The members of the militia arrested by the FBI could face ten years or more in prison for their actions. It is not clear what will happen if and when they post bail and get out of jail. After all this tough talk about fighting government tyranny, will they meekly show up for trial or will they again defy the government to come and get them, this time from a more fortified position? Recall that Cliven Bundy still roams free on the family ranch. If Ammon and Ryan Bundy go back to their father’s ranch and refuse to attend their trial, what then?
The authorities are expected to hold a press conference later in the day to report on what happened yesterday.
LaVoy Finicum, a spokesperson for the Oregon militia group who was killed yesterday, had said just before his death that the tone of the federal authorities had changed, as if they were getting ready to take action.
“We used to be able to walk up to the FBI agents and talk to them in a friendly manner and stuff,” he explained. “But the tenor has changed, they have become more hardened. And when they step out of their vehicles now, they step out with their rifles. And they’re not willing to engage in just friendly dialog.”
“Why the rattling of the sabre?” he asked. “Why when we’re so far away from anybody, why are you ramping it up? Why do you fly your planes over us non-stop and why do you have your drones. Because they do, they’re droning us now.”
“All the things show that they want to take some kinetic action against us. And we’re saying, why be so unfriendly? Why be so threatening? Why are you threatening lethal force when we’re so far away?”
Finicum added that all of the FBI’s behavior was “in preparation of a campaign of some sort.”
He was correct.
Finicum had been openly shuttling back and forth between the refuge and his farm back in Utah. Finicum had been in the news recently when the state took away the foster children in his home. The allowance he received from the state had apparently been his main source of income.
Utah resident Chris Zinda had written about Finicum before and about two weeks ago on one of the latter’s trips back to Utah. Zinda was surprised to hear that Finicum was being interviewed by a local radio station. So with his children in tow, he waited in the parking lot for him and talked after the show was over.
Fifteen minutes later, out comes LaVoy and his wife, holding hands and smiling, like they’re lovers and friends rather than husband and wife. It was nice to see.
The kids prepared and attentive, me feeling kinda creepy but resolute, I get out of the car, approach them, and state who I am – thankfully to no shock. I state my purpose: “I have written about you and have come to respect you. I heard you on the radio and felt an obligation to finally meet you, to shake your hand and tell you so. So, here I am.”
No. The Lord didn’t tell me to go.
A journalist friend said to me portending earlier in the day, “Why are these motherfuckers always so nice?” And, true to word, LaVoy and his lovely wife seem to be very nice people. They were gracious when I stated my intent, each held out their hands without reserve for a friendly firm handshake, and they referenced knowledge my work.
I asked no questions about the stand off, only made reference of my feeling of need to shake his hand and meet him. “I would love to have a long talk with you in the future when this is all over,” referencing my background and interests. I find his distorted views on the Constitution and of natural law, prior appropriation and local governance deeply fascinating from a political science viewpoint. Both LaVoy and his better half said they’d like that, Mrs. Finicum making reference with great concern in her eyes to the danger and uncertainty of the situation, and if and where that conversation may be.
That is not unusual. Human beings are complex. People with views diametrically opposed to one’s own, and even those that are utterly abhorrent, can often be very nice in person.