As jury selection began last week in the first of three trials to be held against those participating in the 2014 Bundy standoff in Nevada, new revelations have sprung from the case.
Revelations of corruption within the BLM, the very agent whose overreaching and harassing tactics led to the rancher’s legal protests and worse, possible prosecutorial misconduct by those trying the cases.
According to the Washington Times, BLM supervisor, Dan Love, who oversaw a vast region of land including Utah and Nevada, has been found guilty of a number of corruption and ethics violations by Utah’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) in an ongoing investigation. Love is the BLM agent that gave orders to his underlings to harass the Bundys over grazing rights and illegally impounding the family’s cattle.
Though the investigation had been underway since last year and partial findings were released by the OIG on Jan. 3oth, defense attorneys were never informed. Prosecutors were aware of the investigations and the findings, but chose to keep the facts from lawyers representing Cliven Bundy, his two sons and 13 others. The defense quickly pounced on the misconduct.
Attorneys have filed motions for dismissal on behalf of two of the 17 defendants, one being Ryan Payne according to court files.
“OIG’s ongoing investigation of Love and the information it received from witnesses attesting to [the agent’s} threats, dishonesty, lack of candor, malfeasance, and misconduct constitute Brady information the government was constitutionally required to disclose to the defense,” states Payne’s attorneys in the motion for dismissal.
Witnesses in the Love investigation included members of his own staff, some testifying Love threatened them and their jobs if “they sided against him.”
Numerous complaints have been filed against Love previously but it wasn’t until the “Burning Man” incident that the OIG finally decided to investigate. Love used his authority to obtain tickets and special VIP passes to the sold out annual event, which costs $1200 per person. He also used agents as drivers and government vehicles and resources for the trip. Details of the partial findings into the investigation into Love can be read here.
It was illegal overreaching bullying tactics that fueled the standoff in Nevada when ranchers from several states rode on horseback with the Bundys in a peaceful protest to retrieve the family’s cattle.
As eyewitnesses are lined up to testify, it was not the ranchers who threatened violence nor did they pull out or point any weapons at government officials. It was the government officials who pulled weapons took aim, and threatened to fire on the ranchers, as they stood their ground telling agents they would not leave until the cattle was released to the Bundys. A fact MSM fails to report when covering the story. The BLM eventually stood down and the Bundy’s peaceably recovered the cattle. Incident over, right? Wrong.
Though no arrests were made and no charges were filed it was not until an Oregon Jury found protesters in the ranchers standoff there in defense of the Hammond ranching family, the BLM decided to exact their revenge. Two of the Oregon defendants happened to be Ryan and Ammon Bundy.
Seeing the Oregon trial going south for them, the BLM rushed to get federal warrants against the Bundy brothers, dad, CLiven and others who had stood with the Bundys. Cliven had already been arrested as he got off the airplane in Oregon to attend that trial. Immediately following the verdict, the feds moved in, taking the Bundy brothers back into custody at the adamant objections of their attorney who the judge had arrested for contempt of court.
The Bundys have been in jail now for over a year, denied the right of bail. And for what? A peaceful protest in which no property was damaged, and no arrests, injuries or deaths occurred. A protest that was settle without incident in 2014.
Murders, rapists and child molesters are widely given bail opportunities while awaiting trial. And the MSM will have the public believe these are dangerous anti-government home grown terrorists, as distrustful violent protests by Black Lives Matters and Berkley rioters get a free pass, “it is their right to protest.”
Meanwhile the BLM is allowed to continue their overreaching and bullying tactics to strip western ranchers of long standing grazing and water rights, resources they bought and paid for legally under the law. And Obama was allowed to unconstitutionally grab millions of acres of western lands, more than any other president in history.
Western ranchers are not home grown terrorists, nor are they anti-government. They have a decades of long standing traditions of respect for law and order and love of the land. Astute conversationalists who understand the importance of maintaining and protecting the land for generations to come. Most of these ranches have been in the same families for three and four generations dating back to the 1800s.
There was a time when ranchers and the BLM had a good and mutually respectful relationship in which the two entities worked together. Then a change began, one that increasingly violated the grazing and water rights, stripped them of land with illegal federal land grabs, and a militarization of the BLM that turned them into a gun toting federal police force.
Suddenly there were stifling regulations and fees the BLM was enforcing, all without any approval of state legislatures or Congress. Actions preventing ranching families from maintaining a livelihood that bankrupted some and restricted them from accessing resources they already owned.
Grass and water are natural resources and have the same legal protections as mineral rights, such as coal, oil and uranium. Ranchers buy the those resources through leases just the same as companies who buy mineral rights. Ranchers don’t own the land but they own the grass and water on the land, just as oil companies don’t own the land just the oil underneath the surface.
Western ranchers are peaceful people who just want to go about the business of ranching, supporting their families and contributing to the food supply for all Americans. All they want is to be treated fairly and to have what is rightfully and legally theirs through ownership.
Most of these illegal actions and land grabs by the BLM have nothing to do with protecting the land so ALL Americans can enjoy the pristine beauty of the wide open spaces at the foot of the Rocky Mountains and beyond. It is about the resources underneath like the coal, oil and uranium the feds are interested in, resources that can be sold to the highest bidder in Russia and China.
These are the facts and the true side of the ranchers, the government and the MSM don’t want the American to know. Regardless, perhaps the Bundys and the rest of the ranching families in the west will get a least some justice out of all of the deceptions, bullying and unconstitutional acts they have had to endure for years now.
The US House has introduced a bill that will strip all enforcement and police powers from the BLM. If passed any disputes over grazing and water rights will be returned to the local levels to sort out and once again ranchers will be able to access the resources for which they paid generations ago and go about the business of just ranching and raising their families.