by Conrad Wilson http://www.opb.org/news/article/fbi-agent-indict-lavoy-finicum-shooting/
An FBI agent who allegedly lied to investigators about a fatal shooting during the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation has been identified. W. Joseph Astarita appeared in federal court in Portland before federal Magistrate Judge Janice Stewart on Wednesday. He’s accused of lying to investigators about his role in the shooting death of Arizona rancher Robert “LaVoy” Finicum. Astarita was a member of the FBI’s hostage response team. He faces three counts of making false statements to federal and state investigators, and two counts of obstruction of justice, according to court documents unsealed Wednesday. Through his attorney, Astarita pleaded not guilty to those charges, and requested a trial by jury. Stewart scheduled a one-week trial to begin Aug. 29 in front of U.S. District Court Judge Robert Jones.
Astarita did not speak in court Wednesday, and is currently on pre-trial release. The false statement charges carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison. The obstruction charges carry a 20-year maximum. Deschutes County Sheriff Shane Nelson said during a press conference that Astarita was not placed on administrative leave, and the investigation into FBI actions is ongoing. Nelson also said he flew to Washington D.C. more than a year ago to meet with now-acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe and other Department of Justice officials. “We informed them we found possible criminal conduct by some involved FBI (hostage rescue team) agents,” Nelson said. Finicum was a leader of the armed occupation of the Malheur refuge. He was shot and killed by an Oregon State Police trooper during a confrontation with law enforcement as occupiers traveled between Burns and John Day on Jan. 26, 2016. https://widget.spreaker.com/player?episode_id=12237913&theme=light&playlist=false&playlist-continuous=false&autoplay=false&live-autoplay=false&chapters-image=true&modified=1498700378 During that confrontation, Astarita fired his weapon at Finicum as the rancher exited his vehicle. Though the two shots did not hit Finicum, the FBI agent did not immediately disclose those shots to the investigators, according to court documents. “Specifically defendant W. Joseph Astarita falsely stated he had not fired his weapon during the attempted arrest of Robert LaVoy Finicum, when he knew then and there that he had,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Pamala Holsinger wrote in the indictment. News of the indictment quickly spread after the Oregonian broke the story late Tuesday, citing an anonymous source with knowledge of the case. The charging document also states that Astarita knew his false statements could influence the “FBI’s decision not to call the Shooting Incident Response Team to investigate the propriety of an agent-involved shooting.”
The Central Oregon Major Incident Team released photos of evidence from the Jan. 26 shooting of militant leader Robert “LaVoy” Finicum.
Prosecutors also said Astarita told lies around Feb. 6 to investigators with the intent to delay information traveling from the Oregon State Police to the FBI. The federal Office of the Inspector General has been reviewing the shooting since Oregon investigators revealed their suspicions of a possible cover up in March 2016. “A lot of people thought that investigation would linger forever, and nothing would ever come of it. For it to actually come around and result in an indictment, I think that’s a significant development,” said Todd Macfarlane, an attorney and political activist who has represented ranchers in Arizona and Utah in grazing conflicts with the Bureau of Land Management.
Finicum’s family plans to pursue a wrongful death suit over the incident, according to his wife Jeanette Finicum.
“I would hope that all of this would spur further investigation, and maybe an independent investigation,” she said. “I’m hopeful that more truth will come out. It does raise doubt that there is more to be found.”
When asked about the status of other FBI agents possibly involved in the investigation, U.S. Attorney for Oregon Billy Williams said he could comment and referred questions to the FBI.
FBI officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Finicum’s death happened after the Malheur occupation had dragged on for 24 days with little end in sight, and the FBI had increased its presence in the nearby town of Burns, Oregon. On Jan. 26, agents thought they had found an opportunity to bring the occupation to a close. Finicum and other occupation leaders, including chief organizers Ammon and Ryan Bundy, were planning to travel from Burns to Grant County along a remote stretch of Highway 395. Oregon State Police and the FBI set up a roadblock along that road. Mark McConnell, who was driving Ammon Bundy’s vehicle to the meeting, tipped off law enforcement to the John Day trip.
