Hacked Data Exposes Law Enforcement Officers Who Joined Far-Right Oath Keepers Group

from the more-transparency-inflicted-on-secretive-groups dept

Some more unsettling news about law enforcement's close relationship to (or at least professional tolerance of) far-right groups linked to the January 6th raid of the Capitol building has come to light, thanks to transparency activists Distributed Denial of Secrets.

Email accounts linked to several key members of the Oath Keepers -- four of whom are currently facing charges for their participation in the attack on the Capitol -- have been hacked, exposing communications between the Oath Keepers and law enforcement officers seeking to join the group.

The law enforcement officers described what they could offer the Oath Keepers:

“I have a wide variety of law enforcement experience, including undercover operations, surveillance and SWAT,” one wrote on the membership application.

"Communications, Weapons, K9 Officer for local Sheriffs office 12 years to present," another wrote.

“​​I am currently working as a deputy sheriff in Texas,” a third typed.

These men, who had sworn to uphold the law, signed up to join an armed, extremist, anti-government group.

The five gigabyte trove of data includes emails, chat logs, and lists of donors and members. According to USA Today's examination of the data, more than 200 current and former law enforcement officers approached the group to become members. At this point, it only appears 20 of those are still employed as officers. Another 20 retired at some point after joining the group.

The Oath Keepers have long courted law enforcement officers and military members, finding some sort of solidarity with government employees who also swear oaths and carry guns. But joining the Oath Keepers requires members to swear a new oath -- one that conflicts with their other oaths and, presumably, supersedes their ongoing obligations to the public at large. On the list of things to be sworn to are promises to never disarm citizens, refusal to recognize state of emergency declarations, and a longer list of fresh-off-the-crack-pipe assertions like never assisting the government with putting American citizens into concentration camps.

The oath also says Oath Keepers will engage in a bloody revolution if the government decides its should start doing any of the things on the list.

If you the people decide that you have no recourse, and such a revolution comes, at that time, not only will we NOT fire upon our fellow Americans who righteously resist such egregious violations of their God given rights, we will join them in fighting against those who dare attempt to enslave them.

Somehow, this group decided the Trump Administration was the government they could trust, leading to some federal charge-accumulating Revolution Lite at the US Capitol. This same group of insurrectionists -- ones known to be supportive of police officers -- decided even cop lives didn't matter when it came to stealing back an election Donald Trump claimed was stolen.

That's all very concerning. Even prior to the Oath Keepers presence during the DC raid, the oath promising to turn on the government the moment it threatened certain freedoms should have warned officers of the law that joining this group would be extremely problematic. And yet, it managed to attract a couple hundred potential members who didn't see any conflict between sworn oaths, even if it theoretically meant they'd be killing their own brothers in blue if Obama finally sent someone for the guns.

Officers verified to be two-timing the rule of law with the Oath Keepers unsurprisingly don't want to talk about it. Eben Bratcher, operations chief for the Yuma County Sheriff's Office, claimed the group didn't do much for him other than clog up his email inbox and stated he "did not recall specifics." Fortunately, the Oath Keepers' server remembers.

A note attributed to Bratcher on the sign-up list reads, "We have 85 sworn officers and Border (of) Mexico on the South and California on the West. I've already introduced your web site to dozens of my Deputies."

Another officer, Michael Lynch of the Anaheim Police Department, claimed his membership lapsed years ago. However, he's now being investigated by his department for (at least temporarily) joining the group -- something he did while touting his years of undercover and SWAT team experience.

This is a clear conflict of interest. Cops like these can either remain cops and fulfill their obligations to the American public or they can join a group that aligns itself with an imagined version of the Constitution -- one that comes with conspiracy theories and implicit threats of violence attached. That the Oath Keepers would want cops in its ranks is unsurprising. Sadly, the fact that some cops would feel right at home with an unhinged paramilitary group is equally unsurprising.

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Filed Under: insurrection, law enforcement, oath keepers, police


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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 5 Oct 2021 @ 1:58am

    'I don't remember- what do you mean they kept records?!'

