A Tale of Two Trials: Bundy Ranch and the Pentagon Papers

A Tale of Two Trials: Bundy Ranch and Pentagon Papers

by Elias Alias . December 11 2017

In following the Bundy trial in Las Vegas, I have revisited a story I first read in 2002. That story is about a trial which happened in 1973. That trial gained world-wide press coverage and shocked the powerful elite in the Nixon Administration. That trial seems to me today to be the perfect precedent to bring to the attention of Judge Navarro, who is presiding over the Bundy trial(s).

I noticed this past week, early in December 2017, that the defendants were finally allowed pre-trial release so they could be with their families during the remainder of the trial.  The defendants were granted pre-trial release only after it was revealed in court in early December 2017, that the FBI report on the defendants from well over a year ago had indicated that the defendants were not dangerous and were not a “threat”. That report had not been provided to Judge Navarro until just now.

The defendants had been held in prison for almost two years without bail, deprived of a speedy trial, and in some cases tormented while incarcerated. The prosecution had assured the court that these defendants were a threat to society and should not be allowed bail.  But that became exposed as false once the initial FBI report was ‘discovered’. In and of itself, that circumstance poses the question – why would the prosecution knowingly deceive the courts? To answer that question I must ask the reader to indulge me as I lay in a bit more background.

It is my estimation that the prosecution is hell-bent on persecuting, as well as prosecuting, the defendants because the prosecution works for the government, and because the government is still reeling from its resounding defeat at Bundy Ranch in southern Nevada on April 12, 2014.  The prosecution’s bias is obvious and abundant. I’ll show below why I say that here.

The prosecution is under tremendous pressure to win convictions and long-term prison sentences for our cowboys – because if the cowboys “get away with” standing up to “authority”, the U.S. government itself will be embarrassed by its tardiness in making available to global banking elite agendas the assets inherent in public lands which the States themselves should be managing as State assets, as opposed to being “international assets”.

And that is what causes me to recall that old trial I mentioned above, the 1973 trial which should be seen as a precedent in this current court trial. The Bundy trial is destined to go down in history as a peak marker regarding State sovereignty the way the Constitution set it up to be, or the forfeiture by our States of ultimate sovereignty to the centralized Federal government, which now is in the service of international banking moguls, such as those who engineered (from behind the scenes) the creation of the United Nations.

Let us now take a contemporaneous yet parallel walk through both trials.

The trial in 1973 was that of Daniel Ellsberg and Anthony J. Russo, Jr.  That trial, and the immediately preceding activities of President Nixon’s top-tier administrative staff, including Henry Kissinger and elements of the CIA and the Department of Defense (DoD), are now, since 2011, available to the public.

Daniel Ellsberg had “leaked” the 7,000-page McNamara Study, now known as “The Pentagon Papers”, to the New York Times. He had, prior to that, leaked the Pentagon Papers to Senator Fulbright, who was unable to do anything with them at the level of our mere Congress, though he wanted to.  (There is a myth of governmental infallibility — if one works for the government, the laws do not apply to one.)

While the details of the trial have been released, one must go to the book which Daniel Ellsberg published in 2002 to see the “rest of the story”.  The efforts of Richard Nixon and his “hit team” are largely omitted, due to a polite judge’s discretion, from the official record, but are furnished in Ellsberg’s fully-documented and resourced book. The book is titled “Secrets: A Memoir Of Vietnam And The Pentagon Papers”. (1)

Daniel Ellsberg was a U.S. Marine and a masterful analyst for the Rand Corporation, which, having received an initial grant from the Ford Foundation, relied upon the Pentagon for about seventy percent of its cash flow.  He had top clearances at the Pentagon, at the State Department, and at the White House.  He had friends on Wall Street and at the CIA and FBI. He had access to the McNamara study on Viet Nam, which was guarded tightly by those in the know. He was an analyst for McNamara. Why that study was “guarded” had to do with the fact that five U.S. Presidents had knowingly lied to Congress, to the American people, and to the world about U.S. involvement in southeast Asia since back in the 1940s. The Presidents who had deceived the American people were:

