Monday, May 5, 2014

Which flag? Red, White and Blue vs. White Supremacist Khaki and Camo

Last Monday, Buford "Bucky" Rogers was sentenced to 3 years and 4 months in prison for a terroristic plot involving illegal weapons and explosives, according to the FBI investigation. He belonged to a small fringie militia group that was anti-government and was linked to white supremacist groups.

Bucky Rogers had rolled over on fellow militia buddy Keith Novak, member of another militia, and also a former soldier in the Army, who had subsequently joined the National Guard. Keith Novak. Novak was arrested and convicted of identity theft of his fellow Guard members, with the intent of using them to make false military identification for other militia members.

As noted by the Pi Pres:
Novak had worked in intelligence with the Army's 82nd Airborne and left active duty service in September 2012. After that, he joined the Minnesota Army National Guard, and was again assigned to intelligence duties.

He was also the self-proclaimed commander of a Minnesota militia known as the 44th Spatha Libertas, Latin for "Sword of Freedom." When agents raided his apartment, they seized five weapons, 1,000 rounds of loaded ammunition and 4,000 rounds of loose ammo, the FBI said.

At a court hearing after Novak was charged, an FBI agent said the list Novak offered for sale included service members' names, Social Security numbers and other data. The agent said the information could be used to make fake IDs that could be used to enter military bases or the National Security Agency's massive Utah Data Center.
On April 15th, Novak, a resident of Maplewood, MN, plead guilty; a sentencing date has not been announced as of this writing, but it is a fair guess that he is looking at time behind bars. Both Novak and Rogers are a threat to this country, and to the law abiding citizens of Minnesota and the rest of the nation. Militias are formed of criminals who seek violence, and who too often are also part of not only these stupid little pretend armies, but who have been trained at our expense in the real army.

These two are not the only militia-related danger to our state and nation. We also have the example of Nevada, where we saw Cliven Bundy, welfare rancher and thief, draw similar militias, including the Oathkeepers and a group of elected nutjobs called the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers. We have our own Oathkeeprs group here in Minnesota, as tracked by the Southern Poverty Law Center; you can find them online easily. The Oathkeepers and some of the other militia wackos have been embraced by being given space at conventions by the radical righties of the MN GOP.

A former, not current sheriff, Richard Mack figured prominently in the Bundy militia effort, as a founding member of the Oathkeepers. He was the nutjob who wanted to put women and children in the line of fire, should a shootout occur with the legitimate authorities on site, the Bureau of Land Management, which is a valid law enforcement agency of the federal government. While supposedly the Oathkeepers are non-violent, the Cliven Bundy ranch conflict, and the ongoing problems the citizens of Bunkerville, Nevada are experiencing at gun point suggest otherwise. There the militias are fighting with each other for dominance, and they are setting up check points, illegally requiring local citizens to show ID, limiting who can come and go along the interstate, and harassing hotel staff, schools and churches with crazies in camo brandishing guns. There are accounts of media being intimidated by lighter fluid being poured around their trucks.

The Minnesota's Constitutional Sheriff's 'Honor Roll' , (I would call it dis-honor roll), lists the following as members, although that doesn't mean that any, accept Sheriff Cole who has been very open about his views does support this group or extremist views.  In fact, being on their honor roll means NOTHING in terms of actual membership; but it makes the group look more legit and important than it really is.
  1. Anoka County, Minnesota James Stuart
  2. Pine CountySheriff Robin Cole
  3. Hennipen County, Minnesota Sheriff Rich Stanek
  4. Itasca County Sheriff Victor Williams
  5. Otter Tail County Sheriff Brian Schlueter
  6. Yellow Medicine, Minnesota Sheriff Bill Flaten
  7. Ramsey County, Minnesota Sheriff Matt Bostrom
  8. Steams County, Minnesota Sheriff John Sanner
So, when we think of this as a problem unique to the west, either the southwest, in states like Arizona and Nevada, or Oklahoma where the federal Murrah building was bombed by Tim McVeigh, or the northwest, where the White Supremacists seek to annex five northwest states to form their own exclusively White Supremacist nation, it is not.

We have plenty of our own mlitia nuts, our own Oathkeeper wackos, our own 'Constitutional' sheriff crazies, and our own white supremacist/neo-nazi crowd. We are not immunized by Minnesota nice. And these people are embraced by the MN GOP as right wingers. They should be repudiated as threats to our citizens at all levels, they should be repudiated as ANTI-American groups and individuals who are willing to pull guns on those of us who ARE genuinely patriotic citizens of this state and nation.

