Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Privacy Government

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."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

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

Comments Filter:
  • Surprise! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Shaman (1148) <shaman.kos@net> on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @08:52AM (#41537037) Homepage

    There are virtually no government ministries that are effective, why would this one be different? Actually, it is... it's even less effective and even more insulting than most.

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

      by nschubach (922175) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @08:57AM (#41537091) Journal

      Yet it will be buried as a failure and ignore the next time someone wants to implement something similar.

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

      by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @09:00AM (#41537125) Journal

      Be careful not to confuse dishonesty with ineffectiveness. If you go by their ostensible objective(reducing the already pretty tiny threat of 'terrorists' to an even tinier one), they are a total failure. Whether they have been quite as feckless on other metrics(number of jackboot keyboard jockeys employed, assorted entirely-legal-but-officially-disliked groups surveilled and/or COINTELPROed, etc.) is another question entirely.

      • The Fusion Center network has been plausibly alleged [counterpunch.org] to be used for coordination by various municipalities with Federal agencies - for suppression of "Occupy" protests.

        Another group of documents shows that on November 9, two days after a demonstration by 1000 Occupy activists in Chicago protesting social service cuts in that city, the NOC Fusion Desk relayed a request from Chicago Police asking other local police agencies what kind of tactics they were using against Occupy activists. They specifically reque

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

      by ByOhTek (1181381) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @09:06AM (#41537185) Journal

      it's even less effective and even more insulting than most.

      IIRC it is partially a privately run organization (TSA). The only thing worse than government, is private contractors to government, because of (a) the private sector's belief that the government is a endless source of income, (b) the private sector's disdain for the government and (c) the general belief that the government is usually the worst at getting things done (so the blame tends to slide completely over the private contractors)*.

      * Note, this isn't to absolve the government of their incompetence or irresponsibility - just to point out part of the problem that is overlooked.

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

        by gman003 (1693318) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @09:22AM (#41537301)

        More succinctly put:

        Government private contractors combine the worst parts of the government-run systems with the worst parts of a corporate-run system, while bringing in few to none of the intended benefits of either.

        The government side brings in ineffectiveness at designed purpose, and effective immunity from prosecution in event of error. The private side brings in a higher cost (gotta have a profit margin, after all) and an utter disregard for anything so trifling as "human rights". The combination of the two latters is particularly dangerous.

        • 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:4, Informative)

            by celle (906675) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @12:35PM (#41539687)

            "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?"

                  The republicans were in charge at that time. They, in fact, voted to put the damn thing in to go with the republican president who signed the bill. Get your facts straight.

            • by medcalf (68293)
              Yes, the Republicans were in charge and yes, Bush signed the bill. But go dig up the newspaper headlines or TV news reports from that time. The DHS was proposed (don't remember by whom) right after 9/11, while the planes were still grounded. Bush and a lot of senior Republicans in Congress did not want to create it, and as a result were pounded for about three weeks with all kinds of assertions of "not doing anything" and "not taking security seriously". They finally caved, but their initial position was th
        • by Dishevel (1105119)

          Ummm.
          Higher cost?
          Government needs no help here. It is in fact is a "Absurdly High Cost" certified trainer.

        • by ByOhTek (1181381)

          Indeed. Well said sir.

        • by BoberFett (127537)

          Even as a libertarian and a free marketer, I wholeheartedly agree. If something is deemed important and universal enough that we as a society decides it needs to be done by government, then the work actually needs to be performed by government. Not the company with the lowest bid, that just so happens to be owned by a friend of a politician, who then also overruns the original budget by 400%.

      • 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.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @09:15AM (#41537251)

      A detective, Shannon Dowell, from a Fusion center has been implicated in setting up the "Gulf Port 7" (Occupy protesters) for felony charges:

      http://houston.culturemap.com/newsdetail/09-06-12-a-chilling-police-infiltration-of-occupy-houston-port-protest-shines-a-harsh-spotlight-on-undercover-cops/ [culturemap.com]

      Last I heard about the case the detective claimed that he lost the USB drive with subpoenaed evidence down a storm sewer on the way to work the morning of his court appearance. Even finding out that a detective from a fusion center had been assigned to infiltrate occupy was difficult.

