Did The FBI Pose As Documentary Filmmakers To Gain Access During Bundy Ranch Standoff?

 

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Exclusive Photo: Ryan Bundy at the Bellagio Hotel In Las Vegas during interview for Longbow Production’s documentary film

“Journalists should not pose as police officers, and police officers should not pose as journalists. The welfare of the republic requires it.”

Rumor has it –  much of the evidence gathered by the government for the upcoming trial, United States vs Cliven Bundy et el, will come from footage taken during and after the “Bundy Ranch Standoff” by FBI agents who posed as a film crew gathering information for a documentary being made by a company called Longbow Productions.  Sources who were present during the filming say, it was strange that the film crew asked the Bundy’s to meet them at the Bellagio Hotel, and not out at the ranch. The Bundy’s were given hard to get tickets for shows in Vegas by the crew.  Longbow Productions cannot be found for comment.

It is not clear just exactly when the agents would have gained access and who specifically they spoke with. If this information is true then it answers the question as to just one of the ways the FBI infiltrated Bundy Ranch, and  almost certainly raises the question of  whether or not the persons being filmed and interviewed had their 5th amendment right  violated.

We spoke with John Whitehead, founder of the Rutherford Institute, who explained why this type of interrogation if true, would raise serious doubts as to whether or not it was  legal  and should be allowed to be used in this case.

If  the FBI went to Bundy Ranch with the intent to interview possible suspects, and build a case against them while posing as “Press [journalists]” to do it, then yes – it most definitely would be the duty of any defense attorney to vigorously challenge it.  If this “documentary film crew” were indeed FBI agents asking specific questions to build a case against the person they were speaking with, then it would be in my opinion, a direct violation of  that person’s 5th Amendment right to not incriminate themselves.

In simple terms; if any person being interrogated has not been Mirandized and given the choice to have legal counsel present before the questioning begins it would not be a legal interrogation, and the information they garnered in my opinion, cannot be used against them in this case. ~ John Whitehead

Posing as  journalists in and of itself is a serious breech that has been opposed  by The Society of Professional Journalists;

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has no business permitting its informants to impersonate journalists, said G. Kelly Hawes, president of the Society of Professional Journalists, after learning that an informant posed as a newspaper reporter during an FBI sting operation.

“The Society of Professional Journalists opposes the practice of police officers or FBI agents or their informants posing as journalists to obtain information,” said Hawes in a letter to Louis J. Freeh, FBI director. “It is imperative that the FBI and other law enforcement agencies be able to do their jobs. The American system of justice depends on it. But it is also imperative that journalists be able to do their jobs, acting as the watchdogs on government and the criminal justice system. Journalists should not pose as police officers, and police officers should not pose as journalists. The welfare of the republic requires it.”

Source

The Press is the only directly protected occupation mentioned in the 1st amendment to the Constitution and should be considered sacred.   When someone is speaking with someone whom they perceive is a journalist, they have every reason to believe that the person to whom they are speaking is engaging in a constitutionally protected act.

Is it any wonder why FBI director James Comey made this statement in December of 2014 – after the Bundy Ranch [Operation Longbow] had supposedly taken place;

The AP sought assurances from the Justice Department and the FBI that impersonation would not be used again following revelations that an agent in Seattle posed as an AP journalist in 2007 during an investigation into bomb threats at a high school.

“I’m not willing to say never,” Comey said. “Just as I wouldn’t say that we would never pose as an educator or a doctor or, I don’t know, a rocket scientist.”

Source

There is no doubt; “if” evidence collected in an FBI operation like this proves to be what happened at Bundy Ranch,  defense attorney’s in this case should and probably will oppose it. The government would just as likely  argue the interrogations conducted at Bundy Ranch under the  alleged FBI operation were legitimate because the persons being interrogated were not yet in legal custody. There would also be a strong argument as to whether or not “documentary filmmaker” is the same thing as “journalist.”

