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Brain Broken but Unbowed

Virtually all the major figures in the 2014 armed standoff between federal agents and supporters of welfare rancher Cliven Bundy have now escaped any punishment. US District Court Judge Gloria Navarro today dismissed all charges against Cliven Bundy, his idiot sons Ammon and Ryan, and Montana militia thug Ryan Payne, because federal prosecutors had so badly bungled their case that the defendants could not get a fair trial. The case was dismissed “with prejudice,” meaning the four can’t be tried again on the same charges, so the government will have to wait until the next time these morons decide to take up arms against the government. We’ll assume the Gang that Couldn’t Think Straight will go home and rest up a few weeks before finding some bit of federal land to take over with the help of a bunch of fellow armed loons, but who knows? They may see a rest stop along the freeway and decide to liberate it.

Navarro, who had previously declared a mistrial in December, said in today’s hearing that the federal prosecutors had willfully violated the defendants’ due process rights by failing to turn over potentially useful information to the defense. Navarro said, “The court finds that the universal sense of justice has been violated,” because even anti-government jerks with bizarre theories about the Constitution still have rights.

This is the third major self-inflicted dickstomp by feds trying to bring the Dildo Militia to justice: In October 2016, an Oregon jury found all defendants in the case of the Bundys’ occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge not guilty, and in August 2017 four accused gunmen from the Nevada standoff were also acquitted. A few minor crimers from the two standoffs did plead guilty or were found guilty on minor charges, but for the most part, the central figures have all walked, which suggests maybe the federal government isn’t the seamlessly oppressive tyranny these guys have claimed.

Following his release in Las Vegas, Cliven Bundy had a few words for reporters, as captured by the Oregonian’s Maxine Bernstein:


After some weird rambling about the wonders of beef, which is a God-Blessed natural commodity that he’ll be having for dinner tonight, Cliven Bundy suggested Judge Navarro had a secret motive for shutting the trial down when she did: If she had let it go on, his defense would have proven that the feds and Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo — the highest real constitutional authority that Bundy’s weirdass belief system recognizes — were thoroughly corrupt. Bundy went on to vow that if the Bureau of Land Management tries to impound his cattle again because of the over $1 million in back grazing fees he owes, then all sorts of sovereign citizen magic words will happen, plus guns if need be:

It’ll be the very same thing as last. We’ll petition our sheriff to protect our life, liberty and property. We never had a standoff with the federal government! We had a protest with the county sheriff. We asked our county sheriff to disarm the federal government, and he did not disarm the federal bureaucrats. He let We the People go before a 150, 200 army of the federal government, puttin’ not only Bundy’s life in danger but puttin’ the American People in danger! […] When since [sic] is the federal government supposed to have an army that comes against We the People? When did that ever happen in America? It happened on Bundy Ranch — they stuck their guns down our throats. And that is not what the Founding Fathers intended, to happen in America.

Two words, Cliven: Whiskey Rebellion.

Bundy also insisted that he’d only ever grazed his cattle on land belonging to Clark County, Nevada, because in his very special copy of the Constitution, there is simply no such thing as BLM land, because the federal government isn’t allowed to own land (a position no federal court has ever agreed with, which just proves the courts are disobeying the Constitution, too). He insisted he never had a “contract” with the federal government, and therefore the court that had just released him “has no jurisdiction over this matter.”

As for what’s next for Cliven Bundy, there’s no telling, but he thinks he may have to be part of the great movement to “go after” the “aiders and abettors” who are guilty of taking freedom away from all Americans. Among those who may have to face the people’s justice are the Clark County Sheriff, county commission, and the governor of Nevada, too:

They’re the terrorists here. They’re the ones that didn’t protect my life, liberty, and property. They’re the ones who don’t recognize statehood, err, state sovereignty. They’re the ones who don’t recognize we have policing power — they want to give our policing power to the feds. Can you imagine that with the Constitution we have, and the county sheriff bowing, and aiding and abetting and trying to entrap Bundy?

Good old Sovereign Citizen flummery there. And now that the feds have fucked up the prosecution, the Bundys and their heavily armed fans certainly aren’t likely to start acting like they’re untouchable, oh heavens no.

Might be a good week for BLM employees to drive their private cars to work, or just take that leave they have built up. The loonies will be in a celebratory mood.

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[LAT / NYT / Maxine Bernstein on Twitter]

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