1 – Truman

2 – Eisenhower

3 – Kennedy

4 – Johnson

5 – Nixon


It is important to understand that, as Gore Vidal has said it (2)  with the creation of the CIA and the National Security Council (NSC) at the White House in 1947, the government under President Truman had given itself “legal” rights to lie to the American people. But it did even more. By 1949 the National Security Act of 1947 had been amended to include the “Black Budget”. With Allen Dulles and former OSS men like Wild Bill Donovan opening the door for Presidents, each President since Truman has committed international war crimes – with “plausible deniability”.  And each one of them has been found out after the fact, because Truth Always Outs eventually. Ellsberg gives a detailed account of the psychology of “clearances”, of the “chain of command”, and of the distortion called “loyalty to the boss”, which kept him for several years unwilling to “leak” what he knew. Let me give you one passage showing how this works, how government lies are protected. It’s a mental trap of sorts and most Americans do not know this.


Ellsberg had spent two years as a Marine officer involved in actual combat missions on foot in Viet Nam. But he also had been tasked by Washington D.C. to render analyses on various aspects of how the war was being handled, prospects, options, precedents for policy, etc.  Ellsberg knew as much as, or more, about the Viet Nam war than anyone outside the Oval Office, and was therefore often requested by members of Congress. He moved in the highest circles, from the CIA to the White House itself. He visited regularly with Presidents and Secretaries of Defense, State, and Justice. He was close friends with Robert (Bobby) Kennedy, had several meetings with Henry Kissinger, etc etc. In a word, he had access and he knew how “policy” was made. He also knew how the most secretive elements of the formation of policy were extremely-well protected from Congress and the press, as well as from the American people.  And he knew that our government lied to the public regularly, for purposes called “national security”.

Therefore, when he offered the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times, that paper jumped on it with a major effort. The New York Times got three issues out before President Nixon obtained an injunction against their publishing any more. But Ellsberg had prepared for that expected development and had other newspapers lined up to carry on with the publication. When Nixon shut down the New York Times, the Washington Post popped up with more of the Pentagon Papers.  After the WaPo was shut down by Nixon, the Boston Globe and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch carried the leak further. The L.A. Times and the Christian Science Monitor were included in a total of twenty newspapers to publish parts of the Pentagon Papers.  All those papers agreed that the President himself had no right to suspend their First Amendment rights, and once the President shut down the NYT and WaPo, eighteen more newspapers piled on. The “Freedom of the Press” is worded in a sort of direct way, making it very difficult for bureaucrats to sneak around it. But the White House was determined to guard Presidential secrecy and became furious, enraged, as the Oval Office tapes have revealed.

As Ellsberg saw things, (and as the Pentagon Papers revealed undeniably), he finally came to understand that his conscience should overpower his sense of loyalty and secrecy that had kept him working for a death-dealing bureaucracy on an insane mission of destruction which already had gone on for many years but which was intended to continue into future years. He realized that as a moral human being he had to leak the papers to the People. So he did it.

Any reader here who thinks that the BLM is seeking revenge for their embarrassing loss at Bundy Ranch in 2014 can compare that imagery with the outrage which possessed Richard Nixon when the NYTimes came out with the Pentagon Papers.  Fact – government always hates dissent against government’s desired policies. Fact —  governments throughout history have been known to punish severely any who dare dissent. Fact – government always thinks it knows best, and dissent is a tool of “the enemy”.

