NPR is reporting that the armed antigovernment activists who have taken over a federal wildlife refuge building in Oregon, after promising to stay there "for years,” are now saying that they will call a meeting with the local community within a day and leave “if the county people tell us to leave."
It might have something to do with the fact that they were rapidly losing support among fellow members of the “Patriot” movement, many of whom have slammed the building takeover as stupid at best or a false-flag government plot to incite civil war at worst.
The event had obvious echoes of the 2014 standoff at the Bundys’ ranch in Nevada, where armed antigovernment activists gathered to face down the Bureau of Land Management. Unlike the Bundy family, however, the Hammonds never asked for an armed standoff.
As we reported yesterday, Stewart Rhodes, the head of the extremist Oath Keepers group, urged his followers to “stay out of” the Oregon standoff, saying his group “will not be involved in an armed standoffs that’s being manufactured by potheads who want a fight.” Even before the group took over the building, Rhodes warned that Ammon Bundy was “sending out confusing and contradictory messages” and that what was billed as a peaceful protest could become “some form of armed direct action.” Along with tactical concerns, Rhodes objected to taking part because the Hammonds had not asked for a confrontation.
Richard Mack, the leader of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association and a prominent figure at the Bundy ranch , was at the protest in Burns but, like Rhodes, backed away from Ammon Bundy’s splinter faction, writing in a press release that his group “does not support or condone the occupation” and urging Ammon Bundy and his allies to “immediately vacate the building and to go home to their families!”
Sam Bushman, a “Patriot” movement radio host who was also at the rally, complained in an interview with Pete Santilli, the extremist radio host who has acted as something of a spokesman for the militia group, that he felt like the rally was “almost a trap.” (Bushman rejects the “Patriot movement” label and insists that we instead call him an “American that believes in and wants to promote God, family and country and wants to protect life, liberty and property and believes and advocates that this nation shall endure.”)
“We all felt like we were going to a peaceful rally,” Bushman said, “and he’s almost undone a lot of the good we did there with this action. Most of us were not part of it, were not aware of it and we were kind of led into it almost like a trap. I’m not comfortable with that at all and that’s kind of my frustration there is that a lot of us feel like, hey, it was kind of a ruse to have this peaceful rally only for this other eclipsing agenda.”
Santilli told Bushman that he would “have to agree with that” but that because of Ammon’s action “now we are on to the next phase” and he considered it his duty to stop the FBI from using force to end the standoff.
Brandon Smith, who runs the far-right site Alt-Market, had a similar complaint, writing in an article that was reposted on the Oath Keepers website, “Obviously the goal was to lure as many protesters to Oregon as possible to the event in the hopes that they would jump on board with the stand-off plan once they were more personally involved. Numerous protesters were rightly enraged once they discovered the ultimate motives behind the event.”
Brandon Curtiss of the extremist group III% of Iowa told Bushman that his group had helped to organize the Burns rally but had nothing to do with Ammon Bundy’s side project, which he also portrayed as a tactical error. “This situation, even though we all agree, we all understand Ammon’s position, it’s really created a divide within the Patriot movement and it’s really unfortunate,” he said.
In a movement in which conspiracy theories thrive, it was no wonder that some began to wonder if the group occupying the wildlife refuge building was infiltrated by government “provocateurs” trying to pick a fight.
Mike Vanderboegh, the founder of the Three Percenters movement (named after the three percent of colonists whom he says were brave enough to fight the British crown) and an enthusiastic participant in the Bundy ranch showdown, wrote on his blog that the Oregon takeover was led by “federal provocateurs, sociopaths and idiots with a John Brown complex,” but that if a violent confrontation were to be started, he would have no choice but to join Ammon Bundy and his friends “in a ghastly civil war.”
Smith also feared that Bundy’s action could draw the “Patriot” movement into a civil war, with them at a tactical disadvantage. “What I do fear is that they are cannon fodder beckoning a nationwide government crackdown to which I and others will then be forced to personally respond to with equal f*cking measure,” he wrote. “And all of this on the worst possible terms and at a very inconvenient time (executive actions on gun control mere weeks from now).”
Radio conspiracy theorist Alex Jones similarly wondered if the group was infiltrated by government agents hoping to launch a “false flag” incident that would pave the way for the imposition of martial law.
As the Bundy ranch standoff showed, these activists are hardly pacifists. It’s just that when what they assume is the inevitable civil war comes, they want to be in the best position possible. And Ammon Bundy came in and messed it all up.
Levitas writes of how Gale’s ideas took hold in Oregon and were popularized by Beach:
Gale began his 1971 article by listing a “train of abuses” menacing America: submission to the United Nations Charter, unlawful taxation for the support of foreign governments, enactment of a “communist-inspired” income tax, and the passage of civil-rights legislation. “[The] Sovereign States have failed to repudiate the unlawful acts of … he federal government,” he declared. The county should be recognized as the seat of power for the people, and the sheriff is to be the “ONLY LEGAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!” all healthy men between the ages of eighteen and forty-five who are not in the military could be mobilized into a posse comitatus to redress their grievances, Gale explained.