    Eben Bratcher, operations chief for the Yuma County Sheriff's Office, claimed the group didn't do much for him other than clog up his email inbox and stated he "did not recall specifics." Fortunately, the Oath Keepers' server remembers.

    A note attributed to Bratcher on the sign-up list reads, "We have 85 sworn officers and Border (of) Mexico on the South and California on the West. I've already introduced your web site to dozens of my Deputies."

    Strange that, you'd think someone who was so enamored of the group that he'd pointed dozens of his co-workers their way would remember a bit more about them, how very convenient of his memory to fall apart right then.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 7 Oct 2021 @ 1:56am

      Re: 'I don't remember- what do you mean they kept records?!'

      "...how very convenient of his memory to fall apart right then."

      But not unexpected. The vast majority of these benighted morons, when they say "Liberty or Death" they really mean "Liberty or the Death of some martyr I neither know nor care about!".

      Facing the realization that they've sworn themselves to an organization dedicated to violent crime and insurgency they suddenly become keen to forget their previous grandstanding.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Bloof (profile), 5 Oct 2021 @ 4:32am

    I am shocked, shocked! What's next, law enforcement officials being caught on camera colluding with far right groups so the can clear out so police can attack counterprotesters? Police departments running their own 'unofficial' secret social media packed with racism and far right lunacy? Police unions making it near impossible to fire people who have proven to be completely unfit to hold any sort of power? Police departments running recruitment ads on Brietbart? Police departments hiring people to train officers to shoot first, ask questions later and instill an 'us vs them' mindset? Police departments using qualified immunity as a selling point? Police departments leaking criminal records and other information to try and smear people of colour killed by officers even if they did nothing more than live in an apartment in the same building as an officer. Oh wait...

    There's been a long term project on the far right to fill police departments with their people to help disenfranchise minorities and give them the ability to play out their shitty whims without any sort of repercussions, so these leaks will keep on coming, and little will happen aside from slaps on the wrist, they sure as hell aren't firing officers with far right ties as there'd be virtually no-one left in some forces.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Baron von Robber, 5 Oct 2021 @ 7:34am

    Who did Nazi that?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Pixelation, 5 Oct 2021 @ 7:43am

    Are there an laws these cops have broken by joining groups like this and can they be successfully convicted? Besides potentially losing their jobs can they be put behind bars?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 7 Oct 2021 @ 1:59am

      Re:

      "Are there an laws these cops have broken by joining groups like this..."

      Conspiracy to commit insurrection, violent assault, resisting arrest and a whole slew of statutes around national security, I'd guess.

      The only successful defense I can see is for the accused to sell the court the idea that "Your honor, I swear oaths all the time. I never take them as anything other than a joke!".

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Bergman (profile), 10 Oct 2021 @ 7:41pm

        Re: Re:

        You might want to reconsider what side you’re on, when you view a group that reaffirms their oath to the Constitution as a natural enemy.

        It’s not seditious to support and defend the Constitution. If anything, it’s seditious to do the opposite.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 11 Oct 2021 @ 12:29am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "You might want to reconsider what side you’re on, when you view a group that reaffirms their oath to the Constitution as a natural enemy."

          Considering that the "oath keepers" swear to reaffirm that oath only to piss all over the constitution in the next breath I'm fairly sure that stance isn't something to reconsider for very long - If I swear an oath to the UN bill of human rights, for example, but my promised way of carrying this oath to its conclusion is by making use of trafficking and arson then there's a significant problem right there.

          "It’s not seditious to support and defend the Constitution. If anything, it’s seditious to do the opposite."

          Yes, well, I'm afraid the constitution does not back the january 6th insurrectionists who attempted to violently demolish the democratic electoral process. So irrespective of what they swore to, sedition is what they are guilty of.

          We can't add "oath breaker" as a legal charge or every 6th of january insurrectionist would be guilty of that as well.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Lostinlodos (profile), 11 Oct 2021 @ 12:45am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Unlike PT you and I agree more than we don’t.
            However;
            There’s two issues you miss here.

            The 1st is the majority of protest wanted nothing more than proof that the election was accurate.

            The second is the OK, from their linked list of requirements, are not beyond the constitutional base.
            At least at face value,

            Excluding the definition limits of statehood: they’re on the surface simply constitutional defenders.

