Sunday, March 29, 2009

The MIAC Report and you

One of my more conspiratorial minded co-workers was kind enough to inform me the other day, that according to a new report I was a domestic terrorist. I took the bait and he told me that he had a friend in DHS that told him about this report from Missouri that was to become a field training aid for new agents to spot persons of interest as possible domestic terrorists.

Now I have been called a few things in my time, but a "domestic terrorist"? That's a new one. I am not one for wild theories, so I had my friend send me the link and I started to do a little research. As it turns out, its not so far fetched.

The report in question is the product of MIAC, also known as the Missouri Information Analysis Center. MIAC is what is called a "fusion center" that combines resources from several agencies both local and DHS. It functions as an information clearing house and intelligence analysis center, using the data to combat crime and terrorism. Strangely enough, when I googled MIAC I learned that Maine has one two. It appears to be spreading.

On Febuary 20th of 2009, MIAC issued a report entitled The Modern Militia Movement. The report gives the history, more infamous acts and common traits shared by members of these groups. It is very detailed and contains topics covering ideology of militia members, militia organization, and common militia symbols. The report was leaked and its existence confirmed by the Missouri State Police.Several sites give credit for discovery to

If you read the report, you may find yourself checking of imaginary boxes in your mind. I found at least five similarities myself. Think about it this way, what if you were an Officer involved in a traffic stop. You have a white male driving a Ford truck, sporting a Ron Paul and NRA bumper sticker that you stopped on a back road, and the driver appears to be wearing a fatigue jacket. According to the report, if it was issued to local law enforcement as a memo or field aid, it would have given the officer probable cause to pull you over, or at least start following you to obtain more information.

MIAC issued a letter retracting the report on March 25th, 2009. Letters of apology were sent to Ron Paul, Bob Barr, and Chuck Baldwin, all of whom were mentioned in the report. This was after the internet and media buzz, including getting lambasted on FOX News, Rush Limbuagh, and a who's who of Conservative talk radio.

So what does this mean for the rest of us? Obviously, we do not want to see another act of domestic terrorism like we saw in Oklahoma City. And many of us who stand against what we see as tyranny creeping into our lives with the creation of legislation such as the Patriot Act, work towards repealing legislation that seeks to take away our liberty in the name of security. But political tides change. DHS can be used as a political tool that changes with tides depending upon who is in power. Just because the person in charge at the moment does not use it as a tool to suppress dissent against administration, does not mean that someone else will. The same morals do not always rule the roost.

I am a strong advocate that all governments should be afraid of the people. I advocate change in the direction of liberty and individual freedom always. This does not make me a terrorist, simply a good American. As good Americans, we need to be a little more forward thinking when we create these organizations or give them mission statements. We all want safety and security, the right to dissent, freedom of speech and to express our political views.

It was written in the Federalist Papers that anyone who sacrifices liberty or freedom in the name of security, deserves neither Liberty nor freedom. This is a case of just that very thing. Here we see the government attempting to target those who express their conviction, in the name of domestic security. That must not ever stand. If that day comes, hopefully it will make rebels of us all.