Although Gale initially relied on a network of Christian Identity believers and military veterans to spread the Posse message, he soon began promoting the idea among right-wing tax protesters as well. His suggestion to form local Posse units also was greeted warmly by members of the National Association for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and other groups devoted to “Second Amendment Absolutism,” which interpreted the Constitution as conferring an unfettered right to gun ownership. And because many of these militant defenders fo the Second Amendment also shared Gale’s belief that America already was in the grasp of a communist dictatorship, they were eager to band together in preparation for all-out war. …
From 1973 to 1976, Posse chapters spread to half a dozen counties in Oregon, where activists convened citizen grand juries, filed lawsuits against state officials, sent threatening letters to legislators, impersonated law enforcement officers, and campaigned vigorously against gun control, regional planning, and the IRS. It was also in Oregon that Henry Lamont “Mike” Beach, a retired laundry-equipment mechanic and salesman, plagiarized Gale’s writings and pronounced himself national leader of the “Sheriff’s Posse Comitatus.” Although he lacked Bill Gale’s charisma, Beach played a crucial role in spreading the Posse message across the nation. Thirty years earlier, Beach had been active in the right-wing Silver Shirt Legion of America and bringing Gale’s idea of the Posse Comitatus to fruitino was the realization of a lifelong ambition. From the offices of his Citizens Law Enforcement Research Committee in Portland, Beach disseminated thousands of copies of his pirated version of Gale’s Posse manifesto, which he dubbed the Possee Blue Book. He also sold hundreds of “Posse charters” to eager activists for $21 apiece to be used by any group of seven white Christian men seeking to launch a local chapter.
Although members of today’s “Patriot” movement would never directly cite Gale or Beach, the ideology that the two developed and popularized continues to undergird the movement. In a press release on New Year’s Day, Cliven Bundy, the Nevada rancher whose sons are leading the standoff in Oregon — which is populated by many out-of-state activists — echoed some of the same refrains. He claimed that the U.S. government has no jurisdiction over the lands in question, insisted that the county sheriff take the two ranchers into “protective custody” to shield them from the federal government, and finally suggested that an independent group of “we the people” form a “grand jury” to take the case on themselves, another posse comitatus idea:
The United States Justice Department has NO jurisdiction or authority within the State of Oregon, County of Harney over this type of ranch management. These lands are not under U.S. treaties or commerce, they are not article 4 territories, and Congress does not have unlimited power. These lands have been admitted into statehood and are part of the great State of Oregon and the citizens of Harney County enjoy the fullness of the protections of the U.S. Constitution. The U.S. Constitution limits United States government.
It is my suggestion, Steven Hammond, that you go and check yourself into Harney County jail asking for protective custody. It is my suggestion, Dwight Hammond, that you go and check yourself into Harney County jail asking for protective custody. It is my suggestion, Harney County Sheriff David Ward, accept these two ranchers into your jail, notify the United States Solicitor in Washington DC that you have these two ranchers in Harney County jail, that they will remain there indefinitely under your protective custody and the protection of We the People of Harney County and We the People of the United States of America.
I suggest an Evidentiary Hearing or a Grand Jury be formed by We the People.
When armed militia members pointed their weapons at law enforcement agents in 2014, Sen. Ted Cruz said that they were reacting against “the jackboot of authoritarianism” and the Obama administration’s purported attack on liberty and the Constitution.
Cruz was speaking about the standoff at the Bundy ranch in Nevada, where rancher Cliven Bundy refused to abide by several court rulings ordering him to pay the federal government for grazing rights.The Texas senator blamed the president for the matter, calling the armed standoff the “unfortunate and tragic culmination of the path that President Obama has set the federal government upon.”
Think Progress noted that the senator’s fellow Republican presidential candidates Rand Paul and Ben Carson also showed support for Bundy, with Carson hailing the Bundy family as “pretty upstanding people” who were being wrongly treated as “terrorists.” He also warned of the prospect of “martial law” and “a time when people have to actually stand up against the government.”
But now that Bundy’s sons are leading a takeover of a federal building in Oregon, Republicans have either gone silent or rebuked the militia members.
Cruz called on the militia members in Oregon to “stand down peacefully,” adding that “we don't have a constitutional right to use force and violence and to threaten force and violence on others.”
The militia takeover of a federal building should remind Republicans like Cruz, Carson, Paul and others that there are consequences to stoking anti-government extremism and hailing the armed standoff at the Bundy ranch.
Last year, a Nevada rancher who boasts that he doesn’t “recognize the United States government as even existing” become a hero of Fox News pundits and other conservative commentators for refusing to pay grazing fees he owes the government.
Scott Hicks, a member of the local Oath Keepers chapter and a leader of the Sugar Pine Mine effort, lamented to Santilli that the county sheriff had not joined their cause as a “constitutional sheriff,” a county sheriff who considers his or her authority to be superior to the authority of federal laws and federal agents.
Hicks told Santilli that since the county sheriff is “the one that has the highest law here,” he should have been “deputizing” the Oath Keepers to protect the gold mine from federal authorities. The county’s former sheriff, he said, is “a constitutional sheriff,” and “his words were, ‘You know, if I would have been in office I would have deputized every single one of you guys so you could do the job.’ If they didn’t have enough people to do the job, hey, deputize the ones that are willing to do it.”
Abbott has since tried to distance himself from the conspiracy theory, but Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Tex., has demanded — and apparently received — a meeting with military leaders over the matter.
Jade Helm 15 is just the latest in a litany of far-right conspiracy theories about President Obama planning a military takeover of the country. While none of the theories has ever actually panned out, far-right pundits and activists keep inventing new ones, insisting that whoever doesn’t agree with them either doesn’t see the truth or is enabling Obama’s dictatorial agenda.
