Blow hards , ineptitude , collusion and corruption..... in all hues , flavors of politicians !
Paul Craig Roberts
April 10, 2014
April 10, 2014
2014 is shaping up as a year of reckoning for the United States.
Two pressures are building on the US dollar. One pressure comes from the Federal Reserve’s declining ability to rig the price of gold as Western gold supplies shrivel and market knowledge of the Fed’s illegal price rigging spreads. The evidence of massive amounts of naked shorts being dumped into the paper gold futures market at times of day when trading is thin is unequivocal. It has become obvious that the price of gold is being rigged in the futures market in order to protect the dollar’s value from QE.
The other pressure arises from the Obama regime’s foolish threats of sanctions on Russia. Other countries are no longer willing to tolerate Washington’s abuse of the world dollar standard. Washington uses the dollar-based international payments system to inflict damage on the economies of countries that resist Washington’s political hegemony.
Russia and China have had enough. As I have reported and as Peter Koenig reports here http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article38165.htm Russia and China are disconnecting their international trade from the dollar. Henceforth, Russia will conduct its trade, including the sale of oil and natural gas to Europe, in rubles and in the currencies of its BRICS partners.
This means a big drop in the demand for US dollars and a corresponding drop in the dollar’s exchange value.
As John Williams (shadowstats.com) has made clear, the US economy has not recovered from the downturn in 2008 and has weakened further. The vast majority of the US population is hard pressed from the lack of income growth for years. As the US is now an import-dependent economy, a drop in the dollar’s value will raise US prices and push living standards lower.
All evidence points to US economic failure in 2014, and that is the conclusion of John Williams’ April 9 report.
This year could also see the breakup of NATO and even the EU. Washington’s reckless coup in Ukraine and threat of sanctions against Russia have pushed its NATO puppet states onto dangerous ground. Washington misjudged the reaction in Ukraine to its overthrow of the elected democratic government and imposition of a stooge government. Crimea quickly departed Ukraine and rejoined Russia. Other former Russian territories in Ukraine might soon follow. Protesters in Lugansk, Donetsk, and Kharkov are demanding their own referendums. Protesters have declared the Donetsk People’s Republic and Kharkov People’s Republic. Washington’s stooge government in Kiev has threatened to put the protests down with violence. http://rt.com/news/eastern-ukraine-violence-threats-405/ Washington claims that the protests are organized by Russia, but no one believes Washington, not even its Ukrainian stooges.
Russian news reports have identified US mercenaries among the Kiev force that has been sent to put down the separatists in eastern Ukraine. A member of the right-wing, neo-Nazi Fatherland Party in the Kiev parliament has called for shooting the protesters dead.
Violence against the protesters is likely to bring in the Russian Army and result in the return to Russia of its former territories in Eastern Ukraine that were attached to Ukraine by the Soviet Communist Party.
With Washington out on a limb issuing threats hand over fist, Washington is pushing Europe into two highly undesirable confrontations. Europeans do not want a war with Russia over Washington’s coup in Kiev, and Europeans understand that any real sanctions on Russia, if observed, would do far more damage to Europeans. Within the EU, growing economic inequality among the countries, high unemployment, and stringent economic austerity imposed on poorer members have produced enormous strains. Europeans are in no mood to bear the brunt of a Washington-orchestrated conflict with Russia. While Washington presents Europe with war and sacrifice, Russia and China offer trade and friendship. Washington will do its best to keep European politicians bought-and-paid-for and in line with Washington’s policies, but the downside for Europe of going along with Washington is now much larger.
