By Frank Arduini
How an obscure southern preacher became a hero to “Birthers,” a laughing stock to “Obots,” and the single worst Baptist prognosticator of the future since William Miller.
On the evening of June 1, PPSIMMONS Radio conducted a remote interview with Zullo who had just moments earlier finished his breakout session at the CSPOA conference. They posted the interview in a video titled, “BREAKING! Mike Zullo: NOTHING Can Stop Us Now,” working very hard to sell the conference as having been a smashing success. Of course, at the time of the interview, neither Zullo nor Gallups had an inkling about what they had actually just set in motion. Once again we were assured of Congressman Steve Stockman’s enthusiastic support (whose presence at the conference was attributed explicitly by Gallups to an act of Divine intervention). Once again we were informed of other avenues, other anonymous but vastly powerful VIPs and other meetings scheduled and pending.
But there was one exchange that in retrospect drips so deliciously with oblivious irony that even the most jaded Obot has to feel a little sympathy for their shared cluelessness.
Gallups: What’s really big about this to me, I mean Mike really, if it goes no further than this, and I know it will, I mean it’s gonna go a lot further, but if it didn’t go any further than this, you know, I feel so vindicated. (laughing) And I know you do too because, because for so long the mainstream media has made people like you and I, they’ve made us out to be, you know, nutjobs and wingnuts and tin foil hat wearing conspiracy theorists, they’ve labeled us “birthers.” And now you, as you’ve just said, you sat down in front of your peers, lawmen sheriffs, police chiefs, constitutional attorneys, congressmen, I mean constitutional authority people. They’ve looked at the same evidence you’ve had, and not one of them challenged the evidence. Every one of them said, “Oh my gosh! Where has this been?” And so, you know, there’s a huge vindication here, don’t you think?
Zullo: I do. And Carl there was a, like I told you earlier, a constitutional attorney that when it was over she came up to me and she said, “I practice in Florida. And whatever I can do for you, whatever I can do for you, you just call me.” I mean, here’s somebody that knows the Constitution, knows the law inside and out. Watched this stuff and walks away with the same conclusion.
Gallups: Right! Absolutely, absolutely. So that’s huge, and as I said if it didn’t go any further than this there has been in my mind a complete vindication of you and Sheriff Arpiao. But I know it will go further because you can’t get this many American lawmen together who have, I mean, hundreds of years total together in criminal investigation experience, and then a congressman, and a constitutional attorney looking at evidence that would be presented in a court or in a Congressional hearing for example and every one of them are saying, “This is huge. This is monumental. This is for real.” So, so Mike, I’m telling you that from this point forward the Obamabots and the mainstream media, regardless of what they think about you and me and Arpaio, regardless of what they wish would happen, from this point forward the Obamabots and the mainstream media are going to have on heck of a time labeling us as just, you know, right-wing idiots.
How were they to know that the only significant advocate they had actually gained from Zullo’s presentation at the conference would be somebody whom even they would eventually conclude was a “right-wing idiot”?
Steve Stockman’s congressional career would end before they ever got any actual support out of him. Richard Mack may have come away as a believer, but the most he was willing to actually offer was moral support. In an interview with Gallups on June 4th, Mack made all the right noises, but then washed his hands of the issue and declared it Congress’s problem.
But then there was Mark Kessler. Kessler was the already locally controversial Police Chief of Gilberton Borough, a tiny town of fewer than 800 people in the Keystone State of Pennsylvania. Unlike any other attendee at the CSPOA conference, he came away determined to do something about the astounding things that Zullo had revealed.
Appearing on the Pete Santilli Show on June 4th, Kessler was almost beside himself both with horror at the “Obama fraud” and admiration for Mike Zullo. It is difficult to imagine a less glib advocate for an issue of this sort, but what he lacked in eloquence he compensated for with enthusiasm. By the end of the segment, he was advocating the violent overthrow of the government as an appropriate response to Congressional inaction on the Obama birth certificate.
