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TalkNetwork.com radio host and citizen journalist Pete Santilli arrested in Oregon standoff, charged with conspiracy against the U.S. government

Pete Santilli

(NaturalNews) To all Natural News readers: I normally wouldn't be posting this article on Natural News, as we've switched all politics and liberty coverage over to NewsTarget.com. But with all the rumors and speculation now circulating about Pete Santilli, I thought it important to chime in and issue our TalkNetwork.com joint statement from myself and the producers. It always disturbs me when citizen journalists get arrested and charged with serious crimes.

Before I get to that, let me disclose that TalkNetwork.com will be announcing a significant format change here shortly. It's something we've been working on for a while that avoids the real-time limitations of only being able to carry a few dozen hosts and shows. We are wanting to greatly expand the number of different voices that can be heard on TalkNetwork.com, and we especially want to get more people involved who cover permaculture, natural medicine, home gardening, sustainable living and other similar topics. I have long wanted to expand the diversity of voices on TalkNetwork, so if you see some changes announced next week, they don't have anything to do with Santilli. We've been working on this retooling idea for a couple of months.

Feds arrest citizen journalist and charge him with CONSPIRACY!

On the subject of Santilli, it's totally true that he was arrested in Oregon and has been charged by the feds with a criminal conspiracy to "impede" federal law enforcement officials. You can read the criminal complaint here. We have a statement to share below, but the first red flag on this is that to my knowledge Santilli was primarily working as a citizen journalist and he wore a big "PRESS" vest.

Keep in mind that while Santilli has been charged with a "conspiracy," the entire mainstream media tells us every single day that people who believe in conspiracies are loony whackos. Thus, according to the mainstream media's own logic, conspiracies don't exist which means the federal charges against Santilli are wholly fraudulent to begin with. Is the FBI now saying conspiracies are REAL? Somebody alert the New York Times... (BTW, the real conspiracy here is the BLM land grab and its attempt to take over valuable mining plots that can be leased to the Russians and other nations who pay kickbacks to powerful politicians, but that's a REAL conspiracy which means the media isn't interested in it...)

Nevertheless, the fact that he has now been arrested and charged with conspiracy is extremely worrisome to citizen journalists everywhere, especially given the news earlier this week that the Center for Medical Progress filmmakers who went undercover to ensnare Planned Parenthood were also charged with serious crimes. The pattern is unmistakable: Citizen journalists are being increasingly criminalized in America... but only when they are broadcasting content the government doesn't like. I very much doubt Santilli actually "impeded" the feds in any way. More likely, he verbally berated them and gave them the finger (or similar actions along those lines).

The second point here is that, to my best knowledge, Santilli was serving as a very important citizen journalist from the point of view of the ranchers, constantly reminding the FBI that citizens were keeping an eye on them, too. He may have helped prevent this situation from worsening into a Waco-style slaughter by the feds.

I personally don't know the details of what went on because Santilli stopped communicating with myself and other TalkNetwork producers almost two weeks ago. He was broadcasting his video streams on YouTube LIVE, not on TalkNetwork, so we had no opportunity to coordinate anything with him or to even know what was happening there. He basically was "lone wolfing" the whole thing, which is fundamentally how he runs his show anyway.

Personally, I've been out of the loop on the Oregon situation for quite a while. My own attention has been focused in laboratory preparation for a very large science announcement I'm making next week that has huge implications for public health. So I've spent the last two weeks in the lab running ICP-MS instrumentation, and I had no direct contact with anybody in Oregon (I was just skimming the headlines like all of you, checking my favorite sites from time to time to see what was happening.)

From what I can tell so far, Pete Santilli appears to be getting hit with wildly unfair blame in all this. He was opposed to the Malheur refuge takeover in the first place, and he was trying to keep a live camera going on site to broadcast the plight of the ranchers to the world and hopefully scrounge up some more public support or sympathy for their situation. His presence there probably helped prevent a massacre from taking place, which is why I'm concerned for the remaining ranchers who are still holed up there. What does the FBI have planned for them now?

Along those lines, the FBI has released this video footage showing their shooting of one of the ranchers. This is clearly the FBI's effort to try to show, from their point of view, that the man they shot (LaVoy?) was reaching for something. I obviously wasn't there, so I can't really comment any more on what this video shows or doesn't show. Lots of other websites have better analysis than I can offer on this. But you can see their helicopter footage for yourself and decide what you think went down...

But getting back to Santilli, to my best knowledge, Santilli worked tirelessly to help de-escalate the situation and share the plight of the ranchers by broadcasting his live streams on YouTube LIVE. Then again, I've been out of the loop on this for a while, so maybe there are developments in all this that I'm not aware of.

Like nearly all liberty lovers in America, I am extremely frustrated and disturbed by the way our federal government treats ranchers and land owners across our nation. As a rancher myself, I understand how crucial it is for families to be able to know they can protect their property from unjust land grabs and BLM intimidation attempts. And while I don't promote threats of violence against anyone, I also realize that some land owners in America have been pushed around to their breaking point. Unless the feds revise their land grab policies, we are likely to see many more "sagebrush rebellion" activities in the future.

That's the real lesson in all this. America doesn't have a problem with "crazy ranchers" as they are made out in the media. In reality, America has a problem with an out of control federal land grabbing BLM that's pushing some people to the edge. The most dangerous man in America is a man who has nothing else left to lose. And every day, the oppressive actions of the federal government are creating more and more people who have nothing left to lose...

