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Patience Was the FBI’s Strategy to End the Oregon Occupation Peacefully

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 7.48.16 AMBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI played the long game to end the Oregon standoff.

Law enforcement finally surrounded the remaining four occupants 41 days after armed militants took over the Malheur National Wildlife Reserve near Burns. The FBI and state police arrested several leaders of the occupation after 25 days.

The Atlantic reports:

But all of these pale in comparison with the time it took to apprehend Cliven Bundy. The father of Ammon and Ryan Bundy, two leaders of the Oregon occupation, he was arrested Wednesday night at the Portland airport when he arrived from Nevada. He had flown in to support the remaining group of four, three of whom surrendered shortly after he was taken into custody. For the FBI, the wait to arrest Bundy was longer: almost two years, since Bureau of Land Management agents who tried to remove his cattle from federal land where they were grazing without permits or fees were met by a huge group of armed men who turned them away.

Bundy had been illegally grazing his cattle on federal land for more than 20 years, and since 1998 was ordered by a court to remove his animals.

The FBI hasn’t said much about why it waited long.

“As we have said since day one, our goal has been to end this illegal occupation peacefully, and we are grateful that we were able to do so today,” FBI Special Agent Greg Bretzing said in a news release. “I want to make it very clear that we will continue to enforce the law with respect to the refuge and other federal properties. Anyone who chooses to travel to Oregon with the intent of engaging in illegal activity will be arrested. Saying that, I want to reassure those Harney County residents who simply visited the refuge or provided food to the occupiers—we are not looking into those events. We are concerned about those who have criminal, violent intent.”


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