ON  8-7/8-15 OVERNIGHT


Oath Keepers

Oath Keepers is an American nonprofit organization that advocates that its members (current and former U.S. military and law enforcement) disobey any orders that they are given if they believe they violate the Constitution of the United States.

Organizational history

The Oath Keepers were founded on March 2009 by Stewart Rhodes and incorporated in Las Vegas, Nevada as a non-profit corporation. Rhodes is a Yale Law Schoolgraduate, a former US Army paratrooper, and a former staffer of Congressman Ron Paul. The Oath Keepers as a group have grown to include chapters in many states across America.

Media coverage

In the Southern Poverty Law Center's (SPLC) 2009 report The Second Wave: Return of the Militias, Larry Keller wrote that the Oath Keepers "may be a particularly worrisome example of the Patriot revival." Keller described Richard Mack, an Oath Keeper, as a "longtime militia hero" and quoted him as having said, "The greatest threat we face today is not terrorists; it is our federal government… One of the best and easiest solutions is to depend on local officials, especially the sheriff, to stand against federal intervention and federal criminality." Mack, a former sheriff, responded by denying the claims, saying, "I have had no contact with any militia group and have never been a member of any militia."Rhodes, who is one-quarter Mexican and part-Native American, has also disputed the SPLC claim of racism. Writing in The American Conservative, Jesse Walker commented that "

not every Oath Keeper would appreciate the comparison, but the group has more in common with those dissidents of the ’60s who refused to go to war than with any paramilitary cell."

Lou Dobbs talked with Rhodes on his radio show and criticized the SPLC for "perpetuating the same kind of intolerance it claims to condemn." On Hardball with Chris Matthews, Matthews and Rhodes discussed both the SPLC report and issues involving the Oath Keepers and extremists.

MSNBC political commentator and former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan, quoting the Las Vegas Review-Journal, said, "Oath Keepers, depending on where one stands, are either strident defenders of liberty or dangerous peddlers of paranoia." Buchanan himself concluded that "America was once their country. They sense they are losing it. And they are right."

During the Ferguson unrest of 2014, the Oath Keepers arrived days after the start of the riots to protect local business and residents. A member's comments on the situation are as follows: "We thought they were going to do it right this time," Rhodes said of government response to the grand jury decision released Monday in the Michael Brown case. "But when Monday rolled around and they didn't park the National Guard at these businesses, that's when we said we have got to do something." Their volunteer security work in Ferguson has led to them being labeled "vigilantes" by some journalists.

See also


  1. Maimon, Alan (October 25, 2009). "Ready To Defend: Oath Keepers speak out at inaugural conference". Las Vegas Review-Journal.
  2. Justine Sharrock (March–April 2010). "Oath Keepers and the Age of Treason".Mother Jones.
  3. Acosta, Jim (November 18, 2009). "Who are the Oathkeepers". CNN.
  4. "Incorporation Information for the Oath Keepers, Inc.". Nevada Secretary of State. E0559982009-3 (State of Nevada). October 22, 2009.
  5. Maimon, Alan (October 18, 2009). "Ready To Revolt: Oath Keepers pledges to prevent dictatorship in United States". Las Vegas Review-Journal.
  6. Nugent, Karen (October 23, 2009). "Ready to Protect: Former Bolton Chief Focuses On Constitution". Telegram & Gazette.
  7. Keller, Larry (August 2009). "The Second Wave: Return of the Militias". A Special Report from the Southern Poverty Law Center (Montgomery, Alabama): pp. 5–10.
  8. Fausset, Richard (September 18, 2009). "Oath Keepers organizer sees need to sound an alarm". Los Angeles Times.
  9. "Sheriff Richard Mack (RET) Responds to Southern Poverty Law Center Smear Attack on Oath Keepers and on Sheriff Mack" (Press release). Oath Keepers. August 14, 2009.
  10. Johnson, Jon (September 2, 2009). "Local man appears on Internet news show".Eastern Arizona Courier.
  11. Radley Balko (7 February 2011), An Interview With Stewart Rhodes, Reason
  12. Walker, Jesse (May 1, 2010). "Protect & Serve". The American Conservative.
  13. Maimon, Alan (18 October 2009). "Oath Keepers pledges to prevent dictatorship in United States". Las Vegas Review-Journal (Las Vegas, Nevada: Stephens Media LLC).
  14. JPatrick J. Buchanan (October 20, 2009). "Alienated and Radicalized". MSNBC.
  15. Mach, Huy (November 29, 2014). "Police shut down mysterious 'Oath Keepers' guarding rooftops in downtown Ferguson". St. Louis Post Dispatch.
  16. Annabel Grossman (December 1, 2014). "Ferguson police shut down armed 'Oath Keeper' vigilantes guarding rooftops of besieged town". Mail Online/The Daily Mail.
  17. Paul Vale (December 1, 2014). "Vigilante 'Oath Keepers' Offering Free Security In Ferguson Told To Stand Down By St. Louis Police". Huffington Post.
    1.  Beckwith, George Cone: The Peace Manual: Or, War and Its Remedies. American Peace Society, 1847.
    2. Jump up^ Story, Joseph: , page 265. A Familiar Exposition of the Constitution of the United States. T. H. Webb & co., 1842.
    3. Jump up^ http://www.kansasguardmuseum.org/territorial.html
    4. Jump up^ http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/disp_textbook.cfm?smtID=2&psid=3285
    5. Jump up^ Catton, Bruce (2004). The Civil War, Pages 28-29. Mariner Books. ISBN 0-618-00187-5
    6. Jump up^ Burgess, John Williams (1901). The Civil War and the Constitution, 1859-1865. Scribner's Sons. p. 173 C.
    7. Jump up^ Catton, Bruce (2004). The Civil War, Page 39. Mariner Books. ISBN 0-618-00187-5
    8. Jump up^ Singletary, Otis (1957). Negro militia and Reconstruction. Austin: University of Texas Press. ISBN 0-313-24573-8
    9. Jump up^ Dickerson, Donna Lee: The Reconstruction Era: Primary Documents on Events from 1865 to 1877 Page 371. Greenwood Press 2003. ISBN 0-313-32094-2
    10. Jump up^ Dickerson, Donna Lee: The Reconstruction Era: Primary Documents on Events from 1865 to 1877 Page 372. Greenwood Press 2003. ISBN 0-313-32094-2
    11. Jump up^ Rhodes, James Ford. (1906) History of the United States from the Compromise of 1850Pages 132-133. Macmillan & co., ltd.
    12. Jump up^ Singletary, Otis (1957). Negro militia and Reconstruction, page 81. Austin: University of Texas Press. ISBN 0-313-24573-8. Quoted from Congressional testimony, S. Rep. 527, 44th Cong., 1st Sess., P. 1801.
    13. Jump up^ Singletary, Otis (1957). Negro militia and Reconstruction, page 85. Austin: University of Texas Press. ISBN 0-313-24573-8
    14. Jump up^ books.google.com
    15. Jump up^ Perry, Ralph Barton: The Plattsburg Movement: A Chapter of America's Participation in the World War". E.P. Dutton & Company, 1921
    16. Jump up^ "32 USC 102 General policy". law.cornell.edu.
    17. ^ Jump up to:a b "Military Reserves Federal Call Up Authority". usmilitary.about.com.
    18. ^ Jump up to:a b c "32 USC 101. Definitions (National Guard)". law.cornell.edu.
    19. Jump up^ "10 USC 12401. Army and Air National Guard of the United States: status". law.cornell.edu.
    20. Jump up^ See 10 U.S.C. § 311.
    21. Jump up^ See 32 U.S.C. § 313; "WAIS Document Retrieval". frwevgate.access.gpo.gov.
    22. Jump up^ arng.army.mil
    23. Jump up^ FindLaw for Legal Professionals - Case Law, Federal and State Resources, Forms, and Code
    24. Jump up^ Revised Code of Washington 38.04.030. Accessed viahttp://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=38.04.030
    25. Jump up^ Mulloy, Darren. American Extremism: History, Politics and the Militia Movement, Routledge, 2004.
    26. Jump up^ http://constitution.org/mil/ustx_law.htm

