Homeland Security and TSA: Fear, Paranoia at a Walmart and Airport Near You

The Department Of Homeland Security (DHS) has just expanded a campaign that you will not be able to avoid if you shop at Walmart, ride the subway in New-York or Washington DC, and go to a big sporting event. Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, is lending her voice to this “Big Brother” (Big Sister) assault on US citizens’ peace of mind during what is supposed to be the relaxing time of the holidays season.

The campaign is called:”If You See Something, Say Something” and the nationwide expansion was announced by Napolitano last Wednesday. It is, as the name indicate, an open invitation for people to spy on each others, and to become unpaid informants for the federal government by reporting any “suspicious activities”.

Walmart shoppers, across the country, will be treated, free of charge, by seeing Napolitano’ s fear inducing message in a video as they stand in the check out line. “Big Sister” Napolitano will, for the time being, replace Musac, aisle cleanup announcements and the familiar Walmart smiley face as “entertainment” in the mega stores.

We are expanding ‘See Something, Say Something’ in a number of venues. It is Walmart, it is Mall of America, it is different sports and sporting arena, it is transit systems. It is a catchy phrase, but it reminds people that our security is a shared responsibility,” Napolitano told NPR in justification of the measure.

In the coming months, according to its own website, the Department Of Homeland Security will continue to expand the “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign nationally with “public education” and “outreach tools designed to help America’s businesses, communities and citizens remain vigilant and play an active role in keeping the country safe.”

Do you feel safe yet? Between this campaign and the blatant invasion of privacy which constitutes the body scans and  searches conducted by the TSA at any US airports, it is debatable if American citizens should feel “safe” or extremely worry and threaten by a federal government becoming more intrusive by the day.

There is a quotation from Benjamin Franklin inscribed on a plaque in the stairwell of the pedestal of the Statue Of Liberty: “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” “Big Sister” Janet Napolitano, and the rest of us, should reflect on Benjamin Franklin’s words before we officially become a full blown Orwellian police state.


19 Responses to Homeland Security and TSA: Fear, Paranoia at a Walmart and Airport Near You

  1. Liam Fox December 12, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    This news feels absolutely surreal. My first thought was that it sounded like something out of a movie; a scene with character standing in line and the face of ‘Dear Leader’ is on a monitor screen delivering a message of, “we’re watching you,.. all of us are watching you… you better be watching each other because we’re watching you.” Am I alone in thinking this is down-right creepy? Great piece Gilbert. Thanks for giving me nightmares of Napolitano’s face pressed against the glass watching me sleep. lol

    • Gilbert Mercier
      Gilbert Mercier December 12, 2010 at 3:55 pm

      Thanks Liam, I am not sure what is worse: Napolitano’s Big Sister’s face or the not so happy Walmart one. Either or, it is pretty grim. I am also wondering why the Tea Party activists are not reacting more to this. How come they do not see that their sacred Liberty is under relentless attack by the rise of an authoritarian Orwellian police state where people are asked to spy on each others by the government?

      • Liam Fox December 12, 2010 at 6:16 pm

        The Tea Party only reacts to what it’s told to react to. Corporations and politicians aren’t threatened by this so you won’t hear anything from America’s Astroturf revolutionaries. They’re still recovering from all their hard work voting for Bristol Palin on Dancing with the Stars.

      • Amanda December 12, 2010 at 8:43 pm

        Perhaps it is because quite a few of the Tea Partiers shop at and desire to keep shopping at Wal Mart. I am from a small country town, and in a small country town, Wal Mart is usually the only major store! All the others have been put out of business, so local residents quite literally have nowhere else to shop.

        • Liam Fox December 13, 2010 at 12:36 pm

          It’s kinda like the old ‘company stores’ in the mining towns which also happened to be owned by the company. Just sayin’.

  2. Fold51 December 12, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    Nice article. Bookmarked it for the future.

    Amanda you’re too cute. If I didn’t know better, as a Department of Corrections Officer, I too would like to surrender my rights for your life, but I often open my eyes and realize I am the prisoner, and never the guard, nor free-man I once used to be. This domino of structured lies can only last so long, at least until you realize the terror alert of a blatant lie has been raised to the terror alert of a complete illusion.

    However, I too enjoy a nice non-fiction thriller book from times to to time, Amanda.

  3. Brad Farthingstone December 13, 2010 at 6:25 am

    The Department Of Homeland Security can suck my junk. United Nazi States of Amerika…

  4. aj weishar December 13, 2010 at 6:58 am

    Is this a game? You know, I spy something green. And the Homeland Security tries to guess what I saw. We could play hide and seek, but they are not very good at finding people.

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  6. Stephen Dufrechou December 13, 2010 at 11:28 am

    Cuban novelist and political dissident Reinaldo Arenas says in his memoir that, “In one of my first statements after leaving Cuba I had declared that “the difference between the communist and capitalist systems is that, although both give you a kick in the ass, in the communist system you have to applaud, while in the capitalist system you can scream. And I came here to scream.””

    I’m curious if the Ministry of Homeland Security has a clever plan to outlaw “screaming” and enforce “applauding” in the name of safety.

  7. Simon December 13, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    If you see something, say something. Rat out your neighbor, your friend, even you family. Ah, just like the commie hunts in the 50’s. It’s nice to see how we’ve grown.

  8. Tunisha McSqueezi December 13, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    Janet needs to see the peopleofwalmart.com

  9. Mitchel December 13, 2010 at 11:29 pm


  10. tracy December 14, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    in your community would not want to report something going on? I was in a zellers and a whole bunch of teenagers came into the store, about 15 and right in front of us they where stealing , i looked over at one of the employee and she was so scared, i was worried because i had my little children with me at the time, but the manager would not come down from his office. The kids got away and the lady told me when they would work late at nights doing inventory the kids would bang on windows and walk around the store just doing all kinds of stuff even lit the garbage compactor on fire. I live in a nice area. Power to the coming technology.
    just who gets my information is what i am worry about. but i trust the government in securing my information. Hey they know everything already about me and they know about you and you , and you good looking : )

  11. Dave December 14, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    i see something… COMMUNISM

    • tracy December 14, 2010 at 7:20 pm

      yeah i am from Canada and the word is out there from the states where commies . So i will let you be and i will just go out enjoy our economy. don’t worry about those kids, we can take care of them probably just board being commies and all loll

    • Luke December 15, 2010 at 11:44 am

      Classic! It is communism, propoganda propoganda propoganda. That is how the beast survives. I’ve lived in China and that is exactly how they do things. Their TV is run by the govt

      • tracy December 15, 2010 at 12:03 pm

        that right ! fear our Maple leaf flag and we will bombard you with our politeness and forever exposing the Americans with our irresistible maple syrup to finance our government propaganda shows like “little mosque on the prairie”. resistance is futile.. and delicious…

        • Gilbert Mercier
          Gilbert Mercier December 15, 2010 at 5:15 pm

          Tracy, thanks for your delightful sense of humor! I just can’t wait to have Canada’s “South of the border” flooded with maple syrup! Bravo, you have made my day.

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