Adam Kokesh in 2009
|Born||Adam Charles Kokesh
February 1, 1982
San Francisco, California, U.S.
|Residence||Arlington County, Virginia, U.S.|
|Occupation||Talk show host, political activist|
|Influenced by||Ron Paul, Samuel Edward Konkin III, Murray Rothbard, Robert LeFevre, Friedrich Hayek, Ludwig von Mises|
|Home town||Santa Fe, New Mexico, U.S.|
|Political party||Republican (2010)|
|Political movement||Libertarian, Anti-war|
|Service/branch||United States Marine Corps|
|Years of service||1999–2007|
|Unit||3rd Civil Affairs Group|
Adam Charles Kokesh (born February 1, 1982) is an American libertarian anti-war activist, podcaster, and anarcho-capitalist. Kokesh was a corporal in the United States Marine Corps and is a veteran of the Iraq War. Starting in 2007, he became a member and leading proponent of Iraq Veterans Against the War. In 2011, he and Nathan Cox co-founded Veterans for Ron Paul. In 2010 and 2011, he hosted a talk radio show, and a brief television stint on RT. Some of his demonstrations protesting U.S. military missions overseas, and his acts of civil disobedience have been controversial.[according to whom?]
Adam Kokesh was born on February 2, 1982 in San Francisco, California. He is the son of Charles Kokesh, a Santa Fe businessman and former owner of the defunct Santa Fe Horse Park. He has two brothers, Alex and Alden, and a sister, Audrey. Kokesh is Jewish, and a self-avowed atheist.
Marine Corps service
In 1999, Kokesh enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserve. In 2004, he was deployed to Iraq and served in Fallujah. He was a liaison between the U.S. military and Iraqi civilians as a member of the 3rd Civil Affairs Group. He also worked a security checkpoint while in Iraq. He brought home a pistol from Iraq in 2004 in violation of military rules, as a result of which he was demoted from sergeant to corporal, and shortly thereafter he was honorably discharged from the military. Kokesh received the Combat Action Ribbon and the Navy Commendation Medal for his combat in Fallujah.
Ready Reserve discharge
After his discharge, Kokesh was a member of the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) and on March 19, 2007 he participated in an anti-war protest and was named in a photo caption of that event in the Washington Post. As a result, on March 29, a marine major sent him an e-mail to tell him he was being investigated for misconduct by appearing at a political event in uniform. Kokesh responded, using an expletive in his reply, thereby incurring an additional misconduct charge under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
In May 2007, a hearing was convened to consider changing Kokesh's military discharge from "honorable" to "other than honorable" on two points: "Disrespect toward a Superior Commissioned Officer," and violating "Wearing of the uniform" regulation. The panel recommended Kokesh be given a "general discharge under honorable conditions," which is a discharge status below "honorable," and above "other than honorable". Kokesh appealed the decision, but was denied.
The national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Gary Kurpius supported Kokesh and two others arrested with him at the protest, saying "All they're doing is exercising the same democratic voice we're trying to instill over in Iraq right now." The VFW issued a "blistering statement" with the headline: "VFW to Corps: Don't Stifle Freedom of Speech."
In February 2007, he became an active participant in the Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW). On March 19, 2007, to mark the 4th anniversary of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Kokesh and 12 other Iraq Veterans Against the War members participated in an occupation-like mock patrol of Washington D.C. Kokesh first came to national attention after he was interviewed on CNN and his photograph appeared in newspapers throughout the country, including the front page of the Los Angeles Times at a protest during Alberto Gonzales's testimony to Congress regarding the dismissal of U.S. attorneys. Kokesh, wearing his marine corps Boonie hat, held up a large sign counting the number of times Gonzalez said "I don't remember" or "I don't recall" (Kokesh claimed Gonzalez used such phrases 74 times).
In April 2007, Kokesh and a number of other activists were arrested for protesting the Iraq war in the Senate Hart Office Building. Kokesh had performed a ceremony for lost service members using an American flag.
In June 2007, Kokesh along with IVAW members Liam Madden and Nate Lewis, were arrested for crossing onto the property of Fort Benning during an anti-war protest. A spokesperson for the IVAW said the three had accidentally stepped onto the base while talking to a guard. The trespass charges were dismissed.
