Fusion Center Push Back

October 21, 2015

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Fusion Center Push Back

Maine Representative Charlotte Warren has introduced a bill that would compel oversight of the state’s lone fusion center and the center’s budget. The fusion center is formally known as the Maine Information and Analysis Center.

The Maine center is already supposed to be overseen by a three-member advisory board that includes Daniel Wathen, a former chief justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. In September, Wathen told the Portland Press Herald “that years have passed since the board met and tried to evaluate the center’s activities.”

“It was rather hard to get your hands around what they were actually doing,” Judge Wathen told the paper.

In a statement released yesterday Representative Warren said, “The board charged with overseeing the center hasn’t met in years because when they have, there is little information given to them. The people of the State of Maine have the right to know how their government is working for them.”

Fusion Centers

Fusion centers are notorious for domestic spying and for issuing erroneous reports. For example, there are probably six fusion centers in Texas. One of them, the El Paso Intelligence Center, houses, according to the Wall Street Journal, “a national database to track in real time the movement of vehicles around the U.S., (and) a secret domestic intelligence-gathering program that scans and stores hundreds of millions of records about motorists.” The El Paso Intelligence Center also issued an “intelligence report” that claimed members of the armed forces were “supplying the (Bandidos) gang with grenades and C4 explosives,” in order to carry out attacks on law enforcement officials and their families.

Fusion Centers received something more than $461 million in federal funds last year. The exact amount is unknown.

Senate Investigation

A two-year bipartisan investigation by the U. S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations published a 141 page report in October 2012 that found that fusion centers spent federal funds on tricked out Chevy Tahoes, shirt button cameras, computers for police to better access fusion center data and big screen televisions. One fusion center spent “$75,000 on 55 flat-screen televisions…When asked what the televisions were being used for, officials said they displayed calendars, and were used for ‘open-source monitoring.’ Asked to define ‘open-source monitoring,’ officials said they meant ‘watching the news.’”

There are an estimated 80 fusion centers in the United States but the exact number is unknown because some fusion centers are fictional.

For example, the Senate report found that, “Since 2009, the Department of Homeland Security has counted among its officially recognized fusion centers an entity in Wyoming it has referred to as the Wyoming Fusion Center…. According to Wyoming state officials, their state has no fusion center and never intended to create one. ‘It confuses me,’ said Kebin Haller, Deputy Director for the state’s Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI). They have a criminal intelligence center…but ‘we’ve chosen not to refer to it as a fusion center.’”

The report also found that the “DHS has counted among its recognized fusion centers the Delaware Valley Information Center (DVIC), which it locates in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania…. Since 2006, DHS has awarded millions of dollars in grant funds in support of the project. In response to a 2010 survey from the Subcommittee, however, Philadelphia officials stated the center did not yet exist.”

ACLU

Eight years ago, when the danger fusion centers posed to the Republic was much less dire, the American Civil Liberties Union found “five overarching problems with these domestic intelligence operations (that) put Americans’ privacy and civil liberties at risk:

•    Ambiguous Lines of Authority. In a multi-jurisdictional environment it is unclear what rules apply, and which agency is ultimately responsible for the activities of the fusion center participants.

•    Private Sector Participation. Some fusion centers incorporate private-sector corporations into the intelligence process, potentially undermining privacy laws designed to protect the privacy of innocent Americans, and increasing the risk of a data breach.

•    Military Participation. Some fusion centers include military personnel in law enforcement activities in troubling ways.

•    Data Fusion and Data Mining. Federal fusion center guidelines encourage wholesale data collection and manipulation processes that threaten privacy.

•    Excessive Secrecy. Fusion centers are characterized by excessive secrecy, which limits public oversight, impairs their ability to acquire essential information and impedes their ability to fulfill their stated mission, bringing their ultimate value into doubt.

In its report, the ACLU concluded, “The lack of proper legal limits on the new fusion centers not only threatens to undermine fundamental American values, but also threatens to turn them into wasteful and misdirected bureaucracies that, like our federal security agencies before 9/11, won’t succeed in their ultimate mission of stopping terrorism and other crime.”

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32 Responses to “Fusion Center Push Back”

  1. dogbreath Says:

    From the article quoted by Hans:

    “Nearly 200 bikers were arrested after the deadly Waco melee in May, but one of the men in the middle of the action has not been charged with any crime.”