      One of the protesters and his lawyer was interviewed on Democracy Now, here's the transcript: http://www.democracynow.org/2012/9/10/infiltrating_occupy_austin_activists_face_charges [democracynow.org]

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

      by dkleinsc (563838) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @09:39AM (#41537473) Homepage

      There are virtually no government ministries that are effective, why would this one be different?

      I'm focusing on US agencies (I'm guessing you're from a country with a parliamentary system from your use of the term "ministry") since that's what's in question here.

      As common a belief as it is that government doesn't do anything useful, it's simply not true:
      * The VA demonstrably provides more health care bang for the buck than any other system in the US.
      * The EPA has been quite effective at ensuring that we no longer have burning rivers, choking smog, serious levels of acid rain, and safe tap water.
      * The FDA has been effective at ensuring that we can buy pharmaceuticals and know that we're getting what we think we're getting instead of quack remedies, and in ensuring that there's very very little chance of getting food poisoning from what you buy in a grocery store.
      * The FCC does an excellent job of preventing one radio or TV station from interfering with the broadcasts of another.
      * The NLRB has helped resolve lots of labor disputes before they turned into serious strikes or lockouts.
      * The NHTSA does a good job of ensuring that you can drive down an Interstate Highway and be close to certain you won't hit a giant pothole or something and wreck just because of road conditions.
      * State-level building codes do a pretty good job of ensuring that you aren't sold a new house where the roof is about to collapse, the wiring is about to catch on fire, or the plumbing about to leak sewage all over your floor.
      * The FDIC ensures that if your bank collapses through no fault of your own, you won't lose your money, making bank runs a thing of the past (many folks who lived through the Depression can tell you stories about their dad coming home and announcing that their life savings were gone.)

      I could go on, but the point is that most government agencies do a pretty good job of serving their original purpose. The problem is that they've done those things for so long that you take them for granted and stop thinking about them, and focus more on what they don't do than what they do do.

      Now, in this case, I'm going to fault these agencies for being frauds, not for being ineffective.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        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.

        • by Cyberax (705495)
          Can you give examples of FDA's oversight?
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Not really. You have to use wide scope accounting.

        The FDA universally prevents useful meds reaching the market, and the regulatory burden makes those that do prohibitively expensive.

        The EPA has done nothing that advancing tech wouldnt have done anyway. In other words, it is not the EPA that is causal in your clean air.

        The FDIC props up the fiat ponzi scheme and does not have sufficient funds to cover the next round of bank runs.

        The FCC thru its regulatory capture has given us the.slowest most expensive In

        • by Cinder6 (894572)

          The NHTSA created a system that by systematic error and poor design is responsible for two thirds of all driving related fatalities. Not to mention blind spot mirrors that with more advanced optics could be eliminated but car manufacturers are prevented from replacing by law.

          I'm curious about this one. Any specific examples?

        • by dgatwood (11270)

          The FCC thru its regulatory capture has given us the.slowest most expensive Internet connections possible.

          Citation needed. From what I've seen, the reason we have expensive Internet service is because it is being provided by corporations who do not compete and, because of high overhead of moving into an area (which has little to do with the FCC), cannot effectively compete.

          There's only one way to make Internet dramatically cheaper, and it requires the government to build the infrastructure and turn it over

      • by sumdumass (711423)

        The VA demonstrably provides more health care bang for the buck than any other system in the US.

        I'm calling bullshit. The VA is incompetent and killed my father because of it. If that is what you call bang for the buck, god save us all from it and you. Fuck the VA

        • by dkleinsc (563838)

          And I have several veteran friends for whom the VA was a life saver. Small sample sizes distort all sorts of things.

          • by sumdumass (711423)

            Well, that's what my dad would say before the Cincinnati Ohio VA killed him. Did us a lot of fucking good.

            And the "oh sorry we killed you old man, here's $100k to divide between 5 people and your lawyers now go away" doesn't cut it,

      • A few of them, you made sense, but I have to point out:

        * The FDA has been effective at ensuring that we can buy pharmaceuticals and know that we're getting what we think we're getting instead of quack remedies.
        Tell that to all the people hooked on psychaitric and pain meds taking recommended doses.

