Everyone’s up in arms about that militia in Oregon who seized the headquarters of an un-used building in the federal wildlife refuge.
They are armed with guns and say they are protesting the sentences of two ranchers convicted of arson.
But the root of their anger is what they’re calling a government land grab.
They say federal authorities are preventing them from using land and resources by not allowing their cattle to graze on what they believe is property that belongs to the American people.
Leading the charge is Ammon Bundy, whose dad Cliven Bundy, became famous in 2014 during his standoff with the federal government in Nevada.
Ammon spoke to CNN on Monday.
Sara: “They’re basically calling you terrorists, how do you respond to these kinds of accusations?”
Bundy: “I would just encourage that they, well that is the minority, I would encourage people to look into what is really truly doing the terrorizing, who’s been taking ranches, this refuge alone, over 100 ranches have been taken so they can make this park, this refuge”
The younger Bundy says their militia is willing to fight and die if necessary, citing his constitutional rights in every single interview.
So, let’s fact check his constitutional rights:
The land and the building belong to the federal government.
They have taken over a building that is not theirs.
It’s illegal and the government has every right to remove and arrest them.
The former Assistant Director of the FBI told me this on my CNN show last night:
“I don’t think they have any legal basis whatsoever. They seem to think they have the absolute right to free graze on federal lands. And if they don’t get what they want they can simply do an armed takeover of government buildings. So there’s no legal basis for it. But all these groups, they’ve grown from 300 groups to over a thousand groups during the Obama administration, they all seem to think they have some sort of constitutional right that’s been tried upon”
So not only are they ignorant, they are armed.
But, are they also getting a free pass, in part, because of race or religion?
And as security experts point out, they are also getting a free pass from law enforcement because they are in the middle of nowhere with no one around.
It would probably be a totally different story if they had taken over a federal building in Chicago or New York or Philadelphia.
I asked law enforcement experts if this is terrorism.
Don: “Do you think Chris that they are domestic terrorists?
Chris: “An armed takeover of a government building using violence and intimidation to further a political agenda is the definition of domestic terrorism.”
CNN legal analyst, Phillip Holloway agrees and told me that there are members of other groups who are part of this group who have been deemed by the FBI as domestic terrorists.
So let’s call it what it is over in Oregon, TERRORISM.