PRESS RELEASE, OATH KEEPERS, INC.
April 12, 2010
Las Vegas, Nevada
Oath Keepers withdraws from Virginia Open Carry Rally
The Board of Directors of Oath Keepers, Inc. has decided against participating in the “Restore the Constitution” rally in Virginia near Washington D.C. scheduled for April 19, 2010. That rally is organized by a very honorable U.S. Marine Corps veteran who saw combat in Iraq, and who is also a patriotic member in Oath Keepers. The organizer is Daniel Almond of the Georgia Oath Keepers Chapter. Oath Keepers salutes Daniel Almond for organizing this pro-Constitution rally.
Oath Keepers endorses Americans’ protected right to keep, and bear, arms. In keeping with our stance, Oath Keepers’ representatives have recently performed oath ceremonies at open-carry rallies at several State capitols, including before the capitol buildings in Kentucky and Montana. We fully support the right of Americans to peaceably assemble and publicly exercise their right to bear arms right along with their right to free speech, association, and to petition their government for a redress of grievances.
However, because of published statements by some participants in the upcoming Virginia rally, Oath Keepers as an organization feels that a confrontational stance, such as has been published, places this event, in public perception, outside the terms of our stated and published mission. The mission of Oath Keepers is not to confront the government. Instead, our mission is to reach out to people within government – to police, military, firefighters and first responders – to teach them about their obligations under the oath they took to defend the Constitution, to increase their knowledge of the Constitution, and to inspire them to defend it by refusing to obey unconstitutional, unlawful orders. That’s it. And if we can reach enough of them with that message, it could prevent possible future egregious violations of the Bill of Rights in a very peaceful way. Confronting the government is not included in the Oath Keepers stated and published mission and as an educational organization focused on the current serving, Oath Keepers refrains from confrontation in deed and rhetoric.
Oath Keepers wishes Daniel Almond and all his supporters a fruitful and meaningful rally. Oath Keepers is not asking our membership to withdraw from attendance, but Oath Keepers is formally asking all Oath Keeper members who attend to do so as individuals, not as representatives of Oath Keepers. We are further requesting that Oath Keeper gear and garments not be worn at this event.
Oath Keepers shall, as planned, participate in the Washington D.C. Second Amendment March on April 19 (www.secondamendmentmarch.com) and shall offer the public an Oath Keepers ceremony in which citizens can themselves stand and reverently take an oath to defend the Constitution right along with current and prior service police, military, and fire personnel (who will be renewing their oaths), all together as patriotic Americans. Please see our banner announcement for this march in Washington D.C. on April 19, 2010, at www.oathkeepers.org
Stewart Rhodes, Founder and National President, Oath Keepers, Inc.
Update on Withdrawing From April 19, 2010 Restore the Constitution Rally.
1. We have no “secret intel” about the Restore the Constitution rally.
There have been accusations by some that Oath Keepers has “secret intel” about potential problems at the open carry Restore the Constitution rally scheduled for tomorrow, April 19, 2010, and that we are somehow withholding that info. So, I want to put that rumor to rest by making it absolutely clear that we DO NOT have any such “secret intel” about that event, and Daniel Almond, the event organizer, knows all we know about any info regarding his event (which should be no surprise, since it is his event). I was merely a scheduled speaker, until I withdrew. Thus, anyone who has questions about the Restore the Constitution rally should contact Daniel Almond directly. You can reach him at restoretheconstitution@ alarmandmuster.com He also posts updates and press releases at the official site for his rally at www.restoretheconstitution.wordpress.com/
If we here at Oath Keepers did have any intel come in, we would of course pass it on to Daniel immediately. But no new info, that Daniel is not already aware of, has come in.
Further, we are not discouraging people from going – they are welcome to attend as individuals. And I should reiterate that the reasons we decided to not attend as an organization had nothing to do with any possible problems at the event, but rather with some of the rhetoric being used by some of the speakers who will be there. Nor are we condemning that event or even condemning the points of view expressed by those speakers – it’s just not consistent with our mission of outreach to current serving, that’s all.
