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

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 years ago | from the that'll-be-a-misdemeanor-reading-/.-charge dept.

Privacy 178

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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Surprise! (4, Insightful)

Shaman (1148) | about 2 years ago | (#41537037)

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! (4, Insightful)

nschubach (922175) | about 2 years ago | (#41537091)

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

Re:Surprise! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41538241)

Strange enough, this Slashdot article was tagged as a terrorist threat. (Or a threat to their funding, they don't make the distinction.)

Re:Surprise! (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#41539251)

Yes, that's something we are very familiar with [csdp.org] after 75 years of prohibition

Re:Surprise! (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#41537125)

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.

Re:Surprise! (5, Insightful)

ByOhTek (1181381) | about 2 years ago | (#41537185)

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! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41537211)

Well, the government DID hire such people.

Re:Surprise! (5, Insightful)

gman003 (1693318) | about 2 years ago | (#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! (3, Interesting)

medcalf (68293) | about 2 years ago | (#41538465)

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! (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | about 2 years ago | (#41538571)

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

Re:Surprise! (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | about 2 years ago | (#41539085)

Indeed. Well said sir.

Re:Surprise! (5, Interesting)

TheLongshot (919014) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Don't forget Criminal (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#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! (5, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 2 years ago | (#41537473)

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:Surprise! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#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! (1)

Cyberax (705495) | about 2 years ago | (#41538359)

Can you give examples of FDA's oversight?

Re:Surprise! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41538073)

Wait - we no longer have safe tap water?

Re:Surprise! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41538185)

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 Internet connections possible.

The NLRB would not be necessary at all if .gov had not created the insane union laws that prevent the wholesale firing of strikers and other factors that give union thugs the upper hand.

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 couls go on, but you get the point.

Re:Surprise! (1)

Cinder6 (894572) | about 2 years ago | (#41539039)

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?

Re:Surprise! (1)

dgatwood (11270) | about 2 years ago | (#41539435)

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 to a nonprofit corporation instead of a for-profit corporation as they did with the phone system. The mistakes that led to our expensive Internet service began in the late 1800s.

Re:Surprise! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41538677)

As common a belief as it is that government doesn't do anything useful, it's simply not true:

That's a strawman trotted out against anyone who complains about out of control government to paint them as anarchists. It's the massive corruption and waste and inefficiencies that people hate.

Are you paying ANY attention to what is going on? Do you really think what we are doing is sustainable? The filth on the Left just says, well, uh, more taxes. FFS, you could raise taxes on everyone to the Moon and not sustain this mess.

you take them for granted and stop thinking about them

Don't try and tell me what I think. All you geeks think you're so psychic about what everyone else in the world thinks. Stuff that shit already.

Re:Surprise! (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 2 years ago | (#41538727)

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

Re:Surprise! (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 2 years ago | (#41538785)

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

Re:Surprise! (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 2 years ago | (#41538907)

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,

Re:Surprise! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41539231)

I have had phenomenal care from the VA.

Due to the fact that it has been my care and not someone elses, my anecdote trumps your anecdote.

Re:Surprise! (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 2 years ago | (#41539345)

obviously, they didn't kill you from their complete incompetence. But if your situation was like my dad's care, you probably never would have needed the phenomenal care in the first place.

But since you posted AC, I doubt its worth getting into any real facts with you.

Re:Surprise! (1)

davydagger (2566757) | about 2 years ago | (#41538865)

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 censoring broadcasting. They do a fine job in enforcing corporate hegemony on the airwaves. Federalist Complaint Center indeed.

"* 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."
Great job on this too. US highways are on par with that of Iraq. No serious, I've been on the roads in both countries. Iraq has the excuse that most of those giant potholes are from bombs exploiding.

"* The VA demonstrably provides more health care bang for the buck than any other system in the US."
until they loose your paperwork. Ask any vet how great the VA is.

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

Re:Surprise! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41539123)

* 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.

That's fracking funny. I am pretty sure the EPA allows fracking to happen, so while our rivers are not burning our ground water is. Plus it is not drinkable either. So frack the EPA for allowing fracking in all of glorious disregard for public health.

Re:Surprise! (4, Insightful)

kilfarsnar (561956) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Surprise! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41538265)

Thank you! Thinking these centers are for terrorists is funny. Of yeah, we are gonna round up al queda here in the US and lock them in fusion centers. Riiiight...

Those centers are for you! They are for me! We will be in those centers when SHTF and we are pissed at the government for implementing martial law and QEinfinity, rather than implementing sane monetary policy.

