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"They smiled in our faces and then stabbed us in the back"

The Department of Justice has brought suit against Arizona sherriff Joe Arpaio:

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Phoenix, is the latest chapter in a bitter feud between Justice and Sheriff Arpaio, who is accused of failing to turn over documents sought since March 2009 that federal prosecutors say comply with its probe of alleged discrimination, unconstitutional searches and seizures, and English-only policies in his jails that discriminate against those with limited English skills.

Sheriff Arpaio, during a press conference in Phoenix, described the lawsuit as "harassment," saying thousands of pages of documents have already been turned over by his office to federal prosecutors.

"These actions make it abundantly clear that Arizona, including this sheriff, is Washington's new whipping boy. Now it's time to take the gloves off," he said.

"As for today's lawsuit against my office: These people in Washington met with my attorneys only a few days ago. And in that meeting, Washington got our cooperation; they admitted they already have thousands of pages of the requested documents; and they were given access to interview my staff and get into my jails. They smiled in our faces and then stabbed us in the back with this lawsuit."

...

The sheriff, first elected in 1992 and re-elected four times since, said the Obama administration "intended to sue us all along, no matter what we did to try to avert it," adding that "it's time Americans everywhere wake up and see this administration for what it really is: calculating, underhanded at times and certainly not looking out for the best interests of the legal citizens residing in this country."

Americans everywhere are waking up Sheriff Joe... and their voices will soon be heard.

We can see November from our back yards.


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Comments (30)

Sounds like an Islamic tact... (Below threshold)
epador:

Sounds like an Islamic tactic to me.

[ducking quickly]

Are there any attorneys per... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

Are there any attorneys perusing this site who might know if there are any precedents for this type of litigation by our DOJ against one of our own states?

If not, would it be possible that there are liberal smartassess in the DOJ who are just running these types of test exercises to see how far they can go in developing case law that will override the Constitution, perhaps to establish precedents for even more evil intentions down the road? Did I word that right?

ICE documents show that Arp... (Below threshold)
jim m:

ICE documents show that Arpiao's office was investigated and was given the OK in 2008. Holder's lawsuit is not based on evidence but on political expediency. Welcome to the new soviet union. obama doesn't give a shit about the law, he only wants people to obey him regardless of the law.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politics/New-evidence-undermines-feds_-case-against-Arizona-705578-102106209.html

Another issue about which I... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

Another issue about which I have questions is that inasmuch as FBI Agents are attorneys themselves, don't they have any authority or discretion to question or to challenge the alleged merits or validity of investigations requested by Holder and the DOJ?

Or are they mindless bureaucrats who just do whatever they are told to do? If its the latter, it seems to me that we are in BIG trouble, for they have become, in effect, just another Gestapo or KGB thugs carrying out spiteful, vicious, vindictive AND UNLAWFUL vendettas by this administration against anyone who opposes them.

The truth will set you free... (Below threshold)
Bill Fabrizio:

The truth will set you free, Sheriff Joe! Also, it won't hurt that 70% of the country stands with you!

It will set a dangerous pre... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

It will set a dangerous precedent if Sheriff Joe Arpaio is maliciously prosecuted by Holder.

There is a dedicated patriot who has been conscientiously doing the job that he was elected to do to the best of his ability for the past several years, and now, just to appease the sleaziest and the most useless elements in this country, his career could be destroyed. What is wrong with that picture?

This is not a minor issue. If Holder succeeds in pulling off this outrageous stunt, there will be lawlessness in this country on a massive scale, the likes of which no country has experienced in modern times.

With Holder and Obama and Clinton, we've got three extremely irresponsible (and perhaps even psychotic) jackasses establishing policies which will be extremely destructive to this country, worse than the masses are willing to consider. If it was up to me, I would have all three of them tried for treason. Seriously.

To quote a previous White H... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

To quote a previous White House occupant, I say 'bring it on'. I would like to see this action by Justice uncomfortably covered by Obama's minions in the MSM and out in the open for all to see. I have a feeling it will not be a popular move by Holder to go through with this. I have looked back to Obama's campaign and the many identities he tried to project on his 'blank slate'. He dabbled in JFK, Roosevelt, Lincoln and even a bit of Reagan. I am wondering whether he wants to satisfy his Lincoln identity by presiding over a civil war? He seems to be doing his darndest to foment one.

"It will set a dangerous pr... (Below threshold)
jim m:

"It will set a dangerous precedent if Sheriff Joe Arpaio is maliciously prosecuted by Holder. "

Yes, but not because anyone thinks he's a patriot. It's because Holder is or should be aware of explicitly exculpatory evidence and he is prosecuting anyway. Holder is dispensing with the notion that we have a system of Justice and clarifying for the American people that we have a legal system that is designed to keep the people in line and subjugate them to the will of the ruling elites.

