The right wing noise machine is gearing up to promote the Oath Keepers as much as possible. I think this is actually a very good thing. The more crazy that get up there the better. Bill O'Reilly will do his part by having them appear on The Factor too.
O'REILLY: Is there one group in America right now that you guys believe is dangerous, is growing fast, and that the folks should know about?
MARK POTOK (editor, Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Report): Well, let me give an example. I'm not going to say this group is dangerous and, you know, these people are going to blow up federal buildings -- that's clearly not true -- but there is a new major group called the Oath Keepers. It was started, if I recall, in February of last year. This -- it has grown fairly explosively. It's well over a thousand members. What's interesting about the group is it's composed mainly of military and law enforcement personnel, officers of the law. The thing about the group is what they say is, you know, "What we're all about is simply pledging allegiance -- or re-pledging our oaths to defend the Constitution," which of course is well and fine. But the reality about the group is that what it's really about is the fear that martial law is about to be imposed, that Americans are about to be herded into concentration camps, that foreign troops are going to be put down on American soil. The Oath Keepers says specifically, we will not obey these orders, we will refuse orders to put Americans into concentration camps. Now, is that dangerous? It seems to me the danger is that these are men and women, in the case of police officers, who are given a real power over the rest of us, sometimes the power of life and death. They make very important decisions. And if these men and women are animated by the idea that, you know, foreign forces are about to come into this country and put us under martial law and throw us all into concentration camps, I think there is a certain danger associated with that.
O'REILLY: All right. Well, it's certainly not rational.
POTOK: They're operating on the basis on crazy theories that may cause one of them to draw a gun one day.
O'REILLY: All right. You know what I'm going to do, Mr. Potok? Because it's a very interesting topic. I'm going to invite somebody from the Oath Keepers to come on the Factor tomorrow and give forth their point of view. I think it's a fascinating topic, and we appreciate your time very much.
David Neiwert has some really great posts up on C&L about the Oath Keepers since we are one of the first blogs to expose this group and what they believe in.
Oath Keepers in coalition with John Birch Society, 9/12 Project branch. Oath Keepers is listed as a member of Friends for Liberty, a coalition that, according to its website, includes the right-wing John Birch Society, the Spokane, Washington, branch of the Glenn Beck-associated 9/12 Project, and Vaccination Liberation, a group that claims as part of its mission to "reveal the myth that vaccines are necessary, safe and effective."