By Reverend David Whitney
February 21, 2016
I was blessed this week to spend time with patriots in Burns Oregon. The morning after arriving the encampment at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge came to an end. So that night there were still TV trucks at the building where I was to speak. What sparked all these events is the essential issue of who owns the land.
As you know if you’ve watched my Federal Land Grab video, the Federal Government has no business in owning or controlling any of that land, it has no constitutional authority from We the People to regulate, control, let alone own any of it at all. So all the actions on the part of the Federals are plain and simple - criminal acts on the part of a lawless regime which cares nothing but for the increase of its raw power as it steals more and more land. And quite clearly it is willing to falsely imprison and even kill to accomplish its evil agenda.
I met with some precious people there, some ranchers whose families have been working the land for more than a century. We met with family members of Steve and Dwight Hammond - the two ranchers in prison for five years for a supposed Federal crime. They were charged with arson, but as I shared with the crowd Thursday evening there in Burns, there is no Federal crime of arson. As Thomas Jefferson clearly wrote in the Kentucky Resolves, our Constitution only allows five Federal crimes, actions for which the Federal government can prosecute someone, and arson is not on the list.
One thing is clear to everyone there in Burns, a grave injustice has been done to the Hammonds. They were not tried by a jury of their peers, the citizens of Burns, but way off in the far Northeast corner of the State by a jury who didn’t understand the challenges of life on the range, nor the character of the Hammonds.
In addition the the jury were misinformed, they were not properly instructed by the judge that as a true American jury they are to judge the law as well as the facts and if they find the law defective then they are to acquit the accused. In addition American juries are to judge of the justice of the punishment; if the punishment did not fit the crime (eg. 5 years for setting a back fire to protect your property) then they are also to acquit. They could look at the punishment and determine if a greater injustice would be done by the over reaching punishment than just to simply let the accused go free.
What took place there is a travesty, a gross miscarriage of justice. And a Christians we ought to be very concerned when our government goes about the land committing grave acts of injustice. If this is a government of the people, by the people and for that people and we allow injustice to go unchallenged, then we’ve become part of that system of injustice.