This is a tale of incompetence so hilarious that it could be a script for an Elmer Fudd cartoon or a sequel to the Pink Panther movies with the inept Inspector Jaques Clouseau. The tale stars our favorite bumbling “detective” Cold Case Posse Commander Mike Zullo. It costars Arizona’s Maricopa County Sheriff Arpaio and the supporting cast are his deputies who also joined in the misadventure known as the Seattle Operation.
First let’s go back to October 2013. It had been a bad year for Mike Zullo and his investigation of President Obama’s Birth Certificate. Over a year had passed since the second MCSO press conference in July 2012. The investigation was going nowhere. The evil “Obamabots” (including yours truly) had a field day destroying the evidence that Zullo had publicly released to support his ludicrous claim that President Obama’s birth certificate was forged. Despite trips to Washington to troll the halls of Congress not a single member of Congress had signed on to do anything with Zullo’s evidence. One teleconference meeting with Rep. Wayne Woodall from Georgia had gone so badly that when a video of the call was posted at Birther Report by Birther Pixel Patriot it was immediately pulled when a few members at the Fogbow forum viewed it and pointed out that Woodall wasn’t buying any of the nonsense that Zullo was selling.
Mike Zullo’s frustration and anger spilled over a couple of times during his near weekly appearances on Pastor Carl Gallups Freedom Friday radio show in tiny Milton, Florida. In August 2013 he went so far to say that some of his critics including me “were the subjects of a criminal investigation”. The supposed crimes were not detailed. I called Mike Zullo just to get under his skin and told him I knew he had no law enforcement authority and that I wasn’t worried. Zullo tried to bully me and claimed he could sit me down in a room full of people with badges if I came to Phoenix. I also called a real sergeant at the MCSO. He laughed about it and basically said no one there took Zullo seriously.
It was only a few weeks later that Zullo and Gallups began speaking of a new “deeper and darker” turn the birth certificate investigation had taken. Again no details were provided other than hints. Zullo said the “Xerox evidence” pushed by the Obots had led to other areas and that a criminal investigation was underway and deputies from the MCSO were now involved.
This meme was repeated almost weekly in late 2013 and into 2014. On the Freedom Friday show on February 14, 2014 Gallups and Zullo dropped a new “bombshell” in this exchange:
Gallups: Obots, we know that there are operatives out there—Obama-loving operatives. That’s OK to love Obama; that’s fine, but these people have interjected themselves all throughout this investigation in various ways, some to the point of actually, I think, interfering with the investigation, but they’ve interjected themselves on radio and the Internet, Blogtalk Radio, my radio program and all over the blogs and web sites, but isn’t it correct, my understanding that you know who some or most of these guys are, the most important ones, I mean have you done some digging? You know who those guys are?
Zullo: We have a pretty good idea of who some of the ones who are anonymous are. One we know works in the field of artificial intelligence in projects that are funded by DARPA. That tells you a lot right there. We have traced IP addresses going directly back to the Administration.
Almost immediately the Birthers at Birther Report decided with no evidence whatsoever that the “Obamabot” was yours truly and that I actually worked for DARPA.
So how did Mike Zullo decide that this important operative who worked in artificial intelligence projects funded by DARPA was actively working to thwart him and his Obama birth certificate investigation? Until recently that remained a mystery. Zullo never gave out any more details on the “operative” or the criminal investigation, which by early 2014 Carl Gallups had elevated with ridiculous hyperbole to being described as universe shattering in scope. Another Zullo supporter Mike Volin let it slip on his Blog Talk program “Where’s Obama’s Birth Certificate” that Mike Zullo had told him a press conference would be held sometime in March 2014 to release the “universe shattering” evidence. As we all know now March came and went without the promised press conference and “A-Z Day” as it came to be called never happened.