        "* The FCC does an excellent job of preventing one radio or TV station from interfering with the broadcasts of another."
        The also do a fine job keeping independent media off the air. They also do a fine job of cens
        • by dkleinsc (563838)

          weren't you the same guy who said that Bill Clinton and Al Gore were great for the internet?

          Clinton not so much, but Al Gore absolutely was. But don't believe me, believe Vint Cerf and Robert Kahn [nettime.org]:

          Al Gore was the first political leader to recognize the importance of the Internet and to promote and support its development.

          No one person or even small group of persons exclusively "invented" the Internet. It is the result of many years of ongoing collaboration among people in government and the university community. But as the two people who designed the basic architecture and the core protocols that make the Internet work, we would like to acknowledge VP Gore's contributions as a Congressman, Senator and as Vice President. No other elected official, to our knowledge, has made a greater contribution over a longer period of time.

          • Al Gore was a jackass who wanted to protect our children from the evil's of rock music and other non-conformist types.

            He and clinton tried banning encryption in 1996 because "terrorists" used it. They all came out in support of the DMCA, which was the SOPA/PIPA of the late 1990s, and other draconnian anti-nerd anti-internet bullshit

            I was on /. durring their regime, and I can say niether Gore nor Clinton were spoken of fondly. Nor were any of them remebered as internet heros.
    • Re:Surprise! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by kilfarsnar (561956) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @09:58AM (#41537657)

      There are virtually no government ministries that are effective, why would this one be different?

      Effective at what? Catching terrorists? Yes, I agree, not very effective. Effective at sweeping up all kind of information about all kinds of people, for use later by who knows whom for who knows what? Very effective.

    • (Score:5, Insightful)?

      No government ministries that are effective.

      Really? I love blanket statements like this, especially when they modded so high, which is ridiculous.

      Here, I'll try some:
      No lawyers have the best interests of their clients.
      No mechanics can be trusted.
      No one in the military cares about civilian casualties.

  • 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.

    • Good lord, put down the Ayn Rand books and see whats really going on.
  • by Nidi62 (1525137) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @08:59AM (#41537109)
    A lot of these fusion centers do more than just work on terrorism-related issues. They deal with drug trafficking, kidnapping, organized crime, and other issues that concern both state and federal authorities and which require them to work together. Their primary role is really more of a clearinghouse, where state authorities can contact other state and federal agencies to share information, and they allow local state officials to work side by side with federal officials. On top of this, they provide for state governments what the CIA does for the White House, it gives the state analysts that can be called upon to give briefings on a regular basis as well as in more imediate cases, such as after the Dark Knight shooting in Colorado. It is important that state government officials know the drug, organized crime, etc situation in their state, and this is how they find out.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Don't forget providing handprint scanners they give to local police so that when you get hauled in for misdemeanor free speech, you end up in a centralized database for life...

    • by Hatta (162192)

      And in what way are our lives better for all of that? Has there been any measurable success in any of those fields?

    • by squiggleslash (241428) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @09:39AM (#41537483) Homepage Journal

      It is important that state government officials know the drug, organized crime, etc situation in their state, and this is how they find out.

      Perhaps, but the DHS was founded in an atmosphere of paranoia about terrorism. The rights that politicians granted it were granted in the belief that the DHS was necessary to prevent terrorists from killing large numbers of people. For it to be coopted into the war on drugs or anything similar is overreach in that context (even if there's some line item in some bill somewhere that allows it to do that.)

      I think the DHS is a pretty absurd response to terrorism. But much of the opposition to it comes not from it obeying its perceived public mandate, but for a government agency to be endowed with such powers using them in contexts that were never publicly justified. Let the FBI work with local authorities if they have to on organized crime, and the DEA on drugs, but let's leave the monster of an organization tasked with investigating politically motivated violent crimes - out of it.

      • The worst part about all this is that it is EXACTLY what Osama bin Laden hoped would happen when he attacked us on 11 September not terribly long ago. He was not trying to destroy buildings, he was trying to manipulate the U.S. government and even clearly stated that was his purpose... and they did EXACTLY what he wanted despite knowing this? The world is just too crazy to be believed.