Across many fronts, Washington is emerging in the world’s eye as duplicitous, untrustworthy, and totally corrupt. A Securities and Exchange Commission prosecuting attorney, James Kidney used the occasion of his retirement to reveal that higher ups had squelched his prosecutions of Goldman Sachs and other “banks too big to fail,” because his SEC bosses were not focused on justice but “on getting high-paying jobs after their government service” by protecting the banks from prosecution for their illegal actions. http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/04/09/65578/
The US Agency for International Development has been caught trying to use social media to overthrow the government of Cuba. http://rt.com/news/cuba-usaid-senate-zunzuneo-241/
This audacious recklessness comes on top of Washington’s overthrow of the Ukrainian government, the NSA spying scandal, Seymour Hersh’s investigative report that the Sarin gas attack in Syria was a false flag event arranged by NATO member Turkey in order to justify a US military attack on Syria, Washington’s forcing down Bolivian President Evo Morales’ presidential plane to be searched, Saddam Hussein’s “weapons of mass destruction,” the misuse of the Libyan no-fly resolution for military attack, and on and on. Essentially, Washington has so badly damaged other countries’ confidence in the judgment and integrity of the US government that the world has lost its belief in US leadership. Washington is reduced to threats and bribes and increasingly presents as a bully.
The self-inflicted hammer blows to Washington’s credibility have taken a toll. The most serious blow of all is the dawning realization everywhere that Washington’s crackpot conspiracy theory of 9/11 is false. Large numbers of independent experts as well as more than one hundred first responders have contradicted every aspect of Washington’s absurd conspiracy theory. No aware person believes that a few Saudi Arabians, who could not fly airplanes, operating without help from any intelligence agency, outwitted the entire National Security State, not only all 16 US intelligence agencies but also all intelligence agencies of NATO and Israel as well.
Nothing worked on 9/11. Airport security failed four times in one hour, more failures in one hour than have occurred during the other 116,232 hours of the 21st century combined. For the first time in history the US Air Force could not get interceptor fighters off the ground and into the sky. For the first time in history Air Traffic Control lost airliners for up to one hour and did not report it. For the first time in history low temperature, short-lived, fires on a few floors caused massive steel structures to weaken and collapse. For the first time in history 3 skyscrapers fell at essentially free fall acceleration without the benefit of controlled demolition removing resistance from below.
Two-thirds of Americans fell for this crackpot story. The left-wing fell for it, because they saw the story as the oppressed striking back at America’s evil empire. The right-wing fell for the story, because they saw it as the demonized Muslims striking out at American goodness. President George W. Bush expressed the right-wing view very well: “They hate us for our freedom and democracy.”
But no one else believed it, least of all the Italians. Italians had been informed some years previously about government false flag events when their President revealed the truth about secret Operation Gladio. Operation Gladio was an operation run by the CIA and Italian intelligence during the second half of the 20th century to set off bombs that would kill European women and children in order to blame communists and, thereby, erode support for European communist parties.
Italians were among the first to make video presentations challenging Washington’s crackpot story of 9/11. The ultimate of this challenge is the 1 hour and 45 minute film, “Zero.” You can watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QU961SGps8g&feature=youtu.be
Zero was produced as a film investigating 9/ll by the Italian company Telemaco. Many prominent people appear in the film along with independent experts. Together, they disprove every assertion made by the US government regarding its explanation of 9/11.
The film was shown to the European parliament.
It is impossible for anyone who watches this film to believe one word of the official explanation of 9/11.
The conclusion is increasingly difficult to avoid that elements of the US government blew up three New York skyscrapers in order to destroy Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Iran, and Hezbollah and to launch the US on the neoconservatives agenda of US world hegemony.
China and Russia protested but accepted Libya’s destruction even though it was to their own detriment. But Iran became a red line. Washington was blocked, so Washington decided to cause major problems for Russia in Ukraine in order to distract Russia from Washington’s agenda elsewhere.
China has been uncertain about the trade-offs between its trade surpluses with the US and Washington’s growing encirclement of China with naval and air bases. China has come to the conclusion that China has the same enemy as Russia has–Washington.
One of two things is likely: Either the US dollar will be abandoned and collapse in value, thus ending Washington’s superpower status and Washington’s threat to world peace, or Washington will lead its puppets into military conflict with Russia and China. The outcome of such a war would be far more devastating than the collapse of the US dollar.
Blow hards , ineptitude , collusion and corruption..... in all hues , flavors of politicians !
