Bundy-occupied-federal-building-on-Oregon-wildlife-refuge

“Every one of us has a constitutional right to protest, to speak our minds. But we don’t have a constitutional right to use force and violence and to threaten force and violence against others. So it is our hope that the protesters there will stand down peaceably, that there will not be a violent confrontation.” That’s what Ted Cruz told reporters in Iowa today regarding the Bundy militia occupation of a BLM building in the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon. Reporters are crawling over each other asking Republican presidential candidates on the campaign trail to go on record regarding the stand-off . . .

Cruz added that “our prayers” are with members of law enforcement addressing the standoff, which started Saturday after a group of protesters seized the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge headquarters.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio also addressed the issue Monday, telling an Iowa radio station “you cannot be lawless.”

Ohio Governor John Kasich’s representative was a little more blunt.

John Weaver, a senior aide for GOP candidate John Kasich, said in a tweet: “I know a good federal compound for Bundy and his gang: a U.S. penitentiary.”

Fair enough?

[h/t DrVino]

104 Responses to Ted Cruz: Oregon Protestors Should Stand Down

  1. Minus trespassing I haven’t seen any violence.
    Possible use of force is certainly a concern.
    I think there is a legitimate beef here no pun intended, but we don’t see them destroying property or looting. Just sayin…

    • “Oh, honey, go back to sleep. It’s just some guys showing up with guns at midnight trespassing, they won’t pull the trigger, relax. I’ll wake you when they get to the bedroom.”

    • Convicted in court, eye witnesses to the poaching, admitted to arson on public land, and a history of harassing/obstructing public employees on public land.

      There is no beef.

    • Sorry Dan, but an armed takeover of public/federal property with the demand that the legal system be sidestepped and bent to the whims of those with the guns, is, drum roll please….

      Domestic Terrorism!

  2. “Reporters a(re) crawling over each other asking Republican presidential candidates on the campaign trail to go on record regarding the stand-off . . .”

    So, what are the Democrat candidates statements “on the record regarding the standoff…..?”

    Will they even be asked?

    • “If they’d have turned in their guns as I dem….make that asked, this would never have happened.” Difi’s take on the situation.

  3. I understand that the FBI is “negotiating” with the protesters. Considering how well the Feebs “negotiated” at Ruby Ridge and Waco, I’d say that the Malheur goup is in deep trouble.

    If the G wants to end this peacefully, it should simply put a fence around the building and rename it the Malheur Federal Detention Facility, and that would be that.

    • Not a bad idea. My only alternative to deal with these publicity seeking fellows, is to identify who all is there, then start charging them rent. The feds can seize their financial accounts first, attach liens to their physical property, then liquidate that at auction to settle up.

    • Should have asked for John Kerry to handle negotiations. We’d be a Constitutional Republic, there’d be term limits on Senators, lobbying would be forbidden for 10 years after leaving office, and Obama and cronies would be in the hoosgow after John meets us halfway.

  4. I don’t know much about this situation, but isn’t threatening to imprison someone a threat of violence and actually imprisoning them an act of violence?

    • Yes it is, furthermore any law passed in the US has the threat of violence behind it.

      The gripe here is that these ABC agencies are getting to set their own policy outside the purview of our elected officials. Furthermore the Federal agencies are doing the jobs of things that should by all accounts be left to the states. Bundy and crew are “forcefully resisting” government overreach.

      Show me the list of damages against the Hammonds and I bet it doesn’t come out to a red nickel. Yet the feds want to send them back to jail and in the process make sure that the only purchaser for their land is to the BLM.

      Does that strike anybody else as odd?

      Let me put it this way, the Bundy Brigade didn’t wake up one day, roll out of bed and say, “I think I’m gonna brand myself as a domestic terrorist today!” When men take up arms against something they almost assuredly know is an unstoppable juggernaut there is probably a damn good reason for it. More often than not a lifetime of reasons.

      • List of damage?
        – Obstructing public employees ($10 an hour?)
        – Arson causing wildfire (how much do wildland firefighters cost?)
        – Poaching of deer (how much are hunting permits?)

        Just like the Bundy fiasco, the Refuge land was NEVER theirs.

