American Morning

Tune in at 6am Eastern for all the news you need to start your day.
November 18th, 2009
11:54 AM ET

Follow-up: Patriots or Extremists?

By Jim Acosta

The question comes up time and again: Why is President Obama the target of so much fury from self-described "patriots," tea partiers, and other libertarians in America? Is it racial as former President Carter suggested earlier this year? Sadly, for some Americans, that is the case.

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Militias and extremist groups are on the rise in this country, but who is joining these groups and why?"]

But in the growing "patriot movement" in America, there are other factors. For starters, the leaders and many members of both the militia in Michigan and the "Oath Keepers" vehemently deny race is their cause for alarm.

In fact, one militia member told us he was proud to see the first African-American become President of the United States. He just doesn't like where Mr. Obama stands on the issues.

A good many of the self-described patriots say their beef boils down to some of the issues President Obama inherited from the Bush administration.

Libertarians detest a whole host of Bush-era policies from the Patriot Act to the indefinite detention of enemy combatants during the "War on Terror."

Gun enthusiasts abhor the brief confiscation of firearms that happened in the City of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina – another Bush legacy.

Then came the Bush bailout of 2008. For many libertarians and self-described "patriots," the financial rescue of the banks remains an outrage.

So when President Obama continued the bailout with a taxpayer lifeline to the car companies, many on the right saw a further erosion of what they believe is the American way.

The Obama administration argues it was facing a potential Great Depression II, and had no choice but to carry on with the bailout.

White House officials also say they are trying to reverse several Bush war on terror policies right now but caution those changes won't happen overnight.

All of this begs the question: Why didn't these libertarians and self-styled patriots speak out more forcefully when Bush was in charge?

To answer that, you can google Ron Paul. Unfortunately for President Obama, many Americans don't point fingers at former presidents. When things are going downhill, they blame the people in charge.

Filed under: Controversy • Follow-up • Patriots or Extremists
soundoff (81 Responses)
  1. somaie

    Everyone has their favorite way of using the internet. Many of us search to find what we want, click in to a specific website, read what’s available and click out. That’s not necessarily a bad thing because it’s efficient. We learn to tune out things we don’t need and go straight for what’s essential.
    This goal-oriented way of surfing the web is largely based on short-term results. For example, finding facts to write a blog post, doing a comparison before making a purchase and reading a news site to find out what’s happening right now.

    December 14, 2009 at 2:25 am |
  2. Solo

    Scrounge, I can assure you the MM is looking at the big picture.

    What makes you think we're not? Do you believe that because that's the picture that CNN painted of us? C'mon now. You seem to have a handle on how things work, you should know better. :-p

    December 6, 2009 at 11:58 pm |
  3. Allen N Wollscheidt

    Lt Scrounge –

    You and others like you, being in a state of panic and dis-information, are dangerous, indeed - hopefully, mostly to yourselves.

    November 30, 2009 at 8:03 am |
  4. Lt Scrounge

    One more thing for those who think that a few people with rifles can't have any impact on the US military, I just have to ask what do you think has been going on in Afghanistan and Iraq these past 8 years? The allied forces outnumbered Al Quaeda in Iraq by almost 20 to 1 odds and still couldn't route an entrenched enemy. Do you really think that they will be able to do so here when the insurgents will out number them and be far better educated? Yes they won't be facing RPGs, at least not for the first week or two, but they weren't facing hundreds of thousands if not millions of armed individuals in Iraq either. Keep in mind, many of the people who are coming out against the actions of this government, are veterans. There are far more retired Special Forces, Rangers, and Navy Seals than there are active duty ones. Do you think those guys simply left their skills at the desk when they signed out of their last duty station? Are you aware that with a little close air support, 6 Green Berets held off over 100 Iraqi soldiers in Desert Storm for over 12 hours?

    I've been to the TEA party rallies, these are not high school drop outs, or wannabe Rambos in attendance. These are patriotic Americans who believe that the Constitution is being violated and unless the government is brought back into alignment with it, we are destined to a worse economic slump than the Great Depression. The slump in the value of the dollar is a strong indicator that they are right. The cap and trade policy and the healthcare policy that are being rammed down the throats of Americans will cause the economy to collapse once implemented due to the high levels of taxation, unemployment and inflation that they will cause. This administration is controlled by people who have said that population control, controlled mortality rates and imposed poverty are necessary. But I don't see any of them signing up to join the soon to be impoverished middle and working classes do you? They are following a path that has historically lead to violent revolution. It happened in 1770s America, 1780s France, 1917 Russia, and again in China in the 30s. Violent revolution is ALWAYS the result of overtaxation that causes the masses to become impoverished while those who legislate and/or administer the taxes live lavishly. You don't see any of the Congressmen in DC giving up their tax payer funded leased luxury vehicles to cut their carbon footprint do you? If unemployment hits 25% in this country (a real possibility if and when the Cap and Trade legislation goes into effect) it could cause enough of a cascade effect as to push unemployment and inflation through the roof. People riot in this country when they can't get an Xbox for their kids for Christmas, what do you think they'll do when they lose their homes and ability to feed their kids because of legislation and regulation over the now proven to be fraudulent man made global warming?

    November 28, 2009 at 10:10 pm |
  5. Lt Scrounge

    The guys from the Michigan militia supposedly didn't mention that other rights were threatened by the current administration. Too bad they weren't looking at the big picture. Let me elucidate a few examples of Constitutional rights being trampled by this administration.

    Right to free speech – come to mind? Just a little intimidation there.

    Right to own property – Theft of shareholder holdings in GM and Chrysler not to pay back the American people for the money lent the companies, but rather to pay back his political supporters in the UAW.

    Right to own property – The closing of privately owned auto dealerships based not on profitability but on who donated to which political party or candidate. How else do you explain that large Republican leaning dealerships were closed while less profitable ones that supported Obama were not? Especially since the person who made the closure decisions is married to a high ranking person in the Democratic Party donation solicitation organization with the list of donors for each party and how much they donated? The man who made the decisions had NO automotive or business experience, but was given the ability to bankrupt thousands of people and throw over 100,000 into unemployment.