WE could be the next Leith, North Dakota; WE could be the next Bundy Ranch or Bunkerville, Nevada citizens. WE could have the next domestic terrorist bombing right here. And WE need to throw these extremists OUT, to deny them acceptance or power of association with us. These are not people who respect the rule of law and our courts, who do not respect the legitimacy of ALL Americans; these are not people who respect the United States or our Constitution.  These are not patriots.

We have militias here, we have oathkeepers here, we have crackpot sheriff's who belong to sovereign nation groups that do not respect the supremacy of the federal government specified in the U.S. Constitution, Article 6, Clause 2 - in spite of trying to wrap themselves in that very same Constitution:
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.
Contrast that with this report from Ch. 8 news in Nevada, on the scene.

LAS VEGAS --Metro Police officers who were on the front lines of a recent showdown near the Bundy ranch in Bunkerville say they feared for their lives.

At least some of the militia members who pointed weapons at police officers during the confrontation may have wanted a violent outcome and tried to incite one.

In exclusive interviews with the 8 News NOW I-Team, officers who were on the scene shared their thoughts and fears, and they say it is not over.

"These guys with rifles, keep them calm," was Clark County Assistant Sheriff Joe Lombardo's request to one of Bundy's sons the day of the confrontation.

Lombardo's top priority was to prevent a spark that might set off a bloody firefight.

"There was a possibility of somebody just having an accidental discharge causing a blood bath, because the individuals that were showing up, the militia quote unquote, were armed to the teeth," Lombardo said.

On one side, armed federal rangers and agents, on the other, a huge crowd of angry militia members and in the middle, 30 Metro officers, exposed and vulnerable, aware that if the shooting began, some of them would die.

"You are standing there going, 'I just hope it doesn't hurt when it comes. That it's quick,' and it was real for us. It was real," Sgt. Tom Jenkins said.

"(You thought you might die?) Yeah." Sgt. Jenkins said.

Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie has been negotiating behind the scenes with rancher Cliven Bundy for a couple of years. On the morning of the big showdown, he and Joe Lombardo drove to Bunkerville to let Bundy know that a deal had been reached with Bureau of Land Management to suspend the roundup of Bundy's cattle.

Bundy, who has grown accustomed to media attention over the past few months, said he would only talk to Gillespie on stage in front of his crowd. Once there, he ordered the sheriff to go out and disarm every fed he could find.

"And report back in an hour. Disarm everyone working at a federal park," Bundy told the sheriff.

"I mean, the hair was up on the back of my neck. There was the so-called militia surrounding the stage. There was a lot of firepower out there and it made me nervous. anything could happen," Lombardo said.

Gillspie and Lombardo say they offered to provide Bundy with legal counsel---free. He turned it down and later urged the crowd to go after his cattle.

"Mr. Bundy, in my personal opinion, incited the crowd," Lombardo said.

Some of them didn't need much to get riled. Their hostility toward government was on full display. A few equate the BLM with Nazis.

"That bunch, the SS squad or something to do with Hitler, shouldn't have guns there aimed at the people," one man at the showdown said.

They were equally hostile to journalists covering the story. Pistol-packing militia men have blocked 8 News NOW's access to public roads. Some poured lighter fluid around our news vehicle while others got physical.

A few Oath keepers said they were told the White House had ordered a drone missile strike on the Bundy camp. In an atmosphere this hostile and paranoid, guns pointed at police became the norm.

"At some point, you have to draw a line in the sand. I guess this is it," one militia member said.

"They're armed, they have an agenda, and they're committed to whatever they believe in, no backing down. One or two of them would never have done what they did--point weapons at us--but when you have 300-400 and they can be anonymous in a crowd, you get caught up in that," Sgt. Jenkins said.

Lombardo confirms that Metro developed a lot of intelligence about militia members who were present. Those who aimed their guns at officers will be dealt with.

"Yes, there will be consequences, definitely. That is unacceptable behavior. If we let it go, it will continue into the future," Lombardo said.

Law enforcement sources told us that federal officials are preparing to move against Cliven Bundy, but they might wait months until things die down before making their move.

Metro Police could take separate action in response to the provocations they experienced in Bunkerville and may be working to identify particular suspects.

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