Two days later on June 6th, Zullo and Kessler were back together on Kessler’s Internet radio program with a budding bromance in full display for a whole hour, bound together by their shared disdain for the President. The conversation ranged widely and often erratically between discussions of the birth certificate, to the 2nd Amendment, to a number of plagiarized birther myths (told as if Zullo was the original source) to the TSA. But early in the conversation Zullo made a tongue-in-cheek comment that he would soon come to regret. Speaking of some obscure reference to the Arpaio investigation by Senator Marco Rubio, Zullo commented:
Rubio said that if Arpaio has information like this he needs to make it public. Well, you know, we’ve tried to make it public. So we’re going to do better than making it public. Our plan, Sheriff Arpaio’s plan is we are gonna take it to the Whitehouse steps. That’s how public we want to make it.
The comment was simply hyperbolic bluster and macho posturing. Zullo never meant for Kessler to take it literally. Kessler not only took it literally, but just a few days later unilaterally announced a “Sworn Officer’s March on Washington” and encouraged participants to bring their guns. The response from several directions was immediate and unequivocal; the groups with which Kessler had associated himself such as the Oathkeepers and the CSPOA threw up their collective hands and declared that they would have nothing to do with it. Kessler was furious.
On June 10th, Kessler’s BlogTalk Radio show was an extended profanity laced rant against the groups he felt had betrayed him. And at the beginning of the program Kessler was still laboring under the misconception that even as the other groups had turned tail, Zullo and Arpaio were standing with him shoulder to shoulder. After all, in Kessler’s view it was all their idea in the first place.
Then, about 13 minutes before the end of the show Kessler received a call he absolutely did not expect. Cold Case Posse member Don Jeffries was on the line bearing bad news, and wasted no time getting directly to the point. Arpaio and the Posse were not on board with Kessler’s march and they wanted him to stop saying they were.
Kessler seemed stunned and confused. On one hand he very weirdly insisted (in direct contradiction to the then current content of his web page and FaceBook) that there was no plan for any march on Washington at all. On the other he admitted there was, but claimed that the plan was Arpaio’s and not his. He protested that what he was doing was what Zullo “wanted” and what Zullo had explicitly “asked him to do.” Jeffries put him in his place.
What I’m saying is like even on your webpage there was a mix up because you said that, uh, the Sheriff, Sheriff Arpaio and Mike Zullo, the Cold Case Posse is, you know, on your side. Well, you’re on our side, I guess… I guess you had it reversed.
By the time Jeffries hung up the message to Kessler from the Cold Case Posse was unambiguous; Shut up about a march on Washington, and in the meantime don’t call us, we’ll call you.
The significance of the call took a while to sink in. As the show drew to a close Kessler still did not seem to fully understand how completely he had been thrown under the bus. But based on the comments online, his listeners understood exactly what had just taken place. And within a few hours Kessler did too.
That night Kessler appeared to break the confidentiality agreement he had supposedly made regarding the “secret” evidence of the closed session at the CSPOA conference. Kessler posted to his FaceBook account (with what was for him a typically casual attitude towards grammar, spelling, capitalization and syntax) that:
here’s what I was told, VIA cold case possie , 1) bozo isn’t American nor was he born in Hawaii, 2) they believe he’s Saudi , 3) their not his real parents, 4) Russia is involved, 5) it wasn’t an accident he’s president, 6) bill ayers and the weather underground are involved, 7) Kenya played a roll, Hawaii state officials did the birth certificate, he has several other names , not just the ones the public knows about, 9) he don’t exsist in the usa until the age of 5…..10) WERE ALL F*CKED
If his post was true, it would immediately make clear why the information was being kept secret; even Zullo and Arpio would have had to recognize at some level how insane it was. The details left the inescapable impression that Zullo had plunged headfirst into the most extreme of the right-wing nutburger rabbit holes and was still digging. The claims were so absurd that it is fair to suspect that Kessler had simply made them up as part of what would quickly become an anti-Posse vendetta over the following days and weeks.
Certainly, they were not repeated in an extended interview Kessler would give to Jeff Rense a month and a half later. Except… Kessler already had let a couple of details or hints of them slip even before the Posse tossed him to the wolves. He had already for example revealed that Zullo believed Obama was neither American nor Kenyan, that his parents were not actually his parents, and that there was no documented trace of Obama in the US for his first five years of life.
It is anyone’s guess as to whether this post was true or not. But if it was, then the Posse was chasing unicorns and leprechauns.
