Hopefully at some point the loudmouthed wimp known as 'sheriff' joe will end up in prison being sodomized every day of his pathetic life. That would be true justice!!
By Ray Stern
By Ray Stern
By New Times
By Amy Silverman
By Stephen Lemons
By Stephen Lemons
By Monica Alonzo
By Chris Parker
CBS 5's recent special report on Sheriff Joe Arpaio's pattern of retaliation against anyone who criticizes or opposes his office put some serious wind into the sails of Joe foes. Though it was not so much the partial recounting of Joe's enemies list in the nearly 10-minute segment. (A full recounting would've required a mini-series.)
After all, the fact that Arpaio likes to investigate and arrest his critics — everyone from Maricopa County Supervisor Don Stapley to Village Voice Media Executive Editor Michael Lacey and VVM CEO Jim Larkin — is old chapeau to New Times readers.
As if to acknowledge this fact, CBS 5 producer Gilbert Zermeno and reporter Morgan Loew interviewed ex-New Times staffer John Dougherty about a 2004 run-in with Arpaio in which the sheriff and his goons claimed Dougherty threatened Arpaio with a "silver metallic object": A tape recorder.
What was new in the report was Zermeno and Loew's laying their evidence in front of former U.S. Attorney David Iglesias, the no-nonsense, ex-Navy prosecutor and Republican who supposedly helped inspire Tom Cruise's strident character in A Few Good Men. Iglesias was also one of several U.S. Attorneys purged by the Bush administration in 2006 for refusing to seek political prosecutions.
In other words, his reputation is unquestioned, plus he has no beef with Sheriff Joe. That made his insistence that he would seek an indictment all the more tantalizing.
"I would go to a grand jury," said Iglesias. "I would work very closely with the [Justice Department's] civil rights criminal division in Washington, D.C. And, based on the information that I have, I would seek an indictment."
Iglesias stated that what he had reviewed of Joe's abuses reminded him more of "South America, Africa, Eastern Europe, and Asia," not the U.S. of A., where such skullduggery is "absolutely unacceptable." Something about Iglesias' old Dragnet-style buzz-cut and his Joe Friday "just-the-facts-ma'am" demeanor made his observations that much more credible.
Certainly, Iglesias has the freedom in his pronouncements of no longer being a U.S. Attorney. But he did back up his analysis by citing federal statutes that Arpaio and Co. may have violated: 18 USC 241 and 18 USC 242.
The first law sanctions those who conspire to "injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person" exercising his or her constitutional rights. The second makes it illegal to deprive someone of rights "under the color of law." That is, using the law to get back at your enemies, hiding behind a badge in the process.
You don't have to be a lawyer to reckon that Arpaio's gone after people "under the color of law."
So the big question becomes: Will anything be done about Arpaio's possible violations of federal law? Everyone knows the Department of Justice and the FBI are investigating Arpaio, but will new U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke do anything about Arizona's rogue sheriff?
History does not bode well. Burke has long been a confidant to erstwhile Governor Janet Napolitano. He served as her chief of staff while she occupied the Executive Tower's ninth floor, and he later followed her to Washington, D.C., where he served as senior adviser to the Department of Homeland Security Secretary.
According to Arizona Democratic Party insiders, to talk to Burke was like talking to Napolitano. A nod from him could grant you access. A murmur that the state's chief executive was too busy meant your cause was doomed.
It may be too much to expect action from the trusted adviser to a cautious, do-nothing Democrat who avoided conflict with Arpaio, much less any act of standing on principle. Napolitano has been looking away from Arpaio's misdeeds for practically her entire political career.
That's because the pair have been political allies. In 1997, Janet Reno's Justice Department sued Arpaio over the conditions in his jails. When a settlement was declared, Napolitano, then Arizona's U.S. Attorney (and itching to run for state attorney general), appeared at a joint press conference with Arpaio and provided cover for Maricopa County's top constable. She pooh-poohed the lawsuit as a "technicality" and "a lawyer's paper."
In 2002, as Napolitano was engaged in her first gubernatorial campaign, Arpaio broke GOP ranks, and returned the favor by doing a TV ad on Napolitano's behalf.
