The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), a bastard agency of the Department of the Interior, spends a lot of our tax money. As a matter of fact billions of dollars every year is spent on illegal, and certainly unethical activity as well. As Journalists we remain responsive to the public in general, and this situation with the BLM is of concern, the irresponsible behavior of a large amount of BLM employees is disturbing, and on a continuous basis; at least a couple of decades now; it is alarming.
We live in a time when the Veterans Administration is strapped for funds. Our Veterans coming back from wars and previous warriors are essentially left without limbs, appropriate wheel chairs, or other items for their health, both physical and mental. Our government tells us they are low on funds, and unable to support Veterans in many different instances. Many more serious examples abound. But when we consider the expenditure the BLM hands out, most often within a questionable or illegal context, and they continue to do so unhampered by our legal community, it is outright disgusting and on many different levels.
What is it they spend so much of our tax dollars for? A better question is, “How does the BLM get-away with using our tax money for their often illegal schemes? The term “friends in high places” more than explains this situation. It is time to cut those apron strings, and start to compel those in charge that are responsible for safeguarding our tax dollars to do their job, to stop, arrest, and prosecute those involved.
Here is a short-list of things the BLM spends our tax money on:
- Theft of Wild Horses during BLM sponsored, and unneeded, “gathers” or “captures” with Pay-offs to BLM employees and paying for transportation to holding pins and slaughter, then paying the bill for temporary holding facilities, then paperwork to export to slaughter facilities;
- “Black Booking” or phony duplicate branding of horses so duplicate branded horses can disappear without a paper trail, again cannot be done unless BLM employees paid-off;
- Manipulation of Wild Horse Adoptions where one person holds the proxies for a group of supposedly separate adopters and the horses all end up at slaughter (millions of taxpayer dollars lost, BLM employees paid off, shippers paid with BLM vouchers or cash, and adopters make money with taxpayers dollars covering their expenses);
- Use of “Satellite ranches” to hold horses for days or weeks as stopping points on the way to slaughter (i.e. millions of dollars of taxpayer money spent on BLM employees payoffs, shippers paid, ranchers paid);
- Fraudulent use of Wild Horse sanctuaries – ranches subsidized by taxpayer dollars and by the federal government to care for unadoptable Wild Horses deemed excess and removed from the range, as fronts for commercial exploitation (there is no definable criteria within “deemed excess” or being unadoptable or even a legitimate term within this context to use as policy).
Essentially when the BLM culls horses from the Wild Horse Herds, by i.e. certainly questionable roundups, and state they are bringing them in for adoption – but lie. In reality, the agency often disposes of a huge part of a herd, often as high as 80 percent. One of their notices to the public of horse-culling declared that the agency would dispose of about 1,000 horses out of a herd of 1,200. Another notice declared the agency would bring in 280 animals from a herd of 330, (i.e. read any BLM publication notice of Horse Herd Roundup Statistics, but awkwardly have not been checked or confirmed by reliable sources, so who really knows the true or actual horse counts).
An interview with an informant that took part in hundreds of horse thefts and erroneous count situations stated what they do in one night: “…about 60, 70 head…Sometimes we do it during working hours…after the counts have been jimmied around, those horses are moved…drive to a certain location, open a gate and dump those horses out in with a bunch of other horses…at the satellite ranch.”
These satellite ranches cost the taxpayers millions of dollars each year, often used for stolen horses, especially stolen horses from the Wild Horse Herd Roundups, as the informant continues to describe here: “…a satellite ranch is a number of ranches throughout the different areas that we catch horses that we distribute horses too…They are paid so much money to just hold these horses . . . until we come back and pick them up again. . .”
Vouchers are often used to pay the ranchers, truckers, and dealers, and often cash as well. Just the same they are paid very well to keep quiet as well as not do appropriate head counts. The vouchers are altered, out of necessity, by a diverse amount of BLM employees. As one Assistant Attorney General commented: “. . . the fundamental problem is that BLM’s approach to enforcement has been a “see no evil” escapist principle.”
And this “approach” has proven detrimental to taxpayers through out the United States, and our economy. Billions of dollars of theft in government funds cannot continue without some type of negative aspect happening, as we standby and watch our government heading toward bankruptcy. At the same time BLM employees, ranchers, and their lobby groups basically giving us, the American public, (as I have stated before) the finger. Yes, they are getting very rich off of our money!
Brand Inspectors are one of many of the “checks-and-balance systems” in place that essentially do not work any longer. As an informant explains to us: “. . . Most Brand Inspectors are well known to the guys that are selling horses. With a phone call, you can sell a damn horse sight unseen. You don’t have any problem; I mean there’s nobody there to contest it. Who’s going to say it ain’t a legitimate horse?”
Their scheme and use of the satellite ranches and horse sanctuaries to hide the “Horses for Profit” operation is profitable to all except the taxpayers, who are being ripped off by this scheme. Make no doubt this “operation” over the years has become expansive, costing the taxpayers billions of dollars due to the years in operation, and is fully functional to this day.
