American Morning

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November 16th, 2009
05:50 AM ET

Militias: Patriots or Extremists?

By Jim Acosta

Out in the woods, 30-minutes from the nearest city, the Southeast Michigan Volunteer Militia meets for training once a month.

Armed with a small arsenal of semi-automatic weapons, the question that crosses your mind at one of these exercises is: training for what?

That depends on who you ask.

Our visit with the militia is the first installment of our three part series on something called "the Patriot movement."

The members of the militia in Michigan would certainly call themselves patriots. The folks at the civil rights organization, the Southern Poverty Law Center prefers to use the word "extremists."

Critics of the modern-day militia point out how some of the members of this movement are highly secretive. For example, we contacted nearly a dozen militias for permission to observe their exercises. The militia in Michigan is the only one that said yes.

Watch: Patriots or Extremists? Video

Still, some of its members would not give us their names. Others wore masks.

Then there are the members' constant fears the Obama administration will eventually take away their gun rights.

Another member told us he thinks the president could be "dangerous for the nation."

In nearly the same breath that member said he hopes the militia's training exercises would give some in Washington "pause."

Not to worry, says the group's leader Lee Miracle. A military veteran and postal worker, yes postal worker, Miracle says he urges respect for the president.

He's out to change the way the world views militia groups. We get an up-close look at his family in part two of our series. A family Miracle refers to as "Lee and Kate plus eight plus a gun rack." That's because they have eight kids and 22 guns in the house. And the kids take part in militia day.

In part three of our series, we go to Las Vegas to go behind the scenes with an organization called "Oathkeepers." It's a group of ex-law enforcement officials and military veterans who say they've sworn an oath to the Constitution, not the president. The president they're referring to, of course, is Mr. Obama.

Share your thoughts with us here at amFIX.


Filed under: Controversy • Patriots or Extremists
soundoff (504 Responses)
  1. Jason

    You people hurling insults and calling them extremists or terrorists are simply broadly generalizing on what YOU perceive a citizens militia to be.

    All these people are doing is disaplying their Consitutional Rights to remind the individuals that make decisions in this country that the citizens are who own this land. Not the lawmakers and politicians.

    Someone said they should join the military if they want to play soldier. Thats not the point, joining the military is the antonym of joining a militia. The military OBEYs the politicians. The militiaman obeys his own ideals, not someone elses.

    Militias established this country in it's fight for independence, and if our own government should stray to far into the course of tyranny, than I'm glad to know someone will be there to fight the hopeless fight it will be.

    The government will crush any citizen defiance of it's creeping tyrannical ways I am sure, but like the patriots of Gaza, I'd rather die on my feet than live on my knees. It's the principle that matters.

    If you don't think we need to protect ourselves from the government infringing upon us as much as we need to protect ourselves from Al Queda and entire groups of people that hate us, you are mistaken.

    Once upon a time federal Income tax didn't used to exist. Now my money is garnished and put to use in ways I don't agree with. Bailing out failed enterprises and corporations so they can fail again with their wasteful ways in ten years (or less), providing for those who would not plan and work towards providing for themselves, handing it out to foreign nations to fix foreign problems and essentially just tossing it up in the air.

    The right to bear arms is essential and the government needs to be reminded that it's only true power derives from it's citizens and the LEGAL inhabitants of this land and it's only purpose is to serve their interests.

    The nonchalant "whatever" "so what" happy go lucky technologically distracted mentality of the average modern day American is exactly why we are left with the government we have.

    Who cares where our tax dollars go right? There's got to be something good on TV and if not check your Twitter. You'll find all you need to forget about the ongoing tyranny of the American political landscape.

    Destroy and Rebuild.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:13 pm |
  2. Tim

    Obama is the answer, not the problem. George Bush and Dick Cheney created the problem.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:13 pm |
  3. Mike

    If these militias are racist as is suggested by several commenters, then how do you explain the fact that many of these groups have been around since the Clinton era. While some of these groups may be racially motivated, many of them have existed for years and were created out of a fear that the 2nd amendment would be taken away in the early 1990s. Unless Democrat is now a race, most militias probably weren't formed based on racism.

    One other item of note, just because some one does not like or agree with our President does not mean they are a racist.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:13 pm |
  4. Mark

    Interesting how these nuts called themselves "militias or patriots of the constitition." so then are Afgan/Pakistan the local fighters who tried to kill our soldiers-militias, patriots of the Curan? If these guys are so tough, join the real wars and help fight the people who want to do us harm.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:13 pm |
  5. richard

    Patriots. If any things happens the ARMY/Marines/AirForce will join the State Militia Movement!