    • Pretty ironic statement, considering your sig...
    • What is really going on is hat these Fusion centers have found the ultimate workaround for those pesky little constitutional annoyances like Probable Cause and jurisdictional boundaries.and due process. Names just happen to turn up from anywhere and some tangential, half muttered possible connection to possible terrorists is given IF it's even requested and then the fishing begins. Another particularly frightening thing to consider is that the Fusion centers have become the destination spots for the super

    • by Type44Q (1233630)

      A lot of these fusion centers do more than just work on terrorism-related issues. They deal with drug trafficking, kidnapping, organized crime...

      A lot of extremely knowledge people believe that certain elements within the government have used their influence to carry out all sorts of black-market activities and other nefarious deeds... but don't you think you might be going a bit too far?

      Okay, maybe not. :p

    • they provide for state governments what the CIA does for the White House

      And do you think that's a good thing? Are you familiar [wikipedia.org] with what [google.com] the [google.com] CIA [wikipedia.org] does [wikipedia.org]? And you want that power given over the STATE authorities?

      Are you sure you didn't mean FBI? Because they're at least able to work within our national borders. And state officials have that. We call them cops.

      • by Nidi62 (1525137)

        they provide for state governments what the CIA does for the White House

        And do you think that's a good thing? Are you familiar [wikipedia.org] with what [google.com] the [google.com] CIA [wikipedia.org] does? And you want that power given over the STATE authorities? Are you sure you didn't mean FBI? Because they're at least able to work within our national borders. And state officials have that. We call them cops.

        Do you really think I was saying that fusion centers give state goverment covert intelligence assets or specops/black ops capabilities? And no, I do not mean the FBI. I am talking about NIOs that come in and brief the president daily over security threatrs and related issues. This is a role that fusion centers provide to state governments. Fusion centers do not collect intelligence, they simply pass it along and analyze it.

        • Yes, because you said it would be like the CIA.

          Daily briefings. What? The chief of police can't talk to the governor?
          Is the boss of the state troopers barred from interacting with officials?
          Also, neither I nor Google know what you mean by NIO. Let's guess at: National Intelligence Officer. Is this a mystical role that the police department just can't fill?

          I am talking about NIOs that come in and brief the president daily over security threatrs and related issues. This is a role that fusion centers provide to state governments.

          Also, if governors need to be briefed daily about "security theatrs", then we have a NATIONAL PROBLEM. If the problem is localized to that one state

    • by chrismcb (983081)

      They deal with drug trafficking, kidnapping, organized crime, and other issues that concern both state and federal authorities and which require them to work together. Their primary role is really more of a clearinghouse, where state authorities can contact other state and federal agencies to share information, and they allow local state officials to work side by side with federal officials.

      What does any of this have to do with their mission statement? None of that is DHS's job, and there are a handful of other alphabet soup agencies that should be doing that job.
      DHS has 5 goals: fight terrorism, manage our borders, deal with immigration laws, safeguard cyberspace (WTF?), ensure resilience to disasters.
      None of which have to do with drug trafficking, kidnapping, organized crime, or any issue dealing with both state and federal authorities.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @09:01AM (#41537133)

    And in other news, the Russian Cyber War attack on a SCADA system controlling a water pump that burned out the pump?
    Well they decided it was an attack based on a Russian IP address for a control engineers login. He in turn points out that he was asked to check it when he was on holiday (in Russia), and that the pump burned out 5 months later due to simple wear and tear.

    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/10/dhs-false-water-pump-hack/

    More over, the biggest part of this news is that the DHS already knew it wasn't a cyber attack when its press office was leaking details of the story.

    As long as the DHS exists, and has a budget to defend it will do this. Just as the FBI has been equipping disgruntled individuals with terrorists garb (plans bombs weapons money) in order to arrest them as terrorists.
    They'll keep leaking super secret terrorists plots that have Hollywood scenarios, but lucky they saved us from them, and can't tell us anything about them, other than they were DEFINITELY REAL.

  • Disband the DHS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dywolf (2673597) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @09:04AM (#41537175)

    It was fishy 11 years ago when it was first created. It's still fishy now.
    All the entities that were put under its umbrella (ICE, BCP, Coast Guard, etc) can and should go back to being seperate entities.

  • 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.
    • by Valor958 (2724297)

      i was actually getting ready to post something just like this lol.
      Can you imagine... the govt actually supporting the greater good and advancement of society at the rate we're actually capable of. The gov't holds us back in so many ways in the name of the almighty dollar that we're at least 100 years behind the tech and societal curve we should/could be at.
      Of course, i guess we're all to blame for allowing it to happen the past 80 or so years at least.

