George Rasley, CHQ Editor | 12/27/17
You would never know it from the virtual blackout imposed by the establishment news media, but a federal judge presiding over the trial of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, his sons Ryan and Ammon Bundy and their associate Ryan Payne has exposed just how lawless and corrupt our government has become – and how if you get on the wrong side of the faceless bureaucrats of the Deep State they will do whatever it takes to destroy your family and put you in prison.
In the latest in a string of failed prosecutions in Nevada and Oregon against those who have opposed federal control of vast swaths of land in the American West, Chief U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro in Las Vegas declared a mistrial in the Nevada case against the Bundys and Payne.
Earlier, jurors acquitted the two Bundy sons of taking over a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon for more than a month in early 2016 amid calls for the U.S. government to turn over public land to local control.
In the Nevada case, Judge Navarro faulted federal prosecutors for failing to turn over all evidence to defense attorneys, including records about the conduct of FBI and Bureau of Land Management agents during the standoff.
“The government is obligated to disclose all evidence that might be favorable” to the defense, the judge said according to reporting by the Associated Press.
“A mistrial is a very bad result for the government,” Ian Bartrum, a University of Nevada, Las Vegas, law professor who has followed the case closely told the AP.
Bartrum had cast the trial as a test of whether the federal government could enforce its own land policy in Western states where it owns or controls vast expanses.
“It looks even worse because it isn't the sort of jury nullification we've seen before, but actual incompetence (or worse) by the prosecution,” Bartrum said in an email reported by AP. “It certainly erodes a lot of confidence in the federal government's motives.”
We are inclined to view this not as incompetence, but as what Professor Bartrum euphemistically called “or worse,” in fact a lot worse.
Judge Navarro methodically listed the prosecution's six separate violations of the Brady law, which requires turning over evidence potentially favorable to the defense. The judge further ruled that each violation was willful according to reporting by Maxine Bernstein of oregonlive.com.
"At the heart of this case is the question, Is the government an entity you can trust? Certainly if you're the prosecution in this case, you needed to do everything you can to show the government can be trusted,'' Kevin Sali, a Portland criminal defense lawyer told Bernstein.
The judge's rebuke of Nevada's Acting U.S. Attorney Steven Myhre, the lead, and two seasoned veteran Assistant U.S. attorneys, Daniel Schiess and Nadia Ahmed, was remarkable in and of itself noted Bernstein.
When a judge makes a finding of misconduct by a prosecutor, the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Professional Responsibility investigates and determines if discipline is warranted, which can range from a reprimand to a suspension reports Bernstein.
That scrutiny is underway. Ian D. Prior, deputy director of public affairs in the Justice Department, announced that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions "takes this issue very seriously."
Sessions "has personally directed that an expert in the department's discovery obligations be deployed to examine the case and advise as to next steps,'' Prior said according to Bernstein’s reporting.
We think that Attorney General Sessions should look into the persecution of the Bundy family a lot deeper than just the latest example of prosecutorial misconduct.
As we documented in our article “Was Bundy Ranch Attack A Harry Reid Inspired Hit?” former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s son, Rory Reid, represents a giant Chinese energy firm, ENN Energy Group that wants to use federal land, grazed by the Cliven Bundy family, as part of its effort to build a $5 billion solar farm and panel-building plant in the southern Nevada desert.
In addition to representing ENN Energy Group, Rory Reid also happens to be the former chairman of the Clark County (Nevada) Commission who persuaded the commission to sell 9,000 acres of county land to ENN on the promise it would provide jobs for the area. Reuters reported back in 2012 that part of the land ENN wants to use was purchased from Clark County at well below appraised value.
In addition to the county acreage, the federal Bureau of Land Management at one time was looking at BLM property under dispute with the Cliven Bundy family. During the original Bundy ranch confrontation, the BLM was headed by Obama appointee former Harry Reid senior policy adviser Neil Kornz.
Neil Kornz, the government bureaucrat who originally sent armed thugs to provoke a potentially deadly confrontation with the Bundy family was a Harry Reid crony.
