Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio claims Obama's birth certificate is forged

The Cold Case Posse claims it has proof of a crime. Photo: Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio AP

EASTON, Md., March 3, 2012 — You can’t make this stuff up: Yesterday it was a racist email about President Obama from a Federal judge; today it is an Arizona sheriff insisting that his Cold Case posse’s investigation has found “probable cause” that Barack Obama’s Hawaiian birth certificate is a fraud, or rather, the long version that the White House released is a fake. 

Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, self-proclaimed toughest guy in the West (or anywhere else for that matter), has announced the results of his investigation of Obama’s birth certificate released by the White House back in April 2011.

Arpaio has proclaimed that it is in all likelihood a “computer-generated forgery.” Not only that, but he said it looks like the Selective Service card that Obama filled out in 1980 is also a forgery. 

But he is not accusing anyone of anything. Or at least not yet.

“We don’t know who the perpetrators are of these documents,” Arpaio said, although he was quick to add that he didn’t think President Obama forged them.

However, he does contend that the evidence proves a crime has been committed. “I’m not accusing anyone of anything until we find out who may have committed these alleged crimes,” Arpaio added.

A Tea Party Tip Get the Ball Rolling

What turned Sheriff onto the trail of “forged documents” in the first place?  The investigations were triggered by an Arizona Tea Party group last summer.

That’s when the Sheriff called in his special posse. Trying to ensure that his investigation doesn’t look like it based on political motivations, he insists that his investigators are volunteers, retired police officers and interested lawyers, using no taxpayer money.

In the past, the Sheriff’s posse has stepped in to give free police protection at the malls during Christmas, assist with immigrations sweeps, and help with the movement of prisoners to jail. 

So is the investigation a politically motivated stunt? That question can best be answered by explaining who Sheriff Arpaio is.

Can you spot the “forgery?” AP

If you don’t remember, Sheriff Arpaio is the swaggering law enforcer and scourge of illegal immigrants. He calls himself  “America’s Toughest Sheriff,” while the New York Times has dubbed him “America’s Worst Sheriff.”

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found that he had violated the constitutional rights of Maricopa County jail inmates by “feeding them moldy bread, rotten fruit and other contaminated food, housing them in cells so hot as to endanger their health, denying them care for serious medical and mental health needs and keeping them packed as tightly as sardines in holding cells for days at a time during intake.”

Justice Has Its Own Investigation…of the Sheriff

The Sheriff’s troubles now include “a federal grand jury probe over alleged abuse of power, Justice Department accusations of racial profiling and revelations that his department didn’t adequately investigate hundreds of Arizona sex-crime cases.”

So is this sweet revenge, this dredging up of the birther issue? “I’m not going after Obama,” said Arpaio. “I’m just doing my job.” Really?

Or is it a diversion from all the hot water the Sheriff has found himself in with the Justice Department?

Whatever his motivations, Sheriff Arpaio has been reelected five times since 1992. The 2012 GOP candidates have been soliciting his endorsement since his favorite guy, Rick Perry, dropped out of the race.

At the Mesa, Arizona debate last week, the audience went wild at the mention of Arpaio’s name when Rick Santorum said federal government should be supporting local police like Sheriff Arpaio, who is enforcing the immigration laws.

And in case you forgot or never knew, Mitt Romney in 2008 picked the Sheriff to head up his presidential campaign in Arizona and Arpaio obliged, basically turning his back on the state’s own favorite son, John McCain.

At that time, the headlines were all about Arpaio’s treatment of inmates, forcing them to wear pink underwear and cramming them in crowded tent cities that baked under the hot Arizona summer sun.

So what did Mitt have to say to Joe the first time they hooked up? Anything about humane treatment of prisoners? According to the Sheriff on Fox News, “The first time I met the governor at a private meeting, first thing he said was ‘How’s the pink underwear doing?’”

Guess that says it all.

Just for the record, so far the White House has no comment about the latest birther nonsense stirred up by the forgery charges. But dollars to donuts, Rush Limbaugh will have a comment or two.

To contact Catherine Poe, see above. Her work appears in HYPERLINK “http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/ad-lib/”Ad Lib in the Communities at the Washington Times. She can also be heard on the HYPERLINK “http://www.americasdemocrats.org/”Democrats for America’s Future. She is also a contributor to broadcast, print and online media.


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Catherine Poe

Catherine was named one of the top Progressives in Maryland along with Senator Barbara Mikulski and Congresswoman Donna Edwards. She has been a guest of President Obama in the Rose Garden.

As past president of Long Island NOW, she worked to reform women's prisons in New York, open the construction trades to women, change laws to safeguard battered women, and protect the rights of rape victims. 

Long active in Democratic politics, she served as the presidentof the Talbot Democrats in Maryland for six years and fought to getthe Health Care Reform bill passed.

Catherine has been published in a diverse range of newspapers and magazines, including Newsday, Star Democrat, Rocky Mountain News, Yellowstone News, and the Massachusetts Review.

If Catherine has learned anything over the years it is that progressive change does not come easily, but in baby steps. 

Contact Catherine Poe

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