Claremore Daily Progress

Verdigris

October 3, 2012

Home-front effort at homeland security not paying off

NORMAN — Millions of taxpayer dollars spent on efforts to prevent terrorism were poorly invested, according to a study released today by the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. The bipartisan investigation, led by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., found that the Department of Homeland Security’s work with state and local fusion centers “has not produced useful intelligence to support federal counterterrorism efforts.”

The senate subcommittee spent two years examining federal support of fusion centers and evaluating the resulting counterterrorism intelligence. “Fusion centers” are collaborations of federal, state, local or tribal government agencies combining resources and expertise to “detect, prevent, investigate, apprehend and respond to criminal or terrorist activity.” 

The investigation revealed that Homeland Security has spent between $289 million and $1.4 billion in state and local fusion centers tasked with a counterterrorism mission. Fusion centers operated primarily through Federal Emergency Management Agency grants, but FEMA officials said they have no mechanism in place to accurately account for the total amount of Homeland Security grant funding spent on supporting those fusion centers. 

Through two federal administrations, accountability and training of intelligence officials sent to local fusion centers was inadequate, according to the investigation.

Following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks by al-Qaida, the Department of Homeland Security was created. The 9-11 tragedy was seen as a failure by government intelligence officials to protect the United States from the terrorist threat. 

According to the subcommittee report, since 2003, “over 70 state and local fusion centers, supported in part with federal funds, have been created or expanded, in part to strengthen U.S. intelligence capabilities, particularly to detect, disrupt and respond to domestic terrorist activities.”

The subcommittee investigation found that intelligence forwarded from the fusion centers by Homeland Security intelligence officials assigned to those centers was “of uneven quality — oftentimes shoddy, rarely timely, sometimes endangering citizens’ civil liberties and Privacy Act protections, occasionally taken from already-published public sources and more often than not unrelated to terrorism.” 

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Verdigris
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    A Verdigris High School graduate and two Claremore High School graduates were recognized Friday and Saturday night for their academic and leadership achievements at the University of Oklahoma in Norman.

    April 4, 2014 1 Photo

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    Oklahoma State freshman pitcher Blake Battenfield continues to impress Cowboys head coach Josh Holliday with his perfect 0.00 earned-run average this season.

    March 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cardinals fall in 3A semifinals; Lady Cards eliminated in quarters

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    Oklahoma City Centennial eliminated the No. 4-ranked Cardinals, 62-51 in the semifinals at the Big House in Oklahoma City.

    March 16, 2014

  • DSC_0179web.jpg Cards fly into 3A State Tournament

    Verdigris junior guard Cade Upshaw lives for March Madness.
    The 5-foot-10 sharp-shooter overcame a sluggish performance in a loss to Tahlequah Sequoyah to bounce back for a 20-point outing in the Cardinals’ 72-42 win over Antlers Saturday evening in the Class 3A Area Tournament at Checotah Event Center.

    March 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_0098web.jpg ‘Soaring to State’

    In the hometown of Carrie Underwood, Verdigris senior point guard Baileigh O’Dell proved to be Oklahoma’s ‘Basketball Idol’ in Class 3A Girls Basketball.
    The 5-foot-8 floor general put the No. 4-ranked Lady Cardinals on her shoulders and carried Verdigris back to the the state tournament with the 53-40 win over No. 5 Tahlequah Sequoyah Friday night in the Area Championship at the Checotah Event Center.

    March 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_0168web.jpg 3A AREA PLAYOFFS: Tahlequah Sequoyah wins nail-biter over No. 4 Verdigris

    The Tahlequah Sequoyah Indians pulled the upset Friday night and punched their ticket to the Class 3A State Tournament.
    Behind Caisen Green’s game-high 26 points and B.J. Leach’s 16 points, the Indians roared past No. 4 Verdigris, 64-55 in the Area Championship at the Checotah Event Center.

    March 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • HANSLOVANweb.jpg 3A AREA PLAYOFFS: Verdigris battles Tahlequah Sequoyah in Checotah

    Verdigris senior guard Caitlyn Hanslovan drained two key 3-pointers during Saturday’s Class 3A Regional Finals that provided a spark and a huge win over Vian.
    Hanslovan, who is accustomed to winning state championships in soccer, will look to move the No. 3-ranked Lady Cardinals one step closer toward a berth in the 3A State Tournament at 6:30 p.m. on Friday in the area finals against Tahlequah Sequoyah at Checotah High School.

    March 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • Winter March 2014 Winter’s last gasp?

    A powerful winter storm brought sleet and snow to Rogers County Sunday, leaving roads in hazardous condition and all schools were closed on Monday.

    March 4, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_0063web.jpg ‘Night to Remember’

    Verdigris senior point guard Baileigh O’Dell may have won the points column, but Inola’s Lexi Williams and the Lady Longhorns stole the spotlight at the buzzer.
    Williams, who transferred into Inola this year from Bixby and is the daughter of Lady Longhorns’ coaches Donnie and Lori Martin, made Thursday night one to remember in Rogers County.

    February 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • DSC_0093web.jpg Cards rout Inola 98-80

    There was no denying Thursday night that the Verdigris Cardinals had no plans of sharing their Will Rogers Conference Championship.
    Behind Cade Upshaw’s game-high 27 points and the accurate 3-point shooting of freshman forward Brewster Peacock, the Class 3A No. 4 Cardinals swarmed over Inola, 98-80.

    February 15, 2014 1 Photo