“To watch a man brave adversity is to know someone worthy of respect and admiration.” -Seneca (Roman philosopher)
Dateline: July 18, Portland Oregon
Motion denied is justice denied.
The little court room was packed at the Portland, Oregon Federal Court house to hear the attorneys for Ammon and Ryan Bundy argue their respective motions on why they should be released from pretrial custody. It was the last item on the court’s calendar this day which had to do with the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in January of 2016. The Bundys have been locked up without a trial for almost six months now. This was the hearing I had come to observe. Sometimes symbols are more powerful than threats of violence or weapons that kill and maim… The little picture of Ammon Bundy wrapping a strand of barbed wire around a fence post is a powerful symbol indeed.. This symbol of defiance is what the Federal government is so afraid of.
There is no finer man alive today than Ammon Bundy.. If one exists at least I haven’t met him. Ammon’s attorney is Marcus Mumford. He is from Utah and he is representing Ammon during the trial along with Morgan Philpot who is also from Utah. Ammon’s brother Ryan Bundy is representing himself. The government is the plaintiff. It is also the judge, the jailer, and the prosecutor in this case.. It was also the executioner of Lavoy Finicum. That was just as much an extra judicial killing as any that occurs in the Phillipines under the leadership of their current President. About the only thing that the government is not in the Occupation Trial is the jury. I don’t know how anybody in their right mind can expect the Bundy’s to get a fair trial when the government can overhear every single conversation they have with their attorneys while they remain in pretrial custody in jail.
I did not get to hear all of the defendant’s arguments on why they should be released from custody because I was booted out of the courtroom at the very first sign of government shenanigans. I observed that the prosecuting attorney had just contradicted himself. It wasn’t a very loud comment I made, but it was loud enough to draw the attention of the federal marshal who ordered me to leave the courtroom immediately.
What drew my ire was the fact that the government attorney had clearly contradicted himself. He had just finished admitting that the Bundys didn’t pose a flight risk. Then he went on to argue that because of the special circumstances of this case, neither of them should not be presumed to be innocent until proven guilty (as the law requires). One of the special circumstances of the case was the fact that there were guns involved in this crime which is alleged to have been committed… Never mind the fact that none of the protestors ever fired a single shot or demonstrated the intention to… The only shots fired were fired by the FBI and Oregon State Police officers. Three of those shots were fired into the back of Lavoy Finicum who was not threatening anyone. The prosecutor neglected to mention the fact that Ammon Bundy never possessed a firearm at the Refuge during the entire period of time in which the alleged crime is supposed to have been committed.
Judge Robert Jones was hearing the pretrial motions this morning. He was appointed to the Federal bench by George H.W. Bush. The other judge who will preside over the actual trials is Anna Brown. She was appointed by President Bill Clinton. Its a joint Republicrat effort to disregard the clear intent of the Constitution. This morning Judge Jones stopped the government attorney in his tracks. He said, “Let’s cut to the chase here. This is not about the presumption of innocence. It is about whether or not Ammon and Ryan Bundy represent an actual flight risk or a threat to the community.” He noted that the Bundys have many friends and family. They are well respected in their church and in their communities. They are both businessmen. Mr. Ammon Bundy owns an orchard. He was ordering the prosecutors to prove their claim that the Bundys should be denied pretrial release. At that point the prosecutor switched gears and did a complete 180 degree about face. He tried to reassert the argument that Mr. Bundy did indeed represent a flight risk whichhe had just previously denied. I couldn’t believe my ears and I couldn’t keep from pointing this out. “He just contradicted himself”, I said.
A split second later the marshal ordered me out of the courtroom… Having no desire to be warehoused in the same government pen that Ammon and Ryan Bundy are spending all of their time in I just left as I was instructed to do, but it is worth noting that it felt good to speak the truth in a place where the truth is seldom heard anymore… in a courtroom.
The attorneys for and against the motion argued on for about another hour and at the end of the day nothing was decided. The judge said he would rule on the motion in the morning… The next day the motion to release was rejected and the motion to consolidate the two cases was also rejected. There were at least two television crews within a few blocks of the Federal courthouse in downtown Portland and they both knew about these hearings yet neither covered the story. It probably didn’t fit in with their left wing agenda. The local newspaper had a reporter covering the hearing and her article contains small portions of the truth mixed in with a lot of government lies, and innuendo meant to misinform their readers.
In arguing the government’s case why the Bundys should remain in pretrial custody the prosecutors tried to prove that they were a flight risk by claiming that Ryan Bundy tried to escape from jail by tying sheets together into little strips… They didn’t accept his explanation that he was only practicing his ropemaking skills as he had nothing to do all day long. His cell is located on the sixth floor of a high rise building in the middle of downtown Portland. Do they honestly think that the public is so stupid as to believe that no one would see him hanging there from the window of the sixth story of the Multnomah County Detention Center in the middle of downtown Portland? … Another thing to consider is why would they blame Ammon for something they claimed that only his brother was doing? This isn’t justice that is being handed out in this courthouse. Its torture to even watch it. The government releases terrorists who murder innocent civilians. Then they go out and commit murder again. Meanwhile they detain the Bundys in pretrial custody depriving them of their constitutional rights over mere allegations of criminal trespass..
There is no reason to deprive Ammon and Ryan Bundy, Pete Santilli and Joseph O’Shaughnessy of their Constitutional rights. One of these is the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. There hasn’t been a trial and there is no finding of guilt… only unsubstantiated charges and a grand jury indictment. These men are not domestic terrorists. They are political prisoners held in jail without a trial because of their belief in the Constitution.
Please pray for justice to be served in their cases and pray for the Bundy Family. Pray for America too. In spite of the annual State of the Union messages which always contain lofty political rhetoric our country and our society are coming apart at the seems. Honor and Integrity are becoming vanishing values in America. There is no reason to continue to keep the Bundy’s and the other political prisoners in pretrial custody.. They can be counted on to keep their word and their court appearances… Honor is something that the Bundys were raised on and something that they live by, not like the government attorneys who are prosecuting them.
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