Whatever, why am I even typing this. We are doomed and no one in this country cares. People care about arguing for tax cuts that mean jack shit in terms of our deficit, and about how stuffy Romney is. It's no wonder we are fucked...

Re:Surprise! (2)

Sir_Eptishous (873977) | about 2 years ago | (#41538267)

(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.

Re:Surprise! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41539097)

(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.

Oh, don't be so cynical! They're simply stating that absolutely all minor problems in the country are solved, and they're solved SO well that we can trivialize every governmental department down to ZOMG TEH GUMMERVENTS IS EVULZ bullshit! I mean, I, for one, am happy with this revelation! I had no idea that they've got everything going so well!

Re:Surprise! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41538459)

This is not a matter of incompetence! This yet another case of misdirection by a Republican administration.

The very intent was NEVER to catch terrorists or reduce the threat of terrorist action in the US. No, this was simply another in sidestepping American civil liberties just like the Patriot Act.

For a simple proof, just answer this question: how many terrorists have actually been captured due to provisions put in place by the Patriot Act? NONE! However, the provisions of the Patriot Act have been used to track drug dealers, tax evaders and even to track the wayward Democratic members of the Texas legislature when they walked out in protest over heavy-handed Republican politicking.

The DHS is more of the same. C'mon! Targeting Ron Paul, war protestors or the ACLU as a threat to Homeland Security? No, the reason they were targeted is because they were perceived as threats to the Republican party!

DHS (5, Interesting)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 years ago | (#41537063)

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.

That's exactly right! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41537223)

The socialists are using terrorism as an excuse to sneak in their policies. Terrorism, banking crisis and then who knows what else they'll use as an excuse.

But it'll have to be something along the lines of protecting America or something else to con the Republicans to jump in and shut the Tea Partiers up - like the DHS and bank rescues did in the past.

Re:That's exactly right! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41538193)

The socialists are using terrorism as an excuse to sneak in their policies.

Because G.W. Bush was well known for his socialist policies... Take your retarded rant elsewhere. [thesocietypages.org]

Re:That's exactly right! (2, Insightful)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 years ago | (#41538403)

Yes, W. was a collectivist.

Being a Socialist or a Fascist is a moot point when you talk about a collectivist, the only difference is the extent of the means that they will justify to achieve their goals. W. was as against free market capitalism as the rest of them.

'War on Terror' is a collectivist program.

'No Child Left Behind' is a collectivist program.

The new "Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships" is a collectivist program.

Doubling the budget of "National Science Foundation" is a collectivist move.

"Vision for Space Exploration" was a collectivist idea.

"Healthy Forests Initiative", "Clear Skies Initiative", those are collectivist program.

0% interest rate - this is a collectivist program aimed at increasing power of government by preventing facing the reality and by extending and deepening the problem of deficit and debt.

The fact that there was a combined number of laws known as 'The Bush Tax Cuts' combined with 0% interest rates, bail outs, stimulus packages, all of this only underscores the collectivist principles behind W's government.

"Trade Act of 2002", " Dominican Republicâ"Central America Free Trade Agreement", "Sarbanes-Oxley Act", "Economic Stimulus Act of 2008", "TARP".

All of the above are collectivist programs, none of the above stems from the belief in free market capitalism, all of the above screams: central planning.

Is it socialist? Is it fascist? Is it communist?

What is the difference? The differences are in some implementation details but the premises are all the same: deny capitalism and individualism, deny free markets, respond to everything in one single manner: more government.

Re:That's exactly right! (1)

Nadaka (224565) | about 2 years ago | (#41538801)

The fascists on the right are using terrorism to sneak in their police state policies. The socialists on the left are using economic collapse the sneak in their economic recovery policies.

Re:That's exactly right! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41539311)

You do realize you're responding to a lunatic who rejects civilization as collectivism, with more wingnut lunacy? Wouldn't it be better if you shot down his bizarre post and noted that the teabaggers are out of their minds?

Stop trying to get them to be accountable! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41537087)

They have very important business catching terrorists to do, and filling out paperwork to be sure they're doing their job?

Waste of time. Even supposedly pro-accountability in government conservatives agree with that. And the supposedly freedom supporting liberals? Well, you can't possibly have them look soft on terror by suggesting that maybe the job is a waste of time.

Charmingly naive... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41537093)

Wait, you don't think that the fusion centers actually had ANYTHING to do with fighting terrorism, do you?

