Under Michael Chertoff, DHS Used David Horowitz Propaganda in Intell Report

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?

42 replies
  1. crossword says:

    In the community, DHS OI&A is regarded as amateurs. No one takes them seriously. They’re mostly staffed by contractors; former enlisted military intelligence types that can barely spell. They’re no CIFA, that’s for sure.

  2. orionATL says:

    the ministry of interior, ussr,


    the department of homeland security, us(sr),

    has “spooks”?

    my god, can this be true?

    we have yet another spy agency in this country ?

    soon spying for our gov, along with medical care, will be the two major job creators in this economy.

    but hey, we need jobs and we need protecting
    from each other –

    so homeland spying is a twofer.

    so what’s the formally assigned name of wespyforthehomeland?

  3. scribe says:

    Don’t forget, too, that among the right-wingers who exempified the domestic terrism recounted on in the report so decried was that neo-Nazi real estate scion (pulling in something on the order of $10 mil a year) who woke up dead when his battered wife shot him in the head while he slept. He had been pumping that money into building a dirty bomb in his basement and planned to detonate it at Obama’s inauguration.

    • Phoenix Woman says:

      Don’t forget, too, that among the right-wingers who exempified the domestic terrism recounted on in the report so decried was that neo-Nazi real estate scion (pulling in something on the order of $10 mil a year) who woke up dead when his battered wife shot him in the head while he slept. He had been pumping that money into building a dirty bomb in his basement and planned to detonate it at Obama’s inauguration.

      That would be James Cummings. Whose wife Amber rates a Silver Star for what she did.

      The wingnuts freak out over Mister Fruit of the Loom Abdulmutallab who probably had no chance of taking down an airplane even if he had managed to properly set off his bomb, yet are silent as the tomb over dirty-bomb guys like multimillionaire Nazi James Cummings and pipe- and cyanide-bomb makers like William Krar, who was mailing his wares to right-wing militia groups across the country.

  4. orionATL says:

    behind the fall @3

    great name.

    it combines “stimulus” with that wonderful eastern european cache.

  5. MadDog says:

    Chertoff…hmmm…Allen…hmmm…where have I heard those names together before…hmmm…now I remember:

    The CHERTOFF Group

    As a stellar member of the Team:

    Charles E. Allen

    Previous Government Service:
    Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (2007 –2009)
    Assistant Secretary for Information Analysis and Chief of Intelligence, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (2005 – 2007)
    Assistant Director of Central Intelligence for Collection, Central Intelligence Agency (1998 –2005)…


    …During his more than 40 years at the CIA, Mr. Allen became as much a legend as a respected senior official. He earned a reputation for plain speaking, even when his opinions differed from those of senior officials.

    Mr. Allen became the principal adviser to the Director of Central Intelligence on collection management, where he revolutionized the way the various national intelligence agencies coordinate and target their activities. In the same vein, he chaired the National Intelligence Collection Board, which united all intelligence agencies under common collection strategies.

    He also served as CIA’s National Intelligence Officer for Warning, Director of the National Warning Staff, National Intelligence Officer for Counterterrorism and Deputy Chief for Intelligence of CIA’s Counterterrorism Center

    And lest we be forgetful, other valued members of The Chertoff Group Team:

    Mikey Hayden

    Areas of Focus:
    Technological intelligence and counterintelligence (communications and data networks)
    Global political and terrorist risk analysis
    The structure and strategy of the American intelligence community

    Shorter Mikey Hayden: “All your networks be mine!”

    Larry Castro

    …At the National Security Agency (NSA), Larry Castro served as the NSA/Central Security Service Representative to the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), a post he held since the Department’s creation in March 2003. He served concurrently as NSA’s Coordinator for Homeland Security Support. In this latter role, Mr. Castro led the development of the Agency’s Homeland Security Support Strategy, which complements and fully supports the National Strategy for Homeland Security and provides a framework for the delivery of NSA products, services and capabilities to organizations involved in the security of the United States homeland. Mr. Castro was also responsible for providing Signals Intelligence (SIGINT), Information Assurance (IA) and Computer Network Operations advice to the Secretary and other senior leaders within DHS, and for leading the efforts of other NSA staff assigned to provide cryptologic support to DHS operating components…

