Bloodshed in Burns, Oregon. Who to Bless? Who to Blame?
The January 2016 “incident” in Burns, Oregon is going to take time, more evidence, and the courts to sort out.
It started over two long-ago backfires set to protect a local ranch, something that was standard practice back in the day.
Details are murky. Even the “original fire” and the backfires set by a Hammond son needs reexamination. The Hammonds, all these years, thought they were setting backfires to stop fires that had been caused by lightning. This was common practice, and was even touted as “BLM best practice.” Also, now there is allegedly a witness who has signed an affidavit that they witnessed the Feds starting one of the original fires. This is brand new.
Why are these ranchers in prison as terrorists? Why have citizens from all over the country been supporting them? This from a close friend of the Hammonds, Laura Jones. More detail can be found in her comment down under this post.“My little spiel goes something like this:
Two dear friends of mine —salt of the earth ranchers, ages 74 and 47— were convicted under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA) for “maliciously” setting fire to under 140 acres of Federally administrated range ground —ground which they owned the grazing rights to— carrying a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years. One fire, a preemptive, defensive backfire burned around one acre, the other, a prescribed fire that trespassed on about 138 acres. Contrary to media coverage, and the claims of the prosecution, both fires were started on the Hammonds’ private ground to protect and enhance the vegetation, and both had verbal authorization from BLM personnel. Due to long standing animosity between the Hammonds and various federal employees —partially stemming from the Hammonds filing a claim on, and ultimately obtaining, a water right that the Federal government had once laid claim to but failed to prove beneficial use of— the Hammonds were targeted, and made an example of.
One judge had deemed the mandatory minimum cruel and unusual, a sentence that would “shock the conscience,” sentencing them to 3 months plus probation for Dwight, the father; and 366 days plus probation for Steven, the son. The two acquiesced, and did the allotted amount of time —in SeaTac, an administrative security federal detention center with no yard and where the only windows were painted black, they didn’t see sunlight for three months.
The federal prosecutor went on to appeal the sentence, and the 9th Circuit Court overturned the sentence, sending them back to prison for the remainder of the 5 year mandatory minimum – citing the fact that the Supreme Court “has upheld far tougher sentences for less serious or, at the very least, comparable offenses.”
Read more about the Hammonds. This is where it started. Those who were arrested (or killed) in Oregon came from all over the country to peacefully protest and to support them.
Here is a good article about the long accepted use of backfires to control wildfires. This was common practice for decades — but now the Obama Administration has chosen to prosecute ranchers as terrorists.
Here is my interview with Michael Connelly, Executive Director of the United States Justice Foundation on 3/23/2016. It covers ALL my novels, which most now term “political Thrillers.” The last portion focuses on the January 2016 so-called “occupation” in Burns, Oregon where rancher LaVoy Finicum was shot and killed by the Oregon State Police.
From the start it was clear that the situation in Burns was being managed by people at high levels.
Weeks before the LaVoy shooting, the FBI was caught in a “False Flag” operation. It was sending in Agents posing as protestors to harass locals. This so outraged the well-respected local Fire Chief that he resigned. Link.
Other than one speech after LaVoy was killed, Congressman Greg Walden (representing Burns) has kept his distance. Here is the speech where he addressed the U.S. House about the situation in Harney County, OR.
He criticized BLM policy, but did not demand a full disclosure of the facts surrounding the LaVoy shooting. Nor did he choose to question the Federal Invasion and taking of citizens who had never fired a shot or harmed anyone as Political Prisoners.
I mentioned the “backfire incident” as the Burns incident was still unfolding to friends (Democrats, FWIW) in the Oregon legislature. They told me that the Federal Government had indeed been setting such fires back in the day. This is well documented, because some of those fires had gotten out of control and damaged private property. Which resulted in lawsuits and that practice being discontinued.
Many years later, the Hammonds were convicted — under TERRORISM LAWS — of setting a backfires that damaged Federal land. [They had long ago admitted to the backfires. They were set to protect their own property, and got out of control.] They took a plea bargain, served their time, were released, but then the Obama Federal Government came back, argued the Federal Judge had made an error, and re-sentenced them to long prison terms. Which resulted in the peaceful — but armed — protests.
