Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

Lecture Series  

L-3 The Militia Movement: Enemy or Pawn of the State?

Down­load MP3s: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 (Approx. 160 minutes)

In the wake of the Okla­homa City bomb­ing in April of 1995, inter­na­tional atten­tion focused on the mili­tia move­ment in Amer­ica. This movement’s mem­bers, sup­port­ers and detrac­tors have all char­ac­ter­ized it as an anti-government move­ment. This lec­ture explores the pos­si­bil­ity that the mili­tia move­ment may actu­ally be a tool or exten­sion of the gov­ern­ment. (Mr. Emory stresses that he believes that the movement’s actual mem­ber­ship is a mixed bag. Many peo­ple in the mili­tias are sin­cere patri­ots and con­ser­v­a­tives, although gen­er­ally badly mis­in­formed. Many are also out­right rav­ing Nazis and fas­cists. A few are actu­ally liberals.)

The bulk of the lec­ture con­sists of analy­sis and his­tory of the evo­lu­tion of the para-military right in the United States. The lec­ture begins with dis­cus­sion of the MacArthur group within the mil­i­tary and MacArthur’s intel­li­gence chief, Charles Willoughby. The illu­sion that the United States was con­trolled by com­mu­nist sym­pa­thiz­ers had its gen­e­sis with Truman’s removal of MacArthur as com­man­der of the UN forces in Korea. For­mer MacArthur staffers, such as Willoughby and Colonel William Pot­ter Gale, formed an impor­tant ele­ment on the Amer­i­can far right, and played an impor­tant part in the evo­lu­tion of the para­mil­i­tary right. Gale founded the fas­cist Chris­t­ian Defense League, one of a num­ber of trib­u­taries that fed the growth of the Minutemen.

The most impor­tant of America’s para-military orga­ni­za­tions was the Min­ute­men. A pro­to­type and direct pre­cur­sor of the mod­ern mili­tia move­ment, the Min­ute­men over­lapped many domes­tic fas­cist orga­ni­za­tions, such as the Amer­i­can Nazi Party, the afore­men­tioned Chris­t­ian Defense League, Ku Klux Klan and National States Rights Party. The intel­li­gence com­mu­nity has recruited ele­ments of the Min­ute­men (and other, sim­i­lar, para-military orga­ni­za­tions) to serve at the oper­a­tional level in covert oper­a­tions, both domes­tic and foreign.

One of the most impor­tant oper­a­tions involv­ing the Min­ute­men and other, sim­i­lar, orga­ni­za­tions was the assas­si­na­tion of Pres­i­dent Kennedy. One of the main ele­ments in the suc­cess­ful plot against Pres­i­dent Kennedy’s life was the char­ac­ter­i­za­tion of Lee Har­vey Oswald as a com­mu­nist. (As dis­cussed in numer­ous pro­grams, Oswald was not the assas­sin, but a patsy. The suc­cess­ful effort to por­tray him as a tool of either the Soviet Union or Fidel Cas­tro led many to cover up the assas­si­na­tion. Many feared that a nuclear war would result from the pub­lic per­cep­tion that a pop­u­lar pres­i­dent had been mur­dered by the com­mu­nists.) Much of the “paint­ing of Oswald Red” took place at the dual New Orleans addresses of 544 Camp Street and 531 Lafayette Place. (These were two dif­fer­ent entrances to the same build­ing.) This build­ing housed the Guy Ban­nis­ter Detec­tive Agency, an orga­ni­za­tion that appar­ently served as a front for var­i­ous fas­cist activ­i­ties, as well as for the intel­li­gence community’s war against Fidel Castro.

Sig­nif­i­cantly, Ban­nis­ter him­self, his employee David Fer­rie (indicted by New Orleans D.A. Jim Gar­ri­son for the assas­si­na­tion) and oth­ers in their milieu were mem­bers of the Min­ute­men. Other Min­ute­men appear to have played a part in the Dal­las end of the assas­si­na­tion plot, as well as the anti-Castro activ­i­ties. The Kennedy assas­si­na­tion and the anti-Castro oper­a­tions helped to set a prece­dent. Para-military activists were also involved in the Con­tra sup­port move­ment in the 1980’s, among other covert operations.