Meet Rep. Mike Rogers: Crony Capitalist & Warfare State Benghazi Blowhard
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 04/09/2014 23:15 -0400
Submitted by Mike Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,
For those of you who don’t know Congressman Mike Rogers, he is the Representative hailing from Michigan’s Eighth District. He is also one of the biggest blowhard, chicken-hawk defenders of unconstitutional NSA spying in all of Washington D.C.
Back in 2012, he gave his support to internet spy bill CISPA by proclaiming:“Stand for America! Support this bill!” Naturally, this clown would also serve as Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
Rogers is notorious for being one of the staunchest critics of Glenn Greenwald. For example, earlier this year he made up all sort of lies about Greenwald in an attempt to smear the journalist. In response, Greenwald had the following to say about Rogers back in February:
“First is that he’s not only lying, and he is lying, but he not only is lying but he knows that he’s lying. This what is Mike Rogers is notorious for in Washington is literally making things up and smearing political opponents and journalists he doesn’t like.I defy Mike Rogers, if he wants to make that accusation, to come forward and present actual evidence that any journalist has stolen, has sold documents or stolen material or engaged in any kind of criminality. He has no evidence, he’s just making things up.”
You’d think a guy like Rogers who aggressively lobs untrue accusations against a journalist trying to inform the American public about government criminality would have a squeaky clean background himself. After all, he was a former FBI agent. You’d think that, but you’d be wrong.
Incredibly, Dick Morris points out that until recently Mike Rogers’ wife was the president and the CEO of the company that was contracted by the State Department to provide intelligence-based and physical security services. While this sort of crony capitalism is seen as “business as usual” in the cesspool that is D.C., the really crazy part of this story is that as Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rogers is charged with investigating the adequacy of security at the Benghazi compound prior to the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack.
You can’t find a bigger conflict of interest than that…
Dick Morris writes:
Congressman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), as Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, is charged with investigating the adequacy of security at the Benghazi compound prior to the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack.His wife, Kristi Clemens Rogers was the president and the CEO of the company that was contracted by the State Department to provide that security!Mrs. Rogers, until recently, served as president and CEO of Aegis LLC, the contractor to the United States Department of State for intelligence-based and physical security services.Aegis, a British private military company with overseas offices in Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iraq, Kenya, Nepal and the U.S.,won a $10 billion, 5-year contract with the State Department to provide security for U.S. diplomatic posts around the world.Aegis describes itself as “a leading private security company, provides government and corporate clients with a full spectrum of intelligence-led, culturally-sensitive security solutions to operational and development challenges around the world.”Congressman Rogers, who abruptly announced his intention not to seek re-election, has been criticized for dragging his feet in the Benghazi investigation. Only when pressure from back benchers on his committee became intense did he agree to hold last week’s hearing at which former Deputy CIA Director Mike Morrell testified.How on earth can the Rogers family justify having a husband who chairs a Congressional committee charged with reviewing the performance of his wife’s company in guarding the Benghazi compound?
Is this the reason Rogers just abruptly announced his retirement to become a talk radio host?
Full article here.
The war between Oversight Committee chairman Darrell Issa and the committee’s ranking member, Elijah Cummings, rages on.
Issa on Wednesday accused the Maryland Democrat of colluding with the Internal Revenue Service in its targeting of the conservative nonprofit group True the Vote, whose founder, Catherine Engelbrecht, said she received multiple letters from Cummings in 2012 and personal visits from the IRS and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Explosives. Engelbrecht’s True the Vote is one of the many conservative groups that claims to have been improperly targeted by the IRS while it scrutinized the applications of tea-party groups.
In a letter signed by his five subcommittee chairmen, Issa raised the possibility that Cummings coordinated with the IRS, “surreptitiously” contacting the agency to request information about True the Vote.
E-mails unearthed in the course of Issa’s investigation into the IRS’s inappropriate targeting of right-leaning groups show that in January 2013, a member of Cummings’s staff contacted the IRS asking for any publicly available information on True the Vote. The matter was discussed by IRS officials that included Lois Lerner, the former exempt-organizations chief who retired in the wake of the targeting scandal. One of Lerner’s deputies, Holly Paz, subsequently sent the organization’s 990 forms to Cummings and his staff — not an illegal disclosure of taxpayer information, though sources say the exchange of such information was not routine.
