Congress Wants Answers On Counter-Terror Program Targeting Americans

Originally posted on CBS DC:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Stinging criticism from Congress about a counter-terrorism effort that improperly collected information about innocent Americans is turning up the heat on the Obama administration to justify the program’s continued existence and putting lawmakers who championed it on the defensive.

The administration strongly disagrees with the report’s findings, and leaders of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee are distancing themselves from the report. The review criticized the multibillion-dollar network of “fusion centers” as ineffective in fighting terrorism and risky to civil liberties.

The political maneuvering by Sens. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, is unusual because the bipartisan report was issued by their own subcommittee.

The intelligence reports reviewed by the subcommittee were produced by officials in the Homeland Security Department’s Intelligence and Analysis division, which was created after the Sept. 11 attacks with the hope of connecting the dots to prevent the next terrorist…

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