Living in a western state and being politically involved, I have seen a phenomenon that most Americans are largely unaware of, or at best, are marginally aware of. Various governmental regulatory agencies, which fall under the executive branch of the federal government, have been harassing and persecuting ranchers in an attempt to put them out of business and steal their land. They have used legal trickery, they have ignored contracts and longstanding (100+ years) agreements that legally carry the weight of a contract, and done all they can to drive decent, law abiding ranchers off their own land. Meanwhile, these same agencies have been restricting access to public lands at an alarmingly increasing rate.
A very small number of these abuses have come to a head and made national news. The first was at the Bundy ranch in Nevada, where militia members from several states came to the Bundy’s rescue, prepared for armed conflict with federal government agents of the BLM (Bureau of Land Management), who were themselves armed with military grade weaponry. The government backed down.
The second was when the fish and wildlife administration, a division of the BLM, persecuted the Hammonds for putting out a wildfire (story to follow.). Again, patriots united and occupied the Malheur wildlife refuge offices for an extended period of time. During this time, those patriots were holding seminars in the surrounding counties, teaching about freedom principles, and the US Constitution. On his way to teach such a seminar, the FBI ran LaVoy Finicum off the road into several feet of snow. When he exited the vehicle and put his hands over his head, they executed him. After they did so, they planted on him a gun that had been used in a crime in California two years before, which had gone missing from evidence (Mr. Finicum had not been to California). They then claimed that he was pointing this gun at them so they had no choice but to shoot, but the FBI drone footage, which recorded the whole event, as well as the cell phone footage from other occupants of the vehicle that had been run of the road showed clearly that Mr. Finicum had his hands high above his head at the time he was shot, and that he had walked several yards with his hands steadily in this position. This was an execution, pure and simple. I have personally watched both videos of the event.
Another case that has received less notoriety is a 77 year old veteran from Montana, named Joe Robertson, who has been highly active in his community. He owns a ranch that is up against a national forest. He has used his own money to purchase firefighting equipment to protect both his ranch and much of the national forest bordering his land. He also built three stock ponds (water reservoirs) on his property to aid in this effort. He obtained all the necessary permits before doing so, but has been persecuted by the national forest service, a division of the BLM, for “harming the local environment.” He was assigned a sub-par public defender, and was not permitted to select his own defense attorney. As a result, he is serving out an 18 month prison sentence. They are not allowing him his proper medications, there are signs that he has had a minor stroke and is not receiving any medical treatment for it at all. He has been moved from one prison to another without his wife being notified several times now, and is currently in a Colorado prison where he is being denied all visitors with no explanation whatsoever for this denial.
The federal government is quietly overstepping its bounds and persecuting good, honest people out west in an effort to put ranchers out of business and to steal their land. This type of thing has become incredibly frequent over the past 6 or 7 years. Perhaps with a new President in charge of the executive branch, such governmental lawlessness will stop. I will post some of the details to these events in the comments soon.
Guest posted by Mike Donald