The con­spir­a­to­r­ial milieu of Oliver North and com­pany also spawned plans to estab­lish mar­tial law in the United States in the event of any one of a num­ber of emer­gen­cies. One of the pro­vi­sions of the mar­tial law con­tin­gency plans involved the dep­u­ti­za­tion of para-military right-wingers as fed­eral agents to enforce the mar­tial law edict. This sug­gests the pos­si­bil­ity that the mili­tias are, in fact, tar­geted for co-option by the very gov­ern­ment they pro­fess to despise. Mr. Emory points out that numer­ous Repub­li­can politi­cians are very close to the mili­tias and embrace a polit­i­cal agenda that is vir­tu­ally iden­ti­cal with the mili­tia agenda. (Pat Buchanan and Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Helen Chenoweth are two; there are many oth­ers.) Anti-environmental orga­ni­za­tions such as the Wise Use Move­ment also heav­ily over­lap the activ­i­ties of mili­tia groups in areas where the move­ment is strong.

It should be noted that the liq­ui­da­tion of the Branch David­ian com­pound in Waco (Texas) was a pre­cip­i­tat­ing inci­dent in the growth of the mili­tia move­ment. As Mr. Emory has pointed out in past broad­casts, both the Iran-Contra machi­na­tions and the Iraq­gate affair were effected through an inter-agency gov­ern­men­tal net­work under the con­trol of George Bush. This net­work served as Bush’s pri­vate intel­li­gence ser­vice and out­ranked even the CIA and the NSC. Jus­tice depart­ment offi­cials who were part of this net­work were in charge of the siege at Waco. Another mem­ber of this net­work (Ed Den­nis) wrote the report exon­er­at­ing Janet Reno’s jus­tice depart­ment of any wrong­do­ing in the Branch David­ian affair. This net­work also gen­er­ated the mar­tial law con­tin­gency plans.

In light of these facts, Mr. Emory asks whether or not the Waco affair may have been designed to help pre­cip­i­tate the mili­tia move­ment and dis­credit Bill Clin­ton. The dis­cus­sion under­scores par­al­lels between the mili­tia move­ment and the so-called Black Reich­swehr, the para-military for­ma­tions that paved the way for Hitler’s rise to power in Ger­many. The pos­si­bil­ity that the mili­tias con­sti­tute an Amer­i­can ver­sion of the Black Reich­swehr is one that should not be too read­ily dis­carded. The lec­ture con­cludes with a short dis­cus­sion of the Okla­homa City bomb­ing. (Recorded in April of 1996 at Deep River Book Store in Santa Monica.)


3 comments for “L-3 The Militia Movement: Enemy or Pawn of the State?”

  1. [...] evi­dently heroic anti-fascist researcher Dave Emory. He talked about just that in a lec­ture on the Mili­tia Move­ment in the [...]

    Posted by Anders Behring Breivik: A sweet candy for the Left and useful fools…but too good to be true | lys-dor.com | July 27, 2011, 9:59 am
  2. state defense forces are now being pro­moted by the group “oathkeepers”

    Posted by mike | September 15, 2011, 6:00 pm
  3. Great lec­ture as always. Very prophetic. Only crit­i­cism is Dave’s down­play­ing of the U.N.
    George H.W. Bush men­tioned the U.N. in his infa­mous “New World Order” speech after the Gulf War. He described the New World Order and the cen­tral role the U.N. would play in it. The U.N. is not “pow­er­ful” in the sense that a nation state such as the U.S. or Ger­many is pow­er­ful, yet its role is as a arbiter of world pow­ers and a benign front orga­ni­za­tion for the pow­ers of the West, giv­ing their actions cred­i­bil­ity. Their role could be viewed sim­i­larly to the his­tor­i­cal role of the Vat­i­can and it’s rela­tion­ship to the “Holy Roman Emporer” in Con­ti­nen­tal Europe.

    Posted by mike | September 16, 2011, 8:32 pm

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