The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Oath Keepers to Form ‘Civilization Preservation’ Teams in Anticipation of Societal Collapse

By Ryan Lenz on October 2, 2013 - 4:55 pm, Posted in Militias, New World Order

The Oath Keepers are going operational.

An article posted to the group’s website Tuesday announced the formation of “Civilization Preservation” units, basely loosely on the organization of U.S. Special Forces teams, to provide “community security and support during crisis” – but also “to assist in forming and training town and county militias.”

These comically named 12-person teams would consist of two communications experts, two medics, two combat engineers, two weapons experts, two operations leaders, a commander and his assistant – positions that would be filled by the law enforcement officers and former military personnel who comprise the Oath Keepers. The Oath Keepers imagines that these units would be  scattered across the country, working with other veterans organizations such as the VFW, American Legion and Marine Corps League, to lead communities “in resistance to oppressive regimes.”

“They can fight, of course,” the e-mail says. “But they are most dangerous as a force-multiplier by helping an entire community to fight.”

It’s the first time the Oath Keepers, part of the antigovernment “Patriot” movement, has moved in the direction of actually establishing any sort of militia or fighting force of its own. While the group’s rallies are sure to bring a fair share of wild conspiracy theories and weapons, Oath founder Stewart Rhodes has heretofore dismissed criticisms of the group by saying the fears that are central to the group’s very identity – all centered around the idea that some sort of tyrannical “New World Order” is looming – are merely hypothetical worries.

With the formation of these units, it seems, Rhodes and his 30,000-plus Oath Keepers have dumped the theoretical in favor of practical preparation for some post-apocalyptic world when the fabric of American civilization begins to fray. The effort also seems to represent a more radical turn for the group.

Signs of the radicalization appeared earlier this year during the debate over gun control following several mass shootings. As the White House worked to enact new gun restrictions, the Oath Keepers responded to the “disarmament freaks” by announcing rallies at the nation’s state houses to warn lawmakers that they would be “held accountable if they choose to dishonor” their oath to the Constitution. Even before that, in December, Rhodes drafted a manifesto entitled “My Personal Pledge of Resistance Against Any Attempt to Disarm Us by Means of an ‘Assault Weapons Ban.’”

“It is the height of Orwellian perversion of language and logic to say that disarming you of the most effective arms for combat that you still have is somehow not really disarming you, because you still have hunting rifles and shotguns,” Rhodes wrote. “And you can bet that if you let them take away your military semi-autos, next on their list will be bolt action rifles, which they will call ‘sniper rifles’ (and by God, that is certainly what they are good for!).”

But that pales in comparison to what Rhodes has now endorsed.

“We will … be force multipliers to help prepare communities so they can preserve civilization by providing their own security, disaster relief, infrastructure preservation, emergency communications, strategic food reserve, and medical care,” the article continued.

What seems lost on the Oath Keepers, however, is that all of this preparation is already in place. It’s called the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Yes, the same FEMA that in the fevered imaginations of the Patriot movement’s most zealous followers is busily building concentration camps for political dissidents like Rhodes and his Oath Keepers.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    “I find these comments of inexperienced and unstable nuts to be a little confusing, since the majority of the Oath Keepers actually have experience and self discipline due to their training associated with being in the military, police departments, fire and rescue, and other fields.”

    I have military experience so I know that the idea that military = discipline is a joke. It’s getting worse as the pointless war drags on and the military finds ways to cut soldiers loose without their benefits.

    “Fear of our potential and not our actions seems to be the driving force behind the intolerance and childish name calling.”

    It’s actually quite simple. You guys didn’t pop up after the Constitution suffered its most serious blow in modern history back in 2002(Patriot act). You suddenly decided that the Constitution was in grave danger suspiciously around the time a Democrat got elected president, conveniently a time when many militia groups started popping up around the country. Can you not see why that arouses suspicion as to your claims of just wanting to defend the Constitution?

    “If these guys and gals are so dangerous, why is it that they are not just rounded up and removed from the equation? Is it because we are the people you would ask to have us removed?”

