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Treason in the desert

Treason in the desert
Treason in the desert
Photo by George Frey/Getty Images

The heirs of Timothy McVeigh are alive and well and living on a ranch a bit north of Las


For the past week, right wing media, Tea Bagger politicians and others with nothing better to do with their time have been celebrating rancher Cliven Bundy in his dispute with the Federal Bureau of Land Management. It seems that, for the past 20 years, Mr. Bundy has refused to pay fees for grazing his cattle on Federal lands…fees which, it should be noted, every other rancher in the country pays. The BLM finally took action against him, confiscating cows that were illegally grazing on Federal land. These officers were, quite understandably, armed. Bundy, claiming an armed invasion of his property (it wasn’t his but government property the officers were on) proclaimed armed resistance to a government he claims not to recognize as legitimate. In this he was assisted by more than 600 militia gunmen from around the country who set up firing stations on freeway overpasses. One of these brave men suggested that they would put the women up front so the BLM would “look bad” by shooting the women first.

Of course, nothing of the sort happened. Displaying the only common sense in the situation, BLM officers withdrew. Though the Cliven and his gunmen claimed victory, whatever success he may have had is temporary. Anyone who has ever dealt with the IRS knows that the government always gets its money…by whatever means necessary. Cliven Bundy is nothing but a criminal deadbeat and he will…sooner rather than later, one suspects…be issuing his manifestos from the inside of a jail cell, while his land and cattle have liens issued against them, any proceeds from cattle sales going into government coffers.

What is disturbing, beyond the incident itself, is the reaction of right wing media and politicians to it. Right wing media, in particular Fox News, has lionized Bundy and the militia gunmen as defenders of “freedom”…apparently the freedom not to pay one’s bills. Sean Hannity even seemed to be inciting Bundy and his ilk to more violence…suggesting that the government was planning some kind of surprise assault on Bundy’s ranch. One Nevada legislator even suggested the the militia gunmen were a logical attempt by “Americans” to defend themselves against their government.

It was from among these militiamen that Timothy McVeigh came. We saw how that ended. And McVeigh did not have a major cable news outlet cheering him on. One wonders how Fox News will react when their cheerleading leads to its it logical…and violent…conclusion.