The latest chapter in this sorry saga was unfolding last night when the final four members of the Bundy Gang, holed up in the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge hair care, tire center, and gift shop, having vowed for days now that they would never leave or surrender....were preparing to surrender:
The remaining four occupiers at an Oregon federal wildlife refuge said they planned to turn themselves in Thursday morning after being surrounded by FBI agents overnight.
The FBI’s move to encircle the last holdout’s marked a dramatic escalation in a mostly slow-moving six-week standoff led by Ammon and Ryan Bundy — both currently in jail — at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge. …
A man identified as Sean Anderson — one of the remaining four — said the occupiers would turn themselves in once Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore and North Carolina-based Christian evangelist Franklin Graham arrive at the refuge.
....and are arrested by federal agents.
Just kidding. Assemblywoman Fiore and Reverend Graham haven't been arrested. Yet.
The four holdouts aren't worthy of Fiore's and Graham's assistance, though, given how pathetic is their unwillingness to own their actions, much less defend them, or be honest about what it is they're doing:
“We’re not surrendering, we’re turning ourselves in,” the forty-eight-year-old said on the sometimes fiery phone call. “It’s going against everything we believe in.” [emphasis added]
Dude, YOU'RE going against everything you claim to believe in. You're surrendering. There is no difference - physical, substantive, or semantic - between that and "turning yourselves in," unless you're planning to use Fiore and Graham as human shields. It's precisely and exactly the same thing. Which I'm assuming he knows, or that phone call wouldn't have been so "fiery". It tells me that there's a strong possibility that these four gentlemen really won't be taken alive, if for no other reason than to up the martyrdom ante.
In a phrase, the Bundy Gang "bit off more than they could chew". Unlike two years ago at Casa Bundy, this time they attacked the Feds by their "occupation" stunt, forfeiting every last inch of the moral high ground they had previously, giving the government the PR cover to swoop in and effortlessly squash them, costing one of their number (and, perhaps, counting), Robert LaVoy Finicum, his life.
And, in a tying off of that 2014 loose thread, costing the Bundy patriarch his freedom:
Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, the father of Ammon Bundy, the leader of the occupation at an Oregon wildlife refuge, has been arrested after flying into Portland International Airport.
He was detained by the FBI and booked into Multnomah County Jail on Wednesday night, the prison’s records show. The four remaining occupiers of the wildlife refuge said they would turn themselves in Thursday morning.
A post on Bundy Ranch’s Facebook page said: “Cliven Bundy just landed in Portland; we are being told by eyes on ground that he was surrounded by SWAT and DETAINED.” [emphasis added]
Really? An entire SWAT team to take one old man into custody, even if he was armed? (Hey, we are talking the TSA, here.) I'm not sure which is less believable, the federale overkill or anything a Bundy says at this point.
He faces a conspiracy charge to "interfere with a federal officer" — the same charge lodged against two of his sons, Ammon and Ryan, for their role in the January 2nd takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge [near] Burns. He also faces weapons charges. …
Bundy has been under federal scrutiny since his ranch standoff with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. He has not paid grazing fees on federal land and [the BLM claims] he owes the agency $1 million in unpaid fees and penalties. He and militia supporters confronted federal agents who had [stolen] Bundy’s cattle that were found on [what the BLM claimed was] federal property. …
Another key participant in the Nevada showdown was Ryan Payne, a Montana militiaman who helped organize militia snipers to take aim at federal agents in Nevada. Payne is considered the tactician behind the Oregon takeover and also has been arrested and faces a federal conspiracy charge.
My Tea Party friends, there is a lesson to be learned from the order and sequence of these events.
In the First Battle of Bundy Hill, the feds attacked Bundy, stealing and seizing his assets and invading his property. Clive Bundy, his friends, and militia allies prepared to defend themselves if the feds took the confrontation all the way. But the latter did not do so. Why? Bad optics. It would have been too obviously tyrannical, thuggish, and reminiscent of the Obama Regime's police state mentality. It would have made the Bundys the oppressed victims in the public's perception. Since that would have been an impediment the Obama greenstremist agenda and a PR headache they didn't need, the BLM backed off.
In the Second Battle of Bundy Hill, the Bundys were the aggressors, foolishly thinking they could ever get leverage over the feds to force government capitulation to their outlandishly ambitious demands - privatization of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, release of Dwight and Steven Hammond (despite the Hammonds disavowing the Bundys' actions on their behalf). And even then, the Regime tried to wait them out (Remember Ammon Bundy vowing that he and his friends were prepared to say there for years?). But they weren't going to do so forever, upon which the Bundys were perversely counting in the evident belief that some sort of statement could be made from another Ruby Ridge-esque outcome. Something they nominally got with Finicum's death, which only seemed to put the proverbial fear of God into them instead, and brings into question whether they ever, at any point, thought through their plan at all, to the slightest degree. It's why I've always considered the whole episode to be a fiasco from the beginning.
And what have the Bundys gained from their "patriotic" efforts? They're all in jail; one of their friends is in the morgue; and they're now perceived as "domestic terrorists" and criminals, the moral high ground on the issue of land rights that they boldly and courageously seized two years ago now forfeited in a fit of romanticist delusionalism.
Understand this well, folks: If tyranny is to be resisted, the people must be on our side. And most Americans don't have the slightest idea that we languish under the very sort of tyranny that the Founding Fathers feared. If the people are to be educated and persuaded of that reality and the righteousness of the cause of patriotic resistance, we cannot act in any way or manner that makes it easier for the government to cast us as, well, "domestic terrorists" and/or criminals. When the Bundys were defending their home against one of the many branches of Obama's stormtroopers, they were clearly the heroic "good guys," the latter clearly the evil "bad guys". Why else do you think the BLM backed off? But when the Bundys seized federal property (regardless of whether or not the feds should own it, that's beside the point), that moral clarity was blown out the proverbial airlock, and the feds had the propaganda cover they needed to move in.
And now the entire Bundy clan is behind bars, publicly perceived as wacko lunatics instead of the de facto political prisoners they really are, and the cause of land and property rights has been further discredited.
In any war - whether literal or figurative - there is always a battle for the hearts and minds of the people. Or "the ideological war," as the old Soviet commies used to call it. Ignore that aspect of war - fool yourself into believing that "right makes might" without convincing a majority of your audience - and the more likely your defeat will be.
The struggle is about far more than just "FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!". If the fate of the Bundy Gang doesn't convince y'all of that, nothing will.