A couple of years ago, the media was all over a story out of Nevada where Cliven Bundy and his supporters were in a standoff with the federal government over a land use dispute. While the confrontation didn’t end in bloodshed, a couple that had been expelled from the protest later went on to kill two police officers in Las Vegas, as well as an armed civilian who tried to confront them.
Now, the Bundy family is at it once again in Oregon, and they’re trying to start another standoff with law enforcement to rally anti-government militia members to their insane cause.
A group of anti-government militia members have occupied the headquarters and visitors center of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Harney County, Ore., apparently seeking to provoke a standoff with the federal government.
Some of the right-wing militia members are sons of Cliven Bundy, a Nevada cattle rancher whose fight with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management sparked an armed confrontation with federal officials in 2014.
Militia members have been traveling to the town of Burns, Ore. in recent weeks in support of Harney County rancher Dwight Hammond, Jr. and his son Steven Hammond, who in 2012 were convicted of arson for setting fires on federal land where they had poached deer. (The wildfires burned 139 acres of Bureau of Land Management property in 2001.) (Source)
The anti-government militia movement has been around for decades. In the 1990s, they spawned the likes of Timothy McVeigh and Eric Rudolph. McVeigh carried out the Oklahoma City bombing which was the worst terrorist attack on American soil until 9/11. Eric Rudolph was responsible for the Olympics bombing in 1996, as well as a series of attacks on women’s clinics across the southern United States.
Under President Obama’s administration, the conspiracy fanatics and “patriot” movement have gone into overdrive. Fueled by the conservative media, they have millions of people in this country convinced that President Obama is a secret Muslim who wants to take their guns and impose sharia law on the United States.
Pundits like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and others have whipped their followers into a frenzy – and they’re laughing all the way to the bank. Their rhetoric may be free speech, but they know how to hide behind the First Amendment while inciting violence at the same time.
These are the same folks who praised Cliven Bundy supporters for pointing weapons at federal officers, but also claim that unarmed black people deserved to die for resisting arrest. The hypocrisy is staggering, but completely par for the course when it comes to the most radical followers of conservative politics and media in our country.
This attempt to instigate a showdown with the federal government isn’t the first, nor will it be the last. Like Islamic terrorists, these people subscribe to a radical and suicidal ideology that cannot be reasoned with. They want an overthrow of our political system in order to force their beliefs on the rest of us, and they don’t seem afraid to die to accomplish exactly that.
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