    Well that’s a funny question. First of all, there is no effort to remove you because the vast majority of you haven’t committed any crimes. In other words, the Federal government is clearly observing the Constitution. In fact, they are going beyond that because the military has some regulations against political action when wearing the uniform and when under military law you are not guaranteed certain constitutional rights such as the right of free speech. Despite this, the Federal Government has obviously not attempted to get the military to crack down on Oathkeepers despite the fact that they could.

    So the fact that you exist and aren’t being continually harassed by law enforcement(so long as you behave) is proof that the Constitution is being observed.

    “We are in every State in the Union and several countries. We are fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, sons, daughters, grand mothers, grand fathers and all of us are willing to defend the Constitution.”

    Why are you in other countries defending the US Constitution?

    “We are from all walks of life. We are in every aspect of society. From doctors to janitors, we are watching you. We train our families and friends to be self sufficient unlike you. We prepare for the worst and hope for the best, unlike you.”

    This is basically a veiled threat.

    ” We want nothing more than to uphold the Constitution and hold accountable those who would destroy it. We will not waiver from our mission and are willing to lay down our lives to protect this country as laid out by our founding fathers. Our Oaths do not expire.”

    See here’s the problem. First, who is trying to destroy the Constitution and what evidence do you have against them? Also, keep in mind that the Founding Fathers never intended for military personnel to interpret the constitution. That is is the job of the Supreme Court. So unless you happen to be on that court you will obey the orders of your superiors as it says in the oath you took when you enlisted.

  • aadila

    Oh, dear. It looks like Hawk-eye fancies himself the Lord Humungus.

  • Reynardine

    Hawkeye, you are a smirky little cyberstalker. I can’t tell the admins how to run the site, but neither they nor we are strangers to your kind. I’ve owned many a flop-eared, soft-eyed hound, and in the shadow of a second, they can turn more dangerous than a wolf. Don’t misjudge what you see.

  • Gregory

    It looks like hawk-eye is just another internet tuff guy.

    The first thought that struck me as I browsed the OK website is, what are the Oakies going to do when none of this happens? When no one comes for their guns? When no one orders them to fire on US citizens and when no one orders them to impose martial law? When no foreign troops are in the US, etc. etc? You know, when reality sets in.

    I would recommend to those who haven’t visited the main website to do so, not solely for the entertainment value but because the information on view makes liars of those who say that the Oakies are just another civic minded group.

    I also suspect that any active duty officers or senior noncommissioned officers who participate in this nonsense will probably find it to be a career killer. There have always been barracks lawyers, but the Oakies take to the next level.

  • aadila

    @Larry

    “Oath Keepers has never said anything about “seizing power” or being a “parallel government.” This recent emphasis on emergency preparedness is just that – emergency preparedness.”

    And that emergency is the loss of an election to the Democrats? Please.

    “People distrust FEMA with good reason. Hurricaine Katrina was a complete Charlie-Foxtrot. Training local communities to take care of themselves rather than waiting for “help” from FEMA is just good sense.”

    A truism. Your organization did not take shape until three years later, a month after Obama’s inauguration, and is by anyone’s description a far right, political organization which formed around right wing hysteria over Obama. The fact that Obama has not done any of the awful things you feared utterly discredited your movement, so now you have to rescue your credibility by claiming mere civic interest in disaster relief.

    But if you are concerned with disaster relief, which would affect anyone of any poltical persuasion, why so one sided in your politics?

  • hawk-eye

    Reynardine,
    When did I tell you to trust me? I don’t ask/tell anyone to trust me. Once someone gets to know me, they make up their own mind.

    Where did I say you were nuts? quote please.

    I lied/ bullied you how? examples not sensational misrepresentations. If my statements were received as bullying, then you must one of those hyper sensitive types. They have medications that help with that now.

    Stay out of your way? really? That is all you have? Or what? You will throw some tofu at me?

    Sounds like I hit a nerve. Very telling. And to think, I didn’t even try.

    I bet you don’t have the guts to post this either.