The Hammond’s sentencing as TERRORISTS raises red flags. Here is one judge’s opinion:
Second Judge Doucette Opinion — Hammond Case, Judicial Tyranny, Constitutional Judge, Issues His Report on the Hammond Case As Follows
“I have carefully reviewed the Hammond’s case, including the original case documents, the federal crimes committed against the Hammonds as independently reported in the Friend of the Court Brief filed into the case by Mr. James O’Hagan, and a separate document summarizing the breaches of both the Oregon and the US Constitutions by the prosecutors and judges involved in the Hammonds case. The Hammond’s guilt requires evidence of criminal intent. The Hammonds demonstrated no criminal intent. Instead of demonstrating criminal intent, the actions taken by the Hammonds were consistent with “Federal best practices” for dealing with the fires they had to contend with, while evidence demonstrates the BLM itself often uses these same practices with impunity.”
All of this comes under the category of “most unusual.” A case of Federal overreach and taking of private lands, which has been all-too-common in the West. The Federal Government may not even own the land upon which the ranchers were camping. Hence, protests.
Still, discussions were peaceful. Folks were working things out.
Then comes Oregon’s un-elected, radical left, self-proclaimed bisexual governor, who gives an intense “Who will rid me of that troublesome rancher?” press conference, and concurrently orders the State Police (OSP) to take exceptional action to end this.
So the troublesome rancher leading the protest is lured into a kill zone. 43 miles of highway are blocked off, and he is ambushed and shot to death. Who to bless and who to blame? There is a lot of blame to go around.
Surprisingly — and most have this wrong — this killing was NOT done by the Federal Government. The FBI was there, but only as observers. The FBI did not shoot LaVoy, so far as we know. This is not a Waco, it is a homegrown Oregon disaster, but one that advances the Obama national political agenda.
Local law enforcement was not there. The local sheriff (critical of the protesters, but not inclined to use force) did not participate. In fact, it was well known that the victims (aka criminals) were on their way to attend a large (for the area) peaceful meeting in John Day, where they hoped to meet Sheriff Palmer (supportive of the protesters) to discuss issues. They did not make it. They were ambushed.
As Michele Fiore from the Nevada legislature, who visited the refuge and got the last four people out alive points out — it stretches and twists the meaning for words to say that these cowboys “occupied” the (unlocked, open) wildlife refuge, that was privately owned until it was taken over by the Federal Government. It is more accurate to say the ranchers camped there, just as approximately 2,000 “homeless people” had been camping in tent cities in Portland, Oregon for years — dealing drugs, creating problems, and committing violent crimes without any objections whatsoever from unelected Governor Kate. Link.
Added 3/9/2016 — after the official findings: Here are clips of a video from inside the LaVoy truck — part of what was presented at the Portland press conference where it was officially stated that 1) Two FBI officers lied about not having fired any shots, 2) a total of five (5) officers [including those two FBI agents] are now under investigation for criminal misconduct in firing at LaVoy, and 3) that the LaVoy shooting has officially been deemed as “justified.”
Please note that the LaVoy truck was taking gunfire before it approached the roadblock. before it stopped moving, and long before he exited the truck. Also note that the issue of an illegal “Dead man’s” roadblock (around a blind curve with inadequate distance to safely stop) was not discussed. Nor was the issue of a pre-planned kill zone (snipers in trees, branches having been removed by chain saws, etc.) discussed, or the issue that shots were being fired at the truck before LaVoy exited and after he was down. See link.
Well said by a smart young lady! LaVoy’s daughter. God Bless her:
Here is a video where Sheriff Ward of Burns ADMITS that he set up the premeditated murder of LaVoy Finicum, making sure the kill zone was set up in a dead area for cell phones. Check this about 12:40 in.
Since when does a team of elite FBI agents participate in a routine “traffic stop”? Who sent them, and what were their orders? Link. Also, Obama’s Minister of Justice, Ms. Lynch, visited Portland the day before this finding of a justified shooting was released.
Lynch gave an interesting policy announcement: Team Obama — which ignores Islamic jihad — is aggressively prosecuting ranchers as terrorists. Here is an excellent Presidential candidate’s comment about Obama’s BLM tyranny, this one from Trump, but I expect Cruz would say much the same. Link.
