via FTP: This week, Harney County Fire Marshall Chris Briels resigned after discovering undercover FBI agents posing as militia members near the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, which has been the site of a standoff for weeks now. According to Briels, he found FBI agents who were impersonating militia members lurking around the town’s armory. When he inquired about the undercover operation with county Judge Steve Grasty he was told to back off.
Just before this discovery was made, there were reports of people who looked like militia harassing locals, which is uncharacteristic of the protesters who initially assembled at the refuge. It turns out that these militia members suspected of harassing locals were actually undercover FBI agents.
During an impromtu press conference, Briels explained how he was so disrespected in his encounter with Grasty and was so disgusted with the situation in general, that he no longer wants to work for a government that he does not believe in. Briels added that he would still be helping people in the community with fire prevention and other issues that he has helped with in the past, but he will just no longer be doing it as a government employee. Briels went on to describe how he exposed undercover FBI agents who had come to town and were creating problems amongst the locals.
When announcing his resignation, Briels described his encounter with the judge.
“I’ve been told by Steve to distance myself from this committee of public safety. I’ve been told that we don’t know what we’re doing. I’ve been told that my life is in danger. I’ve been told all kinds of things. I will not be told what to do. I have my own mind, and I will use my own mind, not somebody else’s,” Briels said.
Many activists and militia members are now suspecting that the undercover agents were planning to act as agent provocateurs and create trouble in order to frame the protesters for things that they did not do. This theory is supported by the fact these undercover agents were reportedly bothering locals and acting in a threatening manner.
However, mainstream media has reported that militia members were harassing locals, but now that version of events is being brought into question considering the fact that undercover agents were posing as militia. The looming threat of agent provocateurs may be one of the reasons why the refuge occupiers are turning away help from outside militias who have attempted to join the occupation.
As the situation at the refuge becomes increasingly volatile, leaders of the occupation have announced that they will soon be making plans to disperse, but they have not yet said when this will happen. Meanwhile, the FBI has said that they will be filing federal charges against the militia members that they have found evidence on throughout the occupation.