There are a tremendous number of people who are scratching their heads trying to figure why Dwight and Steven Hammond continue to sit in federal prison. I no longer wonder and neither will you when you are done reading this.
For the record, Dwight still has three years and Steven has two years left to serve. And if you remember, the original judge in the case, Michael Hogan, stated at their sentencing, “It would be cruel and unusual punishment for this crime to give them the mandatory minimum of five years!” Yet they continue to serve. Why?
I have now compiled enough information to write a complete and lengthy book about all the players involved in this scenario. There has been so much written about the history of this but I want to share with you the questions that have not been addressed and that are honestly just uncomfortable to even ask.
Many have already forgotten that in the very early stages of litigation of these criminal charges, the Hammonds were offered to have all charges dropped in exchange for paying a fine in what Dwight told me would be equivalent to 75 percent of the ranch’s value. This was long before any “terrorism” charges were ever discussed. Now why would the Hammonds agree to this particularly when the handbook of both the Bureau of Land Management and United States Forest Service grazing codes clearly state that federal land permit holders are exempt from liability for fires that occur on their allotment (18 U.S. Code 1855 Timber)?
If these actions by the Hammonds were such a “terroristic” crime, why would the government be willing to drop the charges if the Hammonds agreed to turn the ranch over to them?
The ties between government and mining get pretty entangled. The director of the BLM under the Obama administration was Neil Kornze. Kornze’s father, Larry, has a long history in minerals and currently serves on many boards. In 2012, the elder Kornze was appointed to the Mesa Exploration board for the purpose of uranium exploration.
In January 2017, it was announced that Greg Bretzing, the 22-year FBI veteran in charge of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation detail, had been hired as chief of security for Greenbrier Companies. Greenbrier manages the global transportation of uranium. The Malheur occupation was all about standing up for the Hammond family as they tried to save their ranch from being taken by the government.
Jeff Bezos is reportedly the current wealthiest American that just happens to own Amazon, the Washington Post, Whole Foods and the list doesn’t stop there. Bezos was a major contributor to the Hillary Clinton campaign. I feel it is worth noting that Washington Post was the first publication to print a story trying to falsify the notion that the Clinton Foundation was on the take from Uranium One leaders. Bezos himself has reportedly invested $19.5 million in uranium.
Enter Peter Thiel—the founder of PayPal and an early investor in Facebook. Thiel is quite unique to all others previously mentioned because he was major contributor to the Trump campaign and reportedly still has the ear of the president. In 2017, the Wall Street Journal ran a story about Jared Kushner not disclosing his business dealings with George Soros and Peter Thiel. In fact, Breakthrough Energy’s own website reports involvement with names like Gates, Bloomberg, Soros, Bezos, Thiel and Zuckerberg just to name a few. The Breakthrough Energy Coalition “is committed to building new technologies that change the way we live, eat, work, travel and make things so that we can stop the devastating impacts of climate change.”
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In addition, Thiel owns and serves as the chairman of the board of Palantir, a company which is often referred to as a “data mining machine.” In cooperation with Facebook, Palantir does surveillance on people. In fact, Palantir data was submitted to the Portland Federal prosecutors in the trial against the Malheur occupiers.
Thiel continues to tout himself as an environmentalist even with his new found love for investing in carbon neutral nuclear production and the future of mining uranium. Take for example his new startup company called Helion Energy.
We now know that the FBI sent over 2,000 agents to Harney County, Oregon, because 12 people occupied a federal bird sanctuary. We also know that they were not actually worried about the firearms carried by those 12 because 90 percent of the firearms at Malheur were in the hands of the FBI agents. We also know they were there to protect information that would expose this entire corruption scandal that targeted the Hammond family.
This is where I would love to tell you that I know for a fact that the uranium under the Hammond Ranch property was the whole reason for this cover-up, but I can’t do that yet. However, I have looked at many geological surveys and studies dating back to the 1950s and I am seeing “yellowcake.” I can tell you that Harney County, Oregon, including the Steens Mountain and Malheur refuge, contain some of the best deposits of uranium in the world.
No family in the history of this country has experienced more success in standing up to the federal government for their property rights than the Hammond family right up until they were falsely charged under the 1996 Anti-Terrorism act. I am going to close with the assumption that President Trump has not yet given clemency to Dwight and Steven Hammond because of the misinformation he has received from insiders who are totally invested in mining the Oregon landscape. For the future of everyone’s property rights, we hope to change that.
Editor’s note: Trent Loos is a sixth generation United States farmer, host of the daily radio show, Loos Tales, and founder of Faces of Agriculture, a non-profit organization putting the human element back into the production of food. Get more information at www.LoosTales.com, or email Trent at firstname.lastname@example.org.