Saturday, April 19, 2014

Mike Vanderboegh's Speech at Bunkerville Nevada


Mike Vanderboegh
Pinson, AL
Citizen journalist, breaker of the Fast & Furious scandal story, founder of the Three Percent movement, alleged seditionist, smuggler, insurrectionist, and Eric Holder's least favorite person in the whole world.  I have two mottoes, the first from my friend Kurt Hoffman:  "It is better to be despised by the despicable than admired by the admirable," which certainly applies to Harry Reid, and "When democracy turns to tyranny, the armed citizenry still gets to vote," which in the present context also applies to Harry Reid.


"You mess with such people at your own deadly peril."


My Patriot's Day Speech in Bunkerville Nevada Upon the Occasion of Harry Reid Winning the 2014 "Incitement to Civil War Trophy."





I first would like to say what an honor it is for me to be here in Nevada on this Patriots' Day.  Although I hale these days from the great free state of Alabama, I was born in Michigan and have always considered myself a Wolverine.

You know when I was ten or so, I visited my Grandpa and Grandma Vanderboegh's farm near Lake Michigan one summer for several weeks as we did every summer when I was growing up.  That particular summer, I witnessed a short but acrimonious argument between my grandparents that ended with my grandpa's ignominious retreat out of the house into the safety of the barnyard.  I can't remember what the argument was about, but I followed along,  convinced in my ten-year-old sense of justice that he was right and grandma was wrong.  I tried to persuade him to go back in and restate his case.  He turned on me, leaned down into my face and said these words of wisdom that I never forgot: "Son, you don't poke a wolverine with a sharp stick unless you want your balls ripped off."

Now I was just ten but I knew that Grandpa was somewhat of an expert about wolverines and testicles because when he was young, he'd run into a momma wolverine in her den when he was out hunting and she had darn near got his.  His shotgun was knocked out of his hands and he had to kill that wolverine with his hunting knife but almost bled to death from the wound on his inner thigh before he could stagger home.  My father used to delight in telling the story about how he almost got prevented from existence by the inch or so that that momma wolverine had missed the family jewels.  I also knew that Grandpa wasn't talking about vicious animals but that people could act just as bad if you provoked them.  People can be wolverines when they need to.  I think y'all know a little about that.  I'm sure that the BLM rangers were grateful they got out of Clark County with their testicles intact -- even if their manhood was somewhat shamed in the process.

"History is written not by the historians but by the people who lived it." 

So says William Hallahan, in his book The Day the American Revolution Began about the 19th of April, 1775.  And as I stand here today in the Nevada desert, I see a whole host of historians who lived it --and wrote it.

Now what Hallahan says is true, but I would refine it further.  History is written not by the historians BUT BY THE PEOPLE WHO LIVED IT AND WHO MADE IT HAPPEN.

This is nothing new.  Throughout our own history, these self-made historians are most often just  simple, ordinary people, people who are nothing special  - not rich, not powerful in and of themselves, not influential, not even respected by those who claim to be their betters -- but people who know who they are; people who know who God is; people who know the difference between right and wrong, good and evil, tyranny and liberty and cannot be persuaded otherwise by all the seductive lies that others tell to hide their evil intentions behind. 

In ordinary times it takes very bad behavior on the part of a government to provoke such people into action for they are first and foremost pragmatic realists.Knowing who they are, and how the world works, and of the chronic follies and corruptions of man, they don't expect much from governments, content to live their lives, raise their families, enjoy life and love and friendship, to worship God, to work hard and make a living around and despite those follies and corruptions, because they understand that THAT is what makes life important and worth living. 

When a father sees his kids at play, learning with breathless excitement the everyday miracles that make up God's world -- when he sees his wife's love and care for them in a million ways despite all the aggravations and distractions of daily life -- when at the end of a long day he sees her exhausted and distracted -- no longer the young girl he married but with this inner core of steel wrapped in boundless love  -- when the light hits her mussed-up hair and her careworn face just right -- well, a man will do anything to protect those moments, to shield those people he loves from the evil that he knows always lurks right outside the door.   He will do anything -- ANYTHING -- to protect their future and the time-tested principles that secure that future. 

And I tell you now -- and I proclaim to the world -- to all the would-be tyrants in this country who would victimize such honest, simple people with their evil corruptions, their follies, their schemes of power and their insatiable appetites for other people's liberty, property and lives -- 

YOU MESS WITH SUCH PEOPLE AT YOUR OWN DEADLY PERIL.

Yes, history is written by the people who lived it and made it happen, but it is also true that such people , at any time in our history, never have been more than a determined minority.  In the war of independence that we celebrate here today, there were never more than three percent of the American colonists who actively took the field against the forces of the King.  Although this was long before opinion polls, they probably represented no more than a third of the total population.  Another third supported the King of England and a further third blew with the wind and took what came.  When I founded the modern Three Percent movement it was this determined minority that I had in mind.

Today's Three Percent have drawn a line, just as you here drew a line, that we will not cross.  We Three Percenters state very plainly to would-be tyrants that we will not disarm.  They cannot convince us.  They cannot intimidate us. They can kill us, if they think they can, but they should remember that we'll shoot back.  That is the calculation that you presented the federal government the other day.  They came to force you with state-sponsored violence. They came to bend you to their will.  But they discovered that you would not be bent.  On that day, they didn't like the odds.  But the odds would have meant nothing without your determination.  And you WERE determined.

As I said, in ordinary times it takes very bad behavior on the part of a government to provoke such people into action -- BUT THESE ARE NO ORDINARY TIMES.  You know that -- in your head and in your gut -- or you would not be here today.  You would not have accomplished what many thought was flatly impossible a few days and weeks ago.  You know why you came here and stood in the gap, interposing with your own bodies, at the risk of your lives, that dangerous ground between liberty and tyranny.

You know in your inner hearts why each of you came here, I need not explain it to you.  Nor am I going to waste your time running down the particulars of the general indictment of the very bad behavior of the federal government and their lackeys at the state and local level over the past two decades by the corrupt leaders of both political parties.  Others have done so, as I have done myself in other places and times.  It is not necessary here, today, to bore you with the litany of evil actions and malign intent of the self-appointed Mandarin class of collectivists who have been quietly and slowly overthrowing the rule of law and the Founders' Republic for generations now.

What IS necessary is to state the obvious conclusion of that indictment very plainly -- that our present-day so-called leaders have demonstrated themselves to be the domestic enemies of the same Constitution that they swore an oath to uphold -- they are, in fact, the same domestic enemies that the Founders warned us about, that they knew in their wisdom -- from their study of history and their knowledge of fallible men -- who would one day come to try to wreck the enterprise of liberty that the Founders fought and bled and died to secure.  And one further point -- being domestic enemies of the Constitution and the rule of law these evil men and women have declared thereby that they are the enemies of ALL the futures, of ALL the lives, and of ALL the families of those simple, decent people -- of you and me and all who have until now tolerated their increasingly bad behavior.

