Armed Federal Agents Defend Turtle Habitat but Fail to Secure Our National BordersPosted: April 17, 2014
The Rule of the Lawless
For NRO, Kevin D. Williamson writes: Deserts always feel like my natural habitat, and I am very fond of them. That being said, I have, for my sins, spent a fair amount of time in Clark County, Nev., and it is not the loveliest stretch of desert in these United States, or even in the top twelve. Protecting the pristine beauty of the sun-baked and dust-caked outskirts of Las Vegas and its charismatic fauna from grazing cattle — which the Bureau of Land Management seems to regard as an Old Testament plague — seems to me to be something less than a critical national priority. At the same time, the federal government’s fundamental responsibility, which is defending the physical security of the country, is handled with remarkable nonchalance: Millions upon millions upon millions of people have crossed our borders illegally and continue to reside within them. Cliven Bundy’s cattle are treated as trespassers, and federal agents have been dispatched to rectify that trespass; at the same time, millions of illegal aliens present within our borders are treated as an inevitability that must be accommodated. In practice, our national borders are a joke, but the borders of that arid haven upon which ambles the merry Mojave desert tortoise are sacrosanct.
[Kevin Williamson’s book “The End Is Near and It’s Going to Be Awesome: How Going Broke Will Leave America Richer, Happier, and More Secure” is available at Amazon]
Strangely, many of the same people who insist that Mr. Bundy must be made an example of for the sake of the rule of law protest at the same time that it is not only impossible but positively undesirable for the federal government to deploy federal resources to rectify the federal crime of jumping the federal border.
Apparently, there are trespassers and there are trespassers. The citizens of this country, like those of any country, have an interest in the question of who is permitted to immigrate here and on what terms. Those interests and the ability to act in their furtherance are generally considered to be a substantial part of what we mean by “sovereignty.” Sovereignty has, historically, been regarded as a serious business. But if we judge the federal government by its actions rather than by the words of its functionaries, the defense of national sovereignty is many, many places down the federal to-do list from looking after tortoise welfare.
I myself am fairly liberal on the question of immigration and a sucker for desert creatures that have fewer than eight legs but at least two. There are intelligent and honorable people on both sides of our immigration disputes and on both sides of the Endangered Species Act. But juxtaposing the energetic and heavily armed attempted enforcement of the Endangered Species Act with the utter disregard that the federal government has shown for our immigration laws produces a political equation that is impossible to balance. You could be a strict rule-of-law man and demand rigid enforcement of both immigration laws and environmental laws. You could be a latitudinarian and prefer lax enforcement of both. You could make a case for focusing on legitimate federal priorities and be Attila the Hun on the border but Mr. Magoo on turtle turf….(read more)
— Kevin D. Williamson is roving correspondent for National Review.
- Obama’s Definition Of The Rule Of Law (lexingtonlibertarian.wordpress.com)
- On Cliven Bundy (zenithedition.wordpress.com)
- Is Harry Reid behind range war with Nevada rancher? (usfinancepost.com)
- Gun law in Nevada: agents yield to a man called Bundy (theweek.co.uk)
- Obama Admin Sends Hundreds of Armed Feds to Harass Cliven Bundy – Wouldn’t Send 1 Soldier to Defend in Benghazi – Why? (freedomoutpost.com)
- Nevada rancher faces off with Federal agents over grazing rights (VIDEO) (guns.com)
- Standoff in the desert: Last rancher in south Nevada takes on 200 armed federal agents and snipers trying to confiscate cattle from his ancestral land in constitutional dispute over a rare TORTOISE (dailymail.co.uk)
- Reid warns Nevada cattle rancher who faced down feds: ‘It’s not over’ (dailycaller.com)
- Barbi twins warn of tyranny at Bundy Ranch; ‘First Amendment Area’ cordoned off (twitchy.com)
- Victory for Cliven Bundy, Nevada rancher who challenged feds (dailycaller.com)