Stewart Rhodes


This interview is conducted by Antiwar Radio producer Angela Keaton.

Stewart Rhodes, founder and Director of Oath Keepers, discusses his organization’s focus on educating those in the military and law enforcement on their oath to defend the Constitution, the ten orders that oath keepers must not obey, preventing “tripwire” domestic events that may lead to insurrection or revolution and how executors of the law can use selective enforcement to keep both their oaths and their jobs.

MP3 here. (27:52)

Stewart Rhodes is the founder and Director of Oath Keepers. He is a U.S. Army veteran, Yale Law School graduate and former member of Rep. Ron Paul’s DC staff. 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. He is a staff attorney with Jefferson Legal Foundation and has assisted in constitutional litigation in state and federal courts.

Stewart currently writes the monthly Enemy at the Gates column for S.W.A.T. Magazine, and has written for The Warrior, the journal of Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyer’s College; for; and for JPFO. Stewart has appeared on several radio shows, was invited to speak at Stanford University on unlawful enemy combatant status, and teaches classes on the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

17 thoughts on “Stewart Rhodes”

  1. Thanks for the interview, Angela.

    I had to listen closely to try to distinguish between his personal opinion and his representation of Oath Keepers.

    He say's that the focus of Oath Keepers is to prevent the rise of a police state here "at home" by appealing to military and police personnel to uphold the oath they swore. Sounds good.

    However, these are agents of the government with a monopoly on force. Their pay depends on the the threat of government force. So, a group of government workers is going to police themselves? I wish them well. I think journalists like Will Grigg exposing the threat that government workers pose to private individuals will, in the long run, go much further in arming people with the resolve to defend themselves. Government workers need to feel the threat from the people.

    As for his personal opinions. Where do I begin?

    1. The rise of a dangerous sect of Islam that wants to restore a Caliphate and enact Shiria law. This reminds me of some people I meet at End the Fed rallies. All for sound money and personal liberty, but, by god, we need to watch out for them terrorists(said with severe southern twang). I fear the use of Directed Energy Weapons by the U.S. Government much more.

    2. His use of the term war to refer to the invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq. The U.S. Government is not in a contest of force with another nation or state. Undeclared or not, the U.S. is not conducting war. It invaded other countries and set up an occupying force that kills civilians. Please, repeat after me: the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, the invasion and occupation of Iraq, etc.

    3. Glad to hear that he would prosecute Bush and Cheney as criminals.

    4. Neglect by the citenzry – absolutely!

    The whole pyramid of force rests on a fraud – the U.S. credit money system. A mass rejection of FRNs will bring the empire to an end. And the military and police jobs that go with it.

    1. Glenn, if people understood their constitutional responsibilities "before" joining the military, etc. Then they simply wouldn't join at all because these very institutions are corrupt to the core and are not redeemable or even open to reform. Why should they! For all this time its been business as usual and no amount of tongue wagging about the dead constitution will change a thing. On another note it should be helpful to remind people that nobody has been put to the test so as far as keeping any oaths is concerned there is no proof they would when the nut crunching starts.

  2. By the way, when will the medium-range missiles and radars be deployed at sea and in the Balkans – and for what purpose – really ? According to former Trident missile engineer Bob Aldridge- Pentagon aims to achieve a disarming and unanswerable first-strike capability.
    And according to Uni of Colorado 100 warheads Hiroshima-size is enough for Nuclear Winter.

  3. The reason the Oath Takers do not include certain items on their 10 orders pledge is because civilian law enforcement and military personnel would have to either resign or be sent to Leavenworth if they actually obeyed their pledge since they'd have to refuse to enforce any of the many unconstitutional laws or refuse to be deployed to any war undeclared by Congress.

  4. ya mean un-equal enforcement of the class system code,ya stick to the code ya imbaaciles,not to mention loyalties to enties foreign alein or queer,exzample;capialisium,zionism,Israel,nazi germany,,,OO,that kinda thing ,is that what ya mean ,HUH

  5. An Oath to uphold what?
    How far back do we reinterpret the Constitution?
    Lay the US Constituition and the Bill of Rights to rest, they have been long dead and those who mourned over their passing are generatons dead with them.
    To ask those alive today in US to protect and serve under Conditions that have not existed except as mere facades put forth as a means to Hide Behind by those who have long been empowered by means outside of Constitutional bounds is no more than the Blind trying to lead the Blind.
    There is no power Of, For or By the people, left to the people; Other than in means of and as a Special Interest Grant, from those who govern in the District of Columbia.
    Now as to who or whom realy has those powers once held by the people, that we can debate; but as to removing any of those powers from them we can but wish.

