Government's Misconduct In Cliven Bundy Case Stems From Ruby Ridge

Authored by James Bovard, op-ed via The Hill,

Federal judge Gloria Navarro slammed the FBI and Justice Department on Monday, Jan. 8, for “outrageous” abuses and “flagrant misconduct” in the prosecution of Cliven Bundy and sons, the Nevada ranchers who spurred a high-profile standoff with the FBI and Bureau of Land Management in 2014.

Navarro condemned the "grossly shocking” withholding of evidence from defense counsel in a case that could have landed the Bundys in prison for the rest of their lives. Navarro, who had declared a mistrial last month, dismissed all charges against the Bundys.

Navarro was especially riled because the FBI spent three years covering up or lying about the role of their snipers in the 2014 standoff. The Bundys faced conspiracy charges because they summoned militia to defend them after claiming FBI snipers had surrounded their ranch. Justice Department lawyers scoffed at this claim but newly-released documents vindicate the Bundys. In an interview Saturday, Ammon Bundy reviled the feds:

“They basically came to kill our family, they surrounded us with snipers. And then they wanted to lie about it all like none of it happened."

Many of the heavily-armed activists who flocked to the scene feared that the FBI snipers had a license to kill the Bundys.

Their reaction cannot be understood without considering a landmark 1990s case that continues to shape millions of Americans’ attitude towards Washington: the federal killings and coverups at Ruby Ridge.

Randy Weaver and his family lived in an isolated cabin in the mountains of northern Idaho. Weaver was a white separatist who believed races should live apart; he had no record of violence against other races — or anyone else. An undercover federal agent entrapped him into selling a sawed-off shotgun. The feds then sought to pressure Weaver to become an informant but he refused.

After Weaver was sent the wrong court date and failed to show up, the feds launched a vendetta. Idaho lawyer David Nevin noted that U.S.:

“Marshals called in military aerial reconnaissance and had photos studied by the Defense Mapping Agency. They prowled the woods around Weaver’s cabin with night-vision equipment. They had psychological profiles performed and installed $130,000 worth of long-range solar-powered spy cameras. … They even knew the menstrual cycle of Weaver’s teenage daughter, and planned an arrest scenario around it.”

On August 21, 1992, six camouflaged U.S. Marshals carrying machine guns trespassed onto the Weavers’ property. Three marshals circled close to the Weaver cabin and killed one of their dogs. A firefight ensued and 14-year old Sammy Weaver was shot in the back and killed as he was leaving the scene. Kevin Harris, a family friend, responded by fatally shooting a federal marshal who had fired seven shots in the melee.

The next day, the FBI sent in its Hostage Rescue Team snipers with orders to shoot to kill any adult male outside the Weaver cabin. A federal appeals court ruling later noted that:

“FBI agents formulated rules of engagement that permitted their colleagues to hide in the bushes and gun down men who posed no immediate threat. Such wartime rules are patently unconstitutional for a police action.”

FBI sniper Lon Horiuchi shot Randy Weaver in the back after he stepped out of his cabin, wounding him. Horiuchi then shot and killed Vicki Weaver standing in the cabin door holding their 10-month old baby. A confidential 1994 Justice Department task force report concluded:

“The absence of a (surrender demand) subjected the Government to charges that it was setting Weaver up for attack.”

Weaver and Harris surrendered after an 11-day siege. At their 1993 trial, federal prosecutors asserted that Weaver long conspired to have an armed confrontation with the government. The feds bizarrely asserted that moving from Iowa to a spot near the Canadian border in 1985 was part of Weaver’s plot. After an Idaho jury largely exonerated the defendants, federal judge Edward Lodge slammed DOJ and FBI misconduct and fabrication of evidence in the case.

