Senator Harry Reid has made a habit of saying stuff with no basis in fact and then repeating it, as if by sheer repetition the lie will become truth.
Remember his lie that “an anonymous source” told him Mitt Romney paid no income taxes for 10 years? Tax experts and fact checkers called this a load of codswallop. But Reid continued to make the charge on the Senate floor, thus assuring that the lie would have plenty of exposure.
Now comes Reid’s willfully exaggerated and hysterical claim that protestors on the Bundy Ranch were “domestic terrorists” – apparently because some of them were armed. No shots were fired. The only violence occurred when the feds confronted peaceful, apparently unarmed protestors.
In for a penny, in for a pound, says Reid. The majority leader doubled down on his “domestic terrorist” smear on CNN:
In a blunt exchange that hit on a major American divide, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat from Nevada, stood by his comments that militia groups involved in a ranch standoff are “domestic terrorists,” while the state’s Republican senator, Dean Heller, replied that he considers them “patriots.”
The two men appeared Friday afternoon on KSNV’s “What’s Your Point?” question-and-answer show.
The first question went to Reid, about his comments that a few hundred people protesting and blocking federal action against rancher Cliven Bundy are “domestic terrorists.”
“What did you mean by that?” co-host Amy Tarkanian asked.
“Just what I said,” Reid responded.
The Democrat later clarified that he was not talking about Bundy himself necessarily, but about outside individuals who traveled to the area in the recent days.
Bundy has continued grazing anyway, insisting he is within his rights. Last week the issue hit a new hot point when hundreds of self-described militia groups came to Bundy’s land to protest federal action and help him defend his grazing ability.
That’s who Reid described as “domestic terrorists”.
“600 people came armed, they had practiced, they had maneuvered… they set up snipers in strategic locations… they had automatic weapon,” the leading Democrat said Friday. “And they boasted about the fact they put women and children… so they would get hit first.”
“If there were ever an example of people who were domestic violent terrorist wannabes, these are the guys,” Reid concluded.
I’ll take the last lie first. There was no “violence,” so how could he describe the protestors as “violent”? And “violent terrorist wannabes” is a climb-down from calling the protestors out and out “domestic terrorists.” Harry is lying so much he can’t keep track of the untruths he’s uttered.
Were there 600 people who came armed? Um, no — not even close. No one knows how many “militia” members actually showed up. It certainly wasn’t 600. Many of the protestors appeared to be along these lines:
“This is a better education than being in school! I’m glad I brought you. I’m a good mom,” said Ilona Ence, a 49-year-old mother from St. George and Bundy relative who brought her four teenage kids to the ranch. “They’re learning about the Constitution.”
… Jack Faught, Bundy’s first cousin, drove his forest green 1929 Chevy truck from Mesquite loaded with water and Gatorade.
“It’s not about the cows,” he said. “It’s about the freedom to make our own choices close to home.”
Polo Parra, a 27-year-old tattoo artist from Las Vegas, even showed up with two of his friends to support the rancher. Dressed in baggy clothes and covered in tattoos, the group carried signs that read “TYRANNY IS ALIVE” and “WHERE’S THE JUSTICE?” in red spray-painted letters.
One of Parra’s friends, who would not share his name, had a pistol tucked in his waistband.
“I think it’s bull, and it really made me mad,” said Parra, who decided to make the trip when he heard about the violence that broke out on the ranch. “This isn’t about no turtles or cows.”
One ex-sheriff from Arizona told a reporter that the militias had been “strategizing” about putting women and children up front so they would become casualties in any confrontation. He’s the only person quoted saying that, and it is not even clear he was speaking for anyone but himself. For Reid (or anyone) to make that claim, you would have to believe that the militias were not only well-armed, but working closely together. Again, codswallop.
No doubt there were hotheads among the protestors. But the question must be asked of Reid and others — which came first? Armed militiamen or 200 armed federal agents surrounding the ranch? After Ruby Ridge and Waco, thoughts of a government willing to kill those with unconventional views are not farfetched or paranoid. The government obviously learned nothing from those confrontations and a repeat seemed possible at the Bundy Ranch.
The only violence that has occurred so far has been federal agents tasering Bundy’s son and protestors being pushed around. On the next page is a video of the incident. You tell me who the aggressor is here.