Unbelievable: Family Faces Sniper Rifles For Holding Camera
-This story portrays a very disturbing narrative regarding Americans’ disappearing rights
-Nevada Governor Blasts Feds’ ‘First Amendment Area’ in Bundy Dispute
-Before Nevada Cattle Rancher Standoff, BLM Killed Hundreds of Endangered Desert Tortoises
April 9, 2014 B. Christopher Agee
In today’s rapidly devolving America, it can be impossible to determine what constitutes a federal crime. During previous generations, actions that would precipitate the intervention of trained killers was fairly short; however, one family in Nevada recently found out that being targeted by snipers can be as easy as recording a video.
The incident took place at a Clark County ranch currently in dispute by its owner and the federal government. Though rancher Cliven Bundy contends the land is his by birthright, the Bureau of Land Management insists it is now the property of the government. It has levied substantial fees against Bundy for the right to use the land and, taking a stand against federal overreach, he has refused to pay.
Bundy claims he is willing to face whatever punishment he must to protect his property and the rights of American citizens.
BLM officers are now in the process of corralling his cattle and, to deal with Bundy supporters who visit the scene, have set up two ‘First Amendment areas’ within which free speech is permitted. Such limitations to the constitutional rights of Americans are becoming frustratingly common and, in this case, resulted in a family being targeted by snipers and at least one individual facing criminal charges.
Local reports indicate members of the landowner’s family stopped along a state highway to film the cattle roundup. Even though the BLM contends the disputed land being filmed is off-limits, Ryan Bundy explained he and his family “were on the state highway, not even off of the right-of-way.”
The unarmed family was quickly surrounded by 11 BLM response vehicles carrying twice as many federal agents.
“They also had four snipers on the hill above us all trained on us,” Ryan Bundy added. “We were doing nothing besides filming the area.”
Officials warned them that they were in violation of the law by exercising their rights outside of the prescribed locations. When Dave Bundy did not respond to demands to move in a timely enough manner, he was subjected to a harrowing experience.
“He was filming and talking on the phone,” his brother Ryan said, “I don’t know to whom. It happened pretty fast. They came down on him hard and had a German Shepherd on him. And then they took him.”
Cliven, Dave’s father, tried to find out where his son was taken, Ryan explained, and was told to “get off the phone or he would be arrested.”
He said the family is still unsure what charges his brother is facing.
This story portrays a very disturbing narrative regarding Americans’ disappearing rights. Not only have federal agents reportedly snatched a man’s property after declaring the government owns it; his son was allegedly attacked and arrested for trying to document the process.
Nevada Governor Blasts Feds’ ‘First Amendment Area’ in Bundy Dispute
“Constitutional rights sacred to all Nevadans”
April 9, 2014 by Paul Joseph Watson
Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval (a retired Federal Judge) has inserted himself into the escalating standoff between cattle rancher Cliven Bundy and federal officials by blasting the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) over their creation of a ‘First Amendment Area’ outside of which free speech is banned.
The ‘First Amendment Area’ set up by BLM agents is a crudely taped off piece of land inside which supporters of Bundy, who is engaged in a long running dispute with feds over grazing rights on a 600,000 acre expanse in northeastern Clark County, are allowed to express their free speech.
However, protesters have completely ignored the area, instead staging large demonstrations on Bundy’s ranch. The only presence inside the ‘First Amendment Area’ are signs which read “1st Amendment is not an area” and another that states, “Welcome to Amerika – Wake Up” alongside a hammer and sickle logo.
“Most disturbing to me is the BLM’s establishment of a ‘First Amendment Area’ that tramples upon Nevadans’ fundamental rights under the U.S. Constitution,” said Sandoval in a statement. “To that end, I have advised the BLM that such conduct is offensive to me and countless others and that the ‘First Amendment Area’ should be dismantled immediately.”
“No cow justifies the atmosphere of intimidation which currently exists nor the limitation of constitutional rights that are sacred to all Nevadans. The BLM needs to reconsider its approach to this matter and act accordingly,” asserted the Governor.
The Bundy family responded to Sandoval’s statement by saying they were disappointed that he didn’t take a more firm stance to back them in their dispute with the BLM, but they were pleased with his sentiments regarding the ‘First Amendment Area’.
“Whenever you designate an area, then you’re restricting it everywhere else. When you designate an area like that for first amendment rights, you [don’t] give the people any rights. You [take them] away, and every other location,” said Ryan Bundy.
The Bundy family came face to face with the consequences of violating the free speech zone on Sunday when Dave Bundy was arrested for taking video footage from a state highway of BLM agents rounding up his family’s cattle. Video footage later proved that armed snipers had their guns trained on the family during the incident.