    Chad C. Sweet

    Previous Government and Private Sector Service:
    Chief of Staff, Department of Homeland Security (2007 – 2009)
    Vice President, Goldman Sachs (1996 – 2006)
    Investment Banker, Morgan Stanley (1994 – 1996)
    Directorate of Operations, Central Intelligence Agency (1990, 1991 – 1993)

    At the Department of Homeland Security, Chad Sweet worked directly with Secretary Michael Chertoff to restructure and optimize the flow of information between the CIA, FBI and other members of the national security community and DHS. Mr. Sweet also supported the Secretary during numerous operations to detect, disrupt and respond to terrorist plots both in the United States and overseas, including the August 2006 US/UK liquid explosives plot, the March 2007 Fort Dix Six plot, the June 2007 JFK Aiport plot and other incidents that remain classified…

    (My Bold)

    • Gitcheegumee says:

      RE: Charles E. Allen,courtesy Sourcewatch:

      Iran Contra
      From Nomination of Robert M. Gates of Virginia, to be Director of Central Intelligence (Senate: November 5, 1991), Congressional Record: Extract:

      “On September 9, 1986, a senior CIA analyst, Charles Allen, wrote a memo on the arms sales to Iran, a copy of which went to Mr. Gates. He also claims to have talked to Mr. Gates regarding shipments of arms to Iran. Mr. Gates cannot recall the conversation or receiving the memo.” Re Iran/Contra scandal.
      “A number of outspoken analysts bitterly criticized him [Allen] for bending his views to political expediency during the Iran initiative. Allen, they said, took advantage of his access to Casey to promote a political line – that an opening could be made to Iranian moderates-that could not be supported by the information they had gathered on Iran’s internal politics. Allen played the White House game, these critics claimed, by using contrived information provided by CIA consultant George Cave to support the Iran program. ‘Charlie Allen briefed the NSC on the basis of Cave’s disinformation,’ a senior CIA analyst explains.”[Eclipse: The Last Days of the CIA, Mark Perry, 1992, p. 215.]

      Reprimand By William Webster
      Director of Central Intelligence William Webster formally reprimanded Allen for failing to comply with the DCI’s request for full cooperation in the agency’s internal Iran-Contra scandal investigation. After failing to have the reprimand lifted through the regular appeal process, Allen retained future DCI James Woolsey as an attorney and was successful in applying pressure to have the reprimand lifted.

      [Eclipse: The Last Days of the CIA, Mark Perry, 1992, p. 216.]


  6. MadDog says:

    Totatlly OT – Via The Beeb (the BBC for the ignoranti):

    Rove ‘proud’ of US waterboarding terror suspects

    In a BBC interview, Karl Rove, who was known as “Bush’s brain”, said…waterboarding, which simulates drowning, should not be considered torture…

    …Mr Rove said US soldiers were subjected to waterboarding as a regular part of their training.

    A less severe form of the technique was used on the three suspects interrogated at the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay, he added.

    “I’m proud that we used techniques that broke the will of these terrorists and gave us valuable information that allowed us to foil plots such as flying aeroplanes into Heathrow and into London, bringing down aircraft over the Pacific, flying an aeroplane into the tallest building in Los Angeles and other plots,” Mr Rove told the BBC.

    “Yes, I’m proud that we kept the world safer than it was, by the use of these techniques. They’re appropriate, they’re in conformity with our international requirements and with US law…”

    (My Bold)

    Turdblossom just can’t help himself it seems. When presented with any opportunity to tell the truth, he always lies.

  7. fatster says:

    O/T for the car people and Cerberus watchers:

    “Sit down, reader. A new Congressional panel report questions the need for the Treasury Department’s $17.2 billion bailout of GMAC, a global financial services company (formerly a part of General Motors) in 2008 and 2009.”