Further reading

External links


Feds Charge 3 Men Accused of Prepping for Martial Law

RALEIGH, N.C. — Aug 3, 2015, 9:40 PM ET
By JOHN MORITZ Associated Press


Three North Carolina men fearing a government takeover and martial law stockpiled weapons, ammunition and tactical gear while attempting to rig home-made explosives, according to charges announced by the Justice Department on Monday.

The men from Gaston County, near Charlotte, were arrested by federal authorities on Saturday after more than a month's investigation.

Walter Eugene Litteral, 50, Christopher James Barker, 41, and Christopher Todd Campbell, 30, are accused of stockpiling guns and ammunition, as well as attempting to manufacture pipe bombs and live grenades from military surplus "dummy" grenades, according unsealed criminal complaints released Monday.

The close to 60 pages of information compiled by federal authorities since July include allegations Litteral planned to makes explosives out of tennis balls covered in nails and coffee cans filled with ball bearings.

According to the documents, both Litteral and Campbell spoke openly about their opposition to Jade Helm 15, a series of ongoing special forces training missions in several Southwestern states that has drawn suspicion from residents who fear it is part of a planned military takeover.

In addition to ammunition for a long-range .338 caliber rifle, the authorities said Litteral purchased hand-held radios, Kevlar helmets, body armor and face masks in preparation for an armed resistance to the feared military occupation.

Litteral was also planning to purchase an assault rifle along with ammunition for Barker, whose past convictions for possession of stolen goods and cocaine barred him from possessing a gun, according to the documents.

The FBI began its investigation in mid-June after receiving a tip about Litteral and Barker attempting to make homemade explosives, and later began investigating Campbell based on similar information that he was attempting to reconstruct grenades.

Litteral was quoted in the documents calling his planned homemade explosives "game changers," and authorities allege he planned to test the devices with Barker in Shelby, North Carolina.

The federal conspiracy charges carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. In addition, Campbell has been charged with a separate firearms charge punishable by 10 years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.

In addition to the FBI, agencies assisting in the investigation include the North Carolina Highway Patrol, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Federal Air Marshal Service as well as local police in Charlotte, Belmont, Mount Holly and Gastonia.

The men will remain in federal custody pending the outcome of detention hearings scheduled for Thursday. It was not immediately clear if they had attorneys.



Stewart  Rhodes, Founder and Director of Oath Keepers addressed attendees of the organization’s first annual awards dinner on June 26th. Rhodes warned his audience of, as he called it, “a very well-orchestrated attempt to divide and conquer the American people…along racial lines, along class lines.”

The non-profit Oath Keepers is composed of current and former U.S. military and law enforcement, but is often treated by mainstream media as ‘dangerous extremists.’ Their stated goal is to uphold the constitution, even if that may involve disobeying unconstitutional orders.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gc8n4cu-9Zc   AWARDS DINNER

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyO0UIFknAM   ON JADE HELM 15

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4SrEE2sAGhc   OFFICER INTERVIEW

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ewHIDrB13Y   JADE HELM UPDATE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCXx5JCUQ7c   JADE HELM GOING LIVE?



The term militia in the United States has been defined and modified by Congress several times throughout U.S. history. As a result, the meaning of "the militia" is complex and has transformed over time. It has historically been used to describe all able-bodied men who are not members of the Army or Navy (Uniformed Services). From the U.S. Constitution, Article II (The Executive branch), Sec. 2, Clause 1: "The President shall be the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States when called into the actual service of the United States."

Today, the term militia is used to describe a number of groups within the United States. Primarily, these are:


From Old English milite meaning soldiers (plural), militisc meaning military and also classical Latin milit-, miles meaning soldier.

The Modern English term militia dates to the year 1590, with the original meaning now obsolete: "the body of soldiers in the service of a sovereign or a state". Subsequently, since approximately 1665, militia has taken the meaning "a military force raised from the civilian population of a country or region, especially to supplement a regular army in an emergency, frequently as distinguished from mercenaries or professional soldiers." 

The distinction is because militia members are not paid soldiers, but serve as volunteers on an ad hoc basis to protect the freedom of their home and country.