Ironically, the BLM budget, currently a yearly expense of well over a billion dollars, includes this illegal activity into their budget as something of a reality — but those in the know acknowledge something quite different. No one bothers to look, with no checks-and-balance system to keep track of the BLM’s expenditure. Again, this is the result of “Friends in High Places” situation combined with the archaic “see no evil” attitudes of many who work in the BLM.
Again we can go to another informant, who describes those involved, as: “. . . it’s very well setup, you know. There’s nobody that participates in it that isn’t well known and don’t know what’s going on.”
As mentioned in an earlier article, former Director of the BLM, Jim Baca, started an investigation into these improprieties and illegal activities. The illegal activities, to include those mentioned above, had already been accepted for Prosecution by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
But when Jim Baca left his office as Director of the BLM things changed quickly. The new Temp-Director reassigned BLM Investigators; suddenly the information once available was no longer available (perhaps why over the years there has been no permanent BLM Director after Jim Baca). Although, to cover themselves, the previous Investigators kept their stock-pile of tapes, logs, interviews, videos, and other evidence.
The BLM’s illegal activities and investigation did continue a few years later, or the attempt. But it was only a ruse brought about to cool the public’s attention toward questions of illegalities, in another words taxpayer money spent illegally. The investigations decayed quickly. It was so bad that an Office of Inspector General analyst counseled one BLM Special Law Enforcement Agent against sending documents to the watchdog agency, and saying, “Don’t send the evidence here. They will loose it. This is not what they want to hear.”
A BLM Lead Special Agent had found, as he wrote in his report, “In trying to trace mortality problems at the sanctuary, his agents discovered that the books could be padded to show dead horses as still on the books with the operator collecting federal payments for the upkeep of phantom horses.” Yet another circumstance that has the potential, when enough documents assimilated to appear the dead horses still alive, to amount in the millions of dollars spent for daily horse care. And nobody checked!
As far back as Department of the Interior Bruce Babbitt, who stated to Jim Baca for even bringing the subject of the horses up at a Board Meeting, “The orders were: Don’t make waves, we’ve got enough problems.” Indeed Babbitt did not want controversy, so the Wild Horse program festered and grew exponentially, government money reaped by BLM employees, contractors, and ranchers illegally for many years to follow. Ultimately, Babbitt and other Department of the Interior Director’s wanted Jim Baca to leave, as in “why the hell are you raising problems about horses?”
Now we can take directly from a letter dated June 18, 1993 (when all of this first come to light, and still on-going to this day) with a United States Department of the Interior letterhead, Subhead Bureau of Land Management, To: Deputy Assistant Inspector General-Investigations, From: Chief, Law Enforcement and Resource Protection:
The letter basically sites what this Journalist had already written in a previous article. But what this letter does is actually outline the specific laws broken, Criminal Felonies each, with an abundant explanation, as follows and predicated with . . . it appears that criminal violations of the following laws have occurred:
- 18 USC 641; Public money, property or records; whoever receives, cancels, or retains the same with intent to convert to use or gain . . .
- 18 USC 1512 (b); tampering with a witness, victim, or informant (Obstruction)
- 18 USC 371; Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraudUnited States; conspiracy to obstruct a criminal investigation . . .
- 16 USC 1338 (a) (1); wild horses and burros: protection, management, and control; any person who sells, directly or indirectly, a wild free-roaming horse, or burro maintained on private or leased land. . .
“The violations . . . committed by employees of the BLM, violations . . . committed by citizens, but the violations appear to have occurred as a result of information provided to the public by an employee(s) of the BLM,” as the letter states.
The Administrative laws were also listed in the same letter, as outlined in this Journalist’s previous article. The point to all of this is that the BLM continues to do this awkward at best, shuffling around of horses and illegal schemes for a tremendous profit to everyone involved, except the actual people footing the expenses, the general American Public, who receive $0.
It is obvious that not only the taxpayers loose in this negative-fiscal circumstance and outright theft of government money, but Veterans, families, and small businesses loose as well. This Journalist wonders how these people involved in this can call themselves Americans! Blatant is the fact they are not Americans at all, but an enemy to the people that would outright disrespect us all, take our tax money and run, and then attempt to hide the situations by condemning those who are sick and tired of the abuse toward horses and theft and want it fixed.
There exists victims here, because the BLM was not stopped, and then corrected legally back in the 1990’s — and why not? Do we have such a corrupt system, and these types of things go on in every government department, that to not make waves while the nation is going broke, has been a priority for those we have been elected in office to actually protect our interests, but indeed could care less? One begins to wonder.
There have been too many harsh circumstances in the United States to allow this to go on any further. This must be stopped immediately. The Wild Horse Herds remains the property of ALL AMERICANS and it is not the BLM’s right to destroy them what so ever. If elected officials and our government legislators are involved, then may God have Mercy on Their Souls, because no one else will!