editorial By Harold Pease — Bundy justice: The price they paid

Some think that the Bundys got off scot-free when U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro dismissed cases against Cliven, sons Ammon and Ryan, and co-defendant Ryan Payne and accused their prosecutors — the government — of willfully withholding evidence from Bundy lawyers in violation of the federal Brady rule, thus denying them due process. She referred to it as “flagrant prosecutorial misconduct” and set the defendants free “with prejudice,” preventing the government from trying them again on this case.

So what price did the Bundys pay for defending the Constitution and freedom? Cliven Bundy certainly felt it high: “I have been a political prisoner for more than 700 days.” Let’s review the story of Bundy justice.

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Editorial – Thomas Mitchell : Bundy case secrecy being rightfully challenged

Though the most recent trial of four defendants in the April 2014 standoff between armed protesters and Bureau of Land Management agents trying to confiscate Cliven Bundy’s cattle ended in a mistrial, the case will stand as a historic example of how sweeping secrecy can cast doubt on whether justice is being served.

This past week U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro halted testimony in the trial and sent the jurors home while she heard arguments behind closed doors over whether the prosecution had failed to provide the defense with potentially exculpatory evidence quickly enough. The judge said the prosecution’s repeated failure to timely disclose information was “sufficient to undermine the confidence in the outcome of the trial,” which she said could result in a mistrial. This week she declared a mistrial.

Attorney Maggie McLetchie — representing the Las Vegas Review-Journal newspaper and Battle Born Media, which publishes weekly newspapers in Mesquite, Ely, Eureka, Sparks and Lincoln and Mineral counties — promptly filed a motion seeking to intervene, which was granted. The newspapers are asking that all documents previously filed under seal be unsealed and that future hearings be conducted in open court.

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Gary Hunt : FBI and Prosecution Conspire to Falsify Evidence

In identifying the Misdeeds of Government, it requires a diligent search of available information.  However, often that research produces some interesting results.  That is the situation with this article, since it begins with events surrounding the arrest of Dave Bundy (The Bundy Affair – #12 – Dave Bundy’s Two Citations), on April 6, 2014, and ends with the declaration of Mistrial on Decembers 20, 2017.  However, in that span of time, over three and a half years, the following events played out.

Dave Bundy was pulled over on Nevada State Highway 170, a road that goes from Interstate 15, near the road to the Bundy Ranch, to Bunkerville.  The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) had attempted to close the highway.

Dave got into a dispute with the BLM and was arrested and charged with two citations (explained in the linked article above).  It is this arrest that begins this series of events.  First, we have, from the National Park Service “DIRECTOR’S ORDER #9: LAW ENFORCEMENT PROGRAM”, which, on page 2, explains when and where arrests may be made.

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Thomas Mitchell: What to do about wild horses? Part 2

In his newly published book, “Wild Horse Country,” writer David Philipps offers his suggestion for what to do about the overpopulation of wild horses in the West, which are overgrazing the open range: “The solution is mountain lions.”

Realizing that this will leave horse-huggers aghast and cause cattle and sheep ranchers to gasp, Philipps forges ahead, “For decades, the BLM has said the wild horse has ‘no natural predators.’ … But the same people who have long dismissed using predators to control horses as impossible have never made an attempt to understand it. They have likely been too busy rounding up and storing horses. If they took the time to look into the idea of mountain lions, they would see that research on the ground contradicts the conventional wisdom.”

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Thomas Mitchell: The strange Bunkerville case has further twists

The twists and turns in the Bunkerville standoff trial defy logic.

Weeks into the federal trial of 71-year-old rancher Cliven Bundy, two of this sons and self-styled militia man from Montana, the judge has decided that all of the defendants should be released from jail to what amounts to house arrest. Ryan Bundy was so released at the beginning of the trial but the judge refused to do the same for the others.

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Thomas Mitchell: Constitution stretched to the breaking point

If words can mean anything anyone says they mean, then words are meaningless. That is what the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has done with the Commerce Clause of the Constitution.

