For a brief review of why there is so much interest in Seth Rich's death, recall the news from August of 2016. At first glance, upon learning of Seth Rich's death,“conspiracy theorists” couldn’t help but notice the rather obvious absurdity of how police labeled his murder a botched “robbery,” when Rich hadn't been robbed of anything. At the time Rich's body was discovered, he still had his wallet, money, watch, cell phone, etc. He was, however, beaten, and then shot in the back, neither of which is consistent with a typical “robbery,” and certainly not a “robbery” where nothing was taken.
When this story first broke, not only did the police see no need to investigate possible ties between the two circumstances mentioned, but when people did start asking questions, terms like “conspiracy theorist" were thrown around, and police still refused to investigate further.
Now, thanks to a team of George Washington University forensic psychology graduate students and their instructors who analyzed the case and provided their findings in a 48 page report (below),the fears of many “conspiracy theorists” appear to be even more legitimate than ever!
In the following video, Today’s Yellow Snow (formerly Right Wing News) looks at the 48 page report released by the George Washington University Team, and analyzes what portions of the report line up with the theory that links Hillary Clinton to Seth Rich’s murder, and which portions of the report MIGHT not fit.
This report, if correct, just confirms exactly what we have all been thinking. Although those who have spoken out about it, such as Hannity, have received extreme backlash from the liberal mainstream media. Perhaps because they know the truth and want to keep it buried.
This new, independent report suggests that DNC staffer Seth Rich was not killed at random or by way of a robbery….but rather murdered by a third part: a “hired killer.”
Here is a summary of an “all-volunteer group of current and former George Washington University forensic psychology graduate students and instructors” and what they found:
The report states that they told the family of Seth Rich before releasing the details of their findings.
On Page 10 of the report above it says:
"The decedent was conscious and breathing with apparent gunshot wound(s) to the back. The decedent was transported to local area hospital and was pronounced by attending physician at 0557 hours.”
Compare that with the testimony of a 4th-year surgery resident who was actually present the night Seth Rich was treated at the hospital, before “unexpectedly” dying. Needless to say, the surgery resident sure does have an interesting story. If this 4th-year resident's testimony existed in a vacuum that would be one thing, however, it does not as you'll see below, posing some very serious questions!
Furthermore, on Page 28 of the report above, it covers the theory that Seth Rich was “Killed for Leaking DNC Documents to Wiki-Leaks”
Findings – Not Likely, unless a toxin was introduced into Seth
Analysis – The first hurdle this theory needs to overcome is that a professional killer would have been the offender. Seth did not die at the scene. A professional killer, whose sole job would have been to terminate Seth did not accomplish their mission prior to escaping. Positive toxicology reports would be needed to support this theory.
Further Information Needed to Answer This Question – Any forgiven substance in Seth’s system could support this theory. Any poison or radiation indications would support the professional killer theory, as the killer would have known that once the matter entered the bloodstream it would take effect.
Comments – Such toxicology reports are required per the 2016 version of the DC Office of the Chief Medical Examiner Standard Operating Procedures. Section 10 Ancillary Studies, C Toxicology25 states the following:
1.1. Toxicology specimen MUST BE TAKEN on all case types if possible, even if no toxicological tests are ordered 1.2. Toxicology specimens include blood, urine, liver, vitreous humor, stomach contents, brain and bile.
What’s interesting about that finding, is that in addition to claims that everyone was kicked out of Rich's room except for the attending physician, comes from a report published on June 3 at Intellihub.
Intellihub reported that mainstream D.C. Journalist, ABC 7’s Scott Taylor, was denied multiple Freedom of Information Act requests on Seth Rich, by both the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department AND the Chief Medical Examiner, who could have answered the question about toxicology. Hmmmmm.
Are journalists starting to get too close to the truth in the Seth Rich case?
ABC 7’s Scott Taylor was recently denied a Freedom of Information Act Request that he filed with the Government of the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department which requested copies of video footage captured at the crime scene by police officers body cameras and surveillance video captured from the hospital where DNC staffer Seth Rich was taken before his death.
Frustrated with the official response, the investigative journalist tweeted:
“#SethRich Update: Here is denial of my request 4 video of Police Officers body cams at crime scene & Hospital plus surveillance video. pic.twitter.com/VDaRO8m8gT“
Two attachments included in the tweet read as follows:
The response from DC Metro Police makes no sense, especially because body camera footage has been released by the department in the past and can only help in solving the case.
Furious about the whole ordeal, Taylor tweeted:
“Body cams in homicides have been released in the past in #DC.”
An additional FOIA request filed by Taylor was denied by the Chief Medical Examiner.
“#SethRich Update: #DC also denies my FOIA for Chief Medical Examiner autopsy report.”
How deep does the deep state go?
In a post from June 6th titled, Toxic New Details About Seth Rich’s Murder Emerge, it was revealed that Heather Podesta, ex-sister-in-law to John Podesta (Hillary Clinton's campaign manager), just so happened to be serving on the board of the Washington DC Police Foundation together with the Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier, who served as police chief when DNC staffer and widely-reported WikiLeaks source Seth Rich was murdered in July 2016. Lanier stepped down as police chief the next month.
People have also discovered that comments on Rich’s Reddit account have also been altered to better fit the narrative.Finally, rumors are swirling that the corporate higher-ups are ready to hand Hannity the pink slip very soon if he keeps pursuing the story. This is all just coincidence though, right? Not likely.
What do you think about this report? There are too many factors that do not add up in Rich’s murder. Why would someone who was robbing him, kill him and then leave all his belongings on him? Yet that is the story that the left would like you to believe. That he was simply killed in robbery-gone wrong.
Before we go locking up Hillary and throwing away the key, there is still one nagging issue: Recall that Seth did not die at the scene. If Seth Rich’s murder was a professional hit, the killer was a total amateur because he/she did accomplish their only mission prior to escaping. Considering the list of 67 mysterious deaths previously mentioned that are connected to the Clinton’s, it seems unlikely that a professional hit would have been so sloppy, unless of course… positive toxicology reports show that a toxin was introduced into Rich’s system.
Why do you suppose the Freedom of Information Act was denied? Just sayin…
In April, the Free Thought Project reported on Ronald Bernard, who is a Dutch entrepreneur whose drive and business contacts quickly catapulted him into the world of the financial elite. In his April interview, Bernard touched on the horrifying things he saw as a member of these elite groups. But now he’s going even further.
While his interview De Vrije Media in April touched on the utterly murderous and insane practices of the elite, a new interview released this month goes much deeper. In the second interview, Bernard explains how and why the ruling class are able to maintain this control, while committing horrid crimes, and while extracting wealth from the citizens through unscrupulous and illegal means, all the while maintaining immunity from the law.
They’re “like a bunch of vampires, that is what it is. In 20 years they already stole 100% of the real value. This is what caused the national debts to increase, you will see everywhere, with individuals, that those debts keep growing,” Bernard explains as he details our current situation.
“Then reports start showing up, like Oxfam Novib after a global research did show that 8 people own as much as half the people in the world. How is this possible?” he asks. “It’s not just speculation, it’s the interest rate that takes the real actual value and adds it to the capital at the top.”
He is correct, 8 people own more wealth than half the world and it is because the system they built is set up to funnel wealth upwards. These people robbing the masses with impunity is entirely possible, as Bernard explains, because they operate outside of normal laws.
“We are now talking about these free states with immunity from everyone, free states where nothing and no one can do anything against this — including people working for these institutions. They also get immunity.”