  6. Sounds like a lot of talk and very little action…

    The oath keepers are just another police/military clique, the difference being that they believe they are more honorable than the other guys. Even if they participate in the same illegal wars and same illegal activities as the less honorable non-oath keepers. There is no way to justify being an oath keeper and serving in the imperial military, no matter how you bend and twist it, it is an illegal, unconstitutional war. And being a part of it, even if you are just some grunt guarding a hangar in Germany, is breaking your oath.

    And his hate mongering opinions about how evil and dangerous Islam is and how Islam will try to establish Sharia law and a caliphate is just……….. embarrassing.

    Nice try with the oath keepers thing, but it is just another military clique with no purpose, impact, or real ideology.

  7. This is complicated. I've been to one large OK meeting. and most people there were against the occupations and not apparently anti-Islam or anti-anybody. Rhodes says that they have not taken a position against the "wars" in Iraq and Afghanistan, because many people they want to recruit still believe in what they are doing over there.

    But they are organizing in the military! And among police! I don't know anybody else who is talking to active-duty armed forces people about the Constitution or about the possibility of disobeying orders. I know there are a few like March Forward and Courage to Resist that are encouraging people to leave, but nobody else saying stay in if you want, and fight against the illegal orders. The importance of this in a time of incipient fascism should be obvious.

    I think antiwarriors of the Right and Left should reach out to these guys. When asked what people should do to help, Rhodes told us, "make friends with your local police. Let them get to know you as people. Join the volunteer fire department if you have one, or the state militia if your state has one." And talk to them. It will be difficult, I know, and Rhodes has a lot of contradictions in his views. But if we wait for perfect allies, they will never come.

  8. It seems stupid on it's face to argue that the group of armed enforcers who are just now (after eight years of Bush policy) getting really worried about being asked to be mal intented armed enforcers.

    The group may have honorable intentions in the hearts of it's ideological leaders and some of it's members, but the idea of mutinous insubordination to elected officials by unelected armed enforcers who begin with the premise that almost no one has had ANY legal authority over them for hundreds of years is awfully scary to me.

    Is the guy with the gun in the unmarked ford crown vic going to decide what the constitution says he can do to me when I cut him off by mistake on the highway in the middle of the night? I don't know about the rest of you, but the law enforcement folks I come across do a lot of things that it's obvious no one had "ordered" them to do.

      1. Then we need to hear more stories of good cops taking one for the Constitutional team. Sad to say those tales are about as rare as Unicorn sightings. The institution is fundamentally corrupt to the core so saying we have a few honorable apples is like saying you were an upstanding potato peeler at the Auschwitz canteen.

        1. MoT, exactly. "good cop" is an oxymoron.

          I grew up learning to scoff and deride "rubber badge cops" – private security guards (PSGs).

          But now I realize I had it backwards. PSGs protect private property and have been contracted (voluntarily) to do so. They obtain their payment from willing customers.

          Cops do not have customers any more than the thug who says "your wallet or your life" at gunpoint has "customers" even though people continue to give their wallets (isn't that choice? – sarcasm). When you're paid through theft (taxation), it's too late to call yourself "good".

          The "good cops" are those who see the light, quit, then work to make restitution. Anyone who is currently a cop is not "good" because they're either ignorant, and therefore not good, or they understand, and they're willfully evil.

          1. Your eloquent comments have helped me to refocus on what you yourself discovered: that the PSG is the product of a voluntary transaction while the alleged "professionals" feed off of treasure stolen from the public. I too used to deride the so-called "rent-a-cop" but that was because I'd been brainwashed into the typical statist point of view. No longer. It is indeed backwards. When you consider that cops have no ultimate responsibility to protect you then they're nothing more than armed janitors.

  9. Ok, I've lost patience for this guy. He references Spooner and infers he's read "No Treason", yet he persists in the nonsensical, collectivist, mystical claim that "we the people" have "consented" to the state formed by the Constitution.

    This indicates the man lacks intellectual integrity and has voluntarily chosen cognitive dissonance instead.

    "Yeah, I realize Spooner conclusively demonstrated that by no commonly accepted standards of law or reason can the Constitution be considered a binding contract to people now alive today, but I've got some personal emotional/ideological/egotistical investment in this magic piece of paper so I'm going to cling to nonsense like 'we the people consented' anyway."

    Nothing personal Mr. Rhodes. Hopefully there is a logically and morally consistent person inside you waiting to emerge, but currently you're either an idiot or a fiend.

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