Even Politicians Tire of Failure-Prone, Freedom-Threatening Fusion Centers

Reason 24/7ReasonThe Department of Homeland Security's pet fusion centers, intended to "serve as focal points within the state and local environment for the receipt, analysis, gathering, and sharing of threat-related information between the federal government and state, local, tribal, territorial (SLTT) and private sector partners," have instead managed to enrage people across the political spectrum by finding bogeymen under every conceivable bed. They've targeted Occupy protesters and Ron Paul supporters as threats to the republic, and even listed the American Civil Liberties Union on a map detailing "terrorism events and other suspicious activity." Just about the only people they haven't targeted are actual terrorists — an omission that has drawn criticism for the Massachusetts franchise of the DHS network. No wonder politicians are starting to question whether the money dedicated to these factories of Fail are well-spent.

From Northwest Watchdog:

PORTLAND – The funding for a data collection center aimed at identifying and defusing terrorist threats in Oregon is in flux.

The Oregon Terrorism Information Threat Assessment Network is one of several Federal Fusion Centers spread across 77 U.S. cities that collaborate with local law-enforcement agencies on suspected terrorist threats.

But from Portland to Boston the effectiveness of these centers, along with their potential to violate free speech and privacy rights, is being questioned. Federal lawmakers critical of the programs have accused the centers, an after effect of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, of collecting “crap intelligence.”

For a pithy assessment of fusion centers' efforts, look no further than a report prepared by Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Try this on for size:

The investigation found that DHS intelligence officers assigned to state and local fusion centers produced intelligence of “uneven quality – oftentimes shoddy, rarely timely, sometimes endangering citizens’ civil liberties and Privacy Act protections, occasionally taken from already-published public sources, and more often than not unrelated to terrorism.”

Ouch.

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  • Acosmist||

    Um.

    Occupy Protesters

    Actual terrorists

    Not disjoint.

  • Dweebston||

    This is not how you write a haiku.

  • ||

    I declare the 1st annual Acomist Prize in Political Haiku officially open! The winner will not be raped by Warty (or raped by Warty as is one's wont)

    The flower weeping
    oh doubleyoo ess shines bright
    'Murica is dark.

    It's a shame nicole has probably left for the day, she would shame us all.

  • juris imprudent||

    fusion center knows
    no more than many others
    efficiency no

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    burning precious oil
    weeping Gaia chokes back tears
    spring becomes summer

  • A Serious Man||

    Our liberties raped
    Our rule of law discarded
    Sorry about that.

  • Swamp Think||

    No Respect for Me
    National Security State
    No Respect for You

  • SugarFree||

    dark pools run shallow
    all connections disconnect
    center confusion

  • ||

    we must protect people,
    yes, ineffectually,
    fuck you, that is why

  • General Butt Naked||

    she said at this point
    not caring about four deaths
    what does it matter

  • ||

    The federal Hydra really needs a few billion hesds chopped off. Fusion centers would be as good a place as any to start.

  • Almanian!||

    I thought Fusion Centers were some kind of Pan Asian food place. Guess not.

  • ||

    It's where cross-ethnic snd -cultural coitus occurs. Like a classy brothel, but your bill's on the taxpayer.

  • Almanian!||

    MOAR FREE STUFF! YES!

  • ||

    OBAMA 2016 - FOREIGN POONGANG FOR ALL!

  • A Serious Man||

    I can tell you, the best damned poontang I ever paid for was in Da Nang. The girls where checked out daily. And we got ourself laid in a safe, orderly, proficient, military manner.

  • ||

    +1 Heartbreak Ridge

  • ||

    Well, well, well, well. I'm here to tell you that life as you knew it has ended. You all may as well go into town tonight. You may as well laugh and make fools out of yourselves. Rub your pathetic little peckers against your honies or stick it in a knothole in the fence but whatever it is, get rid of it. Because at 0600 tomorrow your ass is mine.

    /TH

  • Dweebston||

    How do I get in on this? Because I just need one night with a slant-eyed girl and I've nailed my sexual bingo.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    There are flights leaving most major American airports to Bangkok daily, you know.

  • Sevo||

    And it's not like there's a real shortage of 'slant-eyed-girls' in most large US cities.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    I just need one night with a slant-eyed girl

    Been there. Done that. No big.
    I recommend a redhead instead.

  • anon||

    +lots, as many as you can.

    Redheads are good at fucking. Must be their lack of soul.

  • A Serious Man||

    "serve as focal points within the state and local environment for the receipt, analysis, gathering, and sharing of threat-related information between the federal government and state, local, tribal, territorial (SLTT) and private sector partners," have instead managed to enrage people across the political spectrum by finding bogeymen under every conceivable bed

    Typical libertarians, engaging in SLTT shaming.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The fusion centers are simply underfunded.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    Like a trailer park needs more superannuated alcoholic women.

