A package addressed to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano began to fizzle and emit smoke Friday. The incident is believed to be connected to two others which occurred in Maryland on Thursday. It is reported that the packages were sent by a person evidently upset over road signs that say, “Report Suspicious Activity” and give a 1-800 tip line. The signs were a part of nationwide program called “See something, Say something” launched by Napolitano back in July. It is reported that the message that came with the smoking package read “Report suspicious activity! Total Bull—-! You have created a self fulfilling prophecy.”
Does anybody else find this whole thing a little strange? The reporting of the story seems to be trying to slant the mind towards terrorists in the form of Al Qaida, while the message left by the person who mailed the packages would seem to indicate someone more domestic protesting the perceived police state. The statement, “self fulfilling prophecy” seems to indicate that terrorists will be created simply by others identifying them as suspicious, which leads us down the road to what rates as suspicious? Maybe just being different is suspicious. But then, different from what or who?
Would a black person walking through an upscale all white neighborhood be suspicious? Or maybe an Arab at a hardware store? In both of these cases I believe there are people who would pick up that phone in a heartbeat and report either incident.
So what is the answer? Maybe we resort to the methods seen in the movie 1984 wherein we all wear the same clothes, walk the same, eat the same, and indeed speak the same. I guess the question is, how far are we willing to go towards surrendering our liberty and indeed our individuality to procure safety?
Personally I find this whole scenario very scary. I’m not so much afraid of the smoke bombs but rather what the fanatical control freaks will propose to do to stop them. I mean let’s face it, any one of us being in the wrong place at the wrong time and being observed by the wrong person, could be reported as suspicious and investigated as a terrorist.
What most do not realize is that when one is turned in as suspicious an investigation complete with a file ensues. And unless the suspicious person can prove that he or she is not suspicious the file is left open and can be added to for the rest of that person’s life.
If any citizen saw another planting a bomb there would be no question as to what civic duty would require. However, we cannot allow ourselves to be lulled into scrutinizing every person we encounter in an attempt to find something suspicious about them. In fact for our own sakes we should try to come to grips with the differences we see in one another and try with all our might to protect each other’s rights and freedoms. I don’t know about you but I do not want to live in an America mirroring Stalin’s Russia.
God bless us in spite of our differences.