Rising Trends of Concern

                   Complete Survey:  Race Relations 2011


Home Up Executive Summary Military Personnel and Domestic Terrorism Historical Review Contemporary Domestic Terrorism Rising Trends of Concern Conclusion Bibliography



From LCDR Steven Mack Presley, MSC, USN, Rise of Domestic Terrorism and Its Relation to United States Armed Forces (April 19, 1996)

There is an atmosphere of lawlessness, of cowardice, of anarchy, that's perpetuated by these people who are setting up their own governments. . . . I can't accept that.

-- Sen. Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada(42)

Citizen Militias

A growing concern among state and federal law enforcement officials, as well as among the general citizenry, is the revelation of the extent to which armed, right-wing, citizen militias occur in the United States and the recent upsurge in their numbers. A report published by the Anti-Defamation League in October, 1994 stated, that at that time, there were no fewer than 13 states in which armed right-wing, and/or racist militias were operating, including: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia.(43) It is believed that by May of 1995, citizen-militia groups were established and active in at least 34 states, with an estimated membership of approximately 10,000 to 40,000 people.(44) Morris Dees, chief trial lawyer for the Southern Poverty Law Center and its Militia Task Force, reports that by the end of 1995 there were 441 active militias dispersed throughout all 50 states. Additionally, 368 allied "Patriot" groups advocated the formation of militias, or espoused the doctrines common among existing militias. Further investigation and characterization of these militias and allied groups revealed that 137 had ties to racist ring-wing groups, such as the Ku Klux Klan and Aryan Nations.(45)

The basic motivation for the formation of, and membership in these militias varies widely from a desire for self-determination at the local governmental level, to racism and religious extremism, or both, but the common-thread shared among most of them is a right-wing, anti-federal government ideology.(46) It should be clearly stated and understood that not every militia unit has racist or violent tendencies, and that many of them have been formed by individuals who truly believe the units to be a legitimate means of expressing their anger and frustration with a too distant and hostile government. Many of these units are made-up of working people that believe in and love our country, and do not support or associate with hate-groups, racists, or bomb-throwers.(47)

The legality of, and necessity for the existence of citizen-militias has become a focal point of debate at both the state and national levels. Title 10, United States Code states in section 311 of Chapter 13, the following regarding the classes of militia that are legitimate: (1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and (2) the unorganized militia, which consists of members of the militia that are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia (emphasis added by author). Section 312 goes further to list those persons that are exempt from militia duty, and includes "members of the armed forces, except members who are not on active duty."(48) From this classification of militias and the exception, it can--and often is--infered that every citizen, including reserve military personnel are members of the militia simply as an obligation of citizenship. However the interpretation of what constitutes an organized or unorganized militia, and whether it is controlled by the federal government, has become the central point of discussion and debate.

A central, recurring theme among many of the militia groups, particularly the predominately Caucasian groups, is the belief that the federal government is secretly controlled by international bankers aspiring to conquer the United States and form a one-world government, executed through the United Nations' troops. Based upon the grand conspiracy theory, most of the groups call for secession of their respective states from the federal government and the formation of locally-ruled governmental bodies.

Another central focal point of extreme significance, whether coincidentally or by design, is the 19th day of April. On this date in 1775, the Revolutionary War started in Lexington, Massachusetts; in 1992, an attempted raid on the Weaver's complex in Idaho is aborted; in 1993, the Branch Davidian complex in Waco, Texas explodes and kills at least 81 citizens; in 1995, white supremacist Richard Wayne Snell is executed for murder in Arkansas; and also in 1995, the Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma is destroyed by a bomb, killing 168 people. As April 19, 1996 approaches, particularly with the ongoing stand-off between law enforcement officials and the Montana-based, anti-government Freemen underway, the "importance" of that date may be reaffirmed. The inferred importance of calendar dates and numerology that are coincidental to events or situations involving extremist or terrorist groups is not unique to contemporary right-wing groups. Left-wing organizations of the past have also focused on key dates of importance to their particular group, such as the May 19 Communist Organization.(49)

