An incredible amount of taxpayer money goes into the U.S. government’s sprawling, powerful national-security and domestic-surveillance apparatus. Millions upon millions upon millions of those dollars often get funneled to programs such as the Trump administration’s efforts to prevent threats to the republic as daunting as Insane Clown Posse fans, violent emojis, and people (supposedly) trying to break Netflix star Joe Exotic out of prison.
On this week’s episode of The Daily Beast’s Fever Dreams podcast, hosts Asawin Suebsaeng and Will Sommer sit down with Ken Klippenstein, a reporter at The Intercept, to discuss Ken’s investigative work exposing the federal government’s bizarre, and at times frightening, secret obsessions and targets during the Trump and Biden eras.
“I must have FOIA’d dozens of different state fusion centers [that work with the Department of Homeland Security], and what I got back was, I mean, it ranged from comical to frightening, in terms of what they’re doing,” Klippenstein tells Fever Dreams. “On the comical end, they’re worried about juggalos, it’s this big bugaboo of the national security state…Let me read you some of the examples of titles of these intelligence reports from the fusion centers to give you a flavor of what they’re up to. Here’s one title: ‘Criminal and Violent Extremists’ Use of Emojis.’”