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Report Slams DHS Fusion Centers: No Terrorists Nabbed, Civil Rights Violated 178

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the that'll-be-a-misdemeanor-reading-/.-charge dept.
PolygamousRanchKid writes with news of a Senate report on just how ineffective those DHS "Fusion centers" have proven to be. From the article: "The lengthy, bipartisan report is a scathing evaluation of what the Department of Homeland Security has held up as a crown jewel of its security efforts. ... Because of a convoluted grants process set up by Congress, Homeland Security officials don't know how much they have spent in their decade-long effort to set up so-called fusion centers in every state. ... 'The subcommittee investigation could identify no reporting which uncovered a terrorist threat, nor could it identify a contribution such fusion center reporting made to disrupt an active terrorist plot,' the report said. When fusion centers did address terrorism, they sometimes did so in ways that infringed on civil liberties. The centers have made headlines for circulating information about Ron Paul supporters, the ACLU, activists on both sides of the abortion debate, war protesters, and advocates of gun rights."
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Report Slams DHS Fusion Centers: No Terrorists Nabbed, Civil Rights Violated

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  • DHS (Score:3, Interesting)

    by roman_mir (125474) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @08:54AM (#41537063) Homepage Journal

    Aah, DHS, yet another delegation of Congressional power to an unelected office with officials that apparently have unlimited powers, yet another violation of Constitution by the Congress and all other branches of government that do not protect the Constitution and are not stopping this. Yet another manifestation of collectivism, rejection of individual liberties for the purpose of maintaining the planned economy and planned society, which eventually leads to destruction of economy and of society.

  • Actual Fusion (Score:5, Interesting)

    by halcyon1234 (834388) <halcyon1234@hotmail.com> on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @09:04AM (#41537179) Journal
    Man, can you imagine if those funds had been put into researching and building actual fusion centers [wikipedia.org]? The US would have nigh-unlimited energy and resources to distribute around the world, ending famine, starvation, poverty and oil tyrants. THAT would have done a hell of a better job of eliminating terrorists, I bet you.
  • Ron Paul (Score:4, Interesting)

    by roman_mir (125474) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @09:57AM (#41537647) Homepage Journal

    When fusion centers did address terrorism, they sometimes did so in ways that infringed on civil liberties. The centers have made headlines for circulating information about Ron Paul supporters, the ACLU, activists on both sides of the abortion debate, war protesters, and advocates of gun rights"

    - make a mental note that DHS treats Ron Paul supporters as 'terrorists'. Apparently at the minimum 15% of population of USA are on this terrorist list just according to this little fact.

    Also note that Republicans and Democrats always are very capable of 'putting their differences aside' when attacking a third party candidate, especially as it was the case with Ron Paul. The Republican primary debates were televised by various networks, Ron Paul was mostly ignored, in one debate, hosted by CBS, Ron Paul got a total of 89 seconds [youtube.com] of speaking time out of 90 minutes. Of-course there were 7 more people on stage, still, even if split evenly everybody could get almost 12 minutes of time. And that's with 'serious' people on stage like Bachmann, Cain, Perry, Gingrich and Santorum.

    Why are Ron Paul supporters labelled as terrorists? Is it because Ron Paul wouldn't go to war with Iran [youtube.com]?

    Is it because Ron Paul wouldn't authorise torture of prisoners [youtube.com]?

    Is it because Ron Paul is against the federal government telling people how to live their lives [youtube.com]? Some will say that leaving things up to States is wrong, they are missing the bigger point, that leaving things like that to federal government is completely wrong and unconstitutional. As to allowing people to deal with these issues on State level does not mean that the State should in fact interfere with people either! At the minimum there should be competition among States for residents.

    Is it because Ron Paul wants to audit and eventually get rid of the Federal reserve [youtube.com]? The Fed is the actual main tool of destruction of US economy with its inflationary policy.

    Is it because Ron Paul actually wants to balance the budget and start working out the problem of debt [youtube.com]? Yes, it means cutting all sorts of programs and departments, but a government that you cannot afford will destroy [youtube.com] you.

    Is it because Ron Paul is against bail outs, stimulus and any form of welfare including corporate welfare [youtube.com]?

    Is it because Ron Paul is honest about Medicare and SS being bankrupt [youtube.com]? He offers a transition period off these programs by means testing people and cutting military spending, foreign aid spending and various illegal domestic programs first that are not Medicare and SS [youtube.com], and by allowing people to opt out of the system and save their money for themselves to take care of themselves.

    Is it because Ron Paul is in general against government intervention into the economy [youtube.com]?

    ----

    Of-course no MSM outlet is reporting on Gary Johnson being in the race, being on 47 ballots (and Washington DC) out of 50 in USA. He is not on all 50 yet because of lawsuits by Romney campaign. Gary Johnson is trying to prevent the debate between Romney and Obama with a court order or to be in that debate. [usnews.com] Gary Johnson is also trying to get documents released that would show whether th

  • Re:Surprise! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @10:22AM (#41537957)

    But! The EPA and the FDA have kowtowed to corporate interest by raising allowable limits for contaminants such as chloroform (more than +50ppb) and approving drugs which are tested by drug companies and determined to be 'safe' when in fact they're not even close when tested by independent third parties.

