Reid calls supporters of Nevada cattle rancher 'domestic terrorists'
April 17th, 2014
09:17 PM ET
6 months ago

Reid calls supporters of Nevada cattle rancher 'domestic terrorists'

(CNN) - Never one to mince words, Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nevada, lumped supporters of Bunkerville rancher Cliven Bundy in with the Eric Rudolphs, Richard Reids and Timothy McVeighs.

The senate majority leader labeled those who defended the rancher against a Bureau of Land Management cattle roundup "domestic terrorists" at a Thursday evening question-and-answer session hosted by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

"Those people who hold themselves out to be patriots are not. They’re nothing more than domestic terrorists,” Reid said. "I repeat: What went on up there was domestic terrorism.”

Reid's remarks come on the heels of a tense, weeklong showdown that drew armed militia groups from across the country to the cattleman's side, especially after a YouTube video captured a tussle teetering on violence between rangers and protesters.

The BLM ultimately decided to shut down its weeklong roundup of Bundy's cattle Saturday after the incident.

Bundy owed nearly $1 million to the government and has avoided paying federal grazing fees for 20 years. His dispute with the government began around 1993 when the bureau changed grazing rules for the 600,000-acre Gold Butte area to protect an endangered desert tortoise, CNN affiliate KLAS reported.

For his part, Reid insisted that the conflict was not over. The Nevada lawmaker said he spoke with both federal and state law officials, including Attorney General Eric Holder, and was given assurances a task force would be established to deal with the Bundy case.

“It is an issue that we cannot let go, just walk away from,” Reid said.

While the senator mainly took issue with the hundreds who flocked to Bundy's cause, Reid also jabbed at the rancher's reputation.

"He doesn’t pay his taxes," Reid said. "He doesn’t pay his fees. And he doesn’t follow the law. He continues to thumb his nose at authority.”


Filed under: Harry Reid
soundoff (921 Responses)
  1. lilspenny

    All these Bundy supporters say what he's doing is ok because his family has been doing it for 100s of years. Since when does that make it ok? So I have a very small genetic relationship to a guy I never knew who was dead long before I was born, and that guy got the run of the place. Do I get the run of the place just because of that? Do I get to own slaves since some old dead guy used to? I might have been related to a King if you go back enough... Can I be King? Things CHANGE over time and you inherit property but you don't inherit privileges and favors for stuff that was never yours or your kin.
    Besides that, the US took Nevada in the Spanish American War in 1898. That wasn't "hundreds" of years ago – it was about a hundred. So if we want to look at original ownership, the first American ownership was to the Feds. Then again, that war was kind of unfair, so maybe it should still belong to Mexico. Maybe illegals should be able to live there since somewhere back when, some of their kin owned and maybe worked on that land.
    All of this talk is ridiculous nonsense! Bundy has had every chance and all the time in the world. He's gotten more breaks that the gov. normally gives people who DO NOT have the means to pay what they owe. The US should come in at the soonest time they can do so in relative peace, seize the cattle, and charge rent on them until Bundy agrees to the court decree and starts making some payments. The rules aren't different for him because he's rich and connected to a bunch of gun-toting yahoos.

    April 18, 2014 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  2. The Voice of America

    Democrats arent ruining this country, ALL the politicians in DC are. George Bush was president during the incident at Ruby Ridge,its obvious that neither republicans nor democrats wish to change the government.

    April 18, 2014 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  3. irony at its finest

    this guy probably hates minorities taking advantage of the system but refuses to pay taxes and chooses not to follow the laws that he doesnt like but he is a hero to the right? no sympathy. i hope they go in with drones and tanks!

    April 18, 2014 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  4. pjoe

    Reid calls everyone who disagrees with him some sort of name. Lay off the rhetoric Harry. It doesn't help.

    April 18, 2014 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  5. Hogan's Goat

    "Reid is engaged in bringing Chinese solar energy firms to Nevada, and plans for a site at this location. " Sure he is. I bet you read it on a website or got it in an email. Reid can't build on that land either, kid. Your chain's being yanked. Go do what they tell you to do like a good little soldier.
    "why is Harry Reid getting so involved?" You do understand that he is the Senator from Nevada? Oh, you don't. Right. And yet you have a firm opinion about him based on orc talk and limbaughs.

    April 18, 2014 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  6. Brian

    Harry Reid said (the rancher continues to thumb his nose at authority) I'm sorry who created authority over man! This man was legally able to graze his cows for over a century until 1993 when the feds changed the rules over a stupid freak in turtle. Then created fees to graze. This is crazy to say we need to protect this turtle which was there with cattle all these years and grazing was free. Now you can still graze not have to pay lol. Its not about the stupid turtle its about a over reaching government that created and owns the legal structure. Its about freedom of which the federal gov is impeding on and now real American Re saying take a flying leap. Those who don't stand are the terrorist. From what I read here we have brainwashed idiots that believe the gov is good lol. They are the collaborators and in the end I would stand with the people that are right which is the NRA

    April 18, 2014 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  7. what are they waiting for?

