Fusion Centers

You Might Be a Terrorist, Too


Cato's David Rittgers rounds up cases of terrorist "fusion centers" erring on the side of labeling, well, pretty much everyone, a potential terrorist.

The North Texas Fusion System labeled Muslim lobbyists as a potential threat; a DHS analyst in Wisconsin thought both pro- and anti-abortion activists were worrisome; a Pennsylvania homeland security contractor watched environmental activists, Tea Party groups, and a Second Amendment rally; the Maryland State Police put anti-death penalty and anti-war activists in a federal terrorism database; a fusion center in Missouri thought that all third-party voters and Ron Paul supporters were a threat; and the Department of Homeland Security described half of the American political spectrum as "right wing extremists."

The ACLU fusion center report and update lay out some good background on these issues, and the Spyfiles report describes how monitoring lawful dissent has become routine for police departments around the nation.

I believe this is the part where right wingers justify including anti-war and environmental groups on these lists, and left wingers justify including Tea Partiers, anti-abortion activists, and Second Amendment advocates.

NEXT: Federal Dietary Guidelines Are (Gasp!) Political

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  1. It seems that anybody who is anybody is on the list.

    I’ve gotta get on it. How will I be able to impress people if I’m not?

    1. Good news! As a Canadian, you are regarded a priori a threat to American security.

      1. If a Canadian came down from Mount Sanai with the Two Lost Commandments, no one would pay attention.

        1. Did you say something?

          1. I didn’t hear anything.

            1. If a Canadian pees on the permafrost. . .

    2. It’s easy, Arensen. Just do one or more of the following:

      1. Join or merely show passing interest in anything but the Democrat Party

      1. Display a Gadsen or NRA (or any non-liberal message) bumper sticker

      3. Even if you don’t fly, go to your nearest airport and inquire about a one-way ticket while holding a dog-eared Ayn Rand paperback

      Any of the above is sure to get you on the Southern Poverty Law Center shit-list, at the very least.

      1. I should try an experiment I’ve been meaning to do for a while: take the decal that I picked up in the UAE that consists of the UAE flag and “United Arab Emirates” in both English and Arabic, and stick the thing on my car. Now that I’m in a neighborhood chock full of police, firemen and other “civil servants”, things could be interesting.

        If I had a sticker that said “End the Drug War Now” or the like, it would be an even more interesting experiment.

        1. Back in 2004, I cut’n’pasted myself a Bush/Kerry bumpersticker. God knows how many people I pissed off.

          At least one, come to think of it… I had a knife wound appear in one of my tires. Fifty-fifty odds on the culprit’s political allegiance.

          1. You didn’t want to go the alternative route: Cheney/Edwards 2004?

    3. Yeah, it’s almost like having a fatwa put out against you. It’s a matter of shame if it never happens to you.

  2. Obviously, if they don’t work in a ‘fusion center’ busily masturbating in the face of the horrific threat of a paper cut to their genitals, while sucking at the teat of the government dole they must be fucking terrorists! Us versus THEM, baby!

  3. monitoring lawful dissent has become routine for police departments around the nation

    And videoing police activity has become routine for lawful dissenters around the nation. Tit for tat, one might suppose.

    1. It would be tit if the tats didn’t have so many guns and the weight of police power going for them.

    2. Um. One of those groups frequently smashes the other group’s cameras and faces and gets away with it.


  4. I believe this is the part where right wingers justify including anti-war and environmental groups on these lists, and left wingers justify including Tea Partiers, anti-abortion activists, and Second Amendment advocates.

    Considering the criticism you’ve gotten from both sides, Radley, you’re probably on there twice. Probably as Radley Balko and as Baldley Radical.

    1. Don’t forget the alias Rodney Ballkick.

    2. Baked Orally

      1. Rudely Bilkedo

        1. Adorably Elk

          1. Sargent Balko

      2. ALL ROB A DYKE
        BARK ALL YE DO


        1. “Fusion Center” :
          FRENETIC ON US
          SCREEN OF I NUT
          RECENT INFO US
          FUN RIOT SCENE
          ERECT FUN IS ON
          US NERO INFECT
          ICE FRET NON US
          NICE NOSE TURF
          RUNE OF INCEST
          OUR FINE SCENT
          FINE NUT SCORE
          CURSE NET INFO

          1. All this nerd shit is turning me on

          2. Top 3:
            ERECT FUN IS ON
            RUNE OF INCEST
            FINE NUT SCORE

  5. I think I might have made the list at least three times. Yay me!

  6. Reason is a terrorist hotbed.

  7. You might be a terrorist if …

    (work with me, folks)

    … you’re still holding on to Confederate money because you think the South will rise again.

      1. “You may already be a big winner splatter!”

      2. proof anon bot is on our side

        1. It makes sense when you think about it. LOL


      3. Happy New Year!
        My favorite story of the year so far.

    1. Have you seen what collectors pay for Confederate banknotes in good condition?

      And I wish I had a few “Emperor Norton” dollars as well.

