Politico: DHS has a program gathering domestic intelligence

Photo: DHS Public Domain (Fair Use)

POLITICO’s comprehensive examination of internal records unveiled several disclosures, including the existence of a little-known program by the Department of Homeland Security, which has been gathering intelligence within the United States for several years.

The reviewed records also demonstrate that numerous employees working in the Department of Homeland Security’s intelligence office have expressed apprehension that their activities could potentially be unlawful, as reported by Politico.

The domestic-intelligence initiative permits officials to approach almost anyone within the United States for interviews, which encompasses individuals detained in immigrant detention centers, federal prisons, and local jails.

While the Department of Homeland Security’s intelligence officers are obligated to identify their activity as intelligence interviews and inform the interviewees that participation is voluntary, the ability to directly approach incarcerated individuals, without the involvement of their legal counsel, is a cause for significant concern among legal experts regarding civil liberties, Politico reports.

The program, which has been operational for several years, had a specific component that was halted last year due to internal apprehensions.

The Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis leverages this initiative to collect intelligence related to risks facing the United States, such as transnational drug trafficking and organized crime.

However, the fact that this discreet office is acquiring information by interrogating individuals within the country is almost entirely unrecognized.

POLITICO’s scrutiny of the internal documents from the Office of Intelligence and Analysis uncovered the mechanics of the “Overt Human Intelligence Collection Program.”

The documents, coupled with interviews, exposed the prevalent internal misgivings surrounding illicit methods and political coercion.

Furthermore, the records illustrate that employees in the department are apprehensive about retribution if they report instances of misconduct and exploitation.

Written by staff