Conversely, as with any political or social issue, there are citizen-militias threatening violence if the federal government does not increase its role in day-to-day life. Although not as widely publicized recently as some militia groups, the "Black Panther Militia" (not affiliated with the Black Panther organization) was calling for black Americans to cut phone lines, burn tires on freeways and attack other institutions unless the federal government created more jobs, improved education and housing, and took other steps to combat urban poverty. This group, claiming to have membership in excess of 1,200 in New York City, Indianapolis, Dallas, Milwaukee, Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta, Washington, Los Angeles, Jacksonville (FL), and Minneapolis, has been involved in, or suspected of involvement in various malicious destructive acts, but has not been implicated in any violence directly against individuals.(50)

Currently there is only one militia known to be organized on a national level, the Unorganized Militia of the United States.(51) Although there are hundreds of local and state citizen militias or militia-type groups operating within the United States, there are several that will be discussed to convey the character and potential threat they pose through their alliances and leadership. The Militia of Montana, the first truly well-organized citizen-militia in the United States, has had long-standing ties to the ultra right-wing Aryan Nations Church (for further examples of alliances and relationships among right-wing extremist groups, refer to Appendix C). Another militia group with approximately 12,000 members and strong links to the Aryan Nations Church, and which reportedly exists in at least 70 of Michigan's 83 counties, is the Northern Michigan Militia. This group is led by a prior United States Air Force Officer, Norm Olson. Another reportedly large militia group, claiming a membership of 11,000, is the Lone Star Militia of Texas. Robert Spence, the dual-hatted leader of the Lone Star Militia, is also the self-described Imperial Wizard of the True Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.(52) "Bo" Gritz, a former Green Beret and 1992 Populist Party candidate for President of the United States, is one of the most active and influential militia organizers and advocates in the country today. He has purchased the land for, and constructed two paramilitary "compounds" in Idaho where he conducts rigorous military-type training programs and claims to be preparing his "followers" to fend-off the coming massive intrusion by the federal government.(53) It is these groups, those militias that are directly linked to known terrorist organizations, that are of particular concern to federal law enforcement agencies, and are known to recruit and claim association with active-duty military personnel.

Although there are obviously numerous citizen militia groups operating within the United States, the "feeding frenzy" by "shock" journalists following the bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City in April of 1995 has definitely vilified and possibly exaggerated their existence, as well as dramatically increased their membership rolls. The prominence and degree of recognition that is nowadays associated with such organizations as the Michigan Militia, Militia of Montana, Freemen, and other "popularized" extremist groups is truly a phenomena resulting directly from media exposure. Most Americans had never heard of such groups, or even would have believed that such groups were actually operating within the country, prior to April 19, 1995. However, with the unprecedented national and international exposure and publicity these groups have, and are currently receiving, their threats and 'power' rhetoric has been greatly enhanced. A prime example is from a quote by the former Ku Klux Klan Grand Dragon and Aryan Nations "Ambassador-at-large", Louis Beam, in reference to acts of vengeance for the Ruby Ridge and Branch Davidian incidents:

The blood of these innocent ones, like a prism, makes everything clear. ... Someday, without a signal from anyone -- yet, as if a signal from everyone -- [men] will walk quickly out of their doors with a look of grim determination on their faces ... it will happen nationwide. Ten thousand Randy Weavers are spread out from one coast to another.(54)

Common-Law Citizenship

A rapidly growing concern, especially among officials at the state and municipal levels of government, is the offshoot groups evolving from the self-determination or states-rights movement; the formation of common-law courts and "enforcement" groups. The extent to which these groups exist is difficult to accurately assess, but realistic estimates report that as of late-1995 they were active in more than eleven states throughout the farm belt and western United States. The actions of these groups have ranged from merely serving as a means of dramatizing grievances towards local, state and federal officials, to issuing a murder contract on a Montana judge.(55) The unifying theme to which the organizers of these common-law courts adhere, appears to be the distrust and contempt of the current governmental systems; including judicial, legislative and economic, at the local, state and federal levels. The majority of the "cases" brought before these "courts" involve parties that have lost property (either real-estate and/or fiscal) to government foreclosure or interdiction.(56) Recent alliances between these common-law citizen groups and elements of extremist citizen-militia groups are causing concern among state and federal law enforcement officials.

