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I'm out of order? This whole COUNTRY is out of order! I'm out of order? This whole COUNTRY is out of order!


In a verdict that seems certain to encourage armed wackaloons to think they now have the right to do whatever they damned well please in the name of LIBERTY, Ammon and Ryan Bundy have been found not guilty in their federal trial on federal conspiracy and weapons charges. Their five co-defendants were acquitted as well in the trial, which stemmed from January's armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Oregon. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on a single charge of theft of government property against Ryan Bundy. Yeah, go figure.

Ammon and Ryan Bundy will not be going free, however, since they still face charges in Nevada related to the Bundy family's armed standoff with federal law enforcement in 2014. Sorry, buddies, no guns for you yet. Ammon Bundy's attorney, Marcus Mumford, argued the brothers should be allowed to go free, because how is that even fair? U.S. District Court Judge Anna Brown said no, and Mumford reacted with exactly the seriousness and decorum you'd expect:

[The] attorney persisted, raising his voice as he argued with the judge. The incident ended with Mumford being tackled by several U.S. Marshals and Brown clearing the courtroom.

“There’s a hold for Ammon Bundy and Ryan Bundy out of the district of Nevada,” said Matt Schindler, hybrid counsel for defendant Kenneth Medenbach, following the verdict.

“There’s nothing Judge Brown can do about that,” Schindler said. “So acquitting him here, all it does is effectively release him to that hold, to be transported to Nevada.

“Marcus let the emotion of the moment, I think, overtake his better judgement,” Schindler said

The other defendants in the Malheur Wildlife Refuge takeover, Jeff Banta, Shawna Cox, David Fry, Kenneth Medenbach and Neil Wampler, will go free, and presumably will head for the nearest federal land to declare it sovereign territory and demand it be returned to We The People.

“We came to Oregon -- to Harney County — seeking justice,” defendant Neil Wampler said after his acquittal, “and today we found it.”

Wampler said he and others within the so-called patriot movement plan to “build on this tremendous victory for rural America.”

Defendant Shawna Cox also said, when asked if she plans to take part in future protests, "Absolutely...We can do it peacefully." She added the verdict was "just one win" in the Patriot movement to liberate federal land and return it to the states, then ultimately to any ranchers, miners or timber companies that want it.

Yep, sounds like they've learned their lesson about trying to foment an armed rebellion, doesn't it? You could probably characterize the Feds' reaction as "cautious," considering, emphasizing that whole Rule of Law and The System Endures thing:

“For many weeks, hundreds of law enforcement officers — federal, state, and local — worked around-the-clock to resolve the armed occupation at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge peacefully,” said Greg Bretzing, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon. “Although we are extremely disappointed in the verdict, we respect the court and the role of the jury in the American judicial system.”

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown also issued a statement saying she was disappointed with the verdict, but also of course respected the integrity of the court system.

The trial isn't the only prosecution to result from the occupation; several of the occupiers have pleaded guilty separately, and others are scheduled for trial in April 2017. And of course the Bundy Boys will be heading off to Nevada to face charges for their participation in their daddy's Welfare Rancher Freedom Standoff with officers from the Bureau of Land Management.

[wonkbar][/wonkbar]Idiot Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore, one of the occupiers' top allies in government, who helped negotiate an end to the standoff, was completely over the moon on Twitter, suggesting the trial's outcome was a great big win for the martyred Tarp Man LaVoy Finicum:

fiore-bundy-verdict-reax

Fiore can also be heard having some libertygasms in this NPR report on the trial:

This should send a real loud and clear message to all electeds to stand with Americans, with your constituents, with the citizens of America, not to radical, corrupt unlawful government employees such as the BLM [...] We won our first battle in Oregon, and now we're gonna win the second battle here in my home state, Nevada.

[wonkbar][/wonkbar]At least Fiore didn't repeat her call for decent armed Americans to shoot at "unlawful" federal law enforcement officers. We can also be grateful that, with her loss in June's congressional primary, Fiore will be out of the Nevada state Assembly, since she was unable to run for reelection. Unfortunately, that also frees her to go help some militants take over another federal property. We predict that within six months she'll proclaim herself the Mayor of The Grand Canyon or something.

NPR reporter Kirk Siegler also Tweeted that Fiore had told him the verdict is "a message that Americans need to stand up to unlawful behavior by govt employees."

Joan Anzelmo, a retired federal land manager, was a bit less cheery about the prospects:

This was a national wildlife refuge that was taken over essentially in an act of domestic terrorism, with arms, and terrorizing the town, threatening the citizens, threatening the employees [...] This is going to embolden militia types who, if they don't like something, they'll take up their arms, and laws be damned. It is a terrible, terrible day for the United States.

What "United States"? The trial's outcome clearly proves not merely that the government didn't make its case against the Bundys, but that it is unable to own land, and now any bunch of sovereign yahoos with enough guns can take over any plot of "federal" land they want.

Drive carefully, western Wonkers. The celebrations in bunkers and compounds all across the West are likely to be raucous today; watch for drunks on ATVs randomly firing semiautomatic rifles into the air.

[Oregon Public Broadcasting / OregonLive / NPR]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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