The Phrase You’re Looking For Is ‘Seditious Conspiracist’

Regarding the radical paramilitants who have taken over a federal bird sanctuary in Oregon to defend arsonists and poachers (and whose supporters have issued death threats for months against the local sheriff for not using his Mythical Constitutional Sheriff Superpowers), there has been a little discussion over whether or not they should be called terrorists. Well, there’s a better term, and it’s a doozy (boldface mine):

18 U.S. Code § 2384 – Seditious conspiracy:

If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.

Seditious conspiracists. I can work with that. It does avoid pointless arguments about whether or not these particular bozos are terrorists, while aptly and correctly describing what they’re doing.

Related: The Hammonds burned 139 acres to cover up evidence of poaching. To put 139 acres in context, the subdivision in which I lived during part of my childhood was around 20 acres. The Dupont Circle neighborhood in D.C. is 170 acres. The ‘heart’ of Boston’s Back Bay (the rectangle bounded by Boylston, Beacon, Arlington, and Massachusetts Ave.) is about 160 acres. This is not a backyard fire that gets out of control.

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4 Responses to The Phrase You’re Looking For Is ‘Seditious Conspiracist’

  1. hans howe says:

    seriously, the best way to deal w these jackasses is not to get into an armed confrontation but to find ways to make their absurdity hilarious and humiliating … use armored vehicles to get close enough to punch holes in the roof and fill the damn building with dish soap and make these wannabe martyrs swim in it… if there’s a factory scale hog or dairy operation nearby, get tanker trucks to move liquid manure and pump that in on top of the dish soap… enough of the slimy stuff and they won’t even be able to hold onto their guns much less shoot ’em… get creative, think outta the box a little

  2. Dynamitochondria says:

    if I were the Incident Commander on this farce, I’d seal up the site and park five food service trucks serving different styles of cuisine right where these idiots could see them, preferably upwind, with gun turn-in stations in front of them. Then we wait.

  3. Felicis says:

    To be fair – 139 acres is less than 0.1% of the refuge area. Comparing it to something inside a city is somewhat dishonest framing.

    Ultimately – and a question I asked on another blog – how much arson is OK? Would it have been fine if only 1 acre had burned? A tenth of an acre? What if firefighters had been on hand and put out the fire before more than a couple of square feet had burned?

    The issue is not _how_much_property_ is destroyed, it is that someone decided to set a fire on property that wasn’t theirs (and to cover up the crime of poaching). Additionally, they did it more than once, and one time set the fire in a way that endangered firefighters in the area. There have evidently been other issues with these guys too, though none rising to a legal charge.

    As for the jackasses who’ve moved in – I would just as soon load them up with a lot of tiny criminal charges so they can boast about being trespassers in their prison. Whatever is big enough to get them serving time, but not so big they get to boast.

  4. jrkrideau says:

    @ Felicis
    It is not really a question of how much land burned. It may have been that it was Federal Government land but it is a question of lighting a fire at all.

    In rural areas a fire under the right conditions can assume very nasty proportions indeed and lighting a fire which may endanger others lives is not a good thing to have. Google “Australia black sunday fires” for an example of some bad fires.

    Often the rural area is just one big bonfire waiting to happen and firefighting resources can a long way away. It used to take a firetruck 20-30 minutes to reach my home and we were not particularly isolated.
    If I have read second-hand reports correctly they are claimed to have lit an unauthorized back-fire. This would very easily put the lives of firefighters and others in danger. I recently read an Australian blog where the blogger reported fires this summer in Victoria spreading at something like 540 acres per minute. And yes, that was minute not hour.

    I think they were very lucky to get off with 5 years. In my jurisdiction, I believe the max sentence is 14 years and, I suspect, there would have been quite a few rural landowners and rural firefighters pushing for a maximum sentence.

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