What Bernard is referring to in the quote above is illustrated on nearly a daily basis. We see bankers across the planet get exposed for funding terrorism, human trafficking, money laundering for drug cartels, and employing a scheme of wholesale robbery against the commoner. When these criminals are caught — and even admit to their crimes — they are let off with no accountability.
Bernard then goes on to make a powerful yet ominous statement.
“All misery on earth is a business model.”
When we look at the suffering of other human beings across the planet, we can link this back to a predatory state or elite entity immune from the rule of law through special privilege obtained through the state.
“Syria is a business model,” Bernard says. “It is about resources and some other interests.”
While Bernard goes on to note that there is a single organization at the top running things, we feel that it is a little more complex. There are certainly power players who influence global policy, but there are constant rifts within these elite groups separated by different nationalities and cultures. However, that doesn’t change the nature of the effect — debt and suffering.
This top-down model, as Bernard points out in the latter part of the interview, is “the ideal situation for psychopaths” because they get to prey on the masses using the power of the state.
Most importantly, as Bernard points out, none of this will change as long as people are unaware of how it works.
“As long as people don’t realize how it works: How they’re deceived… How their being robbed…How the value, their value, is taken away from them to enrich the rich even further… as long as the people don’t see this, as long as they are not aware, nothing will change.”
Even when people do become aware of the banking elite and their ability to rule from outside the law, they believe they can change it by acting within that system. This deception is maintained by instilling the illusion of democracy.
This control is maintained, even over society’s most brilliant minds, because people have been told their entire lives about the “illusion that we live in a democracy.” They buy into it because it makes “one feel like they have contributed to the democracy, and real change is about to happen.”
But, like Bernard notes, that change never comes because the people who enter the system, even if they are originally genuine at heart, become puppets for the status quo.
What Bernard is talking about is not some conspiracy theory. It is very real. As the Free Thought Project reported this week, in an interview with French publication Le Figaro, Russian President Vladimir Putin, noted this exact same thing when he said U.S. presidents serve as little more than puppets for the ruling oligarchy.
“A certain person may be elected by the public on the basis of his merit and ideals – but rarely is this person able to formulate policy,” Putin said.
While this situation may seem bleak on the surface, resistance is most assuredly not futile.
The good news is that there is a solution to this madness and it is in the palm of your hand right now, or on the screen in front of you. Humanity has the ability to communicate with one another across the world — instantly.
It is up to us how we choose to use this ability. Will we spend it staring at videos of kittens 24/7, or break away for a few moments to take in and disseminate information that will help to free our fellow human.
Information and knowledge will free us from those who wish to keep us oppressed but only when we want to be free. This all starts with you.
To quote Butler Shaffer from his eye-opening book, The Wizards of Ozymandias: “We will not become free when the state goes away. Rather the state will go away once we are free.”
Below is the summary of Bernard’s interview and below that is the full interview.
The official number of bodies recovered from the Clinton estate in upstate New York is 14, says Quantico’s Chief Medical Examiner:
“We have found, altogether, the complete remains of 14 human beings, all believed to be female in their late teens through early 20s. It looks like the most recent was reported missing in 2005. That number includes the three women recovered last night. Their torsos were in one of the other barrels. Not all 14 have been identified yet.”
LOTF correspondent on the scene Anatata Fukkuhiro says that no cameras or interviews are being allowed but that she can clearly see the Clintons still sitting calmly on their front porch in rocking chairs:
“It’s like they’re taunting the FBI. They just sit there, having told the FBI they won’t be answering any questions until the recovery is complete and they can meet in a neutral location. It doesn’t seem like they have anything to worry about.”
Clinton spokesman Christopher Blair told us:
“Of course they’re not worried, you nitwits. You fell for this same shtick last time. Were you not paying attention when they discovered a serial killer who lived next door until a year or two ago? They might be thinking HE would be the obvious choice if you had to point fingers. Try not to be so stupid.”
He may be the reason the Clintons aren’t worried but the rest of us know they are far more dangerous than a guy who was caught killing a few people a bunch of years ago. Of course the Clintons should be the first suspect.
In the case of UNITED STATES OF AMERICA VS. Cliven Bundy et al, Judge Gloria Navarro has demanded the defendants all wear chains throughout their trials. The simple question is, why? These are men who have demonstrated they are not violent nor have they attempted to escape from the prison system they have been incarcerated in for almost a year and a half.
In a response to the order by Judge Navarro, attorney for Pete Santilli, Chris Rasmussen, cited the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in May 2017 to bolster the claim that his client's rights are being violated, as are all the other defendants in the case.
"Peter Santilli hereby asserts his Fifth Amendment right to be present in Court without shackles," reads the motion.
"If the government seeks to shackle a defendant, it must first justify the infringement with specific security needs as to that particular defendant. Courts must [then] "decide whether the stated need for security outweighs the infringement on a defendant's right."
Additionally, this decision cannot be passed off to security providers or "preemptively answered by routine policies."
The ruling adds, "All of these requirements apply regardless of a jury's presence or whether it's pretrial, trial or sentencing proceeding. Criminal defendants, like any other party appearing in court, are entitled to enter the courtroom with their heads held high."
In other words, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals have said defendants have a right to be free of shackles and handcuffs in the presence of jurors in part to maintain the presumption of innocence until they are proven to be guilty.
Bringing these men into the courtroom biases the jury and poisons the well in the mind of jurors that these men are actually guilty before any testimony is heard.
Notice that it applies not only to trial, but pre-trial and sentencing.
The ruling by the court was emphatic in its rejection of routine shackling:
"We must take seriously how we treat individuals who come into contact with our criminal justice system -- from how our police interact with them on the street to how they appear in the courtroom. How the justice system treats people in these public settings matters for the public's perception, including that of the defendant. Practices like routine shackling and 'perp walks' are inconsistent with our constitutional presumption that people who have not been convicted of a crime are innocent until proven otherwise."
"For better or worse, the presumption of innocence rests in large part on appearances. And the appearance of a defendant in court, shackled "like a bear on a chain," can undermine that presumption. Therefore, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that lower courts may no longer routinely of shackle all pretrial detainees in the courtroom, even if there is no jury present," writes Christopher Coble, Esq. at FindLaw.com.
Coble went on to write, "While many courts, including in this case the Southern District of California, permitted blanket shackling policies in the past, that rule has now changed. Going forward, 'if the government seeks to shackle a defendant, it must first justify the infringement with specific security needs as to that particular defendant.' In doing so, courts are required to decide 'whether the stated need for security outweighs the infringement on a defendant's right.'"
"Supreme Court bans the use of shackles 'unless that use is 'justified by an essential state interest' -- such as the interest in courtroom security -- specific to the defendant on trial.'" he added. "When considering a request for shackling, a court may 'take into account the factors that courts have traditionally relied on in gauging potential security problems and the risk of escape at trial.'"
Let's see if the corrupt Judge Navarro, a woman who had absolutely no experience as a judge before being advanced to a federal judge position by the likes of former Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) and Barack Hussein Obama Soetoro Sobarkah, will follow the law and protect the rights of these men or continue down the totalitarian road she is traveling. There is no doubt in my mind that Navarro is one of the judges that have gone rogue and needs to be impeached.
If you are able and would like to help the Bundy Ranch political prisoners win their case against the tyranny of the central government or would like to write them, please click here. If you would like to support a house in Nevada that is caring for wives and children of these men as they attend the trials, please click here.
Four target former national security adviser Mike Flynn, Trump personal attorney Michael Cohen, individuals say
Byron Tau and
WASHINGTON—The House Intelligence Committee issued seven subpoenas on Wednesday, in a sign that its investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election is advancing in scope and intensity, according to people familiar with the matter.
The Republican-led committee issued four subpoenas related to the Russia investigation, targeting President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Mike Flynn, Mr. Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, and their businesses. The committee is also investigating possible ties between Trump associates and Russia.
The other three subpoenas were issued to the National Security Agency, the FBI and the Central Intelligence Agency for information about a procedure known as “unmasking.” The subpoenas are related to questions about how and why the names of the president’s associates were unredacted and distributed within classified reports by Obama administration officials during the transition between administrations.
Wednesday’s requests were the first subpoenas issued by the House committee in the Russia probe so far and showcase the continuing divide within the committee over the direction of the probe. Democrats are seeking an aggressive investigation into Mr. Trump and his associates, and Republicans are pushing for a probe into the unmasking.
The Senate Intelligence Committee also is examining suspected Russian involvement in last year’s campaign. That panel is expected to hear testimony as early as next week from former FBI Director James Comey, who was overseeing the agency’s Russia investigation until Mr. Trump fired him on May 9. Russia has denied interfering with the election and Mr. Trump has denied that his associates colluded with the Russian government.
Mr. Comey is expected to testify Mr. Trump asked him to back off the investigation of Mr. Flynn, according to a person familiar with the matter. The panel’s request for Mr. Comey’s testimony was sparked by his abrupt dismissal by Mr. Trump and allegations that Mr. Trump may have been trying to interfere in the continuing investigation. The president has denied the allegations. Mr. Flynn was forced to resign in February after misleading senior White House officials about his conversations in December with the Russian ambassador.
The probe by the Federal Bureau of Investigation is now headed by former agency director Robert Mueller, who was tapped by the Justice Department to serve as a special counsel.
The House investigation suffered a setback when its Republican chairman Devin Nunes was forced to step aside in April after an ethics complaint was filed over his handling of classified materials. Mr. Nunes remains the chairman of the committee but recused himself from the Russia inquiry.
Mr. Nunes signed all seven subpoenas despite his recusal, according to people familiar with the matter. A GOP congressional aide said that the unmasking investigation was now considered separate from the Russia probe, allowing Mr. Nunes to act on his own authority even while recused.
Democrats on the committee criticized the move, saying they didn’t consent to the unmasking subpoenas. “This action would have been taken without the minority’s agreement. Any prior requests for information would have been undertaken without the minority’s knowledge,” said a senior Democratic committee aide.
Democrats are seeking an aggressive probe of Mr. Trump and his associates, including questions about whether they had any contact with Russian agents.
Republicans on the committee are pushing for an investigation of how the names of Trump campaign officials became exposed in classified intelligence reports based off intelligence community intercepts, as well as questions about how classified information about Mr. Trump’s associates was given to the media.
Mr. Nunes first raised the issue of unmasking in March based on information he received from the White House.
Typically, information about Americans intercepted in foreign surveillance is redacted, even in classified reports distributed within the government, unless a compelling need exists to reveal or “unmask” them. Unmasking requests aren’t uncommon by top intelligence community officials but Republicans want to know whether any of the unmaskings of Trump campaign officials during the transition were politically motivated.
The most recent subpoenas to the intelligence agencies seek information on any requests made by former national security adviser Susan Rice, former CIA Director John Brennan and former United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power for names to be unmasked in classified material. The three didn’t personally receive subpoenas, the people familiar with the matter said.
Mr. Brennan, Ms. Rice and Ms. Power didn’t respond to requests for comment. Ms. Rice in April told CNN she never did anything “untoward” with intelligence collected on American citizens, including Trump aides working on the transition.
Ms. Power hasn’t previously been reported as a potential witness in the probe so her inclusion in the subpoenas may mean Republicans are broadening their areas of investigation.
Unmasking is typically restricted to high-level officials to safeguard the privacy of Americans caught up in U.S. government spy operations directed at foreign targets. Typically, only top officials within the intelligence agencies and the administration have the ability to ask for unmasking, which is approved by the agency that controls the information.
Officials have acknowledged the names of some Trump aides were revealed in the classified documents, and Republicans have questioned whether it might have been improper.
The four subpoenas related to the Russia investigation are aimed at Mr. Flynn and his business Flynn Intel Group LLC, as well as Mr. Cohen, a former Trump Organization attorney, and his law firm. “If subpoenaed, I will work with my lawyers to cooperate with the various investigations,” Mr. Cohen said. An attorney for Mr. Flynn didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Both have declined to voluntarily cooperate with the probe but Mr. Flynn is complying with a Senate subpoena for his business records.
The House panel also recently sent a letter to former White House press aide Boris Epshteyn asking him to voluntarily submit information to the committee. Mr. Epshteyn briefly served as special assistant to the president in the Trump administration before departing his post earlier this year. A lawyer for Mr. Epshteyn made the request public on Wednesday.
“Like many others, Mr. Epshteyn has received a broad, preliminary request for information from the House Intelligence Committee,” an attorney for Mr. Epshteyn said Wednesday.
He added: “This is a voluntary request. Mr. Epshteyn has not been subpoenaed nor do we anticipate that he will be. We have reached out to the committee with several follow up questions and we are awaiting their response in order to better understand what information they are seeking and whether Mr. Epshteyn is able to reasonably provide it.”
—Shelby Holliday, Carol E. Lee and Del Quentin Wilber contributed to this article.
A citizen researcher from Florida is attempting to have the recording of the infamous Bill Clinton/Loretta Lynch tarmac tape released to the public, but apparently, the National Security Agency claims they won't release it due to "national security."
Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act request in March of this year to obtain the following:
Any and all records and/or transcripts of a meeting held between Attorney General Loretta lynch and former President Bill Clinton on June 28, 2016.
Any and all records of communication sent to or from officials in the Office of the Attorney General regarding the meeting held between Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former President Bill Clinton on June 28, 2016.
Any and all records of communication sent to or from officials in the Office of the Deputy Attorney General regarding the meeting held between Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former President Bill Clinton on June 28, 2016.
Any and all references to the meeting held between Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former President Bill Clinton contained in day planners, calendars and schedules in the Office of the Attorney General.
This brings us to Kawa. In an article at Big League Politics, Patrick Howley writes:
The National Security Agency (NSA) blocked the release of a purported tape of Bill Clinton and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s private airplane talk with a rare legal justification used to protect top national security secrets.
The NSA’s block of the release of this information — citing one of President Obama’s executive orders — undercuts Hillary Clinton’s claim that her husband and Lynch had a “purely social” conversation about grandkids and golf on June 27, 2016, two weeks before Lynch dropped the Department of Justice investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email scandal.
Citizen researcher Larry Kawa is pressing the government to release the contents of a taping system that is required to have been installed on Lynch’s government airplane. Kawa points to the Tempest system, a NATO-certified system by which the NSA tracks and records sound that emanates within government structures.
“General Dynamics installs the recorders in the planes,” Kawa told Big League Politics. “(Lynch) could not have un-installed them if she wanted to.”
Kawa claims that there are Voice Over IP recorders that are installed on government airplanes, so there must be a recording. His FOIA request was denied citing national security.
So far, we've not really heard anything except that the conversation was all about golf and grandchildren, even though Lynch claimed the meeting was "regrettable." How is that a matter of national security?
“To respond to your request, NSA would have to confirm or deny the existence of intelligence records on Loretta Lynch,” the NSA wrote in their response on November 14, 2016. “Were we to do so in your case, we would have to do so for every other requester. This would enable, for example, a terrorist or other adversary to file a FOIA request with us in order to determine whether he or she was under surveillance or had evaded it. This is turn would allow that individual to better assess whether they could successfully act to damage the national security of the United States. For such reasons, we can neither confirm nor deny the existence or non-existence of the records you requested.”
Kawa then wrote to the NSA FOIA office to challenge them on their denial. Here's their response.
Our letter dated 14 November 2016 is indeed our final response to your FOIA request. It states that the “first exemption” of the FOIA authorizes, by Executive Order, properly classified information to be kept secret and goes on to say that the fact of existence or non-existence of intelligence records on any individual is an appropriately classified matter. The “first exemption” is often referred to as the “B(1) exemption” to which you refer.
We also provide background information regarding the decision, as well as the specific paragraph of E.O. 13526 which authorizes the type of response, which is often called a “Glomar” response. In addition, we state that the withholding of this information is also authorized by the third exemption under the FOIA, as the information is also protected by statute. Lastly, we provide you with instructions on how to appeal this response.
Both stories here cannot be true. We cannot have a conversation about golf and grandchildren and that be national security at the same time. It's one or the other, and judging from the Clintons and Lynch's lawlessness, I think it's safe to assume that there was no talk of golf and grandchildren and I'm betting there was no "national security" talk either. Rather, there was more than likely criminal scheming taking place. Let's hear the recordings for ourselves NSA
Independent journalist George Webb says that after President Trump fired FBI director James Comey, longtime Democrat operative and Clinton loyalist John Podesta is in a frenzy to unload $40 billion from the Clinton Foundation — by buying up art, gold and diamonds, and spreading them out all over the world — before those assets are seized by a new FBI director.
Beginning at the 0:30 mark in the video above, Webb says:
“Right now . . . John Podesta is buying up artwork between every Jewish art dealer.”
Webb is asked: “How do you know that?”
“I have a contact within the French intelligence that’s told me that. So they’re buying up artwork right now in every, they know every art dealer that he’s buying art from . . . . What you’re dealing with is Trump could go get that 40 billion dollars right now and seize those assets. So before a new FBI director is named — [Acting FBI Director Andrew] McCabe knows all about the $40 billion — you start moving this stuff to gold, diamonds, artwork and so forth, and you put it in your network . . . out into as many different countries as possible, so it’ll be so difficult to actually go seize. You have a contractual issue or an international issue every time you try to get some of this stuff that’s been moved. The money right now is being moved by John Podesta to artwork, diamonds and gold.“
“Webb sees the Seth Rich murder as just a small part of a much bigger picture of high-level racketeering by Hillary Clinton, her minions and whoever she’s fronting. It’s an outrageous amount of money that’s been amassed over some twenty years.”
Webb calls the Clintons’ racketeering, including drug running, the Clinton rat line.
READ MOREChomsky Exposes Russiagate as Propaganda: ‘It is a Joke’ & ‘The World is Laughing at Us’
“Webb then proceeds to . . . illustrate how the drug-running between Afghanistan and Punjab, to Pakistan, to Turkey’s Incirlik airbase to NATO, in Mons, Belgium.
Webb says, large military transport planes, like C-130s are used to transfer raw opium from Afghanistan to Pakistan, where they are refined into opioid medications, which are then contracted-out by mobbed-up doctors, to places like the VA (US Department of Veterans Affairs), where these generic drugs (usually watered-down to half- or quarter-strength) are distributed from Belgium.
He says information about all of the above can be found in the Congressional Blackberry phone network.
He describes these activities as, ‘Just Mena [Arkansas] Airport, on a global scale, just longer distances…It’s very simple: drugs go one way, arms go the other way….’ Half of the cargo gets left in Belgium and the rest comes to the US. In the past, he’s mentioned Offut Air Force Base in Nebraska, as well as an airport in Rockford, Illinois, where drugs were smuggled in shipments of mangoes and Basmati rice. Except that instead of the $1 million per day worth of cocaine being brought in at Mena, Webb claims, in an another one of his blizzard of micro-posts, that Offut AFB receives $1 billion per day (!) in opioids.”
May 26, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – A federal judge may hold David Daleiden in contempt of court after his attorneys defied a gag order and posted videos on their website of top abortion executives discussing decapitating babies and selling their body parts. The shocking video, which was a compilation of comments made at a secretive abortion trade show, has been pulled from YouTube "for violating YouTube's Terms of Service."
LifeSiteNews saved a copy of the video, and posts it here without the consent or knowledge of the Center for Medical Progress, David Daleiden, or his attorneys.
On Thursday, Steve Cooley and Associates (SCA), former Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley, and former Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Brentford J. Ferreira announced they are defending Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress (CMP). CMP's groundbreaking undercover videos showed Planned Parenthood executives and workers haggling over the prices of baby body parts, picking through the arms and legs of aborted babies in a pie tray, and discussing how to alter abortion methods to obtain better body parts for sale.
The videos resulted in a Congressional investigation and calls for the abortion company to immediately lose its taxpayer funds.
The footage released yesterday was from the National Abortion Federation (NAF) conference. It showed abortionists admitting the work they do is "killing," complaining about how "difficult" it is to tear apart a fetus, and lamenting that they’re not given a place to discuss the "heads that get stuck that we can’t get out."
A judge’s gag order prevented this footage from being released for over a year after NAF took CMP to court over the footage. Some of this footage was previously leaked by Got News.
U.S. District Judge William Orrick ordered Daleiden, Cooley, and Ferreira "to appear at a June 14 hearing to consider contempt sanctions," the Associated Press reported late Thursday night.
Daleiden and his co-worker Sandra Merritt are facing 15 felony charges for "intentionally and without the consent of all parties" recording "confidential" communications.
"Every video recording for which the Attorney General is charging David was obviously and unquestionably made in a public place where it could not possibly be considered 'confidential,'" said Ferreira. "The only difference between David’s conduct and that of undercover video journalists every day in the state of California is the fact that he recorded the political backers of the state’s top prosecutor."
Originally, the people accusing Daleiden and his co-worker Sandra Merritt of the 15 felonies weren't named, but rather were listed as anonymous "Does."
"The First Amendment must apply equally whether you are pro-choice or pro-life," Ferreira said yesterday. "A publicly-accused defendant is entitled to face his accusers in a public trial. Anything less is a corrupt attempt by the Attorney General to orchestrate a star-chamber proceeding reminiscent of the witch hunts and show trials of more unenlightened eras."
Daleiden's lawyers then released a list of the accusers.
"The Attorney General sent SCA a password-protected list of Does 1 through 14, stating that the names were somehow confidential, rather than amending the publicly filed complaint to publicly list David’s accusers," the lawyers explained in a press release. "There is no protective order in place in state court that would protect the names of the Does, and David is entitled to a public defense."
Yesterday, the lawyers released a YouTube playlist of CMP's conversations with the accusers. As of May 26, all of the new videos on it had been removed. Three videos showing previously-released footage remain.
According to the Associated Press report, the CMP attorneys confirmed to Orrick "that links to the barred videos and the names of at least 11 NAF members had appeared on Cooley and Ferreira's website."
The report says the judge ordered the video links and references to the identities of NAF members be taken down, which is likely why the lawyers' playlist of conversations with accusers has disappeared.
“Don’t come in or I’ll shoot,” Vince Edwards shouted at Costilla County Undersheriff Ricky Rodriguez, who was standing near the front door of the half-buried RV where Edwards was holed up.
Taking Edwards at his word, Rodriguez scrambled back to his patrol car and called for reinforcements just before 7 p.m. on September 29, 2016. While it wasn’t unusual to encounter strong-willed individuals living off the grid in the wide-open spaces of the San Luis Valley in southern Colorado, he wasn’t going to take any chances.