An excellent example of the character, motivations and activities of these common-law extremist groups is provided by the ongoing stand-off in Jordan, Montana between law enforcement agencies and the Freemen. The credo of the Freemen espouses that all forms of organized government are illegitimate and have no right or authority to collect taxes, or even require auto license tags; that they possess the right to form their own government (apparently their government would be "legitimate"); that they can defy foreclosure actions, issue arrest warrants and hold trials of government officials; that they can act as their own central bank and defraud the existing government, financial institutions and merchants. Their philosophy is primarily a hodge-podge of selective interpretations of the Old Testament, the Magna Carta, the anti-tax Posse Comitatus of the 1980s, and the United States Constitution. It incorporates racism and talk of a Jewish-directed conspiracy, and identifies directly with the growing 'Christian Patriot' movement.(57)

Armed Forces Active-Duty Personnel Involvement

When you have a volunteer military, and you don't have sort of a wide swath of people coming in, there's always a danger that you will attract people for the wrong reasons.... Because the military can get cut off from society, you can sort of deviate from your own culture.

-- Lawrence J. Korb, Brookings Institution

Military personnel involvement in extremist and hate-groups, specifically "hard-core" white supremacist groups is estimated to be similar to that degree of involvement that exists in the general population. It is estimated that there are about 25,000 (0.01%) "hard-core" white supremacists and 200,000 (0.08%) sympathizers in the United States civilian population of approximately 260 million.(58) Results of the army-wide investigation ordered by Secretary of the Army, Togo D. West, to determine the existence of racists and hate-groups in the ranks,(59) revealed that of 7,600 soldiers personally interviewed, only two (0.03%) actually admitted membership in such groups. Additionally, 17,000 soldiers were queried via written format, and approximately 3.5% (595/17,000) reported having been approached for recruitment by such groups, while 7.1% (1,207/17,000) claimed to know another soldier that was a member of a "hate-group."(60) An obvious and discerning disconnect exists in these data; if 7.1% (1,207/17,000) soldiers claim to "know" an active-duty member that is also a member of an "hate-group" organization, but the Army's probe only found 0.03% (2/7,600) that admitted it, then the overall validity of the investigation must be carefully considered. These discrepancies may be a result of several different factors, including: 1) the cohort queried was not indicative of the overall "soldier" population, 2) the honesty of those responding was questionable, or 3) the two that admitted involvement have an extremely active social-life.

Although military personnel, both active-duty and reserve, are explicitly prohibited from active involvement in extremist groups, membership in such groups is not prohibited and is further guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States. Army regulations define "active participation" as demonstrating, fund-raising, recruiting, or training. Interestingly enough, in April of 1995 a spokesman for the Army, Lieutenant Colonel Bill Hartley issued an almost prophetic statement, when he said: "To my knowledge, at some point our folks may have to look into this stuff. But, basically we are still looking at freedom of association."(61)

The recent involvement of three 82nd Airborne Division personnel in a racially-motivated murder of two civilians last December in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and the subsequent discovery that they were members of the racist hate group called Skinheads, triggered an intense investigation of the extent to which such groups have infiltrated the ranks of the active duty military. The internal investigation conducted immediately after the incident, revealed that a total of twenty-two soldiers of the 82nd Airborne were, or had previously been involved to some extent in racists groups. Nine soldiers were discovered to be actively involved with white separatists, Skinheads, that espouse neo-Nazi type ideology. Additionally, four others were found to belong to the multi-ethnic group called Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice (SHARPs). Eight other soldiers admitted to having prior involvement in the Skinhead organization, or to hold white supremacists views. One additional soldier claimed to be a member of a group called "Independents", which is similar in ideology to the SHARPs.(62)