On Sunday, Cliven Bundy promised to launch a “range war” on federal officials after they began rounding up his cattle. Authorities are justifying the move by pointing out they are simply enforcing a 1993 rule change which prevents Bundy’s livestock from grazing on the land in order to protect the endangered desert tortoise.
Bundy and his supporters see the spat as something entirely different, portraying it as a clash between out of control big government and patriotic American family farmers.
With Bundy’s ranch under constant surveillance from armed agents ensconced inside what Ryan Bundy described as a “military compound,” some fear the standoff could lead to a Ruby Ridge or Waco-style tragedy.
Before Nevada Cattle Rancher Standoff, BLM Killed Hundreds of Endangered Desert Tortoises
Endangered tortoise used as justification to assault Nevada rancher’s property rights
April 9, 2014 by Adan Salazar
Months before the heated contention between the Bureau of Land Management and Nevada cattle rancher Cliven Bundy, purportedly over protecting an endangered species of desert tortoise, the BLM was euthanizing the tortoises in droves.
700 – 840 sick tortoises may be euthanized “because that’s the sensible thing to do.”
On Saturday, the BLM, with the help of helicopters, low-flying aircraft and hired cowboys, began rounding up Bundy’s cattle, and forbade him from interfering with the operation, as Bundy announced he was prepared to weather a full-on assault.
“My forefathers have been up and down the Virgin Valley ever since 1877. All these rights I claim have been created through pre-emptive rights and beneficial use of the forage and water. I have been here longer. My rights are before the BLM even existed,” Bundy said.
The BLM says they’re moving in, not to encroach on the man’s property rights, but because Bundy didn’t pay “grazing fees,” which the Bureau has imposed on land developers “who disturb tortoise habitat on public land,” according to the Associated Press.
Throughout the housing boom in the 2000s, the Bureau was earning enough to fund the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center (DTCC) in southern Las Vegas, a habitat “created in 1991 to house wild desert tortoises removed from the path of development and to use those tortoises to aid recovery of the species.” Its operating budget was about $1 million per year.
But the recession that followed dwindled the number of developers, and in turn funds for the DTCC.
So, facing the prospect of shutting their doors, the DTCC began releasing healthier turtles into the wild, and euthanizing some of the sick ones.
From the AP, August 25, 2013:
Back at the conservation center, a large refrigerator labeled “carcass freezer” hummed in the desert sun as scientists examined the facility’s 1,400 inhabitants to find those hearty enough to release into the wild. Officials expect to euthanize more than half the animals in the coming months in preparation for closure at the end of 2014.
“It’s the lesser of two evils, but it’s still evil,” Roy Averill-Murray, tortoise recovery coordinator with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service desert, told the AP.
Averill-Murray estimated 50 to 60 percent of the facility’s 1,400 tortoises were stricken with disease and could not be housed near healthy tortoises. Others were “too feeble to survive,” according to the AP, and could not be adopted out.
“The ones that don’t get better and that are sick and suffering will probably be euthanized because that’s the sensible thing to do,” Allyson Walsh, associate director for the San Diego Zoo’s Institute for Conservation Research, said.
News that the tortoises were going to be set free or killed spurred people around the world to contact the refuge in attempts to adopt death row tortoises, and donations began flowing in hopes to keep the DTCC afloat, but the BLM estimated it wouldn’t be enough to sustain it overall.
“Although it’s wonderful that people want to give money, it won’t change the outcome for the Desert Conservation Center,” BLM Communications Chief Erica Haspiel-Szlosek stated. “There just isn’t money to keep it going, nor is it really the best use of conservation funds.”
The tortoises’ average 100-year life span also doesn’t exactly make them the most ideal pets.
Despite the imminent closing of the DTCC’s doors due to lack of funding, the BLM has gone on to round up about 234 of rancher Cliven Bundy’s cattle at gunpoint claiming they’re helping protect the tortoise and also claiming he owes them over $1 million in grazing fees.
At the same time, seizing and impounding all 908 of Bundy’s cattle would cost the government an estimated $3 million, a figure that would keep the DTCC thriving for another three years.
Interestingly, the BLM is also facing a lawsuit from various environmental groups suing on the grounds that the bureau “has failed to track the effects of a wide range of human activities in the California desert on the tortoise..”
All of this illustrates how the BLM’s dispute with Mr. Bundy has nothing to do with saving or protecting tortoises (most of which were given to the facility by people who owned them as pets, and which the BLM is either killing or releasing into the wild – animals raised in captivity don’t usually fare well in the wild) as they claim, and everything to do with making an example out of Mr. Bundy for having the gall to stand up for his property, bullying him into submission by brute force.
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