Fusion Centers

The Terror Wars Holiday Special

|

…FROM THE ACLU!

The further adventures of the fusion centers:

A state government anti-terrorism agency placed the Tennessee ACLU on a map of "terrorism events and other suspicious activity" for sending a letter warning public schools not to celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday….

The Tennessee Fusion Center was created in 2007, one of many around the country established after 9/11 to help state agencies share and analyze information about terrorism and other threats….On the Fusion Center's website, the blinking map of Tennessee shows flashing icons. Rolling a computer's cursor over the icons results in explanations popping up on the screen, none of which have anything to do with major terrorist plots. The ACLU letter was highlighted under the icon for "suspicious activity."

"ACLU cautions Tennessee schools about observing 'one religious holiday,'" the website's explanation reads.

You should read the whole article, in which the agency responds to the reporter's inquiries by renaming the map so the word "terrorism" doesn't appear in it. The key line:

"We were just forwarding the news release per se as general information to all schools," [fusion center spokesman Mike] Browning said, although he could not explain why officials deemed it necessary to forward the information.

The current version of the map can be seen here. Reason covers similar stories here, here, here, here, here, and here. The eerie parallels between Santa Claus and Osama bin Laden are detailed here.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

45 responses to “The Terror Wars Holiday Special

  1. I couldn’t find the Jack Daniel’s distillery on that map.

    BTW Tennessee cops are notorious for confiscating “large” amounts of cash they find on people they have stopped, with or without probable cause.

  2. A state government anti-terrorism agency placed the Tennessee ACLU on a map of “terrorism events and other suspicious activity” for sending a letter warning public schools not to celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday…

    Well, the letter from the ACLU was intended to infuse terror in the minds of school administrators for the purpose of achieving compliance that agreed with the ACLU, otherwise what has the point of threatening them?

    Isn’t the above the very definition of “terrorism”?

    1. It is still possible to “warn” without that warning having anything to do with a threat, right? Like, “Hey, fire is hot.” That doesn’t imply that I’m going to set you on fire if you don’t listen to me.

      I’m not saying the ACLU has any business in the social persuasion market, so them taking a stance on xmas is pretty strange….but It’s not like the ACLU is going to go out and egg houses with lights up.

      1. But there is a threat… of lawsuits.

      2. Re: Wylie,

        Turn up your “sarcasm-o-meter”

        1. That shits been busted for years now.

    2. just put ACLU on the map and be done with it…

  3. Yeah. Right in there with the “Woman Charged With Advertising Juvenile Sex”
    link on the map.

    And most of their icons blink. Very distracting. They should take lessons from Radley.

    Government at its finest.

    1. And most of their icons blink. Very distracting. They should take lessons from Radley.

      If there’s no clear warning regarding potentially generating seizures in susceptible individuals, there’s a lawsuit waiting to happen…

  4. We need these resources and powers to fight terrorism…now, just let me take the word terrorism off the program, and voila, random abuses of authority that were “never gonna happen here”.

  5. Please tell me “Inspector Gadget Saves Christmas” is out on DVD.

    Also, if there’s not a porn parody of Inspector Gadget yet, there should be. Think the Edward Scissorhands porn parody times 100.

    1. There are no exceptions.

    2. Don’t know about DVD, but it appears to be available on Youtube.

  6. Where’s Bea Arthur?

    1. pushing daisies

      1. There were no daisies in The Star Wars Holiday Special.

  7. Judging by that map, anything is terrorism now.

    “Kid steals bike. Recommended course of action: no fly list.”

  8. Can I be mad at both?

    The Tennessee Fusion Center “map” is a giant sinkhole of taxpayer funding that appears to do nothing other than foment distrust amongst other Americans. But then the ACLU hates Christmas so much that they have to send a letter warning schools not to be religious about…….a religious holiday.

    I can’t decide who the bigger asshole is in this story yet, but simply because the Fusion center is getting more of my tax money they win the prize.

    1. You can crumple up the ACLU letter and tell them to stick their warning up their chimneys. Not so much with the TN investigations.

      Besides, Xmas deserves to be hated.

  9. don’t judge their map, you could be next…

    1. The fun’s just started. Pull back on the magnific’n and survey the spots they put all over the world.

  10. These “fusion centers” are just one of many facets of future government tyranny.

    So much for you “hope’n’change” bastards. Obama really is no better than Bush when it comes to getting us out of war and preserving domestic liberty.

    1. But it appears to be “tyranny” of the sort in Brazil.

  11. To blistering hell with these fusion centers. The same fucktards who disregard DHS guidelines regarding political profiling? Double the pineapple-to-ass-to-mouth for them.

    1. It’s like they played “pin the tail” with Google News.

  12. I agree with ACLU. Government schools shouldn’t be doing that stuff. And when I say “that stuff” I mean “anything at all, like even existing”.

  13. Something about “two wrongs not making a right” comes to mind. The overreaching of the ACLU (trying to make sure that no one, no matter how thin-skinned, is ever even aware of another person’s religious celebrations) vs. the DHS and their congenital myopic fixation monitoring every sneeze in the country.

    We have now passed into the twilight zone!

  14. Funny, I don’t see the saintly shaft of light beaming down from Heaven on Al Gore’s house. Stupid map doesn’t even work.