What future implications this has for an already rocky relationship between activist and journalist remains to be seen.  If the FBI  chose to use the cover of being a journalist to gain access to this historical protest, it will likely have many repercussion for the legitimate media when future events take place.

It’s not like filmmakers at Bundy Ranch were not willing to help the FBI out.  Dennis Michael Lynch, a renowned documentarian who filmed at Bundy Ranch and was present at the gate when the standoff ended, has already admitted he turned all of his footage over to the FBI without even putting up a fight.

End Article

 

 

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  • Jefry Tober

    Must be pretty dumb to be infiltrated. Just sayin’, comrades.

    It takes more than a crazy mormon Skousan comic book constitutional pamphlet to succeed in revolution.

    Big headed delusional to think you are going to change the world with youtube videos.

    • John Hackett

      Revolution? Where did you ever get that idea? What happened there had nothing to do with revolution, you need to educate yourself on exactly what this was all about…..Its pretty easy to infiltrate a public event……..anyone can go…….

      • Angry Grandma

        You can try to change the narrative all you want, but the call out by the Bundy’s was for a range war I guess they never said revolution, but that word was bantered around by many all over social media. Trying to downplay it now is not going to work. All these followers of the Bundy’s and these para militia love to rant on social media and live stream or video themselves for youtube. They convict themselves, still do.

        • Chandie Bartell

          It’s called the Sage Brush Rebellion and has been going on since the 1970’s. So what is your knowledge and personal experience with association with ranchers and communities that border BLM/USFS lands, and how these agencies have regulated ranchers out of business?

          Just because these agencies aren’t after your private property rights, doesn’t make it a non-issue for those Americans that these agencies are abusing. What happened to care for your neighbor?

          • Angry Grandma

            Seems the only ones having problems are the “welfare ranchers”. Many ranchers have no issues and work in unison with the BLM. Even in the armed standoff when a ranchers property was entered and fence cut down (and lied about having permission to do so let’s not forget) it was said that these faketriots have no say about how ranchers work with BLM. You, as others with issues all have your own little issues with the agencies or government or even laws because someone violated a particular law and got into trouble. Many ranchers call the Bundy’s and their ilk losers, they do not represent all ranchers. Why ? Because they can and do work with the BLM and abide by their grazing permits, move their cattle as necessary and just plain are ethical and honest. So some feel they have an entitlement, something for nothing, that is their problem. That’s all that is going on, those who feel entitled. Look at all the actual statistics on GOOD, honest ranchers and then look at the few who have issues.

          • Amish Prepper

            BLM is a foreign corporation and they should not even be having to work with them. We want BLM out of our Country. We are pushing Congress to defund them and run them out. They are criminals and have no rights to terrorize Americans on American soil.

          • States should take back control of their lands. The Fed problem would go away, it is fiscally more responsible, and we would be able to restore health back to our forest and our Western lands.

    • Yeah really. All they was doing was standing up to a federal governmental agency that was and is being used by politicians like Harry Reid to STEAL good had working American ranchers, farmers land by enforcing regulations on to them that not only DO NOT apply, But are completely in violation of our Bill of Rights.. Witch in all truth should be call “The Peoples Limited Consent to be Governed Contract”. The Bill of Rights Set LIMITATIONS on what the Federal branches CAN AND CAN NOT DO…. and the 10th, clearly establishes that any authority NOT granted here, FALL to the States…. End of argument. The Federal courts, agents and politicians are in violation of there OATH OF OFFICE, for not upholding, protecting the Constitution. Our Contract that ALLOWS for the Federal Government to exist UNDER LIMITED power.. Here read the Bill of Rights… Understand exactly what we stand for… .

      http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bill_of_rights_transcript.html

      Don’t forget the Declaration of Independence

      http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html

      And just a bit more about the History of How we came about establishing our independence from Great Britain,
      Paul Harvey : Our Lives Our Fortunes Our Sacred Honor
      https://youtu.be/kX-APfe3i8Q

      Star Spangled Banner As You’ve Never Heard It
      https://youtu.be/YaxGNQE5ZLA

      • Lynn Kopa Balogh

        The declaration of independence was addressed specifically for king George of England and the press at the time. It is not law

    • Chandie Bartell

      Ammon Bundy’s lawyer Mike Arnold debunks “Mormon Constitution” conspiracy theory.

