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July 29, 2010

A Throwback to Harry Anslinger

Joe Arpaio, Sheriff of Maricopa County (Phoenix) is a miserable human being, one of those people whose need for the limelight and bad behavior combine to become a litmus test of character. While I may neither like nor admire all "Sheriff Joe's" many detractors, I can be reasonably sure I wouldn’t have much in common with his admirers.

He and I do have a few things in common however: we were both born in 1932 and went to work for the federal government in the Fifties. I spent thirteen years- from 1958 on- as a US Army doctor until my disgust for Nixon and the war in Vietnam induced my departure, while Joe served as an enlisted MP between 1950 and 1954, before reentering federal service with Harry Ansliger's FBN in 1957 after a short stint as a civilian cop. He then survived the transformation of the FBN into the DEA before retiring in Phoenix 1992 and running successfully for Sheriff of Maricopa County, an office he has retained tenaciously ever since despite multiple law suits, court orders, and an unequivocal public record of abusing both the powers of his office and the hapless prisoners in his custody.

As luck would have it, the present anomalous situation in Arizona guarantees Joe a place in the limelight for as long as his health permits and his constituents will tolerate his irresponsible antics.

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at July 29, 2010 04:58 PM