Did the Feds throw the case against the Bundy Welfare-cowboy gang in a bid to cast a wider dragnet?
The first seven participants in last winters takeover of an Oregon wildlife refuge were cleared of conspiracy charges in a spectacular court decision that included the take-down and tasering of one of the attorneys.
Ammon and Ryan Bundy along with five other occupiers were released when the State could not prove a clear case of conspiracy. According to The Seattle Times (11-5-16) One juror stated that the prosecutors simply could not make a case of intent to violate the law. On its face, that seems outrageous. The 41-day siege included destruction of public property, posting of armed guards, the use of federal buildings and equipment, and other clear violations.
The stand-off ended shortly after one occupier, Lavoy Finicum was shot to death in an ambush by an FBI hit team on January 26th. Controversy surrounds this event, with video from Finicum’s passenger showing clearly that the FBI shot out the truck’s windows, Finicum exiting with his hands raised and then being shot to death. Here is an important link with embedded video of the incident:
Federal judge: Possible misconduct by FBI in LaVoy Finicum shooting irrelevant to defense in Oregon standoff case
So with this much controversy and an estimated $4.3 million in costs to taxpayers – how were the Bundy’s and their accomplices cleared of charges, as well as the Feds in the Finicum shooting?
Conventional thought suggests that the prosecution should have set their sights lower with simple destruction of Federal property or a similar charge.
But perhaps there is more to the motivation of the Government rather than incompetent prosecution. For instance: 9 of the 15 defendants being tried were FBI informants. That’s right, there were more FBI plants in the self-styled militia than actual “protesters”. From oregonlive.com:
Defense rests with witness confirming he was FBI informant and ran occupation’s shooting range
Defense lawyers rested in the Oregon standoff case Monday after they called a witness who confirmed he was an informant for the FBI and acknowledged that he infiltrated the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and supervised the shooting range for several days.
The man who occupiers initially knew only by his alias “John Killman” was revealed to be Fabio Minoggio, a Las Vegas resident subpoenaed by the defense to testify after prosecutors declined to confirm if he was a government informant.
While at the refuge, Minoggio said he was asked to oversee the shooting range, which earlier testimony revealed was by the refuge boat launch. He said he provided training on firearms safety and proficient use of firearms to the occupiers.
Minoggio was one of 15 confidential informants who fed the FBI information about the occupiers, testimony showed.
Nine of the 15 were at the refuge for various lengths of time between Jan. 4 and Jan. 26, according to a statement that Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Gabriel read to jurors. Those nine included the three who have been identified at trial: Minoggio, defense witness Terri Linnell of California and Mark McConnell, who was the driver of the Jeep that Ammon Bundy was riding in when he was arrested on Jan. 26.
Killman, defense lawyer Tiffany Harris pointed out in a written legal brief, was a participant in the firearms and military-style maneuvers training during the occupation and helped train one of the defendants, Jeff Banta, in hand-to-hand combat techniques.
He spoke with a French or South African accent to people at the refuge and his Facebook profile included a majority of friends who occupied the refuge, according to defense lawyers. Defense investigators learned Minoggio was born in Switzerland and had served in the Swiss army for 20 years. He was trained in “psy-ops,” weaponry and martial arts, according to Harris’ legal brief.
Defense lawyer Matthew Schindler, who represents defendant Kenneth Medenbach, argued that the defense team had the right to know who the “mystery people” were who brought the 22 long guns and 12 handguns to the refuge that prosecutors had FBI agents parade before jurors. Schindler pointed out that prosecutors and the FBI didn’t identify who brought most the guns.
More at link
Now let’s think about this; Ever since 9/11 the FBI has set up dozens of people on conspiracy charges to bomb some federal building or bridge – more cases ran by the FBI than by actual people intent in creating a terror plot. Each case is a feather in the FBI cap, raising their value in the public eye despite the obvious entrapment of patsy’s by Federal agents.
So could they really lose a case that was televised every day and publicly split the opinions of rural residents as to the conduct of both militia members as well as Government agents?
Well what if that’s what they intended to do.
Right now the militia-backed “sagebrush rebellion” is sensing victory, and may be lulled into a larger scenario. Critics say the armed movement has been energized by the court decision, and intends to stage further protests.
But the fact remains, several more defendants await trail in Oregon, and the Bundy brothers face another trial in Nevada stemming from the original welfare-cowboy protest at The Bundy Ranch. Nobody knows how many of the militia members who crossed state lines with weapons – intending to confront Federal Agents – were also Federal informants.
It seems that a lot of these guys are not the sharpest knives in the box, and it would be possible for the Feds to cast a much larger net, perhaps nationwide. This has been practiced by the FBI since it’s inception, however went full-tilt with the “PATCON” operation in the 1990’s. In that case, the agency infiltrated dozens of patriot organizations and may have actually caused the Oklahoma City Federal building bombing. Here is one of many articles on PATCON you can find on the internet:
PATCON Revealed: An Exclusive Look Inside The FBI’s Secret War With The Militia Movement
By J.M. Berger
While I am sympathetic to the concerns of rural farmers and ranchers I can’t support this type of armed takeover of Federal property. And I have worked on ranches, ran a farm and live in an isolated rural area now.
These guys are involved in vary serious business. In Nevada they took high ground and targeted Government agents with sniper rifles. They should be aware that they were photographed and the Feds probably know everything about them. The other shoe may drop soon.
Additionally, we are staring down at the worst run Presidential contest in recent history, complete with its own FBI bungling as well as threats of revolution if Clinton gets elected.
If these Bundy supporters were really true to their claims of sovereignty they would be out there facing Government agents with The Standing Rock Sioux in their pipeline protest across native land.
But that’s not the nature of armed white militias.