    2. A local Dem told me years ago that all it takes is even a passing interest in Civil War history.

      1. Actually, our standards aren’t even that high. All it really takes to get on OUR shit-list is to be white and non-liberal.

  8. But…but Hopey McChange says the government IS the people???

  9. Reason commenters? I mean, seriously, pretty much anyone regularly commenting here clearly presents a serious terrorist threat. To what, we’re not sure, but better put them on the list just in case. Particularly that Warty person.

    1. No human jail can contain Warty.

      1. No human body can contain Warty.

        Think about it.

        1. Oh, yeah, distract people from your enabling behavior.

        2. That’s only because his kind lay their eggs inside host bodies and the larvae then eat their way free.

          1. If that’s true, I’m even more impressed with Warty than I was before.

            1. Why has Warty has his own National Geographic special?

              1. HASN’T…d’oh

                1. I can haz nat geo special?

    2. I would be disappointed to find any of the regular commenters here missing from the list. It really is sort of a badge of honor at this point. You can’t possibly be even remotely libertarian without supporting one of the above mentioned anti-big government groups.

      1. I appreciate that the list is probably secret because of national security and all, but do you think we could get a list of people who are *not* on the list?

        1. His name is Ralph. Lives outside Scranton. Yep, he’s the only one not on it.

          1. He’s on it now.

          2. Actually, Ralph just joined the Citizens Against Flouride In Public Drinking Water movement, which of course means……TERRORIST!!!!

            There are no non-terrorists left in America apparently. We have become the enemy.

            THE ENEMY IS US.

            1. That was done by Walt Kelly many years back.

              “We have met the enemy and them is us.” – Pogo

            2. We are the ones we’ve been waiting to throw in jail.

            3. i always get it mixed up: are the pro fluoride people terrorists, or are the anti-fluoride people terroists?

              Woody Allen (Bananas): Half of us will be fighting for fluoride, and half against.

        2. The people not on the list would feel really, really left out. The trauma would be worse than that birthday party when I was 6 that I wasn’t invited to…still have erection problems…

      1. tangentially related – Slayer’s God Hates Us All was released on 9/11.

    3. And the remainder represent a serious flatulence threat…

      takes me back to me military training:
      GAS! GAS! GAS!

      And after that:
      run away! run quickly away!
      Yeah, I was in the Air Force

  10. I drink whole milk.

    Come and get me, Bloomberg!

    1. Even more horrific and terror-inducing: if you drink it RIGHT OUT OF THE CONTAINER!!


      1. It kinda depends which “container” you are talking about.

    2. I wish a micrometeorite would ding him in the balls during one of his news conferences. I would become the world’s biggest and most obnoxious about it Godites if that were to happen.

      1. He would just ban micrometeorites right before it hit him and be done with it. Bloomberg wins, God and alan lose.

        1. Though I wish nothing worse than a kick in the nuts by God on Bloomberg (Honestly!), I do wonder how the government will react the first time a rail gun is used for political violence. Suddenly, coil gun experimenters like myself will become outlaws by virtue of our interest.

          1. All interest in anything should be outlawed along with all experimentation or investigation into one’s interests. We should all somnambulate around with no interest in anything so we can all finally be safe from eachother.

    3. In a drinky glass.

  11. This snow storm might be a terrorist.

    1. Well, it is extreme after all.

  12. Is the Federal Bureau of Investigation on the list?

  13. “I believe this is the part where right wingers justify including anti-war and environmental groups on these lists, and left wingers justify including Tea Partiers, anti-abortion activists, and Second Amendment advocates.”

    To label anyone with strong convictions as potential terrorists regardless of what those convictions are, is very stupid. On the other hand, I’m not sure that the implied lesson that one should therefor assume that all people with strong convictions are equally harmless regardless of their convictions is any more enlightened. It’s a meaningless smear to say “all forms of extremism are dangerous” because “extreme” is just a measurement without anything to measure. But to lump every “extremist” together just the same but jump to the opposite conclusion, that extremists are all safe without asking which beliefs they carry to extremes, is just as irrational and at least as dangerous. Some ideologies, when taken to the extreme, will lead someone to exercise a lot while others, when taken to the extreme, will lead someone to kill people.

    1. Actually, the opposite is true. Any ideology can be used to justify harming or killing people.

      1. What if your ideology is “I should never under any circumstances harm or kill people”.

        Beyond that, if your primary motivation is to kill people, sure you can tailor most ideologies to fit. But the idea that “all ideologies logically lead to violence when taken to their extreme” is false. Just as the idea that “no ideologies logically lead to violence even when taken to their extremes unless accepted by someone who already wanted to hurt people” is false. To determine what an ideology promotes, you need to deal with the content too.

        1. If you deal with content, that means exercising some critical thinking to make a value judgment. Much too complicated.

      2. “”Any ideology can be used to justify harming or killing people.””

        Like, I’m doing good things by executing the drug war, or I thought that candy bar was a gun.

    2. you sound suspiciously like a….wait for it….potential terrorist.

