The recent actions taken by the Bureau of Land Management in Nevada against cattle rancher Cliven Bundy are redolent of federal agents killing two American citizens at Ruby Ridge, Idaho; incinerating 76 Americans near Waco, Texas; and the armed seizure of little Elian, the Cuban refugee, from the arms of his paternal relatives in Miami, Fla.
For four days the so-called mainstream media refused to cover the Nevada story. But, thanks to The Drudge Report and Fox News Channel, the stand-off between heavily armed federal agents and lightly armed American citizens finally came to light.
Whatever the merits or demerits of the grazing-rights dispute between Mr. Bundy and the BLM, all the BLM needed to do was file a lien against Mr. Bundy’s cattle and other possessions. Because the federal government claims a vested interest in “punishing” Mr. Bundy for grazing his cattle on what the feds claim is federal land, it is unfair for Mr. Bundy’s case to be litigated in a federal court. The State of Nevada also has a vested interest in who owns this virtually barren land. Solution: Appoint a disinterested Special Referee to determine the facts.
Cattle rancher Bundy may or may not have the law on his side; however, it has long been U.S. policy that federal lands, not set aside as National Parks to preserve wildlife, are to be “productive.” By producing beef on barren land that is unsuited for other agricultural purposes, Mr. Bundy is making the land “productive.” Whether or how much Mr. Bundy needs to pay for making the land productive is a matter for civil litigation, not for a Gestapo-like assault by federal agents brandishing assault rifles.
The BLM agents separated nursing calves from the bursting udders of their lactating mothers. They shot holes in water tanks, depriving the cattle of water. They shot two bulls that were standing quietly. So, where are the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)? So far, silence.
In 2011, U.S. Senator Harry Reid (D) junketed to Beijing, urging the Red Chinese to invest in Nevada. Now, the Red Chinese energy giant ENN Group plans to construct a giant solar facility in Nevada. Senator Reid’s son, Rory, is now an employee of ENN. Federal Election Commission (FEC) records show that ENN funneled $40,650 to Senator Reid’s last three reelection campaigns. Reid’s former senate aide, Neil Kornze, now heads the BLM. Does this smell or what?
Foreign corporations and non-U.S. citizens are forbidden from making political contributions; however, American citizens who work for foreign subsidiaries in America are allowed to contribute the money “they earn inside this country” to a PAC which, in turn, can make political contributions. Did the Red Chinese obey U.S. law? Who or what caused the BLM to attempt to run Mr. Bundy’s cattle off the land?
If what some Nevada ranchers are saying about the Reid family and the Red Chinese turns out to be true, Mr. Bundy, no matter how strong or weak his legal claim, could turn out to be the new John Wayne of American western folklore.
Nationally syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, is a laureate of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame, and the Oklahoma University Army ROTC Wall of Fame. He was educated at the University of Oklahoma, the George Washington University, the U.S Naval War College, the University of Nebraska, and Harvard University.