Kessler’s warfare with Zullo, Gallups and the Arpaio Posse continued for more than a month during which his invective grew increasingly strident and the effort by Zullo and Gallups to try and ignore it grew more pointed. Where on June 4th Kessler had called Zullo “a great man,” “the real deal” and “brother,” by June 28th he was ranting that “Mike Zullo is a piece of garbage. He is a lying sack of shit and excuse my French, but when you bring law enforcement from all over the country into a room and pretend to be a law enforcement officer and host a alleged top secret meeting, it’s a slap in the face to every cop on the planet.”
A month later on July 29th, Kessler went on the Jeff Rense program to talk again about the closed session from the CSPOA meeting. His account (which remains the only one available from anybody who was in attendance) was damning.
For starters, the entire scheduled hour of the “closed” session was essentially identical to the “open” session. The “new” information that Gallups and Zullo had repeatedly insisted was pouring in and putting additional nails into the coffin of the birth certificate did not exist. There was nothing of any value as “evidence” that had not already been presented at the first Posse press conference on March 1, 2012. At the close of that hour, during a debate over whether or not it was time for Zullo to clear the room for the next presenter, most of the original 50 person audience walked out.
The only other thing that was shown was a secretly recorded video that Zullo or one of his associates videotaped the state officials in Hawaii without their knowledge. And I guess that’s okay to do that in Hawaii. They interviewed a lady and some of her statements were quite, from a law enforcement aspect, I would say she was lying about some stuff. She was very nervous in the video. I mean just by her body language she was very, very nervous.
Hardly the sort of evidence one would hope to have in the effort to unseat an illegitimate President.
And where Zullo had reported on Freedom Friday that “every one of them (who attended) are saying, ‘This is huge. This is monumental. This is for real.’”, Kessler’s version was less positive.
If he (Zullo) has such damaging evidence, where is it? I don’t know. All I saw was videos. I didn’t see no – He said, what he said to us out there at that CSPOA convention, to stand with Joe Arpaio and to come to Washington, the whole nine yards. And to tell you the truth, you know, a lot of the guys just got up and walked out. And not only that, but one sheriff actually sat in the back of the room and started heckling Mr. Zullo, saying, “Why should we stand with you? Why should we stand with Arpaio?” You know, “Why should we do this for you guys?”
Being an inveterate and indiscriminate conspiracy theorist, Jeff Rense was of the ultimate opinion that Arpaio and Zullo were actually Obots engaged in an anti-birther campaign of “misdirection and obstruction.”
But for Kessler, it was not just his relationship with Zullo and the Posse that had imploded. Other things were imploding as well, to include his job as Police Chief for Gilberton Borough. On the same day that Kessler was giving his interview to Jeff Rense, Gallups broke his radio silence and in one of his usual displays of Christian charity and humility used his ministry to gloat about Kessler’s problems. A PPSIMMONS entry on July 29th was a reprint of an unflattering article about Kessler’s employment situation.
The PPSIMMONS headline was, “Another one attacks Carl Gallups: AND GETS FIRED?”
It is worth noting that I can find no hint anywhere that Kessler had ever even heard of Carl Gallups, let alone said anything to attack him.
The birther war between Kessler and Zullo ultimately stands as the only actual outcome of Zullo’s presentation to the CSPOA. Not a single other attendee appear to have ever lifted a finger to help “propel the case forward.” Not Congressman Stockman, not Sheriff Mack, not the unnamed Floridian “constitutional attorney,” not one of the other 200 or so attendees can be identified as having done anything more than simply walk away.
At the same time, the other alleged meetings with VIPs were still going nowhere. The leaked content of the closed session was taken seriously by no one, to include the vast majority of the birthersphere. The payoff for the “Big Plan A” had not happened in the shorter time period Gallups had predicted, and we were now several weeks into the “three to six month” window originally announced.
But nature abhors a vacuum. If the Posse was going to prove incapable of delivering anything of actual interest over the next few months, others were standing by to fill it.
To be continued…
[RC: This is the sixth in a series of guest articles by Frank Arduini. Here is Part V.]
MikeMike Baron – Mike Baron is a veteran comic book writer, who scripted all 3 Heir to the Empire comic book adaptations: Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising and The Last Command. →