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Threats, Intimidation and Bullying by Federal Land Managing Agencies

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posted on Jan, 17 2016 @ 12:01 PM
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Threats, Intimidation and Bullying by Federal Land Managing Agencies

That's not my title. That's the title given by the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Public Lands to this transcript of the congressional oversight hearing in October 2013.


Let me begin, if I could, by saying how happy I am to have the witnesses here who will be speaking to us. Today we are going to hear about a number of troubling cases in which Federal land managing agencies have employed abusive tactics to extort rural families into giving up property rights, or to bully farmers and ranchers into making concessions to which the Federal agency had no legal right.


That was actually just the first of two such congressional hearings; I could not find a transcript of the second hearing in July 2014 from a government website (or anywhere), only this very brief summary:

Federal Land Managers Intimidation, Bullying Threaten Citizens Rights, Create a Hostile Environment


Today, the Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulations held an oversight hearing on “Threats, Intimidation and Bullying by Federal Land Managing Agencies.” This hearing continued Committee oversight into bullying by federal land management agencies and federal law enforcement agencies on private, state, and federal lands. State and local governments, ranchers, business owners, and private citizens have been subject to threats, lack of cooperation, and numerous unfair or heavy-handed tactics which threaten public safety, the environment, endangered species, and the livelihoods of communities. Congressional oversight is necessary to provide an effective check on federal officials who abuse their regulatory powers.


The first hearing was held over two years ago. The second hearing was held 18 months ago. But congress has done nothing, and the arrogance and abusiveness of federal officials has only gotten worse. Even to the extent that they claim and act as if they are the only and ultimate controlling legal authority. According to Rep Greg Walden (the sitting congress critter for the region where the Oregon standoff is currently taking place):


See, the bureaucracy wants to interpret the laws we write in ways they want, and in this case they were wrong, not once, but twice. Then, a couple of years ago, I learned that, despite the fact we created the first cow-free wilderness in the United States under this law, and said clearly in this law that it would be the responsibility of the government to put up fencing to keep the cows out, as part of the agreement, the Bureau of Land Management said: No, we are not going to follow that law. And they told the ranchers they had to build the fence.



Now, there aren't many times, Mr. Speaker, in this job when you can say I know what the intent of the law was, but in this case I could because I wrote the law, I knew the intent.


In another case in Nevada (not the Bundys), a judge also found fault with the federal agencies, and what would be criminal conduct if any of use engaged in such activity:


Judge Jones said he found that “the government and the agents of the government in that locale, sometime in the ’70s and ’80s, entered into a conspiracy, a literal, intentional conspiracy, to deprive the Hages of not only their permit grazing rights, for whatever reason, but also to deprive them of their vested property rights under the takings clause, and I find that that’s a sufficient basis to hold that there is irreparable harm if I don’t … restrain the government from continuing in that conduct.



The court noted, “There is great probability that the Government will continue to cite Defendants and potentially impound Defendant’s cattle in the future in derogation of their water rights and those statutory privileges of which the Government has arbitrarily and vindictively stripped them.



In fact, Judge Jones accused the federal bureaucrats of racketeering under the federal RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corruption Organizations) statute, and accused them as well of extortion, mail fraud, and fraud, in an effort “to kill the business of Mr. Hage.


That's not even the worst of what their lawless tyranny has wrought (and continues to wreak):


Within a few weeks of the Hammonds' sentencing, the BLM started multiple fires that killed and injured cattle, burned homes, and burned other private property. According to the BLM, they were trying to “stop” the spread of a lightning-caused fire that ended up burning 719,000 acres.

That's not true, according to ranchers in the area who recorded the actions of the BLM. In the video, you can see the BLM agents intentionally surround a ranch with drip torches, even as the rancher is building a fire break to protect his cattle and property. "The BLM burned most of the summer feed needed for the cattle." The unattended fire set by the BLM burned toward Frenchglen, a small town. “Burning Frenchglen is what the BLM said they would do.” Cattle are cornered by the BLM fire. 11 head of cattle are dead. You will see a home catching fire and burning to the ground. You will see fences, power poles burning up. The BLM stated they didn’t have enough personnel to control the fire. Yet, 2 miles down the road, about a dozen pumpers are sitting around eating snacks. BLM keeps lighting up more fires, apparently determined to burn everybody out. BLM agents threaten to arrest ranchers trying to protect their homes/cattle. BLM agents continue to set fires within 100 feet of corral filled with cattle. BLM agents don’t care they are being filmed. They have been trying to drive the ranchers off their land for years. This BLM fire injured and reportedly killed 80 cattle, put ranchers trying to save their cattle in extreme danger, burned homes and structures, power poles, fences, and threatened the town of Frenchglen. Even though all the fires were set by BLM and most were left unattended, the BLM refused to pay for the loss of the cattle, homes, fences, and corrals. While the federal government is burning up cattle, homes, and terrorizing entire communities, the Hammonds are being prosecuted as “Arsenal Terrorists” by the federal government for saving land, homes, and cattle, and harming no one.
Source

All of the above (and more) is why I cannot/will not condemn the Bundys, or the Hammonds, or the Oregon Occupiers, or anyone and everyone else trying to fight federal government abuse and tyranny. I cannot trust these federal agencies in practice or in spirit, including -- especially! -- in these cases. The feds themselves have made peaceful revolution impossible; natural law (and JFK) tells us that violent revolution is now inevitable. And yes, there are brave and bold patriots out there ready to put their lives and livelihoods at risk to fight this government abuse and tyranny.

