Tuesday evening, January 26th, east Oregon, Ammon Bundy, his brother Ryan Bundy, and four other members of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupiers were driving to a local landowners meeting when they were stopped on the highway by law enforcement officials (LE agencies yet unidentified, justification for traffic stop yet unknown). Four of the six were taken into custody by the FBI, Ryan Bundy was shot and wounded by LE, and Bundy spokesman LaVoy Finicum was shot dead by LE. Details of the shooting and the condition of the Ryan Bundy’s wounds are unknown.
Word is leaking out from the arrested occupy members claiming none of the members in the car drew weapons on law enforcement officials. Presumably they were traveling in one car. Unknown if members were armed.
Media coverage has been light to moderate thus far. Coverage of this tragic and unnecessary incident can be found here:
Occupiers of the Refuge remain hunkered down in the Refuge. Unknown if there are still children in the Refuge building.
Two weeks ago the Pacific Patriots Network (PPN seeks to coordinate patriot groups and Three Percenters in Oregon, Washington, Idaho) and Oath Keepers agreed to provide a security buffer zone between the Wildlife Refuge occupiers and law enforcement during the standoff. Additionally, they were providing a means of communication between occupiers and LE. PPN claims federal LE officials had made little attempt to provide a means of communication to avert a tragic misunderstanding.
Pacific Patriots Network issued a press release this morning: http://www.pacificpatriotsnetwork.com/
God bless LaVoy Finicum and his family who survives him. God’s speed to Ryan Bundy’s recovery.
I am not a news guy. Reporting sequences and details of events bores me to death. I’m not a reporter; I’m a news/political commentator. I’m all about informing readers about our Founding principles while playing my small part in galvanizing the American patriot movement to restore those principles.
There is much to learn yet about the details of this tragic incident. It is breaking news at the moment. Yet, many thoughts come to mind.
First of all, do we not afford EVERYONE including law enforcement officials the benefit of the doubt? Of course. They too are American citizens under the protection of “innocent before proven guilty.” Despite the FBI’s many horrific blunders, let’s not jump to conclusions. We constitutional conservatives are not a lynch mob like the Leftist race-baiters in Ferguson.
Next. Never never never trust the government. Expect to be lied to, tricked, and double-crossed. Expect snipers at checkpoints.
Why was Bundy traveling without a security detail? Why wasn’t his travel route recon’d prior to travelling from the Refuge to the neighboring town? Why wasn’t there a lead vehicle to provide cover in the event Bundy needed to quickly turn his vehicle around? Was Bundy’s vehicle in communication with the Refuge at the time? Providing his base of operations real-time info? Why was Ammon and his “second in command” traveling in the same vehicle?
I don’t expect Ammon Bundy or the other ranchers to be savvy about operational security, BUT I have to wonder if PPN and Oath Keepers advised Ammon about travelling. No one wants anyone to get hurt or killed on either side; everyone on both sides wants to go home to their family happy, healthy, and free. This is a protest, not a war. Operational security not only provides tactical preparedness for quick response, it also prevents loss of life! Isn’t that what we’re trying to do here, if and as long as we can?
Were cell phone video cameras ON and rolling inside Bundy’s vehicle when Bundy saw a road stop ahead?
Where was the discipline in Bundy’s vehicle? There should be ONE leader in that car, and everyone else should have the discipline to follow. If the leader, presumably Ammon, ordered a stand down in the car, did members of his group have the discipline to comply? It doesn’t sound like it, based on early reports.
Now I want to address a related issue. That of issuing ultimatums—patriots issuing threats against the government if/when the government oversteps its authority, particularly in incidents like these where patriots are taking a highly provocative stand. Here’s a popular one among my patriot brothers: No more free Wacos.
Now, what’s wrong with that? I’ll tell you. Patriots don’t issue ultimatums. Ultimatums are for sissies. Ultimatums are for cowards and hostage takers. Ultimatums and threats are issued by people frightened by authority. Issuing an ultimatum is how a weak man tries coercing a stronger man. Issuing an ultimatum is a coward’s way of avoiding resolution—preferring an easy quick way out.
Simply issuing an ultimatum is admission of weakness. And the thing is, America’s patriots, Tea Party, Constitutional conservatives, III%, and Oath Keepers are 10 MILLION strong! And I mean STRONG—the best armed, best trained, most informed, motivated cusses on the planet. And we’re giving ultimatums??? The government should be giving US ultimatums! The power of the American government rests in us, WE THE PEOPLE!
Furthermore, ultimatums are easy targets. It’s easy to call a bluff when the dealer is stacking the deck. In cases when the weaker one is not bluffing, and is willing to stand their ground, it’s very difficult to get supporters onboard at the same time on the same day for the same reason in the same location—it’s very difficult to organize an ultimatum. The very nature of ultimatums work against itself because one is acting from a position of weakness. Ultimatums sound tough, but are ultimately a losing strategy—if you dare do “this” then we will do “this.”
No. Our Founders didn’t issue ultimatums to Britain.
What we take from the heritage of our Founding is that we issue “redress of grievances,” not ultimatums. What’s that mean? What’s the difference? That means we respond now—act NOW. When the crown or parliament of Britain worked against the liberties of the colonists we immediately took action. With each escalating violation we escalated our reaction—immediately, peaceably, forcefully, without compromise, while organizing along the way. First we reacted with economic sanctions against Britain, then later in direct defense against Britain’s violent offenses. By the time it came to blows we were well organized across the states.
Our only weakness today is organization and leadership. I am encouraged though by the coalescing of Tea Party groups, Oath Keepers, and state-specific III% groups. Now we need to put faces of LEADERS on these groups and their state chapters. Not one national face, but 50 state faces.
It took time for our Founders to organize. We can credit Samuel Adams for his many years laying the ground work uniting state leaders and arousing public opinion to redress grievances against Britain.
So, I hope I don’t see any more ultimatums coming out of the patriot movement. If we’re going to win this thing, ultimatums ain’t gonna cut it. It’s time to get organized. The Left is not playing around; they mean business. They mean to take the rest of our liberties and they are willing to kill to do it. Whether last night’s tragic incident serves as another example remains to be seen.by