Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Alaska Citizens Militia Leader Norm Olson Assesses The Schaeffer Cox Militia Trial At Midpoint, Calls It A Pol Pot-Style Show Trial

As the Schaeffer Cox Militia trial reaches its midpoint, with the prosecution preparing to rest at the end of the day on May 30th, Alaska Citizens Militia leader Norm Olson has issued a midpoint assessment, and his attitude hasn't changed. He still considers it a Communist-style show trial.

Speaking only for himself, and not officially on behalf of the militia, Olson penned the following comment to a Fairbanks Daily News-Miner story entitled "Prosecutors winding up their case in Fairbanks militia trial":

normolson May 30th 12:30 P.M:
This whole affair is nothing but a show trial with all its trimmings. You've got a politically vocal individual who speaks to large audiences and a gov and courts trying to make a man yield and bow his head in total submission. This thing smacks of the show trials of the Pol Pot regime. The objective is not to save the government from a dozen-or-so zealots who restate the need to change government but to silence the critics of it!

I've spoken to large audiences and said the same if not more provocative condemnations of tyrannical central government overreach, yet I was never arrested or told to be silent. The difference between now and then is that we have a central government that knows it is unable to withstand or stop WE THE PEOPLE. The fedgov is showing NOT its strength, but its weakness.

In January, Olson did express the concern that Gerald Olson would try to drag him into the proceedings, but such concerns have proven to be unwarranted. But I absolutely agree with Olson's assessment of the trial -- it is a Soviet-style show trial, and the primary purpose of the federal government is to use it to chill dissent.

Will it be successful? So far, it appears the feds have made the case that the Schaeffer Cox Militia went a bit further down the road to conspiracy than the Hutaree Militia. The feds decided they couldn't take the chance of letting it go further, so they rolled it up.

How it ends up will depend upon the number and type witnesses called by the defense, and whether or not Cox, Coleman Barney, and Lonnie Vernon testify on their own behalf. I still question whether Cox should testify; while he's articulate and committed, he's also impetuous, and there's a chance he could launch into a rant about sovereign citizenship. This would increase the chances of his conviction. In contrast, Coleman Barney would make a highly credible witness on his own behalf because he's older and more stable, being a business owner, a family man, and an active member of a church.

I still predict a split verdict. The conspiracy to murder charges are the weakest, and the likelihood of acquittal is high. However, conviction on weapons charges is a distinct possibility. It is also possible that not all three defendants will be equally convicted. The prosecution has sought to portray Schaeffer Cox as the "bad guy"; they rolled Michael Anderson and tried to roll Coleman Barney in order to pressure Cox. So Cox is their real target. We could see Schaeffer Cox being the only defendant to be convicted of anything, and Coleman Barney could end up walking. So far, it appears Lonnie Vernon was primarily along for the ride.

The trial is still expected to last until mid-June.

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