    Right to peaceably assemble to petition the government for redress of grievances – Telling supporters to hit back twice as hard. A comment followed by violent attacks by Obama supporters (some from the SEIU) against TEA Party Rally attendees and people opposed to Obamacare who attended townhall meetings, to make their position clear.

    Right to peaceably assemble to petition the government for redress of grievances – The belittling of the millions of people across this country who have taken a stand to say that the continual spending has to stop before the country is pushed so far into the red that it won't be able to recover.

    The right to vote. – Dropped charges against Black Panther party members who were videotaped threatening voters outside a Philadelphia polling place, despite the protests of the career Justice department attornies who had already won the case.

    Freedom of the Press – See the long list of attacks against Fox News for an example.

    Freedom of the Press – Administration officials admitted to controlling the media.

    The right to keep and bear arms – They know that they can't get any legislative measures passed, but they can impose severe restrictions if they can get the CIFTA or UN IANSA treaties signed and ratified without any voter ability to change the treaties. Why do you think they keep spouting the proven lie that 90% of the guns used in crime in Mexico come from the US? The facts are that 90% of the TRACEABLE guns come from the US. Since less than 20% of the guns found are traceable, that means that less than 18% of the guns used to commit crimes in Mexico are traceable to the US. One makes it sound like the vast majority of the guns come from here, the other is the truth that only a small percentage do, and it is already illegal to sell firearms to illegal aliens, or to transport them into Mexico. Since it is already illegal to transport most firearms into Mexico, what good would a new law do? Make it more illegal?

    There are far more serious risks to our liberties than just the second amendment issues. Many of the people in the militias know that something is seriously wrong, but just can't put their finger on it. My degree is in Political Science so I can put my finger on it. This administration wants to fundamentally change this country for the worse. The President sees that the Constitution is a limiting document and doesn't like it. He is involved in actions that are blatantly in violation of the rights guaranteed in the Constitution as listed above. Read the 10th Amendment and tell me where in the US Constitution it gives the Federal Government the authority to impose halth insurance on people, the authority to access and withdraw money from your bank account, the authority to destroy industries over what is now widely known to be falsified climate change data? I just find it incredibly rich that a multi millionaire who gives a pittance to charity is a proponent of spreading the wealth of others.

    The Press was supposed to be the protector of freedom and the opponents of an oppressive government. Instead they are out playing advocates for a political party that wants to take an ever increasing portion of our incomes, our freedoms, and our very lives. Perhaps if the Main Stream Media would stop taking their marching orders from David Axelrod and Rahm Emmanuel and started asking the tough questions and do some serious digging into what is going on, they wouldn't be losing market share to Fox News and the bloggers. I REALLY WISH I DIDN'T have to spend hours every night going through dozens of news stories and collating them into a logical explanation of what is going on and what the historical outcome has been.

    November 28, 2009 at 9:49 pm |
  6. Aaron

    Conservative and libertarians (like me) have been VERY active voicing our deep concerns against the Bush administration (and there were lots of them). Problem is, we never had a voice in the traditional media outlets like CNN. It wasn't until Ron Paul ran for President in 2007 and 2008 that his supporters caused such a ruckus that it became impossible to ignore him.

    November 23, 2009 at 7:14 am |
  7. Solo

    "In fact, one militia member told us he was proud to see the first African-American become President of the United States. He just doesn't like where Mr. Obama stands on the issues."

    If I remember your visit correctly, I said that! (I'm the guy in the MARPAT and black hat.)

    This is something that the media never says and the Liberal haters don't seem to grasp: you can be opposed to a politician but still be proud of the country that elected him.

    Being opposed to a politician doesn't have to mean you hate him (despite this being a well-known Democrat strategy). I don't hate Obama. I don't particularly like him (because he seems disingenuous), but he doesn't really matter to me. I don't care about his cult of personality, or his "rock-star" image. His speeches don't fill me with wide-eyed hope – having seen his record, I know better. I don't feel compelled to teach school children to sing his praises, and believe it or not, that doesn't make me a racist.

    I've spent my whole life fighting racism, advocating diversity, living the American dream, and proudly participating in and defending the democratic process.

    My reward is being hated and screamed at by people who know nothing about me except what the media spoon-feeds them. I'm called a stupid, racist, slack-jawed yokel, clinging to my religion and guns and antipathy towards people not like me.

    Well, one side of this issue is right, and the other is wrong, and I know which is which. My hope is that others become able to figure it out.

    November 23, 2009 at 12:11 am |
  8. Rodney Hytonen

    ("Bob," who wrote,) " IS CNN honestly attempting to claim that the millions of Americans who are unhappy with Obama's performance are actually mad at Bush, and are too dumb to know it?"

    I wouldn't presume to speak for CNN, but for myself I would say a resounding, "ABSOLUTELY YES !"

    To quote, I forget whom initially, "It's the economy, stupid."

    And you don't create a mess like this in only 2 or 3 years, so you certainly can't fix it in one or two. Look at recent history, tye degree of severity of recessions vs how ling it tool to fix them. They last 5-10 YEARS once initiated.

    And you can't fix it in ANY number of years without spending LOTS of money – Democrat, Republican, Conservative, whatever.

    November 21, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  9. John

    I'm troubled by the prospect of bands of self-appointed armed vigilantes enforcing their view of the law. Legitimate law enforcement and military officers swear an oath to defend the entire US Constitution and they always remain accoutable to elected civilian oversight. Is that true of private militias? No.

    November 21, 2009 at 11:36 am |
  10. Stephen Leiby

    In Responce to Rick –

    Most militia groups I know of have served in the Armed forces, guess you don't have much faith in this Nations Soldiers ability to pass on their training, to Patriotic citizens ; who fear that are Country is slowly being eroded by the UN., and desire to be prepared for things that could happen.

    H.R. 45 –
    Is a Socialist bill that if passed in to law, will violate the 2nd & 4th Amendment of our Constitution, and for your info. all members of Congress are bound to support the Constitution, and if they pass such laws they are guilty of treason.

    The 2nd Amendment shall not be infringed. And the 4th Amendment shall not be violated.

    We the People of this great Nation can initiate the Declaration of Independence as a last resort, it is our right to do so ; but not for light and transient causes.

