Your columnist, Kevin Foley, is indulging in the basest kind of incendiary journalism in his column regarding the recent standoff between armed government paramilitary troops and armed civilian militia.
His use of colorful and inflammatory words and phrases is clearly meant to paint a picture of government employees doing their duty and being beset by hostile civilians armed to the teeth and anxious to start a shooting war. It is a total lie and fabrication on his part, perpetrated with the aid of other liberal writers.
The excuse that a federal court ordered the BLM to round up the man’s cattle in payment of the alleged one million dollars in unpaid grazing fees does not stand up to the smell test. They were not ordered to send paramilitary troops against a civilian. Such an order would have been unlawful. There are legal provisions for accomplishing that through the aid of local authorities.
Further, the government paramilitary forces slaughtered many of the cattle. Exactly how were those dead cattle supposed to be of any value to the government?
As to the presence of armed civilian militia, had the government not sent paramilitary forces against a civilian, there would have been no armed militia. As it was, the only violent acts committed were by the government forces against unarmed civilians, using Tasers and dogs.
No civilian pointed a weapon at any government employee and threatened them. The government forces did, however, threaten to open fire on unarmed civilians advancing on them with theirs hands in the air. Through the foresight of the civilian forces in having their women and children accompany them, such action by the government was averted. They knew that nobody wanted to open fire on a crowd of unarmed civilians men, women and children.
The Bureau of Land Management’s stated mission is: “To sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.”
That being the case, here are some things for which we should be asking for an accounting. “Why does an agency, with such a public serving mission, have armed and trained paramilitary forces on their payroll? If they are not part of the BLM, to which department do they belong on what authority were they acting on behalf of the BLM?”
“Was a formal demand to surrender the cattle in payment of the debt legally prepared and legally delivered to Mr. Bundy prior to the beginning of military action against him?”
No, I am afraid Mr. Foley’s spin is more off base than usual this time. The BLM owns this travesty, not Mr. Bundy, not the militia and certainly not the media.
Nettie Helen Stemm