“Fusion Center” Trained Firefighters Search for Thought Crimes

TruthNews | November 24, 2007
Kurt Nimmo

It’s like a chapter out of Orwell’s 1984: the New York City fire department is working closely with the Ministry of Homeland Security.

“The Homeland Security Department is testing a program with the New York City fire department to share intelligence information so firefighters are better prepared when they respond to emergency calls. Homeland Security also trains the New York City fire service how to identify material or behavior that may indicate terrorist activities. If it is successful, the government intends to expand the program to other major metropolitan areas,” reports the International Herald Tribune .

“They’re really doing technical inspections, and if perchance they find something like, you know, a bunch of RPG (rocket-propelled grenade) rounds in somebody’s basement, I think it’s a no-brainer,” said Jack Tomarchio, a senior official in Homeland Security’s intelligence division. “The police ought to know about that; the fire service ought to know about that; and potentially maybe somebody in the intelligence community should know about that.”

It’s a no-brainer there is a Constitution and a Bill of Rights and the Fourth Amendment explicitly states: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

Mr. Tomarchio, in order to make excuses for violating the Constitution, throws out a worse case scenario: RPGs stashed in somebody’s basement. New York City is not Fallujah and New City fire fighters are not members of the Army Rangers. But never mind. You might be hiding Osama in the cellar.

It’s not simply the remote possibility you may have a bundle of RPGs or an M240 GPMG machine gun in the closet. It’s also your attitude toward the state:

Even before the federal program began, New York firefighters and inspectors had been training to recognize materials and behavior the government identifies as “signs of planning and support for terrorism.”

When going to private residences, for example, they are told to be alert for a person who is hostile, uncooperative or expressing hate or discontent with the United States; unusual chemicals or other materials that seem out of place; ammunition, firearms or weapons boxes; surveillance equipment; still and video cameras; night-vision goggles; maps, photos, blueprints; police manuals, training manuals, flight manuals; and little or no furniture other than a bed or mattress.

No doubt there are people who are “hostile, uncooperative or expressing hate or discontent with the United States.” Once upon a time, it was your right to be “uncooperative,” even if your house was on fire. However, since “everything changed,” that is to say since the false flag operation on September 11, 2001, “hate or discontent with the United States” has been redefined as simply disagreeing with the government.

Moreover, it is, or rather was, your right, under the Second Amendment, to keep “firearms or weapons boxes,” but this is now proof positive you’re with al-Qaeda. As well, owning “still and video cameras,” especially if you have problems with the government, is now considered terrorism.

It’s not simply New York where the Ministry and local firefighters and emergency workers cooperate to decimate the Bill of Rights. “Separately, the fire services in Washington, the nation’s capital, Phoenix, Arizona, and Atlanta, Georgia, also have received terror-related intelligence training. Los Angeles County provides intelligence training so firefighters and inspectors can spot dangerous chemicals or other materials that could be used in bombs. And the fire service is also represented in at least 13 state and regional intelligence ‘fusion’ centers across the country, where local, state and federal agencies share information about terror and other crimes.”

Other crimes? You know, like smoking marijuana or pirating the local cable signal. Obviously, you’re with al-Qaeda.

“We can walk into your house. We don’t need a search warrant,” said Larry Schultz , an assistant fire chief in charge of operations in the District of Criminals. “If an ambulance team should show up at a house and see detailed maps of the district’s public transit system on the wall, that is something the EMS provider would pass along, he said.”

Can’t remember where the el-stop is? Need a map? You’re with al-Qaeda.

Violating the Fourth Amendment is considered “evolution of the fire service,” according to Bob Khan, the fire chief in Phoenix, “which has created an information-sharing arrangement between the fire service and law enforcement through terrorism liaison officers…. Because firefighters are on the front lines, the fire service needs to know about intelligence that could somehow affect what they do, said Gregory Cade, who as head of the U.S. Fire Administration is the nation’s top fire chief.”

Obviously, if you’re “hostile, uncooperative or expressing hate or discontent with the United States,” this “could somehow affect” what firefighters do, especially now that they are part of the new “intelligence fusion centers,” described as “a collaborative effort of two or more agencies that provide resources, expertise, and/or information to the center with the goal of maximizing the ability to detect, prevent, apprehend, and respond to criminal and terrorist activity.”

As should be expected in a police state, mundane criminal behavior—for instance, watering your lawn on Tuesday instead of Thursday, or removing that tag on your mattress—is considered terrorist activity. Naturally, the Ministry wants to know about this and that’s why they established the “fusion” centers.

I exaggerate. But only a little.

But let’s get down to the nitty gritty here. Our rulers have specific concerns in mind: “If, for example, Washington is hosting an International Monetary Fund meeting where there will be a large group of protesters and a truckload of gasoline has been stolen in Baltimore, firefighters need to know about intelligence from overseas that terrorists are trying to make explosive devices out of gasoline, Schultz said.”

In other words, people opposed to the loan sharking of the IMF are likely to steal gas trucks and blow things up. In such an environment, the Constitution is not only irrelevant, it is dangerous.

“If in the conduct of doing their jobs they come across evidence of a crime, of course they should report that to the police,” said the ACLU. “But you don’t want them being intelligence agents.”

I guess the ACLU is behind the curve.

In a police state, everybody doubles as an informer and snitch. As Winston Smith knew all too well, one is “surrounded night and day by informers” in a dictatorship. Your neighbors, even your own children, might tell “intelligence agents” at the local “fusion” center that you are “hostile, uncooperative or expressing hate or discontent with the United States,” especially if you have some Ron Paul literature about or, in a worse case scenario, an Alex Jones DVD on the coffee table when EMS responds after grandma has a heart attack.

Finally, if the Ministry has its way, your local firefighters and operatives at the local “fusion” center may soon be one in the same. “At the height of the recent California wildfire disaster, Homeland Security Department Secretary Michael Chertoff unveiled a plan to reinforce the nation’s multihazard fusion centers with expert firefighters,” reports Government Computer News .

Chertoff told the International Association of Fire Chiefs that in the federal government, “we’re trying to integrate fire operations into the very fabric of DHS. Our National Operations Center now has a Fire Desk.”

Chertoff added that the center includes a fire service representative who works alongside officials from organizations such as the FBI, other law enforcement agencies and the intelligence community.

Charlie Allen, DHS’ assistant secretary for intelligence and analysis, is spearheading a drive to add firefighting experts to state and local fusion centers, Chertoff said.

He acknowledged in the speech that some might ask what role firefighters would play at fusion centers dominated by police and intelligence experts.

Answering his rhetorical question, Chertoff said that in many cases, the first person to arrive at the scene of an explosion or fire is a firefighter or other first responder. That person’s observations and conclusions might indicate that the source of the outbreak is not an accident but a criminal or terrorist act.

Again, note the merging together of “criminal” and “terrorist,” as if the two are inseparable. Since it is now a crime to be “hostile, uncooperative or expressing hate or discontent with the United States,” it might be a good idea to take that “Ron Paul 2008? bumper sticker off your car, lest the neighborhood cop or firefighter reports you to the local “fusion” center.

Remember, as the corporate media reminds us, Ron Paul supporters are no different than Timothy McVeigh and the volunteer firefighter down the street might be a Glenn Beck fan.

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