A caller identifying himself as a former law enforcement officer asked Glenn Beck's radio audience on Thursday to look into fusion centers.
"The center is responsible for the collation of local data about citizens, and it's forwarded to the national database," the caller said. "Google it. Dear God, tell your audience to Google it. They need to understand what they are up against."
Beck admitted that he had "never even heard" of fusion centers, but would look into the issue.
On his television program Thursday, Beck brought on former CIA officer and TheBlaze's national security adviser Buck Sexton to shed more light on the matter.
"I used to work, essentially, in what was a fusion center," Sexton said, explaining that the point of the centers is to have full-spectrum data sharing in a post-9/11 world.
Sexton still expressed skepticism of the centers for a number of reasons. In addition to the fact that there are centers in places "that have never suffered a terrorist attack" and "probably wouldn't be able to prevent one," Sexton said "lots" of federal money is dumped into the centers.
"Terrorism funds have, more or less, been used to track livestock," he said.
But there is another concern far greater than wasted money.
"Whenever you have local cops sitting next to federal officers, and there is a free and open sharing of information between them, guess what?" Sexton said. "What can be picked up over the course of, perhaps, the early stages of a terrorism investigation can very easily be passed up or down ... and now you've got people who are essentially getting caught up in criminal actions based upon the investigations of these fusion centers themselves."
Sexton added that "there is a problem for privacy, for civil liberties, and for just how wide-spectrum this fusion centers are."
He concluded with a warning: "They are essentially blurring any distinction between federal law enforcement and local law enforcement, which should be very clear lanes in the road for everyone to understand, and this can be turned into a turnkey tyranny very quickly."
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