Oathkeepers made some news

Discussion in 'The Constitutional & RKBA Forum' started by Lori Mick, Oct 19, 2009.

  1. Lori Mick

    Lori Mick New Member

    Nov 7, 2008
    Stuck in Upstate NY for a while

    READY TO REVOLT: Oath Keepers pledges to prevent dictatorship in United States

    Group asks police and military to lay down arms in response to orders deemed unlawful


    Stewart Rhodes, left, founder and spokesman of Oath Keepers, talks to Kyle Zortman, 17, of Cedar City, Utah, right, along with Oath Keeper members John Francois, second from left, and Pat Kerby of Pahrump during the Crossroads of the West Gun Show on Saturday at Cashman Center.
    Photos by K.M. Cannon.

    A member of the Southern Nevada chapter of Oath Keepers who declined to be identified works on the group's Web site during a meeting to plan the inaugural national conference of Oath Keepers in Las Vegas later this month.

    Dave Freeman, national peace officer liaison and Southern Nevada director of Oath Keepers, right, says the group, which was founded in Las Vegas earlier this year, is standing up for the constitutional rights of Americans. Critics of the group say Oath Keepers draw members into "a world of false conspiracy theory."

    Dave Freeman, a leader of Oath Keepers, right, and Stewart Rhodes, the founder of Oath Keepers, discuss plans for the group's inaugural national conference in Las Vegas later this month.

    Depending on your perspective, the Oath Keepers are either strident defenders of liberty or dangerous peddlers of paranoia.

    In the age of town halls, talk radio and tea parties, middle ground of opinion is hard to find.

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    READY TO REVOLT: Oath Keepers pledges to prevent dictatorship in United States

    Launched in March by Las Vegan Stewart Rhodes, Oath Keepers bills itself as a nonpartisan group of current and retired law enforcement and military personnel who vow to fulfill their oaths to the Constitution.

    More specifically, the group's members, which number in the thousands, pledge to disobey orders they deem unlawful, including directives to disarm the American people and to blockade American cities. By refusing the latter order, the Oath Keepers hope to prevent cities from becoming "giant concentration camps," a scenario the 44-year-old Rhodes says he can envision happening in the coming years.

    It's a Cold War-era nightmare vision with a major twist: The occupying forces in this imagined future are American, not Soviet.

    "The whole point of Oath Keepers is to stop a dictatorship from ever happening here," Rhodes, a former Army paratrooper and Yale-trained lawyer, said in an interview with the Review-Journal. "My focus is on the guys with the guns, because they can't do it without them.

    "We say if the American people decide it's time for a revolution, we'll fight with you."

    That type of rhetoric has caught the attention of groups that track extremist activity in the United States.

    In a July report titled "Return of the Militias," the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center singled out Oath Keepers as "a particularly worrisome example of the Patriot revival."

    The Patriot movement, so named because its adherents believe the federal government has stepped on the constitutional ideals of the American Revolution, gained traction in the 1990s and has been closely linked to anti-government militia and white supremacist movements.

    The movement is blamed for spawning Timothy McVeigh, who bombed a federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995, killing 168 people.

    "I'm not accusing Stewart Rhodes or any member of his group of being Timothy McVeigh or a future Timothy McVeigh," law center spokesman Mark Potok said. "But these kinds of conspiracy theories are what drive a small number of people to criminal violence. ... What's troubling about Oath Keepers is the idea that men and women armed and ordered to protect the public in this country are clearly being drawn into a world of false conspiracy theory."

    Oath Keepers got some unwanted attention in April when an Oklahoma man loosely connected to the group was arrested for threatening violence at an anti-tax protest in Oklahoma City. Rhodes called the man "a nut" who had no real affiliation with his group.

    Nonetheless, Potok's group now monitors Oath Keepers on its Web site blog "Hatewatch."

    Oath Keepers is not preaching violence or government overthrow, Rhodes said. On the contrary, it is asking police and the military to lay down their arms in response to unlawful orders.

