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how much closer need we get?

I again am choosing to post verbatum from another respected website. The Oath Keepers puts a significant news article perfectly in perspective. I lead off with a key paragraph from deep within their article. As usual, the link is a better choice than reading it here as it has much supporting information. – Ted

“As I said above, we think the best strategy is a modern version of what the Founders did, using nullification, civil disobedience, and open defiance in our local communities, towns, counties, and states – not as isolated individuals, but together, united in mutual support and mutual defense, forcing the oath breakers in government to either back off and admit they are impotent, or force them to take off the mask, take off the gloves, and come into our communities to use overwhelming force against us, which will only push more Americans to our side. If there must be a fight, that is the way it should start – just like at Lexington and Concord. Make them aggress on us where we are strong, and they are weak.”

Thoughts on the Police Raid on Adam Kokesh – and On His Canceled “Armed March” on D.C.

The Washington Times reports:

An Internet talk show host was arrested at his home in Herndon on Tuesday night after a videotaped July Fourth stunt in which he loaded a shotgun in the District’s Freedom Plaza — a violation of the city’s gun laws.

Information about the arrest of Adam Kokesh was posted on his blog late Tuesday night.

Online court records in Virginia indicate he was charged with one felony count of possession of a schedule I or II drug, reportedly hallucinogenic mushrooms, and one felony count of possession of a schedule I or II drug while possessing a firearm.

A Fairfax County sheriff’s office spokesman said he was being held at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center and that he had refused to be fingerprinted and photographed. He was being held without bond, and a preliminary hearing was scheduled for Oct. 2.

Mr. Kokesh’s blog said that Tuesday night police raided his home, forcing their way through the front door with a battering ram and detonating a flash grenade in his foyer.

The blog said a light-armored vehicle and two low-flying helicopters barricaded the street and that police used dogs in a search that lasted for five hours and involved more than 20 SWAT team members. It said Mr. Kokesh was handcuffed and detained for questioning inside the home, in the 1500 block of Snowflake Court, before being arrested.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Park Police, which conducted the operation, could not confirm or deny Mr. Kokesh’s account.

Read the rest here.

And here is what Mike Vanderboegh, over at Sipsey Street Irregulars has to say about it:

My differences with Kokesh are both deep and public, but the FEDGOV is treading upon very dangerous ground here, by giving a guy who already clearly has a John Brown complex a chance to spark the civil war. Flash bangs? Battering rams? Armored vehicles? Held without bond? For a VIDEO? Really?

As much as I distrust Kokesh’s ego, judgment and his motives, he still is covered under the policy of No More Free Wacos. As Bob Wright has said for many years, when this thing breaks, it will likely come from an unexpected quarter, in reaction to some stupid move by the regime against someone unsympathetic and even unsavory. But we will have no choice other than 4GW against the warmakers who sent the deadly raid party at that point. Which may have been the purpose of this exercise. Maybe it is what they want now. Or perhaps they’re just as blundering and arrogant as General Gage. It won’t make a damn bit of difference when it happens — to us or to them.

For now, I couldn’t find a defense fund for Kokesh, so if some reader will provide that, I’ll post it here. – Mike Vanderboegh.


I echo Mike Vanderboegh’s thoughts on this. Just for the record, I think Kokesh is an immature ego-maniac, who has a terrible lack of understanding of strategy (and is deaf, dumb, and blind to any attempts from others to give him any advice on strategy – his ego just won’t let him listen). His previously planned “armed march on DC” – which involved marching armed people onto a long concrete bridge, with no cover (truly an “elongated kill zone”), toward entrenched armed government forces – was a strategic disaster in the making on many levels and it’s a damn good thing he finally caught a clue and called it off (see below for more on that).

But this raid was still over the top. Mike is spot on. The U.S. government is playing with fire. This is yet another example of police using unnecessary military assault tactics on a suspect to merely serve a warrant, that vastly increase the chances of someone being killed or severely injured. There was no hostage. This was not a case of a barricaded suspect who refused to come out. This was just an arrest. One mistake, one perceived false move by anyone who happens to be in the home, and they are shot. And bursting into an armed man’s home in the middle of the night is also a great way to get shot. Just doesn’t make any sense. They could have arrested him while he went out for a morning Starbucks, or went out for lunch or dinner. And it would have taken just a couple of detectives to conduct such an arrest on the streets. No need for a 20 man SWAT team to enter his home, in the middle of the night, where the risks to all are greatly increased. No need for an armored vehicle and helicopters. No, this makes no sense if their only concern was making a safe arrest. This was a show of force. An example. A lesson.

