Homeland Security 'Fusion' Center Director: We're Not Spying On Americans… Just Anti-Government Americans
from the uh-that's-not-how-this-works dept
You may recall that, last fall, a Congressional investigation completely slammed Homeland Security’s “Fusion Centers” — noting that despite DHS insisting that they were critical to “fighting terrorism,” the actual evidence showed that they had done nothing helpful in the fight against terrorism, but were instead chock full of wasteful (possibly fraudulent) spending… and with an added dose of civil liberties violations (just for fun).
Apparently, the Fusion Centers are trying to rehabilitate their own image, but they might want to send their officials to press training a bit more before sending them out into the wild. Reason alerts us to an interview that the director of the Arkansas State Fusion Center did with some local TV stations in which he appears to completely contradict himself — first arguing that the Fusion Centers don’t spy on Americans… and then saying they spy on “anti-government” Americans. First, there was this:
“There’s misconceptions on what fusion centers are,” he says. “The misconceptions are that we are conducting spying operations on US citizens, which is of course not the fact. That is absolutely not what we do.”
Okay then. We’ve established won’t you don’t do. So, tell us, what do you do?
Davis says Arkansas hasn’t collected much information about international plots, but they do focus on groups closer to home.
“We focus a little more on that, domestic terrorism and certain groups that are anti-government,” he says. “We want to kind of take a look at that and receive that information.”
Okay, hold on a second here. It would seem that his first statement is completely proven untrue by that second statement. Unless he’s arguing that if someone classifies you as “anti-government” then you’re no longer a US citizen, which would be a rather unique (and wrong) interpretation of the Constitution.
Elsewhere in the article, Davis defends what he does by playing the patriotism card, in which he can’t actually explain what good he’s doing, but just the fact that he’s “doing something” after 9/11 is important.
“I do what I do because of what happened on 9/11,” Davis says. “There’s this urge and this feeling inside that you want to do something, and this is a perfect opportunity for me.”
This line of argument is such ridiculously lazy and dangerous thinking. People who feel they need to “do something!” without caring as to what that something is or (more importantly) if it actually helps (or hurts) are not doing anyone any favors. They’re just bound to cause more trouble.