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Wed Sep 14, 2016, 05:53 AM

Two contrasting portraits of refuge occupation emerge during opening statements

Sixteen federal employees of the peaceful Malheur National Wildlife Refuge were preparing late last year how to deal with invasive fish threatening redband trout and other natural fish in Malheur Lake and migratory birds that flock to the sprawling 187,000-acre habitat.

What they never expected, Assistant U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Barrow told jurors Tuesday, was "an invasion far more serious than the common carp.''

Barrow, during opening statements in the long-anticipated Oregon standoff trial, used Ammon Bundy's own words caught on video Jan. 2 to argue that Bundy and his co-defendants aren't being prosecuted for holding a political protest, but for leading an armed occupation of the refuge.

He played a video of Bundy standing atop a snowbank in the Safeway parking lot in Burns in his blue plaid flannel jacket and cowboy hat, declaring, "Those who understand what has happened here ... I'm asking you to follow me to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. We're going to make a hard stand. ... We're going to insist the Constitution be protected here in this country.''

Read more: http://www.oregonlive.com/oregon-standoff/2016/09/two_contrasting_portraits_of_r.html

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