It may be that there's more to this case than the charges against an individual family -- or the questionable tactics of the group that is protesting in Oregon. This starts to look like a much bigger deal that needs attention.
UPDATE: Local Fire Chief resigns, supports the armed protest.
The Harney County fire chief resigned Wednesday because he says he no longer trusts the local government. Chris Briels stood next Ammon Bundy, the leader of an armed group that has taken over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Burns, and announced he had turned in his resignation to county Judge Steve Grasty.Sounds like the Fire Chief has some beefs of his own with the BLM.
Briels accused the Bureau of Land Management of land grabbing and supports the effort to hand over the land to ranchers, but he also feels betrayed by Grasty and other members of the county government, a first sign of fracture among local leaders.
UPDATE: Fire chief says he caught FBI agents masquerading as militia and harassing locals to make the militia look bad.
UPDATE: The Pacific Patriots Network, an organization of III% and militia in the northwest, sent a team a while ago to try to negotiate a settlement between the Oregon protesters and the Feds. They've made a proposal that would be hard for the NYT wing to sneeze at:
Carrying guns, they presented a resolution to the FBI and local law enforcement calling for the return of land to the people of Harney County—and surprisingly, recommended co-management with the Burns Paiute Tribe.So, that's a "yes," plus an opening position for further negotiations.
Burns Paiute tribal chairperson Charlotte Roderique has stated to the media her irritation with Bundy and his “militia” supporters goal of “giving back the land to ranchers.” “It’s been validated we’ve been here since 15,000 years ago,” she told ICTMN. “These people are ignorant of the history and that they don’t think about the statements they are making. They are misinformed.”... In light of this [proposal], Roderique says, “we are not adverse to a land transfer however, it’s not something that you would just do. There would have to be financial arrangements made. Accommodations for people who work there. We’d be interested in co-managing the refuge to protect our sites out there.”