    November 16, 2009 at 3:13 pm |
  6. Logan

    I think that this whole ordeal of these groups will show the test of our original constitution and our rights as citizens of this great nation. But if we want to lessen our worries of these groups,[not saying they are doing anything wrong] we should use the rights given to us and take this fight to the white house and use our rights to get what we need and build a much stronger nation.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  7. D Bush

    It isnt that serious. I can care less if they are playing in their backyards. As long as they are not out hurting anyone or being disrespectful and minding their own business who cares. I personally dont agree but everyone can have their own opinion about things. That is why America is GREAT. I didnt care much for our last Commander in Chief and I cant very well expect everyone else to like this one. However I do sayto those that dislike him, give Obama a chance before you pass your judgement. America gave W. 8 years.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  8. Frank

    I'm pretty sure most of these groups would also help defend America against a foreign invader if need be, unless these milities start crossing the line they should be allowed to continue.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  9. Susannah

    These people are patriots who understand their role in the US government - the ones that watch the watchers.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  10. Sic-n-tired

    Someone please show me where the issue of minorities or race was introduced in this piece. Why have so many responses called it out? This has nothing to do with racial persecution. This issue is about the fear of government controling the lives of private citizens – all races included. Please study your history for a better understanding of how these people might justify their fear. The American Revolution is a good place to start, but you might also have a look at the dozens of other historical global examples where people have been subjugated by their government (or their radical leaders). You might be as surprised as I was to learn how similar our circumstances are...

    November 16, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  11. Christoph

    I've never met these people. I don't rightly know if they are "kkk" or "racists" or "extremists". They sound like concerned individuals, serious about a cause. Says here that they have families.. and they don't seem to be breaking any laws. So you say they are jumping to conclusions about gun laws? Mmmm. This is ironic. Talk about fear and paranoia. Some of these comments are extreme assumptions.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  12. Miss J

    Hey Erica, when blacks were having their rights trampled on, I believe a militia was born....ever heard of the Black Panthers? People learn to fight back when they do it with intellect, not violence. They're called "lawyers."

    November 16, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  13. Jason

    It is almost inevitable that any armed group operating on the fringe of society will eventually turn to more sinister agendas. Just examine the following:

    1) The remnants of the early Black Panther movement turned into founders of the urban street gangs like the Cryps.

    2) Early biker gangs were formed to celebrate brotherhood and unity among war veterans. Later they became criminal organizations.

    3) White supremacist skin head groups may have started under the guise of protection of whites in prison/inner cities, but they later became nothing more than meth trafficking organizations.

    You take a group of armed, angry individuals and it is just a matter of time before someone realizes they can easily leverage the members into whatever agenda they choose.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  14. cravaloid

    Its funny that the words "Southern Poverty" would appear in an article about militias.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  15. Garp

    These militias have been around for decades, adding racism to the matter is simply trying to sell newspapers.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  16. Chris

    If you were in Canada you'd Be Classified As Terrorists

    November 16, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  17. katie

    extremists. Timothy McVeigh had ties to similar groups.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  18. Dink

    Neither.

    Just because they are exercising an American right doesn't automatically make them patriots. And it's because they are acting under an American right – and knowing that they are doing so – which proves that they are not extremists.

    I just hope that they don't end up using their political party affiliation as an excuse to start something that can become extremist, simply because they don't agree with the things happening in Washington. That's why we have our other rights: freedom of speech, protest, etc. The use of violence is an absolutely final resort.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  19. fred shapiro

    These guys are crackpots.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  20. Alexander

    They're patriots – anyone who says otherwise should seriously relook the U.S. Constitution. We have the right to form militias and bear arms. What they're doing is perfectly legal and within their rights. As for people comparing them with gangs, I'm pretty sure you won't see any of them doing drivebys in their local neighborhoods in attempts to solidify their "turf."

    These are model U.S. citizens and the kind of people that made our nation into the powerhouse it is today. You have my support!

    November 16, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  21. B

    OMG....you people think this is about racism and a bunch of other useless things? No one is saying this is about racism or gangs. They are not extremists. They are practicing a constitutional right that we were all, as US Citizens, given. This is not about attacking anyone. If you all would know your basic American History, the Militia Act of 1792 was written by Congress. Who do you think defeated the British?? MILITIAS....everyday, hardworking people who loved and wanted to protect their rights and country. Get a clue people...these are not extremists. Extremists want to harm others and are violent. These people are not hurting anyone, are staying within the legal limits, and only plan on being involved, if someday, God forbid, our country falls apart and our rights are being taken away. Remember, your government should fear the people. The people should not fear the government.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  22. Tstar