    Go in with drones and tanks please.....immediately!

    April 18, 2014 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  8. mdaneker

    You idiots that liken these fools to patriots during the revolutionary war are just lunatics, and ignorant, uneducated ones at that. The revolution was against a KING, not elected officials and laws established by the house, senate and presidency and upheld by federal and supreme court. You have representation, you fools, YOU HAVE ELECTED OFFICIALS!!!! You don't like something you work to change the system peacefully, until then you obey the law. Period. Any act against the government that involves violence or threat of violence is not patriotism, it's not revolution, it's criminal! You are all insane, criminals!

    April 18, 2014 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  9. steve

    Reid is correct.

    April 18, 2014 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  10. Hogan's Goat

    " if someone was trying to come along and seize my property, that had been in my family for more then a century"
    Luckily that's not what's happening. Bundy NEVER owned that land, and he doesn't care who owns it now. He's stuck in the Range Wars of the 1880s and sheepmen are fencing his range. He'll lose it now in civil suits for sure, but that was his choice.

    April 18, 2014 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  11. RA

    Reid, Did you ever serve in the military? If you did I bet you were on KP every day because you are to stupid to do much except shoot you mouth off. How in the hell did you ever get in the Senate?

    April 18, 2014 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  12. mdaneker

    If you don't like the government, elect a new one! If you don't like the laws get them changed. If you can't get the majority behind you,then accept that this is a democracy and you loose sometimes.

    April 18, 2014 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  13. Dan

    It is sad that someone who doesn't even know the definition of the word "terrorist" could get into such a high position in the federal government. Terrorists kill civilians for political purposes. Without all the facts, I would not attempt to judge whether the terrorists or the counter-terrorists are more wrong in this case, but I know how to use a dictionary.

    April 18, 2014 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  14. Nevadaborn

    I agree with Harry. The Bundy clan are thugs who are stealing from us by not paying their grazing fees. The land is not their land to use as they please; the land belongs to all of us. The BLM was following a court order to remove the cattle from BLM managed land. Other ranchers pay grazing fees, so should Bundy.

    April 18, 2014 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  15. lalalam

    Well Reid is showing his true colors. I don't know how property rights work in Nevada, but here if you openly use property unobstructed for the better part of a decade, you can claim adverse possession. Basically means, I've used this property for so long and no one complained, so I own it now. They just need to compensate the land at fair market value. Out there probably $5 an acre.

    April 18, 2014 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  16. Mike

    This guy needs to go waste our tax money somewhere else.
    Let's try to throw ANOTHER person in jail so we have to pay for him too....
    Makes tons of sense if you have the money to just throw around.
    Our country may or may not already be in debt?.....Just something to think about.

    April 18, 2014 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  17. Sid

    odd, I could have sworn it was the BLS people who threatened to shoot the protesters, not the other way around...

    April 18, 2014 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  18. Creepy Guy

    Harry Reid is a fascist and should shut his pie hole. He is abusing the term terrorist like a typical liberal to suit his own need.

    April 18, 2014 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  19. Frank Lee

    Well I don't think they're terrorists but they are opportunists who will use any reason to oppose the Govt., just a bunch of nuts looking for a fight.

    April 18, 2014 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  20. Unegen

    These ranchers and their ilk are living out a delusional Old West fantasy...except in the real Old West, they'd have been called what they are-land thieves-and would have been rounded up and hanged in the town square.

    April 18, 2014 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  21. Cirrus33

    Yea, everybody is a terrorist now, one local news story had police calling a graffiti artist a terrorist, the word is losing it's meaning.

    April 18, 2014 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  22. joe

    Looks like Reid is running Scared. The filthy RAT has been exposed. Americans standing up for their rights are NOT terrorists. Bundy pays his Taxes. You should be sued for slander on both accounts.

    April 18, 2014 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  23. Doug

    I have to disagree with Sen. Reid on this one. At least terrorists have some larger goal in mind. Mssr. Bundy is nothing more than a common criminal, on par with the capo of your local mafia crew. The armed nitwits who have swarmed to his defense are sad examples of what Lenin called Useful Idiots. His defenders on this forum would also fall into this category.

    April 18, 2014 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  24. Thomas

    Corporations are people too !

    It's happening all over , BLM land is used by ranchers or solar companies who don't want to pay .

    It's land that belongs to all Americans , and the revenue goes to the American people .

    This Rancher want's confrontation , we have a legal system , we have Laws ,

    Criminal would be a better word .

    April 18, 2014 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  25. Dude

    What did you expect? We have a President who picks and chooses laws he will enforce based on his personal beliefs. Why would the American people think the same options should apply to them?

    April 18, 2014 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
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