No one was killed in the original Bundy ranch standoff, but the same cannot be said for the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation. Arizona cowboy, father of 11 and one of the spokesmen for the group, Robert "LaVoy" Finicum, was killed by state police officers at a roadblock manned by the Oregon state police and FBI.
Less than two months after the shooting, the FBI acknowledged that a federal agent was under investigation for firing shots and four other members of his FBI team were under investigation for covering up the gunshots. The agent, W. Joseph Astarita, was indicted on five counts of lying and obstruction of justice.
At the time of the original Bundy ranch standoff then-Senator Harry Reid told Reno's KRNV TV, "Well, it's not over. We can't have an American people that violate the law and then just walk away from it. So, it's not over.”
As Judge Navarro’s ruling and the indictment of Astarita demonstrate, it is not the American people who regularly violate the law and just walk away – it is corrupt government officials like Harry Reid, Rory Reid, Neil Kornz, Acting U.S. Attorney Steven Myhre, Assistant U.S. attorneys, Daniel Schiess and Nadia Ahmed, FBI Agent W. Joseph Astarita and others who have lawlessly used their government power to target Cliven Bundy and his family.
From Snowden To Russia-gate - The CIA And The Media
The promotion of the alleged Russian election hacking in certain media may have grown from the successful attempts of U.S. intelligence services to limit the publication of the NSA files obtained by Edward Snowden.
In May 2013 Edward Snowden fled to Hong Kong and handed internal documents from the National Security Agency (NSA) to four journalists, Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, and Ewen MacAskill of the Guardian and separately to Barton Gellman who worked for theWashington Post. Some of those documents were published by Glenn Greenwald in theGuardian, others by Barton Gellman in the Washington Post. Several other international news site published additional material though the mass of NSA papers that Snowden allegedly acquired never saw public daylight.
In July 2013 the Guardian was forced by the British government to destroy its copy of the Snowden archive.
In August 2013 Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post for some $250 million. In 2012 Bezos, the founder, largest share holder and CEO of Amazon, had already a cooperation with the CIA. Together they invested in a Canadian quantum computing company. In March 2013 Amazonsigned a $600 million deal to provide computing services for the CIA.
In October 2013 Pierre Omidyar, the owner of Ebay, founded First Look Media and hired Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras. The total planned investment was said to be $250 million. It took up to February 2014 until the new organization launched its first site, theIntercept. Only a few NSA stories appeared on it. The Intercept is a rather mediocre site. Its management is said to be chaotic. It publishes few stories of interests and one might ask if it ever was meant to be a serious outlet. Omidyar has worked, together with the U.S. government, to force regime change onto Ukraine. He had strong ties with the Obama administration.
Snowden had copies of some 20,000 to 58,000 NSA files. Only 1,182 have been published. Bezos and Omidyar obviously helped the NSA to keep more than 95% of the Snowden archive away from the public. The Snowden papers were practically privatized into trusted hands of Silicon Valley billionaires with ties to the various secret services and the Obama administration.
The motivation for the Bezos and Omidyar to do this is not clear. Bezos is estimated to own a shameful $90 billion. The Washington Post buy is chump-change for him. Omidyar has a net worth of some $9.3 billion. But the use of billionaires to mask what are in fact intelligence operations is not new. The Ford Foundation has for decades been a CIA front, George Soros' Open Society foundation is one of the premier "regime change" operations, well versed in instigating "color revolutions".
It would have been reasonable if the cooperation between those billionaires and the intelligence agencies had stopped after the NSA leaks were secured. But it seems that strong cooperation of the Bezos and Omidyar outlets with the CIA and others continue.
The Intercept burned a intelligence leaker, Realty Winner, who had trusted its journalists to keep her protected. It smeared the President of Syria as neo-nazi based on an (intentional?) mistranslation of one of his speeches. It additionally hired a Syrian supporter of the CIA's "regime change by Jihadis" in Syria. Despite its pretense of "fearless, adversarial journalism" it hardly deviates from U.S. policies.
The Washington Post, which has a much bigger reach, is the prime outlet for "Russia-gate", the false claims by parts of the U.S. intelligence community and the Clinton campaign, that Russia attempted to influence U.S. elections or even "colluded" with Trump.
Just today it provides two stories and one op-ed that lack any factual evidence for the anti-Russian claims made in them.
A second story in the paper today is based on "a classified GRU report obtained by The Washington Post." It claims that the Russian military intelligence service GRU started a social media operation one day after the Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was illegally removed from his office in a U.S. regime change operation. What the story lists as alleged GRU puppet postings reads like normal internet talk of people opposed to the fascist regime change in Kiev. The Washington Post leaves completely unexplained who handed it an alleged GRU report from 2014, who classified it and how, if at all, it verified its veracity. To me the piece and the assertions therein have a strong odor of bovine excrement.
An op-ed in the very same Washington Post has a similar smell. It is written by the intelligence flunkies Michael Morell and Mike Rogers. Morell had hoped to become CIA boss under a President Hillary Clinton. The op-ed (which includes a serious misunderstanding of "deterrence") asserts that Russia never stopped its cyberattacks on the United States:
Russia’s information operations tactics since the election are more numerous than can be listed here. But to get a sense of the breadth of Russian activity, consider the messaging spread by Kremlin-oriented accounts on Twitter, which cybersecurity and disinformation experts have tracked as part of the German Marshall Fund’s Alliance for Securing Democracy.
The author link to this page which claims to list Twitter hashtags that are currently used by Russian influence agents. Apparently the top issue Russia's influence agents currently promote is "#merrychristmas".
When the authors claim Russian operations are "more numerous than can be listed here" they practically admit that they have not even one plausible operation they could cite. Its simply obfuscation to justify their call for more political and military measures against Russia. This again to distract from the real reasons Clinton lost the election and to introduce a new Cold War for the benefit of weapon producers and U.S. influence in Europe.
None of the Russia-gate stories so far has held up to scrutiny. There is no proof at all, nor reasonable evidence, that Russia interfered in elections in the U.S. or elsewhere. There is no evidence of "collusion" with the Trump campaign.
The people who promote the "Russian influence" nonsense are political operatives or hacks. Take for example Luke Harding of the Guardian who just published a book titled Collusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win. He was taken apart in a Real News interview (vid) about the book. The interviewer pointed out that there is absolutely no evidence in the book to support its claims. When asked for any proof for his assertion Harding defensively says that he is just "storytelling" - in other words: its fiction. Harding earlier wrote a book about Edward Snowden which was a similar sham. Julian Assange called it "a hack job in the purest sense of the term". Harding is also known as plagiarizer. When he worked in Moscow he copied stories and passages from the now defunct Exile, run by Matt Taibbi and Mark Ames. The Guardian had to publish an apology.
The U.S. government has its own ways of controlling the media. In the 1950s to 1970s the CIA ran Operation Mockingbirdwhich gave it control over much of the news and opinion output in U.S. media. During that time up to 400 main stream journalists were working for the CIA.
The method of control has likely changed. The handling of the Snowden affair lets one assume that the CIA induces billionaires to buy up media and to implement the CIA's favored policies through them. We do not know what the billionaires get for their service. The CIA surely has many ways to let them gain information on their competition or to influence business regulations in foreign countries. One hand will wash the other.
James Clapper as Director of National Intelligence, John Brennan as CIA head and James Comey from the FBI "assessed" that Russia influenced the U.S. presidential election. Annex B of their report, which hardly any report bothered to mention, read:
Judgments are not intended to imply that we have proof that shows something to be a fact. Assessments are based on collected information, which is often incomplete or fragmentary, as well as logic, argumentation and precedents.That sentence is the core of Russia-gate. There are lots of claims, assertions and judgments but no proof at all that any of the alleged Russian influence really happened.
It is probably due to the undue influence of the intelligence services that media have adopted that Annex B standard for themselves. With regards to Russia (and other issues) assertions are now enough - there is no need to investigate, to find the truth or to verify claims.
How will that system work if an accident happens, some jet gets shot down and the issue escalates. Will there be any reporter left in the main stream media who is allowed to ask real questions?