  • John||

    There is nothing to fuse. The whole idea behind fusion centers is the assumption that there is all this information out there that if we could just put it together would tell us where the terrorists are. That sounds nice. But if you think about it, it is ridiculous. None of the things that terrorists do before they commit a terrorist attack is ever unique to terrorists. Lets say a terrorist really exhibits a lot of "terrorist tendencies". They have traveled to Pakistan. They belong to a known radical mosque. They have hobbies like learning to fly small planes. Sounds like a real threat right? Sure until you realize about a million other people who are not dangerous do some or all of those same things. Those things only look dangerous in retrospect after the guy has blown something up. All of these fusion centers do is collect random bits of information on people that only make sense after we know the guy is a terrorist. By definition, they are a waste of time and can never accomplish their mission.

    Meanwhile, the FBI is ignoring legitimate tips from other countries about dangerous people because they are too busy tracking down bullshit. The Russians told the FBI that the Boston bombers were dangerous. And the FBI did nothing.

  • Sevo||

    "The whole idea behind fusion centers is the assumption that there is all this information out there that if we could just put it together would tell us where the terrorists are."

    The similarities to central economic planning are obvious:
    The presumption here is that there is someone intelligent enough to sift through tons of data and make better choices than the guy on the street who pays what it costs to get toilet tissue.
    FDR (and minions) had all the data required to *KNOW* that there was to be an attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. They also had all the date required to *KNOW* that wasn't the case; which should they choose?

  • Killazontherun||

    Some understandings get lost in the translation of time and the deliberate misuse of words by the press to implant ideas that just aren't so. The Republican leadership had complained about the Pearl Harbor and Pacific fleet vulnerabilities for years, and were ignored so it was hardly a 'surprise' attack. That is why in spite of it being war time, they investigated the living shit out of it, and came to the conclusion in their reports that the Roosevelt administrations actions were deliberate and malicious.

  • Robert||

    But aren't there TV shows about mathematicians who sift thru innocent-looking data that would be insignificant to most people and find patterns and successfully predict where the murderer is going to strike next, or the next establishment to be burglarized, or where the counterfeit Rolexes are coming from, or who's spreading some rare and dangerous infection, huh? And then break the bank at the casino every week by knowing what numbers are coming in roulette?

  • AlmightyJB||

    There useful in tracking government opposition groups exercising their constitutional rights though.

  • John||

    http://www.theroot.com/views/w.....-need-hear

    A boring piece of tripe out of Slates "black magazine" about black graduates. What caught my eye was this

    As Michelle Obama said, "Often, failure is the key to success." I was designated a "slow learner" in the fourth grade. I graduated from a public high school in Baton Rouge, La., that was marred by drugs and violence during a significant portion of my high school years. I consistently scored within the 20th percentile or less on every standardized test I took, including the ACT and the GRE. So I proclaim "happy graduation" to the Class of 2013, from a man who is successful not despite the blemishes of his past but because of them.

    Ivory A. Toldson, Ph.D., is a tenured associate professor at Howard University

    I can't imagine a white or Asian person getting into anything but community college with bottom 20% ACT scores. And they would never get into any graduate school with bottom 20% GRE scores. This guy ends up being a tenured professor with a PHD and wears his horrible scores like a badge of honor.

  • RBS||

    I know not everyone tests well but jesus, those are some terrible scores. The fact that he "consistently" achieved such shitty scores leads me to believe he really as dumb as his scores indicate. But yeah, if I managed a bottom 20% LSAT I'm pretty sure the admissions people would have mocked me and tossed my application in the trash.

  • John||

    You wouldn't get in anywhere. And if you never find a test you can get out of the bottom 20% on, you are dumb as a post.

  • Robert||

    No, not dumb as a post. Remember that the avg. person isn't taking these tests, just applicants to college & grad school, respectively. Doesn't this guy at least serve as an example that persistence pays off sometimes?

    But does he explain anywhere how failure was key or causal to his success? I can understand his saying you can succeed in the future even if you're a fuckup now, but not his saying you can succeed in the future because you're a fuckup now.

  • John||

    Seriously. The GRE is at least half reading. Maybe he went to a shitty high school and was never taught how to read or do math and that explains the ACT scores. But what did he do in college to still, four years later, not be able to read or do the high school math that is on the GRE?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    You don't have to wonder; here's his LinkedIn.

  • RBS||

    Is it weird that I already had a pretty good idea what was on there before I clicked?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    No. As my high school drama teacher told me, you cast by type.

  • General Butt Naked||

    What a son of a bitch. Lemme guess, he made you guys put on Birth of a Nation every year?

  • Sevo||

    "Education:
    National Institute of Justice, WEB DuBois
    Temple University
    The US Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons
    The Pennsylvania State University, University
    Louisiana State University
    Louisiana State University"

    Don't see a single thing other than a list of schools. What degree(s) did he get from any of them and in what major(s)?
    "Two degrees in bee-bop, a phd in swing; he's a master of rhythm, he's a rock and roll king". Yeah, but...

  • Zombie Jimbo||

    Rock and Roll Doctor or not, if a woman in Georgia wasn't feelin just right, he'd be out on his ass in today's academic environment.

  • Sevo||

    "he'd be out on his ass in today's academic environment."