  • aadila

    Oh, I’m sorry Hawk-eye. My bad. Must be too much flouride in my water.

  • aadila

    “I seriously doubt you’ve ever met Stewart Rhodes, let alone asked him either one of those questions, but if you had, you would have certainly received a response”

    He has had an opportunity to respond to the criticism levied against him on this site.

    “First, what is your definition of an ‘extremist’?”

    Belief in and support for ideas that are very far from what most people consider correct or reasonable – e.g. that the election of Obama represented a takeover of the white house by a Crypto-Muslim, Marxist, Manchurian Candidate, Kenyan with a falsified birth certificate, whose election was rigged by Zionists, and whose secret agenda was to hand over American sovereignty to the United Nations and/or Islamic terrorists, and to prepare for massive incarceration of the Republicans in stadiums and FEMA camps.
    “Is it the same as the SPLC’s?”

    Yes.

    “Because they seem to think anyone who supports gun rights is somehow “radicalized”.”

    Not true.

    “You say the organization attracts extremists but how is your view anything more than baseless opinion supported by zero experience?”

    Again not true, the link has been shown on this site.

    “Second, when has Oath Keepers ever called for a “parallel government”?”

    Direct quote from Stewart Rhodes: “We know that if the day should come where a full-blown dictatorship would come, or tyranny … it can happen [only] if those men, our brothers in arms, go along and comply with unconstitutional, unlawful orders. … Imagine if we focus on the police and military. Game over for the New World Order.” This sort of alarmist rhetoric and the organization of police and military into groups whose purpose is defiance of the government is exactly the scenario seen in the formation of right wing shadow governments that turn into dictatorships throughout the world. We already HAVE a legitimate emergency response system run by legitimate government officials; a quasi-military system of politicized private citizens who hate Obama is not only redundant but a threat to democracy.

    “If a government, any government, no longer represents the will of the common man, and instead serves the purposes of only a select few, then why should people continue to support or rely on that government.”

    Because the founders foresaw this risk and wisely created a system of checks and balances to ensure that the government does represent the will of the common man. Thus far, it has worked. Our government never was intended to make everybody happy, but saying a government is no longer worthy of support or confidence simply because your guy didn’t get elected is a statement of absolute ignorance of our country and the Constitution.

  • Reynardine

    Hawkeye, whatever the Hell you think you’re watching, you’ve never wasted a glance on the Constitution. You tell us we’re nuts for not trusting you, and then you tell us you’re watching us and you’ll win. If there’s anything I have greater contempt for than a lying bully, it’s a bullying liar. Regard for our Hays office curtails any more description of you. Just stay the Fox News out of the way of any of us..

  • hawk-eye

    aadilla,

    Do you have much experience with drug resistant diseases? Expression of hate? Really? Where did that l come from? Sounds like a case of projecting your hatred at us due to you own insecurities.

    Tofu? Seriously? Sounds like a weak attempt to say something whitty and pseudo-educated, but obviously fell short.

    It is easy to blame some group for your shortcommings. I hope you get the gelp you need.

  • aadila

    Hawk-eye, equating your movement to a drug-resistant disease, which constantly mutates and grows stronger with every attempt to limit its spread, does little to alleviate concerns about the menace the Oath Keepers represents to America. In fact your entire tirade reads as an expression of hate against the American people, and if you are sincerely interested in preserving the good name of your organization, you might consider that whatever you think you are doing here, you are only confirming there is every reason to be concerned more about you than whatever apocalyptic vision of tofu, blue helments and rainbow flags that frightens you.

  • hawk-eye

    I find these comments of inexperienced and unstable nuts to be a little confusing, since the majority of the Oath Keepers actually have experience and self discipline due to their training associated with being in the military, police departments, fire and rescue, and other fields.

    Fear of our potential and not our actions seems to be the driving force behind the intolerance and childish name calling.

    If these guys and gals are so dangerous, why is it that they are not just rounded up and removed from the equation? Is it because we are the people you would ask to have us removed? For each of the Oath Keepers you want to deamonize and marganalize, there are 10 who support us. The more you complain and whine about us, the stronger we become.

