A controversial report issued by the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) has been withdrawn. The February 20th report put the spotlight on a number of conservative and libertarian organizations, suggesting members of those organizations – along with supporters of 2008 presidential candidates Ron Paul, Bob Barr, and Chuck Baldwin – might be inclined to join violent militias.
Wednesday morning, Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder held a news conference to slam the report and to call for Public Safety Director John Britt to be placed on administrative leave until the details of this report could be investigated.
Now, Missouri State Highway Patrol Superintendent Colonel Jim Keathley has issued a statement in which he calls for the report to be pulled:
The release of a report on militia groups last month by the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) has led me to take a hard look at the manner in which the Missouri State Highway Patrol oversees the dissemination of law enforcement information by the MIAC. My review of the procedures used by the MIAC in the three years since its inception indicates that the mechanism in place for oversight of reports needs improvement.
Until two weeks ago, the process for release of reports from the MIAC to law enforcement officers around the state required no review by leaders of the Missouri State Highway Patrol or the Department of Public Safety. That process had been unchanged since the MIAC began issuing these reports in June 2007.
For instance, the militia report was created by a MIAC employee, reviewed by the MIAC director, and sent immediately to law enforcement agencies across Missouri. The militia report was never reviewed by me or by the Director of Public Safety, John Britt, at any point prior to its issuance. Had that report been reviewed by either my office or by leaders of the Department of Public Safety, it would never have been released to law enforcement agencies.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Department of Public Safety believe that law enforcement officers require intelligence of the highest quality and that the report in question does not meet that standard. For that reason, I have ordered the MIAC to permanently cease distribution of the militia report. Further, I am creating a new process for oversight of reports drafted by the MIAC that will require leaders of the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Department of Public Safety to review the content of these reports before they are shared with law enforcement. My office will also undertake a review of the origin of the report by MIAC.
In the future, high-level review of these reports prior to issuance will ensure not only that law enforcement officers get better quality intelligence, but also that certain subsets of Missourians will not be singled out inappropriately in these reports for particular associations. The Highway Patrol has already developed a new system for this review, and is working cooperatively with the Department of Public Safety to integrate departmental leadership fully in that process.
JAMES F. KEATHLEY, Colonel
The Lieutenant Governor’s Office is still calling for an investigation into the report, saying Missourians’ questions still have not been answered.