Letter to the Editor: Is this liberty and justice?


You omitted a lot of important facts from your report of Oregon’s Hammond family ranch vs. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Bureau of Land Management sit-in protest.

First, the U.S. attorney in Oregon charged this family with terrorism. Our government won’t call the Fort  Hood massacre or the Boston Marathon bombing terrorism. However, beleaguered ranchers –no problem.

Second, the Oregon judge didn’t sentence the 74-year-old father and his son to the lengthy terrorism sentences because the crime was a grass fire, which they put out themselves. He gave them less time. They served it and were released. Five years later, Oregon U.S. attorney Amanda Marshall organized an appeal, demanding another jailing for the terrorism mandatory time. They had been charged using the federal Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, which carries a five-year minimum and maximum death penalty. The U.S. government won. Father and son were locked up for a second time, on Monday. Surrendered and beaten by the juggernaut, our own federal government’s agencies.

Third, the head of the Oregon Bureau of Land Management is the wife of the wildlife refuge manager. The Malheur Refuge has forced surrounding ranchers out by diverting the water sources. This so-called refuge is now 45 miles long and 37 miles wide — 187,000 acres needed for the birds, really.

Here, surrounded by the George Washington National Forest, if a fire gets out of control, we have to pay for damage.

The Hammond’s fire didn’t damage anything and they put it out themselves. Even now, they have not sold their ranch to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Refuge.  To learn more, Google Hammond Ranch protest. See if you think this is liberty and justice.

Patricia Botts, Fort Valley