Duff Adds a Coat to the FBI White-Wash of LaVoy Finicum’s Murder

Gordon Duff’s VT article “Just the Facts, Ma’am” gets almost none of them right.

The reason is obvious: he trusts the testimony of the very infiltrator he warned us about, rather than two eyewitnesses to the event. The video footage confirms the latter, not the former.

For reasons difficult to fathom, Duff dismisses the accounts of Victoria Sharp and Shawna Cox, witnesses to the shooting of LaVoy Finicum, and relies on the testimony of Mark McConnell, who was a mile away at the time. Cox and Sharp were in the back seat of the car driven by LaVoy Finicum, along with Ryan Bundy. Their accounts concord in all the main points: LaVoy was shot in cold blood with his hands in the air and without any threatening or provocative action on his part. There is some confusion in the details.

According to Sharp, Ryan Bundy received his gunshot wound in the shoulder when the car was riddled with bullets after LaVoy was gunned down with his hands in the air. For Shawna Cox, who made a statement after she was released today, it may have occurred when the car was hit with bullets in the snowbank, or even as the bullets started flying in LeVoy’s direction following the crash. (Many snipers are hidden in the trees to the left of the video.) Both agree it did not happen during the chase, when they were fired upon repeatedly they say, or even further back, at the first “traffic stop”, when Victoria Sharp said they were fired upon “to show they mean business.” That was when Ryan Payne “courageously “jumped out of the car to talk to the cops and got himself safely arrested. Incidentally, Ryan Payne was in the front seat of the car alongside Finicum, — not Victoria Sharp, as Duff sloppily reports.

Neither the FBI, Mark McConnell, or Duff even mention Ryan Bundy’s gunshot wounds. If they comment at all, they implicitly understand the ‘frightened girls’ to have mistaken gas pellets for bullets, not to mention Bundy’s flesh. Perhaps a genuine release of evidence will clear this up. Its suppression casts a further cloud of suspicion. So do the sloppy attempts at cover-up like McConnell’s badly-rehearsed video. It is a shame so many have fallen for hearsay.

In the video made post-haste after his release, Mark McConnell said he received his story from Ryan Payne and Shawna Cox. Payne was not there either. I must apologize if I momentarily suspected Shawna Cox of associating with this crooked pair. In her own post-release interview, given yesterday, Shawna Cox has entirely disavowed both McConnell and his story, accusing the Bundy bodyguard and driver of organizing the ambush, with several convincing ‘exhibits’. Her fifteen-minute statement is as powerful as that of Sharp. McConnell’s, not so much, though apparently it moved some people quite deeply.

McConnell, Duff’s trusted source, was already debunked by the FBI video, that is, even before Cox’s interview emerged. It is plain as day that LaVoy Finicum never “charged,” as McConnell repeatedly charged, shrugging his shoulders and exonerating the cops. Rather, it seems increasingly likely that he was indeed “shot with his hands in the air” as the two witnesses say. The fuzzy aerial video — which caused Duff to imagine he saw a pistol in Finicum’s hand — certainly allows for this. The suppression of an audio component adds to the suspicion.

Many thought it stank to high heaven that McConnell was quickly released. In fact it did, as Cox’s testimony confirms. Duff discounts these patriot movements because they are up to the gills in informants and infiltrators (which we know, thank you), and then he falls for one. He only identified the clown, Cincy’s own Pete Santilli, but he missed the far more important characters, like Payne and Ritzheimer, fingered by otherwise oblivious left-wing alternative press. And he missed McConnell, evidently.

Not even the FBI says LaVoy Finicum was wielding a gun, but almost incredibly, Duff does. Duff even produces a photo. “Just the facts, ma’am.” The FBI says a pistol was found in the left-hand jacket pocket, but the family rightfully has questioned that pure assertion. LaVoy was right-handed and carried his gun in a holster, which he is not wearing. In the video, following the bombardment of the car and the arrest of the three back-seat passengers, the police are seen with Finicum’s body, throwing his white cowboy hat aside (something symbolic there). But they do not draw a pistol from the jacket in the few minutes visible on the video in which they are seen rummaging around his corpse.

