Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Fusions Centers Publically Revealed as Monstrosities - Shut Them All Down

As if anyone needed to be told this -
A multibillion-dollar information-sharing program created in the aftermath of 9/11 has improperly collected information about innocent Americans and produced little valuable intelligence on terrorism, a Senate report concludes. It portrays an effort that ballooned far beyond anyone's ability to control.
I willing to go so far as to say it's probably produced next to no terrorism intelligence.

What began as an attempt to put local, state and federal officials in the same room analyzing the same intelligence has instead cost huge amounts of money for data-mining software, flat screen televisions and, in Arizona, two fully equipped Chevrolet Tahoes that are used for commuting, investigators found.
Nooooo, ya don't say. The government is basically just driving around like Jack Bauer playing the part of a big-time terrorism 'expert'?
The report underscores a reality of post-9/11 Washington: National security programs tend to grow, never shrink, even when their money and manpower far surpass the actual subject of terrorism. Much of this money went for ordinary local crime-fighting.
Nooooo...not terrorism, but a police state?!? Who saw that coming?!?
Disagreeing with the critical conclusions of the report, Homeland Security says it is outdated, inaccurate and too focused on information produced by the program, ignoring benefits to local governments from their involvement with federal intelligence officials.
Of course they disagree. No one likes being revealed as liars and murderers. But I guess the Keynesian trickle down of training your local police force to be the Gestapo is worth it in their eyes.
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. Government estimates range from less than $300 million to $1.4 billion in federal money, plus much more invested by state and local governments. Federal funding is pegged at about 20 percent to 30 percent.

Just to put these numbers into perspective - WITH state spending, the total amount ranges from $1.3 billion on the low end to $8.5 billion on the high end. I like to use my handy triplicator to give me a better idea of exactly what was spent - 3 x $8.5 billion = $25.5 billion. I think we'll go with that number.
Despite that, Congress is unlikely to pull the plug. That's because, whether or not it stops terrorists, the program means politically important money for state and local governments.
Oooooh, NOW we get to the heart of what this is really about. Bribes for contractors.
A Senate Homeland Security subcommittee reviewed more than 600 unclassified reports over a one-year period and concluded that most had nothing to do with terrorism. The panel's chairman is Democrat Carl Levin of Michigan, the ranking Republican Tom Coburn of Oklahoma.

"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.

What's that? Exsqueeze me? Is that the sound of sweet vindication rolling of their lips?!? To put it into plain English - 'Uh, all this extra investigating found ZERO indication of terrorism and even if it did, we have done nothing about it.'

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.
So in truth, they were not only a gargantuan waste of money, they actively prevented liberty. Consider this post from 2 years ago -
It doesn't take much to establish that this DHS nonsense is neither going to A) Stop here or B) Shrink in scope.  People often wonder just how Germany became the monstrosity it was back in the 30's, well folks, you have front row seats courtesy of the US Federal Government.

Once the nature of your freedoms are changed (I.E. - The US Constitution grants your rights instead of securing them) it won't be long until the reach of your freedoms are changed. After all, driving is a privilege bestowed by the government, correct? Ask yourself once, just where did the authority to grant this privilege come from, if not from the people themselves? (Bear in mind one cannot exercise authority one has not been granted from another source.)

Once you grasp this concept, several things will slide into view:

  1. Most governments (The Federal especially) are content to grab power that does not belong to them. (Think of this as your local librarian seizing your car because she wrote herself a note authorizing herself to do so.)
    1. They pass this off as a necessary service to you.
  2. Once established, they send you through their system to "get your power/property back". "Come to our courts and we'll see if we agree with you." Good luck.
    1. These systems are not as much rule of law as policy determined by unelected bureaucrats.
  3. Their sights know no bounds. Once a bureaucrat gets a taste of The Power, nothing can quench it. "Doing good." becomes the excuse that tyranny is foisted upon the subjects.
Notice how easy this is to call ahead of time?

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