The correspondence does not indicate whether the IRS’ scrutiny of True the Vote’s application for tax exemption was prompted by Cummings’s inquiries about the group and the timing of the correspondence suggests it was not, but instead that Cummings may have modeled his inquiries on those the IRS had already made.
In February 2012, Engelbrecht’s True the Vote received a letter from the IRS requesting more information about the group; one of Cummings’s letters, which Engelbrecht received in October 2012, contained questions that closely mirrored those posed by the IRS. Issa details them in his letter, strongly implying that Cummings based his letter on the one Engelbrecht had already received from the agency: Both requested information about the software True the Vote was using for voter registration, about the process the group used to train its employees, and about the vendors it used to obtain voter lists.
True the Vote’s lawyer, Cleta Mitchell, raised the prospect that the minority staff had exchanged information with the IRS at a hearing in February. “We want to get to the bottom of how these coincidences happened,” Mitchell said, “and we’re trying to figure out whether any — if there was any staff on this committee that might have been involved in putting True the Vote on the radar screen of some of these federal agencies.” Cummings said in response that Mitchell’s tacit allegation was “absolutely incorrect and not true.”
Issa on Wednesday seized on the similarities between the two letters, though they were issued before Cummings’s staff contacted the IRS for additional information about True the Vote in January 2013. “Although you have previously denied that your staff made inquiries to the IRS about conservative organization True the Vote that may have led to additional agency scrutiny, communication records between your staff and IRS officials – which you did not disclose to Majority Members or staff – indicates otherwise,” Issa said. “As the Committee is scheduled to consider a resolution holding Ms. Lerner, a participant in responding to your communications that you failed to disclose, in contempt of Congress, you have an obligation to fully explain your staff’s undisclosed contacts with the IRS.”
The Oversight Committee will convene on Thursday morning to vote on whether to hold Lerner in contempt for her refusal to testify before the panel and House speaker John Boehner has indicated he will take the matter before the full House.
Since June of last year, Cummings has pressed Issa to call the investigation off and the two have repeatedly butted heads. Tomorrow’s hearing is unlikely to be an exception.
APRIL 9--In a desperate effort to explain away his work as a paid government informant, the Rev. Al Sharpton yesterday claimed that he first ran into the FBI’s arms after his life was threatened by gangsters, an incident that prompted him to then record 10 face-to-face encounters with one of those dangerous hoodlums.
That story is a lie.
In fact, Sharpton’s fabricated tale is belied by FBI records that provide a clear account of when and why he began working as a cooperating informant. After unveiling his fable at a morning press conference, Sharpton repeated his claims last night at the close of his “PoliticsNation” show on MSNBC, where fact checkers and bosses alike do not appear concerned with the truthfulness of the host’s off- and on-air pronouncements.
By tampering with the chronology of--and motive for--his enlistment as an FBI informant, Sharpton is furiously attempting to cast that cooperation in the most favorable light possible. He was not a rat or a snitch, Sharpton protests. In fact, the reverend contends that he was not even aware the FBI considered him an informant. The money he was paid by his FBI handler? Well, that was just reimbursements for carfare, Sharpton claims. As he explained to MSNBC viewers, Sharpton was just a victim looking for Uncle Sam’s protection and intervention.
Sharpton contends that he first contacted the FBI in early-1984, immediately after his life was threatened by Salvatore Pisello, a wiseguy with music industry connections. As Sharpton tells it, Pisello was incensed that the activist was threatening to stage boycotts and demonstrations unless black promoters were given a piece of the upcoming “Victory Tour” featuring Michael Jackson and his brothers.
At a press conference yesterday at his Harlem headquarters, Sharpton claimed that Gambino soldier Joseph “Joe Bana” Buonanno set up the meeting at which Pisello threatened his life. In his autobiography, Sharpton reported that Pisello traveled from Los Angeles to New York to threaten him. The book, however, makes no mention of Buonanno, who is deceased, or his purported role in facilitating Pisello’s alleged death threat.
