Wednesday, April 08, 2009


"Who were these Osama bin Lobbyists who had convinced Americans to support terrorism?" reads a recent investigative piece at the Texas Observer.

"Citing a grab bag of right-wing blogs and news sources, [a] memo lists the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the International Action Center, Act Now to Stop War and End Racism —ANSWER — and former Democratic U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney of Georgia. It also suggests that a class on Islamic finance taught at the Treasury Department 'indicates the possibility that the government hopes to secure recycled petrodollars in exchange for conforming to Shariah economic doctrine.' The memo ends by calling on law enforcement to 'report' the activities of the organizations."

The missive reads like a rant by a paranoid conspiracy nut. In fact, the so-called 'Prevention Awareness Bulletin' is a weekly product of the North Central Texas Fusion System ..."

Unsurprisingly, the Dept. of Homeland Security funds this 'fusion system' -- designed to protect North Texas from terrorism. Fusion system, in this case, means watching Fox News on multiple screens and monitoring right-wing crank blogs, the better to divine who needs to be watched in 2009 America.

"Fusion centers arose amid post-9/11 efforts to get local and state law enforcement involved in anti-terrorism," the article responds.

Los Angeles County has one called the Terrorism Early Warning Center. Like its North Texan relative, its investigators who do many things (presumably some of them useful) and are tied to local police forces, apparently drag the Internet for subversive elements, too. In news reports members of it, peculiarly ex-military men with special forces training, have been implicated in shady dealings. (Sample stand-out mail from anonymous vanity-crawling member: "I find your blog a waste even in the infinite space of the world wide web. I hope that some radical muslim finds you and slices your throat. Then you may actually believe the threat exists in your very backyard ... ")

Terror analysis fusion centers operate outside oversight and transparency. No real regulations exist to deal with the proliferation of them, explains the Observer article.

"Two highly placed sources in the Texas criminal intelligence and fusion communities say the North Texas center is less a cutting-edge than a butt of jokes," the article concludes at one point.

"Dr. Bob's Terror Shop" is recommended. See it here.


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