By going through with this prosecution Holder confirms that this is no longer a free country and as obama has stated in the past: rights are for the government to exercise.

Right enough, SPQR. ... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Right enough, SPQR.

Is this the usual way Chicago politics go? Doesn't matter what the truth is, the accusation is sufficient proof? That certainly seems to be the way the media's presenting this. Most people would be intimidated by this - but he doesn't seem to be most people, and he's fighting back with facts. Good for him!

I'd remind the folks who are all hot to accuse this sheriff of racism and condemn him based on the accusation that it sets one hell of a bad precedent. The political pendulum is ALWAYS in motion, and while you might think you're at the top of the heap now and you can shove that pendulum all the way to the left and keep it there - you won't be able to. And when it swings right it's going to swing HARD.

Jim @ 7:58 - Huh??? :)... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

Jim @ 7:58 - Huh??? :)

That was for your Comment a... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

That was for your Comment at #2, SPQR, btw...

Jim M - comment 8 is unfortunately correct, the law is being used for political purposes, not actual enforcement. It's a fishing expedition, hoping to find something - ANYTHING they can point to as evidence.

'Cause that investigation by ICE that didn't find anything wrong? They just didn't look DEEP enough. There's going to be something that they can trumpet as proof - even if they've got to backtrack on it later.

An afterthought (or two):</... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

An afterthought (or two):

In observing Governor Jan Brewer's press conferences, interviews and other comments which she has made recently, I got the impression that, in frustration and disgust, she is beginning to waver, to back down and perhaps even to capitulate in the face of all of the pressure that is being put on her, not just by the DOJ and this administration, but by people in Arizona, also, people who don't have the courage to stand up to this administration.

To which I want to add that it is my perception, also, that now the primary is over, Brewer is no longer receiving support from that wussy, two-faced Rino, Mr. Magoo. It was predictable: Now that the primary is over, Kyle and Mr. Magoo have become complacent again, droping the ball again, as usual.

JLawson, I think that Karl ... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

JLawson, I think that Karl Rove put it best. To paraphrase him, he said that, since they couldn't find any evidence of wrongdoing, that meant that he must have done domething wrong, and so they feel comfortable with framing him on contrived, trumped charges to nail him, indirectly, for other wrongdoings of which they couldn't find any evidence ....; a screwy logic that would occur only to an attorney.

This administration is so bizarre.

Lot of good comments above.... (Below threshold)
Hank:

Lot of good comments above.

I was never a fan of Alberto Gonzoles but if this keeps up, we'll probably start seeing billboards with his face asking "Miss ME yet?"

More seriously, I cannot recall any administration that has gone against the will of the american people as much as this crew has. My god, what are these people thinking? Are they really as out of touch as they seem?

"since they couldn't find a... (Below threshold)
jim m:

"since they couldn't find any evidence of wrongdoing, that meant that he must have done domething wrong, and so they feel comfortable with framing him on contrived, trumped charges to nail him, indirectly, for other wrongdoings of which they couldn't find any evidence ...."

Reminds me of the JournoList, where they said(I paraphrase), "Let's pick a right wing pundit, anyone it doesn't matter who, and call him a racist..."

If you can't find a real crime charge them with one anyway and maybe you get lucky and convict them despite their innocence. That's where Holder and obama have gone. Use the weight of the government to charge people with crimes and count on the tendency to believe that when the government charges someone there must be some truth behind it.

These kinds of prosecutions will only increase. The government knows that it has lost the public and the only thing obama knows is to try to intimidate people into keeping in line. obama is going to start criminalizing his opposition, Expect a GOP controlled House to have Holder charging its leadership with all sorts of crap.

When a government agency do... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

When a government agency does not get the information they seek, the standard tactic is to get a search warrant for said information.

However, to get that warrant (before an impartial magistrate), you have to furnish FACTS concerning the material you want to look at.

Seems Holder's DOJ is a little short on FACTS.

Where's the Democratic "outrage" at the politicization of the DOJ? Or did that just apply only to Alberto Gonzales?

I'm not sure this is just a... (Below threshold)
JPO:

I'm not sure this is just about getting a conviction when there isn't any evidence. To me, this seems like a classic attorney move of bullying through paperwork and red tape. I'm sure it required very little paperwork and effort on the government's part to compel Sheriff Joe to provide the "thousands of documents" the first time around. I'm sure it did cause a lot of manpower and resources in Sheriff Joe's department to be used to gather and send these documents. Now that they've been sent, the government attorneys look at them and say, "Nope not good enough, we need more." I think what they're hoping is eventually Sheriff Joe will get tired of/no longer be able to tie up the resources necessary to meet their demands, throw his hands up, and say "I give up, what do you want?"

