Reid calls supporters of Nevada cattle rancher 'domestic terrorists'
April 17th, 2014
09:17 PM ET
8 years 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.

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"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. kurt

    "So Senator, Americans should meekly acquiesce to all government agencies, never questioning the "wisdom" of Big Brother?"

    You can question all you want. You can sue. You can start a political movement.

    But when you organize a group of armed people to use violence or the threat of violence to get your way on a political issue... then you're being a terrorist. That's how terrorism works. You make people afraid (terrify) of supporting a group or performing an action in hopes that they won't do it anymore. You don't try to convice them. You frighten them. That is terrorism.

    These guys could have started petitions, tried to elect politicians who agree with them... heck they could have run for office themselves. But instead they illegally grazed their cattle for 20 years while constantly being warned and cited... and when the authorities finally come to confiscate the illegally grazing cattle they think they should be able to use guns to frighten the americans who are LEGALLY PERFORMING THEIR JOB of collecting the cattle.

    NO. It's not okay. It's abhorent and it is terrorism.

    April 18, 2014 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  2. Free Man in the Republic of TEXAS

    So the Dr. "says" that you need an operation to save your life.

    Well....... Let's see IF you qualify???

    Do you own any guns?
    Have you served with honor in the United States military ?

    You do ???
    You have ???

    We have a 'domestic terrorists' here !!! !!! !!!

    April 18, 2014 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  3. Ryan

    It's really simple. This rancher doesn't own the land his cows are grazing on, so he's trespassing. He's been warned many times over the last 20 years that he needs to remove his cattle or he'll be charged a fee for allowing them to graze on federal land. He has refused to do so or pay the fees or his taxes. That's against the law, plain and simple. I think the terrorist part that Reid is referring to has to do with the fact that he's got armed militias threatening violence against the government employees tasked with enforcing the laws that he has been brazenly ignoring. Hence he is literally terrorizing those agents. Take emotion out of the equation and look at it based on those facts.

    April 18, 2014 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  4. Tampa Tim

    Peter Beck – Everyone can question big brother, you just don't bring out heavily armed hate groups who are seeking a shoot em up bloody end to the court orders.

    April 18, 2014 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  5. JZ

    What was cleverly omitted from this article is the fact that Mr.Bundy's family has been ranching on that land and paying grazing fees since the 1870s!

    Since 1993 the farmer has refused to renew his grazing permit under the grounds that the money shouldn't be going to the federal government as his contract as a producer is with the state not the federal government.

    “I’m a producer,” Cliven said. “I produce edible commodity from the desert forage, and all of these things are governed under state law. So, in other words, this type of government has eliminated all of our state law, eliminated our state sovereignty, and has took control over our public lands and even took control over our Clark County sheriff. They’ve taken the whole county over. The whole state, almost.”

    His reference to the "Clark County sheriff" was that he was unable to get the sheriff to have the federal agents removed from his property despite the fact that they were trespassing under state law.

    April 18, 2014 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  6. MB

    Reid is CORRECT-the govt could have had a blood bath and killed all of the people with guns but they did not-they need to go in with a tank and take the ranch for back taxes just like they did Al Capone who the rancher apparently thinks he is-the rancher is arrogant and WRONG,WRONG,Wrong

    April 18, 2014 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  7. Tampa Tim

    Kurt – You post is genius, but sadly it went right over Hannity's head.

    April 18, 2014 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  8. Whereisthemiddle?

    Bundy is a criminal at present. The rag tag militia he has put together could be considered a terrorist organization. It's not a perfect description but I can see where it could be said. I implore those who oppose Reid to look past him to the person and the situation. While this administration may not act the way you wish it's no reason to absolve this man of his crimes.

    April 18, 2014 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  9. Mr. M

    Amazing the silence coming from the Corporate Owned News (CON) on Bunkerville, and Harry Reid.

    How bad can things be when the leader of the House Democrats blatantly uses his position and power to steal the land of hard working Americans so he can profit personally by selling it to the Communist Chinese, and we don't see a peep about it anywhere in the CON.

    Whenever I think that the so-called journalists can't sink any lower, they do.

    Don't let this fade-away! Keep calling your reps and DEMAND Reid resign!

    April 18, 2014 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  10. OnTheFarm

    I pay taxes that support that public land. He uses it for grazing his cattle for personal profit. He needs to pay the grazing fees (and his taxes). I am sure more of the tax base had to go for management of those public lands (1 million!) because he was not paying for what he used. No wonder taxes keep rising. Hold him accountable. Hold those who are trying to defend him accountable. I agree that those armed militants who are defending him are domestic terrorists and also directly responsible for raising my taxes...

    April 18, 2014 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  11. critical thinking

    Really? Terrorist? So an American soldier who kills other American soldiers at Ft. Hood is classified as Workplace violence by Reid and the White House, but an American Rancher who allows his cattle to graze on Taxpayers land is a Terrorist? Nevada residents should be ashamed to have him represent them in Washington DC. Especially when you learn that Sen. Reid has an Apt at the Ritz Carlton in Washington DC. How does he afford that type of lifestyle with his pay as a Senator? Someone should investigate that.

    April 18, 2014 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  12. rockysfan

    I'm with Reid on this one. 100%! If you can't pay your bills, you don't belong in business. I don't care how long you have used that land, it belongs to the US, NOT AN INDIVIDUAL. How dare you use my tax dollars to subsidize your inability to run a cattle business. Had I been there, I would have been on the BLM side of this fight!