(continued in next post)




posted on Jan, 17 2016 @ 12:02 PM
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a reply to: Boadicea

(continued from above post)

Who? Well, besides the Bundys, Hammonds, Militias, etc., there are the Oathkeepers:

Warning to U.S. Military and Federal LEOs: Do Not Follow Orders to “Waco” Ammon Bundy Occupation, or Risk Civil War

This open letter is addressed primarily to "the entire U.S. military, but especially to the military Special Operations Command and community," and to federal LEOs, from Stewart Rhodes, founder of the Oathkeepers, and its members, "combat arms and special operations veterans, along with veteran Sheriffs and police officers."


The Ammon Bundy led occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon must be handled as a normal, non-crisis, law enforcement matter, and preferably by Oregon Sheriffs (who are organized as the Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association), and their deputies, together with the local community there in Harney County, OR. The locals can resolve this, if given enough time. The Oregon Sheriffs can resolve this, if given enough time.

This situation must not be handled in a military or paramilitary fashion, using military assets, military rules of engagement, or otherwise attempting to end it suddenly by use of dynamic assault, resulting in catastrophic loss of life, as has occurred twice in recent American history, with horrific results (at Ruby Ridge in 1992, and at Waco Texas in 1993). If you do it “Waco” style here, you risk pushing this nation over the edge into a civil war, because there are “no more free Wacos.”


The letter goes on to point out that his is NOT an emergency situation, unless THEY make it so; that "occupation of an empty building is essentially" civil-disobedience much like the political left has engaged in for decades, from "anti-war and civil rights protesters in the 60s and 70s (including a nineteen month occupation of Alcatraz by American Indian activists), to Occupy Wall Street Movement and Black Lives Matter activists today."

The Oathkeepers are not alone.

No more free Wacos. A National Three Percent Declaration Regarding the Situation in Harney County, Oregon.

Letter to U.S. Military and Federal LEOs From 1st Sgt. Mack: “Do not become the very enemy that you swore to defend this nation against” in OR

Letter to U.S. Military From SGM Joseph A. Santoro (Ret), Oath Keepers Operations NCO, Writing from Burns, OR

This will come to a breaking point sooner or later, one way or another. We can do it the hard way or the easy way; the right way or the wrong way. But we need to understand that David is taking on the Goliath. If we turn a blind eye to the federal abuse which brought this situation about, we do so to our own shame and detriment.


edit on 17-1-2016 by Boadicea because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 17 2016 @ 12:13 PM
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This will come to a breaking point sooner or later, one way or another. We can do it the hard way or the easy way; the right way or the wrong way.
What's the "easy way?"
Roll over? Just give them what they want? This stuff?
pbs.twimg.com...



Or this?

"Citizens for Constitutional Freedom request Harney County Government petition and give notice to the Federal Government for the transfer and unconditional return to local control of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge as allowed by Article 4, Section 3, Clause 2," of the U.S. Constitution.

"Harney County Government in equal Partnership with the Burns Paiute Tribe will manage and administer this publicly owned land to the values and vision of the local community."


Ah, a partnership with the savages. Here is the thing Bundy started (Harney County Committee of Safety) actually thinks of American indians.

Prior to the Revolutionary War, Committees of Safety existed in the frontier or wilderness areas where the government did not provide any troops or other protection against Indian attacks. The community got together and built stockades, enrolled militia, commissioned officers, and set watches, all to secure the property and lives of the association members from threats from the savages.
www.hccommitteeofsafety.org...

edit on 1/17/2016 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 17 2016 @ 12:25 PM
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a reply to: Boadicea

Here are some more links detailing the bad behavior of the feds/BLM/FWS. Some are regarding their abusiveness in general, others are about specific violations against the people, including the Hammonds in Oregon. Many of the comments following the articles contain as much or more information as the article, so please do read the comments as well.