            Until someone finds something to counter my post at the bottom… there’s little to go on here.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 11 Oct 2021 @ 7:01am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "The 1st is the majority of protest wanted nothing more than proof that the election was accurate."

              Untrue.

              Here's how the logic of these people worked;

              1) The election takes place.

              2) Election is overseen by monitors from both parties.

              3) votes are counted with full transparency and monitored by overseers from both parties.

              4) The president, with a shoddy reputation of never being accurate nor truthful, claims the election is rigged, with no indications it is and no evidence.

              5) The president's men, with shoddy reputations of never being accurate nor truthful, claim the election is rigged, with no indications it is and no evidence.

              6) Court cases to stop the election were made, and upon the judge asking Mr. Trump's crowd to present evidence and indications under oath, not a single one of them could produce anything more damning than "they heard it from someone they couldn't produce.

              7) Early examinations by everyone and their damn dog, from both sides, failed to turn up any evidence or indication of fraud.

              So what we've got here is a large group of people who demand proof of a non-rigged election while dismissing every such proof offhand but who are willing to march and do violence based on what Dear Leader told them.

              They didn't want proof. They were in it specifically to overturn the process safeguarding the process!

              A rigged election can be easily proven under any normal circumstances, and the world was watching. That's why we all seriously doubt Lukaschenko has his people behind him but took ad notam that the US election was run fairly well. Because observers had done their job checking it.

              The logic of the insurrectionists was thoroughly broken. All they needed was to produce any single piece if evidence of indication the election was rigged. What they had was an anonymous post-it note and facebook posts. They had Rudy Giuliani who in a courtroom refused to perjure himself and so couldn't use ANY of his public rhetoric.

              If you want to prove fraud then you need to produce evidence of fraud. That's where it starts and ends.

              So no, the insurrectionists did not want proof of anything. They made it quite clear both on their way there and by the loud chanting recorded on capitol security cameras, that they were there expressly to put a stop to the vote count. By definition, an intended coup.

              What took place on 6th of january was insurrection and sedition. No ambiguity about it.

              Secondly, anything the Oath Keepers swore to turns out to have been an oath broken when they decided to support Trump and turn a peaceful election into an act of violence. This is just the same type of hypocrisy which has "pro-lifers" issue death threats against doctors and nurses.

              The Oath Keepers are, by their actions, a far-right extremist group advocating politically motivated violence. What they actually say is irrelevant compared to what they do.

              If you have problems seeing the difference then I cordially invite you to read a few of the oaths taken by other various terrorist groups - all of which are naturally composed to come off as morally sound because the people doing the PR aren't the dumb ones in those groups.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                Lostinlodos (profile), 11 Oct 2021 @ 8:21am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Election is overseen by monitors from both parties.

                Unfortunately 2 didn’t happen in many places. 3 neither.
                Poll watchers were too far away to see actual ballots. When they were in the same room at all.

                And that is where this started. Not only did you have unrequested ballots sent out to less than reliable addresses of poll records; you had counts that weren’t properly monitored.

                And 7 is wrong. Signs of fraud were found. There’s always fraud in elections. It just didn’t amount to anything statistically countable.
                From partisan harvesting to dumped mail to back dating postage cancellation to pre completed ballots being signed by homeless in exchange for food or money.
                It didn’t change the results, but it did happen.

                I don’t support breaking the law. Those that do should be held accountable!
                I will defend the the right to protest though. Even if you protest against me.

                That the media can’t sort out the facts -or more likely doesn’t care- to understand that multiple groups came together for similar reasons with different intentions… nothing I can do.
                Some were violent. Most were not.
                I don’t doubt there were a few idiots looking at revolution too. But again, don’t see that being any majority here.

                Not only is this a good chance to look at the security of the capital, once again it was easily penetrated illegally, but we have a multi trillion dollar infrastructure package. We could put an end to all in person fraud by funding realid for every US citizen and legal resident.
                I be the whole debate on that. But no. Why do something useful like that?!