Here's the official statement on all this from TalkNetwork.com:

Statement on Pete Santilli from the producers of TalkNetwork.com


As rumors have been widely circulating about Pete Santilli's role in the Oregon Malheur standoff, we here at TalkNetwork thought it was important to issue a public statement about what we know so far. The accusations against Santilli are nothing more than wild rumor and speculation at this point. In many ways, as we describe below, Santilli may have served to help protect the ranchers in Oregon by maintaining a "citizen journalism" eye on the ground, making sure the FBI knew they could not conduct an armed raid without it being caught on camera.

Those who are accusing Santilli of wrongful behavior are quick to forget that it was his camera and live streams on YouTube which likely helped prevent the situation from becoming a repeat of Waco, Texas.


TalkNetwork has syndicated the "Pete Santilli Show" for about three months, along with over two dozen other shows from various radio hosts and personalities that cover the gamut from Hollywood talk to relationships, nutrition and much more.

Santilli has been one of the more popular hosts on the network due to his very entertaining, confrontational delivery and his genuine interest in getting to the bottom of the real stories that matter for followers of liberty and freedom in America.

Immediately after the Bundy boys took over the Malheur Wildlife Refuge, Santilli told TalkNetwork producers that he was strongly opposed to that idea and had no prior knowledge of their plans. Nevertheless, he invited TalkNetwork producers to come to the site in Oregon and join in his broadcasts. We politely declined the invitation.

After a few days, Santilli cut off nearly all communication with TalkNetwork. We had almost zero success trying to reach Pete and he gave us almost no clue at all about his broadcasts, scheduling or otherwise. His live broadcasts were all carried on YouTube LIVE, not streamed on TalkNetwork, and they were all branded the "Pete Santilli Show."

It's clear that Santilli was broadcasting from Malheur in an effort to raise public awareness of the real issues, and to lend a human side to the ranchers there who were being demonized by the mainstream media. There's no question that Santilli's broadcasts from the scene forced the FBI to hold back, realizing that their own actions would be instantly broadcast on YouTube LIVE, and knowing that any aggressive actions by the FBI would be captured on live streaming video.

By frequently streaming from the Malheur property, Santilli helped remind the FBI that they could not pull off another Waco where the feds monopolized the public narrative. In this way, we believe Santilli helped de-escalate the situation and may have prevented far more bloodshed than what ultimately took place.

It should not be surprising to anyone that the FBI was obviously watching any and all social media they could find concerning the Malheur situation. This does not mean Santilli was working for the feds. That accusation is absurd. The FBI's criminal complaint against Ammon Bundy, Jon Ritzheimer, Ryan Payne and Pete Santilli clearly states that Santilli is considered by the U.S. government to be an enemy of that same government. If he had been working for the feds, he would not have been arrested in the first place, but in truth Santilli is being charged with "impeding officers of the United States from discharging their official duties." That means the U.S. government believes Santilli was getting in their way and preventing them from doing what they wanted to do (he was "impeding" their desire to conduct a raid and kill everybody so they could all go home).

We here at TalkNetwork strongly support the plight of rural ranchers against federal land grabbers, and we believe the federal government has stolen far too much land from the people of Oregon, Nevada and many other western states. We applaud the courage that it takes for any oppressed citizens of a police state society to take a peaceful stand against tyranny, especially when they do so at the risk of losing their freedoms or their lives. We also believe that the federal government's charge of "arson / terrorism" against the Oregon ranchers is outrageous, unjust and a clear sign of just how lawless BLM has become.

Until we are shown hard evidence that proves otherwise, we genuinely believe Pete Santilli was working on behalf of helping protect and promote the interests of the ranchers. Those who are spreading rumors that blame Santilli for recent events are being played by the media. It's frustrating to see the very same people who know the LA Times constantly lies about everything now pointing to the LA Times as a source that claims Santilli's broadcasts provided the FBI the ability to listen and learn more. Hasn't it occurred to anyone that the mainstream media is trying to destroy all these people, including the ranchers and patriot citizen journalists like Santilli, too? Why do patriots suddenly believe what the LA Times is telling them when they know the LA Times lies to them about everything else?

Blaming Pete Santilli for the arrest of Ammon Bundy is just as crazy as charging the Planned Parenthood undercover video makers with criminal conspiracies. The simple truth is that Pete Santilli was a citizen journalist who, to our best knowledge, cared deeply about the ranchers and their plight. The fact that he now faces federal charges of conspiracy should set off alarm bells everywhere about how the government is routinely criminalizing citizen journalists who broadcast a message they don't like. Santilli clearly identified himself as a member of the press and even wore a "PRESS" vest as he was broadcasting from the refuge.

For our part here at TalkNetwork.com, we support freedom of speech, individual liberty and the returning of federal lands to their respective states. We pray for the continued safety of the ranchers and all those still present at Malheur, and we remind everyone that without citizen journalists prepared to broadcast live from the refuge site, the feds would have likely already slaughtered them all. Citizen journalism saves lives. Having independent media cameras on site in situations like this helps remind the feds that they can't get away with Waco-style slaughters anymore.

Perhaps that's why they really arrested Santilli... to remove him from the scene so they could make up whatever narrative they want for whatever they have planned next. Is there any independent journalist remaining on site who is broadcasting via YouTube?
If not, watch out for phase two of this operation... the "dark phase" where the feds make up whatever they want because nobody is telling the other side of the story anymore. Citizen journalists save lives all across the world, and especially in conflicts where governments are trying to silence citizens and control the media narrative. Where citizen journalists are not found, innocent citizens often end up getting slaughtered.

Let us hope there is no more bloodshed in Oregon. Let us also hope that independent media can continue to shine light on the activities of the federal government and thereby motivate them to act in accordance with the strictly limited powers granted to them by the People via the United States Constitution.

- TalkNetwork.com producers and founders

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