Regardless of the judge’s condemnation, FBI chief Louis Freeh in 1995 exonerated the FBI for its actions at Ruby Ridge. That year, after I slammed Freeh’s whitewash in the Wall Street Journal and elsewhere, Freeh denounced my “inflammatory and unfounded allegations.” Five months later, I snared a confidential 542-page Justice Department report on Ruby Ridge, excerpting its damning findings in a Wall Street Journal piece. The coverup unraveled and the feds paid the Weaver family $3.1 million to settle their wrongful-death lawsuit. A top FBI official was sent to prison for destroying key evidence.

But the FBI sniper who killed Vicki Weaver never faced justice. When Boundary County, Idaho, sought to prosecute Horiuchi in 1998, the Clinton administration invoked the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution (which blocks local and state governments from challenging federal power) to torpedo their lawsuit. Solicitor General Seth Waxman absolved the sniper because “federal law-enforcement officials are privileged to do what would otherwise be unlawful if done by a private citizen.”

While that claim may sway federal judges, it often fails to charm jurors. A Justice Department brief in the Bundy case revealed that prosecutors dreaded jury nullification — “not guilty” verdicts due to government abuses. That specter spurred prosecutors to withhold key evidence from both the court and the defense counsel, resulting in a mistrial and dismissal of charges.

Judge Navarro rightly declared that “a universal sense of justice has been violated” by federal misconduct in the Bundy trial. Americans’ trust in the FBI and Justice Department will not be restored until those agencies are compelled to obey the law and the Constitution. Until that happens, federal prosecutors should continue fearing verdicts from Americans who refuse to convict those whom the feds wrongfully vilify.

*  *  *

James Bovard is a USA Today columnist and the author of 10 books, including “Lost Rights: The Destruction of American Liberty” (St. Martin’s Press, 1994).



Stu Elsample Mon, 01/15/2018 - 16:13 Permalink

Conservative and patriotic white Americans are #1 on the deep state's 'domestic terrorist' watch list.

The deep state fears nothing more than armed and aware citizens.

Muddy1 skbull44 Mon, 01/15/2018 - 17:36 Permalink

I keep asking, Where is Lon Horiuchi?  I never knew Lon was absolved of his dirty work... "Solicitor General Seth Waxman absolved the sniper because “federal law-enforcement officials are privileged to do what would otherwise be unlawful if done by a private citizen.”

Pathetic that the FBI issues shoot to kill orders on INNOCENT US civilians, but our servicemen have to follow "rules of Engagement" in Iraq and Afghanistan.  How F'd up is that?

Any respect I had for the FBI and the DOJ is long gone.  Even more unfortunate that this article was not held until tomorrow when the feds are back to work and could read it on their government computers.

In reply to by skbull44

NA X-15 Muddy1 Mon, 01/15/2018 - 18:26 Permalink

"I keep asking, Where is Lon Horiuchi?"

That's the burning question of the day - where is that murderous bastard? How can he keep hiding all these years without anybody ratting him out?

4chan needs to dig into this, they seem to be good at ferreting out people who want to stay hidden.

To the Feds reading this who are helping him stay out of sight: fuck you.




In reply to by Muddy1

zerochance67 Muddy1 Mon, 01/15/2018 - 19:30 Permalink

It's all tied together.  Anger at Horiuchi and the FBI is what led Tim McVeigh to commit the Oklahoma City Bombing. (If you want to believe the public story)  McVeigh was known to hang out at gun shows and pass out business cards with Horiuchi's name and address on them.  The OKC Bombing lead to the creation of the law that was used to prosecute the Bundy's.   Pretty damn convenient that. . .

In reply to by Muddy1

ExcapedPOI Muddy1 Mon, 01/15/2018 - 19:41 Permalink

I also wonder where he went.  Probably witness, I mean crime ring, protection. Even when you are "absolved"  I bet you live in fear for such low-life action, unless of course like Dan Love you are a psychopathic nut-case that doesn't have such feelings....Oh, wait.  The government is full of those, because that's what governments attract!

