tell, tell, you smell....
July 1, 2004 10:30 AM   Subscribe

Stasi, meet Highway Watch: The Department of Homeland Security this year gave $19.3 million to the American Trucking Associations, which is based So far, 10,000 truckers have signed on to become amateur sleuths. Over the next year, the goal is to add tollbooth workers, rest-stop employees and construction crews, creating a corps of 400,000 people drawn from every state. A child of Operation TIPS, of course.
posted by amberglow (20 comments total)
the cut-off part was this--sorry: The Department of Homeland Security this year gave $19.3 million to the American Trucking Associations, which is based in Alexandria, Va., to recruit a volunteer "army" called Highway Watch.
posted by amberglow at 10:32 AM on July 1, 2004

Does this mean I can have a Junior Homeland Security Fun Kit?
posted by homunculus at 10:44 AM on July 1, 2004

the scary part is this:

The truckers, who haul hazardous material across 48 states, explained how easy it is to spot "Islamics" on the road: just look for their turbans. Quite a few of them are truck drivers, says William Westfall of Van Buren, Ark. "I'll be honest. They know they're not welcome at truck stops. There's still a lot of animosity toward Islamics." Eddie Dean of Fort Smith, Ark., also has little doubt about his ability to identify Muslims: "You can tell where they're from. You can hear their accents. They're not real clean people."

Why not just deputize the folks then hand out axe handles and nooses,
that really sounds like where they're headed with this.
posted by milovoo at 10:46 AM on July 1, 2004

It doesn't sound like they're on the lookout for these guys.
posted by homunculus at 10:52 AM on July 1, 2004

I am myself and I approve this message : why don't we form a Trucker Watchout group, reporting violations of street circulation codes ? We all know that truckers are very pressed because of the very tight schedules that are imposed by shippers, but this is not an excuse even for the less relevant violation we may have spotted or not during our voyages. Call 911 and report truckers clearly violating the law ..when in doubt call their employers and let them know something is wrong, that'll teach em.
posted by elpapacito at 10:58 AM on July 1, 2004

Also, it's well known that nothing makes a person more observant, objective and rational
than long swing-shift hours punctuated by uppers and caffeine.
posted by milovoo at 11:06 AM on July 1, 2004

What's the trucker slang for "terrorist"?
posted by octobersurprise at 11:16 AM on July 1, 2004

What's the trucker slang for "terrorist"?

Seven long-haired friends of Jesus in a chartreuse Micro-Bus.
posted by Hildago at 11:26 AM on July 1, 2004

It doesn't sound like they're on the lookout for these guys.
It sounds like DHS is recruiting those guys!

My greatest concern if Kerry is elected is that America's Home-Grown Right-Wing Terrorists will go wild and cause the kind of real domestic death and destruction that Al Queda can't.
posted by wendell at 11:47 AM on July 1, 2004

Oh I almost forgot : $19M right ? Public money right ?
Guess who bought the votes of who with what ?
posted by elpapacito at 11:55 AM on July 1, 2004

It's good to know the cream of the crop are protecting the Mid West against them damn Islamics.

All us swarthy types who've been avoiding the indignities at the airport by driving better think again. Maybe we can tunnel to our destination.
posted by Devils Slide at 11:58 AM on July 1, 2004

Hmmm..... turbans? Sounds like Sikhs, to me, not "islamics."

Seems to me that this kind of thing is more likely to clog up the system with xenophobic noise than it is to produce any real leads.

Either that, or serve as a way to jerk people around by threatening to report them to the TSA....we all know what happens to folks who get reported to the, wait, no we don't: It's illegal for anyone to tell us about it if it's actually happening to them.
posted by lodurr at 12:35 PM on July 1, 2004

Turbans? Be careful: they might be like Hadji from Johnny Quest, and can just say "lim bim salabim", and levitate over the checkpoints. People from the Mystic East have strange and wond'rous powers. They're not like us, y'know. Now if you'll excuse me, I gotta go get my shotgun full of rock salt, somebody's vandalizing the clay pickaninny in my front yard again.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:46 PM on July 1, 2004

"...likely to clog up the system with xenophobic noise..."

From an outside observer point of view it seems that xenophobic noise is the system nowadays.
posted by spazzm at 2:59 PM on July 1, 2004

I'm more worried these people will feel officially empowered to go vigilante on the middle-eastern people they see, whether they're acting strangely or not. It already happened post-9/11.
posted by amberglow at 3:01 PM on July 1, 2004

Whose Homeland Is This?
posted by homunculus at 3:26 PM on July 1, 2004

10-4 good buddy
posted by clavdivs at 4:19 PM on July 1, 2004

Hidalgo, good one. Except now that goddamn song is song-virusing in my head. *closes eyes, fingers in ears" "Iiiiiit's a smaaalll worrld, aaaaafter aalllll...."
posted by zoogleplex at 4:55 PM on July 1, 2004

Be on the lookout for booby-trapped beer coolers. Are we still on the lookout for almanacs?
posted by homunculus at 10:33 AM on July 3, 2004

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