During the traffic stop, Bundy exited the Jeep, lay down on the icy pavement and was arrested. Finicum, who was in a separate truck ahead of Bundy, initially stopped too. But minutes later, Finicum gunned the engine of his white pickup and took off down the twisting, tree-lined highway. Finicum eventually crashed the pickup into a snowbank as law enforcement vehicles blocked the road. He jumped out from behind the wheel and repeatedly shouted at law enforcement to shoot him. Aerial video taken by the FBI showed Finicum reaching twice toward his pocket, which police later said contained a loaded 9 mm semi-automatic handgun. Oregon State Police troopers shot and killed Finicum at that point. On March 8, 2016, investigators ruled the troopers’ use of force was justified. But they also announced a new federal investigation into members the FBI’s elite Hostage Rescue Team who were at the scene. OSP troopers and FBI HRT agents fired a total of eight shots. Two of the shots that came from FBI agents were not disclosed, investigators said. And it’s the failure to disclose those shots that led to Astarita’s indictment. McFarlane, the attorney who has represented Western ranchers in cases against the federal government, said many people sympathetic to Finicum’s cause believe law enforcement agents deliberately escalated the situation at the traffic stop that led to Finicum’s death. “The indictment of one FBI agent will not necessarily answer all the unanswered questions people have,” he said. OPB reports Amanda Peacher and Amelia Templeton contributed to this report.
NYT Corrects Story Claiming 17 Intel Agencies ‘Agree’ On Russia
Daily Caller – June 30, 2017 https://www.infowars.com/nyt-corrects-story-claiming-17-intel-agencies-agree-on-russia/
The New York Times issued a correction Thursday on an article that incorrectly claimed all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies agreed that “Russia orchestrated the attacks, and did it to help get [Trump] elected.”
The original article, published June 25, covered certain reactions that President Donald Trump gave in response to Russian cyber attacks and interactions with the 2016 presidential election. TheNYT’s correction notes that: “The assessment was made by four intelligence agencies — the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency. The assessment was not approved by all 17 organizations in the American intelligence community.”
Two parents will lose their beloved 10-month-old son to what could arguably deemed State execution — so avoidably vile, the imminent killing, Charles Dickens undoubtedly rolls in his grave.
Charlie Gard — ruled the (unironically named) European Court of Human Rights in determining the last appeal by his parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, “inadmissible” — will not be permitted transport to the United States to undergo experimental nucleoside bypass therapy to treat a rare disease, of which the infant’s is only the sixteenth recorded case. Instead, medical staff at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London will shut off Charlie’s life support — death with dignity, apparently, as doctors surmise the baby must be suffering horribly to be kept alive, while off ventilator, palliative care would be viable. Gard and Yates were “utterly distraught” about today’s ruling — and for good reason.
Charlie will die.
What this amounts to, say the parents and their attorneys, among others, is cold-blooded murder — since perhaps the lone shred of hope for Charlie lies just across the pond, in the U.S.
Suffering brain and muscle damage common to mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, inherited only when both parents carry the rare gene, Charlie Gard took the spotlight as his case puts State power versus parental rights on shameful display for the planet — particularly as extenuating circumstances seemingly should mitigate strictures in government books. “Indeed,” The Daily Sheeple previously reported, “the case of little Charlie Gard might be the penultimate example of the Nanny State gone grievously awry — provoking delicate esoteric questions on the balance between governmental protections and the right to self-determination, with the additional complications of parental rights and consent. “In fact — given that pilot treatment could be had with the necessary funds and a trip overseas — to align with the court in this case, would be to affirm the State has ultimate power over life when it becomes a troublesome burden.”
Gard and Yates have, in fact, raised nearly £1.4million (roughly $1.82 million) through crowdsourcing from more than 83,000 people — believed to be enough to fund air hospital transport and the experimental therapy — but even that did not mollify the human rights court’s concerns Charlie “die with dignity,” as it was ruled therapy “would be of no effective benefit.” Negating that argument all along, neither parent has ever championed nucleoside bypass therapy as a cure-all or miracle treatment for the condition; rather, simply that therapy could prolong and vastly improve quality of life for Charlie.
“We have had our parental rights stripped away as if they don’t matter at all,” Yates railed after the last ruling by the British High Court. “The way we have been treated by doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital has been inhuman. Our son is basically being kept as a prisoner at the hospital.”
