From: The U.S. Department
of Permanent Investigation To: Selected U.S. Citizens
Our governmental vigilance against hidden sources of potential terrorism is, as you know, expanding rapidly. It quite naturally includes the deepest suspicion directed toward those of you so dangerously misguided as to foolishly disagree with any of our activities. The thought of the United States of America continuing to tolerate so-called normal citizens who insist on harboring hurtful, negative attitudes toward those holding the reins of power is clearly unacceptable. Such disagreement is shockingly counterproductive to a beleaguered government trying to rid itself of a few dangerous enemies while simultaneously taking over as much of the world's resources as possible. Because if you think this is easy to pull off without too many people noticing, you can think again.
Government policy encouraging citizen-on-citizen spying has been sadly misunderstood by those of you who have not yet willingly embraced the idea of reforming yourselves the easy way, before someone else does it for you. You have to understand: we can't be too careful about these things because we really, seriously, need to get our own way here. Uncritical, whole-hearted acceptance of authority, and support for our every little overt and covert aim, is not that much to ask. Furthermore, divisiveness among the populace on this issue of self-spying is turning out to be a pointlessly time-consuming drain on our dwindling national resources.
For instance: are you one of those who have been frivolously wasting time, waiting around for the dreaded midnight pounding on your door? Have you been experiencing nonproductive periods at work, fretting over job security due to a few too many carelessly expressed opinions at that last office party? Have you said anything at all, at any moment, which could possibly be construed as less than fully complimentary to those morally and intellectually superior individuals who were (possibly) elected to run your country in your behalf? If so, then you are shamelessly squandering your nation's human resources, since other people are going to have to be keeping an eye on you for the rest of your life. Do you really think that is being fair to them?
Or perhaps you have already had the good sense to be terrified, and have therefore swallowed your highly-unpopular opinions all along. Maybe you are idly wondering how long it will be before our technology can pick your real thoughts straight from your congenitally insubordinate brain. (It won't be long.) In any case, you know who you are. You are the ones who nag, nitpick and think you can find fault with the strategies of your worthy leaders in Washington. You loathe us and all our works, national difficulties notwithstanding, and you are wondering if we know it too. Well, we do.
You have not thought this problem through with sufficient thoroughness. Because human nature will very likely, sooner or later, turn against you in ways even your feverish imagination cannot predict. Remember, you once lodged an official complaint with animal control about that incessantly barking neighbor's dog. Or maybe you fired a crooked, inefficient, or superfluous employee. What about that romantic attachment that ended so acrimoniously? Perhaps you simply know something unpleasant about someone, who really would rather you didn't run around loose knowing what you know, just because. In any case, what with being a human being and all, you are certain to have mortally offended someone else's ego- sometime, somewhere, somehow. And now you have to wonder if there will be highly unpleasant consequences.
Well, yes, there will be. We realize that even ordinary decent government-loving folk occasionally must succumb to urges for petty revenge. We understand that even proper citizens, ferociously dedicated to our administration, will now and again swell with uncontrollable self-importance, when handed irresistibly juicy power over others. Therefore this business of your hanging around endlessly worrying about being fingered by the evil eye is utterly useless. Of course you must be carefully watched over by imperfect human beings: what did you think? You are recklessly wasting your country's time and energy by forcing your fellow citizens to try to assess exactly how serious those rude jokes you made about the current administration really were. Surely you can see that it is a terrible drain on the economy to be forced to have two thirds of the country awkwardly skulking around spying on the other third?
You ought to know by now if your inner thoughts meet the standards of our updated and expanded guidelines for possible enemies of the state. We've certainly planted enough hints out there. But you may well have been remiss in the necessarily stern and uncompromising requirements for self-examination along these lines. Therefore, in order to facilitate your efforts, we include here a brief but hopefully evocative excerpt from our larger work-in-progress, The Encyclopedia of Internal Enemies, Volume 23.
Please get your pencils, download this paper, and check the applicable choices. Be sure to return your answers promptly to our Department.
1. You are an enemy of the state if you have deliberately failed to applaud enthusiastically at the end of each and every official public utterance during these difficult times. And don't think no one noticed.