Sharpton did not bother to reveal how he happened to know Buonanno in the first place. Buonanno had been involved in the record industry for decades, and was business partners with Robert Curington, a convicted felon who also happened to be a close associate of Sharpton’s (and a vice president of the reverend’s not-for-profit National Youth Movement).
Concerned for his safety, Sharpton claims that he called the FBI in early-1984 and reported the Pisello encounter. In short order, the reverend began cooperating with federal agents. Spurred by the threat, Sharpton says he taped a series of ten face-to-face meetings with Buonanno--but not Pisello, the hoodlum who allegedly threatened the activist’s life.
Those Sharpton recordings--made with an FBI-issued briefcase containing a hidden recording device--spanned a three-month period beginning in April 1984, according to FBI records.
As Sharpton spun out this tale Tuesday, he claimed to have detailed the Mafia death threat in his 1986 book “Go And Tell Pharaoh.” He dismissed TSG’s review of this period of his life as “old news” since he had purportedly already written the story himself years ago.
However, while Sharpton’s book does refer to a menacing gangster named “Sal,” Buonanno does not rate a single mention. Additionally, Sharpton’s problems with “Sal” appear to have been settled quickly--and in the activist’s favor, according to the book.
So, if Pisello was the hood who purportedly threatened Sharpton’s life, why did the FBI direct the reverend to surreptitiously record Buonanno on 10 separate occasions? Because those recordings had nothing to do with the alleged Pisello threat, according to several law enforcement sources. In fact, two investigators said they could recall no connection between Buonanno and Pisello (who was never charged with threatening Sharpton).
Sharpton’s story, built on a narrative conflation, is preposterous. He wants viewers and journalists to believe that the FBI, upon being told about Pisello’s death threat, sent the reverend out wired to record another guy. Ten times.
Here is what actually happened:
Sharpton began cooperating with the FBI in mid-1983. So he had actually been working as a confidential informant for about nine months before Pisello’s purported threat, an encounter that Sharpton now falsely claims prompted him to first contact federal agents (and subsequently begin recording Buonanno).
The reverend was “flipped” by FBI agents three months after he was filmed in March 1983 (during a bureau sting) talking cocaine with an undercover agent. On a Thursday afternoon in June 1983, Sharpton showed up at a Manhattan apartment expecting to meet again with the undercover agent, who was posing as a former South American druglord seeking to launder money through boxing promotions.
Instead, Sharpton was confronted by FBI agents who showed him the “cocaine” videotape. The panicked reverend agreed--on the spot--to cooperate with federal agents, according to sources familiar with the contents of Sharpton’s FBI informant file.
At the direction of his FBI handlers, Sharpton initially recorded conversations with boxing promoter Don King, who was the principal target of “Crown Royal,” the FBI undercover operation that had ensnared Sharpton in March 1983.
The date that Sharpton began cooperating is further fixed in a July 1984 draft of a wiretap affidavit. That document, sworn by an FBI agent, referred to Sharpton as “CI-7,” short for confidential informant #7. The description of “CI-7” noted thathe had been providing information to the bureau for “in excess of one year.” “CI-7,” the document reported, had made a series of surreptitious recordings of Buonanno discussing a variety of Mafia business.
Sharpton wants the public to believe that he used his FBI valise to secretly record a wiseguy---over and over and over again--because another wiseguy threatened his life. Oh, he has also claimed that these mafioso were allegedly oppressing black recording artists, too.
So, that being the case, the FBI summaries of Sharpton’s meetings with Buonanno must be filled with references to threats directed at the civil rights leader. Surely Sharpton would have asked Buonanno something like, “Joe, why does your friend Sal want me dead?” Or even, “Joe, when you set up that meeting with Sal, did you know that he was going to threaten to clip me?” Maybe Sharpton would even take the opportunity to try and extract details of the mob’s pernicious influence on minority performers.
