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Is Corporate Media Trying to Stifle a US Militia Uprising in Oregon?

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Is Corporate Media Trying to Stifle a US Militia Uprising in Oregon?
The story of the US militia uprising in Oregon is an interesting one. Early January saw an armed group gather in a nature reserve in Oregon, claiming to be defending two local cattle ranchers from being sentenced to prison for arson.

The group, which has seized control of a nature reserve in Oregon, which is federally owned, is led by the Bundy family, who is originally from Nevada. The Bundy’s claim to be defending father and son duo Dwight and Steven Hammond, who are due to be resentenced to prison after an Oregon judge increased their convictions for arson.

The Hammonds were convicted of setting 100 acres of federally-owned land on fire between 2001 and 2006. Dwight was originally sentenced to three months and Steven to a year. However, an Oregon judge is now reviewing the case and whether it wasn’t tough enough.

The Hammonds claim they had set the land on fire in order to protect their property from wildfires by reducing the number of invasive plants growing on the land, which the family had loaned from the government.

In a report about the Oregon case, the Conservative Tree House describes the ‘full story’ as to why approximately 150 – and growing – armed militia has decided to take control of the Milheur Wildlife Refuge Headquarters and wildlife reserve and are prepared to stay there indefinitely (1).

The Full Story

The ‘full story’ starts in the 1870s when the Harney Basin, where the Hammond family’s ranch is established, was settled by multiple ranchers, who developed state-of-the-art water irrigation systems and the land soon became a popular stopping spot for migrating birds.

The report notes how the Hammond family purchased their ranch in the Harney Basin in 1964, which included around 6000 acres of private property. The article speaks of how by the 1970s, nearly all of the ranches in the adjacent valley were bought by the US Fish and Wildlife Services (FWS).

By 1980, conflict over the land was well underway as, according to the Conservative Tree House, the FWS wanted to acquire the ranch lands of the adjacent Silvies Plain to “add to their already vast holdings.” Despite being approached by the FWS several times, the Hammonds refused to sell.

The article goes on to talk about how the FWS and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) began to illegally build fences around the Hammonds’ water source and restrict access to upper pieces of the Hammond’s private property.

ammon bundy

Prescribed Burn

In 2001, Steven Hammond informed the fire department that he was going to carry out a prescribed burn on their ranch, a traditional method that has been carried out by ranchers and Native Americans for years to improve the productivity and health of the land. The fire, however, went on to burn 127 acres of public grassland.

According to the report, in 2006, a huge lightning storm initiated fires in the countryside near the Hammonds’ home. Steven Hammond deliberately started a backfire on their private property as a means of protecting their property and putting the fire out.

“The backfire worked perfectly, it put out the fire, saved the ranch and possibly our home,” said Susan Hammond, Steven’s mother.

The following day, federal agents filed a report, accusing the Hammonds of starting a backfire. After a review of the case, the Harney County District Attorney decided not to warrant arrest and dropped the charges.

However, five years later in 2011, the US Attorneys Office accused Dwight and Steven of significantly different offenses – being “terrorists” under the Anti-Terrorism Act. In 2006, the Hammonds’ home was raided by federal agents in an attempt to find incriminating evidence that they started the fires.

In June 2012, Dwight and Steven Hammond were found guilty of starting two fires, one in 2001 and another in 2006. The court convicted them under the 1996 Anti-Terrorism Act and gave them 3 months and 12 months in prison. After fulfilling their sentences, in October 2015, the district court “re-sentenced” the Hammonds, forcing them to return to prison for several more years. They were ordered to report to prison again on January 4, 2016 to begin their re-sentencing.

The re-sentencing demand triggered the protests, which led to the occupying of the land, led by Ammon Bundy, son of Clive Bundy, a controversial anti-government rancher.

department of justice

Media Coverage

As well as being an intriguing and shocking story, what is also interesting is how the story has been picked up by the media. While the alternative media such as the Conservative Tree House are committed to telling the
full story” and giving the full background of the case, other more mainstream news sites seem to be more inclined to focus the report on the “armed militia”, intent on “overthrowing the US government and sparking national uprising”, which was the title for the story in The Independent, a mainstream British newspaper (2).

The Independent’s predominant focus is the words of the sheriff, who told the Oregon local news channel KTVZ that the men involved in the protest have alternative motives to “attempt to overthrow the country and federal government in hope to spark a movement across the United States.”

Incidentally, the Independent report makes no mention of Dwight and Steven Hammond being accused of being
terrorists and sentenced under the Anti-Terrorism Act 1996.

In the BBC’s report of the case, it talks of how the incident has “riled right-wing activists who resent government interference” (3). Similar to the Independent report, the BBC concentrates a lot on the activists, particularly the Bundy family who has “seized the complex and plan to stay there for years.”

It is also interesting that the story seems to have gone unreported in much of the mainstream press. As Top Secret Writers wrote in August 2015, corporations and the media work hand in hand (4). Could it be that the corporate media aren’t wanting to publish much about the story because their interests lie with the organizations wanting to own the land instead of the Hammond family?

We’d love to hear our readers’ views on this interesting case.

