Opinions, Context & Ideas from the TPM Editors TPM Editor's Blog

Violence, Tragedy and Nonsense

As luck or fate or random chance would have it, as the news about the Trump debate drama and the arrests of the Bundy-ites broke last night, I was out for a celebratory dinner with our New York City editorial staff to gear up for the many late nights of the primary season proper. So the DC team carried the ball and we here in New York tried to follow the sketchy developments as they emerged from Oregon on our iPhones. By the time I got home, we knew that one militant was dead and, a bit later, that it was Robert "LaVoy" Finicum, one of the most high profile of the militants and the one who'd openly said he'd prefer to die rather than be taken alive. Here's a look at who Finicum was.

Read More →

Watch Oregon Presser Live

Law enforcement convenes its first press conference since last night's arrest of the Oregon standoff leaders that resulted in one death. Watch.

New Level Of Seriousness

Lurking in the background since the beginning of the Oregon standoff was the possibility of violence and bloodshed, but the feds' hands-off approach combined with the occupiers' sometimes goofball circus antics helped keep that mostly below the surface. Last's night violent confrontation has now changed the equation considerably, and the remaining occupiers are ramping up their rhetoric and are taking a more confrontational and aggressive pose, as is law enforcement.

The FBI has warned journalists this morning that it cannot guarantee their protection at the refuge, so many of them have gotten out of Dodge. Occupiers are issuing calls for supporters to rally to the refuge in their defense. And the tone and tenor of the occupation via their own live feed is, well, unnerving.

We'll have more on the implications of last night's death shortly.

Standoff Not Over

With their leaders under arrest or dead, the remaining occupiers at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge are now under a new tighter federal cordon. Here's the latest.

Last Video

I'm not certain whether this is the last video of LaVoy Finicum. But it's a video published Tuesday by The Oregonian in which Finicum appears to discuss the meeting in John Day, Oregon that the militant ringleaders were en route to when they were apprehended and Finicum himself was killed. In the video, he explains that sympathizers in Grant County had invited his group to come and speak to them with the aim of joining their cause.

It is a testament to the sense of invulnerability into which the FBI lulled the group that Bundy, Finicum and others thought they could travel roughly one hundred miles on isolated rounds to what was a publicized meeting with impunity.

Video after the jump ...

Read More →

Report: Robert "LaVoy" Finicum Killed

We've had unconfirmed reports for the last couple hours that the militants killed during tonight's arrest and exchange of gunfire was Robert "LaVoy" Finicum. That now appears to be confirmed. Finicum's daughter tells the Oregonian that authorities confirmed Finicum's death to her mother.

Aside from ringleader Ammon Bundy, Finicum was one of the most high profile members of the Oregon militants, giving colorful interviews and telling reporters he rather die than be arrested and sent to prison.

The Latest Details

We are basically in a holding pattern as we wait for more details on just how tonight's rapid and violent end of the Oregon militia stand off unfolded and the identity of the person who died in the exchange of gunfire between the militants and federal law enforcement. For details up to the moment, see our current feature story. There are many unconfirmed reports; none solid enough to go on as yet. Here's the official statement from the FBI.

Read More →

Latest On Oregon Standoff

A lot of conflicting, preliminary, and unconfirmed reports coming in on what exactly happened this evening in the Oregon standoff. No official confirmation from law enforcement yet of arrests or casualties. Follow the latest here.

Late Update: The FBI is confirming one person was killed during the arrest.