Militias, Martyrs and McVeigh, Oh My!
This has been a very eventful week in the Bunkerville Retrial of four defendants. The prosecution has demonized these good men at every turn. They have portrayed them as lawless militia, anti-government radicals, and immoral propagandists.
by Shari Dovale
“I Guess I Was Wrong”
The week began with more government agents taking the witness stand to tell how afraid they were of these gun-totin’ cowboys. BLM Special Agent Robert Shilaikis took some video of the events on April 12, 2014, because he was expecting a gunfight and wanted documentation. He was afraid that memories would fade over time.
He did not video record any protesters firing weapons. He admitted that some of his commentary of the videos was based on reviewing the footage later, not on what he saw at the time. He had to clarify some of his commentary, and his identification, as he was shown to be mistaken during his testimony.
“I Guess I Was Wrong,” he would say at least twice when confronted with his own video proof contradicting his testimony.
Shilaikis showed his bias repeatedly during his testimony, and the defense called him out on it. Profiling everyone as militia based on their clothing was a point for the defense to grill him on. He testified as to the defendants “ideology” and was asked how he could “see” that on the videos?
Judge Gloria Navarro jumped in on the bias when the defense attempted to compare and contrast the witnesses statements towards the defendants when they began to question the witness about Special Agent in Charge Dan Love, and his dress of camo, tactical gear, and a black hat turned backwards on his head. After all, they had demonized “Black Hat” Eric Parker over these very points. The theory put forth was that, by turning his ball cap around, Parker was ready to shoot his long gun.
Judge Navarro wasn’t having that in her courtroom and refused to allow the testimony.
“Sling Your Long Guns”
The jury picked up on several points and asked Shilaikis if anyone pointed a weapon at him. Of course, he had to admit that they did not. The jury also wanted to know about the order to “Sling Your Long Guns” and whether that was meant for just the BLM or all Law Enforcement.
Shilaikis attempted to imply that the order to “Sling” their long guns was more of a suggestion, and that it was a discretionary order. “Each law enforcement officer can make the decision to put away their long gun based on what they perceive as a threat.”
The defense jumped all over that one and the jury did not seem to buy it either.
AUSA Myhre used Special Agent Willis to introduce multiple photos that depicted the same thing. How many times can you see the same picture and not call it “cumulative”? They introduced several photos as evidence that they did not take, but downloaded from various sites on the internet.
Evidence was introduced from the “Frontline” documentary aired on PBS in May 2017. This brings up questions of how PBS was able to obtain sealed discovery for this show. The court is not addressing this issue, but the people want to know.
The prosecutors do not plan to prosecute PBS for releasing sealed discovery evidence. How about they release the rest of the evidence for the public to review?
Another unusual event this week, when a juror was questioned this week about a text message she received from an outside source concerning this trial. The message said, “You have 2 hours more to finished. Pass death sentence on this prisoner.” The juror immediately brought it to the court’s attention and said it would not affect her ability to be impartial. The court accepted that.
What is an FBI Employee?
A very controversial witness took the stand by name of FBI Special Agent Sarah Gibson Draper, of Idaho. Draper was placed in charge of gathering Facebook evidence on Parker, Drexlar and Stewart.
The posts that she introduced discussed the events, but did not directly show any law breaking.
What was most interesting about her testimony was the dancing around concerning “FBI Employees”. Each time an attorney would ask about an “Agent” she would correct them to say “Employee”.
What is the difference between an FBI Agent and an FBI Employee? Draper is attempting to avoid calling them paid informants. They are employees because they are being given compensation by the government, yet they are selecting their words carefully because of the negative connotations of the word “informant”. Judge Navarro does not want that word brought up in front of the jury, and she is very heavy-handed on this issue.
I have noted there seem to have been at least 5-6 informants referenced in this case.
The jurors are not asleep on this issue. Some of their questions were specifically about whether or not the FBI “provoked” or coerced the defendants. They want to know more about this, yet seem to know that the information is being kept from them,
The McVeigh Connection
Draper introduced a Facebook post of Parker’s that was strategically redacted. They omitted references to the “Miller’s: in which Parker praised the patriots for vetting these unstable people and removing them from Bunkerville.
The post also had redactions that told of the reasons the men crouched down on the bridge as they were being “green-lighted”. This means they identified government snipers that had their weapons aimed directly at them.
What they did not omit was a reference to “McVeigh”. The purpose of the government introducing this vague reference was to get Draper to say they her “belief” is that this was referring to Timothy McVeigh, and explain to the jury that he was the “Oklahoma City Bomber” that killed over a hundred people. They intention was to imply that the defendants were either connected to McVeigh himself or at least his ideology.
The Prosecutor argued, “There is really not that much difference between what they did and what McVeigh did.”
