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News, documents and analysis on violent extremism

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Portrait Emerges Of Guardians Of The Free Republic

The Guardians of the Free Republic made headlines last week by sending a letter to at least 30 governors around the U.S. demanding that they step down from office.

An audio of an Internet (and apparently amateur satellite) radio broadcast posted on the Guardians' Web site provided some insight into the group's thinking. The broadcast's host identified himself as Dr. Sam Kennedy, a highly visible member of the sovereign citzens movement who is identified on the Guardians Web site as a spokesman for the organization's "Elders."

The audio began with a lengthy series of dedications, including "to the members of the tea parties, to the Glenn Becks and Jesse Venturas who seek change, but only possess a small portion of the story." Other dedicatees included Ron Paul, the Japanese Americans who were interned by the U.S. government during World War II, as well as Native Americans and African-Americans (who Kennedy vaguely implied were being victimized by the welfare system).

The main content of the broadcast is a fairly standard sovereign citizen outlook, citing what the group believes to be a legal framework for dissolving the federal government.

But there are a few unusual remarks.

At one point, Kennedy says, "The era of the Cylons is over" (a reference to the robotic villains of Battlestar Galactica). Shortly after, he invokes "The Matrix," telling listeners, "You are an army of Neos. You have been awakened." At one point, Kennedy describes Social Security numbers as "the mark of the beast."

"They will subject us to ridicule as rightwing nut jobs and Christian fundamentalists, and all the other knee-jerk evils that they use as lightning rods to gather the people in hysteria towards their own enslavement," Kennedy says.

Kennedy also makes an improbable-sounding claim about his group's support of a faction within the U.S. military:

Folks, about a year ago, high ranking members of the military, as I’ve mentioned before, made us a truly remarkable offer. If we would undertake certain specific steps, they will recognize our lawful authority as the one, true, only de jure government of the people.

And they will follow our orders. They are tired of taking dangerous orders, or orders that bring their colleagues, friends and their military family into harm’s way around the world for reasons they are aware are to enrich the pocketbooks of the banking cartel terrorist families of the planet.

They are tired of taking orders from a corporate CEO who has no legitimate place in governing the United States of America. And I don’t mean the United States federal corporation. I mean the United States of America, united under, under the sovereign people.

So we took that challenge. And we crafted most carefully and meticulously the “Restore America Plan,” which will accomplish all of our goals quickly, calmly, gently and without bloodshed violence, retribution or civil war, with no malice in our hearts or in our actions for anyone.

The assurance that the Guardians are non-violent is repeated several times, with Kennedy saying the movement will "follow the lead of Mandela and Gandhi, and Martin Luther King."

He also indicates a need for secrecy:

Folks, the orders have already been written. The plan is laid out. We won’t be able to discuss them with specificity on this far too public forum, but uh, you can already tell by what I’ve said that this has been methodically worked out.


Views expressed on INTELWIRE are those of the author alone.



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INTELWIRE is a web site edited by J.M. Berger. a researcher, analyst and consultant covering extremism, with a special focus on extremist activities in the U.S. and extremist use of social media. He is a non-resident fellow with the Brookings Institution, Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, and author of the critically acclaimed Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam, the only definitive history of the U.S. jihadist movement, and co-author of ISIS: The State of Terror with Jessica Stern.


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