Explosion in Domestic Intelligence Gathering
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Federal agencies are spending tens of billions of dollars on domestic intelligence, so much it's impossible for anyone to keep track. Is it making America safe from terrorism? Is it creating new threats to rights guaranteed by the Constitution? Also, Rome parcel bombs raise terror fears in Europe. On Reporter's Notebook, is Facebook killing the Christmas card?
Banner image: Officers from the Metropolitan Police Department man their monitoring stations as officers from a variety of law enforcement agencies watch the 22 large TV screens with security images from around Washington, DC. Photo: Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images
Rome Parcel Bombs Raise Terror Fears in Europe ()
Much of Europe is on edge this Christmas season, and with parcel bombs exploding today at the Swiss and Chilean embassies in Rome, the tension's increasing. Rachel Donadio is Rome Bureau Chief for the New York Times.
Fighting Terror and Protecting Civil Liberties ()
Some 4000 federal, state and local organizations are battling domestic terrorism, far more than the number of terrorists who've been identified. The FBI is amassing data on US citizens who've never committed a crime. Local agencies monitor anti-war groups and Tea Party meetings. The Department of Homeland Security is spending tens of billions of dollars, more money than it can keep track of, and local agencies and "fusion centers" are happy to snap it up. Is fear breeding over-reaction? Are Constitutional rights at risk? Will the US develop a coherent intelligence strategy or become a police state?
- Steven Hewitt: Director, Tennessee Fusion Center
- Michael German: Policy Council, ACLU
- Brian Jenkins: Senior Advisor, President of RAND
- Loch Johnson: Top Assistant, Aspin-Brown Commission on Intelligence
Does the Christmas Card Have a Future? ()
Are you getting fewer Christmas cards this year than you used to? What about cards wishing "Happy Holidays" or "Happy New Year?" If you think the numbers are going down, you're not alone. Kate Julian is an editor at Slate.com and, after polling the staff at that online magazine, she wrote a column sub-titled, "Our mailboxes are practically empty."
- Kate Julian: Editor, Slate
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