September 06, 2016

#OregonStandoff: Intelligence held hostage, weeks 3-4 — now on trial

Top, L-R, booking pix of Ammon Bundy, Ryan Bundy, Brian Cavalier, Shawna Cox, 
Bot., Joseph Donald O’Shaughnessy, Ryan Payne, Jon Eric Ritzheimer, Peter Santilli.
UPDATE, Sept. 6: Brokeback Oregon goes on trial starting tomorrow. High Country News reviews the bad history of the Ammonites.

And, it notes that even other defenders of the New Sagebrush Rebellion or whatever we call it are perplexed at the legal strategery of Ryan and Ammon Bundy, above all others in the case.

UPDATE, March 8: The state district attorney reviewing the death of LaVoy Finicum says that all Oregon State Police acted approriately, BUT ... one FBI agent on scene allegedly lied about not firing his weapon and may have gotten cover-up help from fellow agents. There needs to be some firings, if this is true; all this has done is pour more gasoline on the fire of conspiracy thinkers.

More here on the backgrounds of the people indicted so far.

UPDATE, Feb. 11: We may be near the end! Cliven Bundy, demonstrating where his kids got their mix of stupidity and arrogance, was arrested in Portland last night after leaving the theoretical security of his ranch.

And now, the remaining four jamokes reportedly are going to surrender, though they have yet to do that.

They HAVE, though, demonstrated an increasing level of childishness.

Update, Feb. 3: Counting Ammon Bundy, at least 10 defendants have now been indicted. The indictments are currently under seal, but should be unsealed tomorrow.

Accused in the conspiracy so far are Ammon Bundy, 40, of Emmett, Idaho, his brother, Ryan Bundy, 43, of Bunkerville, Nevada, Ryan W. Payne, 32, of Anaconda, Montana, Brian Cavalier, 44, of Bunkerville, Nevada,  Shawna Cox, 59, of Kanab, Utah, Joseph O'Shaughnessy, 43, of Cottonwood, Arizona, Pete Santilli, 50, of Cincinnati, Jason Patrick, 43, of Bonaire, Georgia,  Duane Ehmer, 45, of Irrigon, Dylan Anderson, 34, of Provo, Utah, and Jon Ritzheimer, 32, of Peoria, Arizona.

Update, Jan. 26: Ammon Bundy, Ryan Bundy and five other Ammonites have reportedly been arrested, with one dead after exchange of gunfire with federal and state officials.

The dead man? "Lonesome cows" guy and Ammonites spokescritter LaVoy Finicum. He said he'd rather die than be arrested. He got his wish.
Now, he's already being made a martyr. Contra the likes of a Doug Henwood on the left, the Ammonites were going to create martyrs out of whoever they could, no matter what.

The simple fact is that Finicum never had to do any of this in the first place.

They were also going to claim things like they are now about Fincecum, that he was allegedly shot after surrendering. For all we know, he was committing suicide by cop.

This happened on the way to a community meeting in John Day, in another county, where, per this piece, the sheriff there is apparently a Posse Comitatus type guy.

The fact that the "jamokes" were apparently either dumb enough, or arrogant enough, to try to, or think they could, drive 100 miles from Malheur National Wildlife Refuge to John Day, and hope they'd go scot-free, speaks volumes all by itself. Speaking of, there's your seven arrested jamokes, and one jamokette.

Indeed, that squares with the John Day meeting. The feds and Oregon State Police figured that this would be a good time to make their arrests, with them out of Harney County, and figuring they were in the clear from police action. And, per this new story, the feds just monitored their postings on Facebook and other social media, for when to spring the trap and how. Regular readers of this blog know how much I love petard-hoisting.

Five were arrested at the initial traffic stop, about halfway between Malheur and John Day. They are Ammon Bundy, 40, of Emmett, Idaho; Ryan Bundy, 43, of Bunkerville, Nevada; Brian Cavalier, 44, of Bunkerville; Shawna Cox, 59, of Kanab, Utah; and Ryan Payne, 32, of Anaconda, Montana. Oregon State Police later arrested in Burns Joseph Donald O’Shaughnessy, a 45-year-old occupier from Cottonwood, Arizona, known as “Captain,” during a separate event, and after that, Peter Santilli — a 50-year-old from Cincinnati, Ohio. 

In addition, Jon Eric Ritzheimer, 32, has voluntarily surrendered in Arizona.

And, per the petard-hoisting link, the FBI arrested on Wednesday were Duane Leo Ehmer, 45, of Irrigon, Oregon; Dylan Wade Anderson, 34, of Provo, Utah; and Jason S. Patrick, 43, of Bonaire, Georgia, one of the worst.
It's unknown how many Ammonites remain at Malheur. It's also unknown as of Tuesday night how much, if at all, the state and federal law enforcement have tightened the corridor around the refuge in general and around the visitor center in particular. Here's a list of the leading occupiers, which is now down to about five, after those latest arrests.

Update 1A., Jan. 27: The feds have finally done the smart thing (which will be easier with smaller numbers) and sealed off the refuge. Officials have checkpoints, and promise arrests of people tryint to enter. However, despite an initial claim by The Guardian that power would be shut off two and a half weeks ago, it and water remain on.

Per that link, I also have more reason to loathe Obama on lack of interest in, or misunderstanding of, Western issues. His press spox, Josh Earnest, was either woefully ignorant or shoveling shit when he claimed the takeover of federal property was purely a local law enforcement matter.

