URGENT Warning on OR Standoff: Military Special OP Assets Have Been Assigned for Standoff. Keep Women and Children Out of There

In Addition, an Official Oath Keeper Statement on the OR Standoff

Oath Keepers has received very credible information from an active duty source within the special operations community that at least one SOD-X (Reserve/National Guard Special Operations Detachment, see this, this, and this) unit under the command of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) has been tasked for this standoff at the Malheur Wildlife Reserve and moved to the area.   That source contacted one of our long-time members who is a retired Special Forces 1st Sgt (who has known the source for over twenty years).

Now, of course, just because such a unit has been sent to the area for possible action does not mean it will be used.  It may not (so please don’t accuse us of making that claim).  But we DO NOT trust the Obama Administration to do this right, which would be to handle this situation like the Montana Freeman standoff rather than like the Waco standoff.   Anyone who thinks that Obama wouldn’t dare drop the hammer on Ammon and his men (whether by using a military commando unit, or the infamous FBI HRT, which was present at both Ruby Ridge and Waco), is a fool.   As was reported in the Washington Times after the Bundy Ranch standoff ended, the Obama Administration did consider the use of military force during that standoff.  Fortunately, they decided against it, but that doesn’t mean cooler heads will prevail this time around.   And  once again, leftists are frothing at the mouth and demanding blood.  For example, Montel Williams says he is “Totally fine with a massive use of deadly force in Oregon to take out Ammon Bundy” and also said “I’m calling on Govt to end terrorist siege perpetrated by a bunch of hillbilly American Taliban.”

The U.S. government has used military rules of engagement and overwhelming force twice in recent history, with horrific results, and we don’t put anything past this Administration.    At Ruby Ridge, the result was a dead fifteen year old boy, shot in the back by U.S. Marshalls, and a dead mother (shot in the face by an FBI HRT sniper while holding her baby).  At Waco the result was scores of dead women and children, during a military assault using armored vehicles (with Delta Force present and involved, and with local fire-fighters intentionally kept away while the Dividians burned).  So please don’t try to say we are crazy for thinking it may be done again here.  We do hope “the adults in the room” in the Administration and in the federal LEO and military community will keep that from happening, but hope is not an operational plan.  We don’t trust them, and you shouldn’t either, so:

Keep women and children off the friggin X.

Why do we feel the need to say this?  Because we have  seen news footage showing children present at the Malheur Wildlife Reserve over the past few days.  Apparently they were brought there by their parents while they visited with Ammon and crew.    We are told that they are not staying there overnight, but even bringing them for a visit is a mistake.  We also know that several women are staying there 24/7 (apparently including the wife of Blaine Cooper).   We do not need to have the risk of dead women and children in this incident.  It is unconscionable and immoral for anyone to place non-combatant women and children at risk of being in the middle of a firefight or dynamic raid on the armed men occupying that federal wildlife refuge.

This is not a “free speech” barbecue at Bundy Ranch with live music by Jordan Page.   This is a whole different animal.   There should be no women and children there at all.  This is not a family event.  This is an armed occupation of a government building and the only people staying there should be the armed men who are willing to die there with Ammon Bundy and his brothers and a couple of embedded reporters.   If adults want to visit them and put themselves at risk, that is their choice, but don’t bring children.   If a dozen men die in a shootout, that is one thing, but if children die, there will be a civil war.

Oath Keepers

NOTE and UPDATE as of 4am, Wed., Jan 6:   We are already getting flack for even saying this, with people accusing us of spreading “false intel” or rumors, and of course, wild-eyed accusations of us somehow being “traitors” because we don’t want to see women and children put at risk.   It is really a no-brainer that this Administration would at least stage both military and Federal law enforcement Special Response Teams for possible use in this situation.  That is hardly an out-there conspiracy theory. And it should be a no-brainer and common sense to keep women and children clear of such an armed occupation of a federal facility, but apparently it is not, and so we felt duty bound to tell people to keep them away, and exactly why we think it necessary (I will ALWAYS put the safety of women and children first, no matter who it pisses off.  I am not in this for a popularity contest).  So, don’t shoot the messenger.   In addition, last night (Jan 5) Ammon Bundy himself let it be known that he had received information from three independent sources that a dynamic raid of some kind was possibly coming soon.   So there!  – Stewart


Short Oath Keepers Statement on this Standoff

I will post a longer statement later, but for now, here is a brief statement on this situation, in general:

Oath Keepers opposes the armed occupation of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge for the reasons already stated here last Friday (I had a hunch Ammon was going to go beyond a peaceful march and protest and was goingto conduct some form of armed direct action).  This is not in keeping with the moral imperative of only using the threat of force in defense when people’s lives are at stake, as at Bundy Ranch in 2014 (where we called on Oath Keepers from across the country to rush to the aid of the Bundy family and protect them from being “Waco’d” by military trained snipers and Special Forces veteran mercenaries).  In this case, neither the Hammonds nor their neighbors were in imminent threat of being murdered, and neither the Hammonds nor their neighbors asked for any form of armed standoff (the Hammonds decided against taking a hard stand).   In fact, they oppose it.  This is being done by outsiders who mislead and deceived locals (violating the vital principle of local control and leadership), deceived the Hammonds, and deceived the patriot movement by luring them in with a peaceful rally against the truly shocking abuses and injustices perpetrated on the Hammond family and then attempting to rope them into a premeditated, manufactured armed standoff.