  15. Better hope the Federal Government doesn’t find out this map has been leaked.

  16. The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
    While visions of sugarfree-plums danced in their heads.

    When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
    I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
    Away to the window I flew like a flash,
    Tore open the shutters and saw cops going through my trash.

    The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
    Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
    When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
    But a SWAT team, and assault vehicle towards my door starting to veer.

    More rapid than eagles these coursers they came,
    And they whistled, and shouted, and they called me a name!
    “Open up motherfucker!”

    To the top of the porch! With a two man battering ram!
    Now bash away! Take the door who gives a damn?

    As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fled,
    When they met with my dog, whom they shot through the head.

    So up to the house-top the constables they flew,
    With their twelve gauges, and MP-5’s too.
    As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
    Through the window an agent rapelled with a bound.

    He was dressed all in black, from his head to his foot,
    And his clothes were all tarnished with dog brains and soot.
    A bundle of grenades he had flung on his back,
    And he looked like a ninja, just opening his pack.

    Ahh you finish it.

  17. I know it wasn’t the point of the posting, and the Fusion Centers are as wrong here as they were when they identified as “potential terrorists” those who support limited government and federalism, but…why the hell is ACLU issuing warnings about public schools celebrating Christmas as a religious holiday? This is the biggest threat to our civil liberties? Why do they not focus instead on, say, Fusion Centers??

    This is why I cannot take the ACLU seriously. Even their former General Counsel, NYU Law Professor Burt Neuborne, complained that he did not take that position so that he could spend his professional career “prosecuting the Virgin Mary.”

    Too bad the ACLU does not invest the same energy in protecting all of our civil liberties, including the economic liberties encompassed in the phrase, “privileges and immunities,” as understood by the Founders and the drafters of the 14th Amendment.

    1. Co-Dependants?

    2. why the hell is ACLU issuing warnings about public schools celebrating Christmas as a religious holiday?

      It comes down to what they mean by “celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday,” doesn’t it? If they’re saying, “Don’t herd all the kids into an assembly to preach to them about ‘the true meaning of Christmas,'” then I agree with the ACLU. It’s possible that some Tennessee schools have had bona fide church/state problems in the past. And yes, it’s also possible that the group is just being oversensitive and/or has misplaced priorities. I haven’t read the letter, so I don’t know.

      At any rate, as you say, the ACLU doesn’t belong on this sort of map whether or not it’s in the right on the issue.

      1. Part of my comment, though, is how the ACLU takes a zero tolerance approach on certain civil liberties and not others. It will airlift battalions of attorneys into a state if a small town displays a Nativity scene in front of a municipal building. But when it comes to laws that effect people and their livelihoods every day — laws requiring the licensing interior decorators or banning religious organizations from building coffins without a license — that is left to the Institute for Justice and its “merry band of litigators.” The ACLU could care less about those civil liberties.

        1. See: Eminent Domain

          An issue that affects real people in real towns. If there ever was an issue that truly steamrolled the little guy, Eminent Domain is it.

          1. You’re right. Shame on me for forgetting eminent domain. We surely see the ACLU sticking up for the civil liberties in this area, don’t we?

        2. Well, we’re lucky we have the ACLU and IJ, then. Why does one organization have to do it all?

    3. So was what the ACLU was warning about the suspicious behavior? Or was the ACLU’s warning about it the suspicious behavior? I guess they could both be.

  18. First off, fuck the ACLU on this issue.

    Second, a terrorst map, really? Fuck the government on this. The same government that thinks it should preserve the internet “the way it is”. Awesome, now my daughter will be assured to be “surfing the web” in Internet Explorer on an 8 mips connection in the year 2035. Thanks FCC.

  19. The ACLU uses the Feds to prosecute The War on Christmas and then gets all huffy when Christmas fights back with the same tactics.

    1. They should know by now that the only way to be sure is to take off an nuke Xmas from orbit.

      1. Negative. Christmas should be extraordinary renditioned to a muslim country.

  20. The map is fucking hilarious, you should bookmark it. I love the way an icon in Mexico points to a news bit from Israel about arrests by the IDF. A spill of MgCl2 in Colo.! (“HazMat” just by virtue of its having a chemical name; it’s a harmless salt. Ditto HazMat events like basement fuel spills.) Best however may be the item near the center, a woman arrested for advertising juvenile sex.

  21. SOUTH KOREA – Chinese Fishing Boat Capsizes In Scuffle With South Korean Ship

    BHUTAN – No Indian Militant Camps In Bhutan – Says Thinley

    EGYPT – Egyptians Reportedly Arrest Alleged Israeli Spies

    NEW JERSEY :: Hazmat – Burning waterfront warehouse stored paint and solvents used by drydock

    ILLINOIS :: Hazmat – Diesel fuel spill in basement of Loop building

    VIRGINIA :: Hazmat – Tractor trailer accident on icy Richmond road leads to fuel spill

    MISSOURI :: Hazmat – Strange objects found behind pharmacy

    I tell ya, nothing escapes their att’n! But they can be very sparse on details:

    12/17/2010 :: ATTEMPT – Ventnor, NJ

    12/17/2010 :: ATTEMPT – Sarasota, FL

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.