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                Lostinlodos (profile), 11 Oct 2021 @ 8:23am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                This is the first time I’ve come across seeing the name of this group. And all I can go by off hand is what is linked in the article.
                As far as what they say? This one doesn’t look bad. As for what they do? No idea. Never heard of them.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  PaulT (profile), 18 Oct 2021 @ 1:49pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "And all I can go by off hand is what is linked in the article."

                  Rather than actually doing a little bit of research and learning about them from non-Murdoch approved sources...

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • icon
                    Lostinlodos (profile), 18 Oct 2021 @ 3:26pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Never heard of them before. Don’t really care.
                    So no, not looking them up anywhere else, murdoch or otherwise.
                    It’s that’s simple.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    • icon
                      PaulT (profile), 21 Oct 2021 @ 2:21am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      Yes, remain ignorant, that's how you keep swallowing all the laughably obvious propaganda.

                      For the rest of us, the knowledge that there's a far right group described by the FBI as an extremist paramilitary organisation, that's been involved in numerous violent attacks over the last decade up to and including the Jan 6th incident.

                      I mean, it's no mystery why you choose to remain ignorant, given all the information coming out of proceedings against their members regarding the latter, and which is part of the reason everyone's laughing at your version of events. But, reality does not confirm to what you choose to remain and informed about. The court documents are there should you ever choose to be educated about reality.

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                      • icon
                        Lostinlodos (profile), 21 Oct 2021 @ 8:23am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        I’m not sure what your on about. Not knowing one group doesn’t equate to head-in-the-sand.
                        There are many little militias around the country. Most of them are right wing white suprematist christian turds!
                        And most of them are dangerous. I agree!

                        So?
                        What’s your point?

                        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                        • icon
                          PaulT (profile), 21 Oct 2021 @ 11:04am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          "Not knowing one group doesn’t equate to head-in-the-sand."

                          Not necessarily, but this is a well known group who have been increasingly prominent over the last few years. Not knowing them at all might be acceptable, although that fact does betray the leanings of the places where you get your news, if they're the sort of places that don't want to admit that such places exist (especially, say, places that rant about ANTIFA violence, when there's good evidence that other groups were actually responsible for the violence).

                          But, openly disclaiming that you're not even going to look for the name and research what everyone else is talking about? Yeah, that's head in the sand.

                          "And most of them are dangerous. I agree!"

                          So, you're saying that you know that there are dangerous paramilitary organisations operating in your area and you refuse to even look at who they are and how they operate? I mean, good luck with that but I'd at least be curious to see if their actions are going to affect where you live? Good luck with that, but I grew up in the UK in areas in danger of imminent IRA attack so what do I know...

                          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                          • icon
                            Lostinlodos (profile), 21 Oct 2021 @ 1:35pm

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                            So, you're saying that you know that there are dangerous paramilitary organisations operating in your area

                            I’ve seen nothing to suggest any militia group in my area.

                            look for the name and research what everyone else is talking about

                            I clicked the link in the article. Given I’ve never heard of them prior to this it’s far from “everyone” talking about some small group somewhere.

                            I looked at the Wikipedia article. Looks like just another extremist group. Nothing really special about them.

                            Comparison to the IRA is a fallacy.
                            These groups are just wannabe tin soldiers. Any focus just gives them more exposure.

                            What do you suggest be done? Some sort of pre-crime method?
                            I don’t support that in any situation. You punish what is done, not what may be done.

                            I don’t get what it is your trying to pull out of me. All I said was the linked page didn’t say much negative.

                            You seem to miss the point with me. I don’t care who commits crimes. Arrest them. Until then: as long as you don’t break the law so be it. The premise of a free society is not the freedom to be popular, but to be counter.
                            Like it or not! As long as you don’t break the law in action you can think whatever you want.

                            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                            • icon
                              PaulT (profile), 22 Oct 2021 @ 12:18am

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                              "I’ve seen nothing to suggest any militia group in my area."

                              Apparently, all they need to do is give themselves a name that you haven't personally heard and you'll ignore them, so that's not surprising.

                              "Nothing really special about them."