    We are in every State in the Union and several countries. We are fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, sons, daughters, grand mothers, grand fathers and all of us are willing to defend the Constitution.

    We are from all walks of life. We are in every aspect of society. From doctors to janitors, we are watching you. We train our families and friends to be self sufficient unlike you. We prepare for the worst and hope for the best, unlike you.

    Somewhere it is written,”give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. teach him to fish and he can feed himself for a lifetime”. or something like that. Get the point? We have a vast collection of skills we teach others, the least of which are firearm related.

    Call us what you will, but we cannot be silenced or shamed, or stopped. We want nothing more than to uphold the Constitution and hold accountable those who would destroy it. We will not waiver from our mission and are willing to lay down our lives to protect this country as laid out by our founding fathers. Our Oaths do not expire.

    We are everywhere. We are everyone. We will win.

  • Gregory

    @Rick

    From Wikipedia: The Oath Keepers were founded on March 2009 by Stewart Rhodes and incorporated in Las Vegas, Nevada as a non-profit corporation.[3][

    March, 2009. Shortly after Obama was inaugurated, 3 1/2 years after Katrina. Coincidence? I think not.

  • aadila

    In reply to the others, sorry I must be brief, but I will attempt to address your rebuttal later today.

    Again and again Oath Keepers state something to the effect of what James Bettes said: “No recruiting of militias is allowed on the site, and people with extremist talk, or plans are removed from the group. We do not want to take over anything, but plan on being prepared if the worst were to happen.”

    The point is, Lions Club or other such civic minded groups don’t have this problem of extremists knocking on their doors, trying to recruit for what appear to be anti-government militias, and/or other such plans that the Oath Keepers turn away.

    So while I applaud the Oath Keepers for turning these people away, obviously there is something about the organization which draws them in numbers significant enough to be of concern. My point is, why are they coming to the Oath Keepers in the first place? Obviously the ideology and mindset of militaristic, right wing hardline paranoia is just as appealing to people like Timothy McVeigh as it is to Stewart Rhodes. Whatever thin layer of legitimacy the organization seeks to maintain (i.e. denial of this problem) does not encourage me to believe that the Oath Keepers are anything but an inch away from becoming like the worst of the worst.

  • AFG Veteran

    I read their site… wow. I have held many of the weapons and practiced the skills fantasized about on the OK webpage, except I was in the U.S. military training for Afghan deployment. Having these undisciplined and unstable G.I. Joe enthusiasts running around my community would worry me… a lot.

    Mix their “passion” with a lack of experience and judgement…. throw in a little disinformation and conspiracy theory… and deck them out with civilian “tactical” gear. My jaw dropped.

    My first reaction is to laugh at them… but then I get very concerned…

  • James P Jr Bettes

    I have been following Oath Keepers for a while now, and some of the ideas people have about them are completely wrong. No recruiting of militias is allowed on the site, and people with extremist talk, or plans are removed from the group. We do not want to take over anything, but plan on being prepared if the worst were to happen.
    Some of the replies to this topic are a lot more radical then any of the viewpoints I have seen in OK forums.
    If being prepared for a natural, or man made disaster, wanting to support the letter and law of the Constitution, or learning to protect myself, my friends, and my family is radical to you, I feel one of us has a problem, and it is not I.
    For those who say “oh, that’s what FEMA is for” have you ever been in a situation where you had to rely on them for something? Have you not paid attention to the absolutely horrible responses to disasters they have had?
    I do not hold with any of the extremist viewpoints, either Left, or Right, Democrat, or Republican. Yes, I am a veteran, and I swore an oath to protect and defend the Constitution and our Republic against any enemies, foreign or domestic. I will not help, nor will I stand by and watch anyone attempt to overthrow the government. I vote, I regularly contact my representatives on matters, and I am not afraid to give my opinion when a politician screws up, be they Republican, Democrat, or Independent, and I won’t stand by and watch ANY politician violate our Constitutional RIGHTS.
    If any of this makes me a nutcase, conspiracy theorist, whack job, or whatever name you put on me, maybe you should reexamine your own thought processes.

