A View from the Trenches – from my Perspective by Todd Macfarlane

This past week has been one of the hardest, saddest weeks of my life.

As many know, I am an attorney, and I represent the family of LaVoy Finicum. On Tuesday, LaVoy was ambushed and killed by the FBI and Oregon State Police in a roadblock as he was attempting to travel to an adjoining county.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown just couldn’t wait any longer. So after less than a week of attempted negotiations, the agencies involved were out for blood. To that end, from what I understand, Governor Brown authorized the use of any force necessary to end it – regardless of the consequences.

What she and others, including federal officials and local Harney County officials obviously don’t understand is that if they had just simply ignored Ammon Bundy and his followers at the refuge, eventually the whole thing would have just shriveled up and died. But an approach like that would require too much common sense. So instead, they pretended that it was some kind of really big thing -- that by being at the refuge the occupiers were allegedly “impeding federal officers” in their duties, and “disrupting local community,” when in reality it seems fairly clear that it is the government’s own actions and personnel that are causing virtually all the disruption.

And what a mess their decision to escalate has now caused. Does anyone remember the movie “First Blood?” Now there are literally legions of federal agents and “contractors” in Burns. Someone I know, a local rancher, tried to strike up a conversation with one of the fancily uniformed agents in a sandwich shop. He was clearly a big husky federal operative. The rancher first asked him what he was doing here, the agent said “security” then he was asked “for which side of the fence” to which the agent answered “the right side, I hope” he was then asked if he was a 3%er?. “no”, national guard?, “no”, OSP? …Uh, “yes”. When asked where he was from he said “Up North.” The rancher said, “where, Hermiston or Pendleton?, ”the agent said uh, Hermiston, yes. The rancher said, “that’s interesting because I grew up in Hermiston, and my mother still lives there. At that the agent stuttered and stammered around and said no more. End of conversation. The rancher then thought, “right!!. . that’s why there’s a half dozen black stretch suburbans with Minnesota private plates out front that you guys got out of. And why did you look me in the eye and have to lie about it. Is that what this is coming to?”. The rancher thought , “how stupid do you think we are here and if you aren’t subversives, then why do you need to lie?

After weeks of people being able to come and go at the Malheur Wildlife refuge for weeks – from what I saw, I swear the federal employees could have gone out there and done whatever work really needed doing -- now that there are only four people left, there are heavily armed, militarized check points on all the roads around the refuge. And you should see what happens at those checkpoints.

From what I understand, it’s not just a matter of showing your papers and explaining your business. If you approach one of the checkpoints, you are warned that you will be shot if you do anything other than exactly what you are told. From what I understand, these checkpoints are fortified with multiple vehicles, including Bearcats, with .50 caliber machine guns. To determine whether anyone who approaches a checkpoint has any business there, they make people get out of their vehicles – obviously at gunpoint, with the .50 cals always ready. Then they make people lay down on the ground, and they handcuff them before engaging in invasive, heavy-handed searches for weapons and other contraband.

That’s what another rancher I know encountered when he tried to go feed his cows. When he pulled up to the checkpoint, someone on a bullhorn threatened to shoot him if he made any misstep, before searching him as described, before finally allowing him to pass to do his chores. This is what locals are experiencing at the hands of the fully militarized police forces restricting their travel and activities in the area.

And thanks to the spin the government is putting on all of it, with the help of the mainstream media, this heavy-handed approach is all more than justified because a bunch of batshit crazy nutjobs camped out at the wildlife refuge.

Thanks to all the distortions, even if the protestors have any legitimate points – like the injustices to the Hammond Family – it’s all lost in the spin, and they don’t stand a chance in the court of public opinion, or in the court system.

Which reminds me, I was arguing a case last week before the Utah Court of Appeals in Cedar City. They were visiting Southern Utah University for this court session, so it was kind of a special occasion, and a big deal (at least to some). A number of local attorneys and judges were present to observe the proceedings. A couple of them are very good, long-time friends of mine. One is a guy I went to college and law school with who is now a vice president at SUU. The other is one of my former law partners, who is now a judge. He was one of my mentors as an attorney, and one of the best lawyers I have ever known. I have always had a lot of respect for him, and hold him in high regard. They were sitting together.