    Patricia J Wallace....are you or your husband part of this militia? Must be because only one of their own could justify them as militia and not as terrorists.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  23. joe

    looks to me like a bunch of paranoid nutjobs

    November 16, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  24. Ben

    Reading these comments, I cant help but feel disgusted that these ignorant idiots call these guys "extremists".
    These idiots saying this because of "racism" or religious fury, etc etc.
    Do you morons know that majority of militias built up during Clinton's time??? Was Bill Clinton black or white? I forgot...hmm....
    Its sickening to read all these comments discussing militias as they are some form of extremist organization. Do you morons know ANYTHING about our founding fathers, the American Revolution, the Constitution, or the Declaration of Independence???
    Our Constitution, yeh that still means something you little jokes, gives us Americans the right to organize a militia in order to protect its citizens. We also have the right to free speech, right to bear arms, right to due process, etc etc. Do you clowns need a reminder??
    This is what happens when you send your kids to public schools.
    I just want to say that you idiots, NOT THE GOVERNMENT suprisingly, are the reason why this country has gone from a once Constitutional Republic to a Banana Republic. Your absolute ignorance and stupidity ENABLES the government to slowly strip every Constitutional right away from you. Your ignorance ENABLES poverty-pimps like Sotok from SPLC to blindly steal every right you ever had. And you morons don't even care??? Don't you understand that ALL throughout history, governments when their power is unchecked, become tyrannical???? Are you serious??? I know some of you morons watch movies, so do me a favor and think about any historical movie with a government out-of-control and tyrannical in nature.
    And if you buffoons think this is just because of a liberal president, you are soo off-base its hilarous. Bush violated the Constitution on a pretty much daily basis, it's just the MEDIA didn't HIGHLIGHT militias then? You get it? Comprende??? If you clowns still think Obama has not violated nor hinted at violating more of our Constitutional rights, do the research yourself or keep on sucking your thumb waiting for your welfare check.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  25. Sierra

    I deffinately agree with saying they are extremeist. And I really hope that the kids with guns is a metaphor and there aren't really children with guns. Thats sick. I think that they should be monitered, their public disreguard for the president is something to be wary of.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  26. James Pound

    i don't think anything will happen as long as the Government to include the both houses of Congress, the Judiciary and the Executive branch continue to uphold the Constitution of the United States. The view of most militias is that they are protecting our rights or defending the Constitution of the United states. When I joined the Military I took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America against enemies both foreign and domestic. That oath means that should the government violate the Constitution we the people should take action to fix the problem. That generally involves legal means, protests, and information campaigns. The need for a militia would only come to being if the government sent troops to qwell any legal demonstrations and refused to change or undo the violation. Violence is always an absolutely dead last resort. Until then I will use the most powerful weapon I have to fight a corrupt government, my vote. If things should however change my firearms are well kept and my ammo bin is full and in the name of Liberty will be used if needed.

    Cheers,
    James

    November 16, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  27. Jon H.

    Be careful about what is going on in congress, A bill introduced in the House- HR-45- although labeled a fringe bill with no real chance of going anywhere, seems to be backed by the administration. You can go to the Congressional websites and see for youself what is going on in Congress, more people need to see for themselves and make their own decisions about who to back, and who to contact about what is going on.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  28. Zach

    These men are asserting their rights as citizens. Face it, they're not extremists. They are excersising their rights, and essentially, if/when the gov't ever decides to enact some sort of police state of some sort, these militias will probably be the ones that will fight to prevent it. In times such as this, where political unrest is global, being prepared for rough times is probably the best option.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  29. T. Khan

    They are not only idiots and extremists; they are racist as well hence they can’t be called patriots. If they were patriot, we would be seeing at least some diversity in these groups. They're all whites. Additionally, what if American Muslims formed such a group citing fears of losing their rights? (Which, as we all know were taken away to a certain extent)

    November 16, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  30. Big Bear

    With comments like " I am going to transform the country."; "The Pacific Rim shaped my view of the world'" (mostly Muslim population); Don't use the term "War on Terror"., etc. it is probably safest for most Americans to be doubtful about the future of their freedoms.
    This thought is further strengthened when you consider that our government is going to treat terrorists as American citizens in N.Y.; it threatens the survival of capitalism; and it is attempting to take over the internet and our communications systems.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  31. jona

    THis is the usual fare for the idiots at CNN..Find white people doing ANYTHING and portray them as racist idiots..

    Um... CNN.. if you are looking for lawless bands of armed militia.. amybe try your "BLack in America" segments?

    November 16, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  32. Mu

    This notion that one man – Obama- can control so much is just crazy. Every 2, 4 and 6 years we choose different representatives of our Federal goverment. Ditto for our ability to choose our state and local officials.

    Poor people, if it wasn't for hate and fear, they would have nothing at all.

    I am fine with gun ownership and people playing army in the woods but it not "Patriotic" to think that your threats of force are how most Americans choose to "Keep Washington in check."

