A new Senate report slams the Department of Homeland Security. It seems that the fusion centers created in every state aren’t fighting terrorism so much as just militarizing local law enforcement and infringing on the civil rights of Americans. If you’re think Quelle surprise! you’re not alone. A lot of people on the left and right were concerned all the back in 2002 that this is the sort of thing that would happen. Wired has a very good article on the report, DHS Counterterror Centers Produce ‘a Bunch of Crap,’ Senate Finds.
As you may remember, after 911, much of the push for reforming our “security” system was to allow the various organizations to share data so that never again would we suffer such a devastating attack. And the government’s great idea was: a huge bureaucracy inside of which all the other agencies would fit. The linchpin of this would be these fusion centers where all the data would be brought together:
But it is not just that these centers are mostly useless (except as a works program—I’m all for that), they are actively bad:
Interestingly, Fox News is also covering this story, but given that it is basically a GOP program, they tread lightly, As post-9/11 program grew, info on Americans, not terrorists was collected; price tag huge. The article doesn’t mention Obama or Bush. But instead of primarily being about the civil rights issue, it portrays the program as mostly being a financial boondoggle. So even without mentioning Obama, the article is still a hit piece, pushing the standard Republican “when we’re not in the White House” line that debt is killing us.
But I’m pleased they’re even covering it.