The appellate court overturned a federal judge who found that the Commerce Clause does not give Congress the power under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to regulate a species that exists only within the boundaries of one state and has no commercial value whatsoever — specifically the Utah prairie dog.

Nevada has joined with Utah and 21 other states to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to strike the circuit court ruling, saying that if the ruling stands “then Congress has virtually limitless authority, and the Tenth Amendment is a dead letter,” as well as the concept of federalism. (prairiedogamicusbrief)

If Nevada is to have any control over any economic activity within its borders, which include numerous endangered and threatened species, it is vital that the high court reverse this Constitution-rendering exercise in legerdemain.

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Thomas Mitchell: Head spinning developments in the so-far ‘non-trial’ of Bunkerville defendants

Caution: Following the Bunkerville standoff trial proceedings can cause whiplash.

Today the federal judge again delayed the start of the trial for Cliven Bundy, his sons Ammon and Ryan, and self-styled militia member Ryan Payne. This time for a week. She agreed to hold hearings after Cliven Bundy’s attorney asked the charges be dropped because the prosecution had failed to reveal any recordings or notes taken off live surveillance video of the Bundy ranch during the April 2014 standoff. Ryan Bundy raised the question as to whether there was surveillance video several weeks ago.

“If it has potentially useful information, then the defense is entitled to it,” the judge is quoted by Reuters as saying. “I‘m not convinced that it doesn’t exist.”

The federal agents reportedly shredded documents after the standoff ended.

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Thomas Mitchell: A jury of their peers? Hardly

A federal jury is set to begin hearing opening statements Tuesday in the trial of four defendants in the Bunkerville standoff.

There are six women and six men on the jury and there are four alternates, three men, and a woman.

The judge said the trial is expected to take four months. A number of potential jurors were dismissed because they could not take four months out of their lives to devote to the trial. How many people can or are willing to? Is it a jury of their peers?

On trial is rancher Cliven Bundy, 71, sons Ammon Bundy, 42, and Ryan Bundy, 45, and a self-styled militia member Ryan Payne, 34, who showed up to protest the confiscation of Bundy’s cattle by the BLM. They are charged with conspiracy, extortion and various firearm charges. They have all been jailed for going on two years.

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Larry Klayman: FBI-police cover-up of mass shooting?

I have seen it many times before. An FBI or law-enforcement informant, or some other “politically sensitive person,” commits a crime, and federal, state or local government authorities cover it up. This is the likely scenario in the wake of the Oct. 1, 2017, massacre in Las Vegas, perpetrated by an alleged mysterious man named Stephen Paddock. Let me give you just a few analogous examples.

First there is the famous case of Whitey Bulger, an Italian Mafia crime boss who was responsible for the deaths of many. Here briefly is how his Wikipedia describes his history as an FBI informant:

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Newspaper column Thomas Mitchell : Zinke’s national monument modifications too modest

Frankly, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s memo to President Trump recommending modifications to a few national monuments — including the 300,000-acre Gold Butte National Monument in Clark County — is far too modest, but it has the Democratic contingent of Nevada’s Washington delegation squealing like a pig stuck under a gate.

Zinke recommended unspecified changes to the Gold Butte boundaries but totally ignored the massive 700,000-acre Basin and Range National Monument that straddles the border between Nye and Lincoln counties, even though members of the Congressional Western Caucus recommended reducing it to 2,500 acres — “the smallest area compatible,” as the law says, to protect the Indian petroglyphs there.

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To Agree or Disagree Respectfully. Why is it so Difficult in Todays World?

Our country was founded over 200 years ago after enough colonists agreed that the rule by the King of England no longer made sense for the colonies.  They did not agree on every aspect of the how and the why, but they all agreed that it must change.  The biggest aspect of agreement and disagreement in the birth of our Nation was the right of each human to agree and disagree.  There foremost ideal that drove the creation of our constitution, can be said to be creating a government that could stand for and thrive while maintaining this and other freedoms.

