The Arkansas State Fusion Center
An official from an Arkansas State Fusion Center recently spoke to the press to clear up what he called "misconceptions" about what his office actually does, with depressingly hilarious results. (For some background on fusion centers, click here.)
"The misconceptions are that we are conducting spying operations on US citizens, which is of course not the fact. That is absolutely not what we do," fusion center director Richard Davis told the local press.
Fusion center employees are in a tight spot to justify the existence of their operations after multiple congressional reports over the past year took them to task for being poorly run, duplicative of other counterterrorism efforts, privacy violative wastes of money, or some combination of the three.
So what does Mr. Davis' fusion center do, then? Why does it exist?
The Arkansas fusion center director, after having flatly denied that his office spies on US citizens, told the reporter the following:
"I do what I do because of what happened on 9/11," Davis says. "There's this urge and this feeling inside that you want to do something, and this is a perfect opportunity for me."Davis says Arkansas hasn't collected much information about international plots, but they do focus on groups closer to home."We focus a little more on that, domestic terrorism and certain groups that are anti-government," he says. "We want to kind of take a look at that and receive that information."