Senate slams Homeland Security for linking right-wing militia movements to right-wing terrorist activity
We’ve written before about fusion centers, Homeland Security’s post-9/11 information sharing outfits notorious for being bad their jobs, and a particularly damning 2012 congressional report that outlined in agonizing detail exactly how bad they were. However, in light of recent events, its worth revisiting the reports conclusion, which argues that fusion center’s worst sin was drawing a connection between right-wing militia movements and right-wing terrorist activity.
CIA objected to the Federal Employee’s Bill of Rights on grounds it would interfere with Agency’s gay witch hunt
In the late ’60s and early ’70s, Senator Sam Ervin was working determinedly to get a Federal Employee’s Bill of Rights passed through Congress. The CIA identified several areas of the bill that they felt were problematic, including how it would interfere with the Agency’s use of the polygraph as a tool to identify and terminate any homosexual employees.
Fresh on the heels of Iran-Contra, the CIA refused to allow the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to audit the Agency “with respect to funds authorized for the Nicaraguan Resistance,” insisting that since any such funds would break the law, there was nothing for GAO to audit, and therefore GAO’s request was being denied. Similarly, any other hypothetical assistance to the Nicaraguan Resistance would have been subject to Congressional oversight, and on which grounds the Agency would similarly deny the GAO access.
Flimsy threat assessments issued by North Dakota fusion center regarding the Standing Rock protests reinforce much of the criticsim that’s been leveled against fusions over the last decade and a half: namely, that fusion centers are not very good at their job, do not produce intelligence which is actionable or particularly useful, and are instead used to gain intelligence about activist groups, and members of the public who are not a crime risk, violating their civil liberties for basically no reason at all.
During the ’80s, CIA’s efforts to shut down the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) access to the Agency not only went on unchecked, but reached a new level of success when the Agency convinced Congress to further consolidate Oversight within the intelligence committees. Not only did this nearly cut the GAO out entirely, but it allowed the CIA to spread its exemption to other agencies eager to avoid an audit.