    I am a Patriot. My weapons are the ballot and objective information. It's served as a much more effective way to ensure our families' freedoms than any gun ever has...Unless you believe that Mao, Stalin, Hitler, Bin Ladin and Chez were smarter than Jefferson, Washington and Adams. I suppose we could take our cues from Burma where the "Patriotic Junta" is securing freedoms for all.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  33. Frank

    They wanna play soldier..??? Then they should enlist and serve their country....not horseplay in the woods

    November 16, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  34. Tim

    this is nothing more than your basic "White Trash" acting out. They have lost their jobs because they have no marketable skills. They are angry and they want someone to pay. When they strap on a gun they feel powerful because deep inside they feel lost and scared to death that minorities are taking over Amerca. American society is a sick and hateful society. Everybody wants something for nothing. Everyone want the easy road. Everyone want a pice of the pie or all of the pie so no one else can have pie! Add the hatefull right wing Christians and you have a society that is going to h__l in a hurry.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  35. bernardo

    These ignorant fools not only are extremists,thet are extremely dangerous and should be kept under surveillance

    November 16, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  36. Skeptical

    Patriots, leave them alone.

    "I am so sick of every person who doesn't agree with obama is a rascist."........................................AMEN

    November 16, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  37. Steve Morse

    These clowns are not protecting anything of mine. Just more survivalist types whipped into a frenzy. Its so much easier to panic than it is to think. Seems to me the political process still works, and more useful to be involved in the process than to alienate yourself from it. Clearly right wing hate mongers get elected in other places, presumably the constitution still works there.

    The actual battleground here is the voting booth. Claiming America has lost its constitution after the election a year ago simply indicates the depth of disconnect present in these people. The fact that a mainstream political party in the US seeks to radicalize its members rather than encourage them to move forward is simply sad. What ever happened to the "Loyal opposition" and the role they play in government.

    Of course, maybe Glen Beck is right.... FEMA had to make those death camps with SOMEONE in mind.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  38. Michael Sanders

    No better than Al Queda? How many buildings have these PATRIOTS flown planes into? Racist? How is training, for anything, racist – unless you are training to burn crosses or something? And comparing these groups to gangs is crazy. How many drive by's have you seen militia's do?

    These people are patriots and if they want to have guns and train, then what does it hurt? We (the people) let the government do whatever they want, even if it hurts the people (such as passing socialized medicine) and we don't say anything. Someone gets a gun, and everone goes nuts. And one other thing, I am so sick and tired of everyone talking about racism....how is this racist? The people that keep bringing it up are racist....they are just trying to stir the pot and get things going. No one cares what color you are – that is except for all the people crying racism.

    Lastly, why does everyone all of the sudden think the Constitution is no longer valid? Is it because Obama believes it's not valid? And yes, some arguments can be settled peacefully, but if an armed aggressor breaks into my house at night, I will tell you this, I will not try to talk him into leaving with my mouth. And all you pansies out there that think peacefully talking your way out of a situation will work – such as an armed robbery, home invasion, or terrorist activity (ie the recent Ft. Hood shooting), you will get yourself killed.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  39. Timmy

    The difference between these guys and terrorist and gangs is that...they haven't committed any crimes morons. They're not extremists, because they've done nothing extreme...only exercise their rights, come off it. It's amazing how we allow hate speech and constant self loathing against the white man...allow preaching against our soldiers and harm on our people in our own back yard...yet everybody flips out when a few white dudes who don't feel sorry start loading up and target shooting in their back yard because they've had enough.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  40. tommy

    these guys are patriots, hands down. they need to be awarded for excersicing their rights while we still have them. SIGN ME UP!!!

    November 16, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  41. Chuck

    These fools think they are going to win any skirmish with a military outfit? With the weapons the military has it will be over before the shouting stops. What a bunch of racist morons. Where were they when the so-called Patriot Act was shoved down our throats

    November 16, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  42. Drew

    Wow! Frightening! And what's with all these people saying we need to "protect" ourselves from "the Government". People forget when "the right to bear arms" was first written....it was a bit different back then; wild animals, no official police force (and we had to "protect" ourselves from the native "savages"...yeah right....who were the savages????). State Militias constitute nothing more than a bunch of right wing rednecks, trying to justify owning semi automatic weapons (apart from when they're being "sportsmen" hunting unsuspecting animals.....humm....lets see....a high powered, semi automatic rifle with a powerful scope versus an 8 month old fawn....now that's SPORTING! ).
    These people like to kill things, plain and simple........like someone said in a previous quote....Wackos!

    November 16, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  43. DAN

    PATRIOTS..........................

    November 16, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  44. Rhonda

    These militias didn't just spring up this past year after Obama was elected! Militia groups began to form not long after the deadly standoff at Waco, Texas, in 1993; by 1995, they had spread to almost every state. Personally, I think there were small pockets of militia before that, but they were unknown to the general public. It is not against the law to organize, nor to be in a militia. If it were not for militias we would still be under British rule.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  45. Paul

    Sorry if it offends to exercise a basic right, which is not only reserved in the Constitution, but explicitly expounded upon in numerous speeches and letters by George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Hamilton, Adams, and many, many others.

    While many of these organizations my harbor racist leanings, or outright racism, not all do. All are, however, concerned where BOTH parties are taking our country. It is not just the President, whether George W or BO, but the Congress, Senate, and Supreme Court that are under scrutiny.

