Smith warned residents “you need to make sure that when you make water quality complaints you have a basis, because federally, if there’s no water quality issues, that can be considered under homeland security an act of terrorism.” One audience member seemed to be in disbelief and asked “Can you say that again, please?” Smtih then repeated the warning.
The residents know something about terror. Joycelene Johns, 68, says that she has had no choice but to drink the cloudy, odd-tasting water for years. She added “I’ll drink it. but I pray before the first sip.”
The comments reflect a fear that the war on terror, like Saturn, inevitably devours its own. Criticism of the government is now viewed as a potentially terrorist act in our new society. The TDEC appears to be paraphrasing Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar: “The fault, dear Joycelene, is not in our water, But in ourselves.”