Do Bundy Ranch Standoff Indictments Mean More Arrests are Imminent?

America's Own

Now that they’ve unhorsed Cliven Bundy and his core adherents, will the feds now turn their attention to the remainder of his supporters?

“Ammon Bundy, brother Ryan Bundy, Ryan Payne and Peter Santilli — already indicted in the armed takeover of a federal wildlife refuge in eastern Oregon — now face federal indictment along with Cliven Bundy in the 2014 armed standoff near the Bundy ranch in Nevada,” Maxine Bernstein of The Oregonian reported Wednesday.

The indictment lists nine United States Code violations, including: “Conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States: Conspiracy to impede or injure a federal officer; Carrying a firearm in a crime of violence; Assault on a federal officer; Threatening a federal law enforcement officer; Obstructing justice; Interfering with interstate commerce by extortion; [and] Interstate travel in aid of extortion.” It also presents five forfeiture allegations leveled against “property obtained from the proceeds of their crimes, totaling at least $3 million, including cattle [and require the defendants] “to forfeit firearms and ammunition used in the April 12, 2014, standoff with federal authorities.”

This action is leading to justifiable speculation and worries that others who assisted in security operations and who were at Bunkerville to show solidarity with the cause of resolving western land disputes may now find themselves rounded up. Some have seized on that and  are issuing strident warnings that are long on alarm but short on corroboration beyond unsubstantiated claims of having “intel.”

It may be that a massive operation is in the works, but to react imprudently without actual intelligence is a good way to escalate things to the favor of those who wish to discredit the Patriot movement. Some of us have seen appallingly bad “intel” happen in real time during the Malheur occupation, with supposedly credible reports of ground action occurring that later turned out to be completely false. There’s “intel,” there’s bad “intel,” and there’s flat-out disinformation put out there by secretive parties with agendas to force an emotion-driven move, and to entrap.

The Bundys, through actions they initiated, provided situational opportunities to bring them in with minimal chances of pushback and risk to the “authorities.”  A reason the government didn’t just go in full force to “Waco” either Bunkerville or Malheur is because their analysts knew not only would casualties play badly in the press for their political masters, but that there are those in other AOs capable of responding in places and ways no one could predict or prepare for. The subsequent distrust and rage fallout from the Finicum shooting has to convince those doing the cost/benefits analysis that massive brutal sweeps will provide plenty of opportunities for things to turn disastrous, both during operations and, significantly, afterward.

Look at it this way: Just as being armed is a deterrent against an individual predator due to the uncertainty of a successful attack and the likelihood that he could be the one who loses everything, so too does that work on the societal scale. That’s one of the “design features” of an armed citizenry that acts as a safeguard by providing powerful incentives to all sides for peaceable alternatives.

So is the message here not to worry, everything’s going to be OK?

Of course not. We’re living in incredibly dangerous times.

Our duty to our oaths and to ourselves requires us to stay alert and prepared. Of course we should have plans and contingencies for self-defense and for mutual defense – that’s just part of what we should already be doing. But that duty also includes being discriminating on what information we buy into, disseminate and react to, and to not play into the hands of those who intentionally throw out provocative lies, either so they can laugh at the rise they get, or so they can destroy.

There are people in this organization — including those with skin in the game — working tirelessly behind the scenes to separate the wheat from the chaff, and doing the best they can with the resources at hand. Let’s all continue to keep our eyes open and to make sure we do our due diligence so that the sources we rely on are credible and worthy of our trust.

So what happens if soon after this is posted we start seeing raids and roundups?

No one has either a crystal ball or a reliable road map through hell. The best laid plans and all that. I guess we’ll find out.

But the advantages of relying on good information still apply.

About Author

David Codrea

David Codrea blogs at The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance (WarOnGuns.com), and is a field editor/columnist for GUNS Magazine. Named “Journalist of the Year” in 2011 by the Second Amendment Foundation for his groundbreaking work on the “Fast and Furious” ATF “gunwalking” scandal, he is a frequent event speaker and guest on national radio and television programs.