In a polemic presented as a threat report, the FBI has targeted religious groups and rightwing eccentrics as potential terrorists likely to go postal as the new millennium arrives.
The cover story of the Weekly World News just weeks before the turn of the century carried the huge headline: "Bible Prophecies the Government Doesn't Want You To Know." Then came revelations to rival the apostle John: "Every American will wear the Number 666 -- the mark of the beast" and "The Anti-Christ is alive and living in the U.S." and "The moon will turn to blood on Christmas Day." Oh, yes, and these are just a few of the premillennial prophecies blaring across the front page of the popular supermarket tabloid.
Most important, according to Robert Calke, author of Paradise Waiting -- What You Must Do to Live Forever, "the world is coming to an end and, if the federal government gets its way, nobody will know until it is too late to do anything about it. By suppressing these prophecies, the government of the United States is, in effect, doing the Devil's work. It is more than an outrage, more than criminal -- it is pure evil in action" Calke confided to Weekly World News.
Calke is a sly and subtle fellow, no doubt, for he somehow managed to keep his book a secret from the FBI. How else explain that he did not top the G-men's millennium doomsdayers' list recently released in the Project Megiddo report. And this is serious business. Most of the organizations targeted by the FBI for this list consider the Project Megiddo report a kind of modern-day inquisition, and they are terrified by it. Not to worry. The FBI says the report was generated out of concern for the safety of the American people, and the object was nothing more sinister than "to provide law-enforcement agencies with a clear picture of potential extremism motivated by the next millennium."
The redacted 32-page report recently released to the public names religious organizations, militias and cults and links Americans to these organizations as potential terrorists whom the FBI says are hell-bent on encountering Armageddon -- God's final and conclusive battle against evil on Earth. While the FBI admits that it has "identified very few indications of specific threats to domestic security," the report claims to have divined "indicators of potential violent activity on the part of extremists in this country." Who are these people, and since when does the government have the right to investigate fools, fanatics and religious eccentrics on the basis of their millennial rhetoric alone?
Project Megiddo specifically identifies, but is not limited to, the followers of the Christian Identity movement and Odinism, white-supremacy groups, militias, the Black Hebrew Israelites and apocalyptic cults -- all presented as potential terrorists. Even at the height of the Cold War during the seventies and eighties the FBI was not allowed to pursue openly declared revolutionary Marxists in this way, being required by the courts to show cause by establishing an actual attempt to commit illegal acts.
But this so-called threat report, which official sources tell Insight already is triggering freelance gumshoeism by local and state law-enforcement agencies, provides a much broader description of who may be a suspect terrorist this New Year's Eve. The threat comes from the right wing. In fact, the terms right wing, right-wing religious extremists, rightwing extremists, right-wing terrorist groups, right-wing groups, right-wing movement, radical right and extreme right wing are used dozens of times throughout the report, while the words left or liberal do not appear there even once.
Conservatives and libertarians are noting that not too long ago, like Earl Warren declaring that the right wing had shot John Kennedy in Dallas, Hillary Rodham Clinton was blaming reports of her husband's infidelities on a "vast right-wing conspiracy." Now, …