By now most if not all of you are varying degrees familiar with the stand-off between the Federal Government/Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Cliven Bundy. I had been observing the developments with a mixture of amusement and disgust until Harry Reid very publicly labelled the large group of citizens helping Bundy defend his cattle as “domestic terrorists.” That’s a pretty strong statement from someone who has a history of abusing his power for the benefit of himself and the business interests who put him in office and filled his bank account with a lot of money.
Harry Reid’s mouth told me immediately that there was something going on with this dispute that went well beyond the battle between the Federal Government trying to remove cattle that were grazing on BLM land in southeastern Nevada. With the help of a colleague, an attorney who has been a partner in two of America’s elite litigation firms, I discovered that the BLM’s motive to get Bundy’s cattle off its land is seeded in business development interests which have helped fund Harry Reid’s Senate seat.
Unfortunately Fox News, CNN and most, if not all, of the mainstream media has turned this whole ordeal into a grand-scale Broadway musical production replete with the standard devices of misinformation, disinformation and absurd partisan rhetoric. Ironically, thieves like Harry Reid use this to their advantage to help deflect attention from and cover-up the real story.
The area of the dispute is the Gold Butte region in Nevada, which sits slightly northeast of Las Vegas between Lake Mead and the western border of the Grand Canyon. While we’ve all heard about unpaid cattle grazing fees, protected turtle habitats, confiscated cattle, angry citizen “militia,” etc, the real story is derived from understanding why Harry Reid has publicly pushed his way into this Government/citizen dispute.
If you want to educate yourself on the history, timeline and events which led up to confrontation between the Government and the Bundy clan, I’ve determined that the most polemically-free information can be found HERE and HERE.
The bottom-line on the surface is that Bundy owes several years of grazing fees and has been court-ordered to remove his cattle from the BLM land. The court-order permitted the Feds to impound Bundy’s cattle if he did not comply. Bundy has resisted the court order and the Feds moved to impound Bundy’s cattle.
The problem with the way in which the events have unfolded have to do with timing and Rule of Law. To be sure, Bundy was given a court order to remove his cattle from the BLM land. But he was never ordered to pay past-due grazing fees. Furthermore the Government attempted to sell the cattle it impounded from Bundy, which makes the Government’s action outright theft.
I want to make one thing clear, I am not taking sides here with Bundy on the issue of cattle grazing or unpaid fees. Bundy was clearly ordered to remove his cattle from the land, which he did not. Bundy was not ordered to pay fees in the court-order and he has not. The Government did try to sell the impounded cattle, a course of action for which it was not legally entitled. I wanted to layout as succinctly as possible this situation as it is being reported by the media and then shift the focus to where the REAL story is.
The other issue has to do with, “why is this all of a sudden a big issue now?” After all, this situation with the land and Bundy’s cattle has been going on for decades. Why is the Government taking action now?
The Government violated the court-order, ignored Rule of Law and took the law into its own hands when the Feds tried to sell Bundy’s impounded cattle. My colleague dug up the actual Nevada District Court order and provided a superb synopsis of the legal issues, along with an explanation as to why the BLM should be criminally prosecuted for attempted grand larceny:
The federal district court opinion in the case of U.S. v. Bundy. This is the legal authority on which the rightfulness of the BLM’s actions hinge. Nowhere in the court’s order does the judge so much as mention taxes or fees. Thus, the issue of Bundy’s alleged grazing fee delinquency has never been adjudicated, and the allegations to the contrary are just so much armchair lawyering by mainstream media cue card readers, which I’ve suspected all along. What this means is that to the extent the BLM has been rationalizing its behavior on the basis of grazing fees, it has unequivocally deprived Bundy of due process. Here’s the order, which runs just 3 pages, giving the BLM the right to impound Bundy’s cattle without conveying the rights needed to sell the cattle, i.e. title: U.S. v. Cliven Bundy.
But the feds went a lot farther than that by attempting to sell the cattle in Utah. That’s an act of dominion that requires a title to the cattle, which the ruling unequivocally does NOT grant the feds. This means that feds are guilty of attempted grand larceny (farm animals are a particular no-no) when it entered into a sales contract.
