By Aaron Dykes
A new white paper presented to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence carves out an ‘evolving mission’ for Homeland Security that moves away from fighting terrorism and towards growing a vast domestic intelligence apparatus that would expand integration with local/state agencies and private-public partnerships already underway via regional fusion centers.
Crafted by the Aspen Institute Homeland Security Group, co-chaired by former DHS chief Michael Chertoff and composed of a who’s who of national security figures, the report outlines a total mission creep, as the title “Homeland Security and Intelligence: Next Steps in Evolving the Mission” implies.
Significantly, it puts on paper and into the Congressional record a proposed transition from outwardly dealing with the threats posed by terrorism towards intelligence gathering “focused on more specific homeward-focused areas.” That is, the homegrown, domestic threats we’ve heard so much about from Big Sis already.
In short, it confirms the intentions of key insiders– including former NSA/CIA head Michael Hayden, former Rep. Jane Harmon, former Secretary of State Madeline Albright, 9/11 Commissioners Philip Zelikow and Richard Ben-Viniste, former National Security Advisor Samuel Berger and others– to flesh out a plan we have already seen developing from an outside perspective– namely, to build a domestic Stasi-like force to takeover, monitor and control the population.
Moreover, the media has reported on this changed mission– towards the full spectrum domination of the people under a patently-fascist framework– with the same calm as the weekly weather forecast.
LOCALIZED INTELLIGENCE: HIRING POLICE & BOWING TO PRIVATE INTERESTS
Achieving this new aim includes co-opting local law enforcement and other regional agencies.
“As the threat grows more localized,” the report reads, “the federal government’s need to train, and even staff, local agencies, such as major city police departments, will grow.”
That’s right, the feds want to oversee the hiring of your local police.
Fusion Centers, now spread across the nation, have already infected police agencies and local governments with a federalization takeover mentality. A Dec. 2010 Aspen Homeland Security Group report, quoting the Superintendent of the New Orleans Police Department, recommends that “every mayor and governor of a major city in the country should have to attend a DHS-sponsored emergency management course where various scenarios – like hurricanes, levy breaks, and explosions – are exercised.”
But directing local police departments, mayors and governors is only the beginning. Indeed, the Aspen group envisions the ‘foundation for a separate DHS intelligence mission’ by building upon ‘decentralized’ partnerships with the private sector as well.
Homeland Security Should Re-Orient Its Mission, Aspen Panel Says
The bloated umbrella agency aims to lean on its ties with the hospitality (hotel), security and transportation industries, among others, as well. Already, Homeland Security conducts background checks on many security guards working with ‘critical infrastructure,’ and clearly, it aims to expand the use of quasi-government groups like InfraGard and other private snitch networks. Ultimately, all employment would be subject to federal background checks and security clearances.
Private interests should even shape Homeland Security priorities, according to the report: “different private sectors in the United States, from the hospitality industry to transportation, should drive requirements for DHS.”
ABANDONING THE FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISM
As unbelievable as it sounds, DHS says other agencies can handle the all-encompassing threat of terrorism that was used to justify the super-agency’s own existence and powers.
Abandoning specific focus on tracking terrorist cells and organizations, DHS instead plans to shift into broad coverage of border protection, integrating travel data, cyber defense, critical infrastructure protection and other areas.
“There are enough agencies pursuing the terrorist adversary to allow DHS to build a new analytic foundation that emphasizes data, analytic questions, and customer groups that are not the focus for other agencies,” the report states.
And funding should be cut from terrorism-focused areas:
“Analysis that helps private-sector partners better understand how to mitigate threats to infrastructure, for example, should win more resourcing than a focus on all-source analysis of general threats, such as work on assessing the perpetrators of attacks. Conversely, all-source analysis of terrorist groups and general terrorist trends should remain the domain of other intelligence agencies.”