Kokesh enrolled in graduate studies in political management at George Washington University. In October 2007, Kokesh, along with six other students, created controversy by putting up mock political posters across the university campus to mock what they called the racist and Islamophobic "Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week" being observed at the campus. The event was organized by a conservative student organization, and invited controversial speaker David Horowitz on the George Washington University campus.
On September 4, 2008, Kokesh interrupted Senator John McCain's acceptance speech of the GOP nomination for president at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota. Holding a sign reading "McCain Votes Against Vets" on one side and "You can't win an occupation" on the other, Kokesh yelled, "Ask him why he votes against vets!" Kokesh was released shortly after being detained by local police.
On May 28, 2011, Kokesh and other activists participated in a flash mob-silent dance at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C. in protest of a recent ruling against dancing in the monument. The activists were arrested. A much larger protest on June 4, 2011, organized by Kokesh and Code Pink, involved about 200 protesters and 75 dancers. About 10 minutes after the dancing began, police began clearing the monument. No arrests were made. When asked by a journalist if he had a permit to protest, Kokesh reportedly produced a copy of the Constitution and said, "Actually I got a permit. It's the same one I swore an oath to when I enlisted in the marine corps. And it says something about 'freedom of assembly.'"
In 2011, Kokesh, along with fellow IVAW activist Nathan Cox, founded "Veterans For Ron Paul". The group organized a rally in Washington, D.C. titled "Ron Paul is the Choice of the Troops", to coincide with President's Day, February 20, 2012. After a rally, 500 marchers, including veterans, active-duty service, and their families, marched towards the White House. There they engaged in ceremonial flag-folding in memory of deceased soldiers and periods of silence for soldiers who died in battle and for those who committed suicide after returning.
On May 18, 2013, Kokesh was arrested in Philadelphia by federal park rangers together with other protesters at the 5th iteration of a marijuana legalization rally known as Smoke Down Prohibition. The Smoke Down event has occurred at Independence National Historical Park in downtown Philadelphia once every month since January 2013 with no prior arrests or police intervention. Don Dezarn was widely criticized by online commentators for possibly planting something on Kokesh, but he has been publicly defended by Kokesh's own producers and others who were at the rally. Adam Kokesh and N.A. Poe appeared before a judge on Monday May 20 and were charged with assaulting a federal officer and resisting arrest. Wide speculation on the internet claims that the Federal government seeks to harass and intimidate activists with the arrest of Kokesh who has called for an armed march on Washington D.C. on Independence Day July 4, 2013. Kokesh's federal charges were reduced to violations on May 24 and he was released.
Along with his release on May 24, 2013, Kokesh called for a "Final American Revolution" to take place on July 4, 2013 in place of the previously planned armed march on Washington D.C.. This is planned to take place in all 50 state capitols with protests to be only absolved by each governors agreement to initiate an orderly dissolution of the federal government through secession.
2010 congressional campaign
In 2010, Adam Kokesh ran unsuccessfully in the primary for the Republican nomination for New Mexico's 3rd congressional district seat. His campaign donations were mainly from out-of-state, and he received endorsements from Congressman Ron Paul and from the Republican Liberty Caucus. Kokesh's opponent in the New Mexico GOP primary was Tom Mullins.
Adam vs. The Man
Beginning in July 2010, Kokesh hosted a talk radio program called Adam vs. The Man which aired weekdays from the studios of 1550 KRKE in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In April 2011, his show was picked up by RT America. Conservative media watchdog Accuracy in Media criticized Kokesh's appeareances on RT, which is a non-profit organization largely funded by the Russian government. The group claimed that RT uses Americans like Kokesh to make propaganda points. David Weigel writes that Kokesh defended RT's "propaganda" function, saying "We're putting out the truth that no one else wants to say. I mean, if you want to put it in the worst possible abstract, it's the Russian government, which is a competing protection racket against the other governments of the world, going against the United States and calling them on their bullshit."