And now we’re at the point wherein the analogy of the prosecution of Daniel Ellsberg matches the prosecutorial antics of the government in seeking revenge for our cowboys’ victory at Bundy Ranch.  Quite some time after the Ellsberg trial had been completed, the infamous “Oval Office Tapes” surfaced. The relevant tapes are reproduced in Ellsberg’s book, and they are not pretty to contemplate. Nixon, for one thing, had a “potty-mouth”. His sessions with Kissinger were marked with profanity, some too horrendous to reprint here. He wanted Ellsberg badly, and was wildly upset that the FBI could not find Ellsberg.  But during some of the tapes Nixon set himself up to finally be Ellsberg’s liberator. He literally ordered Howard Hunt to organize the burglary of Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist’s office, a fact which, as truth so often does, came out in court. He had the CIA organize a hit squad to come from Miami to Washington to physically teach Ellsberg a punishing lesson. And that crew of CIA “assets”, those thugs for hire, got reassigned to burglarize the Watergate Hotel where the DNC headquarters was housed. Nixon also ordered the illegal wiretapping of various people inside government positions in his effort to locate Ellsberg and also to try to learn if Ellsberg was holding any further damaging top-secret information which might come out later.

Not necessarily associated with Nixon’s drive, other elements of government decided to destroy or “lose” papers which the court wanted in Ellsberg’s trial.

Each of those crimes were documented in their planning stage once Nixon’s Oval Office tapes went “public”. But the release of the Oval Office tapes was much later than the trial, which was where these presidential crimes were first discovered.

Here is the now-famous statement by the Honorable Judge William Matthew Byrne Jr.

Case Dismissed: Judge Matthew Byrne’s Ruling in the Trial of Daniel Ellsberg and Anthony Russo (May 11, 1973)


Judge Byrne’s statement (page 456 in Ellsberg’s book) included the following – (Quoting)

“The charges against these defendants raise serious factual and legal issues that I would certainly prefer to have litigated to completion….However….the conduct of the government has placed the case in such a posture that it precludes the fair dispassionate resolution of these issues by a jury. I have concluded that a mistrial alone would not be fair. Under all the circumstances, I believe that the defendants should not have to run the risk, present under existing authorities, that they might be tried again before a different jury.

“The totality of the circumstances of this case which I have only briefly sketched offend ‘a sense of justice.’ The bizarre events have incurably infected the prosecution of this case….I am of the opinion, in the present status of the case, that the only remedy available that would assure due process and the fair administration of justice is this trial be terminated and the defendants’ motion for dismissal be granted and the jury discharged.”

(End Quote)

Here are the reasons Judge Byrne dismissed the case with prejudice. The government had lost or destroyed relevant papers. The government had performed illegal wire taps on various government employees. The government had committed burglary at Ellsberg’s psychiatrist’s office. The government had used CIA Cuban assets from Miami to beat Ellsberg physically.  While this part is not clear, the same ex-CIA guy who orchestrated the burglary and the attempted beating of Ellsberg ended up being the mastermind of the Watergate Break-in scandal.

That kind of government behavior cost the prosecution their case against Ellsberg and Russo.  The prosecution was hoping that the judge would follow orders as they were doing, for the President and “national security”. All of this drama is carefully laid out in Ellsberg’s book.

Withholding Evidence And Getting Caught Lying About It


“Bad Faith!” Govt Caught Withholding Evidence – AGAIN!


November 09 2017    Redoubt News —

On September 11, 2017, the government disclosed hundreds of phone calls including calls made from jail by co-defendant Blaine Cooper and the attorney representing him.


Cliven Bundy Sues DOJ and FBI Over Prosecutorial Abuse!

November 11, 2017  — Redoubt News


Nov 14 2017 Redoubt News

Gov Prosecutors Tell Judge What To Forbid Defense From Discussing

Navarro Grants Govt Everything, Defendants Nothing _  October 26 2017  Redoubt News

(Quoting from that article; emphasis Redoubt News)

In the pattern of her previous rulings, Navarro granted almost all of the government requests to prohibit the Bundys from mentioning the following:

