While WC was chasing birds in Peru, the Bundy Boys‘ trial started in Portland, Oregon. Here’s an update of sorts for those who haven’t been paying attention.
WC’s buddy David Backstrom, a retired public defender, used to write his closing argument for the jury before the trial even started. If things went right, he reasoned, it would be more persuasive. If things went wrong at trial – and they usually did for Dave – he’d at least have a chance of confusing the jury.
Based on reports out of Portland, where seven of the Malheur occupiers are on trial, their defense has pretty much adopted the Dave Backstrom strategy.
Let’s just say it isn’t going well for the defense.
On trial are Ammon and Ryan Bundy, Shawna Cox, David Fry, Dylan Anderson, Jeff Banta and Kennet Medenbach. The defense seems to be that the Bundy boys had that hoard of weaponry at Malheur because they were afraid the federal government would do something rash. They didn’t have a couple of truckloads of firearms to intimidate federal workers from doing their jobs; they had the munitions to defend themselves if the feds came after them because they were keeping the Malheur staff from doing their jobs.
That’s not much of a defense. That’s not even a Dave Backstrom level of defense.
The Bundy boys made it even worse for themselves when one of their own witnesses described the procedures they put in place for letting anyone into the publicly-owned national wildlife refuge. Oregon Public Radio reported that defense witness David Briels testified:
When Briels would visit, he said, a white pickup truck was parked at the refuge entrance with armed guards standing by. The guards would radio back to people on the refuge for approval. The truck would back up, clearing a path, and Briels would proceed onto the refuge, according to his testimony.
Briels said this check-in procedure happened every time.
Of course, that’s exactly what the feds need to prove to convict these idiots. Put another way, Briels’ testimony was excellent evidence that the Bundy boys are guilty. The defense is helping the prosecution. If you are a prosecutor, it doesn’t get much better than that.
So the Bundys’ defense is violating Will Rogers’ Law of Holes: “If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.”
No doubt tough cowboy Ammon Bundy will shed still more tears as he continues his testimony. Ammon seems to be blaming his father, Cliven. Also not a likely successful defense. Unless the David Backstrom strategy – try to confuse the jury – works out, the defense is doomed.
As it should be.