    November 20, 2009 at 8:40 pm |
  11. Allen N Wollscheidt

    John –

    You compare the American militia movement to the German White Rose.

    You must have a very deep gash in your head clear on thru the skull bone ! !

    November 20, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  12. Rick

    I stick with my original statement. I am not interested in having military or police personnel swearing an oath to a subgroup as a motivation to not follow orders. Already the police in our country have a subculture of favoring each other which I consider to be a form of corruption. The fact the Oathkeepers was formed in March of this year makes it appear to be comprised of persons fearing a Democratic administration. Our greatest threat to second amendment rights is firearms owners taking firearm ownership to a level of radicalism. In my state many, many people prefer to believe nonsense regarding mythical firearms legislation and rumors. I lived abroad for two decades where I had to have a license to have a shotgun. I understand and appreciate the second amendment. I want it to endure for generations to come. Its idiots out crawling around with potbellies in camo being wannabe soldiers who frighten the population when it comes to firearms ownership.

    November 20, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  13. amanda

    My husband just got sentenced to jail for not providing insurance and paying medical bills for his daughter. Child support was payed on time each month. His job does not provide insurance. Does Obama's plan help us? Working middle class working paycheck to paycheck....but unable to pay for medical bills.

    November 20, 2009 at 9:36 am |
  14. Maui420L

    Maybe we should have martial law to put some of these wacked out right wing fascist away and let the rest of us rational thinking individuals get on with enjoying our lives...
    These people are the US equal to the Taliban and al Quida

    November 20, 2009 at 8:02 am |
  15. Frank

    When you write the Government you want to be reasonable. You don't want to sound like a nut or using somebody else talking points. You want lower taxes say I think this percent is reasonable and fair. Same with Guns tell them what you want. These are good people in Washington D.C. They think like you they want to make America a better place for you, that how these guys operate. I served in the Military because what this country had done my family. If this country has been good to you their going to ask you to repay that.

    November 20, 2009 at 6:29 am |

    Echo Dante, you have the most brilliantly correct response I've read so far. Thomas Jefferson said, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants," but as you pointed out, no militia can stand up to the might of the U.S. military.

    Our only effective weapon is knowledge.

    November 20, 2009 at 6:17 am |
  17. Jim`

    I find it ironic and poor timing for CNN to run a series on militias in America shortly after a Muslim man murdered 13 U.S. soldiers and wounded 29 others. I suggest you devote a series to the dangers of radical Islam in America. Get your head out of the sand of political correctness! Our country's very survival is at stake.

    November 20, 2009 at 3:49 am |
  18. John

    the Oathkeepers are simply an American version of the White Rose

    November 20, 2009 at 1:35 am |
  19. Mike

    Wow! Listen to the people who the Conservatives/Republicans represent. And they say there's no racism in America, this is sad to see so much hate for people who help make america. All I can do is pray for them. God is love God bless.

    November 19, 2009 at 10:58 pm |
  20. Villalob4

    I'm a US Citizen-Latin American. With the big $$ paycheck/benefits Jim Acosta gets is no wonder he is whining about people voicing their feelings, he probably thinks everyone else is getting the big bucks also and everyone lives in the same "Leave it to Beaver" world he lives in. What a joke that the US is being reprimanded by nations whose believe of Human Rights/Civil Rights are at the bottom of their list or not on the list at all. Of course they don't like Gitmo/interrogation methods, they don't like Human Rights/Civil Rights either. I am very proud of our country, our US military and their work in protecting & defending those that cannot help themselves and doing all they can to insure the safety of all of us as well as others. Jim, GO TRAVEL and experience it for yourself, go feel what it is like to not have a Voice, no choice, no free speech.

    November 19, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  21. Shelby

    For the right to say that they are afraid to have the 9/11 terroist to be
    tried in New York city tells you of their hypocrisy.All of 2001-2008 they
    brainwashed their cultis followers of their of faith in the justic they are afraid of a few men that are chained and schacked to each other.These are men and women of the right shown to be sheeted,decitful,schemers,bent on trying to scare the
    nation into electing an hate filled Sarah Palin to the White House in
    2012.Be careful of what you ask for you might get it.Ask Ron Parsley
    and John Hagee the are right bent. to pretend that the constitution is being destroyed is a farce.They can't stand for the constitution to be
    to be implemented as it was established to be by a smart, handsome "black man", get over it he won and is doing a fantastic job.
    God is on his side. With God for you He is more than the whole world
    aganist you.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  22. Danny K

    Everyone with a brain knows that Veterans are not extremists. They don't just support a strong union with a democratically elected leader – they actually risk and give their lives for its sake. There is nothing marginal about that.

    But there are a small number of people who took some money from the US military and then decided to become terrorists... I don't honor them as Veterans and neither should you. People who resort to threats and violence when faced with a President or a policy they personally don't like, people who advocate and prepare for civil war and secession and treason ... including MANY in and associated with the militia movement... are NOT Patriots but members of a domestic terrorist network. Here are some names to look up: Christian Identity, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, Eric Rudolph. If terrorists once took money from the US Government to hold a gun that doesn't make them good people, Patriots or Christians. Why should anyone venerate terrorists who turn on their own country?

    The tiny number of ex-military employees who go on to prepare for, abet and commit acts of terrorism and treason – who actively seek the overthrow of our rule of law and our democratic state – do not deserve to be honored as Veterans, and they do not deserve any defense from well-meaning Eagle Scouts. They deserve all their due under the established laws of the United States... they deserve the same treatment Lincoln gave their predecessors.

    George Washington did not stand for people using violence to support their agendas in the Whiskey Rebellion. He put it down. Civil political process is what all the goods we have here rest on. When we start planning to move our political interests over into the military sphere because we don't like the President we have really lost it.

    Now we are going to pretend that the history of our nation is predicated on the unconditional tolerance of treason, just because those planning it are white and we don't like the standing president? Ridiculous. If YOU cannot accept the rule of law and democratic rule (including the elected President of the United States) and abide by the laws of our country then it is YOU who should get out.

