Two-Years of Private Facebook Messages Used as Evidence Against Internet Talk Show Host Pete Santilli and Others in Nevada and Oregon Federal Cases

pete santilli trial

IMAGE SOURCE: YouTube

By CHERI ROBERTS for Challenging the Rhetoric

Are your Facebook messages really private? Not when there is a warrant allowing federal authorities to mine them for evidence during an investigation. Just ask jailed internet talk show host, Pete Santilli. 

Santilli and girlfriend, Deb Jordan, are clearly baffled, that what they deemed to be “private’ messages on social media, along with their cell phone texts, are being used as evidence against Santilli and some of his 24 co-defendants in Oregon and 18 co-defendants in Nevada.

Santilli is facing charges in both states for his participation in both the 2014 Bunkerville, Nevada, Bundy Ranch and 2016 Malheur National Wildlife Refuge armed standoffs by Bundy militants. The Nevada charges are much more extensive. If sentenced on all, they would keep him behind bars for the remainder of his life. Santilli is facing 80-years. He is 50-years old.

Another Day, Another Livestream

On May 18, in a livestream hosted by Laurie Alexander on her YouTube channel, The Underground Resistance Network, both Santilli [calling from jail] and Jordan [calling from Ohio], were guests. Many other Santilli YouTubers participated in this broadcast, however, noticeably absent, was Eric “Spitfire” Wilkinson.

Spitfire began working for the Pete Santilli Show before the Oregon Standoff began, to maintain and manage Santilli’s internet stream and his show’s channel while he was self-deployed to Burns, Oregon.

Last month, Spitfire went on an 8-hour drunken livestream rant on his channel attacking Jordan for not participating with them and other YouTubers, while accusing her of lying to Santilli and using donated funds on herself versus on his case or commissary.

A few days after this debacle, Santilli called into Spitfires show, and fired him, live from Multnomah County’s, Inverness jail. Spitfire has been one of the vilest and most aggressive of Santilli supporters, participating in doxing, cyberstalking, and/or publicly harassing or lambasting anyone who does not lock-step in line with Santilli, the Bundys, and their convoluted cause.

What Deb Said

In the livestream with Alexander, Jordan, trying to clear the air and explain what is going on with her and Santilli, emotionally revealed she has been censored from sharing many things about Santilli’s case.

Jordan also stressed to listeners that private messages, sent between Santilli and others, are now in the hands of the feds, along with countless posts, comments, and YouTube videos, saying,

Everybody needs to really take a look at this, and especially if you’re if you are being active and you consider yourself an activist, even if it’s on the internet. Remember they spent two years building their case [against Santilli], based mostly, on what was being said on YouTube, and on Facebook.”

Alexander reemphasizes that anything you say, can, and will, be used against you in a court of law, calling it appalling, saying that although Facebook is public, it is still an invasion of privacy.

Jordan goes on,

It is, because a private message means exactly that. It can be this false sense of security, that because you are using your private messaging, that its’ private. But you know Facebook needs to start, you know, when you log on to your Facebook, there needs to be the Miranda right needs to be read to you. You’d be able to see that whatever you say, can and will be used against you in court of law on Facebook. And, this is very much, they said it in court, one of the attorneys said, this is a ‘Facebook/YouTube, trial’.  Facebook and YouTube are on trial here … and, the things that are said on there, and privacy, for all the world to see, It was so easy for the government to get a warrant, and for two years they’ve been building their case based on what’s been said in the background.”

Alexander, still not recognizing Jordan is not talking about publicly made social media posts, interjects to warn listeners that law enforcement doesn’t need a warrant, that they just go online and the monitor you without your knowledge.

Jordon makes clear that she is talking about actual “private” messages [messages that are sent between two or more users privately, and not accessible to the public], not just public posts, that are being used. Jordan explains,

Well, yeah, but what I’m talking about is they got warrants to go in and monitor everybody’s private messages on Facebook; your private chats, things that you don’t think that anybody can see, is never go away. Facebook’s, we’ve learned, stores those things. And, the same with our phones. Anything that you texted, anything that you … even your conversations. “

Are we to believe that Santilli, who claimed in nearly every show, that he was being surveilled by feds, never knew he was being monitored?

Or, is what I have been saying for months, closer to the truth, and Santilli genuinely believed he could say and broadcast anything, and it would be protected speech if he called it “journalism?

