|Fusion leads to confusion|
|Written by apb staff|
In this case the outrage was advising peace officers that tax paying American citizens that support certain congressional candidates by displaying bumper stickers should be treated as potential threats to national security and public safety. The intelligence advisory sent out in Missouri recently was nothing short of recycled web junk.
But that's to be expected when you have virtually no oversight, quality control or accountability in the homeland security industry. When thousands people can get a master's degree in Homeland Security from an online college without ever taking a class, the odds of those folks producing serious or actionable intelligence is slim to none.
The US intelligence community has its fair share of problems but turning national security over to a bunch of guys with a web site and no training doesn't seem like it will make Americans any safer. As far as the implications for local law enforcement, there are several. First, bulletins like the one that went out in Missouri are a credible threat to your and your agency's reputation.
Secondly, bad intelligence can lead to a "boy cries wolf," scenario where people just tune out like they did on the color-coded terror warnings and advice from officials to buy lots of duct tape and plastic. But most importantly, bogus intelligence can create the illusion that there is a vast network of federal officials and agencies working in perfect harmony to help local law enforcement prepare for and hopefully prevent a terrorist attack.
For all the hundreds of billions of dollars spent on fusion centers and software solutions for the databases containing the names of some one million "possible" terrorists, most of us will take our chances with a much more inexpensive and high tech counter measure- the instincts of a police officer that sees something suspicious.
I'll take the cop over the fusion center any day.