Constitution and Bill of Rights (1787–1789)

The delegates of the Constitutional Convention (the founding fathers/framers of the United States Constitution) under Article 1; section 8, clauses 15 and 16 of the federal constitution, granted Congress the power to "provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia," as well as, and in distinction to, the power to raise an army and a navy. The US Congress is granted the power to use the militia of the United States for three specific missions, as described in Article 1, section 8, clause 15: "To provide for the calling of the militia to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections, and repel invasions." The Militia Act of 1792 clarified whom the militia consists of; 


" Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That each and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the respective States, resident therein, who is or shall be of age of eighteen years, and under the age of forty-five years (except as is herein after excepted) shall severally and respectively be enrolled in the militia, by the Captain or Commanding Officer of the company, within whose bounds such citizen shall reside, and that within twelve months after the passing of this Act."

Civilian control of a peacetime army

At the time of the drafting of the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, a political sentiment existed in the newly formed United States involving suspicion of peacetime armies not under civilian control. This political belief has been identified as stemming from the memory of the abuses of the standing army of Oliver Cromwell and King James II, in Great Britain in the prior century, which led to the Glorious Revolution and resulted in placing the standing army under the control of Parliament. During the Congressional debates,James Madison discussed how a militia could help defend liberty against tyranny and oppression:

The highest number to which a standing army can be carried in any country does not exceed one hundredth part of the souls, or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms. This portion would not yield, in the United States, an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men. To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence. It may well be doubted whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops. Besides the advantage of being armed, it forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. The governments of Europe are afraid to trust the people with arms. If they did, the people would surely shake off the yoke of tyranny, as America did. Let us not insult the free and gallant citizens of America with the suspicion that they would be less able to defend the rights of which they would be in actual possession than the debased subjects of arbitrary power would be to rescue theirs from the hands of their oppressors."- (Source I Annals of Congress 434, June 8, 1789)

Though during his presidency, after enduring the failures of the militia in the War of 1812, James Madison came to favor the maintenance of a strong standing army.

Tench Coxe, a prominent American political economist of the day (1755–1824) who attended the earlier constitutional convention in Annapolis, explained (in the Pennsylvania Federal Gazette on June 18, 1789) the founders' definition of who the militia was intended to be and their inherent distrust of standing armies under the direct control of 'civil rulers' when he wrote:

The militia of these free commonwealths, entitled and accustomed to their arms, when compared with any possible army, must be tremendous and irresistible. Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birth-right of an American ...the unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.
The militia, who are in fact the effective part of the people at large, will render many troops quite unnecessary. They will form a powerful check upon the regular troops, and will generally be sufficient to over-awe them.
Whereas civil rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as military forces, which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the article in their right to keep and bear their private arms.

The shift from States' power to Federal power

A major concern of the various delegates during the constitutional debates over the Constitution and the Second Amendment to the Constitution revolved around the issue of transferring militia power held by the States' (under the existing Articles of Confederation), to Federal control. Article 1 section 8 of the constitution. Congress shall have the power, to provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress; Article 1 section 2 of the constitution. The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.


Political debate regarding compulsory militia service for pacifists

Records of the constitutional debate over the early drafts of the language of the Second Amendment included significant discussion of whether service in the militia should be compulsory for all able bodied men, or should there be an exemption for the 'religiously scrupulous' conscientious objector.

The concern about risks of a 'religiously scrupulous' exemption clause within the second amendment to the Federal Constitution was expressed by Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts (from 1 Annals of Congress at 750, 17 August 1789): "Now, I am apprehensive, sir, that this clause would give an opportunity to the people in power to destroy the constitution itself. They can declare who are those religiously scrupulous, and prevent them from bearing arms. What, sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty. Now it must be evident, that under this provision, together with their other powers, congress could take such measures with respect to a militia, as make a standing army necessary. Whenever Governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins."

The 'religiously scrupulous' clause was ultimately stricken from the final draft of second amendment to the Federal Constitution though the militia clause was retained. It should be noted that since the ratification of the Federal Constitution, the Supreme Court of the United States has consistently upheld that conscientious objection to military service does not exempt a citizen of the United States from compulsory military service.

Concern over select militias

William S. Fields & David T. Hardy write:

While in The Federalist No. 46, Madison argued that a standing army of 25,000 to 30,000 men would be offset by "a militia amounting to near a half million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves . . . ."  The Antifederalists were not persuaded by these arguments, in part because of the degree of control over the militia given to the national government by the proposed constitution. The fears of the more conservative opponents centered upon the possible phasing out of the general militia in favor of a smaller, more readily corrupted, select militia. Proposals for such a select militia already had been advanced by individuals such as Baron Von Steuben, Washington's Inspector General, who proposed supplementing the general militia with a force of 21,000 men given government- issued arms and special training.  An article in the Connecticut Journal expressed the fear that the proposed constitution might allow Congress to create such select militias: "[T]his looks too much like Baron Steuben's militia, by which a standing army was meant and intended."  In Pennsylvania, John Smiley told the ratifying convention that "Congress may give us a select militia which will in fact be a standing army," and worried that, [p.34] with this force in hand, "the people in general may be disarmed."  Similar concerns were raised by Richard Henry Lee in Virginia. In his widely-read pamphlet, Letters from the Federal Farmer to the Republican, Lee warned that liberties might be undermined by the creation of a select militia that "[would] answer to all the purposes of an army," and concluded that "the Constitution ought to secure a genuine and guard against a select militia by providing that the militia shall always be kept well organized, armed, and disciplined, and include, according to the past and general usage of the states, all men capable of bearing arms."

Nineteenth century

Prior to the Civil War

1826 North Carolina militia roster.

(TEXT)"A List of that Part of the Militia Commanded by Elisha Burk an went after the Runaway Negroes"
(Roster list of 58 militia men, standard wage of 46½¢ per day.)
"The within is a True Return of that part of the Militia Commanded by Elisha Burk Which out after the Runaway Negros: Given under my hand this 15th day of August 1826"(signed) Elisha Burk Captain.

In 1794, a militia numbering approximately 13,000 was raised and personally led by President George Washington to quell the Whiskey Rebellion in Pennsylvania. From this experience, a major weakness of a States' based citizen militia system was found to be the lack of systematic army organization, and a lack of training for engineers and officers. George Washington repeatedly warned of these shortcomings up until his death in 1799. Two days before his death, in a letter to General Alexander Hamilton, George Washington wrote:

 "The establishment of a Military Academy upon a respectable and extensive basis has ever been considered by me as an object of primary importance to this country; and while I was in the chair of government, I omitted no proper opportunity of recommending it in my public speeches, and otherwise to the attention of the legislature."