The question is whether or ... (Below threshold)
Rance:

The question is whether or not the specific documents that the fed requested were among the thousands the Sheriff Joe sent them. If he sent everything requested, then Justice should get the hell out of his face. If he didn't send everything he was required to send, then he should send them and stop playing games.

I was never a fan of Alb... (Below threshold)
Roy:

I was never a fan of Alberto Gonzoles but if this keeps up, we'll probably start seeing billboards with his face asking "Miss ME yet?"

You'll see that one with Janet Reno soon.

I thought it was "I can see... (Below threshold)
G.:

I thought it was "I can see November from my house." a play on Tina Fey's "I can see Russia from my house" who was mocking Sarah Palin who said you can see Russia from Alaska.(which you can)

I am not a Hitler/Germany k... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

I am not a Hitler/Germany kind of user but it seems Obama is using the Justice Department for political uses. Arizona, Sheriff Joe, the black panthers case, BP, etc. Had GW Bush done this, wow! The clammor would be deafening. ww

I'm thinking come next spri... (Below threshold)
ODA315:

I'm thinking come next spring Mr. Holder and the head of the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ are going to get an invitation to spend some unfriendly face time in front of a congressional panel or two.

And it will be ugly. Reeeaall ugly. Can you say "better get a lawyer" real fast?

Now for a contrary opinion.... (Below threshold)
George True:

Now for a contrary opinion. Sheriff Arpaio is a mixed bag at best. What he is, more than anything is an opportunist. His main skills are self-promotion and self-aggrandizement. He wraps himself up in the flag and apple pie, but he is very possibly as corrupt a politician as I have seen anywhere in my lifetime.

I am a staunch supporter of SB-1070, and I applaud anyone who attempts to round up illegals and deport them, even Arpaio. But most of what he does in this regard is politically motivated. He knows it plays well to the conservative base. Unfortunately, in 2007 and 2008 he blew his entire fiscal year budget on a number of well-publicized immigration sweeps. As a result, jail staff had to be furloughed, and the second and third shifts had to go to a skeleton crew. At the same time, other Arizona sheriffs departments and law enforcement agencies quietly round up far more illegals than MCSO, and they do it without publicity or fanfare.

The jails here in Maricopa County are nightmarish places. The healthcare is non-existent, and the so-called food is not fit for a dog to eat. Abuse of prisoners is the norm rather than the exception, and that unofficial policy comes straight from Arpaio. Joe's tent city jails play well to the public, but the reality is that when you add the stress of being in 110 degree heat 24/7 to prisoners who already have serious health issues, many of them end up in the hospital. Some have died in Joe's jails, and many have had their health permanently destroyed. Lest you think I am exaggerating, there are currently over 26,000 criminal and civil lawsuits against Maricopa County making their way through Maricopa County Superior Court and Federal District Court due to abuse and neglect of prisoners in the jails. (Keep in mind that some of those prisoners were subsequently found innocent of the charges for which they were jailed.)

To put it in perspective, the number of pending lawsuits is more than the combined number of similar lawsuits pending against Los Angeles, New York, Houston, Boston, and Miami. So far almost 50 million dollars have been paid out in damages, and that is just the tip of the iceberg compared to what will surely be paid out in the future. That is MY tax money going up in smoke, and it did not have to be that way.

While I definitely think Holder's lawsuit is bogus, and i am glad that Arpaio rounds up illegals (with great fanfare), these things are not enough to make him a net positive. The way he conducts MCSO is diametrically opposed to everything that true conservativism stands for.

For the record, I am a lifelong card-carrying Republican, and a dyed in the wool conservative. I have voted a straight Republican ticket for as long as I can remember, with the exception of having voted for Arpaio's Democrat opponent in the last general election, who incidentally was endorsed by the Arizona FOP and virtually all other Arizona law enforcement agencies.

I do acknowledge that I am off the conservative reservation on this one particular issue. On other issues, I am virulently opposed to the entire Democrat agenda, and I canvass locally on behalf of Republican candidates. I was strongly in favor of JD Hayworth over McCain, but I knew he would get crushed, as he did. I also admit to being a bit of a hypocrite, as I voted for Hayworth, and then immediately afterwards I attended McCain's victory party, and enjoyed his free food and wine. (I was invited as a result of having donated some money to the McCain campaign in 2008, but that is a whole 'nother story.)

"The jails here in Maricopa... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"The jails here in Maricopa County are nightmarish places. The healthcare is non-existent, and the so-called food is not fit for a dog to eat. Abuse of prisoners is the norm rather than the exception, and that unofficial policy comes straight from Arpaio."

Anyone ever tell you that your a astroturfing bullshitter?

