Warning to U.S. Military and Federal LEOs: Do Not Follow Orders to “Waco” Ammon Bundy Occupation, or Risk Civil War

Warning to U.S. Military and Federal LEOs: Do Not Follow Orders to “Waco” Ammon Bundy Occupation, or Risk Civil War


SF insig

De Oppresso Liber?  We Shall See

This is addressed first and foremost to the entire U.S. military, but especially to the military Special Operations Command and community.    Secondly, it is addressed to federal LEOs, and especially to their SRTs, such as the FBI HRT (many of whom are former military special operations).  This comes from combat arms and special operations veterans, along with veteran Sheriffs and police officers, within the Oath Keepers organization:

Critical Warning:

The Ammon Bundy led occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon must be handled as a normal, non-crisis, law enforcement matter, and preferably by Oregon Sheriffs (who are organized as the Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association), and their deputies, together with the local community there in Harney County, OR.   The locals can resolve this, if given enough time.   The Oregon Sheriffs can resolve this, if given enough time.

This situation must not be handled in a military or paramilitary fashion, using military assets, military rules of engagement, or otherwise attempting to end it suddenly by use of dynamic assault, resulting in catastrophic loss of life, as has occurred twice in recent American history, with horrific results (at Ruby Ridge in 1992, and at Waco Texas in 1993).  If you do it “Waco” style here, you risk pushing this nation over the edge into a civil war, because there are “no more free Wacos.

This is not an emergency situation, unless you turn it into one.  Ammon Bundy’s occupation of an empty building is essentially the same as civil-disobedience sit-ins that the political left has engaged in for decades, from anti-war and civil rights protesters in the 60s and 70s (including a nineteen month occupation of Alcatraz by American Indian activists), to Occupy Wall Street Movement and Black Lives Matter activists today.

These ranchers, cowboys, and veterans just happen to be armed, as westerners tend to be.   Get over it.  There are no hostages, there are no close-by neighbors at risk, there is nobody there except those who want to be.

So tread lightly, and at most handle this like the Montana Freeman standoff, where the FBI was patient and waited them out, with a peaceful surrender coming after eighty one days.   In this situation, the locals will likely have this resolved long before that length of time.  Regardless, there is no rush.

Despite that reality of there being no emergency here, we have very good reason to believe that ideologue leftist bureaucrats within the Obama Administration – such as within the D.O.J., and their politically minded “perfumed prince” puppets within the D.O.D. – are pressuring you to prepare to use military assets and military rules of engagement to conduct a dynamic raid.   We are an organization of current serving and retired military, police, fire-fighters and other first responders, and we have contacts at every major military installation in America (including Joint Base Lewis-McChord), and at the Pentagon.   We hear things.  We’ll just leave it at that.

And we know that the Obama Administration considered the use of military force during the Bundy Ranch standoff in April, 2014, pursuant to Directive No. 3025.18, “Defense Support of Civil Authorities.”  Fortunately for all Americans, they decided not to do it.  This fact was confirmed by a May 28, 2014 Washington Times article:

A U.S. official said the Obama administration considered but rejected deploying military force under the directive during the recent standoff with Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and his armed supporters.

From Inside the Ring: Memo Outlines Obama’s Plan to Use the Military Against Citizens

So, the military force hammer was, in fact, on the table during Bundy Ranch, as we suspected.  Please don’t try to tell us it’s not on the table again, now.   We know it is.  The only question is whether the Obama Admin leftist weenies will be foolish enough to try to actually use it, and if they do, whether you will be foolish enough to obey their idiotic orders and obediently act as that hammer.

In addition, it is clear you federal LEOs have not handled this in the normal law enforcement manner of cordoning off the area and immediately initiating negotiations.  Why is that?  Why has there yet to be even an attempt to open direct lines of communications between you and Ammon Bundy, as members of Pacific Patriot Network, Idaho III%, and Oath Keepers on the ground in Burns, OR have been repeatedly urging you to do for the past week, to no avail?

Don’t do it.  Do not follow unlawful orders if the Obama Administration fools decide to go “full retard.”  No matter how eager the politicians like Harry Reid are for Ammon Bundy’s head, after the black eye Ammon and his family gave them at Bundy Ranch in 2014, and no matter how much they pressure you to “make an example” out of these guys, you cannot drop the hammer on a bunch of ranchers, cowboys, and veterans sitting in an empty building without it blowing up in all of our faces.  Treat this with kid gloves, like the Montana Freeman standoff, instead of like the Waco standoff, or risk setting off a civil war.

