Inquiry Slams 'Useless' Homeland Security Centers
Counterterror 'fusion centers' inept, wasteful, report finds
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 3, 2012 2:50 AM CDT
This Aug. 25, 2004 file photo shows unidentified analysts at the Combined Intelligence and Fusion Center for NORAD/Northcom in Colorado Springs.   (AP Photo/David Zalubowski/File)

(Newser) – The Department of Homeland Security has blown $1.4 billion on a network of intelligence-sharing centers that have failed to produce any useful intelligence, according to a scathing report from Senate investigators. The subcommittee found that the 77 "fusion centers" created to help state, local, and federal authorities share information after 9/11 have become wasteful, inept, and a danger to civil liberties, the Washington Post reports.

The centers "forwarded intelligence of uneven quality—oftentimes shoddy, rarely timely, sometimes endangering citizens’ civil liberties and Privacy Act protections, occasionally taken from already published public sources, and more often than not unrelated to terrorism," the report states. The centers—funded by FEMA grants with little oversight—blew cash on gadgets like shirt-button cameras and on dozens of big-screen TVs and SUVs, the report found. Homeland Security officials dispute the report's findings, accusing the investigators of using out-of-date information, reports the New York Times.