Florida Fusion Center Surveilled Ron Paul’s Campaign for Liberty
Public Intelligence, an international consortium of independent researchers, reports that a fusion center in Florida snooped on Ron Paul supporters and other political groups.
“Several restricted documents produced by the Central Florida Intelligence Exchange(CFIX) and obtained by Public Intelligence indicate that a variety of protests and political events are monitored by the regional fusion center for potential threats and violent activity,” the site reports.
“These events span the political spectrum from a summit hosted by Ron Paul’s Campaign for Liberty to anti-war protests conducted by Code Pink and Veterans for Peace. While the documents make no mention of specific threats arising from the events, they do indicate that the fusion center monitors political action in a variety of forms and sometimes requests law enforcement officers to report on constitutionally-protected activities.”
The Central Florida Intelligence Exchange was established with the assistance of an $850,000 Department of Homeland Security grant.
“The center was formed in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and brings together seven intelligence analysts from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, the Orlando Police Department and other agencies. They’ll help screen public and law-enforcement information to look for terrorist leads and crime trends,” The Orlando Sentinel reported in September, 2007.
In August, CFIX produced a “Domestic Security Intelligence Report” that mentions a Campaign for Liberty event held at the Rosen Center Hotel in Orlando, Florida.
The “sensitive but unclassified” report also describes Greenpeace activities, the expansion of Muslim mosques in the state, the purchase of property in Tennessee by the Aryan Nations, a Code Pink demonstration at the Quantico Marine Corps Base in Virginia, and the appointment of an al-Qaeda leader “intimately familiar with American society.”
In June, CFIX wrote about a demonstration against BP that was part of “Seize BP Week of Action” demonstrations that were held throughout the country between June 3 and 10. “The purpose of the protests is to convince the United States government to seize BP’s assets and to ‘ensure justice’ for all of the devastation that has been caused in the Gulf of Mexico from the disaster of the Deepwater Horizon,” CFIX intelligence analysts wrote.
The CFIX reports are further evidence that state and local law enforcement and homeland security agencies established after September 11, 2001, with federal largess are working closely with the federal government to monitor political groups in the United States.
Earlier this week, the Washington Post reported on efforts by the government to assemble “a vast domestic intelligence apparatus to collect information about Americans, using the FBI, local police, state homeland security offices and military criminal investigators.”
“The system, by far the largest and most technologically sophisticated in the nation’s history, collects, stores and analyzes information about thousands of U.S. citizens and residents, many of whom have not been accused of any wrongdoing,” write Dana Priest and William M. Arkin. “The government’s goal is to have every state and local law enforcement agency in the country feed information to Washington to buttress the work of the FBI, which is in charge of terrorism investigations in the United States.”
The FBI has a long and sordid history of acting as a political police force for the establishment. The agency we are told spends its time and resources tracking down bank robbers and kidnappers was behind COINTELPRO, the illegal operation designed to neutralize and destroy political organizations and individuals frowned upon by the government, including the civil rights leader Martin Luther King.
Last year the Department of Homeland Security produced a report on domestic terrorism subsequently leaked to the media. The DHS report characterized gun owners, Obama’s political opponents, returning veterans, and other “rightwing” political activists as potential terrorist threats. Also in 2009, a Missouri fusion center report leaked to radio talk show host Alex Jones – dubbed the MIAC report – portrayed supporters of Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin, and Bob Barr as terrorists.
In September, Pennsylvania’s homeland security designated anti-tax protesters and political activists exercising their First Amendment right to petition the government as a threat to the state’s infrastructure. Pennsylvania paid a Philadelphia-based nonprofit $125,000 to compile the list as part of the state Homeland Security’s federally mandated mission to protect public infrastructure.
It was later discovered that the Philadelphia-based nonprofit, the Institute of Terrorism Research and Response, is an Israeli company.