    If you are not aware of the slow erosion of your freedom of speech (you cannot complain publicly about an employer on certain forums, even if the events are public fact and not opinion), freedom of religion (you cannot exhibit many symbols related to your religion in your work place as a government employee), right to bear arms (you have to get a permit to carry, you can't own certain arms, and before you spout "common sense restrictions", read the Federalist Papers front to back!), the complete abuse of the 10th Amendment, and the erosion of your protection from unreasonable search and seizure (your phones can now be tapped without a warrant, your home can be searched before a warrant is issues, your property can be confiscated without a warrant for search, and only "probably cause" is required to search your person or vehicle by traffic cops), then you are hiding your head in the sand and probably have not read any of the actual documentation that was generated during the building of our Republic.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  46. Teddy

    while I would put them in the semi-"extremist" column, the spirit of fighting for freedom and defending the Constitution I would classify as "patriotic". Definitely should keep an eye on them though.

    on a more humorous note, if Russians invade the US like they do in Modern Warfare 2, these guys could provide significant help in guerilla warfare until the Army arrives.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  47. michael

    Its Awesome keep making money for me , I sell guns and ammo. I love Obama , he scares the bejesus out of some white men and then they run to me to make me more rich. Thanks Obama for my scare white dude stimulus package.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  48. Mrs. Gump

    Stupid is, as stupid does.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  49. blackpeoplesrights

    J. Spinell,
    If you can't see the racism, you're blind. It was obvious at the McCain/Palin rally's and now it's the same folk, trying to disguise it as patriotism. Take off the blinders.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  50. Bob

    The media is having a hard time putting these groups into a box these days due in part to the fact that mainstream news is now only "secondary" news for many Americans. Is it time for a revolution? Is our political process working for the people of this country? A lot of people are asking themselves these questions............ but the problem is that with the ideological divide we have now there are dramatically different opinions on what needs to change. As with the 90's when the economy improves so will these groups diminish.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  51. Ted

    I bet the crime rate in that town is really low.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  52. Dod

    These militias keep stating that they have the right to defend their family's....against what??? Last time I checked that was the civic duty of our police and our army. Well since most of these so-called "militias" are arming themselves to protect their families, I guess its ok for minorities to arm themselves to protect their families too? Sounds like a revolution to me. What about Al Qaeda??? They state that they are arming to protect muslims and their faith. Does that make them a legit organization with a just cause?? Militias are just a bunch of guys/gals who are looking for a reason to blame all the trials and tribulations that almost everyone in America is going through right now. You can't keep blaming other people for your demise. These people need to grow up and take responsibility for their part of the current state of the union......because when its going good, they sure in heck like to reap the benefits (i.e. welfare, unemployment, tax stimulus, etc).

    November 16, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  53. MARY DICKINSON

    Uneducated, sad, individuals who gain information from FOX News and its hit parade of fools: Glenn, Sean, Bill, Brit, and soon no doubt, Lou, too! Thes people have a right to do what they are doing, nevertheless how sad that they would rather run around the forest playing cops & robbers than actually read a newspaber, read a book or otherwise atempt to obtain a broader point of view. For now, thank God, they reside in their little pockets of white perfection. Yet one more example of why we are the laughing stock for the remainder of the civilized world.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  54. Jim

    Ahhh the Americans...right to bear arms..BS. And you wonder why you have so many murders and idiots like Timmy McVey? These groups are nut cases, what to be soldiers but too crazy to be one. I would be scared if I was an american but thank god I'm not an american. It is reflective of your government and society. You are not the best country in the world by far so don't even pretend.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  55. DK

    Patriots, not extremists.

    Many of you have given up reason for madness. This has nothing to do with racism, and before you drag Bush back into the picture please note that a number of these militias existed pre-Obama.

    The wool is covering your eyes and you are far too enchanted by "change" that you don't see the big picture here. These militias are forming in response to piling evidence of the introduction of a New World Order. They are willing to defend democracy and all of our rights as afforded by the Constitution. Those of you that vehemently defend Obama are contributing to the eventual downfall of this country.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  56. Warren

    Whitehawk. You really need to go back to school. Maybe take a few constitutional law classes.

    "No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States: and no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state."

    First off. The UN is not a foreign country. It is an international organization of which the United States in a member by signing the document establishing the UN at the end of World War II. The presidency of the Security Council is a rotating title that falls to a different Security Council member every month. It goes to the senior member of that particular delegation. So, when Obama was at the meeting, the seat fell to him. He did not take a "loyalty Oath" as you stated (only UN Employees do that). Bottom line. The UN isn't a king, prince or Foreign state. It is however an organization that the US is a member of by treaty that was approved by Congress!

    You types really irritate the heck out of me. You find so much wrong with this guy, yet the previous administration did more to undermine your "rights" then any other president in the last 100 years! Get a grip my friend. Pull your head out and do some reading about your country. I would suggest that you NOT get your information from the Internet, but from your local library. Start with actrually reading the Constitiution, and then maybe follow it up with the Federalist Papers.

