Big Sister Is Watching You

Posted on Sun 02/21/2010 by


Satire by  Shawn Goodwin

The Winter Olympics are in full swing, and as with any major sporting event, the threat of terrorism looms large. Teenaged anarchists, environmentalist whackos, and People for the Ethical Treatment of Bobsleds have descended upon Vancouver with the intent to disrupt the Games by any means necessary. In response, the Vancouver Police Department and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are monitoring the situation closely. The last thing anyone needs is to wake up and find their bobsled put up on cinder blocks.

On this side of the border, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is keeping a sharp eye out for suspicious activity and any security breaches that may occur. Investigative tools such as satellite imagery and video surveillance are being deployed to the area. The Obama administration wants boots on the ground in British Columbia for an added element of human intelligence. The president has ordered members of the Central Intelligence Agency to “learn to speak Canadian,” and in an effort to appear as natives, they are ending their sentences with “Eh?” Similarly, Vice President Joe Biden will be attending the Games to both supervise public safety procedures and to take credit for each medal won by an American athlete.

The president is also counting upon the Cabinet for pertinent updates. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has promised to do everything in her power to keep America safe, and that apparently includes monitoring Twitter and the blogosphere. Seriously.

Janet Napolitano: Splitting atoms with her mind.

As the winter Olympics begin, the Department of Homeland Security has disclosed that it will be monitoring the comments and posts on websites and social media like Twitter for information on possible terror threats. Among the sites listed in a privacy impact statement filed Friday afternoon by DHS are the Drudge Report, the Huffington Post, Twitter, Google and this web site, the Blotter.

The National Operations Center of DHS will watch the web for information, according to the statement, to “provide situational awareness” in the event of natural disaster, an “act of terrorism, or other manmade disaster.”

The only manmade disaster in this story is Janet Napolitano. Does this woman truly believe that she can sit at her desk, put in her security password – which is probably something along the lines of “IH8GOP” – and go to Twitter for all of the terror news that’s fit to print? Not bloody likely. Twitter, like Facebook, is almost wholly comprised of two types of entries. The first type is of the egomaniacal variety; when some lonely fat guy posts that he reached the 12th level of World of Warcraft. Like anyone cares. The second type is of the bore-your-pants-off variety; when some pimply-faced teenager posts that Meghan is no longer her BFF because she supports Team Edward and not Team Jacob. Note to pimply-faced teen: Twilight is a movie, and not a very good one. The thought of DHS scanning these social media sites is laughable at best and negligent at worst.

Sadly, Twitter is not the only online site that Napolitano is perusing this week. Madame Secretary will be covering every base by examining a multitude of Internet information hubs. Some of her choices may surprise you . . .

Secretary Napolitano has inexplicably assigned one of her flunkies to scan I Can Has Cheezburger, a website devoted entirely to posting cutesy pictures of cats. The rationale behind this assignment is twofold. First, most terrorists are cat people, because only a cat can drive a person to a murderous rage. Second, a happy worker is a productive worker. DHS will find a lonely older woman to track the site, and she will gladly do so for hours on end.

Madame Secretary also wants to keep a close watch on the Comedy Central website. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report, while completely satirical, are usually twice as accurate as any other mainstream media outlet. Secretary Napolitano searched for someone to monitor Keith Olbermann’s website, but DHS employees claimed that being bored to death was above and beyond the call of duty.

Finally, DHS pounced upon a radical Islamist truism. Many Islamic terrorists forsake their religious values and attend a “gentleman’s club” before committing their crimes. Consequently, it is imperative that analysts observe the adult websites as well as sending human intel to strip clubs in the Vancouver area. While many male agents volunteered for this detail, Secretary Napolitano gave this job to a true expert in the field: former President Bill Clinton.

Look, there is nothing wrong with briefly glancing at social network sites and prominent blogs to grab some intelligence information. In this day and age, America should leave no stone unturned. That being said, when The Huffington Post is the go-to information source for our country’s intelligence community, something is seriously askew. As the world’s lone superpower, we can do better than the scribbled notes of NBC’s Andrea Mitchell.’s official satirist, Shawn Goodwin, is a blogger and police detective from Philly.

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