Military to share classified intel with state and local fusion centers

Kelley Beaucar Vlahos, September 15, 2009

Correct me if I am wrong, but this must spell an unprecedented level of domestic intelligence sharing. One wonders, is the sharing between the DoD and fusion centers – which incorporate local, state and federal law enforcement and homeland security agencies — both ways? Again, a big disappointment coming from a new President who promised all sorts of sunshine into the creepy darkness of Bush-era law enforcement/domestic security policies, but seems to be instead pushing forward into the gloaming of his own administration full throttle. Considering his justice department has announced it is pretty much all settled to extend the three controversial Patriot Act provisions set to expire at the end of the year, and now this story out of DHS, it is really hard to make out the sliver of sunlight between Obama and his predecessor.

From the ACLU tonight:

Fusion Centers To Obtain Access To Classified Military Intelligence

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 15, 2009
CONTACT: Mandy Simon, (202) 675-2312; media@dcaclu.org
WASHINGTON – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced Monday that it was giving state and local fusion centers access to the classified military intelligence in Department of Defense (DOD) databases. The federal government has facilitated the growth of a network of fusion centers since 9/11 to expand information collection and sharing practices among law enforcement agencies, the private sector and the intelligence community.
Allowing fusion centers access to DOD classified information appears to be a shift in policy. The New York Times reported in July that “Janet Napolitano, the homeland security secretary, said … that fusion centers were not intended to have a military presence, and that she was not aware of ones that did.”
The American Civil Liberties Union has long warned the government about the dangers posed by fusion centers without proper oversight and, in 2007, released a report entitled, “What’s Wrong With Fusion Centers?” The report, which was updated last year, identifies specific concerns with fusion centers, including their ambiguous lines of authority, the troubling role of private corporations, the participation of the military, the use of data mining and their excessive secrecy.
According to DHS, there were 70 fusion centers in the United States as of February 2009. It is unknown how many include military personnel.
The following can be attributed to Michael Macleod-Ball, Acting Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office:
“As fusion centers gain more and more access to Americans’ private information, the information about them being made available to the American public remains woefully inadequate. There is a stunning lack of oversight at these fusion centers and, as we’ve seen, these centers are rapidly becoming a breeding ground for overzealous intelligence activities. Opening the door for domestic law enforcement to gain access to classified military intelligence coupled with no guidelines restricting the military’s role in fusion centers is a recipe for disaster.
“Congress must take the necessary steps to ensure that a thorough and rigorous oversight mechanism is in place to ensure that Americans’ most sensitive information is protected. Without proper guidelines, fusion centers will continue to threaten our privacy while doing nothing to improve security.”
To read the ACLU’s report, “What’s Wrong With Fusion Centers,” go to: www.aclu.org/fusion




10 Responses to “Military to share classified intel with state and local fusion centers”

  1. Here's an interesting thought experiment: imagine that you were completely unaware of last year's presidential election and knew nothing about the change in regimes; that you knew nothing about Bush or Obama; that the news you read everyday simply referred to it as the "administration" or the "president."

    Could anyone honestly say that they could detect a legitimate and significant change in direction on any substantive matter before January 20th versus after? Me neither.

  2. Where's the "change"? I see no change at all from Bush's policies.

  3. "imagine that you were completely unaware of last year's presidential election and knew nothing about the change in regimes"
    ha it actually happens to me quite often

  4. "Again, a big disappointment coming from a new President who promised all sorts of sunshine into the creepy darkness of Bush-era law enforcement/domestic security policies, but seems to be instead pushing forward into the gloaming of his own administration full throttle."

    I'm so glad Keith Oberdog and Rachel Madcow will be all over this just like they were when Bush was prez…

  5. And Obammie's gonna extend the Patriot Act. Now you just know Oberdog will be all over that! Gotta love the mainstream media!

  6. Obama Seeks PATRIOT Act Extensions

    http://news.antiwar.com/2009/09/15/obama-seeks-patriot-act-extensions/

    Obama Urged to Ready Tougher Iran Sanctions, Military Strike

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=aGXuRWqsEFos

    Change!What change?!

    It is Groundhog day all over again!

  7. Who cares if Olbermann covers Obama's police state? You seem to be much more concerned with the media's coverage of tyranny than with the tyranny itself.

  8. C'mon, people, get real! You regular readers of Antiwar.com, especially those of you who are regular contributors to this blog, are overwhelmingly made up of educated, informed, articulate people with a well-grounded knowledge of this nation's REAL history. That said, did you truly believe that after nearly 150-years (and we could probably go back even farther for purposes of this discussion) of executive power exercised by figurehead marionettes on behalf of the financial-industrial establishment that controls them that genuine "change" would take place during this administration? I pray that no significant number of you answer "yes", because I will then serious question my faith in the idea that even a residue of genuine intelligence, critical thought, and objective analysis of obvious fact can be found anywhere in the blogosphere.

    Wake up, people! You've been conned AGAIN! The only "change" that took place –and that you're ever gonna see associated with this administration– is that the Establishment, perhaps sensing the profound shift in demographics that has characterized the last half century of this nation's existence, decided that it was finally time to front itself with a sepia-skinned orator who "looked more like one [of the masses]" and could thus make them fall more quickly and passively in line with their own continuing enslavement. Other than that, it's business as usual – on steroids. Was, is, and always shall be!

    Now let's just hope that enough of you have learned from the error of your ways this time -FINALLY- to avoid getting "punked" again in 2012, 2016, or at any quadrennial point beyond that.

  9. [...] http://www.antiwar.com/blog/2009/09/15/military-to-share-classified-intel-with-state-and-local-fusio… [...]

  10. Now this only matters to anyone who thinks that we still operate under the rule of law and the Founders' Constitution where the old rules which heretofore have obtained still apply — you know, like ACLU bedwetting types. Three Percenters however understand that with the accession of the Obamanoids to power, the war against the liberty and property of the people has begun. We are through the looking glass here, and I for one am grateful that the Obamanoids have taken the decision to open the computer databases of the United States military to US.

    Who do you think staffs these "fusion" centers? In most cases, at the grunt level, it is by men and women who still remember their oaths. When the deal gets really raw — as more and more people begin to see that the feds are indeed waging a war on their own people for the aggrandizement of the power and money of an elite few — these fusion centers will become a prime source of freedom fighter intelligence.

    Databases, like tracers, work both ways — both for real intelligence and for system vulnerability.

    Just as the militarization of the police has put military hardware closer to the hands of the people (it is no longer necessary to raid a military base to get what you may need), the distribution of federal police and military intelligence to the local level makes what they know more easily available to US.

    So, President Obama, I want to THANK YOU!

    You and I both know that the war has unofficially begun, and I for one am appreciative of the fact that you just opened your fly to critical inspection of the contents therein.

    The problem with the criminal, whether he's a freelance pickpocket or a government tyrant operating under color of law is HE NEVER KNOWS WHO HE CAN TRUST.

    Inconvenient things, aren't they?

    Oaths, I mean.

    For an oath to the Constitution is only seditious to tyranny.

    So thanks, again, Barack.

    And have a nice day!

    Mike Vanderboegh
    III
    http://sipseystreetirregulars.blogspot.com/