This week the case of Cliven Bundy finally received some press from the elite, leftist Fourth Estate. And their coverage leaves one almost speechless. Suddenly – it’s just the facts, ma’am – no perspective as to what happened or why. But the truth of the Bundy tale is dirty and ugly and downright frightening.
Liberty-minded Americans should read the story of Cliven Bundy and shudder.
It would be a B-rated, made-for-TV movie with a bad plot if it weren’t true: A Nevada rancher faces armed federal authorities, his children are tazed, his dog kicked, and he’s thrown in the clink for two – yes – two years. Then he’s allowed to go home. Oops, sorry. We blew it, says the government now. Yes now, that they made this man, his family and his supporters go through living hell.
A Corrupt Government Run Amok
The abuse the Bundys and their followers have suffered at the hands of a cabal of corrupt federal agencies is inexcusable. The government overreach here is reminiscent of the Elián González case where government authorities broke into a private home – guns ablaze – and carried an innocent little boy back into the ever-lovin’ arms of Fidel Castro.
This time though, Americans were at the ready. And they showed up en masse at what is now known as the Battle of Bunkerville. Armed citizens stared down armed federal authorities. There are so many violations of rights in this case they are too numerous to count. However, to learn from the past (so we are not condemned to repeat it) a few lowlights from Bunkerville should be retold so they can be etched in our collective memory as a free people.
First Amendment Zones
In April of 2014 when armed citizens arrived to join the peaceful protests in the Bundy Range War, orange plastic fences went up designating First Amendment Zones. Nice of them to mark spots where Americans were permitted to peaceably assemble, speak and freely associate, don’t you think? Thankfully even the Nevada Governor found these offensive and called for their removal.
During the standoff – under signs that read “Liberty Freedom for God We Stand” the citizenry was threatened over bullhorns repeatedly that they would be tear-gassed. Later, through the brave work of a Bureau of Land Management whistleblower, we were to learn how the federal authorities referred to these courageous people as recounted in a previous story from Liberty Nation:
“At any given time, you could hear subjects of this investigation openly referred to as “ret*rds,” “r*d-necks,” “Overweight woman with the big jowls,” “d*uche bags,” “tractor-face,” “idiots,” “in-br*d,” etc., etc., etc.’ Also, it was common to receive or have electronic communications reported to me during the course of the investigation in which senior investigators and law enforcement supervisors (some are potential witnesses and investigative team members) specifically made fun of suspects and referenced “Cliven Bundy felony. . . .Just kind of rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?”
When in Doubt, Throw the Book at Them
When all was said and done in Bunkerville – miraculously without loss of life – the government toying and persecution of the Bundy family had only just begun. The United States v. Bundy was drawn out over many years with multiple court orders, injunctions, and ultimately a mistrial. It was a long and winding and vicious pursuit by the government against a man and his family over a piece of land.
And so, federal officials threw the book at Bundy et al. with a 16-count indictment, search warrants combing his (and associates) social media files, telephone records and monitoring the websites of these supposed “domestic extremists.” In all, a 51-page indictment was returned with multiple charges and potential penalties that would have kept them behind bars for-like-ever.
What Have We Learned?
Ultimately justice was served in the Bundy case. But at what cost? The underbelly of a powerful federal government seeking to make an American bow to its wishes or else was exposed for all to see. And it isn’t a pretty sight. Perhaps the haunting words of James Madison serve well to remind us that, “Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power.”