Sunday, January 10, 2016
Ammon Bundy and his merry men vs. the Sheriff of Malheur (Part 1)
Am I the only one who can’t make heads or tails about what Ammon Bundy is attempting to accomplish with the takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge administration building. Yes, I’ve read the newspaper articles; but to me it still doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. And, when you take over federal property, attempting to intimidate the authorities with guns, doesn’t that make you a ‘terrorist’ (if at very least a terrorist with a small ‘t’)? Perhaps, if Bundy could boil his demands down to a brief, coherent, published manifesto, we could all think it over.
It really is kind of funny. Did you see the picture, today, of the armed militant with the Pacific Patriots Network on the front page of the Oregonian newspaper? Boy, that guy is right out of central casting for a Chevy Chase movie. Question: Do any of these guys have actual jobs? Yes, of course, that’s none of my business.
On the other hand, I completely understand that this whole matter could suddenly turn deadly serious (Wounded Knee, Waco and Ruby Ridge).
As an FBI Agent, I spent a couple of months at Wounded Knee and have some knowledge of what a siege situation is like and how it can turn from bad to worse.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not entirely on the government’s side. They have dictated, encroached and overly regulated entirely too much on property rights. I could go on for a good while – potentially boring every reader into a coma.
It could be said that the federal government’s regulations put the Oregon timber industry out of business. Towns dried up and died. Good paying jobs were lost. Why? Because some egg-head back East decided that a former worker in an Oregon plywood mill could just as easily subsist on the salary he potentially could make at McDonalds or Jiffy Lube. And, or, he could go to a community college at age 50 and learn how to become a plumber’s assistant.
Oh, and, whatever happened to the Spotted Owl? It’s living happily in the virgin Oregon forests I would assume.
I worked many years for a large forest products company as their Western Region Security Manager. As a corporate employee, I was headquartered in Portland and was responsible for eleven western states. But, let’s just take Oregon for example. When I started with the company there were 10 or 12 mills, plus various facilities and timber operations throughout Oregon with literally thousands of employees with pretty darn good jobs. As my own ‘early retirement’ grew near, I happened to be the last employee with the company still in Oregon. I had been retained to provide a security presence for all the closures and terminations.
Regarding the Malheur imbroglio, I have some thoughts on what law enforcement and the FBI are probably now thinking. Top of the list almost certainly: ‘Let’s not let this situation blow up in our faces.’ To use a metaphor, it’s a carefully orchestrated dance. The FBI provides the music for now, but Ammon Bundy is leading.
To be continued…