  1. Self-defense, defense of others, or defense of property;
  2. Third-party/lay person testimony or opinion about the level of force displayed or used by law enforcement officers during impoundment operations, including operations on April 6, 9, and 12, 2014;
  3. Opinions/public statements of Governor Brian Sandoval of April 8, 2014, and/or opinions registered by other political office holders or opinion leaders about BLM impoundment operations;
  4. Allegations of workplace misconduct by the SAC (Special Agent in Charge) of the impoundment (Dan Love), or regarding those who worked for, or with, him.
  5. Allegations that officers connected with the impoundment acted unethically or improperly by the way they were dressed or equipped during the impoundment, or that they improperly shredded documents during or after impoundment operations;
  6. References to mistreatment of cattle during the impoundment operations;
  7. Legal arguments, beliefs, explanations, or opinions that the federal government does not own the land or have legal authority or jurisdiction over public lands where impoundment operations were conducted, or that the land was or is otherwise owned by the State of Nevada;
  8. Legal arguments, beliefs, explanations, or opinions regarding infringement on First and Second Amendment rights, including any effort to confuse the jury that there is some form of “journalist” or “protest” immunity for the crimes charged;
  9. References to punishment the defendants may face if convicted of the offenses;
  10. References to the Oregon trial of United States v. Ammon Bundy, Ryan Payne, and Ryan Bundy., or the results in that trial;
  11. References to the outcomes in the previous two trials in this case; and
  12. Legal arguments, explanations, or opinions advancing defendants’ views of the U.S. Constitution, including claims that law enforcement officers within the Department of Interior have no constitutional authority, that “natural law” or other authority permits the use of force against law enforcement officers in defense of property or individual rights, or that the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada has no jurisdiction or authority under the [C]onstitution to order the removal of cattle from public lands.

The Ellsberg trial was big enough to begin the ending of the Viet Nam war and of a President’s term in office. The Bundy trial could be that important as well, for it has the potential to wrest from various federal agencies their present authoritarian power to boot ranchers, farmers, miners, and forestry workers off public lands in their respective States.

My prayer and hope is that Judge Navarro can see through the biased government’s abusive prosecution of these good neighbor Americans, and will in the name of Justice deal more fairly with the defense. I applaud her finally seeing through the prosecution’s tactic of concealing from her the year-old assessment of the cowboys by the FBI, which the prosecution was hoping she would not see. The prosecution wanted the defendants to be in prison for the past 21 or more months, out of spite, so they were not forthcoming with information and discovery which they should have provided last year to the defense and the court. Navarro has apparently seen this and is looking at the prosecution a bit more differently now. That is my hope, and I intend to put encouraging vibes out into the national consciousness to that end. Join me, yes?

If the judge could go against the prosecution because of the prosecution’s bad-faith and nefarious activities, even crimes committed against the defendants, and stop the government’s madness, that kind of justice will go down in history as beneficial for future generations of Americans. The judge in the Bundy trial can now accurately issue a statement very similar to that of Judge Byrne in 1973, thanks to the conceited sense of statist prosecutorial zeal to destroy the BLM’s “opposition”, establish control, reinforce “authority”, suppress dissent, suppress the freedom of speech, suppress the Second Amendment. The Pentagon Papers trial is a precedent. The Bundy trial seems to be tracking toward the same kind of victory — Dismissal, with Prejudice!


by Daniel Ellsberg; copyright 2002 by Daniel Ellsberg; published by the Penguin Group, Penguin Putnam Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA; ISBN: 0-670-03030-9.

by Gore Vidal; copyright 2002 by Gore Vidal; published by Thunder’s Mouth Press / Nation Books, 161 William Street., 16th Floor, New York, New York 10038; ISBN: 1-56025-405-X.


Addendum Entry December 12 2017 –

I have read other reports from Redoubt News which should also be attached to this article. This first one is dated November 15 2017 and is found at this LINK

GOVT Duplicity Revealed in Bunkerville Trial


This one is from December 06 2017 –

Privileged Phone Calls NOT Protected by 6th Amendment?


