprisonment or both.”

As with the registration acknowledgement form discussed above, the Court can only conclude that plaintiff has submitted a page that some individual obtained under false pretenses—that is, by representing himself as the President’s employer. The Court notes that both documents submitted by plaintiff are incomplete; the address on the registration acknowledgment form and the employer identification number on the SSNVS page have been blacked out, further confirming the documents’ fraudulent origins. For all of these reasons, the Court will disregard both documents as well as any arguments made in reliance on them.
Case 1:11-cv-00402-RCL Document 33 Filed 08/30/11 Page 8 of 8

The judge has ruled Taitz’ documents have no legal standing and serve as warning to her that she, or someone upon which she is relying, has violated Federal law. Yet there she is, presenting the documents to Arpaio.

This is akin to calling Arpaio and reporting someone had stolen your stash of marijuana.

People do not get to break the law in order to claim others are breaking it. The courts and the system don’t work that way.

On some level, we would like to see the birthers succeed. We hope that in 2013 Obama is looking for a new residence other than 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. We support any legal means to achieve that end.

However, we cannot and will not support those who lie, deceive and break the law in pursuit of that same goal. We do not support those who believe in “the ends justify the means” unless those means are surrounded and supported by the truth and the law.

We know this post will cause some angst and consternation from conservatives. That is not our purpose. From day one of this blog, we have tried to uphold a standard of truth. If we are unsure of something, we either report it as such, don’t report on it at all, or correct it.

When Obama violates that truth, we have called him on it. When other officials have violated that standard, we have called them on it. When his supporters have ignored the truth, we have called them on it as well. In good conscience do the same when other conservatives break that standard as well.

We have done so here.

It may very well be that the birthers will come up with something although everything we have seen and researched is against them doing so. But as they continue to press the issue, everyone needs to hold them to the truth.

Truth can hardly be expected to adapt herself to the crooked policy and wily sinuosities of worldly affairs; for truth, like light, travels only in straight lines. Charles Caleb Colton




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