The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
It has been six months since the federal government called off its attempt to round up cattle belonging to Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy amid a tense standoff with heavily armed militiamen who trained their weapons on federal agents.
For weeks prior, the antigovernment right had been portraying a federal court order to remove Bundy’s herd from public lands as a prime example of federal overreach – even though Bundy had refused to pay more than $1 million in accumulated grazing fees and fines because he said he didn’t recognize the government’s legitimacy.
Militias from around the country responded to Bundy’s plight, hoping that in that tiny corner of the desert they could make a stand against the government they see as the enemy. And when the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) abandoned the operation to avoid a bloody shootout, they declared victory.
Government officials promised accountability for those who broke the law by taking up arms against federal agents. It seems unfathomable, in fact, that the U.S. Department of Justice would allow a mob of antigovernment zealots to get away with using the threat of violence to block the enforcement of the law.
But, as the months have dragged on, there has been no response. Not an arrest. Not an indictment. Nothing.
Though he has been largely exiled from the mainstream media in the wake of his nakedly racist remarks following the armed showdown he led against federal agents, Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy manages to keep popping up on the political scene in Nevada, still spouting his far-right antigovernment “Patriot” views.
Most recently, Bundy made an appearance in Reno on behalf of Nevada Republican congressional candidate Russell Best, who is running for the state’s 4th District congressional seat under the banner of the fringe Independent American Party.
The incumbent, first-term Democratic Rep. Steven Horsford – who demanded federal action when Bundy supporters reportedly began stopping residents at roadway checkpoints near the Bundy ranch – is favored to win, according to race handicappers, against GOP candidate Crescent Hardy and Best.
Bundy’s speech to the Reno campaign gathering was a fairly boilerplate affair: “Basically, fight for liberty and freedom, and we’re fighting against a federal government that’s overreached,” Bundy told the crowd, estimated at about 50 people, at the Bonanza Casino.
Later, he again told reporters for KRNV-TV that he still wanted to see local sheriffs disarming federal agents in their jurisdictions – and warned that armed revolution would follow if they failed to act.
“I did speak for ‘We the People’ when we said take away the arms from the federal government,” Bundy said. “Later I thought of that and each county sheriff should be taking these arms away from these federal bureaucracy. I did say if we don’t do that, if we don’t rein back this federal government, then we the people are going to have to fight we the people, and that would be a revolution that I sure don’t ever want to see happen.”
Bundy admitted to feeling cooped up at his ranch, even as the crowd of his Patriot supporters has dwindled in the wake of an outbreak of infighting.
“I can’t say I really enjoy it,” he said when asked how felt about being a national figure. “I fight for freedom and yet I feel like I’m sort of locked up in the surroundings and not much freedom for me and my family.”
Bundy, his sons, and a number of participants at the ranch standoff remain under investigation by the FBI for their potentially criminal behavior during the standoff.
A man who called Dallas police to inform them he was part of the antigovernment “sovereign citizens” movement even as he was engaging officers in an armed standoff was eventually arrested after taking shots at officers and locking down an upscale North Dallas neighborhood.
According to the Dallas Police Department blog, the man –– a 60-year-old Corinth resident named Douglas Lee Leguin –– began taking shots at Dallas firefighters on Monday as they arrived near the scene of a reported Dumpster fire in the well-to-do neighborhood. The firefighters were not hit and put out a call for assistance.
In short order, the Dallas SWAT team and a host of police officers descended upon the scene, and the man continued to fire shots. However, no officers were injured in the incident. Eventually, negotiators persuaded the man to surrender.
Leguin was charged with seven counts of aggravated assault. According to the Denton Record-Chronicle, he had placed a number of explosive devices around the property where he engaged police in the standoff. Those devices were defused or detonated. Reportedly, the same man had encountered a babysitter in the neighborhood with an 8-year-old girl and had threatened both of them before starting his rampage.
According to the Dallas Morning News, Leguin had called police during the standoff to tell them that he belonged to the antigovernment “sovereign citizens” movement, which believes that most government institutions are illegitimate, as are the laws they enforce.
Arizona Attorney General Thomas Horne has been accused by his political opponents of being a “chameleon.” But not even they could predict the company he would one day keep.
Horne, once a Democrat, is a featured guest at tonight’s “Liberty on Tap” monthly social at a Scottsdale brewing company, where he will share the stage with far-right antigovernment “Patriot” movement luminaries including Richard Mack and Ammon Bundy, the son of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy.
Stephen Lemons at Phoenix New Times reports that Horne’s campaign team is aware of the presence of the other participants.
Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy says it was a “spiritual experience” –– good versus evil ––when he and his armed militia supporters stood up to federal agents in the celebrated April standoff that many say has buoyed the extremist movement.
Bundy, in one of his first public speeches since the stand-off, spoke last weekend in St. George, Utah, to members of the Independent American Party, described as a political group of ultra-conservatives who mock both the Republican and Democratic parties. ( continue to full post… )
In the wake of Sunday’s deadly attacks in North Las Vegas, at the hands of two antigovernment “Patriot” extremists, Infowars host Alex Jones warned his listeners that the media would soon start claiming that there’s a connection between his conspiracist media operation and the killers.
As a matter of fact, Jerad Miller – the 31-year-old Indiana man who led the attack, assisted by his 22-year-old wife, Amanda – liked to post on the Infowars member forum. And he constantly promoted Infowars on his Facebook page.
In one of his Infowars posts, Miller even speculated about whether or not he should kill police officers.
“The emerging narrative in the Las Vegas shooting now includes Alex Jones,” the Infowars site complained shortly after news of the shootings broke. In short order, Jones began calling the shootings a “false flag operation” secretly staged by nefarious federal government operatives who set it up to look like it was a crime committed by domestic terrorists.
“The incident is custom-made to demonize the patriot movement,” the Infowars site claimed. “The Southern Poverty Law Center has consistently attempted to forge a link between white supremacists and members of the patriot and constitutional movements.”
Jones became downright imaginative, explaining to his listeners, in one rant, how he would go about setting up the murders if he were a government agent, and then warning that the shootings mean that “civil war is coming”. He also began assigning responsibility for the “false flag operation.” In one rant, he accused Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of being behind the crimes. In another, it was the work of President Obama and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Jones’ wild claims must be intended to distract from the fact that, as Media Matters reported, Miller avidly posted Infowars links on his Facebook page and urged his readers to the website – saying, in one such post, to “get informed or get stupid”.
What those claims fail to explain is why, beginning in May 2012, Jerad Miller became an Infowars forum member and began posting long pieces there. In all, he appears to have published five posts, though one of them titled “A Short Story About Protesting” is no longer available. ( continue to full post… )
Footage shot by a Las Vegas TV news reporter covering the standoff between federal authorities and Cliven Bundy and his antigovernment “Patriot” supporters in mid-April shows Jerad Miller – the Indiana man who with his wife, Amanda, shot and killed two police officers and a bystander on Sunday in North Las Vegas – threatening violence against government officials.
After telling the reporter for KRNV-TV that “Minutemen” were supposedly ringing the scene of the standoff, he said: “So, you know, I feel sorry for any federal agents that want to come in here and try to push us around, or anything like that. I really don’t want violence toward them, but if they’re gonna come bring violence to us, well, if that’s the language they want to speak, we’ll learn it.”
The reporter was shocked: “Well, that sounds kind of like a menacing statement, I have to tell you,” she said.
Miller responded: “You know, the people here, that have come here to support Bundy, we’re not afraid,” he said. “You know, we know that in the past the government has used force against civilians, like Waco, Ruby Ridge. Alright, we’re not afraid of that.”
Miller was filmed wearing camouflage gear and a T-shirt promoting Brandon Martines, a conservative candidate for Clark County Sheriff. Martines recently told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that Jerad and Amanda Miller had shown up at his campaign events and had offered to work on the campaign, but that when he had checked their background he discovered that Jerad Miller had an extensive criminal history, including DUI, assault, theft and mischief charges. Martines told them, “Look, I appreciate your support but I can’t be associated in any way, shape or form with you.”
“They were just trying to infiltrate,” Martines said. “They obviously had an agenda.”
At the Bundy ranch, Miller indulged in the paranoid fantasy-based strategizing that was typical of the “Patriots” on the scene there, who at one point began turning on each other over fears that a federal drone attack was about to strike the camp. ( continue to full post… )
Jerad Miller, the Indiana man who with his wife, Amanda, shot and killed two police officers and a bystander Sunday in North Las Vegas before dying in a suicide pact at a Wal-Mart store, posted several videos at YouTube in the past year that revealed his paranoia and antigovernment views.
One of the videos contains an extended soliloquy by Miller on government drones that turns into a quasi-philosophical rant about the nature of courthouses as centers of “authoritarianism.”
The latter is noteworthy in light of a report by the Las Vegas Review-Journal that among the documents found at Miller’s apartment was a carefully laid out plan to attack an unidentified courthouse building in Las Vegas, taking it by armed force and then executing public officials inside.
