Federal Support for Involvement in State and Local Fusion Centers, Majority and Minority Staff Report, Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, United States Senate   [open pdf - 4MB]

This Majority and Minority Staff Report was issued by Senators Carl Levin and Tom Coburn of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. From the Executive Summary:"Sharing terrorism-related information between state, local and federal officials is crucial to protecting the United States from another terrorist attack. Achieving this objective was the motivation for Congress and the White House to invest hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars over the last nine years in support of dozens of state and local fusion centers across the United States. The Subcommittee investigation found that DHS-assigned detailees to the fusion centers forwarded '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. Congress directed the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to lead this initiative. A bipartisan investigation by the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations has found, however, that DHS' work with those state and local fusion centers has not produced useful intelligence to support federal counterterrorism efforts. The Subcommittee investigation also found that DHS officials' public claims about fusion centers were not always accurate. For instance, DHS officials asserted that some fusion centers existed when they did not. At times, DHS officials overstated fusion centers' 'success stories.' At other times, DHS officials failed to disclose or acknowledge non-public evaluations highlighting a host of problems at fusion centers and in DHS' own operations. Since 2003, over 70 state and local fusion centers, supported in part with federal funds, have been created or expanded in part to strengthen U.S. intelligence capabilities, particularly to detect, disrupt, and respond to domestic terrorist activities. DHS' support for and involvement with these state and local fusion centers has, from the beginning, centered on their professed ability to strengthen federal counterterrorism efforts."

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U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs: http://www.hsgac.senate.gov/
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Listed on October 17, 2012 [Critical Releases]