Defeated by the Enemy Within: Oregon Militia Descends into Fist Fights and Paranoid Chaos|
The Feds’ hands-off approach is paying off.
The militia group occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon has devolved into infighting as participants deal with harsh realities. Although they wish to start an armed confrontation with the government, at this rate their operation may sabotage itself before such an event occurs.
An initial point of contention at the refuge was the spending of donation money by one of the occupiers, Joe “Captain O” O’Shaugnessy. Allegedly, “Capt. O” ran off with loads of donation money to drink in a nearby motel after an argument over whether people should bring their children or wives to the occupation.
Another member of the ragtag militia group named Brian “Buddha” Cavalier was quick to abandon the occupation after his former confidants learned that he lied about serving in the military.
Most recently, Lewis Arthur, a man from a group called “Veterans on Patrol” claims to have visited the occupation with three men on Wednesday to remove a “radicalized” and “suicidal” veteran with PTSD. According to several reports by Arthur’s group, Blaine Cooper sucker-punched one of Arthur’s men, sending him to the hospital with a concussion and a re-arranged face.
Arthur made a Facebook video describing his actions, saying he and his men came to “de-escalate the situation,” and that “the majority of the ‘patriots’ are pounding their keyboards – they’re not going to rise up.”
Arthur said he used to be friends with Cooper and that in addition to the argument over women and children, they had a dispute about removing a man named Ryan Payne. Payne is a US Army veteran who boasted about coordinating sniper teams against federal agents at the Bundy Ranch in 2014.
In the video, Arthur describes Payne:
“(Payne) made it very clear out there that he wanted the federal government to go and take him out,” Arthur said. “I had to come up here because I know what he wants.”
Cooper and his buddies at the refuge are refuting Arthur’s version of the story, saying that he started the fight by attacking a guard and trying to enter the occupation. Payne was vehemently defended by known racist and anti-Islam organizer Jon Ritzheimer.
Outsiders who are vocal supporters and participants in the patriot movement like 57-year-old John Hildinger are also offering criticism of the militants and their plan. Hildinger was arrested for a gun charge on his way to the far-right “Operation American Spring” rally in 2013. He tore into his fellow militiamen in a Facebook video:
He says that they’re all “loose cannons” and slammed Cavalie for having a drinking problem and alienating people from the Bundy family.
Hildinger said Payne lied about his service in the Army and had multiple alcohol related convictions pending, warning the group to avoid him:
“You never served in the military and you said you did. When you were called on it you said, ‘I’m sorry they said that,’ and when someone stood up and said, ‘No no no, sir, we’re accusing you of stolen valor,’ you said, ‘You’ve got your job to do and I’ve got mine.’ Lying is not a job, sir, so you’re squashed. I’m glad I don’t know you.”
He was most critical of Cooper, alleging that he is an informant who is responsible for the arrest of Kevin “KC” Massey, who was charged with possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. He goes on to say Cooper has 16 felonies under his birth name and another under his new legal name. He urged known racist Ritzheimer, who he still thinks is a “badass marine,” to cut ties with Cooper.
It appears as though the Oregon occupation is falling off the rails and is about to crash hard.