    “Police and prosecutors have declined to talk, citing a gag order issued by a judge, which prohibits them from publicly commenting on the case.”

    If Mr. Pierce was never charged or arrested, then he is not part of any case. There is no gag order restriction as far as he is concerned.

    A Cossack prospect, that started the whole damn thing, then ends up missing?
    Missing? With all the fucking pigs they had there, a “maybe paralyzed” man just stood up and sauntered away??? And why was he carried to a ‘triage area’ when others were left to bleed out and die with no assistance whatsoever?

    Why does my mind take me to phrases like “agent provocateur” and “witness protection program”?? Why do I smell Fedbacon in this mix?

  2. Tooj Says:

    politicians and diapers need to be changed; often for the same reason.

  3. BMW Says:

    The so-called “Fusion” intelligence centers are nothing more than LEO taking advantage of 9/11 to expand their use of national security intelligence for greater advantage against local targets. Although more than 2 billion dollars have been spent, not a single national security threat has been countered by information shared through one of these are Fusion Centers.

    Tens of thousands of supposed analysts have been hired, usually through subcontractors that used to suck up airplane and military support dollars. Most of this expense has been hidden in the “Black Budget”, the portion of the federal budget that taxpayers never see.

    YOU ARE NOT PARANOID WHEN THEY REALLY ARE OUT TO GET YOU!!! LOL

    JUSTICE FOR ZACH TIPTON AND TONYA FOCHT IN 2015!!!
    BMW

  4. Jim666 Says:

    they create jobs for lazy shit bags that are to retarded to do any king or real work they are worthless and mostly sit behind a computer screen watching gay porn all day to get a free govt. check out of our “tax payers” pockets, so they can fuck us any way they deem fit, fuck the rat bastards
    we need to start our own country somewhere !
    TOSIAR
    ACAB
    FTP

  5. Road Whore Says:

    It’s time to RIDE, bitches!

  6. Road Whore Says:

    Fuck a bunch of fusion centers.

    Ride Free

  7. VAGO 1%er Says:

    @ Paladin
    Perfectly stated.

  8. Hans Says:

    Apologies for double-posting Y’all.

    -Hans

  9. Tommy Says:

    “Police have yet to reveal who among the dead or wounded were shot by officers. Waco’s police chief has said his officers fired to save their lives as well as those of others.”

    So shooting into a large crowd at a restaurant is trying to save their lives as well as others? WTF?

  10. Hans Says:

    I has some luck with searching for the article from XYZ:

    Man at center of Waco shootout remains a mystery
    By Dane Schiller
    October 2, 2015 Updated: October 5, 2015 3:31pm

    Nearly 200 bikers were arrested after the deadly Waco melee in May, but one of the men in the middle of the action has not been charged with any crime.

    People who were at the scene say they helped carry an injured Clifford Pierce to a triage area in the parking lot and believe he may have been paralyzed.

    But they are unsure of his current whereabouts.

    The last time Pierce was seen at the house he rented in Waco was the morning of the shooting, and he hasn’t been back, said his former landlord. Family removed his belongings.

    Messages left for him by the Houston Chronicle have not been returned. Pierce, who has previously lived in California, does not appear to have any prior arrests in Texas.

    Houston lawyer Mark Thiessen, who represents a biker charged in the case, said it is too soon to jump to conclusions about why Pierce has not been accused in the incident, in which nine people were killed and 18 wounded.

    “It is strange, absolutely,” Thiessen said. “It is one of a bunch of questions right now.”

    Police and prosecutors have declined to talk, citing a gag order issued by a judge, which prohibits them from publicly commenting on the case.
    Related

    All of the 177 bikers arrested after the incident, including many who were bystanders and claim they did not throw a punch or fire a gun, were accused of engaging in an organized crime conspiracy to commit assault and murder. They face 15 years to life if convicted.

    Tensions reportedly had been running high between rival motorcycle clubs – the Cossacks and the Bandidos – in the weeks running up to the clash at a Twin Peaks restaurant, where a regional meeting of several biker clubs was to be held.

    According to several of those who were at the event, the Cossacks showed up early and uninvited, and that led to a parking lot face-off between Pierce, a prospective member of the Cossacks, and David Martinez, president of the Dallas chapter of the Bandidos.