        Bundy at least had a 1 year renewable lease from the BLM, before he violated his contract and quit paying $1.35 per head of cattle per month.

        • I do not have all the facts on this situation, but my understanding is that they are not protesting the Federal Sanctuary, they are protesting high-handed, extra legal attempts by the agency to force neighboring ranchers to relinquish their property to the sanctuary, whether they want to or not. The main controversy seems to be over two individuals who refused to sell and were subsequently imprisoned, then released after serving their terms, then re-imprisoned when a judge arbitrarily increased their sentences.

        • Cliff H.
          – the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is older than all the people involved.
          – The Hammonds are guilty of multiple crimes, including obstructing public employees (on public land), arson, and poaching.
          – No one has to sell their land to the NWR, unless you want to. Period.
          – Sentence wasn’t lengthened “arbitrarily”. It was done to meet federal sentencing guidlines.
          – If you don’t approve, then you spend your money to hire a lawyer, and appeal the decision.
          – You do NOT take guns into public building, set up camp, warn LEOs not to forcibly remove you, then call it “peaceful”.

        • “No one has to sell their land to the NWR, unless you want to.”

          Unless some BLM employees decide to harass you into bankruptcy after forcing you to agree to giving the wildlife refuge right of first refusal on your land. At that point, “want” doesn’t really enter into it.

          I’m still waiting for an explanation of how setting a backfire to control an existing wildfire ends up being charged as terrorism…

        • Please stick to the facts Jeremy. No poaching was proven as a matter of law. Both of the fires they were actually convicted on have reasonable explanations.

          One was used to control an invasive species and went out of control by accident.
          The other was a backfire lit to prevent damage to the feed that would keep these guys from going bankrupt over the winter.

          Those were the only two incidents they were convicted of. They simply do not rise to a level justifying a mandatory five year sentence. That’s why the judge didn’t assign one.

        • >> No poaching was proven as a matter of law.

          That was one of the charges on which they were convicted, actually. If you look up the court documents, there were witnesses (including one relative) who testified that the fire was specifically initiated to conceal traces of poaching.

        • Actually, they were not. The only convictions were for the two fires. Go look at the documents more closely. Testimony != conviction.

        • – poaching, eye witness, but I forgot to say alleged… there you go.
          – “reasonable explanation” for arson, nope. As a wildland firefighter, I can tell you that many invasive species are actually MORE fire resistant than local species, and vice versa. So their “explanation” may or may not even pan out unless they did a survey of plants life first. Then checked to see if the temps were hot enough to kill invasive species but not hot enough to kill local species or go uncontrolled.

          The above fore work is call a “prescription”. On days when the weather is to cold/hot or wet/dry, we don’t burn. Did the Hammonds do their homework on their poaching cover up alibi?

          Also, as I understand it, the land they set a blaze was federal land with a grazing lease. That doesn’t mean they get to do what they want, build a mother in law house, burn the land, dig for gold, and shoot trespassers. It means they get to do upkeep of the fences and get charged $1.35 per grazing unit (1 cow and calf) per month.

          Cheapest land lease in the US is on public land, and apparently it was still to expensive for Ammon’s dad, Cliven. So he broke his contract with the BLM and quit paying after a year while continuing to browse his cattle.

  5. Have they broken any laws yet? Seems to be a peaceful protest so far.
    By Weaver’s standards, everyone that is protesting Rahm Emmanuel should be jailed.

    • Have they broken into the buildings? Have they stayed at night past the posted hours?

      If either of these are true, then probably yes – whatever the federal criminal statue is for trespassing on federal property. Basically when the government owns property they have property rights that are similar to but not exactly the same as any private owner.

      • not according to the Bungy’s…they seem to feel because they can make a profit from the land, and they rented some farming, clear title should now pass to the 14 Bungy kids and their 62 grand kids. (Any person too foolish not to be born a Bungy are out of luck on the free public land). The land belongs to the public…they have no more rights than you or I to enjoy it, as it should be.

        • So it would be ok for the federal government to run you out of a public park at gunpoint?

        • Pwrserg,
          Bundy HAD a contract with the BLM.
          Bundy violated that contract, kept grazing, and stopped paying the BLM, for decades.
          Bundy lost in court multiple times, he never even bothered to show up.
          20 years later, the BLM removed his cattle.
          Bundy was never under gun point.

