Tim Shorrock, in a very well written, detailed article for CorpWatch, is reporting on a new ‘intelligence institution’ soon to be inaugurated by the Bush administration that will allow government agencies to conduct broad surveillance and reconnaissance inside the United States. (The cartoon that goes along with the article sums it all up nicely, stating “We have found the enemy and he is us” as paranoia and delusion have become insecurity with this administration).
A proposal currently under review by Congress would establish a National Applications Office (NAO) to coordinate how the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and domestic law enforcement and rescue agencies use imagery and communications intelligence picked up by U.S. spy satellites.
If the proposed plan goes forward, the NAO will create the legal mechanism for an unprecedented degree of domestic intelligence gathering that would make the U.S. one of the world’s most closely monitored nations. Domestic use of electronic intelligence from spy satellites has until now been limited to scientific agencies with no responsibility for national security or law enforcement.
The ‘intelligence-sharing’ system managed by the NAO would rely heavily on private contractors, including Boeing, BAE Systems, L-3 Communications and Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), to name a few, who already provide technology and personnel to U.S. agencies involved in foreign intelligence. The NAO would greatly expand their markets. These contractors lobbied intelligence officials to buy products specifically designed for domestic surveillance at an intelligence conference held in San Antonio, Texas last month.