In reply to by Muddy1

not-me---it-wa… Muddy1 Mon, 01/15/2018 - 22:17 Permalink

" Pathetic that the FBI issues shoot to kill orders on INNOCENT US civilians, but our servicemen have to follow "rules of Engagement" in Iraq and Afghanistan.  How F'd up is that? "


that's really fucked up!  our boys (and girls and trannies)

should not be limited to the 100,000 innocent civilians

already murdered in illegal wars and occupations.

kill 'em all!

bibi approves.

In reply to by Muddy1

Offthebeach skbull44 Mon, 01/15/2018 - 17:37 Permalink

More like disorganized criminal organization

Knew a girl, collage student, rented a basement apt from old mob grandma.  Bad town.  She had zero problems.  Her car, not a scratch.  Was told don't miss rent, and come to "them" first,  not the cops.  

Was talking to Hells Angels in Amsterdam.  Local cops useless with immigrants, crime, bums.  They had a nice steady service backing up establishments and giving free swimming lessens in the canals at 3 AM. 


Governments = When you want it expensive,  poor and late....


In reply to by skbull44

MaxThrust skbull44 Mon, 01/15/2018 - 19:27 Permalink

" the State is little more than a 'legalized', criminal organization."

How did this happen?

The state in it's beginning was meant to server the people and did but has been slowly undermined over the decades. Now it is beholden to TPTB. The money men, the oligarchs and if you follow the trail all the way it will lead to the zionists and to Israel's Likud party

In reply to by skbull44

hedgeless_horseman Jack McGriff Mon, 01/15/2018 - 16:25 Permalink

This is the same FBI that...

"...released the, "Five Dancing Israelis," that were arrested by the NYPD on 9-11 for filming and celebrating the attacks on the WTC and driving around in a van that tested positive for explosives.  These were admitted Mossad agents working undercover in the USA."…

In reply to by Jack McGriff

redmudhooch hedgeless_horseman Mon, 01/15/2018 - 20:33 Permalink

Thank you to Mr. hedgeless_horseman for keeping the 9/11 truth movement alive. 

I am a firm believer that 9/11 truth would get us out of the mess we're in now.

And to anybody that wants to call us jew haters or anti semites for simply pointing out the obvious, fuck you.

The only folks I hate are evil war mongers who have chose to make money off the death and misery of others. I have no problem with anyone who follows the ten commandments, you know, real Jews.

That name calling nonsense only makes you look even more guilty and irresponsible for refusing to acknowledge the fact that there are evil people, destroying everything that the creator has blessed us with, and a whoooole lot of them, claim to be Jewish.

So don't get mad at me or hedgeless_horseman for pointing it out and demanding answers, get mad at the fake Jews that have tainted your religion, and once again fuck you,  you can take your hate speech and stick it up your ass, you fucking terrorists.

In reply to by hedgeless_horseman

Noktirnal Jack McGriff Mon, 01/15/2018 - 18:00 Permalink

Really? And just how much more will you allow yourself to be fucked with? At what point will it be too much? It's clear that individuals don't stand much of a chance. I'm under no delusion. This trial would have ended with life sentences had the prosecution just turned over the evidence. It would have ended in life sentences had the evidence hiding not come to light. We are not a cohesive group, so the line to cross is different for us all... but for most, that line is our property, or our front door. Basically, we're saying "I will fight when they come for me." At that time, friends, it will be too late.

In reply to by Jack McGriff

MusicIsYou Stu Elsample Mon, 01/15/2018 - 16:20 Permalink

Which would be kind of pointless since because as the dollars dives to nothingness the agencies are just going crumble. But before they crumble the agencies are going to devour other agencies. And while the agencies are devouring each other all the oligarchs are also going to devour each other (already occuring). Agencies have already begun to devour each other and soon will begin the next phase which is them crumbling. The government employees coming to the realization they won't have pensions and they're working for nothing. Then they'll begin to not give a fck about doing their jobs correctly and it'll start crumbling.

In reply to by Stu Elsample