Oath Keepers is a non-partisan association of currently serving military, veterans, and peace officers who will fulfill their sworn oath to “support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, so help me God.”
I recently learned about Stewart Rhodes, a Yale-educated lawyer. Stewart served on the staff of Texas Congressman Ron Paul until after the 2008 elections. While he was there, he formed a new idea. Seeing the fast encroaching totalitarianism infecting the Federal Government, he correctly concluded that without willing and compliant military, combined with local law enforcement personnel, the tyrants among us could not subjugate the American populace.
So, Stewart founded Oath Keepers.
There is a debate within the ranks of the military regarding their oath. Some mistakenly believe they must follow any order the President issues. But many others do understand that their loyalty is to the Constitution and to the people, and understand what that means.
Their oath is to the Constitution, not to the politicians, and not to any political party. In the long-standing tradition of the U.S. military, they are apolitical. They don’t care if unlawful orders come from a Democrat or a Republican, or if the violation is bi-partisan. They will not obey unconstitutional (and thus unlawful) and immoral orders, such as orders to disarm the American people or to place them under martial law. They won’t “just follow orders.” Their motto: “Not on Our Watch!” or to put it even more succinctly, in the words of Lt. General Harry Kinnard, in response to a WWII German order to surrender, “NUTS!”
There are thousands of active duty and veteran military joining Oath Keepers, as well as active duty and retired law enforcement officers.
Each person entering the US military swears this oath:
“I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”
(Title 10, US Code: Act of 5 May 1960 replacing the wording first adopted in 1789, with amendment effective 5 October 1962).
Many law enforcement personnel also take an oath much like the military oath.
Notice that, above all, the oath-taker swears to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. He swears true faith and allegiance to the Constitution, not the Commander-in-Chief. Only after that affirmation does the oath to obey orders of the President and superior officers appear in the body of the oath. A soldier who obeys an order that violates the Constitution commits treason against the Constitution. An officer who issues a direct order that violates the Constitution issues an unlawful order, and the order should be ignored.
I submit to you that a soldier that understands the depth of his oath cannot lawfully and constitutionally follow the orders to deploy to an undeclared war anywhere in the world. Nor could he obey an order that would violate the rights of an American citizen. Soldiers who truly understood their oath have a duty to disobey unlawful orders, even if it meant prosecution under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
“No man is above the law and no man is below it: nor do we ask any man’s permission when we ask him to obey it.”
~President Theodore Roosevelt
Every President of the United States must take the following oath of office as set forth in the US Constitution, Article II, Section 1:
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Any President that commits an act subverting the Constitution commits treason against the Constitution. Can you count the number of acts committed by the last six Presidents? The number would stagger the memory of your calculator.
Under Article 4, Section 4, the Federal Government must defend the states against invasion:
“The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.”
There is a deep debate today in America on Article 4. Many today believe that the Federal Government may take unconstitutional measures to “protect…against invasion…and against domestic violence.” So, now we have the Patriot Act and the Department of Homeland Security. Oath Keepers believe in the rule of law.
Any law or regulation that undermines the Oath of Office or the duty of the Federal Government under Article 4 shall be considered unconstitutional and each person has a duty to ignore that law.
“The clearest way to show what the rule of law means to us in everyday life is to recall what has happened when there is no rule of law.”
~ President Dwight David Eisenhower
Allow me to compare today’s American political reality with J.R.R. Tolkein’s stories of the Kingdom of Middle Earth.
Washington DC is Mordor, the very center of evil. Sauron, the all-seeing eye, is the Federal Government. Sauron seeks to rule the world. But, recently, the gaze of the all-seeing eye has been turned inward on Middle Earth. He seeks out those who he considers a threat to his power. The only way that Sauron can conquer Middle Earth is to send forth his army of Orcs. Orcs are often portrayed as beings with brutal, warmongering tendencies, although in some instances are described as a proud warrior race with a strong sense of honor.
That description of Orcs accurately describes some of today’s military and law enforcement communities. There are many that will obey Sauron’s orders, and try to subjugate American citizens. But if the military and law enforcement rise up and refuse to obey unlawful orders, the ability of Sauron to conquer will be diminished and could evaporate.
Oath Keepers speak directly to those members of the military and law enforcement that still have a conscience. They are having remarkable success with military and law enforcement veterans and retirees, since those individuals are free of the orders of superiors. However, there are many that are still on active duty that must protect their identities against persecution and/or termination. Still, those secret Oath Keepers exist in growing numbers.
It is the military and law enforcement that can stand in between the citizen and the tyrant. Time will tell just how many of them will stand for the rule of law and forsake the rule of men.
To learn more about Oath Keepers, go to: http://oath-keepers.blogspot.com/