      • fatster says:

        Elizabeth Warren’s remarks were rather muted, weren’t they? I’m so used to her being more forthright. Hmmmmm. But Timmie’s/the Treasury’s remarks were standard fare: ” . . . he Treasury restated its previous arguments for the necessity of the rescue, saying it was “the least costly and least disruptive of all the options available.”‘

        “Least costly and least disruptive” to whom?

        I guess it’s up to us to follow the foul smell and demand a thorough examination of its cause. And what are our chances of success?

    • fatster says:

      If you don’t mind, prostratedragon, I’d like to add a quote from da judge:

      ‘The exhaustive report was unsealed today by Judge James M. Peck, who said the report reads “like a best-seller.”‘


  8. qweryous says:

    Some more O.T.

    Fatster @ 9 linked to a site that I’ve not seen before.

    I’ll recommend an excellent takedown of the current neocheneymcarthyite attack on the lawyers who have represented detainees which I found there.

    Coner Friedersdorf’s “Innocent man helped by Gitmo Attorney: the case Liz Cheney doesn’t want you to read about” which is at LINK:

    The innocent man explained -excerpt from the above link:

    “…Mr. al-Rabiah. It isn’t just that he was an innocent man thrown into Gitmo, or that he was held even after a CIA analyst concluded that he was innocent, or that National Security Council Staffers were aware of his innocence and actively trying to bring about a review of his detention — Mr. al-Rabiah’s case is apt because after the CIA’s 2002 determination of his innocence, he spent another seven years wrongly imprisoned, regaining his freedom and seeing his children only after retaining the help of American attorneys.”

    In checking I see that the above post, while not yet widely circulated, may be accessed at Balloon Juice where it is the current posting in ‘assholes’ category. Just so it is clear the Balloon Juice post ends:
    “The simple answer is that Cheney, Kristol, Thiessen, McCarthy, and the Malkinite fringe are equal parts afraid and evil.” LINK:

    • fatster says:

      What’s your assessment, qweryous? Is that a site that should be avoided? I’d appreciate your response.

  9. qweryous says:

    In response to fatster @15

    No reason to avoid that I know.

    Other recent entries in the assholes category include John Ensign,Glenn Beck, Bart Stupak, John Roberts, Karl Rove, Rush and so on for various doings.

    Other categories include: “Blatant Liars and the Lies They Tell”,
    “Republican Crime Syndicate aka the Bush Administration”,”Wingnut Event Horizon”, also “Democratic Stupidity”.

    This is a post which explains why the proprietor of the blog no longer supports Republicans-“The Republican Decline”. LINK:

    “For starters, people got tired of being associated with these drooling retards. Then, when they realized that these drooling retards had ideological allies running the show in the Bush administration and then began to experience their idiotic policies, they moved from disgusted to outright hostile.

    Like me. It had nothing to do with Burke, and everything to do with what the party had become. A bunch of bedwetting, loudmouth, corrupt, hypocritical, and incompetent boobs with a mean streak a mile long and no sense of fair play or proportion.

    Seriously- what does the current Republican party stand for? Permanent war, fear, the nanny state, big spending, torture, execution on demand, complete paranoia regarding the media, control over your body, denial of evolution and outright rejection of science, AND ZOMG THEY ARE GONNA MAKE US WEAR BURKHAS, all the while demanding that in order to be a good American I have to spend most of every damned day condemning half my fellow Americans as terrorist appeasers.

    And that isn’t even getting into the COMPLETE and TOTAL corruption of our political processes at every level. The shit is really going to hit the fan after we vote these jackasses out of power in 2008.”

    This site is actually recommended.

  10. demi says:

    All I can say is I’m glad I haven’t eaten breakfast yet, because that photo would make me loose it. Caarreeeepy.

  11. Watt4Bob says:

    We have yet to absorb the implications of the reorganization of our government under the DHS.

    This type of reorganization has only happened a couple of times in our country’s history.

    The DHS reorganization installs the New World Order neocons in control of our government in the same way that FDR’s New Deal took over during the depression, by taking the reigns of most of the government departments in such a way as to create a virtually permanent systemic control.

    Basically, BushCo put the right’s imprint on government for years to come, and getting rid of the taint will be like removing millions of embedded fish hooks.

