Nexus Resartus

 

    It appears that the press is only recently becoming aware of issues of home grown terrorism and needed mechanisms for dealing with the same.  Plaudits for the current administration’s redefinition of a controlled but unclassified information category and means for various departments to share disparate types of information are daily in the press as if this were a new development.  The one thing which I gave unmitigated credit to the last administration for accomplishing was the breakdown in the walls separating these different categories of information and the means developed for sharing the same, including the designation of a controlled but unclassified category of information.  These efforts are not new, though it is heartening to see that they are still being pursued.  The re-visitation of this as an issue seems to be a realization within the current administration of the significant perils we still face from movements either tightly or loosely affiliated with Al Quaida.  It is not so much that the movement has new cloths, but rather that their ensemble of means accent the whole to our detriment and in ways which we are still ill prepared to confront as evidenced by the current administration’s adoption of many of the policies of the past administration.

 

  The Authorized Use of Military Force (AUMF) enacted post 9/11 gave the executive broad authority for carrying out actions against those who perpetrated, or who supported, the attacks.  Since 9/11, the affiliation, or nexus, argument has expanded.  It first represented both the perpetrators as well as those who directly assisted, aided, or abetted Al Qaida.  It next expanded, logically, to those currently associated with Al Qaida in a practical sense, whether they were active abettors of 9/11 or not.  Once that bar was passed, it morphed into those whose affiliation was less direct.  It has long been known that groups composed of both US persons and US citizens are affiliated with Al Qaida, either directly through contact with or participation in Al Qaida or indirectly through support of their radical teleological beliefs.  The executive decision to break down the information barriers and provide a means to fuse cross departmental information to “connect the dots” was both in response to Congressional decisions as well as in line with common sense.  The later nexus, however, poses legal issues which we have not yet completely dealt with, significantly when, as recent news articles have made publicly clear, the nexus involves US citizens.  Be that as it may, the data fusion centers and terrorist task forces established across the country, starting under the Bush administration, and evidently being continued under the present, are a recognition of the need.  This recognition appears to be being portrayed as something new.

 

It seems we are re-tailoring our view of affiliation still, quite possibly in response to a new administration which has now become aware of the real threat in all of its forms and its implications.  We still do not have a “Title 60,” although the recent spate of news articles concerning domestic issues as well as issues abroad suggest we need one.  My guess is that we will continue to see a slow roll of articles which suggest new rules as we collectively grow more aware of the continued threats which we face, regardless of the party controlling the government.