by William Skink
In this week’s column, Ochenski joins the chorus celebrating the conclusion of the stupid standoff in Oregon with a piece titled They fought the law and the law won. From the link:
For what it’s worth, the Bundy-led takeover of the federal Malheur Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon is about over. Why these misled individuals ever thought they could simply pull out military-style weapons, intimidate local citizens, commandeer a federal facility and threaten federal and state law enforcement officers with deadly force is beyond imagination. That the incident ended with only one “suicide by cop” is actually miraculous.
I don’t think it’s all that mystifying why a few entitled, white land owners think they can flout the law and win. Ignoring law and order has become a virulent American tradition.
Bush officials lied America into a war that killed hundreds of thousands of people. Have they faced consequences for their actions? No, they haven’t. Wall Street engaged in such massive fraud that they blew up the global economy and used taxpayers to bail themselves out. Have they faced consequences for their actions? No, they haven’t. They were rewarded.
Other recent examples: local government officials in Flint knowingly poisoned people and have yet to be indicted. Police officers are rarely held accountable for using lethal force, even when obvious video evidence exists of misconduct. And here in Missoula, our water infrastructure was sold out from under us in blatant defiance of a court determination because the Carlyle Group doesn’t think it has to adhere to Montana’s Public Service Commission. When all the dust settles, who really thinks the Carlyle Group will have more than a scratch after fighting the law in our lowly jurisdictions?
Even the supreme law of the land–the constitution–is regularly violated on a daily basis by America’s surveillance state. Amidst all this lawlessness is it any wonder why entitled land owners would balk at paying grazing fees or occupying a bird shack with their military-grade weaponry?
Many are blaming the Federal government for not getting into a shoot out with the Bundy’s and their supporters when they had the chance to assert Federal authority over them back in Nevada.
I guess my perspective is a bit skewed with all the reading I’ve been doing lately. Over the weekend I started Russ Baker’s Family of Secrets about the Bush clan’s rise to power and it’s increasingly apparent that “Poppy” was a part of the coup that culminated with the assassination of JFK.
For some people, the law is a pesky obstruction to consolidating power and is circumvented whenever possible. It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that this mentality has trickled down to well-armed yokels in the west. Their mistake was in assuming they have the clout to be as lawless as a Bush or a Dulles.
I do agree with those who claim a stronger Federal response in Nevada could have kept the occupation in Oregon from happening in the first place. But if we’re playing with speculative what-ifs, one might want to speculate whether marching the heads of Wall Street to the guillotine or turning Dulles and Bush over to a firing squad for treason could have kept this country from turning the opportunity after WWII into a guarantee for WWIII.