Oregon Republican League — The Obama DOJ is ARRESTING PEOPLE FOR THOUGHT CRIMES? OMG.
Congress, where are you? Tyranny is afoot. This is right out of Soviet Russia, Nazi Germany, and SF movies like Minority Report.
One of the issues raised by the FBI as reported by those questioned was of “intent“.
Trey Gowdy, past prosecutor and now Congressman from North Carolina notes, intent cannot almost ever be determined directly but rather by circumstantial evidence of intent. Here is Trey Gowdy questioning Loretta Lynch and the fuzzy thinking applied by the Federal Government and how it can be used either to indict or dismiss charges.
So what about the shooting itself? Was it murder, or a righteous shoot as is now officially declared? Good question.
I have friends on both sides of that one. The “occupiers” were not blameless, they had violated laws, though at the time of the LaVoy shooting none of them were charged with any crimes. Neither had any arrest warrants been issued.
[There are reports that OSP was falsely told there were arrest warrants issued for violent criminals. I don’t know if this was testified to under oath. If not, they should be questioned on the record and under oath. If so, who told them this?]
Was LaVoy reaching for a weapon? The official ruling, at this writing, is that he was, and that, hence, shooting him was justified. This finding is based on an FBI video.
My own sources — including many in law enforcement — are divided. I have watched the (very poor quality) FBI video several times, including even a stabilized, enhanced version on a large screen monitor. I can’t tell if LaVoy was reaching for a weapon or reacting to being shot. Can you?
Here is the allegedly complete, unedited FBI video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAGxDWKrjPQ
This version has been enhanced and stabilized. Some say they can see a faint muzzle flash from the officer on the left shooting LaVoy in the back. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUzzrjBo_HU&app=desktop
Others have analyzed the video, and have concluded that one OSP officer overreacted and started shooting. Here is that analysis. Link
Here is what I do know. This was NOT a shootout. The only shots fired were by law enforcement. The shots fired were by OSP [plus now at least 2 more that the FBI finally admitted to, one of which reportedly hit the truck], and they fired off a LOT of rounds. OSP’s own procedures require that all such incidents have to be videoed, achieved, and recorded. In this case, the ambush was pre-planned. 43 miles of road were blocked off, and a kill zone in an area with no cell phone coverage was set up.
Of the survivors from the LaVoy truck, only two are free and one of these is facing charges. Both are female. Both testify that the truck was taking fire. One, Ms. Sharp, is in hiding. The other, Ms. Cox, was publicly speaking out but and was placed under a gag order. She lost her son-in-law in a “mysterious fire” shortly after she was ordered to remove her guns from where she was staying. She complied and moved them to her daughter’s house. The shop then burned down, killing her son-in-law.
Here is Shawna Cox’s last interview before she was gag ordered. Link.
The death of Shawna’s son-in-law makes the body count from Burns now equal to two. On top of this, the ranchers, citizens, and reporters who protested in Burns are now in prison facing serious Federal charges. Most are being held incommunicado and being denied bail.
There is a reporter who is now one of the Political Prisoners in NV. Quality investigative journalism by Jerry DeLemus on Burns, Oregon:
These days, everything is political, and this debacle reaches the highest levels. Think of it as Oregon’s Benghazi. When the Oregon legislature was in session, some worked hard to pass legislation to delay the release of this evidence. Link. They failed.
The legislature will not reconvene until 2017, so the law says this evidence must be produced. I see no hope of this being sorted out without full disclosure and court involvement.
As for my opinion, and however the technical details of the shoot sort out, my personal view is that this tragedy can be laid at the feet of Governor Kate. It did NOT need to happen.
How did I (not a rancher, an Indy novelist who writes political thrillers) get into this? Well, I live in Oregon, happened to be here when it happened, and I track such things.
Within hours of the shooting, a source sent me the interview of the first witness, an innocent young woman who was in the target truck when OSP (and the FBI, as it turned out!) started shooting at it. A singer of patriotic songs who visited the refuge to perform, she wanted to attend the meeting in John Day and had missed a ride with her family. She is fearful and now in hiding, I know not where. And I do not want to know. Link.
I hope for the sake of all parties that all the OSP records are made public soon.
Link to video of the dedication of the LaVoy memorial. Link.