In direct response to the racially-motivated Fayetteville, North Carolina murders, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) conducted an investigation to determine to what extent racism against blacks occurs in the Army. The results of the study, which was conducted at five towns in North Carolina with military bases in close proximity to them, suggests that racist attitudes and practices are a much bigger problem than the Army is willing to admit. The NAACP also submitted a listing of twelve recommendations to remedy such problems. The recommendations included the establishment of military base liaisons to the NAACP, and the requirement for mandatory periodic diversity and sensitivity training for all personnel.(63)

Perceptions and Attitudes of Active-Duty Personnel. Apparently, the most common perception among active duty military personnel is that extremist and terrorist groups are principally a problem of, and for civilian authorities and law-enforcement agencies. To assess the perceptions and attitudes of a group of active-duty, mid-grade officers as to the degree of threat various extremist organizations pose to the United States' civil and military institutions, an opinion survey was conducted among the students of the United States Marine Corps' Command and Staff College, Marine Corps Combat Development Command, Quantico, Virginia. The subject cohort was admittedly very small (ca. 175 individuals), and was predominately Marine Corps officers, with some representation of Army, Navy, Air Force, and civilian law-enforcement personnel. The survey was anonymously distributed via student mailboxes, with directions to facilitate completion and return of the form to a central collection point (see Appendix E). Resultant data were analyzed using StatistixTM, a PC-based statistical package, to perform descriptive analyses to determine mean, median and the standard deviation of means. Response data from section one of the survey (ranking of groups based upon the perceived threat they pose; see Appendix E) was utilized and analyzed as index values, and is provided in Table 4.

TABLE 4. Descriptive statistical values indicating ranking of perceived threat posed by various extremist or terrorist groups operating within the United States (n = 103 total respondents of a total of 175 survey forms distributed; 58.86% response). (tableOmitted)

By far, the group which was considered to be most dangerous and threatening to civilian and military authority by the respondents to the survey, were the gangs that operate in the illicit drug trade or are involved in other criminal endeavors. Drug/crime gangs received a perceived threat index value of 4.24 (+ 0.98), which was significantly greater than the 3.05 (+1.34) index value attained by the second most threatening group, the Nation of Islam. An anomaly, at least when initially perusing the results, was the ranking of Moslem extremists (index value of 2.57 (+1.43)) as a more significant and immediate threat than that posed by either the Aryan Nations or Ku Klux Klan (index values of 2.34 (+1.09) and 2.04 (+1.03), respectively). Additionally, there was an obvious segregation of both Nation of Islam and Moslem extremists from the other "religiously-motivated" groups such as Jewish and Christian extremists, as well as all other religious extremists (Table 4).

The service affiliation breakdown of those individuals responding to the survey is provided in Figure 2. Of the 103 total respondents, 59.2% were Marine Corps officers, 14.6% were Navy, 11.7% were Army, 8.7% Air Force officers, and 5.8% were government-employed civilians that are attending the college. All military officers were at least the rank of Major (Lieutenant Commander), or the civilian service equivalent.

FIGURE 2. Frequency distribution of branch of government service to which respondents were affiliated.

The respondent's perceptions of the comparative threat posed by the Ku Klux Klan and Aryan Nations racist groups are illustrated in Figure 3. The Ku Klux Klan is considered to be a minor threat by 35.9% of the respondents, and strictly a media-induced threat by 35.9% as well, while only 1.9% of those responding perceived them to be an extreme threat. Comparatively, only 24.3% of the respondents considered the threat posed by Aryan Nations to be a result of media "hype", while 34.0% considered them to be a minor threat and 24.3% identified them as a moderate threat. Less than 4.0% of those responding viewed the Aryan Nations as an extreme threat.