Remember: Obama’s plot against America goes all the way back to his birth…
1) Barack the Baby Communist
Faith 2 Action founder Janet Porter, who recently worked with Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul and several GOP candidates on a film about how the gay rights movement will “criminalize Christianity,” revealed to WorldNetDaily readers just two weeks into Obama’s first term that she had learned through a chain email that the president had been planted as a baby by Russian communists who would use him to take over America.
“I can’t prove whether it’s true or not, but in light of all that is happening, it just doesn’t seem that far-fetched anymore,” Porter wrote, claiming that the letter was “not some e-mail scam” and that she personally reached out to its source to confirm the details.
According to the email’s author, during the early 1990s he met two Russian scientists, spouses “V.M” and “T.M,” who told him that “you will have a black president very soon and he will be a Communist” … named “Barack.” The Russians continued:
This is not some idle talk. He is already born, and he is educated and being groomed to be president right now. You will be impressed to know that he has gone to the best schools of presidents. He is what you call ‘Ivy League.’ You don’t believe me, but he is real and I even know his name. His name is Barack. His mother is white and American and his father is black from Africa. That’s right, a chocolate baby! And he’s going to be your president.
It’s all been thought out. His father is not an American black, so he won’t have that social slave stigma. He is intelligent and he is half white and has been raised from the cradle to be an atheist and a Communist. He’s gone to the finest schools. He is being guided every step of the way and he will be irresistible to America
The female scientist seemed to know a lot about this young man: “She rattled off a complete litany. He was from Hawaii. He went to school in California. He lived in Chicago. He was soon to be elected to the Legislature. ‘Have no doubt: he is one of us, a Soviet …. [H]e will be a blessing for world Communism. We will regain our strength and become the number one power in the world.’ She continued with something to the effect that America was at the same time the great hope and the great obstacle for Communism. America would have to be converted to Communism, and Barack was going to pave the way.”
As it turned out, every single word in this chain email was true! Maybe. And now, Obama is on the brink of taking over America with his secret squads of Obamacare militias, immigrants, African Americans and/or foreign troops.
2) Obamacare Squads
Before joining the Family Research Council, retired Army Lieutenant General Jerry Boykin released a video with the far-right group the Oak Initiative suggesting that Obama is leading a “Marxist insurgency” in the U.S. He claimed that Obama inserted into the Affordable Care Act a measure that would create a personal army reminiscent of Adolf Hitler’s Brownshirts, warning that the president was “laying the groundwork for a constabulary force that will control the population in America.”
Porter joined in in 2012, claiming that FEMA Corps, which trains young people to work in disaster response, might actually be “a standing army to stifle dissent” and “part of a new civilian security force that President Obama has called for in speeches.” WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah, who once alleged that Obama sent a secret signal to Muslims to “finish” the Holocaust against the Jews, similarly warned that Obama would soon “move to shut down and destroy all independent media” and would make sure that “his biggest critics will be rounded up in the name of national security.”
3) About That Executive Order…
In 2012, when Obama issued an emergency preparedness executive order similar to ones issued by presidents since Dwight Eisenhower, some right-wing commentators went ballistic since this time, the president was Obama!
“He is openly implementing martial law in this country,” InfoWars host Alex Jones said about the executive order. The executive order, Jones claimed, declared that administration officials would have the power to “secretly arrest Americans and disappear us any time they want” and build “the domestic security force that’s just as big and just as strong as the military Obama’s always talked about as the ‘FEMA Corps.’”
One congressman, then-Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, suggested that the president would use the executive order to seize total power. In fact, Stockman speculated that Obama may have deliberately brought Ebola to America in order to create a crisis to justify the implementation of his order granting himself “emergency powers to take over control of the economy and everything.”
4) Ebola! Remember That?
Last year, four people were diagnosed with Ebola while in the U.S., two after travelling from West Africa and two after caring for an Ebola patient at a hospital in Texas. In the eyes of conservatives, this was a widespread pandemic that was all Obama’s fault.
According to Stockman, Obama may have had an “intentional” plan to bring Ebola into the U.S. “in order to create a greater crisis to use it as a blunt force to say, well in order to solve this crisis we’re going to have to take control of the economy and individuals and so forth…. [T]here may be an overreaction where the government starts taking away the rights of those that aren’t that necessarily involved or need that to happen. I hope that’s not that case but, as you know, this current government uses crisis to advance their philosophy and their agenda.”
Another far-right radio host, Laurie Roth, predicted that Obama would deliberately fuel an Ebola outbreak in order to “create a guise to declare martial law due to created outbreaks,” giving him the power to “control speech, food, travel and health care” and even “demand adults and children take some sort of mandated/mystery vaccination that kills off even more people”:
My prediction is that a forced vaccination plan from Obama and his administration is on its way. This will not only allow someone put in control (so Obama can’t be blamed) to release something potentially fatal into our system, but also act as a tracker – the complete end of our privacy and freedom.
Prior to the Ebola scare, Porter took to WorldNetDaily to predict that Obama would use swine flu to “round up American citizens” and force them into FEMA concentration camps. She also told WorldNetDaily readers that the president, emulating Nazi Germany and Soviet Union, would create “a food shortage” to see that people are “starved to death.”
5) Obama’s Race War Ruse
Since predictions about Obama’s dastardly plan to infect all other Americans with the Ebola virus in order to seize power didn’t exactly come true, conservative activists have turned to recent demonstrations over issues such as racial profiling as another Obama-orchestrated plot to take control of the country.
