A joint investigation has found that over 300 people listed as members of the anti-government militia, the Oath Keepers, say they’ve worked for agencies within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) including the Border Patrol, the Coast Guard, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE, and the Secret Service, Common Dreams wrote.
The report — published by Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) — refers to an internal roster of the Oath Keepers taken from 2009 to 2015. Nevertheless, it is especially concerning considering that these anti-government extremists work in a federal agency tasked with fighting extremism.
Oath Keepers have been found guilty of seditious conspiracy and other charges for their participation in the attempted January 6, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. The insurrection sought to prevent the U.S. Congress from certifying the electoral victory of the 2020 presidential election.
The Some of the members on the roster say that they were a member of the Oath Keepers for only a brief while or that they don’t support the militia’s anti-government actions. Others say they joined because they support “the Second Amendment” or don’t want their kids “to grow up in a Communist country.”
Rep. Bennie Thompson, a Democratic congressman who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee, wrote of the list, “Extremism within our government is always alarming, but even more so in a department with a law enforcement and national security nexus like DHS.”
Mike German, a former undercover FBI agent who has infiltrated far-right extremist groups, wrote, “This probably represents the tip of the iceberg as far as federal law enforcement officers that have been involved in or supported the activities of far-right, militant groups like the Oath Keepers. One active law enforcement official joining a militia group is one too many.”
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One Trump-Appointed Judge May Soon Ban a Key Abortion Drug Nationwide
Matthew Kacsmaryk, a judge appointed by former President Donald Trump, is expected to rule soon whether to nationally outlaw the abortion medication Mifepristone, effectively overturning the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) 23-year-old approval of the drug.
The lawsuit against the drug, filed by the right-wing Christian legal advocacy group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), disingenuously claims that the FDA carelessly risked patients lives when it approved the drug in 2000.
On the contrary, only 24 people taking the drug died from 2000 to 2018 (out of its estimated 3.7 million users). As such, it’s safer than penicillin, Tylenol, and actual childbirth, which kills 700 U.S. women a year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
The ADF likely chose to file their case in Kacsmaryk’s Texas-based courtroom because he’s known as a right-wing Christian activist who happily issues wide-ranging pro-conservative rulings. He recently ruled that Texas teens have no right to access abortion without parental consent.
The ADF’s lawsuit also follows the FDA’s recent approval of pharmacies to distribute the drug without a doctor’s visit. Medications like Mifepristone are now used for over half of all abortions, according to the Guttmacher Institute, something that happened in response to several conservative states banning clinical abortions.
If Kacsmaryk rules against the drug, it would outlaw the drug even in states where abortion remains legal.
After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and its rights to legalized abortion in June 2022, conservative politicians said they wanted to return the issue of abortion to individualized states. However, voters ever since have consistently rejected attempts to further restrict abortion access.
Now, it seems conservatives are moving from letting states decide to letting one un-elected judge decide for the entire country.
This week, four senators introduced a bill to codify abrtion rights and contraceptive access into law. The bill, named the Reproductive Freedom for All Act, was introduced by Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine).
The bill is unlikely to pass the Republican-led House.
‘Ignoring the Lie Emboldens the Liar’: Liz Cheney Delivers Hard-Hitting Speech Blasting Trump (Video)
House Republican Caucus Chairwoman Liz Cheney likely will hold that title for only another hour or two today, but Tuesday night the Congresswoman from Wyoming delivered a hard-hitting speech attacking Donald Trump and those who continue to support him.
Speaking to the rule of law and the Constitution Cheney warns of “the unraveling of our democracy.”
“Today we face a threat America has never seen before,” Cheney says. “A former president, who provoked a violent attack on this Capitol in an effort to steal the election, has resumed his aggressive effort to convince Americans that the election was stolen from him. He risks inciting further violence.”
Read the full speech, watch the video below:
“Madam Speaker, I rise tonight to discuss freedom and our constitutional duty to protect it.
“I have been privileged to see first-hand how powerful and how fragile freedom is. 28 years ago, I stood outside a polling place, a schoolhouse in western Kenya. Soldiers had chased away people lined up to vote. A few hours later, the people began streaming back in, risking further attack, undaunted in their determination to exercise their right to vote.
“In 1992, I sat across a table from a young mayor in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia and listened to him talk of his dream of liberating his nation from communism. Years later, for his dedication to the cause of freedom, Boris Nemtsov would be assassinated by Vladimir Putin’s thugs.
“In Warsaw, in 1990, I listened to a young Polish woman tell me that her greatest fear was that people would forget what it was like to live under communist domination, that they would forget the price of freedom.
“Three men — an immigrant who escaped Castro’s totalitarian regime; a young man who grew up behind the iron curtain and became his country’s minister of defense; and a dissident who spent years in the Soviet gulag have all told me it was the miracle of America captured in the words of President Ronald Reagan that inspired them to seek freedom.
“I have seen the power of faith and freedom. I listened to Pope John Paul II speak to thousands in Nairobi in 1985, and 19 years later I watched that same pope take my father’s hand, look in his eyes, and say, ‘God Bless America.’
“God has blessed America, but our freedom only survives if we protect it, if we honor our oath, taken before God in this chamber, to support and defend the Constitution, if we recognize threats to freedom when they arise.
“Today we face a threat America has never seen before. A former president, who provoked a violent attack on this Capitol in an effort to steal the election, has resumed his aggressive effort to convince Americans that the election was stolen from him. He risks inciting further violence.
“Millions of Americans have been misled by the former President. They have heard only his words, but not the truth, as he continues to undermine our democratic process, sowing seeds of doubt about whether democracy really works at all.
“I am a conservative Republican and the most conservative of conservative principles is reverence for the rule of law. The Electoral College has voted. More than sixty state and federal courts, including multiple judges he appointed, have rejected the former president’s claims. The Department of Justice in his administration investigated the former president’s claims of widespread fraud and found no evidence to support them. The election is over. That is the rule of law. That is our constitutional process.
“Those who refuse to accept the rulings of our courts are at war with the Constitution.
“Our duty is clear. Every one of us who has sworn the oath must act to prevent the unraveling of our democracy. This is not about policy. This is not about partisanship. This is about our duty as Americans. Remaining silent, and ignoring the lie, emboldens the liar.
“I will not participate in that. I will not sit back and watch in silence while others lead our party down a path that abandons the rule of law and joins the former president’s crusade to undermine our democracy.
“As the party of Reagan, Republicans championed democracy, won the Cold War, and defeated the Soviet Communists. As we speak, America is on the cusp of another Cold War — this time with communist China. Attacks against our democratic process and the rule of law empower our adversaries and feed Communist propaganda that American democracy is a failure. We must speak the truth. Our election was not stolen, and America has not failed.
“I received a message last week from a Gold Star father who said, ‘Standing up for the truth honors all who gave all.’ We must all strive to be worthy of the sacrifice of those who have died for our freedom. They are the patriots Katherine Lee Bates described in the words of America the Beautiful: ‘Oh beautiful for heroes proved in liberating strife, who more than self their country loved and mercy more than life.’
“Ultimately, this is at the heart of what our oath requires — that we love our country more. That we love her so much we will stand above politics to defend her. That we will do everything in our power to protect our constitution and our freedom — paid for by the blood of so many.
“We must love her so much we will never yield in her defense.
“That is our duty.”
Liz Cheney’s full House floor speech:
“The election is over…that is our constitutional process. Those who refuse to accept the rulings of our courts are at war with the Constitution…Remaining silent and ignoring the lie emboldens the liar. I will not participate in that.” pic.twitter.com/sGZRaknBPc
— JM Rieger (@RiegerReport) May 12, 2021
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