Madison Ruppert, Contributor
After six years and tens of millions of dollars already sunk into the project, a fusion center in South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is still not even to the point of being declared “operational.”
The most disturbing aspect of this is that even if it was operational, it would likely still be churning out garbage data (improperly labeled “intelligence”), as was found by a Senate panel earlier this year which concluded that these types of fusion centers produce “predominantly useless information” and “a bunch of crap.”
Indeed, this conclusion was hardly surprising since previous reports indicated that fusion centers produce largely useless intelligence.
In this particular case, the supposed anti-terrorism hub was “supposed to be a state-of-the-art intelligence center, but some are calling it a wasteful white elephant,” according to David Henry of local ABC affiliate WPVI in Philadelphia.
“Maybe we’re just spending too much money and not getting the return on investment,”Edward Turzanski, Assistant Vice President for Government and Community Relations at LaSalle University, said to WPVI.
Henry goes on to cite the tragic events of September 11, 2001 as the “9/11 was the wakeup call that government agencies need to share intelligence about possible terror activity.” The only problem is that fusion centers do nothing to actually produce or share intelligence about possible terror activity.
In fact, fusion centers more often than not simply churn out virulent disinformation like the so-called MIAC Report. It doesn’t help that State and Local Anti-Terrorism Training (SLATT) programs reinforce the nonsensical ideas in the MIAC Report by claiming that bumper stickers are an indicator of potential terrorist activity.
Then again, when the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) puts out information claiming that pretty much all bodily movement is an indicator of potential terrorism, by comparison a bumper sticker looks almost reasonable.
This particular fusion center in Philadelphia was granted $11 million by the DHS, according to WPVI, and the city approved another $9 million for the lease, bringing the total to at least $20 million for a still non-operational fusion center.
“The Philadelphia regional facility is under construction, years behind schedule, in a former military warehouse,” WPVI notes.
However, I must continue to emphasize the fact that even if it was operational, it wouldn’t be producing what could be considered “actionable” intelligence.
The official name for the yet-to-be-operational fusion center in Philadelphia is the Delaware Valley Intelligence Center (DVIC) which, according to WPVI, would “bring local, state and federal agencies, along with private industry, under one roof to gather and share intelligence.”
The mention of private industry is quite interesting, since it is often ignored by most mainstream media outlets.
In reality, the private sector is intimately tied in with these facilities and the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) declared last year that they can retain the personal information (gathered from private sector partners) of Americans for five years, even while knowing that said American has no ties to terrorism whatsoever.
Thankfully, some legislators have begun to express concern about fusion centers like DVIC. One such individual is Congressman Pat Meehan, chair of the Subcommittee on Counter Terrorism and Intelligence.
“Does it start to become something that looks for a mission to justify itself?” Meehan asked. Unfortunately, it seems that the answer to Meehan’s question is a strong yes.
DVIC is slated to house 130 employees and WPVI rightly asks, “what exactly will those 130 employees be doing every day?”
They note that currently the much smaller DVIC unit churns out bulletins with one example being “warning of a hazard to children from swallowing detergent packs that look like candy,” something which obviously has nothing to do with terrorism.
“Not the kind of thing that should be justifying this kind of investment, no doubt,” Meehan said.
According to WPVI, last month’s bipartisan senate report (linked above) singled out the DVIC as “a prime example of lax oversight and waste.”
The report said that the money is being improperly devoted to new construction and that Philadelphia is planning to use the DVIC for other police services, a use which is obviously not in line with the supposed purpose of such fusion centers.
To call that a defense of the DVIC project would be, in my humble opinion, wholly inaccurate since they’re apparently not even attempting to make a case for it but instead just making a wild assertion and hoping the public will believe it.
“Programs that can’t articulate how they’re working for the taxpayers, hard working taxpayer dollars, that are being focused, that can’t justify themselves, there’s a real risk they are going to get cut off,” Meehan said.
I truly hope that Meehan and others will actually step up to the plate and cut off these wasteful programs since in all reality the United States simply does not have a penny to spend.
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This article first appeared at End the Lie.