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.
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.
In trying to learn more about how police respond to demonstrations, MuckRock has been consistently met with exemptions and pushback, often with entire records releases being denied. Let us curate the five worst examples of this we have come across in the last few months.
We’ve sent requests to police departments around the country for their incident reports, threat assessments, and any other records we can get surrounding the law enforcement response to the protests surging through American cities. While most of our requests are still processing, what we have received illustrates how remarkably unprepared some law enforcement was for demonstrations of this scope.
Earlier this week, the Washington Post made headlines of its own for reporting that “intelligence sources” were saying Russia had hacked into the U.S. power grid, which is a thing that did not happen. In fact, this wasn’t even the first time it hadn’t happened - just five years ago, a Senate report tore into Homeland Security for making the same claims with even less evidence.
Dustin Slaughter sent this request to the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General of the United States of America