Indeed, it is because we never effectively pushed them back when we could do so without violence that we find ourselves here, today, with the Founders' original choice on that 19th of April so long ago: are we going to submit and be slaves or shall we fight?  And you, you self-made historians, answered that question here, in the desert, in direct confrontation with the paid lackeys of the most powerful government on the planet.  You were ready to fight, and to die, in answer to that question.  For you are free Americans, all of you.  And as you stood, the other side blinked, and hesitated, and then ran.

You know, we ourselves are as responsible for the present sorry state of affairs as the collectivist revolutionaries who now hold the reins of power and who sent the BLM thugs against the Bundys.  For  decades we never punched them in the nose when we had the chance so they kept pushing us back from the traditional exercise of our God-given, natural and inalienable rights to liberty and property that the Constitution doesn't create but merely codifies.  We never punched them in the nose, politically or otherwise, we just backed up, grumbling. 

Now our backs are to the wall, and it is going to take more than a punch in the nose to recover our lost rights and to dispel this clear and present danger to ourselves, our children and all of our futures.  The collectivists -- who respect and obey NO law that they disagree with --have skillfully used our "law-abidingness" against us.  But now they  have mistaken our previous inaction for a license to further oppress us.  Now, it will take more than a punch in the nose to discourage them.

From Nevada to Colorado to New York and various places in between, they have decided to declare us "law breakers" thinking that once again we will knuckle under.  They discovered here in the Nevada desert -- and they will contiue to discover it elsewhere -- that the law protects them from us far more than it protects us from them.  The only question is, what will be the cost of their education now compared to what it would have been had we come together and acted earlier? 

They blinked and retreated here, for now.  They will try again, if not here then in some other place for some other flimsy tyrannical excuse, some other evil wrapped in an allegedly benevolent lie.  Rest assured, they will try again.  And we must be ready. We must remain vigilant. 

But however we arrived at this place, we ARE here, now, and there is no changing it.  When you stood beneath the bridges we -- all of us, all across the country -- in those long moments we were staring civil war in the face. All over this country at this moment WE ARE STILL STARING CIVIL WAR IN IT'S BLOODY FACE.  To believe otherwise is to whistle past the graveyard of our own history.  We have, to use the blunt words of my Michigan farmer Grandpa Vanderboegh, arrived at "nut cuttin' time."


John Locke said it first and best in his Second Treatise on Government:

“Whenever the legislators endeavor to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience and are left to the common refuge, which God hath provided for all men, against force and violence.”

Now Locke wrote that in the 18th Century, but is there a better description of what the federal government is trying to do here in the west in  the 21st Century than that?  Is there a more accurate description of what  the states of Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland and New York are attempting to do to their own people with firearm registration and confiscation?   They have "put themselves into a state of war with the people" and we, the people, are absolved by their tyrannical actions from any further obedience. 

This is not about tortoises and cattle.  It is not about who controls the vast lands claimed by the federal government.  It is not about "the children" or "common-sense gun safety" or any of the many lies that are spun to conceal the iron fist of arbitrary power.

It is about control.  It is about who serves whom.  We are divided now, as they were in 1775, by the answer to the most fundamental of questions: Does the government serve the people or do the people serve the government?  Who serves whom?  What do you think?


Right.  Now we believe, as did the Founders, that government should serve the people.  It is evident that many others believe differently.  But this is not a question whose differing answers can be compromised, or negotiated or finessed.  It is one or the other -- that of individual liberty codified by the Constitution and the rule of law under the Founders' republic, or the rule of man as represented by the law of the jungle backed up by the iron fist of tyrannical government. 

Harry Reid understands this.  You all saw what he said the other day: "This isn't over," he threatened.  And you know what? He's right.  It can never be over until one side or the other wins.  And don't think he's just talking about the Bundys.  He is promising us all civil war  on a vast scale because state-sponsored violence is the only way they can win the argument with free people, especially free people who are armed and willing to use those arms in defense of liberty.   Ole Dirty Harry understands that.  But he mistakes the character of the people he wishes to victimize and subjugate.  He mistakes you.  He mistakes the true nature of all free Americans who intend to remain free.  And history has shown that mistake to be a terminal one for many tyrants.  For there are laws higher and older than any of Harry Reid's unconstitutional "laws," one of which is the Law of Unintended Consequences. 

You know back in Alabama we understand a thing or two about civil wars. We not only fought IN the War Between the States, but we fought a war WITHIN our state, between former friends and neighbors, and there is no conflict more ghastly.  When the perfumed princes of the Mandarin Class that seeks to rule you propose to make to you knuckle under to their unconstitutional will, they forget these things.  They forget that wars once started, especially civil wars, have a way of spinning out of control of the war makers, a way of eating up the guilty and the innocent alike and they engender hatreds that never go away.

Were Harry Reid right here in front of me -- assuming I could keep y'all from tar and feathering him for a moment -- I'd tell him a story from Alabama's civil war, a story of Jenny Brooks' soap dish,  a story that has particular relevance for him today.  Like all the best stories it has the advantage of being true.

When the United States government determined to remove the Indian tribes from our state in what became the Trail of Tears, the woman who became  known as Jenny Brooks, and later after her remarriage as Aunt Jenny Johnson, was a just slip of a girl, a full-blooded Cherokee whose family declined the honor of obeying the "lawful orders" of the the federal government and hid themselves up in the mountains of north Alabama.  In this, they were assisted by a family friend, a white man named Henry Brooks.  As might be expected, the young girl fell in love with her family's saviour, and later, at the age of 14, she married Henry, a man 20 years her senior.  But the marriage "took", as they say in the hills, and by the time this story really begins in 1863, Jenny was herself in her thirties and she had given Henry eight children, four of whom were boys.

Now Henry Brooks was a unionist like most of his neighbors and they had sent an anti-secession delegate to the convention down in Montgomery in 1861, a young school teacher named Chris Sheats.  When Sheats refused to vote for the Confederacy, he was beaten and jailed by his fellow delegates, and was released after the so-called "unanimous vote" to go back to the hills with the planters' warning that there was plenty more where that came from.  Sheats and the mountain folk of north Alabama tried to be left alone, just as today we want to be left alone, but the government, with its draft laws and tax-in-kind laws that stole food out of the mouths of their children, wouldn't let them alone. 

Those of you who have seen the movie Cold Mountain will recognize a fragment of this story which was borrowed from the Brooks' saga, but that was fiction shoe-horned into a love story.  This is a love story, all right, but of a different sort.

One day in 1863, a Confederate Home Guard party of eight men, duly sworn and heavily armed "law officers" of the Confederate state and national governments came riding down the Byler Road to the Brooks' home place.They surprised Henry Brooks, disarmed him, and began to torture the old man for the whereabouts of his 17 year old son so they could carry the boy off to the war as an unwilling conscript.  Brooks refused to tell them, so they threw a rope around his neck and alternately raised and lowered him from a tree in his front yard, torturing him to tell.  The boy, who was hiding in the barn, couldn't stand it and ran out only to be shot to death by the Home Guard. They then turned their weapons on Henry Brooks still hanging in the tree and "shot him all to pieces."  Jenny and the other seven children were forced to stand and watch as her husband and son, their father and brother, were murdered. When the Home Guard left, they were laughing.

