Much of the information collected by CIFA [Counterintelligence Field Activity] was amassed in a database called Talon, which stands for Threat and Local Observation Notice. Under a classified order data July 20, 2005, and reported in the Washington Post by military affairs blogger William Arkin, CIFA was allowed to collect information about U.S. citizens in Talon if there was reason to believe those citizens were connected to international terrorist activities, narcotics traffic, and foreign intelligence organizations and were a “threat” to DoD installations and personnel (“In other words,” Arkin commented, “some military gumshoe or over-zealous commander just has to decide [that] someone is a ‘threat to’ the military”). CIFA also obtained information about U.S. persons from the NSA and the DIA. As it turned out, however, many of these threatening people were antiwar activists, and the information about them came from monitoring meetings held in churches, libraries, college campuses, and other locations.

* Tim Shorrock, Spies for Hire: The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing. Pp. 178.