          His son, Amon Bundy, intentionally crashed 4 wheeler into a privately owned truck, then kicked a police dog, and didn’t even get arrested. So don’t act like this is one sided.

      • “trespassing on federal property.”

        Now, think about that statement for just a second…reeeeaaaallllllyyyy think about it.

        • Does the building and it’s contents NOT have value? So does damaging the building by breaking into it NOT have financial repercussions paid for by taxpayers?

          Come on, think about it.

          If I dump my trash on a public park, do I get to say “well it’s my property as much as it is yours, so I get to do what I want!”??

        • Um, what are you saying?

          There is a federal building in town. May I go there and stay overnight since it is public land? Take the laptops because I’m a tax payer and it’s public property? It is great and necessary in a free state for citizens to understand and support and if need be enforce limitations on government power. But government institutions get to enforce rules protecting government property. This is pretty non-controversial.

      • Wonder how the Government “for of and by the People” got the funds to obtain that property. I don’t believe in trespassing on your own property…..

  6. From CNN and NPR about 2 hours ago, both say that there is no law enforcement presence actually there at the scene. I’m not sure there’s much of a “stand-off” at this point as opposed to a sit in.

    • NewspeakMedia defines as:

      Occupy *whatever* of BLM acts = Sit in or ‘peaceful’ protest (nevermind the background looting or Nat’l Guard presence).
      Patriotic Law Abiding American acts = Standoff.

      • They have firearms and said they would use them if forcibly removed. Sounds like the beginning of a stand off.

      • When discussing a case that involves the Bureau of Land Management, it’s confusing to abbreviate Black Lives Matter as BLM… Just sayin’.

  7. I like the actions so far. They have hurt no one and at the risk of arrest and imprisonment, they protest to call attention of state abuse towards the hammonds. A moral cause and a very effective way to get attention.

    • This has been done in India and the US to protest many true grievances. Yet those folks never threatened armed resistance. It’s nobler for your cause to be arrested peaceably. Anyone can fight. But the effect against the British Empire was to end their oppression.

      Now am I advocating peaceful resistance against aggressive intruders in your home or someone intending you harm in public? No big, No.

      • If they were not armed – it wouldn’t have even hit the main stream media. They wanted to bring attention to the abuse of the hammonds. In this endeavor they were successful.

  8. I don’t know much about that facility, but it would seem like the Feds could just cut the electrical service and wait for the protesters to run out of water.

    • Big lake and a river right next to the building according to Google maps. They would freeze before they ever dehydrated.

  9. Trolling the Bundy group would be entertaining. Just have nobody show up to the BLM building and have the BLM workers work somewhere else for a while. What is the group going to do when nobody pays attention to them? Probably get bored and go home. Send them a bill for the building rental and if they trash the place, send them a bill for repairs.

    • Don’t forget to toss in the bill for the trailer rentals, or whatever they use for temporary office and visitor center space.

  10. Cruz is right. Bottom line is no governmental authority can just let people occupy government buildings and do nothing. HOWEVER, after reading more about the case there are some disturbing issues here:

    Misuse (typical) of an “anti-terrorism” statute
    Bullshit mandatory minimums which of course 20 years ago were the darling of law and order Republicans
    Federal law enforcement overreach – it happens all the time.

    Basically the guys are not totally innocent, one fire was fishy the second used as a control burn – which is not at all unusual, but the government reaction was overboard.

    • Bottom line is no governmental authority can just let people occupy government buildings and do nothing, unless the people are Indians and the government buildings are on Alcatraz Island.

      FIFY.

    • I read at one point that right of first refusal on selling their land to the BLM was part of a plea deal. If true, making selling the land to the gov attached to a criminal decision would be all the evidence of corruption I would need. But I later read they were convicted by a jury, which would imply no plea deal? Something does not compute here.

  11. “…we don’t have a constitutional right to use force and violence and to threaten force and violence against others.”

    That’s why we have the IRS, dont’cha know.

    Oh, that’s right, “we” have the IRS. “You” don’t.

