Department of Homeland Security: Fusion Centers of Controversy by David Williams


Department of Homeland Security: Fusion Centers of Controversy

David Williams

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) has been investigating the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) fusion centers.  And, according to a October 2, 2012 press release from Sen. Coburn’s office  “The investigation found that DHS intelligence officers assigned to state and local fusion centers produced intelligence of ‘uneven quality – oftentimes shoddy, rarely timely, sometimes endangering citizens’ civil liberties and Privacy Act protections, occasionally taken from already-published public sources, and more often than not unrelated to terrorism.’”  The 141-page bipartisan report used to describe DHS’s fusion centers should send a chill down taxpayers’ spines.

Fusion centers were created after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 when federal and state governments decided that a need existed to improve and enhance communications sharing ability among local, state and national law enforcement.  The way to address this need was supposed to be found in implementing a nationwide network of “fusion centers.”  There are currently 77 fusion centers scattered across the country today.  According to the Washington Post, fusion centers have had bi-partisan support considering that both President George W. Bush and Obama have promoted fusion centers as “essential weapons in the fight to build a nationwide network that would keep the country safe from terrorism.”

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