References & Image Credits:
(1) The Conservative Tree House
(2) Independent
(3) BBC
(4) TSW: These 29 Corporations Run the World and You Don’t Even Know It
(5) Wikipedia: Photo of Harney Basin
(6) Wikipedia: Cliven Bundy Photo
(7) Department of Justice Screenshot

Originally published on

  • Chill my Brothers

    The title was misleading, I figured it was a typical smear job that refers to them as terrorists. But to my surprise you did a great job researching the whole story and stating the facts without bias. Mainstream media should employ writers like you, keep up the great work Gabrielle.

  • Robert Niles

    The Bundy gang came in with arms and took over public property. Their intent is to take this public property and give it to ranchers, loggers, miners. Bundy stated that according to him. backpackers, hunters, fishermen, bird watchers, and the local native people can use it as long as it doesn’t interfere with the ranchers, loggers, miners. In several instances the Bundy militants have not allowed others onto the refuge or have not allowed others on the refuge without armed escort.

    Whatever the locals have been doing working with the agencies running the refuge is nullified, and Bundy and his gang and appointed people get to decide even though NONE of them have been elected into office or placed into position by people elected into office.

    Bundy and his armed gang has repeatedly stated that they will use arms if any law enforcement comes in and tries to remove them.

    Just for these things, the Bundy gang needs to surrender or be arrested and have their day in court. At the least, all power, resupply trips, and mail trips need to be cut off to these armed militants.

  • Robert Niles

    And talking about the “Full Story” which you left a lot out in this article ….

    A jury’s finding of fact includes these points…

    The jury found Steven and Dwight Hammond guilty of intentionally and maliciously starting fires.

    Even after the Court accepted Steven and Dwight Hammond‘s appellate waivers the government’s attorney reiterated: “I want to make sure the Hammonds understand that under the statute the government is obligated to recommend a five-year mandatory minimum term of imprisonment.”

    The government’s evidence supporting this conviction came largely from Dusty Hammond, another member of the Hammond family – Steve Hammond ‘s nephew and Dwight Hammond ‘s grandson.

    The defendants have provided no assistance to the government and, in fact, they have demonstrated no remorse for their offense.

    Dusty Hammond ‘s testimony was corroborated by the testimony of hunting guide Gordon Choate, the testimony of Utah residents Dennis Nelson and Dustin Nelson, and by undisputed physical evidence introduced at trial.

    Dusty Hammond ‘s testimony established beyond a reasonable doubt that less than three hours after Steven Hammond illegally shot several deer on BLM land, Dwight Lincoln Hammond, Jr., Steven Hammond, Russell Hammond, Dusty Hammond, and Jacon Taylor started fires which burned BLM land near the area where the deer had been shot.

    When defendants started these fires, they knew that Gordon Choate, Dennis and Dustin Nelson were camped nearby.

    After his uncle Steven provided him with matches and told him where to start fires, then-13-year old Dusty Hammond became separated from his father Russell Hammond only to find himself alone and surrounded by fire.

    At trial, Dusty Hammond testified to remembering “pretty clearly” what happened because he “thought (he) was going to get burned up.” After escaping the fire, Dusty Hammond was told by Dwight and Steven Hammond, while sitting at the table in the Hammond ranch kitchen with Russell and his grandmother, Susie Hammond, “to keep (his) mouth shut, that nobody needed to know about the fire.”

    Jurors rejected the defense assertion that “Dusty Hammond couldn’t be more wrong; just about who was where, when, what, everything. This assertion was further undermined when the defense failed to call Russell Hammond to contradict Dusty Hammond ‘s claims as predicted in their opening statement

    Firefighter Brett Dunten, using a diagram he had drawn, testified that about 10:00 pm on August 22, 2006, there were three spot fires below the rim of Krumbo Butte. The spot fires were 300 to 500 yards from the main fire and more than a mile from Hammond Ranch property

    The offense involved the “conscious or reckless risk of death or serious bodily injury.” In this case, testimony and evidence at trial reflect that Steven Hammond, with Dwight Lincoln Hammond, Jr. also present, gave matches to a group of people and told them to start fires and where to start them.

    Among the group was Steven Hammond’s then-13-year-old nephew Dusty Hammond. “Steven started handing out boxes of Strike Anywhere matches and said we were going to light up the whole country on fire”. Dusty Hammond began lighting fires, which quickly rose to eight to ten feet, surrounding and trapping him in, and causing him to fear for his life.

    Steven Hammond’s prior convictions include a May 2012 conviction in Harney county, Oregon, for unswom falsification. Steven Hammond’s criminal history also includes a prior conviction for which he received a sentence of two years’ probation. He was on probation for that offense when he committed this offense.

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Top Secret Editors

Ryan is the founder of Top Secret Writers. He is an IT analyst, blogger, journalist, and a researcher for the truth behind strange stories.
Lori is TSW's editor. Freelance writer and editor for over 17 years, she loves to read and loves fringe science and conspiracy theory.

Top Secret Writers

Gabrielle is a journalist who finds strange stories the media misses, and enlightens readers about news they never knew existed.
Sally is TSW’s health/environmental expert. As a blogger/organic gardener, she’s investigates critical environmental issues.
Mark Dorr grew up the son of a treasure hunter. His experiences led to working internationally in some surprising situations!
Mark R. Whittington, from Houston, Texas, frequently writes on space, science, political commentary and political culture.

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