Bundy Ville, Kevin Harper, Leah discussed on The Lawfare Podcast
Cliven grazing his caroline publicly and for a long time but he had paid his bills at twenty a years so basically two thousand fourteen the government says all right we're gonNA come take the cows payment Repossession well cliven takes to the we need your help sort of miraculous event where people show up from all over the country I mean I'm talking New Hampshire errors Zona Nevada Oregon I mean there are People Montana that come there to protect this rancher in what they see as a show of tyrannical forced the government so what ended up happening is that the bureau and management agents there the into the cows found themselves surrounded on all sides by people that were heavily armed I'm Jacob Schultz and this is the law fair podcast October Twelfth Two Thousand Nineteen at his rally in Minneapolis earlier this week president trump received voluntary security from an unexpected source the oath keepers a far right militia associated with the white supremacy movement nor is this the first time that the trump administration has crossed paths with such groups which become more active in recent years to learn more about these groups l'affaire senior editor Scott are Anderson recently sat down with journalists Leah's Tilly who's the host of the podcast Bundy Ville which does a deep dive on America's far right militia movement together they discuss these groups origins and ideologies and what they can teach us about homegrown radicalization in in modern day America it's the law fair podcast episode four sixty Leah's Sicily on Bundy Ville and American radicalism Cillian. Let's start our conversation where I think your intersection with this sort of issue instead of issues started and that's within man name in Kevin Harper. Let me play clip here for you from episode seven of season two Bundy bill breaking news from ally for the FBI confirms Stevens County man has been arrested in connection with a bomb placed in downtown spokane on Martin Luther King Junior Day it was a cold winter morning the day of the Martin Luther King Junior read the march was planned to go right through the center of the city a man named Kevin Harper a white supremacist from Stevens County Washington plan ended a backpack bomb on the parade route near Metro Bench in a brick wall across the street from my favorite bookstore city workers saw that backpack in called it in it was filled with wires and it smelled awful Kennedy and of course we now know that Kevin Harper left is bombed here at main in Washington he intended a US a black powder explosion to spray all those people in that parade with a rain of these lead fishing weights inside was a six inch long pipe bomb packed with fishing weights coated in rat poison and human feces this is going to take out windows it's potentially going to damage cars anybody who's a pedestrian in the immediate vicinity is probably going to be injured and maybe even killed in the days fishing weights would have torn through the marchers like giant shotgun blast harp amid gun as far as to quotas projectiles with rat poison in the hopes the shrapnel would cause uncontrolled bleeding in its victims so this is pretty horrible attempted attack took place just outside your front door real I think you mentioned later in the episode that please tip kind of cut off your your entrance an exit the building and obviously pretty dramatic introduction and intersection between the subject of American extremism and your own life tell us a little bit about what we know about Kevin Harper and the path that led him to this intersection with your life as a journalist in spokane at the time not working police issues sure yeah what's known about Kevin Hart Bone is a lot of what's been reported by predominantly by spokane media the spokesman Review you in particular but what they found was that Kevin Harper them with someone who had been interested in white supremacist ideologies and in in a lot of the things that fuel the white supremacist movement he was also a guy that not a lot of people knew he didn't have a lot of friends he lived in a rural area of a very rural county in northeastern Washington and He was well liked by the people who did know him so so a lot of what was known about Harper was kind of what we hear a lot about a lot of mass shooters and and things that you know oh he was such a nice guy or he was you know someone and I I knew who he was but I I don't know that I ever talked to him that sort of thing so when everything started to come out it started to look like this was Ah ah bombing that was motivated by the White Supremacist ideology that he believed and and in court that came out to these were he was motivated do bomb that parade because of what he believed about people of Color so that yeah that intersected in my own life and that I woke up one day and wasn't able to go out the front door of my apartment building and I worked weirdly I sorta existed on this one city block in uh-huh Spokane Washington where I lived across the street from the newspaper that I worked at I worked at the the inland or the alternative weekly there and I was a music order in arts reporter primarily I'd gone to school for Journalism it sort of had a passion for you know punk music and heavy metal and that's what I wrote about it at the time so so I watched as the other reporters in my newsroom worked on this story and and it was a big deal when I learned by sort of our own bridge was this was something that had been going on in that area for a really long time and I always knew about it but the sense that you get when you live in that area for a long time with it went away when the area nations went away I think harping bombing as evidence that it didn't go away and that it's still stills air so you now of several years after the two thousand eleven incident have produced this podcast that does this incredible deep dive into the sort of ecology of social institutions and movements in ideology that is motivating a lot of these sorts of incidents not ax we see recently and a big part of that story is one of radicalization of this socialization of individuals into the Geology that leads to a war certainly too many of us seem pretty extreme violent horrible behavior but there are also other types of radicalization other types of indoctrination take place and you spend