  • http://www.indianaok.org Rick

    I’m the Indiana forum moderator for Oath Keepers. Put down your torches and pitchforks.

    We are an organization of people that feel it is long past time to band our neighbors together in mutual aid. Neighborhood watches, food banks, and yes, God forbid, it comes to it, mutual defense. We are well within our rights to do each of these things, and not a one of them even approaches ‘radical.’ And we are NOT a ‘parallel government.’ Our entire mission statement is to remind everyone that took an oath to protect, preserve, and defend the Constitution to do so. Now, I’m sorry, but if that’s radical, so be it.
    Oath Keepers was formed shortly after Hurricane Katrina to ensure that the abuses of Federal and local law enforcement never happened again on American soil. Our mission is what we call “RTI:” Reach, Teach, and Inspire.” We are NOT a bunch of redneck wackos running around waving guns. We have tried very hard to establish and maintain standards of conduct far above that. We have shown some people the door over it.
    I was once a member of the SPLC. I still believe wholeheartedly in the Civil Rights movement. I cannot support you anymore because you want to take mine.

  • Larry

    aadila said:

    “The other issue, which I raised before and the Oath Keepers also do not respond to, is why do we need a parallel government ready to seize power in case the legitimate government fails? What exactly distinguishes that form of mobilization from an insurrectionist, rebellious, anti-government extremist group? Again, there is no answer.

    Until such questions as these are answered, I think that the Justice Department needs to keep very close tabs on the doings of these groups and be ready to intervene at the first sign of violence: as it stands now, the Oath Keepers are inching closer and closer to armed rebellion/revolution/insurrection against the public power and this is worrisome.”

    I’m an Oath Keeper, and I am not afraid to answer your questions.

    “why do we need a parallel government ready to seize power in case the legitimate government fails?”

    Oath Keepers has never said anything about “seizing power” or being a “parallel government.” This recent emphasis on emergency preparedness is just that – emergency preparedness.

    People distrust FEMA with good reason. Hurricaine Katrina was a complete Charlie-Foxtrot. Training local communities to take care of themselves rather than waiting for “help” from FEMA is just good sense.

  • Charles J. Gleaves

    Read my article under Charles j. Gleaves, we have secret societies running our gov.

  • Brandon Smith

    aadila,

    I seriously doubt you’ve ever met Stewart Rhodes, let alone asked him either one of those questions, but if you had, you would have certainly received a response.

    First, what is your definition of an “extremist”? Is it the same as the SPLC’s? Because they seem to think anyone who supports gun rights is somehow “radicalized”. You say the organization attracts extremists but how is your view anything more than baseless opinion supported by zero experience?

    Second, when has Oath Keepers ever called for a “parallel government”? Show me an example. They have called for average Americans to take their survival imperative into their own hands rather than relying on the currently faulty government. To suggest that average people becoming more independent and self sustaining is akin to “insurrection” is pure sensationalism.

    Also, my question to you would be, if a government, any government, no longer represents the will of the common man, and instead serves the purposes of only a select few, then why should people continue to support or rely on that government?

  • Johnny Alinsky Appleseed

    It’s just community organizing. Move along— nothing to see here.

  • http://www.timothyhorrigan.com Timothy Horrigan

    so, basically the Oath Keepers are community organizers?

  • MRJ

    “Molon Labe”

    The utter idiocy of the comparisons of the Spartans at Thermopylae to contemporary America and divisive politics still manages to astound me: I wish they would pick a deity, or an historical event, and stick with it.
    The Spartan codes/lifestyles and gods were trampled just like all of the rest.
    An aside: Funny, you don’t see them comparing themselves to Masada, Lodz, or Warsaw, or even Jericho… hmmmmmm… I wonder why.
    Ans: Those were real.

    They’re comparing themselves to Spartans?
    Inclusive in the word is a frugality far and beyond what any of them can even consider a Lifestyle (oops… wrong brand) in this day and age.

