No Addition to Our Security, No Good for Liberty

GET. RID. OF. THEM.

They’re supposed to be “one of the centerpieces of our counterterrorism strategy,” according to Janet Napolitano, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. In practice, not so much.

The Senate’s bipartisan Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations found no evidence that DHS’ 70-plus fusion centers — places where state, local and federal law enforcement analyze and share information – uncovered a single terrorist threat between April 1, 2009 and April 30, 2010. Terrorism is thankfully rare within the United States. But during that time, the FBI discovered would-be New York subway attacker Najibullah Zazi; U.S. Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan killed 13 people at Fort Hood; Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to blow up a Detroit-bound airplane; and, in early May 2010, Faisal Shahzad attempted to detonate an SUV in Times Square. DHS has praised the fusion centers’ work in helping on the Zazi and Shahzad cases. The Senate found fusion centers played little, if any, role in either case.

“Nor,” the Senate panel writes in its just-released report, analyzing more than 80,000 fusion center documents, “could [the inquiry] identify a contribution such fusion center reporting made to disrupt an active terrorist plot.” Unnamed DHS officials told the panel the fusion centers produce “predominantly useless information” and “a bunch of crap.” An internal 2010 assessment, which DHS did not share with Congress, found that a third of all fusion centers don’t have defined procedures for sharing intelligence — “one of the prime reasons for their existence.” At least four fusion centers identified by DHS “do not exist,” the Senate found.

Disband them, now. They do no good, and they are an affront to Liberty.

Comments

  1. ETP0802 says:

    CONCUR. 100%, brother.

  2. AnotherOpinion says:

    And while we are on the topic of useless, how about we get rid of that affront to liberty the TSA? At least these 'centers' have not made the elderly take off adult diapers, etc.

  3. MGunns J says:

    Agreed. All the info I've seen forwarded to public safety has been useless.

  4. UltimaRatioRegis says:

    Great summation. Lots of money, lots of effort, lots of opportunity to violate the 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 9th, 10th, and 14th Amendments.

    A government that can have unfettered access to your personal information in order to share it between domestic intelligence entities and law enforcement? What could go wrong?

    Wait, don't answer that. The fly that landed on the fruit bowl is actually recording whatever you say/type, because it is a $4.5 million mini-UAV.

  5. DaveO says:

    What is bothersome are such off the cuff comments as:

    "At least four fusion centers identified by DHS “do not exist,” the Senate found."

    Really? While it is likely an administrative mistake made by clerks and now enshrined in the Congressional Record. But that speaks to a last minute gathering of data, rushing it to Congress with little or no review –> all of which speak to extremely sloppy administration. That level of sloppiness and laziness after DHS has existed for almost 10 years (its subordinate elements for decades longer) is felonious.

    Did OPM just hire the stupidest people in America, and put them under hyper-partisan senior executives?

    "Unnamed DHS officials told the panel the fusion centers produce “predominantly useless information” and 'a bunch of crap.'"

    "An internal 2010 assessment, which DHS did not share with Congress, found that a third of all fusion centers don’t have defined procedures for sharing intelligence — 'one of the prime reasons for their existence.'"

    Well, yes. Gathering, processing, exploiting and disseminating intelligence requires such foundational skills as determining what you're looking for, who's collecting it, metrics of performance and effectives, and setting mail lists.

    We expect 18 year old Intelligence Specialists to perform this work under the supervision of a 21 year old Sergeant. Why can't we expect the same high level of accomplishment from a GS-whatever making 4-6 times what that Private is making?

    Why can't DHS leadership lead?