    /sarc

    And I know Cruz is supposed to be one of the good guys, but I would have hoped for a clearer acknowledgement of the role the Federal government could play in any escalation that happens. It takes two sides to make a fight; and there is a huge potential for abuse of the disparity of force and power.

    • Good point. It may be cheaper and easier just to put them on the federal payroll and give them membership in the public employees union. That’ll sap the ambition outta them.

  12. As much as it pains me I have to agree with Cruz. Breitbart has a good write up.

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/01/03/the-bundy-family-and-armed-resistance-to-government-land-grabs-know-the-facts/

    The bigger question is when the BLM drags you court and part of the settlement is a private owner must offer BLM first right of refusal when selling your property. And relays a worst prison location is available should you speak to Bundy or his crew, what legal recourse does one have?

  13. “But we don’t have a constitutional right to use force and violence and to threaten force and violence against others.”

    Ha! What does Cruz think the government does if not threaten people with violence for disobeying politicians? Yet another reason I won’t vote for him.

      • So your argument is that if I don’t like a law or something the government does, I can forcibly enter a closed building and occupy indefinitely and expect no repercussions?

        • Seeing how government property is supposed to be owned “by the people”, as long as you’re not hurting innocent people, you’re not doing anything wrong. If they want “their” property to be private, they can get off their useless asses and get a damn job instead of stealing from us to pay for it.

        • So your argument is that if I don’t like a law or something the government does, I can forcibly enter a closed building and occupy indefinitely and expect no repercussions?

          No, not at all. My argument is that if you don’t like a law or something that the G does, you can expect to be shot to death. And so can your wife, your young son and your dog. And the people who kill you will all get promoted and receive commendations.

        • >> Seeing how government property is supposed to be owned “by the people”, as long as you’re not hurting innocent people, you’re not doing anything wrong.

          Do you really want random tourists in the middle of, say, military bases? How about overseas? On aircraft carriers? Can I sit in the pilot seat of an A-10 for a while if it’s currently unused?

  14. If you want to beat them at their game, you ignore them. They want to be seen, heard, have the TV and press there, have the FBI move in and take up tactical positions etc. Don’t do any of it. Shut the power and water off to the place and ignore them. They will get tired and go home.
    When it’s all over, send them a bill for rent.

    • That is the smart way to play it. Heck, the building isn’t even being used, just ignore them for a month or two and they’ll go away.

      And since that is the smart way to play it, It’s almost a given that the Feds won’t play it that way.

      • And since that is the smart way to play it, It’s almost a given that the Feds won’t play it that way.

        Now that is priceless.

  15. I notice that the MSM weren’t nearly as up in arms when a bunch of hippies camped out in downtown NYC for several months… Funny how it’s only “terrorism” when conservatives do it.

  16. Read this petition:

    http://sblog.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Hammond-v-United-States-13-1512-Reply-to-Brief-in-Opposition.pdf

    5 years in prison, a felony conviction (no gun ownership, even though you are a rancher) and a conviction of a terrorist law (antiterrorism and effective death penalty act – think no fly list) doesn’t merit the clearing of your land with fire.

    In 2001 they set a fire to clear invasive species (and called the fire department to inform them) and accidentally burned 139 acres of BLM land. They were found guilty as they admitted to starting the fire.

    In 2006 they set a back burn to save their ranch! They burned 1 acre of BLM land and put the fire out.

    I don’t believe the anti-terrorism statute was intended for conviction of these kinds of actions.

    Moreover, the BLM didn’t prosecute other people for their burns:!

    During her tenure as a full time BLM employee from 1997-1999, Maupin recalled other fires accidentally spilling over onto BLM land, but only the Hammonds have been charged, arrested and sentenced, she said. Ranchers “would call and the BLM would go and help put it out and it was not a big deal.”
    On the other hand, Maupin said, there were numerous instances of BLM fires spreading to private land and ranchers losing significant numbers of cattle and other property. Maupin said she was unaware of the BLM compensating ranchers for destroyed property.

    http://www.infowars.com/hammonds-targeted-because-government-wants-to-steal-their-land/

    http://sblog.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Hammond-v-United-States-13-1512-Reply-to-Brief-in-Opposition.pdf

    • 1- you are ignoring the poaching charges… with eye witness
      2- If it was a true “back burn” to save their house, it would have burned into an approaching wildfire, not been able to be put out after reaching federal land.
      3- you are also ignoring the obstruction of public employee (on public land) charges.

