09.30.2009 0

Editorial: Missouri Hides Sources Used in MIAC Militia Report

  • On: 10/16/2009 10:22:21
  • In: Government Transparency
  • In response to a Missouri Sunshine Law Request to the Missouri Highway Patrol by Americans for Limited Government, the top law enforcement agency admitted has it had retained no records of a controversial report entitled, “The Modern Militia Movement” that was issued on its behalf by the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) in February of this year.

    This is an extremely chilling chapter in American history. The controversial MIAC “threat advisory” is the stinging report wherein Missouri and other state law enforcement agencies were told to profile as possible “terrorists” all individuals concerned about unemployment, taxes, illegal immigration, gangs, border security, abortion, high costs of living, gun restrictions, FEMA, the IRS, and the Federal Reserve.

    The MIAC advisory also stated that potential domestic “terrorists” would be attracted to gun shows, shortwave radios, action movies, movies with white male heroes like Rambo, Tom Clancy novels, and presidential candidates Ron Paul, Bob Barr, and Chuck Baldwin.

    Now, they claim to have retained no records of the sources that were used for this report. Nor, they claim, do they even know who wrote it.

    According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s response to ALG’s Sunshine Law Request, “[b]ackground material was not retained by the author during drafting” and “[t]here is no record listing the individual who wrote the report.” In fact, the only record the state of Missouri apparently claims it has of the report was its single draft version, for which there were no material differences between the report that actually went out.

    Simply put: This is either extremely stupid, or outright evil. Neither of which leaves Missouri and MIAC with a good option. And neither of which qualifies the personnel involved who drafted and did not retain background information of this memo with much qualification to be issuing intelligence products for the nation’s law enforcement agencies. It is appalling that a federally-funded “fusion” center that collecting and disseminating actionable intelligence to law enforcement personnel cannot even provide basic citations for one of its most intimidating products.

    That is simply unacceptable, especially since it appears much of it was probably open-sourced anyway. Instead MIAC officials are making wild accusations and failing to meet the most basic requirements of turning in an acceptable book report, let alone producing a government document intended to be used in rounding up actual terrorists.

    According to MIAC’s website, “Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) provides a public safety partnership consisting of local, state and federal agencies, as well as the public sector and private entities that will collect, evaluate, analyze, and disseminate information and intelligence to the agencies tasked with Homeland Security responsibilities in a timely, effective, and secure manner.”

    Much like the controversial Department of Homeland Security (DHS) “rightwing extremism” memo, MIAC’s unsubstantiated report directly cited the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as a top source of information. It also lifted passages verbatim from similar Anti-Defamation League websites. And yet Missouri would not release those as sources used. Funny.

    It is up to the state of Missouri and the Department of Homeland Security to get to the bottom of what actually happened here, including what involvement the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center may have had in developing both the MIAC “militia” memo and the DHS “rightwing extremism” memo. The Sunshine response from Missouri claims that “There are no records relating to information received from groups outside the MIAC that influenced the drafting of the report.”

    In August, ALG condemned the methodology used by the Department of Homeland Security in issuing a controversial “right-wing extremism” threat assessment to law enforcement in April. ALG had filed a Freedom of Information request in April demanding all documents related to the drafting of the controversial “right-wing extremism” memo. It received an interim response from the Department.

    Yesterday ALG President Bill Wilson compared the two memos, saying that neither had been based on credible intelligence. “Neither memo illuminated on any actual planned attacks or any groups known to be planning attacks, or any groups with histories of perpetrating attacks that are currently conducting any types of operational recruitment, meeting, or planning attacks. In short, both were just political propaganda put forward by both the federal and state government within weeks of one another, designed to perpetuate public perception of ‘rightwing extremism’ and militias.”

    There must be a full public accounting of what went into all of these erroneous “threat” advisories, who drafted them, why they were drafted, and those individuals must be forever purged from the nation’s law enforcement agencies. This type of activity by rogue agencies undermines legitimate intelligence and law enforcement activities designed to protect the United States from future attacks. And the apparent cover-up of these very poor practices by the state of Missouri illustrates why millions of Americans were very concerned with both the Patriot Act and the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security.

    The American people must be assured that what happened here is not more widespread and does not pose a danger to the preservation of liberty, limited government, and the Constitution.

    Copyright © 2008-2022 Americans for Limited Government