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More Funny Business with Record-Keeping?

Holy Shit. Remember TALON and CIFA? Here’s a description I wrote in April:

It was designed to gather intelligenceon threats to defense installments in the United States–to try tocollect information (in the TALON database) on threatening peoplescoping out domestic bases. But it ended up focusing on peace activists and the lefty blogosphere’s own Jesus’ General.

Well, here are the three conclusions of a DOD IG report just released on the program:

  • TALON reports were generated for law enforcement and force protectionpurposes as permitted by DoD Directive 5200.27,1 and not as a result ofan intelligence collection operation; therefore, no violation of theForeign Intelligence Surveillance Act occurred.
  • The Counterintelligence Field Activity did not comply with the 90 dayretention review policy required by DoD Directive 5200.27. We could notdetermine whether the U.S. Northern Command complied with the policy requirement because all TALON reports were deleted from their database in June 2006 with no archives.
  • The Cornerstone database that the Counterintelligence Field Activityused to maintain TALON reports did not have the capability to identifyTALON reports with U.S. person information, to identify reportsrequiring a 90-day retention review, or to allow analysts to edit ordelete the TALON reports.

To explain why this is so fucking crazy, let me back up. 70% of CIFA’s staffers (the ones keeping the database on the quakers). One of the companies that got a chunk of that business is MZM. You remember: the company for which Mitch Wade was bribing Duke Cunningham to give big contracts?

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Marcy Wheeler aka Emptywheel is an American journalist whose reporting specializes in security and civil liberties.