 They were laughing because they mistook the character of the people they victimized.  They mistook the character of Jenny Brooks.

After Jenny had lowered her husband's body out of the tree and laid it out beside that of her oldest son, she gathered her three remaining sons (the youngest one was still suckling at her breast), and had them swear a Cherokee blood oath -- or swore it for them -- that they would not rest until all eight of those murderers -- those duly-appointed law enforcement officers carrying out the will of their government -- were dead.  This began a forty year feud, the last shots of which were fired in McCurtain County Oklahoma in 1904.  In the end, Jenny Brooks had her reckoning -- she kept track of it on a hickory stick. 

On that stick were 7 big notches (the eighth man disappeared, abandoned his family and property, changed his name, and was never seen in north Alabama again).  Interspersed between the big notches were 24 little notches, men, friends, family and neighbors of the Home Guardsmen, who had the misfortune to get in the way of the Brooks' clan and their prey.  So that stick represented 31 dead men. Along the way, Jenny lost all her sons but one and several sons-in-law, to the feud, but she counted herself as satisfied.

Jenny got the first one herself, the leader of the bunch, when she ambushed him a few months later as he rode out from his house, shooting him from his horse.  She dragged him off into the woods, took out her kitchen knife, cut the man's head off and put in a tote sack.  She carried that grisly trophy home, threw it in the lye boiling pot that she used to make soap, cooked it all away until she had nothing left but the man's brain pan, minus even the jawbone.  She then turned it upside down and used it as a soap dish for the rest of her life. 

True story.

Jenny lived on into her nineties, outliving all her sons, and in later years converted to Christianity and became known by the honorific of Aunt Jenny.  She did many good works for the poor in Winston County, and when she was dying hundreds of her church friends and extended family gathered around her cabin to pay homage to the woman who had become the patron saint of the mountain Unionists.  When the moment of her passing was near, her pastor asked Jenny if there was anything else they could do for her, anything else she wanted, fishing, probably, for a confession of her sins.

"Yes," she said weakly, "I'd like to wash my hands."  And so they brought Jenny a pan of water and her soap dish and she washed her hands one last time in that murderer's brain pan before she crossed over to meet God.

That's Winston County Alabama, where Aunt Jenny's descendants still live in considerable numbers and still tell that story today with awe and with pride.  That's what happens in a civil war, I would counsel Harry Reid.  And I would caution him that civil wars haven't gotten any more civilized in the centuries since Jenny made her soap dish.  So Harry and his federal friends -- the war makers and decision takers who think that the rest of us serve them and their power -- those who in Locke's words would put themselves into a state of war against their own people, should be careful  what they wish for.  For like the Home Guard who rode away laughing from the Brooks cabin in 1863, they might just unexpectedly get what they deserve.

And like the bully boys of the BLM, whose violent conduct earned themselves an armed response from an aroused people, they will be astonished when it happens.  But that is only because they forgot the words of that most under-appreciated American poet and philosopher, Frank Zappa, who said in 1965:

Do you love it?
Do you hate it?
There it is,
The way you made it.

Hell, it is said, is the truth perceived too late to do anything about it. 

Harry Reid calls us "domestic terrorists" and promises us "This isn't over."  Based on the warning y'all gave him and his bully boys last week, he should fervently pray that it is.  As for me, I will send him this soap dish, the "Jenny Brooks Trophy for Incitement to Civil War," as a reminder with this message:

Don't poke the wolverine with a sharp stick, Harry, unless you want your balls ripped off.

Thank you.


DML Addresses the Women and Children First Comments - Bundy Ranch


April 19th 1775: The start of the American Revolution

The year is 1775. Unrest has been growing in the colonies. The Boston Massacre that took place just five years earlier is fresh in the memories of many. The protests regarding taxation reached a new height in the form of the Boston Tea Party. Colonists are clamoring for the right to run their own affairs, some going as far as to call for independence from the mother country. The stage is set for an historic conflict.

The Crown decides to put a stop to this. Early in the morning of April 19, 1775, a long column of Regulars starts its march to Concord. Their orders are to destroy muskets, powder, cannon, and other provisions being stockpiled by the rebels on Colonel James Barrett's farm.

The column approaches Lexington as dawn rises to find the militia formed up on the town green. Their goal is not to engage the troops, but to show defiance to the Crown. The British officers are indignant at their risky move and order them to lay down their arms and disperse. Most men disperse. Some do not hear the order and stand fast. None lay down their arms. Suddenly a shot rings out, discipline breaks down, and more shots are fired. When the smoke clears, two militiamen are found shot dead, several more are wounded. The column marches on to Concord.

A few hours later, the Regulars enter Concord. A detachment is sent to secure the North Bridge. The militia had already formed up on the far side of the Bridge, consisting of men not just from Concord, but many nearby towns who had come to defend their homes and lives. Smoke rises from the center of Concord. The militia believes the Regulars are out to burn down the town. The order comes to load their muskets. The men advance towards the Bridge in fine order to the astonishment of the Regulars. The rebels were advancing on the British army! Retreating off the Bridge, the Regulars form into firing positions. As in Lexington, a shot rings out. The Regulars fire. Militiamen fall but they continue their advance. Then the order is given to the militia: "Fire, fellow soldiers, for God's sake fire!".

The American Revolution has begun.

Ranchers vs. Regulators: The Clark County Range War

Pro Libertate


Truth, Justus, and the American Way: Cliven Bundy invites a five-year-old to try on a cowboy hat.

Bunkerville, Nevada –

War came to the Western Range that April, a conflict pitting the forces of order and respectability against a restive band of extremists accused of cheating the government of what it was due. The prohibitively stronger side consisted of regulatory agencies allied with powerful non-governmental organizations determined to control the land and expel small private interests who made productive use of it. The unyielding demands of the political elite were met with the unflinching defiance of rural ranchers, leading to talk of a “range war.”

Eventually the ranchers exhausted the patience of the government, which deployed dozens of heavily armed Regulators to the county under orders to put down the rebellion. This would mean arresting – or shooting – anybody who resisted. Rather than submitting, the rebels – with the support of the county sheriff and the aid of several veterans of the most recent war – mobilized to confront the threat. Citizens coalesced into a militia and rode out on horseback to confront the invaders at their staging area.

To the consternation of the government and the respectable media, the rebels held their ground, forcing the Regulators to retreat.


This, in broad outline, is the story that unfolded at an overpass outside Bunkerville, Nevada on April 12, when hundreds of citizens – confronting paramilitary Regulators who were prepared to gun them down – compelled the BLM to return hundreds of cows the agency had stolen from the family of rancher Cliven Bundy to punish him for failing to pay grazing fees the agency had imposed on him without legitimate authority.

This act of government-licensed cattle rustling was carried out by a roundup company from Nephi, Utah, aided by a paramilitary force of roughly 200 people from the Bureau of Land Management, which is, from a constitutional perspective, a bastard agency.


(All Bunkerville photo credits: Scott Watson.)

Through what must be considered an act of Providence, no lives were lost on April 12.

