Oath Keepers Boss: Bybee Nixed Me

Image courtesy of Oath Keepers

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


At the recent Conservative Political Action Conference, lawyer Stewart Rhodes, founder of controversial “patriot” group Oath Keepers, told a legal reporter that he was rejected for a 2003 clerkship with infamous federal appeals court judge Jay Bybee—co-author of the Bush administration’s Torture Memos.  “Of course I didn’t get the clerkship,” Rhodes said. “But I didn’t want it anyway.”

The subject of our March/April cover story “Age of Treason,” Oath Keepers urges members—mostly active-duty soldiers, police officers, and military veterans—to disobey a set of orders they consider unconstitutional infringements on American liberties. Rhodes says his lack of faith in Bybee stems not from his approval of torture, but from his actions, along with lawyer John Yoo, “justifying applications of the laws of war even on American citizens. I find that very dangerous.”

Rhodes and his organization have drawn praise or attention from right-wing icons like Glenn Beck, Alex Jones, and a coterie of GOP congressional representatives and 2010 candidates. But speaking to Rhodes on his program last week, Bill O’Reilly suggested that some of the group’s ideals invite anarchy.

Bybee remains on the bench, and although Congress says it intends to hold hearings on the Torture Memos, key details of the case remain mysterious. But when Bybee eventually leaves his robe behind, it looks like there won’t be an Oath Keepers membership waiting for him.

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate