Friday, September 25, 2009

LA Times reports on Tennessee Oath Keepers meeting

From the Los Angeles Times, on a recent meeting of an Oath Keepers chapter in Tennessee:
... Founded this year by Stewart Rhodes, a Yale-educated lawyer and former staffer of Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), the group calls itself nonpartisan and features on its website a 1776 quote from George Washington warning of an incipient moment that would determine whether Americans will be "Freemen, or Slaves; whether they are to have any property they can call their own; whether their Houses, and Farms, are to be pillaged and destroyed."

"Such a time," the site says, "is near at hand again."

That kind of sentiment helps explain the disconnect that has come to define popular political discourse in Obama's first tumultuous year.

A vociferous group of Americans is warning that the country is not just headed in the wrong direction -- but over a cliff. They are mainstream media commentators, like Fox News' Glenn Beck. They are religious leaders, like "Bible Answer Man" Hank Hanegraaff, who told radio listeners last month that "socialism and fascism" were "slipping quietly through the back door."

And they are everyday people like Rand Cardwell.

Other Americans, meanwhile, are struggling to understand the dire language that has erupted at town hall meetings, on talk radio and at anti-tax Tea Party protests. Some fear that the rhetoric, with its emphasis on gun rights and harsh words for a black president, could be paving a path to tragedy.

To Cardwell, these fears are nonsense, though he concedes that the anti-Obama crowd contains some angry and even unsavory elements.

He says his opposition is rooted in deeply American values -- the same ones Obama acknowledged in his recent speech to Congress, when he noted "our rugged individualism, our fierce defense of freedom and our healthy skepticism of government."

But as Cardwell watched federal power grow -- first under President George W. Bush -- that healthy skepticism has led him to conclude that now is the time to sound an alarm.

And that is why Cardwell found himself standing before hundreds at a July 4 Tea Party in Asheville, N.C., two hours away from here, reading out Oath Keepers' "Declaration of Orders We Will Not Obey."

Although Cardwell welcomes all concerned citizens to his meetings, the Oath Keepers' main message targets military and public safety personnel, active and inactive. It reminds them that they swore allegiance to the Constitution, not to politicians or bureaucrats. As such, they have the right to refuse orders they deem unlawful. ...

Article here. Good to see Oathkeepers getting some mainstream media press coverage.

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