Hoo boy, where to begin with this one? Hypocrisy always makes for good cartoon material but the militia “takeover” in Burns, Oregon is like peeling the proverbial onion of hypocrisy. (Is that a thing? It is now.) Should we begin on the Bundy side or on the Hammond side?
Ammon Bundy and his brother Ryan seem to be taking their anti-government militia show on the road. They recently occupied the Malheur Wildlife Refuge building to keep the heroic ranchers, Dwight and Steven Hammond, out of federal prison. Now their new purpose is to give the “government’s” land back to the people. Um, it already is the people’s land. Seems like Bundy’s “Land of Many Uses” refers exclusively to ranching and mining. Ah, the good ol’ days of overgrazing and arsenic poisoning.
At first glance, the Hammond case looks like extreme government overreaction to some innocent little brush-clearing fires. But digging just a little bit deeper reveals that Dwight and Steven Hammond have had run-ins with the law for decades. Besides child abuse, anger management classes and arson, the elder Hammond has a record of death threats against the wildlife refuge managers going back to 1986! Seems like there may be a reason the feds gave these guys a little extra scrutiny. White-hatted cowboys, they ain’t. You can find loads of links to the backstory here.