The DHS Partners with Major League Soccer to Promote Fear

It seems to be harder and harder to keep people scared:

The Department’s “If You See Something, Say Something™” partnership with the MLS Cup will feature a “If You See Something, Say Something™” graphic that will aired on the video board during the MLS Cup championship game in Carson City, Calif. Safety messaging will also be printed on the back of MLS Cup credentials for staff, players, and volunteers and in game day programs distributed to fans. Throughout the MLS season “If You See Something, Say Something™” campaign graphics appeared on video boards and on the MLS website, and the “If You See Something, Say Something™” Public Service Announcement was read at games.

Will there also be “If You See Something, Say Something™” Day, with Janet Napolitano bobbleheads given to all the kids?

This kind of thing only serves to ratchet up fear, and doesn’t make us any safer. I’ve written about this before.

Posted on November 28, 2011 at 7:26 AM39 Comments


jason November 28, 2011 7:53 AM

How about the countless articles and blogs reporting warrantless gov’t eavesdropping, cellphone interceptions, etc. Isn’t that fear mongering too?

Ollie Jones November 28, 2011 8:16 AM

How about his and hers Tom Ridge and Janet Napolitano bobbleheads with a nice line of orange and red MLS hoodies?

jason November 28, 2011 8:32 AM

Oh no! The police are deploying drones to watch everything you do. Fear mongering. Oh no! The gov’t is lying about threats just to keep their budget big and fat. Fear mongering. If you don’t drink ten glasses of water a day you’ll die! Fear mongering. The euro is collapsing and global catastrophe is imminent! Fear mongering.

Bubblehead November 28, 2011 8:33 AM

Bruce, but you seem to follow the DHS’ advice. When you see something (security theater) you are saying something.

Katherine November 28, 2011 8:53 AM

One of the “See Something/Say Something” overhead announcements in the Washington DC Metro does indeed start off, “Hi, I’m Janet Napolitano, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.”

Clive Robinson November 28, 2011 9:16 AM

“This kind of thing only serves to ratchet up fear and doesn’t make us any safer”

Doesn’t make who any safer?

As far as the Politico’s are concerned it makes them safer, as far as their bureaucrats are concerned it makes them safer, as far as the businesses hanging ont DHS money it makes them safer.

As has often be said “It payes to advertise” the thing is as the GrubbyMint you are exempt from all those laws concerning honesty and decency in advertising…

It’s a “win-win” for them and a lose-lose of our money and freedoms for the rest of us. Oh and it’s also a win for those (nearly?) nonexistant terrorists as well…

But hay remember “never get between a politico and the hand that feeds him, you could end up on the no-fly list or worse for reasons you’ll never be able to find because it’s Oh most secret…

rick forno November 28, 2011 9:28 AM

Why am I reminded of this quote from “V For Vendetta”??? — rick

“…what we need is a clear message to the people of the country! This message should be read in every newspaper, heard on every radio, seen on every television. This message must resound throughout the ENTIRE INTERLINK! I want this country to realize that we stand on the edge of oblivion! I want every man, woman, and child to understand how close we are to chaos! I WANT EVERYONE to remember WHY THEY NEED US!!!

…Stay Fearful, my Friends.

JB Haber November 28, 2011 9:55 AM

DHS is not only partnering with Major League Soccer, but with major movie theater chains, too. A DHS “See Something” commercial was shown before a movie we saw this past weekend at an AMC movie theater.

Shane November 28, 2011 10:00 AM

Perhaps they could have picked a sporting event that U.S. citizens actually watched?

I went to a few MLS games this past season and noticed a lot of kids there. Maybe they’re thinking ahead.

“Remember, kids: We’ve always been at war with Eastasia!”

Derelict November 28, 2011 10:14 AM

Why are you singling out poor little MLS? NFL, NBA, NCAA, and MLB are certainly more newsworthy.

From the linked site:

Related posts:

DHS Partners with NCAA to Promote Suspicious Activity Reporting
DHS Partners With NFL Teams, MLB Teams and Universities to Promote Suspicious Activity Reporting
DHS Partners with Faith-Based Organizations to Promote Suspicious Activity Reporting
DHS Partners With Hotel Television Providers to Promote Suspicious Activity Reporting
DHS Partners With NBA to Promote Suspicious Activity Reporting
DHS Partners With City of Houston to Promote Suspicious Activity Reporting
DHS Releases Television PSAs to Promote Suspicious Activity Reporting
Department of Homeland Security to Run Suspicious Activity Reporting Ads at Walmart Checkouts

echowit November 28, 2011 10:24 AM


Regarding the “Kids” comment — Does anyone know if DHS has hooked up with Edu Channel One?

What an excellent way to ensure one’s job for generations to come.

Todd November 28, 2011 11:34 AM

I don’t see the harm in a campaign that promotes awareness and asks people to report suspicious activity. This is much better than cameras on every corner and drones overhead (oops-some parts of the US are already feeling the pain).

ICH November 28, 2011 12:32 PM

I believe this was a program that the NAZI’s used with great success. The motivation may be different but the danger really isn’t. Last time I checked it was the public who stopped the last few terrorists without the government’s help.

