Patrick Wood of The August Review on Fusion Centers

Patrick Wood, Editor of The August Review wrote The Radical Polirization of Law Enforcement shortly after the MIAC Fusion Center Report, that broad-brush demonized a wide swath of Americans that hold conservative viewpoints  was leaked.
I often ask people I meet, if they know what a Fusion Center is.  So far 100% has no concept or any knowledge of this new domestic intelligence system that now has populated each state with at least one of the centers.
I excerpted the portion of the  article that  pertains directly to the Fusion Centers for its concise description of their structure and purpose, but highly recommend everyone read the entire piece which illustrates well why so many are worried about these centers.
Describing the structure of Fusion Centers clearly is no small feat because it is impossible to really pin down who exactly in in charge of them.    The governance is  often described as “complex”  but we know that the  federal government is providing funding, training, guidelines and equipment to them as well as federal employees from DHS and the FBI.  The stated  purpose for their existence is to break down information sharing barriers between all levels of governance and even  private industry.  Originally their focus was to be on thwarting terrorist plots but due to a shortage of actual terrorists the centers expanded their scope to include criminal investigations and then “all-hazards”
Mr. Woods says;

Patriots, Christians and concerned citizens are increasingly in the cross hairs of the U.S. intelligence community, and battle lines are being quietly drawn that could soon pit our own law enforcement and military forces against us.

A February 20 report entitled “The Modern Militia Movement” was issued by the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) that paints mainstream patriotic Americans as dangerous threats to law enforcement and to the country. Operating under the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the MIAC is listed as a Fusion Center that was established in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice.

Here is the portion of Mr. Woods’ article that gives an overview on the centers and explains the structure of governance;
According to the National Criminal Intelligence Resource Center (NCIRC), a Fusion Center is “a collaborative effort of two or more agencies that provide resources, expertise, and/or information to the center with the goal of maximizing the ability to detect, prevent, apprehend, and respond to criminal and terrorist activity.”As of 2006, the NCIRC listed 50 Fusion Centers in various states.

Most importantly, the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security are the driving forces behind Fusion Centers, having published “Fusion Center Guidelines: Developing and Sharing Information and Intelligence in a New World.” This report headlines “Fusion” as “Turning Information and Intelligence Into Actionable Knowledge.”

Fusion Centers are one of five areas of information sharing under the Information Sharing Environment (ISE) that was established by the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004.

ISE membership includes the Department of Commerce, CIA, Department of Defense, Director of National Intelligence, Department of Energy, FBI, Health and Human Services, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Department of Homeland Security, National Counter-Terrorism Center, Department of Interior, Office of Management and Budget, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of Transportation and the Department of Treasury.

According to one white paper (on the ISE web site) entitled The Intelligence Fusion Process for State, Local and Tribal Law Enforcement, “The most important output of the intelligence Fusion Center is actionable intelligence. This means that the intelligence produced by the center will drive operational responses and strategic awareness of threats.” Accordingly,

“The heart of good intelligence analysis is to have a diverse array of valid and reliable raw information for analysis. The more robust the raw information, the more accurate the analytic output (i.e., intelligence) will be.”

The above mentioned MIAC report, issued by an official Fusion Center, is apparently part of this “diverse array of valid and reliable raw information.”

However, ISE’s understanding of intelligence is foolish. Any intelligence analyst knows that so-called raw information is treated as garbage until verified from multiple sources to validate accuracy, completeness and freedom from bias. Secondly, analytic output depends upon trained and experienced human reasoning and judgment, not on the “robustness” of the raw information itself.

Where do Fusion Centers get inputs?

According to their own documents, Fusion Centers are “seeded” with ideas for analysis by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. Although this is problematic in itself, attention is better directed to the left-wing nonprofit organization, Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

Upon careful word and theme comparison between the MIAC report and SPLC literature, it is apparent that there is a significant link between the two. Either MIAC received training or training material from SPLC or some of its personnel had some previous exposure to it.

The SPLC aggressively offers training to local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. According to the SPLC web site, “We focus on the history, background, leaders and activities of far-right extremists in the U.S.” and states that it “is internationally known for its tolerance education programs, its legal victories against white supremacists and its tracking of hate groups.”

Hate crimes are essentially acts of vilification of a victim because of his or her membership in a certain social group, such as racial, religious, sexual orientation, nationality, gender, etc. While hate crimes are wrong under any circumstance, the SPLC sees no conflict in profiling conservative whites, Christians, Constitutionalists, and patriots as being associated with, if not responsible for, hate crimes in America. This is the pot calling the kettle black.

For instance, consider the SPLC statement, “…a basic fact about all three movements: Patriots, white supremacists and anti-abortion militants are all fueled by interpretations of religion.”

Aside from the fact that this sweeping generalization is plainly not true, it is mud-slinging at its best: Patriots are lumped in with white supremacists, anti-abortionists are militants, and all are driven by an obviously irrational and fanatical application of religion.

In another SPLC article about a tragic killing in South Carolina, entitled “The Abbeville Horror“, the writer goes well beyond just the facts of the story and is careful to sprinkle in words and phrases such as:

Patriots, tax protestors, sovereign citizens, antigovernment extremists, New World Order paranoia, Disarming U.S. Citizens, hard-line Christian Right, constitutional rights, antigovernment “Patriot” literature, anti-Semitic conspiracy, “Live Free or Die,” Ruby Ridge and Waco, Second Amendment, extremist organizing, “closet extremists,” paranoid beliefs, “Give me liberty or give me death.” [quotes appear in original text]

These are the same kinds of words and themes that are seen in The Modern Militia Movement article, where distinctions between good and bad people are blurred and confused: All are guilty by association, if nothing else.

Should a private organization like SPLC be allowed to provide official training to public-entrusted law enforcement agencies? Most would say, “No.” Even if the training was free, the agency should reject influence from the public sector, and even more so if it presents biased and one-sided information that is claimed to be factual.

Conclusion

It is critical to understand that the legitimate law enforcement agencies of cities, counties and states are not adversaries of the people. They are greatly needed for protection against crime and for keeping order in our communities.

They are, however, being methodically seeded with very wrongheaded and dangerous information, the specific intent of which is to polarize law enforcement against peaceful citizens who simply care about the downfall of their country.

This writer interviewed Chuck Baldwin and asked about how he felt when he first saw his good name associated with those who would threaten bodily harm to law enforcement agencies. “Personally, I was stunned,” he said, “but my family has taken this very personally as well. This is more than disturbing.”

When asked about the possible affect of the report on the Constitution Party, of which he was the 2008 presidential candidate, he replied, “I think it will galvanize people and help them to understand the nature of the battle we are in. Freedom must be defended.”

In fact, the MIAC report has created a firestorm all over America. Tens of thousands of protests are being called, written, emailed and faxed to authorities and legislators in Missouri. It would not be surprising to see the report rescinded and an apology given.

Even so, behind-the-scene groups like the SPLC will continue unabated and undeterred in their effort to misinform and disrupt healthy community relations with worthy law enforcement agencies and personnel.

The message to every jurisdiction: Don’t let it happen!

Final thought

Locate the Fusion Center in your state and keep a close eye on the information they are releasing. Stay close to as many law enforcement personnel as you can, asking them to keep their eyes open for reports similar to the Missouri report. Petition your state legislators to ban law enforcement training by private organizations such as the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Read the entire article

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2 responses to “Patrick Wood of The August Review on Fusion Centers

  1. Pingback: Patrick Wood of The August Review on Fusion Centers « AxXiom for … | MyDailySecurity.com

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