Oregon militants: Walden takes BLM to woodshed - transcript

Editorial: BLM got fencing wrong on the Steens

WTF Is Happening in the Oregon Militia Standoff, Explained

Oregon ranchers' fight with feds sparks militias' interest

A harsh toll: How tough mandatory sentences inspired Harney County occupation

Full back story re: Armed militia stationing at closed Wildlife Park Headquarters (Malheur National Wildlife Refuge) around Harney Basin in Oregon

Where there's smoke

Standoff at Oregon wildlife refuge is part of long dispute over Western lands

In Oregon, frustration over federal land rights has been building for years

Fed eral Land Managers' Intimidation, Bullying Threaten Citizens Rights, Create a Hostile Environment

BLM Agents in Oregon Burned up Cattle, Homes, Buildings, Fences, Grassland

Armed BLM ‘Gestapo’ Threatening Rural Citizens

Property Rights and Property Seizures

Westerners call for oversight to combat federal land managers

National Feds rile ranchers by fencing off water for cattle — to protect a jumping mouse!


The following are from the Bundy family website. I know some will immediately cast aspersions on the source, and fair enough, but it does give us a clear picture of why they feel compelled to stand up and fight.

Violations, Corruptions and Abuses in the Hammond Case (Bill of Rights)

Facts & Events in the Hammond Case
edit on 17-1-2016 by Boadicea because: Deleted repeat link



posted on Jan, 17 2016 @ 12:34 PM
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a reply to: Phage


What's the "easy way?"


By addressing and redressing the clear abusive violations of the federal government and its agencies, establishing effective oversight, demanding accountability, and implementing appropriate civil and criminal penalities on violators.

When we've cleaned up our own act, we can rationally and reasonably establish and maintain appropriate standards, expectations and penalties for the little guy.

What would you suggest? Congressional action? Executive action? Power of the people action?

I'm going with all of the above -- and any other practical and productive ideas anyone has.



posted on Jan, 17 2016 @ 12:34 PM
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a reply to: Boadicea
You seem to have mixed up a lot of stuff there, and included some duplicates. Perhaps if you could avoid the gish galloping...



posted on Jan, 17 2016 @ 12:35 PM
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a reply to: Boadicea



By addressing and redressing the clear abusive violations of the federal government and its agencies, establishing effective oversight, demanding accountability, and implementing appropriate civil and criminal penalities on violators.

Sure. That would be good. But that is not what Bundy is asking for, is it?



posted on Jan, 17 2016 @ 12:40 PM
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originally posted by: Phage
a reply to: Boadicea
You seem to have mixed up a lot of stuff there, and included some duplicates. Perhaps if you could avoid the gish galloping...


I removed the one repeat link I found for you... You will have to be more specific about anything else I repeated or mixed up... and I have no idea what the gish galloping is!



posted on Jan, 17 2016 @ 12:44 PM
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a reply to: Phage


Sure. That would be good. But that is not what Bundy is asking for, is it?


I obviously need to be more specific... this thread is not about what we should or should not do about the Bundys. This is about what we should or should not do about the Feds, their agencies, and their bad behavior.



posted on Jan, 17 2016 @ 12:48 PM
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a reply to: Boadicea
Then I guess you should have left this part out.

Warning to U.S. Military and Federal LEOs: Do Not Follow Orders to “Waco” Ammon Bundy Occupation, or Risk Civil War

This open letter is addressed primarily to "the entire U.S. military, but especially to the military Special Operations Command and community," and to federal LEOs, from Stewart Rhodes, founder of the Oathkeepers, and its members, "combat arms and special operations veterans, along with veteran Sheriffs and police officers."

Because it sort of sounds like Bundy is the point. That along with your snippets about the resentencing and all.


But if the thread is about the abuse and misuse of federal authority, I agree, it's bad.




edit on 1/17/2016 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 17 2016 @ 01:11 PM
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a reply to: Phage


Then I guess you should have left this part out... Because it sort of sounds like Bundy is the point. That along with your snippets about the resentencing and all.


Hmmmmm... I see your point. My point in including the information I have is to demonstrate the long-term, ongoing abuse by the feds, and both the actual and potential repercussions of their abusive tactics. The Hammonds and Bundys are most familiar to folks, having gotten the most national publicity, but I also included other situations to try and show they are not the only such situations.

What could I have done better for you as a reader to keep the focus where I wanted to keep it?


But if the thread is about the abuse and misuse of federal authority, I agree, it's bad.


The biggest problem I see is that there is no oversight... no one to keep them in line. But I really don't know what the appropriate course of action is either. I would like to see a multi-faceted approach, from several agencies and all three branches of government, ensuring checks and balances of power.



posted on Jan, 17 2016 @ 01:29 PM
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a reply to: Boadicea



The biggest problem I see is that there is no oversight... no one to keep them in line.

BLM falls under the Department of the Interior. Sally Jewel would be the top dog.

But, to give you an idea of how not cut and dried things may be, that looking at one side is not going to give you easy answers:
www.denverpost.com...
blog.humanesociety.org...
Damned if you do, damned if you don't.