    • by khallow (566160)

      Man, can you imagine if those funds had been put into researching and building actual fusion centers?

      It's throwing good money after bad no matter which sort of fusion center sponges the funding up.

    • Yes, but it is harder to direct scientific research funds through a friend's business so that money can be skimmed from the top. So tell me again the short-term motivation for spending money on scientific research? I say short term because the people who are chasing the money appear to be devious and crafty but incredibly stupid in a big picture kind of way. Rather like crack or meth addicts.

  • Are they getting more energy out than they put in yet?

  • by brxndxn (461473) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @09:10AM (#41537213)

    Just last week, Janet Napolitano testified before a congressional committee about the state of terrorism in America. She was testifiying exactly how you would expect the head of a government agency with endless authority and no clear-cut goal to testify. She was.. asking for more money, saying the terrorist threat is greater than ever before, and saying the DHS has helped to curb the terrorist threat.

    So.. the DHS:
    - We need more taxpayer money
    - The terrorist threat is greater than ever before
    - The DHS does a great job

    Hrm.. seems like bullshit.

    • by Eevee (535658)
      She was testifying exactly how you would expect anyone to behave in front of the bosses. She was...asking for more money, saying her job was more important than ever, and she's doing a great job. It's true in government, it's true in business, it's true in academia, it's true just about everywhere...damn few people try to talk their bosses into reducing their importance.
    • by Required Snark (1702878) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @10:29AM (#41538047)
      If you want to understand the DHS, all you have to do is change the name: Department of Homeland Pork. When you follow their activity, just think DHP instead of DHS, and it all becomes perfectly clear.

      The DHP has two missions. The primary mission is to expand the budget of the DHP. The secondary mission is to intrude into every aspect of peoples lives. Mission two is a way to justify mission one. So far they have a 100% success rate. Note that security is not even on the list.

      • by Spectre (1685)

        If you want to understand the DHS, all you have to do is change the name: Department of Homeland Pork. When you follow their activity, just think DHP instead of DHS, and it all becomes perfectly clear.

        The DHP has two missions. The primary mission is to expand the budget of the DHP. The secondary mission is to intrude into every aspect of peoples lives. Mission two is a way to justify mission one. So far they have a 100% success rate. Note that security is not even on the list.

        Very true, it is one large funnel, with taxpayers at the big end pouring in cash, and various cronies of those in power taking turns holding their money bags under the narrow end.

        I'll put my name on the "watch list" by saying that DHS has a second goal: looking for citizens that would attempt to organize a revolt against those in power.

        Foreign terrorists are way down the list of threats actually being considered.

      • Note that security is not even on the list.

        Hm. They actually do indeed provide more security than nothing at all; however, I remain unconvinced that the price/security ratio is reasonable. I also remain unconvinced that the freedom/security ratio is reasonable either... but then, I am just me living amongst a HUGE number of people who all have different goals and priorities.

        Apparently, their goals and priorities do not match mine... and it seems no country has a government that does. America is the best I can do for now. I do try very hard to make A

    • by scorp1us (235526)

      When you are the hammer, everything else is a nail. When you are a Department of Homeland security, everything is a terrorist threat.

      I'm worried though that this will be classified as WONTFIX, WORKSASDESIGNED.

  • by tolkienfan (892463) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @09:25AM (#41537323) Journal

    If you want something done inefficiently, badly, at high cost and overly influenced by politics, have the government do it.
    It seems like a good idea - share intelligence information between different agencies at the local level, in a way that was impossible previously. But the government fucked it up.
    I'm sure this country could be run at a fraction of the cost if it weren't for the government. :)

    • If you want something done inefficiently, badly, at high cost and overly influenced by politics, have the government do it. It seems like a good idea - share intelligence information between different agencies at the local level, in a way that was impossible previously. But the government fucked it up. I'm sure this country could be run at a fraction of the cost if it weren't for the government. :)

      Yea, just look at how much better the private contractors do at tasks like, say, protecting nuclear facilities from geriatric clergy... [slashdot.org]

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      If you want something done inefficiently, badly, at high cost and overly influenced by politics, have the government do it.