FIGURE 3. Frequency distribution of perceived threat posed by racist hate-groups.

Even though it was previously pointed-out that there is essentially a very "blurry" distinction developing between many of the racist and religious extremist/terrorist groups, this survey aggregated the Christian, Moslem, Nation of Islam, and Jewish extremist groups into the religious extremists category, primarily to facilitate data presentation. The frequency distribution of responses to the index value rating of the perceived threat each group posed is provided in Figure 4. Overwhelmingly the threat posed by both Christian and Jewish extremists was considered to be a product of media "hype", with 57.3% and 53.4% of the respondents indicating such, respectively. The majority of respondents (35.9%) considered the threat posed by Moslem extremists to be primarily media "hype", while 10.7% of those responding considered them to be an extreme threat. The perceived threat posed by the Nation of Islam seemed to range from 16.5% of the respondents considering it to be media "hype", to 17.5% considering them to pose an extreme threat, while the majority (24.3%) rated the threat as moderate.

FIGURE 4. Frequency distribution of perceived threat posed by extremist religious groups.

The perceived threat posed by self-determination and/or anti-government groups, such as citizen-militias and common-law courts, is surprisingly low compared to other groups like the Nation of Islam and Moslem extremists, particularly in light of all the media coverage and negative information on citizen-militias throughout the past two years (Figs. 2-6). Citizen-militia groups are perceived to pose an extreme threat by 5.8% of those responding, and only a minor or media "hype"-induced threat by 28.2% of the respondents. There seemed to be a significant number of individuals (12) that were not familiar with whom or what the common-law courts groups were; note the survey was conducted prior to the late-March stand-off by the Freemen in Garfield County, Montana, perhaps the data would be somewhat different if collected today.

FIGURE 5. Frequency distribution of perceived threat posed by self-determinationist and anti-government groups.

To evaluate the characteristics or moral convictions that the surveyed population used in shaping their attitudes regarding whether an activist group is identified as a terrorist group or not, and to illustrate how easily moral or humane convictions can lead to supporting or at least sympathizing with a violent group, the following question was posed: "Do you consider anti-abortion activists to be terrorists?" Interestingly enough, the responses were almost equally split, with 47.6% indicating "yes" and 50.5% answering "no", while 1.9% were undecided. However there were also numerous written comments on the survey sheets with regard to the question; some clarifying that any act of violence to attain a political goal is terrorism, while others expressed their extreme dissatisfaction with the mere association of the term "anti-abortion" with the term "terrorist" (Fig. 6).

Additionally, Figure 6 illustrates the feelings of the respondents with regard to whether the military should become involved in combating domestic terrorism. The vast majority, 62.1%, responded negatively, while 36% of the respondents agreed that we should be more involved.

Figure 6. Frequency distribution of survey response to questions regarding anti-abortion activism, and the extent the military should be involved in fighting domestic terrorism.

From the results of the survey it can be concluded that (excluding drug and criminal gangs), racial supremacists and hate-groups, specifically the Nation of Islam and Aryan Nations, and the growing threat from citizen-militia groups are perceived to be the most significant threats to civilian and military authority today.

Weapons / Training / Recruitment. The ability of terrorist groups to successfully complete their mission, which is terror, requires them to have available the implements and materials necessary to intimidate, disorient and destabilize their "enemy". Although small arms such as small caliber rifles, shotguns and handguns are readily available within the United States, these groups must depend upon illegal gun-traders and black-market sources for automatic weapons and high-tech military equipment. As mentioned previously, these groups have been able to utilize military personnel, either through actual infiltration, theft or through exploiting greed, to obtain weapons and munitions with which to build their arsenals. Since explosive devices are a much more effective weapon for inciting mass terror than are guns, they are commonly used by domestic terrorist. Within the United States the principal sources from which these groups obtain high-quality industrial high explosive is either from quarrying sites, or from military bases and stockpiles. Recently a civilian maintenance employee at the West Point Military Academy was arrested while attempting to sell one-hundred sticks of dynamite to an undercover agent. Military bases can also become the target of these "bombers"; Puerto Rican Macheteros used IremiteR high explosives stolen from a construction site to cause more than $50 million in damage to Air National Guard aircraft.(64)