The video begins with Miller pulling out a conspiracist magazine devoted to government drones, titled “Drones: Are They Watching You?,” which was published in 2013 under the auspices of magazine publisher Source Interlink – a company that changed its name earlier this year. Miller waxes paranoiac about the likelihood that people like himself are under surveillance by them.
“So are they watching you? Probably,” he says. “I mean, they’re already wiretapping your phones. You know, watching your Facebook and everything. And they’re probably watching this video of me right now. I don’t care. Congrats. You’re somebody special. You have” – waving his fingers – “clearance.”
After complaining at length about the ankle bracelet he was forced to wear as a result of being placed on house arrest in 2013 (according to the Lafayette Journal & Courier, Miller was accused of violating his in-house arrest twice that year), he turns his attention to the local courthouse near his home, which is within view of his window: ( continue to full post… )
The man identified by authorities today as the murderer of two police officers and another person in Sunday’s mass shooting in Las Vegas had long ranted against the “fascist” government, but the last comment he posted before the attack was the most chilling.
“The dawn of a new day,” Jerad Miller wrote on his Facebook page Saturday. “May all our coming sacrifices be worth it.”
Late Sunday, law enforcement officials say, Miller and his wife, Amanda Miller, embarked on a shooting spree that included the ambush-murder of two Las Vegas police officers as they ate at a restaurant and the killing of a male shopper at a nearby Walmart. Witnesses said that they shouted “this is a revolution” and draped the officers with a Gadsden flag — a symbol of liberty used by both the antigovernment “Patriot” movement and many Tea Parties — before going on to kill themselves as police closed in.
In the days and weeks before the attack, Miller posted a series of comments on his Facebook page indicating that, in order to restore “freedom” to the United States, the “best men” would strike for “a free and just world with our blood, sweat and tears as pavement,” he said on June 2. “There is no greater cause to die for than liberty,” he wrote on May 2. “I will willingly die for liberty.” On March 25, he wrote: “I stand firm in my convictions and stand prepared to die for them. … Come for me, free me from your slavery. Give me the death a hero deserves.”
Amanda Miller, who married Jerad on Sept. 22, 2012, didn’t sound very different on her own Facebook page in 2011. “[T]o the people of the world… your [sic] lucky i can’t kill you now but remember one day one day i will get you because one day all hell will break lose [sic] and i’ll be standing in the middle of it with a shot gun in one hand and a pistol in the other.”
On May 25, 2014, Miller also said on his page that he had been present at the mid-April standoff, some 60 miles outside Las Vegas, between rancher Cliven Bundy and federal agents trying to seize his cattle for nonpayment of grazing fees. Bundy, who was backed by hundreds of armed militiamen, ultimately won that battle, as law enforcement officers decided to stand down rather than risk a bloodbath after Bundy’s supporters pointed their weapons at a crowd of federal agents. On April 9, shortly before traveling to the Bundy ranch, Jerad Miller wrote that the standoff was “the next Waco,” a reference to a deadly 1993 standoff in Texas. ( continue to full post… )
The federal Bureau of Land Management kept a low public profile in the weeks following the armed standoff at Cliven Bundy’s Nevada ranch, where the government backed down in the face of opposition from heavily armed militiamen. But this week the agency took to the airwaves to promise that such incidents would not go unpunished.
Speaking with National Public Radio, BLM director Neil Kornze said the agency was intent on working through the legal system to address those who broke the law on April 12 when heavily armed antigovernment militias forced BLM to suspend a court-ordered roundup of rancher Cliven Bundy’s cattle from roughly 600,000 acres of public lands. Photos and eyewitness accounts from the standoff indicate that the militiamen trained their guns on federal agents.
“I can’t say a lot because there’s an active investigation going on, but we are working hard to insure that those who did break the law are held accountable,” Kornze said on Monday’s episode of The Diane Rehm Show. “We are going to work through the legal system.”
Kornze’s comments are the first from the BLM since the Nevada standoff, and they come as other clashes between antigovernment “Patriots” and federal agents have popped up around the West.
In Utah, last weekend, antigovernment activists protested restrictions on the use of federal lands by riding ATVs into restricted areas of Recapture Canyon, which were closed to motorized traffic to protect archaeological sites from damage. Megan Crandall, a BLM spokeswoman in Utah, told Hatewatch that there were undercover agents in the Utah crowd documenting who violated federal law, and that the BLM was devoting “substantial resources” to pursue charges there, too.
“The BLM is continuing to investigate and will pursue all available redress through the legal system to hold individuals who broke the law accountable,” Crandall said.