Last Thursday as I was rolling into the Pentagon Metro station I noticed from the train window a giant sign that read, "Snowden Honored His Oath. Honor Yours! Stop Big Brother!"
Before I could snap a picture or see who'd sponsored the sign, the train was rolling out. For the rest of the weekend I wondered who had the chutzpah (and the inventiveness) to praise Snowden at the Pentagon stop, where it's far more common to see ads from lobbyists praising the merits of some piece of military tech.
Turns out it was the Oath Keepers, "a coalition of current and former military, police, and other public officials [who] have pledged not to obey unconstitutional commands." (For a fair and balanced take on the group, see Jesse Walker here. See also: "The Oath Keepers on Edward Snowden.") The group released a statement claiming credit for the signs, of which there are supposedly three at Pentagon station:
Oath Keepers has placed three back-lit signs on the subway platform in the Washington Metro Pentagon Station, group founder Stewart Rhodes announced today.
"The first sign at the Pentagon Station is done in the style of the theater scene from George Orwell's 1984 and features Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, as 'Big Brother,'" Rhodes wrote, stating the "sign makes it clear that by exposing the NSA spying on Americans, Snowden honored his oath."
"This artwork will also be going on a billboard along a major freeway in Maryland, near the NSA headquarters at Ft. Mead within the week," Rhodes added.
The second sign now in place at Pentagon Station is aimed directly at CIA employees, reminding them that their oath is not to a "corporate culture of secrecy," Rhodes continued. "The third sign is intended to reach our military personnel within the Pentagon, and any other government employees who have ever served in the military, using the Iwo Jima flag-raising as a backdrop to the message."
"This is part of a broader effort to place billboards at strategic locations throughout the United States," Rhodes added, citing current locations including near military bases at Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Base, Fort Benning, Fort Hood, Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield.
There are echoes of Reason's own J.D. Tuccille in that statement.