The more illegitimate and absurd the arbitrary rule of Leviathan, the more it violates our natural rights, the more it has to make examples out of anyone who dares to openly defy it by means of civil disobedience or nullification. You can, and should, expect more of this, and more severe examples. When a government steps outside of its limited delegation of powers that were intended to secure liberty and “becomes abusive of these ends,” it will of course lose the respect, consent, and willing cooperation of increasing numbers of the people. There is now a large, and growing portion of the American people who correctly see this current regime to be every bit as illegitimate and unjust as the one our forefathers took up arms against in 1775. Such a government, which violates the rights of the people and thus no longer has the loyalty, respect, and consent of the people, can rule only through force and the instilling of fear – just like the British Crown and Parliament.

And this current regime is making the same mistakes the Crown made. Rather than recognizing any of the grievances of the people as legitimate, and backing off from its violations of our rights, it is doubling down on them, and asserting even more power, and using enforcement methods that increasingly make it obvious that it sees we the people as its current and future military enemy, as it treats us “As If An Enemy’s Country” – like an occupied, conquered enemy nation. How else do you explain the detention of U.S. citizens Jose Padilla and Yasir Hamdi as “enemy combatants”, the NDAA military detention and trial provisions, warrantless domestic NSA spying, drone strikes on Americans, and the gross violations of the Fourth Amendment we saw in Boston after the bombing in April, or the calls to treat the bombing suspect as an “unlawful combatant” under the laws of war? They are all claims of power to use the international laws of war on us. And that claimed power will not, and already has not, been limited to use against Muslims. It is meant for all of us, which is exactly why the NSA has been mining metadata on all of us. All of us are considered part of the conquered enemy population – just like in Afghanistan or Iraq. Not just some of us. All of us. All are suspect. All (except the most vetted and trusted minions) are potential “terrorists” or “insurgents” and all will be monitored, tracked, and metadata profiled. There will be a “file” on us all because they know that what they are doing is contrary to the rights of us all, and any of us, or all of us, may join the resistance to their plans, at any time. They correctly assess us all as potential military adversaries precisely because they intend to violate the rights of all of us. And you can bet they are prioritizing who is the greater threat, with veterans, retired police, and gun owners considered a threat because of their training and competency at arms alone. And of course they also place all constitutionalists of any stripe – Ron Paul supporters, Chuck Baldwin supporters, libertarians, Constitution Party members, John Birch type conservatives, traditional Barry Goldwater conservatives, etc., – right up there at the top of the lists of “threats” because all such people adhere closely to the principles of the Founders’ Republic – to classical liberal ideas and ideals on immutable natural law and inalienable rights that must be defended at all hazard. And to chill, suppress, and prepare to stop such people from resisting, those who control the federal government and their fellow travelers at the state level are resorting to precisely the same totalitarian methods and tools used by oppressive regimes throughout history, from King George to Stalin.

The Federal Government is treating the “long train of abuses” enumerated in our Declaration of Independence like a shopping list, and is treating George Orwell’s 1984 like an operations manual.

But just as the decrees and actions of King George, Parliament, and General Gage only pissed off more Americans, and drove more of them into the patriot camp, each abuse, outrage, usurpation, and violation by the current regime just wakes more Americans up and drives more of them into the camp of the modern patriot/liberty movement. And once those Americans are woken up – once they have taken the red pill – from that moment on the government propaganda and manipulation through fear of terrorism/crime/economic instability no longer works on them. All that “works” on awake, aware people is force – but in the end, that really will not work either, just as naked force did not work on the American colonists.

But this government, like the British Crown, is so full of hubris, and so convinced that Americans are too soft to fight back and won’t dare to fire on “the King’s men,” that it will not back off. The current political, legal, financial, and media “elite” who dominate our government will continue to push their hand down that badger hole, farther and farther, till they get the teeth. The officers and men who marched on Lexington and Concord were not at all ready for what they got when the people had finally, after many years of abuse, decided they had had enough. It was like the breaking of a dam. We are on the same path, and it will arrive at the same place, with the same result.