One more comment: I think it is clear that Oregon’s unelected Governor has blood on her hands, but that her evil is exceeded by Oregon’s own Elected Senators, Wyden and Merkley. The duo issued a public statement to justify Burns, a tragedy that did not need to happen. They said, “The virus was spreading.”
OMG. This will go down as the Oregon equivalent of “What difference does it make?
Whatever results as this plays out, it is clear that the issue is MUCH larger than the tiny, isolated town of Burns, Oregon. The core issues are FREEDOM, ACCOUNTABILITY, AND THE CONSTITUTION. These issues may extend to TYRANNY if corruption and misconduct can be proven. [Which, BTW, we are still trying to do for Oregon’s last governor and his girlfriend. Several investigations are active, and they show no signs of being resolved before the next election.] Despite what the Portland and National media reported, locals mostly supported the protestors. Link.
FEDERAL TYRANNY ISSUESFocus in the media has been about the Lavoy Finicum killing and to generally portray ranchers (who never harmed anyone!) as terrorists. This disaster, like Benghazi, would seem to justify a select committee and an independent investigator. The Obama DOJ cannot be trusted.
Here are some comments from a Constitutional Attorney. She argues that this is not about ranchers, it is about Federal Violations of the Constitution. Link.
It might be useful to list some of the actions of the Obama Administration that have the smell of tyranny:
- Having the FBI involved in a criminal cover-up about the LaVoy ambush and shooting.
- Burns suffered an occupation by thuggish, unidentified mercenaries who manned road blocks, pointed guns at innocent civilians, and terrorized locals going about their normal lives and business. Who were the “Shooters”? The occupation of Burns was by these mercenaries and the FBI, not by a few ranchers camping at the wildlife refuge. Who employed them? Was it BLM or one of the other Federal bureaucracies? Was it the UN?
- If the Oregon Governor had wanted to impose Martial Law on Burns, why didn’t she use the National Guard?
- There has been a selective enforcement of law that smacks of the old USSR. Ranchers and reporters are being prosecuted as terrorists and held without bail. Obama has suspended habeas corpus for the first time since the Civil War.
- OBAMA HAS REFUSED to treat jihadists as terrorists, but he has no problem in prosecuting his political enemies as terrorists. [Are you paying attention, Republicans?]
- There is a systematic pattern of the Federal Government using dubious procedures to take over private lands. It goes beyond the Bundy and the Hammond ranches. Here is a story that predates the incident at the Bundy ranch, told by another rancher who was forced out. Link.
Many sources are now actively tracking the Burns Disaster. Here below are posts from a few of them:
Testimony that there was no damage to the refuge until AFTER the ranchers were gone. Millions of dollars in damages are now alleged.
Kate Brown Has Blood on her HandsConversely, because a group of about 20 men occupied the Malheur bird refuge and her liberal self-image couldn’t handle a few conservative protesters exercising their Constitutional right and civic responsibility to oppose the illegal and unlawful actions of our Federal government’s overreaching actions against ranchers in Oregon by stealing their land and throwing them in prison, she told law enforcement to end the occupation, which caused the OSP to ambush and murder an American hero LaVoy Finicum in cold blood while the FBI sat idly by and not only let it happen, but are trying to cover up that it was cold blooded murder and want to make it appear that it was in self defense, falsely claiming that he and others were armed when they had already posted on social media that they were heading to a meeting with Grant County sheriff and ranchers there to train them on their Constitutional rights and duties.
More information about the Federal and State Assault on Burns, Oregon. The protesters are gone, but the town remains on lock down. The area is, for all practical purposes, under Martial Law.The LaVoy shooting was done by the Oregon State Police, but it remains unclear who the heavily-armed Paramilitary forces that have been locking down Burns represent. They are NOT National Guard, NOT FBI, NOT State Police, and NOT local law enforcement from police or the Sheriff’s Office.
No identification is on their vehicles or uniforms. They claim to be police but will not produce Creds (show ID) to prove it and reveal their names.
Who are these people? What authority do they assert? Who do they work for? I do not know. See below for what locals are saying.
***“(INTELLIHUB) — With the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge finally over after the four remaining occupants surrendered to the FBI without bloodshed, the mainstream media has largely turned their focus away from Harney County and the small Oregon town that became the epicenter of revolt against gross federal government overreach.
