An invitation to soldiers and peace officers across the United States to pledge to refuse illegal orders – including "state of emergency" orders that could include disarming or detaining American citizens – has struck a chord, collecting more than 100,000 website visitors in a little over a week and hundreds of e-mails daily.
Spokesman Stewart Rhodes of Oath Keepers told WND his organization's goal is to remind military members their oath of allegiance is to the U.S. Constitution, not a particular president.
He said the organization deliberately does not collect the names of those who subscribe to Oath Keepers' beliefs because of their status mostly as active duty soldiers.
He told WND he is scheduled to talk about the issue on G. Gordon Liddy's radio program tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time, and he's begun working with "Gathering of Eagles" on several projects, including a Pro Troop Events gathering scheduled in Washington in June.
Rhodes said his goal is to "teach them more about what they swore to defend so they will be better able to see when an order violates the Constitution and the rights of the people, and is thus unlawful."
That review must be done immediately, so they have an opportunity to decide what is right and wrong and then to "steel their resolve to take a stand and do the right thing, whatever the cost," the organization says.
The founders, many of whom ended up active militarily in the revolution, rebelled "against the principle" that a king or parliament could rule them.
"That's where we are. We want to make sure men in the military understand in advance what the line is they won't cross," Rhodes said.
One testimonial posted by an active duty Army soldier, who was kept anonymous, said that message already has gotten through.
"I want you guys to know I'm with you 100 percent and so are a lot of my fellow soldiers. These kinds of discussions go on between us often, and we all know that we did not swear an oath to any politician (of either party)," he wrote.
"And just for the record not me or anyone else in my platoon would ever follow an order to disarm the American people," he wrote.
The organization describes itself as a non-partisan group of members of the military as well as peace officers "who will fulfill our oath to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, so help us God."
Among the orders the soldiers are pledging NOT to obey:
- We will NOT obey any order to disarm the American people. …
Any such order today would also be an act of war against the American
people, and thus an act of treason. We will not make war on our own
people, and we will not commit treason by obeying any such treasonous
- We will NOT obey any order to conduct warrantless searches of
the American people, their homes, vehicles, papers, or effects – such
as warrantless house-to house searches for weapons or persons. … We
expect that warrantless searches of homes and vehicles, under some
pretext, will be the means used to attempt to disarm the people.
- We will NOT obey any order to detain American citizens as
"unlawful enemy combatants" or to subject them to trial by military
tribunal. … Any attempt to apply the laws of war to American civilians,
under any pretext, such as against domestic "militia" groups the
government brands "domestic terrorists," is an act of war and an act of
- We will NOT obey orders to impose martial law or a "state of
emergency" on a state, or to enter with force into a state, without the
express consent and invitation of that state's legislature and
governor. … It is the militia of a state and of the several states that
the Constitution contemplates being used in any context, during any
emergency within a state, not the standing army.
- We will NOT obey orders to invade and subjugate any state that
asserts its sovereignty and declares the national government to be in
violation of the compact by which that state entered the Union.
- We will NOT obey any order to blockade American cities, thus
turning them into giant concentration camps. … Such tactics … by the
Nazis in the Warsaw Ghetto, and by the Imperial Japanese in Nanking,
turn[ed] entire cities into death camps. Any such order to disarm and
confine the people of an American city will be an act of war and thus
an act of treason.
- We will NOT obey any order to force American citizens into any
form of detention camps under any pretext. … Such a vile order to
forcibly intern Americans without charges or trial would be an act of
war against the American people, and thus an act of treason, regardless
of the pretext used.
- 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" during any emergency, or under any
other pretext. We will consider such use of foreign troops against our
people to be an invasion and an act of war.
- We will NOT obey any orders to confiscate the property of the American people, including food and other essential supplies, under any emergency pretext whatsoever.
- 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.
"We will not make war against our own people. We will not commit treason. We will defend the Republic," the organization's website states. "And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually affirm our oath and pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor."
Rhodes said the organization has not even had time to complete its website, but the word is spreading so quickly through its blog that thousands of people are investigating the site each day.
Plans had been to wait on the campaign until a website was established, but recent events accelerated the effort, he said.
One such situation was a training exercise planned by the National Guard in Iowa on which WND reported.
Rhodes said the effort is not a response to President Obama or his policies.
He said the accumulation of power in the executive branch in recent years has been alarming. The fears crystallized when Obama took office and suddenly had access to the accumulated power.
That, he said, is a "powderkeg."
"We do feel in our hearts that this effort has the potential to change history for the better and to forestall or even prevent this nation from ever experiencing the horrors that plagued so many other nations in the 20th Century," the website says.
"We are convinced that it is not too late, that there can be a turning of the tide – if we (and that means you too!) can reach enough of our brothers in arms and remind them of their oath, teach them more about what it is they swore to defend, and steel their resolves to stand firm if/when their oath is tested. We feel honor bound to do all we possibly can to achieve that mission."