      That's the meme, and it's wrong. Take city-run power company CWLP for example. It has the lowest rates in the state, the highest uptime, and the best customer service.

      In 2006, two strong F2 tornados decimated Springfield's east and south sides, it went right through my neighborhood. It took months to clean up the mess, there were blue tarps on roofs two years later. It was bad. It went

  • by realsilly (186931) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @09:35AM (#41537429)

    After the 1st plane flew into the 1st of the twin towers I knew our world changed. Within mere weeks our civil liberties were being stripped in the form of the Patriot act. But it was justified. "If a few innocents get caught in the nets for the sake of millions...."

    Well we have gotten what we've asked for, right? We're more secure now, right?

    By accepting the Patriot Act, we've given away our rights to not get caught up in nets like this, and because we've sat back quietly and let it happen we are at fault as citizens, and we have no room to complain.

    People forget that if you don't like your limited choices at voting time, they can write in their vote, and if you are doing that because you disagree with the limited choices then you are indeed making the first step in stopping this bullshit. But if you vote for someone on the ballot and don't agree with what they stand for because the other choices suck too, you're just as much at fault.

    Stop voting party lines, break from the mold, write in your vote, you're not throwing it away, that is just republican and democratic fear mongering to get you to vote for one of their two parties.

    Politicians hated / feared Ross Perot because he stressed real change in our Government. Ron Paul is hated / feared for his stance being against the norm.

    If enough people wrote in a vote and took away any majority to the limited parties on the ballot, who knows maybe there will be an awakening in Politics that things need to change and citizens won't stand for their rights being squashed any longer.

    • by The Moof (859402)

      Ron Paul is feared for his stance being against the norm.

      That's not why I feared Ron Paul winning. His hard-line anti-regulatory stance is what terrifies me. If you thought consumer abuse and corporatism is rampant now, you're in for a troubling surprise if he gets elected and is allowed to enact his agendas. I like some of Ron Paul's ideas, but his regulatory views are very, very naive. However, I do like that he is shaking up things within his party.

      write in your vote

      Write-in candidates can never win - it's not possible with current election regulations. There have been ins

    • Well we have gotten what we've asked for, right? We're more secure now, right?

      More secure in some ways. Less secure in others. These folks are not effectively manipulating the security situation to bring about more security. All they are doing is stirring the waters. I think a scientist would say something like, "For every action, there is an equal but opposite reaction.", and everyone is looking at prime causes but ignoring secondary effects.

      One obvious situation is that we are (yes really) making it somewhat more difficult to attack us directly. The obverse of that is that we are c

  • Never give up on a bad idea. Because, then, the terrorists win.

  • 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

    • Well said.

      Now, prepare to be modded into oblivion for doing the one thing the unwashed masses fear and loathe the most - telling them the truth.
    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      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.

      Ron Paul isn't a third-party candidate, and hasn't been since 1988. One way of looking at it is that Ron Paul is as marginalized by his party's machinery as Dennis Kucinich has been marginalized by his party: both have been basically ignored in debates for decades, and both have had their districts gerrymandered into non-existence with what appears to be support from their party.

      You're right that there should be more discussion of the other candidates. I was chatting with a local Libertarian congressional c

      • by roman_mir (125474)

        No, you are right, Ron Paul was running as a Republican, that's because nobody actually reports on anything related to third parties. Ron Paul had enough following and electoral machinery in place to be able to get the nomination, but in the very first primaries he got screwed by the Establishment (I don't care Republican or Democratic), it was reported that somebody else won, I think it was reported that Romney won, then Santorum and finally, many months later that in fact Ron Paul took all of the delegate

        • by dkleinsc (563838)

          Because beating Obama is EASY for Ron Paul, that's the crazy part.

          Probably not [realclearpolitics.com] (that's not to say it couldn't happen, but it's not "easy")

      • I was chatting with a local Libertarian congressional candidate at a protest, and he discussed a fantastic debate he'd had with his Green counterpart - that nobody really noticed, because no reporters covered it.

        On the bright side, at least you have a Libertarian congressional candidate. For all the talk of voters blowing off their responsibility, in most races, there are no names on the ballot except those within the status quo parties. This November all I've got to vote for is a president. The rest wi

    • You say all that as though you're presenting an overwhelming argument for how awesome Ron Paul is.

