We still have four holdouts at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge. They were indicted on Wednesday by a Federal Grand Jury along with the 11 others that had previously been charged. The only way for them to leave the refuge now, provided they don’t decide to do something really stupid, is to be taken into Federal custody. Interestingly enough, as Les Zaitz points out on twitter, Blaine Cooper is not among the indicted. This will likely fuel further conspiracy mongering that he is, in fact, a government infiltrator of the movement. He is also violent and always heavily armed too.
Ammon Bundy decided to issue another statement through his attorney. This one informs us that he and his fellow extremists’ actions were necessary and that Federal and state law enforcement need to leave Harney County. This follows his previous statements that the remaining four holdouts need to leave and that he respects Article III Courts and Article III judges. These statements are coded language remarks. They appear to say one thing to those outside the culture and another to those inside. I’ll let the lawyers within our commentariat weigh in, but I would expect that if he keeps making these statements all he is going to do is set himself up for trouble with the prosecutors and the judge assigned to his case. His father Cliven isn’t helping things as he’s now claimed authority over the refuge and those still occupying it.
Speaking of judges: the US District Chief Judge handling the cases affirmed the ruling of the Federal magistrate that did the arraignments in Oregon, and refused Pete Santilli bail, or any other form of release. Chief District Judge Mosman is very concerned about Santilli’s remarks threatening to kill Federal officers if they were to try to take his guns away or arrest him. John Ritzheimer was also denied release by US District Judge Willett because he poses a danger to the community and is a flight risk. He is to be transported to Federal detention in Oregon to await further proceedings. Finally, Harney County Judge and Executive Grasty replied to the grievance he received from the Pacific Patriots Network (PPN) indicating that he, Sheriff Ward, and two county commissioners would not be resigning. Nor would anyone be arresting any Federal or Oregon State officers and charging them with the murder of LaVoy Finicum as the Deschutes County Major Incident Team is reviewing the shooting.
The Oregon Sheriff’s Association issued a statement explaining the role of the sheriff, as well as why the events at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge are illegal. Notice the language about taking up arms against local and Federal governments:
Finicum’s funeral was today and the fact that fellow travelers and supporters from all over the US were going to attend caused a great deal of concern that something might be planned for today or over the weekend. At one point last night JJ McNabb in her twitter feed indicated she had an uneasy feeling about this. Fortunately she was able to report today that the PPN’s Call to Action for tomorrow has been cancelled. That doesn’t necessarily mean anything isn’t still planned. Some of the concern was generated by a call to the Sheriff by the staff of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center over a suspicious man who entered the Center. There was also a Facebook posting by the rancher that Finicum convinced to formally renounce his grazing agreement that specifically identified interest in the Interpretive Center in connection with the militia meet up at Halfway, OR tomorrow. Since we have conflicting reports, there may be something happening tomorrow or they may not be something happening tomorrow.
Finally, there’s this very interesting, and long, video dealing with what is going on at the refuge, as well as with the beliefs of those involved with the occupation. It was done by a pair of political science graduates from Oregon State. While the whole thing is interesting, the two really begin to deal with the beliefs, doctrines, and ideologies of the occupiers around the 22 minute mark. Please note: I found the link to this on JJ McNabb’s twitter feed and I cannot in any way verify that these two men actually went out and spoke to anyone. I would guess that she can’t either. So take the video for what it is.