Terrorists in Oregon Occupy Malheur NWR Headquarters

Malheur National Wildlife Refuge headquartersMy country ’tis of thee. That’s what I was taught in grammar school: our country. But there are are those so filled with privilege and hatred that they think the United States is whatever they say it is: their country ’tis of them. And the roving gang of terrorists who sport their pocket Constitutions and took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge headquarters in Oregon yesterday should be captured, tried for treason, and spend the rest of their lives in a federal penitentiary.

The main men involved are Ammon and Ryan Bundy (sons of Cliven “I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro” Bundy), Jon Ritzheimer, Blaine Cooper, and Ryan Payne. But they are only men in a biological sense. In the truest sense of the word, these are boys who want to play Revolutionary War. They like to pretend that they are living under tyranny. Rather than prison, they would be better punished by having to live the rest of their lives in Saudi Arabia.

And they aren’t locals. This isn’t their fight. They just rove the nation looking for fights to get into. And they are often unwelcome, as they are in this case. That’s one of the sad things about this. The Bundy Traitors are making this all about them. But the cause that underlies this is at least somewhat just.

According to The Oregonian, the local people are mostly like me: they think that the Hammonds are getting a raw deal, but that the terrorists at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge are extremists.

Back in 2012, Dwight Hammond and his son Steven were found guilty of arson. They twice set fire to federal land. According to the Hammonds, they did this to stop invasive species from encroaching on their land. I don’t believe that. Not for a minute. But even if it were true, it is wrong. If I have a tree that is growing onto your land, that doesn’t give you the right to set my yard on fire.

But the Hammonds were found guilty and they were punished with one year in prison and $400,000 in restitution (which they paid). But then federal prosecutors found that they could apply the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, and so now the Hammonds are supposed to spend up to five extra years in prison. I hate this nonsense. I hated when civil trials started being a big thing when criminal trials failed. There are all these squirrely ways to get around our justice system when we don’t think it works. The Hammonds did something wrong, they were punished, that should be the end of it.

Of course, the roving gang of terrorists isn’t really interested in this case. They just think that federal land should be theirs to use. The Hammond lawyer has been very clear that the Bundy boondoggle does not speak for his clients. And that’s understandable because the Hammonds are no doubt trying to extricate themselves from this legal issue; they aren’t trying to start the second Revolutionary War.

According to The Oregonian, the local people are mostly like me: they think that the Hammonds are getting a raw deal, but that the terrorists at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge are extremists. Of course, no one is calling them terrorists because, you know, they are white. One of the terrorists is an ex-Marine who hates Muslims and posted a video that indicates he plans to die at this standoff.

I don’t want anyone to die in this. I want these terrorists caught, convicted of treason, and spending the rest of their lives in prison. And I hope that the Hammonds manage to get their sentences reduced, even if they aren’t the most sympathetic of people. At least they are Americans who respect what the country stands for.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

25 thoughts on “Terrorists in Oregon Occupy Malheur NWR Headquarters

  1. Some years ago, I took a vacation in Malheur County. It was gorgeous. A wonderful government employee at a terrific historical site, far off the map, offered me a beer (which I accepted) and pimped lotsa local history books. Middle of the desert in Nowheresville. Cheap/good beer, books, what else can you ask for.

    It was cattle country, and listening to the local hate radio on my way to the airport home disgusted me. Seriously; all the anti-government nonsense was too toxic.

    I had an IPod, so I listened to it. One song was Leonard Cohen’s “Democracy.” I couldn’t stop crying. All the way to Boise, I bawled my brains out hearing “democracy is coming . . . to the USA.”

    • I’ve never been in southeast Oregon, but that’s a very cool story. Beer from a government employee!

      Don’t mention great songs without embedding them!

      • The government-run site was the Pete French Round Barn. The barn was vastly unimpressive, the bookstore was outstanding. Hooray historical societies!

        So later I looked a little into who Pete French was. A gigantic asshole who married into money, bought up most of the local territory and underpaid employees. Per the Oregon Historical Society, “after French’s death in 1897, ownership of the barn passed to . . .” Uh-uh, he didn’t just die. A worker shot him. And the good people of Malheur County refused to convict the shooter. Because Pete French was a total dick.

        What killed me with the local hate radio was it going on and on about farm regulations. And ranchers in Southeast Oregon should love farm regulations. There’s no way their ranches can compete with subsidized beef; they’re raising free-range cows in the fucking desert. If government regulation banned mass production of antibiotic-fed cows, the people who would benefit would be small ranchers.

        But nooooo. They hated pointy-headed Washington bureaucrats who don’t understand “real America.” It’s enough to make one cry.

        I’ll never be able to retire; once I get too old for manual labor, I’ll probably be turned into Soylent Green. If I could retire, I’d retire in Southeast Oregon. It’s beautiful.

            • Boy did I read this thread wrong. At first I wondered why Elizabeth was into cats. I mean, they’re cute and all, many love having them as pets, but a cat house? How is that a moneymaking proposition in the middle of nowhere?

              Then I wondered what VCs were. Vicious cats? I finally gave up and resorted to looking up “what is VC” on a search engine. Ah, venture capitalists. Now it’s all making sense. Southeast Oregon borders Nevada, where sex work is more-or-less legal. That kind of cat house.

              That actually sounds like a lovely retirement plan. I’d be the cook, Elizabeth could be in charge of greasing palms in Carson City. It’d be an old-fashioned bordello, like the Gem saloon, but with profit-sharing. And we’d definitely need a world-weary piano player. I assume Frank can play piano.

              Interesting bizarre trivia. When is it the same time in two US states, one bordering the Pacific ocean, the other the Atlantic? For one hour every year. Southeast Oregon is Mountain time, the Florida panhandle is Central. So in the fall, when clocks are set back, for one hour it’s the same time in both regions.