Laura Wood, a field researcher at the Klanwatch Project, asserts that active-duty as well as former military personnel are a prime target for recruitment by many of the extremist hate groups. They are valuable to the groups primarily due to their training with weapons and tactics, and for the 'image' they provide in attracting new, civilian members.(65) The ability of extremist groups, whether actively violent or merely vocal at present, to recruit active-duty military personnel poses a serious threat to efforts by the military leadership to control such activities.

The recently released results of the Army's investigation of the degree to which extremists and racist hate-mongers exist in the military found that such groups do not necessarily "target" the average soldier for recruiting, but may more aggressively recruit from Special Forces personnel.(66) A Navy Times published interview with Tom Maddox, the spokesman for the Maryland Chapter of the Invisible Empire Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and a former 10th Mountain Division soldier who left the Army in 1989, confirmed these findings. Mr. Maddox said that the military is not a primary target for recruiting, but they do not "steer clear" of the services either. He also added that the ongoing debate over homosexuals in the military has helped in recruiting efforts over the past couple of years. In the same article, an active-duty sailor and soldier were interviewed and reported that they both recruit from within the ranks.(67)

Potential Effects on Readiness. Morale and cohesiveness among personnel within a military unit are critical elements, both directly and indirectly, to that units readiness and potential for successful employment. Directly, the trust and camaraderie that is necessary for a team to function and fight effectively is highly dependent on the ability of the members to communicate at all times. Conflict, whether caused by racial tensions, religious intolerance, or political differences, negatively influences communication and may ultimately disrupt good order and discipline. Supremacist views, discrimination and disparate treatment jeopardizes combat readiness by weakening interpersonal bonds, fomenting distrust, eroding unit cohesion, and will ultimately negate a unit's ability to operate to its full potential.(68) Even though the strict prohibition of active-duty military personnel "actively participating" in extremist organizations addresses the topical public concerns and provides a degree of deniability for the Department of Defense regarding the existence of such elements in its ranks, it fails to acknowledge the more dangerous influence in the form of subtle attitudes and ideologies that can develop from 'passive participation' in such groups.

The all-volunteer force has also been identified as a contributing factor to the rise of extremist elements within the military. Sociologists and historians point out that, without a draft of personnel from the general population, military institutions tend to become more conservative and isolated from civilian society. Lawrence Korb, former Secretary of Defense, points out the opinion that:

Volunteers have a longer initial term of service, reenlist in much higher numbers, and have a far lower turnover rate than draftees. Their conservative tendencies are constantly reinforced, and young soldiers can be easy prey to the extreme right-wing groups that proliferating.(69)

This selective process of developing a military force that is highly conservative politically, and is increasingly segregated from a more liberal civilian society, will ultimately result in future problems if not aggressively addressed from a 'personnel' standpoint.

Department of Defense Response. Upon conclusion of the three-month probe ordered by Secretary of the Army Togo D. West, Department of Defense investigators reported "minimal presence of extremist activity," but have expressed concern over two specific findings. First, the presence and frequency of gang-related activities, which they said were "more pervasive than extremist activities on and near Army installations, and are becoming a significant security concern for many soldiers." The second finding that has stimulated concern, not only in the Army but throughout all of the Department of Defense, is the lack of clear and concise standards or guidelines regarding official policy on association with extremist groups by active-duty personnel.(70)

A primary concern and dilemma posed by the freedom of speech and association, as guaranteed by the First Amendment, is the authority of the military establishment to fully prohibit military personnel from becoming 'passively' involved with groups or organizations that promote unsavory viewpoints and rhetoric. There is a very thin line, with a lot of latitude for flexible interpretation when determining to what extent association with these groups, and actual participation in them is occurring. Piers Wood, Center for Defense Information chief of staff, has been quoted as saying:

We're concerned that the rights of free speech and assembly are not unduly restrained, they have to be restrained to a certain extent in all military establishments. And that means keeping active [duty] military out of politics, out of any groups with politicized pull.(71)

Among the major recommendations by the investigators were drafting of clearer rules on participation in extremist organizations by military personnel, closer screening of recruits to keep out persons with extremist views, and new training courses about extremist activity. Additionally, Army Secretary West ordered a review of after-hours regulations and guidance regarding the activities of junior service members, and stressed an increase in the degree of awareness of responsibility that mid- and upper-level supervisors had of what their soldiers were involved in when off duty.(72)

Martin van Creveld presents an interesting perspective on the relationship between the declining stature of large governments controlling all aspects of its citizen's endeavors, and the growing prominence of non-governmental organizations and groups demanding sovereignty at the local and state levels.(73) Many of these non-governmental groups instill fanatical loyalties among their membership which can potentially be exploited for violence and terroristic actions against the state, or other non-governmental organizations supported by or dependent upon the central government. The faltering ability, or at least perceived inability, of the government to adequately protect and represent the individual interests of its citizens has caused the development of a massive private security industry within the United States, as well as a virtual fortification of the residences and working areas of many senior government officials. The private security industry employs approximately as many people as there are active duty military personnel (1.6 million).(74)

The combination of this growing trend away from trust and reliance upon a large, all-powerful government, and towards a more localized and decentralized regional sovereignty (or even self-reliance in the case of many corporations) is central to the threat posed by militant and terroristic groups of today. The future role of the military in providing for the defense of the nation, against "all enemies foreign and domestic," and its support and composition in an environment of declining trust and confidence in "big government" bureaucracies, will be an area of concern into the 21st century.(75)

Effects of "Information Revolution" and the Mass Media

The phenomenal increase in the availability of global information to the populace of the world-wide community through the Internet or World Wide Web, particularly within the United States where the average citizen can easily afford a personal computer or has ready access to one at the local public library, has significantly increased the ability of extremist and terrorist groups to promulgate their dogma. The ability of anyone "surfing the 'Net" to access huge volumes of hate-mongering, racist and violence-inciting information (both textual and video-graphic) has undoubtedly opened a new avenue for recruiting and communication for such groups. Explicit and detailed information on the materials required and methods of assembly to construct "homemade" bombs, how to store and transport them, and how they can be employed, is accessible at numerous World Wide Web-sites and is easily downloaded.(76) There are also, even after the passage of the Federal Communications Bill in February, countless hate-groups and groups espousing various tid-bits of seditious information on the Internet. An example of the ease with which subversive, sometimes criminal, elements can utilize the new global information super-highway, is an advertisement for a mercenary to assassinate a Nigerian head of state recently appeared on the World Wide Web (see Appendix F). For anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of how to utilize the Internet and/or World Wide Web search engines, a full spectrum of racists, anti-government, and even blatantly seditious information is available upon demand, directly into one's home or business. Another potential threat to the military that may result from the hyper-generation in personal computer and communications technology, and its ready accessibility by the general public, is the potential for terrorist groups bent on disrupting government operations to "hack into" Department of Defense automated information resources.

The technological advances and improvements in the television industry, in so much as the increased ability to transmit "real-time" reports of occurrences worldwide from virtually any location, has made television a very valuable channel through which terrorists and extremists can disseminate their messages. And conversely, the television news organizations rely on the terrorist or extremist groups to "provide them a good story". This mutually dependent relationship is illustrated very well by the following quotation: "Television terrorists can no more do without the media than the media can resist the terror-event. The two are in a symbiotic relationship, ..."(77) It is this "symbiotic" relationship that, in a free-speech society such as ours, requires an aggressive and wide-ranging education of Americans regarding the policies and actions of the government, and how those policies and actions impact on the citizenry.