Then what intel did we get that contributed to our decision to withdraw from the rally? The reliable information that Oath keepers received revealed that:
2. Oath Keepers is now being targeted for a COINTELPRO style smear campaign by elements within the government to “make Oath Keepers look like a militia- like the Hutaree.”
We received very reliable info from a federal law enforcement officer that the political powers that be in Washington DC are not at all happy with our mission of outreaching to the current serving military and police about their oath (wow, what a surprise), so the marching orders have come down for at least one federal agency to “make Oath Keepers look like a militia – like the Hutaree.” Of course Oath Keepers is not a militia – we are not organizing an armed body of men “to take on the government” as has been alleged by corporate media talking heads. Instead, we are an association of police, military, firefighters, and first responders who are using our First Amendment protected right to free speech to reach out to other active duty police, military and first responders, reminding them of their oath and teaching them more about the Constitution they swore to defend. We encourage them to consider the constitutionality of any orders they receive while serving here on American soil, and we encourage them to refuse to follow orders that would violate the Constitution and especially the Bill of Rights. And that’s all we do. Pretty simple, really, and pretty hard to attack since it is well established in military law that military personnel have a duty to disobey unlawful orders and that any law (and thus any order) contrary to the Constitution is null and void from inception. Who could, in good faith, argue with that? In fact, the scuttle-butt is that most of the rank and file federal law enforcement field agents are on our side – no surprise considering they all swore the same oath we did.
And that is exactly what has the powers that be so upset. They prefer blind obedience and don’t want the police and military to think for themselves and they certainly don’t want them thinking about their oath, studying the Constitution, and weighing the constitutionality of orders. Fact is, they fear and hate Oath Keepers precisely because they don’t think individuals should ever refuse orders. Such elites are not comfortable with the long established Nuremberg principle that just following orders is no excuse (reiterated after the My Lai Massacre) , and they would prefer that police and military forget that history, forget that principle, and simply follow all orders. Thus, they fear the oath itself.
However, since they cannot successfully attack Oath Keepers directly for simply advocating that we all keep our oaths by following well established precedent (the Nuremberg Principle) and by following the supreme law of the land, they must twist and distort what we are about and even use agent provocateurs to make us “look like a militia.” The political elites and their Non Government Organization and Media fellow travelers know how to smear and attack militias. But they have no experience countering a group like ours. We present a particularly sticky problem for them. How can they directly attack what we are doing? They can’t. So that is why they are trying to make us out to be something we are not – a militia – so they can more easily deal with us.
We have already seen a full court press (pun intended) attack against us in the mainstream media, complete with Newsweek focusing on me in an article about “A Surge of Hate” (see http://www.newsweek.com/id/236202), but those media attacks really aren’t working, so now they have to bring in the big guns, with Bill Clinton, of all people, attacking Oath Keepers by name in several speeches and interviews (that’s when you know you are doing something right!) and with a focused government COINTELPRO style campaign to smear us.
To recap: The BOD decisions included these facts:
1. We need to make it hard, not easy, for those elements within government to accomplish their smear campaign. Since Oath Keepers is not a militia, but rather an outreach and educational organization focused on current serving police and military, if they want to portray us as a militia, the last thing we should do is give them a gift by speaking at an event that includes militia leaders as speakers and where the rhetoric from “some speakers ” is about warning the government that they will fight if necessary. We understand why those speakers are taking that stand, and don’t begrudge them doing so, but that is not our mission. Nor do we insist that our membership not attend that rally. They are welcome to do so, but as individuals and not as representatives of this organization.
2. The intel we had that affected our decision was about the government smear campaign against Oath Keepers, and not about the event itself. The government actually does fear our real mission and cannot confront it head on. They can only use lies to fight us and must “transform” our movement into something they can more easily deal with.
Our message is non-violent, lawful, and true to the Constitution. And it is something that the bad elements among the political elites don’t know how to deal with directly. We need to be aware of their goal – to make us look like a militia – and we need to make it difficult for them to do that by sticking to our mission of outreach to the current serving.
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