In 1802, the federal military academy at West Point was established, in part to rectify the failings of irregular training inherent in a States' based militia system.

In the War of 1812, the United States militia were often routed by British regulars, and it was determined that militia were not adequate for the national defense. Military budgets were greatly increased at this time, and a standing federal army rather than States' militias was deemed better for the national defense.

Though the States' militia continued service, notably in the slave holding states to maintain public order performing the duty to round up runaway slaves.

Responding to criticisms of failures of the militia, Adjutant General William Sumner wrote an analysis and rebuttal in a letter to John Adams, May 3, 1823:

"The disasters of the militia may be ascribed chiefly to two causes, of which the failure to train the men is a principle one; but, the omission to train the officers is a so much greater, that I think the history of its conduct, where it has been unfortunate, will prove that its defects are attributable, more to their want of knowledge or the best mode of applying the force under their authority to their attainment of their object than to all others. It may almost be stated, as an axiom, that the larger the body of undisciplined men is, the less is its chance of success;..."

During this inter war period of the nineteenth century, the States' militia tended towards being disorderly and unprepared.

"The demoralizing influences even of our own militia drills has long been notorious to a proverb. It has been a source of general corruptions to the community, and formed habits of idleness, dissipation and profligacy. ... musterfields have generally been scenes or occasions of gambling, licentiousness, and almost every vice. ... An eye-witness of a New England training, so late as 1845, says, "beastly drunkenness, and other immoralities, were enough to make good men shudder at the very name of a muster."

Joseph Story laments in 1842 how the militia has fallen into serious decline:

"And yet, though this truth would seem so clear, and the importance of a well regulated militia would seem so undeniable, it cannot be disguised, that among the American people there is a growing indifference to any system of militia discipline, and a strong disposition, from a sense of its burdens, to be rid of all regulations. How it is practicable to keep the people duly armed without some organization, it is difficult to see. There is certainly no small danger, that indifference may lead to disgust, and disgust to contempt; and thus gradually undermine all the protection intended by this clause of our National Bill of Rights."

The Mormon militia, in 1857 and 1858, fought against US federal troops in the Utah War over control of government territory.

During the violent political confrontations in the Kansas Territory involving anti-slavery Free-Staters and pro-slavery "Border Ruffians" elements, the militia was called out to enforce order on several occasions,. notably during the incidents referred to as the Wakarusa War.

During John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry, local militia companies from villages within a 30-mile radius of Harpers Ferry cut off Brown's escape routes and trapped Brown's men in the armory.

American Civil War

At the beginning of the Civil War, neither the North or the South was nearly well enough prepared for war, and few people imagined the demands and hardships the war would bring. Just prior to the war the total peacetime army consisted of a paltry 16,000 men. Both sides issued an immediate call to forces from the militia, followed by the immediate awareness of an acute shortage of weapons, uniforms and trained officers. Among the available States' militia regiments there existed an uneven quality, and none had anything resembling combat training. The typical militia drilling at the time amounted to, at best, parade-ground marching. The militia units, from local communities, had never drilled together as a larger regiment. Thereby lacking in the extremely important skill, critically necessary for the war style of the time, to maneuver from a marching line into a fighting line. Yet, both sides were equally unready, and rushed to prepare.

Confederate militia

The most important:

Union militia

Following the Confederate taking of Fort Sumter, which marked the beginning of the Civil War, President Lincoln called up 75,000 States' militiamen to retake the seized Federal property and found that the militia "...strength was far short of what the Congressional statute provided and required."In the summer of 1861, military camps circled around Washington D.C. composed of new three-year army volunteers and 90-day militia units. The generals in charge of this gathering had never handled large bodies of men before, and the men were simply inexperienced civilians with arms having little discipline and less understanding of the importance of discipline.

In the West, Union State and territorial militias existed as active forces in defense of settlers there. California especially had many active militia companies at the beginning of the war that rose in number until the end of the war. It would also provide the most Volunteers from west of the Rocky Mountains, (eight regiments and two battalions of infantry, two Regiments and a battalion of Cavalry). It also provided most of the men for the infantry Regiment from Washington Territory. Oregon raised an Infantry and a Cavalry Regiment. Colorado Territorymilitias were organized both to resist the Confederacy and any civil disorder caused by secessionists, Copperheads, Mormons, or most particularly the Native tribes. The Colorado Volunteers participated in the Battle of Glorieta Pass turning back a Confederate invasion of New Mexico Territory. Later they initiated the Colorado War with the Plains Indians and committed the Sand Creek massacre. The California Volunteers of the California Column were sent east across the southern deserts to drive the Confederates out of southern Arizona, New Mexico and west Texas around El Paso, then fought the Navajo and Apache until 1866. They also were sent to guard the Overland Trail, keep the Mormons under observation by the establishment of Fort Douglas in Salt Lake City, and fought a campaign against the Shoshone culminating in the Battle of Bear River. In Nevada, Oregon and Idaho Territory California, Oregon and Washington Territorial Volunteers tried to protect the settlers and pacified tribes from each other and they fought the Goshute, Paiute, Ute and hostile Snake Indians in the Snake War from 1864 until 1866. In California Volunteer forces fought the Bald Hills War in the northwestern forests until 1864 and also the Owens Valley Indian War in 1862-1863.

Reconstruction era

With passage of federal reconstruction laws between 1866 and 1870 the U.S. Army took control of the former rebel states and ordered elections to be held. These elections were the first in which African Americans could vote. Each state (except Virginia) elected Republican governments, which organized militia units. The majority of militiamen were black. Racial tension and conflict, sometimes intense, existed between the Negro freedmen and the ex-Confederate whites.

In parts of the South, white paramilitary groups and rifle clubs formed to counter this black militia; regardless of the laws prohibiting drilling, organizing, or parading except for duly authorized militia. These groups engaged in a prolonged series of retaliatory, vengeful, and hostile acts against this black militia.