    The group's Web site, www.oathkeepers.org, features videos and testimonials in which supporters compare President Barack Obama's America to Adolf Hitler's Germany. They also liken Obama to England's King George III during the American Revolution.

    One member, in a videotaped speech at an event in Washington, D.C., calls Obama "the domestic enemy the Constitution is talking about."

    According to the law center, militia groups are re-emerging in this country partly as a result of racial animosity toward Obama.

    It's the "cross-pollinating" of extremist groups -- some racist, some not -- that is of concern, Potok said. As evidence that the danger is real, he points to several recent murders committed by men with anti-government or racist views.

    The U.S. Department of Homeland Security reached a similar conclusion in a report earlier this year about the rise of right-wing extremism. The report said the nation's economic downturn and Obama's race are "unique drivers for right-wing radicalization and recruitment."

    The homeland security report added that "disgruntled military veterans" might be vulnerable to recruitment by right-wing extremist groups.

    That warning was enough to make Rhodes feel paranoid.

    "They're accusing anybody who opposes Obama of being a racist or a potential terrorist," he said. "What they're saying is, 'We're coming after you.'"

    The motto of Oath Keepers: "Not on our watch!"

    The message Rhodes hears from the government: We're watching you.

    Las Vegas police Lt. Kevin McMahill said his department's homeland security bureau isn't overly concerned with Oath Keepers at this point, even though Rhodes says several active-duty Las Vegas officers are members of the group.

    "I wouldn't classify Oath Keepers as no threat at all, but I wouldn't classify them as a threat either," McMahill said. "There's always a chance an individual can step outside the boundaries of what an organization stands for and do something wrong."

    Rhodes, a former firearms instructor, said he easily could have started Oath Keepers during the Bush administration, but his focus during those years was first on getting his law degree and then volunteering on the 2008 presidential campaign of Texas Congressman Ron Paul, a libertarian Republican in whose office Rhodes worked during the 1990s.

    What Rhodes terms "the rise of executive privilege" during the post-9/11 years of the Bush presidency will in his opinion only accelerate with Obama in office. What's worse, he said, is that "gun-hating extremists" now control the White House.

    Two things have happened since the Homeland Security Department and Southern Poverty Law Center released their reports on extremism: Membership of Oath Keepers has spiked dramatically. And Rhodes has had to do a lot of explaining.

    "We're not a militia," he said. "And we're not part and parcel of the white supremacist movement. I loathe white supremacists."

    Oath Keepers doesn't offer paramilitary training; nor does it have a military command structure. It instead has board members, which include directors in seven states and outreach coordinators to currently serving local and federal law enforcement and military personnel. The group's state director in Montana, who goes by the name Elias Alias, has said Montana and other states should consider seceding from the United States in protest of the federal government's conduct.

    Leaders of the group will come together in Las Vegas starting Oct. 24 for the inaugural national conference of Oath Keepers.

    Among the group's other leaders is Dave Freeman, an Army veteran and former Las Vegas police sergeant who spent more than 30 years with the Metropolitan Police Department.

    For Freeman, Oath Keepers has become something of a family affair. He recruited his niece, a former police chief, to serve as state director for Oath Keepers in Massachusetts.

    "When you believe in something, you have to do more than just pay it lip service," said Freeman, the group's Southern Nevada director and national peace officer liaison. "This is a crusade I believe in."

    Another prominent Oath Keeper is former Arizona sheriff Richard Mack, who has long been an outspoken government critic.

    The Southern Poverty Law Center calls Mack a "longtime militia hero" who helped weaken gun control laws.

    An incident earlier this year in rural Iowa, not inside the Washington Beltway, motivated Rhodes to start Oath Keepers.

    He questioned why the Iowa National Guard planned to use residents of a small town to participate in training on door-to-door searches for weapons.

