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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 4/28/14

From Bundy to Benghazi

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Message John Pagoda
Cliven Bundy, the Nevada cattle rancher who has been refusing to pay government fees for having his cattle graze on public land since 1993, now finds himself owing the federal government over 1 million dollars.  In the process he has become the newest/latest cause celebre of the Republican propaganda machine which has created the narrative that Bundy is a victim of a "big government" trying to invade his private property.
When Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada called Bundy and his supporters "domestic terrorists," Fox and Friends were so outraged that eventually Republican politicians heard the story, got the message, and began referring to Bundy and his armed militia as "patriots."  Sadly, the Democrats and their cheerleaders at MSNBC toned down the truth and suggested Sen. Reid "may have gone over the top" by calling a spade a spade.
Bundy is on record as saying, "I don't recognize (the) U.S. Government as even existing."  In addition, Bundy and his family "have repeatedly threatened violence, invoked revolutionary rhetoric, and issued public statements making known that they own firearms and appear willing to use them."
Mainstream media never did ask exactly when did Bundy begin withholding his "recognition."  Is his recognition withheld when the U.S. Government is controlled by either party?  Did Bundy ever vote in a presidential election and if he did, does he understand that he was giving his consent to be governed by someone he didn't recognize as being legitimate? Does a stable mind consent to that which is illegitimate? And when Bundy said "I abide by almost zero federal laws" how does he define "almost?"
Federal agents showed up to round up Bundy's cattle that were grazing on federal property without a fee being paid for over 20 years by the owner of the cattle (i.e. Bundy).  Bundy responded with an armed militia that trained their sights on federal agents and threatened to put their own women supporters on the front lines to frame the story "federal agents kill innocent American women." By forcing the federal agents to back down in this way, they were participating in domestic terrorism.
In essence Bundy and his patriotic supporters were involved in acts which were dangerous to human life, appeared intended to influence the policy of government by intimidation, and took place in Nevada.  These acts seem to meet the criteria to be considered "domestic terrorists" - but the flame throwers at Fox never did have any regard for the facts especially if/when they got in the way of a good conservative paranoid spin about "big government."  To them, Bundy - the tax cheat and domestic terrorist - was a "patriot."
Not to digress but when a Bundy supporter claimed they would put women in the front lines if armed violence was imminent, I thought: don't middle eastern extremists do the same thing with their women and children when they resort to intimidating any opposition to the beliefs and values they wish to impose on everyone else? That's the kind same kind of extremism where anti-woman agendas are born.
In addition it is tempting to imagine the possible outcomes - from drones to full military assault - if Cliven Bundy was Ahmed Hassan Bundy, or if Bundy's skin was black or brown.  But the reality is that Bundy isn't middle-eastern or black or brown, and even in post-racial America (wink, wink - nod, nod) that Bundy is still on the conservative talk show circuit makes it quite obvious that there are advantages to being white.
This is an uncomfortable truth: based on documented facts, Bundy and his supporters at the ranch are domestic terrorists according to the FBI definition of "domestic terrorism" printed below. If we are indeed a nation of laws, Bundy and the armed militia should be arrested and charged with the federal violation of domestic terrorism, and those pandering politicians and propagandists should be prosecuted under the aptly named "Patriot Act" for aiding terrorism here at home.
That Bundy et al have yet to be held accountable for committing the crime of domestic terrorism compels me to conclude that we are in fact becoming more a nation threatened by armed men posing to be "law abiding citizens" who violate federal law because they don't "recognize the legitimacy of this government or its laws" - at least when the Democratic Party controls the government, and especially when the face of the government is black.
Today Cliven Bundy couldn't stop talking about "the negro," MSNBC couldn't stop replaying the voice of racism but continued to stay away from "domestic terrorism," FOX wasn't ready to come out of the closet preferring their dog whistle racism to Bundy's in-your-face approach - so they went from Bundy to Benghazi in prime time  and Republican politicians were "offended" by their "hero."  But apparently they were not the least bothered by his anti-government disregard for the law and his acts of terrorism.  
In 2014 America there are no laws against being a racist; but there are laws against being a domestic terrorist. Time for the mainstream media to get on the same page and refer to Bundy as what he and his militia are in reality -domestic terrorists - and time for our Justice Dept to enforce the law against domestic terrorism before it spreads like a disease.
A good start would be to give Bundy 24 hours to tell the armed militia on his property to leave or face charges of aiding domestic terrorists -  i.e. the armed militia, who would be given 72 hours to disperse and leave the Bundy ranch or be charged with domestic terrorism.  Give Bundy 30 days to submit a plan to repay his debt or hold him accountable accordingly. On day 31 use the full force of the federal government to enforce the rule of law. If not now, when?

Definitions of Terrorism in the U.S. Code

18 U.S.C. 2331 defines "international terrorism" and "domestic terrorism" for purposes of Chapter 113B of the Code, entitled "Terrorism":


"Domestic terrorism" means activities with the following three characteristics:

  • Involve acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law;
  • Appear intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination. or kidnapping; and
  • Occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S.

18 U.S.C. 2332b defines the term "federal crime of terrorism" as an offense that:

  • Is calculated to influence or affect the conduct of government by intimidation or coercion, or to retaliate against government conduct; and
  • Is a violation of one of several listed statutes, including 930(c) (relating to killing or attempted killing during an attack on a federal facility with a dangerous weapon); and 1114 (relating to killing or attempted killing of officers and employees of the U.S.).
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"tomorrow is guaranteed to no one" compells this fellow traveler to describe the way of life that requires a new way of living where something is left behind which decreases the suffering of all forms of life that follow.
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