As governor, Napolitano was instrumental in bringing the 287(g) program — which allows beat cops to play immigration enforcer — to Arizona and into Arpaio's eager mitts. How ironic that ICE, which is part of DHS, has had to strip Arpaio of some of the very same authority because of the very same civil rights concerns Napolitano felt free to ignore while she was governor.
I called Burke's office to ask him for a response to Iglesias' would-be willingness to indict. One of Burke's spokesmen, Patrick Hornbuckle, got back to me with the standard "we decline to comment."
But Burke has already made statements to the Arizona Capitol Times on more than one occasion suggesting he has smaller fish to fry than Sheriff Joe. For Burke, it's all about "border enforcement," the government buzzword du jour.
Asked by reporter Jeremy Duda whether he'll be investigating the sheriff, Burke was a study in meekness, saying he had no plans to that effect, insisting an investigation would be up to the DOJ's Civil Rights Division.
"From time to time, they might seek our assistance for help," Burke peeped.
Not exactly the sort of stuff that'll have Arpaio quaking. In fact, Burke's admission that Arpaio is on his back burner (if not on the back burner of his fellow feds, who are looking into Arpaio) should have Sheriff's Office muck-a-mucks sighing in their patent-leather chairs.
I asked former Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley whether he thought Arpaio should be on Burke's back burner. Romley, always an authoritative critic of Joe, thought it was time to turn up the heat.
"I don't know how any U.S. Attorney could not put public corruption at the highest of levels," he opined. "That is one of the most fundamental charges to the Justice Department, to ensure that there is not corruption in government itself."
However, Romley insinuated that U.S. Attorneys can't even take smoke breaks without phoning D.C. for permission. He also suggested that the DOJ bring in a team of prosecutors to handle Joe, to avoid Arpaio's penchant for making conflicts personal.
"When I was county attorney, I learned that lesson," Romley continued. "Remember when [Arpaio] did the prostitution sting? C'mon, you think I'm going to be sanctioning law enforcement techniques that allow guys to get blowjobs? That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard in my life. But that isn't the way the press played it. The press played it as, oh, this is another personal feud between Romley and Arpaio. So the substance of the issue [was lost]."
Romley makes a valid point, though I know of one news outlet that didn't misrepresent Arpaio's bungled prostitution sting involving deputies and posse men getting nekkid with hookers on camera. Need we take a bow?
A DOJ flack in D.C. similarly declined comment on the statements of David Iglesias. Nor would the DOJ describe Burke's role, if any, in their probe.
Will history repeat itself, and will Burke end up shilling for Arpaio, as Janet once did? Burke's tepid statements so far leave us with only one hope: that Washington will either act on its own concerning Arizona's number-one civil rights problem or that it will force Burke to act.
Either way, it leaves those longing for justice in Maricopa County feeling like we're waiting for Godot.
The reason the feds must act in Maricopa County can be seen in the ongoing saga of Guadalupe town activist Andrew Sanchez and his family. As New Times reported in Michael Lacey's kick-off to the series "Are Your Papers in Order?", the Sanchez clan has suffered much at the hands of MCSO deputies — who look for any picayune reason to mess with them.
In 2008, during Arpaio's anti-immigrant sweep in Guadalupe, Sanchez committed the heinous act of honking his car horn in support of those protesting Arpaio's military-style invasion of the square-mile town of 5,500. Sanchez, whose vehicle was filled with anti-Joe signs and smeared with an anti-Arpaio slogan written in shoe polish, was stopped and cited for "improper use of horn." A judge later threw out the citation.
About a month later, his sister Elaine Sanchez was wrestled to the ground — as well as handcuffed, kneed in the back, and arrested because her license-plate light was out — by MCSO deputies.
Sanchez's brother-in-law Manuel Valenzuela was arrested on an outstanding warrant because he owed 40 cents on a $135 traffic fine that he'd already paid. Valenzuela's ticket was for operating Andrew Sanchez's car without a license. This was shortly after Arpaio's 2008 sweep. Why did the MCSO stop the car to begin with? Valenzuela had the high beams on.
Since Lacey wrote the Sanchez story in March, things had been relatively quiet for the family. Many of them live in a house Sanchez owns near Guadalupe's Family Dollar store, where Arpaio had his command post during the infamous 2008 sweep.
About a week ago, Sanchez was buying supplies for a Halloween haunted house the family was building in the backyard, when he received a call from Jonathan Coronado, his cousin's husband.