Both Ammon Bundy and Ryan Payne (who we suspect is an agent provocateur) told the locals in the Harney County Committee of Safety, at a public town hall meeting on December 15, 2015, that they, the locals on the committee, would be making the decisions on what was to be done and would be in charge.  In fact, Ammon directly told them:

We have people across the United States that will stand with you, I’ve already explained that.  I’m confident.  But the thing is, it’s not necessarily right, for us, or for the people, to come in here and to make a stand without the people forming and being in control of it.  That’s what this Committee of Safety is.  It is where the people elect this Committee and this Committee is in charge of those that will come in and assist throughout this country, in defending the rights of this people and enforcing the Constitution.  And, I’m not going to dance around what we’re talking about here.  We’re talking about removing these unconstitutional agencies from Harney County.   And bringing the people back up to go ranching, logging, or whatever else.  But the people have to – you, you have to exhibit enough organization to form these committees of safety so that you can charge, and be in charge of the militia.   That’s what it comes down to.  That is the proper way in which this is supposed to happen (emphasis added).

Watch the video yourself:

I agree completely with the above quoted statements by Ammond to the Harney County Committee of Safety.  The people of Harney County do have the absolute right to govern themselves, and to be in charge of, and in control over, whatever is done to secure their rights in their county and state, and they have the right to be in charge of any volunteers from elsewhere who come in to help.   That truly is “the proper way in which this is supposed to happen.”  But unfortunately, Ammon did not respect that right.   Apparently, he did not really trust the people of Harney County to be in charge, and while Ammon told the locals these soothing words about their own control of their destiny, Ammon and Ryan evidently had already planned out this armed takeover of the federal facility at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge and were already staging their outsider men and supplies in the area to do it.  All of this was done without even the knowledge, let alone the consent, of that local Committee of Safety.  The Harney County Committee of Safety is in charge of jack squat.  So much for the consent of the governed, and so much for self-government.

By doing this, as Mike Vanderboegh pointed out, Ammon Bundy and Ryan Payne have given Obama the best New Years present he could hope for – an example of “militia movement/patriot aggression,” Obama can use to justify his already planned assault on gun rights (taking the focus off of the very real Jihadist terror threat, and allowing Obama to talk about a “right wing terror threat” instead), while Ammon also has the least credibility with, or support and participation from, the locals possible, since they were kept in the dark and blind-sided by this, and also with the least support from the patriot community, who were also blind-sided by Ammon and Ryan Payne.  You can read the Oregon III% statement of opposition here.   For all of the reasons our Associate Editor Brandon Smith articulated here, this standoff was a terrible plan, but one we may be stuck with.   See also the analysis of New Mexico militia leader, Bob Wright.    We support the Hammonds, who have indeed suffered terrible abuse that needs to be brought to light and corrected, and we support the return of western lands to their rightful owners, the people of the western states.   But this armed occupation is bad strategically and tactically.  There will be plenty of opportunities to take a hard stand in defense of ranchers who are taking a stand themselves, such as along the Red River in Texas.   Heck, why didn’t they just find some local ranchers and loggers in Harney County willing to start ranching again, and logging again, on those public lands, and then assign security details to protect them?  That would have been good to go, and the smart move, and we would have FULLY supported it, with deeds not just words, as we have done before, such as at the Sugar Pine mine in Josephine County, OR.   Live your lives as westerners, work your land and act as if the BLM doesn’t exist, and force the Feds to then come after you to stop you, as the clear aggressors, but do it as a united community, with the locals in charge, and we Oath Keepers will be there to back you up, and so will the Idaho and Oregon III%, the Pacific Patriot Network, the Bearded Bastards, etc who have already earned their stripes by showing up before, and they will be joined by many other groups.

A Warning to the Obama Administration:  No Free Waco’s

However, as much as we oppose what Ammon Bundy and Ryan Payne have done, we must warn the Obama Administration that it does not have free reign to “Waco” the people in this standoff by using deadly military force, such as an SOD-X, Delta Force, or the FBI HRT to kill them all.  The Federal government must respect their right to due process and do all it can to end this standoff peacefully, without loss of life.   It must treat it like the Freeman standoff, not the Waco standoff.   There will be no more free Wacos, as Mike Vanderboegh, Founder of the Three Percenter movement puts it.  We agree.   Treat this with kid gloves or risk a civil war.

Stewart Rhodes
Founder and President of Oath Keepers


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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.