Senator Harry Reid has escalated the war of words over the Cliven Bundy dispute, sensationally labeling the Nevada cattle rancher’s supporters “domestic terrorists” during an event in Las Vegas today.
During a ‘Hashtags & Headlines’ event at the Paris Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Reid referred to Bundy supporters as “Nothing more than domestic terrorists,” adding, “I repeat: what happened there was domestic terrorism.”
Reid was referring to the stand off on Saturday in Bunkerville where Bundy supporters, some of whom were armed, forced Bureau of Land Management agents to back down and release around 380 head of cattle belonging to Bundy that had been seized over the course of the previous week.
Reid claimed that Bundy viewed the United States as a “foreign government,” while accusing his supporters of goading violence.
“There were hundreds, hundreds of people from around the country that came there,” Reid said. “They had sniper rifles in the freeway. They had weapons, automatic weapons. They had children lined up. They wanted to make sure they got hurt first … What if others tried the same thing?”
Despite Reid’s characterization of Bundy supporters as “domestic terrorists,” the only violence metered out during the dispute was when BLM agents tasered and assaulted Bundy supporters during an incident on April 9.
No matter where you stand on the Bundy issue, Reid’s characterization of American protesters as “domestic terrorists” is chilling and a massive backlash is almost certain to follow.
It also fits the narrative that the federal government has been pushing for years through literature such as the MIAC report, which framed Ron Paul supporters, libertarians, people who display bumper stickers, people who own gold, or even people who fly a U.S. flag, as potential terrorists. In 2012, a Homeland Security study was leaked which characterized Americans who are “suspicious of centralized federal authority,” and “reverent of individual liberty” as “extreme right-wing” terrorists.
Reid attracted controversy earlier this week when he promised that the BLM’s fight with Bundy was “not over”. The Nevada Senator was hit with accusations of cronyism after his former staffer Neil Kornze was confirmed as the new BLM director earlier this month.
Reid is obviously angry after his complicity in the siege against the Bundy family was exposed and became a viral story. Although many news outlets claimed this issue was “debunked,” Reid’s involvement in a solar farm just 35 miles from Bundy’s ranch is documented. Archived files which were deleted from the BLM’s own website confirm that confiscating Bundy’s cattle was necessary in order to clear the way for lucrative solar deals with transnational corporations.
Meanwhile, the BLM has admitted slaughtering two prize bulls belonging to Cliven Bundy during their round up of his cattle. The BLM claims the bulls “posed a safety hazard” but refused to elaborate. Bundy supporters have pointed to photographs which appear to show one of the bulls having suffered a gunshot wound.
Watch the historic stand off between Bundy supporters and BLM feds below.
In an open letter, Bundy’s neighbor, Kena Lytle Gloeckner, explained why ranchers are supporting Bundy. Her letter, which has been posted on numerous blogs,said:
There have been a lot of people criticizing Clive Bundy because he did not pay his grazing fees for 20 years. The public is also probably wondering why so many other cowboys are supporting Mr. Bundy even though they paid their fees and Clive did not. What you people probably do not realize is that on every rancher’s grazing permit it says the following: “You are authorized to make grazing use of the lands, under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management and covered by this grazing permit, upon your acceptance of the terms and conditions of this grazing permit and payment of grazing fees when due.” The “mandatory” terms and conditions go on to list the allotment, the number and kind of livestock to be grazed, when the permit begins and ends, the number of active or suspended AUMs (animal units per month), etc.
The terms and conditions also list specific requirements such as where salt or mineral supplements can be located, maximum allowable use of forage levels (40% of annual growth), etc., and include a lot more stringent policies that must be adhered to. Every rancher must sign this “contract” agreeing to abide by the TERMS AND CONDITIONS before he or she can make payment. In the early 90s, the BLM went on a frenzy and drastically cut almost every rancher’s permit because of this desert tortoise issue, even though all of us ranchers knew that cow and desert tortoise had co-existed for a hundred+ years. As an example, a family friend had his permit cut by 90%. For those of you who are non-ranchers, that would be equated to getting your paycheck cut 90%. In 1976 there were approximately 52 ranching permittees in this area of Nevada. Presently, there are 3.
Most of these people lost their livelihoods because of the actions of the BLM. Clive Bundy was one of these people who received extremely unfair and unreasonable TERMS AND CONDITIONS. Keep in mind that Mr. Bundy was required to sign this contract before he was allowed to pay. Had Clive signed on the dotted line, he would have, in essence, signed his very livelihood away. And so Mr. Bundy took a stand, not only for himself, but for all of us. He refused to be destroyed by a tyrannical federal entity and to have his American liberties and freedoms taken away.
Also keep in mind that all ranchers financially paid dearly for the forage rights those permits allow – – not rights to the land, but rights to use the forage that grows on that land. Many of these AUMS are water based, meaning that the rancher also has a vested right (state owned, not federal) to the waters that adjoin the lands and allow the livestock to drink. These water rights were also purchased at a great price. If a rancher cannot show beneficial use of the water (he must have the appropriate number of livestock that drinks and uses that water), then he loses that water right. Usually water rights and forage rights go hand in hand.
Contrary to what the BLM is telling you, they NEVER compensate a rancher for the AUMs they take away. Most times, they tell ranchers that their AUMS are “suspended,” but not removed. Unfortunately, my family has thousands of “suspended” AUMs that will probably never be returned. And so, even though these ranchers throughout the course of a hundred years invested thousands(and perhaps millions) of dollars and sacrificed along the way to obtain these rights through purchase from others, at a whim the government can take everything away with the stroke of a pen. This is the very thing that Clive Bundy single handedly took a stand against. Thank you, Clive, from a rancher who considers you a hero.
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