What we are doing now is shaping the future battle space. “They” (the oath-breaking would-be tyrants in control of our government) -are shaping the future battle space by putting into place all of the legal, structural, and logistical tools they need to suppress, control, and defeat us. We patriots are also shaping the future battle space by getting physically, mentally, and spiritually ready, while waking more Americans up, and while increasingly focusing our organizing and resistance at the local and state level.

Within Oath Keepers, we focus on getting as many of the current serving military, police (especially Sheriffs), and first responders to wake up and choose the patriot side – the side of the Founders Republic. We also strive to wake up the veterans -not because they are better than other Americans, but because they took that oath (which does matter greatly once you reactivate them under their oath-bound duties), and the veterans have training and experience that can greatly help the cause of liberty (and if it comes to a fight, those who are combat veterans or well trained in combat arms skills can help win that fight while the others provide crucial logistical support). We hope to get enough current serving and veterans to wake up so that we won’t have to fight to preserve our liberty, but even if we fail in that ideal goal, and we are compelled to fight, we will still have more of them on our side when it kicks off, because of our efforts (such as our billboard campaign to put billboards outside of major military bases).

And, following the Founders example, we believe that the best strategy is to use nullification, civil disobedience, and open defiance in our local communities, towns, counties, and states, while we get organized and prepared as best we can for whatever may come. Make the bad guys within the government come to us, as the clear aggressors, just like the Founders did. Make them come into our communities, our towns, our counties, our states, and by using open defiance and nullification as communities – as towns, counties, and states – we will force them to either admit they are impotent, or force them to take off the mask, take off the gloves, and use overwhelming force against us, which will only push more Americans to our side. Learn from the wisdom of the Founders, and follow their hard-learned lessons on successful resistance to tyranny by uniting at the local level, and resisting and nullifying together, at the local level.

Stewart Rhodes

Founder of Oath Keepers


Though Kokesh’s July 4th “armed march on DC” was canceled, we keep hearing talk of people wanting to do something similar, so I want to make our position clear, and hopefully convince people that it is a losing strategy that could seriously harm the cause of liberty.

Oath Keepers didn’t support Kokesh’s call for an armed march on DC because it was bad strategy, and also because it was really not even civil disobedience. Kokesh’s last description of his intent (before he canceled it) said the armed marchers would stop well short of the police line, declare the government illegitimate, and then disperse. So, what would be the point? How is that some grand, glorious, hard stand? It isn’t. But even if it were, it is still bad strategy as it puts the liberty movement in the posture of the aggressor while also risking a catastrophic and bloody defeat on that bridge.

Captain Parker and his men did not march on Boston. They (and their leaders Sam Adams and John Hancock) had enough strategic sense to make general Gage come to them on April 19, 1775, as the clear aggressor. They used sound strategy to retain the moral high ground as the victims, which made all the difference when it came to how other Americans saw it. It was essential for the other colonies to see Massachusetts as the victim, so they would unite along side Massachusetts, and by adopting a defensive posture that forced Gage to be the aggressor, they also won over many in England and in the rest of the world.

And they also used sound military strategy by luring General Gage into sending his troops out of Boston – out of their stronghold – and into the country, where the patriots were strong, and the troops were weak. The Patriots forced Gage to engage them on their ground, far from reinforcements and resupply (with a long and exposed logistical tail), where the patriots had overwhelming superiority in numbers, and ready resupply. And so, when the fighting started, the militias, minutemen, and just random patriots by the thousands, took it to the British troops in a veritable swarm all around them, and shot the crap out of them, routing, harassing ,and killing them all the way back to Boston. The Regulars who survived were lucky to escape with their lives, and arrived in Boston exhausted, bloody, out of water, nearly out of ammo, and defeated, having left many of their brothers dead and dying along the road.

