A leaked Oath Keepers list names 20 current military members. The Pentagon could have prevented this.

At least 20 members of the U.S. military signed up for the extremist, anti-government Oath Keepers, according to a hacked list shared with reporters.

Oath Keepers, Oath Keepers

1/20/2022 4:35:00 PM

At least 20 members of the U.S. military signed up for the extremist, anti-government Oath Keepers , according to a hacked list shared with reporters.

At least 20 members of the U.S. military signed up for the extremist, anti-government Oath Keepers , according to a hacked list shared with reporters.

“Sailor participation in supremacist or extremist activities is directly contrary to professionalism standards which all Sailors are expected to follow,” said Navy spokeswoman Priscilla Rodriguez. “We will investigate reports of misconduct and those found in violation of the Navy’s policies will be held accountable.”

Coast Guard veterans Matthew Rupp and Michael Marion signed up with their Coast Guard email addresses. Cody Meridith joined with his Navy email while he was serving. The three men told USA TODAY that they did not realize what the Oath Keepers were about when they sent in money or joined, describing an organization that has changed drastically over the past decade.

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Prosecutors reveal new details of alleged Jan. 6 plotting by Oath KeepersThe Justice Department in a new court filing have revealed even more details behind the Oath Keepers ' alleged plotting in advance of the Jan. 6 insurrection. facts say no weapon, no murder attempts. but to invent «evil plans» accusers can eternally. they show weaponless protest as terr act, protesters as terrorists and will use these false accusation to leave them in prisons for many decades. for protest against corrupted state power Charade is over America. WashingtonDC: Capitol. EdwardVallejo oathkeepers. Vallejo was just outside the range of the Capitol. Vallejo was part of the QuickReactionTeam Vallejo would drive in with Guns and Ammo. Lawrence Maddow.

Opinion | Oath Keepers indictment suggests DOJ is sitting on searing Jan. 6 evidenceThe most interesting aspect from the Oath Keepers sedition indictments isn't who has been charged — but who might be charged next, BarbMcQuade writes. BarbMcQuade Democrats hell. Covid. Crime border poverty. Prices. Ignored BarbMcQuade Outrage! MAGA riot convicts get less jail than non-violent drug users BarbMcQuade Accused of what? who has been accused of sedition? and how old was his sentence?

Oath Keeper Returned to Capitol Morning After Riot to ‘Probe Defense Line,’ Prosecutors SayHe returned to the scene next morning for 'recon' as Congress was completing its delayed election certification, according to court documents “He and other members of a ‘quick reaction force’ he led were apparently also prepared to wage battle in the city for weeks. Ahead of the Jan. 6 riot, Vallejo and others ‘wheeled in bags and large bins of weapons, ammunition, and essential supplies to last 30 days.”

Prosecutors reveal new details of alleged Jan. 6 plotting by Oath KeepersThe Justice Department in a new court filing have revealed even more details behind the Oath Keepers ' alleged plotting in advance of the Jan. 6 insurrection. facts say no weapon, no murder attempts. but to invent «evil plans» accusers can eternally. they show weaponless protest as terr act, protesters as terrorists and will use these false accusation to leave them in prisons for many decades. for protest against corrupted state power Charade is over America. WashingtonDC: Capitol. EdwardVallejo oathkeepers. Vallejo was just outside the range of the Capitol. Vallejo was part of the QuickReactionTeam Vallejo would drive in with Guns and Ammo. Lawrence Maddow.

Opinion | Oath Keepers indictment suggests DOJ is sitting on searing Jan. 6 evidenceThe most interesting aspect from the Oath Keepers sedition indictments isn't who has been charged — but who might be charged next, BarbMcQuade writes. BarbMcQuade Democrats hell. Covid. Crime border poverty. Prices. Ignored BarbMcQuade Outrage! MAGA riot convicts get less jail than non-violent drug users BarbMcQuade Accused of what? who has been accused of sedition? and how old was his sentence?

