Many wondered where Blaine Cooper had gone following the murder of LaVoy Finicum. Cooper was among the leading figures of the Oregon occupiers, close to Ammon and Ryan Bundy as well as LaVoy Finicum, with whom he appears briefly in Finicum’s Paiute artifacts video. With the arrest of the Bundy brothers and the death of Finicum, Cooper may seem the heir apparent for the scattered tribes that once occupied the Malheur National Refuge Center, the C4CF. Now but four remain.
Truth be told, malicious rumors were circulating that Cooper had suspiciously sneaked off — as many have, more justifiably, accused Jon Ritzheimer. Two days ago, Cooper gave this interview, with a chap named “the Hammer”, who makes Pete Santilli seem both dignified and educated. I felt a sense of relief to hear Cooper’s account. Blaine Cooper tells the story, between extended bouts of bluster from his host, of what happened at the MNRC following the death of LaVoy. This culminated in a “vote” where most agreed quickly to leave the compound before the coming FBI attack, or roadblock. In fact, the area was quickly sealed off.
Cooper reveals that he has gone out of state along with 100 other militia. He does not commit to a course of immediate action. They intend to stand-by, until matters play out. Cooper also conveys crucial information about LaVoy’s murder. Confirming several earlier reports, Cooper says Finicum intentionally left all his guns behind at the Refuge. As the family and many others have suspected, the gun supposedly found by the FBI in Finicum’s left jacket pocket, was likely either a plant or the FBI’s imagination, if this story is true. It is closer to LaVoy’s character.
Cooper also states that his reports confirmed that the only reason LaVoy Finicum drove off from the first “traffic stop”, was because the car already had been fired upon. Both women thought that a shot hit the side mirror by Ryan Payne, who courageously had been sticking his neck and hands out the window. Payne also courageously, if counter-intuitively exited, to ‘talk,’ and was quickly arrested.
Cox has now recounted the next phase, missing from Victoria Smart’s interview. As Payne exited, LaVoy yelled back, ‘you wanna get out?’. Victoria yelled “NO” and Shawna said her motherly instinct kicked in and decided to stay. Now that we have the two concurring women’s testimony about the car’s being riddled with bullets after LaVoy was executed , the indictable charges ought to be lifted to “attempted massacre.”
Some speculated that Cooper, who was off the radar for several days, was himself an informant, or turncoat. His interview resolved matters for me. Indeed his interviewer seemed more the miscreant, if not informant, or turncoat. Cooper has a checkered past, as he is first to admit. He showed courage by appearing on a show where the host takes up a third of the time with innuendo, accusation, idiocy, and bluster. I am impressed with Cooper’s thoughtfulness, and his patience in the face of endless mischaracterization, in the same way I have been impressed with Ammon and Ryan Bundy, Brandon Curtiss of the PPN and the Idaho iii%’ers, and of course, LaVoy Finicum, whose actions were even more eloquent than his words.
LaVoy’s murder quickly thrust the vermin out into the light. Mark McConnell has been fingered as organizing the ambush. The suspicion around Ryan Payne, already substantial, now grows exponentially. Jon Ritzheimer, perhaps the most radical of radicalizers, is now accused of harassing BLM employees in Burns several weeks before the occupation began. Could the Hammer be another tool?
As Cooper is the de facto leader of the largest section of the C4CW, “Hammer for a Head” might have given his guest a little space to say what this important political moment might bring. Cooper’s patience broke down only once, when he lashed out about the self-defeating divisiveness and back-stabbing in the “patriot” community. Not sure if the host got the message. When you’ve only got a Hammer, everything has to be a Nail.
But what really ratcheted up my trust in Blaine Cooper is the following, quite extraordinary video from October 2013. Here, in a set of brave pronouncements of the then unknown ex-marine to John McCain, we see the later leader of the occupier movement, already had a firm understanding of the global dimension of the level of corruption that has overtaken the USGov.
Here in an Arizona town hall meeting, Cooper confronts John McCain, accusing him (correctly) of treasonous activity in his role in the supply of chemical weapons to al-Qaeda in Syria (Jubhat al-Nusra) to be used on Syrian civilians and then blamed in a false-flag spin on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. This is something that VT ought to be able to cheer, since they have been developing this case and others related ever since. Cooper is brilliant, and completely correct.
I have never been sure how “far back” Bundy understood the leverage of federal power was really exercised. Because he knows the assets they are after, he understands government’s collusion on every level with industrial and corporate interests. This was never some simple ‘states-right’ discourse, but more pointedly and nationally, about corruption. This is not just about “federal overreach” on ranchers land, but a profound disconnect between people and USA,Inc., between legitimate authority by any theory in the book, and what the obfuscated fascist corporate-state simultaneously is undertaking in the Middle East and the American West. The Hammond case alone made evident the asset-stripping intent and the lock-step coordination between several agencies and officials on each of the county, state, and federal levels.
I am very encouraged to see that Blaine Cooper seems aware of at least this important global side of this corrupt bankster-military-industrial complex operating out of DC. As I have said one way or another since my blog shifted from Syria to Oregon, the jackboot slams down the same, whether Here or There.
If I began writing about the Oregon occupation mainly in hopes of dispelling illusions of the left-wing media propaganda about the ranchers, I similarly hope to throw some light on equally distorting popular conceptions coming from the right, either innocent or malicious. That militia leaders like Blaine Cooper have a global perspective is important for a number of obvious reasons. It is on the foreign front we best sense what it means to say USA,Inc, is a fascist state. However, the worlds of many in the heartland end at the border, and they think otherwise. A restricted view of the world, and of the US predatory role in it, contributes to other limitations in patriots and other good Americans which are easily used by the corporate-state to divide-and-conquer us all.
Some ranchers, and the right-wing, believe Obama has manacled us with “socialism”. In fact, they have it ass-backwards, though Big Government is an important tool in the kit. Let’s be brief. When Big Government controls corporations, industry, and the market, it is Socialism; but when Big Corporations and Big Banks control Big Government and the Big Market, we call it Fascism. This is especially the case when the military-industrial complex prominently enforces a narrow discourse of national identity and the host country’s parasitic sense of exceptionalism justifies its hegemonic adventures overseas. We are more the Fourth Reich than the fruit of the Third International or the Third Way.