    And as to the Militiamen. They are a bunch of fruitcakes. They want to run around in the woods and play army, then fine. That's there right. But if they so much as put one pinky toe over the line, then it is my hope that the entire weight of the US government comes down on their heads so fast and hard that they never know what hit them.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  57. Brad

    I can imagine the meeting at CNN.......
    "Oh no, a radical Islamist just commited a terrible crime in Texas. (again) This will hurt our guy in the whithouse and might focus attention on radical Islam. We've got to do something. Wait I know, lets get one of our big lib reporters to go out and find some right wing militia members. Yeah! We can make them out to be the real nuts and maybe save Obama while at the same time deflecting attention from the Muslims. Great Idea. Who do we send?
    I know, Jim Acost. He's one of our best progressive friends.
    Go get em Jim..... And the rest of you remember don't report anything that might appear negative to muslims"

    No doubt that meeting took place about 2 weeks ago at CNN HQ.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  58. Mike

    While I think most modern day militias are a bit extreme. And yes undoubtedly some are racist, the idea is a sound one.

    In theory a militia is a group of civillians willing to defend their country from foreign and domestic enemies. Their reasons for not joining the military or law enforcement is simple, they prefer other jobs-and have no desire to make violence a profession. Not to mention, militias aren't required to fight in wars they do not believe in. I whole heartedly support these, and would deem people that fit this ideology "patriot-lites".

    However, if they truly were a militia they would have no issue letting people know what they're doing. There should be no secrecy because their reasons for forming a militia should be fairly obvious. To protect the country we all love. I think there has to be something going on that is either illegal or goes blatantly against what a militia was originally intended for. I'm a firm supporter of the second ammendment and own a dozen or so firearms myself. However I think a line does have to be drawn somewhere, not sure where it is but a group of armed men partaking in military like exercises sounds like their roster should at least be made public. While I typically don't buy into the whole "if you have nothing to hide you shouldn't mind the government looking into it" argument-I do think in situations like these the government does have a right to now you're in a militia. If only so they can ask for your help when (and if they actually need it...can't think of militia's contributing to the country after the Civil War-correct me if I'm wrong) and if they need it.

    I'd honestly like to believe that some of these militia groups are formed to protect this country, and the people that reside in it. Regardless of the color of their skin. And on a side note, I see a lot of people drawing conclusions that if you don't like Obama then you're a racist. My lack of love for our current president has nothing to do with the color of his skin, but rather the way he's handling our current situations. With that said, I do not wish to see any ill will fall upon him. Regardless of his policies he is our president, and more importantly he's an American.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  59. Brad

    It amazes me on how well the government controlled media machine works like a charm!. It is doing its job i guess, lets convince the minorities that malitias are racists, that they are crazy nut jobs, and that they are a detrement to the government of this country!! and they are stupid uneducated rednecks.. but if a person with some common sense would just look at the things the government has actually done over the past several years they would understand where it will be in another 10-20 years!!! so what that obama is president it just so happens that he is and malitias would be doing the same thing when the next president comes around and have been doing long before clinton, bush, and obama were around. So keep on believing the government run media and blame everyone else and chalk it up to racism and live blind and die blind!!

    November 16, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  60. gun lovin american

    for all those out there bashing these guys, you need to open your eyes and look at the big long term picture. We have a dictator sitting in the white house. Your freedoms may not be gone right now but you can bet down the road they will be if he (Bobo) stays in office. Then what are you gonna say? The American people need to take back this country and make it what it once was. Close our borders, kick out the illegals, make people go to work rather than sitting on their asses and living off the people that do work, forget about being politically correct and do the right thing.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  61. Mark

    Everyone thinks they are a patriot. If one feels need to revolt against the system, then how are the upholding the Constitution? If you don't like the Constitution, there are avenues for change that are part of the system. And if you don't like that system, you are free to persue any LEGAL avenue for change. Armed revolt is not a legal, constitutional method of modifying the system. If these groups are persued by law enforcement for activities that may be considered ilegal, then they can only blame themselves.
    Don't forget, the Nazis were patriots too.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  62. Tim S

    I have met a lot of people, some quite Liberal, who agree with me that Americans that respect the Law and support the constitution have not only a right to keep and bear arms, but a right to practice it as a group. Would that be called a "militia" and if so, why is it wrong? Why should they be unduly feared. By the way, I voted Democrat most of the time and I have a multiracial family.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  63. Nate

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed

    November 16, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  64. shane

    Just speaking from a black persons perspective. If Obama had all of these intentions on creating a military state and enlaving the citizens of the United States, you better beleive that Michele would be the first one in line trying to kick his A$$. lol. Come on people why would he want to send anyone back into a form of slavery. His Wife and daughters ancestors already had to go thru that. Come people think.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  65. Robert

    Patriots? Extremists? How about jackass'? I own rifles for hunting and would use them to protect my home and family, but I don't need to run around the woods to feel good about myself. I agree with an earlier post – if they really do care about America, enlist and fight a real war where the country really needs you. Not some made up fairytale...

