How the Feds veiw us, a worthy article.greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Just stopping in to drop off this "drive by" posting. I thought this article from
had some good points to make. The comments on groups who use "defensive violence" would be funny if potential to use that philosophy against you "hoarders" wasn't so obvious.
Y2K apocalypse? Dateline: 11/15/99
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Since its early years, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been good at designating bad-guys-of-the-moment whose evil doings necessitate increased funding and power for the Bureau. Some of the designated menaces posed actual threats to peaceful people, property, and even the country. Plenty of others, though, were no threat to anybody, and many were expending their efforts on good deeds when they came under official scrutiny. In fact, the FBI seems to select its enemies with equal attention to people who question the government, and folks who are likely to draw news coverage. So it's no surprise that the "extremists" tagged by the Bureau's apocalyptic, just-in-time for Y2K, Project Megiddo, are noteworthy primarily as headline-ready opponents of the world as it is.
The feds first targeted "reds" and enemy aliens during the First World War, moved on to bootleggers during Prohibition, segued into Mafiosi when Prohibition made organized crime a permanent fixture on the American scene, designated the fascist menace as the new threat to the republic, and switched back to reds when they came back in style. Japanese-Americans gained the unwelcome attention of J. Edgar Hoover's minions, as did civil rights activists and anti-war protesters.
This isn't to say that the announcement of a new project or the labeling of a threat by the FBI is automatically devoid of legitimacy. The FBI has certainly captured or killed more than its fair share of violent criminals over the years. It's just that when the feds start targeting "potentially dangerous" groups, we have to remember that its definition of "dangerous" can be extremely flexible and is based on an awfully broad mandate. As the FBI's official history says:
In 1939 and again in 1943, Presidential directives had authorized the FBI to carry out investigations of threats to national security. This role was clarified and expanded under Presidents Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower. Any public or private agency or individual with information about subversive activities was urged to report it to the FBI.
"Subversive" tends to be in the eye of the beholder, and that eye has beheld such sights as civil rights leader Martin Luther King, whose primary crime was giving J. Edgar Hoover the willies. Before and since, the Bureau has looked for bogeymen under all sorts of unlikely people's beds.
Like its predecessors, the new Project Megiddo "strategic assessment of the potential for domestic terrorism in the United States undertaken in anticipation of or response to the arrival of the new millennium" works from a core of real or likely dangers, and then lumps in a host of unrelated harmless or eccentric organizations and individuals. The Bureau's much-publicized announcement of official concern that "extremist individuals and groups place some significance on the next millennium" groups together Christian Identity adherents, white supremacists, militias, Black Hebrew Israelites, and miscellaneous "apocalyptic cults." This grab-bag is unified only by allegations that the supposed baddies attach religious or political significance to the turn of the millennium. To judge by the disparity of the targeted groups, FBI PR officers are hitching the bureau's wagon to the year 2000 in as sincere a fashion as a certain German car company is marketing its resuscitated lump-with-wheels as a "Y2K bug."
Project Megiddo opens with a discourse on domestic terrorism in late 1990s America. Says the FBI, "While several 'professional' terrorist groups still exist and present a continued threat to domestic security, the overwhelming majority of extremist groups in the United States have adopted a fragmented, leaderless structure where individuals or small groups act with autonomy." This translates as: "These groups can't get their shit together," but lets the feds point their fingers at the Oklahoma City bombing as the shape of threats to come. How the FBI plans to apply its expertise to disorganized organizations and atomized individuals more effectively than it dealt with Timothy McVeigh is left unaddressed.
The FBI document then moves into a discussion of "cults" that sticks with traditional stereotypes of brainwashed adherents and includes the priceless, "[s]udden changes in activity for example, less time spent on 'Bible study' and more time spent on 'physical training' indicate that the cult may be preparing for some type of action." For starters, I'm not sure why the feds put "Bible study" and "physical training" in quotes. But that's not as important as the implication that a religious sect that installs a Stairmaster in the basement of its meetinghouse is likely to find itself up to its eyeballs in crew-cutted new converts.
Likewise, the document states that, "Members of various militia groups, for example, have identified potentially massive power failures as an indication of a United Nations-directed NWO takeover. While experts have indicated that only minor brownouts will occur, various militias are likely to perceive such minor brownouts as indicative of a larger conspiracy." Really? Well, there probably is somebody, somewhere, who has suggested such a scenario, but the FBI lumps in everybody who has speculated about official Y2K-related perfidy with those who are ready to hit the beaches the moment the lights flicker.
The feds continue with, "When and how Christ's second coming will occur is a critical point in the ideology of those motivated by extremist religious beliefs about the millennium." Well, maybe, but it's also a critical point to Christians as a whole. The FBI's grasp of theology would seem to leave virtually any Christian sect that hasn't torn the Book of Revelations from its copies of the Bible open to FBI surveillance.
Larry Pratt, the head of Gun Owners of America, comes in for a special mention for criticizing United Nations advocacy of gun control and what he perceives as the loss of national sovereignty to the supranational body. "Speculation like this only serves to fuel the already existing paranoia of militia and patriot groups." Speculation like this is also protected by the First Amendment and represents a significant stream of political thought in the U.S. one shared by some members of Congress who advocate withdrawing the United States from the U.N.