a lot of time really both in both seasons of Bonneville but particularly with this new focus in the second season talking about one of the main figure I in this process of indoctrination and that is someone named La Voie Finnigan let me play another clip for you from episode three season two Bundy Ville were you talk a little bit about Lavoix and the role that he has come to play in the lot of these right wing movements I've seen Voi- finchem die and die and die I can log onto youtube right now and watch then spliced paused and dissected by people who never knew him seconds later he dropped the ground and as the top see shows from the corner he was shot three times want those people to have again and again watched his pickup crash. The driver's door fly open in Philly Com hops out as a yells to the police. You're going to have to shoot me then three Bullets Bang Bang thank dead kill back it up played again his words sound like a nervous mantra started again they come across like an unfinished sentence are they the start to a threat promise I always think I'll hear some new intonation some missed revelation but finicky I'm always dies the same three POPs doesn't jump or Yelp just crumble also body tencent alive one second have you sack of bone strapped to the ground for eternity the next puppet without a hand gravity stronger than spirit death on repeat took finicky is known for now later in this episode you'd describe finicky him as a martyr made at the speed of the Internet he goes from this background of pretty standard history somebody with a pretty maybe standard set of some successes a number of disappointments in an adult life and then goes to have this really exceptional ending to his life and then even more exceptional afterlife that plays into this broader system of again ideologies that are moving was behavior let's start with the man himself gives a little background about Lavoix Finna come and his life before he began himself down on this path that ended in his death in two thousand six damn sure so we're gonNA come Robert Voy Finnigan is his full name. He was a rancher from air northern Arizona and the first time you sort of comes onto the scene is during the twenty sixteen occupation of the Malaya National Wildlife Refuge when Ammon Bundy and his the Ryen Bundy led an armed occupation of federal property there in South Eastern Oregon Vinnicombe shows up and pretty quickly the Bundy's doing these press conferences every day where telling people what the heck is going on and why they're even there in the first place and Finicky is often they're speaking to reporters he's an interesting guy I mean immediately I I was interested in who he was and what his story was when he was at the refuge which is really when the story caught my interest because he was just so mild mannered and so so so easy to talk to reporters were having these great long interviews it's with him and kind of these philosophical conversations so Finnigan is actually one of the only ranchers that showed up to this you know quote unquote ranchers protested the refuge and he he first became involved with the Patriot movement apparently during the Bundy ranch standoff in twenty fourteen so so what I did with this season of Bonneville was I wanted to get like a definitive life story of WHO Finna come was has really everything I repent started in like twenty fourteen and and that was only the last two years of his life and so I wanted to know on the Navajo reservation and he always wanted to be a cowboy and he couldn't quite make that dream of being cowboy work he lived all over the West he was married several times he had a bunch of kids twelve total and then he became a foster parent when he arrived on the scene of the Patriot movement as I like to say in two thousand sixteen he was known around North Northern Arizona as this mild mannered decent rancher who raised a lot of foster kids so soon he was sort of an outlier I think for this movement in that he it wasn't in a militia and he hadn't been rallying against the government for a long time like Cliven Bundy ad he was just this sort of perfect person in the end for the movement and even in the season one when I sat down with Cliven Bundy and his son Ryan Bundy they talked about how lavoix really was the perfect spokesman for their movement because he was so likable by people on every part of the spectrum so like you say like you you played in that clip you know I real down into why the heck he got involved in this in the first place so you mentioned two things that I wanted flesh out here for our listeners I'm not familiar with them one of those is the Patriot movement itself and then you mentioned the Bundy's a thousand fourteen incident and Bunkerville that got involved in this Patriot movement gives us more back a little bit of short background on that and then Lee leading up to levels involvement what was he stepping into when he showed up in two thousand fourteen okay so I the Patriot movement has been around a really long time it's it's people who oftentimes are in militias there maybe against paying their taxes they have pretty strong wrong ideas about the government and there have been multiple in big instances in the Patriot movement history where they clashed very publicly with the government and often violent and bloody wave one of those in particular is nineteen ninety-two Ruby Ridge standoff in in northern Idaho where a man and his family were living really remote area of Idaho and he failed to show up to court in so US marshals came out to bring him to court and what ensued was this long standoff that resulted in many people dying both members of the Weaver family and in particular one was a child eld and also us marshals so that's a moment in time I think that really exemplifies a lot of what the Patriot movement believes that that another big kind of re Ridge esque events play out in Bunkerville Nevada that's down in the you know very southern part of me that it's about ninety miles away from Las Vegas a rural area but not the most rural area that you can go to in the West but it's weird cliven bundy his lived much of his life and he is a cattle rancher there and he's one of the last if not be less cattle rancher in Clark County Nevada and for the of twenty years he has not paid his bills to the federal government so when you ranch in the West or around the.