According to KATU 2, Ammon Bundy, arrested yesterday by federal and local authorities, spoke through his attorney, Mike Arnold, to the remaining insurrectionists at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge, telling them to go home to their families.
Bundy was not able to do so himself because, according to KATU 2, he and the others arrested yesterday were “taken to Portland and booked into the Multnomah County Jail and made their first appearance in federal court on felony charges.”
There, the judge ruled they remain in federal custody because, sensibly, he realizes there is a chance they would not show up in court.
They have already demonstrated their lack of respect for federal authority, after all. A look at the group’s Facebook page will demonstrate to readers just how delusional these people are, talking about common thievery as a “principled defense of liberty.”
While remaining occupiers are engaging in various doomsday scenarios and calling on militia to rally to them and kill anyone who tries to stop them, Bundy realizes the situation is now different than that which has applied since they took control of the federal property on January 2:
“I’m asking the federal government to allow the people at the refuge to go home without being prosecuted,” Bundy said through his attorney Mike Arnold, who stood outside court to read Bundy’s statement. “To those remaining at the refuge, I love you. Let us take this fight from here. Please stand down. Please stand down. Go home and hug your families. This fight is ours for now in the courts. Please go home.”
This includes, presumably, his own wife Lisa, who is at the refuge. Lisa Bundy apparently does not agree with her husband according to the group’s Facebook page, which posted this Wednesday night:
ALERT! From Ammon’s wife, Lisa: Ammon would not have called for the patriots to leave. We have lost a life but we are not backing down. He didn’t spill his blood in vain! Hold your ground… Ranchers come and stand! Committee of Safety come and stand! Militia come and stand!
The post has since apparently been taken down. With their leadership gone, the dynamics of what might be driving events in the refuge buildings is unknown. But the situation is unraveling in Oregon. With its leadership in custody and federal authorities closing in, rats are fleeing the sinking ship.
The FBI said eight people left Wednesday, and of that eight, three were arrested on felony conspiracy charges: Duane Leo Ehmer, 45, of Irrigon, Oregon, Dylan Wade Anderson, 34, of Provo, Utah and Jason S. Patrick, 43, of Bonaire, Georgia. Several more vehicles left before checkpoints were established.
Not everybody, apparently, wanted to go out like Butch and Sundance. Greg Bretzing, special agent in charge of Oregon, said “I will say that the armed occupiers have been given ample opportunity to leave the refuge peacefully [and] … opportunities to negotiate.”
Bretzing, speaking at a press conference in Burns, Oregon, went on to say:
“As outsiders to Oregon, they have been given the opportunities to return to their families and work through the normal legal process to air their grievances. Instead, these individuals have chosen to threaten and intimidate the America they profess to love and, through criminal actions, bring these consequences upon themselves.”
After reading Bundy’s statement, attorney Arnold said Bundy just wants the whole thing to be over:
“Mr. Bundy wants to be able to get back out, get back to work. He has no intent to go back to Malheur County. He wants to go home, be with his family and go through this process with his team.”
This, apparently, is not the goal of others, to, having made their point about federal control of public lands, to simply go home and let the courts decide. This is not the path of testosterone.
In a statement, the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Heidi Beirich, Intelligence Project Director said:
“We are relieved that the ringleaders of the Malheur occupation are now in custody. The tragic loss of life is not surprising given that the armed insurrection has reached this point. It is critical that the federal government prosecute those involved in the Oregon standoff so that the antigovernment movement understands that there is a price to pay for their reckless and unlawful behavior. The failure to do so in Bunkervillle in 2014 emboldened not only Cliven Bundy’s sons, but the entire movement, and led to the situation we’re facing today. We hope that the remaining occupiers and law enforcement reach a peaceful resolution.”
Cliven Bundy, in Los Angeles when he got word of his son’s arrest, said “Isn’t this a wonderful country we live in?” Actions have consequences. It was the lack of consequence of Cliven Bundy’s own insurrection that led direction to the actions of his son, his eventual arrest, and the death of LaVoy Finicum.
Finicum, whatever bizarre fantasies militia apologists want to weave, did not die a hero, did not die a patriot, but was a man who violated federal law, who, while claiming to defend property rights violated the property rights of others, and, when he refused to surrender, paid the ultimate price.
The whole misbegotten adventure has been a foolish waste of both lives and resources, and it’s time for it to end.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.