Edwards had fortified his RV with other jerry-rigged structures and sand embankments, creating his own Mad Max bunker among the sagebrush. Even though he was only wanted for a failure to appear in court, it looked as though he wasn’t going to go down easy. Especially not after Edwards called in his own backup.
According to a police report detailing what turned into an almost three-hour standoff, one of Edwards’s neighbors, Jeremy Costley, posted this on Facebook: “all Costilla County Colorado people in need of rapid response to country rd. 12 and 27. The police are trying to arrest someone unlawfully.”
Today, Edwards claims that he was unarmed during the incident and says he only threatened gunfire because he was frightened.
But as officers arrived on the scene with AR-15 rifles, they agreed that a firefight seemed imminent. At one point, two mysterious vehicles appeared on the top of a nearby hill, giving their occupants a strategic vantage point overlooking the huddled group of sheriff’s deputies and state patrol officers. In the gathering dark, one of the vehicles turned off its lights while the other kept its brights on. For the law enforcement agents, the effect was the same: They couldn’t see the people inside the vehicles. But they had to believe they were armed.
Then a third vehicle suddenly appeared on a county road and approached the encircled officers, head-on.
“Stop! Get on the ground!” Rodriguez shouted as the vehicle parked and four individuals got out.
They turned out to be some of Edwards’s neighbors, responding to the social-media call; they were unarmed. As officers moved forward to detain them, the two mysterious vehicles on the hill disappeared as abruptly as they’d arrived.
Finally, at 9:32 p.m., Edwards emerged from his RV, shirtless, with his hands in the air. He’d just ended an ongoing call with a 911 dispatcher and surrendered to a state patrolman on the condition that someone watch over his property and he not be held in Costilla County’s jail, because he didn’t trust the deputies there.
For Undersheriff Rodriguez, it was a satisfactory ending to a situation that could have turned bloody. But it was also a reminder of a constant challenge that his office, and Costilla County in general, has had to contend with in recent years: off-the-grid residents who hold “sovereign” beliefs.
Zanis McDonald, an individual with sovereign beliefs, was arrested in San Luis on May 2.
The sovereign movement is a catch-all label for people who believe they are subject only to common law, and therefore not subject to all the statutory laws of the U.S. government at its various levels — federal, state and local. Sometimes calling themselves “constitutionalists” or “freemen,” individuals who subscribe to a sovereign ideology often don’t believe they are required to follow any regulations drafted and passed by politicians — things like tax codes or driver’s license rules — because the U.S. government has been corrupted and sovereigns are not under contract to adhere to all of its laws.
The FBI considers “sovereign citizens” part of a terrorist movement, in part because sovereigns have participated in much larger and dangerous situations than the one involving Vince Edwards. Among the most notable are the Bundy standoff in Nevada in 2014, when cattleman Cliven Bundy refused to let federal agents onto his ranch, and the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation in Oregon in 2016, during which armed militia, including Cliven Bundy’s son, Ammon, seized a visitors’ center for forty days in protest over control of federal public lands.
In Costilla County, sovereign ideology is most often manifested in off-gridders like Edwards, who refuse to follow land-use regulations — particularly the county’s requirement that all permanent residents build a septic system and have access to electricity and fresh water, no matter how remote their parcel of land. In the valley today, physical threats by sovereigns against Costilla County’s code enforcers are common, and enforcers never go out into the field without bulletproof vests.
But the clash isn’t limited to Costilla County. Individuals with sovereign beliefs have been at odds with elected officials across Colorado, and evidence suggests that the movement is growing throughout the United States.
On March 30, eight people were arrested along the Front Range for threatening and harassing elected officials with their own versions of subpoenas, arrest warrants and liens issued through a group called “The People’s Grand Jury of Colorado.” The tactic, which the FBI and Southern Poverty Law Center both call “paper terrorism,” has become a common technique used by sovereigns in all fifty states to harass public officials; the frivolous filings not only bog down court proceedings, but, in the case of liens, can negatively affect a victim’s credit score.
“We deal with this philosophy from time to time,” he says. “These guys call themselves ‘constitutionalists’ and essentially take the position that any state office is illegal or not authorized under their view of the world. A lot of these [communications] were a little odd and concerning — particularly the arrest warrant for myself and the claim that I owed close to a billion dollars. Much of it was actually delivered around the cul-de-sac that I live in in Boulder, so that was concerning to my family, that these guys knew where I live.”
The Colorado Attorney General’s Office declined to comment on the arrests because the cases have yet to go to trial. But Garnett says he helped the AG’s office compile evidence prior to the indictment that was handed down on March 30, which listed dozens of offenses and other targets: judges, county officials and district attorneys, including former Denver DA Mitch Morrissey. The eight individuals arrested are all being held on bonds ranging from $100,000 to $350,000.
One of the individuals arrested on March 30 has also played a role in the off-the-grid scuffles in Costilla County: Bruce Doucette.
Doucette, who owns and runs a computer-repair store in Littleton, considers himself a “judge” within his movement and advised Ammon Bundy on how to set up a common-law jury during the Malheur standoff. In an April 12 post on its website, the Southern Poverty Law Center called Doucette “the most notorious common law ‘Superior Court Judge of the Continental uNited States of America.’”
“Many members of these courts are sovereign citizens who believe their judgments supersede federal and district court decisions, and then bring their quasi-legal activity into legitimate courts and use tactics including intimidation and paper terrorism,” the SPLC article stated, specifically mentioning the March 30 indictment in Colorado.
Doucette took his activity to Costilla County in late 2015.
At the time, the county was trying to step up enforcement of its land-use codes and was proposing a number of changes to its ordinances, including clarification around camping restrictions. Off-gridders, not used to having code-enforcement officers coming by their properties to do inspections, demand permits and issue warnings, were not pleased with the heightened regulation. Hundreds of residents joined a Facebook group called “San Luis Valley Just Us” and organized opposition, including protests at county commission meetings where changes to the code were being considered. Many claimed they couldn’t afford requirements like septic systems, and argued that they should be able to camp on land they owned without any restrictions.
Chloe Everhart, one of the moderators of the SLV Just Us page, divides the off-gridders in the San Luis Valley into three broad groups: people interested in building sustainable and eco-based communities, retired or poor folks who want to be left alone, and individuals with sovereign beliefs. “The challenge was that there wasn’t a clear consensus about whether our goal was just to not have these code changes passed that were going to make things difficult for people who were poor, disabled or frugal,” explains Everhart. “There were other people who said, ‘This is our opportunity to really create this sovereign world.’ There were a few people who were incredibly vocal about that, and it was hard to get work done when they were around.”
Everhart did her best to bridge the divides, but the differences ran deep. At commissioner meetings on September 9 and 15, 2015, dozens of residents packed administrative offices in San Luis — the county seat of Costilla County and the oldest town in Colorado — and the gatherings quickly turned ugly. Some of the discord stemmed from the fact that Costilla County has no public land, dating back to an 1844 Mexican land grant that consisted of nearly a million acres along the present-day Colorado and New Mexico border. During the past century and a half, much of that land was bought up and subdivided by wealthy landowners, beginning with William Gilpin (Colorado’s first territorial governor) in 1864, and later by the likes of the Forbes family, which owned hundreds of thousands of acres in the northern portion of the county.