Others in the right-wing media took similar views. Wiles claimed that protests in Ferguson, Missouri, were all part of a plot to enable “Emperor Obama” to “start a civil war,” which would give him a reason to implement stringent gun control so people could no longer “protect themselves from tyrants.” His fellow conservative talk show host Jesse Lee Peterson said that Obama brought “chaos” to Baltimore just so “he can federalize the police departments around the country.” WorldNetDaily columnist Morgan Brittany claimed that the Baltimore riots were “planned” by the government, which she said is bent on “stirring up unrest” in order to give Obama the justification “to institute martial law to preserve order, form a national police force and postpone the 2016 elections.”
Savage, the conservative radio host, even went so far as to allege that Obama started the riots as a way to send arms to gang members under the pretext of preserving order: “It’s a race war. These are their shock troops, they don’t have the brown shirts yet, they don’t have the armbands, but soon Obama could deputize them. Isn’t that a natural army for him? Take the Crips and the Bloods, give them a green uniform and give them a weapon and they’ll keep order in the streets.”
In another interview, Pratt accused Obama of hoping to “bring violence” and “some kind of social implosion to America” as a way to keep power, with Solomon warning of “an explosion of attacks on haves by have-nots” and “more specifically on white haves by black have-nots; more specifically on Christian, heterosexual white haves by black, Muslim and/or atheist — not that there’s much difference — black have-nots.”
6) Bundy Ranch Standoff
The short-lived standoff between federal law enforcement and Cliven Bundy, the Nevada rancher and Fox News darling who refused to pay grazing fees for his cattle or to recognize the legal authority of the U.S. government, gave another opportunity for right-wing commentators to warn of an imminent federal takeover spurred on by Obama-instigated violence.
WorldNetDaily columnist Erik Rush pointed to the Bundy standoff as proof that “the federal government intends to control everything,” including “our food supply.” Denouncing President Obama as a someone who “embodies the diabolical Manchurian President, clandestinely working to destroy America,” Rush warned that the Bundy standoff might have been a test case for imminent FEMA camp internment.
“Do we wait until a family is slaughtered because they opened fire on government agents executing an illegal raid on their home?” he asked. “Do we wait until Department of Homeland Security operatives come around to arrest ‘domestic terrorists’ as designated by Harry Reid and ship them off to FEMA camps?”
Televangelist Gordon Klingenschmitt, who has since been elected to the Colorado legislature, said that the federal government dug “mass graves” near the ranch to hold the bodies of the “cowboys” they planned to murder. Wiles had a similar theory:
Civil unrest is brewing, the Obamanistas have tried a number of tactics to insult and infuriate the American people to respond with violence…. I expect dirty Harry Reid and his Washington sidekick Barry Soetoro will send federal agents back to Nevada this summer and my fear is that federal snipers will take out a bunch of cowboys and militia men.
Not only will Obama have loyal armies of doctors, AmeriCorps members, black protesters and gang members, but he will also, according to several conspiracy theorists, create a force of undocumented immigrants — specifically young Central American refugees escaping the drug war — to do his bidding.
Anti-immigrant activist William Gheen offered his own version of this prediction, alleging that the federal government was “going to give the illegal immigrants badges, they’re going to give them guns, and they’re going to put them in positions of authority over Americans in every way imaginable. So when you step out your door and there’s a knock at the door, you’re going to be looking at the new face of the state, which is the prior illegal immigrants that now have a badge and a gun and dominion over you.”
Gheen added that the Obama administration was “supporting the organized and well-funded illegal alien invasion of our homeland” and therefore has “the blood of many thousands of Americans on their hands that have been killed, injured raped and robbed by illegal immigrants,” warning that “center-right, Christian, heterosexual” men were particularly at risk.
Gheen even told Jones, the “InfoWars” host, that the young immigrants were the pawns and child soldiers of U.S. “elites” who want to subjugate patriotic Christians: “They’re willing to literally say and do anything that their new masters call on them to do to protect their position. Once Obama rams these ‘kids’ in, gives them their Obamaphone, enrolls them in Obamacare, puts them in a public school, pays for their housing, pays for their food…these people will do anything that their leaders call on them to do and I do mean anything.”
Alan Keyes wondered if Obama, whom he thinks wants to become America’s “Führer,” was “importing” immigrants “in order to facilitate what I think is an overthrow of our Constitution.”
WorldNetDaily’s resident health “expert” Elizabeth Lee Vliet claimed that the government would use a “flood of illegals” who carry exotic diseases to “overwhelm and collapse the economic and social systems, in order to replace them with a ‘new socialist order’ under federal control.”
8) Obama’s Atheist/Islamic/Canadian/Alien Army
Building off the birther conspiracy theory that Obama is not a U.S.-born citizen and the general right-wing belief that he is not a real American, several conservative activists believe that the president will use foreign forces, outside of just immigrants and health care workers, to oppress Americans.
According to Bill Federer, a Religious Right “historian,” the Arab Spring was designed by nefarious forces who wanted to create a surge in Muslim refugees who would then settle in the U.S. in order to establish Islamic “sleeper cells.” Soon, these sleeper cells would “get a signal to have Ferguson riots in malls across America,” which would give Obama the justification to “restore order” by setting up a “militarized dictatorship.” Obama, Federer warned, could follow in the footsteps of Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong and Pol Pot in killing millions of Christians.
