Journalism in the Public Interest

Pa. Homeland Security Head Resigns Amid Controversy Over Tracking of Activists

The Pennsylvania Homeland Security director who hired an anti-terrorism contractor to monitor threats to state infrastructure resigned today, just weeks after confidential intelligence bulletins produced by the contractor showed surveillance of gas drilling opponents and an array of activist groups and protestors.

"Jim is a good man who made a very significant mistake in judgment," Gov. Ed Rendell said as he announced Powers' resignation, in comments reported by The Philadelphia Inquirer. Rendell said the choice to step down was made by Powers.

As we’ve noted, Powers, apologized at a hearing this week to the groups and individuals who felt their constitutional rights were violated. At the same time, Powers stood by his decision to authorize the contract with the Institute of Terrorism Research and Response, saying, “I still feel what we were doing was right for the people.”

Top officials of the Pennsylvania State Police had sharply criticized the intelligence bulletins, calling the documents “unsubstantiated gossip” and the work of “amateurs.” One lawmaker at this week’s hearing called for Powers to be fired.

Gov. Rendell had refused to fire Powers, but last month Rendell also said that upon learning of the matter, he was “deeply embarrassed” and “appalled” by the contract and the type of free-speech activities his state was monitoring.

Powers, in his resignation letter, said he decided to resign after considering the “emerging events surrounding the credibility of, and public/private-sector information sharing programs executed by” his office.

“Central to every task undertaken by this Office was the security and well-being of the Commonwealth citizenry – our greatest resource,” the letter said.

The contract with ITRR comes up for renewal in October. Gov. Rendell has said it will be terminated.

Vic Livingston

Oct. 2, 2010, 1:25 a.m.


This contract is just the of the iceberg.  The MAGLOCLEN-RISS Intelligence Center based in Newtown, Bucks County, PA—the mid-Atlantic states Homeland Security-administered “fusion center” that covers, PA, NJ, DE, MD, DC and other states—has been violating the civil rights of political activists well before 9/11…

...and in the years since that watershed pretext for wholesale civil and human rights violations, MAGLOCLEN has transmogrified into the mid-Atlantic “centcom” of a nationwide fusion center Gestapo—according to my reporting and my personal experiences as an extrajudicially targeted, persecuted, and electromagnetically tortured and impaired victim of this shadow government apparatus. 

And this veteran journalist, who has worked in Philadelphia mainstream media, is but one of untold thousands of extra-legally persecuted victims nationwide. 

Please read my exclusive reports, and join me in calling for a full-blown congressional probe of these serial civil and human rights abuses—because the Obama administration appears to be blind to this cancer on the Republic.

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I support this man’s viewpoint.  This is currently happening on a daily basis with many citizens of the surrounding area in question.  Their response is one big deception.  I have been searching for answers for a few years about the extra-curricular activities of the Commonwealth of
PA.  Politicians know this is going on and refuse to do anything about it.  My question is “What kind of human beings are these people?”
I hope this kind of treatment is something no one has to go through
ever again.

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