The United States Government had been studying the mutant problem for years. Federal Judge Chalmers headed up the Federal Council on Mutant Activities, which concluded with a 5-year study that was interpreted to show mutants were a menace to mankind. Meanwhile, Senator Robert Kelly was also conducting a study on the mutant situation. He, too, did not trust mutants, but his aspirations toward the presidency prompted him to be much more vocal about the "mutant menace." Kelly was also manipulated by Sebastian Shaw of Shaw Industries into developing Sentinels for mutant-hunting purposes, after the X-Men supposedly "attacked" the Hellfire Club when Kelly and Shaw were present. 
Mystique, and her second Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, sought to show people that mutants could not be pushed around and attempted to assassinate Kelly. They were stopped in the nick of time by the X-Men. Instead of defusing the situation, Mystique had only made it worse. Despite the fact that he was saved by mutants, Kelly clung to his radical mutant deterrent theories and helped press the White House for more action.
In response to all these pressures, the President secretly instructed the National Security Council to create a covert, illegal commission to deal with the problems posed by the increasing numbers of mutants in America. Codenamed Project: Wideawake, the commission was headed by the National Security Advisor, Judge Petrie, and included Frank Lowell of the C.I.A., Raven Darkholme of the Defense Department, Dr. Valerie Cooper, Special Assistant to the National Security Advisor, plus many other currently unknown members of the U.S. intelligence community. Henry Peter Gyrich, a top agent for the National Security Council, was chosen to be head of operations for Project: Wideawake.
Right from the start the commission had troubles, mainly because they did not completely defined their course of action for handling the American mutant population explosion. Because mutants were beginning to pop up all over the world, some members of the administration decided that America should start enlisting the aid of friendly mutants into the ranks of government agencies (under careful control, of course) for America's protection. Other members of the administration felt that the mutants should be rounded up and used as a resource, but their methods denied mutants even their most basic civil rights. Still other bureaucrats believe that all mutants should be destroyed. Project: Wideawake has evolved more towards the second way of thinking (mutants as a resource) under the direction of Petrie and Gyrich.
Realizing that they would have a fight on their hands against mutant teams, such as the X-Men, the government enlisted the aid of various private firms and interests to develop methods and equipment which would strengthen their position. Strangely enough, some of the most efficient items and fighters were recruited from the mutants themselves, whether knowingly or unknowingly. The mutant named Forge developed many items for the various defense departments, including a gun that would strip a mutant's powers away from them for an indeterminate period of time. This item was to be used against Rogue, but when Storm intervened, stripped her powers away instead. While all known models of the device have been destroyed, and Forge made sure the plans were eliminated, he still continues to blindly work for the U.S. defense agencies. Recently, Mystique and her Second Brotherhood of Evil Mutants struck a deal with the U.S. Government to become a mutant deterrent force answerable only to the Oval Office through a Special Presidential Liaison, Dr. Valerie Cooper. Thus Freedom Force was born, a mutant team designed to fight mutants. But it was the involvement of Sebastian Shaw, the Black King of the Hellfire Club, and himself secretly mutant, that turned out to be the greatest threat to American mutants. As head of Shaw Industries, a major U.S. defense contractor, Shaw provided the Department of Defense with new versions of the mutant-hunting Sentinels.
- 5 Project Wideawake (Earth-616) Members
- 10 Appearances of Project Wideawake (Earth-616)
- Minor Appearances of Project Wideawake (Earth-616)
- 3 Media Project Wideawake (Earth-616) was Mentioned in
- Images that include Project Wideawake (Earth-616)
- Team Gallery: Project Wideawake (Earth-616)