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Published On: Fri, Apr 5th, 2013

Fusion center director says they only spy on ‘anti-government’ Americans

Complaining about the government may draw the ire of the officials, especially in Arkansas.

photo Charles Fettinger via Flickr

photo Charles Fettinger via Flickr

The goal of fusion centers “is to collect and share information, to prevent bad things from happening,” said Richard Davis, the director of the Arkansas State Fusion Center.

After claiming that his office ‘absolutely’ does not spy on Americans, he proceeded to explain that this does not apply to those who could be interpreted as a ‘threat’ to national security. Davis said his office places its focus on international plots, “domestic terrorism and certain groups that are anti-government. We want to kind of take a look at that and receive that information.”

He was teaching First Responders about Intelligence gathering techniques when he stated:

“There’s misconceptions on what fusion centers are. 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.”

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.” 

“We are seeing the fourth straight year of really explosive growth on the part of anti-government patriot groups and militias,” Mark Potok, senior fellow at the SPLC, told Mother Jones. “That’s 913 percent in growth. We’ve never seen that kind of growth in any group we cover.”

And with a record-high number of anti-government groups, fusion centers may be spying on more Americans than ever before – or at least, have the self-proclaimed right to do so.

“I do what I do because of what happened on 9/11,” Davis said. “There’s this urge and this feeling inside that you want to do something, and this is a perfect opportunity for me.”

“Fusion centers,” according to the Department of Homeland Security, “conduct analysis and facilitate information sharing, assisting law enforcement and homeland security partners in preventing, protecting against, and responding to crime and terrorism.” Yet after a two-year investigation into fusion centers, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs permanent subcommittee stated [PDF] that it “could identify no reporting which uncovered a terrorist threat, nor could it identify a contribution such fusion center reporting made to disrupt an active terrorist plot.” Furthermore, fusion centers “often produced irrelevant” and “useless” intelligence reports. “Many produced no intelligence reporting whatsoever.” It was also confirmed by a former fusion center chief, who said, “There were times when it was, ‘what a bunch of crap is coming through’.”

DHS fusion center facts state, “Both Fusion Center Directors and the federal government identified the protection of privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties (P/CRCL) as a key priority and an important enabling capability to ensure fusion centers protect the privacy and other legal rights of Americans, while supporting homeland security efforts.”

Yet a recent Government Accountability Office study [PDF] into fusion centers has more First-Amendment-protected activities listed as potentially suspicious (nine), than it has as activities that are “defined as criminal and potential terrorism nexus activity” (seven). Those nine are listed as “these activities are generally First-Amendment-protected activities and should not be reported in a SAR or ISE (terrorism)-SAR absent articulable facts and circumstanced that support the source agency’s suspicion that the behavior observed is not innocent, but rather reasonable indicative of criminal activity associated with terrorism.”

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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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  1. Domestic Terrorism Doublespeak | REPUBLIC MAGAZINE | THE VOICE OF THE PATRIOT MOVEMENT says:

    […] The MSM (Main Stream Media) provides a ripe and rich environment for attaching labels to individuals or groups as they see fit. It seems as though every day we can find a news article or articles describing an act of domestic terrorism. Some of these stories use the term domestic terrorism accurately, while others broaden the definition to include any acts the government deems inappropriate. […]

  2. Fusion center director says they only spy on ‘anti-government’ Americans – The Global Dispatch | Stock Market Bulls says:

    […] The Global Dispatch […]

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