"The cops are in your room," Coronado alerted Sanchez, who dropped everything and rushed home to find that three sheriff's deputies had just searched his home, one of them with his gun drawn, looking for probation violator Alex Valenzuela, an ex-boyfriend of Sanchez's younger sister.
Valenzuela had been in the house days earlier before getting in trouble with his parole officer, and the MCSO apparently came looking because of the visit. Sanchez's aunt allowed the deputies to search the property when they told her she could get in trouble for harboring a fugitive. Sanchez says he would never have allowed them to search his house, and he believes they waited until he was away to knock on his door.
Needless to say, the MCSO didn't locate Valenzuela.
"Since the news came down that he has violated parole, he has not stepped foot in my house," Sanchez said. "He had been here several days back. Technically, he was not a felon then."
But that didn't stop an unnamed deputy from searching the house with gun drawn and children present. Coronado was in a bedroom sleeping. Also in the room was Sanchez's 11-year-old cousin.
"The deputy pointed [the gun] at me and said, 'Is there anyone else in the room?'" recalled Coronado. "I said, 'Just me and him. That's it.' He said, 'If you're lying, I'm going to have to put you down.'"
Coronado assumed the deputy meant that he would "Tase me or threaten me — something like that." Coronado says the little boy in the room awoke and was scared by the man with a gun, who proceeded to search the closet, the bathroom, and under the bed.
Afterward, a deputy informed Sanchez that his job as a resident program specialist at Arizona State Hospital could be in jeopardy for harboring a felon, though Sanchez had harbored no such person. It was a baseless threat, but a threat all the same. The deputy concluded the conversation with a revealing aside.
"He says, 'So you're the guy who's always in the New Times,'" remembered Sanchez. "I looked at him, and said, 'I've probably been in there, like, once or twice.' He said, 'Well, I've seen you in there a lot of times.'"
The next day, Sanchez said, members of Maricopa County Animal Care and Control arrived at his house. They said they'd received a complaint from the MCSO concerning loose dogs and gave Sanchez's uncle four tickets. That afternoon, an MCSO deputy came by to question Sanchez's teenage cousin.
"It was about [school] attendance, supposedly," said Sanchez. "But the officer got really personal with her, asking her about hickeys on her neck."
Sanchez informed the deputy he could not question the girl without her mom present. The deputy shot back, "Who are you, her lawyer?"
Eventually, Sanchez and other family members followed the deputy as he took the girl to Sanchez's aunt's house nearby. They videotaped him as they followed him.
That brings us to what Sanchez believes is the reason for this latest round of MCSO harassment: the formation of Guadalupe's Citizens Camera Crew, of which Sanchez is a member. As I discussed in last week's column, another member of the CCC, activist William Robles, has been stopped and questioned by MCSO deputies, who seem to think he got his camera from New Times or that he works for New Times in some capacity.
Neither Robles nor Sanchez work for this paper, nor has New Times given them cameras, though now that the MCSO is making an issue of it, it does sound like a good idea — because Sanchez and Robles seek to document interactions between the MCSO and Guadalupe's residents. (The MCSO is contracted to provide law enforcement for the town, half of whose population is Yaqui Indian, with the other half of Mexican extraction.)
CCC members have received training from the Phoenix organization Copwatch, which has been videotaping police stops for years. Such videotaping is perfectly legal, and even Guadalupe's top MCSO cop, Lieutenant Ed Shepherd, agreed that's the case when I spoke to him about an incident in which Deputy Loren Gaytan suggested to other Guadalupanos that Robles was working for the MCSO.
Gaytan's lie, recently caught on videotape, provoked some hotheads to jump Robles as he walked home.
Asked about some of Sanchez's recent run-ins with the MCSO's beige-shirts, Shepherd said a deputy is justified in pulling a gun during a search if he doesn't know whether a fugitive has a gun. As for the dog tickets, he made no apologies, as Guadalupe has a problem with loose dogs.
Shepherd rejected the suggestion that Sanchez is a target of Arpaio's office.
"I don't think [those deputies] were targeting anybody," said Shepherd. "They were out looking for a bad guy. Any kind of New Times stuff [said to Sanchez] . . . I think that's just in passing."
