As a followup to yesterday's post on the Department of Homeland Security's "See Something, Say Something" anti-terrorism campaign, let's look at the other feature of the program that is riling Jones: "Telescreens".
Earlier this month, the "Orwellian" telescreens were placed in select Wal-Mart stores around the country.
Now by using the term "telescreen", you would assume that these devices enabled some form of two-way communication by which shoppers could report suspicious activity (not just activity in the store itself, but in any public place).
That's not quite the case. In fact, it's not at all the case. The screens are just that: Screens. A brief, looped message from Janet Napolitano plays on them. The screens are basically talking posters.
This Infowars article by Paul Joseph Watson implies that telescreens will be installed in 9000 other public places, including federal buildings and sports stadiums, but another article makes clear that only "signage" will be placed in 9000 federal buildings. There is no indication that screens will be placed in these areas.
Paul Joseph Watson likens See Something, Say Something to the Bush-era TIPS program in this article. But TIPS, which was canceled when the DHS was formed, encouraged repairmen, utility workers, and other home-service employees to keep an eye out for suspicious activity in people's homes. TIPS bears little resemblance to the new campaign, which deals solely with public places.
I'm sorry, but I have a difficult time viewing a handful of Wal-Mart TV screens, three bland PSA videos, and some posters as a "Sovietized police state" aimed at nabbing political dissidents. If you truly believe that these things are just like the tactics of the East German Stasi, then I strongly suggest you review some literature about the Stasi and remind yourself that if you're a lifelong American, you have never lived under that kind of oppression. To say that you have would be an insult to people who actually survived life in fascist police states.
And I have an equally hard time believing that Jones is really concerned about the DHS program fostering paranoia, distrust, and suspicion in Americans - because that's his stock in trade. He has told us to be suspicious of environmentalists, white Rastafarians, pretty much every law enforcement officer you'll ever encounter, cartoon scriptwriters, doctors, free mammogram clinics, comic books, and schizophrenics. If that's not paranoia, distrust, and suspicion, what is?
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