    November 16, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  66. Bob

    This would be a great opportunity for another beer sitdown. I bet if Obama went to Michigan and sat with that group, fired the rifles with them, and talked about his beliefs both parties would have mutual respect for eachother, hopefully at least!

    November 16, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  67. John L

    Patriots. Our founding fathers would be proud to see groups like this. They are simply Americans who believe in their rights, freedom and independence, principles that this nation was founded upon. They left may cry "extremists" or "racist" but they are ordinary men and women working to ensure our rights and freedoms. It is a perfect example of the intent of the 2nd Ammendment; a check against the government.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  68. Clare

    The "Southern Poverty Law Center" has been hilarious for years. They must have been supporters of George Bush.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  69. patty

    These folks aren't true Christians nor true Americans. America stand for democracy.

    What kind of people try to get their way through violence? Al Queda, Nazi's and these nuts.

    Extremism is extremism. Dogmatism is dogmatism–no matter what the brand.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  70. blackpeoplesrights

    tiredofit,
    Exactly WHY do you believe Obama has no right to be in the office? And exactly WHY do you feel you need to protect yourself from this government. Are you sure that HALF of all AMERICANS share your sentiment or do you need to step outside the area you currently live in and see what the rest of the world. It could do you so good. Take this comment very seriously. It is a warning. I'm trying to save lives here because 'd hate to see the results of the US Military having to deal with this issue, should one of your radical Tim McVeight type groups really step out of line.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  71. Sean

    I have to laugh that these people think they have a chance against a military that has spent a large amount of the last 20 years fighting militias. Never mind the fact that the militias they are part of aren't regulated and are, in fact, not legal.

    They have militias in Iraq. They're made of of males of a single race organized to purge their enemies. Sounds like a good idea on the home front. Thanks, gang, for trying to turn America into the western equivalent of Iraq and Somalia wrapped up in red white and blue.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  72. JJ

    George Washington, Paul Revere, Thomas Jefferson...The fathers of our nation were all militia men. They fought against our government at that time because they believed it was needed for America to be free. These men are prepared to do the same thing if needed. They might be crazy or extremists but so were the fathers of our nation. Only history will determine whether they are right or wrong. P.S. I am a liberal.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  73. Paul

    blackpeoplesrights November 16th, 2009 2:51 pm ET

    Where were these militia when Blacks were having their rights trampled upon? Oh yes . . . they were the ones doing the trampling. It is new new KKK trying to disguise r8cism as patriotism.
    Actually you're wrong, the Black Panthers were very active then but you obviously don't have a clue who they are. They are a milita organized around race.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  74. KLM

    You people are pathetic. How soon we forget and become complacent in our ways. I will agree that there are extremist groups that should be dealt with legally. However the majority here wish to paint all with a broad brush, claiming racism, hate, ignorance, etc. However if we were to take that same broad brush and turn it to crime rates etc, you would start yelling profiling, racial discrimination etc. I believe the term I am looking for is hypocrite.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  75. lovable liberal

    They're fantasizing a fascist paramilitary coup. You be the judge.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  76. cutie

    Dan Carrone, how is militia=racism? have you looked at a dictionary lately? Please! we are far off from racism now a days. How many more excuses will racism be used for? We are talking about the freedom of America now. America may become a socialist country, the road is being laid right before our eyes. Wake up!

    November 16, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  77. Joel

    There is so much ignorance out there. Our forces in Iraq and Afghanistan have had their handsful fighting asymetric warfare against untrained militias.

    Too many of you seem to think that a breakdown in social order is impossible. The truth is that we are really all just one natural disaster away from being without food shelter and water and having to fight for our lives.

    They are not all crazy racist people. The local militias here often have ex-armed forces personnel and police officers. They can and will be effective if they ever have to fight. They don't just train to shoot a gun, although there is alot of emphasis on that. They also teach first aid and survival techniques, like how to secure fresh water and build shelters. Most of us will never have to call upon those skills but it is always good to have them...........just in case.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  78. Brent

    The members of the militia are just doing what they feel they need to do. They're not doing anything wrong, as a matter of fact they're just doing what the Constitution allows them to do. If you don't want a gun, don't get one. If you don't want to be in a militia, don't join. But to throw labels at these people like "nut-jobs" or "racists" with absolutely no basis or facts is just wrong. Let them be. If they're left alone and not ridiculed they'll fade away. Keep attacking them and you'll just feed into their alleged paranoia. It's amazing how "tolerant" and "accepting" the liberal left really is... Not!

    November 16, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  79. andrew

    The minutemen were considered traitors by many. Who's side would you be on?

