Senate Report: We’ve Spent Billions Improperly Collecting Information On Innocent Americans, Yielding Little On Terrorism
A program created after 9/11 produced little information on terrorism and improperly gathered information on innocent Americans.
Because of a convoluted grants process set up by Congress, Homeland Security officials don’t know how much they have spent in their decade-long effort to set up so-called fusion centers in every state. Government estimates range from less than $300 million to $1.4 billion in federal money, plus much more invested by state and local governments. Federal funding is pegged at about 20 percent to 30 percent.
Despite that, Congress is unlikely to pull the plug. That’s because, whether or not it stops terrorists, the program means politically important money for state and local governments.
A Senate Homeland Security subcommittee reviewed more than 600 unclassified reports over a one-year period and concluded that most had nothing to do with terrorism. The panel’s chairman is Democrat Carl Levin of Michigan, the ranking Republican Tom Coburn of Oklahoma.
“The subcommittee investigation could identify no reporting which uncovered a terrorist threat, nor could it identify a contribution such fusion center reporting made to disrupt an active terrorist plot,” the report said.