It’s a miscarriage of justice that actually pushes well into the realm of being a fucking travesty. Yesterday, a federal jury ruled that what all of us saw for days and days, what the perpetrators specifically bragged about, and what one guy even pulled a gun on government agents and got himself killed in supposed defense of, never happened.
Ammon and Ryan Bundy and their bungling gang of dipshit domestic terrorists never took part in a conspiracy to deprive federal employees of the ability to do their jobs at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge. Despite being heavily armed and engaging in a standoff with the government of the United States of America, they didn’t violate any weapons charges. They didn’t have guns in a federal facility — even though they absolutely did and everyone saw it. The self-styled anti-government “sovereign citizens” whose cause they’d been more than happy to shout from the rooftops — the men and women who took over federal property and promised they’d go down shooting if they had to — were all cleared of the charges against them.
It’s not simply mind-boggling; it’s a flat-out impossible verdict in a sane world, one that can only be the result of profound judicial malpractice on the part of the jury. There’s no other way to square this.
Granted, Ammon and Ryan Bundy, the leaders of these redneck revolutionary cosplayers, won’t be getting out of jail just yet. They still have to face charges related to the other standoff against the government that they participated in — at their family’s ranch in Nevada in the spring of 2014. Their father, racist coot Cliven Bundy, was at the center of that incident and it was highlighted by televised images of militia members aiming high power rifles at federal agents who were there to force Bundy to, you know, stop breaking the law. But the other five members of the Bundy gang tried for the Malheur takeover will almost certainly soon be free to once again take up arms against the United States should the few working synapses in their brains misfire and they decide to do so.
And that’s exactly the issue here. The verdict in the Bundy case opens the door to every lunatic yokel with a gun and an irrational grudge against the federal government to continue his or her crusade. What a jury just did is legitimize not only the Bundy clan’s ridiculous grievances but the illegal means in which they voiced their outrage over them. Make no mistake: No matter what this jury ruled, arming yourself to the teeth and taking control of a federal facility, even as a means of protest, is wrong and it’s breaking the law. Active militias all across this country, made up of people who see themselves as patriots rather than criminals or those who suborn criminal activity, don’t need any encouragement to continue their dangerous campaign, one that in the past has led to acts of domestic terrorism.
And yet that’s what this jury just gave them. Encouragement. Sanction. A pat on the back and the implication that they won’t be held accountable for their crimes.
Make no mistake: This verdict will embolden domestic terrorists. It will create more incidents like the Bundy Ranch standoff and the Malheur Wildlife Reserve seizure. Because at the time when these clowns should have been told unequivocally that they’re criminals — and the whole world saw it — instead they were told that they’re right.
Chez Pazienza was the beating heart of The Daily Banter, sadly passing away on February 25, 2017. His voice remains ever present at the Banter, and his influence as powerful as ever.