Global Independent Analytics
Scott Bennett
Scott Bennett

Location: USA

Specialization: Counterterrorist Finance

The Ambush, Murder and Resurrection of Robert LaVoy Finicum: Part Two

He had let the FBI listen in to the phone call, and they then prepared an ambush, and had now executed it and shot him as part of a pre-meditated assassination of all the patriots involved

“If the abuse be enormous, nature will rise up, and claiming her original rights, overturn a corrupt political system.”
--Samuel Johnson, quoted in Boswell’s Life of Samuel Johnson, July 6, 1763.

ttt

Finicum replayed in his head every word he said to the agents when they were illegally stopped on the highway as if testifying before God his heart’s honest efforts to avoid bloodshed. He remembered his and Bundy’s words to the attackers as they waited idly on the road, asking boldly, “Who are you?” to which they darkly mumbled back, “We’re the Oregon State Police.”

“Well, I’m going over to meet the sheriff in Grant County, and you’re coming along with us and you can talk with us over there…,” Finicum yelled out the driver’s window. The agents gave no response, other than keeping their guns aimed at them. 

Again he said, “You can go ahead and shoot …put the laser right there, put the bullet through the head …” Again, they said nothing in return.

Finally, Finicum proclaimed, “OK boys, this is going to get real…you want blood on your hands, get it done because we got people to see and places to go… Boys…you’d better realize we got people on the way…if you want a blood bath, it’s going to be on your hands…we’re gonna go see the sheriff.”  They said nothing in response.

Then Shauna Cox cried out, “We have kids in here!”

Finicum again tried to summarize, yelling out, “Better understand how things are going to end…either I’m going to be laying down on the ground with my blood on the pavement, or I’m going to go see the sheriff…we got people en route…you need to back down.” Again the agents gave no response, other than contempt for Finicum’s boldness.

Then he remembered Ryan Bundy’s lamenting words, “We should never have stopped.”

Of course he was right, Finicum reflected; then remembered Shauna Cox’s plea to him, “…Go!”

And he did…for her and Victoria’s sake.

DRIVING THE GAUNTLET

Finicum remembered the feelings overtaking him as he drove off: the adrenaline burning in his heart and flushing his face, his hair standing on end as gunshots were fired at them from behind as they fled, forcing him to press the accelerator to the floor as they made a mad dash for the county line and sanctuary. 

And then came the turn. He saw afresh that around a sharp corner, hidden from view by a high snow wall, a standard military ambush had been set up—in violation of all law, of course—to kill them. Finicum unconsciously growled as he remembered the red-bearded FBI lunatic who lunged in front of his truck with a deranged smile on his face, and fired his rifle through the windshield at them. He remembered that as he made the turn, he was forced to instantly swerve left to avoid crashing into the blockade, and then felt gunshots pierce the windshield, sending them into a snow bank that splashed white as they impacted. 

Shaking his head, Finicum thought, ‘Ay should ‘a jus let ma’ truck run that lil’ son-of-a-bitch over’, and chuckled at the irony as he remembered how he’d actually been the one who swerved to spare the agent’s life. Finicum calculated that it was this agent who had no doubt shot him first. In other words, it was the FBI, that red-bearded Kamikaze agent, who drew ‘first blood’... but of course, it would not be the last.

EYE HATH NOT SEEN, NOR EAR HEARD….

Time began slowing down it seemed, or perhaps it was just the growing numbness in his brain.   God, I’m thirsty, Finicum thought, as he began reliving in slow motion each second of time before the crash. For some reason they were emerging in reverse order. And the last shall be first, he remembered. 

Once again, Finicum’s subconscious puzzlingly questioned: How in the world did you end up here? What started this bad dream? Suddenly his mind was jerked upwards as if caught by some hidden ankle snare, hoisting and dangling him high into the air, and everything was upside down and bouncing. Then, instantly, he recalled the jubilant hoedown party held at the Malheur refuge before the ambush…and the phone call that may have ended his life.

Before the ambush they had been celebrating what everyone thought was the end of their political protest, enjoying a typical western style party, full of boot-stomping, yowling cowboys and their families and friends, jubilant with square dancing and ‘yee-hawing’ to the music of rambunctious fiddles and banjos. Finicum recalled how they had all been so amazed and proud at how the women folk had taken an empty, dusty, cobwebbed, cinderblock garage building and transformed it into a cinnamon-scented, candle-lit, community center church pantry, giving it the warmth of a home for all; and how they had fed and cared for the birds and wildlife which the federal park service had grossly neglected, and how the smelly hippy leftists had turned it into a messy altar of pagan worship. 

He remembered the long cheering night, and the all too early crack of dawn, which brought with it their departure from the Malheur campsite, and the happy journey up to Grant County from the refuge along a winding, picturesque forest road towards a new county, a new sheriff, and a new town of patriots hungrily waiting for the truth—about themselves most of all. He remembered the drive—talking, laughing, and singing with Shauna and Victoria, who reminded him so much of his own daughters. 

