Processing Distortion with Peter B. Collins: The Real Story of Oregon Standoff

Peter B. Collins Presents Attorney Todd Macfarlane

Following his written commentary on the month-long occupation of a remote wildlife refuge near Burns, Oregon, Todd Macfarlane gives a detailed account of the history of rancher-government disputes, the Cliven Bundy confrontation in Nevada in 2014, and the occupation of Malheur by Bundy’s sons and others. Macfarlane spent 2 days there—unarmed—and is openly critical of Pete Santilli and other hotheads at the scene. He describes the over-reaction by political leaders and media, culminating in the roadblock January 26 where the group’s unofficial spokesman, LaVoy Finicum was killed. He represents the Finicum family, and is seeking answers to many important questions about the incident.

*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. Read his article here

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  1. – I see another reason why there’re tensions in Oregon & Nevada: Lack of rain !!!! since say the year 2000, the amount of rain on the west coast of the US has dropped (significantly) resulting in less grass being available for people who live off the proceeds of their (cow) hurds.

  2. Very professional, PeterB. Thank you.

  3. Great to hear Macfarlene touch on both Pete Santilli and Michael McConnell. Santilli is obviously a con-man and some sort of agitator hell bent on making himself the center of any story he injects himself into. McConnell always struck me as some sort of undercover agent (police, or Fed) His recollection of the events that transpired sounded like he was reading a policeman’s account in open court.

  4. Very informative. Think you paint a very plausible picture how it evolved. With too many things going on I haven’t paid much attention to the entire Burns situation on a daily basis. Also because as you point out, this could have just run it course, fizzled and everyone just goes home again, as was my expectation. Though, in hindsight one can see the elements and potential for such an extreme ending all there. Beside the media hyping it up I agree the two most dangerous elements are the use of language like ‘terrorism’ (from the beginning as it’s was already there in the Hammonds case) and the counter-terrorism mindset existing so prominent in the police and law enforcement. Hope I’m phrasing this correctly. I mean they are over-over-over-prepared for a ‘stand off’ and ‘shootout’ and what have you. So I can just see how they came in with all their protocols and action plans they for years have been training on so extensively, the entire apparatus with infiltrators and experts and theorists. Here at last finally they can put to practice the scenarios they’ve all been exercising and training so hard for. Completely excessive and it becomes like a self fulfilling prophecy, the play leads itself to the anticipated bloody end. Needlessly. There was no need for violence en certainly no need for casualties. Perhaps there was no intent as such, the anticipation, created by the training, field exercises, preparation, simulations, scenarios and on hand action plans, is in itself enough to spawn and generate intent.

  5. Great interview! It was well balanced and very informative. While I believe the ranchers and farmers have legitimate grievances with the Feds, it is also important to understand how situations like one the Oregon can be exploited by the powers that shouldn’t be. Santelli may not be an actual agent provocateur (that accusation is thrown about rather recklessly) but he is a showman. The character McConnell however appears to be genuine government asset.

    The “showdown” in Oregon was sparked by the unjust treatment of the Hammond family by the Feds and THEIR injustice system. Federal prosecutors actually used anti-terrorist laws to the throw the father and son in prison. The original dispute was over controlled burns and they were charged with arson. The case against the Hammonds appears to be just an excuse to seize their land. A similar situation obtained in the Bundy case back in 2014. What is going on is that oligarchs and corporations are using various alphabet soup agencies and bureaucratic red tape to steal the land of small and independent farmers and ranchers. It’s a land grab done under the color of law. The people targeted soon learn that the regulatory and legal systems are rigged against them. Basically it’s heads I win, tails you lose. .
    As explained in the interview “the shootout” was a one-sided affair with the Feds doing all the shooting. The violence was completely unnecessary and therefore unjustified – very much like Waco and Ruby Ridge but with body count being much lower thankfully. Lavoy Finnicum was made to be an example to all those who might entertain the idea of challenging government AUTHORITY.
    In a new development the Bundy patriarch was arrested by the FBI as he arrived in Oregon. He was reportedly planning to meet with Oregon state legislator to discuss the Hammond case. He is charged with conspiring to obstruct federal agents a very vague criminal law. So challenging the Feds is now a crime. Where is the outrage?

  6. Is there any photos or video of LaVoy’s autopsy? I am still wondering if he really was shot above the left hip. And also, was it ever verified that he was in fact unarmed?

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