    Martinez, who was riding a 2015 Harley-Davidson and leading Bandidos into the lot, “nearly struck” Pierce, according to an affidavit by Waco police officer Vincent Glenn.

    Glenn does not elaborate on what else happened between the men, both of whom were shot and wounded.

    Witnesses have said Pierce, 50, was standing beside several Cossacks’ motorcycles outside the restaurant. It is unclear if Pierce said anything to Martinez.

    Violence “swiftly erupted,” according to police, with bikers wielding guns, knives, brass knuckles and other weapons.

    Martinez was later arrested at a hospital. Glenn’s affidavit states police have video of Martinez firing a handgun, but he does not say if Martinez hit anyone.

    Martinez, who has a permit to carry a concealed weapon, could not be reached for comment, and he does not have a lawyer listed in files at McLennan County District Clerk.

    Police have yet to reveal who among the dead or wounded were shot by officers. Waco’s police chief has said his officers fired to save their lives as well as those of others.

  11. Hans Says:

    By Dane Schiller
    October 2, 2015 Updated: October 5, 2015 3:31pm

    Nearly 200 bikers were arrested after the deadly Waco melee in May, but one of the men in the middle of the action has not been charged with any crime.

    People who were at the scene say they helped carry an injured Clifford Pierce to a triage area in the parking lot and believe he may have been paralyzed.

    But they are unsure of his current whereabouts.

    The last time Pierce was seen at the house he rented in Waco was the morning of the shooting, and he hasn’t been back, said his former landlord. Family removed his belongings.

    Messages left for him by the Houston Chronicle have not been returned. Pierce, who has previously lived in California, does not appear to have any prior arrests in Texas.

    Houston lawyer Mark Thiessen, who represents a biker charged in the case, said it is too soon to jump to conclusions about why Pierce has not been accused in the incident, in which nine people were killed and 18 wounded.

    “It is strange, absolutely,” Thiessen said. “It is one of a bunch of questions right now.”

    Police and prosecutors have declined to talk, citing a gag order issued by a judge, which prohibits them from publicly commenting on the case.
    Related

    All of the 177 bikers arrested after the incident, including many who were bystanders and claim they did not throw a punch or fire a gun, were accused of engaging in an organized crime conspiracy to commit assault and murder. They face 15 years to life if convicted.

    Tensions reportedly had been running high between rival motorcycle clubs – the Cossacks and the Bandidos – in the weeks running up to the clash at a Twin Peaks restaurant, where a regional meeting of several biker clubs was to be held.

    According to several of those who were at the event, the Cossacks showed up early and uninvited, and that led to a parking lot face-off between Pierce, a prospective member of the Cossacks, and David Martinez, president of the Dallas chapter of the Bandidos.

    Martinez, who was riding a 2015 Harley-Davidson and leading Bandidos into the lot, “nearly struck” Pierce, according to an affidavit by Waco police officer Vincent Glenn.

    Glenn does not elaborate on what else happened between the men, both of whom were shot and wounded.

    Witnesses have said Pierce, 50, was standing beside several Cossacks’ motorcycles outside the restaurant. It is unclear if Pierce said anything to Martinez.

    Violence “swiftly erupted,” according to police, with bikers wielding guns, knives, brass knuckles and other weapons.

    Martinez was later arrested at a hospital. Glenn’s affidavit states police have video of Martinez firing a handgun, but he does not say if Martinez hit anyone.

    Martinez, who has a permit to carry a concealed weapon, could not be reached for comment, and he does not have a lawyer listed in files at McLennan County District Clerk.

    Police have yet to reveal who among the dead or wounded were shot by officers. Waco’s police chief has said his officers fired to save their lives as well as those of others.

  12. stracc Says:

    Xyz please summarize that article

  13. ak rack Says:

    Mercifully, the fusion centers have a history of mind-boggling ineptitude that makes them much less dangerous than they could be. This comes from a Washington Post article about 3 years ago(http://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/dhs-fusion-centers-portrayed-as-pools-of-ineptitude-and-civil-liberties-intrusions/2012/10/02/10014440-0cb1-11e2-bd1a-b868e65d57eb_story.html):

    ‘ “Investigators found instances in which the analysts used intelligence about U.S. citizens that may have been gathered illegally. In one case, a fusion center in California wrote a report on a notorious gang, the Mongols Motorcycle Club, that had distributed leaflets telling its members to behave when they got stopped by police. The leaflet said members should be courteous, control their emotions and, if drinking, have a designated driver.