      AND THE LAND IN QUESTION WAS NEVER THEIRS!

      • Eye witnesses like the ones claiming that a certain hoodlum in Ferguson was “executed”? The jury didn’t buy it so neither will I.

      • 1- you are ignoring the poaching charges… with eye witness
        2- If it was a true “back burn” to save their house, it would have burned into an approaching wildfire, not been able to be put out after reaching federal land.
        3- you are also ignoring the obstruction of public employee (on public land) charges.

        AND THE LAND IN QUESTION WAS NEVER THEIRS!

        Negative.

        1). Poaching charges are nothing without a conviction. Without a conviction, they are accusations. They were convicted of arson – not poaching. I see you commented without reading the information I provided.

        2) It was a back burn into an approaching fire. The approaching fire was started by a lightening storm. They burned one acre. ONE acre of BLM land from the back burn. I see you didn’t read the information I provided.

        3) They were convicted of arson only. I don’t give a rats ass what they were charged with.

        The land in question is the 6000 acres the BLM is trying to take from them, by means of bankrupting them. This land is their private property.

        In 2001 they put the fire out themselves. They burned 139 acres of BLM land they claimed was unintentional. In 2006 their back burn burned 1 acre of BLM land. This land is microscopic in the grand scope of the land owned by both parties. Furthermore, starting a backfire to save your ranch or to clear your land is certainly undeserving of a 5 year prison sentence, a felony with no gun rights, and a no fly list addition. If you think this is justified – our discussion is over.

        • I’m starting to side with the taxpayers on this. 5 years in prison is ridiculous. So these guys burned a little BLM land. Big deal. I’m seeing the BLM and the federal.gov willing to arrest people for trespassing to mow the lawn of a national monument.The EPA caused an ecological disaster in the Colorado which caused damage on a massive scale and I’m not seeing anyone put up on any charges whatsoever.

          http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/13/opinions/cevallos-animas-river-liability/

      • Terrorist charges are bullshit, but it’s law as enacted by Congress. Courts had to enforce that. The judge who did the original sentencing basically disregarded minimum sentence requirement on the grounds of “cruel and unusual punishment” (specifically the concept that punishment must fit the crime), but given how many other crimes, even non-violent ones, are punished by lengthy prison sentences today, it is not surprising that this was overturned.

        Either way, the law was enacted using proper process, through elected legislature representing, among others, these people (FWIW, it was actually enacted by a Republican Congress even – back when “tough on crime” was one of the main planks of the platform). And they were charged under this law by a grand jury, and then duly convicted by a jury of their peers, appealed, and lost on appeal. The re-sentencing was also done via proper procedure by the courts and appealed. So due process was followed through and through. Due process does not guarantee no injustice, but throwing it out guarantees even more injustice.

        • So you’re telling me that a five year sentence for two accidents with a total damage of under $100 is not “Cruel and Unusual”? Really?

          The reality is that the trial judge had the full context and made a ruling on the merits. It was well within his authority to ignore an unconstitutional or incorrectly applied statute.

        • “Cruel and unusual” is defined relative to the standards of the time (which is why things that weren’t ruled cruel 100 years ago may be ruled cruel today). Given that you can be imprisoned merely for possessing an illegal substance, for example, 5 years for arson is not out of the line.

          I don’t like either of this, and I don’t like mandatory sentences in general – it was a spectacularly bad idea that was passed on the wave of moral panic about rising crime rates that was hijacked by politicians to further their agendas (War on Drugs is another facet of the same trainwreck). But it is constitutional, and it was properly passed, so it behooves us to use the same political process that was used to pass it to revert it (and, ideally, to compensate its victims).

        • I’ll paraphrase Int:

          Have faith in the “system” even if it’s crap. Voters, judges, and juries can’t possibly be wrong. Because protesting injustice risks more injustice.

        • You paraphrased incorrectly. When the system produces a bad result, use the mechanisms embedded into that system to fix it. Only when those mechanisms are systemically insufficient is when you change the system.

