As was somewhat expected, local, state and federal law enforcement officials finally arrested the right wing separatist terrorists holed up at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Ammon and Ryan Bundy, along with six of their followers, were arrested as they drove along a deserted road to a meeting with local residents to discuss the issue.
In the process Ryan Bundy was shot, but is expected to fully recover, so he too will face the charges of Title 18 U.S. Code § 372 – Conspiracy to impede or injure officer. It carried possible penalties of unspecified fines and up to six years in prison.
So far they have not been charged with anything else, like theft of government property.
Now, in the melodramatic way of right wing separatist terrorists, the beleaguered patriots — just out exercising their right to steal government property and threaten law enforcement with violence — are succumbing to the reality that their little playtime at the bird sanctuary is coming to an end.
One of their fellow terrorists, LaVoy Finicum, of Chino Valley, Arizona, was shot and killed during the arrest. If you listen to the terrorists still holed up in the wildlife refuge — and weren’t present at the time of the arrest — Finicum was murdered, when he had his hands up!
According to officials, when the two vehicles carrying the terrorists were stopped, Finicum sped off in his pickup truck, lodging it in a snow bank. According to police he then got out of the truck and reached for the gun in his waistband and that’s when officers fired, killing LaVoy Finicum.
We shouldn’t make light of someone being killed, but it’s hard to have any sympathy for Finicum, or his family and friends. He knew what he was doing, they knew he wanted to have an armed standoff with federal authorities. Finicum, known as “Blue Tarp Man,” told CNN, “I’m just not going to prison Look at the stars. There’s no way I’m going to sit in a concrete cell where I can’t see the stars and roll out my bedroll on the ground. That’s just not going to happen. I want to be able to get up in the morning and throw my saddle on my horse and go check on my cows. It’s OK. I’ve lived a good life. God’s been gracious to me.”
Wow, how melodramatic. He was just a guy defending his land and his way of life — over 900 miles away from his home in Chino Valley, AZ.
Finicum wasn’t just a rancher, his main source of income came from the foster care he and his wife provided to wayward boys. In 2009 that was over $100,000. But as of two weeks ago the last four children were removed from the Finicum ranch.
It appears he got what he wanted: a martyr’s death, suicide by cop.
What’s left of the wildlife refuge siege? The day after the initial eight suspects were arrested, a couple of the terrorists still occupying the refuge made videos asserting they would stay and fight to the death, even though Ammon Bundy, through his lawyer, Mike Arnold, told everyone at Malheur to pack up and go home.
Bundy’s wife Lisa quickly put out a Twitter message that her husband would not tell the occupiers to stand down, that they should stay and fight — From a post on the terrorists’ Facebook page, that was eventually removed:
“ALERT! From Ammon’s wife, Lisa: Ammon would not have called for the patriots to leave. We have lost a life but we are not backing down. He didn’t spill his blood in vain! Hold your ground… Ranchers come and stand! Committee of Safety come and stand! Militia come and stand!”
But then today (Thursday) she put out another message. “I spoke with Ammon’s lawyers yesterday and heard from his voice that those were his instructions: He wants people to go home; to go to their families.”
It’s all fun and games, until someone gets hurt. Three weeks ago the rhetoric from the terrorists occupying the refuge was that they were in it for the long haul and the feds would never regain possession of the refuge. They didn’t want to die, but they were ready to sacrifice for the cause. Well, one sacrificed his life for the cause.
Probably the funniest part of this saga was the involvement of the Pacific Patriots Network, a conglomeration of right wing separatist extremists who claimed to be against the occupation, but was there to keep the peace.
They were assisting the escape of one occupier, Jason Patrick, when they were forced to stop at a roadblock. Patrick then surrendered to the FBI. Less than 24 hours after Patrick said he wouldn’t leave, that he was prepared to die. Apparently he wasn’t all that prepared. Maybe they ran out of French vanilla coffee creamer and he just had to go get some.
- French vanilla coffee creamer was on their list of things they were asking supporters to donate.
Two other occupiers, Duane Leo Ehmer, 45, of Irrigon, Oregon, and Dylan Wade Anderson, 34, of Provo, Utah were arrested earlier in the day on Wednesday.
Patrick, who is from Georgia, had taken part in the Bunkerville, NV standoff between Cliven Bundy and the Bureau of Land Management and has warrants out for his arrest due to indictments in Georgia.
Apparently he obstructed local authorities in their duties at the Warner Robbins Municipal Court House and then he threatened to kill everyone in the courthouse. That, according to authorities, is making a terrorist threat and is a federal crime. What did he think was going to happen in Oregon when the authorities caught up with him? Ignore the warrants?
By the time anyone reads this, the whole saga will probably be over, except for the court appearances, trials, and frothy emotional appeals to liberty — as defined by the right wing extremists. They will tell us they are fighting for our freedom, just not to the death as they first claimed on January 2.
One of those arrested was YouTube broadcaster Pete Santilli, a local from Cincinnati, Ohio, was live streaming the events on Tuesday when he was arrested with the Bundys. His YouTube co-host, Deb, kept the live stream going, but it’s kind of boring. The only interesting part being where Deb describe talking to occupier Blaine Cooper who had vowed to stay and fight. “They were going to stand their ground, going to die there.”
Apparently things changed. Thanks to Daily Kos for recording the exciting part.
So as not to be left out, the patriarch of the Bundy clan, Cliven Bundy, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal, “This whole battle is over a Constitutional issue. This is a total disaster to be happening in America … We have federal people killing innocent people. My sons and those people were there to do good. No harm was intended. They would never threaten anybody.”
Well, actually they did and now they have to face the consequences. The question is: when will old Cliven face the consequences for his actions in May 2014?
It’s clear that the greatest threat to our life, liberty and security isn’t Muslim extremists, but homegrown domestic terrorists, like the kind that occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. The FBI made that point in 2011 when they issued this report on “Sovereign Citizens.” Conservatives who some might label as “mainstream” objected because it focused on a part of their base. They said it maligned veterans, who make up a large part of the “sovereign Citizen” movement. And that should tell you everything you should know about the so-called conservative movement of today.
Thanks to Oregon Public Broadcasting and the Oregonian for much of this information.
All photos from YouTube videos. Top photo: Ammon Bundy.
Tim Forkes started as a writer on a small alternative newspaper in Milwaukee called the Crazy Shepherd. Writing about entertainment, he had the opportunity to speak with many people in show business, from the very famous to the people struggling to find an audience. In 1992 Tim moved to San Diego, CA and pursued other interests, but remained a freelance writer. Upon arrival in Southern California he was struck by how the elected government officials and business were so intertwined, far more so than he had witnessed in Wisconsin. His interest in entertainment began to wane and the business of politics took its place. He had always been interested in politics, his mother had been a Democratic Party official in Milwaukee, WI, so he sat down to dinner with many of Wisconsin’s greatest political names of the 20th Century: William Proxmire and Clem Zablocki chief among them. As a Marine Corps veteran, Tim has a great interest in veteran affairs, primarily as they relate to the men and women serving and their families. As far as Tim is concerned, the military-industrial complex has enough support. How the men and women who serve are treated is reprehensible, while in the military and especially once they become veterans. Tim would like to help change that.