I will tell you I am not a unbiased and objective observer, I am a Oathkeeper myself, however because I think that there have been some misunderstandings as to who the Oathkeepers are and what they believe I wanted to write a post so as to better explain our position.
Oathkeepers was founded in March of 2009 by Stewart Rhodes a former Army Paratrooper, a graduate of Yale Law School and was a staffer for former Congressman Ron Paul. The movement is simple in its aims, to spread awareness of the growing rise of tyranny within our own government and to recruit former and active military and police to truly understand their oaths to the Constitution and to live up to them and not follow unconstitutional orders if given.
A summary of the ten orders that Oathkeepers will not obey are as follows
1. We will NOT obey orders to disarm the American people.
2. We will NOT obey orders to conduct warrantless searches of the American people
3. We will NOT obey orders to detain American citizens as “unlawful enemy combatants” or to subject them to military tribunal.
4. We will NOT obey orders to impose martial law or a “state of emergency” on a state.
5. We will NOT obey orders to invade and subjugate any state that asserts its sovereignty.
6. We will NOT obey any order to blockade American cities, thus turning them into giant concentration camps.
7. We will NOT obey any order to force American citizens into any form of detention camps under any pretext.
8. We will NOT obey orders to assist or support the use of any foreign troops on U.S. soil against the American people to “keep the peace” or to “maintain control.”
9. We will NOT obey any orders to confiscate the property of the American people, including food and other essential supplies.
10.We will NOT obey any orders which infringe on the right of the people to free speech, to peaceably assemble, and to petition their government for a redress of grievances.
Some of these may sound far fetched, “blockading American cities”? how could that happen? Well it has, during Hurricane Katrina, military personnel were staged at strategic and undamaged bridges that led out of the crime and disease ridden city that was under water, and they blocked people from leaving. It happened, it was documented on Live Television(go to 4:20 to see what i mean) that they set up checkpoints and wouldn’t let people out!
It was also well documented during Hurricane Katrina that law abiding citizens had their weapons seized, confiscated without lawful reason, left to sit in containers to rust for months after order was restored. These people were doing nothing wrong and had the only thing to protect themselves from looters and violent gangs taken from them.
These are not things that have never happened or will never happen, all of these things have happened in our history (perhaps the use of foreign troops has not been seen since the Revolutionary war, but it is not out of the question). These are all very real things many of which happen in small microcasms across the United States in cities, towns and states.
The point of Oathkeepers is to reintroduce a conscience within the ranks of our Law Enforcement and Military so that good people will stand up, we always complain about bad cops and that good cops dont do anything or enough, this is an organization that wants to reintroduce the mentality of service to the community and not a separate community unto themselves back into American Law Enforcement.
I joined Oathkeepers not because of, as some in the media has said, a wish to “overthrow” the Government, that is the last thing that any Oathkeeper wants, what we want is to not have a need for this organization, to have a government that understands its limits as well as for those serving the country and their communities to understand their oaths and that they are a integral part in maintaining a free society.
What Oathkeepers is NOT
- Racist or White Oriented
Racist or White Oriented
There are countless members of Oathkeepers of every race, while it may seem that most are white that is mostly due to the demographics of the U.S. Military and Law Enforcement, since the organization is one of veterans or active duty it will reflect that demographic. On the Oathkeeper website itself are videos of their first Conference in 2009, which feature a former Marine, National Guardsmen and LE that is married to a black woman as well as Black man who served in the Navy. I am also a testament to that since I am not married to a white woman, I don’t bring my family up on a personal level often, but it needs to be said in this instance. I do not advocate or stand for any organization that is “Supremacist” or “Separatist” in any way. How could I be if those very organizations would consider me a “traitor” and the loves of my life (my wife and children) as subhuman? It is ridiculous.
I guess this could be true if you consider the Constitution, its meaning and intent to be radical. If you consider privacy protections, the rights of free speech and religion, the right to choose your own life, job and pursuit of happiness a good thing, then it is not radical, it is mainstream. The country has been changing around us, has been destroying every right and privacy we hold dear in the name of the greater good and security; If you consider it ok for the government to corral people into small “free speech zones” a giant leap forward in progress and freedom, then yes I guess we are radicals.
While we all hold differing opinions on what government should be and theories on how it would best serve the good of its citizens, we are not “Anti-government”. Groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) have deemed us as such, however they deem anyone who does not hold their views, more government, more debt, more restrictions on rights as “Anti Government” One should look at their agenda and the causes they have championed before they give them creedence as some sort of “objective” morality force. We believe that the government should be limited as it was intended, that history shows that the more power a government is given, the more rights are taken away and the more tyrannical they become. Liberals on the left thought Bush was a Nazi for doing the same thing Obama has done (arguably more than Bush), but when we say No, we are radical Anti-government fanatics. I will say, and Mr. Rhodes has also, that many of us didn’t agree with what President Bush did, but naively thought that since he was a Republican that he would wield that power justly, only to fight terrorists; we were wrong. I don’t speak for the organization of course, however I think they would agree; I am sorry for not recognizing this earlier, for not speaking out earlier, we have learned that this power should NEVER reside in the government no matter who is president.
We are not secretive, we have a website and a forum for goodness sakes, Mr. Rhodes has appeared on new shows including MSNBC to state our position, beliefs, etc. How is this “secretive” This is not a elite club, while full membership is open to veterans and active members of the military and Law Enforcement, membership is still open to civilians. For Example Mr. Glen Tate who wrote 299 days is not a former or active member of the military or LE, but is a civilian, however he is a member and participates and supports the Oathkeepers.
We have been called all of these things, the media has attempted to make us sound as if we are a cloistered secretive group of White Supremacist militia members, weapons ready and waiting for the call to overthrow the government. Patrick Buchanan of MSNBC said that Oathkeepers were a representation of the alienation of White America “America was once their country. They sense they are losing it. And they are right.”
I have already covered the racist portion so I wont go into that again, however it is a tactic of the media to divide us, to make the idea of liberty, limited government and adherence to the Constitution a “White Issue”. If anyone here has ever been to a liberty or freedom rally, one will see people from all races and walks of life, it is not a “White Issue” it is an American one, however by doing this they hope to make any talk of Liberty, small government or adherence to the constitution smell of racism, and anyone who is not white leery of these ideas. Why? so that the discussion can be swept away without any real debate, only having to cry “Racism” so that they don’t have to. It has been working, however groups like Oathkeepers are here to say that it wont any longer.
If you have been in the Military or Law Enforcement I would encourage you to join, to really look at the oath you took and to understand what it means. Our oaths do not have a expiration date, our time in uniform may, but our Oaths do not. If you are a civilian also please look into it you can join as an associate member and help as well!
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