The Watch List

Being soft spoken and candid, although still in the same fearmongering vein as patriot movement leaders, Maureen Peltier, aka SSG Moe, and Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore (who both previously claimed more “mass” indictments coming), Jordan continued, claiming she herself has been put on the terror watch list,

If they believe that you are, any way at all, affiliated with what happened in Nevada … what happened in Oregon, under the Patriot Act, that they will put you on a terror watch list, like they have done me. And everything that you say will be recorded, and all of your texts will be monitored and saved, and they start building a file on you. And if they think, that you, and listen, you could be just totally innocent, just talking politics and expressing your opinion and they could twist it so that it sounds like you’re a complete militant. When in this process, these prosecutors, use those words liberally: militant, government combatant, anti-government … I have heard everything that, on those lists, you know those lists that we’ve been talking about for years … people who talk about certain things, you know, could be on the terror watch list. I’m here to tell you, it’s the truth. It’s really scary.”

Alexander then announced she was involved in the Bunkerville, Nevada incident and that she holds her breath every time an indictment comes down.

Jordan said she has been told there will not be any more indictments for Oregon offenses while mistakenly claiming The Voice of Idaho’s (TVOI), Michael Emry, was picked-up on charges “unrelated’ to the Oregon Standoff at Malheur. She does add that she believes Emry came under the feds’ eye just for being there, and was, “no doubt”, being electronically surveilled. In fact, she says everybody, with any affiliation, is, and has been, being watched and recorded.

Regarding Emry, Jordan says his crime was a totally “innocent thing” and that the charges are just another case of the Government coming in and making things up.

Emry himself confessed to stealing the 50-caliber M2, or Ma Deuce, fully automatic machine gun and transporting it across State lines; as well as “obliterating” the serial number off of the deadly weapon.

I guess Jordan didn’t get the memo on Emry.

Interestingly, especially since she commented about Oregon indictments, she did not comment on whether she knew of any further indictments for Nevada.

It looks like Alexander will have to continue to hold her breath a bit longer.

And Then I Exhaled

I have some personal experience with Alexander’s angst. Although I was never a participant in, nor a supporter of, either incident, I had in fact been in communication with Santilli via Facebook, email, text, and cell phone calls, many times over the past two-years. Particularly in the fall and winter of 2014, a few months after the Bundy Ranch standoff, and then more recently in the final week or so of the Oregon standoff.

In a statement presented at Santilli’s Oregon pre-trial release hearing, U.S. Attorneys had listed “Episode 827” of the Pete Santilli Show as evidence against him. I was his guest on what he’d mistakenly labeled on YouTube as “Episode #827”. The show I was actually on is episode #828, but when sharing it, or talking about it, I always say “827”, because that is how it comes up in a search.

Reading that, in the statement, made my stomach drop. I was floored with the possibility of being subpoenaed, or somehow wrongfully aligned with any alleged crimes of Santilli, or anyone involved in either case. Discovering it was an altogether different episode of the Santilli show was a huge relief.

Santilli was also a guest on my own show, that same week. Unfortunately, a previous co-host deleted the first 25 episodes of, Challenging the Rhetoric, or I would link it. On my show, Santilli spoke of his previous comments about shooting former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, “in the vagina”. This was not the first time he’d said it that flagged him with the feds.

I am one of few who ever worked in any capacity with Santilli that didn’t walk away after a blow-out or have some beef, or hold some grudge. I have considered Santilli a colleague of sorts, and certainly, at least at one time, a friend who had done me an enormous favor that helped me out of a very dangerous personal situation, while I, in turn, helped him through a very  emotionally devastating moment in his life.

At that time, no one, but the feds, knew Santilli was already under investigation for his behavior in Bunkerville, and more. 

Whether or not Jordan is correct about “everyone” being monitored, I have little doubt that many communications between Santilli and myself, along with countless others who have nothing to do with anything he’s done, were some of those that were.

Does that make me a target related to either case?

No.

Time and again, I made it clear, that what he, and others, had done in Nevada, and were doing in Oregon, were not at all things that I supported. The depth of the charges against Santilli, and the breadth of the investigation, may make them look further into who I am, but by most all accounts, I had distanced myself from these edges of extreme many years ago.

The Last Exchange

The last exchange I had with Santilli was just days before his arrest. I had seen a few articles saying he had called a 15-year old girl a “prostitute”. The girl was the granddaughter of embroiled Harney County Judge, Steve Grasty.

On January 15, in a private message on Facebook, I sent a link to one of the stories about it and asked Santilli,

Did you really call a 15-year old girl a ‘prostitute’? I missed the episode in question.”

In typical Santilli stride he responded two days later with, 

Absolutely…..she was being PROSTITUTED for political purposes by her Grandfather the corrupt County judge. He paraded her in front of the cameras…crying about how fearful she was of the ‘militia’ & that she wanted them to go. Interesting that you are reading RawStory articles……please don’t go full retard and sit on Salon.com for more anti-militia news.”