    The Guard said the training was to help soldiers who might be asked to carry out similar searches in Iraq or Afghanistan.

    But for Rhodes, it looked like preparation for a future declaration of martial law. It reminded him of the response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005 when police officers reportedly confiscated legally owned firearms. What the government called emergency response after the levees broke, Rhodes saw as the imposition of martial law.

    If it hadn't been for April 19 of this year, Oath Keepers might not have gained the notoriety it now has.

    On the anniversary of the Battle of Lexington Green, the Massachusetts battle that started the American Revolution in 1775, a group of Oath Keepers went to the battle site and reaffirmed their pledge to the Constitution.

    The gathering was mentioned in the Southern Poverty Law Center report because April 19 is also the anniversary of the deadly end to the federal siege on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, in 1993; and of the retaliatory bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building in 1995.

    Rhodes and Potok have never talked, but if they did, they might find themselves speaking a different language.

    "Let them say what they want to say, but April 19 has very much become a day for the extreme radical right," Potok said.

    Rhodes couldn't disagree more.

    "There are thousands of Americans who go to Lexington to watch re-enactments of people shooting at troops," Rhodes said. "But if you're a group of military and police there, they somehow find this offensive."

    Rhodes said he hopes Oath Keepers members think about the lawfulness of day-to-day orders they receive.

    For example, if a police officer feels he is being asked to do an illegal search of a home or vehicle, he should stand down.

    Rhodes eventually wants to create a legal defense fund for Oath Keepers who are disciplined by their employers for defying orders they deem unlawful or immoral.

    "The message to law enforcement is not to become a tool of oppression," he said.

    Rhodes, a husband and father of five home-schooled children, said he gets hundreds of e-mails a day, mostly from people interested in knowing more about his group.

    He also gets a lot of questions from "birthers" wanting to know if he thinks Obama is really an American citizen and from "truthers" asking whether he believes the attacks of 9/11 were an inside job. The group doesn't have an official position on either issue, he said.

    Some of his responses to questions have turned would-be allies against him.

    "I've been accused of being a traitor or a CIA operative because I'm not coming out and declaring that the H1N1 (swine flu) vaccine is a biological weapon," he said.
  2. 45nut

    45nut Well-Known Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    Sounds good to me. I'm not a LEO, but I'll stand beside these guys.


    AL MOUNT Active Member

    Oct 9, 2006
    Cleaning my Thompson in The Foothills of the Ozark
    This is the part we must all read & remember.... :mad:
  4. Haligan

    Haligan Well-Known Member

    Feb 25, 2008
    FEMA Region II
    These guys are sticking their neck out.
    May God keep them safe. Fortune favors the bold.
  5. ronnied

    ronnied New Member

    Oct 4, 2009
    signed up yesterday from nj..
  6. carver

    carver Moderator Supporting Member

    Jul 28, 2008
    DAV, Deep in the Pineywoods of E. Texas!
    We do need more members!
  7. Oohrah

    Oohrah New Member

    Mar 1, 2008
    They are on a terrorist alert wach list, but somehow I don't feel they need watching. Little by little our rights are being taken. A few days back, Kalifornia passed another restrictive law reguarding ammo. Their favorite tactic ! Attack the gun, and then the ammo. If they can't get your gun, take the ammo until you are left with a very expensive club. New law register to buy ammo with records kept. Face to face sale from a dealer, no mail order. Thumb print on file. I think the amount of purchase is 50 rounds still remains. No clue on reloading supplies, but bullets being mico marked has also been passed or will be. I do think it doesn't hurt to have a game plan, for the public unrest, that I don't see anyway to avoid, given the direction this train is headed. Somehow I don't think anyone will follow a unlawful order when it is known there is a price to pay.
  8. belercous

    belercous Former Guest

    Aug 7, 2009
    The oath of the "Oath keepers" sounds like subversion to the U.S. Gov.
    Good luck with that. Sounds good, until you parse it out.