A bloodier version of the same story played on on the same day 122 years ago in Wyoming's Johnson County: Hundreds of citizens surrounded the TA Ranch, which was the base of operations for dozens of gunmen who had been deputized by the state government, provided with a roster of troublesome local ranchers, and ordered to execute every man whose name was inscribed on the kill list.

In both cases, the aggressors – the BLM and federal comrades in Bunkerville, a corporatist clique called the Wyoming Stock Growers Association in Johnson County – claimed to be acting in the name of the law, which for them was digested to a single arrogant claim: “The land is ours because we say it is.”

Human lives were lost in Wyoming's Johnson County War. So far there have been no human casualties in the BLM's range war against the family and property of rancher Cliven Bundy. To this point, the invaders have had to be content with one assault with a deadly weapon (the Taser attack onAmmon Bundy), an act of aggravated assault on a pregnant woman, and the slaughter of a still-unknown number of the Bundy family's cattle coupled with extensive damage to their property.



“I have certain rights there – range improvements and so forth,” Cliven Bundy told me during an interview near the site of the April 12 standoff.

Although the grazing areas are considered public lands, he continued, “I did have private property there, and there was damage. What the law would do here – they [the Feds] have four Metro [police] officers out there twenty-four hours a day protecting their `property.' A few days ago, though, I had almost 400 cattle out there [under BLM control] and they didn't give a damn about that property.”

At least one bull was shot while securely penned, and an unspecified number of other cattle were killed. In addition, Cliven pointed out, “They tore up water lines and cut water tanks in two.”

“The damage is very extensive,” Cliven's son Ryan told me, holding a complaint he was filing with the Clark County Sheriff's Office. “There were 200 BLM people out there, and they all had off-road vehicles, in addition to the contract cowboys [hired by the Feds to confiscate the cattle] and they have just tromped this ground. Roads meant nothing to them. First they widened the roads with heavy equipment, and then they didn't stay on the roads. They would expect a normal person never to overturn a stone, but these guys have just ravished this land.”

In addition to wrecking the range improvements that the Bundy family was legally entitled to make, the BLM Regulators didn't spare the abode of the incomparably precious desert tortoise, whose preservation was the stated rationale for driving cattle ranching into near-oblivion in Clark County.



“We found several places where their trucks have caved in tortoise dens,” Ryan Bundy told me, his voice laden with weary disgust. “Talk about hypocrisy.”

The BLM was forced to withdraw its armed Regulators without firing a shot on April 12. But the agency has made clear its intention to continue its efforts to drive Bundy – the last of Clark County, Nevada's cattle ranchers – from range land the federal government illegally claims as its own.

“Well, it's not over,” insisted Nevada Senator Harry Reid, who working in concert with his son Rory (a Clark County Commissioner and quondam gubernatorial candidate) and former Reid land-use adviser Neil Kornze (who was approved as BLM director on April 8) has played a central role in the effort to uproot the Bundy family from their land. “We can't have an American people that violate the law and then just walk away from it.”

“We believe in a country in which we are subject to laws and you can't just ignore the laws we don't like,” sniffed Rory Reid. “I think clearly if state and local prosecutors look at this more closely, they're going to find that he broke the law and he should be prosecuted.”

After the retreat on April 12, the BLM sent four ominous-looking certified letters to the Bundy home.


Hereditary commissar Rory Reid.

“I've not opened them,” Cliven Bundy explained to me, a subtle smile tugging at the corner of his mouth. Reports have been put in circulation that the BLM – under the influence of the Reid dynasty – may eventually induce the Sheriff's Office to raid the Bundy family's home.

Cliven has said that if the Sheriff is issued a warrant signed by judge of appropriate jurisdiction, he will turn himself in.

Volunteers acting as private peace officers stationed along checkpoints leading to the Bundy home told me that if the Sheriff's office presents a valid warrant, they will do nothing to interfere – but that a SWAT-style raid would lead to trouble.

Cliven isn't burdened with any illusions about the kind of people who are seeking to shut down his ranch.

When Cliven and his sons went out to inspect the damage to the range land, they found “a pit – about fifty feet long, thirty feet wide, and ten feet deep. About a third of it was full of something. We know there were [cattle] body parts sticking out of it.”

“It was a mass grave,” concluded Cliven, grimly. “Let me tell you something – if they hadn't backed off [on April 12] they would have had mass human bodies.”

No lives were lost in the Battle of Bunkerville, but the Feds and their allies clearly see the withdrawal as a tactical retreat, and the wary peace that currently prevails as a fermata, rather than a coda, in the conflict. The Johnson County War of 1892 illustrates what could happen if the federal campaign against the Bundys becomes a literal range war.

The first victim in the elite's onslaught against homesteaders and ranchers in Wyoming was a reformed prostitute named Ellen Watson, more commonly known as as “Cattle Kate.” Amid murky accusations of cattle rustling, Watson and her husband, James Averill, were lynched in 1889, three years before open warfare erupted along the Powder River.


Buffalo, Wyoming, circa 1890.

At the time, a growing segment of the Wyoming population were seeking alterations to the state's range laws, which had been written by, and on behalf of, the Wyoming Stock Growers Association. The Association, for its part, was trying to minimize its losses following the collapse of a speculative bubble in the cattle industry during the 1880s.

In the decade leading up to the invasion of Johnson County, wrote Asa Shinn Mercer in his turn-of-the- 20th Century expose The Banditti of the Plains, “a craze for cattle company investments was created in the East and also in the British Isles. Soon the bulk of holding passed into the hands of corporations and high-salaried officials took charge of the business, living luxuriously in club house in the various towns and trusting the real management of herds and ranches to subordinates … frequently without practical experience.”

The lure of supposedly easy profits in the cattle industry proved irresistible to pampered children of privilege, whose dreams of empire-building in the American West were fueled by such works as Cattle Raising on the Plains of North America by Prussian nobleman and Colorado cattle mogul Baron Walter von Richthofen. “There is not the slightest amount of uncertainty in cattle raising,” the Baron assured his fellow elitists

The parvenus and dilettantes who overran Wyoming included “the black sheep sons of European noblemen and wealthy youngish adventurers from New York, businessmen from Paris and Edinburgh, Scotland,” observes historian Hal Herring. “The Anglo-Beef conglomerate, one of the world's largest cattle companies, was formed in an office in foggy London, its investors toasting the vast profits to coming from an unimaginably raw land across the Atlantic.”

One inevitable result of the elite onslaught was a culture clash between the Europeans steeped in feudal conceits and traditions and the incorrigibly individualistic knights of the plains.

“The English referred to cowboys as `cow servants,'” Herring points out, “and the classic Western tale was born of the English lord, a newly arrived landowner, who rode up to a neighboring ranch and asked the ranch foreman if his `master' was at home.”

“The son-of-a bitch hasn't been born yet,” came the cowboy's laconic and thoroughly unamused reply.

Until the late 1880s, the elitists who were represented in the Wyoming Stock Growers Association – and who controlled the state government – were content to allow actual cowboys to do the work, while the harvested the profits. During the boom, a growing number of cowboys acquired sufficient capital to obtain herds and homestead un-apportioned land within what historian Helena Huntington Smith described as “an empty paradise of waving grass – a cowman's paradise with the Indians out but the cowmen not yet in.”

