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The Failure of "Intelligence Fusion Centers"

Philadelphia, PA July 24th, 2007 --- The Earth Shattering news that the 40 or so "Intelligence Fusion Centers", created as a knee jerk reaction by the Department of Homeland Security, with $380 million of taxpayers money, are totally ineffective, and are in fact being used for spying on the local population for criminal intelligence should come as no surprise to anyone.

They were ill conceived and a Pork Barrel idea to spread fear and confusion from Washington, to every State. Had they been designed to inform the States, and spread counter terrorism information, then intelligence terminals could have been placed in every police headquarters around the country. But that would not have fed into the STASI network dreamed up by the Bush Administration.

If there were 50 State Briefing Officers, assigned by the DHS to each Governor, who could brief State and law enforcement chiefs every day, then that would have been worthwhile. The Morons in DC don't trust local law enforcement teams to protect their shopping malls, sports stadiums and other high profile targets, believing they will stand idly by and watch terrorists run wild on their patch. They believe everyone should be part of a DC based multi-billion dollar intelligence apparatus that could not find bin Laden if he put return addresses on his videos.

Finally Congress has woken up and issued a new report which gives these Fusion Centers failing grades. From the Internet:

Anti-terrorism information-sharing and analysis is taking a back seat to criminal intelligence at the more than 40 state intelligence fusion centers, according to a new report from the Congressional Research Service…

“While many of the centers have prevention of attacks as a high priority, little ‘true fusion,’ or analysis of disparate data sources, identification of intelligence gaps and pro-active collection of intelligence against those gaps, which could contribute to prevention, is occurring,” CRS researchers wrote in the 100-page report, “Fusion Centers: Issues and Options for Congress.” It was authored by specialists Todd Masse and John Rollins and analyst Siobhan O’Neil.

The fusion centers have received $380 million in start-up funding from the Homeland Security Department but many of them do not have future funding secured, according to CRS. Furthermore, the fusion centers may present risks of civil liberties and privacy incursions, and may not be able to demonstrate enough effectiveness without further guidance, the report suggested…

The centers also suffer from a lack of interoperability with other networks and systems. Although the federal government has recommended use of Extensible Markup Language (XML) to improve information-sharing, it is not required, and many centers continue to purchase proprietary information technology equipment and services that hamper their ability to interact with other systems, the report said.

The whole Intelligence network is so overburdened with layers of untrained, unqualified generators of White Noise that it is absolutely useless for anything other than a STASI look alike dreamed up by neocons. It's time to hand back high level intelligence to the professionals, and develop an effective briefing network to get the message out to everyone. This can be done by a digital network, and a liaison briefing officer in each State Capital and major city. Far, far less than the half billion dollars now spent, and the tens of thousands of pseudo intelligence agents and contractors on the Federal payroll.

The Federation of American Scientists adds their opinion:

"It is unclear if a single fusion center has successfully adopted a truly proactive prevention approach to information analysis and sharing. No state and its local jurisdictions appear to have fully adopted the intelligence cycle."

In principle, fusion centers represent a conduit "through which federal intelligence can flow across the country."

But "numerous fusion center officials claim that although their center receives a substantial amount of information from federal agencies, they never seem to get the 'right information' or receive it in an efficient manner," the CRS report stated.

"It could be argued that if information flow into fusion centers is limited, the quality of the information is questionable, and the center doesn't have personnel with the appropriate skill sets to understand the information, then the end result may not provide value."

How many more "Intelligence Failures" have we to endure before simple common sense prevails and these massive contracts are no longer given to the same companies, the grand contributors to Bush/Cheney. What about doing something for the country and the people?

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