Sheriff Arpaio's Posse Surprise
The Tea Party members of Surprise, Arizona, were likely not surprised to learn that even America's Toughest Sheriff cannot fully break the shroud of secrecy and mystery surrounding Obama's long-form birth certificate. However, yesterday, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio proved once again that he didn't earn the moniker without reason.
As promised, Sheriff Arpaio held a press conference in Phoenix to announce the findings of his "Cold Case Posse." Organized last September at the request of the Surprise Tea Party members, the posse was assigned the primary task of verifying the authenticity of the copy of Obama's birth certificate released by the White House on April 27, 2011.
The stunning conclusion of the posse thus far: The document released by the White House is suspected to be a forgery, as is Obama's Selective Service card.
While not accusing Obama of any crime or wrongdoing, the posse revealed they have "probable cause" to believe that felonies have been committed -- fraud and forgery -- and asserted that those responsible should be brought to justice.
Headed by Michael Zullo, a retired police detective, and rounded out with two former law enforcement officers and two retired attorneys, the posse's work was entirely voluntary and operated at no cost to Maricopa County taxpayers.
At the press conference, Zullo explained that the posse examined numerous documents, interviewed many witnesses and experts, and obtained several sworn statements as part of its investigation. Zullo also presented a series of videos that explained and demonstrated in detail the key reasons for the posse's conclusions. In addition, Zullo revealed that his group has identified a "person of interest" in the alleged forgery. The posse did not, however, address the related question of Obama's eligibility as a "natural born" citizen under Article II of the Constitution.
Sheriff Arpaio asserted:
"As I said at the beginning of the investigation, the president can put all this to rest quite easily. All he has to do is demand the Hawaii Department of Health release to the American public and to a panel of certified court-authorized forensic examiners all original 1961 paper, microfilm, and computer birth records the Hawaii Department of Health has in its possession."
Arpaio had assured us before: "I take my elected sheriff's status very serious and when the people ask me to do something, I try to do it regardless of the repercussions, the politics." He added: "And I don't have press conferences just to have my name on television."
At a recent Republican gathering in Phoenix, Arpaio told reporters: "I really started [the posse] on the theory that maybe I could clear this mess up...[w]ouldn't it be nice for me to do that?" The CNN Political Ticker blog also reported "Arpaio added he believes he is doing the president a favor."
The outspoken sheriff actually has a rather rocky history with this president and his administration. In a press release issued last September, following Obama's remarks about Arpaio at a White House Roundtable with Latino journalists on immigration and Arizona, the sheriff offered a similar remark:
"I enforce the law, including state and federal laws, because I took an oath of office as the elected Sheriff to do so. The President of the United States should understand that and applaud me for that effort, not criticize me."
But then a couple of months later in December, the Department of Justice released a 22-page report on its three-year investigation into Arpaio, and concluded his office maintained "a pervasive culture of discriminatory bias against Latinos" that "reaches the highest levels of the agency." Arpaio countered: "I do have compassion, but enforcing the law overrides my compassion."
In January, authorities arrested "Obama supporter" Adam Eugene Cox for his published death threats against Arpaio, purportedly driven by the Sheriff's investigation into Obama's birth certificate. Other death threats have been made against the sheriff by Mexican drug cartels, which allegedly have contracted close to $4 million for Arpaio's execution.
The President of La Raza, Janet Murguia, called Arpaio "America's worst sheriff" at a press conference in February. Stand with Arizona's John Hill documents the various organizations (many with ties to the Obama administration) and the millions of dollars of spending (some backed with federal grants) aimed at removing the sheriff from office.
Looking back on that chain of events since the formation of the posse, it seems that the attacks and criticism levied against Sheriff Arpaio have indeed been increasing. We can only speculate as to whether the escalation was the result of, or related to, that investigation. Some of the conservative media reporting of that pattern has created something of a Wild West legend of a heroic sheriff, willing to fight for the truth against all odds. For the most part, the rest of mainstream portrayed an overzealous lawman looking for vindication and Tea Party support for his reelection. For either storyline, no more perfect leading man than the famous Sheriff Joe could have been cast to deliver the tale's memorable lines.
Yesterday, we heard it straight from the star's lips -- complete with a no-nonsense John Wayne-style delivery -- that in the opinion of his office and the posse, the law has been broken.
WND live-streamed the press conference, and several other mainstream media organizations were also in attendance. Many of those same mainstream outlets witnessed the recent Georgia ballot challenge hearings, yet afterwards, all appeared to orchestrate a complete blackout of the spectacle. At the conclusion of yesterday's conference, reporters' frustrations with Arpaio, evident in the tone of most of their follow-up questions, found an equal match in the sheriff's answers.
It will be interesting to watch the response of the mainstream media and the Obama campaign in the days ahead: Will they sidestep, or spin, or simply turn their backs?
At the press conference, WND journalist Dr. Jerome Corsi reported that he had arranged on the evening prior, a private conference between the sheriff and conservative media champion Andrew Breitbart, and Corsi wondered whether it might have been Breitbart's last interview. As we mourn Breitbart's passing, we hope that his colleagues continue to pursue his inspiring legacy of boldness in uncovering and reporting the truth. At CPAC, Breitbart had assured attendees: "This election, we're going to vet [Obama]."
This investigation by fellow warrior Sheriff Arpaio demonstrates that we need other brave individuals willing to come forward and delve further back in Obama's history.
Thomas Jefferson once said: "When a man assumes a public trust, he should consider himself as public property."
Like Sheriff Arpaio, Obama has assumed a public office. But while Obama shields the property of his history from public view, the question arises: Should the public trust Obama?