This arrangement worked “very well while the markets ruled high,” Asa Mercer wrote in his memoir of the period. However, some of the well-connected eastern cattle companies began to undermine the market by rounding up “culls” and elderly steers that were “unfit for beef” and selling them to feeders at inflated prices, an arrangement that “tickled the avarice of the Eastern or foreign shareholders and prevented a careful investigation of the methods employed.” Mercer described this as “wholesale robbery.”

The speculative cattle bubble likewise led to the over-crowding of available grazing land, which left “the ranges crowded and the grass eaten until the winter food was too short to carry the stock through the cold weather.”

Depletion of grazing areas accelerated during the drought of 1886, which was immediately followed by an abnormally severe winter. This “caused an excessive mortality among all classes of cattle and reduced the calf crop to fully one half” in Wyoming herds, Mercer recalled. To meet contracts, the elite-operated companies expanded the practice of “robbing the herd” by sending inferior quality beef cattle to Chicago. This likewise had predictable consequences: Beef prices plummeted more than half – partially because a correction in inflated prices was overdue, but also because of “the generally poor condition of the range shipments in consequence of overstocking and the resulting scarcity of feed.”

At this point in the classic boom-to-bust cycle, the correct approach would be to allow over-grown, inefficient cattle corporations to fail and allow smaller producers to rebuild the cattle market.

This was precisely what the entrenched interests responsible for that catastrophe wanted to avoid. Accordingly, aided by the mercenary press, the establishment cattle cartel generated a propaganda campaign blaming that collapse on “rustlers,” whose alleged depredations were aided and protected by an incorrigible public. Johnson County was depicted as a hotbed of rustler activity.

The cartel had become entrenched immediately after Wyoming was given territorial status in 1868. Representatives of “Eastern and foreign cattle syndicates” dominated the legislature, Mercer insisted, and the Wyoming Stock Growers Association “virtually shaped the territorial policy.... Legislative enactments first assumed form the the executive councils of the association and through its social prestige were popularized with the masses, even before adoption of laws.”

In 1891, the cartel-dominated legislature passed a measure creating the “Board of Livestock Commissioners” with a broad mandate to “protect the livestock interests of the state from theft and disease.” To that end the commissioners were instructed to appoint “stock inspectors” authorized to impose fines and to conduct both seizures and arrests. This most likely led to the assassination-style killings of ranchers John Tisdale and Orley Jones by a secretive squad of "inspectors."



Rancher Nate Champion, a redoubtable and widely respected man, offered eyewitness testimony that the murderer was an inspector named Joe Elliott, who was indicted and bound over for trial.

This exercise of legitimate judicial authority against the Stock Growers Association's interests prompted the oligarchy to escalate its campaign to annihilate its opposition. The cartel began a concerted press campaign through major newspapers in eastern cities “to make their readers believe that a reign of terror existed in half a dozen counties in the state that could only be overcome by a resort to arms....”

It was for that purpose that the Commission recruited a group of “Regulators” who arrived in Cheyenne on April 2, 1892, in a Pullman train car – its windows blacked out. Their mission, as described to them by their commander, Major Frank Wolcott, was to execute warrants calling for the summary execution of cattle rustlers, whose names were inscribed on a “kill list.” Each lethal “warrant service” would earn the trigger-puller a $50 commission to supplement their salary of $5 a day – a very lucrative arrangement at a time when the standard ranch hand's wage was $25 a month.

Their wagons groaning beneath a supply of ammunition sufficient “to kill every inhabitant of Wyoming,” the death squad -- numbering roughly 50 men -- lit out for the KC Ranch to cross the first two names from their list – Nick Ray and Nate Champion, the latter having earned his spot by testifying against Elliott. After taking the ranch's cook and a visiting cowboy prisoner, the Regulators laid siege to the ranch, killing Ray immediately.



Champion sold himself dearly, holding off dozens of heavily armed, ruthless men for an entire day.

“They are shooting at the house now,” a preternaturally composed Champion recorded in a journal that should be regarded as a masterpiece of stoic literature. “[T]hey have just got through shelling the house again like hail. I heard them splitting wood. I guess they are going to fire the house tonight. I think I will make a break when night comes, if alive.”

As Champion predicted, the The Regulators eventually employed what would now be called the “Waco Protocol.”

“The house is all fired,” wrote Champion in his terse, fatalistic final entry. “Goodbye, boys, if I never see you again.”

Shortly before 9:00 on evening of April 8, the invaders flushed Champion from his burning home and gunned him down. They proceeded to the next target, a homestead known as the TA Ranch.

Champion had noted in his journal that “If I had a pair of glasses I believe I would know” some of the invaders who eventually murdered him. His neighbor, a journalist named Jack Flagg, had a similar thought when he rode by the ranch during the siege. Flagg wasn't aware that his name was on the kill list. That fact was abruptly made known to him when one of the Regulators sent rounds in his direction. Flagg hastened to the nearby town of Buffalo, where he told Johnson County Sheriff Red Angus about the assault on Champion's settlement.

While the Sheriff assembled his posse, the city's leading merchant, a transplanted Scotsman named Robert Foote, assumed the role of Paul Revere, dashing through the streets of Buffalo urging residents to arm themselves and “take a side.” Over the next three days, recalls Helena Huntington Smith in her definitive book The War on Powder River, “The streets were filling with armed men from the nearer ranches, while riders were sent to distant parts of the country for help to repel the murders.”

On April 11, the spontaneously organized citizens' militia arrived at the TA Ranch to engage the invaders. Snipers took up positions and trained their gun sights on the main ranch house. Several members of the militia cobbled together an assault vehicle they called the "Ark." Under covering fire from snipers they advanced on the enemy, hurling improvised explosive devices into the building.

The Wyoming Stock Growers Association, a non-governmental organization controlled by politically connected cattle interests, urged Acting Governor Amos Barber to intervene. Barber sent a frantic telegram to President Benjamin Harrison describing the citizen uprising as a threat to national security:

“An insurrection exists in Johnson County, in the state of Wyoming, in the immediate vicinity of For McKinney, against the government of said state.... I apply to you on behalf of the state of Wyoming to direct the United States troops at Fort McKinney to assist in suppressing the insurrection.”



By April 12, the citizen militia had taken control of the TA Ranch, and the Regulators were pinned helplessly inside the stable. On the following day, Colonel Robert T. Van Horn and the 6th Cavalry arrived on the scene, no doubt to the relief of the Regulators and their employers.

That relief rapidly gave way to consternation when Van Horn deferred to Sheriff Angus, recognized the legitimacy of the citizen revolt, and made arrangements for the Regulators to surrender.

Colonel Van Horn treated “the armed citizenry with the utmost respect, while making it clear that the fighting had to stop,” Herring recounts. “To the surprise of the cavalry, as soon as Van Horn assured the citizens that the Regulators would be arrested and taken to Fort McKinney, the impromptu militia swiftly disbanded.”