"...the milita companies were composed almost entirely of Negroes and their marching and counter-marching through the country drove the white people to frenzy. Even a cool-headed man like General George advised the Democrats to form military organizations that should be able to maintain a front against the negro militia. Many indications pointed to trouble. A hardware merchant of Vicksburg reported that with the exceptions of the first year of the war his trade had never been so brisk. It was said that 10,000 Spencer rifles had been brought into the State." 

The activity of the official black militia, and the unofficial illegal white rifle clubs typically peaked in the autumn surrounding elections, for instance the race riot of Clinton, Mississippi in September 1875, and the following month in Jackson, Mississippi, an eyewitness account:

"I found the town in great excitement; un-uniformed militia were parading the streets, both white and colored. I found that the white people--democrats--were very much excited in consequence of the governor organizing the militia force of the state. ... I found that these people were determined to resist his marching the militia (to Clinton) with arms, and they threatened to kill his militiamen."

Outright war between the state militia and the white rifle clubs was avoided only by the complete surrender of one of the belligerents, though tensions escalated in the following months leading to a December riot in Vicksburg, Mississippi resulting in the deaths of two whites and thirty-five Negroes. Reaction to this riot was mixed, with the local Democrats upset at the influx of federal troops that followed, and the Northern press expressing outrage: "Once more, as always, it is the Negroes that are slaughtered while the whites escape."

The Posse Comitatus Act

Enacted in the wake of the Civil War, the Federal Congress passed the Posse Comitatus Act intended to prohibit federal troops and militia from supervising elections. This act substantially limits the powers of the Federal government to use the militia for law enforcement.

Spanish–American War

Failure of the militia's initial readiness conditions to meet expectations, and their heroism and victory despite these supposed lacking training and supplies, in the Spanish–American War.

Mexican Revolution

American organized and unorganized militias fought in the Mexican Revolution. Some campaigned in Mexico as insurgent forces and others fought in battles such as Ambos Nogales and Columbus in defense of the interests of United States.

World War I

The Plattsburg Movement. The Hays Law.

Twentieth century and current

Organized militia

See state defense force

The organized militia is the armed forces of the state.  Each state has two mandatory forces which are: the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard. Many states also have state defense forces and a naval militia, which assist, support and augment National Guard forces.

National Guard

The National Guard (or National Guard of a State) differs from the National Guard of the United States; however, the two do go hand-in-hand.

The National Guard is a militia force organized by each of the states and territories of the United States. Established under Title 10 and Title

 32 of the U.S. Code, state National Guard serves as part of the first-line defense for the United States. The state National Guard is divided up

into units stationed in each of the 50 states and U.S. territories and operates under their respective state governor or territorial government.

The National Guard may be called up for active duty by the state governors or territorial commanding generals to help respond to domestic emergencies and disasters, such as those caused by hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes.

The National Guard of the United States is a military reserve force composed of state National Guard members or units under federally recognized active or inactive armed force service for the United States.

Created by the Militia Act of 1903, the National Guard of the United States is a joint reserve component of the United States Army and the United States Air Force. The National Guard of the United States maintains two subcomponents: the Army National Guard of the United States for the Army and the Air Force's Air National Guard of the United States.

The current United States Code, Title 10 (Armed forces), section 311 (Militia: Composition and Classes), paragraph (a) states: "The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard." Section 313 of Title 32 refers to persons with prior military experience. ("Sec. 313. Appointments and enlistments: age limitation (a) To be eligible for original enlistment in the National Guard, a person must be at least 17 years of age and under 45, or under 64 years of age and a former member of the Regular Army, Regular Navy, Regular Air Force, or Regular Marine Corps. To be eligible for reenlistment, a person must be under 64 years of age.(b) To be eligible for appointment as an officer of the National Guard, a person must - (1) be a citizen of the United States; and(2) be at least 18 years of age and under 64.")

These persons remain members of the militia until age 64. Paragraph (b) further states, "The classes of the militia are:

(1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and

(2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia."


The National Guard of the United States is the largest of the organized federal reserve military forces in the United States. 

The National Guard of the United States is classified (under title 10, United States Code (see above)) as the organized federal reserve military force Under federal control, the National Guard of the United States can be called up for active duty by the President of the United States. Since the 2003 Invasion of Iraq, many National Guard units have served overseas (under the Total Force Policy of 1973 which effectively combined the National Guard with the armed forces making them regular troops.) This can lead to problems for states that also face internal emergencies while the Guard is deployed overseas. To address such issues, many of the states, such as New York and Maryland also have organized state "militia" forces or state guards which are under the control of the governor of a state, however many of these "militia" also act as a reserve for the National Guard and are thus a part of it (varies from state to state depending on individual state statutory laws). New York and Ohio also have active naval militias, and a few other states have on-call or proposed ones. In 1990, the United States Supreme Court ruled in the case of Perpich v. Department of Defense that the federal government has plenary power over the National Guard, and greatly reduced (to the point of nonexistence) the state government's ability to withhold consent to federal deployments and training missions of the National Guard.

State defense forces

Since the Militia Act of 1903, many states have created and maintained a reserve military force known as state defense forces (Some states refer to them as state military reserve, state guard, or foot guard). They were created to assist, support and augment National Guard forces during peacetime conditions. Also during the call up of National Guard forces for wartime deployments, state defense forces can be used to assume the full military responsibilities of the state. Their mission includes the defense of the state and the enforcement of military orders when ordered by their Governor.

Throughout the 20th Century, state defense forces were used in every major war. New York Guard Soldiers patrolled and secured the water aqueduct of New York, mass transit areas, and were even deployed to France to assist in logistical operations in World War I. Texas State Guard Soldiers suppressed a riot and maintained peace and order in Texas throughout World War II.

Today state defense forces continue to assist, support and augment the National Guard of the state. They provide logistical, administration, medical, transportation, security, and ceremonial assistance. Some States have provided additional support such as The New York State Defense Force (New York Guard) providing its Soldiers to help support and augment The National Guard CERFP Team. The California State Military Reserve provides the National Guard with Soldiers to assist with military police training and the Alaska State Defense Force constantly provides armed military police troops to assist with the security of Alaska. One of the major roles of the Mississippi State Guard is providing operational support during natural disasters such as hurricanes relief operations.

