Arpaio goons sent to Hawaii for important birther investigation

A member of Sheriff Joe's "posse" and a deputy search for the birth certificate we've all seen

Topics: Birthers, Joe Arpaio, Arizona,

Arpaio goons sent to Hawaii for important birther investigationJoe Arpaio (Credit: AP/Ross D. Franklin)

Joe Arpaio, sheriff of Maricopa County and living embodiment of everything vile and rotten in contemporary American society, has been hard at work investigating whether the president of the United States is an American citizen, which the president is, case closed. Or rather, case closed for people who don’t make a living stoking racist paranoia. For Arpaio, the more evidence we have that Barack Obama’s biography is precisely what he’s always said it is, the stronger the likelihood that this conspiracy goes all the way to the top. So now he’s got his agents traipsing around Hawaii, trying to stir up trouble.

TPM rounds up the news, from the Arizona Republic and the Honolulu Star-Advertiser: A deputy from Arpaio’s “threats unit” and “posse” member Michael Zullo arrived at the Hawaii Department of Health Monday demanding proof of the existence of a document we’ve all now seen a thousand times. From the Star-Advertiser:

A Hawaii deputy attorney general gave the men information concerning the legal requirements to obtain such a document; the requirements are posted on the Health Department’s website. The two men then left the office, Health Department spokeswoman Janice Okubo said.

The two men showed Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office badges and identified themselves as Michael Zullo and Brian Mackiewcz, Okubo said. They are “authorized by the Sheriff of Maricopa County, who is conducting an official investigation,” a spokesman for the sheriff’s office said in an email.

The Arizona Republic notes that in addition to having a taxpayer-funded deputy now assisting the supposedly donor-funded “cold-case posse” (which has spent $40,000 investigating Obama’s birth certificate thus far), the citizens of Arizona foot the bill for airfare and lodging for the crack investigators. (Arpaio’s response to questioning: “”It’s one deputy, so what? We have security issues, too, that I can’t go into.”)

Zullo is the guy who, along with crackpot author Jerome Corsi, “proved” at a recent Arpaio press conference that the president’s long-form birth certificate is a forgery, because of pixels. TPM also notes that the Maricopa County sheriff’s office’s “Threats Management Unit” was previously best known for smearing and intimidating one of Arpaio’s electoral challengers.

I think we have long since passed the point at which I’d find this story believable in a fictional setting, so, sure, why not have two crack detectives flashing their worthless Maricopa County badges at the Hawaii Department of Health. (I just can’t decide if they should be hard-bitten noir characters or Clouseau-esque bumblers.) But yes a completely crazy person who is in charge of law enforcement for the most populous county in Arizona is probably going to attempt to arrest Barack Obama at some point. I guess at least he’s not directly involved with the Mitt Romney campaign, like Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett, Romney’s Arizona campaign co-chair who’s currently leading a separate investigation into proving the president’s secret foreignness. (Though Arpaio was honorary campaign co-chair in 2008, when he was still a stalwart harasser of Hispanics, but before birtherism had been properly invented.)

Maybe Hawaii officials will throw the cold case posse in jail for, I dunno, criminal nuisance or something. That’d be fun.

Alex Pareene

Alex Pareene writes about politics for Salon and is the author of "The Rude Guide to Mitt." Email him at and follow him on Twitter @pareene

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Burger King Japan

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Burger King's black cheeseburger: Made with squid ink and bamboo charcoal, arguably a symbol of meat's destructive effect on the planet. Only available in Japan.

    Elite Daily/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    McDonald's Black Burger: Because the laws of competition say that once Burger King introduces a black cheeseburger, it's only a matter of time before McDonald's follows suit. You still don't have to eat it.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    Domino's Specialty Chicken: It's like regular pizza, except instead of a crust, there's fried chicken. The company's marketing officer calls it "one of the most creative, innovative menu items we have ever had” -- brain power put to good use.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    Arby's Meat Mountain: The viral off-menu product containing eight different types of meat that, on second read, was probably engineered by Arby's all along. Horrific, regardless.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    KFC'S ZINGER DOUBLE DOWN KING: A sandwich made by adding a burger patty to the infamous chicken-instead-of-buns creation can only be described using all caps. NO BUN ALL MEAT. Only available in South Korea.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Waffle Taco: It took two years for Taco Bell to develop this waffle folded in the shape of a taco, the stand-out star of its new breakfast menu.

    Michele Parente/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Krispy Kreme Triple Cheeseburger: Only attendees at the San Diego County Fair were given the opportunity to taste the official version of this donut-hamburger-heart attack combo. The rest of America has reasonable odds of not dropping dead tomorrow.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Quesarito: A burrito wrapped in a quesadilla inside an enigma. Quarantined to one store in Oklahoma City.

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Boston Pizza's Pizza Cake: The people's choice winner of a Canadian pizza chain's contest whose real aim, we'd imagine, is to prove that there's no such thing as "too far." Currently in development.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    7-Eleven's Doritos Loaded: "For something decadent and artificial by design," wrote one impassioned reviewer, "it only tasted of the latter."

  • Recent Slide Shows



Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>