There have been few, and I mean few, substantial press reports about a recent appeal hearing concerning whether the alleged “Michigan militia” members pose a serious enough danger to be kept in jail. The most striking thing in the few articles about this appeal hearing is how very weak the government’s case actually is.
It was reported that while on the witness stand, the FBI agent who led the investigation into the alleged militia could not remember details about the two-year-long operation. It was also reported that the agent did not know whether the weapons seized from these citizens were legal or illegal.
That’s strange. I think most Americans reasonably expect- ed the chief officer of an investigation in which the suspects are alleged to be plotting against the federal government to remember and articulate the evidentiary details of the state’s case — especially when nine citizens are held in jail without bond because of the allegations against them.
The judge hearing the appeal granted the defendants’ motion to be released on bond. But freedom-loving citizens should not find comfort in this ruling. After all, it concerned an appeal brought by the defendants after the judge hearing their first bond request had sided with the federal government. And at the time of this writing, the release is being blocked by another court.
Whether one finds these people savory or unsavory is not important. What is important is the rights of these people, who appear from all available information not to have not committed a crime, but who were charged and incarcerated on the basis of the barest and most speculative of evidence.
Worst of all, we are only at the beginning of this case.