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The Age of Treason

 
 
Reply Tue 11 Aug, 2015 08:11 am
Oath Keepers and the Age of Treason is a Mother Jones headline.

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2010/03/oath-keepers
Right now my computer won't cooperate, so I can't post a preview.
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Aug, 2015 08:45 am
he considers the Bushmaster essential in his preparations to take on the US government when it declares martial law.

His belief that that day is imminent has led Pray to a group called Oath Keepers, one of the fastest-growing "patriot" organizations on the right. Founded last April by Yale-educated lawyer and ex-Ron Paul aide Stewart Rhodes, the group has established itself as a hub in the sprawling anti-Obama movement that includes Tea Partiers, Birthers, and 912ers. Glenn Beck, Lou Dobbs, and Pat Buchanan have all sung its praises, and in December, a grassroots summit it helped organize drew such prominent guests as representatives Phil Gingrey and Paul Broun, both Georgia Republicans.

There are scores of patriot groups, but what makes Oath Keepers unique is that its core membership consists of men and women in uniform, including soldiers, police, and veterans. At regular ceremonies in every state, members reaffirm their official oaths of service, pledging to protect the Constitution—but then they go a step further, vowing to disobey "unconstitutional" orders from what they view as an increasingly tyrannical government.


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Pray (who asked me to use his middle name rather than his first) and five fellow soldiers based at Fort Drum take this directive very seriously. In the belief that the government is already turning on its citizens, they are recruiting military buddies, stashing weapons, running drills, and outlining a plan of action. For years, they say, police and military have trained side by side in local anti-terrorism exercises around the nation. In September 2008, the Army began training the 3rd Infantry's 1st Brigade Combat Team to provide humanitarian aid following a domestic disaster or terror attack—and to help with crowd control and civil unrest if need be. (The ACLU has expressed concern about this deployment.) And some of Pray's comrades were guinea pigs for military-grade sonic weapons, only to see them used by Pittsburgh police against protesters last fall.

Most of the men's gripes revolve around policies that began under President Bush but didn't scare them so much at the time. "Too many conservatives relied on Bush's character and didn't pay attention," founder Rhodes told me. "Only now, with Obama, do they worry and see what has been done. Maybe you said, I trusted Bush to only go after the terrorists.* But what do you think can happen down the road when they say, 'I think you are a threat to the nation?'"

In Pray's estimate, it might not be long (months, perhaps a year) before President Obama finds some pretext—a pandemic, a natural disaster, a terror attack—to impose martial law, ban interstate travel, and begin detaining citizens en masse. One of his fellow Oath Keepers, a former infantryman, advised me to prepare a "bug out" bag with 39 items including gas masks, ammo, and water purification tablets, so that I'd be ready to go "when the **** hits the fan."

When it does, Pray and his buddies plan to go AWOL and make their way to their "fortified bunker"—the home of one comrade's parents in rural Idaho—where they've stocked survival gear, generators, food, and weapons. If it becomes necessary, they say, they will turn those guns against their fellow soldiers.



PRAY AND I DRIVE through a bleak landscape of fallow winter fields and strip malls in his blue Dodge Stratus as Drowning Pool's "Bodies"—a heavy metal song once used to torment Abu Ghraib detainees—plays on the stereo. Clad in an oversize black hoodie that hides his military physique, Pray sports an Army-issue buzz cut and is seriously inked (skulls, smoke, an eagle). His father kicked him out of the house at age 14. Two years later, after working jobs from construction to plumbing—"If it's blue collar, I've done it"—he tried to enlist. It wasn't long after 9/11, and he was hell-bent on revenge. The Army turned him down. Blaming the "THOR" tattooed across his fist, Pray tried to burn it off. On September 11, 2006, he approached the Army again and was accepted.