Although Major Wolcott insisted on surrendering to Van Horn, claiming that he would fight to the death rather than surrendering to Sheriff Angus, he disarmed his despondent mercenaries and went peaceably to the stockade at Fort McKinney. The Wyoming Stock Growers Association retained enough political clout to arrange the release of Wolcott and his Regulators without facing criminal charges. But the Association – which was already reeling from its financial losses – quickly lost its stranglehold on Wyoming politics.

Within a few years, the elite-connected cattlemen retired from an industry for which they were manifestly unsuitable, abandoned a state they had nearly destroyed, and found other ways to inflict misery on humanity. While isolated conflicts continued to flare up in the range lands until the second decade of the 20th Century, Wyoming was left to manage its own affairs – until the heirs of the elite interests behind the WSGA devised a new rationale for land-grabbing: Environmental protection.



“This isn't about protecting turtles – it's about controlling the land,” declared Red Bear, an Apache Indian from St. George Utah, who told me that he had come to Bunkerville “to stand in defense of freedom.” He described to me how he had been confronted by a BLM official while walking on the range.

“He told me that I had to leave, because I had `no right to be on the property,'” Red Bear said, emitting a disgusted chuckle over the armed functionary's severe irony deficiency.

“To a Native, that's a very old story, and it's the same one we're seeing here in Bunkerville today. The people behind this are driven by greed and capable of great violence, and it's happening everywhere in the country. I came here – all of these people came to Bunkerville – to tell the government and the people working with them that it stops here.”

Dum spiro, pugno!


Patriots Then And Now

by Chuck Baldwin




Tomorrow, April 19, is Patriot’s Day. On this day in 1775, about 70 men stood armed on Lexington Green as over 800 British troops descended on the town in route to Concord for the purpose of seizing a cache of arms known to be stored there and arresting two outspoken proponents of American independence: John Hancock and Sam Adams. Seeing the Minutemen (as they came to be called) standing on the green with muskets in hand, British officers commanded the men to throw down their arms, which they refused to do. Almost simultaneous to the command to disarm, the British soldiers opened fire upon the colonists, killing eight men instantly. This became known as “the shot heard ’round the world,” as it was the event that ignited America’s Revolutionary War.

The British troops easily marched through Lexington but were met by hundreds of armed and determined patriots at the Concord Bridge. A fierce battle ensued, which resulted in a bruising British defeat and the retreat of the Crown’s troops to Boston. The Colonists were done talking; the brutal killings of the men at Lexington, along with the British attempt to confiscate the firearms of the people and to arrest Hancock and Adams, was the straw that broke the camel’s back. From that point onward, the issue would be decided on the battlefield.

Remember that the Colonists had patiently endured the harassment and haranguing of the British Crown for decades. Resentment and righteous indignation were deeply imbedded in the souls of those beleaguered “children of the Pilgrims.” And the killings at Lexington were not the first time innocent Americans were shot down by British troops. Some five years earlier, on March 5, 1770, a squad of British soldiers had opened fire on unarmed American civilians killing seven of them. The Boston Massacre (as it came to be called) was still very fresh in the minds of the Colonists as British troops advanced upon Lexington. And with the massacre of the men of Lexington, the last line in the sand had been crossed.

In my mind, it is no coincidence that a similar line in the sand took place here in the middle of April, 2014, in the Nevada desert at a place strikingly similar in name to a famous Revolutionary War battlefield: a place called Bunkerville.

At this point, I’ll let Paul Joseph Watson report the story:

“Judge Andrew Napolitano appeared on Fox News to denounce the federal government’s operation against Nevada cattle rancher Cliven Bundy, asserting that BLM agents should have been arrested for seizing his property and that the case represents a ‘line in the sand’ for Americans who have had enough of big government tyranny.

“Napolitano said the feds were forced to back down because they had suffered a public relations nightmare, pointing out that Bundy lost his case in a federal court but that the case should have been tried in a state court.

“‘The federal judiciary should not be deciding what land the federal government owns,’ said Napolitano, adding that the feds should have placed a lien against Bundy’s property to collect grazing fees and not conducted a raid backed up by armed agents to seize his private property.”

The report continued saying, “Napolitano also chastised the BLM’s ludicrous creation of a ‘First Amendment Area’ outside of which free speech was banned. Protesters completely ignored the zone and it was quickly torn down by BLM officials after being widely derided in the media.

“‘They established something utterly repellent in America, a First Amendment Zone….the square was three miles away from where these events were going--this is the federal government emasculating the First Amendment rights of the protesters,’ said the judge.

“Napolitano characterized the resistance shown by Bundy supporters as a clear example of how Americans feel, ‘enough is enough with the federal government, we’re drawing a line in the sand right here--and it drew people from all around the country who basically said “quit your heavy handed theft of property and act like you’re a normal litigant and not God almighty.”’”

See the report at:

Judge Napolitano: Ranch Rebellion Was Americans’ “Line in the Sand”

Judge Napolitano is right.

No matter what you hear from the likes of Joe Scarborough and Glenn Beck (or your pastor), if the line in the sand at Lexington Green in April of 1775 was righteous, the line in the sand at Bunkerville, Nevada, in April of 2014 was equally righteous.

In fact, the grievances that the “children of the Patriots” have against the federal government today make the grievances that the “children of the Pilgrims” listed in the Declaration of Independence against the British Crown look pale by comparison. We have been tolerating abuse after abuse, encroachment after encroachment, usurpation after usurpation for decades. And one thing those patriots in Nevada were not going to allow to happen was another Waco. As the Boston Massacre burned deeply in the hearts of the American Colonists at Lexington, so, too, the Waco massacre burned deeply in the hearts of the patriots in Nevada last Saturday (April 12--one week to the day from April 19).

Hundreds of patriotic Americans (most of whom were well-armed) looked down the gun barrels of the BLM and fearlessly defied the orders to stand down and physically took back Mr. Bundy’s cattle that had been illegally confiscated by the Feds. Fortunately, BLM agents acted more wisely than did the Crown’s troops at Lexington in 1775. I shudder to think what would be happening right now if they had not.

There has not been a day in American history like last Saturday since--well--since April 19, 1775.

And make no mistake about it: this is what the Second Amendment has always been about: the ability of the citizenry to defend itself against oppressive, overreaching government. Had we no Second Amendment for the last 200-plus years, had the people’s right to keep and bear arms not been engrained in the very heart and soul of America for the last 200-plus years, Mr. Bundy’s land and cattle would be the property of the federal government, and Mr. Bundy and his family would either be in jail or six feet under right now. In fact, without the Second Amendment, the liberties enshrined in the Bill of Rights would have been thoroughly expunged from this country many decades ago. The only thing standing in between your right to freely do anything and the heel of the tyrant’s boot over your throat is a watchful, determined, and resolute armed citizenry--known to America’s founders as the citizen militia. That’s what British troops encountered at Lexington Green; and that’s what BLM agents encountered at Bunkerville.

Not only did hundreds of armed citizens show up in Bunkerville, so did dozens of local and State officials. There were county commissioners, assemblymen, and State legislators there from several western states, including Nevada. Had BLM agents opened fire on the people assembled in front of them, they, no doubt, would have killed several elected public servants. I don’t think the federal government really wants its agents to murder State and local officials.

