By Michael Webster: Syndicated Investigative Reporter
The New York State Chapter of Oath Keepers (NYOK) has written a letter of demand to the New York State Intelligence Center (NYSIC).The New York Oath Keepers officers are demanding a public correction of that report which would exclude the use of their name in conjunction with "extremists" who may be considered "threats to law enforcement" and may be considered "anti-government".
According to the Oath keepers web site on June 12, 2014, the New York State Intelligence Center (NYSIC), which is managed by the New York State Police, issued New York State Counter Terrorism Bulletin: CTM 14-07: Recent Spike in Violence Targeting Law Enforcement.
In that bulletin, the NYSIC referred to three recent attacks on Law Enforcement Officers in the month of June, one in Canada and two in the United States. The bulletin stated:
"Based upon reporting it appears all the suspects in these incidents were motivated by elements of a far right anti-government ideology with a particular fixation on law enforcement."
Here is a summary of the three incidents that the NYSIC used to justify their unwarranted connection to the New York Oath Keepers and other constitutional Liberty groups in New York State.
Incident #1: On June 4, 2014, Justin Bourque, a 24-year-old male in New Brunswick, Canada, with no criminal record, shot and killed three Royal Canadian Mounted Police Officers and was later captured. The report states: "...he struggled to hold a job, turned to drugs, and became increasingly obsessed with guns (particularly the ongoing U.S. gun debate which has spilled over to a lesser degree to Canada) and abuses by police."
In reviewing Incident #1, where, exactly, is the connection to the New York Oath Keepers and other NY Liberty groups?
Incident #2: On June 6, 2014, Dennis Marx, a 48-year-old male in Forsyth County, Georgia, was shot and killed by Deputies trying to enter the county courthouse with a so-called "assault" rifle, body armor, an assortment of grenades, ammunition, food, water and flexible handcuffs. The NYSIC bulletin states: "Marx was scheduled to appear before a judge at the courthouse that morning on eleven felony drug and weapons charges. As to motive, Marx had long running issues with law enforcement and was a self-identified sovereign citizen."
Again, in reviewing Incident #2, where, exactly, is the connection to the New York Oath Keepers and other NY Liberty groups?
Incident #3: On June 8, 2014, Jerad and Amanda Miller shot and killed two police officers, and a civilian who tried to stop them in Las Vegas. "...the Millers draped a Gadsden flag ('Don't Tread on Me') over one dead officer, left a swastika on the other, and a note that said: 'This is the start of the revolution.'" They then fled to a local Wal-Mart with the officers' guns and ammunition. Additionally, they had: MRE-style food, knives and first aid supplies. They died in a shootout with police at that Wal-Mart.
The NYSIC bulletin also stated: "Jerad Miller had over a decade long criminal history in multiple states, including misdemeanor battery and drug trafficking." Additionally, the bulletin indicated that, "Jerad and Amanda Miller had also travelled to Bundy's ranch in Nevada, although they were reportedly asked to leave for being too radical and due to Jerad's criminal record."
In reviewing Incident #3, we again ask: Where, exactly, is the connection to the New York Oath Keepers and other NY Liberty groups?
The NYSIC bulletin goes on to assert: "Michael Brian Vanderboegh, a longtime militia member and founder of the III Percent Patriot Movement, which was supported by Jerad and Amanda Miller, traveled to NYS at least once in 2013 to speak to the Liberty Oath Keepers meeting in Monticello, NY."
NOTE: For the sake of accuracy, Mr. Vanderboegh founded the "National III (Three) Percent Movement," NOT the "III Percent Patriot Movement." They are different entities. Plus, Vanderboegh is on record saying, what he created is "a movement, NOT a militia, NOT an organization that can be infiltrated, co-opted or broken up ...it's an ideal." Also worthy of distinction, the Millers were NOT his supporters.
NO RATIONAL CONNECTION
So, what exactly caused those who authored the NYSIC bulletin to make the determination that we are a far-right extremist organization, posing a threat to police, when the New York Oath Keepers had absolutely nothing to do with the aforementioned incidents?
Are the good people of New York State expected to go along with NYSIC's faulty logic and misstatements of fact? Are they expected to ignore the truth-that there is absolutely no rational connection between these three incidents and New York Oath Keepers? Further, can the good people of New York have any confidence in an "intelligence" center that uses such faulty logic to publicly demonize an organization whose clearly stated purpose is to encourage OUR Military and Law Enforcement Officers, and others, to honor their oath? Can any reasonable person conclude that any or all of these three incidents justify the NYSIC classifying the New York Oath Keepers as a far-right extremist organization?
Are we now to presume that the County Sheriffs, District Attorneys, law enforcement officers and other public officials, who regularly speak at New York Oath Keepers' meetings, are also now, by association, far-right extremists? Using the connecting methodology of the NYSIC, the Sheriffs and other invited guest speakers of New York Oath Keepers must also be considered far-right extremists. After all, they spoke before the same group as Mr. Vanderboegh and are, therefore, connected.