    God Bless the United States and God Bless all those who serve her loyally, from the local police, to the FBI and ATF, to the Veterans and Servicemen... they have always protected us from wingnuts preparing and attempting to carry out their political interests through violent means.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  23. ms.c

    Bravo Echo Dante! I wish everyone would use the internet to eudcate themselves about the groups and the politician that they choose to follow. If Americans are so concerned with losing their freedoms maybe if they look behind the facades of these "leaders" and see that what they really have in mind. Do they resent that minorities are now able to take their rightful place among the majority? Are they upset that minorites are able to do something other than being domestics and laborers for the majority? Does a smart educated black President upset their long held beliefs that minorities are worthless? The America that everyone wants back is a segregated one!

    November 19, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  24. Buddy Russell

    My original post was behind Robert Loman and as you can see they stuck it way back here so you wouldn't see the truth !

    November 19, 2009 at 9:59 am |
  25. Buddy Russell

    They are MODERATING MY POSTS BECAUSE I KNOW THE TRUTH AND THIS IS IT...........PUBLIC LAW 109-366 , This Law gives the GOVT the right to do exactly what HITLER did in the night of the LONG KNIVES !

    November 19, 2009 at 9:57 am |
  26. Buddy Russell

    Why do you keep deleting my post! This post is the ONLY one with PROOF that your govt is about to declare Martial Law ! CNN you are only making it more obvious that the GOVT is pulling your strings and you are losing watchers by the millions by doing this !

    November 19, 2009 at 9:52 am |
  27. Buddy Russell

    Public Law 109-366 also known as the Military Commissions act of 2006 , Our Govt has taken a page right out of MEIN CAMP with this so called LAW. The nazi's first used their controlled media to DEMONIZE anyone they deemed a threat, especially JEWS. then labelled them terrorists and .......well you know the rest. This Law allows your Govt to label anyone they deem a threat, a terrorist ! And as you can see for youeselves, anyone DEFENDING the CONSTITUTION is now being labelled an exremists, just as all VETS are now being called EXTREMISTS. Folks if you dont understand what this Law means have someone interpret it to you !

    November 19, 2009 at 9:46 am |
  28. Frank

    Sorry, Ted I thought CNN wasn't posting my comments because of content thats why their is so many post. I was trying to find the right combinations of words to get a post. I don't believe in god but I do believe in values I wouldn't do that do that to anybody, so again I sorry for so many post.

    November 19, 2009 at 8:04 am |
  29. Frank

    Ted I think you should do more then talk, kick over every stone to end that abuse.

    November 19, 2009 at 6:39 am |
  30. wolfgangpitbullingtonIII!

    There they go again, using the "race card, and trying to throw the manure in your faces. Truth is, Obama is the least qualified, most inept, appeasing, and capitulating, weakest link in the presidential chain of historicity. What part of that don't they understand. There is no circumstance in which I would ever vote for Obama. He does not stand for, or represent anything I believe. It has nothing to do with race. He and his "Leftist" followers are prepared to "impose" their Totalitarian "will" upon an American people not willing to surrender our freedoms to these "Thugs". Let them say whatever they will, truth is we a "sick and tired of Obama, and his rabid followers"! Let them think he is the "Eighth Wonder of the World". In my opinion, he is an unqualified, over-estimated, overexposed "Tool" who have been "promoted beyond his level of competence", to the chagrin of the American people. Obama is not essential to the well-being of the American people, and this country will be the better off the sooner the American people kick him and his wife out of office!

    November 19, 2009 at 6:16 am |
  31. Frank

    I rent a 10X10 room so I can have a car, TV and stereo. The Cable and Internet are not mine. I borrow use them but I can't afford them on what the Government gives me.

    November 19, 2009 at 6:01 am |
  32. rachel

    Whatever you say, Ted. You and the rest of the "oat eaters"

    November 19, 2009 at 5:36 am |
  33. Frank


    To be honest when I filed for disabled I had no other avenue. I thought like you the Government would cover the cost of living. They gave me a sum of money far less then my area'scost of living. My area the cost of living index is at 79 what ever that means. I don't and don't know of anybody on disability with internet, cell phone, or satillite tv they must be finding saving some where else to afford that stuff or somebody is helping them. There is no way they can afford that stuff on just what the government gives them.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:01 am |
  34. Michaelangelo

    The last time I checked it is not a crime for simply starting a harmless club in America. Thus, there is nothing wrong with simply

    Being Prepared

    November 19, 2009 at 2:34 am |
  35. Michaelangelo

    In all respect CNN, as a former Eagle Scout the idea that you guys even question the possibility that these militia groups are extremists sickens me. You need to leave these American men (more than likely military veterans or family of military veterans) alone because our military protects your lives overseas.

    Do you guys call members of the NRA extremists as well.

    Or how about hunters or the Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts of America in general. Do you call people in those groups extremists as well?

    Are you suggesting that I'm an extremist for being an Eagle Scout?

    When did being patriotic suddenly become an evil deed in this nation? So are you suggesting that being Un-patriotic is really patriotic? How does that even make sense?

    All of these people who are actively involved in patriotic interest groups like this believe in the firm principle of "Being Prepared" including these militia groups.

    In fact, The Boy Scout motto is "Be Prepared".

    That is it. There is nothing wrong with that.

    Part of the President's job title is to take heat from others who oppose his views. Being a Democrat or liberal doesn't automatically make you inapplicable to criticism from others.

    Living in the Deep South doesn't make us extremists either.
    If you want to see extremists then yell out in Pakistan that you are a Jew, talk to a few drug cartels in Mexico, interact with the Asian gangs in Seattle or the Mexican gangs in LA, or walk in the outskirts of Rwanda.

    That's where the REAL extremists are.

    But whatever...I can't change your views or your reporting.
    I just honestly can't believe you guys question the possibility that these men are extremists when you know these men treated you very nicely when they interviewed with your reporters.

    November 19, 2009 at 2:17 am |
  36. Patriot223

    CNN how do I a common citizen get a hold of these militias and Oath Keepers!!! Thanks for advertising for them and demonizing them it only helps all of the american people and their cause for liberty.
    ( (Google:MichiganMilitia) (Youtube: Militia) Find out for yourselves folks and stop listening to Communist Network News!