In any case, Sanchez said he and his fellow camera-wielding Guadalupanos will not be cowed.
"We're going to keep doing what we're doing," promised Sanchez. "We'll be out there patrolling. It is our legal right."
Hopefully at some point the loudmouthed wimp known as 'sheriff' joe will end up in prison being sodomized every day of his pathetic life. That would be true justice!!
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Thanks for this article, I also want to share something that ever hear of this thing called a "grand jury," Joel? Prosecutors use them all the time to investigate and bring indictments. Duh!
You wouldn't be Joel Fox would you? In that case, you know all about grand juries, I'll bet.
Hope they "prosecute" you, Joel============================================Attorneys
Feds rumored close to indicting America's Sheriff
November 10, 9:48 PM Phoenix Congressional Oversight Examiner David Keller
PHOENIX � The man FOX News first declared America�s toughest sheriff may soon be posing for his own mug shot. Capitol Hill sources confirm the FBI is investigating multiple allegations against Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, charges that are said to include murder of suspects in custody, civil rights violations, blackmail, graft and use of his office to settle political vendettas.
The last of America�s true old style political bosses is nearly eighty and if just half the allegations become elements of a federal grand jury indictment, Sheriff Joe as his supporters call him, would doubtless spend several years awaiting trial in federal detention. Bail is seldom granted in cases where the suspect has purportedly salted away millions of dollars in off shore accounts and is a flight risk.
Sources close to the federal task force report the break came when senior deputies hoping to avoid long prison terms flipped on their boss and began cooperating with the Justice department. For more than a decade the small portly neoconservative populist exercised an iron fist over a vast statewide political machine, But the findings of a federal grand jury may change all that and leave Arizona�s republican political infrastructure in free fall.
The beginning of the end actually began when scandal forced Alberto Gonzales resignation as Attorney General, Not wanting to be remembered as being quite so corrupt as his predecessor, Michael Mukasey reportedly permitted dozens of complaints against the sheriff gathering dust to be reviewed, they discovered even by George Bush�s standards the behavior of a county sheriff who speaks in the third person and titles himself America�s sheriff was too much to ignore any longer.
Public documentation alone details a man whose political machine has had its hand in murder, rape, kidnapping, graft, blackmail and every possible criminal activity. The scope of the crimes is said to have spurred even jaded republican political hacks at justice to order the FBI into action.
When Barack Obama�s people took over at justice the investigation already underway was assigned even more resources and people, revelations surfaced that confirmed the sheriff had allowed individuals with known ties to violent white supremacist and separatist groups to join his armed and badge toting volunteer special deputy ranks. Videos of the sheriff�s relationship with radical separatists can be seen at this link
The sheriff�s poll ratings which had been in the upper 90% for more than a decade began to slip after the 2006 midterms when his handpicked congressional delegation was booted out of congress. The election of democrats to Arizona�s Gubernatorial and Attorney General�s office opened the flood gates and local Mayors and council members all over the State who had cow towed to the sheriffs machine for years began speaking against him.
The Sheriff responded by announcing his office had been conducting a super double top secret investigations against democrats and was close to arresting the A.G who held his own press conference to chuckle and declare the State would no longer be accepting calls or cases from the Sheriff of Maricopa county.
Claiming disrespect for the office of sheriff would not stand on his watch, he began to deploy fully armed swat teams to raid city halls around Arizona claiming they were harboring terrorists and illegal aliens posing as janitors, called press conferences to warn his followers he had proof positive �they� were also engaged in a conspiracy with drug cartels from Mexico to assinate the personage of the sheriff,
As the feds begin to draw the butterfly net around the sheriff of Maricopa county his press conferences have become film noir, he rants at the vast left wing political conspiracy arrayed against him shouts that the federal agents in the audience who have already identified themselves are actually posing as reporters or cab drivers and street sweepers, stalking his every move and out to get him. Some suspect the sheriffs more bizarre than usual behavior of late suggest he may be planning an insanity defense or will attempt to have doctors certify he is afflicted with Alzheimer�s and unfit to stand trial.
I cannot believe that this happens in America. This sheriff needs to be put in jail and most of his deputy's as well. I would pay good money to see that! It seems absurd that this could happen in America but I guess that is why it is so possible. Most people think this is just kooks saying this and it just cant be true. I hope they wake up soon. I was hoping that a professional lawman would win at the last vote and clean up all these power hungry jerks in the sheriff's department. I guess we can only hope that someone will actually do something in these investigations. Before any more people are hurt by this disgusting excuse for law enforcement we have called sheriff Joe.