There are very many issues and very many different interests involved but as I said actual abuses and oversteps need to be dealt with. But what Bundy is doing will not help that. Nor should it be assumed that all complaints are valid.

edit on 1/17/2016 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 17 2016 @ 01:51 PM
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a reply to: Phage

Oh no... the wild horses... and burros. I read a little about it already. Like the roundups in Oregon for the benefit of cattle ranchers contracted to Whole Foods. Didn't have the heart or stomach to read too much of it though. That kind of stuff literally gives me nightmares for days.

There is so much bad behavior by so many people for so many reasons. Including federal agencies forsaking our best interests for the best interests of corporations and political allies. It all must be addressed and redressed -- and I'm convinced that we must start with the regulatory and enforcement agencies.

But I'll go read your links now... thank you... kinda sorta


ETA:


But what Bundy is doing will not help that. Nor should it be assumed that all complaints are valid.


In a direct sense, no, what the Bundys are doing will not help... indirectly, however, it is helping by shining a big fat spotlight on the past and current abuses of the feds, and the inevitable repercussions. I desperately hope and pray that someone somewhere takes this opportunity to offer genuine practical and productive reform measures.

I'm sure there are good guys and bad guys on both sides -- both the government agencies and the private sector. I'm also sure that there's collusion between the bad guys in the government agencies and the bad guys in the private sector. I've read enough to question if the current use of these federal lands is really the best use of the land, but I also question their preferred use of the lands, and especially their methods. But before all of the relative and resultant issues can be addressed, we must address/redress/reform the managing agencies.
edit on 17-1-2016 by Boadicea because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 17 2016 @ 01:57 PM
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I believe a serious investigation needs to be done against the BLM and their ties to certain corrupt government in Congress.

However, who can be trusted to do such an investigation with subpoena power?



posted on Jan, 17 2016 @ 02:00 PM
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a reply to: Boadicea




Like the roundups in Oregon for the benefit of cattle ranchers contracted to Whole Foods.

Wait. Isn't it the cattle ranchers (like Bundy) who are complaining about the abuses of the BLM? Or just the "abuses" that they don't like?

Cut and dried? No. Many issues, many people, many interests.



posted on Jan, 17 2016 @ 02:04 PM
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originally posted by: Informer1958
I believe a serious investigation needs to be done against the BLM and their ties to certain corrupt government in Congress.

However, who can be trusted to do such an investigation with subpoena power?


A "Special" Prosecutor.




posted on Jan, 17 2016 @ 02:11 PM
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originally posted by: Phage
a reply to: Boadicea




Like the roundups in Oregon for the benefit of cattle ranchers contracted to Whole Foods.

Wait. Isn't it the cattle ranchers (like Bundy) who are complaining about the abuses of the BLM? Or just the "abuses" that they don't like?

Cut and dried? No. Many issues, many people, many interests.


My apologies. I didn't mean to ignore your concerns about the private parties, and added this to my first response (just too late!):


In a direct sense, no, what the Bundys are doing will not help... indirectly, however, it is helping by shining a big fat spotlight on the past and current abuses of the feds, and the inevitable repercussions. I desperately hope and pray that someone somewhere takes this opportunity to offer genuine practical and productive reform measures. I'm sure there are good guys and bad guys on both sides -- both the government agencies and the private sector. I'm also sure that there's collusion between the bad guys in the government agencies and the bad guys in the private sector. I've read enough to question if the current use of these federal lands is really the best use of the land, but I also question their preferred use of the lands, and especially their methods. But before all of the relative and resultant issues can be addressed, we must address/redress/reform the managing agencies.


I think that's responsive to your very valid and legitimate problems with the ranchers and others.

Let me just add that I believe at least some of the Hammonds' neighbors are benefitting greatly from the feds bad behavior -- yes, in cahoots with the BLM/FWS/EPA -- and do not want to change the status quo.



posted on Jan, 17 2016 @ 02:13 PM
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a reply to: Boadicea



Let me just add that I believe at least some of the Hammonds' neighbors are benefitting greatly from the feds bad behavior -- yes, in cahoots with the BLM/FWS/EPA -- and do not want to change the status quo.

Of course. If you're not on my side it means you're on their side. Because, of course, there are only two sides.



posted on Jan, 17 2016 @ 02:14 PM
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a reply to: Phage

It comes a time in our country when enough is enough.

I have yet to hear anything positives about the BLM. Many of these men working for the BLM and their behavior remind me of corrupt police officers who abuses their powers.

It's pretty much the same but, in this case there is no accountability with many of these gun toting sociopaths.

My opinions is, it's time to do away with the BLM and turn over all the land to the States.



posted on Jan, 17 2016 @ 02:19 PM
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a reply to: Informer1958



I have yet to hear anything positives about the BLM.

Right. Because good news is not news, is it?




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