The reserve militia

All able bodied men, 17 to 45 of age, are ultimately eligible to be called up into military service and belong to the class known as the reserve militia, also known as the unorganized militia (10 USC). Able bodied men who are not eligible for inclusion in the reserve militia pool are those aliens not having declared their intent to become citizens of the United States (10 USC 311) and former regular component veterans of the armed forces who have reached the age of 64 (32 USC 313). All female citizens who are members of National Guard units are also included in the reserve militia pool (10 USC 311).

Other persons who are exempt from call to duty (10 USC 312) and are not therefore in the reserve militia pool include:

Many individual states have additional statutes describing their residents as part of the state militia; for example Washington law specifies all able-bodied citizens or intended citizens over the age of eighteen as members of the state militia, as explicitly distinct from the National Guard and Washington State Guard.


The Ludlow massacre

In 1914, in Ludlow, Colorado, the militia was called out to calm the situation during a coal mine strike, but the sympathies of the militia leaders allied with company management and resulted in the deaths of roughly 19 to 25 people.

The state National Guard was originally called out, but the company was allowed to organize an additional private militia consisting of Colorado Fuel & Iron Company (CF&I) guards in National Guard uniforms augmented by non-uniformed mine guards.

The Ludlow Massacre was an attack by the Colorado National Guard and Colorado Fuel & Iron Company camp guards on a tent colony of 1,200 striking coal miners and their families at Ludlow, Colorado on April 20, 1914. In retaliation for Ludlow, the miners armed themselves and attacked dozens of mines over the next ten days, destroying property and engaging in several skirmishes with the Colorado National Guard along a 40-mile front from Trinidad to Walsenburg. The entire strike would cost between 69 and 199 lives. Thomas Franklin Andrews described it as the "deadliest strike in the history of the United States"

Modern citizen-militia organizations

Within the United States, from approximately 1992, there have been a number of private organizations that call themselves militia or unorganized militia.[46] These private militia groups however, are not linked with state or federal government organizations or military forces, but that does not necessarily make them illegal. In states such as Texas, the state constitution classifies male citizens between the ages of 17 and 45 to belong to the "Unorganized Reserve Militia". The Texas constitution also grants the county sheriff and the governor of the state the authority to call upon the unorganized reserve militia to uphold the peace, repel invasion, and suppress rebellion.

List of militia in the United States

U.S. federal militia forces

U.S. states' militia

See also


  1. Spitzer, Robert J.: The Politics of Gun Control, Page 36. Chatham House Publishers, Inc., 1995. "
  2.  Department of Defense, Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness,Military compensation background papers, Seventh edition, page 229. Department of Defense, 2005.
  3. Beard, Charles Austin: Readings in American Government and Politics, Page 308. Macmillan, 1909. 
    "Sec. 1. That the militia...shall be divided into two classes...the organized militia, to be known as the National Guard...and the remainder to be known as the Reserve Militia."
  4. Oxford English Dictionary, Draft Revision March 2002.
  5. Wills, Garry (1999). A Necessary Evil, A History of American Distrust of GovernmentPage 27. New York, NY; Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-684-84489-3
  6. Sparks, Jared: "The Life of George Washington", page 70. F. Andrews, 1853.
  7. Sparks, Jared: "The Life of George Washington", page 134-135. F. Andrews, 1853.
  8. Shepherd, William (1834). A History of the American Revolution Page 67. London, England. Published I.N. Whiting
  9. Sparks, Jared: "The Life of George Washington", page 135. F. Andrews, 1853.
  10. Adams, John: Letters of John Adams, Addressed to His Wife, page 257. C.C. Little and J. Brown, 1841.
  11. Wills, Garry (1999). A Necessary Evil: A History of American Distrust of Government, Page 35. New York, NY; Simon & Schuster
  12. Wills, Garry (1999). "A Necessary Evil: A History of American Distrust of Government". New York, NY: Simon & Schuster. p. 36. (rebuttal of Wills book - page 16.)
  13. Spitzer, Robert J.: The Politics of Gun Control. Chatham House Publishers, Inc., 1995. "
  14. Sparks, Jared: The Life of Gouverneur Morris, with Selections from His Correspondence and Miscellaneous Papers. Boston, 1832.
  15. Weatherup, Roy G.: Standing Armies and the Armed Citizens: An Historical Analysis of the Second Amendment. Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly (Fall 1975), 973
  16. ills, Garry (1999). A Necessary Evil: A History of American Distrust of Government, Page 37-38. New York, NY; Simon & Schuster
  17. Militia Act of 1792
  18. Wills, Garry (1999). A Necessary Evil, A History of American Distrust of Government. New York, NY; Simon & Schuster ISBN 0-684-84489-3
  19. Fields, William S.; Hardy, David T. (Spring 1992). . Military Law Review.

  20. Cullum, George and Wood, Eleazer:Campaigns of the War of 1812-1815, Against Great Britain: Sketched and Criticized.. J. Miller, 1879. J 
    Sumner, William H.: An Inquiry Into the Importance of the Militia to a Free Commonwealth, Page 23. Cummings and Hillard, 1823.
  21. Beckwith, George Cone: The Peace Manual: Or, War and Its Remedies. American Peace Society, 1847.
  22. Story, Joseph: , page 265. A Familiar Exposition of the Constitution of the United States. T. H. Webb & co., 1842.
  23. http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/disp_textbook.cfm?smtID=2&psid=3285
  24. Catton, Bruce (2004). The Civil War, Pages 28-29. Mariner Books. ISBN 0-618-00187-5