San Luis’s predominantly Hispanic population has had little control over the subdividing and development that have occurred over the years, and while a handful of landowners accumulated vast tracts of land, Costilla County became one of the poorest counties in the nation, with 28.2 percent of its population currently living in poverty, according to the 2016 U.S. Census. In the 1990s, the perception of outsiders taking over was reinforced when Zachary Taylor, a white rancher from North Carolina, inherited a 77,500-acre tract of land from his father that locals refer to as “La Sierra” and began logging operations on his property — which some residents claimed threatened water sources that irrigate the valley (“A Mountain of Trouble,” July 6, 1994). The Taylor family closed off access to locals, who believed they were being denied their ancestral rights to hunt, fish and graze on the land. After the State of Colorado made a failed bid to purchase the land for $12 million in 1997, the issue was only partially settled when a private LLC bought the land from Taylor in 1999 and the Colorado Supreme Court ruled in 2002 that some Hispanic heirs would be allowed access to the property.
In the local publication La Sierra, writer Maria Martinez charged that there was a racial element to the 2015 county commissioner meetings: “After the September 15 meeting, opposing sides milled in front of the meeting room. The ‘desert dwellers’ proposed talking about…one of two code enforcement officers who appears menacing because she never takes her hand off her gun when she goes about her job. ‘Locals,’ who were derisively called ‘Mexicans’ by the ‘desert dwellers,’ defended [the officer’s] work and her actions. The desert dwellers (derisively called ‘guero’) insisted that they are a part of the local community. This claim was opposed by locals.”
Ben Doon, the county administrator for Costilla County, denies that race played a major role at the meetings. He does, however, acknowledge that sovereign ideology gained a small yet notable foothold in the county because of the events in late 2015.
County Administrator Ben Doon was subjected to paper terrorism at the hands of individuals with sovereign beliefs.
The most vocal opponents to the land-use code were a few individuals associated with the “patriot” armed-militia movement. Rodger Marsh, who described himself to neighbors as a door-kicker and a trigger-puller, got in touch with self-appointed judge Doucette, and invited him to the San Luis Valley to teach off-gridders how to fight the county. In October 2015, Doucette made the trip for an event billed on social media as “Meet the Judge.” The rendezvous point was a steel bridge over a remote part of the Rio Grande, where Doucette explained to the crowd why he believed that Costilla County was violating their sovereign rights.
Marsh was arrested on a weapons charge a short time later, the SLV Just Us group disbanded, and the county decided to drop some of its proposed land-use changes. But the sovereign movement continued to play a role in Costilla County politics.
In early 2016, Doon started receiving many of the same types of “subpoenas” and harassing letters that Garnett would also get in Boulder. Doon has kept all of the letters inside a manila envelope in a file cabinet, some of them still unopened. The missives began arriving shortly after he wrote a letter responding to a front-page article in Alamosa’s daily newspaper, the Valley Courier, with the headline “‘Grand Jury’ Indicts Costilla County Officials.” Doon found that headline extremely misleading, he said, because the “Grand Jury” in question was actually the “People’s Grand Jury” being co-organized by Doucette in Denver.
Doon’s strongly worded rebuttal, which the Valley Courier published a day after the original article, explained that the “indictment” was a fake, and quoted from the Southern Poverty Law Center’s description of the sovereign-citizen movement. (The complete description on the SPLC website: “The contemporary sovereign belief system is based on a decades-old conspiracy theory. At some point in history, sovereigns believe, the American government set up by the founding fathers — with a legal system the sovereigns refer to as ‘common law’ — was secretly replaced by a new government system based on admiralty law, the law of the sea and international commerce. Under common law, or so they believe, the sovereigns would be free men. Under admiralty law, they are slaves, and secret government forces have a vested interest in keeping them that way.”)
But Doon’s response only brought him more unwelcome attention. “From then on, [harassment] was coming from two fronts. We had the folks off the grid here, and then from Denver there was a bigger movement,” he recalls. “Even if their numbers are low compared to other people who just want to be left alone for one reason or another or don’t have the means to comply, these folks are much more aggressive and threatening. So one or two of them equals the headache of fifty other people.”
And Doucette soon added to that headache. Over Easter weekend in 2016, he and another “superior court judge” traveled to Costilla County to swear in at least one “constitutional marshal” as part of the movement, witnessing as he took the oath of office.
Jeremy Costley's Oath to become a "marshal."
A paper copy of that oath contains a curious array of spellings and symbolism, designed to differentiate this oath from forms issued by the “false” shadow government that most people recognize as the U.S. government. The particular document Doucette witnessed contains a number of red fingerprints, which sovereigns believe is one of the strongest forms of identification. Some law enforcement researchers claim that sovereigns use their own blood as ink, avoiding black or blue ink because they associate those colors with corporations.
The marshal who took the oath that day was Jeremy Costley.
He was the man who invited me to the San Luis Valley to learn more about his movement.
During the stop, which Costley’s wife, Jessica, videotaped, Costley made a call to Doucette, who advised him to remain calm even though cops had discovered that Costilla County had put out a warrant for Costley’s arrest on charges that he was impersonating a peace officer — Costley’s claim to be a constitutional marshal.
I arranged to meet Costley at a motions hearing he had scheduled at 10 a.m. May 2 at the courthouse in San Luis. Arriving a few minutes early, I immediately spotted him across the street from the courthouse. Tall, rail-thin and sporting a scraggly goatee, Costley was wearing a cowboy hat and a coat covered in white dog hair.
“Well, let’s do this,” he said, after we shook hands. We headed into the courthouse, one of the principal buildings in the small town. But no sooner had Costley gotten through security than he was placed in handcuffs by deputies who were waiting for him inside the courtroom.
“Are you getting this?!” he yelled at me.
Flustered, Undersheriff Rodriguez brushed past me with the cuffed Costley.
I went back outside to talk to a couple of Costley’s friends. One of them, Zanis McDonald, was sitting in the passenger seat of a black pickup on the main road of San Luis. “This isn’t just in Colorado, this is nationwide!” he growled through his chest-length beard. “They’re arresting people and judges all over!”
Like Costley, McDonald is a military veteran, and he went on to describe his sovereign beliefs, as well as the close call he’d had with law enforcement last July when he refused to follow land-use requirements on his rural parcel in the valley.
“The kids told me someone was coming down the road,” he recalled. “So I stood in my doorway with my rifle on my shoulder…and [code enforcement] went creeping by.... They finally pulled up at the end of my drive and asked if they could talk to me. I told them no. They asked, ‘Do you have any permits?’ And I said, ‘Ain’t none of your business. Besides, you’re planning and zoning, you should know what permits I do and don’t have.’
“Fifteen minutes later, my neighbors are calling me telling me that there’s a bunch of patrol cars coming,” McDonald continued. “I called a bunch of folks to come to help protect my family.... They were going to storm my house with sixteen motherfucking police. And at the time, I had plenty of weapons but not much ammunition. But my cabin has no windows, and the front door is four inches thick, so they ain’t coming through that bitch too damn easy. I was scared for my family, but there was going to be a fight. I may not have had ammunition at that time, but we’ve got machetes and axes and shit. You come at me, you’re going to have a fight. And the police down here and planning and zoning know that I will shoot at them if they come down my road. I don’t give a fuck no more. They’re armed, and I consider them a threat.”
As McDonald was finishing his story, we both noticed that sheriff’s deputies were surrounding the car, which appeared to belong to a man sitting in the driver’s seat who had not said a word in nearly twenty minutes.
For the second time that morning, I watched an arrest occur right in front of me, as the undersheriff took a loaded Hi-Point .45 off McDonald, who started yelling, “GET YOUR HANDS OFF ME, YOU FILTHY IRAQI BASTARDS!” (It was later suggested that he’d suffered a PTSD episode.)