                              Well, apart from their activity over the last 12 years, I would at least find this sort of thing unusual:

                              https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/jessicagarrison/oath-keepers-data-elected-officials

                              Wh ether or not that actually means anything long term is up for debate, but this does seem noteworthy.

                              "What do you suggest be done?"

                              Law enforcement being vastly more aware of the issues than you choose to be, and able to take relevant action to protect the public as necessary.

                              "As long as you don’t break the law in action you can think whatever you want."

                              Yes, and despite the ravings of the right-wing press, nobody's suggesting otherwise (except maybe the right wing themselves, who seem to have strong feelings about certain political or religious ideas and what to do with the people who hold them - and that never seems take the form of "honestly debate them and understand their actual beliefs").

                              But, when you start acting by, for example, joining a paramilitary group that's been involved in violence with the expressed promise of more if things don't go the way they want them to, you can expect people to at least take notice and act if required against you.

                              Unless of course, it's not being discussed in the small number of outlets you happen to choose to read, because even though they've been a familiar name to people across the world for nearly a decade, they don't matter if you missed those articles.

                              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                              • icon
                                Lostinlodos (profile), 22 Oct 2021 @ 10:49am

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                They have broken no laws within my immediate area. That being 200 miles or so from where I live.
                                Not enough to show up in local news. Not close enough to be a threat here.
                                You act surprised people in politics are members of groups they support.

                                I don’t really have a problem till they commit illegal acts.

                                And just like the anti police protests, or the counter protests.
                                I don’t have a problem if you follow the rules. Follow the law.

                                that's been involved in violence with the expressed promise of more if things don't go the way they want them to…

                                Yet you yourself have stated in previous posts that sometimes violence is the last resort people move to for change.

                                The problem isn’t the ideological groups. It’s the sheltering of criminal elements within them.
                                Be it police, BLM, Antifa, or some right wing group.

                                Unlike you, and others on the “left” of our country’s politics, I don’t waiver on my belief of law.
                                I don’t make exceptions. I draw the line between complaints and protests, and breaking the law.
                                A line between belief and act.

                                Oh, and I can recognise that someone can agree with a premise despite others going further.

                                See I have zero doubt, the video evidence shows it, that some people who were in the BLM protest were later walking out of stores with stolen goods.
                                And I don’t doubt the few people were actually broke the law in the 6th had links to right-wing groups.

                                Doesn’t surprise me at all. Such eco-chamber groups breed fringes that move to criminal acts.
                                And you prosecute those law breakers.

                                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                                • icon
                                  PaulT (profile), 22 Oct 2021 @ 11:21am

                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                  "They have broken no laws within my immediate area. That being 200 miles or so from where I live."

                                  OK... Al Qeada haven't done that near me, but that doesn't mean I haven't been aware and concerned about what they do.

                                  "You act surprised people in politics are members of groups they support."

                                  When one express purpose of the group is anti-government? Yeah, that does raise some interest.

                                  "And just like the anti police protests, or the counter protests.
                                  I don’t have a problem if you follow the rules. Follow the law."

                                  OK, so why are you defending Oath Keepers?

                                  Anyway, the reason I've had this conversation was curiosity, as you usually inspire in me with your claim to be knowledgeable but reveal regularly that you're not.

                                  I've been aware of Oath Keepers since the Malheur siege, and have taken some interest in the way their activities have progressed, up to and including the Jan 6th events where they were prominent enough to have had at least 20 members indicted and several convicted. Yet, you've somehow never heard of them even with your apparent interest in the latter event. Then, when finally inspired to look into them, you reaction was "meh, just another right wing paramilitary group", as if the rise of such groups is not in itself notable and concerning.

                                  I somehow have no doubt that if they were described as a BLM associated group, or a communist group, or whatever, then your reaction might be somewhat different. But, even if I'm wrong about that your reaction of "if I haven't heard of them they don't matter" is intriguing.

                                  "And I don’t doubt the few people were actually broke the law in the 6th had links to right-wing groups."

                                  So, it's interesting that you didn't bother to look into who those groups were, even after the same names came up repeatedly in news about the people being indicted for their role in turning what was apparently (according to you) a peaceful protest that was co-opted by violent actors.

