The Department of Homeland Security has launched its “If You See Something, Say Something” Campaign. It encourages us to call 911 when we see something like a 9-11 attack brewing.
Think back to 9-11. What did any of the alleged perpetrators do that would have given any indication that they are about to hijack four planes in order to fly them into buildings?
One thing is sure: nobody at Air Traffic Control noticed. “Hey, Fred, why do you suppose that four planes out of Boston have veered off course?” Fred: “You got me. Maybe they’ll get back on course soon.” “But why is the plane over western Pennsylvania turning around?” “Fred: “Maybe someone left his bag back in the terminal.”
The DHS site tells us:
DHS worked with Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, National Basketball Association, National Football League and National Hockey League on a sports PSA that is aimed at reaching out to sports audiences to encourage them to report suspicious activity to local law enforcement.
I have not seen or heard these spots. Maybe they are shown in sports stadiums.
To support the nationwide launch of the “If You See Something, Say Something™” public awareness campaign, Secretary Janet Napolitano released a new series of Public Service Announcements (PSAs) encouraging the public to contact local authorities if they see suspicious activity.
There is a page where you can view the video. Actually, there are three variations.
In the first one, we see a white, upper-middle-class, good-looking woman getting out of a cab and walking into an airport. She is talking on a cell phone. Yes, my friends: a cell phone. In a public place. She is carrying a shoulder bag. Then she puts it down. Look at her closely. She is the kind of woman who you would be unwise to look at closely when your wife is around. “You never look at me that closely any more!”
Another video focuses only on the cab driver. He looks into the cab’s trunk. Then we see an alert citizen telling a policeman about this.
The videos have sinister music. Conclusion: if you hear something, say something.
The nationwide “If You See Something, Say Something™” public awareness campaign – is a simple and effective program to raise public awareness of indicators of terrorism and terrorism-related crime, and to emphasize the importance of reporting suspicious activity to the proper local law enforcement authorities. The campaign was originally used by New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), which has licensed the use of the slogan to DHS for anti-terrorism and anti-terrorism crime related efforts.
So, the DHS basically copied the NY MTA.
Here is the preview of coming attractions: Homeland Security Begins with Hometown Security.
First, there is the obligatory multiculturalism affirmation.
If you see something suspicious taking place then report that behavior or activity to local law enforcement or in the case of emergency call 9-1-1. Factors such as race, ethnicity, national origin, or religious affiliation alone are not suspicious. For that reason, the public should report only suspicious behavior and situations (e.g., an unattended backpack in a public place or someone trying to break into a restricted area) rather than beliefs, thoughts, ideas, expressions, associations, or speech unrelated to terrorism or other criminal activity.
In short, “no profiling.”
Then comes the instruction. “Only reports that document behavior reasonably indicative of criminal activity related to terrorism will be shared with federal partners.”
“Federal partners.” That has a familiar ring to it.
The DHS is in recruiting mode.
DHS is working to expand “If You See Something, Say Something ™” throughout the country by partnering with a variety of entities including: transportation systems, universities, states, cities, sports leagues and local law enforcement. If you’re interested in getting your group involved please contact 202-282-8010.
It ends with this: “Report Suspicious Activity to Local Law Enforcement or Call 9-1-1.”
And tell them what? “I just saw a cabbie open the cab’s trunk. He was talking on a cell phone. I also heard sinister music. Come quick!”