Mark Hosenball reports that Dianne Feinstein and other Senate Dems have accused the Department of Homeland Security’s spooks of using right wing propaganda to develop finished intelligence reports on Muslims. By looking at this paragraph from last year’s intelligence authorization…
The Committee has raised a number of concerns with reports issued by the Department of Homeland Security OIA that inappropriately analyze the legitimate activities of U.S. persons. These reports raised fundamental questions about the mission of the OIA and often used certain questionable open source information as a basis of their conclusions. The Committee recommends that the next Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis conduct a comprehensive review of the quality and relevance of the intelligence products produced by the OIA, and provide this review to the congressional intelligence committees within 180 days of enactment.
And analyzing the language from this letter from Russ Feingold and Jay Rockefeller, Hosenball credibly argues that DHS used David Horowitz’ DiscoverTheNetworks.org as a source for a least one intelligence report on a US Islamic leader. (The letter cites the tagline, “identif[y] the individuals and organizations that make up the left,” a term Horowitz has used.)
Among others targeted by Horowitz’ site–though not all Islamic leaders–are Keith Ellison, Arianna Huffington, and Kos. And, ironically enough, Janet Napolitano.
Hosenball also notes that the report on the Islamic leader using Horowitz’ site was developed for DHS’s Civil Rights Office, and from there, was circulated to other intelligence agencies.
Congressional officials say the Homeland intelligence report that particularly angered Feinstein and other committee members is still classified. Nevertheless, three current and former intelligence officials, requesting anonymity when discussing sensitive information, say the report in question is a profile of an unnamed but prominent American Islamic leader and was produced by Homeland Security’s intelligence office during the latter years of the Bush administration. The report was requested by the Department’s civil rights office, whose officials were preparing to meet with the Islamic leader. But instead of sending the civil rights office a quick bio of the individual in question, Homeland’s intelligence office issued a “finished” intel report that was circulated to other intelligence agencies and, eventually, to Congressional oversight committees.
In other words, Michael Chertoff was using the Civil Rights Office at DHS as the impetus to develop finished intelligence reports based on the First Amendment activities of Americans.
Remember the firestorm last year when wingnut groups learned DHS did a report–initiated by the Bush Administration–on right wing extremist groups?
The report, “Right-wing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment,” said right-wing extremist groups may be using the recession and the election of the nation’s first African-American president to recruit members.
The report, which was prepared in coordination with the FBI, was published last week. It was distributed to federal, state and local law enforcement officials. Mainstream media picked up the story after it was reported by conservative bloggers.
I wonder if they’ll show the same alarm with this report?