The Jan. 6th Capitol riot raised a lot of eyebrows when it was seen that law enforcement and ex-military personnel were among the ones in attendance who went to Washington that day. A new report released by the Anti-Defamation League shows the far-reaching aspects of the far-right extremist group, The Oath Keepers. The Center on Extremism looked into the 38,000 names on the lists published by Distributed Denial of Secrets (DDoSecrets) in September 2021.
- More than 370 people currently work in law enforcement agencies. This includes ten chiefs of police and 11 sheriffs. (Associated Press contacted all of the police chiefs and sheriffs. They responded and said they no longer have any ties to the group.)
- There were also more than 100 people currently members of the military found on the list.
- Eighty people who were running for or served in public office as of early August also came up. This ranged from mayors, school council members, and senators.
- “86 active firefighters (including several fire chiefs), 19 active paramedics, and 31 active emergency technicians appear in the membership list.”
Two dozen people associated with the Oath Keepers have been charged with various crimes over the Jan. 6th riot. Founder Stewart Rhodes and ten other members will soon head to trial for charges of seditious conspiracy. This report will fuel new questions about how many of our institutions are compromised by extremists.
However, the ADL also cautioned that “an individual’s inclusion in the Oath Keeper database is not proof that they were or are still an Oath Keeper, that they hold or held all or some of Oath Keeper ideology or viewpoints, or that they ever actively participated in Oath Keeper activities.”
The Associated Press had contacted various people on the list, and they said “they were briefly members years ago and are no longer affiliated with the group. Some said they were never dues-paying members.” Some said the events of the Jan. 6th incredibly turned them off to being affiliated with the Oath Keepers.