And then he laughed out loud as he remembered the music that had spontaneously come on the radio, the George Harrison classic, My Sweet Lord, and how it seemed to climax their fellowship and inspired them all to sing along as the beautiful Oregon forest blurred by. Lying on his back on the frozen snow, his heart slowing, Finicum’s lips began to move and he found himself singing with George once again as he relived the lyrics: “Ooooh my Lord… Myyyyy Sweet Lord, my sweet Lord…Hallelujah… I really want to see you…really want to be with you….really want to see you Lord, but it takes so long, my Lord…I really want to know you, I really want to go with you, really want to show you Lord, my sweet Lord…”

“Aaaaaah,” he smilingly breathed out. He shifted and felt his spine crack in new alignment.  Something was peaceful. He felt lighter, like he was floating. Oh, how good it is for brethren to dwell together in peace, he thought. He was ready…he was ready indeed.

“THESE COMMUNICATIONS ARE NOT SECURE…”

And then Finicum let out a long, agonizing groan and rolled his eyes back into his head as he remembered the biggest mistake of his life—the mistake that may have, in fact, killed him. He remembered the phone call; the talk with the military special operations men who had tried to both warn him about what was coming and remind him of who he really was now as a result of the challenge he had thrown down before Emperor Obama.

He remembered the warnings he had received about some of the men arriving—or trying to enter—the refuge; specifically, those boasting of their military credentials (which, for real military men is always seen as unlucky, stupid, or deceitful), and how they might actually be double-agents working for the government. They reminded him, in a way, of dark humored Gomer Pyles—scary, strange and aggravatingly ignorant. Surprise, surprise, surprise, he thought. 

He remembered getting the call the night before, from a Mark Connors of the American Media News, and being warned about some protesters being CIA-FBI informants or agents. He remembered being warned about a man named Anthony Bosworth. Interestingly it had been reported to Finicum (and others) that Bosworth’s IRS records had been sealed and flagged, strangely enough, which of course meant he was some kind of an agent or contractor and the government didn’t want this known. The same was true of a man named Richeimer. Luckily, Finicum had people in useful government places. Bosworth had been at the Narrows, a restaurant down the road, and FBI agents were in tents down there too, and Bosworth was conversing with them. He was also with Jason Patrick. (NOTE:  Suspiciously, it has been reported that Bosworth received a phone call at 4:10--4:20, then quickly left and went down to the Malheur refuge and forcibly removed people, one pregnant woman in particular, after Finicum had been murdered). 

Then Finicum thought of the other men who were on the call, some of whom claimed to be special ops guys, but who really knew. They had warned him that quadrant by quadrant, leaders would be taken down, and felony trespassing would be the artificial charge used to strike at them.  He could hear their voices now, coming back to him and resonating with the lesson he missed that others would have to learn from.

A Jason Van Tatum had started the call saying, “I’ve got Stuart Rhodes and Todd Ingall on the line…I mentioned on the radio a lateral move to a strong county with a good sheriff and some stand-up ranchers…. The feds are built up all around you….so if you were to shift to a county with a good constitutional sheriff who’s ready to stand up, that would put a serious monkey wrench in their plans.”

Finicum replied, “I will run this by them. I’m not sure how readily they will be for that.”  Finicum clenched his jaw, angry at his error of judgment in giving more importance to the politics of the situation, instead of his gut feeling and intuition.

Then Todd Ingall said, “I stressed to them how important it is for you guys not to be arrested and to continue this fight in another location. You guys are too valuable to all the ranchers in the Western half of the country for us to lose you guys. You are the George Pattons of the resistance here.”

“We’re just rednecks,” responded Finicum.

Then someone, perhaps it was Rhodes, replied with a certain edge of aggression and righteousness in his voice, “You’re no longer just a redneck, you’ve stepped out and taken a lead, and if we lose you guys to prison, it is a big hit for the farmers, and I think it’s really going to set them back in fear if you guys are locked up…but if you guys can live to fight another day and move over to a friendly sheriff’s county and continue the fight against BLM [Bureau of Land Management] and EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] at the same time, at that point, let me just say something LaVoy, at that point if you guys were to do that, I’m pretty sure I could round up  some pretty seriously armed dudes to come out and hang out with you guys. And…”

“Ha ha…that’s kinda nice,” Finicum cut in.

“…And it wouldn’t be the kind of guys you have right now…I was there yesterday,” the voice continued,  “…But you would have the support, it would be a great tactical and yet strategic movement just to pop smoke on that location…because you guys are now… you’re now constructing your Alamo and your own prison, and it’s almost done here…if you guys were able to move over into another county of a friendly sheriff and continue the fight, you would do more good for those ranchers in Harney County from Utah than you will do for those ranchers in Harney County from prison,” Todd Ingall finished.