The whining from the pro-illegal immigration crowd continues. Lemons is the head cheerleader. I guess we should all just ignore all of the criminals streaming across the border and living amongst hard working and law-abiding Americans?
I think you should all illegally imigrate to Mexico where you can live the life you want for all Americans.
Hey Chris Long, We don't know how its done in Buttlick, Georgia, where they burn crosses and spout the N-word. That is, why don't you keep your cracker-ass opinions to yourself.
The asinine malign-and-kill-the-messenger above comments by "Chris Long" are a pretty fair indication that Arpaio's mafioso is running scared. Gosh, Chris, are you really from Columbus, Georgia
Stephen Lemons: Uh, referring to a prosecutor who allegedly inspired Pretty Boy Tom Cruise's role in a few good men demeans the Navy, Iglesias, humanity and dumb animals.
Great article. Very factual and, as usual, spot-on.I reviewed the federal statutes cited by Mr. Lemons in this article (18 USC 241, 18 USC 242). If Dennis Burke can use these statutes to go after Sheriff Joe, the MCSO, and the County Attorney, why not do that?If I was a US Attorney, and I had the kind of information that was in this article, you can bet there would be indictments. But alas. This is Arizona. When is somebody in our government going to get a pair and take down Nazicopa County, Fuhrer Arpaio, and the Schutzstaffeln? We've already had deaths occur. If anybody remembers the story about the death of prison inmate Marcia Powell. Where are Marcia's rights?Where are the rights of all the people continually targeted, harassed and bullied by the MCSO?
When will it end?
When Joe and his crew of criminals finally fall it will resound around the country. The fact that he and his thugs(paid and volunteers) have been able to get away with their crimes for so long should shame the Maricopa County power structure. And when the IRS forensic accountants get through with the gang none will be walking the streets again. Wonder which prisons they will be inhabiting?
The people of Guadalupe are incredible! They amaze me with their courage to continue fighting against Arpaio's thugs. I don't think I've ever found such a great group of activists. They have so much heart and love for their town and each other. Since April of 08, the spirit of Guadalupe has gotten to me and the town has taught me much about myself.
The last sweep William was my partner legal observing both days out in Surprise and El Mirage. The man's got what it takes and I couldn't ask for a better partner. He's solid, sober and keeps a cool head at all times. He knows his rights and is fearless.
Andrew keeps it together. He has what Cesear Chavez had: the gift of truly listening to the people.
Thank you William and Andrew. Don't give up.
Great Article on Guadalupe and Arpaio. These 2 articles seem to go hand in hand. Arpaio's reign of terror needs to end soon.
To the brave people of Guadalupe. Thanks for all you are doing. Stay strong.
Way to go Mr. Lemons. Another great piece on the struggle against Arpaio. I will see you all in the streets on January 16th.
Gaytan needs to be carefully observed. I suspect that he may try something stupid. I think Shephard should transfer this incompetent deputy to another location.
I suspect Gaytan will strike back to retaliate. KEEP AN EYE ON HIM.
Joel says "For a former US Attorney to publicly proclaim that he would seek an indictment based on the information presented to him when that information was presented to him from an obviously biased source is extremely foolish."
Joel, that's why he qualified it by saying "based on the information that's been provided." It was hypothetical. What is not hypothetical is that Arpaio arrests, jails, and seeks indictments based on much less. How did those prosecutions of Parraz, Pochoda, Theilen, Sandschafer, et al go??? How is the second round with Stapley going??? I don't see any prosecutors chomping at the bit to take that case.
Hey Dennis Burke:
How about you check into how arpaio came up with the cool million in cash, in the trunk of a rental car in his daughters name no less, he was caught with crossing the Mexican border a few years back? I heard this from one person, who isnt one to speculate..and a random person i happened to be talking with about it also thought it odd no one ever looked into it. so there you go Dennis..lets see what your made of.
Congratulations William, Andrew and others in Guadalupe for your courage. Your personal morals, love and dedication to our town has inspired me as well as others.