    November 16, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  80. C. Thomas Howell

    I think these people have watched Red Dawn a few too many times...

    November 16, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  81. Jasen

    They should send them to Afghanistan to replace the U.S. military.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  82. Daphne Philipson

    They are dangerous and are as extremist as any Al Queda member.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  83. James Madison

    They are idiots. They are nuts. They are the future terrorists that America has to worry about

    November 16, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  84. john

    There were many militias around before Obama was president. They aren't new. So if they existed before Obama why all the talk about racial motivation? I think it's just another way ignorant people can try to throw out the race card as an outright lie in order to demonize a group of people that they disagree with.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  85. Rockpile USMC 68

    Read the Constitution. I am not a rascist, have two graduate degrees, worked in public service for over thirty years and a former Marine who served in Vietnam with a Purple Heart, Combar Action Ribbon and Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm.

    I dearly love this nation but am saddened by what has happened to it. We need a third party to represent those citizens who are tired of the professional politicans that are owned by big business, especially the banks, oil and drug companies. We need Congressman and Senators who will work for the people not corporations. Until then we have a reason to be afraid of our government. It no longer belongs to us!

    November 16, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  86. Concerned Patriot

    Do any of you even pay attention to what you're reading? They didn't form the militia just because Obama became president. These types of militias have existed since the founding of the nation, and it's absurd to call them extremists or racists. They're exercising their rights as citizens, and frankly I find it disgusting that some of you call them hate groups or extremist fanatics. If anything, you should be grateful. They are there just in case. It's not like they're going to jump out of the woods and declare war on the government for no reason.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  87. Lon

    So after reading the above, I've come to the conclusion that there are quite a few "really interesting" people out there.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  88. Dodge Story

    Patriots, of course.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  89. JackSawyer

    Whitehawk's comment (just a few entries above) is baloney, like a lot of the others here, in that he doesn't seem to actually know what Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution says. The U.N. is not a country, king, or any other person, so swearing any oath to them would not violate the Constitution anyway. People don't join the U.N., countries do.

    Not to mention that member states do not pledge the loyalty oath to the U.N. to be on the Security Council. Obama may be the first President to chair the Security Council (different from the U.N. assembly,) but he is not the first American to do so.

    Only U.N. employees pledge an oath of loyalty to the assembly, so Obama would not have been asked, expected, or required to make such an oath to chair a. Just because you want it to be true, doesn't mean it is true. It never was reported that Obama made such and oath, because he did not.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  90. dudeman

    How many of you are worried about the Constitution? (all hands raised)
    How many of you have read the Constitution? (all militia members make "duh" face)
    How many of you know anything at all about Constitutional law? (again ignoramus looks on all faces).

    November 16, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  91. Paul

    Just because they wear a mask does not make their activity illegal if this was the case then halloween is a big criminal endeavour.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  92. Mark Bernadiner

    The real danger to America is not a government, but islam and islamic threat to souverenity of this country, as their goal is creating a global khalifat (see Europe). Islam is absolutely incompatible with American history, culture, life style, principles, religion, laws. Muslims must be divide from America by boars and distance.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  93. Ctaylor

    They have 100% right to do what they are doing, but from having spent about half my life in Michigan and having met some of these people, they are an extreme danger to society. These people along with the rest of the gun totin' fanatics are worried Obama is going to take guns away...let me ask you this, what has changed? Nothing! Quit being ignorant rednecks and actually educate yourselves from outside sources instead of "educating" eachother about how the world is going to end.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  94. mantan

    I invite good American to join the Liberty City Militia in Miami, Florida. We too believe in defending the Constitution of United States and the Bill of rights. We prefer to be called, “The Freedom Fighters”

    Let’s face it Militia’s are as American as apple pie and French Fries.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  95. HoldingUpTheMirror

    Why don't you little militia boys playing dress-up join the real military and do something for this country? I know why, because you're a bunch of uneducated goofballs and were voted "most likely will commit an act of domestic terrorism, racial abuse or domestic violence" when you were in high school. Glenn Beck is not a role model fellas, he's an entertainer. Obama has not taken any of your civil rights away, although I would if I could because you are dangerous people..... i.e. – Tim McVeigh.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  96. Snairad

    I think the guy who said fear drives gun and ammo sales hit the nail right on the head! And what makes people the most fearful? The answer of course is ignorance, plain and simple. There is a large anti-intellectual movement right now spawning tons of mis-information being spilled into the airwaves 24-7. And who sponsors this movement? Why the military industrial complex of course. My hope for America is that we realize we are all in this together. Everybody should watch Lord of War.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  97. John

    tiredofit: No right to be in office? How about the fact that he was elected by the people? I suppose you'd prefer the supreme court choose your president.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  98. patty

    These folks are afraid and cowards. Their anger is thinly veiled fear. This is racism and narrowmindedness and extremely dangerous.

    November 16, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
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