    It took the right wing nearly seventy years to do the job of erasing the New Deal, and in our complacency, we haven’t even begun to acknowledge that the New World Order take-over has happened, let alone plan for the required remedy.

  12. Margaret says:

    Nope, nothing to see here. We’re looking forward, remember? Bush crimes? No big deal! Now Massa…THAT’S a story! And I’m very disappointed to say, one that TPM has bought, hook, line and sinker. Absolutely disgusting.

  13. Gasman says:

    Why should we be surprised that Chertoff used “faulty intelligence” to push any particular meme? His boss used the same tactics to launch an illegal, undeclared war. If the facts inconveniently don’t support your premise, no big deal, simply manufacture your own.

    • geminorange says:

      His boss used the same tactics [“faulty intelligence”] to launch an illegal, undeclared war

      Yes, but in the case of W, it was his natural condition.

  14. aztronut says:

    If that picture of Chertoff doesn’t look just like the personification of the Grinch that stole Xmas then nothing does…the dude is just evil!

      • Gitcheegumee says:

        I remember reading a quote that said:

        ” When you are young, you have the face you are born with.
        When you are old, you have the face that you have earned.”Perhaps it was Voltaire .

        On a side note, Isikoff and Hosenball did a piece in Nov. 2006,entitled:

        “Old names,Old Scandals”,re: the Gates appointment.

        Seems like the old Iran Contra issue has the same cast of characters that keep popping up in current discussions and scenarios-Addington, Allen, Gates ,Margolis….

  15. curioussteve says:

    these criminals against humanity won’t be traveling much outside the USA without getting arrested and thrown into a prison.

  16. timr says:

    its too bad that items like this will never see the lite of day on the TV networks. But of course, it is not news because it happened way back during the bush years.

    I am so glad that I was forceably given a medical retirement back in 1998. Because I am a very sarcastic person who had lots of problems with with political appointees who could not find their head if it had not been attached to their necks. I doubt that I could have been fired,(they tried many times, but because I did my job, I was able to refute every bad eval.) but I am quite sure that the rethug HMFWIC would have tried damn hard.
    This is a prime example of the rethug agenda. The lower ranks were more than happy to do whatever they thought would please their boss.

    I found examples-tho they were fewer-back during the Reagan and GHWB years(and I am sorry to say also during the Clinton years). From what my friends have told me the neocons infiltrated the intel agencies towards the end of the gwb years. Converting politicals into civil service. Hmmm. Sounds much like the way the old USSR operated with politicals always looking for party purity over actual intel.

    I do not believe that Obama will be able to clean out all the neocon subversives that now lurk within the execuive branch. But they will be there to furnish dirt to the rethugs in congress.

    If you believed that just because gwb/cheney were kicked out that a new day was finally here, I will have to disabuse you of that attitude. The neocons are like moles, they have managed to get mid level career jobs and due to CS rules it will be almost impossible to get rid of them. But things will be much worse if they are not identified and at least placed where they can do no harm. Remember this. The PDB is a collection of intel from all the intel agencies-last I knew there were 28 different ones, many doing the same job-so if you have many mid level supervisors who are neocons then the intel would be slanted the way their world view demands and the final reader might not realize just how slanted the intel is.

    Back in 1979/80 while I was still in the Army we were tasked to give a report on the raid into Iran. My boss wrote that where they planned to land was a major road with lots of traffic. He also said that the operation was to complex and had to many failure points in it. Our report and reccomendations were not only ignored but were deleated from the briefing papers that the HMFWIC got. We discovered after the failure that several other agencies had predicted failure due to op being too complex. None of the cautions had made it into the final brief because those staffers were too involved in the success of the mission and refused to entertain any other opinion. Which can also happen in the PDB. OTOH lil bush, due to his world view(and the fact that Clinton had warned about OBL made him more determined to ignore it), refused to accept the PDB that predicted what OBL would do. And that attitude filtered down the chain to the lower levels in the west wing. The blind can not be made to see. Esp. if they never see the evidence

  17. frankBel says:

    What is the OIA? Oh, never mind. Last time I asked a “stupid question” like that on this site I got flamed.

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