On a June 2011 show, Kokesh endorsed support and fundraising for Ron Paul's 2012 presidential campaign, leading to a complaint to the Federal Election Commission charging a political contribution had been made by a foreign corporation. Kokesh denied his cancellation in August was related to the complaint.
Kokesh has continued his Adam vs. The Man podcasts and video reports independently on his website and YouTube channel, notably admitting he "got fired from my only radio and TV gigs." On the channel he has filed some critical reports of the "Occupy DC" version of the Occupy movement.
- "Anarchast Ep.34: Interview with Adam Kokesh". Anarchast. July 7, 2012. Retrieved May 11, 2013.
- "Iraq War Stories: Adam Kokesh". Albuquerque Journal. September 5, 2010.
- Brian Doherty (January 9, 2012). "Veterans for Ron Paul Plan a March on the White House".
- AVTM on RT (April 26, 2011). "Ron Paul 2012, Veterans for Ron Paul, Presidential hopefuls on the economy". YouTube. Retrieved May 13, 2013.
- RT America Launches New Show, Hosted by Former US Marine, Adam Kokesh, press release on Adam vs The Man web site, April 4, 2011.
- "Meet Iraq Veteran Adam Kokesh, the New Mouthpiece of the Anti-War Movement". June 28, 2007. Archived from the original on 2007.
- Sharpe Tom (Feb. 4, 2010). "Bank lone bidder for Kokesh's horse park". Santa Fe New Mexican. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
- Bob Quick (May 23, 2007). "Iraq veteran marches in Germany protest". The Santa Fe New Mexican. p. C.1.
- "We Made It!". January 27, 2009. Retrieved May 14, 2013.
- Dave Maass, Kokeheads: Republican dark horse winning over some NM voters, Santa Fe Reporter, October l4, 2009.
- "AVTM shares Catholic-Atheist liberty hug with Tom Woods". Youtube. July 1, 2012. Retrieved May 26, 2013.
- Matthew Reichbach, Adam Kokesh launches northern New Mexico congressional campaign, American Independent News Network, July 6, 2009.
- Heather Hollingsworth (May 31, 2007). "Marine Vet Faces Hearing Over Protest". The Washington Post. Associated Press.
- Karen Matthews (May 28, 2007). "Anti-war Iraq vets protest in N.Y.C.; Street theater aims at telling truth, they say". The Record. Associated Press. p. A.04.
- Stephen Koff (May 31, 2007). "Corps accused of 'muzzle' tactics". The Plain Dealer. Archived from the original on 2007. Retrieved May 12, 2013.
- David Montgomery (May 31, 2007). "Antiwar to the Corps: Marine Reservist-Protesters Face Discipline". Washington Post. p. C.1.
- "Anti-war Marine faces hearing over uniform". The Brattleboro Reformer. June 5, 2007.
- "Marine Corps Wants America's Favorite Marine To Shut Up". Wonkette. May 31, 2007. Archived from the original on 2007. Retrieved May 12, 2013.
- Kokesh's letter with scan of Notification of Separation Proceedings[dead link]
- David Montgomery (June 5, 2007). "Marines Reduce Penalty For Reservist-Protester". The Washington Post. p. C.2.
- "US panel punishes anti-war marine". BBC News. June 5, 2007.
- "Iraq War Veteran Loses Protest Appeal". Associated Press. June 7, 2007. Retrieved May 13, 2013.
- David Montgomery, In Clash With Marines, Reservists Gain Ally in VFW, Washington Post, June 2, 2007.
- David Montgomery (March 21, 2007). "Anti-war Iraq vets stage mock patrol D.C. residents get taste of occupation". The Journal Gazette. p. 6.A.
- Paul Kane (April 20, 2007). "The AG hearing: A post-mortem". The Washington Post.
- Marine veteran, protester faces discharge, United Press International, June 4, 2007.
- Fighting on the battlefield of policy: Graduate student attacks Bush's war stance, The GW Hatchet, April 30, 2007.
- "Trespass charges against veteran protesters dropped work=AccessNorthGa.com". Associated Press. June 14, 2007. Retrieved June 3, 2012.