TS November 28, 2011 1:18 PM


Kids won’t see anything. Thanks to the endless barrage of advertising, they’ve learned to filter out pretty much anything they’re not interested in.

Unless the unattended bag under the bench has Mario Kart 7 sticking out of it, kids aren’t going to notice it.

Bob T November 28, 2011 1:29 PM

Yes, DHS? I’ve been seeing someone who is a threat to our national security and liberties. It’s members call themselves the Department of Homeland Security.

Uri November 28, 2011 1:51 PM

While I agree with you Bruce, I also have to say that sometimes this works.
I lived in Israel for 15 years and people there are aware of the dangers of terrorism and suicide bombers. We live there constantly in fear that a backwards idiot will explode himself in a bus.
When people see something they say something. It’s not about spreading fear in this case, it is about being safe.

Spaceman Spiff November 28, 2011 1:52 PM

See something, say something…

Well, I see that the DHS is trying to abrogate all of our civil rights, and turn the US Constitution into just another set of “advisories” that don’t apply to them…

John E. Bredehoft November 28, 2011 2:33 PM

In a recent game, Detroit Lions player Ndamukong Suh was caught stomping on an opposing player. The talk of punishment has included fines and suspensions. Is it possible that Suh will have to face the DHS for committing a terrorist act?

Oh, and next spring DHS operatives will be watching Major League Baseball. There have been reports of players stealing bases during games.

Aaron W November 28, 2011 5:30 PM

To be fair, I could see this being a really effective message if it’s posted in the right places… like the men’s locker room at Penn State.

Jilara November 28, 2011 7:48 PM

Other than the obvious Orwellian feel, it has a sense of something one would read on a propaganda poster. But what is “something”? Something unexpected? Someone not obeying The Rules? Especially somone you Don’t Like?

Steve t November 28, 2011 10:07 PM

Really it is better described as promoting awareness so that we learn to be aware of our surroundings. I agree that fear is often the result since few people have the proper information to know where and what are the most likely “somethings” to be seen. Fear of the unknown.

BF Skinner November 29, 2011 7:26 AM

Partner, Partnership?

They used that word about 9 times. Just what part of buying ad space or displaying a public service ad a partnership?

Winston Smith November 29, 2011 3:06 PM

Wait a second here. The DHS gets billions of dollars and now they want us to do their job for them? What are we paying them to do again?

gabriel November 29, 2011 5:55 PM

Fortunately, Uri, no one here really wants to perpetrate terror acts on the level you see in Israel. Any attacks that do get through are often weak attempts like the underwear bomber and a firecracker and propane bomb in times square. While Hamas isn’t exactly comprised of the most intelligent people, they are far more capable than anything in the US since 9/11.

Canaryinadatamine November 30, 2011 6:13 AM

Who are the suspicious ones now? People of other religions? People who disagree with certain government policies? People who are different? People we don’t like. Our neighbors?

People already targeted and you need more money for the grant to continue so you mention the presence of Arabs. “gee whenever I see Mr. X, there’s some Arab guy near him, waving at him, preceding him into buildings, following him out of buildings.” You can really play some games with citizen observations. Anything they throw Arabs at gets paid for no questions asked. Any detail not understood becomes complaint worthy, no context because you don’t get the person who is complained about to answer. You can really hassle targets in this way.

Jon November 30, 2011 3:29 PM

“If You See Something, Say Something™”

WTF? Since when has SS, SS been ™’d? Do I have to pay a royalty everytime I see something, or everytime I say something? Or do the Bad People (also ™) pay the royalty when they leave something to be seen?

Holy snapping duckshit. ™ing a phrase like that is one of the craziest things I’ve seen in a good long while.

Marc December 15, 2011 4:46 AM

For the people who say that nobody comes to MLB soccor games, don’t worry. Eventually the DHS plans to show up at any sports event and even set up random road blocks. Just like the VIPR Program is allowing the TSA to show up at bus and train stations to do what normally is only seen in airports. They are even working on a van that can be modified to include a backscatter X-ray machine so that they can easily go to sporting events, random road blocks, and anywhere else. What does the DHS do with all the reports that people make? Obviously a lot of people who “Saw Something Suspecious” may have seen something that they thought was suspicious but to others this was a harmless activity that they reported as suspecious. Why should innocent US Citizens lose rights because of terrorists?

dd December 16, 2011 10:12 PM

I remember reading something about the Nazis asking the people to report on their parents and neighbors for suspicious behavior and fears. Children were praised for reporting parents and teachers. People were praised for reporting neighbors for thought crimes.

Julian December 29, 2011 7:58 AM

Wow, its amazing to see so many people that want to be sheltered. How many people here are part of the 99%ers? Every complaint I read or hear is followed by, wait for it, NOTHING. Just a bunch of spoiled brats whining about how bad they have it.

And to the people comparing the See Something campain to Nazis, where is the best place to get the highest death toll and the best worldwide camera time?
Thats right kids, sporting events.

Do I agree with everything that the bloated government is doing? Hell no, but the time of the loudest voice gets heard is over. Stop whining and be proactive.

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