Federer cited a man named Avi Lipkin, who apparently heard from his wife, who heard from an unspecified Arabic-language broadcast, about a plot to bring millions of Muslim refugees into the country in order to bring about Sharia law. Lipkin alleged that Obama was “going to bring in 50 to 100 million Muslims” and settle them in national parks and “lands confiscated by Agenda 21” — a sustainable development initiative that is at the center of its very own right-wing conspiracy theory — ultimately forcing America to “surrender its Christianity” in the face of a new “Muslim majority.” Then, Obama would establish a “dictatorship” … with the help of “the Masons, the Illuminati [and] the Trilateral Commission.”
Lipkin and Federer, however, don’t hold a candle to Jim Garrow, a right-wing activist who believes that Obama tried to kill 300 million Americans with an EMP attack for the sake of enriching George Soros and giving him the chance to live in a luxurious bunker underneath the White House. Garrow also believes that Obama will try to improve his poll numbers by claiming that he is able to communicate with aliens, but if they plummet any further and Americans start to revolt, then Obama will “ask [Canadian Prime Minister Stephen] Harper to send troops into America to help quell the rioting and vice versa.”
Jones talked to another “real source” about the need to “brace for a nuclear attack in South Carolina,” who alleged that Charleston was the target because of the presence of U.S. submarines: “This is a false flag operation, a major false flag, that is about to occur because if they take out our naval base in Charleston, they will cripple about one-third of our fleet ballistic missile submarine force.”
“Everything they are doing is like trying to set America up,” Jones replied, wondering if “Obama is like a triple agent of the globalists, we know that, and they are maneuvering America towards a set-up to destroy us and then Homeland Security will then detonate nukes in all of our bases as an inside sneak attack.”
“This ultimately reeks of yet another false flag being orchestrated by the United States government in order to send us into war,” Jones said in another commentary about the matter. “I just wish to God that this wasn’t happening,” he said.
This is the same Alex Jones who launched Jade Helm 15 into the GOP mainstream and led to such a fear that the governor of Texas ordered the National Guard to monitor the U.S. military during the drill.
Of course, when one conspiracy theory fails to materialize, radio hosts like Alex Jones just move on to the next one, and then eventually, Republican politicians just move along with them.
The co-owner of Sugar Pine Mine told the Medford, Oregon, Mail Tribune that an Oath Keepers camp near his mine has “taken on a life of its own” thanks in part to the “absolute bullshit” being circulated on social media.
"We don't need any more volunteers, we're not under attack, this is not the Bundy Ranch," he said, according to the paper. "Please stop calling the BLM and threatening their personnel."
The co-owner of a Josephine County mining claim at the center of a land-use dispute with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management says an armed security presence by members of the Oath Keepers movement has "taken on a life of its own," and he is pleading for calm after supporters apparently phoned in threats to BLM employees.
"We don't need any more volunteers, we're not under attack, this is not the Bundy Ranch," said Sugar Pine Mine co-owner Rick Barclay. "Please stop calling the BLM and threatening their personnel."
Barclay said the ranger's visit made him and Backes worried the BLM would remove or destroy their equipment before they could appear in court to appeal the order.
"So I went to the Oath Keepers (to ask for security) and they said, 'OK,'" Barclay said.
The Oath Keepers is a nationwide organization made up of former and current U.S. military and law enforcement personnel who have pledged to disobey all "unconstitutional" orders. The group received significant media attention for its participation in a 2014 standoff with the BLM over Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy's cattle, which had been corralled by the agency for illegally grazing its lands. After Bundy's armed supporters confronted BLM rangers last April, the agency backed down and released the cattle.
Armed volunteers affiliated with the Oath Keepers began arriving Tuesday and set up camp at a "staging area" on private property on Camp Joy Road. Now things have gotten out of control, Barclay said, describing the fervor surrounding their presence has turned the event into a "circus."
"What you're seeing is mostly a spectacle caused by social media and 'keyboard commandos' whooping it up," he said. "A lot of the stuff going around on social media is absolute bull----."
Barclay said the Oath Keepers' security presence is only intended to secure the mine and their property until he and Backes can be heard by a judge, and he blamed the BLM for creating the dispute.
"We are a constitutional republic — we are a nation of laws," he said. "The BLM would not be in this position had they followed the law."
Still, he expressed eagerness to put the matter to rest. "As soon as I get my court arrangements made, the Oath Keepers are leaving," he said. "It's OK. It's going to be OK."
This week, as far-right groups are celebrating the first anniversary of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s armed standoff with the Bureau of Land Management over his refusal to pay years’ worth of grazing fees, the anti-government group Oath Keepers is getting involved in another dispute with the BLM, this time in Oregon.
The Mail Tribune in Medford, Oregon, reports that members of the Oath Keepers are gathering in southwest Oregon to prevent the BLM from temporarily shutting down operations of a mine that is violating federal regulations, claiming that the BLM’s actions are “unconstitutional.”
A group of armed volunteers has descended on rural Josephine County in defense of a mining claim that's become the subject of regulatory action by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.
The federal agency says the Sugar Pine Mine, near Merlin, has been operating outside current mining laws and regulations, and the BLM recently ordered the claim's owners to cease operations until they file a plan of operations.
In response, the local chapter of the Oath Keepers, a group of former and current military and law enforcement personnel who've pledged to disobey any "unconstitutional" orders, says it was asked to defend the property from any encroachment by federal authorities.