  25. Burgess, John Williams (1901). The Civil War and the Constitution, 1859-1865. Scribner's Sons. p. 173 C.
  26. Catton, Bruce (2004). The Civil War, Page 39. Mariner Books. ISBN 0-618-00187-5
  27. Singletary, Otis (1957). Negro militia and Reconstruction. Austin: University of Texas Press. ISBN 0-313-24573-8
  28. Dickerson, Donna Lee: The Reconstruction Era: Primary Documents on Events from 1865 to 1877 Page 371. Greenwood Press 2003. ISBN 0-313-32094-2
  29. Dickerson, Donna Lee: The Reconstruction Era: Primary Documents on Events from 1865 to 1877 Page 372. Greenwood Press 2003. ISBN 0-313-32094-2
  30. Rhodes, James Ford. (1906)History of the United States from the Compromise of 1850Pages 132-133. Macmillan & co., ltd.
  31. J
  32. Singletary, Otis (1957). Negro militia and Reconstruction, page 81. Austin: University of Texas Press. ISBN 0-313-24573-8. Quoted from Congressional testimony, S. Rep. 527, 44th Cong., 1st Sess., P. 1801.
  34. Singletary, Otis (1957). Negro militia and Reconstruction, page 85. Austin: University of Texas Press. ISBN 0-313-24573-8
  35. books.google.com
  36. Perry, Ralph Barton: The Plattsburg Movement: A Chapter of America's Participation in the World War". E.P. Dutton & Company, 1921
  37. "32 USC 102 General policy". law.cornell.edu. "Military Reserves Federal Call Up Authority". usmilitary.about.com.
  38. "32 USC 101. Definitions (National Guard)". law.cornell.edu.
  39. "10 USC 12401. Army and Air National Guard of the United States: status". law.cornell.edu.
  40. See 10 U.S.C. § 311.
  41. See 32 U.S.C. § 313; "WAIS Document Retrieval". frwevgate.access.gpo.gov.
  42. arng.army.mil J
  43. FindLaw for Legal Professionals - Case Law, Federal and State Resources, Forms, and Code
  44. Revised Code of Washington 38.04.030. Accessed viahttp://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=38.04.030
  45. Mulloy, Darren. American Extremism: History, Politics and the Militia Movement, Routledge, 2004.
  46. http://constitution.org/mil/ustx_law.htm



Further reading

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Militia organizations in the United States

dont tread on me




Timothy McVeigh has shown no remorse for the 1995 Oklahoma bombing which killed 168 people and injured more than 500. BBC News Online's Lucy Walker profiles the former US army marksman who carried out the worst peacetime attack on US soil.

In the hours after the Oklahoma bombing, commentators first suspected it was the work of a fundamentalist Middle Eastern terrorist group.

But an FBI agent named Clinton Van Zandt was closer to the truth.

He had been the FBI's chief hostage negotiator at Waco and recognised the significance of the date - 19 April 1995. It was two years to the day since federal troops ended a 51-day siege at a Branch Davidian sect compound near Waco, Texas, in which 82 people died.

Timothy McVeigh
McVeigh: An "outstanding" soldier
Van Zandt is quoted as saying then that the bomber would turn out to be a white male, acting alone, or with one other person, and in his mid-20s.

He would have military experience and be angry at the government for what happened at Waco.

Van Zandt (thought he) was right.

Solid student

Timothy McVeigh was born in 1968 and grew up the middle of three children in a conservative, rural community in Pendleton, New York, near the decaying industrial centre of Buffalo.

His father, Bill, like his father before him, worked at the General Motors radiator factory and provided conscientiously for his family, but was distant and unadventurous.

When he was 10, his mother, Mildred "Mickey" McVeigh, left home.

McVeigh says that while his sisters, then 12 and four, moved to Florida with their mother, he opted to live with his father "so he wouldn't be alone".

McVeigh was very bright, not top of his class, but a solid student.

I reached the decision to go on the offensive - to put a check on government abuse of power, where others had failed in stopping the federal juggernaut running amok

Timothy McVeigh
Classmates recall a shy, skinny youth who did not socialise much. There seems to have been only one girlfriend during his high school years.

Later, during 75 hours of interviews, he would tell journalists Lou Michael and Dan Herbeck - authors of American Terrorist: Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City Bombing - that he always said the wrong thing to women he was trying to impress.

He left school in 1986 and dropped out of college soon after.


The economy was in a slump, the radiator factory had stopped hiring and McVeigh took a series of dead-end jobs, working in a burger bar and as a security guard in Buffalo.

He began collecting guns while still at school and after he left devoured right-wing, pro-militia magazines like Solider of Fortune and Spotlight.

Timothy McVeigh
McVeigh: Picked up for a traffic offence

(Did he remove his licence plate on purpose so
he would get stopped?)
An even stronger influence was The Turner Diaries, a racist, anti-Semitic novel which tells the story of a gun enthusiast who reacts against tighter gun laws and starts a revolution by packing a van with home made explosives and blowing up the FBI headquarters in Washington.

McVeigh embarked on a flirtation with the militia movement, which believes that ordinary Americans are under imminent threat of attack, from nuclear war, communists or central government.

He began to stockpile food, water and guns and in 1988 he and a friend bought 10 acres of woodland where they practised shooting and planned to build a bunker.

At 20 he joined the army - one of the reasons being, according to Michael and Herbeck, to improve his shooting and survival skills.

It gave him an environment where he could indulge his passion for guns and in many ways he became the perfect soldier.

Colleagues say he was polite, efficient and a top marksman. He kept a spare uniform just so that he could look smart at inspections and showed more interest in cleaning his collection of guns than girls or beer.

The 'perfect soldier'

In 1992 he was sent to the Gulf as a gunner, where he won praise and respect from those around him and earned both the Combat Infantry Badge and Bronze Star.

He won a commendation for his action in shooting an Iraqi tank commander more than a mile away, armed with his favourite weapon - a small cannon.

The book says he was satisfied at hitting the target but adds McVeigh got no thrill out of the act of killing.

He admits to killing two Iraqis, but was upset at what he saw as the needless death of countless Iraqis at the end of the Gulf War.

The army, he says, taught him how to switch off his emotions.

McVeigh was tipped for promotion and on his return, he tried to join the elite Green Berets. He took a battery of IQ, personality and aptitude tests, but, out of condition from lack of exercise in the Gulf, found the physical rigours of the training camp too tough and dropped out after two days.

Disillusioned, he went back to the regular army but soon gave up and returned to live with his father.

Borrowing a page from US foreign policy, I decided to send a message to a government that was becoming increasingly hostile, by bombing a government building and the government employees within that building who represent that government

Timothy McVeigh

McVeigh took a series of dead-end jobs and followed gun shows across the country.

Drifting between Pendleton and the homes of his ex-army chums: Terry Nichols in Decker, Michigan; and Michael Fortier in Klingman, Arizona, he made some money selling guns at gun fairs.