Herr Holder has been in the jails for how long? And when he files a lawsuit, it's just over paperwork? NONE of what you wrote is mentioned. Either you're full of shit, or Holder's investigators couldn't find a turd in a toilet bowl.

"I also admit to being a bit of a hypocrite...." Probably the truest thing you wrote.

"Anyone ever tell you that ... (Below threshold)
George True:

"Anyone ever tell you that your a astroturfing bullshitter?"

Spoken like a true leftist, GarandFan. Rather than try to refute anything I said with, you know, facts, you instead make ad hominem attacks. Actually, I don't think you are a leftist any more than I am one. But making ad hominem attacks is what leftists do, so stop doing it, okay?

I didn't know that we conservatives had to be in total lockstep on absolutely every issue. I just happen to know quite a bit more about Arpaio and local Maricopa County Arizona politics than you do. Also, my conservative bonafides will more than stand up to yours any day of the week.

As far as Holder is concerned, did you even read my what I said??? I explicitly said that Holder's lawsuit is BS. In fact, EVERYTHING that Obama's justice department has done so far has been not just wrong, but unconstitutional and illegal. You're preaching to the choir here, bub.

But that doesn't make Arpaio some kind of hero. Sorry if you don't like hearing that, but that's the way I see it from here. And why does my having a different viewpoint on Arpaio than you do make me a hypocrite? Instead of worrying about the splinter in my eye, do something about the log in your eye.

By the way, I too am a huge fan of the M-1 Garand rifle. Hands down, it has killed more fascists than any other weapon in history.

Have a nice labor day weekend.

Why do conservatives love t... (Below threshold)
AJB:

Why do conservatives love this guy so much? Because they like authoritarian jackbooted thugs?

<a href="http://reidscones.... (Below threshold)
AJB:

http://reidscones.com/prison/arpaio.html

If you're lucky enough not to live in AZ like I do, you might not know about Joe Arpaio. He's the Maricopa County Sheriff signed a promise to serve only one term when he was elected in 1992. He's still the Sheriff. When it comes to drug warriors, this guy doesn't mess around. He's got a self-propelled howitzer with "Sheriff Arpaio's War on Drugs" painted on it, with some tasteful lightning bolts added for effect.

He'll kill your dog and burn your house down if you get in his way (while simultaneously crushing your neighbor's car with an armored personnel carrier).

He's got that tent jail in the desert, where you have to wear old-timey striped uniforms with pink underwear, eat substandard food, and work on chain gangs but at least he provides rebar for you (pdf) to make it easier for to beat other inmates to half to death. If you don't want to read the pdf, the gist of it he got fined over $600,000 because the rebar had been used as weapons before, and he still chose not to secure them from the inmates. The judge said "...among other things, the Sheriff and his deputies had actual knowledge that prisoners used rebar tent stakes and tent poles as weapons and did nothing to prevent it." Furthermore, "the Sheriff admitted knowing about, and in fact intentionally designing, some conditions at Tent City that created a substantial risk of inmate violence."

Your tent-mates are the least of your worries, however. Joe will beat you death even if you're blind (and destroy evidence in a cover-up attempt), although to be fair to Joe he really only beat that guy partway to death- he only died after being left unattended in a cell for 6 days from the perforated intestine and broken neck he got from the beating- last time he gets picked up for shoplifting.

Don't count on a wheelchair earning you any sympathy from America's Toughest Sheriff, either. If you go to jail as a paraplegic on a 1-gram marijuana possession charge and ask for a catheter to piss in, you might just leave as a quadruplegic after you get a 6-hour ride in a restraint chair followed by a guard breaking your neck.

.... it's time every Americ... (Below threshold)

.... it's time every American wakes up and sees this "administration" for what it really is: calculating, underhanded at times and certainly not looking out for the interests of We, The People ....

And that's a puff piece on 'em!

America has never been confronted by more insidious nor more deadly dangerous enemies than those that presently walk our feral gummint's halls of power.

In his Post # 13, SPQR says... (Below threshold)

In his Post # 13, SPQR says this "administration" is bizarre.

But that's only if you're doing two things concurrently (1) looking at it from our side of the trenches and (2) believing that you're looking at your ally.

Try looking at the 0zero Gang as if it's the enemy.

Coming into focus for you now, is it?

"I explicitly said that Hol... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

"I explicitly said that Holder's lawsuit is BS. In fact, EVERYTHING that Obama's justice department has done so far has been not just wrong, but unconstitutional and illegal. You're preaching to the choir here, bub.

But that doesn't make Arpaio some kind of hero. "

That's all very true.
I have Conservative-leaning family and friends in AZ and they almost all agree that Arpaio is a real asshole. They like his get-tough attitude but in some ways he goes too far.
I could never fully trust someone who is such a self-aggrandizing publicity hound.




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