          If everyone were to take up arms every time the court doesn’t rule in their favor, what’s the point of the rule of law in the first place? You might as well just go full retard sovereign citizen, and claim that laws don’t apply to you if you don’t consent to them personally.

  17. AFAIK it seems like the feds are simply ignoring them. One has to assume that these protesters need to get on with their lives at some point, so if you ignore them for a couple of weeks they will probably just go away.

  18. I cannot help but notice the Republicans are not using the word “White Terrorist” to describe this situation. Can you image what would have happened if American Muslims would have done the exact same thing protesting Republican demonization of all American Muslims as Trump has done. By now 3 heavily armed battalions complete with attack helicopters, jet plane’s and flame throwing tanks would have burned the building and everyone in it to the ground. This is not quite equal treatment under existing law but since they are “white folks” and not black, Hispanic, Cuban or Middle East “kid gloves treatment” and later “shock probation” will obviously be called for here. I am not being facetious in the least.

    • Oh really? How many cries of “terrorism” did we hear when black “protestors” burned down half of Ferguson or destroyed a stretch of downtown Baltimore?

    • Really? Not many of the Occupy Protesters were run off, none of them were called terrorists.

      Really? How many BLM protesters have been arrested, killed?

      Really? How many Muslim hoax bomb makers have been invited to the White House?

    • jlp must be right. The federal government only mows down and sets brown people on fire. Our federal government would never do to that to white people, like the 76 white people (many of whom were innocent women and children) that the feds burned alive near Waco, Texas 22 years ago.

    • As soon as one of them yells ‘white power’ just before blowing himself up in a crowd I’ll be happy to label them ‘white terrorists’.

  19. B.L.M. – Wants the area land for gold and yellow cake uranium mine leases , Per article 2 yrs ago @ The Oregonian. Follow the $$$$ .

    Consent of the governed is REVOKED

  20. The blm, fbi, and atf won’t do anything they are to busy running ranchers off their land, convicting people on trumped up charges, killing people’s cattle and dogs, burning women and children alive, and running guns to mexican drug cartels.

  21. So you only break the “law” when you’re “armed”? Those “protests” in Baltimore and Ferguson were OK with the dumbocrat powers that be. Or the filthy Occupy crowd-cheered on by Soetoro. “Room to destroy”. Odd the new “commenter” going all in for the gubmint too. Almost sounds like a plant…and I’m a Ted Cruz guy but I respectfully disagree with Ted. It obviously worked in Nevada for the Bundy boys. This crap looks(to ME) precisely like massive gubmint overreach and tyranny. Will it help us? Beats me. Stay tuned-the world is about to get even uglier.

  22. I just thought some of the hashtags out there comparing these guys to terrorists were funny.

    #YallQaeda
    #VanillaISIS

    • An armed gang of thugs that take over a building by armed force is terrorism in any country including the U.S. period.

    • That’s my query neiowa-practiced and nuanced in its delivery. Why I don’t comment much on FB…

  23. What’s the problem here? Just start charging them rent at event rates. Delegitimizes the group, hammers home the point that they’re not a threat, and maybe props up the national debt for another ten or eleven seconds

  24. So, the government can do unlawful acts, but citizens standing up to the unlawful government are terrorists? Welcome to the Democratic Republic of Korea, er, Amerika, or Korea…. what difference does it make?

  25. I’m still not sure what these people are trying to accomplish. We want to protest the false accusations of terrorism by… committing terrorism? Really?

    Have a protest. Raise awareness. But if you come into this as an “armed protest” or “armed occupation” you are basically an invading force. You have set the stage from the get go. It all seems so wrong-headed.

    Here’s hoping it all ends peaceably. That’s all I can hope for at this point.

  26. In 1970 Eric Holder and his black militant group SAAS forcibly took over the ROTC building at Columbia university and held it for 5 days until their demands were met, demands which included changing the name of the building to the “Malcolm X Center.”

    So, forcible takeover of govt buildings protesting govt abuse if youre a leftist black militant is moral high ground, doing the same if youre a “right wing seditious gun toting militia paramilitary anti govt group” is morally wrong. Got it.

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