This is basically the motto of the Obama Administration. We see it every day, any one who dares speak up or act out against the failing, disastrous policies of our socialist in chief, gets the full weight of the federal machine levied against them. This time, it's Sheriff Joe Apraio of Maricopa County, AZ.
I'm sure you've all heard of the controversy's surrounding Sheriff Joe in the performance of his duties. Requiring inmates to wear government issued pink boxer shorts, the creation of canvas incarceration grounds known as tent city, illegal-immigration sweeps, banning of smoking, coffee, and pornography within his jails, and after learning that it was a federal mandate that prisoners be allowed to watch TV in prison, cutting off all channels but the Weather Channel and Disney.
Well it seems that Sheriff Joe has gotten the attention of the US Justice department and is currently being investigated for civil rights crimes including racial profiling/discrimination in his immigration sweeps and mistreatment of inmates within the Arizona prison system. Never mind that this is a man that has won his elections by overwhelming majorities since first winning in 1992. Never mind that this is a man loved and respected by a majority of those he is charged to protect within his county (except for those prisoners in his ward). Instead concentrate on the fact that Sheriff Joe is a man that has denied that the federal system has the right to restrict his ability to protect those citizens whom he has sworn, and was elected by majority, to protect.
In a letter issued to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, Civil Right Attorney General Thomas Perez issued an ultimatum to Sheriff Joe to turn over millions of documents to the AG's office or risk being sued under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Sheriff Joe has refused to comply. I, for one, completely agree with Sheriff Joe's decision. The tenacity, and unethical treatment, of this law officer goes far outside the jurisprudence of the AG's office.
Investigations originally started in 2004-2005 upon the same claims proved to be baseless. However, after debate surrounding AZ SB1070, and a subsequent ruling by judicial activist Susan Bolton knocking down several provisions of the bill in US vs Arizona, Sheriff Joe defiantly decreed that he would still perform his duties under various other state laws and that the ruling would have no effect on his efforts to secure his county. He further stated that he was doing his duties long before SB1070 was even a gleam in anyone's eye, so this has no affect.
Well, that statement then garnished an unprecedented attack by the US Justice Department. Never mind my opinions on how the DOJ has become the black hooded thugs sanctioned to ensure the policies of the Obama Administration go unchecked and unquestioned (subject for another rant), you need only look at how the DOJ is going about this "investigation".
So disappointed was the DOJ that they opened up a 1-800 to collect complaints about the Sheriff's office. In my research, I can't find another example where the DOJ has used such a measure to try and gather "evidence" against a law enforcement office. ((Yes, there are whistle blower lines for generic misconduct, but never one set up for a specific office). In addition, the turn over of the documents requested are so general in nature, that they pertain to no specific crime(s). Lacking the basis of any real evidence, the DOJ is now looking to go thru millions of pages of documents in a hope to try and drum up some charges. As quoted by Robert Driscoll, Sheriff Joe's attorney and former DOJ official under the Bush Administration:
"Generally the way it should work is you have evidence that someone's done something wrong, it's not that you're allowed to go fishing around and tell somebody what they did wrong after you look around for a year and a half,"
"If they had a good-faith basis to believe there was a pattern and practice violation of constitutional rights, they could file suit," [however] "It's kind of the cart before the horse, because they've picked the person and they've picked the sheriff's office, and they didn't find a violation and so now they're trying to, for the lack of a better term, gin up a violation."
So, what we have is a Department of Justice who refuses to prosecute voter intimidation by the Black Panther Party when they had an open shut case including video, refuses to go after any "hate crime" suspicions perpetrated by minorities, sues one of it's member states over the their right to uphold FEDERAL immigration law, and now wants to take to task a man who was sworn to uphold the law of the law and protect his constituents. Is it just me or does it appear that the our DOJ has become a protector of the illegal and criminal rather than upholders of American law?
By the way, the crimes that Sheriff Joe is being accused of? Racial profiling in immigration sweeps because his sweeps regularly take place in Latino neighbors. Ignore the fact that is also these very same communities that boast the highest crime rates. Mistreatment of prisoners by dictating that even bilingual jail officers can only speak to inmates in English stating it provides for a risk that medical emergency may go unchecked. Ignore the fact that it doesn't prevent guards from "listening" in Spanish, only regularly speaking in Spanish. Ignore the fact that this is an English speaking country, where the vast majority of it's people speak that language. Cruel and unusual punishment by forcing prisoners to live in Tent City where temperatures can reach 120 degrees. Ignore the fact that, as Joe puts it, we have American soldiers facing the same conditions, but wearing 40Lbs of body armor, who did nothing wrong but commit themselves to the defense of our nation and "if you don't like it, don't come back". Racial targeting in that most of Sheriff's Joe's sweeps result in the incarceration of primarily illegal aliens of Mexican descent. Never mind that Arizona is a border state, over run by drug cartels and illegal's crossing the border, where Phoenix has become the #2 city for drug cartel related kidnappings and murder, behind only Mexico City. Improper arrest and detainment techniques in immigration enforcement. Ignore the fact that 100 of MCSO deputies were trained and instructed by the Federal Immigration, Control, and Enforcement (ICE) agency, who are supposedly charged with doing the work that Sheriff Joe is now doing. Yup, Sheriff Joe sure does sound like a den of corruption to me.
In closing, the Sheriff's office is not an office of the US Constitution, but one of state constitution. This is an example of balance of power, in that the Sheriff's office is responsible to the state, not the federal government, operating under state law and authority. I agree, there should be a level of oversight to prevent egregious abuses, but that is the charge of the state. If the DOJ wants to go after someone, then they should do so thru the state legal process. Let the state conduct the investigation and make the appropriate measures, not the Fed. In either case, this is just another attempt by the Fed to silence those who fail to fall in lockstep with Obama's policies. Yet another case of our government choosing to protect those that knowingly and willingly break our laws, rather than those that abide or are sworn to uphold them. First it was the Tea parties, then the State of Texas, now Sheriff Joe Apraio. This is becoming more and more common place. If we allow our government to grow at unprecedented rates, we will soon find ourselves in a position where no one is allowed to speak out against the "all knowing, all powerful" federal government for fear of the weight of that government being able to suffocate us. Who's next? You, me, the vote of the American people? That's not the America that I was brought up to believe in nor one I wish to see us devolve to. This has to stop and November will our first step in this nation's course correction.
End Note: In a "let me be clear clarification" from President Obama regarding the Cordoba House mosque at the site of Ground Zero, he stated that he was no longer going to comment about the mosque because he did not want to, "get involved in local decision-making". Well Mr. President, too bad your philosophy doesn't extent to Arizona or Maricopa County. I guess the only time you don't want to get involved is when you accidentally step on a political landmine due to your inability to keep your mouth shut. So much for consistency.