Finicum knew that he was just not a soldier, not accustomed to the black and white reality of life and death, evading and being evaded, and the importance of a plan and the survival elements in that plan. It was clear that he was way out of his league, and had no idea what was going on.

Suddenly, Finicum heard that car radio again in the background playing the 60’s song lyrics, “Stop hey, what’s that sound, everybody looks what’s going down.”   He smiled at irony, then continued his flashback.

Finicum remembered talking about strange black aircraft or drones flying overhead at all hours.

“Explain that to me LaVoy, what is it?” one of the men asked.  Finicum asked as well. 

“Well let me tell you what that is LaVoy. That is a thermal sensor up there and they are looking for exactly where all of your security elements are at night. Once they have that penciled in, it can be ‘go time’ at any moment,” one of the men responded.

“What kind of a time frame would you give before it goes off?” Finicum asked.

“My guess would be anytime after tomorrow evening; they are going to do it late at night, so that all of the people who haven’t started to call that place home...they know the cycle of PPN, and people have to go home.  They are going to want to do it at night….they will do it during the lull…,” one of the men answered.

“What is the probability of them just cordoning off and trying to choke us off by restricting supplies and resupplies?” Finicum asked.

The answer was mind numbing.

“I think they are going to cordon you guys off, no one will get in or out, the media will cease, and they’ll probably shut your cell phones off completely. They are going to fly choppers over you. You guys are going to start to really get concerned for your health,” one of the men said. 

Then Stuart Rhodes added, “The problem is we don’t know what they’re going to do…they might do a raid…because  what they want  to do, one way or another, is shut down  what you’re doing in other places…you’re starting a brush fire that is going to spread…they’re going to want to stomp it out…and that’s the problem….that you are the brush fire source, right, so  if you stay right there, they’re going to shut you down one way or the other; they might do it with a cordon, but they are going to shut down all your communications, you’re not going to be able to talk to anybody, they don’t want the media going anywhere near you, just like they didn’t with the  Branch Davidians—they isolated them. You will not be able to talk to anybody. So you can’t count on being able to have cell phones or any ability to talk to the world. The other way though, they could drop that hammer on you hard, is to do a raid and take you all into custody, so either way, they’re going to stop you…but if you do a lateral shift, they can’t stop you.”

Then one of the men asked, “Stuart, are we going to be able to furnish support if they decide to do a lateral shift?”

“Absolutely, that’s what I was saying on your show,  from the very beginning, the only objection anyone’s had with you guys is the way you did what you did….because it’s a weaker position,” Stuart replied, adding, “If you have a constitutional sheriff and ranchers who are willing to make a stand, and they are all united together, you will have massive support…and they have never yet jumped down on a sheriff, you know that, when a sheriff has stood up, they have always backed down….so it’s a huge game changer when sheriffs are involved…the only objection was to what you did when you did it, but if you have a constitutional sheriff…they have never stood up to a sheriff. They have always backed down.”

RADIO SHOW DISCUSSION WITH LAVOY

Then Finicum remembered another voice jumping in, saying “These are not secure coms.” He now realized this was the call the Feds had been planning the ambush around. He continued remembering. 

Voice continued, “They did not arrest Ammon, and they had three separate chances, and they did not do it….because that would not be a big enough camera moment to show their strength…”

Then another man summarized everything, saying, “They are going to want to stomp this down, so that is a big concern that they may hit you. Now these unsecure coms, if that is their attitude, then you need to leave; I would like to see you leave tonight. Because they are listening to this, they know you are going to pop smoke and skedaddle to a secure location where a sheriff will protect you. But we don’t know how fast. If you don’t leave tonight, you’d better leave tomorrow night, LaVoy. We need you guys out here to fight, my friend.”

Finicum solemnly answered, “I appreciate that.”

“We’re praying for you LaVoy,” one of the men said, followed by, “It’s a matter of strategy:  you do what your enemy is not ready for you to do.”

“We will sit down and give some serious consideration to exactly what you’re saying,” Finicum promised, “I see the wisdom in it.”

“We’re coming from a place of honor, and just looking to do the right thing.”

Then the voices faded away, and Finicum returned to the cold silence of the forest around him.  He now knew that he should have taken the call more seriously, and not have been so relaxed. He should have taken the advice of Stuart to do a “lateral move” and seek the protection of a constitutional sheriff to continue the fight in another location. He should have “popped-smoke” and left the refuge that night, and not waited. I waited too long…I f*cked up by not leaving that night, he ruminated. He had let the FBI listen in to the phone call, and they then prepared an ambush, and had now executed it and shot him as part of a pre-meditated assassination of all the patriots involved. 

Finicum shook his head and tightened his lips. The fault was his, and he was responsible for the error…the error being to have expected decency and mercy and lawful action by the government agency representing the law…instead, this government agency had planned to cause bloodshed, and war, and murder….and he was the first casualty.

…to be continued…

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