Afterward, as I was visiting with my law school buddy-turned-university administrator, he said that while I was arguing or during my comings and goings associated with the proceedings, our friend the judge leaned over and asked him if he had been seeing me on TV. My friend had to admit that he hadn’t and asked what that was all about. Our friend, the judge said “he’s been up there with those ‘nutcases’ in Oregon.”

Now, let’s just think a little bit about all of that. I think it’s fair to say that his statement probably reflected the views of about 90% of all Americans. It’s all about labels. By letting labels do most of the thinking, it keeps things a lot simpler in most people’s minds. That way they don’t have to try to understand the real issues.

But here’s the even bigger concern: it’s probably the view of about 99% of all judges. So, can you imagine anyone involved in this whole affair getting any kind of fair and impartial hearing before any judge -- state or federal? What a comforting thought.

In the meantime, I’m going to be working on a piece about the realities of the Federal Court System when it comes to Western land & resource use cases.

# # # #

Todd Macfarlane is an attorney, rancher, writer and political activist. He and his family own and operate the Turkey Track Ranch, near the small town of Kanosh, Utah. Todd is a veteran from earlier dust-ups in the sagebrush rebellion, having represented Mary Bullock and other ranchers in long-standing struggles with the federal government.  He currently represents the LaVoy Finicum Family. 

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  1. I wholeheartedly agree.

  2. This incident reminds me of how Waco was handled/mishandled. The one thing that struck me then was the lack of patience and a little courage — why not just lay back and send one brave soul to the door with a warrant? Instead we got immediate propaganda about Koresh accusing him of the most vile offenses and the G.I Joe assault on the compound. It’s only much later, now, that I understand that such ‘stupid’ and violent confrontations are deliberate state policy. We are in a mess; our rulers are essentially a death cult masquerading as a democracy.

    • To be fair Koresh was a cult leader who was certainly doing some very questionable if not illegal stuff down in Texas. But I do agree with you on the response which was insane, and which they justified by saying “who cares it was just a bunch of cult members.” And what follows this two years later: the biggest domestic false flag massacre in US history which allegedly was because of Waco.

  3. What I have is questions. Why did the FBI release this very odd footage shot from the helicopter, with the wrong date stamped on the video, claiming it is unedited, when clearly it has been edited etc. It can be found here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jnC5t9hbKc

    Regarding Mr. Macfarlane’s comments here. “What even the video doesn’t show is all the other agents and vehicles involved – hiding either in the trees, or just around yet another bend.”

    How do we know there were more agents behind trees further down the road? What tactical purpose would they have served hiding behind trees? Were they in the belief that Mr. Finicum wuold have somehow breached the initial roadblock (through 4 feet of snow on either side) and thus they needed to stash more agents in trees? Why, as the above linked video highlights, does this agent(?)/State cop(?) who appears from the forest on the left seem to be by himself? Did he approach and flank from the rear set of vehicles that had Mr. Finicum blocked from backing up? If so, why does it seem that the officer is alone..? This in no way would have followed tactical procedure to send an agent solo.

    Given the very long and documented history of FBI malfeasance – why would we believe the FBI?

    As it so happened I went to high school with a guy who’s father is Mr. Danny Coulson. Mr. Coulson was a long–time, career FBI agent. He established and headed up HRT (Hostage Rescue Team). He used to take his son and myself to HRT training in Oregon, in the late 80’s. He was on site at Waco, Ruby Ridge etc. Mr. Coulson is on record saying that the OK City bombing was highly suspect and doesn’t seem to have gone down the way the Feds would have us believe. Now this was a career FBI man with a long and ‘illustrious’ career saying this.

