At an August “Appalachian Summit” held in West Virginia, a national leader in the Oath Keepers staunchly defended the Confederate flag.
One of several Confederate flags (right) flying at the Oath Keepers Appalachian Summit.
At the summit on Saturday, August 29, South Carolina Oath Keepers Leader, Jeffery E. “Mouse” Prosen, pointed to a Confederate battle flag hanging on a booth near the stage (one of several Confederate flags onsite) and decried that he was “ashamed” that his state took down the flag after the Charleston massacre.
Prosen unleashed a fervent defense of the Confederate flag, including an attempt to brush aside talk of it as a racist symbol. He also lambasted South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley’s efforts to lower the Confederate flag from the state capitol after white nationalist Dylann Roof murdered nine African-American churchgoers in Charleston, declaring “I’m ashamed of what we’ve done.”
During recent Oath Keepers-led standoffs, Prosen often referenced the alleged horrors he faced during his military service. His repeated emotional appeals brought him to the attention of the group, Military Phonies, who did a brutal takedown of Prosen’s service records and found his claims of serving as a gunnery sergeant, that he was a sniper, and that he served on a “special tactical team” to be unsupported by military records. Military Phonies also documented numerous other doubtful and suspicious claims Prosen made about his service. They awarded Prosen the “Blog of Shame” award in June.
Military Phonies also uncovered that a Jeffrey E. Prosen of Houston, Texas (the same location where Prosen entered the Marines) was convicted of second-degree aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in 1997. According to a 1999 story in the Houston Press,
Witnesses told of Prosen, an ex-Marine, dashing to his vehicle, pulling out a Glock semiautomatic pistol, slamming in an ammunition clip and chambering a round. He tucked the weapon into his belt under his jacket and ran back toward the pharmacy.
He found Johnson outside, waiting near a bus stop. Prosen pulled the pistol and forced Johnson into the kneeling position as if he were going to execute him.
Despite a chilling police standoff and such a brutal act, Prosen was sentenced to five years’ probation. While IREHR has unearthed recent evidence where “Mouse” Prosen identified himself as from Texas, inquiries to confirm the Military Phonies claim that “Mouse” is the same Prosen convicted in Texas have not yet been returned.
Oath Keepers leaders often claim that the group doesn’t allow racists, and that they “seriously” vet all of their members. A growing amount of evidence suggests, however, that such claims are demonstrably false.
Another Confederate flag flying at the Oath Keepers Appalachian Summit.