Mary Emerick, a spokeswoman for the local Oath Keepers chapter, told the paper that she doesn’t want what’s going on in Merlin referred to as a “standoff” and that it has nothing to do with the Bundy anniversary:
She says the group doesn't want its security operation referred to as a "standoff," and says the event's timing coinciding with the one-year anniversary of Bundy's showdown with BLM agents was unintentional. "There's absolutely no relationship to that," she says.
But some of the national activists streaming to Oregon (Emerick says she’s “been contacted by people from Colorado, Utah, Montana, Idaho, Arizona, all parts of Oregon”) seem to see it differently. An article on the national Oath Keepers website promises a “brewing fight,” referring to it as a “potential standoff,” as does a piece in the popular far-right outlet Infowars and another on Glenn Beck's The Blaze.
The private mining consortium that includes the disputed mine is also promising to “do battle” with the BLM, posting a manifesto on its website that the non-standoff “presents what is probably a once-in-a-generation prime opportunity to strike at the heart of the very surface management authority of the DOI and USDA.”
Where is this all headed?
This case is headed in a direction that presents what is probably a once-in-a-generation prime opportunity to strike at the heart of the very surface management authority of the DOI and USDA and to restore the "as patent" rights of every mining claim owner in the United States by striking down the actual source of that intrusive authority.
Regardless, we intend to take BLM fully to task and will not feel sorry for any civil or criminal consequences that may be leveled upon any BLM employees who are found to be negligent of wrong doing. We are actively pursuing these individuals through a wide range of tactics with the intent to reign in these wrong doers.
Meanwhile, the BLM says it’s just asking for the Sugar Pine Mine to submit a “plan of operations” for the mine or appeal the decision. The local sheriff — viewed by many in the militia movement as the ultimate law enforcement authority in the country — says he’s trying to mediate the conflict.
In a special segment marking the anniversary of the Bundy standoff, which centered around the rancher’s refusal to recognize court rulings which ordered him to pay grazing fees, Jones claimed that federal forces were ready to “massacre” the activists at the ranch but didn’t because “if they would have massacred the people out there, it would have caused a revolution from our angle, no amount of false flags would have won.”
Blaming the murder of two police officers by a couple who had spent time at the Bundy ranch on a government “falseflag” operation, Jones claimed that the government backed down in Nevada because they want to provoke a civil war by staging a false flag attack on a daycare center and blaming it on right-wing extremists.
“It came that moment of chicken, they backed down and it freaked the gangsters out like Harry Reid,” Jones said. “And they didn’t understand, when they blow up federal buildings and blame it on us or shoot a few cops and blame it on some loons that are upset with super hero stuff and into nihilism, we’re not going to buy you blaming us. We’re not here to be enslaved, we’re not here to be cannon fodder in your war, we don't want a physical war, but push comes to shove, it’s over.
“And if they would have massacred the people out there, it would have caused a revolution from our angle, no amount of false flags would have won. That’s why they don’t want to have the revolution there and backed off. They want to have false flags to say we launched the revolution by blowing up daycare centers — guaranteed they’ll pick a place with kids, theme park, you name it — they’re going to blame us.”
Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes told a gathering of “constitutional sheriffs” last month — which also featured Rep. Steve Stockman of Texas — that federal officials eventually backed down in the standoff at the Bundy Ranch earlier this because they knew that if they didn't the U.S. military would turn against the federal government, igniting a second civil war.
Noting that a number of military veterans joined the armed anti-government protest at the Nevada ranch, Rhodes said that “the politicians and the would-be dictators in Washington, D.C…have to worry if they go too hard, if they drop the hammer too blatantly on Americans like at Bundy Ranch, that the Marine Corps would flip on them. And I think it would. And same goes for the tip of the spear in the Army, Army Airborne, special forces, your Navy Seals, all of those groups out there, the more hardcore they are as warriors, the more likely they are to look at something like that and say, ‘that’s it, I’m done’ and join the resistance.”
“And so that’s why [federal officials] are careful about what they do,” he added. “It’s not out of charity or concern for your lives that the don’t drop the hammer.”
Citing a Washington Times report that the Obama administration “considered but rejected deploying military force” against the armed groups trying to stop the Bureau of Land Management from collecting decades of grazing fees from Cliven Bundy, Rhodes said, “Thankfully they did not, because if they had, that would have kicked off a civil war in this country. It would have.”
The only way to avoid a civil war, he said, was for sheriffs and other officials like those in the audience to refuse to be "the muscle for idiots like Cuomo or Obama or Holder who don't understand warfare."
"Do not open the door on U.S. soil for sheepdog and sheepdog violence," he warned.
Vanderboegh, who gave a notorious speech at the Bundy ranch promising “civil war on a vast scale,” was similarly unrestrained in his remarks to the Olympia rally, calling supporters of the background checks initiative “domestic enemies of the Constitution” and suggesting that “Second Amendment remedies” may be necessary to combat them if political negotiations fail.
Promising to “win this or die trying,” Vanderboegh warned that “when democracy turns to tyranny, the armed citizenry still gets to vote! So be careful what you wish for or you may get it.”
Gun Owners of America’s Larry Pratt is convinced that President Obama is destabilizing the U.S. military while lifting up undocumented immigrants, and Pratt thinks he knows why: the president is trying to create his own personal paramilitary staffed by undocumented immigrants.
