Well, the problem is that this isn’t our federal government.
It’s the Washington establishment’s federal government, in this case attempting to benefit the family and cronies of U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
- Dana Loesch (“The Real Story Behind The Bundy Ranch Harassment”; links are in original and bolds are mine throughout this post) —
A tortoise isn’t the reason why BLM is harassing a 67 year-old rancher. They want his land. The tortoise wasn’t of concern when Harry Reid worked BLM to literally change the boundaries of the tortoise’s habitat to accommodate the development of his top donor, Harvey Whittemore. Whittemore was convicted of illegal campaign contributions to Senator Reid. Reid’s former senior adviser is now the head of BLM. Reid is accused of using the new BLM chief as a puppet to control Nevada land (already over 84% of which is owned by the federal government) and pay back special interests. BLM has proven that they’ve a situational concern for the desert tortoise as they’ve had no problem waiving their rules concerning wind or solar power development. Clearly these developments have vastly affected a tortoise habitat more than a century-old, quasi-homesteading grazing area. If only Clive Bundy were a big Reid donor.
BLM has also tried to argue that the rules have changed, long after Bundy claims he secured rights and paid his dues to Clark County, Nevada.
… *UPDATE: Those who say Bundy is a “deadbeat” are making inaccurate claims. Bundy has in fact paid fees to Clark County, Nevada in an arrangement pre-dating the BLM. The BLM arrived much later, changed the details of the setup without consulting with Bundy — or any other rancher — and then began systematically driving out cattle and ranchers. Bundy refused to pay BLM, especially after they demanded he reduce his heard’s head count down to a level that would not sustain his ranch. Bundy OWNS the water and forage rights to this land. He paid for these rights. He built fences, established water ways, and constructed roads with his own money, with the approval of Nevada and BLM. When BLM started using his fees to run him off the land and harassing him, he ceased paying. So should BLM reimburse him for managing the land and for the confiscation of his water and forage rights?
Cliven Bundy’s problem isn’t that he didn’t pay — he did — or that his cattle bother tortoises — they don’t — it’s that he’s not a Reid donor.
- InfoWars (“Sen. Harry Reid Behind BLM Land Grab of Bundy Ranch”) —
The Bureau of Land Management, whose director was Sen. Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) former senior adviser, has purged documents from its web site stating that the agency wants Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s cattle off of the land his family has worked for over 140 years in order to make way for solar panel power stations.
FreeRepublic activists have preserved them here and have posted them in the comments (spread through several web pages).
- The standoff story, per Infowars (“Feds Back Down In New Bundy Standoff, Agree to Release Cattle”) —
In an epic standoff that Infowars reporter David Knight described as being like “something out of a movie,” supporters of Nevada cattle rancher Cliven Bundy advanced on a position held by BLM agents despite threats that they would be shot at, eventually forcing BLM feds to release 100 cattle that had been stolen from Bundy as part of a land grab dispute that threatened to escalate into a Waco-style confrontation.
Despite the fact that Bureau of Land Management officials agreed to cease their operation to seize Bundy’s cattle after a massive public backlash, Bundy demanded that Sheriff Douglas Gillespie disarm BLM officials and return his stolen cows.
When this didn’t happen, hundreds of Bundy supporters, including cowboys on horseback, descended on a nearby cattle pen outside of Mesquite where the seized cows were being held.
In a tense standoff, armed BLM feds, backed up by at least one SWAT team, threatened to shoot at Bundy supporters if they marched any closer to a line of vehicles.
… Despite threats such as “one more step and you’re dead,” the protesters continued their slow march towards BLM agents as bullhorns blared.
Refusing to back down, the protesters marched straight past the armed men and towards the cattle pen.
Sheriff Gillespie eventually appeared to inform Bundy supporters that the BLM had finally caved and agreed to release the 100 cattle they had seized that were inside the pen.
After around 30 minutes, Bundy supporters saw the cattle being released about a mile away in the distance.
It cannot be overstated how much of a gargantuan victory this represents for the American people in their battle against big government tyranny.
“The people have the power when they unite,” Ammon Bundy told the Las Vegas Review Journal. “The war has just begun.”
I understand the exhiliration and am impressed and heartened by the courage of those involved, but this is no “gargantuan victory.” It’s more like an opening skirmish — and not just at Cliven Bundy’s ranch. The government is surely recalibrating its strategies, there and elsewhere.
Special kudos go to Matt Drudge, who took the risk of citing stories originating from so-called “fringe” sites (some of the leading lights of the center-right blogosphere did not cover themselves with glory in this regard).
Make no mistake: This standoff ended when it did because Harry Reid cannot afford to let his cronyism get widely exposed, which was certainly going to happen if it had lasted into Monday. Perhaps it still will, but establishment press resistance and attempted ridicule will be substantial.
EXIT QUESTION: Does anyone still believe that the Constitution’s Second Amendment isn’t as much about citizens defending themselves against an out-of-control government as it is about the natural-law right of self-defense?
UPDATE, April 13: Received an email from a trustworthy source claiming that “the number of citizens who WOULD have shown up at the Bundy ranch in Nevada during the standoff, and the number of eyewitness reports about federal abuses on the way would have been overwhelming if the feds had not illegally blocked their travel.”
UPDATE 2, April 13: Jerome Corsi — “REID SMELLING ANYTHING BUT ROSY IN RANCH FIGHT; Desert showdown blows lid off long-standing plans with Chinese”