“This case is different from others because the parents have found a reputable alternative hospital that is prepared to provide treatment,” Charlie da Silva, a barrister for the family, noted prior to the hearing, for which the ECHR ruled in favor on appeal. “If a hospital is not prepared to carry out a particular treatment then it should not be able to prevent another hospital which is ready, willing and able to provide the treatment from doing so.” “Unless their decision will cause or is likely to cause significant harm to their child, parents should be the final decision makers,” da Silva continued. “However, as the law [in the U.K.] currently stands as soon as a child is admitted to a hospital the parents immediately lose their parental responsibility.
“The doctors become the final decision makers on what is in the best interests of the child. The doctors decide what treatment the child should or should not have and in the final analysis whether the child lives or dies.”
For readers in the U.S. and elsewhere, outside the U.K., that warrants bold emphasis. Parents in the U.K. whose children enter the hospital in circumstances like Charlie’s are bereft of control in determining their child’s care when medical personnel find a certain course of treatment — or, in this case, termination of certain care — would be in the better interest of the child. Whether or not Charlie experiences severe pain seems to be a matter of some debate, but Gard and Yates wish only for the chance to see their son improve. Because the parents have obtained funding for every step were the infant to be released, this case dramatically departs from any argument of burdens on the system — plainly, the courts and State insist acting with Charlie’s welfare in mind, while hypocritically stonewalling an albeit fringe treatment simply because it proffers no guarantees.
“There’s a hospital ready and waiting,” lamented supporter of the family, Michelle Standen, outside the court in Westminster during a previous proceeding. “It’s disgusting. Why not allow him to go? The funds are there. He’s not in pain. All the time they have been doing the court cases, they could have been treating him.” Gard, Yates, and innumerable supporters had remained confident the ECHR would prevent life support for the tiny child from being halted, but Thursday’s decision was the last barrier to his inevitable demise. “That cannot possibly be right,” da Silva opined upon the British court’s decision earlier this month. “It strikes at the core and offends the very essence of parenthood.” Unfortunately, the case of Charlie Gard intimately highlights the folly of coddled society’s ardor to sign away right after right to the Nanny State — whether due to fear, a quest for security, or protection from whatever evil government currently targets — rather than champion personal responsibility.
Indeed the British law responsible for this nightmarish dystopian Hell likely made the books in the interest of protecting children from irresponsible, negligent, or uninformed parents — but the authors could not have foreseen this authoritarian interpretation, or imagined it would sign an infant’s death warrant.
Charlie’s shocked and traumatized parents will now be left to wonder for time immemorial whether an albeit difficult journey to America might have saved or sustained his life, and blessed them with additional months together.
If this case follows the law, the rules, the guidelines, policy, then we — even those of us outside the U.K. — would be well-advised to examine our priorities as a species, lest we dismiss, entirely, our humanity for the sake of ill-begotten legislation.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will begin building prototypes for President Trump’s proposed wall along the Mexican border this summer, authorities said on Tuesday.
Agency officials said at a news briefing that the department is ready to begin testing designs on land that is already owned by the government. Four to eight designs will be built and tested, but officials didn’t say when the process would actually begin. “We own that land, have access to it and it’s a good place to start testing in a real-world environment,” acting deputy commissioner Ronald D. Vitiello told reporters at the briefing. Funding for Trump’s border wall was not included in the budget submitted by the White House for fiscal year 2018, but DHS has allocated $20 million from other programs to pay for the prototypes.
Infowars reporter Millie Weaver speaks with Jeanette Finicum, the widow of slain land rights advocate LeVoy Finicum, during the 2017 Red Pill Expo.
In the heart-wrenching interview, Jeanette reveals how she found out about the death of her husband, who was killed during an altercation with State and Federal agents in Oregon, and how the government continues to harass her family to this day.
EXCLUSIVE: Widow Of LaVoy Fincium Tells All
Millie also caught up with Lord Christopher Monckton to discuss the federal government’s mistreatment of the Finicum family and the news that the Bureau of Land Management could be facing RICO actions as well as the closure of their agency. Monckton says he’s been diligently working in the back channels with the Trump administration and won’t quit until justice is served.
Enraged Monckton Warning to BLM: You’re Days Are Numbered!