And I must hasten to add that among the elected public officials on the front line of that confrontation--along with the hundreds of everyday citizens assembled there--were women. And make no mistake about it: these ladies were there of their own volition; no one asked them to be there. And practically everyone there--men and women--had some sort of camera or recording device. Again, I don’t think the federal government wants its agents on videotape slaughtering ladies and even children. Yes, I know that is exactly what they did at Waco. In fact, most of the citizens killed at Waco were elderly men, women, and children. But there were no cameras present; no cell phones; and no elected officials. The federal government was able to completely cut off the Branch Davidians from the outside world so there would be no recorded testimony as to what happened. At Bunkerville, the combined presence of hundreds of armed militia, hundreds of ladies, dozens of elected officials, and cameras galore helped convince BLM to be civil.

We have turned a page. The rules of engagement have forever changed. And I think the federal government knows it.

Does this mean it’s over? Not on your life. The militia will be on site in Nevada for the foreseeable future. And there are examples of the federal government’s overreach taking place all over America--especially in the western states. As Thomas Jefferson noted, “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” Indeed.

I arrived in Bunkerville early Monday morning, the 14th. I participated in the press conference conducted by the Bundy family that afternoon. I met with the militia, several elected officials, citizens of Nevada, and the Bundy family. I was even honored to be invited to speak to the militia and their families and supporters at the militia command center. I conducted a prayer service for those folks and delivered a 20-minute Bible message to them. The local ABC affiliate also sent a reporter and cameraman with us; and they filmed the entire service. Here is the video of that service:

Bundy Ranch Sermon & Prayer

There is absolutely no question that there are nefarious backroom deals involving Senator Harry Reid that were in play at the BLM siege against the Bundy ranch. The people of Nevada should demand the truth about these deals and after the truth is put in the sunlight, run Harry Reid out of the State on a rail. Harry Reid is symbolic of everything that is wrong in Washington, D.C.

I caution folks to not believe everything you read about the Nevada situation in the media or on the Internet. There is a lot of exaggeration and misinformation floating around. That is a major problem for those of us in the freedom movement. For example, there is no indication at this point that BLM is planning a violent assault against the ranch. As of the time that I left the ranch, BLM agents had totally withdrawn. If the federal government launched a violent assault against the Bundys, it would escalate resistance a thousand-fold. They don’t want that to happen.

But this war against property and water rights in the west is becoming increasingly onerous. We desperately need a determined and concerted effort to demand that State legislatures and local governments pass ordinances and legislation removing federal control of State lands. These lands do not belong to the federal government; they belong to the States and to the People. If you truly want to do something to help preserve our future liberties, convince your local and State legislators to pass legislation to remove control of State land from the federal government.

We also desperately need legislation disarming federal bureaucracies. Agents of the federal government are not soldiers; and the American people are not the enemy. Except for a very few and specifically enumerated crimes, the Constitution declares that law enforcement is the venue and responsibility of the States and of the People. Federal agents have proven--and continue to prove--that they are not anywhere near trustworthy enough to be given a badge and a gun. As private citizens, they deserve the right to keep and bear arms along with the rest of us. But as agents of the federal government, they have no right to usurp the law enforcement authority of State and local officials.

And speaking of State and local officials, the governor of the State of Nevada and the sheriff of Clark County, Nevada, should be absolutely ashamed of themselves! What’s more: the people of Nevada should be ashamed of them--and vote them out of office, if not impeach them before their reelection--for their refusal to assist the citizens of their State during this time of crisis. All we need is for a governor and sheriff to interpose on behalf of the citizens of their State and county and all of this federal abuse of power would come to a screeching halt. Boy, do we need some constitutional governors and sheriffs!

We also need pastors to grow some man-stuff and start taking a stand in the pulpits as did the pastors of Colonial America. As I told the people at Bunkerville, if the pastors of America were doing their jobs on Sunday, all of this would never be taking place. How long will the Christians of America tolerate these spineless preachers?

Tomorrow, the 239th anniversary of Lexington and Concord, I will be speaking at a local Patriot’s Day rally honoring the brave Minutemen of 1775; I will also be honoring the brave patriots of 2014 who fought the Battle of Bunkerville: the shot not fired heard ’round the world.

 

Friday, April 18, 2014

FBI Uncovers Al-Qaeda Plot To Just Sit Back And Enjoy Collapse Of United States


The Onion [Satire?]

WASHINGTON—Putting the nation on alert against what it has described as a “highly credible terrorist threat,” the FBI announced today that it has uncovered a plot by members of al-Qaeda to sit back and enjoy themselves while the United States collapses of its own accord.

Multiple intelligence agencies confirmed that the militant Islamist organization and its numerous affiliates intend to carry out a massive, coordinated plan to stand aside and watch America’s increasingly rapid decline, with terrorist operatives across the globe reportedly mobilizing to take it easy, relax, and savor the spectacle as it unfolds.

“We have intercepted electronic communication indicating that al-Qaeda members are actively plotting to stay out of the way while America as we know it gradually crumbles under the weight of its own self-inflicted debt and disrepair,” FBI Deputy Director Mark F. Giuliano told the assembled press corps. “If this plan succeeds, it will leave behind a nation with a completely dysfunctional economy, collapsing infrastructure, and a catastrophic health crisis afflicting millions across the nation. We want to emphasize that this danger is very real.”

“And unfortunately, based on information we have from intelligence assets on the ground, this plot is already well under way,” he added.

A recently declassified CIA report confirmed that all known al-Qaeda-affiliated organizations—from Pakistan to Yemen, and from Somalia to Algeria—have been instructed to kick back and enjoy the show as the United States’ federal government, energy grid, and industrial sector are rendered impotent by internal dissent, decay, and mismanagement. According to statements made by top-level informants and corroborated by leading Western terrorism experts, if seen through to its conclusion, al-Qaeda’s current plot could wreak far more damage than the events of 9/11.

In the past year, money transfers to al-Qaeda cells around the world have reportedly been accompanied by instructions to use the funds to outfit safe houses with the proper equipment to receive American cable news broadcasts and view top U.S. news websites, allowing terrorists to fully relish each detail of the impending demise of the last global superpower.

Additionally, FBI officials made public an internal al-Qaeda video today in which the terrorist organization’s leader Ayman al-Zawahiri chillingly exhorts his followers to “take a load off” and “unwind” in the name of jihad, and really cherish the victory over their enemy.

“Praise Allah, for soon every American city shall be plagued with disaster and hardship,” al-Zawahiri said in the video, which includes several minutes of footage of young, masked al-Qaeda militants casually sipping beverages as they thumb through the latest issues of Time and U.S. News And World Report. “The infidels have brought this pain and destruction upon themselves through their arrogance and callousness. Soon, the United States will watch in horror as its bridges crumble, its desperate citizens suffer in want of medicine and paying employment, and its once vast riches are reduced to naught. The righteous warriors among our ranks must now unite, get comfortable, and look on from afar at the calamity unfolding in the West.”