    Again, they’re all following Mao’s writings to a Tea… ummmm… “T”.
    You notice how they’re all self styled cadre as officers, or leaders?
    What happens when someone doesn’t want to charge the Bradley they’re up against, and decides he’s had enough of some idiot who owned a State Farm insurance agency, or a Towing company, telling him to “die for his country” in the face of a 20 mm chain gun?
    Summary execution?
    I see a constant chain of fraggings.

    “We will … be force multipliers to help prepare communities so they can preserve civilization by providing their own security, disaster relief, infrastructure preservation, emergency communications, strategic food reserve, and medical care,”

    Notice there is no Real logistics or supply consideration: who’s really going to feed them if it becomes a protracted event?
    Who’s going to feed their family and kids?
    Is every farmer in America of the same mind-set? Who’s going to pick the crops?
    Do they really think that the dollar store is going to keep selling them batteries and toilet paper if the roads are closed due to either side blocking commerce?
    Do they really think a trucker is going to drive into what might be considered a war zone or an area prone to hijacking if his own children depend on him to provide?
    How would they even pay them?
    In the events they envision, their gold hoarding will mean absolutely nothing: there is absolutely no nutritional value in a bar of gold, and any paper currency will be absolutely worthless except as toilet paper.
    How many of them remember the carnage (or even know about it because many of them were infants at the time) of the retreat in the first Gulf War?
    Do they want that in their communities?
    If the initial conflicts occur, how many of them are going to run out of basic necessities in the first three days? You can only carry so many MREs or rolls of toilet paper: after that, they’re on their own.
    You can’t eat web gear or ammunition.
    Like the Viet Cong, are they going to turn to terror tactics to gain “the hearts and minds” of a local populace to supply them food and shelter if they can’t get everyone on their side?
    Chieu Hoi.
    “Taxes” in the form of food stuffs from people who might be similarly armed, and want no part of seeing their family go without because these others were stupid enough to pick a fight with a government that has smart bombs, and has shut off the power, stopped the cell towers from operating, are jamming their HAM sets, etc.?
    You know, their kids can’t watch “Veggie Tales” if there is no power.
    You can’t cook if there is no gas: when was the last time anyone saw a real cook stove other than a museum or an Amish community?
    How many of them, stacked up, are going to supply an entire community?
    When was the last time most of them saw a real suction pump well, and how many of them are required to supply an entire town, county, or State?
    How many cracking towers or casting foundries do they have on their street?
    How many batteries or generators?
    Paper mills? Textile mills? Tires? Ball bearings?
    Who is their Speer?
    Who chooses who goes with, and who without, and how are they going to enforce it if they’re all armed?

    Anarchy.

    What’s the first thing to take out in a military engagement?
    Infrastructure.
    In the first hours/day of the “shock and awe” campaign in Iraq, the US military did absolute and total damage to everything in the above quotes: something the Iranians could not do in ten years of protracted war.
    Do they really think they have even one tenth of the capabilities of the Iranian Army and Air Force?

    You know, even though Washington wasn’t stupid, his soldiers seriously suffered at Valley Forge: that whole blood stained rags, marching through the snow will come pretty fast when the gasoline supplies are gone… while their children die because the hospitals have no supplies or power if there is even a small out-break of the flu.
    Can they actually provide things like insulin or penicillin which have very, very limited shelf life or require constant refrigeration: or do they just expect people to watch loved ones die just because of their own personal hatred and GOOOH rhetoric?
    30,000?
    The British army lost 60,000 in the first day/week of the Somme: that was 1916, with an entire industrialized nations economy supplying them and behind them.
    What in the hull are they thinking?

    Scratch this whole “repressive regime” and “breakdown of civilization” and you get blatant racism: who are they really going to be “defending” “their” communities against?
    “City people.”
    Reinstatement of Sundown towns, and Bosnia in America.

    Sorry, just had another one of them stop by to rub his “politics” in my face: had to vent.