Of course, none of this is to say that the organizations and individuals mentioned in Project Megiddo are all nice people. White Supremacists, black supremacists, neo-Nazi William Pierce and dead Nazi Bob Mathews are all unsavory creatures, and the world would be a better place without them (and is a better place, in the case of Mathews). But that doesn't mean that we need the FBI to build itself an excuse to hasten anybody's exit. As preposterous as some of the ideas adhered to by some of these groups are, as evil as some of these people are, Project Megiddo is an effort in guilt by association.
In an egregious example of such thinking or lack thereof in the section on the Black Hebrew Israelites, the FBI writes:
The extreme elements of the BHI movement are prone to engage in violent activity. As seen in previous convictions of BHI followers, adherents of this philosophy have a proven history of violence, and several indications point toward a continuation of this trend. Some BHI followers have been observed in public donning primarily black clothing, with emblems and/or patches bearing the "Star of David" symbol. Some BHI members practice paramilitary operations and wear web belts and shoulder holsters. Some adherents have extensive criminal records for a variety of violations, including weapons charges, assault, drug trafficking, and fraud.
Try substituting "LAPD" for "BHI" and the only element that doesn't fit is the Star of David and that's hardly a peculiar symbol for a religious sect that draws from Judaism.
By crowding together an unlikely menagerie of groups and ideas that span the spectrum from evil to silly to perfectly reasonable, the FBI manages to taint them all with the worst elements included in the report. Scumbags like William Pierce and Tom Metzger are used to paint Larry Pratt and anybody with a well-thumbed Bible as racist mad bombers bent on becoming Timothy McVeigh's roommates. If anything, the groundwork for violent confrontation here is laid as much by the report itself, which is presented as an advisory to law enforcement agencies, as by the allegedly apocalyptic cultists and militants profiled within.
In a moment of clearly unintentional honesty, the Project Megiddo report says:
"[t]he violent tendencies of dangerous cults can be classified into two general categories defensive violence and offensive violence. Defensive violence is utilized by cults to defend a compound or enclave that was created specifically to eliminate most contact with the dominant culture. The 1993 clash in Waco, Texas at the Branch Davidian complex is an illustration of such defensive violence. History has shown that groups that seek to withdraw from the dominant culture seldom act on their beliefs that the endtime has come unless provoked.
Defensive violence is widely considered to be morally justified, and is legally permissible everywhere in the United States even when used against law enforcement officers who exceed the bounds of their authority. By explicitly recognizing that the Davidians acted defensively, the Project Megiddo report drains the legitimacy from the best known example of FBI action against an "apocalyptic" cult of the sort now identified as a potential millennial threat. By blatantly failing to make a moral distinction between "defensive" and "offensive" violence, Project Megiddo suggests that law enforcement itself may be the aggressor if violence does occur between the forces of order and these designated Y2K extremists.
There probably is a kernel of reality at the core of Project Megiddo. There may well be groups just waiting for the turn of the year 2000 to show the world that the apocalypse is something that you really have to be proactive about and they're just the ones to make it happen. But if the FBI's warning to us all is an example of the reasoning of the forces of law and order, the "good" guys are the ones we should be watching.
So you think Im full of it, eh? Then go to the source:
Project Megiddo (Adobe Acrobat plugin required) FBI
Y2KKK? Race Relations
FBI warns '2000' may spark violence Washington Post
California cops, National Guard prepare for millennium trouble CNN
A Short History of the FBI FBI
FBI - Freedom of Information Act - Famous Persons Listing FBI
The Cost of Antiterrorist Rhetoric Cato Institute
The FBI Paranoia Report LewRockwell.com
___________ Remember, if you want to go after anyone politically the groundwork has to be laid in the press first. The media is the artillery of the radical left, used to soften up positions before the ground troops go in. I beleive in the Veitnam War they called it "dehumanizing the enemy".
God Bless and keep your...
-- eyes_open (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 22, 1999
"Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you." link
Try it.... funny! Make your own conspiracy. I think the Megiddo spooks have been spending WAY too much time at this site.
-- Linda (email@example.com), November 22, 1999.
This is the story I got: What They Don't Want You to Know
In order to understand Free Market you need to realize that everything is controlled by a Entrepeneurs made up of Gun Owners with help from Catholics.
The conspiracy first started during Inquisition in Sarajevo. They have been responsible for many events throughout history, including Karl Marx's birth.
Today, members of the conspiracy are everywhere. They can be identified by making money.
They want to unibombings homosexuals and imprison resisters in the Sun's core using escalator.
In order to prepare for this, we all must sit down. Since the media is controlled by PETA we should get our information from Bill Clinton.
-- The_Grinch (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 22, 1999.
works for me
I like the warning:
If I tell you I may have to kill you. [click "okay?"]
-- Linda (email@example.com), November 22, 1999.
thanks eyes open. That is exactly the same take that I have on the situation and the history that led up to it.
-- Nikoli Krushev (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 22, 1999.
Who the heck is this guy?? What a relief to hear someone actually say something intelligent, and for it actually make it into print!!
Restoring some of my faith after the Paula debacle (http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=001pSM)
I think the guy deserves a thank-you:
-- sean (wow@I-CAN'T-believe.it), November 22, 1999.
Sean, eyes_open has been posting here (from what I gather) for quite some time. I have had the good fortune to have read his posts for a short time before he said his good-byes. He did say that if he found anything relevant he would share it with the forum.
Eyes_open, you are missed!!!!!
-- bestwishes eyes_open (email@example.com), November 23, 1999.