2 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Trials: Bundy Ranch and the Pentagon Papers

  1. Note from Elias Alias on Wednesday, September 18, 2019 —
    I subscribe to the Federation of American Scientists’ emails on “Secrecy”. This was in my inbox on this date:

    From the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
    Volume 2019, Issue No. 37
    September 19, 2019

    Secrecy News Blog: https://fas.org/blogs/secrecy/


    ______________ (Quoting from FAS email this date) ______________


    Disclosing classified information without authorization is a crime even if the leaker had good intentions and was motivated by a larger public interest, the government said this week. Therefore, any mention of the purpose of the disclosure should be ruled out of bounds in trial, government attorneys argued.

    The issue arose in pre-trial motions in the case of USA v. Daniel Everette Hale. Hale is a former NSA intelligence analyst and NGA contractor who is accused of having provided classified documents concerning US military drone programs to The Intercept.

    “The defense likely will want to argue that, even if the defendant engaged in the conduct alleged, he had good reasons to leak the documents at issue and is being unfairly prosecuted under criminal statutes that carry significant penalties. Any such arguments, however, would be entirely improper,” the government said in a motion to exclude such material.

    “Evidence of the defendant’s views of military and intelligence procedures would needlessly distract the jury from the question of whether he had illegally retained and transmitted classified documents, and instead convert the trial into an inquest of U.S. military and intelligence procedures.”

    “The defendant may wish for his criminal trial to become a forum on something other than his guilt, but those debates cannot and do not inform the core questions in this case: whether the defendant illegally retained and transferred the documents he stole,” the September 16 government motion said.

    The government said the defense should also be barred from arguing that a different perpetrator committed the charged crimes, from claiming that “everybody leaks classified information,” and from informing the jury that if convicted the defendant could go to prison.

    “Any punishment or consequence the defendant might suffer is irrelevant to the factual issues and, therefore, inadmissible,” the government motion said.

    Exclusion of a “good motive” or public interest argument is consistent with past practice in previous leak trials under the Espionage Act dating back to the case of Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers, as writer Tom Mueller recalled in his new cultural history of whistleblowing Crisis of Conscience: Whistleblowing in an Age of Fraud (p. 111).

    In Ellsberg’s 1973 trial, “Prosecutors had also insisted, and [Judge William] Byrne had agreed, that the jury be instructed not to consider the larger questions raised by the defendant’s acts: the morality of the Vietnam War, the public’s right to know, the freedom of the press, or the Supreme Court’s recent First Amendment decision in favor of the [New York] Times,” Mueller wrote.

    “Ellsberg still remembers his shock when the prosecution prevented him from explaining his motives for releasing the papers. When his lawyer asked him straightforwardly why he’d done it, a prosecutor objected that the question was ‘immaterial,’ and Judge Byrne sustained. ‘My lawyer was stunned,’ Ellsberg remembers. ‘He told Judge Byrne that he’d never heard of a case where a defendant wasn’t allowed to tell the jury why he’d done what he did. “Well, you’re hearing one now,” Byrne said’.”

    “This restrictive interpretation of the Espionage Act presaged subsequent . . . prosecutions after 9/11, which forbade Chelsea Manning, Tom Drake and other national security whistleblowers from explaining why they blew the whistle,” Mueller wrote.

    Defense challenges to secrecy policy and classification decisions should also be prohibited, the government argued in a separate motion in the Hale case.

    “It is not proper for the Court or the defense to challenge a government agency’s classification determination. Such determinations are exclusively a function of the Executive Branch. It follows, therefore, that the defense cannot challenge the classification of the documents at issue in this case or make general allegations of misclassification of information within the U.S. government at large,” the government said.

    ________________ (End Quoted Passages from FAS email September 18 2019) ___________________

    My comment — shame on prosecution attorneys for worshiping the Gov-God of Authority (GGA) over and above moral issues when morality itself is threatened by statist disregard of written Bill of Rights protections. My contention is that the damned government is supposed to represent the people, and also is to be answerable to the people. Since that has been eroded over the decades after the 1947 National Security Act, our government has grown increasingly out of the control of the very people it was created to serve. Hence, the condition in which we find ourselves today. Government is not “God”. An individual’s conscience is more relevant than any government’s need for secrecy.
    Elias Alias

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