Has the Department of Homeland Security’s “See Something, Say Something” initiative, which started following the 9/11 attacks, created a nation of spies? Yes, say a growing number of Americans and others who have been caught up in it.
A recent case in point involves an illegal immigrant in Texas. As reported by the Houston Press, Blanca Borrego and her two daughters were sitting in the waiting area of the Northeast Healthcare clinic in Atascocita for some two hours. The woman had not been in to see her gynecologist in a year, when the doctor discovered a cyst in her abdomen that had been causing her pain.
When she arrived at the clinic, the staff had asked her for an ID because they needed to update her file as she filled out some paperwork. She had overstayed her original visa some 12 years ago, so Borrego handed the staff a fake driver’s license. Then she settled in to wait to be called.
Her eldest daughter told the Houston Press that the wait was taking so long that her mother nearly gave up and was about to leave, but the staff finally called her back into an exam room.
The web site further reported:
Minutes later, Borrego’s daughter saw Harris County Sheriff’s deputies march her mother out of the clinic. She says her 8-year-old sister started to cry when she saw the handcuffs.
“We’re going to take her downtown, she presented a form of false identification,” Borrego’s daughter recalled the deputy saying, adding that deputies said Borrega’s bond would probably be around $20,000.
“She’s going to get deported,” the daughter said.
We’re being watched from quarters unknown
Her attorney, Clarissa Guajardo, said the charge actually stems from a phony Social Security card found in her client’s purse. What really bothers her, however, is the fact that the health clinic called authorities in the first place on the belief that staffers had been given a false ID.
What’s more, she said, the staffers did not have to ask for an ID because her client had insurance through the company her husband – also in the country illegally – worked for.
The point of all this is not to defend illegal immigrants, especially those who knowingly violated U.S. immigration laws. Rather, what ought to disturb us is the widening network, if you will, of “official” surveillance being conducted against all of us by institutions and personnel you wouldn’t normally associate with such activities.
Take the Drug Enforcement Agency, for example. As reported by MassPrivateI, that agency is spying on medical files without proper authority or a court-ordered warrant.
Specifically, the site reported, the agency “has been sifting through thousands of supposedly private medical files, looking for Texas doctors and patients to prosecute without the use of warrants.”
See – just don’t say anything?
“It’s not like there’s ten of them. There’s probably thousands – I know there are thousands,” Matt Barden, spokesman for the DEA, told the Daily Caller News Foundation regarding the DEA’s use of what are called administrative subpoenas.
In that instance, at least, a federal court in Oregon has ruled against the DEA’s use of such dubious legal tools, although a separate federal court in Texas has ruled in favor of the agency’s use of such subpoenas.
In addition, MassPrivateI noted in a separate report that private companies also have a close relationship with DHS. The most disturbing aspect of all is the use of hospitals and medical facilities that employ patient tracking devices to keep tabs on their charges at all times; they, too, report to DHS.
In a column for The Hill, Katie Pavlich, news editor of Townhall.com, referenced the recent arrest of a Muslim-American high school student who brought a dubious looking “clock” device to school for a science project as representative of the “death of ‘See something, Say something.'”
Teachers there called police when the student brought the device into the school because they felt it resembled a bomb – and everyone knows that young Muslim males the world over (including the two who staged the Boston Marathon bombings) have used explosives to spread terror.
The teachers were highly criticized in some circles (including the Obama White House) for “seeing something” and “saying something.”