Are you against abortion? Have you ever supported a third-party political candidate? If so, you could have been on a government list used to help identify potential domestic terrorists. A report was created by MIAC, a Missouri agency formed by the Department of Homeland Security to help law enforcement share information after 9/11, only to be repudiated, once the public learned of it. But potential for further abuse still exists.
There are now an estimated 70 Fusion Centers similar to Missouri's throughout the country. Since 2004, an estimated $254 million dollars has been spent to create these offices. According to an article at foxnews.com, these offices use data mining, the military and excessive secrecy in conducting their investigations.
The Patriot Act and the creation of the DHS were created in the wake of 9/11 by the Bush administration, which faced hysterical accusations of Hitlerian behavior from the left. The ACLU has decried these Fusion Centers as unconstitutional.
The ACLU has put out several documents regarding Fusion Centers. The first document, released in 12/05/07, highlights some important points. First and most important, it addresses the ambiguous lines of authority that the data centers operate under. With the mix of state, federal, and local law enforcement, it becomes difficult to place accountability on one particular group if privacy issues are encountered. In a later article by the ACLU dated July 2008, the ACLU switches the focus to the link between local law enforcement and their increased responsibility as domestic intelligence agents. Here is an excerpt from that report:
In April 2008, the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times both reported on a new Los Angeles Police Department order that compels LAPD officers to begin reporting "suspicious behaviors" in addition to their other duties-creating a stream of "intelligence" about a host of everyday activities that, according to documents, will be fed to the local fusion center.
The list includes such innocuous, clearly subjective, and First Amendment protected activities as:
- taking measurements
- using binoculars
- taking pictures or video footage "with no apparent esthetic value"
- abandoning vehicle
- drawing diagrams
- taking notes
- espousing extremist views
Many of the above activities legitimately could be deemed suspicious and perhaps worthy of a quick investigation. If no wrongdoing is found, the encounter should be forgotten. Although police are instructed not to record information on the encounter, there is a lack of oversight.
The last item on the above list is of particular concern. The problem with targeting Americans with extremist views is that the government decides who those extremists are, and the current incumbent views himself as a man of the center after a life spent among the academic left and former violent revolutionaries.
We have a far left president and a slew of laws that could easily be used to harass and arrest normal Americans that dissent from the changes President Obama hoped for all those years.
This information gathered by investigators could be passed on to a Fusion Center and these people could be subject to government harassment or arrest. We have already seen this administration go after two civilians that we know about; Rush Limbaugh and Joe the Plumber.
How would an ordinary citizen protect himself from this? The government-media complex is very proficient at demonizing certain people. One picture of an arrested man with a few rifles and a suggestion that the person was a suspected militia member and most citizens would side with the government.
Americans need to find out about these Fusion Centers and use the media to spread the word. We also need to write to our senators and congressmen and let them know we will not accept this kind of privacy intrusion from our government.
Edmund Burke once said "All that is necessary for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing." We have seen evil succeed many times in the 20th century. We know that when it does succeed, millions of people are killed or imprisoned.
With Obama, we have a man who wants to change America forever. Before his first term is up, our country could be virtually unrecognizable from what it is today. We present the biggest obstacle to his dream of socialism.