Therefore, standing on a bridge in Nevada, where no shots were fired nor any person was harmed, afraid of the government’s hundreds of agents with firearms pointed at them, is not much different from blowing up a building and killing over 100 people?
“We or no one that we know of feel he is a martyr for anything,” said John Trochmann, spokesman for the Militia of Montana. “What would we have had to gain from blowing up public property?” asked Trochmann. “Who would gain anything unless someone wanted to pass some new type of anti-militia legislation?” – ABC News
This was completely misleading to the jury. They have cherry-picked evidence and the judge is allowing this. She sees no relevance to anything positive on behalf of the defense and has ruled it is fine to introduce obscure references and personal negative interpretations of those references.
Judge Gloria Navarro has stretched the limit of her lack of knowledge on the law. She continuously relies on the prosecution to give her foundations to admit evidence. She references her books while sitting in court to find ways to admit biased evidence.
An example of this is when the prosecution presented a Facebook “Thumbs Up” as a co-conspirator’s statement. If someone else posts a controversial statement, and you “Like” the post, you can now be prosecuted as a “Co-Conspirator”.
According to the rulings in this case, if you “Like” a post, then you have adopted that statement and taken ownership of it as your own statement.
*On a side note, I personally do not like all of the new social engineering emoji reaction buttons that Facebook has introduced. I general show my protest by only using a “Like”, not for agreeing with the post, but for appreciating people getting involved. I “Like” discussion. I “Like” debate. I want people to be involved. It’s the only way to get the truth to some people.
Bad Acts After The Fact
The prosecution has extended the dates of the “Conspiracy” to March 2016. This was deliberate so they could include information on Operation Gold Rush (Sugar Pine Mine, Oregon) and Operation Big Sky (White Hope Mine, Montana). Both operations took place at least a year after Bunkerville.
The government is attempting to show an ongoing agreement to threaten the government. They are attempting to portray these defendants as being so thrilled with their success at Bunkerville, that they formed a group called “Idaho 3%” and went around they country to wave their guns at Federal Agents and keep them from doing their jobs, like take someone’s property unconstitutionally.
They wore camo at these operations, and carried rifles. They conducted security patrols. All are being presented as horrible behavior, and anti-government. The prosecution, and Judge Navarro, have claimed that the ongoing conspiracy included the defendants glorifying the movement and recruiting to their ranks. By sharing the truth of what the government’s alphabet agencies are doing, they are furthering the conspiracy against the government.
The jury is questioning the government’s narrative, shown by the questions of whether or not these defendants are being charged for Sugar Pine or White Hope? Judge Navarro said that they are, as these events are part of the ongoing conspiracy. So now, anyone that was NOT at Bunkerville, yet did participate in Sugar Pine, OR White Hope, are now considered co-conspirators and can be prosecuted.
Is this for real? Only in Gloria Navarro’s courtroom.
Is the Militia Illegal?
When the questioning is completed by the attorneys, the jurors are given the option of asking the witness questions. After the questions are written down and turned over to the judge, she calls a sidebar in which all of the attorneys go behind a wall and discuss these questions before asking them of the witness.
On this particular day, Navarro allowed the jury to go to lunch while the attorneys discussed the questions in the courtroom. This was notable because the gallery audience could now hear the questions and discussion.
One of the questions was “Are Militias Illegal?” The prosecution went so far as to argue, “Yes, they are illegal in many states, including Montana.”
Second Amendment to the US Constitution:
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
Constitution of Montana — Article VI — THE EXECUTIVE
Section 13. Militia. (1) The governor is commander-in-chief of the militia forces of the state, except when they are in the actual service of the United States. He may call out any part or all of the forces to aid in the execution of the laws, suppress insurrection, repel invasion, or protect life and property in natural disasters.
(2) The militia forces shall consist of all able-bodied citizens of the state except those exempted by law.
This is the false narrative that the government is using against these defendants. Militias are NOT illegal. It is in the Constitution and they are important to our Nation.
These men were prepared to be martyrs on April 12, 2014. This was evidenced by a video from Steven Stewart taken that day. In it, he states that, “They were threatening us with chemicals earlier, to back down. So we pushed forward. They couldn’t gas us. We were going to be martyrs if they wanted to continue this.” Stewart said on the video.
This entire trial is based on false evidence. They have thrown out the rules of evidence and denied the basic rights guaranteed by our Constitution and Bill of Rights.
Every American should be upset by what is happening in Judge Navarro’s courtroom. If the government is allowed to proceed, and get away with, this mockery of justice, what will stop them from treating every other American the same way.
The prosecution is expected to rest their case on Monday, August 7th. The defense is then expected to take about a week to present their evidence, with the jury receiving the case for deliberations after that.
The target date for the next trial to begin is September 18, 2017. The jury questionnaires were mailed to prospective jurors last week.