“Bring them in from out of town, they don’t have any connectivity with the folks in the area and they’re only going to be loyal to the guy who brought him,” he explained.
Pratt also used the interview to address the Bundy Ranch standoff, calling it “one of the greatest moments in modern American history.”
“We saw our fellow Americans, probably with no more urging than an email informing them of what was happening on Cliven Bundy’s ranch, pick up, go out to the ranch, arm themselves before they left and just stood there as interposers between the feds and Mr. Bundy,” he said. “I thought that was incredible. It led to something that took most of us by surprise.”
He added that government officials are just waiting for a crisis in order to implement “special measures” to seize people’s firearms.
Yesterday, we asked why the anti-government “Patriot” movement that was so angry about perceived government overreach at Cliven Bundy’s ranch in Nevada was all but silent about the arrival of police officers in military grade gear to quell protests in Ferguson, Missouri.
Today, WorldNetDaily columnist Ilana Mercer demonstrated this very point for us in a column in which she says she will not stand with those protesting in Ferguson, even though she agrees with them on many issues, because they are trying to make it about race.
Mercer, who defended Cliven Bundy in his stand-off with the government, writes that she is very angry about “police brutality,” the “militarization of the police force” and the “rise of the warrior cop”; that she supports drug decriminalization; and that she thinks that the shooting of Michael Brown was “an unjustified use of lethal police force.”
Police brutality? Yes! Militarization of the police force? You bet! “A Government of Wolves”? Yes again! “The Rise of the Warrior Cop”? No doubt! But racism? Nonsense on stilts! So why have some libertarians applied this rhetoric to the murder-by-cop of black teenager Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri? The same people who would argue against color-coded hate-crime legislation – and rightly so, for a crime is a crime, no matter the skin pigment of perp or prey – would have you believe that it is possible to differentiate a racist from a non-racist shooting or beating.
Laws prohibiting the individual from purchasing, selling, ingesting, inhaling and injecting drugs ought to be repudiated and repealed on the grounds that they are wrong, not racist. But statism is not necessarily racism. Drug laws ensnare more blacks, because blacks are more likely to violate them by dealing in drugs or engaging in violence around commerce in drugs, not necessarily because cops are racists.
The following statements are, I believe, not mutually exclusive: Cops deal with the reality of crime. The culture of U.S. cops is that of a craven disregard for American lives.
By all means, argue against laws prohibiting victimless “crimes” on the ground that these disproportionally ensnare blacks. But do not err in accusing all cops of targeting blacks, when the former are entrusted with enforcing the law, and the latter violate the law in disproportion to their numbers in the general population.
The left-liberal trend continued on the libertarian LewRockwell.com, where white sympathy with the police was conflated with racism: “This doesn’t mean that racism is not also involved [in Ferguson]. Polls show that a majority of white Americans are content with the police justification for the killing.”
Could it be that ordinary Americans maligned as racists are honestly waiting for more information, or suffer an authoritarian, submissive mindset; are ignorant about “police state USA,” or have simply experienced “black crime” firsthand, or are fearful of experiencing “black-on-white violence” in all it ferocity?
Clearly, there are many reasons for the acquiescence of whites in what might seem to many of us – myself included – as an unjustified use of lethal police force.
MSNBC host Al Sharpton is that fellow whose intelligible spoken English is confined to the words “racial discrimination.” The country’s second-leading race agitator has been deputized by its first as liaison to the White House in Ferguson. With his choice of Sharpton as point man on the ground, President Barack Obama, who was to usher in an America in which “ebony and ivory live together in perfect harmony,” is stoking more strife.
Like two pimps in a pod, Sharpton and Obama have collaborated to keep racial grievance going.
RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.
Anti-gay activists seem rather convinced that they are facing Nazi and Jim Crow-style oppression, while one Religious Right commentator hopes that Ebola will free them from gay persecution by “solving America’s problem” with homosexuality.
5) Gays Are The New Bull Connor
The Religious Right campaign to claim that they are facing horrendous, unspeakable persecution keeps getting more pathetic this week.
RedState blogger Erick Erickson, for one, is pretty sure that gay rights advocates want to transform America into a “society bent on suicide,” and have apparently adopted “the tactics of Bull Connor” to push their destructive agenda.
After channeling Bryan Fischer and Brian Brown in framing Christians in the U.S. as the victims of a new Jim Crow, the Georgia-based activist went on to say that American Christians will face dire persecution at the hands of gays: “a faith that survived its followers being used as torches to light the streets of Rome will survive a modern age hell bent on ruthlessly stamping it out.”
4) Michelle Nunn (And George H.W. Bush!) In With Islamic Terrorists
The pro-GOP group Ending Spending Action Fund is running a TV ad in Georgia blasting U.S. Senate candidate Michelle Nunn for leading a foundation that “directed grants to an Islamic group tied to radical terrorists.”
The advertisement refers to her time as CEO of the Points of Light Foundation, a group founded by former president George H.W. Bush.
Before Nunn even took the job, Points of Light ran a business called MissionFish that “allowed eBay sellers and buyers to direct all or part of the proceeds from a transaction to their favorite charity,” according to PolitiFact. One of the approximately 20,000 nonprofit organizations that eBay users directed proceeds to was Islamic Relief USA, a charitable group, which over a period of several years received $33,000 through the program.
