Intel expert: J6 report ignored specific failures that nearly allowed insurrection to succeed
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A homeland security expert faulted the House select committee's final report as "poetic at best, misleading at worst."

Donell Harvin oversaw the Fusion Intelligence Center for the District of Columbia on Jan. 6, 2021, and he testified before the select committee on three separate occasions, but he explained in a new piece for Politico that blame on Donald Trump while letting federal security officials off the hook for their inaction.

"The report weighs in at over 800 pages," Harvin wrote. "The security and intelligence issues, however, are relegated to a mere 44 pages in the annexes, roughly 5 percent of the report. Those annexes read like a script for a Netflix series, detailing behind-the-scenes discussions, deliberations and decisions (or non-decisions) by key players. What is lacking is analysis of what should have occurred and who was responsible for the massive security failure of that day."

"The absence of any such conclusive analysis leaves ample room for conspiracy theorists to string disparate facts together and weave elaborate yet believable lies," Harvin added.

Harvin said he and other senior intelligence officials in D.C. knew what the rioters intended to do because they had gamed out the scenario a week before the insurrection, and they convened an emergency conference call with 79 state and local intelligence centers around the country to raise red flags about the threat -- but he faulted law enforcement dogma that prohibited a response.

"There is 'no credible or specific threat' was a refrain that I heard no less than 40 times leading up to Jan. 6," Harvin wrote. "But there were mountains of non-credible and nonspecific threats, enough to prompt a robust preparedness response. Additionally, the concept of 'law enforcement sensitive' information impedes information-sharing across agencies and the 'whole of government' approach the committee recommends. At all levels of government, law enforcement agencies are either legally or structurally prohibited from sharing information regarding ongoing threats with other law enforcement agencies or with agencies engaged in emergency preparedness, response and consequence management (such as fire, EMS, emergency management and homeland security agencies)."

"These two issues combined create a patchwork of formal and informal information networks that may function on 'clear skies' days but fail during a crisis," he added.

Harvin called for the director of national intelligence to oversee domestic intelligence, which is currently coordinated by the FBI or Department of Homeland Security, or create a domestic version of that federal position to coordinate intelligence gathering within the U.S. and properly fund those local hubs.

"Created in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the fusion center network serves as the central information and intelligence hubs for their respective states and jurisdictions," Harvin wrote. "Their collaboration and coordination were one of the few bright spots in January 2021. And yet many of these centers are understaffed. They must be mandated to share information and intelligence with various agencies across cities, states and with the federal government, which they are currently not obligated to do."

Harvin also argued that Congress should direct and monitor badly needed intelligence reform to correct the mistakes that allowed Jan. 6 to happen.

"Two years after a deadly assault on our democracy, we are no closer to correcting the systemic processes and cultures that turned an obscure and mundane day on the electoral calendar into a massive failure of government to be immortalized in the history books," he added.