    “There is nothing illegal or even remotely objectionable [described] in this report,” one supervisor wrote about the draft before killing it. “The advice given to the groups’ members is protected by the First Amendment.” ‘

    Hopefully these knuckleheads will continue to demonstrate a usefulness commensurate with tits on a boar hog so that someday, somehow some politician will make a name for himself shutting them down in the name of reducing waste, fraud and abuse.

  14. Meh Says:

    Might be a fine article but non-subscribers can’t read it.

  15. Tommy Says:

    Very interesting XYZ very interesting

  16. david Says:

    Money truly is the dominating factor in this country, bribe money, pay-off money, under the table money.

    It is more profitable for your congressman to support the militarized pigs than your life.

  17. XYZ Says:

    Below is (minus footnotes) from “DEFENDANT PEAKTASTIC BEVERAGE, LLC’S MOTION TO DESIGNATE UNKNOWN CRIMINAL ACTORS AND LAW ENFORCEMENT AS RESPONSIBLE THIRD PARTIES” as filed for record 10.21.15 in Dallas County District Court Case No. DC-15-05787, styled DC WACO RESTAURANT, INC. D/B/A DON CARLOS RESTAURANT vs. PEAKTASTIC BEVERAGE, LLC D/B/A TWIN PEAKS RESTAURANT, et al

    ******

    V. THE COURT SHOULD DESIGNATE LAW ENFORCEMENT AS RESPONSIBLE THIRD PARTIES

    Law Enforcement has been tracking a feud between the Bandidos and Cossacks, two motorcycle gangs, for at least the past year. Region 1 of the Confederation of Clubs and Independents (“COCI”) booked the patio of TPW for a peaceable meeting to discuss the Texas legislative session and disseminate information regarding issues of public interest to motorcycle enthusiasts.9 The twelve region COCI regularly meets for such purposes and has been recognized by public institutions as a legitimate lobbying group on behalf of motorcycle enthusiasts. Waco PD was definitely present at the scene prior to the initiation of any violence or gunfire at the scene. Additionally, Texas DPS admitted in a recent court hearing that they were present at the Incident. During their preparations that morning, Texas DPS observed the Bandidos and their support groups staging at the nearby Flying J truck stop, which forced Texas DPS to shift their own staging area to another location.

    Texas DPS also stated during a recent hearing that they observed the Cossacks occupying defensive positions around TPW. Officers from various law enforcement agencies, including Waco PD and Texas DPS, were positioned around the restaurant prior to the Incident. Waco PD admittedly used SWAT officers armed with rifles with sound suppressors during the Incident. According to a June 12 press release from the Waco PD, 44 shell casings were recovered from the crime scene and twelve of the 44 shell casings were fired from the suppressed rifles of three Waco PD SWAT Officers.

    In an unsworn statement to the Honorable Ralph Strother during his bond hearing, John Wilson, the alleged leader of the McLennan County Chapter of the Cossacks, said that “Waco PD had come to my [motorcycle] shop several times in the month prior telling me that there had been threats towards
    us.” Then, Mr. Wilson’s attorney, Mr. Mike White, said that his investigation revealed that Waco PD “actually advised him [Wilson] to begin a dialogue to try to lower the tension that had been preceding this event for numerous weeks. . . They [Waco PD] suggested that he either go to this
    [the COCI] meeting or start some dialogue or start having sit- downs with opposing motorcycle clubs.”

    As a result, there is evidence that Law Enforcement is responsible for Plaintiff’s alleged injury or damages.

  18. Slide Says:

    Continued from above;
    Overseas to a country that it can use to snoop on us. Here is a link from 2008 http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=14963

    The Carlyle Group did indeed purchase BAH and as of today employ over 22000 people all over the world. Not counting government agency workers who oversee BAH.

    AND the 300 or more current shareholders are indeed from all sectors of corporate world. They are Pres. VP, CEO, CFO Owners of every type of company imaginable.

    Money is the dominanting factor here. Information, security, and the decimation of that information is incidental to these fat cats. We suffer the incidentalso of them snooping on us and they get rich.

    Stopping them is like hypnotizing chickens; it can be done, bUt it is a lot of work.

    Sorry Rebel for the fragmented post. Damn phone.