Oath Keeper Returned to Capitol Morning After Riot to ‘Probe Defense Line,’ Prosecutors SayHe returned to the scene next morning for 'recon' as Congress was completing its delayed election certification, according to court documents “He and other members of a ‘quick reaction force’ he led were apparently also prepared to wage battle in the city for weeks. Ahead of the Jan. 6 riot, Vallejo and others ‘wheeled in bags and large bins of weapons, ammunition, and essential supplies to last 30 days.”

policy on active participation in December but fell short of banning all types of involvement in extremist groups. "As a result of the January 6 attack and the number of military service members and veterans and law enforcement officers (who were involved in the attack), I think there’s a growing recognition that there needs to be the due diligence done on individuals who are going to have positions of trust within the government," Speier said. Of the five branches USA TODAY contacted for this story, the Navy took the strictest stance, saying it would not tolerate such behavior. Four of the 20 currently serving members of the military were in the Navy. “Sailor participation in supremacist or extremist activities is directly contrary to professionalism standards which all Sailors are expected to follow,” said Navy spokeswoman Priscilla Rodriguez. “We will investigate reports of misconduct and those found in violation of the Navy’s policies will be held accountable.” 'My heart wasn't really in it' Another 61 veterans from the Oath Keepers membership list, almost all men, are now retired but signed up while in uniform. The majority joined between 2009 and 2013. Most were in the Army, the largest branch of the military and where Rhodes, the group's founder, served. Daniel Medoff, 38, was serving in the Army when he signed up in 2009. He was fresh off a tour in Iraq and serving at a hospital in Germany when an ad for the Oath Keepers "popped up" online one day. "My heart wasn't really in it, it was just more the thrill of it –that addiction of feeling like I could belong somewhere,” Medoff said. Coast Guard veterans Matthew Rupp and Michael Marion signed up with their Coast Guard email addresses. Cody Meridith joined with his Navy email while he was serving. The three men told USA TODAY that they did not realize what the Oath Keepers were about when they sent in money or joined, describing an organization that has changed drastically over the past decade. A man wearing an"Oath Keepers" shirt stands outside the Kenosha County Courthouse in Wisconsin on Nov. 19, 2021, after Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted of all charges after pleading self-defense in the deadly Kenosha shootings that became a flashpoint in the nation's debate over guns, vigilantism and racial injustice. Rupp, who retired from the Coast Guard in 2019, said he sent in $15 around 2013 in response to a magazine ad about helping out with disaster relief. Then the Oath Keepers sent him a pamphlet in the mail. “Once I got the pamphlet, I realized it was a load of horsesh—,” he said. “It was not as described.” The Oath Keepers have used apocalyptic and revolutionary language to lure military veterans and law enforcement since their founding in 2009. The Oath Keepers say their interpretation of the Constitution trumps the federal government’s power, and the group lists 10 specific orders that military service members or law enforcement officers must never obey. The list includes a hypothetical situation where the government orders citizens to disarm. In 2014, members of the Oath Keepers stood in solidarity with a rancher in Nevada who had for years refused to pay the federal government to let his cattle roam on federal land. The rancher echoed long-debunked beliefs held by the militia movement that the federal government cannot own land, and that true power rests with county sheriffs. Two of the 61 veterans joined that year, and another two joined in 2015. The group plunged itself in Ferguson, Missouri, even after the local police department told them to stand down, and later into rallies for former President Donald Trump. Rhodes simultaneously started appearing on conspiracy theory sites such as Infowars. 'Preparing for a civil war' Even though the Oath Keepers have become more extreme over time, it has always been an anti-government group preparing for a civil war under the guise of advocacy for the Constitution. Kathleen Belew, a history professor at the University of Chicago, said that while some extremist groups target people of color but still support the government, the Oath Keepers’ primary target is the federal government, which includes the military. “Our active-duty troops take an oath to protect our nation, our Constitution – from enemies, foreign and domestic,” she said. She called the Oath Keepers part of a militant white power groundswell that has “attempted to overthrow the United States or to target its elected officials, its agents, its infrastructure, and its people.” Belew invoked language from the military oath of enlistment, when members say they will defend the Constitution “against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” “They've been enemies domestic,” she added. Susan Corke, the intelligence project director for the Southern Poverty Law Center, said the Oath Keepers target military and law enforcement specifically to take advantage of their tactical training. “Their ultimate goal is a hard-right ethnostate, and they’re prepared to take up arms to do so, and they’re actively preparing,” Corke said. “The tactical expertise of military and law enforcement is very, very attractive to the Oath Keepers.” 