Here is another important piece of so-called "evidence" outlined in this bulletin that caused this State agency to wrongly identify the New York Oath Keepers as far-right extremists: "The Oath Keepers is an organization composed of current and former military and law enforcement personnel, who take a pledge to 'not obey unconstitutional orders such as orders to disarm the American people, to conduct warrantless searches, or to detain Americans as enemy combatants.'"
Is NYSIC suggesting that it is extreme and threatening to encourage our officials to honor their oath and refuse to obey unconstitutional orders?
Perhaps the people who wrote this NYSIC bulletin are unaware that U.S. military personnel, local law enforcement officers, and private armed government contractors illegally searched for and seized firearms from law-abiding citizens in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, making them vulnerable to looters or other criminals and unable to protect themselves. (The actions of these officials were later found to be unconstitutional.)
Perhaps the people who wrote this NYSIC bulletin are unaware that New Orleans police officers shot six American citizens, two of whom died, simply for crossing the Danziger Bridge trying to survive the devastation and death that Hurricane Katrina brought to New Orleans. (Five New Orleans police officers were later convicted of murder.)
Perhaps the people who wrote this NYSIC bulletin are unaware of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2012, 2013, and 2014, and the dangerous provisions that authorize the federal government or their appointees the power to detain, indefinitely and without trial, any person suspected of terrorist activity or associations, or thought to "represent an enduring security threat to the United States."
Here is the final charge outlined in the NYSIC bulletin that caused them to identify the New York Oath Keepers as far-right extremists:
"There have been multiple observed instances of overlapping membership in the Oath Keepers and the III Percent Patriots, and the Oath Keepers' founder has spoken supportively of the III Percent Patriot Movement." (As cited previously, the National III Percent Movement that Vanderboegh founded is an ideal or goal to be reached. Again, Vanderboegh does NOT have an organized membership and is NOT connected to the "III Percent Patriots," as incorrectly implied by the NYSIC.)
It appears that the NYSIC bulletin is using the same cookie-cutter formula used in the infamous report from the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC):MIAC Strategic Report: The Modern Militia Movement, dated February 20, 2009. The MIAC report indicated that if someone is opposed to abortion, illegal immigration, the United Nations, and other issues, this justified considering them a potentially dangerous "militia member," simply because of his/her stance on these issues. Furthermore, under the heading, "Political Paraphernalia," the report stated, "Militia members most commonly associate with 3rd party political groups. It is not uncommon for militia members to display Constitutional Party, Campaign for Liberty, or Libertarian material. These members are usually supporters of former Presidential Candidates: Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin, and Bob Barr." It is important to note that after a nationwide swell of public outrage, on March 25, 2009, the Missouri State Highway Patrol rightly removed the MIAC report from circulation.
Are we to believe that the NYSIC is consciously engaging in the same type of misinformation campaign, and largely, for the same reasons: to harass, profile, and intimidate those they deem as political opposition? Why would anyone, especially public officials, intentionally slander New York Oath Keepers? The Oath Keepers are simply encouraging those currently serving to honor their oath, which always provides the benefits of protecting the natural rights of their fellow New Yorkers-as mandated in the Constitution. We are NOT far-right extremists, nor do we pose a danger to law enforcement.
This nation was founded on the principle that free men had the right and duty to act according to their conscience, and to support and speak about the means to achieve the most honorable representation in government. But instead, those not interested in honest debate seek to divert attention from real issues by routinely mischaracterizing their opposition as: rogue, subversive, uncaring, racist, extremist and anti-government.
The New York Oath Keepers fully understand that the Law Enforcement Officers in New York State are one of the last lines of defense against the growing lawlessness of our own state and federal government officials. So please keep in mind that we are your fellow law enforcement officers, military members, firefighters and other first-responders. We are your brothers and sisters, your fathers and mothers, your relatives, your friends, your neighbors down the street. We are small business owners and a multitude of other honorable New Yorkers who are committed to supporting and obeying constitutional laws.
REACH. TEACH. INSPIRE.
The New York Oath Keepers' mission is to encourage and persuade all Law Enforcement Officers and all sworn government officials, to honor their oath.
We stand shoulder to shoulder with the good people of New York-including honorable Law Enforcement Officers-in defense of Liberty and in opposition to unconstitutional laws that deny the People and their Posterity their natural, unalienable, God-given rights.
If the goal of NYSIC is to achieve a high-standard of credibility, which is based on truth and fairness, we highly suggest, and in fact insist, that the officials at this agency initiate a public correction, indicating their error of classifying New York Oath Keepers as a far-right extremist group and/or a threat to law enforcement.
Lastly, New York Oath Keepers formally request a meeting with officials at NYSIC and the agencies associated with them. We will answer questions and clarify the Oath Keepers' Mission. Of course, we will have questions as well.
William Cooper, President, New York Oath Keepers (former Sgt. US Air Force)
John Wallace, Vice President, New York Oath Keepers (US Army-NYARNG; Lt. Col. NYSP Ret)
Dan Devlin, Vice President, New York Oath Keepers (MP US Army; PHX, AZ PD)
Frank Morganthaler, Vice President, New York Oath Keepers (USMC; Lt. FDNY Ret)
John Mahoney, Special Advisor, New York Oath Keepers (Sgt NYPD Ret; USMC; Special Forces Trainer, US Army Ret)