In June 2014 blogger Stephen Lemons at the Phoenix NewTimes gave the first details of what had been going on with Zullo and the MCSO in 2013. Lemons revealed that Zullo and Detectives Anglin and Mackiewicz of the MCSO had been working with a former CIA contractor named Dennis Montgomery to investigate federal district Judge Murray Snow and his family among others. Montgomery had already been labeled in an article in Playboy and in a New York Times article as a “con man” who had conned the US government out of millions of dollars with bogus software that he claimed could extract secret messages from the Al Jazeera news channel programming.
What Dennis Montgomery had dangled in front of Zullo and the MCSO as it turns out is a tale of wiretapping and hacking by the NSA and the CIA that supposedly included “hacking into” the bank accounts of 150,000 Maricopa County residents. Zullo didn’t have any comment on Lemons’ article but his unofficial spokesperson Carl Gallups called the Phoenix NewTimes a “gossip rag”; “found for free at bus stations”; “nobody pays attention to [it]”; “pro-homosexual”; “anti-American”; “they give it away–can’t hardly give the thing away”; “reporting way off base and totally wrong”; “rag”; “when you have to give it away at bus stops in a city the size of Phoenix”; “don’t trust anything [they say].”
Now fast forward to April 2015 and the contempt phase of the Melendres v Arpaio civil lawsuit. Joe Arpaio was on the stand and had answered questions about why he had failed to carryout orders from Judge Snow to make sure that the MCSO stopped making traffic stops based on racial profiling. After both the plaintiffs’ and the defense attorneys had finished questioning Sheriff Arpaio Judge Snow pulled out a copy of Lemons’ June 2014 article and began questioning him about it. Arpaio conceded that the details in the article about working with Montgomery were true but denied that they were investigating the Judge.
This interjection of the Seattle Operation into the Melendres case led to the subpoenas for depositions by some of the players including Brian Mackiewicz, Travis Anglin, and Mike Zullo and they were compelled to supply the plaintiffs documents related to the investigation. I won’t get into all the legal machinations that ensued. The included motions to intervene by Larry Klayman and Dennis Montgomery and motions for Judge Snow to recuse himself (all denied). You can read about those in Stephen Lemons’ fine articles nd at websites like the Fogbow Forum and Obama Conspiracy Theories.
Mike Zullo claimed Fifth Amendment protection for a portion of the documents that he had turned over to the attorneys from the Jones, Skelton and Hochuli law firm that represented the Sheriff in the criminal contempt proceedings. Zullo claimed he had been mistakenly led to believe the attorneys were representing him in addition to Joe Arpaio. Ultimately, Judge Snow ruled that Zullo’s Fifth Amendment rights only covered documents in his possession and he no longer controlled the questioned documents.
Among the documents turned over to the plaintiffs’ attorneys was the following evidence that Zullo was looking into the anti=birther forum the Fogbow:
The document was included in Plaintiffs’ Exhibit #2923 “Arpaio/DOJ Timeline”
This document revealed for the first time the source of Zullo’s claim that an Obama operative was funded by DARPA and worked with artificial intelligence. There was one small problem with Zullo’s claim. The web site was wrong. The URL for the Fogbow forum is “thefogbow.com” while the website belonging to Richard Skalsky is “fogbow.com”. They are two completely unrelated web sites. A simple Google search would have revealed that the Fogbow Forum is owned by Bill Bryan, aka Foggy.
Zullo knew who Foggy was. Foggy had spoken with Zullo on Gallups program when Foggy called in. It was either on this or another show that Gallups tried to slander Foggy by claiming he was mentally ill.
It’s not clear who prepared the notes on Mr. Skalsky in the exhibit. It was probably Montgomery. We know from other testimony and exhibits that Montgomery’s MO was to mix some factual information with made up “junk” to make it appear as if he had classified or sensitive information. Two ex NSA employees who were hired by the MCSO to vet Montgomery said his information was fraudulent.
It turns out that this is not the first time a Birther had incorrectly identified Richard Skalsky as a high ranking Obot. In January 2011 a commenter at Dr. Kate’s (Kate Vandemoer) blog had made the same error and concluded that the owner of the Fogbow forum was Mr. Skalsky. The same error was repeated at the Birther Report blog.
