Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Homeland Security started in 1999

This isn't hyperbole. A number of interesting pages come up when you search for Homeland +1999 +Grant, one of which contains this, from a South Carolina page entitled "Gov. Sanford Announces Homeland Security Grant Allocations":


PURPOSE
The purpose of the 2003 State Homeland Security Strategy (SHSS) is two-fold. First, this
document provides the framework for completing any unfulfilled objectives from the 1999 State
Domestic Preparedness Strategy (SDPS). Second, the new Strategy describes the State’s
vision, focus, goals, and objectives that will guide the State’s preparedness efforts for the next
three years
****

FOCUS
The National Strategy for Homeland Security makes terrorist incident prevention the number
one priority of the Federal government. The 2003 South Carolina SHSS strongly reflects
current National priorities and continues the implementation of regional response and
emergency medical preparedness programs that were begun in 1999. South Carolina will focus
on the following during this Strategy period.

****

Ok, so what about this State Domestic Preparedness Strategy? It seems like an outgrowth of FEMA, but only under the jurisdiction of the Department of Defense. Under the program the SDPS would cooperate with the DoD and FEMA in the event of a terrorist attack. Not a lot to do with intelligence, right? But look at this, from a reportentitled "Combatting Terrorism:Opportunities to Improve Domestic Preparedness Program Focus and Efficiency, given to Congress on the act:

"As noted in our December 1997 report and in our April 1998 and
October 1998 testimonies, the many and increasing number of
participants, programs, and activities in the counterterrorism area across
the federal departments, agencies, and offices pose a difficult management
and coordination challenge to avoid duplication, fragmentation, and gaps.
Recent interagency coordination initiatives to deal with the increasing
number of consequence management training and equipment programs
are underway both within and outside the National Security Council. A key
proposal involves the transfer of the Nunn-Lugar-Domenici Domestic
Preparedness Program to the Department of Justice. We did not examine
the effectiveness of these coordination efforts or the details of the
proposed transfer of the program to the Department of Justice"

This, in other words, is the department of homeland security, which the State Domestic Preparedness Strategy would set the stage for...but...this is still about co-ordinating services in the event of a terrorist attack, right? Shouldn't that happen? Even if it includes the National Security Council...?

Well, but then there's this, from an interesting site called "Chaos Across America" about a national executive branch office around then entitled the "National Domestic Preparedness Office": it's a report derived from a nation wide meeting between state, local, and federal emergency responders in 1998, about what they need in the event of an attack. Here's an interesting excerpt:

"Group Two: Communications and Intelligence:

Support creation of a nationwide, standardized communications system that addresses: Interoperability Among Responders, Secure Access, New Technology, Sustainability, and Removal of Regulatory Impediments.

Improve the intelligence-sharing process to reflect an understanding of the real-time roles and responsibilities of local, state, and federal governments before, during and after a terrorist event.

(emphasis mine)

So...we're not just talking about when an event happens but about sharing intelligence, not just being able to communicate effectively if an event is happened but sharing intelligence, from the local to the state and federal levels, before a terrorist attack. That means sharing surveillance.

But wait again....shouldn't the federal government share surveillance with state governments if they think a disaster is going to occur?

Glad you asked. It turns out that the NDPO, which seems to be a direct precursor to the Department of Homeland Security, was transitioned from being under the Department of Defense to being administered by the FBI, in the U.S. Department of Justice, in, 1999?, as documented in this, "BlueprInt or the National Domestic Preparedness Office" (which came out in 1999).

"Similarly, WMD Coordinators within the 56 FBI Field Offices nationwide are another asset
of the FBI which NDPO can access. With their assistance, the NDPO can utilize the FBI’s
communications systems and infrastructure to disseminate awareness-based information to the state
and local response communities.

The FBI, in conjunction with other agencies represented within the NDPO, will assist state
and local planners in developing threat and risk assessments, as well as providing, on request,
assistance in the development of integrated domestic preparedness plans at the state and local levels.
Along with the other agencies, the FBI will have representatives within the NDPO to coordinate these
programs within the broader federal domestic preparedness effort."

****The "Threat and Risk Assesments" that are mentioned are based on surveillance. An "integrated domestic preparedness plan" isn't just about a response to external threats, it's about responses to perceived internal threats. The police at the Port of Olympia were acting according the Domestic Preparedness Plan, and a Homeland Security Officer was on the premises...he identified himself as such to one of the participants.

Then this, from further on:

"Some of the first tasks will be:
Special Bulletin -- The NDPO will coordinate with an analytical team from substantive units within
the FBI that regularly receive intelligence information, including those within the International
Terrorism Section, the Domestic Terrorism Section, National Infrastructure Protection Center, and
others. This analytical team will serve as a clearinghouse group to ensure that awareness-based
domestic preparedness information is properly compiled, sanitized, and uniformly disseminated to
recipients in the state and local communities. The NDPO will disseminate this information in the form
of Special Bulletins through the single points of contact appointed by the Governors, through
appropriate law enforcement channels or directly to the appropriate personnel. Prior to the actual
dissemination of the bulletin, the appropriate federal agencies represented within the NDPO will
receive a draft copy for review"

Ok, but...what else? I Googled "National Infrastructure Protection Center", which was an FBI body created for stopping cyber attacks, I guess, and found reference to Clinton era legislation passed in the wake of the Oklahoma city bombing.

Then there's this: The "Five Year Interagency Counter Terrorism and Technology Crime Plan". There's so much there on that one, which is more directly geared towards counter-intelligence, that I'll have to reserve it for another post.


What appears to have happened is that the actions that would lead to the formation of the Department of Homeland Security started after the Oklahoma City Bombing, and that by the late '90s, certainly after 2000, something very much like the Department of Homeland Security, the National Domestic Preparedness Office, was operational in some capacity, maybe not at the level that it assumed after it morphed into the Department of Homeland Security but operative nonetheless, although it's existence was buried within the government bureaucracy.

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