                                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                                  • icon
                                    Lostinlodos (profile), 22 Oct 2021 @ 1:52pm

                                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                    If a group like this is such as a top concern for you, I, honestly, feel sorry for you! To live in such constant fear.

                                    That you would elevate such a group to an actual terrorist threat such as AQ or IRA or the PLF etc.
                                    These oath keepers are literal nobodies.
                                    A few land standoffs? Only one of which was violent. And they had members on the 6th?
                                    So arrest those that break the law. Oh, wait, the government did.

                                    as if the rise of such groups is not in itself notable and concerning.

                                    There’s no “rise”
                                    they’ve always been there and likely always will be. Little groups of idiots.
                                    Be it the oath keepers or the ALF. Such groups exist. They pop up. And disappear. They come and go. Sometimes, every once in a great while, someone gets violent. Sometimes I agree with one or more of the causes. Sometimes I don’t.
                                    But I definitely disagree with the methods.
                                    Where’s all the concern about the actions of Tracy Stone-Manning?
                                    Even if I support her cause (in much broader overlying theory) tree spiking is a deadly act of sabotage.

                                    then your reaction might be somewhat different

                                    Then you continue to invent meaning not stated in my words.
                                    I’m against breaking the law to make a point. You have a right to your thoughts and a right to make them public. Just do it lawfully. I’m not against BLM. The cause is just even if I disagree with their embellished claims. An I happen to think all lives matter. Not just a single race. And that they all matter equally.

                                    So, it's interesting that you didn't bother to look into who those groups were…

                                    I don’t need to look into it. I heard they were arrested. That’s all the more that matters to me. After that it’s up to a jury to decide.
                                    I don’t care “who” was involved. Were they arrested? That’s the end of my concern.

                                    See: under this chain of links you (and democrats in this country) create: Trump is somehow responsible for people who happened to be his supporters and the actions they took.
                                    By that same linking the current leader of our country, a declared catholic, should be held directly accountable for the murder of doctors, and the sexual assault of children, the genocide of countries…!
                                    I don’t blame the pope for the acts nazi fuckoffs.
                                    I don’t blame trump for acts of nazi fuckoffs.
                                    I don’t blame the whole of nazi fuckoffs for the acts of some of their adherents.
                                    I blame nazi fuckoffs for the criminal acts they themselves commit.
                                    The same goes BLM, and 1/6. And here. The oath keepers.

                                    OK, so why are you defending Oath Keepers?

                                    I’m not and didn’t. I simply don’t care. I’ll worry about them if they become a threat locally. At the moment they’re not a problem worth my concern. (The chance of this group even remotely harming our government is minimal!)

                                    I’m not worried about some little group somewhere that isn’t a threat to me.
                                    I’m a little more concerned about the prospects of Iran or China dripping a nuke on a city centre not far from my location. One of which I’m well within the blast radius of!
                                    The violent looting that has happened within 5 miles of my location.
                                    The car jackings happening just a few streets away. The violent home invasions in the area. The crime spike over the last 18 months.
                                    So you worry about a tiny group that’s hardly caused a blip and their potential actions.
                                    I’ll continue to worry about real issues happening right here right now.
                                    Maybe if I wasn’t so worried about my own community, I’d have more time to worry about some tin soldiers over a thousand miles away.

                                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                                    • icon
                                      PaulT (profile), 23 Oct 2021 @ 2:29pm

                                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                      "If a group like this is such as a top concern for you, I, honestly, feel sorry for you! To live in such constant fear."

                                      There's no fear here, I'm just interested in the rise of extremist groups who kill people. It's just weird to me that people who are so much closer to them are not concerned about the problems over there.

                                      "There’s no “rise”"

                                      Not according to the FBI.

                                      "I don’t need to look into it. I heard they were arrested. That’s all the more that matters to me."

                                      Strange. You first claimed you have never heard of them, now you imply you have but have decided they don't pose a threat. Those don't seem to be the same position... what changed?

                                      "I’m against breaking the law to make a point."

                                      So, you're against Rosa Parks, Gandhi and MLK? OK, I suppose, but I have a feeling history might be against you somewhere.

                                      "I’ll worry about them if they become a threat locally"

                                      First they came for...