After reading Stephon Lemon’s article I decided to contact Mr. Skalsky to let him know his name had come up in the Melendres v Arapio case and at least a few Birthers were connecting him to me. We had a nice conversation yesterday and Rick was thankful that I had taken the time to email him and let him know his name had come up again.
Back in January 2011 when the comment was left at Dr. Kate’s blog wrongly identifying Rick as the owner of the Fogbow forum a person named “Arthur B” had contacted him just as I did. The commenter at Kate’s blog also confused “fogbow.com” with “Foggy’s “thefogbow.com”. They posted Rick’s name and home address which were available from the Godaddy.com domain registration information. They also posted a Google Street view photo of Rick’s home in Palo Alto, CA. Rick was not using the domain but had only registered it since it was similar to his “fogstar.com” domain.
Naturally Rick was a bit unnerved at seeing his name, address, and photo of his home posted on an obscure blog accusing him of being starting a website to harass Birthers. Rick tried to contact the owner of Dr. Kate’s blog without success. He eventually emailed WordPress.com with a complaint. They never replied to him but the comment was removed shortly thereafter.
Rick took the steps of removing his home address from the domain registration at Goddy.com and having his home picture blurred out on Google street view.
I also found a similar comment on Birther Report/ORYR from May 28, 2012 left by “anonymous”. It listed the update domain registration for “fogbow.com”.
That was the last that Rick heard about the Fogbow until I contacted him recently. He had no knowledge that Mike Zullo, the Cold Case Posse, or MCSO had his name on the radar as the secret owner of the Fogbow forum. Rick said he was retired and had been the IT director for the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence for a number of years. AAAI is not some shadowy government organization. It is a professional organization that conducts conferences and publishes papers, books and periodicals for the advancement of knowledge in the area of artificial intelligence. This is from the AAAI website:
Founded in 1979, the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) (formerly the American Association for Artificial Intelligence) is a nonprofit scientific society devoted to advancing the scientific understanding of the mechanisms underlying thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines. AAAI aims to promote research in, and responsible use of, artificial intelligence. AAAI also aims to increase public understanding of artificial intelligence, improve the teaching and training of AI practitioners, and provide guidance for research planners and funders concerning the importance and potential of current AI developments and future directions.
These are the titles of some of the articles from a recent issue of the organization’s publication AI Magazine:
- A Deployed People-to-People Recommender System in Online Dating
- Advice Provision for Energy Saving in Automobile Climate-Control System
- An End-to-End Conversational Second Screen Application for TV Program Discovery
Hey, those certainly sound sinister don’t they?
The latest revelation about incompetence of Mike Zullo’s detective work should come as no surprise. This is the same guy who used already debunked evidence by amateur Birthers investigators to claim that the long form birth certificate posted on the White House website was a forgery. This is the same “detective” who used a race code table from the wrong year that Hawaii never used to claim that the race code pencil mark for Barack Obama Sr.’s race was wrong. A few minutes of reading sites like Obama Conspiracy Theories would have prevented that embarrassment. This is the same Mike Zullo who refused an offer from a conservative who literally wrote the book on the forgery theories on the Obama LFBC, author John Woodman.
We can all have a good laugh over Mike Zullo making such amateur mistakes. However, there is a serious side to all of this. Mr. Skalsky has now been falsely accused of running an anti-Birther forum and of being a paid operative for the government. Mr. Skalsky has had his name, address and even a picture of his house published in a disparaging way on the Internet. Mike Zullo, Carl Gallups and Mike Volin have accused me of being the subject of a criminal investigation that never really existed.
One would hope that the revelations about the ridiculous Seattle Operation with scammer Dennis Montgomery and the waste of donations and Maricopa taxpayers’ money would bring this charade to an end. However, based on my experience following Mike Zullo and the Birthers I would bet against that. Unless Arpaio and Zullo are made to account for their misbehaviors I see nothing to make them stop. The gullible hard core Birthers still believe one day “A-Z Day” will come and are willing to send Arapio money.
For further reading about Mike Zullo and the birth certificate investigation see the many previous articles here.