Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Trashing of Malheur by Bundy Militia

 photo outhouse_gotago.jpg

Previous Related Posts:
Cliven Bundy Arrested
Oregon Standoff Ends Peacefully
Bad Week for Ammon Bundy - Busted
Malheur Occupation Enters Third Week
Bundy Militia Invades Oregon

When the Occupation at Malheur Wildlife Refuge was ongoing in eastern Oregon, many watching it unfold speculated that the Bundy Militia were trashing the place. One clue was an interesting video by David Fry, the last holdout. He did a walk-through of one of the Refuge buildings that showed clothing dumped on the floor, rooms in disarray, and an overall sense of chaos after most of the Occupiers fled rather than face the FBI.

From The Oregonian
He (Fry) passed sleeping bags and sheets hanging off beds, and bags gaping open with clothes spilling onto the floor.
The 27-year-old from Cincinnati filmed the shoes, ice chests, garbage and empty cardboard boxes strewn about, and the notebooks and phones left open on beds. Two half-full bottles of liquor sat on a closet shelf as the camera quickly panned the room.
"They didn't even pack their things," says Fry, who has regularly posted video updates from the refuge in the final week of the occupation.
"Thought feds were coming to kill everyone," he wrote in the video's caption, "Waco style."

And earlier there was the now-infamous video of LaVoy Finicum and others prowling through boxes of Burns Paiute artifacts complaining that they were dumped in a storage room where he also found "mouse droppings." Perhaps they were not kept in pristine condition, but they were also not supposed to be handled by the public, and especially not by the Bundy Militia. I hope the police investigation takes an inventory to make sure nothing was stolen or sold by the Bundy Boys and their minions.

In response to Finicum's video, the Burns Paiute issued a statement saying the artifacts were kept "under lock and key" and therefore should not have been tampered with by Finicum.
In response to Finnicum’s accusations of poor storage and treatment of the tribe’s cultural patrimony, Megan Nagle, U.S. Fish and Wildlife spokesperson released this statement to ICTMN:

“We are confident these artifacts entrusted to the Refuge are cared for with dignity and respect.

With the full knowledge and blessing of the Burns Paiute tribe, the Refuge is home to a number of artifacts that have been found on the Refuge during studies carried out to learn more about the history and use of the lands by their ancestors. These artifacts have been curated and stored under lock and key, until the illegal occupants violated the security of the Refuge.

Additionally, there are other artifacts that have been turned over to the Refuge by third parties. Those items were waiting for the discussions to be held between the tribe and the Refuge as to how they should be re-homed. These items were also under lock and key.

For the individuals who have broken into the secure facilities at the Refuge to portray themselves and their actions as anything other than the violation it is, is simply another fabrication.”

The Militia was also seen building a road with a bulldozer on the Refuge, which is sacred ground to the Paiute tribe:

From Guardian UK:
“I feel disrespected that they’re even out there,” said Jarvis Kennedy, the tribal council’s sergeant-at-arms. Kennedy said he was too upset to watch all of Finicum’s video. “It’s like me going through their drawers at their house.”
Tribe leaders and federal officials say the refuge stores confidential documents and thousands of historic artifacts, such as baskets, spears, tools and beads. The refuge is also home to Paiute burial grounds, making the militia’s recent decision to pave a road through the refuge particularly alarming.
“I could go to the Bundys where his grandparents are buried,” Kennedy said. “How would they feel if I drove over their grave and went through their heirlooms?”

So Finicum complained in the video of mice droppings on the artifacts, and the Militia members made a big whooping deal over "cleaning" out the storage areas at Malheur to "improve" the place:

Now Finicum is dead after an encounter with law enforcement, and the rest of the Bundy-ites are sitting in jail in Portland. But according to a court document from the FBI they left behind a legacy of human waste.

That's right - a big pile of poop.

The FBI Evidence Response Team (ERT) began processing crime scenes at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge (MNWR) on February 13, 2016. The government estimates that it will take 21 days for ERT to complete this work. The government’s estimate is subject to change. There are approximately 24structures at the site that must be processed. Tactical teams responsible for initially securing the refuge reported significant amounts of human feces in and around an outdoor camping area. They also reported that living quarters appear to house large food stores that are spoiling. The outdoor camping area is adjacent to or on a particularly sensitivecultural site that may require extensive processing. Occupiers appear to have excavated two large trenches and an improvised road on or adjacent to grounds containing sensitive artifacts. At least one of these trenches contains human feces. The FBI Art Crimes Team (ACT) is processing these sites. Due to the size and nature of the trenches, equipment is being brought to the site to allow ACT to process these sites safely. Finally, firearms and explosive have been found on the site. There are numerous vehicles on the site and the FBI is concerned that vehicles and buildings may be booby trapped.

My Tweet just before they surrendered
with screencap from Fry Video:

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