    November 18, 2009 at 10:49 pm |
  37. Richard

    The story about the 'oath keepers' and other extremists in the so-called 'patriot movement' sent a shiver of cold steel through my bones, probably not unlike that felt by many in Europe in the late 19 30's, when a group of disgruntled 'patriots' began to grow in Germany. Although Jim Acosta's reasoning, Re: Bush policies vs. Obama's, was debatable, he and CNN should be commended for bringing the existance of the so-called 'Patriot Movement', including the 'oath keepers' to the nation's attention. These groups are the people, like the Timothy McVeighs, who have terrorist leanings, guns and don't have the patience or inclination to work their issues through the constitutional government the founders intended. We should be very, very concerned.

    November 18, 2009 at 8:58 pm |
  38. Deb W.

    Great question and I can't wait to read an actual answer. I seem to remember if you so much as argued with Bush's policies you were called un-American, and un-Patriotic. To 'get out if you don't like it' ... or 'you are with us or against us' .. Hell didn't you all get together and have Dixie Chics CD burning parties because they dared have the courage to speak out against Bush. So yes I would like to know where all this uproar was when Bush was digging the hole we are in now. So far as I can tell you all were just voting for him again. Now suddenly that Obama is president you are outraged and ready to take any action needed, burning effigies, witchdoctor pictures and Nazi refferences? Please.

    November 18, 2009 at 8:42 pm |
  39. American Terrorists.. I Mean Extremists

    Ted I can only hope that some day 'soon' you find yourself fired from your job, the victim of an accident, or cancer or maybe your house will burn down and your insurance company will deny you your claim. Why? Because I want to be there to tell you that you do not deserve to get any unemployment, that you do not deserve to get any disability, that if YOU want get any sort of help from you country, your society, YOUR fellow Americans that you are just plain of luck. That I don't care if you are sick, lost a leg, lost your job or that your kids are hungry, you should have thought about that before breeding. I want to be there to say "NO" to YOU when you need it and remind you of your own ignorant words and lack of understanding for those less fortunate than you. That's the America you think our forefathers planned? Sounds more like a Iran to me.

    These arguments are beyond disgusting. YOU aren't paying for anyone. It's a drop in the bucket that everyone contributes and some day Ted it just might be YOU who needs a drink of water from that bucket.

    November 18, 2009 at 8:31 pm |
  40. RC

    I'm a veteran. My son is currently deployed on the Afghanistan/Pakistan border. I'm an Oath Keeper. It bothers me to see media outlets, (I refuse to say News Organizations) question our motives, our honor and our patriotism. We don't believe, (as reported) that martial law is 'right around the corner'. Where Mark Potok got his information is beyond me.

    Vote Vets also got it wrong, (as usual). It's well known that Holder, Obama, and many of his senior level appointments are anti gun. That should scare everyone. The only reason they're not attempting anthing right now is because they have too much on their plate as it is and there is currently NO support for gun control.

    A people disarmed are a people easily ruled. Call that paranoid if you want. I'm sure the majority said the same thing a couple hundred years ago.

    November 18, 2009 at 8:01 pm |
  41. inde

    We need huge gun control in our country. Each should be registered and bullets should have a way to be tracked to who owns the gun. Um, we register cars, don't we?

    November 18, 2009 at 7:41 pm |
  42. Patriot

    This has nothing to do with Obama or race.

    I am not a racist. I am an Americanist ; yeah lets add that new word to the dictionary .

    This has to do with the liberal politicians hacking up and giving away our rights as citizens. The mealy mouthed pussy cats who are too spineless to stand up and defend this country. The men and women who became politicians simply because they wouldn't dare try to do a real days labor.

    It's about the people in Washington who care only about money and what they can have / get for themselves.

    Our country is for sale, one piece at a time. What isn't for sale, we just give away to anyone who sneaks accross our borders, demanding what is OUR birth rights as American citizens. What other country on the face of the planet would do that ?

    WE as Americans should stand together when it comes to our birth rights and when it concerns our national security. Need i quote the 2nd ammendmant or any other ?

    This country is too concerned with political correctness and too affraid to hurt anyones feelings.

    This is America . Love it or leave it.

    Im tired of being called a racist when I disagree with someone, not only the President. The same thing happened with the Ft. Hood shooting massacre. All the press can talk about is "oh my, what could have we done to make this man shoot all these people".

    The man is an Islamic Muslim terrorist who served his masters bidding. Is that racist ? No, it's the truth.

    I am PRO > Patriot Act and the indefinite detention of enemy combatants during the "War on Terror."

    I am th NRA.

    I support

    And I support the the Oath Keepers the Minutemen and any other like minded Americans.

    Jim Acosta , I pledge to give my life defending this country so that you may disagree with me.

    But that woldn't matter to you, you are not an american.

    Move to Iran or Mexico or China. Drop us a note, let us know who you're doing.

    November 18, 2009 at 6:54 pm |
  43. Echo Dante

    Militias are not an answer to any political question. Threats of force will be as effective as David Koresh was during the Waco standoff, or any number of other groups in recent history that have tried to act outside the law for their own beliefs and purposes. The ATF, FBI, and National Guard are too well trained for any armed group of citizenry to ever hope to have a chance. We won’t even consider actual military action. When the country was established, George Washington and his fellows were on equal technology grounds with their enemy. These modern day ‘militia’, for all of their caches of guns and ammos, are not.
    No matter your political leaning, this nation has a great way to protect itself against injustice and tyranny. It’s called education. Those who want power want an ignorant populous. If you do not educate yourselves on the issues, you are an easily lead sheep. All it takes is someone in a position of ‘trust’, be it a news caster, pundit, preacher, or friend, to repeat a talking point and you’ll buy into it without doing your own research. This is the path to tyranny. You want to protect your family? Make sure everyone there gets as much education as possible. You want to protect your country? Do the same. We’re falling behind as a nation in education, and we are falling behind globally because of it. Keep your guns for hunting, but don’t delude yourself into thinking they will protect you from any trained military force. If enough of the populous is educated, however, then you can use the political safeguards our country has in place to insure that all have freedom, even if it’s to disagree with one another.