Instead, the “national security experts” who’ve brought us naked body scanners, checkpoints on highways, streets, airports, bus & train stations, and who have projected the homegrown terror threat into the theaters of private hotels, shopping malls and sports stadiums, are again expanding the bureaucratic growth of tyranny by infiltrating areas traditionally spared from federal intrusion.
A promotional article at the Homeland Security News Wire blog highlights the shift: “With a slew of intelligence agencies with similar missions safeguarding the United States, the report posits that DHS should avoid competing with other agencies and overlapping responsibilities, instead focusing on its areas of core strengths – analysis and the dissemination of critical intelligence to local law enforcement agency, the private sector, and critical infrastructure operators.”
“THE NEW, GROWING WORLD OF HOMELAND SECURITY INTELLIGENCE”
Further the Aspen report recommends “an entirely new enterprise,” stating that “DHS might consider the development of a homeland security training institute.” It hails the security-complex workforce that has been fostered by Homeland Security in the decade since 9/11, now seeking to influence and train its future recruits as well.
The report verifies previous information suggesting that DHS wants to comb the American homeland with private security contractors, trained and overseen by Homeland Security– a giant army of enforcers and snitches, brainwashed by propaganda scaremongering about terrorism, who could respond to crime as a whole with an atmosphere of universal preemptive suspicion that targets anyone who appears out of place.
“Working with state/local/private sector partners to draw their intelligence capabilities into a national picture” is a stated aim of this redirection of Homeland Security’s core mission. Installing and training individual members of these partner groups- from local police departments to the eyes and ears it would tap in the security, transportation and infrastructure industries- would facilitate the kind of over-arching homeland security infrastructure the document aims to construct over society.
DOMESTIC EXTREMISM: TARGETING AMERICAN SOCIETY
Doing so would put greater emphasis on the kind of politically-slanted domestic profiling (read: “intelligence product“) that has already drawn criticism and forced the agency to disavow one of its own reports, which targeted ‘right-wing extremism’:
The numerous federal and other officials familiar with the matter Homeland Security Today interviewed frankly said the April 7, 2009 DHS report that generated so much outrage, Right-wing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment, was the most “poorly constructed” analytical “product in DHS history,” and that numerous reports dealing with rightwing extremists have in fact been produced by DHS since it disavowed that one report.
The Department of Homeland Security was sold to public on a wave of fear in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, under the promise of keeping America safe from terrorism. Instead, the Homeland Stasi agency is solidifying its role as a secret police over the United States. Not only have local police agencies been instructed that non-violent protesters, returning veterans and supporters of third party candidates are potential domestic terrorists, but Federal Protective Service (FPS) agents– dispatched with Homeland Security oversight- have been caught arresting photographers and spying on dissenters (in this case during an Occupy Wall Street protest in Portland).
Recent Homeland Security-related documents have already revealed that the American people have been designated as an enemy under emergency plans and that the feds are contracting and activating FEMA relocation centers for use during a crisis or catastrophe.
MISSION CREEP: HANDING OVER UNACCOUNTABLE POWER
Sadly, this warped mission creep is nothing new to the United States’ intelligence agencies.
Former President Harry Truman lamented the CIA’s extreme power grab some 16 years after he signed the bill ushering it– and the entire national security infrastructure– into existence. One month after the JFK assassination in 1963, he stated:
“For some time I have been disturbed by the way the CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the government… I never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak and dagger operations.”
Behind the scenes, it was former CIA director Allen Dulles, along with a number of fellow travelers, who crafted the CIA’s transformation under a limited, intelligence gathering mandate into the unaccountable monster it became. During a decade as head of the CIA, Dulles utilized the Jackson-Correa white paper he helped write to usher in black ops and other operational aspects never intended to be, from assassinations, to coups, to revolutions, and more (see Col. Fletcher Prouty’s The Secret Team). Suddenly, the CIA was operating from the shadows, a virtual government-within-government, with no clear path towards reigning in its power.
Will the already-controversial Department of Homeland Security be allowed, too, to creep so far into our lives that we can never look back?