How quaint.

Not just for terrorism (5, Insightful)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Not just for terrorism (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41537131)

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...

Re:Not just for terrorism (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#41537373)

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

Re:Not just for terrorism (4, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | about 2 years ago | (#41537483)

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.

Re:Not just for terrorism (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 years ago | (#41537853)

Pretty ironic statement, considering your sig...

Re:Not just for terrorism (1)

partofthepuzzle (1707364) | about 2 years ago | (#41537895)

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 high tech surveillance technology after it returns from being deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan and other military operations. One of the inherent problems presented by some of the new advanced capabilities that are available with these toys and esp the way military has been using them, are illegal or or require very specific legal procedures in exceptional circumstances. It shouldn't be a surprise to find that when this gear is sitting around, available to the personnel, that there have been disturbing reports of it's being used by local law enforcement, with the assistance of US military in ways that are simply not legal. What disturbs me even more is the culture o shoft that might be taking place within local police ranks in terms of being comfortable with rationalizing sloppy adherence to privacy protections, probable cause and some of the legal protections that may the only things that are protecting us from sliding into a the kind of data and scanning police state. And these Fusion Centers have enough loopholes in their charters to get away with just about anything. There aren't even enough people to keep an eye on them or even occasionally review them.

We're ten years away (tops) from cheap, very portable scanning technology that will be able to instantly detect anything from 100 feet away, even a dust sized particle on your shoe. It can deployed to scan a busy street corner 24/7, and when it yields a positive detection from something stuck on your shoe, it spits out a a full ID via facial recognition. Probable cause test passes with flying colors, a visit with the judge, and a few hours later, with that search warrant in hand, they could be busting down your door. What could go wrong?

Their budget is for terrorism, not drugs, not chat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41538207)

Wired pointed out that part of the report too, they are budgeted for anti-terror work, the law that permits all the info sharing is for anti-terror work, yet they use it for drug enforcement and misleading allegations against Ron Paul supporters.

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/10/fusion-centers/

"Some fusion centers simply don’t care about terrorism. A Senate survey of 62 fusion centers in 2010 found that more than one third of them, 25, didn’t even “mention terrorism in their mission statements.” Instead, they take federal anti-terrorism money and use it to supplement local law-enforcement priorities like fighting drugs, under the pretext that terrorists “would commit precursor crimes before an attack.”

You should read the rest. It's clear they're trying to justify their budget by jumping on anything and claiming their involvement resulted in success. (Something you did for them in your comment, they had nothing to do with Dark Knight, they released a general 'terrorists might attack movie theatres and mass gatherings" scarer, which you are referencing afterward the event as significant, in the same was astrologers show their predictions came true in hindsight).

"One such report, in November 2009, reported that al-Qaida propagandist Anwar Awlaki praised the Fort Hood attacks — four days after the Los Angeles Times reported that. “Surprisingly,” the Senate found, “a subsequent performance review for the [report's] author cited this report as a signature accomplishment.”"

Re:Not just for terrorism (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | about 2 years ago | (#41538483)

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

Re:Not just for terrorism (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | about 2 years ago | (#41538995)

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.

Russian Cyber attack on Water Pump (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#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.

canada's false chinese attacks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41538897)

then there is no absolute prtoof of the chinese attacks makes one wonder dont it whom really is behind them

Disband the DHS (4, Insightful)

dywolf (2673597) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Disband the DHS (3, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#41537231)

Why do you hate the Homeland, citizen?

Re:Disband the DHS (3, Insightful)

nschubach (922175) | about 2 years ago | (#41537247)

Because the Homeland looks more like a Prison Yard every day. ;)

Actual Fusion (4, Interesting)

halcyon1234 (834388) | about 2 years ago | (#41537179)

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.

Re:Actual Fusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41537299)

yeah but then how are dick cheney and his bros going go make any cash? gotta keep that oil flowin holmes.

Re:Actual Fusion (1)

Valor958 (2724297) | about 2 years ago | (#41538055)

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.

Re:Actual Fusion (1)

khallow (566160) | about 2 years ago | (#41538155)

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.

Re:Actual Fusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41538813)

Having the capacity to provide for the needs of the entire planet is not even remotely the same as using that capacity to provide for said needs.

Today, our government pays farmers to not grow food. That basically says it all.

Fusion? (1)

rossdee (243626) | about 2 years ago | (#41537197)

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

Re:Fusion? (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | about 2 years ago | (#41537389)

As with all DHS work it only increases entropy at an ever increasing rate, so no.