    Just think about it. If everyone deceided what the Constitution meant (why listen to the Supreme Court? Those people have only studied the Constitution for years, what do they know?)
    I'm sure that these people have good intentions at heart, but do they really know what the Const. means, or are they just going by belief? How many of these people have actually studied the Constitituion? Seriously, anyone who actually follows such an oath is going to have a problem if they are sworn to uphold the Constitutuion. They might have an affirmative defense, but such is up to the trier of fact (i.e.; jury, judge) to decide their fate. I applaud them for their stand, and their belief in their position. But I really don't believe it's gonna be a winnig argument.
  9. Hardballer

    Hardballer New Member

    Nov 22, 2008
    Smack dab in da middle
    Hmmmmm. . . . That darned old confusing Constitution. Just can't figure out what it means.

    All those silly Amendments. Just don't know what to make of it. I bet it was just meant for the rich and elite. Not us slaves.

    I guess I'll just leave the part where it says: "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America." to some judge to figure out. Way beyond my simple mind.

    That darn part about free speech is a real stickler too. Or how about that brain twister of a 2nd Amendment. Wow! Better leave my brain on hold there too. Those super smart judges (Lawyers) will figure it out for me. Maybe they can hold my . . . . Oops, forgot where I was. Hand, Yeah that's what I meant. Hold my hand too.

    Scary world out there, glad someone else is available to make all those nasty decisions for me. Whew, I almost had to think for myself for a minute there.

    Why. . . . I might have thought that Rights enumerated in the Constitution were some kind of gift from the government, not actually an abstraction, an idea made reality with each pen stroke of men who stood tall and thought for themselves. Made reality with every breath I take. I could have thought they were actually due me by nature, recognized by government and made law so bad people would not trample on them at will.

    Silly me. I'll be a good citizen and let the government do all my thinking from now on.

    Thank you. . . .Oh . . . thank you for clearing that up for me.
  10. RugerBob

    RugerBob New Member

    Jun 22, 2007
    Southern Maine
    I checked the site out a few weeks ago and did some reading. Signed myself up last week.
  11. navis128

    navis128 New Member

    Sep 15, 2009
    I've been on the site and am interested in signing. I know this is the (new) Militia, which I have no problem with as long as they are true defenders of our Constitution and everything that goes along with it. I want to know if there is a "chain of command", "command and control" so we aren't just out there unorganized, etc. If I've got their 6 I want to make sure they have mine. When SHTF we are going to have to move fast, and since I've still got daughter at home for a couple more yrs., I've got to have enough time to get her stashed away at one of her brother's house or somethin' before I go.
  12. Trouble 45-70

    Trouble 45-70 New Member

    Apr 10, 2009
    NE Ar. W. of Black River
    Explain to me why everything we have been able to do for the last 232 years is now all of a sudden wrong and unconstitutional. I agreed with what You said until Robert Bork was borked by Ted Kennedy et al. .
  13. Southern Boy

    Southern Boy New Member

    Jun 8, 2009
    I like it. also I dont believe they are looking for constitutional scholars, like little o boy. But most of the constitution is plauin and simple. Freedom of speech, religion, right to bear arms . To me it is obvious when our rights are being trampled on. ie. Ruby Ridge, or post -Katrina gun confiscation. I believe we need vast numbers of military and leo's to join this group. If nothing else it sends a message to the powers that be regarding where a soldiers loyalties lie. THE CONSTITUTION. They will then know LEO's and soldiers wont betray their homeland for some power hungry politition.
  14. Trouble 45-70

    Trouble 45-70 New Member

    Apr 10, 2009
    NE Ar. W. of Black River
    Maybe this is why they (Obamaites) need a domestic police force larger and better funded than the US military.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2009
  15. Haligan

    Haligan Well-Known Member

    Feb 25, 2008
    FEMA Region II
    I swear, if you were here right now, I'd buy you a beer.

    Damn well put.

    Molon labe !
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