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Friday, January 28, 2022

The Oath Keepers in Ferguson


Standing on top of a boarded up beauty shop, silhouetted men look out over the street. I can faintly see the outline of a rifle, an AR-15? M-16? I don’t know guns well enough to make a guess. I walk carefully over to the building, hands half raised. The weather in Ferguson has turned cold, and as I get closer I can see their breath in the night air. I’m trying to think of what to say. There’s lots of stories about these guys. People down the street are connecting them to the rumors that the KKK is in Ferguson. Some call them a militia, others dispute the term. Depending on which channel you watch, these guys are villains or heroes. I decided when I first saw someone standing on a roof in camo I wanted to talk to them. So here I am, standing in a dimly lit parking lot, camera gear hanging around my neck.

“Hi!” I yell up to the man on the roof, “I’m wondering if I could interview someone up there!”

A voice comes back and asks who I am with. I say, “The Mudflats, an Alaskan website.”

After 5 minutes of walkie talkies squaking back and forth, I’m asked to go to an alley between two buildings.

I can think of only two reasons for this. One, so that we can hear each other better, the other is, well a bit more uncomfortable: It makes it easier to take me out. Sam, the silhouette on the roof, has no intention of doing that though. He’s very friendly and more than ready to talk to someone from Alaska. When he’s on the ground he tells me his first wife was from Homer.

We start chatting and the rest of my crew joins me (Mudflats contributor, Marcus DiPaola and two other journo’s that have joined us here in Ferguson). Sam invites us into the dentist’s office that was being used as his crew’s base station. Making our way through piles of gear (I won’t specify what they have), and staying quiet as we pass an earlier shift catching up on sleep, we headed to the waiting room. Just like every other waiting room in America, there were chairs and old magazines. This one though, had windows boarded up with plywood. Before turning on the camera, Sam and I talked for a bit about the Oath Keepers and how they’ve been portrayed in the media. He specifically noted that Sky News, the British Rupert Murdoch-owned news network had taken an interview they had done and edited the questions to his answers.

So, here is his interview in full – the edits are noted by the white flashes – and only remove my ‘ums’ and space between questions.

[post script] After the interview, Sam and his crew worried for our safety as from his perch he had witnessed quite a bit. He gave us a signal that if we were in distress we should immediately show towards his building and we would be protected. Thankfully we never needed to use it.




11 Responses to “The Oath Keepers in Ferguson”
  1. Excellent interview. You did a great job. That dude is more than a little creepy..!!

    I wish you would have asked him about Bundy.

  2. mike from iowa says:

    From what little I have read about “Oath Keepers” they seem to have a misplaced/arbitrary idea of what laws to enforce(not their job)/obey(which is everyone’s job). IMHO they need to put their Lone Ranger fantasies to bed for the benefit of all. Not everyone gets to be Dirty Harry Calahan.

  3. mike from iowa says:

    Whitebread can’t spell “oaf”.

  4. desert broad says:

    from Oathkeepers national blog:11/22/14: claims that President Obama’s immigration action is illegal, justifies federal employees refusing to implement it, alludes to their right to arrest the ones who DO obey it and muses about ARRESTING PRESIDENT OBAMA for his immigration action.

    Excerpts as follows from 11/22 article on website ,originally published on Conservative HQ,by George Rasley,11/21.( …indicates my edit,for length.)
    “Gallons of ink have already been spilled on the pages of America’s newspapers by scholars and lawyers explaining that President Obama does not have all or key elements of the authority he claims to have to grant amnesty to millions of illegal aliens.And gallons more have been spilled explaining the details of how such an illegal and unconstitutional amnesty would work and the steps Congress might take to defund it.

    But what no one seems to have recognized is that it takes people – federal employees, sworn law enforcement agents, and maybe even some military personnel – to accomplish Obama’s illegal goals.

    Someone has to let the illegal aliens out of jail, issue the documents, mail the green cards and do all the hundreds of other tasks necessary to carry out Obama’s illegal and unconstitutional scheme. And each of those individuals took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, not blindly follow a president’s orders.

    And there’s a good bit of evidence that federal employees, sworn law enforcement agents and military officers can not only refuse an illegal order, but if they don’t they accrue personal criminal or civil liability.

    American military law and tradition holds that military members are accountable for their actions even while following orders — if the order was illegal. So, an order that is unlawful not only does not need to be obeyed, but obeying such an order can result in criminal prosecution of the one who obeys it.
    So, U.S. military personnel are authorized by their oath of enlistment and training to refuse unlawful orders, indeed, officers are actually authorized to arrest those who issue unlawful orders, unlikely as it is that President Obama’s military aide will attempt to arrest him.”
    end of quote

    noted :: blatant inaccuracies for use of the word ‘amnesty’ and claiming Obama issued an executive order when in fact he did not even do that, but instead, as the elected chief executive and president of the country , took legal action in this area. this is the basis for this treatise, this call to revolution among the ranks?
    very, very shallow mask on this group.
    heavily armed right wing group travels to communities to sometimes partner with existing bad law enforcement, or sometimes partner with private lawbreakers (they decide which lawbreakers to partner with and which to oppose), offer ‘protection’ to garner support, (didn’t they protect the businesses around the police station? i know they protected Cliven Bundy, while the nearby town could not get rid of them fast enough).encouraging federal employees to disobey, arrest other employees etc…not because the feds are attacking anyone, but because the president has acted on the immigration issue.
    Andrews is smooth ,polished, reassuring, intelligent. buyer beware. according to him ,he is a nice guy bearing water buckets.
    they answer to no one, have more guns than anyone you know, and claim they are prepared to use them…. against whoever THEY decide is in the wrong.
    what could go wrong?

    • mike from iowa says:

      Interesting. New budget agreement removes threat to Obama’s ability to use executive action on immigration. Whatever happened to immigration threat,illegal immigrant kids and ebola now that wingnuts uded them to scare people into voting for wingnuts? They all disappeared as major threats to rill ‘murrica.

    • THANK YOU..!! Well said.

  5. Mo says:

    I kinda wonder if any of these guys are black. Because:

    Fear and the need to feel important take us down some sketchy alleyways.

  6. DSmyre says:

    Police shut down Oath Keepers in Ferguson.

  7. Zyxomma says:

    Thanks, Zach. I’ve never heard more than a 10-second blurb from an Oath Keeper before.