Fox News is promoting Pete Santilli as a spokesman for the armed group that is occupying a federal building in Oregon. Santilli is better known as a conservative Internet host who has espoused conspiracy theories about the September 11 attacks and repeatedly expressed a desire to shoot Hillary Clinton “right in the vajayjay.”
Armed Militia Takes Over Federal Building, Citing Opposition To Federal Ownership Of Land
Armed Group Took Over A Federal Building In Oregon. The Washington Post reported on January 3 that armed militia members took over a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon to “protest the federal government's treatment of a pair of ranchers set to report to prison” for their illegal burning of federal land:
A group of armed anti-government activists remained encamped at a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon on Sunday evening, vowing to occupy the outpost for years to protest the federal government's treatment of a pair of local ranchers set to report to prison Monday.
The occupation of a portion of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, about 30 miles southeast of Burns, Ore., began a day earlier, after a small group of men broke off from a much larger march and rally held on Saturday evening
The armed occupation is being led by Ammon Bundy, an Idaho rancher whose father, Cliven Bundy, led an armed standoff with federal agents in Nevada in 2014 and who has described his supporters as “militia men.”
Organizers of the rally say several hundred attended the procession through Burns, Ore. -- a ranching town of less than 3,000 residents -- in a show of support for Dwight Hammond, 73, and his son Steven Hammond, 46, who in the conclusion of a decades of clashes with the federal government were sentenced last October to serve five years in prison.
Prosecutors accused the Hammonds of committing arson on federal land in 2001 and 2006. The men and their attorneys argued that the fires had been set on their own property -- once to prevent the spread of an invasive species of plant and once in attempt to prevent the spread of a wildfire -- and had inadvertently burned onto public lands. But prosecutors said the fires were set in attempt to destroy evidence that the Hammonds had been illegally hunting deer on the federal lands.
At a news conference on Sunday, Ammon Bundy said his group had not heard from law enforcement since taking over the unoccupied site and urged other citizens from across the country to join their effort.
If a standoff resulting in violence occurs, Bundy said, it would begin on the government's side.
“This refuge here is rightfully owned by the people and we intend to use it,” he said, adding that they plan to assisting ranchers, loggers, hunters and campers who want to use the land. “We will be here as a unified body of people that understand the principles of the Constitution.”
The occupation of the wildlife refuge, which was not occupied when stormed by the men, comes at the conclusion of a lively weekend for an otherwise sleepy stretch of southeast Oregon. [The Washington Post, 1/3/16]
Fox News Acknowledges Pete Santilli As A “Spokesman” For The Armed Militia
Fox News Identifies Pete Santilli As A “Movement Spokesman.” On the January 4 edition of Fox News' Happening Now, reporter Dan Springer discussed the occupation with Pete Santilli, introducing him as a supporter of the militia and an Internet talk show host. During the interview in which Santilli supported the takeover, an on-screen graphic identified him as a “movement spokesman”:
[Fox News, Happening Now, 1/4/16]
Santilli Is An Extreme Right-Wing Talk Show Host And Conspiracy Theorist
Santilli Erroneously Claims Clinton Denied Help In Benghazi Attacks And Says He Wants To “Shoot Her Right In The Vajayjay.” During a May 17, 2013 rant about Hillary Clinton, Santilli said that he “would volunteer to shoot her right in the vajayjay,”adding, “I want her to suffer painfully” for the way she allegedly handled the September 2012 Benghazi attacks. On a later show, Santelli said the former secretary of state “should be executed” for “treason” and baselessly accused Clinton of being “directly involved” in holding off military intervention in Benghazi and guilty of “obstructing justice” by “holding off” an FBI investigation into the attack. [The Pete Santilli Show, 5/17/13; The Pete Santilli Show, 5/20/13]
Santilli Claimed Armed Violence Against The Government “Would Be Justified ... Because Of The War That Has Been Perpetrated Upon Our American People” By Congress. On the October 7, 2013, edition ofThe Pete Santilli Show, Santilli claimed that the government “was committing financial terrorism against the American people” and stated “if we were to respond violently with the Second Amendment ... that would be justified”:
SANTILLI: I'm going to call this financial terrorism on this October 7, 2013, our people, OK, not our government, we are the government, the people that are running our credit cards, okay, on our behalf are committing financial terrorism against the American people. That right there is an act of war, is an act of terroristic war upon the American people, and we will respond.
And I would say at this point in time, ladies and gentlemen, I'm going to go so far as to say this: that if we were to respond even violently with the Second Amendment, if we were to respond violently with the Second Amendment it would be the equivalent of us going out and doing a preemptive strike on our foreign enemies. That that would be justified at this point because of the war that has been perpetrated upon our American people. That's one instance. Financial terrorism.
SANTILLI: If the people of America are too lethargic and stupid to understand what I just described and they don't want to save their country this weekend, guess what, that is not going to stop our country from being saved. OK, our country will be saved. There is a select few of us, we'll call them Three Percenters that will take the next logical step to stop our domestic enemies. It will be stopped, I'm going to say this, this is not a threat. We will defend our nation to the absolute death.
I'm prepared myself to give my life in this effort as a United States Marine. I am prepared to defend the Marines and their honor, who broke past that barrier at the Iwo Jima memorial for the sheer symbolism that the government is never going to get in our faces and stop us like that. Okay, they're never going to be able to stop us and if it takes the Three Percenters to take our government and hand it back to the people, that's what's going to happen here. So we have a choice, peaceful revolution or logical Three Percent type revolution. John McCain doesn't have an option, Lindsey Graham is gone, Barack Obama impeached, failure is not an option. Period. [The Pete Santilli Show, 10/7/13]
Santilli Promotes Conspiracy Theories About The September 11 Attacks. On an older version of his website, Santilli labeled himself a “conspiracy realist” and promoted fringe conspiracy theories about the 9/11 attacks, including that the Twin Towers “were turned into dust in mid-air” and that a “free energy technology” was involved in the attacks:
Call me a “conspiracy realist”, but never call me a theorist until you have had the chance to learn what facts I have learned. For instance (this may be too much for the un-awakened mind), look at the falling World Center Towers on 9-11, and ask yourself; how does falling steel and concrete turn to dust in mid air? What I have learned is something that has forever changed me as it will you. The World Trade Center towers were turned to dust in mid air by a very powerful energy source. Do I know what source caused it; absolutely not, but I know that there is indisputable evidence of the following:
§ We've all been under a PSY-OP (psychological warfare operation) since 9-11
§ The towers were turned to dust in mid-air, 2 were hit by planes and 7 buildings disappeared with little debris remaining on the ground
§ Free energy technology exists, but the oil & war industry cannot afford to tell us [Media Matters, 5/29/13]