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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

More Boogeymen For The Anti-War Crowd- Colorado Information Analysis Center Stepping Up Security For Democratic Convention

With the planned protests from a variety of groups to be held during the Democratic National Convention, the CIAC will be operating 24 hours a day and be fully staffed with up to eight intelligence analysts at any given time.
The CIAC is the Colorado Information Analysis Center, also known as a "fusion center", which is one of the agencies set up after the September 11, 2001 attack and their responsibility is to coordinate efforts to prevent, protect against, respond to, recover from, and prosecute acts of terrorism. The CIAC is a multi agency fusion center created to help prevent terrorism incidents in Colorado.

CIAC personnel also take reports of suspicious activities from citizens and other police departments. If a report is deemed by analysts to require additional investigation, it is shared with the appropriate law enforcement officials, but if a report is not determined to merit further inspection, CIAC workers make a log of the event, according to Clem, essentially creating a massive collection of data, some of it reliable and some of it not.

There has been much talk about the planned protests that will coincide with the Democratic National Convention.

Re-create 68 is planning to protest, some Clinton supporters have vowed to be there and anti-war activists, angry that the Democrats have funded the Iraq war further, have also promised to protest.

The concern of Colorado officials has caused certain security measures to be discussed, such as chains, quick-setting cement, homemade locking devices that are resistant to bolt cutters and "any noxious substance", according to City Council members.

Other precautions being implemented are the use of fences to be built around the area where the protesters will be allowed to gather. That measure was criticized by the ACLU and other groups who brought suit against officials for those preparations

According to U.S. Secret Service agent Steven Hughes, who is overseeing security for the convention attendees, there will also be a fence to surround an area where delegates, VIPs, former presidents, and others with credentials for the convention will pass, his reasoning being so that no explosive objects can be hurled over the fences. He continues to say, "As delegates arrive, we want to offer them the opportunity to walk safely into the Pepsi Center. We don't extend our perimeter further than we believe is necessary."

Other concerns expressed by members of the Re-create 68 crowd and other activists is their belief that the Government will use what they term as "Brown Notes" on them. Legend has it has the Brown Note is an infrasonic frequency believed to resonate through human body parts and cause a loss of bowel control.

The scene is set and news today shows us that the CIAC is planning to step up their intelligence gathering operations during the Democratic National Convention, to keep the officials attending the convention safe.

“CIAC is going to be expanding hours for physical presence in the office,” Clem says about the convention. “Any known threats specifically related to the convention are going to go right to the United States Secret Service and FBI, but CIAC is going to be there to take any reports that citizens have.”

Malcolm Wiley, a spokesman for the Secret Service, says he can't confirm if members of his agency will be physically present at CIAC while the convention takes place, but he does acknowledge the center's part in analyzing intelligence data during the event.

“They'll be sharing information with other intelligence gatherers,” including the Secret Service and FBI, Wiley says.

Once again though, activists are expressing concern about the heightened security measures being implemented.

When the Democratic National Convention is held in August, CIAC will be operating 24 hours a day and be fully staffed with up to eight intelligence analysts at any given time.

Some civil libertarians claim that the reports that the intelligence agencies might be investigating could just be anti-war protesters or "photographing federal facilities that could be targeted for terrorist attack". They are also expressing worry that the CIAC will be spying on Americans exercising their First Amendment rights at the convention.

The four days of the Democratic convention are guaranteed to be busy and probably hectic as well with the events going on inside, the protests outside and the massive security being implemented to keep the members of the Democratic party safe.

The security measures have both pros and cons associated with them. On one hand they have critics claiming that some of those measures are infringing on their first amendment rights and on the other hand the government does have a responsibility to the members of the Democratic party and all those attending the Democratic National Convention, to keep them safe.

The balancing act will be for officials to manage to find the middle ground so they do not infringe on first amendment rights and they do keep the attendees safe.