                                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                                      • icon
                                        Lostinlodos (profile), 23 Oct 2021 @ 3:49pm

                                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                        Strange. You first claimed you have never heard of them

                                        The people who broke the law on the 6th have been (mostly) arrested. Whatever group they were or were not a part of.

                                        So, you're against Rosa Parks, Gandhi and MLK?

                                        There’s a difference between civil disobedience. And rioting.
                                        Between standing in the street and burning cars to block the path.

                                        But you also seem to be supportive of breaking the law if you agree with them, and against it if you don’t?

                                        Yes, the three named people broke the law. And if you break the law you should be punished. Sometimes that’s what it takes to change the law. True. But it doesn’t mean I support the actions.

                                        Once you stand by breaking the law for one reason you lessen your ability to legitimately complain about those that do it for another.

                                        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ed (profile), 5 Oct 2021 @ 7:57am

    ACAB

    It's not just an acronym, it is fact.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Bloof (profile), 5 Oct 2021 @ 7:57am

    Unfortunately for the western world, being far right is not a crime.

    Let's be real here, nobody named is getting fired, it'll be slaps on the wrist with one or two of the older people named getting put on paid leave, then pushed to take early retirement so it looks like they've done something without actually having to do anything. The only way cops get fired is if they blow the whistle on other cops, or need to be scapegoated to prevent backlash from wealthier, whiter constituents.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 7 Oct 2021 @ 2:01am

      Re:

      "Let's be real here, nobody named is getting fired..."

      Well, being complicit to the 6th of jan insurrection or knowing about it and not revealing it might fall under conspiracy. I think this will depend on politics; Is the prosecutor sympathetic to his job or to the republican party?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Oct 2021 @ 8:09am

    For whose benefit were they really joining?

    So we have a group that (1) wants to recruit active duty police/military and (2) has a political position that could reasonably merit being monitored by the government to ensure they are, and remain, all talk and no action. Now people are surprised that active duty police are using their real identities to apply to join it? How many of these applications were really undercover operations, with the officers joining for the purpose of monitoring the group, rather than supporting it? It would hardly be unprecedented to place undercover officers in such a group, and it would be entirely consistent that, when found out, the departments in question claim that these were "rogue officers" rather than undercover operatives joining on orders from above. Given the stated sign-up goals, of course undercover officers would sign up under an identity that specifically calls out their police background. An application submitted under a more typical undercover identity (repeat convict, thug-for-hire, drug dealer, etc.) would get laughed out right away, but an application that cites a current badge and a decade of experience with SWAT would be a major attraction.

    I'm not saying all these signups were plants, but I could believe more than a few were, especially if the group is compartmentalized enough that officers in multiple cities were needed, each for monitoring the local chapter.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 5 Oct 2021 @ 9:27am

      How many of these applications were really undercover operations, with the officers joining for the purpose of monitoring the group, rather than supporting it?

      More than you might think, but fewer than you would believe.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 7 Oct 2021 @ 2:05am

      Re: For whose benefit were they really joining?

      "Now people are surprised that active duty police are using their real identities to apply to join it? How many of these applications were really undercover operations, with the officers joining for the purpose of monitoring the group, rather than supporting it?"

      Perhaps a few, but...the FBI did do some undercover work around white supremacists and violent anti-government militias recruiting from Law enforcement back in 2007...the results were grim; Not very many sheriffs and deputies are likely to join an outfit like this for the sake of busting it up, especially not under the table.

      It's, by now, a chicken-and-egg dispute whether law enforcement is riddled with anti-liberal racists because the KKK and the nazi party have been recruiting so heavily among them for so long, or whether ultra-authoritarians have always tended to look for employment where they get a badge and a gun so they can play Dirty Harry.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    sumgai (profile), 5 Oct 2021 @ 8:35am

    What's that old saying? Oh yeah, it's something like:

    Stupid thugs become jailbirds, smart thugs become cops.

    Looks like these 200 or so guys just invented a new category, somewhere in between those two extremes. Let's call them ""personal-security-averse thugs".

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 5 Oct 2021 @ 8:38am

      What's that old saying?