Despite this, there remains an extremely important story to tell, one that includes all the hallmarks of a literal police state including road blocks, road closures, check points, private mercenaries, papers please demands, and even guns pointed directly at the heads of law-abiding American citizens.
While one can imagine that the de facto martial law across Harney County may soon come to an end, (will it?!?) the fact remains that this happened in an American state, to American citizens and literally nothing is being said about it in the mainstream media or by the numerous FBI officials who keep telling the public that this was all for their own safety.”
Who had the town locked down? Who was terrorizing the locals? Not the “protestors” and not the local Sheriff. Not even the FBI, though the massive Federal presence was intimidating and uncomfortable. Not, thank God, the UN, though Obama has recently announced a program to invite UN “peacekeeping forces” to America. Link.
Here is what locals told me privately:
“I saw a video where they saw the vehicles up close. They had California license plates. The windows had AT-1 which stood for Anti Terrorist Level One. The men refused to show ID. When specifically asked if they were Police officers or FBI, their response was ‘We are here in support of the police.’ It seemed obvious to the interviewer that they were contracted.”
“Most had FBI badges. Most of the vehicles were rentals out of Boise. There were 2 distinct groups. The guys at the airport and the guys driving around town. I would say the crew at the airport was a much “different” type of agent than the guys driving around. I don’t know if they were contractors, but they were clearly tactical teams.”
“I have family in Burns. They were not afraid of the occupiers, they were afraid of the FBI that occupied the airport.”
But it WAS NOT the FBI at the airport. My guess is that these heavily-armed private contractors were working for some Non-Military, Non-Law Enforcement bureaucracy in the Federal Government, most likely, as in Nevada during the 2014 Bundy incident, the BLM.
“I am about to walk you through carefully, step by step (fact by fact), and prove the federal government conspired with its “partners” to murder LaVoy Finicum, and with the additional threat of lethal force arrested other patriot protesters in an attempt to cover up the federal government’s war on the United States, i.e., to cover up the feds’ acts of treason against the United States.The long straight stretch of road you see in the picture above was in fact chosen by the FBI as part of their strategy to force LaVoy Finicum into a killing field: An ambush where the federal government and “partners” intended to murder him. He was in fact specifically targeted because he was speaking the truth and had with his teaching of our Constitution started a fire that was spreading rapidly in the hearts and minds of hundreds of thousands of Americans.”
There’s Something Strange Happening Here…Written by Diane Rodgers on February 7, 2016
About two years the Nation watched as Cliven Bundy stood in opposition against an unjust seizure of his ranch and grazing rights by the BLM. The event grew as patriotic Americans responded to his aid. The growing protest was ultimately successful in forcing the BLM to turn tail and retreat in face of the growing support that they could no longer control.Fast forward now to January 2, 2016 and we have a similar situation with the BLM is small town out west called Burns, Oregon. Since the start of this protest, the Main Stream Media (MSM) has been putting forth articles and news reports using such adjectives as “armed militants”, “right wing racists”, “terrorists” or “armed thugs.” Every story I read or listened to was basically the same, always one sided. I follow the belief that there are 3 sides to every story; you could call it her side, his side and the Truth. So when only one side is ever told, it is safe to assume that there is an agenda afoot. An agenda the MSM never speaks about.
So in my quest to get to the Truth, I decided to take an eight day vacation from my full time job to travel 3,000 miles via plane and car to that small town out west call Burns. What you are about to read is exactly what I witnessed and learned from my westward trip. I hope that this article, and those to follow, will help you see through the smokescreen of lies the media, at the bequest of our federal government , have been and are still telling us as the means to controlling the narrative.
There’s Something Strange Happening Here: VERY EYE OPENING ARTICLE ON BURNS OREGON-TALK ABOUY OVERKILL-TAKE A LOOK AT THE PHOTOS!
And, yes, perhaps inevitably, there is even a documented Clinton Foundation connection, one that has come up before:“Clinton Foundation took massive payoffs, promised Hammond Ranch and other publicly owned lands to Russians along with one-fifth of our uranium ore.”
