Monday, September 19, 2016

Ammon Bundy's Facebook posts revealed: 'I would never show up to a rally without my arms'

FBI agents on Friday took the witness stand to reveal some of the hundreds of thousands of Facebook posts and private messages that defendants in the Oregon standoff trial made in late December and throughout the 41-day occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Testimony focused on many of Ammon Bundy's Facebook posts in late December and January, including his "Call for Action" in Burns on behalf of a pair of local ranchers poised to return to federal prison, and how his comments were interpreted. Co-defendant Joseph O'Shaughnessy's response was a private message sent Dec. 26 to co-defendant Jon Ritzheimer: "I need all patriots here on or before Jan. 2 for the wink...wink...emoticon...rally." Some followers said they were confused about the type of event Bundy was planning on Jan. 2 and urged him to be clearer. Among them was Gavin Seim, who on Dec. 30 wrote to Bundy asking him to clarify whether the Jan. 2 event was a rally or a call to action. "I would never show up to a rally without my arms," Bundy responded. The next day, Brandon Thomas wrote to Bundy that he was "seeing a contradiction from the patriot railroad'' about the Burns event. "I think you ought to make it more clear that people should not take this as a green light to stand against the FEDS,'' Thomas wrote. "It is much more than a protest,'' Bundy responded. A day after the Jan. 2 takeover of the federal refuge in Harney County, co-defendant Jason Blomgren messaged Bundy. "We are coming,'' he wrote on Jan. 3. "Keep your heads down. You have a lot of worried patriots brother. JokerJ." "We are staying strong and know what we are doing is right," Bundy wrote back. On Jan. 18, about two weeks into the takeover of the refuge, Bundy posted publicly on his Facebook page a commercial photo of a man in combat fatigues, his face completely masked by a sand-colored cloth, wearing dark sunglasses, kneeling on his right knee and holding a .308-caliber military-style assault rifle in his right hand. Above the photo it read: "But they drew first blood...,'' and then "FORGIVE ME FATHER...'' and the words "FOR I WILL SIN,'' below the photo. Bundy's lawyer Marcus Mumford argued to keep that photo out of the jury's view, insisting it was prejudicial. As the judge ruled she would allow it because it spoke to the defendant's state of mind at the time, Ammon Bundy sat at the defense table, shaking his head...more

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