Hey Mable, is that a terrorist in the bushes?

One of the latest federal government publications released for “Official Use Only,” but widely available to the public, is a pamphlet issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), “Identifying Homegrown Violent Extremists Before They Strike — An Information Needs Review.”  If this is the best the billions of dollars spent by Homeland Security with its tens of thousands of employees can produce, then we’re all in trouble. 

I understand that the Department produces far more detailed, technical and sophisticated documents than this silly pamphlet (at least I hope they do).  But one has to ask, why waste any time, money or effort drafting and publishing a document that tells fellow law enforcement officers to be on the lookout for someone who is “advocating criminal or terrorist activity,” or who exhibits “new or increased advocacy of violence?”  I mean, Duh, yeah, Dude, someone who “travel[s] overseas to attend violent extremist institutions or paramilitary training camps” just might be an indicator of “possible terrorist activity.”   Do we need a government publication prepared by law enforcement for law enforcement, to tell us that?  If we do, then like I say, we’re in real trouble.

On the other hand, interspersed with these “indicators of  possible terrorist activity” are other “indicators” for which readers of this pamphlet are advised to be on the lookout; activies that could apply just as easily to your next door neighbor who is a top official with the CIA, or to your Uncle Albert in Poughkeepsie whose most “terroristic” activity is chasing away neighborhood kids trampling his flower garden.  A tourist asking for directions to the Washington Monument might be suspect according to this silly pamphlet, because they have expressed “interest in critical infrastructure locations and landmarks.”

What will those wild and crazy guys at Homeland Security think of next?  Maybe having a five-year old kindergarten student travelling to Disneyland with his 70-year old grandmother for a Baptist convention, be forced to stand in a glass enclosure at the airport while a scanning device electronically strip searches them and transmits a naked image of their bodies to a bureaucrat sitting in a room somewhere else, before they are permitted to board an airliner?  Wait a minute.  Aren’t we already doing that?

26 comments Add your comment

Spock

October 1st, 2010
6:56 am

Mr. Barr…I think the underlying premis of your commentary is that you are expecting the government to act in a manner that demonstartes the ability to use logic. To expect a government agency to use logic, is simply not logical.

nelson

October 1st, 2010
9:47 am

There was a tourist a few years ago[60] that stopped in Adams, N.Y. He took a picture of the local hotel. The cop went over to him and said “we can’t have just anybody taking pictures in the village.”
The tourist consequently told the producers of “I’ve got a Secret” a tv show. The guy made it on the show and Bill Cullen, Dorthy Kilgallen, Kitty Carlisle could not guess the secret. They showed a picture of the village and from the air all that was visible was woods..

I can see the same happening with this deal, the fact of the matter is strangers always attract attention. Homeland security has a tough job and what they are alluding too is that everyone should be involved, after all, it’s their country.

zakress

October 1st, 2010
10:17 am

This would seems shame, unless you keep in mind that elitests believe that everyone else is inferior or downright dumb. If that was the foundation of your worldview, publishing a pamphlet like this would make perfect sense.

zakress

October 1st, 2010
10:18 am

Sick of the trolling

October 1st, 2010
10:21 am

If you are sick of people ‘trolling’ these boards with juvenile comments, please send the AJC a suggestion to require a user name and password log-in to post comments. I think that this will dissuade this behavior as they will lose the ability to use multiple user names. Also, only people who really are motivated to comment will take the 5 minutes to register through email. Personally, I’d like to see some civility and intelligence return to these boards. You can send your suggestion/request through this link: http://projects.ajc.com/customercare/contactus-form/

joe

October 1st, 2010
11:32 am

These days, expecting any government agency to spend their funds without waste is ludicrous…that is the main reason why we must reduce the size of our federal government starting with the elections in November. This is the type stuff they spend our tax money on…along with $5000 toilet seats on air force one that you can pick up at Home Depot for $5.

Junior Samples

October 1st, 2010
11:49 am

Isn’t this the same brain trust that suggested plastic sheathing and duct tape? The bar hasn’t been raised any higher.

Brad

October 1st, 2010
12:20 pm

Homeland Security is merely a tool to keep the public frightened, so that we’ll all go along with the absurd “war on terror”.

paleo-neo-Carlinist

October 1st, 2010
12:50 pm

didn’t Georgia’s own Jeff Foxworth observe; “…you might be a redneck if you wear camoflauge to church…”? maybe he needs to update his bit to “…you might be a terrorist if…” seems to me a lot of the home-grown terrorists wear camoflauge AND go to chuch, so we need to snoop around to see if they are passing the DHS litmus test. the police state protects the government and “wealth” – it does not protect the individual.

DEWSTARPATH

October 1st, 2010
12:52 pm

Sick of the Trolling – Agreed.