      Some of those that work forces are the same that burn crosses.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Pixelation, 5 Oct 2021 @ 9:43am

        Re:

        These are the people that need to be put on the "No-Fly" list.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 6 Oct 2021 @ 12:45am

        Re:

        One of the funniest / most depressing things I see get shared online recently is people whining about how RATM are getting too political. I mean, what band were they listening to before? Which machine did they think they were raging against?

        But, I've also seen a conversation where someone's telling Tom Morello that he doesn't know anything about that band's music, so...

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Evil Timmy (profile), 5 Oct 2021 @ 9:50am

    even if it theoretically meant they'd be killing their own brothers in blue if Obama finally sent someone for the guns.

    This far into the thought process doesn't seem to have occurred to these "bloody armed revolution" 2AF types. While they think the government is going to hand out SS-style uniforms with red armbands so the Evil Empire is a clear target, they're actually going to be taking up arms against local law enforcement, other citizens unironically defending their lives and freedoms, and in a genuine disaster the National Guard. Like the always-awful retail shoppers that like to quote "The customer is always right" while leaving off the "...in what they want", these TactiCool Ballistic Barbies skip right over the "A well regulated militia" part that actually involves the work of training, organizing, involvement, and community outreach that makes a militia a supportive force everyday citizens can fall back on in times of crisis (ie of any use to anyone rather than a gun fetishist conspiracy club). Their lack of trigger or any other discipline makes it harder for sane gun owners who may need one for protection or just enjoy one for sport to be taken seriously.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 5 Oct 2021 @ 9:58am

    Wow they managed to send up spy planes with dirt boxes & spy on anyone remotely related to BLM, but no one ever looked at the the guys with the SS tattoos next to them?

    I look forward to more weasel words from unions & politicians claiming that this doesn;t reflect the whole barrel of rotten apples & how they take it seriously.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    arp2 (profile), 5 Oct 2021 @ 1:25pm

    "Declaration Of Orders We Will Not Obey"

    Looking at the list of orders they will not obey. They sure seemed to have no problem disobeying those orders during the BLM protests. It's almost as if they really don't care about tyranny unless they feel it impacts them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Darkness Of Course (profile), 5 Oct 2021 @ 5:26pm

    One wonders

    What is the Venn diagram of these cops, cops that rip off people's cash, cops that steal people's cars, cops that add journalists to watch lists, and just plain old bad cops.

    O

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Thomas Tren, 6 Oct 2021 @ 8:01am

    Nothingburger

    ZOMG! Cops who swear an oath to the Constitution would actually obey their oath and refuse to enslave their fellow citizens? Maybe we should burn them at the stake? You people are insane.

    With that said, I've long believed Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes was a fed. Shame on him.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Lostinlodos (profile), 8 Oct 2021 @ 1:01pm

    Questions

    Ohkay I know nothing about this group beyond what I read here.

    But

    “with putting American citizens into concentration camps”

    This is somehow “ “fresh-off-the-crack-pipe”?

    The country has done this multiple times.
    I clicked the link:
    1* the majority of the country, across parties and beliefs support the right to keep arms

    2* i thought techdirt was against Warrantless searches

    3* looks good to me. American citizens have rights under the constitution

    4* is qualified with “without the express consent and invitation of that state’s legislature and governor.” But I’m a State’s rights libertarian.

    5* ohkay. This is problematic. But this is still debated in less public places. Including the government. Are we a republic of independent states (EU/USSR style) or a country of dependent districts (China style)?
    I am not of a set opinion either way.

    6* as with 5… problematic. And no personal opinion.

    7* see opening

    8* makes sense

    9* as per 7 see opening. The country has done this multiple times

    10* zero debate from me.

    I see only two constitutional concerns in this. And those are concerns that the 16th president exceeded his authority on.
    Remember the federal government invaded state property at the start of the civil war.
    That the southern states marched north of their land is equally indefensible!

    The right of state within the union has not been fully tested in court.
    That aside, there’s nothing directly negative in that charter.

    As I started off with, I don’t know who this group is or what they stand for. But the linked source page doesn’t come across as anything to be afraid of.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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