The Bundy Ranch situation in Nevada started as some sort of civil disobedience that morphed into obstruction of Justice and terrorism with calls to commit war crimes.
In 1993, the Federal land area specifically in dispute was originally designated to protect an endangered species of desert tortoise. Part of those protection efforts eliminated livestock grazing on public lands. While there are Federal lands in Nevada that allow grazing, this protected area was not one of those. In response to Bundy’s livestock trespassing, he has been repeatedly fined. His refusal to pay those fines led to his public grazing license revoked.
It is clear his refusal to pay was in the spirit of civil disobedience. Google defines Civil Disobedience as:
the refusal to comply with certain laws or to pay taxes and fines, as a peaceful form of political protest.
Bundy’s specific protest?
He believes he should be allowed to graze his cattle on public land without paying for it and believes he should be declared owner of this land. He and others have described the Federal laws associated with the protected land as a land grab.
However, like any protest, Bundy did or should have known his decision would have consequences. In this case, the government decided to confiscate the cattle trespassing on the protected land. Bundy anticipated this and had organized support across the country among right wing militias, threatening to start a “range war.”
This is the very definition of terrorism. Google defines terrorism as:
the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.
We were actually strategizing to put all the women up at the front. If they’re going to start shooting, it’s going to be women that are televised all across the world getting shot
Basically they were going to use women and children as human shields. Google defines Human Shield as :
a person or group of people held near a potential target to deter attack.
The International Criminal Court Statute, Article 8(2)(b)(xxiii) (ibid., § 2255) states:
“utilizing the presence of a civilian or other protected person to render certain points, areas or military forces immune from military operations” constitutes a war crime”
Red Cross Study on International Humanitarian Law Rule 97 barring the use of human shields states in specific part:
With respect to non-international armed conflicts, Additional Protocol II does not explicitly mention the use of human shields, but such practice would be prohibited by the requirement that “the civilian population and individual civilians shall enjoy general protection against the dangers arising from military operations”. It is significant, furthermore, that the use of human shields has often been equated with the taking of hostages, which is prohibited by Additional Protocol II,
What started as civil disobedience has now transformed, by design, into a terrorist act that includes war crimes, intended to kill women and children related to the terrorists themselves in a deceptive effort to gain sympathy. The sad part about this is that these terrorists illegitimately claim they are Patriots. Google defines a Patriot as:
a person who vigorously supports their country and is prepared to defend it against enemies or detractors.
In this case, no one has credibly claimed the Federal Government has acted in any specific way that is unconstitutional. None of the laws associated with this enforcement have been successfully constitutionally challenged in either the Congress or in the Courts. It’s not like Bundy lawfully owned the land and the government seized it. He has no bill of sale or certificate of ownership for the land in question, and thus has no legal claim to it.
An objective observer can only conclude, after reviewing all the facts in this case, that the Bundys and their supporters are terrorists pretending to be Patriots. Bundy is an entitled rich white right wing extremist who refuses to be held accountable under the laws that ordinary Americans are subject to every day.
Merriam-Webster defines a bigot as:
a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices
When it comes to the laws of the United States, Bundy and his supporters are clearly bigoted terrorists who desire to commit war crimes for their cause.
If they are truly Patriots, the Bundys would let their cattle be seized and then challenge it in the Court and in Congress while peacefully protesting, unarmed. This would fit the definition of civil disobedience and would draw more sympathy. However, threats of terrorist violence will do nothing other than further divide and weaken our country.