Strangely, though, the bureau summaries contain no such information. In fact, they read as if the two men were old friends, amiably discussing topics like extortion, murder, “made” men, and a guy named “Chin.” Buonanno even told Sharpton about his eighth-grade education and his birthday. Somehow Sharpton--who appeared remarkably comfortable with the wiseguy--was able to hide any signs of duress, despite that supposed death threat hanging over his processed head.
As TSG reported earlier this week, Sharpton’s involvement with Buonanno--a supposed facilitator of Mafia death threats--did not cease after his brieface was switched off.
In fact, several years later, when Sharpton and Curington were seeking to collect a six-figure consulting fee owed to them by Joe Robinson, founder of Sugar Hill Records, “Joe Bana” was one of several hoodlums who showed up unannounced at the label’s New Jersey office. The hoodlums threatened Robinson over the money owed to Sharpton and Curington, whom the Drug Enforcement Administration once termed a “Class 1” narcotics trafficker.
After Robinson complained to police about the mob muscle pressuring him, a local cop kept an eye out for wiseguys arriving at Sugar Hill’s headquarters. One day, Detective Edward Stempinski of the Englewood Police Department caught Buonanno and a Genovese crime family figure at Sugar Hill. Stempinski, now retired, recalled that the wiseguys “didn’t look like they should be going into a rapper’s studio.”
So while Sharpton now links Buonanno to Pisello, “Joe Bana” was apparently an acceptable debt collector even after supposedly helping expedite a Mafia death threat. Perhaps the reverend consulted the Bible (Colossians 3:13), which advises, “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
As he closed his “PoliticsNation” show yesterday, Sharpton claimed that he approached the FBI to “try to protect myself and others,” adding that, “I was an American citizen with every right to call law enforcement.” He also declared, “We must live in a country where people can call law enforcement and not be castigated.” (1 page)
This story was published at 4:33 p.m. and has been updated with a response from Rep. Cummings.
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee ChairmanDarrell Issa, R-Calif., has accused the panel's top Democrat of prompting the Internal Revenue Service in 2012 to target a conservative organization applying for non-profit status.
Issa said records obtained last week from the IRS show communications from the office of ranking member Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., about True the Vote, a Texas-based, non-profit conservative group that aims to prevent voter fraud.
The communications at one point involved Lois Lerner, the ex-IRS official whom Issa's panel is poised to hold in contempt of Congress on Thursday for refusing to provide testimony about her involvement in targeting conservative groups.
“The IRS and the Oversight Minority made numerous requests for virtually identical information from True the Vote, raising concerns that the IRS improperly shared protected taxpayer information with Rep. Cummings’ staff,” a statement from the Oversight panel reads.
According to Issa, Cummings and his staff sought “copies of all training materials used for volunteers, affiliates, or other entities,” from True the Vote.
Five days after the Cummings inquiry, the IRS sent True the Vote an email requesting “a copy of [True the Vote’s] volunteer registration form,” “… the process you use to assign volunteers,” “how you keep your volunteers in teams,” and “how your volunteers are deployed … following the training they receive by you.”
Issa said Cummings and his office asked for more information in January 2013 about True the Vote, this time getting Lerner involved.
At one point, an email revealed, Lerner asked her deputy, “Did we find anything?”
When the deputy said she had not received any new information, Lerner responded, “thanks – check tomorrow please.”
Issa said Cummings had previously denied asking the IRS about True the Vote.
At a February subcommittee hearing, when Issa asked whether his office may have put True the Vote “on the radar screen” of the IRS, Cummings said the accusation was “absolutely incorrect and untrue.”
Issa and other GOP panel members have sent a letter to Cummings, asking him to respond to the newly uncovered emails.
In his response, Cummings said the GOP has falsely accused him of wrongly contacting the IRS about True the Vote. Cummings said in the letter that he has publicly stated his interest in finding more about True the Vote, which supports voter ID laws that Cummings opposes.
Cummings said in his letter that his inquiries were appropriate and did not violate any rules. His requests, Cummings added, were for publicly available information.
Cummings said the letter from Issa and others Republicans is "a desperate attempt to shift the focus on tomorrow's contempt vote away from the serious Constitutional deficiencies in these proceedings."
