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News Link • Police State

What, Exactly, Is "Suspicious Activity?"

• - by Nat Hentoff

More of us, including the new generation, are becoming aware of what the report "Surveillance in the Homeland" (Truth Out, Aug. 22) describes as the state of our personal privacy: "Our phone calls, our emails and web site visits, our financial records, our travel itineraries, and our digital images captured on powerful surveillance cameras are swelling the mountain of data that is being mined (by the Obama administration) for suspicious patterns and associations."

This ceaseless surveillance was unimaginable to America's founders, of course, because such technology was nonexistent in their time. But can we call ourselves a self-governing constitutional republic when we are subject to this increasingly familiar government invasion by local as well as federal government officials? I heard this recently from Michael Bloomberg, mayor of New York City, where I live: "When you see something, say something!"

Like what? It's up to us to make what connection? No hint for us?

1 Comments in Response to

Comment by James Eldridge
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Big Sis Tags Coffee Cups With Big Brother Eye


Homeland Security recruits jittery coffee drinkers to spot terrorists as part of See Something, Say Something campaign

Paul Joseph Watson
Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Homeland Security’s See Something, Say Something snitch campaign is now so pervasive that Big Sis has extended the message to coffee cups, recruiting jittery coffee drinkers to spot terrorists as part of a deal with the Maryland Transit Administration, which used DHS funds to purchase the ads.

Big Sis Tags Coffee Cups With Big Brother Eye Coffee Sleeve Homeland Security 300x300

The message appears on the sleeve of coffee cups and reads, “If you see something, say something…Report unattended bags and unusual behavior to police or transit personnel.”

The image features a Big Brother eye motif above the lettering.

According to a spokesman, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security provided the funds to pay for the ad and the Maryland Transit Administration duly complied. The DHS has partnered with numerous public and private entities, including Wal-Mart and the NFL, to promote its See Something, Say Something campaign, the PSA’s for which feature predominantly white middle class Americans characterized as terrorists engaging in “suspicious behavior” such as talking to police officers or using video cameras.

“Part of the Department of Homeland Security’s guidelines for suspicious behavior include individuals “acting furtively and suspiciously” and “avoiding eye contact.” The side effects of heavy caffeine use include irritability, anxiety, tremulousness and muscle twitching,” reports the Daily Caller.

The fact that the call to Americans to report on each other is being taken to the lengths of plastering the message all over coffee cups is chilling and a shocking reflection of how Sovietized the country is becoming as a result of the myth that terrorists are everywhere when in reality peanut allergies, accident-causing deer and swimming pools pose a greater threat.

In addition, history shows us that recruiting the population to spy on each other in the name of security only ever creates an oppressive and fearful society, and doesn’t even provide greater security.

One common misconception about Nazi Germany was that the police state was solely a creation of the authorities and that the citizens were merely victims. On the contrary, Gestapo files show that 80% of all Gestapo investigations were started in response to information provided by denunciations by “ordinary” Germans.

“There were relatively few secret police, and most were just processing the information coming in. I had found a shocking fact. It wasn’t the secret police who were doing this wide-scale surveillance and hiding on every street corner. It was the ordinary German people who were informing on their neighbors,” wrote Robert Gellately of Florida State University.

Gellately discovered that the people who informed on their neighbors were motivated primarily by banal factors – “greed, jealousy, and petty differences,” and not by a genuine concern about crime or insecurity. This is precisely the kind of environment the ‘See Something, Say Something’ law, and the campaign itself, is designed to create.

In a bid to convince Americans to follow orders and report “suspicious behavior,” which the DHS has defined as a variety of mundane actions and even political affiliations, security corporations are lobbying for the passage of the See Something, Say Something Act (H.R. 963), which would encourage Americans to frivolously snitch on each other by providing legal protection for people who report “suspicious behavior” to the authorities.

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