The stuffed-shirt, pencil necked metrosexuals inside the D.C. beltway will not be the ones bleeding and dying in the chaos that could follow (at least not at first).


Guys like this, in D.C., won’t be the ones who will bleed (not at first).

It will be you current serving military and LEO, and it will be us patriotic veterans, along with our many active duty brothers who still take their oaths seriously (and we are truly everywhere, including within your immediate ranks) who will bleed.  It will be the warrior class of America killing each other while the political hacks laugh (they hate you too, don’t you know).

As SGM Joseph Santoro (Ret), Oath Keepers BOD member, and our National Operations NCO put it, while on the ground in Harney County, OR:

I served 25 years in the U.S. Army infantry and EOD, and retired  a Sgt. Maj.    I also served five years as a Contractor at the 10th Special Forces Group and three years as a Contractor at the U.S. Army EOD School.  I know the military, and I know they are watching this closely, just like they watched Bundy Ranch, and this [pointing to the land] is where most of your trigger pullers come from.  Most are country boys who have seen first hand the abuses of their families by the BLM, the EPA, activist judges, etc.  They are not stupid.  They have seen logging, ranching, mining, and farming assaulted and shut down in little towns all around this land.  

And if you Feds get froggy here and smoke a bunch of ranchers and veterans who are justifiably pissed off at what is being done all over the West, you will have active duty warriors climbing up your backsides with extreme prejudice.  And us veterans climbing down your throat.  That’s not a threat.  Just a fact.

So tread lightly, and don’t tread on us. 

You are on notice that THERE ARE NO MORE FREE WACOS, as Mike Vanderboegh, Founder of the III% Movement puts it.

You can read his heartfelt open letter to the U.S. military (and to all of us) here.  And one by an SF veteran here.  And below is a video of part of SGM Santoro’s statement at a press conference at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge on Tuesday, January 12, 2016:

Oath Keepers members are on the ground in Burns, OR as part of the Pacific Patriot Network lead “buffer” operation to try to prevent another Waco type incident, to encourage open dialogue and peaceful resolution, and in support of the release of Dwight and Steven Hammond from prison, pressuring Obama to use his power of clemency to commute their sentences and then pardon them.  While all the groups in this coalition disagreed with what Ammon did, we all agree with the broader cause of respect for the rights of the people in the West, and we agree that there are no more free Wacos.

The Right Way and the Wrong Way

The Federal government has a spotty record when handling things like this.   It handled the American Indian  occupation of Alcatraz well, letting it go on for nineteen months, during which support for it dwindled.   It handled the Montana Freeman Standoff well, letting that go on for eighty-one days, till they surrendered.  But it screwed up big time at Ruby Ridge and Waco, with dead women and children as the result.

During the Ruby Ridge incident, a fourteen year old boy, Samuel Weaver, was shot in the back and killed by U.S. Marshalls, and his unarmed mother, Vickie Weaver, was later shot in the face and killed while holding her baby.   Vickie Weaver was shot by the notorious FBI HRT sniper, Lon Tomohisa Horiuchi (a West Point Graduate and former Army officer), under “shoot on sight” military rules of engagement orders issued to the FBI HRT that were later ruled to have been illegal.

At the Waco Texas Branch Davidian standoff, military training facilities were used to prepare the BATF to conduct it’s  unnecessary dynamic assault on the Davidian communal family church/home which they knew was full of women and children, to serve a simple search warrant.   The BATF also requested training by U.S. Army Special Forces (who were resistant to providing such training).   The local sheriff had conducted searches in the past without incident, and could easily have done so again, and the BATF could have easily detained David Koresh during one of his routine jogging sessions and then conducted the search, but instead the BATF insisted on a needless massive paramilitary assault, with agents in full battle-rattle pouring from cattle cars and immediately shooting all the Branch Davidian dogs, including puppies, within the first seconds of the raid.   That is an idiotic way to begin the service of a search warrant, to say the least.  The result was a massive fire-fight with dead on both sides, as the BATF sprayed thousands of rounds into a building with children inside.

The FBI then carried out a siege of the compound, and instead of dialing it back and doing it right, the D.O.J. and FBI doubled down on stupid.  And Delta helped.  Delta Force Commander, then Col. William G. “Jerry” Boykin, actually “advised Attorney General Janet Reno on what kind of gas to use to end the Federal Government’s standoff” with the final assault on April 19, 1993 that ended in a deadly fire that killed scores of women and children.  Delta Force was there.  FBI HRT was there.   And it was hell on earth for those innocents as they died.

After the flames died out, the FBI agents lost no time in raising the ATF flag over the charred bodies of children and then posed, smiling, for group victory photos in front of the burnt ruins.  And you wonder why so many Americans hate you? (and Boykin went on to become Commanding General, U.S. Army Special Forces Command (Airborne), Ft. Bragg, NC).

The result was the galvanization of patriots across America to form up militias, and to swear that there will never again be a “free Waco.”  We agree, and therefore we warn you to do this right, no matter what the Obama Admin overlords try to demand.   Do it right, or risk starting a conflagration so great, it cannot be stopped, leading to a bloody, brutal civil war.  And do it right, because it is your duty to refuse those orders, under your oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.   And that includes the domestic enemies now “occupying” Washington D.C.

Special Forces, it is time to go back to your roots and live up to your motto.  Your countrymen are now the oppressed.  And it is time to remember your soldier’s creed.  Each of you is an American soldier, a “guardian of freedom and the American way of life.”   Your brothers in heaven are watching.  Do the right thing.  Stand down, and refuse to obey evil, ghoulish sociopaths who salivate at the prospect of watching Americans die on camera, like they watched during Benghazi.

Tell them that if they want American patriot blood, they need to strap on a plate carrier, chest rig, and an M-4 and go do it themselves.

For the Republic,

Stewart Rhodes

Founder and President of Oath Keepers, on Behalf of All Oath Keepers


The Soldiers Creed (Old School version, pre-2003, and still the best):

I am an American Soldier.
I am a member of the United States Army – a protector of the greatest nation on earth.
Because I am proud of the uniform I wear, I will always act in ways creditable to the military service and the nation it is sworn to guard.
I am proud of my own organization. I will do all I can to make it the finest unit in the Army.
I will be loyal to those under whom I serve. I will do my full part to carry out orders and instructions given to me or my unit.
As a soldier, I realize that I am a member of a time-honored profession—that I am doing my share to keep alive the principles of freedom for which my country stands.
No matter what the situation I am in, I will never do anything, for pleasure, profit, or personal safety, which will disgrace my uniform, my unit, or my country.
I will use every means I have, even beyond the line of duty, to restrain my Army comrades from actions disgraceful to themselves and to the uniform.
I am proud of my country and its flag.
I will try to make the people of this nation proud of the service I represent, for I am an American Soldier.

Live it!

Post 2003 Version of Soldiers Creed:

I am an American Soldier.
I am a Warrior and a member of a team.
I serve the people of the United States, and live the Army Values.
I will always place the mission first.
I will never accept defeat.
I will never quit.
I will never leave a fallen comrade.
I am disciplined, physically and mentally tough, trained and proficient in my warrior tasks and drills.
I always maintain my arms, my equipment and myself.
I am an expert and I am a professional.
I stand ready to deploy, engage, and destroy the enemies of the United States of America, in close combat.
I am a guardian of freedom and the American way of life.
I am an American Soldier.


And Marines, remember, you are “First to fight for right and freedom, and to keep our honor clean.”:

From the Halls of Montezuma
To the shores of Tripoli;
We fight our country’s battles
In the air, on land, and sea;
First to fight for right and freedom
And to keep our honor clean;
We are proud to claim the title
Of United States Marine
Our flag’s unfurled to every breeze
From dawn to setting sun;
We have fought in every clime and place
Where we could take a gun;
In the snow of far-off Northern lands
And in sunny tropic scenes,
You will find us always on the job
The United States Marines.
Here’s health to you and to our Corps
Which we are proud to serve;
In many a strife we’ve fought for life
And never lost our nerve.
If the Army and the Navy
Ever look on Heaven’s scenes,
They will find the streets are guarded
By United States Marines.





About Author

Stewart Rhodes

Stewart is the founder and National President of Oath Keepers. He served as a U.S. Army paratrooper until disabled in a rough terrain parachuting accident during a night jump. He is a former firearms instructor, former member of Rep. Ron Paul’s DC staff, and served as a volunteer firefighter in Montana. Stewart previously wrote the monthly Enemy at the Gates column for S.W.A.T. Magazine. Stewart graduated from Yale Law School in 2004, where his paper “Solving the Puzzle of Enemy Combatant Status” won Yale’s Miller prize for best paper on the Bill of Rights. He assisted teaching U.S. military history at Yale, was a Yale Research Scholar, and is writing a book on the dangers of applying the laws of war to the American people.


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