21st Century Wire
Cliven Bundy, the Nevada rancher at the center of the federal standoff in Bunkerville in 2014, was arrested by FBI agents at around 10pm Wednesday evening as he touched down at Portland International Airport.
Bundy, 74 yrs old, of Bunkerville, Nevada, was taken to Oregon’s Multnomah County detention center and charged with “conspiracy to interfere with a federal officer” – the same federal felony charge made two weeks ago against of his two sons, Ammon and Ryan Bundy.
According to Oregon Live, Cliven Bundy, “also faces weapons charges,” dating back to the original standoff in April 2014.
READ THE FULL FEDERAL COMPLAINT AGAINST CLIVEN BUNDY HERE.
Bundy’s dramatic arrest came as he was planning to meet up with staunch Bundy supporter, Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore, for a Q & A press conference in Portland scheduled for early Thursday morning, presumably to advocate for the Bundy sons and others currently under federal incarceration, and to help mediate a peaceful resolution for the remaining 4 occupiers still held-up at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge outside of Burns, Oregon.
The timeline of these events is particularly interesting. Before Cliven Bundy touched down in Portland, Fiore (photo, left) had already arrived in town, but was immediately confronted with a breaking situation on Wednesday afternoon, where reports indicate that there were likely dozens of heavily armed federal tactical and state SWAT members positioned at various points around the perimeter of the occupied federal refuge office building. On Wednesday evening, law enforcement appeared to have decided to make their move to end the occupation by re-taking the protest site and remove its occupants. Fiore then headed to Burns while engaged in a 4 hour-long phone call with the protesters live-streamed on YouTube with nearly 60,000 listeners on the call.
Clearly, the FBI had plenty of foreknowledge of Cliven Bundy and Michele Fiore’s potentially explosive media spectacle scheduled for this morning. FBI agents appear to have preempted this national (and global) press event by Bundy and Fiore, quickly moving on the protest, and then taking Cliven Bundy out of the equation, or ‘off the street’, as it were. This chain of events over the last 24 hours indicates that the federal government had made decisive moves at key moments – in order to temporarily control the media and political narratives, and by extension, the course of events which have followed. That reality was echoed by Portland attorney, Mike Arnold, currently representing Ammon Bundy, who said earlier today:
“It’s terribly unfortunate the timing of his arrest, given all the progress Assemblywoman Fiore made this evening.”
In addition to Fiore and Cliven Bundy arriving in Oregon this week, Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Billy Graham, posted on Facebook that he had been talking with the four holdouts for a week, ‘at their request and at the request of the FBI’, and was said to be heading for Burns to witness a peaceful resolution. Early on Thursday, Graham stated the following: “I am on my way there… Please keep them, law enforcement officials, and all involved in your prayers, that everyone will be safe.”
Presently, federal forces are still at the gates of the refuge, with occupiers still inside. According to the Oregonian, the remaining occupiers are 27-year-old David Fry, the man running the refuge protest YouTube livestream, along with married couple Sean and Sandy Anderson, and one other man known by the name of Jeff Banta. It’s not completely clear if all the occupants are armed, and there have been some mixed messages over the last two weeks as to what their exact intentions were, and what concessions were possible through negotiations.
In an overwhelming show of force, the FBI have surrounded the small one story detached Malheur office building with MRAP armored vehicles and other assets, including multiple surveillance drones positioned overhead. It’s not known exactly how many federal agents are in position at the refuge and the surrounding area, but based on similar events, the number could be at least 300, not including state and other law enforcement agents.
At the end of January, a team of federal and state agents shot and killed the protest’s spokesman, Arizona rancher, Robert ‘Lavoy’ Finicum, in what can only be described as a well-organize, federal and state ambush, involving dozens of vehicles and armed agents (including snipers) positioned along an isolated rural stretch of Oregon highway 395. The mainstream media are still disingenuously referring to the event as a “traffic stop incident” – in what appears to be a well-coordinated PR effort to minimize any accusations of over-reach on the part of the federal agencies.
The left-wing arm of the media, and a virtual army of anti-Bundy activists online will certainly be celebrating this latest development as a “government victory”.
With the iconic face of the public lands issue, Cliven Bundy, now in custody, this will either stir the burgeoning ‘Constitutionalist’ movement, or it will further demoralize it.
Cliven Bundy is expected to appear in a Portland federal court this afternoon.
Watch this space.
READ MORE OREGON STANDOFF NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Oregon Files