– I suggested the same thing a few months ago
on Jim Wooten’s blog after dealing with a ‘troll’
for a few weeks who is well known to the AJC blogs.
Great post.

DEWSTARPATH

October 1st, 2010
1:06 pm

Sick of the trolling – October 1st, 2010
10:21 am

– My sugggestion has been sent. Thanks again for the link.

DEWSTARPATH

October 1st, 2010
1:07 pm

- suggestion. (typo)

Patriot

October 1st, 2010
1:16 pm

The true terrorists inhabit the White House, the military-industrial-complex, the NSA, the government of Israel, the CIA, the Bush family, the Cheney family, Blackwater (or should I say Xe or whatever their new name is), and every other group that has been using america’s gullibilty and fear to steal america’s money and freedom while killing hundreds of thousands of innocents all over the world in our name.

Love the trolling

October 1st, 2010
1:16 pm

Hey “Sick of the trolling”… go fly a kite! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

Duh?

October 1st, 2010
1:42 pm

If the person’s name has “Mohammed” in it anywhere, he might be a terrorist.

AmVet

October 1st, 2010
2:05 pm

Mr. Barr,

Be VERY careful!

John Ashcroft may be watching you!

Lee

October 1st, 2010
2:38 pm

Speaking of the “war on terror”, did anyone else get caught in the massive traffic jam on I-20 the other day because TSA thought it would be a hoot to xray 18 wheelers at the weigh station at Lee Rd — AT THE HEIGHT OF RUSH HOUR?!?!?!?!?!

They said they did it to “send a message to terrorists”. Well, you sent a message alright. The message said “this government is chock full of idiots who spent a couple trillion dollars and still couldn’t find Bin Laden. To compensate, we’re going to back traffic up from Douglasville to I-285.

There. I feel better now.

Back to you, Bob.

joe

October 1st, 2010
3:07 pm

Patriot needs to get a life…your rant just proves without any doubt you are one of those wacky elitist conspiracy theorists. Go stand next to your microwave and set it on “high” so you don’t spread those idiot genes should any crazy woman decide to reproduce with you. Sicko.

And Brad, there might not be a war on terror where you are, but most non-muslim Europeans would disagree.

Keep up the good fight!

October 1st, 2010
4:51 pm

Lee, absolutely! Because potential terrorist should know that there is no chance that the Feds would conduct that type of no notice inspection during rush hour because it would be an inconvenience. It should only be conduct between 2 AM and 5 AM and terrorist should plan to schedule accordingly so that they are in that time slot! Thanks for playing!

November

October 1st, 2010
5:12 pm

Duh?

October 1st, 2010
1:42 pm
If the person’s name has “Mohammed” in it anywhere, he might be a terrorist.

Or “Barack Hussein”

Lee

October 1st, 2010
6:25 pm

@KUTGF, don’t kid yourself. It had nothing to do with terroism, but the fact that the TSA probably bought a new fangled xray machine and was itching to try it out.

A better bet would have been to set it up on the Mexican border and zap a few thousand of those illegal aliens, uh, excuse me, undocumented migrants, that are invading this country. That poses a bigger threat than anything they can haul around in a semi.

carlosgvv

October 1st, 2010
7:11 pm

Enter your comments here

carlosgvv

October 1st, 2010
7:15 pm

So if the Government were to learn the KKK was making a major comeback they should not bother notifing local law enforcement? It sounds like you are just looking for something to complaim about.

Flaxin

October 2nd, 2010
9:59 am

There’s no defense against a real terrorist. There’s only poorly written hindsight and political opportunists using Third Reich propaganda techniques to invade innocent countries and redefine colleral damage.

2 True

October 2nd, 2010
11:35 am

Exactly right Flaxin. They checked all the trucks on one HWY headed in one direction. So basically barely a drop in the bucket. If this all the government can muster it just proved to anyone planning an attack that they have nothing to worry about.

Mike

October 2nd, 2010
11:43 am

Oddly, the Department of Homeland Security issued a poster warning people to watch for terrorist activity, and it showed a guy taking pictures of airplanes from outside the airport fence.

Now, that poster shows true ignorance. How would taking pictures of airplanes be considered a threat? Lots of photographers (myself included) love to take pictures of various aircraft. They are relatively rare (for most of us) machines that fly people from one place to another. Aviation still offers a big of magic to many of us, and we photograph them (along with trains, nice cars, etc.).

Is there any evidence that the 911 terrorists took exterior photos of airplanes from hundreds of yards away?\

At what point did photographers make it on the radar screen of potential terrorists?

People are just whacky. They fear that which is not scary and have no fear of things that are.

But what can you expect. We’re a nation that got attacked by Saudis (here on student visas) who trained in Florida on fight simulators, and so we attacked Iraq and Afghanistan to solve the problem.

Dumb!