“We vow that we will not cease sitting around and laughing it up until America is reduced to rubble,” he continued.

Al-Zawahiri, who is seen in the video reclining back in his chair, putting his feet up, and flipping on CNN, later shouts “Allahu Akbar!” when a story is aired about the decade-long trend of stagnant wages among American workers.

The FBI has also warned that numerous al-Qaeda agents may have established sleeper cells for the purpose of “getting a kick out of” the nation’s downfall on American soil. The bureau urged U.S. residents to use caution around schools, hospitals, legislative bodies, prisons, and other decaying institutions whose imminent failure terrorists may wish to observe up close.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, one high-ranking U.S. counter-terrorism official has described the present situation as a massive failure of intelligence.

“The warning signs were there all along, but unfortunately we failed to heed them,” said the official, who advised Americans to brace for widespread devastation. “If we’d listened to experts or even our own common sense, we would’ve realized that this plot was being actively orchestrated within our own borders. But we didn’t, and now every one of our citizens and our very way of life is at risk from this threat.”

“Sadly, al-Qaeda has us right where they want us,” the official added, “and at this point, I fear it is too late to do anything about it.”

Responding to the allegations, a spokesperson for al-Qaeda reportedly confirmed the terror group’s plot and praised the American people as martyrs of the highest order.

http://www.theonion.com/articles/fbi-uncovers-alqaeda-plot-to-just-sit-back-and-enj,35788/
 

Spying The Open Skies Of America


Noisy Room – by Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

For those of you out there that thought there was any truth to Obama opposing Putin in Russia, you might want to rethink that and fast. He’s proving just how flexible he really is these days. There is a fight within the Administration, with one side supporting surveillance flights from Russia over American soil and the other opposing it. One guess which side Obama is on.

Have you ever heard of the Open Skies Treaty? Per Wikipedia: The Treaty on Open Skies entered into force on January 1, 2002 and currently has 34 States Parties. It establishes a program of unarmed aerial surveillance flights over the entire territory of its participants. The treaty is designed to enhance mutual understanding and confidence by giving all participants, regardless of size, a direct role in gathering information about military forces and activities of concern to them. Open Skies is one of the most wide-ranging international efforts to date promoting openness and transparency of military forces and activities. The concept of “mutual aerial observation” was initially proposed to Soviet Premier Nikolai Bulganin at the Geneva Conference of 1955 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower; however, the Soviets promptly rejected the concept and it lay dormant for several years. The treaty was eventually signed as an initiative of US President (and former Director of Central Intelligence) George H.W. Bush in 1989. Negotiated by the then-members of NATO and the Warsaw Pact, the agreement was signed in Helsinki, Finland, on March 24, 1992. So you see, Progressives on both sides of the aisle are part and parcel of this suicidal pact.

The Open Skies Treaty allows Russia to fly over US territory with planes loaded with certain agreed-upon sensor packages, in order to ensure compliance with arms control agreements and to provide assurance against preparations for various military surprises. Russia has asked the U.S. to agree to an upgrade in the sensor package their planes can carry. I’ll bet they have. Now, we not only have the NSA and our government watching our every move, we are letting the Russians spy on us as well. I’m also certain the Chinese have been invited in for a test drive. You thought spying was bad with our Intel agencies, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

There was supposed to be a meeting yesterday, to discuss this and resolve a bitter inter-agency dispute over a request from Russia with respect to the Open Skies program. I don’t know what the outcome was, if any, that came out of that meeting behind closed doors. The powers that be are trying to keep this very quiet. Insiders are saying that the White House is likely to side with the State Department, which wants to accommodate Russia, over the objections of the Obama Administration’s Defense Department and Intelligence agencies. I agree with Allen West that the Defense Department and Intelligence agencies had to have thought this was a very bad joke. Unfortunately, it’s not. We’re not just sleeping with the enemy, we are deferring to them.

From Allen West:

What is troubling is that it seems John Kerry and the State Department are willing to acquiesce to the request while the Defense Department, after they stopped laughing, is up in arms. Unfortunately, it looks like the Obama White House is siding with the State Department. Oh, what I miss the most — not really — about Washington DC are all the sneaky, behind-closed-doors escapades that transpire without everyday American citizens having an idea.

House Intelligence Committee chair Mike Rogers is apparently so concerned that he sent the president an unusual public letter Friday — of course when things are done on a Friday before the whole gang goes on Easter recess, chances are no one notices. Here are the highlights:

Chairman Rogers wrote, “Given current world events, President Putin appears to be more than willing to disregard international norms of behavior in seeking geopolitical advantage. We should not now naively believe he will unilaterally adhere to the limitations of the Open Skies Treaty. Putin’s attempt to upgrade Russia’s sensing capabilities now is particularly problematic. I have serious concerns about the technical advantages Russia would gain.”

West also asks a great question: if we have the ability to openly fly over Russia according to this treaty from the Clinton administration — how did we get caught by surprise with Putin’s actions in the Crimea? We didn’t, is the answer. I believe that Obama knew exactly what and when it was going down. Then he put on a show of protest and not a convincing one at that. Imposing sanctions that he knew meant nothing and letting Putin do as he pleases. Obama and Putin have had numerous long conversations – probably on conquering the known world and divvying up the spoils. Even if it is put out that the upgrade to Putin’s sensor package as part of his overflight aircraft is rejected, don’t be quick to believe it. Obama has proven that deceit takes a myriad of forms and he is adept at achieving his desired outcomes.

The Intelligence community is extremely alarmed and should be. Every American should be up in arms over this.We are inviting Russian spies and their military into our country. It’s like letting in a vampire, it can’t be undone and it will get you killed. Russian spying is about to go mainstream in America. Spying the open skies of America will telegraph our strengths and weaknesses to our enemies and invite an attack. Obama and Putin are fellow travelers. Ask yourself, why would a sitting President allow a known enemy to fly freely above and around America? Flexibility Comrades.

For reference, here is a letter from a bipartisan group of senators on the Senate Intelligence Committee — addressed, interestingly, to Secretary of State Kerry, whose department has been pushing the agreement:

The Honorable John F. Kerry 
Secretary of State
Department of State
Washington, DC 20521

Dear Mr. Secretary,

In the past few years, the Russian Federation completed construction of two new Open Skies aircraft that will support digital photograph equipment, sideways-looking synthetic aperture radar, and infrared equipment. As you know, state parties to the Open Skies Treaty must certify any new aircraft before it can be used for treaty observation flights.

We understand that an upcoming Deputies Committee meeting will address the question of Russian certification. We strongly urge you to carefully evaluate the ramifications of certification on future Open Skies observation flights and consider the equities of key U.S. Government stakeholders.

The invasion of Crimea and Moscow’s ongoing efforts to destabilize Ukraine using subversive methods in sufficient enough to counsel further review, irrespective of any technical concerns that may exist.

Thank you in advance for your attention to this important and timely manner.

Sincerely,

Dan Coats

Mark W. Warner

James E. Risch
Martin Heinrich

http://noisyroom.net/blog/2014/04/16/spying-the-open-skies-of-america/