Now Pray is both a Birther and a Truther. He believes he is following an illegitimate, foreign-born president in a war on terror launched by a government plot—9/11. He admires soldiers like Army reservist Major Stefan Frederick Cook, who volunteered for a deployment last May and then sued to avoid it—claiming that Obama is not a natural-born citizen and is thus unfit for command. Pray himself had been eager to go to Iraq when his own unit deployed last June, but he smashed both knees falling from a crane rig and the injuries kept him stateside. In September, he was demoted from specialist to private first class—he'd been written up for bullshit infractions, he claims, after seeking help for a drinking problem. His job on base involves operating and maintaining heavy machinery; the day before we met, he and his fellow "undeployables" had attached a snowplow to a Humvee, their biggest assignment in a while. He spends idle hours at the now-quiet base researching the New World Order and conspiracies about swine flu quarantine camps—and doing his best to "wake up" other soldiers.

Pray isn't sure how to do this and still cover his ass. He talks to me on the record and agrees to be photographed, even as he hints that the CIA may be listening in on his phone. Although I met him through contacts from the group's Facebook page, Pray, fearing retribution, keeps his Oath Keepers ties unofficial. (Rhodes encourages active-duty soldiers to remain anonymous, noting that a group with large numbers of anonymous members can instill in its adversaries the fear of the unknown—a "great force multiplier.") For a time, Pray insisted we communicate via Facebook (safer than regular email, he claims). Driving me from the mall back to my motel, he takes a new route. He says unmarked black cars sometimes trail him. It sounds paranoid. Then again, when you're an active-duty soldier contemplating treason, some level of paranoia is probably sensible.

The next afternoon we join Brandon, one of Pray's Army buddies, for steaks. Sitting in a pleather booth at Texas Roadhouse, the young men talk boastfully about their military capabilities and weapons caches. Role-playing the enemy in military exercises, Brandon says, has prepared him to evade and fight back against US troops. "I know their tactics," brags Pray. "I know how they do room sweeps, work their convoys—if we attack this vehicle, what the others will do."

A strapping Idahoan, Brandon (who doesn't want his full name used) enlisted as a teenager when he got his girlfriend pregnant and needed a stable job, stat. (She lost the baby and they split, but he's still glad he signed up.) Unlike his friend, he doesn't think the United Nations must be dismantled, although he does agree that it represents the New World Order, and he suspects that concentration camps are being readied in the off-limits section of Fort Drum. He sends 500 rounds of ammunition home to Idaho each month.
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Tue 11 Aug, 2015 01:07 pm
Oath Keepers Turn Up at Michael Brown Protests in Ferguson, Missouri

Heavily-armed members of a controversial right-wing "patriot" group added an extra dose of unease to protests in Ferguson, Missouri, early Tuesday.

The Oath Keepers organization says its members — all former military, police and first responders — pledge to "defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic."

However, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar described their presence as "both unnecessary and inflammatory."

Protesters and police confirmed that a handful of Oath Keepers with what appeared to be assault rifles, bulletproof vest and camouflage gear were seen early Tuesday on the streets of Ferguson, which was under a state of emergency following demonstrations pegged to the anniversary of Michael Brown's death.

Image: Members of the Oath Keepers walk with their personal weapons on the street during protests in Ferguson, Missouri
Members of the Oath Keepers walk with their personal weapons on the street during protests in Ferguson, Missouri, on Tuesday. LUCAS JACKSON / Reuters
Several protesters confronted members of the group, asking why they were allowed to openly carry weapons.

"I'm happy that we're able to defend ourselves," one Oath Keeper replied in footage from NBC station KSDK. "It's been our right for a long time."

The St. Louis County Police Department said it would consult with the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorneys Office about the legalities of the issue.

Missouri allows individuals with concealed weapons permits to openly display firearms, unless it is done in an "angry or threatening manner."

Shawn McGuire, a spokesman for St. Louis County Police, said he did not believe officers had confronted the Oath Keepers or told to leave.

"We do not know who sent them," he added.