      Please, for the sake of the children, be more wishy-washy.

    3. Right, I got that. Now about that whole life insurance policy we were discussing, I can get you the best rate for a man of your age and political leanings but it will not cover acts of war or government intervention……

  14. So wait, does my presence on a number of other government lists cancel out my being on the potential terrorist list? If not, I may have some problems. One of the other lists I’m on is that of people who held explosives licenses. I’m thinking that list and the potential terrorist list could be bad for me if they cross check.

    1. These are government drones we are talking about here, cross check? They don’t even speak the same language. Hell congress still operates on 1.44MB floppies. If somebody bothered to check I’m pretty sure there is a law somewhere that makes it illegal to buy health insurance.

  15. Thats because we are still in a national emergency:


    All emergency, all the time.

  16. “There’s battle lines bein’ drawn
    Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong…”

    Cato’s David Rittgers rounds up cases of terrorist “fusion centers” erring on the side of labeling, well, pretty much everyone, a potential terrorist.

    “What a field day for the heat
    A thousand people in the street
    Singin’ songs and carryin’ signs
    Mostly sayin’, “hooray for our side”

    …a DHS analyst in Wisconsin thought both pro- and anti-abortion activists were worrisome…

    “Paranoia strikes deep
    Into your life it will creep
    It starts when you’re always afraid
    Step out of line, the man come and take you away…”


    1. People advocating condom usage were to be shot dead on the spot.

      Hot chicks on the pill were to be body cavity searched…again and again…just to be thorough.

      1. Where can I sign up, during Vietnam I was always at sea and never got to go on the rape and pillage missions. Probably just as well, I would have been stuck on the pillage squad and have had to carry the plunder.

  17. @#%&!!??

  18. What, exactly, are they fusing in these centers anyway?

    1. It ain’t deuterium!

  19. After Nick got that awesome `stache, I bet they put him on it.

  20. I haven’t seen that map in a while. (Bookmarking doesn’t seem to work in this browser.) Is it still as hilarious as it was a month ago?

  21. Wow. Where are the usual Reason haters on this thread? Very suspicious.

    1. Good question. It’s like they got a memo we didn’t to avoid being seen in threads with certain content.

      1. Maybe they’re busy on MediaMorons or DU…

    2. They’ve been hired do to some contract work in Cairo.

  22. So they are cribbing the Southern Poverty Law Center?

  23. I think they forgot returning war veterans. In that case, I’m on like six of them. Sweet.

  24. monitoring lawful dissent has become routine for police departments around the nation.

    This became routine the minute humans invented government.

  25. I bet there is one agent just for this blog. Bet it is an overweight male. Probably couldn’t run a block to save his fat ass. Has a flat-top and probably one of those stupid ass goatees to cover his 2nd and third chin. Likes to flash his badge because it gives him a semblence of self esteem that he never had since he was picked on in grade school for eating his boogers.

    Probably beats his wife because the Viagra doesn’t work and a life-time of catholic induced lack of masturbation has left his prostate useless.

    He probably wants to burn Nick in his jacket. Second place is probably Sugarfree cuz he is so damn lippy.

    1. The frenchtoast dude from Gamer?

  26. Someone tell me. When is freedom and liberty going to win one of these arguments? The answer is, they aren’t..

    We now have Marxists at the levers of power and their sustainable apparatus, everywhere within government, not to mention their people, who are also, just by happenstance, running the media….

    Sounds like a takeover, looks like a takeover, smells like a takeover, tastes like a takeover… I wonder, is this a takeover?

  27. So, you know that Tennessee Fusion Center Global Incident Map that started all this? It was working yesterday. Today, not so much:


    I keep getting the message, “The Tennessee Intelligence Fusion Center Incident Map Is No Longer In Operation. In 10 Seconds You Will Be Re-directed to http://www.globalincidentmap.com

    In order to pull up the incidents on that map, you have to “set up an account” including your name and address.

    I’d do it, but I’m rather fond of my dogs.

    1. If you have the room, get some geese. They are just as territorial and aggressive. When the SWAT team wipes them out serving a no-knock warrant the people haters at the HSUS will bring them up on animal cruelty charges. It will be hilarious to hear the cop on the stand tell the judge “Well you honor, we had to defend ourselves when these birds attacked us.” “But your honor they were big birds.” “We were in fear for our lives.””Yes your honor, sort of like a duck but bigger and meaner.”

  28. The terms terrorist and terrorism have been left undefined and vauge by police and lawmakers for a reason. If the War on Terror gives you unlimited power to do anything you want, then keeping these terms vauge allows them the greatest amount of power. After 9/11 and the Patriot Act, I recall hearing some sheriff call a group of kids who had been running around smashing mailboxes terrorists, and that they were terrorizing the neighborhood. Before the Patriot Act I wouldn’t have thought anything about that since it’s such a generic term, but after 9/11, hearing law enforcment using the term terrorist so broadly scares the crap out of me.

  29. I just found out that i’m a terrorist:


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