    November 18, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  44. Chris S.

    No plans for Martial Law? Rex 84 was mentioned during the Iran-Contra Hearings in 1987.[3] The Miami Herald wrote subsequently on July 5, 1987: Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North and the Federal Emergency Management Agency ... had drafted a contingency plan providing for the suspension of the Constitution, the imposition of martial law, and the appointment of military commanders to head state and local governments and to detain dissidents and Central American refugees in the event of a national crisis.[4] The basic facts about Rex 84 and other contingency planning readiness exercises—and the potential threat they pose to civil liberties if fully implemented in a real operation—are taken seriously by scholars and civil libertarians.[5] Exercises similar to Rex 84 happen regularly.[6] Plans for roundups of large numbers of persons in the United States in times of crisis are constructed during periods of increased political repression such as the Palmer Raids and the McCarthy Era. For example, from 1967 to 1971 the FBI kept a list of over 100,000 persons to be rounded up as subversive, dubbed the "ADEX" list.[7] This list contained many labor leaders, scholars, and public figures of the time. In 2008, for the first time an active military unit has been given a dedicated assignment stateside for civil unrest containment. It is assigned to Northcom, a joint command established in 2002 to provide command and control for federal homeland defense efforts and coordinate defense support of civil authorities.[

    November 18, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  45. J. Salerno

    No gun control in this administration? The first week Obama took office, the Blair Holt Gun Control Act, HR 45, was introduced by a Chicago congressman who is an ally of Barrack Obama and a former Black Panther. This law says that anyone who wants to purchase a gun must pass a test that is written by the Attorney General of the U.S. making it difficult for some who may not have the right education to understand the test, thus making it discriminatory to some working class individuals. You also must give your fingerprints, photo and a biometric scan to get the license, all to be put in a massive, nationwide database.

    November 18, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  46. Melissa in CA

    And, Jim – using the Oath Keepers and the Michigan Militia interchangeably is not only irresponsible reporting, it is just plain erroneous. You contend that the Oath Keepers were silent during the Bush administration – that was probably because Oath Keepers wasn't founded UNTIL MARCH 2009. Maybe I should do your job for you – have CNN give me a call.

    November 18, 2009 at 6:09 pm |
  47. Frank M

    I wish you people would actually read something before you go spouting nonsense.
    There is no urge to shoot people as one person posted above. In fact, it is the opposite. The Oath Keepers are doing what they are doing to PREVENT this. I am neither right nor left. I am an American.
    How is it extremist to not follow illegal orders? The 10 orders that will not be followed are simple. If these types of orders ever did come from the White House, they would be immediately illegal as layed out by the Constitution. They go contrary to the idea of "liberty". The oders are not subversive or seditionist. They are just a promise to uphold the ideals of the Constitution for the united states of America (see what I did there??? I told the truth!) not that other document written in 1871. (yes, I left you with a mystery, please feel free to look this up)

    Stand up! Do not fear.
    The sleeping giant of American resolve is still very much alive. And he is beginning to awake.

    November 18, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  48. Gary Redman

    I am a regular viewer of CNN and am an independent who has voted for nearly 50 years.
    Your article about the "Oath Keepers" was slanted towards finatic followers. Showing long beards and tatoos seems to be a method of showing finatics are behind this movement.
    This is not the case and if you had done good journalism, you would have interviewed more people. You would have found that there is a fast growing movement to pressure Congress and the Executive branch of our government to abide by the most important document in the U.S. History, The Constitution.
    You should have interviewed Senator Ron Paul or at least read his book "The Revolution-A Manifesto".
    There is a growing movement in the U.S. to force the use of The Constitution to govern our country instead of being run by special interest groups and lobbyist groups.
    If CNN does indeed want to come along with the movement, then they should run another article featuring the entire population and they will find the growing disgust with our Government. Let's stop making our Congressmen rich and force them to support individual rights as specified in The Constitution.

    Gary Redman
    Unionville, TN

    November 18, 2009 at 6:02 pm |
  49. Melissa in CA

    Rick – do your homework before you make ignorant claims such as this. Oathkeepers is NOT about gun control, nor is is about the president. It is military enlisted and law enforcement that have pledged to protect your rights, no matter what. (and, yes, this includes your ridiculously uninformed, quasi-intellectual statements – you have a right to make them, whether or not I am offended by them). Oath keepers would have prevented the Kent State shootings, japanese interment during ww2, atrocities of Mongomery Alabama, etc by REFUSING to act AGAINST the civil rights of american citizens. It has happened. Oath Keepers are peace officers and military personnel who take a pledge to NEVER act in such a manner.

    November 18, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  50. Buddy Russell

    I must ask you people calling these people quasi- extremists, When you read this LAW please state what you think then ! Tell us then who's crazy and who's smart !

    November 18, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  51. Allen N Wollscheidt


    November 18, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  52. Tom D

    Extremists, no doubt.

    November 18, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  53. Gutmach1960

    If they are not racists, as they claim, then why are groups consists of just WASP guys ? Seems to me, all of the wingnut groups are made up of angry old white guys. Explain that.

    November 18, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  54. Real Soldier

    I couldn't agree more with Rick.

    Nutjobs toting glocks on their hip to a presidential speech are going to be the ones who get handguns regulated. These armed militia's are a greater threat to the second amendment than any liberal could ever be.

    November 18, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  55. Adele

    With all these comments about "blame Obama" game, you guys are full of hatred and paranoia. When it comes to change in this country, if it's not geared towards whites in this country, then it's unamerican. I was in the military for 21 years...traveled all over the world and meeting people from all walks of life. This experience has given me a better understanding of our country and our world. Stop grabbing your guns and grab a hammer and start rebuilding this country,,,one nail at a time.

    November 18, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  56. Carrie B

    The so-called patriots are delusional, unpatriotic, macho seeking wing-nuts. Funny thing....we have not needed right-wing extremist groups scattered around this great country for a couple of hundred years...but the extremists attempt to compare it to the Revolutionary War. Give us a break, and read a book. Educate least a small bit. This is nothig but immature adults acting bratty with guns......ABWG.....Adult Brats With Guns.....sounds correct. And their words sound like the Taliban extremists lines.

