Supporting Joe Robertson
On Tuesday July 19th I went to Missoula, Montana with the team of Redoubt News to support Veteran Joe Robertson at his federal sentencing hearing. I sat down with Joe, his wife and other supporters to listen to their stories of what they were going through and to read documentation such as the Kagel Environmental report on the case.
On Wednesday morning about 50 of Joe’s supporters from several states gathered in front of the Federal courthouse and held flags, banners and signs in support of Joe, Lavoy and other ranchers who have been targeted by the government. We looked up across the street and could see DHS looking down on us from the Windows with their gear on in a ready position and we could not use our cell phones adequately because of the stingray surveillance being put into effect there.
The atmosphere was becoming very ominous and then press started arriving. The crowd stayed calm and were giving pictures and interviews trying to get the message out about the level of tyranny that the average American is living under now. Additionally, they shared how our ranchers and farmers are being targeted with the WOUS rulings with the example of the egregious treatment that Joe and other Americans are facing for private property decisions.
Next we entered the courthouse where you and your property are searched and wanded, then an officer takes your cell phone to keep and issues you a number to reclaim it when you come back down. We followed Joe into the courtroom and filled both sides of the galley with supporters.
As Joe’s public defender spoke in a dispassionate voice, I was struck by how absolutely detached he was from the case. I had witnessed earlier that Joe had tried to talk to him and the attorney was noticeably irritated and walked away. As the government prosecutors spoke they were very nasty in their personal remarks to Joe and, shockingly, to his supporters in the gallery, however, his lawyer never objected. The situation in the courtroom was becoming very tense as the judge ordered person after person to leave the courtroom as they audibly gasped or let a comment slip on what was happening during the 3 1/2 hours we were there.
The judge, defense and prosecution all agreed that the case was being decided on the waters of the US EPA ruling ( WOUS ) and that it was murky at best (since the Supreme Court had ruled 4 for 4 against and 1 abstaining) so that it was up to the lower courts to define this on a case by case basis.
I sat there knowing that they had brought a radical left wing judge out of retirement just for this case. Judge Molloy had some personal history with Joe, had a record of pro EPA rulings, and fought back twice on delisting the wolves so he had a proven record of bias. I also sat there, having been retired from law enforcement, in complete disbelief at the utter contempt and callousness shown to this man by the judge, the prosecutor and his own public defender. Here is Joe: a rancher, firefighter, veteran and community member who dug ponds to water livestock, allow helicopter dips for fighting fires, creating areas for wildlife to thrive and helping his community.
The sentence rendered is essentially a death sentence. At 77 years old, with severe PTSD, in precarious health along with needing his service dog, he should not have gone to prison. The judge said Joe was a danger to society and needed to be punished so he was to be immediately cuffed and taken to prison. I was incredulous and my heart dropped as I watched his own attorney not bothering to object. It was the ultimate dog and pony show. This had all been set up.
The Federal officers surrounded him and all I could see was his two hands sticking out in front of him. Those two hands that had served us in the United States Navy. The cuffs clicked as his dog looked up at him and he was taken away. His wife didn’t even get to say goodbye as she stood there next to me crying. All of this for a pond.
His sentence is 18 months in Federal prison, and then 3 years supervised probation, with a lifetime ban on owning firearms. He is never to be in the presence of any firearm, along with not being allowed to ever have a scanner or any surveillance equipment in his home, can’t apply for credit unless the court approves it, and cannot refuse searches of any kind from any agency.
He is required to use Counseling programs at his own cost, pay $129,000+ fine to restore a wetland, $12,000 for his public defender, and on and on. It was clear this was a message to other Americans to not question the system and do as you are told or else.
I left the courtroom very sad and disheartened. You can read about how our Republic is very precarious but I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t sat there in that courtroom. It could have been you or I, and I saw that justice is for those who can afford it. This man was railroaded into this judgment. The Kagel Environmental report said that he had actually improved his land, but the judge wouldn’t allow this into evidence nor let the expert witness speak.
As the prosecutor said all men should be aware of all laws ,rules, regulations and policies that could affect them in their daily lives. The absolute lunacy of that statement struck me. How can we know the extent of the city, county, regional, state and federal laws that now engulf us.
The matrix of control is complete and our shackles are heavy. Our children will suffer the tyranny from our abdication of our Liberty.
What is the answer?
That is up to you?
The Americans Are Coming!