DHS.. They need more money! (5, Informative)

brxndxn (461473) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:DHS.. They need more money! (2)

Eevee (535658) | about 2 years ago | (#41537401)

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.

Re:DHS.. They need more money! (3, Insightful)

Required Snark (1702878) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:DHS.. They need more money! (2)

Spectre (1685) | about 2 years ago | (#41538305)

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.

Re:DHS.. They need more money! (1)

scorp1us (235526) | about 2 years ago | (#41538077)

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.

Re:DHS.. They need more money! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41538427)

The answer was something like "Lisa, I want to buy your rock."

It just helps to prove Loose Change (1)

Press2ToContinue (2424598) | about 2 years ago | (#41537313)

You can't catch a fictitious enemy. Watch Loose Change on youtube - that will tell you who we should catch.

Government efficiency (2)

tolkienfan (892463) | about 2 years ago | (#41537323)

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. :)

Re:Government efficiency (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41537529)

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

Isn't that what the Republicans say all the time? Now if only the Republicans would DO something about it instead of just waiting for their turn to spy on those evil ACLU bill of rights [thetruthaboutguns.com] supporters.

Re:Government efficiency (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41537619)

The only thing worse than having the government do it is to have a contractor do it for the government. contractors overcharge for everything, always behind schedule and in the end produce laughable shoddy work. the problem with the republicans is that they don't want to really reduce the spending they just want to give the cash to private contractors instead of government employees...but the only thing less efficient than a government employee is a contractor with a government contract.

Re:Government efficiency (1)

tolkienfan (892463) | about 2 years ago | (#41538659)

Also, contractors are sometimes guaranteed a profit.

Re:Government efficiency (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41539011)

also the contract amount is determined strictly by paperwork and not talent i.e. the more phds, licensed architects, etc. on the project the more the the government pays regardless of if the people involved are any good. so basically... highly motivated self-taught entrepreneurs need not apply! of course a lot of huge corporations work like that too when they give entry level ivy league mbas huge salary and power in the company for no good reason.

Re:Government efficiency (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 years ago | (#41537925)

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]

People are really surprised by this??? (4, Insightful)

realsilly (186931) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:People are really surprised by this??? (1)

The Moof (859402) | about 2 years ago | (#41538663)

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 instances in my local government where a winning candidate was disallowed office because of regulatory loopholes, and that was someone actually on the ballot. Write-ins will not have the proper documentations and signatories, so they will be denied office based on that alone.

Re:People are really surprised by this??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41539329)

Who is being naive? The only reason corporatism exists is because of the influence they have over government. Who do you think is writing and enforcing those regulations, and for what purpose?

Never give up on a bad idea (2)

mattashburn (150456) | about 2 years ago | (#41537599)

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

Ron Paul (4, Interesting)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 years ago | (#41537647)

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 there is formal collusion between the D and R campaigns and the network that will host the debate.

Did you know that Gary Johnson is on ballots in almost every State? How about Jill Stein, the Green party candidate? She is on ballots in 27 States?

Why do you think it is that the 'debate' that may take place only includes the candidates from the 2 parties? Because it's 1 party and because the media is captured by the system. There is no freedom of press, there is no independent media, there is only a propaganda machine and it doesn't matter if it's Democratic "or" Republican, it's meant to do one thing: keep the establishment in power.

Re:Ron Paul (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 years ago | (#41537985)

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.

Re:Ron Paul (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41538027)

I've been "modded into oblivion" for a good [slashdot.org] chunk of time [slashdot.org] .

Re:Ron Paul (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41538415)

-1 = "But he said bad things about my party!"

I pointed out earlier that Republicans talk the talk about big government [slashdot.org] but when it comes to walking the walk they're the ones using it to spy on the ACLU. "-1 I Can't Face Reality", of course.

Re:Ron Paul (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41538689)

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

Actually, unwashed masses love people who tell the truth. They're always asking for it from the government. A lot of people don't vote because they feel no candidate/party is truthful.

It's the smart and rich elite who hate the truth. After all, they couldn't have gotten to where they are with only the truth.

So no, he's not being modded down by the masses. He's being modded down by the "rich elite" of slashdot (maybe the moderators who secretly operate behind the scenes, maybe a conspiracy of posters with a lot of karma, etc.)

Re:Ron Paul (2)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 2 years ago | (#41538457)

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 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.