Officer Cruz Soto checks the chamber of Zanis McDonald's sidearm to make sure it is unloaded.
After both Costley and McDonald were placed in custody, I obtained copies of their arrest warrants.
McDonald had been arrested for ignoring land-use violation notices and for threatening law-enforcement and public officials; the arrest-warrant affidavit noted that “McDonald is a convicted felon with Sovereign Citizen beliefs.”
Costley, on the other hand, was arrested on serious charges of sexually abusing one or multiple children who live in his home; his bond was set at $250,000.
When I called Costley’s wife shortly after his arrest, she insisted that the allegations were “bogus” and said she believed the charges were retribution from the county because her husband had considered running for sheriff after the previous undersheriff was booted from office for illegal poaching.
Jessica Costley did not show up at court the next day, May 3, for her husband’s hearing regarding the sexual-abuse charges. Instead, she elected to call in from an undisclosed “safehouse” that she later told me was a couple of counties over. During the hearing, when a Department of Social Services representative described a videotaped interview with one of the children who alleged years of sexual abuse, Costley demanded of the judge, “How do we know they didn’t threaten our children to get these allegations?”
Costley also claimed the court didn’t have jurisdiction over him because, as he put it, “I am not a United States citizen; I am a natural-born American.”
After the hearing, the offices of the Costilla County Sheriff’s Department and its Department of Planning and Zoning felt a little more relaxed. Issues with sovereigns had been “pretty calm for a long time,” Rodriguez said. “We didn’t have many issues except for the people we [just] arrested.”
After a hearing on sexual-abuse charges, Jeremy Costley is escorted from the Costilla County Courthouse by Undersheriff Rodriguez.
Rodriguez’s deputies participated in recent trainings regarding the sovereign movement hosted by the Colorado State Patrol in Alamosa. “During the training, they indicated that the number-one domestic terrorists in the United States are sovereign citizens,” he recalled.
While not revealing too much about the training because it was “confidential,” Rodriguez said one of the things he learned was not to debate sovereigns about constitutional rights. “Basically, they said not to get into it and let them rant and rave about it,” he explained.
Rodriguez’s department shares information with the FBI about sovereign activity in Costilla County, he said, declining to go into specifics. “Safety is our main issue. We don’t know what they’re capable of doing,” he continued. “Ninety percent of the time, they won’t talk to us. But we keep an eye out on social media.” He estimated that the number of sovereigns living in the San Luis Valley has fluctuated between ten people to upwards of a hundred during the past several years.
Besides Costley and McDonald, the people most affected by their arrests were the two code-enforcement officers, Cruz Soto and Colleen Romero, who are tasked with patrolling the valley each day to look for land-use violations.
On May 3, I was approved to go on a ride-along with Romero, Soto and their boss, Land Use Administrator T. Martinez. They had never taken a reporter along before, and had adapted a liability form from the sheriff’s department, which included this line: “I understand that code enforcement activities are inherently dangerous and that even though officers will do everything possible to keep me safe, it is not possible to make me immune from risk of all injuries up to and including death.”
Soto and Romero never go out on patrol without bulletproof vests. “Just wait ’til you see the bullet holes in our car,” Soto joked before we headed out in a car that turned out to have no bullet holes.
But out on the prairie, with its flat expanses bordered on the horizons by mountain ranges jutting to snow-bearing altitudes, I understood just how isolated and alone Soto and Romero are during their patrols. “What’s difficult going into these areas is that you’re a sitting duck,” explained Soto. “The scary part is that when you look into these sovereign individuals with their beliefs, a lot of them legitimately believe that if you step onto their property, they can shoot you...and if you think about it, they can see you coming from a mile away. So you’re definitely wary and looking over your shoulder when you’re in these areas, knowing that in the past, these individuals have rallied the troops to respond to us.”
“So what about your backup?” I asked.
“There are other deputies in the valley, but even if they’re going mach Jesus, it’s going to take them a good amount of time to get to us,” he responded. “We try to avoid confrontations.... The DA even told us, ‘Out of all the individuals out there, I worry about you the most because you are in the mix of all of these individuals and they stand by their beliefs.’”
Land Use Administrator T. Martinez (center) worries about code-enforcement officers Colleen Romero (left) and Cruz Soto when they’re on patrol.
As we drove farther into no-man’s-land, Martinez and his two code-enforcement officers pointed out the kind of things they look for during their patrols. “People show up every day that we’ve never met and never seen on properties that were vacant yesterday,” said Martinez, gesturing toward RVs and campers that dotted the landscape.
The issue, he explained, is that many people buy cheap property in Costilla County — some of it through websites like Landwatch.com — without realizing that owners need to adhere to basic requirements such as building a septic system, which costs around $7,000 when done to code. Digging a well, the permanent solution to meeting the county’s fresh-water requirement (as opposed to a standing water tank), costs an additional $10,000 between drilling, casing and plumbing.
“Fifty dollars down, fifty dollars a month can sometimes get you five acres of land, with agents [erroneously] telling you that you don’t need permits,” said Martinez. “On a daily basis, pretty much, someone will tell me, ‘Well, I bought this property, and the real estate person said we don’t need permits and can live in an RV and we can do whatever we want.’”
So rampant is the practice of subdividing and leasing that Costilla County is the most vacant county in Colorado, with only 3,600 people spread between 40,000 lots and nearly 1,900 miles of county roads.
Martinez estimated that around 300 individual dwellings currently fit the description “off the grid.” He had no issue with them, he said, as long as the owners work to comply with the county’s land-use code, which was put into effect in 1998 to combat illegal dumping of trash and wastewater but has only been seriously enforced since 2011.
While Costilla County has land-use regulations, it doesn’t have a building code — so many of the off-the-grid dwellings look like what you might find in a dystopian desert wasteland.
Edwards’s half-buried RV is one example. The code enforcers showed it to me, tucked away in an arid part of the plains that locals refer to as “Iraqi Flats” because of the desert-like vegetation.
We also toured property once occupied by a character that Soto, Martinez and Romero referred to as “Dr. Love.” The dwelling was strategically located on one side of a rise so that it was not visible from the county road, and Martinez said he’d only found it after seeing the structure on a satellite image.
“That’s like a doghouse, or some kind of volcanic-rock igloo — I don’t know what it is,” said Martinez, gesturing toward an eight-foot-tall pile of rocks that was hollow inside and had been laboriously constructed next to a wooden shack.
Martinez said he understands that many people have trouble meeting the financial demands of land-use requirements, and added that he feels sympathy for those duped by real estate agents who claim that no permits are necessary. “Unfortunately, we still have to give them a violation notice,” he explained. “If we find them living without septic, a lot of times we’ll say, ‘You shouldn’t be living out here. There’s a fourteen-day camping limit. We’ll give you a couple weeks to figure stuff out.’”
An abandoned dwelling "off the grid' in the San Luis Valley.
About halfway through the ride-along, we arrived at an area where Costley and McDonald own land and have built their residences. “If they weren’t in custody, we probably wouldn’t be out here,” Soto admitted.
“I even ran back to the vehicle last week because it looked like the back trailer window [at Costley’s] was open and the curtain moved,” Romero added, “so I thought that someone was going to shoot at us.”
The officers wondered whether any family members would still be at the residences following the arrests. Sure enough, as we drove past McDonald’s dwelling, two children emerged from a windowless shack and yelled at us to go away.
“You’ve got to go! Go!” yelled a boy.
“This is a public road!” responded Soto from the driver’s seat of the SUV. “It’s not private! This is a public road.” “Well, my parents say you can’t be here right now!”
“Well, I’m not on your private property!”
