Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said today that the armed militia supporters of rancher Cliven Bundy are “domestic terrorists” because they pulled guns on federal agents from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) last weekend.
“They’re nothing more than domestic terrorists,” said Reid, noted the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I repeat: what happened there was domestic terrorism.”
Speaking at an event in Las Vegas, Sen. Reid added, "There were hundreds, hundreds of people from around the country, that came there. They had sniper rifles in the freeway. They had weapons, automatic weapons. They had children lined up. They wanted to make sure they got hurt first… What if others tried the same thing?”
Sen. Reid said there is a task force being set up to deal with Bundy.
“Clive Bundy does not recognize the United States,” Sen. Reid explained. “The United States, he says, is a foreign government. He doesn’t pay his taxes. He doesn’t pay his fees. And he doesn’t follow the law. He continues to thumb his nose at authority.”
In contrast, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) claimed today that Sen. Reid and the U.S. government were wrong (video below).
“I think there’s an opposite thing to what Harry Reid said, and that’s that the federal government shouldn’t violate the law," Sen. Paul told MofoPolitics.com. "Nor should we have 48 federal agencies carrying weapons and having SWAT teams,”
“Apparently, this is what I’m hearing,” added Sen. Paul. "The family had a lease with Clark County for over 130 years, arbitrarily in recent years the federal government thought that they were going to override the county lease and they were going to assume control of it but they never asked for permission from the rancher.”
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However, in reality, the U.S. government paid Mexico $15 million for Nevada and several other states in 1848 per the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo following Mexico's defeat in the Mexican-American War.
In addition to Sen. Paul, Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore (R) has called the armed resistance by Bundy's supporters "justified."
"This is historic," Fiore told Reuters. "This is the first time we went arm to arm with the federal government."