Re:Ron Paul (2)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 years ago | (#41538633)

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 delegates in Ohio.

Do you think it would make a huge difference for Ron Paul's chances of getting the nomination of the system wasn't set up to prevent him from getting his actual record out into the public? If the public saw that he won Ohio, would it make more or less likely that he could then win the primaries? Because beating Obama is EASY for Ron Paul, that's the crazy part. All die-hard Republicans would vote for Republican as long as it's not Obama. All libertarians would vote for Ron Paul and many independents and Democrats would also vote for Ron Paul. Obama would be totally screwed and thus Romney was placed onto the ballot by the establishment.

Was Ron Paul really not a third party candidate running as a Republican?

Re:Ron Paul (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41539025)

Do you think it would make a huge difference for Ron Paul's chances of getting the nomination of the system wasn't set up to prevent him from getting his actual record out into the public?

No, I don't think it would make a huge difference.

See, you Ron Paul followers and libertarians like to call everybody else unwashed masses, brain-dead sheeple who can't think or discover the "truth" for themselves, so no matter what you do, the masses aren't going to vote for you (these are the same people who downmod your posts, remember?)

If the public saw that he won Ohio, would it make more or less likely that he could then win the primaries?

See, if we're talking about the unwashed masses, they're probably going to go "OMG, MY GUY DIDN'T WIN?" and vote against Ron Paul (instead of staying home if they see their guy winning)

So Paul might even get LESS of a chance to win

If anything, the media companies were doing Ron Paul a favor. If you're truly worthy of being saved, you wouldn't be relying on the major media outlets for information. Your journey towards enlightenment will eventually lead you to Ron Paul without him doing anything. Truth is like that - it doesn't care for media coverage, truth is truth no matter how little coverage was made about it.

Re:Ron Paul (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 years ago | (#41539079)

So Paul might even get LESS of a chance to win

- that's the kind of nonsense that keeps the 2 party one establishment system going.

Having 'less of a chance to win' by having more truthful exposure in the media, as opposed to not winning as is, with no exposure and with active countermeasures deployed against Ron Paul's campaign? Are you the minister of the Truth department?

Re:Ron Paul (1)

Cajun Hell (725246) | about 2 years ago | (#41539297)

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 will be lesser-of-two-evils crap.

Not many people run for office. Sometimes I wonder if things would get better, if just more people were interested in taking these jobs. Do you want to be a Congressman? I sure as hell don't.

Re:Ron Paul (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 years ago | (#41539371)

Read your ballot before you vote. There will be Gary Johnson on it and there is a 1 in 2 chances that there will be Jill Stein on it. I do not recommend going with the Greens of-course.

Re:Ron Paul (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#41539227)

A person with no real power can afford to be honest. Nobody's listening. If he did have real influence, he would be 'dealt with'. Power will corrupt Ron Paul, as happened to everybody else who has it.. That, or a gangster will literally have a gun to head telling him what to say.

This girl has no family -- nobody knows that she worked here. It'll be as if she never existed. All that's left is our friendship.

Re:Ron Paul (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 years ago | (#41539307)

You think you can take a person who had the same exact principles for 35 years while being on and off in politics, being around the money that goes into the politicians' offices with all the lobbyists and actually corrupt them? So Ron Paul couldn't be bought for 35 years and for some weird reason he'd decide to be bought in the last 4? Why not in the first 35?

2 cases in point: Gingrich and Pelosi. Both became millionaires while in government. They didn't have any other sources of income but government, so how did they get to be multi-millionaires? Did they need to wait to become POTUS to get those millions? Do you understand what I am saying?

As to 'bullet in the head' - that's a risk anybody running for office has to account for.

This makes me happy (1)

scorp1us (235526) | about 2 years ago | (#41538051)

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).

Re:This makes me happy (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about 2 years ago | (#41538431)

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.

Looking for WHAT? (1)

Spectre (1685) | about 2 years ago | (#41538237)

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 citizens to rise up in revolt and squash it before that happens.

Just get rid of the f*cking DHS, ok? (3, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | about 2 years ago | (#41538315)

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

Yes, I know this is a troll.

Perhaps it's better to have terrorists? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#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?

Why are we complaining? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41539049)

A Police State is a Safe State!

Bullshit! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#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 won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize [villanova.edu] for similarly malicious and slanderous reporting against the New York Police Department's lawful surveillance of terrorist organizations operating on the East Coast, which the NYPD had to do because the feds weren't doing it because of news articles like this one.

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