Stewart Rhodes, founder of Oathkeepers, spoke to a group of wingnut sheriffs and claimed that the standoff at the Bundy ranch earlier this year almost caused a civil war in which the military would have turned against the government. He has no evidence of this, of course, but here it is:
Noting that a number of military veterans joined the armed anti-government protest at the Nevada ranch, Rhodes said that “the politicians and the would-be dictators in Washington, D.C…have to worry if they go too hard, if they drop the hammer too blatantly on Americans like at Bundy Ranch, that the Marine Corps would flip on them. And I think it would. And same goes for the tip of the spear in the Army, Army Airborne, special forces, your Navy Seals, all of those groups out there, the more hardcore they are as warriors, the more likely they are to look at something like that and say, ‘that’s it, I’m done’ and join the resistance.”
“And so that’s why [federal officials] are careful about what they do,” he added. “It’s not out of charity or concern for your lives that the don’t drop the hammer.”Citing a Washington Times report that the Obama administration “considered but rejected deploying military force” against the armed groups trying to stop the Bureau of Land Management from collecting decades of grazing fees from Cliven Bundy, Rhodes said, “Thankfully they did not, because if they had, that would have kicked off a civil war in this country. It would have.”
See, this is why I can’t praise the Oathkeepers. On the surface, a group of soldiers and law enforcement officers who pledge not to obey an order from the government to attack the people sounds laudable, but the truth is that these people are just far-right ideologues peddling John Birch Society paranoia. They’re demagogues selling nonsense about FEMA camps and martial law. And that makes them very dangerous, in my view.