"GO ARMED, AT ALL TIMES, AS FREE MEN AND WOMEN, AND BE READY TO DO SUDDEN BATTLE, ANYWHERE, ANYTIME, AND WITH UTTER RECKLESSNESS"
The Oath Keepers organization did not immediately respond to a request for comment from NBC News. Members of the organization also were in Ferguson late last year when protests reignited over a grand jury decision not to indict the officer, Darren Wilson, who killed Brown.

The Southern Poverty Law Center describes the Oath Keepers as a "fiercely anti-government, militaristic group."

The organization — which claims to have more than 30,000 members — was founded in 2004 by former U.S. Army paratrooper and Yale Law School graduate Stewart Rhodes.

Rhodes has referred to Hillary Clinton as "Hitlery" and earlier this year said that Sen. John McCain should be tried for treason and "hung by the neck until dead" for going "along with the program of the destruction of this country."

Image: Members of the Oath Keepers walk with their personal weapons on the street during protests in Ferguson, Missouri
Members of the Oath Keepers walk with their personal weapons on the street during protests in Ferguson, Missouri, on Tuesday. LUCAS JACKSON / Reuters
Following the deadly attack on a Naval reserve center in Chattanooga, Rhodes issued a blistering critique of the Pentagon for failing to allow armed servicemen at recruitment centers and told Oath Keepers to take up station where they could.

"Go armed, at all times, as free men and women, and be ready to do sudden battle, anywhere, anytime, and with utter recklessness," he wrote on the organization's website. "That IS the price of freedom."

Patricia Bynes, Democratic Committeewoman of Ferguson Township, went to check on the protests early Tuesday and was surprised to find the Oath Keepers amid a heavy police presence.


"They just showed up, walking around carrying their assault rifles," she told NBC News. "There really was no need."

Bynes said the Oath Keepers' presence detracted from the real issues at heart: racial inequality.

"I would rather the story be on things we're working on in Ferguson and not the Oath Keepers," she said.

Several protesters asked the Oath Keepers to leave and questioned why the men were allowed to openly carry weapons given how protests over the past year have been to highlight racial inequality.

"If there were black and brown people in this country who showed up in the streets open carrying assault rifles in paramilitary garb would they still be received the same way?" Bynes asked. "It seems to be that especially when it comes to the Second Amendment there seems to be a different way that it is enforced."

The commiteewoman said that police did not confront the Oath Keepers — which hit to the core of the issues.

"There were two blocks of police. They saw them," she said. "It's more about the hypocrisy. Of wow, if anybody out here tried that they'd be met with a different greeting from police."

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Tensions flare in Ferguson under state of emergency, dozens arrested 2:00
One Oath Keeper who identified himself as "John" acknowledged that if the average protester was armed in a similar way "it might invite some problems" but told NBC News that he and the others were "just Americans trying to keep our fellow men safe."

John said the group was w
0 Replies
 
RABEL222
 
  3  
Reply Tue 11 Aug, 2015 01:16 pm
@edgarblythe,
Look at the middle east, Iraq, Syria, Turkey and all the militias shooting indiscriminately at each other and anything that moves. Do you think this is something the U S needs to straighten it out? Maybe we can give these guys swords so they can behead anyone who voted for Obama. Or better yet give them nukes to drop where ever they want.
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Tue 11 Aug, 2015 03:28 pm
@RABEL222,
All enemies foreign and domestic, right? Send them to Syria with their bushmasters and let them deal with ISIS. What? They might shoot back ? ! ? ! ?
RABEL222
 
  2  
Reply Tue 11 Aug, 2015 10:19 pm
@Setanta,
Quote:
They might shoot back ? ! ? ! ?


Yep your right. This will stop all those second amendment heroes.
0 Replies
 
glitterbag
 
  2  
Reply Sat 15 Aug, 2015 07:38 pm
I want to address this newest group of seditionists who don't believe in government, but will agree to be lead by Christ only knows who. I'll be back.
0 Replies
 
 

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