A few days ago, I posted on Twitter, asking whether someone in the Montana media had asked Senator Jennifer Fielder for her position on the militants who have occupied the federal facility in Oregon. It seemed an obvious question, as Fielder is the leading spokeswoman for the movement to take public lands from the federal government here in Montana. To my knowledge, and according to a Google News search, no Montana media outlet has asked Fielder to comment, despite the obvious connection between her movement and the militia wannabes in Oregon.
Perhaps they will now, as Fielder has taken to her Facebook page to defend the men who have earned the justified mockery of most Americans, going so far as to call for their pardon.
On her Facebook page this evening, Fielder writes:
Ranching is not terrorism — Obama should pardon ranchers and end protest peacefully
It’s no wonder the feds heavy handed treatment of the Hammond Ranching Family has stirred an uprising.The federal government was way out of bounds in charging the Hammond Family with terrorism as a result of the prescribed burns they started on their own ranch (which actually improved the grass land), and a back burn that stopped a large lightening (sic) caused wildfire from spreading. President Obama should pardon the two ranchers and put an end to the Oregon protest peacefully.
Here you have the leader of the public lands takeover movement in Montana claiming that an adjudicated case of arson was an improvement of public land and that militia members were justified in their decision to mount an armed takeover of those public lands and government buildings. I don’t understand her assertion that the Hammonds, who have reported for prison despite the presence of the militants, were charged with “terrorism,” but facts have never really been a part of Fielder’s anti-government repertoire.
As the US Attorney notes:
The U.S. Attorney dismissed arguments that the Hammonds were accused of terrorism.
“The evidence at trial convinced the jury beyond a reasonable doubt that the Hammonds were guilty of the federal crime of arson; that is, maliciously damaging United States property by fire,” he wrote. “The jury was neither asked if the Hammonds were terrorists, nor were defendants ever charged with or accused of terrorism. Suggesting otherwise is simply flat-out wrong.”
Perhaps now would be a good time for the Montana media to ask Senator Fielder and the Montana Republican Party if they truly support the right to respond to adverse court decisions with armed insurrection.