    April 18, 2014 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  13. kurt

    "Amazing how people who are only going by what they read on the internet, and from such unbiased sources such as CNN, are quick to condemn the rancher and the people who supported him. Go actually read up on the guy, how long he and his family have been there and how long he's been using that land for cattle."

    Simply doesn't matter. It was NEVER his land. He doesn't have the right to choose which laws to obey.

    "Also see the quote where he said he'd be happy to pay if the state was asking for the money but he contests that the Federal Government has any right to try and charge."

    His state constitution and state government recognize the right of the federal government to do what they did (20 years ago mind you... it wasn't like this just happened). The idiot stated that he doesn't recognize the existence of the federal government. Okay... go live in the part of Nevada that's not in the US and we wouldn't have this problem. But if you live in the state that DOES recognize the US government... then you have to as well if you want to live here.

    "Also I think people like Reid are quick to use the terrorist label. It's become the modern version of playing the race card. Just call someone a terrorist if they are doing something you don't like."

    Organizing a group of people and using threats of violence (which I'd call aiming a loaded weapon at another person) to try to get what you want on a political issue is the textbook definition of terrorism. What do YOU call threats of violence to get your way politically?

    Is it okay for me to point a gun at you and tell you that if you don't vote Republican I'll kill you? Then why is it okay for them to aim their weapons at american citizens lawfully trying to perform their jobs and telling them that if they DO perform their jobs they'll be shot? Aren't both terrorist acts?

    April 18, 2014 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  14. alan

    this guy pays his taxes, is willing to pay his fee to use the land but he found out that his fee doesn't go to the upkeep of the land but rather some politicians pet project somewhere else, the guy has been caring for the pubic land for decades (mending fences, clearing stumps, ect) and his family for decades before that....the govt then creates some agency to claim the land and do no upkeep and tax people...sounds like a mafia demanding protection money where no protection is needed....everyone who supports the govt in this is supporting the right for the govt to come to your home, make up some BS fine, demand you pay it or you are labeled a terrorist...are all of you ok with that?

    April 18, 2014 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  15. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Tampa Tim

    Like all taxpayers, I own just as much of the government land that the welfare fraud is using for his cattle, and I want him off the property
    Yeah, okay, I'll play, me too Tim!
    Get his no-tax paying, thieving behind off MY land!

    April 18, 2014 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  16. Call_Me_Crazy

    Let me get this straight...
    When a muslim fanatic goes on a deadly rampage in the name of religion, it is workplace violence. However, when a group of people protest against the government, they are domestic terrorists. WOW!!!

    April 18, 2014 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  17. Ann

    Reid is right. Time to put an end to allowing these people who would kill someone that is trying to uphold the law, for a lawbreaker. They should go live in Russia like Snowden. See how long they get to hold onto their guns or their freedom. I grew up around these kinds of people and they are just scary.

    April 18, 2014 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  18. reidismyhero

    Hurrah for the NRA. This is what those folks have been warning us about: Need for protection against government evils. Our ancestors did it against their government – the British – and these folks are really just exercising their "patriotic" duty now!

    If our government backs down on this, expect the "wild, wild west" to return with a vengeance. Maybe it's high time to hand over some cash to the gun manufacturers.

    April 18, 2014 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  19. David

    Harry Reid has lost his mind and he re-election in 2016 if he keeps this up.

    April 18, 2014 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  20. shinyhalo

    Do you all see the government's plan? First they passed laws allowing them to imprison "terrorists" without a trial. Then they passed laws allowing them to literally kill terrorists in US territory with drones/military without a trial. And finally, the politicians start re-labelling criminals and calling anyone who breaks a federal law "terrorist." Legally, those protestors could have all been killed and what could you do about it? Stage a protest? Be careful, protesting the killing of terrorists makes you a terrorist too.

    April 18, 2014 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  21. DC Johnny

    The federal government, under false pretext, seized the contract that the Bundy's had with the state of Nevada for over a century.

    While it is not correct protocol to violate the law, what is the populace to do when the tyranny of the federal government usurps the powers of the states and municipalities to a gross degree?

    Keep in mind, the BLM is seizing control of this land in the name of protecting a tortoise, a species of which is so endangered they had to euthanize thousands of them in the past several years.

    False pretense.

    April 18, 2014 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  22. acsj

    Reid is a joke. The Bundy's were grazing since the 1870s. Reid thought he could steal the Bundy land on trumped up charges. Recall this crook

    April 18, 2014 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  23. Tom

    I don't care who's right and who's wrong, but we should all agree that Harry Reid is the worst kind of politician there is. He's a power hungry little man who should be put out to pasture with Bundy's cattle.

    April 18, 2014 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  24. dagdthompson

    1) Harry Reid's son represents a Chinese Company wanting to build a solar farm only 35 miles from the Bundy Ranch on land that some Bundy cattle use for grazing. 2) A Reid Political aide was approved 8 (EIGHT) days ago as the new head of the Bureau of Land Management. 3) The solar farm deal falls through. Could Harry Reid be mad (I would use a different word except that it would be censored) that he lost money because of this Rancher?

    One last thing, we aren't allowed to call people who want to kill us, like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed or Al Qaeda, terrorists, BUT we are more than willing to call the Bundy Family and their supporters terrorists? Something just doesn't seem right about that.

    April 18, 2014 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  25. Bessy

    Has anyone else noticed that we have a couple of people on this site who blog under about 6 different names ? I guess they want to make it look like there are a lot of folks with their view point. Wrong !!!! It is easy to pinpoint your blogs because you use the same lame/dumb terminology.

    April 18, 2014 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
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