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Bored law agencies need to spy on you

Let’s put this another way, the war on terrorism is going so badly in the US, simply because there aren’t any terrorist, that all the law agencies set up to fight them have to now turn their attention to law abiding citizens!  That was always the plan, but they had to scare the population into supporting the establishment of so many law agencies, perhaps the highest per capita in the world.  Now, the chickens have come home to roost.

Fusion centers are collaborative law enforcement and intelligence organizations that were established all over the country after 9/11 to share intelligence and counterterrorism information. But in the absence of a widespread domestic terrorist threat, they have not consistently demonstrated their value, according to a recent study.

“Fusion centers emerged almost spontaneously in response to a need by state and local law enforcement for useful and usable intelligence related to the evolving terrorist threat,” observed Milton Nenneman, a Sacramento police officer, in a master’s thesis (pdf) based on a survey of California fusion centers.

But the terrorist threat has turned out to be “insufficient” to justify or sustain the new fusion centers.

There is, more often than not, insufficient purely ‘terrorist’ activity to support a multi-jurisdictional and multi-governmental level fusion center that exclusively processes terrorist activity,” said Lt. Nenneman.

As a result, “Fusion centers must consider analyzing or processing other criminal activity, in addition to terrorist activity, in order to maintain the skills and interest of the analysts, as well as the participation and data collection of the emergency responder community.”

Agencies with budgets approaching independent countries are now turning their attention on “criminal activity”, whatever that means, to keep the mental acumen of their analyst employees sharp.  What will agencies established to fight terrorist whose employees are responders to terrorism do to remain proficient when there are no terrorists to fight? Is anyone interested in that question?

More lies about Iraq

We blogged earlier about US plans to establish permanent bases in Iraqi and how some considered that an infringement on Iraqi sovereignty.  Naturally, Iraqis aren’t too enamored to the idea, as well they shouldn’t, so when things got out of hand one day recently, President Bush made a phone call to the Iraqi Prime Minister to assure him “Washington was not seeking to undermine Iraq’s sovereignty and that America would reconsider any contentious part of the agreement.” Obviously that’s diplomatic language used to diffuse a tense situation in Iraq as many Iraqis took to the street to protest the impending agreement.  However, America wants what it wants and uses a big stick to get it, Iraqi sovereignty be damned!

The US is holding hostage some $50bn (£25bn) of Iraq’s money in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to pressure the Iraqi government into signing an agreement seen by many Iraqis as prolonging the US occupation indefinitely, according to information leaked to The Independent.

US negotiators are using the existence of $20bn in outstanding court judgments against Iraq in the US, to pressure their Iraqi counterparts into accepting the terms of the military deal……The US is able to threaten Iraq with the loss of 40 per cent of its foreign exchange reserves because Iraq’s independence is still limited by the legacy of UN sanctions and restrictions imposed on Iraq since Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in the 1990s. This means that Iraq is still considered a threat to international security and stability under Chapter Seven of the UN charter. The US negotiators say the price of Iraq escaping Chapter Seven is to sign up to a new “strategic alliance” with the United States.

So despite the fact Saddam is DEAD and a new government has been installed, supposedly with the full support of the United States, the Iraqi government can still be considered a threat to international security or they can sign the agreement the US wants and possibly get their money back. Doesn’t sound like respect for one’s sovereignty to me.