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Bundy Ranch: Another Ruby Ridge Avoided For Now

Bundy Ranch Civil Rights Photo


The standoff at the Nevada ranch of Cliven Bundy and his family has ended peacefully – for now. 

However, the issues of property rights, federal bureaucratic over-reach, and perhaps most importantly, the increasing militarization of federal civilian agencies have not gone away.

Federal officials say Bundy has racked up more than $1.1 million in unpaid grazing fees over the years while disregarding several court orders to remove his animals from what is allegedly federal land. Bundy’s refusal to comply with what he claims are unlawful actions of the federal bureaucracy caused the fight over Cliven Bundy’s cattle to widen into a debate about states’ rights and federal land-use policy.

The underlying issues in the Bundy Ranch standoff are complex and to those living in cities or east of the Mississippi River they may be almost unintelligible; grazing rights, gazing fees, and environmental regulations of dubious statutory authority versus the common usage, traditions and culture of the Old West.

But what isn’t complex or unintelligible to any American is a picture of a heavily armed, camouflage clad thug pushing an unarmed woman to the ground.

What isn’t complex or unintelligible to any American is a picture of heavily armed, camouflage clad thugs with guns threatening unarmed citizens with death over an allegedly endanger tortoise or some unpaid fines.

And that is what most concerns us about the Bundy Ranch standoff.

In nations with authoritarian governments, and even in some fairly democratic countries, the “Department of the Interior” is the internal spy agency and political police force, not the government land manager and park operator as it is in the United States.

Yet, what the video and photos coming out of the Bundy Ranch standoff showed us was images that could have easily been mistaken for the actions of “Department of the Interior” paramilitary police in any Third World dictatorship or authoritarian country – not a government of the people, by the people and for the people.

What we see in the Bundy Ranch standoff is the penultimate result of a pattern in which the federal government’s civilian agencies adopt military weapons and tactics that would make Vladimir Putin or any of the old Eastern European Communist dictators – like Romania’s bloody dictator Nicolae Ceausescu – proud.

And it’s not just the US Department of the Interior that has become increasingly militarized.

In 2013 there was an uproar over armed EPA agents descending on the gold mining town of Chicken, Alaska that shed light on the fact that 40 federal agencies – including nearly a dozen typically not associated with law enforcement -- have armed divisions.

FOX News subsequently reported that federal agencies employ about 120,000 full-time officers authorized to carry guns and make arrests, according to a June 2012 Justice Department report.

The Environmental Protection Agency, whose armed agents in full body armor participated in the raid on Chicken, Alaska, acknowledged taking part in the Alaska Environmental Crimes Task Force investigation, which it said was conducted to look for possible violations of the Clean Water Act.

The other federal agencies participating in the Chicken, Alaska operation were the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Coast Guard, the National Oceanic and the Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Park Service.

But the militarization of the federal civilian bureaucracy isn’t limited to military style weapons and body armor. 

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a civil rights organization fighting against police use of drones and electronic eavesdropping, revealed documents in January of this year that show that Customs and Border Patrol loaned its Predator drones 700 times between 2010 and 2012.

The agency had previously admitted to lending out the drones 500 times, but said it misplaced the records for 200 additional flights, and "discovered that it did not release all entries from the daily reports for 2010-2012" on the eve of a federal hearing in a case involving EFF.

Despite lending drones to groups such as Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and various state and local law enforcement groups, the government admits that only one person, Rodney Brossart, a North Dakotan cattle rancher, has been convicted of a crime through the use of military style drones.

The federal government’s increasing use of military style weapons, technology and tactics to enforce what in many cases are civil actions, such as the collection of fines, or non-violent “environmental crimes” is a development that should trouble every liberty minded American.

The militarization of civilian government greatly increases the potential for deadly confrontations in which innocent people who have committed no crime are killed, such as at the Branch Davidian massacre in Waco, Texas and the government sanctioned murders of Sammy and Vicki Weaver at Ruby Ridge, Idaho.

In his great speech “A Time for Choosing” Ronald Reagan said, "You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children's children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done."

That vision of America as the last best hope of man on earth is being sorely tested when armed agents of the federal government can invade your property and arbitrarily mete out death for minor "environmental crimes" or the collection of civil fines. 

Through the increasing militarization of the civilian agencies of the federal government the very fundamental constitutional principle that no one may be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law is being slowly destroyed. 

If constitutional government is to be preserved in this country, Congress must immediately demilitarize the civilian agencies of the federal government  by defunding their armed branches. Congress must also specifically and clearly prohibit civilian agencies, such as the BLM, EPA and other agencies charged with enforcing mere regulatory statutes, from using military tactics, weapons and technology against the American people.

It is time for We the People, to say “No more” to the militarization of the federal government's civilian agencies.

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Stealth Government

Anonymity is the tool of an outrageous overbearing, overreaching, corrupt government bent on toppling the American People. When armed government workers are transported into an area to do the bidding of the corrupt. These people act with wanton disregard to the people, and the Constitution. WHY? Because of complete ANONYMITY. The imports attack with aggression and false beliefs that they will not be harmed, physically of legally for their UNCONSTITUTIONAL BEHAVIOR. The Government is getting more and more paranoid about the response of the people to the governments own behavior and thus require even greater force to plaque that growing fear.
Anonymity is the worst thing, we the people have allowed the Government, to get away with.
The Government has our names, address, friends names, phone #'s, Computer information, on and on. What do we have about the attackers? Nothing, accept they belong to part of the government that we cannot touch. If you challenge them on constitutional issues it will cost $1,000,000 plus just to have your case reach the Supreme Court. This does not guarantee that they will hear it.
The Court was set up originally to hear personal cases on violations of the Constitution over that of the Groups. This has been inverted. Again we lose.