  • Sandra c

    Well, there art no new concentration camps but there is an old abandoned concentration camp out in the desert not too far from Death Valley. That is one of the places where the Japanese were placed in WWII so millionaires could steal their homes and farms. Maybe we could round up the Oathkeepers and put them there. A great place for the whole bunch of fascists that can’t get over the fact that Obama won. Then the rest of us can get on and move forward.

  • Franklin

    To summarize: Big boys and their toys + paranoid schizophrenics = Oath keepers

  • hawk-eye

    The article and most of the comments sound as if someone is afraid of these guys.

    I mean cops, firefighters, and former and current military willing to actively train others on how to be self sufficient in a disaster, what monsters.

  • What?

    I find it ironic that these nut bags are trying to protect us from “opressive regimes”, when the only one of those we have right now is the Tea Party members in Congress that are holding 800,000 people’s livelihoods hostage.

  • RICHARD BAKER

    What is it with the moral(?) right. Are they all a self fulling prophecy of the Book of Revelations?

  • Andrew

    If someone truly wanted to help their community be prepared for an emergency, they should join their local volunteer fire department, join the national guard, or volunteer for the Red Cross. I fail to see how running around in the woods playing Rambo is going to help a community. The Oath Keepers are nuts.

  • John H

    Sounds like something “Chief” Kessler could join when he gets fired as the chief of a one-man police force for threatening members of the borough council. Of course he will have to seize back all the weapons he “donated” to the burg. He only has one AK47 in his personal arsenal.

  • aadila

    Old Fashioned, I don’t know your politics, but I do agree with you on this point. Oath Keepers may well include some genuinely civic minded people who are concerned enough about their society to band together, which is in itself not a problem.

    But what separates Oath Keepers from Lions Club is that not only do these people care enough about their neighborhoods to see what can be done about making them better, is that there are any number of quite possibly dangerous and lunatic fanatics who feel like they finally found a home for their extremist views. This is a far cry from civic concern.

    I posed this question to the Oath Keepers founder: if your group is not riddled with nutty extremists, why is it the Lions Club or Rotary — also filled with conservative retirees — never seems to attract the dangerous, violent extremist types. What is it exactly about the gun that incites people to violence? And of course, I get no reply…

    The other issue, which I raised before and the Oath Keepers also do not respond to, is why do we need a parallel government ready to seize power in case the legitimate government fails? What exactly distinguishes that form of mobilization from an insurrectionist, rebellious, anti-government extremist group? Again, there is no answer.

    Until such questions as these are answered, I think that the Justice Department needs to keep very close tabs on the doings of these groups and be ready to intervene at the first sign of violence: as it stands now, the Oath Keepers are inching closer and closer to armed rebellion/revolution/insurrection against the public power and this is worrisome.

  • metaphorge

    I was wondering how long it would take someone on the right to get serious about forming a paramilitary group. We’ll have to see what Stewart and the gang can manifest in reality, but I am pretty unthrilled. If I didn’t know any better I’d say someone was dreaming of a coup….

  • OldFashionedAmericanValues

    These folks need to be watched. Most are blowhards, but some might just be crazy enough. If you know them… ask questions, keep your judgement to yourself… and learn.

  • Reynardine

    At present, there are reports of gunfire outside the Capitol, which is on lockdown. No details yet.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Armed men “preserving civilization?” Sounds like a state to me. Besides, the American Legion has a LOOONG history of flirting with fascism.

  • supersonic250

    David M.:

    The SPLC’s only purview is tracking and exposing extremist groups, and representing oppressed victims. They have no official opinion on FEMA or anything else unrelated to hate groups, the radical right, religious nutjobs, and sovereign citizens.

    As for the Oath Keepers, I’d rather trust the government to take care of me rather than a bunch of idiots with guns who want to overthrow it at the merest excuse to do so. Given the choice of FEMA or the Keepers… I’d go to the ones who wouldn’t shoot me for being an atheist liberal.

  • Andrew

    For group that is suppose to be made up of law enforcement officers, they sure do seem to hate cops.