There remains ambiguity only because genuine evidence, like decent police cam footage with audio, photos of the car, an autopsy, and an analysis of Bundy’s gunshot wound, has not been released. According to the FBI, the shots fired were “single digits” but both witness reports gunshots in the “hundreds”. They both say that LaVoy had his hands in the air when he was first shot, or shot at. Seeing their intentions as he got out of the car he accused in alarm, “You gonna shoot me!?” then determined, angry, unafraid, “then just shoot me.” “And they did,” both said.

In fact, the ambiguity that remains easily can be remedied if we had a just and transparent judicial system. Fat chance.

Spinning a conspiracy theory and hijinks tale — and showing his sad ignorance of facts and people alike — Duff “hypothesizes” (after scorning conjecture) that the group, with “five federal warrants” on them (sic) were skipping up to Canada to avoid arrest. (Does the ma’am still believe she is listening to “facts”?)

Some calumny is ludicrous rather than despicable. Unfortunately, Duff gets into the latter, even briefly playing the racial card that Ammon Bundy, Blaine Cooper, Brandon Curtiss, and LaVoy Finicum especially have risen above, in a series of eloquent statements that are utterly ignored by the press, and by Duff. LaVoy Finicum’s defense of the Paiute heritage and population was the outreach that most frightened a fascist and corporate-state “suprematism.”

Duff’s “Just the Facts, Ma’am” is written as a pseudo-concrete exposition based on the hard evidence. Let’s look a bit more closely at how he uses that word. Citations are in italics.

Among his other “facts,” are these lies: he attributes Victoria Sharp with the “on the knees with hands up execution” meme; but she said no such thing. Since day two, only disinformation agents have even mentioned that ridiculous and out-of-character slander.

Here’s a fact Duff gets right:

Fact: Bundy had at least one police informant within his group who was arrested to provide “cover.”

Yes, that is McConnell, whose testimony Duff trusts. Or perhaps he is referring to Ryan Payne. Or perhaps Jon Ritzheimer. I hope he’s not just referring to Pete Santilli again.

Fact: Finicum tried to escape in every way and had a young girl in the front seat which prevented police from opening fire on the vehicle were they inclined to do that.

No, that’s just all wrong in every way. The women were in the back seat, and it didn’t prevent them from firing. Ryan Payne was in the front seat and left at the first stop as if he knew shit was goin’ down. He got out after a shot was fired, and the shots continued, as we heard already in the two witness accounts. I know this was missed in the “remote-viewing” testimony of McConnell.

Well, we were gonna stick to facts, but I guess not.

Hypothesis: Police would never have opened fire on the vehicle, a purely public relations decision.

Well, it is usually better to form a hypothesis based on facts, rather than counter-factuals, but then, we see how this term has been mis-used so far. I am glad Duff added that note of healthy cynicism at the end.

Fact: Any that rely on either overly subjective analysis of the supplied video, which by any standard legally justifies deadly force, to support “murder” or “execution” is someone with an agenda and a bit too much moral flexibility.

I think most readers can see that the “overly subjective analysis” is that of Duff — indeed, he is entirely alone in his interpretation since the FBI claims something else, and even Jim Dean seems wearying of a lost cause.

Fact: No statement from the 18 year old “witness” could be relied on after release of the video.

Here “fact” should read, sadly once again: “counter-factual assertion”: Sharp’s testimony is not contradicted by the video, only by Duff’s “overly subjective analysis” of it. In fact, the grainy drone video is so little revealing of true information that incautious analysts thought they saw LaVoy wielding a pistol, which not even the FBI claims.

That Duff takes McConnell seriously but doubts the women boggles the mind; the imagination strains for an explanation.

But Duff ends on a note I would have to agree with: “Bundy has to, providing he gets out of this, be more careful who he trusts. Finicum, Bundy and gang would have gotten away were it not for being snitched out. Militia’s are loaded with FBI informants.”

Maybe their cover should be blown rather than whitewashed? Just saying.

About neithernoreithermore

i am an historian of the present and past
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