My prayers are with you. Stay strong and be brave. Have faith and continue to be excellent role models for others in a town that can no longer expect anything but terror from the MCSO.
Much of the good work you do goes unnoticed: Graffiti removal organizing, volunteering with the church and community activities that keep the kids safe to name a few. Your humble nature and hunger for justice will not go unrewarded forever. Have faith.
Both articles show the dire condition we are in. Fear has kept many politicians silent about Arpaio. They see what happens to others who oppose him and don't want their careers ruined. Arpaio uses his thugs to terrorize a town and attempts to get others to turn on those who dare film and document him in Guadalupe. This old trick is shameful. Soon, when MCSO employees decide they can no longer live being a part of it or choose to roll over to save their own buts, perhaps it will end. But he still has about 55-60% popularity. We are truly a disgusting group of people in Maricopa County. No wonder tourism has already declined.
Great Article. Media exposure like this exploiting the truth about continuous corruption with Sheriff Joe Arpaio will eventially wear this old evil man down.
This really brings into question how much evidence does the federal government need before they quit pretending and actually step in. I can't help but to compare this to Chicago's Gov Blogavich scandel. We have much more well documented evidence of coruption here yet we don't hear a peep from the FEDS.
They ignore it when Arpaio targets high profile political opponents and ignore it when he targets activists.
What is happening to America? Does Obama hate mexicans so much that hewill let Saddom Hussan Arpaio do whatever he likes?
If you don't like it, move out of my county!!!! This paper is only good for my dogs to piss on. Stupid Mexican beanerspics took'err jobs!
This is truely sad. What do the feds want here? Another Watts riot? If they don't move quickly, they may just get that sooner then they think.
Keep ignoring it Feds. The blood will be on your hands.
While a prosecutor does not conduct an investigation, the Maricopa county Attorney's Office has four investigative bureaus, which perform a variety of services involving investigations. Taken right from the website... "and in creative collaboration with community members and allied law enforcement agencies, support effective responses to problems that impair the safety or the quality of life of Maricopa County communities and their members."
Gee, this sounds just like what Bozo Joke Arpaio does all the time.
>>If people could be convicted based on nothing but opinions, rumors, and malicious, unfounded accusations, everyone would be in jail, including Stephen Lemmons.
Ever hear of this thing called a "grand jury," Joel? Prosecutors use them all the time to investigate and bring indictments. Duh!
You wouldn't be Joel Fox would you? In that case, you know all about grand juries, I'll bet.
Hope they "prosecute" you, Joel
Prosecutors are not investigators. They take cases completed by investigating agencies and prosecute them in court. Hence the title "prosecutor".
The DOJ investigates. The FBI investigates. The US Attorney prosecutes.
For a former US Attorney to publicly proclaim that he would seek an indictment based on the information presented to him when that information was presented to him from an obviously biased source is extremely foolish. So, based on what the news says, Iglesias would seek an indictment against Arpaio??
Hopefully, Iglesias was just caught up in the moment and didn't realize that local CBS 5 news reporters are not legitimate investigators, have no obligation to tell the truth, and no obligation to even verify their facts. Seeking an indictment based on such frivolous information is foolish at best.
It'd be like having Stephen Lemmons be the only witness in a case against Arpaio. How do think it would be presented? Fairly? No. Honestly? No. Would there be justice? No.
If people could be convicted based on nothing but opinions, rumors, and malicious, unfounded accusations, everyone would be in jail, including Stephen Lemmons.
Luckily for all of us, the justice system is more about justice than it is about politics.
Iglesias must be hoping for another sweet government job and since the bosses are democrats, he needs to make them happy. Once he's done letting all the terrorists go free because the Bush administration was so mean to them, he'll probably get just what he's after.
Appalling that USAttorney Dennis Burke can't get it up to go after sheriff shithead. What the hell good are these goddamn prosecutors if they won't go after the MCSO mafia in their own backyard? What's the point of electing a Democrat President if all we get are Janet Napolitano's warmed over leftovers? Ugh. Lemons is correct. Worthless POS prosecutor. That's what Burke is. Obama would've been better off making Rick Romley US Attorney instead. As he's a Republican (like Iglesias) maybe he'd actually DO SOMETHING!!!
When it ends up being you being beaten to death by your heroes while tied to a chair, you might sing a different tune.