by WorldTribune Staff, October 25, 2016
The government employed drones for surveillance and used a slew of undercover informants to monitor the January 2016 “armed standoff” at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.
The tactics used by the Obama administration during the incident came to light at the trial of the “Malheur 7” (Ammon Bundy, Ryan Bundy, Shawna Cox, Jeff Banta, David Fry, Neal Wampler and Ken Medenbach).
The trial is now in the hands of the jury, which is considering whether the defendants conspired to prevent U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service or Bureau of Land Management officers from performing their duties during the Malheur standoff.
“The trial has revealed an astounding brave new world of modern surveillance and surreptitious ‘law enforcement’ techniques,” Roger I. Roots wrote for LewRockwell.com on Oct. 24.
“FBI agents captured and monitored every phone number connected between every participant. A search warrant after the fact gave the government permission to surf through 36 Laptops, smartphones, flash drives and other devices to build the government’s case. The FBI turned the analysis of Facebook likes, dislikes, messages, and posts into a science, with multiple agents assigned to that social media alone.”
As the incident unfolded, FBI, Oregon State Police, and other law enforcement agencies “swarmed over the countryside,” Roots wrote.
“Government snipers appeared on local rooftops. Barricades and barbed wire were erected to protect the school and courthouse from the alleged militia danger. Undercover FBI agents dressed as redneck militia members roamed through local stores and menaced the streets.”
Undercover government informants were “everywhere,” Roots continued. “Suspicions that the government’s narrative was largely erected with undercover agents were borne out during the first week of trial. It was revealed by an Oregon State trooper that one of Ammon Bundy’s ‘bodyguards’ — a man who drove him to his arrest — was an undercover informant.
“Another informant (‘Mama Bear’) was revealed when a defense lawyer subpoenaed her for the defense. The woman admitted that her entire trip to the Malheur Refuge was funded by the San Diego FBI office and that she was paid thousands of dollars to inform on the occupiers while helping out in the kitchen.”
Related: Judge dismisses key gun charge against armed occupiers in Oregon standoff, June 12, 2016
The Justice Department, without naming any names, admitted that at least nine Malheur occupiers were undercover informants.
Roots noted that “heavily redacted documents in the hands of the defense suggest the number of informants was actually at least 15.”
The prosecution’s “most damning evidence collapsed at the end of the trial when it was revealed that the man who ran a militia shooting range at the Malheur Refuge was himself an undercover agent,” Roots wrote.
“Through the hard work of defense lawyers, ‘John Killman’ was identified as a paid (‘reimbursed,’ he said) informant who traveled to the occupation at the behest of the government in a beat-up pickup truck to lead the occupiers in combat ‘safety’ training. ‘Killman’ had even trained defendant Jeff Banta to stop cars and pull out their drivers at gunpoint.”