Commentary on the FBI Project Megiddo
Original August, 1999; revised May, 2000
The Project Megiddo document was found on the FBI web site shortly
after it was put up in mid-1999, and soon became the topic of extensive
discussion among civil libertarians. We converted it from PDF to other formats,
and put it up here, for the convenience of those inquiring into this matter,
and in case the FBI takes down their own copy in abject embarrassment.
The document purports to describe the thinking and preparations of the FBI
for public disturbances thought likely to result from the anticipated Y2K
crisis. This commentary, having been revised since the Y2K non-crisis, has the
benefit of hindsight, but my comments made when it first appeared remain valid:
If this represents the thinking of an organization the citizens of the United
States depend on to protect us, then we are in trouble. As preparation, it is
incompetent. In essence, it is little more than an ideological polemic, and
highly unprofessional. Even the writing and grammar is incompetent. We need to
ask whether we should trust people like this to carry firearms, or hold any
positions of responsibility.
One of the revealing things is their definition of "militia": two
or more persons with firearms who engage in paramilitary training. That is not
the way the term is used in the Constitution, or defined in the law, such as 10
USC 311, or in any competent dictionary. It is their own definition, and it
conveniently allows them to lump together constitutional militias with their
functional opposites, criminal gangs. Their definition could cover military
schools, veterans associations, historical reenactors, filmmakers, or the boy
This document is loaded with propaganda words, such as
"right-wing", or "paramilitary", words with no semantic
content but only epithets used in polemics. It is a political tract, written
like something that Morris Dees of the Southern Poverty Law Center might come
up with in a fundraising scam.
For the record, and to make sure no one misunderstands, the word
militia means defense service, and is applicable to any one or
more persons engaged in the defense of the community and its constitution on a
nonofficial basis. It is, as the Founder George Mason defined it, "... the
whole people, except for a few public officials." (3 Elliot, Debates in
the Several State Conventions on the Ratification of the Constitution).
Their usage of words indicates that they regard any armed group as potential
competitors, which speaks volumes about their mentality, which is essentially
fascist. They are not working for the people, but against them.
For those who accuse patriot activists of being paranoid and susceptible to
conspiracy theories, here is a statement by people who are certifiably
paranoid, and whose own conspiracy theories are doctrine rather than a tool of
skeptical inquiry. Here it is, in their own words. We don't invent this stuff,
or have to. They do.
FBI Project Megiddo | Defense Page | Militia