This turned out to be a humongous task and goal. First and foremost the procedure and processes for dealing with disagreement had to be agreed upon. There will always be different beliefs and ideals.  However, most of all they understood that in order to have peace while preserving everyone’s ability to exercise their Freedoms, they must have a process and rules for dealing with Disagreement or conflicts of personal Freedoms between all people. This is where the concept of Liberty was created and defined. Liberty, for the sake of our constitution, would be the definition of civility and common agreement on how to deal with Freedoms in all situations, including when there is disagreement.

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Editorial: A day worthy of celebrating: Constitution Day

This Sunday, Sept. 17, marks the anniversary of one of the most propitious days in the history of this country. On that day in 1787, the representatives at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia signed the Constitution. It was ratified by the states and went into effect on March 4, 1789.

You remember the Constitution don’t you?

That’s the document that says the president “shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed …” Not waive, delay or ignore parts of laws the president doesn’t like, such as immigration laws, which the Constitution says: “The Congress shall have Power To … establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization …”

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Thomas Mitchell Editorial: Learn from the mistakes of the past, not erase them

This paroxysm of efforts to eradicate all monuments and place names that memorialize historic leaders of the Confederacy serves as merely a distraction from real problems, wasting time and money that could be devoted to worthy endeavors.

The latest target of this futile campaign appears to be the name of Jeff Davis Peak in Great Basin National Park.

According to the park’s website, the monicker was first attached to what is now Wheeler Peak, the tallest point in the park and the second tallest in Nevada. It was given that name by Lt. Col. Edward Steptoe of U.S. Army Corps of Topographical Engineers in 1855 while Jefferson Davis served as secretary of the War Department, a half dozen years before the Civil War began.

After the Civil War, during which Davis served as president of the Confederacy, an Army mapping expedition headed by Lt. George Montague Wheeler, named the peak for Wheeler and the Jeff Davis tag was shifted to a shorter nearby peak.

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Editorial: Judge orders more studies for water grab

It is not too often a judge’s ruling is greeted by all sides as a victory, but that is what happened after federal Judge Andrew Gordon issued a 39-page opinion in the fight over the Clark County water agency’s bid to tap groundwater beneath White Pine, Lincoln and Nye counties.

Judge Gordon said the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) could grant the right-of-way for a 300-mile network of pipelines across public land, but first, it has to address plans to mitigate the potential loss of wildlife habitat due to a draw down of the water table.

The suit was brought by White Pine County, the Great Basin Water Network (GBWN), several Indian tribes and environmental groups against the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) and the BLM.

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Gary Hunt: Camp Lone Star Domestic Terrorist! Really?

Kevin “KC” Massey filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request back in October 2016. He just received a response (FOIA Response). Though only two and a little bit of a third page, it is rather interesting. You can read the whole Response, though I will give some highlights. “xxx” indicates redactions, mostly names.

It begins with a Summary of Events, “On September 2, 2014, Cameron County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) Investigator and Task Force Officer (TFO) for the FBI Brownsville Field Office xxx called ATF SA xxx for assistance on the ‘BP Militia’ case.” So, the government had already set up an investigation on the “BP Militia”. So, well, it wasn’t just a coincidence that the events of August 29, 2014 occurred as they did. (ATF=Alcohol, Tobacco, & Firearms; SA=Special Agent; BP=Border Patrol; NFA=National Firearms Act)

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Thomas Mitchell: Time to release Bunkerville defendants on bail?

Whether you think the defendants in the Bunkerville standoff are a bunch of lunatic, dangerous gun-nuts who should be locked up and the key thrown away or upstanding patriots defending property and constitutional rights in the face of belligerent bureaucrats, it matters not what you think.
What matters is what jurors think.

So far jurors seem less than enthusiastic about embracing the pile of charges heaped on the first of the standoff defendants.

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