- "Anti-Muslim posters cause stir, administrative response". The GW Hatchet. October 8, 2007.
- Roper, Eric (2013-05-13). "Seven GW students admit to hanging controversial posters". Gwhatchet.com. Retrieved 2013-05-23.
- David Weigel, Anti-War Activist Mounts GOP Campaign for Congress, The Washington Independent, December 18, 2009.
- Indianapolis Star, McCain's speech interrupted by protestors September 4, 2008
- The American Prospect, McCain Heckler Detained, Handcuffed, and Released Outside Excel Center September 4, 2008
- Sarah Kaufman, Dancing in Jefferson Memorial? Our Founding Father would approve, Washington Post, May 2011; includes screen shot of Kokesh's video report Adam Kokesh body slammed, choked, police brutality at Jefferson Memorial, video uploaded May 28, 2011 to Adam Kokesh Youtube page.
- Lori Aratani (June 5, 2011). "Dancers shimmy at the Jefferson Memorial". The Washington Post.
- John Henrehan (June 7, 2011). "Dancing Again At Jefferson Memorial; No Arrests". Fox News.[dead link]
- Adam Kokesh (January 9, 2012). "Veterans to Host March on the White House for Ron Paul". Retrieved May 13, 2013.
- Connor A. Sheets (February 21, 2012). "Veterans for Ron Paul 2012 March on the White House". International Business Times.
- Matthew Larotonda, Veterans for Ron Paul Rally at White House, ABC News, February 20, 2012.
- "Open Carry March In Washington Seeks To Put 'Government On Notice' With Loaded Rifles". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2013-05-23.
- "Adam Kokesh Arrested at Anti-Prohibition Protest in Philly - Reason 24/7". Reason.com. 2013-05-19. Retrieved 2013-05-23.
- US News, Adam Kokesh Arrested at Marijuana Rally May 20, 2013
- Infowars.com, Adam Kokesh Released May 24, 2013
- Heath Haussamen (July 21, 2009). "Adam Kokesh campaigns in Ron Paul’s shadow: Ron Paul’s support won’t help Kokesh win congressional bid, UNM prof says". New Mexico Independent.
- Steve Terrell (July 17, 2009). "Kokesh to take on Lujan as Republican: Previously undecided, 'Revolutionary Patriot' files under GOP for race". McClatchy.
- 2010 Endorsed Candidates, Republican Liberty Caucus website.
- Steve Terrell (May 27, 2010). "3rd Congressional District 'Traditional Republican' vs. Anti-war Veteran". The Santa Fe New Mexican. p. A.1. Archived from the original on 2010. Retrieved May 12, 2013.
- Steve Terrell (June 2, 2010). "Oilman defeats Kokesh in GOP house race". The Santa Fe New Mexican. p. A.5. Archived from the original on 2010. Retrieved May 12, 2013.
- "Adam vs. The Man" page[dead link] on 1550 KIVA-AM.
- James Painter, The boom in counter-hegemonic news channels: a case study of Telesur, (undated), Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford University.
- Nikolaus von Twickel (March 17, 2010). "RussiaToday Courts Viewers With Controversy". The Moscow Times..
- Stephen Boykewich (September 16, 2005). "RussiaToday Television Misses Launch Date". The Moscow Times.
- "KGB TV to Air Show Hosted by Anti-war Marine Vet". Accuracy in Media. 05-04-11.
- David Weigel, Pravda Will Set You Free; Russia's answer to Fox News and MSNBC., Slate, June 27, 2011.
- "FINAL EPISODE: East Coast Quake, Libya Rebellion, You The Viewer, Teachers & Social Media, Net Neutrality, Media Blackout on Ron Paul?". RT. 08-25-11.
- "Profile description on Youtube.com/AdamKokesh". Archived from the original on October 6, 2011.
- Lucy Steigerwald, Occupy DC Digs Democracy, Hints at Revolution, Doesn't like War, Corporations, or The Two Party System, Reason Magazine, October 7, 2011.
- See videos at Youtube.com/AdamKokesh – "OccupyAmerica" playlist, including: Obama Supporters "Occupy" DC and Occupation movement does not represent the 99%.