Thursday, January 28, 2010

BLM Contractors Stick a Cattle Prod in the First Amendment

Straight from the Horse's Heart

January 28, 2010 R.T. Fitch 
Op-Ed by R.T. Fitch

22 Horses Now Killed at Calico Round-up



Sue Cattoor speaking to her "hurt feelings" on camera 9/9/09 - Photo by R.T. Fitch

While the world watched another living soul being pulled from the Haitian rubble, a bomb go off in Iraq and a U.S. President hit the reset button; the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) wild horse contractors, the Cattoors, were quietly shoving a cattle prod into your First Amendment rights and attempting a backdoor effort to quell the voice of Wild Horse advocates around the world.

Be it a Blog, Non-Profit, Publication or private citizen, letters from the Cattoor’s attorneys were being delivered in an effort to stifle the truth about what really goes on in one of their “humane” wild horse round-ups. Reading the truth is even more than they can bear.

American citizens should be appalled at the fact that a Federal contractor cannot stand up to being transparent and would turn and bite the very hand that feeds them simply because the truth “hurt” Sue Cattoor’s feelings. You have the right to be enraged as it is your money that made these people multi-millionaires. It’s your money that bought the very helicopters that rain trauma and even death down upon our wild horses and it is your money that you never approved to be spent in this manner yet the very recipients have the audacity to trample on the right of free press and subvert our very Constitution.

Some of the assailed have folded, others will fight back but overall it has sent a ripple of disdain across the free world that is bound to come back and sit squarely on heads of the Cattoor contractors and the rouge Federal agency, BLM, that hired them.

Perhaps the reason that this rankles me the most is that I had to, personally, put up with the shenanigans and idiosyncrasies of Sue Cattoor and company during the entire botched Pryor Mountain round-up. It’s one thing to be treated like a criminal by the BLM while on our federal land but add to that the continued inane mumbling and commentary of a contractor’s wife while watching the horror and emotionally depleting experience of a BLM round-up is more than most sane people could withstand.

But there we were, with Sue Cattoor buzzing rumors, misinformation and junk science in our ears as we attempted to document the event for what it was; a total, inhumane and unjustified act of animal cruelty.
On the last day of the round-up during the morning meeting, we were not allowed to ask any questions unless they were “operations” oriented. BLM field agent Jim Sparks would walk all over and discredit anyone who would ask a question regarding the horse’s welfare but not when it came to the babble, in my opinion, that fell from the lips of Sue Cattoor. That last day she launched off into a speech on how we handful of advocates had hurt her feelings on our blogs and websites by bringing up the past sins of her husband and that all wild horses should be cleared from the ranges and those that could not be adopted should be destroyed. No one commented, not even the BLM officials, as it was just too bizarre.

On that last day the BLM was to release the horses that they were not going to auction and the likes of Ginger Kathrens, Makendra Silverman, Ben Sussman, Carol Walker, Elyse Gardner, Pam and Tom Nicholes and Terry and myself set up on a bluff, overlooking the area where the horses would be released, and waited to celebrate a few moments of triumph that at least there were a few horses that would be returned to the wild. But do you think that Sue Cattoor could give us any peace? No.

This Federal contractor stood behind us and commented on every single word we said and rained on every good moment we were trying to experience. We were under “guard” by two BLM security individuals and when I begged one to intervene and stop the onslaught of verbal gunshots he turned walked away and when I approached “Chuck” the other agent he simply stared at me.
I asked if he was going to respond and render aide and after thinking about it for a while, he replied:
“I don’t want to trample on her right of free speech.”

Whose rights are being trampled on now?

Since when can a Federal contractor turn on the U.S. press and threaten suit simply because they print the truth? Where do they feel that they have the right to attempt to intimidate those who work with fact versus fiction? This transgression, alone, constitutes the need for a Congressional inquiry notwithstanding the fact that they have killed 22 horses, to date, during this contested and unnecessary round-up. Those 22 horses would be alive, today, if not for the dysfunctional BLM and their “humane” contractors, the Cattoors.
The Cattoors and their legal team need a remedial course in the true definition of the First Amendment and we as citizens need to ensure that the likes of the Cattoors do not acquire anymore of our hard earned tax dollars.

Enough is enough.


No comments:

Post a Comment