'Willing to do anything that is legal' Dozens of people on the Oath Keepers membership list used an email address ending in .mil, the Department of Defense's domain ending, and at least 14 of those are still serving. This is an apparent violation of Pentagon regulations about the use of military email accounts for uses that would “reflect adversely” on the Defense Department or “other uses that are incompatible with public service.” But it’s not clear if members who used their emails simply to join the group have violated the vague policy banning active participation in extremist groups. “It’s disturbing that people are in touch with Oath Keepers, but you gotta wonder who would be silly enough to use their work email for this,” said Jim Lewis, a senior vice president for the Center for Strategic and International Studies. WHO INVADED THE U.S. CAPITOL: Criminal cases shed light on offenses Jason Kobylarz, a U.S. Army veteran who signed up for the Oath Keepers in 2010, said people likely used their military email addresses because they weren’t tech savvy and it was the only email they had at the time. He said it probably went against a policy, but no one seemed to be enforcing it. Todd Pegg, an Army colonel and commandant at the Virginia Military Institute, appeared on both lists USA TODAY used for this investigation. The records say he signed up for an annual membership on March 30, 2010. He denied ever being involved with the Oath Keepers. He is currently on military leave. Col. Bill Wyatt, spokesperson for the Virginia Military Institute, said Pegg “is not now nor has he ever been affiliated with the Oath Keepers. He suspects they got his name from a gun show he attended in the past.” Wyatt said he did not know the name of the gun show. Bradley Baker, who is currently serving with the U.S. Coast Guard, signed up with his military email. He wrote on the form: “I feel very strongly in the Oath Keepers message and I would be willing to do anything that is legal to help the cause.” Lt. Cmdr. Brittany Panetta, a spokeswoman for the Coast Guard, said that branch conducted a “preliminary inquiry” into Baker that included a scan of government systems and Coast Guard networks and “uncovered no affiliation" between the guardsman and the Oath Keepers. She did not elaborate on details about the scan. Jonathan Fox, of Virginia, signed up using a military email representing the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, a Department of Defense Agency “focused exclusively on countering and deterring weapons of mass destruction and emerging threats.” Reached at home, Fox said he was no longer with the Oath Keepers and declined to comment further. The Defense Threat Reduction Agency said in an email that the agency does not confirm or deny people’s employment. 'People with a split allegiance' This isn’t the first time the Pentagon has learned that service members had joined the Oath Keepers. Beirich, from the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism, said when she was running the SPLC’s intelligence project in 2018, she sent the military a membership list from 2015. Orland, the Department of Defense spokesman, said he did not have information on that list. Of the 20 active members USA TODAY found in the list released last fall, 16 also appeared on the 2015 list. Lorax B. Horne, a member of the Distributed Denial of Secrets collective, which released the second Oath Keepers membership list, said the organization has not received a data request from the military. The U.S. military has had other warnings about extremists in its ranks. The U.S. military, which includes about 1.3 million active-duty members across the five branches , plus some 800,000 reservists, has had other warnings about extremists in its ranks. In 2006, the Southern Poverty Law Center found that military personnel were under such intense pressure to recruit for the wars in Iraq in Afghanistan that the Pentagon “relaxed standards to prohibit racist extremists from serving in the armed forces.” The group sent those findings to then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. In 2009, federal intelligence agents at the Department of Homeland Security published a report warning extremists were attempting to recruit current and former members of the military. The report evoked outrage from Republican politicians and their allies in conservative media, and it was quickly buried . The unit that wrote the report was disbanded. "This has been a problem that the Pentagon has been aware of, at least since the late 1970s,” said Belew, the Chicago professor. “We have, over and over again, dealt with the disappearance of weapons for military posts and bases; with targeted recruitment on posts; with people with a split allegiance to groups that would like to overthrow the United States while they're serving.” Contributing: Dinah Voyles Pulver and Bart Jansen, USA TODAY This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting Recommended Stories 19-year-old woman sets record for solo global flight The 19-year-old Belgian-British pilot Zara Rutherford set a world record as the youngest woman to fly solo around the world, touching her small airplane down in western Belgium on Thursday — 155 days after she departed. 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