Based on that damning evidence, Ending Spending’s advertisement accused Nunn of “directing grants to an Islamic group tied to radical terrorists.”
Since Bush founded the Points of Light Foundation, we wonder if Ending Spending believes the former president is also implicated in terrorism.
The Obama administration was just about to start taking away everyone’s guns and forming a police state until Cliven Bundy stopped them! Well, that’s what happened according to Cliven Bundy, who recently told a meeting of the Independent American Party, a Third Party to the right of the GOP, that his standoff with the federal government over his refusal to pay grazing fees was part of a spiritual battle against government tyranny:
"If the standoff with the Bundys was wrong, would the Lord have been with us?" Bundy asked, noting that no one was killed as tensions escalated. "Could those people that stood without fear and went through that spiritual experience … have done that without the Lord being there? No they couldn't."
Bundy also cited personal inspiration from God in establishing his course of action.
"The Lord told me ... if (the sheriff doesn't) take away these arms (from federal agents), we the people will have to face these arms in a civil war. He said, 'This is your chance to straighten this thing up,'" Bundy said.
In a radio interview this week, Bundy was even more explicit: “I have no idea what God wants done, but he did inspire me to have the sheriffs across the United States take away these weapons, disarm these bureaucracies, and he also gave me a little inspiration on what would happen if they didn’t do that…. It was indicated that ‘this is our chance, America, to straighten this problem up. If we don’t solve this problem this way, we will face these same guns in a civil war.’”
Rand Paul first said he fled an encounter with a Dreamer activist because he had to go to an interview, but now he claims it was because he’s “not interested in being filmed and berated by people who broke the law and are here illegally to try and convince me about policy.”
Tea Party groups join the purported Democratic conspiracy to impeach Obama!
Stephen Lemons at the Phoenix New Times has come across an intriguing Facebook invitation for an event tomorrow in Scottsdale, featuring nullificationist sheriff Richard Mack, anti-government rancher Cliven Bundy’s son Ammon….and Arizona’s current attorney general, Tom Horne.
Horne’s staff has confirmed to the New Times that the attorney general will be attending the “Liberty on Tap” event, so we can move on to questioning why Arizona’s top law enforcement officer will be attending an event that appears to promote the radical belief that the county sheriff is the highest law enforcement officer in the nation and has the power to ignore federal laws that he thinks are unconstitutional and to arrest federal law enforcement officers.
The invitation for the event notes that Horne will “talk on the concept of the Constitutional County Project.” This project seems to be a small effort to get nullificationists to take over one county in each state to run a system that ignores federal and state laws that they deem to be unconstitutional. The project is honing in on Navajo County, Arizona, which they hope to turn into “a self-sustainable county dedicated to advancing the proper role of Constitutional government, free market principles, and the defense of ‘life, liberty, and property.’”
In a radio interview in June, Mack discussed the Constitutional County Project, whose leaders he said he had met with, saying, "we have got to be able to sacrifice and move to where we can be united and take over a county politically."
Mack was a prominent presence at the Bundy ranch during the militia standoff with the Bureau of Land Management in April and is a regular at anti-government events. He leads the Constitutional Sheriff and Peace Officers Association, which promotes the idea of the sheriffs as the supreme law enforcement officers.
In a radio program posted online Monday, Georgia pastor Jody Hice, the GOP nominee to replace Paul Broun in the U.S. House, linked the anti-government Bundy ranch standoff to anti-gay politics, saying that the militia groups that faced off against the Bureau of Land Management in Nevada were a symbol of Americans standing up against Big Government incursions on their liberties…like the legalization of same-sex marriage.
“There is unquestionably an undercurrent that is taking place across America where people are getting fed up,” he said. “They are saying to themselves and now beginning to say to themselves, ‘Enough is enough. We are not going to sit back while our government tramples over our liberties.’”
I will never forget these ranchers on horseback continuing to walk slowly toward the BLM. They were prepared to die. They were ready for confrontation. They were saying, ‘Enough is enough. You’re not going to trample on our rights any more. You have gone far enough and no further will you go.’
I mean, that was the statement being made by the ranchers and they continued marching toward the BLM. You will remember what happened, eventually the BLM never fired a shot, instead they got in their vehicles and left. Again, one of the other reasons they did not fire a shot is because all these ranchers, the cowboys and many, many others around them were themselves armed and ready for action if it came to that point, thank God it did not, but they were prepared just in case.
Now, that’s the image that comes to my mind. There is unquestionably an undercurrent that is taking place across America where people are getting fed up. They are saying to themselves and now beginning to say to themselves, ‘Enough is enough. We are not going to sit back while our government tramples over our liberties.’
And the examples are numerous. We could deal with different scenarios I don’t know how many times, they are abundant in the various ways in which this is taking place.
Now, I want to give you just what is the latest example: the whole battle over gay marriage, and in particular gay marriage as it relates to businesses, that businesses cannot remain committed to their personal religious convictions if there is ever a confrontation between those religious beliefs and same-sex marriage.
Calling the Bureau of Land Management “dirty rotten buggers,” Bundy told Santilli that the groups who faced off with the BLM at his ranch were “successful in bringing back freedom to America, at least in this area.”
Speaking of the militia groups gathering at the Southern border — including groups like the Oath Keepers and the Three Percenters, who were strongly represented at his ranch — Bundy said that like at his ranch, federal agents are “pointing their guns at we the people” and not at the “enemy,” who he said is the “encroacher that’s illegally coming in here.”