So, the Revolutionary war was kicked off by the patriots winning both a clear military victory and a clear moral victory since it was obvious that Gage and his men were the aggressors. It didn’t matter who fired first at Lexington. What mattered is Gen. Gage had sent his men out into the countryside, against the people. And because Gen. Gage and his men got their asses handed to them on a silver platter, it was not just a moral victory for the patriots but also a morale victory, and an embarrassing morale defeat for the British Army and the Crown.

After chasing the Red Coats back to Boston, the colonists laid siege to the city, and, once the cannon seized at Ft. Ticonderoga were placed on the Dorchester Heights overlooking Boston, the patriots forced Gen. Gage to evacuate Boston, in yet another defeat. So, for the first year of the Revolutionary War there was a string of crucial patriot victories. Even Bunker Hill was really a patriot victory since it cost the British Army 1,700 casualties and showed the world that Lexington and Concord had been no fluke – Americans could fight! As American General Nathanael Greene said “I wish we could sell them another hill at the same price as Bunker Hill.” THAT is how you kick off a revolution!

Kokesh’s armed march on D.C. would have been the exact opposite. The patriots would have been perceived as the aggressors, as they marched into the enemy stronghold, across a long, open, barren concrete bridge with no cover and nowhere to go if shooting started, facing government forces that are behind cover at the opposite end of the bridge behind armored vehicles and atop surrounding buildings (not to mention from the air), in well prepared, steady, protected firing positions (and with the .gov snipers all dialed in with distances to each spot on the bridge noted in their range cards). It is difficult to imagine a worse place to be when/if a fight starts than on an exposed concrete bridge over-watched by tall buildings. It is an ideal kill zone, or “elongated kill box” as some have called it.

So, if shooting had erupted, it would have been a blood-bath and brutal defeat for the patriots, while the patriots would have also been perceived by most people as the aggressors.

Nor was Adam Kokesh’s rhetoric confined to talk of peaceful civil disobedience, as some claimed.

Kokesh had clearly, on Alex Jones, stated that the intent was to “overthrow the government.” Now, of course, he was not actually going to try to do that on July 4, as he was not even planning on engaging in real civil disobedience and getting arrested, but his rhetoric was all about “overthrowing the government.” And that alone made it something Oath Keepers could not support or take part in because we have active duty military members who cannot belong to an organization that supports or advocates overthrowing the US government. There are specific DOD regulations on that.

But more to the point, because of Kokesh’s heated rhetoric about going there armed, to “overthrow the government, “the marchers would have been perceived not as peaceful people engaged in civil disobedience, but as violent aggressors, intent on overthrowing the government through violence. And that would have meant that no matter what happened, it would have been a lose-lose situation for team freedom.

If there was no violence, and the marchers did as Kokesh said, and marched toward the police but stopped well short of the police line, declared the government illegitimate and then dispersed, it would have been portrayed by the mainstream media as “violent, armed extremists, who had declared their intent to march into DC to overthrow the government wussed out and didn’t even dare try to cross police lines. They chickened out and stopped well short of the police and then retreated and went home.” FAIL.

And if there had been violence, the patriots would have gotten the crap shot out of them on that exposed bridge, with many of them dying and the survivors (if any) forced to retreat in a rout (just like the British on April 19, 1775), and the media would have said, “violent, armed extremists, who had declared their intent to march into DC to overthrow the government, attacked DC police officers who were protecting the city. The police had no choice but to defend themselves by firing back. 200 extremists were killed or severely wounded, with many others running away into Virginia, where Virginia police are still hunting them down. They are considered armed and dangerous. Thankfully, no DC police were killed in the exchange of gun-fire with the anti-government, violent extremists who were lead by radical anarchist Adam Kokesh.” And it wouldn’t have mattered who actually fired the first shot, if that was ever determined. The fact that Kokesh and his followers had declared an intent to overthrow the government and then marched toward DC would have caused the great majority of people to see them as the aggressors.

That would have been a terrible way to kick off a revolution – with a crushing military defeat, a moral defeat (in the eyes of most people), and a crushing morale defeat with the patriot side getting its ass handed to it on the bridge.

A disaster either way. And that is why we did not support it, and don’t support similar ideas. Even if you are convinced a fight of some kind is inevitable, how the fight starts matters. Strategy matters. And it matters at the military, moral, and morale levels.