US senator joins critics of federal cattle roundup
Published: Tuesday, Apr. 8, 2014 - 10:52 am
Last Modified: Wednesday, Apr. 9, 2014 - 4:35 pm
LAS VEGAS -- A Republican U.S. senator added his voice Wednesday to critics of a federal cattle roundup fought by a Nevada rancher who claims longstanding grazing rights on remote public rangeland about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas
Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada said he told new U.S. Bureau of Land Management chief Neil Kornze in Washington, D.C., that law-abiding Nevadans shouldn't be penalized by an "overreaching" agency.
Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval pointed earlier to what he called "an atmosphere of intimidation," resulting from the roundup and said he believed constitutional rights were being trampled.
Heller said he heard from local officials, residents and the Nevada Cattlemen's Association and remained "extremely concerned about the size of this closure and disruptions with access to roads, water and electrical infrastructure."
The federal government has shut down a scenic but windswept area about half the size of the state of Delaware to round up about 900 cattle it says are trespassing.
BLM and National Park Service officials didn't immediately respond Wednesday to criticisms of the roundup that started Saturday and prompted the closure of the 1,200-square-mile area through May 12.
It's seen by some as the latest battle over state and federal land rights in a state with deep roots in those disputes, including the Sagebrush Rebellion of the 1970s and '80s. Nevada, where various federal agencies manage or control more than 80 percent of the land, is among several Western states where ranchers have challenged federal land ownership.
The current showdown pits rancher Cliven Bundy's claims of ancestral rights to graze his cows on open range against federal claims that the cattle are trespassing on arid and fragile habitat of the endangered desert tortoise. Bundy has said he owns about 500 branded cattle on the range and claims the other 400 targeted for roundup are his, too.
BLM and Park Service officials see threats in Bundy's promise to "do whatever it takes" to protect his property and in his characterization that the dispute constitutes a "range war."
U.S. Rep. Steven Horsford, D-Las Vegas, noted that BLM officials were enforcing federal court orders that Bundy remove his animals. The legal battle has been waged for decades.
Kornze, the new BLM chief, is familiar with the area. He's a natural resource manager who grew up in Elko, Nev., and served previously as a senior adviser to Senate Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Reid aide Kristen Orthman said her boss "hopes the trespassing cattle are rounded up safely so the issue can be resolved."
Sandoval, a former state attorney general and federal district court judge, weighed in late Tuesday after several days of media coverage about blocked roads and armed federal agents fanning out around Bundy's ranch while contractors using helicopters and vehicles herd cows into portable pens in rugged and remote areas.
"No cow justifies the atmosphere of intimidation which currently exists nor the limitation of constitutional rights that are sacred to all Nevadans," the governor said in a statement.
The site "tramples upon Nevadans' fundamental rights under the U.S. Constitution" and should be dismantled, Sandoval said.
BLM spokeswoman Kirsten Cannon and Park Service spokeswoman Christie Vanover have told reporters during daily conference calls that free-speech areas were established so agents could ensure the safety of contractors, protesters, the rancher and his supporters.
The dispute between Bundy and the federal government dates to 1993, when land managers cited concern for the federally protected tortoise and capped his herd at 150 animals on a 250-square-mile rangeland allotment. Officials later revoked Bundy's grazing rights completely.
Cannon said Bundy racked up more than $1.1 million in unpaid grazing fees over the years while disregarding several court orders to remove his animals.
Bundy estimates the unpaid fees total about $300,000. He notes that his Mormon family's 19th century melon farm and ranch operation in surrounding areas predates creation of the BLM in 1946.
Since the cattle roundup began Saturday, there has been one arrest.
Bundy's son, Dave Bundy, 37, was taken into custody Sunday as he watched the roundup from State Route 170. He was released Monday with bruises on his face and a citation accusing him of refusing to disperse and resisting arrest. A court date has not been set.
His mother, Carol Bundy, alleged that her son was roughed up by BLM police.
Meanwhile, federal officials say 277 cows have been collected. Cannon said state veterinarian and brand identification officials will determine what becomes of the impounded cattle.