The emphasis and rhetoric, was his own.

I told him I had his name in a Google alert.

To that he was quick to reply with,

Hopefully you are also following our stream! Lots of great info going out.

Since we were talking online in realtime, I ventured,

Do these people [the occupiers] care at all what the general public’s perception of them and what they are doing is? Particularly Oregonians…”

Unfortunately for Santilli, his comeback is exactly the type of thing that put him in jail. He makes it exceedingly clear that that “they” includes him and is unabashedly and passionately in full  support of what they are doing.

I would say they —including ME —- laugh at the people who actually think they know what the ‘general public’s perception’ is based on what they are reading on the internet. It’s laughable….that’s all I can say. Please refrain from letting the libtards contaminate your brain with falsehoods. I have spoken to hundreds & hundreds of people who are extremely supportive….especially the ranchers and business owners. The ‘general public’ you refer to are the government employees in this town who make up almost 60% of this community. This town is infected with communism. Don’t be steered away from reality by what you read on the internet. They care about ONE THING: Restoring the land Consitutionally back to the people of the county. They could care less how popular or unpopular it is…..it’s the right thing to do.”

My utter disappointment, in his dangerously erroneous belief in the Bundys, and people like Fiore; and his complete inability to differentiate himself from any of them, stopped me from saying another word to him.

I knew then, that Santilli, was sloppy drunk on the Bundy Kool-aid. Just like he had been when we first started to get to know one another after his time at Bundy Ranch.

And I knew, that when the arrests would eventually come down, that Pete Santilli was going to jail.

Tangles In The WWWeb

I am not the only journalist that has experienced some sort of blow-back for being connected to Santilli. It should be noted, there are still many questions surrounding Mike Adams, most widely known as the “Health Ranger”, owner of Natural News, and the newer, Talk News Network, on which Santilli’s show was also streamed and rebroadcast, up until after his arrest. Don Naylor is Adams’ partner on the TNN venture.

In a March 18, YouTube slip, channel broadcaster, Phillip Danny Bass, aka Professor Doom1, said Naylor gave Santilli a $2000 advance and had him sign a 2-year contract with TNN before leaving to cover the Oregon story. This was then passed around by anti-Santilli YouTubers as “proof” that Santilli had forward notice of an armed takeover.

In a March email exchange with Naylor about Doom’s claims, Naylor told me,

I am not aware of any ’advance’. All of our hosts are independent and do not get paid or receive any advances. This is incorrect. Pete Santilli went to Oregon on his own and honestly, aside from a few phone calls we got from him in the beginning, we lost contact with him and ended up playing repeats of his old shows for a few weeks until eventually it became clear that he was not going to be able to submit any more shows due to being arrested. There also are not any 2 year contracts. Again, this is incorrect. I don’t know where Mr Doom got this information but it simply is not true.”

Who’s Watching Who?

I would be inclined to believe that some people who were at the refuge, and some of those who continue to support them, are being watched closely, at the very least.

If you are, or were, practicing Santilli’s style of “free speech” in any medium, you may have some worries ahead.

And, if you are a supporter of Santilli, or the other defendants in both cases, heed the message Jordan is cryptically trying to pass on …

She isn’t just trying to warn you to protect yourselves.

She is trying to tell you that you are hurting your own so-called “Patriots” by your words and actions.

What she still struggles to grasp is she too is hurting Pete and the non-Bundy detainees, by adhering to the Bundy family line lies, and those of people within the Coalition of Western States (COWS), and the Koch Brothers.

The very people who willfully fueled and funded this big hot mess.

For a group who dances on the extreme edge of the government conspiracy world, it is ironic they have yet to recognize the real conspiracy that was paid for with big corporate dollars, and pushed by real lawmakers, who’d recruited the Bundy family, to be the face of a movement for an agenda outside of most of those who participated in their ploy.

*

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18 responses to “Two-Years of Private Facebook Messages Used as Evidence Against Internet Talk Show Host Pete Santilli and Others in Nevada and Oregon Federal Cases

  1. Well it’s a STOOOOPID idea, the ridiculous notion that Facebook messages offer any privacy. The funniest is privacy nuts marching and beating their breasts over Ed Snowden and then spreading all their secrets and conspiracies on Facebook

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This author ids a fucking Libturd, ass-clown! Correct in the assertions concerning FB; and a complete fucktard concerning the rights of the people to state their opinions; and objections to these tyrannical governmental actions!
    But, what else would one expect of a coward like this asshole!

    Like

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