              A less amusing fact: the Malheur Wildlife Refuge was established by Teddy Roosevelt:


              Teddy friggin’ Roosevelt! So this is what modern right-wingers have come to? Turding on the best legacy of the Republican party? Sad stuff.

              • That’s funny!

                We need to get rid of time zones. Just have local and global times. I work with people all over the world, and it’s a bitch.

                I’ll tell you, if TR were president now, he’d send in the troops and just kill these traitors. They think they are part of the tradition of Washington and Jackson?! It’s just the opposite. They are terrorists and they should be damned glad our country is so much more civil toward white terrorists than it used to be.

              • But unlike the rest of them, we will have health insurance!

                There is a lot I don’t like about how things are run up there so I would probably change things.

              • Don’t forget, Teddy Roosevelt actually ran against the Republicans in 1912, on the Progressive Party (Bull Moose) ticket.

        • It’s all about tribalism. Who could ever think that it was right for rich ranchers to illegally use other people’s (the government’s; our) land? Or set it on fire? But it’s okay by they guys because ranchers good government bad.

  2. Oh, wow, I hadn’t even heard of this. I saw “Bundy standoff” and assumed it was a reference to the last time these clowns were in the news. Remember, when they were pointing guns directly at federal officials, which, using Tamir Rice as a precedent, is a valid cause for lethal force. Wonder why people treat those situations so differently? Something must have colored their perceptions and darkened their minds to the point where Rice doesn’t get even three-fifths the mercy.

    • It is partly because they are white (well actually that is why the stupid media is not calling them terrorists) but also because the Feds went down this road before and it turned into Oklahoma City.

      • Certainly true, but you know if the people had claimed the land in the name of ISIS, there’s no way they’d get away with it. They’d be lucky to get out alive.

        • Probably-mostly because they would not have to deal with the right wing getting out of control. We are in an abusive relationship with these people and it needs to stop.

      • Yes, Ruby Ridge. Interesting how we can talk about that as being a cause of Oklahoma City but we are shouted down when we talk about the roots of Islamic terrorism. Also: Randy Weaver is a sick man who should be in prison.

        • Why of course we cannot talk about our involvement in the middle east being why ISIL currently exists-it would require our actually accepting that we are at fault for anything. And merely saying “yeah mistakes were made” drives our abusers up the wall.

    • Re: Hammond, I really think that this is one of those situations where a dismissal needs to be done because of double jeopardy but I doubt SCOTUS would agree with a 5-4 ruling against them.

      I remember the freak out that the right wing had over this report which stated that the #1 threat was the lone person or at most a duo who identify as right wing/militia or sovereign citizen. Of course none of their people could possibly be a danger-even after Gabby Giffords was shot by one of them. And despite all of the very violent rhetoric thrown around in 2010. *sigh*

    • I think it’s just that the feds understand just what a racist country this is. If they had shot those terrorists, there would have been terrorist acts all over America. If those terrorists had been black, the feds would have shot and nothing much would have happened in response, except that Fox News would talk about how it was the right thing to do.

    • What’s truly nuts is government pays for everything there. Irrigation, power lines, roads, it all comes from government, either directly or through subsidies.

      And yet the fantasy exists that Big Gummint is the problem. It’s absurd.

  3. Now here’s a pretty great thing I just now found:


    Lighting fires to cover up poaching was illegal, but not that uncommon, which is why the Hammonds originally got off easy.

    Then they lit fires years later in an area where firefighters were working. And then the federal hammer came down. As it should. This was 100%, completely the correct punishment.

    You don’t f**k with how forest firefighters are managing their business. They know more about fire than you do. You have your piddly little ranch, and you may have enjoyed playing firebug on it once and again, but forest firefighters know how a particular burn is developing and they need you to stay the hell out of their way. Because otherwise people might die.

    The link also mentions some digging the author did to identify neo-Nazis supporting the Bundys, and that’s good work, but it’s not surprising. The fire angle on the Hammonds is the best bit. And that’s straight from court records.

    What makes this crazier is if you know anything about forest management, it used to be about preventing fires at all costs. Which was counterproductive, as fire is a natural part of the forest ecosystem. If you put out small fires that burn up deadwood, you’re basically stocking up ammo for monster megafires in the future.

    We don’t do that anymore. Now we try and contain fires. The primary reason our forest firefighters get involved is to prevent damage to private property.

    Get that? The feds, the evil jackbooted Nazi feds, are putting men and women in harm’s way to protect private property.

    So when the Hammonds started playing firebug, possibly endangering those firefighters, yeah, the feds hit ’em hard.

    This whole thing has been ridiculous from the start. The fact that the Hammonds were getting in the way of forest firefighters makes it even more ridiculous. (And the Hammonds quietly accepted their punishment!)

    So . . . the guiding principle behind these “patriots” is . . . um . . . people should be free to start fires that could stop firefighters from saving property?

    Maybe they should drop the American flag and wave around a drawing of Mrs. O’Leary’s cow.

    • It’s a good rundown of who these people are. I didn’t know that the racism was quite as explicit as it is. But I’ve always known that these people are bigots because that’s what drives all of this: they are neoconfederates who don’t believe in the 14th Amendment. In fact, they mostly don’t even believe in the US Constitution. I know I’ve said it somewhere, but it bears repeating: the 9/11 hijackers were mostly reasonably well off young men. They were bored and so they were looking for adventure. It’s the same thing with these guys. There really are great injustices done by our government. But none of them are done to the likes of the Bundies. As we see in this case, they are treated with kid gloves. They have a vague sense of displeasure and so they go out and try to find the reason for it. When this is all over, they should spend their entire lives in jail. But we know that won’t happen. If they spend any time in jail at all I’ll be surprised.

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