Update 1B, Jan. 27: Ammon Bundy, through his lawyer, has told the Ammonites to end the Oregon Standoff and go home. Also per that link, law enforcement said that Finicum was reaching for a gun he had in his waistband. Maybe it was suicide by cop.

And, so far, reportedly, those remaining Ammonites, now a splinter sub-subgroup of a splinter subgroup, say they're staying. And being vigilant beer drinkers and pot smokers, on video, while allegedly leaving behind guns in the post-arrest paranoia. That all would add some kinky fun to the #BundyEroticFanFic idea; my blogging contribution to that is here.

Meanwhile, Ammonites now being kept out of Malheur are threatening cop-killings. That same link says 7-12 Ammonites still on site.

Per that same link, Mark McConnell, friends on Facebook with an Ammonite insider but not the Ammonites' radicalism squared, said insiders' claims about Finicum being shot with hands up simply aren't true, but rather than he tried to drive off from the police stop. That, of course, won't stop conspiracy thinkers, who claim stuff like cops firing 120 times at him. That's even as the conspiracy thinker site with the linked story admits McConnell was the driver of the other vehicle. Yes, he notes that after the Finicum truck fled law enforcement, he didn't see the "throwdown," but was an eyewitness to Finicum evading arrest. Even IF 120 shots were fired, per McConnell's comments, it was likely after further resisting. Besides, unless Finicum got many, many miles away, McConnell and others would be able to hear the number of gunshots fired.

Refudiating them? Here's the actual, unedited video of Finicum's truck being stopped:

Forward the video to about the 8 minute mark. That's where Finicum takes off from the original traffic stop. There's a roadblock about a mile ahead of that, though. He tries to avoid it, buries his pickup in snow plowed to the side. He then gets out, first with his hands up, but then, about 15 seconds after that, reaches down to his body or waistband area. IMO, either suicide by cop or that combined with wanting to take a couple out, or maybe just wanting to take a couple out, despite his "I'll die before jail" claim.

Per Gary Bretzing, Oregon SAC for the FBI, Finicum had a 9mm handgun in an inside pocket of the jacket he was wearing.

Several shots were fired, that's obvious, even with no sound. But 120? Not even close.

Nobody else tried to get out, though the driver's side back door could have been opened just as much as Finicum's driver's door. Whether passengers knew he planned something like this or not, I don't know. Law enforcement couldn't approach Finicum after he'd been shot, of course, until everybody else exited and surrendered.

He's shot at about the 9:30 mark. The passengers start coming out and surrendering at the 10:30 mark.

And, of course, had there been a real conspiracy, not only would the FBI not show us the video, nobody would have survived.

Back to the original post.


We're now at the end of the third week, and the start of the fourth, on Ammon Bundy and the other jamokes, asshats, or bags of dicks who have taken over a portion of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, and resolution seems no nearer.

And, I may be typing that same phrase on occasion in the future, having done a first and a second serious post, as well as a BundyEroticFanFic send-up.)

The reason that I am here typing this again, and expect to be doing so in the future is twofold.

One is the jamokes.

The other is Dear Leader, aka Preznit Kumbaya, aka Philip Nolan 2.0, The Man Without a Pair of Balls.

Part of this traces back to Washington, D.C, per The Guardian two weeks ago. It reported that Dear Leader was allegedly going to shut off the power there by Monday. That's as in Monday, Jan. 11. Almost 2 weeks ago. Guess that's about as factual as Tricky Dick's secret plan to end the Vietnam War. Shock me.

Now, the governor of Oregon, Kate Brown, has called on Dear Leader to grow a pair.
"The residents of Harney County have been overlooked and underserved by federal officials' response thus far. I have conveyed these very grave concerns directly to our leaders at the highest levels of our government: the U.S. Department of Justice and the White House," she said at a news conference. 
Exasperated by a tense situation that has caused fear among local residents since it began Jan. 2, Brown said, "This spectacle of lawlessness must end, and until Harney County is free of it, I will not stop insisting that federal officials enforce the law."

She's right to be exasperated.

That said, President Obama is a good neoliberal. Maybe her demand for him to "pay up" for state expenses will prod him.
She said the occupation has cost Oregon taxpayers nearly half a million dollars. She didn't say what those costs entailed. 
"We'll be asking federal officials to reimburse the state for these costs," she said.
There you go. If only ...

County Judge Steve Grasty also sounds exasperated, and also rightly so. Cut off the power? Hell, he'd settle for The Man Without a Pair of Balls™ blocking the roads into Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. (No, not even that has been done yet.)

There's a related problem, which I've mentioned in these pages a couple of times.

That is that Obama, setting aside climate change, if not the least environmental president since Tricky Dick Nixon, to speak more narrowly, is in my opinion the least outdoors-loving or natury president since then. He just doesn't really "get" the Western states. And, I'm not speaking from the perspective of the Bundys. I'm speaking from the perspective of nature lovers who live there, vacation there, or do both, and love all that it offers, while known that federal lands are a trust that states don't have the resources to adequately preserve and that most private citizens would overuse and destroy instead of preserving.

Speaking of that, the ongoing occupation of the office of "carp lady" Linda Beck is hindering her ongoing battle against the carp, an invasive species — a battle heartily supported by many locals.

And, with that said, a few updated observations about the Oregon situation, aka Oregon Held Hostage.

(Note: For #BrokebackOregon or #BundyEroticFanFic, go to this blog post with some quite purplish, and turgid, prose.)

No comments: