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Cliven Bundy: Man of character

by Bob Livingston

As the pig men in government, media and entertainment fall by the wayside over charges they’ve groped, assaulted and raped women, it’s good to be reminded that men of character walk among us… or would if not for the police state that is the U.S. federal government.

Cliven Bundy is one such man.

Bundy is the Nevada cattle rancher who stood up to the cattle rustlers from the Bureau of Land Management when they began rounding up and slaughtering his herd in order to remove him and his cattle from the land that he and his family have controlled for more than 100 years. The totalitarians from the BLM claim the land is “Federal land” and habitat for an endangered tortoise – a tortoise which the Federal government has routinely killed.

In truth, BLM sought to clear the land for a Chinese energy company with ties to former U.S. Senator Harry Reid to build a solar farm and panel-building plant.

When the U.S.-sanctioned cattle rustlers brought in a dump truck and backhoe, the Bundys perceived that BLM was killing and burying cattle (a perception that later proved accurate) and sought to stop the truck, precipitating the standoff. The Bundys were joined by Oath Keepers and other liberty lovers who flocked to the property.

The Feds claimed Bundy owed $1 million in grazing fees. Bundy disputed the amount but was willing to pay it to the state of Nevada, which he considered the rightful owner of the land. (The Constitution does not give the U.S. government the authority to own or control vast swaths of land.) In a move that is typical of “good government,” the Feds spent more than $3 million on the illegal land/cattle grab to recoup the $1 million it believed it was owed. It also pointed guns at U.S. citizens and got a black eye in the process.

The endeavor almost became President Barack Obama’s Waco or Ruby Ridge fiasco, as The Washington Times reported later that Obama seriously considered deploying the military to end the armed standoff. There were also reports that CIA and Department of Defense operatives were on the scene posing as BLM agents.

The BLM finally backed down, but Bundy was arrested in Portland, Oregon on February 10, 2016, as he got off a plane to visit his sons Ammon and Ryan who had been arrested following the armed takeover of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge that also turned into a standoff. Cliven Bundy became a political prisoner and has been in jail and denied bail ever since.

Bundy’s trial on federal conspiracy, assault and extortion charges started November 14 and is expected to last four months. But the trial judge, Gloria M. Navarro, on November 29 ordered that Cliven Bundy, Ryan Bundy and co-defendant Ryan Payne be released to house arrest after learning that the federal government has been intentionally withholding evidence and information that could help the defendants’ case.

However, The Oregonian reports that Cliven Bundy has decided to remain in prison, saying:

…he wouldn’t accept the release conditions and objected to being let out of custody while other co-defendants in the Bunkerville standoff case still remain behind bars, according to his lawyer Bret Whipple.

“Cliven Bundy is a man of principle and the conditions of his release violated his principles,” Whipple said. “His position is he never did anything wrong so he felt accepting the conditions of his release would be acknowledging wrongdoing.”

It’s good to see that men of principle still exist. The jury should now use its power of nullification and set the Bundys and their supporters free.

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