      Frankly, most of his ideas about economics are incredibly naive, and would be destructive as hell.
    • The fact that your comment was modded up only shows just how many other paullowers there are on slashdot. You made a wild-assed and completely unsubstantiated claim:

      - 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.

      And provided not one iota of evidence to support it. You linked to a bunch of biased youtube clips to somehow make an argument for your cult leader being the greatest thing since air itself.

      And for that matter, even your claim of 15% of the US population being either on the terrorist list or supporters of ron paul is bullshit.

      You ar

  • As someone who watches our rights erode, and even though this government is behind it. I am very happy to be living in a country where such a report is generated by the government it self and is publicly available. Given all the bad stuff going on (real and in theory) I'm glad we're open enough to openly criticize ourselves, particularly in a matter that is seen as something the government would be interested in continuing (if those conspiracy theories are right).

    • yeah unfortunately those in power are perfectly fine with it being a broken money bleeding bloated wreck because being for it gets you a couple anti terrorism point on the next election.

  • They've spent a large quantity of money (ooh, stimulus package by another name) in searching for terrorist threats and have found nothing. Not a shock, as there really isn't much in the way of a terrorist threat to find.

    Essentially, they've been pouring money into offices, staff, systems, software, all in searching through an abandoned coal mine at midnight searching for a black cat THAT ISN"T THERE!

    Unfortunately, the paranoia of those in power is such that they feel they have to be on the lookout for the

  • by John Hasler (414242) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @10:50AM (#41538315) Homepage

    It's the greatest expansion of Federal power since the New Deal, and it's 100% crap.

    Yes, I know this is a troll.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @11:22AM (#41538709)

    I know this might sound crazy, but perhaps the DHS should be given up entirely. Perhaps it is better to accept that terrorist attacks can and will happen occasionally instead of giving up civil liberties and spending billions of dollars trying to prevent them. What if some day civil liberties will have been undermined so much and there will be so much oppression that terrorists become freedom fighters? Shouldn't there be a balance of power between the people and the government, such that by risking their lives people fighting against an oppressive and undemocratic government could still stand a chance?

  • Same type of folks that show up at schools in a flashy D.A.R.E.* car - and afterwards, drive it to the nearest titty bar. Do as I bloviate, not how I personally act.



    * - D.A.R.E. stands for Drug and Alchohol Resistance Education, a US program known to accomplish jack shit other than the purchase of Camaros and Corvettes for cops.
  • Things that make you go hhhmmmmmmmmmm..?

    He said he wanted to expose something at work

    In his $5 million mansion, Robert McKeon, head of private equity firm, Veritas Capital, commits suicide by strangling himself.

    Strangling himself ???????

    Awhile later, the news reports or claims that Albert Peterson, a wealthy defense contractor, formerly with Northrop Grumman, and presently employed as a Senior Subcontracts Administrator with BAE Systems Information Technology, murdered his wife and c

  • The security industrial complex is like locusts stealing our money and scaring us into being happy about turning this country into an extra-constitutional police state.

    I personally don't give a damn to hear they are ineffective. Even if their illegal activities were effective it would not change my opinion in the slightest.

    To assume ends justify the means is admission of moral bankruptcy.

    An electon is coming up soon.. tell your representitives "Nuke em .. Let's nuke the bastards".. do your part to

  • And inefficient government fix that actually causes more problems then what they are supposed to protect us from?

    Guess what, government? Spending money doesn't always fix problems, mainly when the problems are making the laws.

    I'm going out on a limb here, but our government isn't fix able, it's going to get worse, until we have no rights, or we have a new government installed.

    I am more scared of my own government then I am of any terrorist group. I'm not scared to ride public transport, I'm scared that

  • Just sounding like a broken record, sorry: http://www.pdfernhout.net/recognizing-irony-is-a-key-to-transcending-militarism.html [pdfernhout.net]
    "Likewise, even United States three-letter agencies like the NSA and the CIA, as well as their foreign counterparts, are becoming ironic institutions in many ways. Despite probably having more computing power per square foot than any other place in the world, they seem not to have thought much about the implications of all that computer power and organized information to transform t

"Floggings will continue until morale improves." -- anonymous flyer being distributed at Exxon USA

Working...