Uploaded on Jul 29, 2008
July 25, 2008
Main Core ...
New Evidence Reveals Top Secret Government Database Used in Bush Spy Program
Salon.com has published new details about a top secret government database that might be at the heart of the Bush administration's domestic spying operations. The database is known as "Main Core." It reportedly collects and stores vast amounts of personal and financial data about millions of Americans. Some former US officials believe that "Main Core" may have been used by the National Security Agency to determine who to spy on in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. We speak with Tim Shorrock. Tim Shorrock, author of the article on Salon.com, "Exposing Bush's Historic Abuse of Power." He is an investigative reporter and author. His latest book is titled Spies for Hire: The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing.
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Main Core, ... the expansion of an old
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) database containing the names of American citizens who would be rounded up and incarcerated in the event of a national emergency declaration.
After 9/11, the Bush White House used FEMA's secret and illegal database of American citizens, code-named Main Core, to target American citizens with electronic and other surveillance. FEMA's database had increased in size with the addition of raw telecommunications intercept data on American citizens obtained from the National Security Agency (NSA).
Main Core has its roots in a smaller database developed by FEMA during the Reagan administration.
FEMA, then runby one of Ronald Reagan's cronies from California, former California National Guard commander Gen. Louis Giuffrida, managed to obtain from the FBI a list of some 12,000 names contained in the FBI's domestic intelligence files. When FBI Director William Webster learned that Giuffrida had used the list as a basis to create a database of 100,000 American citizens
who were considered threats to national security, he demanded that Giuffrida return the list and all copies to the FBI. The list contained the names of individuals opposed to U.S. policies in Central America, tax protesters, and people known as survivalists and more.
However, FEMA did not return all of the copies of its lists to the FBI. In the 1980s, White House official Oliver North, working with FEMA, developed a "continuity of government" contingency plan called REX-84, or "Readiness Exercise 1984," that would have instituted plans to round up and intern hundreds of thousands of American citizens in the event martial law
was declared. Then-Attorney General William French Smith formally protested the existence of the North-Giuffrida plan to National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane.
It was this renewed program to round up
Americans that was at the heart of the March 10, 2004 confrontation between White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales and Chief of Staff Andrew Card on one side and Deputy Attorney General James Comey on the other in Attorney General John Ashcroft's hospital room.
Ashcroft and Comey refused to sign off on the Bush plans for maintaining a database of Americans considered subversive.
A Texas Observer article dated May 15, 1987 by Louis Dubose, which provides greater details on the early FEMA database.
Then House Banking Committee Chairman Henry Gonzales discovered that the FBI list turned over to FEMA was the Administrative Index (ADEX), a list of 12,000 of dossiers on American citizens. Gonzales charged the list was to be used by FEMA to detain Americans considered to be a threat to national security. Gonzalez also said the list should have never been turned over to FEMA.
The Texas Observer article also refers to an Austin American-Statesman article from December 1986 that says it obtained internal FBI documents revealing a struggle between Smith's successor as Attorney General, Edwin Meese, and FBI Director Webster over the FBI maintaining control of ADEX.
Meese and National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane demanded the FBI turn over ADEX to FEMA.
FEMA also had plans to round up and detain 400,000 Central Americans
in the United States, in addition to a number of Arab-Americans.
Ironically, the FEMA plan, called the "Alien Terrorists and Undesirables
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