There he would certainly have come into contact with anti-tax, anti-government, racist and militia groups, but there is nothing to suggest that he ever signed-up to any of them.


McVeigh was distressed by the 1992 catastrophe at Ruby Ridge - a siege and shootout where federal officials shot and killed the wife of survivalist Randy Weaver and their 14-year-old son.

But it was the storming of the Branch Davidian compound at Waco the following year that provoked him into acting on his frustrations.

McVeigh travelled to Waco to see the siege for himself and was horrified by the final showdown when federal troops fired tear gas and a massive fire engulfed the compound.

Both events have been painted by militia movements as evidence of a federal clampdown, with more to come.

While on death row, McVeigh asked a friend to pass on to a London newspaper a three-page letter detailing why he carried out the bombing.

The assault at Waco
McVeigh could not forgive the Waco assault

(Many of us have never forgiven Janet Reno. It was she who made that decision)

In the letter, entitled "Why I bombed the Murrah building", he explains that he lost patience after waiting for the government to apologise for Waco. "I reached the decision to go on the offensive - to put a check on government abuse of power, where others had failed in stopping the federal juggernaut running amok," he said.

"Borrowing a page from US foreign policy, I decided to send a message to a government that was becoming increasingly hostile, by bombing a government building and the government employees within that building who represent that government."

No remorse

To the end, he has been aware of his media profile.

His request to have his execution broadcast on national television was turned down, but he has been corresponding with journalists by e-mail and personally invited the writer Gore Vidal, on assignment for Vanity Fair, to witness his execution.

He has also played down the roles of his co-conspirators, although Fortier went with him to reconnoitre the building and Nichols helped make the fuel-oil and fertiliser explosives.

McVeigh emerged at his trial as intelligent and sane. He has never expressed remorse, although he has hinted that he regrets the deaths of the 19 children.

After examining him in prison, psychiatrist Dr John Smith concluded that prisoner 12076-064 was a decent person who had allowed rage to build up inside him to the point that he had lashed out in one terrible, violent act.



WAS MCVEIGH USED AS A PATSY?  http://www.greatdreams.com/mcveigh-patsy.htm


Militias dwindle since Oklahoma City bombing

By Andrew Wolfson, The (Louisville, Ky.) Courier-Journal and John Masson, The Indianapolis Star

Six years after the Oklahoma City bombing made the word "militia" part of the American lexicon, the number of such groups has dwindled dramatically. The reasons, say militia watchdogs: Crackdowns by law enforcement officials, and members weary of waiting for a revolution that never came. The most recent figures by the Southern Poverty Law Center, whose tracking of hate groups is highly respected, show the number of militia groups dropping from a peak of 370 in 1996 to 68 in 1999.

Read more


But militias continue to be strong in some parts of the country, including the South, the Midwest and some of the mountain states of the West, say private watchdog groups and militia leaders.

``We are having a resurgence of new members," said Stan Wilson, who commands the militia in Hancock County east of Indianapolis, which describes itself as a moderate group.

Militia membership jumped immediately after Timothy McVeigh blew up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building April 19, 1995, then began to decline, according to the FBI and private watchdog organizations.

No direct links were found between the bombing that killed 168 people and the militia movement, although McVeigh, scheduled to be executed in Terre Haute, Ind., on May 16, attended a few militia meetings in Michigan.

Still, ``We got painted with the same broad brush" after the bombing, said Phillip Crousore, regimental commander of Indiana's Tippecanoe County militia — and the image stuck of militia members as mad bombers.

Militias, many of which offer paramilitary training to rebuff expected government attacks, are part of what is known as the patriot movement. The New York-based Anti-Defamation League — ADL — says the movement includes a collection of groups, many more extreme than militias, known as "sovereign citizens," tax protesters, Christian patriots, Christian Identity groups and white supremacists.

While many remaining militias disclaim violence and terrorism, experts say some of the more extremist organizations still present a grave threat. Over the past three years, several militia leaders have been charged and convicted in conspiracies to bomb government buildings and utilities, and to assassinate state and federal officials, including judges and senators.

The ADL cautions on its Militia-Watchdog.org Web site that even though most militia groups claim they only operate defensively, ``The extremely high levels of paranoia most such groups possess means that they often think they are acting justifiably when they are not. And even groups that may not pose a danger can spawn individuals committed to violent or extreme acts."

The Southern Poverty Law Center says the patriot movement ``is a shadow of its former self," a decline it attributes to several factors, including the arrest of hundreds of members in the past few years. And many members and would-be militia members have lost interest — ``too bored, too tired, too worried about doing possible jail time."

Even so, SPLC says, the radical right is not going away. Instead, ``right-wing extremists are increasingly joining race-based hate groups or taking up lone-wolf-type terrorist activity."

While most militia groups don't espouse racial bigotry, FBI Director Louis Freeh warned at a 1999 congressional hearing on counter-terrorism that "hate philosophies" had "begun to creep into the militia movement."

Before the Oklahoma City bombing — the worst act of terrorism on American soil — most law enforcement and media organizations ignored militias, writing them off as ``overgrown boys playing with guns in the woods," said Ken Stern, an analyst for the American Jewish Committee.

And while publicity about the bombing, including suggestions that it was militia-based, initially attracted more members to the movement, it eventually had the opposite effect.

``When you shine a light on something like that, it's often like flipping on the light when you come into the kitchen," said Devin Burghart, who heads a Chicago think-tank. ``The cockroaches tend to scatter."

But even with a decline of members, there are militias in virtually every state, says the ADL. And their numbers, according to the FBI, grew in the early 1990s as a reaction to fears the government was about to confiscate citizens' weapons.

Just weeks after the Oklahoma City bombing, Freeh and then-Attorney General Janet Reno ordered the FBI's 56 field offices to open lines of communication with militias, and meetings were held in many cities that Indianapolis Special Agent Doug Garrison said helped calm tensions.

"It was just to let them know ... we weren't the big, bad FBI lurking behind every tree and interested in what they were doing on weekends when they were out having meetings," Garrison said.

"Most of the militia people don't view Tim McVeigh as a hero. He's a killer of innocent people. I don't think there's much disagreement on that," he said.