    Who'd be out on his ass? Seems it's damn difficult to tenured folks tossed.

  • Sevo||

    "Rock and Roll Doctor or not, if a woman in Georgia wasn't feelin just right, he'd be out on his ass in today's academic environment."
    Got it now...

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Fuckin LOL:

    He also served as the clinical director of the Manhood Training Village in Baton Rouge.

    Are absentee fathers really such a problem in Baton Rouge that they need a "Manhood Training Center" to teach overgrown boys how to act like grown-ups?

  • John||

    And one more thing, they are not a threat to freedom. They are a threat to privacy. Those are two different things. Not that they are not related and in many ways equal in value. But they are not the same thing. Nanny Bloomberg banning big gulps is a threat to freedom. Cops making files on people is a threat to privacy.

  • Dweebston||

    Unless knowing too much of my business allows cops to abridge my freedoms.

  • John||

    I didn't say they were not related. Losing your privacy may threaten your freedom. But it is the privacy you lose first.

  • anon||

    I can agree with that; if everyone minded their own fucking business I really wouldn't have to worry about what the law is today or tomorrow.

  • Jayce||

    Since those files will usually contain inaccurate information, and those files could be used to imprison that person without any oversight or legal recourse whatsoever, I'd call that a threat to freedom.

  • John||

    and those files could be used to imprison that person without any oversight or legal recourse whatsoever,

    No they can't. That is just simply not true.

  • sgs||

    You're either lying or an idiot.

  • Jayce||

    Wow, if you make the haystack bigger, you have to find more needles, even if they aren't there. Too bad no one warned about this ten years ago.

  • John||

    The needles are there. There are people out there who mean harm. But this is not how you find them.

  • Tman||

    Every Security Theater operation has to have its actors.

    From the TSA to this stupidity at the DHS, you can have quite the entertaining show.

    Let's do the Airport Security Shuffle! A one, A two, A one two three...

  • Paul.||

    Clearly, they need more funding.

  • Cytotoxic||

    OT: Arizona's biggest asshole finally gets some rebuke from a federal judge for his racial profiling.

    http://www.reuters.com/article.....Y320130525

  • General Butt Naked||

    In Arizona?

    I think he's looking to bigger things, and will try to knock Dear Leader off of his throne of "Biggest Asshole in America".

  • ||

    You yokaltarians, always trying to cover for the rightwing. How come I never see you commenting on how the right is destroying America too?

    /reversezaytsev

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    Pens won't lose this game now

  • General Butt Naked||

    Be quiet!

    Fuckin' crowd tried to jinx shit with their chant...

  • General Butt Naked||

    Grind these bitches down.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    pretty safe

  • General Butt Naked||

    Oh my, what a fucking series.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    Poor Flower. Think he gets another go?

  • General Butt Naked||

    I've noticed a lot more smiling from him when they show him on the bench, he's very dangerous when he's happy. I think if Vokoun has a bad game, or two, or they have a overtime game with travel and only one day off, yeah he'll get a shot.

    You just have to go with whomever is hot at the moment.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    I hope they get a good travel schedule with Boston.
    Against the Kings will be another matter.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    Senators' Coach Paul MacLean on the Penguins: "I hope they don't bill us for the clinic."

  • General Butt Naked||

    I like MacLean, he's got a nifty 'stache.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    They call him The Walrus.
    Koo koo ca choo.

  • General Butt Naked||

    No man, he's the Paulrus. What was that weeny from the Habs that called him a fat walrus?

  • Goldwyn Smith||

    Was he good in Hello Larry?

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    What are you guys talking about lacrosse or something?

  • Sevo||

    Nothing that interests humans.

  • General Butt Naked||

    You shouldn't say such nasty things about your mother, sevo.

  • ||

    Theyz talkin about teh fooseball again. Fooseball is teh debil!

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    I'd be hurt if I cared what you think.

  • ||

    Oh, you care, you fooseball bihotch! I know you are weeping openly right now, knowing that your betters think so little of the childish game you are infatuated with.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    You're just a big chicken.

  • ||

    Now I'm hurt. I'm going to bed to cry myself to sleep.

  • WomSom||

    Dude I am really liking the sound of that. Wow.

    www.AnonThis.tk

  • WomSom||

    Dude totally knows whats going on man.

    www.AnonThis.tk

  • Deaf Smith||

    While I voted for Bush both times I have always felt the Homeland Security Dept. was a mistake. Way to much like the Nazi SA 'Brownshirts' that could define anything they wanted as a threat to the regime.

    And yes the TSA and DHS should be abolished, just as the IRS should only examine businesses and there should be no income tax. They weld way way more power than the founding fathers felt any government should have for power corrupts and vast power corrupts vastly. All it takes is a 'Chicago politician' to turn the corruption into a tyranny.

  • Robert||

    Reminds me of when I was little and our cat had been gone some months, and my little sister & I asked to go for a walk with Daddy to look for clues, and we went outside and he lifted his shoe to reveal its heel, "Cat's Paw".

    Why doesn't DHS just subscribe to Fortean Times and be done with it?

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