Then a different voice shouted from the shack, “Get inside!,” and the two children suddenly disappeared from view.
Soto then produced a cease-and-desist notice from inside the car, and asked, “Should I just post it on the RV, boss?”
“Sounds good,” responded Martinez. “You got the Gorilla tape?”
Brian Slater, Naval Postgraduate School Thesis & Dissertation Collection
While at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, Brian Slater spent fifteen months researching sovereigns in the United States, going back through the past decade. The movement stretches even further back than that, with roots in the Posse Comitatus movement that emerged during the American farm crisis of the ’70s and ’80s, and branches in the Montana Freemen of the mid-’90s.
Slater’s research, released as his postgraduate thesis in September 2016, studied court cases throughout the country related to sovereign individuals, as evidenced by the types of filings submitted by defendants or the crimes being prosecuted, including paper terrorism.
Slater — who notes that his research represents his own findings, not the views of the military — says he was surprised to find that cases related to sovereigns are growing exponentially on a J-shaped curve. “In my research, I found that this is happening in all fifty states,” he explains. “You would think it would be concentrated most where you had those earlier movements, like Montana. But that wasn’t the case; where I found it was most predominant was in Illinois, California and New Jersey.”
Brian Slater’s research shows sovereign-centered cases increasing on a J-shaped curve.
Brian Slater. Naval Postgraduate School Thesis & Dissertation Collection
“Colorado is, what I would say, medium to light as far as concentration goes,” Slater responds. “That being said, it’s on the rise.”
While Slater cautions that his data mostly covers the Obama years, adding that he isn’t sure what effect the current administration will have on the spread of sovereign ideology, he says he doesn’t think the person occupying the White House makes much of a difference to believers, since sovereigns appear to be focused on how the United States has become corrupted over the past 200 years, not just recently.
As for the number of sovereigns throughout the United States, Slater says that’s a squishy statistic because there are so many splinter groups and ideological variations, ranging from armed militias to relatively pacifist tax dodgers. He points out that the Southern Poverty Law Center’s estimate — that there are between 100,000 to 300,000 sovereign individuals in the United States — is very broad.
Whatever the true number, Slater cautions against writing off sovereigns as a bunch of crackpots, as has frequently occurred in media reports. “The sovereign ideology itself is not crazy,” he says. “Yes, the criminal acts are criminal. But their train of thought is not un-American. If you were to ask a non-sovereign citizen, ‘Do you think our government has gone off the rails?’ Or, ‘Are there illegitimate portions of the tax code?,’ there are plenty of non-sovereign individuals who would head-nod.... It’s not a foreign thought.”
While Bruce Doucette was being held at the Denver Downtown Detention Center, I made a request to the Denver Sheriff’s Department that I be allowed to visit. Doucette declined to see me, instead referring me to a spokesman named Rodger Dowdell who said he was located “with a team” in Florida.
Dowdell reiterated many of the things I’d heard when talking to folks like Jeremy Costley. “There is no such thing as a ‘sovereign citizen.’ When you look up the word ‘citizen,’ it means subject. And when you put a word meaning the highest ruler — sovereign — next to a word meaning subject, it’s an oxymoron; it doesn’t mean nothing,” Dowdell said.
“What’s happening is that people of all walks of life are waking up to the fact that our government has been hijacked,” he continued. “A group in Colorado discovered this and said, ‘How can we rectify it?’ The first thing they did was simple: They went to elected and appointed public servants and they demanded to see their oath of office and their bond. And if there was a defect, they gave them a twenty-day notice to get the defect fixed. If they didn’t get the defect fixed, they put their names on a notice of fraud and publicized it.... Now judges are trying to retaliate, and they’ve manufactured all sorts of bogus charges against these innocent people that are just trying to clean up their government corruption.”
As for armed standoffs like those carried out by members of the Bundy family in Nevada and Oregon, Dowdell said, “It’s the only method that the founders gave us, because think about it this way: If we the people are to be free men, then you can’t have anyone on top of us. So it’s our duty.”
Between Doucette’s arrest on March 30 and Costley’s on May 2, Costley had requested and received permission from others in the movement to give me access to their weekly conference call, known as the “national assembly call.”
During the April 20 call, I’d tuned in just in time to hear an exchange between Doucette and his wife. Despite everyone else listening, it struck me as a rather personal moment, though Doucette’s time was cut short when an automated voice from his jail’s phone system interrupted and announced in a cold, metallic voice, “You have one minute left.”
“Oh, so I have one minute left,” said Doucette, disappointed. “Well, please remember, this is a spiritual battle, and we need to win this one. We need to free everybody from this corrupt admiralty law and this corrupt government. So pray, everyone, please. Blessings to all and goodnight, and to my beautiful wife, I love you always. Bye, all.”
After Doucette left the call, the conversation became more businesslike and mundane, with motions made to pass resolutions about things like press releases and whether to reach out to a radio show in Utah.
Dowdell said he’d come to know Doucette through the type of call I’d listened to; increasingly, calls and social-media channels are acting as the connective tissues between states.
“It’s we the people in assembly, meeting. So it’s public,” said Dowdell. “It isn’t Republican or Democrat or Libertarian or anything else. This is the people getting together in assembly and making resolutions, which become the direct voice of the people to the county commissioners, who must comply.”
Colorado was the first delegation to start doing conference calls, which have been going on for a “few years now,” he said. “Colorado was definitely the leading state, and Florida was probably number two behind them. Other states involved are Oregon, Nebraska, North Carolina.... Illinois has their grand jury up and running, and Texas is moving forward.”
I asked Dowdell about Doucette’s chances of beating the charges. “I think it looks very good because [he] hasn’t taken on an attorney,” he said. “I’m very optimistic. He needs to be released, and it’s just a matter of time.”
On my final day in southern Colorado, I finally got a chance to visit Vince Edwards, who, against his wishes, had been transferred to Costilla County’s jail. He was being kept in a separate pod from Costley and McDonald because, as Edwards put it, “They don’t want us exchanging notes.” (Since his original arrest, McDonald, too, had been charged with child abuse.)
Edwards said he’d been in custody since the September 29 standoff, and even though his bond was set at $17,500, “it might as well be a million, because I’m poor.”
While Edwards had plenty of elaborate theories about why the original charge against him — that he’d threatened land-use administrator Martinez in an attempt to influence him to stop requiring permits — was unjust and immoral, he took solace in standing up to a system that he believes is corrupt to its core.
“When we say sovereign...there’s a lot of propaganda out there about it,” he said. “People don’t want us learning about our history in this country because we’re not going to bow down to the quote-unquote authorities. But the problem is, we’re the authorities. They’re the servants.”
And where does he fit?
“Really, I’m just a guy who exercises his rights and stands on his own two feet.”
Investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson joined Steve Malzberg on Newsmax TV to discuss the liberal media, President Donald Trump’s first foreign trip and the Seth Rich murder investigation.
Attkisson told Steve she believes the Seth Rich family is being “managed” by outside interests and important questions still remain on the murder investigation.
Sharyl Attkisson: I think there are important questions and if you don’t know who murdered him you can’t really say, “Please don’t look here. That’s a conspiracy theory.” I feel for the family but I also think they are being managed. I would guess the article they wrote in the Washington Post, if I had to guess, I would say that letter was done with help… I think this case is being managed at various levels by people who don’t want this case investigated… That is sort of a dangerous new development in recent years, that there’s pressure to just stop covering a story entirely… There’s these narratives to try to stop a discussion and stop these investigations altogether rather than just provide a different viewpoint to it. That’s a scary development.