Thanks to the vigilance of the Institute of Terrorism Research and Response, a fusion center hired without competitive bidding by the Pennsylvania Office of Homeland Security, we now know that potential terrorists have hatched plots to hold a candlelight vigil, organize a gay and lesbian festival, and even screen the documentary Gasland. You can read the intrepid analysts' collected memos to the police at this site. Here's an item I especially enjoyed, dated November 13-15, 2009:
On 22 November 2008, groups questioning the fiscal policies of the US government launched a "movement". And the weekend of 21-22 November 2009 comes with the intent by those groups to celebrate the one year anniversary of the launching of the End the Fed! Movement.
Protests and rallies will be held around the country as groups will be marching on the Federal Reserve Banks throughout the country.
Certain anti-government groups, convinced that the US government is intent on incarcerating them in FEMA prison camps, injecting them with micro-electronics while giving them the flu vaccine, and planning to seize their firearms will be out in full force in support of the "Fed is Dead" protests being held the weekend of 21-22 November 2009.
TAM-C analysts hasten to add that not all of the protestors marching against the Federal Reserve System are conspiracy theorists. But enough of the protesters possess these types of theories that cause the TAM-C to alert law enforcement personnel that some of the marchers have a different view of reality than most people.
There was a time when people tasked with preventing terrorism might have concerned themselves with whether a political group includes anyone who is violent, not whether it includes anyone who believes some funny things. But it's pretty clear that the institute has a broader idea of its mission than its name might suggest. It's also clear that there are people in the state government who wanted exactly what they were getting.
The report also noted, incidentally, that Pittsburgh's End the Fed march would be preceded by a pub crawl and that Philadelphia's protest "will be heading straight down Market Street to Independence Mall—the seat of a previous revolt against a government." Watch out!
Following these revelations, Gov. Ed Rendell has said he won't renew the institute's contract with the state. That's good. But the fact that a fusion center would still be churning out this sort of material, after years of similar scandals, suggests that we're a long way from driving this red-squad mentality out of law enforcement.