BLM documentation shows:
In September 2011, a representative from Oregon Energy, L.L.C. (formerly Uranium One), met with local citizens, and county and state officials, to discuss the possibility of opening a uranium oxide (“yellowcake”) mine in southern Malheur County in southeastern Oregon. Oregon Energy is interested in developing a 17-Claim parcel of land known as the Aurora Project through an open pit mining method. Besides the mine, there would be a mill for processing. The claim area occupies about 450 acres and is also referred to as the “New U” uranium claims. For more, see this link. And this link.
This came in from from WikiLeaks as well:
Here I thought I would NEVER quote the NY Times, but one of their early articles about Clinton corruption and plundering of America’s uranium is useful. Link. More.
Uranium One’s slogan is:
“Success through aggressive mine and land acquisition.”
President Obama has signed executive orders allowing the Department of the Interior to grab publicly owned lands. This is nationwide, not just in Oregon or Nevada.
June 2016. There is more outrageous news coming in from Burns.LaVoy Memorial site Feds say is off-Limits to the public
“Well this may be my last video…. Looks like they are starting to make arrests of anyone who went to that site. If you do call please be civil and polite, we do not need more anger.”
Private Memorials on the roadside at the spots where people have died are common in Oregon. Many have been there for years, some for decades. It is a crime to deface or destroy them, except for this one.
The memorial that private citizens constructed at the site where LaVoy Finicum was shot has now been destroyed at least five times, at least two of them by a local Deputy Sheriff whose wife works for the BLM. He has boasted about destroying this memorial on his Facebook page.
I am copying and pasting this FB post from the sheriff who (twice) destroyed the memorial……LUCAS MCLAIN·SUNDAY, 24 APRIL 2016
The feeling began to build on Friday. It was …curbed by a few cold ones, a great game of Cards Against Humanity, and a little Rock Band! (thanks Graham’s) Upon waking on Saturday the feeling was there again. At first, I thought hangover?? Nope, no headache, no nausea, felt right as rain. But, it continued to build. What was it?Each time the memorial was destroyed, private citizens rebuilt it, putting up a cross and and American flags. Some in power are trying to prevent this, to erase the history of the LaVoy shooting. Now they have made the memorial itself a CRIME!
As I began my shift I received several text in regards to the days event. I cruised town to see several of those tell tell signs, stickers and writings in vehicles proclaiming their patriotism and sadness for the loss of a man that should have been home with his family. And there it was, the feelings I had felt for months this winter, all back in full force within days.
In the beginning, this would be November; we took a hand off approach. Hoping those that were here would eventually just go away. Not today, today I would stop the ones I found and advise them that the items they were placing on the road way was littering.
They of course played the “I didn’t know that” card. There were many out along on the highway Saturday. Some were littering, some were cleaning up. I spoke to many of them. I was told by several people Saturday that we needed to be mindful of the feelings of those placing the crosses along the highway. That if we just let them do it, they will go away and maybe more will not come to our community. I was given the same advice in November and we all know how that went.
I began to think, what about the feelings of the other side. What those federal employees that could not go to work for 40+ days? What about the feelings of the other side of this movement? Do their feelings not count? Let’s get to it, what about my feelings?
Yeah, I can have those. I spoke to a couple at the site. They were upset that someone would desecrate the site. They tried to tug on my heart strings and tell me the man was a father and a husband. They wanted to know what I was going to do about the person tearing the site down. I informed them that nothing was going to be done as no crime had been committed. They were astonished. They became upset when I explained that posting crosses along the highway was littering and the individual was cleaning up. They became very upset and said that was disrespectful.
The Harney County Deputy sheriff (Lucas McClain) who has been destroying the LaVoy Finicum memorial (with others aiding and abetting him?) has doubled down on his efforts to erase memories of LaVoy. The spot where LaVoy was killed in now off limits to citizens.
This Deputy is issuing “tickets” to any who “trespass” or try rebuild the Memorial, imposing Draconian $5,000 fines for “criminal mischief.” A secret law may (or may not) have been passed to make this legal. Or he may be doing this on his own, with local officials turning a blind eye to these actions by a Deputy Sheriff in uniform and driving a Sheriff’s car.
[The Sheriff in Burns is, like Oregon’s current governor, un-elected. In both cases their predecessors resigned and they were appointed. The local judge who started all this is now facing a recall. He has a few weeks to resign or set the date for a new election. He has said he will not resign.]