The kangaroo court against Ammon Bundy and twenty-five or so other “co-conspirators” continues apace. They have all spent the last six months in jail, away from family and business, waiting for a show trial that will demonstrate that the citizens of this country no longer have rights or protections that they might have thought they had.
The entire farce is in striking contrast to the kid-glove legal treatment Hillary Clinton got when she broke multiple federal laws, used her office to gain hundreds of millions of dollars from foreign powers seeking favorable treatment from the Department of State and the U.S., and then was simply lectured and allowed to be on her way. It seems there really are two Americas, one for political and financial elites, and one for the ordinary citizens.
Ammon Bundy, it will be remembered, along with other ranchers and farmers from various Western states, occupied a remote wilderness building in protest of the unfair treatment of two other ranchers who burned undergrowth on their ranch which then spread to stark, unoccupied Federal land. The ranchers put the fire out without any help, but were charged with arson, and are now serving five year sentences in prison. The real crux of the matter is the desire of the Federal government to control as much land as possible through the Bureau of Land Management and the Forestry Service, and to drive farmers and ranchers off the land. In fact, the Federal government now “owns” over 51% of the land in eleven western states.
Bundy and other participants challenged the Federal government, and they will now participate in a show trial with a predetermined outcome that could sentence all of the ranchers and farmers with ten to twenty five years in federal prison. The judge wants no delays since the outcome is already predetermined, and a request for more time to prepare their defense that could cost them many years in prison is not being granted by the judge.
U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown said Wednesday she found it difficult to accept that the Bundy brothers — the “loud and clear leaders in this case from the beginning” — wouldn’t have time to prepare for trial by Sept. 7 and rejected their motions for any delay.
“It’s hard to believe that Ammon Bundy wasn’t already fully aware of the factual basis on which the government wishes to proceed,” Brown said. “This has been a public presentation from the beginning. It’s something that isn’t a surprise.”
She noted that Ammon and Ryan Bundy have repeatedly asserted their innocence and outlined their defense posture for occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge: that they were acting on their First Amendment rights to protest federal land ownership, demonstrating against the mandatory minimum prison sentences of two Harney County ranchers and asserting their Second Amendment rights to carry firearms in self-defense.
The Bundys are among 26 defendants indicted on charges of conspiring to impede federal workers at the refuge through “intimidation, threats or force” and a weapons charge. They’ve pleaded not guilty to the conspiracy and weapons charges.
Ammon Bundy’s lawyer Marcus Mumford argued that he’s been unable to view hours of video evidence with his client while Bundy remains in custody and has faced obstacles simply trying to communicate by phone with Bundy, who was recently moved to Portland’s Inverness Jail from the downtown jail.
The challenges of reviewing videos and other electronic forms of evidence have “inhibited our ability to help in his defense,” Mumford argued. He signed onto the case in May with fellow Utah lawyer J. Morgan Philpot.
It will be remembered that conservative lawyer Larry Klayman asked to be added to the legal team at the request of the Bundy family and was refused by a different judge due to other legal questions, though it was obvious this was one more attempt by the government to crush the defendants for pushing back against Federal government overreach.
It is shocking to see this type of banana republic government tyranny, but the fix is in, and these individuals will pay a huge price for a relatively minor infraction. Also important is the fact that although the ranchers in question were legally carrying guns when the resistance was raised, they caused no violence, looting, or damage. If only they were part of the Black Lives Matter movement they would be free with an apology from the government and a check for their trouble. The only casualty was one of the ranchers who was shot in cold blooded murder by law enforcement as he was attempting to go to the next town to meet with the sheriff there, which he advised the agents surrounding the facility he was going to do.
Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely, and it seems that is the situation here. From the BLM, to the Forestry Service, to the White House, and even in the courthouse, it is clear that Federal power in the U.S. is completely out of control and must be stopped. It is also clear that the abuses will continue, and the miscarriage of justice in the Bundy case is simply one small example of government run amok.