    November 18, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  57. Hillary

    Wow, most of these comments must break CNN's liberal moonbat heart. I rarely read or watch CNN anymore because its become so irrelevant–just ANOTHER source of American Pravda that blathers foolishly on about green shoots and The One.

    You guys are pathetic.

    November 18, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  58. marie

    Yes, there are people who may not deserve to be on disability and working in the medical field, I have seen a lot of them who used every excuse to get on it.. But do not put everyone on disability in the same boat. The majority of people who are on disability are there because the worked hard to make a living and are either hurt mental or physically and they did work to put money in to socialsecurity.

    We have people who were in the army force, who have been injured or their brains fried from the different wars we have been in.

    Itook more than eight years to get in the mess we are in and people are think we can get out over night. It will never happen, even if ob ama was not president. We are on the road destroy this country with all the hate that we have for our fellow man. God has beening giving us chances to get ourselves straight before he comes back, but we are not paying attention to it.

    We are becoming a society that do not believe in God and want to destroy every thing that is good. I pray that people will start wakingup and help their country instead of judging people by the color of their skin. If we cannot get along here, do you think we will make it in at judgement day. I don't think so.

    Man can do a lot of things, but I have not seen made the sunrise or the moon set, even though they try to bring man back from the dead, they cannot even do that. I have not seen man make the wind blow or stop the raging sea. Have they parted the ocean and walk through with out a drop of water. No. But the God that I serve can do all those things and a lot more. I know he may not come when I think he should. but you know what he is never too late.

    So let us as american people get it together to make this place a better place to be

    November 18, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  59. Michael


    "The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference – they deserve a place of honor with all that's good"

    - George Washington

    I guess George Washington was also a "terrorist."

    This increase in militias is a direct result of the current administration, its statements in the past, and its perceived move to dramatically alter the fundamental aspects of this Country. This administration has fostered a level of fear among many Americans regarding almost every aspect of their lives today, and as a result, has caused this "rush to arms." A huge increase in firearms and ammo sales, a dramatic increase in the number of concealed handgun permits issued, all point to a widespread concern for the direction this Administration is taking the Country. Obama and Biden and his ilk are reaping what they have sowed the last several years.

    November 18, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  60. Frank


    I agree with you that should end but, I think there not a cheaper solution because or the talk show would be airing it.

    November 18, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  61. Jeff

    I totally agree with Ted's statement above. I am sick and tired of working as hard as I can to get ahead, just to have the government take more taxes. Which in turn he will distribute to the non-working ! Just a quick example... I keep my heat at 66 to save money, however a good friend of mine is a fire fighter/EMT and when he goes into the homes of the poor (who are receiving FREE heat assistance). He says they have the thermostat peg at 90º and they have the windows open !!! (Why worry about heat loss, they are not paying for it!!!) Now I see commercials for free cell phones along with 75 FREE minutes. Because everyone should have a cell phone ?? WHAT ??? If they were to receive a free phone, Have we heard of maybe 10-15 minutes. They just keep giving and giving and who is paying for ALL OF THIS ?? You got – The WORKING class !! STOP ALL THE ABUSE !!!

    November 18, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  62. Jason

    Yeah! Stop forming militias you racist people! Shut your mouths, close your doors and windows and stop looking out. Stay confined to your homes and turn on the television and let your minds rot. You listen to us and do what we tell you to do. Pay your taxes! You don't need to know where your money is going to. If we want to kick you out of you house, we will! You're racist! Quit asking questions, listen to us and shut up. When the economy fails, it's all your fault!!! "We do the work of GOD."

    November 18, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  63. Vinny

    Pro gun anti NRA. Too many extreme people. All afraid of each other.
    Comander and chief is self expalined. Why does the military allow this to be displayed on a uniform? "Is that a pledge pin on your uniform"?
    I don't think that guy was alive when there were internment camps in this country. The sad thing is the droves of people joining. Looks like a modern day gang to me. Thugs with guns. Great.

    I Love USA

    November 18, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  64. Pat Myles

    It is fairly easy to determine that the "keepers" are far-right, radical extremists. They are a modern version of uninformed KKK members. I did not like George-W, and did not support an Iraq invasion. But like many others that were against the war, I supported the POTUS and wanted success & progress. The far-right extremists only want things exactly their way...and whine, scream, and cry...and now trey to act scary & macho with guns....when they do not have everything their way. Get over it...millions of us did not have things our way under "W" and loony Cheney.These extremists are unpatriotic & an embarrassmebt to the US.

    November 18, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  65. TCM

    Acosta must be the "Misinformation Czar." This type of, "'s ok...Obama and the liberals are going to straighten out everything...just trust them..." Is leading this nation to it's destruction. What does it take for you blind liberals to see that Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Axlerod...and the like are NOTHING but nonChristian anti-Americans? When a terrorist kills 13 on an Army installation...and it's not called out...apologizing to our enemies...inbed with ACORN...socializing with known criminals like Bill Ayers...unable to produce even the simplest of forms; a birth certificate...and you liberals just look the other way! The recent AAT act coddled by Hillary is a covert end run at gun control. Read any of the literature that OBama was "raised, " on and they spell out exactly how to over turn a prosperous nation into a slave-nanny state...and that's exactly the steps they're taking. Anyone believing anything else is either fooling themselves, or are as anti-American as this administration.

    November 18, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  66. Craig B

    Nothing but childish, macho-seeking extremists. My greater family has always been avid hunters....but not one would sink to the depths of making excuses for using the guns in militia-style training or issues. As Rick stated.....just quasi-extremists. They remind me of Taliban extremists luring the weak into the fold.

    November 18, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  67. T

    These patriots are standing up for the very foundation of our REPUBLIC! They are trying to protect what the traitors in washington are trying to destroy. The american people see what is happening....the slow march towards a nanny state and socialism. Until our leades do what they swore to do, "Support and defend the Constitution..." we will have to take charge and remind them of their duties.

