Thread: A 12-year flashback to the first time I ever heard of the Oath Keepers. It happened in 2009 when I was monitoring ‘Patriot’ movement chatter and came across a YouTube video by this man: An ex-Marine named Charles Dyer. You can see why it caught my attention.

2) Dyer’s style was disturbing—combining a skull-mask imposed digitally and his fondness for ‘inspirational,’ anthemic music in the background—but his incendiary, violent rhetoric was especially worrisome. Watch this one to the end: ‘You’re damn right I’m a threat.’
3) This video and others I was seeing float around on the fringes of the suddenly burgeoning ‘Patriot’/militia far right made me concerned about their recruitment of military veterans. There were good reasons to be concerned.
4) As it happened, I raised the alarm at @crooksandliars only a month or so before Homeland Security issued its ill-fate warning about precisely that problem—which set off months of hysterical hyperbole from Fox News and the far right alike.
5) You may remember how that all turned out: The projection-fueled attack on DHS’s domestic-terrorism-monitoring section ended up gutting the section and sending the Obama administration into hunker-down/failure mode when it came to the radical right.
6) Dyer, who went by the online nom de plume ‘July4Patriot,’ especially caught my attention when, the next time I encountered him in an online video, he was giving a speech at a July 4, 2009, Tea Party event in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.
7) This corroborated what I had been seeing elsewhere: The Tea Party, marketed on Fox News and CNN and everywhere else as a nominally mainstream movement, was rapidly becoming a massive conduit for a revival of the ‘90s Patriot movement.
8) This trend became cemented over the following year, and eventually the Tea Party became wholly consumed by Patriot ideology, rhetoric, and agendas.
9) At the Broken Arrow event, Dyer had talked about the group he represented: the Oath Keepers. He also described the “ten orders we will not obey,” which mostly reflected paranoid fears of black helicopters and concentration camps common among ‘Patriots.’

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