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.
Many Americans, at least most in my circle, are enjoying watching Donald Trump self-destruct. It’s bad for the country, but to some of us it’s as much fun as watching a train wreck. And maybe if the Democrats can get their act together, they can win back the House in 2018 and the Senate and White House in 2020. Trump is making it look like it might be easy.
But I have a warning for Democrats, and indeed for all Americans. For God’s sake, don’t elevate the likes of former CIA directors Michael Hayden and John Brennan and the former director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, to the position of “senior statesmen.” They are not the voices of reason, either for the Democrats or for anybody else. They are monsters who have ignored the Constitution, the US code, and international law. They have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity. We should shun them, not celebrate them.
Hayden is probably the most public of the three. The former director of both the NSA and the CIA has never seen a camera that he didn’t want to get in front of. He’s a regular on the Sunday morning talk shows, the cable news networks, and even Comedy Central. He sucks up to the right and then sucks up to the left if he thinks it’ll get him a little screen time. But let me tell you something from personal first-hand experience: I am convinced that he’s a danger to the American way of life.
Hayden headed the NSA from 1999 to 2005. It was on his watch that the NSA made the decision to spy on American citizens when he championed the Trailblazer Program. It was Hayden who targeted whistleblowers Thomas Drake, Bill Binney, and Kirk Wiebe. It was Hayden who created a domestic call telephone database to keep a record of every phone call and text message made by every American and to hold it forever. And he’s been utterly unapologetic. Hayden said during his confirmation hearings that intercepting the communications of Americans was “consistent with the Constitution,” even if it meant overriding or ignoring laws forbidding warrantless wiretapping.
US Builds Forces inside Syria
“On Sunday, the US-led coalition said it was working with its Syrian militia allies, the mainly Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), to set up a new 30,000-strong border force. The force would operate along the borders with Turkey and Iraq, as well as within Syria along the Euphrates River, which separates most SDF territory from that held by the government.”
Five Minutes Five Issues: Bundy Case, Surveillance Vote, Vermont Marijuana, Assange Citizenship, Nemtsov Street
A new episode of Five Minutes Five Issues is out. You can listen to it, and read a transcript, below. You can also find previous episodes of the show at Stitcher, iTunes, YouTube, and SoundCloud.
Libya Update: Power Struggles Continue - Will the UN Get its Way?
On Wednesday a former distinguished US State Department official who has now switched jobs to work for the UN, Jeffery Feltman, as Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, arrived in Tripoli. His visit came as the UN’s efforts to implement the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) continue to face political deadlock with justifiable fears from the UN that their efforts look lightly to fall apart.
Good Advice from Andrew Napolitano: President Trump, Don’t Talk with the FBI
This week, Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst Andrew Napolitano presented a keen recommendation for President Donald Trump in regard to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) potentially talking with Trump as part of the so-called Russiagate investigation.
Is There a Pathological Obsession with Hillary Clinton Amongst Hillary Haters?
Recently on the Liberty Report, Ron Paul and Daniel McAdams discussed the horrific Executive Order signed by President Trump that would allow the US government to freeze the US assets of individuals or corporations worldwide who have allegedly (without trial) violated "human rights" or have engaged in corruption.