      There’s an urban legend based on religious prejudice against the LDS church: that the pocket constitution carried by protesters at the Bundy Ranch and the Oregon refuge is a “Mormon constitution.” There’s a group of individuals who claim it’s an “abridged” or “annotated” constitution. Examples: http://snip.ly/mormon-constitution-tweets

      This video shows a side-by-side comparison of the pocket constitution and a government-certified constitution to put that conspiracy theory to rest. (Yes, there are conspiracy theories from those not on the political right.)
      From the GPO: http://snip.ly/government-printing-office-constitution

      Seriously, it’s not annotated. Or abridged. Or a Mormon Constitution. It really is the constitution. And it fits in your pocket. Hence, “pocket constitution.” And it’s really inexpensive. Hence, it’s widespread distribution.
      See on Amazon.com: http://snip.ly/pocket-constitution-amazon.com

      Please stop using religious prejudice to undermine the Oregon and Nevada protesters’ constitutional arguments. Please try using counter-arguments instead.

      Misleading about a religion and a publication with a word-for-word duplication of the Constitution is protected free speech but it’s religious “hate speech,” a term that is thrown around a lot the last few years. But this sort of anti-LDS hate speech shouldn’t be illegal; it should just be shouted down by the truth.
      [Read a Huff Post, “Combating Religious Intolerance When Freedom of Speech Enables Hate Speech”: http://snip.ly/huffpost-religious-intolerance-hate-speech ]

      Please SHARE this video and help educate folks and encourage them to disagree about facts and arguments. There shouldn’t be any disagreement on the actual words of the constitution. It’s in writing and pretty easy to verify. Instead, please spend time disagreeing on how to interpret those words.

      However, if you quote the actual original words of the constitution, it seems you are labeled an extremist. If you quote from a judge interpreting those same words, you are an intellectual. Why did that happen?

      And remember, you probably never heard of the Enclave Clause until 2016. So many people are now talking about the text of the constitution that weren’t before. Strange how political protests can effectuate dialogue.

      Ammon Bundy Legal Fund: http://snip.ly/legal-fund

      View this video on YouTube:http://snip.ly/mormon-const-youtube

      • Angry Grandma

        Ammons attorney debunked something based on a pocket Constitution that did not match what followers had been given (as was pointed out by followers of the Bundy’s that got theirs from Ryan B.). A simple bait and switch move. The Skousen version does have the annotations and religious overtones . But you know that, so does the majority of America. Heck, a danger school got on trouble for buying the dang cheap things and they were the Skousen ones. So debunking something other than what the Bundy group peddles means nothing, but it was a nice try.

      • Lynn Kopa Balogh

        Seriously. Read the teaching included by the NCCS that goes along with the pocket constitution? You will see the distortion and lies taught about the constitution and this country. Really

  • Zinwhit

    I agree that it likely LE posed as ‘journalists’ and the problem this presents for the profession of Journalism and interaction with activists of any sort. SfPJ should come out loud if/when such ‘posing’ occured and sanction any Journalist who may have cooperated prior to their own investigation or otherwise allowed themselves, profession and their credentials to be explicitly used by the state.

    Moral issues aside, LE ethics and legal precident allow this, as Comey forwarded.

    Besides, like social media, the information was freely shared. Uncoerced.

    For all activists regardless of stripe, chalk this up as a learning experience.

    Be careful out there.

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  • Spooks go home!

  • Lynn Kopa Balogh

    I heard nothing but lies a fRom the NCCS and Pete santilli and all the bundys . they trick people to join the group with false narratives. It is astounding that the movement built
    on lieing and deciete is complaining when they are being tricked. As for fear how many officers are shot by people with the same beliefs as this group especially after threatning to shoot officers if they interfere.