After weeks of reporters in the media calling the protestors ‘militants’, as if their protest in the middle of the desert could be considered a real violent threat, Harney County residents and commuters into the small towns of Burns and French Glenn are being pulled over and frisked. Since the arrest of 7 leaders and the shooting of LaVoy Finicum, many of the protestors have left the refuge, so it would seem the FBI would go home too. Why the presence? No one knows, except there seems to be a need to keep the folks surrounding Burns and Harney County very uncomfortable. Oregon Governor Kate Brown called the protestors a virus that needed to be stamped out. What were the protestors doing that was so dangerous? The charges brought up against Ammon Bundy and his friends were for ‘conspiracy to impede officers of the United States from discharging their official duties through the use of force, intimidation, or threats.”
Since when does a building far from town, rarely used and closed for winter become so important that the sheriff must call in FBI support? The alleged case which has still not been fully disclosed was originally filed as a complaint by people in Harney County, mostly federal employees, who spoke of general harassment by members of ‘militia.’ Never mind these affidavits and claims are general and are somewhat suspect due to the discovery by the Fire Marshall that FBI were disguised and actively impersonating militia folks. This is the opposite of the message coming from folks within the refuge protest who were actively calling this a peaceful demonstration. In fact, a Blaine Cooper has gone on record saying that LaVoy Finicum, who was shot dead by the Feds, and Ammon were not armed and had left their personal weapons at the refuge before leaving for the meeting, a fact he personally vouched for when he found out LaVoy had been shot in what the press had called a “shootout”.
So if the so called “threat” is now down to just four people as opposed to hundreds, and the FBI are bragging about their overwhelming evidence based on heavy surveillance, what is the purpose for harassing the locals? Could it be that an unconfirmed statement by Ammon Bundy is accurate and that the “threat” the protestors posed was not armed force, but a rallying of locals to stand on their constitutional property rights? Was there a movement among ranchers to revoke federal permits that were in conflict with the use of their property rights?
Was there really a pile of affidavits and supporting records in the hands of outside investigators to revisit the corruption surrounding the Hammond Case? Was the obvious stink around local officials and federal officials colluding together in an attempt to defraud the local citizens from their livelihoods about to become public? Considering that even former employees of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Forest Service in the area have testified, not only to the defense of the character of the Hammonds, but to the increased hostility within the federal agencies toward land owners, this is not much of a stretch.
But back to the FBI. One report of a woman with children, in one case a car full of elementary aged children, who were stopped and held at gunpoint with hands up on the vehicle while their mother was frisked and hassled. What was so important to hold a gun on the kids, who are now reported to be experiencing nightmares? The FBI wanted to see the mother’s driver’s license. In another report ranchers are reported to being stopped, pulled out of the car and forced to the ground as far as 70 miles north and south of the refuge.
But let’s not be too kind, the unexpected witness in the vehicle that was stopped and shot at by the Oregon State Police, Victoria Sharp wasn’t just released as an innocent bystander. She was dumped by the FBI without her personal belongings in the Safeway Parking Lot in Burns, Oregon as they caravanned everyone else out of town. She was found in 15 degree weather with no money or phone and no attempt made to contact her family anxiously waiting for her in neighboring Grant County. Yep, something’s up in Harney County.