intelligence agencies

How the spooks took over the news

In his controversial new book, Nick Davies argues that shadowy intelligence agencies are pumping out black propaganda to manipulate public opinion – and that the media simply swallow it wholesale

Onthe morning of 9 February 2004, The New York Times carried an exclusive and alarming story. The paper's Baghdad correspondent, Dexter Filkins, reported that US officials had obtained a 17-page letter, believed to have been written by the notorious terrorist Abu Musab al Zarqawi to the "inner circle" of al-Qa'ida's leadership, urging them to accept that the best way to beat US forces in Iraq was effectively to start a civil war.

The letter argued that al-Qa'ida, which is a Sunni network, should attack the Shia population of Iraq: "It is the only way to prolong the duration of the fight between the infidels and us. If we succeed in dragging them into a sectarian war, this will awaken the sleepy Sunnis."

Police State Infrastructure Emerging

Localities Operate Intelligence Centers To Pool Terror Data

So-called "fusion centers" of intelligence gathering have arisen since 9/11, with the assistance of $380 million in federal funding. This WashPo article notes the quiet convergence of local policing and Homeland Security:

"But the emerging model of "intelligence-led policing" faces risks on all sides. The centers are popping up with little federal leadership and training, raising fears of overzealousness such as that associated with police "red squads" that spied on civil rights and peace activists decades ago. The centers also face practical obstacles that could limit their effectiveness, including a shortage of money, skilled analysts, and proven relationships with the FBI and Homeland Security.

Still, the centers are emerging as a key element in a sometimes chaotic new domestic intelligence infrastructure, which also includes homeland security units in local police forces and 103 FBI-led terrorism task forces, triple the number that existed before the Sept. 11 attacks."