Mark Pitcavage is a historian and critic of far right wing groups. He works with the Anti-Defamation League and was the creator of the now archived Militia Watchdog website. The site has been an archive since 2000 when Pitcavage took the position of Director of Fact Finding for the Anti-Defamation League.
Mark Pitcavage earned a PhD in American military and social history from Ohio State University in 1995. His PhD Dissertation was entitled "An Equitable Burden: The Decline of State Militias 1783-1858".
The Militia Watchdog website was founded by Pitcavage in 1995 following the Oklahoma City bombing and operated until 2000. The site's subscription list, which mainly included law enforcement officers and other "watchdog" groups, is still being used by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). The site also worked in cooperation with other "watchdog" groups such as The Center for New Community, The Center for Democratic Renewal, the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Simon Wiesenthal Center.(p34) Pitcavage's Militia Watchdog profiles have been used as a source for writers on militias and their activities. With the success of the Militia Watchdog project, Pitcavage was made the Director of Investigative Research for the State and Local Anti-Terrorism Training Program (SLATT).(p34) SLATT is an FBI domestic intelligence gathering apparatus that uses both paid and unpaid informants, primarily from organizations such as the Southern Poverty Law Center and The Center for New Community. The SLATT program is funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) of the U.S. Department of Justice.
The ADL absorbed Pitcavage's Miltia Watchdog group and now maintains the site as an archive of his work between 1995 and 2000.
Commentator on terrorism, gangs, and extremism
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Pitcavage was cited as a terrorism and extremism expert by mainstream media. In 2002, he was interviewed and quoted at length about prison gangs by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Pitcavage has given interviews for radio stations such as KCBS (AM). In 2006, a student radio station at St. Petersburg College interviewed Pitcavage for an episode titled "Militia Movement".
Association with Michael A. Bellesiles
Pitcavage's work was cited by Michael A. Bellesiles as "invaluable to the development" of his partially fraudulent anti-firearms "history" book Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture. Bellesiles subsequently lost his professorship over the book's erroneous and fabricated claims.
Academic journal articles
- Ropes of Sand: Territorial Militias, 1801-1812, Journal of the Early Republic, Vol. 13, No. 4, University of Pennsylvania Press (1993) (pp. 481–500)
- Camouflage and Conspiracy: The Militia Movement From Ruby Ridge to Y2K, American Behavioral Scientist, 44, no. 6 (2001): 957-981
- "The Militia Watchdog archives". ADL. Sep 2000. Retrieved 1 February 2010.
- Ladika, Susan (May 5, 2004). "Expert: Domestic terrorism should be of greater concern". Associated Press. Retrieved 1 February 2010.
- George Michael (2003). Confronting Right Wing Extremism and Terrorism in the USA. Routledge. pp. 181, 34.
- Philip H. Melling (2001). Fundamentalism in America: Millennialism, Identity and Militant Religion. Edinburgh University Press. pp. 155, 157.
- Michael A. Bellesiles (2003). Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture. Soft Skull Press. p. 582.
- "Watchdog Militia Archive". Anti-Defamation League.
- "Anthrax: Linking al-Qaida: Terrorist cells, exposures overlapped". The Atlanta Journal. October 18, 2001. p. A19.
- John Higgins (July 18, 2004). "Parents' Custody Complaints Solicited". Akron Beacon Journal. p. B1.
- Jane McMillan (February 25, 2005). "California Prison Gang Trials". KCBS (AM).
- St. Petersburg College (April 21, 2006). "Militia Movement".