As I said above, we think the best strategy is a modern version of what the Founders did, using nullification, civil disobedience, and open defiance in our local communities, towns, counties, and states – not as isolated individuals, but together, united in mutual support and mutual defense, forcing the oath breakers in government to either back off and admit they are impotent, or force them to take off the mask, take off the gloves, and come into our communities to use overwhelming force against us, which will only push more Americans to our side. If there must be a fight, that is the way it should start – just like at Lexington and Concord. Make them aggress on us where we are strong, and they are weak.

And on a more personal note, in the wake of our refusal to jump on board with Kokesh’s march, and after we were compelled to clarify why we did not support it (because his rhetoric made people think we were involved) Kokesh has recently called all active duty Oath Keepers “redcoats” and “loyalists” just because they are current serving (which strikes us as hypocritical coming from a guy who unsuccessfully ran for U.S. congressional seat from New Mexico just a couple years ago – he wanted so badly to be part of the FEDERAL government that he spent nearly a year running for Congress. He wanted to be a federal “law-maker,” and had he won his campaign he would likely still be there, but now he condemns all current serving military and police as “redcoats” and “loyalists” – traitors to the cause of liberty – for merely being there? Nice way to win the hearts and minds of the troops and convince them to respect the Bill of Rights – call them all traitors because they don’t immediately desert and become anarchists like Kokesh. Talk about strategically dumb!

Kokesh also falsely claimed that I am an anarchist. Actually, I am a minarchist. Like the American Founders, I believe in minimal government. Among human beings, there will always be rules of conduct, and a system for settling disputes, and someone will have to enforce those rules and settle those disputes. What is that? It is a form of government. Anarchists can refuse to call it what it is. They can cover their ears and yell “la, la, la, I can’t hear you” and refuse to use the taboo “G” word all they want, but even in their ideal anarchistic utopia there will still have to be some basic rules and someone will have to enforce them. Even a clan, a tribe, or an extended family will have such rules and will have some mechanism of enforcement. That is a form of government. Just try living in a clan or a tribe, or even as a guest on a friend’s land, while breaking the established rules and see how far that get’s you. The rules will be enforced – usually by banishment, which historically was often tantamount to a death sentence, since it was so hard to live on your own, outside a tribe or clan.

Perhaps the rules and their enforcement will be informal, without official titles or written laws. Perhaps it will be under rules and enforcement mechanisms created by group consensus. Maybe you can figure out a way of doing it that does not involve initiation of force (no taxes or compelled service in the militia or jury, and by means of “covenant” communities based on mutual consent by consenting adults). But whatever form you come up with, and whatever you call it, it is still a form of government – at least in my book, because there are enforced rules – which is why I call myself a “minarchist” libertarian, rather than an “anarchist” libertarian. Most of the Founders, such as Jefferson, Madison, George Mason, and Patrick Henry, would likely consider themselves minarchist libertarians if they were around today, since it is merely a modern term for what they were – classical liberals – believing in natural rights, and that the only just purpose for government was to secure those rights, by means of limited powers delegated by the people, and using the proven methods of limiting power, such as jury trial, militia service, bills of rights, and all of the other mechanisms of a republican form of government.

As flawed as our form of government clearly is (and principally from the ignorance and willful neglect of the people themselves) I am still unconvinced that anarchists present a viable alternative that would not also devolve into strong men lording it over weaker men at some level, whatever they may call it.

And as I have said before, because I took that oath to defend the Constitution, I will defend it until the people of this nation decide that it no longer serves them. The people are not required to take an oath to defend the Constitution because they reserve the right to revolution – the right to set even the Constitution aside, and to institute new forms of government, whenever any form of government – even the one established by the Constitution – “becomes destructive of these ends” (preserving life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness). Only those who serve in the government are required to take an oath to the Constitution, which was enacted by consent of the people of the Founding generation.

The people are not oath bound. But I am. And until they release me from that oath, by deciding that the Constitution no longer protects their rights and must be replaced, I will do my best to fulfill it. And yes, that does include giving my life if I must. But I also do my best to use sound strategy, so that we have the best chance of actually prevailing for the sake of the liberty of our children and future generations, even if we who are now in this fight do not survive. Whatever comes, fight smart, so that your efforts, and your life, will not be spent in vain. – Stewart Rhodes