  • Pvt. Meekly

    Well, well. “Civilization Preservation”. Sounds more like somebody peed their pants.

  • Sam Molloy

    I read their plans on their web site and it seems they are concerned with the absolute breakdown of the existing government ( not the current stageplay of a “shutdown”). They are not proposing a takeover of the government like the so called Patriot groups. In fact their idea of a loose knit organization of citizens that still believe in human rights, with the help of what’s left of law enforcement, would be in a position to protect us from those radical elements in the Patriot groups.

  • Gregory

    So the Oakies want to be an altenative to FEMA? If that is the case then they have chosen an odd organizational strategy to achieve those goals.

    The main mission of Special Forces A Teams is to train and lead unconventional warfare (UW) forces, or a clandestine guerrilla force in an occupied nation. Disaster preparation, response and recovery is not what these teams are about.

    This development should give reason for concern.

  • Aron

    David M, since I’m sure you’re just a drive-by, I don’t expect a response.

    But I think you have the SPLC mixed up with some other organization. They look out for radical rightists such as yourself. And if you actually believe these new Oak Peeker ODAs will actually accomplish ANYTHING, you’re a bigger idiot than you appear.

  • Reynardine

    Hey, Aron, that’s great!

  • concernedcitizen

    Erika that is very funny, and I agree with your statement.

    You mean they are forming groups like the ones that started forming after the Katrina mess? Taking matters into their own hands when we had people shooting innocent citizens because they were black?

    You mean that sort of organization? I get very concerned when people start taking matters into their own hands, especially when they are stock piling weapons. Real leadership needs to include those that know the law in order to keep the lawless in check. Otherwise we may have individuals out there trying to circumvent what’s legal and not legal…that is a formula for more disaster and violence.

  • CM

    This is like Alaric the Visigoth offering to preserve the Roman Empire.

    Alaric was a veteran of the Roman army, so he would have to have sworn an oath of loyalty to the emperor, but that didn’t stop him from sacking Rome later on. Seems like the Oath Keepers may have a similar attitude toward their oaths to preserve, protect and defend the U.S. – they appear to be willing to destroy the country to “save” it.

  • Shar

    I think I will take my bottled water from the Red Cross, thanks.

  • Aron

    So now they’re creating Special Forces ODAs? Actually I sort of wish they were forming A-Teams. I mean, that theme song was fantastic (http://youtube.com/watch?v=_MV.....MVonyVSQoM), and the van kicked every kind of arse EVER (https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/a/a0/A-TeamVan.jpg).

    I mean, I would totally be willing to sell my zoomy little Mazdaspeed 3 for that van. And my Mom’s Prius. Though that goes without saying*.

    *Sorry for the somewhat drunky rambling. I was out celebrating having just re-entered the workforce after nearly a year of unemployment. Whee!!!

  • Sherrie Moon Meyer

    Oops. I just sent an email on the site “contact” page about this group becoming operational. Guess I should have read the Hatewatch Blog first. Sounds like you are not concerned about them. Am I wrong to be concerned? They claim to have 30,000members, including active military and police. Seems to me that number of people with access to thousands of weapons could cause some real problems. Add to that the sympathizing, gun toting tea partiers and the number increases.

  • David M.

    It’s not surprising that the SPLC hates this idea. After all, the SPLC is an organization of statists who will defend government regardless of corruption and criminality. Average Americans taking community preparedness into their own hands instead of relying on FEMA, which has a dismal track record? We can’t have that now can we!

    The nanny state is the SPLC’s dream. This is why they will always move to demonize actions by regular citizens to become more independent and self-sustaining. If Oath Keepers ends up establishing an affective alternative to FEMA, then ultimately, what is the harm? America was built upon competition, after all, and if Oath Keepers is able to do the job better, then they should.

  • aadila

    If there was ever a need for black helicopters to round these people up and put them in FEMA camps, this is the moment.

  • Erika

    Maybe they know something that the rest of us don’t about how long the Congressional Republicans are going to keep the federal government shut down.