The Pentagon’s Database

THE PENTAGON’S DATABASE….Last week NBC reported that the Pentagon was keeping a database of “suspicious incidents” that included such things as antiwar demonstrations and protests against military recruiters. According to William Arkin, this data is supposed to be purged after 90 days if it turns out to be unrelated to foreign governments or transnational terrorist organizations or illegal activity, but that’s not what’s happening:

I now know that the database of “suspicious incidents” in the United States first revealed by NBC Nightly News last Tuesday and subject of my blog last week is the Joint Protection Enterprise Network (JPEN) database, an intelligence and law enforcement sharing system managed by the Defense Department’s Counterintelligence Field Activity (CIFA).

What is clear about JPEN is that the military is not inadvertently keeping information on U.S. persons. It is violating the law. And what is more, it even wants to do it more.

….According to a JPEN classified briefing obtained by this blogger, the 90-day “data content limit…creates issues for long-term correlation and analysis.”

….The managers of JPEN are hardly being inadvertent about either the 90-day restriction or the intentional collection of information on U.S. persons. So far, it appears that they have broken the law. And what is more, they are agitating internally to find ways of circumventing the legal restrictions.

Arkin needs to simmer down. All you have to do is shut up and support the war and you won’t end up in the Pentagon’s database. What’s so hard about that?