A militia leader who traveled to Nevada in order to protect the land surrounding Cliven Bundy’s Clark County ranch has accused Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of trying to provoke a new civil war in the United States.
Video has emerged this week of Mike Vanderboegh, the founder of the Three Percenters group, lashing out at Sen. Reid (D-Nevada) during a recent address at the ranch, where supporters remain on site after federal officials attempted last month to confiscate the cattle of Bundy — a 67-year-old rancher who has more than two decades has refused to pay the government fees for grazing on land that the feds say is US property.
Vanderboegh of Alabama and others have stood guard at the Bundy ranch in the days since the US Bureau of Land Management began and then aborted their attempt to confiscate cattle, but nevertheless continue to generate controversy.
Reid last week called Bundy a “hateful racist” who “mooched” off the government after the rancher was caught making remarks to the New York Times considered to be pro-slavery.
“Cliven Bundy has spent decades profiting off government land while refusing to pay the same fair use fees as his fellow ranchers,” Reid said last Thursday, adding that “by denigrating people who work hard and play by the rules while he mooches off public land, he also revealed himself to be a hypocrite.”
Now in the newly surfaced video, Vanderboegh says Reid “is promising us all civil war on a vast scale, because state-sponsored violence is the only way they can win an argument with free people, especially free people who are armed and who are willing to use those arms in defense of liberty.”
“All over this country, we are still staring civil war in its bloody face,” Vanderboegh is caught saying on camera.
“Don’t poke the wolverine with a sharp stick, Harry,” Vanderboegh added. “Unless you want your balls ripped off.”
The latest tirade is likely to not help Bundy supports, however: earlier this week, POLITICO reported that federal officials are investigating alleged threat made at Reid in the days since he spoke out against the rancher.
“We are currently looking into threatening statements made against Sen. Reid as part of an ongoing investigation,” Shennell Antrobus, a spokesman for the US Capitol Police, told the DC-based newspaper on Monday.
One day earlier, a US congressman who represents a region of Nevada just outside of Bundy’s ranch, said he was concerned about the armed militia groups that have descended there in recent weeks.
“We must respect individual constitutional liberties, but the residents of and visitors to Clark County should not be expected to live under the persistent watch of an armed militia,” Rep. Steven Horsford (D-Nevada) wrote in a letter to Clark County Sheriff Douglas Gillespi on Sunday.
On his part, Reid said previously that Bundy’s supporters are “domestic terrorists.”
The latest outburst from Vanderboegh isn’t the first to make national headlines, however. Back in 2010, the Three Percenters leader urged militiamen to throw bricks through the windows of Democratic lawmakers from coast-to-coast.
"So, if you wish to send a message that Pelosi and her party [that they] cannot fail to hear, break their windows," Vanderboegh wrote on his Sipsey Street Irregulars blog, the Washington Post reported at the time. "Break them NOW. Break them and run to break again. Break them under cover of night. Break them in broad daylight. Break them and await arrest in willful, principled civil disobedience. Break them with rocks. Break them with slingshots. Break them with baseball bats. But BREAK THEM."
On the Sipsey Street Irregulars page, the Three Percenters group claim to be “the people that the collectivists who now control the government should leave alone if they wish to continue unfettered oxygen consumption.” Their name refers to the percentage of colonial Americans who are alleged to have fought against the British during the Revolutionary War.