    November 18, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  68. Gregg

    I think Americans, as a whole, have become increasingly reliant on others to provide for them, whether it be government, a non-profit organization, or a neighbor. I think our sense of personal responsibility has diminished over the past 20-30 years (I am 23 years old, and this is evident to me). While groups like this are vocal about the problems many Americans are aware about, it will take a lot more than a couple extremist groups to make a difference. I think American citizens are beginning to realize the direction this country is heading, and the possible future consequences of our present actions. People are beginning to realize what kind of power we have given our government over the years by being complacent in voting and disillusioned as to what we are really accomplishing with some of these laws. More and more Americans are seeing these "elected officials" aren't working for the people anymore. The world we live in today is a consequence of not just the Bush or Obama administration, but because of what we have allowed to happen over the past 20-30 years. These groups won't matter in the long run. The organization of educated citizens demanding less government will ultimately force reasonable change.

    November 18, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  69. No One

    If there are no plans to restrict firearms or opendentetion camps (I'm not saying they are), ten there should be no reason to ever worry about the oath keepers making any troule or disobeying any orders.

    November 18, 2009 at 2:42 pm |
  70. jay m

    Rightwing nut, extremists, same thing

    November 18, 2009 at 2:04 pm |
  71. Rick

    The 10 trillion dollar national debt threshold was reached during the Bush administration. I have studied the national debt. At the beginning of Reagan's first term the debt was just under one trillion dollars. Since 1981 Republican administrations have racked up $8.3 trillion and Democrat administrations have racked up $2.4 trillion. The national debt is our largest issue but we cannot fix the problem if everyone does not open their eyes and see the source of the budget deficits. The GOP amasses debt at a greater rate than the Dems.

    November 18, 2009 at 1:48 pm |
  72. Rick

    Being an avid firearms owner and supporter of the second amendment, I find groups like the militias and the Oathkeepers to be quasi-extremists. The current administration and congress have stated they have no intent to introduce firearms control legislation. The militias and Oathkeepers, to me, are like children with their favorite toy, fantasizing about it continually. I believe these people dream of the day they have an excuse to shoot people 'justifiably'. Further, I feel they are a menace to the very right to bear arms which they claim to protect.

    November 18, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  73. Robert D. Lohman

    You have got to be out of your mind. The things you discuss have no bearing on anything. Are you trying to say that Obama had no alternative but to continue with the Bush policies? You are nuts and are misusing your bully pulpit for sure. I was in Washington on 9-12 and I'm not an extremist or anything close to it. If you actually cared about this country you would report the facts as to why over a million people made the trip to Washington. The concerns are all about Obama and not Bush. Try a 10 trillion dollar deficit, a health care plan that the people don't want, apologys all over the world for how bad America is, cap and trade, extremist czars that have no congressional oversight and on and on and on. Robert D. Lohman

    November 18, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  74. chris

    Ever hear of REX 84, of course their are potential camps everywhere all you need is a building, guards, and barbed wire. Ohhh have we also forgotten the Japanese CITIZENS!....interned during WW2. God bless the oathkeepers, constitutional militias, and common sense preparedness individuals

    November 18, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  75. Rowena Booker

    Oh, please! We were just as vocal then against Bush policies as we are now. The only difference is that we have a outlet to come together and voice our concerns more openly. We are groups of people who are joined together to remove RINOs, and any other politicians who are leading us farther away from the Constitution as designed by the founding fathers.
    Our country has become morally bankrupt, and is heading towards a Owellian future for my children and grandchildren. It is them who I fight for, so they can have a better future than I had, not one that is worse.

    November 18, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  76. Ted

    If one was to step back and see why there are more extremists groups one would know that because of the re-distribution of wealth in this country is by far the biggest reason for these new groups! Real Americans are tired of working only to have Obama take it from them to give to someone who hasnt worked for it! Never in my life have I seen so many disabled and mentally unable to work people! Nobody believes they should have to go without, if the next guy has it so should I mentality! Tax payers are supporting peoples lifestyles by paying for their cell phones, satellite tv, internet, heating bills, electricity bills. If people were forced to pay for the things that are neccesary like food, electricity, heat, instead of having me pay for those things so they can pay for things like cell phones, internet, satellite tv, and the list goes on and on! Stop the abuse, make people go without, its not fair to destroy others American dream so poor people can have things they really cant afford! When is unemployment going to be called welfare? Thats what Obamas turned it into another welfare program! People that are getting these extensions are laughing at the government for not making them to even look for a job!

    November 18, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  77. Harry

    Everyone reading this ask themselves one question when considering whether is a race issue or just a policy issue: How do these so called "Patriots" vote? I would bet they are Republicans. This questions should be asked when these people are interviewed to put in the proper context while they are complaining now and not when the white Republican Bush was in office.

    November 18, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  78. Ted

    Well wat happened at Ft. Hood was clearly a terrorist attack and the Obama administration is trying to hide or dismiss this so his record on terror remains intact and as a slap to W`s terror record! Obama is as much of a liar and fraud as George Bush ever was! What Obama is doing now, taking from the working class and giving to the non working class is not only un-American its SOCALISM period! What give him the right to destroy America and the real values it believes in? All he is doing is enabling a large part of the American public to be free-loaders and to have their handout for something free, shame on him! At least he`s done in 2012 and then this country can really get back to where it once was!

    November 18, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  79. Neutral Provider

    Not saying what they are doing is right or wrong, but seriously, how do you think we developed the National Guard we have now?

    Whatever... dig something else to report.

    November 18, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  80. Bob

    So, Mr. Acosta is attempting to argue that Americans are really mad at Bush, and not Obama? IS CNN honestly attempting to claim that the millions of Americans who are unhappy with Obama's performance are actually mad at Bush, and are too dumb to know it?

    Not very smart CNN.

    Not very smart at all.

    November 18, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  81. Clay

    Jim Acosta, please restore my faith in CNN’s ability to do some real reporting. How can you say that there is no proof that Martial Law is a potential threat? Did you not see the local media coverage of New Orleans? Did you not see how they forcefully confiscated the guns from law bidding citizens? Is there not Martial Law and forced curfews in other places in the United States? Why does it take regular people like Randy, who commented so eloquently regarding the current state of our liberty, to do the true reporting?

    November 18, 2009 at 12:15 pm |