  19. Slide Says:

    Thanks for providing insight into an ongoing and problematic issue Rebel. Just one of the issues of these “fusion centers” is the decimation of not only our privacy rights; but the billions now going to the few haves spying on the have nots.

    Booze Allen Hamilton; the privately owned company and it’s subsidiaries, has a monopoly on the information technology. It also has, as stated above subsidiaries companies that operate all over the world. In a situation where the laws of this land stop them,”legally from conducting surveillance on it’s own, they merely send it

  20. TX_Biker Says:

    Fusion centers and domestic spying. I wonder how we ever survived as a country before someone came up with the Idea for these entities. I assume since we no longer really need individual liberty (in the eyes of the government) these centers are now critical to managing the unwashed masses…..As I have said before our forefathers would have been shooting by now….

  21. Stevo Says:

    Sieg has it right. The Romans were masters of controlling the mob, that’s what the Coliseum was for. You can directly trace the Kardashians, cheap beer and the mock combat sports of today to the Roman Games. As long as us Plebians soak it up the Patricians will control us.

    Stevo

  22. Road Whore Says:

    @ Meh and @ Paladin: Amen, and amen.

    The trouble with removing a corrupt system is truthfully examined by the excellent book, “Animal Farm.” If you’ve never read it, please do so. Eternal vigilance against creeping corruption is necessary…and it’s necessary that we even apply that vigilance to ourselves.

    Which is why there should be strict term limits and massive oversight for every damn thing.

    Ride Free

  23. Paladin Says:

    It’s near impossible to compel the oversight of an entity that refuses to be overseen. Such is the way of clandestine operators and operations. North Korea’s defiance of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons is a textbook example of this.

    When the citizenry finally (if ever) gets sick and tired of the government continual intrusion into their lives (all the while proclaiming that it’s for their safety and protection), only then will fusion centers and other clandestine operations cease to exist.

    The private companies and corporations that work with the fusion centers are doing so, only for the cash that flows from the government’s vagina. They couldn’t care less about the safety of this Country or anyone living in it. It is and always has been strictly about the money.

    To be sure, their are bad guys out there that need to watched and to keep tabs on, but there are only so many bad guys to go around. So, what does one do with the other 12-16 hours of the day? Answer: One spies on everyone else in the Country, inventing bad guys as needed.

    Long May You Ride (to those that deserve to),

    Paladin

  24. Lone Rider Says:

    ^^^^^ Words of Wisdom and Truth from all you Gents.^^^^^ TOSIAR!

  25. Sieg Says:

    As long as there is beer in the liquor store, and the Talmudvision continues to display T&A, interspersed with mock-combat sports, there will be no change for the sheeple.

    Take away any of those underpinnings, and you have the germ of an uprising.

    There is no other way.

    FTF/FTP/FTG
    TOSIAR

  26. FF Says:

    It comes down to sacrifice. Who wants to sacrifice themself?

  27. Wolfenlover Says:

    Maybe “V for VENDETTA” should attack these f’n FUSION centers! Even the ones
    that DON’T EXIST!! I don’t have a f’n cell-phone & send very few Emails. I’m
    about as “off the grid” as I can get while still living in a sparsely populated
    area. HERE is essentially my only means of expression.

    RESPECTS Rebel & to the real regulars

  28. XYZ Says:

    http://www.tmra2.org/blogger/?cat=1&paged=18

    Posted on April 23, 2011

    “OVER 10,000 letters ROCK the Capitol in support of SB1572 Fusion Center
    Privacy Policy

    The Texas Bikers had their first committee hearing in the Senate on the
    all important SB1572- Fusion Center Privacy Policy Bill.”

  29. Nobody Important Says:

    It is not so much public support as public apathy. So long as -they- are not inconvenienced, we can be killed in droves. Also, utter media silence helps.

  30. Meh Says:

    “Damn I wish we could take this country out of the hands of corrupt individuals……”

    That would be “most of the public”. The system didn’t descend from Mars, it was built over time and with relentless support from the general public.

    When a cop shoots a biker and gets away with it, that’s no different than a cop shooting a “person of color” and getting away with it. Pork wouldn’t last a second without massive public support and don’t forget it.

    We don’t have freedoms because of the many. The many are mostly shitbags.

    We have what little freedom remains because of the few who defy the many.

  31. Tommy Says:

    Damn I wish we could take this country out of the hands of corrupt individuals……

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