CNN National Security Analyst: Oregon’s Malheur Protesters Are ‘Domestic Terrorists’

REUTERS/Jim Urquhart
REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

CNN’s national security analyst, Juliette Kayyem, has come to the stark conclusion that the protests at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Oregon, are an act of terrorism and not peaceful.

In a January 4 editorial, Kayyem demands to know of the activists gathered in Oregon, “Who the heck do they think they are?”

She goes on to say that the “heavily armed, anti-government protesters” are “by any definition… domestic terrorists.”

Kayyem’s pronouncement is in contrast to claims by the activists at the refuge who say that they only intend a peaceful protest.

But Kayyem discounts the claims.

“It does not matter that they insist they are peaceful or some sort of lawful militia,” Kayyem writes, “I can claim I’m 26 years old and a size 2 and that still doesn’t make it true. This group of men is wielding terror, and the threat of violence, as if it were their constitutional right.”

Kayyem then launches into a long series of names, including calling the activists a group of “dangerous” and “unforgiving” terrorists who are “flouting federal law” and “threatening violence to support their political cause.” She adds, “their aim amounts to domestic terrorism.”

The CNN analyst then counsels the federal government to “teach” the activists “a lesson or two” and just wait the activists out. “Immediate action is unwarranted and unnecessary,” she says.

The CNN activist also advises the federal government to threaten the activists and to offer “reduced sentences” to those who give themselves up for whatever crime she thinks they’ve committed.

“Federal authorities can offer reduced sentences, even misdemeanor charges, against anyone barricaded who may not want to go to jail for a lot of years based on the call to arms of Bundy,” she says.

Then, claiming that the “rule of law is important,” Kayyem goes on to insist that Obama “make a statement” by mobilizing “federal military support,” all in an effort to “make an important point that the rule of law is paramount in a civil, democratic society.”

“A show of federal force–even if just for show–treats these men as they should be treated: domestic terrorists who are putting the whole community at risk,” Kayyem writes.

“The Oregon men are domestic terrorists,” Kayyeem insists. “But, let’s not panic. We’ve got all the time in the world.”

Kayyem took a decidedly different direction when writing about the riots in Ferguson, Missouri, last year. In one piece, she attacked the Ferguson police department for taking the sort of actions she seems to wish the federal government would take in Oregon.

Then, despite her claims that the situation in Oregon might somehow set a bad precedent, she steadfastly rejected the idea that there is a “Ferguson effect” that might cause riots elsewhere.

Kayyem also proclaimed that the protests in Ferguson were mostly “lawful demonstrations” and then blamed the police for “starting” the riots.

At one point, Kayyem also called the shooting of Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer a case of “murder.”

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston, or email the author at


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