Remember fusion centers? Those federally-funded "information sharing centers,"one of which labeled Campaign for Liberty members and supporters of Campaign for Liberty Chairman Ron Paul's 2008 Presidential Campaign as potential terrorists?
Well, Congress remembers them and is actually trying to enhance their power!
This Monday the House passed two bills by voice vote dealing with fusion centers. The first one ‘'The Fusion Center Enhancement Act of 2015" (HR 3598). Among other items, HR 3598 requires the Department of Homeland Security to make support of fusion centers a priority in any guidance issued by the agency and ensure that information gathered by the fusion centers is shared with all other federal agencies and that the agencies share information with the fusion centers.
The second bill, "The Department of Homeland Security Support to Fusion Centers Act of 2015" (HR 3503) requires the Department of Homeland Security to "assess" the current procures for assigning personnel from the various components of Homeland Security personnel, including TSA, to the fusion censers.
Both of these bills will further integrate the fusion centers into the federal "national security" and law enforcement bureaucracy. Considering that fusion centers have been ineffective at identifying real threats, as opposed to targeting individuals and organizations based on their political beliefs, expanding their power seems like a case of sacrificing liberty without even gaining the illusion of security.
The fact that the House passed this by voice vote with limited debate and opportunity for members to offer amendments is also an outrage. Suspension is supposed to be used for non-controversial bills. Furthermore, by placing these bills on Monday's suspension calendar, House leadership guaranteed that most members would not even be aware these bills were considered until it was too late to do anything about it.
Tags: Homeland Security, fushion centers