Furthermore, my colleague also pointed out that the court ruling is silent on the matter of the grazing fees: “Bundy may owe them, but the Feds have not obtained any judicial ruling that would entitle them to a lien on the cattle. By attempting to do exactly that, sell the cattle, the Feds deprived Bundy of due process. The media’s silence on this point is as stunning as it is telling.”
The legal battle and the Government/Bundy stand-off has been the focus of the media and the politicians. But the real issue is seeded in the reasons why Harry Reid is now pro-actively involved and is attempting to align the public on his side by associating the Bundy people with actual terrorists. The truth is, Harry Reid is using his position and his control of the BLM to terrorize public citizens and abuse the taxpayers.
It turns out that areas of BLM land in Nevada and 5 other western States have been designated as Solar Energy Zones (SEZs). You can read about it here: SEZs. It also turns out that Harry Reid is connected with a company called BrightSource Energy, which is seeking to develop solar energy projects.
Reid became intimate with BrightSource via his connection to Nevada developer Harvey Whittemore. Currently Wittemore is appealing a conviction for making illegal contributions to Harry Reid. Whittemore is the developer of Coyote Springs. Reid pro-actively arranged for land swap deals with the BLM that enabled Whittemore to start developing Coyote Springs, a Whittemore development estimated to cost $30 billion. There’s a golf course there but the development has never gotten off the ground. Ironically, the Coyote Springs development trampled all over a desert turtle protected area, but that didn’t seem to bother anyone.
This map with my edits shows the area in question:
You can see where Gold Butte is situated in relation to Las Vegas and Harvey Whittemore’s semi-defunct Coyote Springs development.
On April 9th, the Senate confirmed the appointment of Neil Kornze to head the BLM. This is significant because Kornze – who’s 35 yrs old – was one of Harry Reid’s senior advisers. In other words, Kornze is nothing but a puppet running the BLM for the power-abusing Harry Reid, who will turn the Solar Energy Zones into a device for his own personal gain and the gain of his financial supporters.
In fact, the area where Bundy was grazing his cattle was part of what is known as the Dry Lake North SEZ. There is a BLM study linked on the BLM website which identified the Gold Butte area as the “Bundy Cattle Tresspass Overview.” As the Bundy battle moved into the national media spotlight, the BLM removed a document which identifies Bundy’s cattle as an impediment to making Gold Butte a location for solar energy development projects. This article shows the BLM map with the Bundy Cattle Trespass Overview and a document that was removed from the BLM website which describes the cattle dilemma.
The blogosphere correctly fingered Harry Reid and his son for representing a Chinese company that wanted to develop a $5 billion solar project near Laughlin, NV. Harry Reid applied heavy pressure to NV Energy, Nevada’s primary utility compnay, to agree to buy power from the Chinese solar project. The Chinese scrapped the deal when NV Energy declined and Reid couldn’t find another utility company willing to buy the solar energy.
Now, with BrightSource Energy donating cash to Harry Reid’s political slush fund, and with Harry Reid in control of the BLM via Neil Korntze, it should be pretty clear why Harry Reid has pro-actively taken a public stand and unleashed verbal violence on the BLM/Bundy battle. I have a good hunch he’s close to getting a big solar deal clinched from which he’ll stand to make a lot of money eventually and he needs the Gold Butte piece to cement the deal.
Recall that Obama has recently reiterated his mandate for the development of alternative energy and I would bet good money that there’s plenty of Federal money available to subsidize this, despite the legacy of Obama’s colossal waste of taxpayer money in this arena. Everyone knows there are loads of easy money to be made getting Federal contracts and Federal grants. Obama has made a several billion in funds available to alternative energy deals.
This explains why the BLM/Bundy battle came to head now and why Harry Reid has taken an active role in trying to get Bundy’s cattle out of the Gold Butte BLM land. In other words, the real story is about high-level political corruption and powerful politicians using the avenues made available to them by their position for enormous personal gain.
That truth is, given Harry Reid’s history of abusing the power of his Senate seat – see this article, for instance – Reid is the one who is the terrorist.