    Why are we not talking about the FBI’s alleged authority to begin with? They, as an agency of the U.S. Corporation, have zero authority on the land. They are operating as a governmental services corporation, and as such, are operating under a different form of Law entirely, from my understanding.
    See, here, as a reference – http://annavonreitz.com/missoulian.pdf

    When will we begin to talk about the corporate aspect of the entire ‘government’? As it looks today, the government and the American and International BAR Association stand in gross violation of their charters, the Smith Act, and in addition are committing crimes daily by even serving as BAR card carrying attorneys. They are foreign agents serving private, mostly foreign-owned governmental services corporations. They don’t even belong here and have no bearing on American State Citizens (which is most people in the U.S.).

    There is currently a massive commercial lien that has been placed on the American BAR Association. Why is this not covered in the media? Why has the American BAR Association not responded in due course or rebutted any of the claims against it? Will we ever have Rule of Law again or merely Color of Law, forever? What will we choose to create here on our landmass?

    Link for the commercial lien – https://ourgreaterdestiny.wordpress.com/2015/12/07/4-superior-court-judges-unite-to-ignite-279-trillion-lien/

    I’d be happy to share information on legal vs lawful and governments corporations masked as government with any who are interested.

    Sibel – are you aware of the corporations masked as government ‘spin’ on this whole thing? I have no sense of where you stand on this rather large issue. I’d be happy to format an email or direct you to information if not.

    Perhaps Mr. Macfarlane can comment on this as he is an attorney.

    • It’s a typical FBI job. The rest are details, but the picture is clear and nothing really to argue about. It’s a rubout. We saw two and a half of them in the so-called “Boston Marathon Bombing,” and lots of other examples in the past, so we know how it all goes down.

  4. Mr. Macfarlane – as per your comments at the end of your commentary, “In the meantime, I’m going to be working on a piece about the realities of the Federal Court System when it comes to Western land & resource use cases.”

    Perhaps you would care to comment about this very issue; that of the Court System as it stands in the U.S. today?
    Please find these articles of interest as they are directly related to the research, if I’m not mistaken, that you are about to do yourself.



    Thank you sir.

  5. Here is something quite actionable in nature. I know people here have talked about things being actionable. Print this up and personally hand it to police in your area. Go make appointments with clergy in your area and take documentation in that shows what they are a part of as 501(c)(3) organizations. Put them all on notice. For now, many can claim ignorance because they have not been privy to the frauds they are complicit in and thus they damage they are causing. But not for long, as all the Fed agencies, the BAR Association etc., have all been well informed about this mess. At least at the higher levels. How far down into the ranks that information is disseminated I do not know.


  6. Lawrence Shea says:

    For anyone who has ever read Edwin Black’s magnum opus, “War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race” or “Against Their Will: The Secret History of Medical Experimentation on Children in Cold War America”, by Allen M. Hornblum, Judith L. Newman, and Gregory J. Dober, it is not too difficult to imagine any act of pure evil that our federal government is incapable of perpetrating. Lavoy Finicum’s extra-judicial execution was an obvious warning to those who would dare stand up against the outrages of their tyrannical governmental overlords in Washington Deceit. So, what else is new?

    The USG is the strong and the rest of us little lambs are the weak. How dare we bleat back at them! To them we are just like a herd of animals to be pushed around and exploited for whatever purposes their paymasters and controllers on Wall Street and in the City of London see fit to pursue. The 99.999% are expendable and should know their place in the globaloney NWO. Soon they will cull our numbers because ‘we the sheeple’ are expendable in their all-seeing eyes. CRISPR anyone?

  7. Welcome to the party, folks. This is nothing new. It has been going on here on the local, state and federal level since the 1790s (and before that). Entire communities have been wiped out around this country again and again for over 200 years. 100 years ago a US Navy war ship was sent up the west coast and shelled a Native village because the lumber barons thought they were on strike. In the 1970s the western Reservations were war zones. I live on a reservation where the people were driven out and force marched 1500 miles by local, state and federal “soldiers”. I’m glad you are waking up, but all I ever hear is Waco, Ruby Ridge. What about an entire section of Philadelphia being wiped out because the local establishment hated MOVE. And, by the way, the Rainbows have been harassed and attacked for years, again by local, state and federal forces.

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