    While I have no specifics on the rest of the agencies you list and certainly do not doubt their attempts at doing the right thing as often as they can, these are damaging issues which must not be ignored.

  • Re:Surprise! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by medcalf (68293) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @11:02AM (#41538465) Homepage
    Having been a government contractor, I agree, with a small caveat. If corporations are truly given a contract with measurable and concrete goals, and the government oversight is just ensuring that those goals are met, it can work. Too often, it's government managers and contract workers, and the government managers look at the contract workers as a way to dump off responsibility. This in turn leads to low retention due to low morale, and thus to higher costs to attract and retain people. (Made much worse because of the large amount of things that are classified, and the costs associated with clearing employees.) The net effect is poor management made worse, expensive labor made more so, and work done badly. I used to think the bureaucratic side of the Federal government was horrid, until I worked there, after which I think it would have to get much better to rise to the level of horrid.

    Can we finally admit that the Republicans were right after 9/11, that DHS is not needed and in fact a bad thing, and dismantle it?

  • Re:Surprise! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheLongshot (919014) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @11:52AM (#41539077)

    As someone who works in the government contracting realm, I do find this attitude frustrating. I have found in general that government contractors do tend to be patriotic and want to do a good job in serving their government. Many are former military people, so the "disdain" just doesn't exist for most contractors. Also, most of them damn well know that there isn't endless money, which is why there is always a lot of work put in finding new work.

    Not to say that government contracting is perfect, but in general they do a good job serving the needs of government. Now, you can question whether those jobs need to be done at all, but that isn't a question for contractors, who are mostly there to do what their customer wants. Most of the faults of contractors are similar to the faults of most private enterprises.

  • Bullshit! (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @12:00PM (#41539179)

    The summary is an exercise in redefining terrorists as nonhostile by declaring them to be no more notable than the rest of the most mainstream of the larger ideological groups in which they operate.

    Here is a Bullshit to English Dictionary:

    * "Ron Paul supporters" -> white supremacists and Christian Identity who happen to be active in the Ron Paul support community.

    * "the ACLU" -> certain branches of the ACLU have dropped pro-terrorist propaganda and deserve to be investigated.

    * "activists on both sides of the abortion debate" -> people violently attacking abortion clinic workers and people suggesting hitting back.

    * "war protesters" -> rioters engaged in warfare against the United States.

    * "advocates of gun rights" -> KILL PRESIDENT HUSSEIN BEFORE HE TAKES YOUR GUNS!!!

    Reading between the lines, the DHS fusion centers are investigating exactly who they need to be investigating. What we learn from this report is that the violent extremists on both the left and right extremes have enough supporters in Congress to demand that the police stop keeping an eye on those who say they are going to start smashing shit and shooting people.

    The bullshit in the article itself begins in the headline: "Intelligence effort named citizens, not terrorists". There is nothing to prevent a citizen from becoming a terrorist other than his own personal virtue, yet the AP wants you to believe that citizens cannot by definition be terrorists.

    The AP report's attempt to find waste is laughable. So the recently-built fusion centers have flat-screen televisions in their conference rooms, and that is supposed to be a problem. If they were buying huge bulky CRTs, that would be a waste of taxpayer money. One of the fusion centers has a couple of company cars. It's in Arizona. Maybe they need them.

    Quote: "The subcommittee investigation could identify no reporting which uncovered a terrorist threat, nor could it identify a contribution such fusion center reporting made to disrupt an active terrorist plot." Reality: The subcommittee has redefined "terrorist threat" to be so meaningless that nothing meets the definition, while actual terrorist threats are not prosecuted because they are so popular and those making the threats have friends in high places:

    * "Support Palestine" -- is a terrorist threat (it means Kill All The Jews).
    * "Smash the system!" and "Revolution!" -- are terrorist threats.
    * "Take Obama Out" -- is a terrorist threat.
    * "Follow in the path of Mohammed" -- may or may not be a terrorist threat, depending on the speaker's intent. To gauge this, the intelligence service must have detailed knowledge of the speaker's affiliations and past statements correlating with violent extremism. This is exactly the kind of information that the report does not want the intelligence services to collect.

    Quote: "One fusion center cited in the Senate investigation wrote a report about a Muslim community group's list of book recommendations." Reality: This is exactly what the intelligence services should be doing. We know who the terrorist authors are, and anyone recommending several of them at once should be investigated.

    Quote "Others discussed American citizens speaking at mosques or talking to Muslim groups about parenting." Reality: This is exactly what the intelligence services should be doing. [wikipedia.org] Again there is the false claim that citizens cannot possibly be engaged in criminal activity.

    The rest of the article tries to tell you that the fusion centers don't really do anything related to terrorism, but the first half of the article stands in opposition to that claim.

    The authors responsible for this journalistic turd are Eileen Sullivan and Matt Apuzzo, who

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