2. You are an enemy of the state if you persist in believing, contrary to all government issue press releases, that there are real live human beings out there in other countries. We have very firmly made it clear that that is hardly the point.
3. You are an enemy of the state if you have ever thought that the sudden disappearance of every last one of the powerful leaders and authorities on this planet would result in a giddy celebration lasting for centuries. Such fantasies are not only very cruel, but actionable under current slander laws, and constitute grounds for permanent incarceration in solitary confinement.
4. You are an enemy of the state if you ever try to stick your nose where it is not wanted, in relation to the very tricky matters regarding the United States Constitution versus Homeland Security, which are none of your business. And if you still don't believe it is none of your business, just ask your expensively elected representatives.
5. You are an enemy of the state if you resist in any way the dictates, stated or implied, of the official government, military and corporate establishments who know what's best for you. The fact that they have more money than you do is all the proof you need of their suitability for making your important decisions. The food you eat, the water you drink, the medical advice you take, the entertainment you consume, and the education of your children are by now completely handled and none of your concern. We know what we are doing here, and we have already told you that more than once.
6. You are an enemy of the state if you annoyingly question government and military secrecy when this is so clearly stated now to be a veritable cornerstone of the democratic process. Keep in mind that when it comes to matters of national security, you could be in a whole lot of trouble for practically anything whatsoever. And you probably are, so don't push it.
7. You are an enemy of the state if you question the idea that multinational corporations and the perfectly natural excesses of capitalism are somehow or other protected by the Constitution of the United States of America. This is so fundamental we don't really even need to say it. So don't make us say it again.
8. You are an enemy of the state if you have anywhere, at any time, so much as breathed the word "environmentalism"- even alone in a locked room. The use of the word "green" is permitted, if you happen to be working on a full-page advertisement for a large energy conglomerate.
The above list, as you can see for yourself, represents a woefully incomplete compendium of your innate potential for grievous offences against your country. Basically, what it all boils down to is that you are an enemy of the state if you don't freely and spontaneously agree with the thoughts of those of us in positions of authority, anywhere and everywhere. Any fool could see that, one would think. Frankly, we don't like being disagreed with. Why would we?
We welcome your individual contributions in response to this Official Notice, just as soon as you have examined your conscience and made a full and frank confession. You will then be free to shorten your sentence somewhat by offering additions we haven't thought of yet to this list. We hope, with your help, to compile the definitive version of all conceivable infractions of any local, state or federal rules, laws, customs, or sincere authoritarian whims, which you or anyone else might have been, are now, or may be guilty of in the future.
The main thing is not really even what you have specifically done, or will do. There's bound to be something, and you know it. The point is to shortcut all this uncomfortable uncertainty you are living in as an amateur or even, heaven help you, a certified professional troublemaker. Therefore we have instituted what we believe is a highly effective new plan for speeding up this entire process. We are asking each and every one of you who has ever had any sort of wicked thought whatsoever about The Establishment to give yourselves up and turn yourselves in to the authorities immediately. This will save everyone concerned a considerable amount of troublesome waiting, not to mention your tax dollars. What with one thing and another, present estimates of the number of in-house enemies-of-the-state run to the millions at the very least. For this reason we ask for your patience in regard to the expected long lines and waiting times.
Kindly observe the following steps for turning yourself in:
If you don't know the location or even the identity of your local authorities, just ask and we will forward you the names, and directions for finding them. They aren't always who you think they are.
Please do not try to turn yourselves in to the media, as they are not yet set up for handling crowds.
Consider bringing at least a box lunch, as this is going to take some time. Sanitary arrangements will be provided, but don't expect anything fancy. Outside food vendors will be permitted between the hours of 11am - 1 pm, and 4 pm - 6 pm, for the first week, in most states.
For your entertainment while you are waiting, we have arranged for continual closed-circuit preview presentations of the upcoming reality-based Fox television series, "The Noble, Highly Paid and Exciting Lives of Citizen-Spies."
No radios, cell phones, wrist watches, writing implements, or reading material will be allowed beyond the first stage of processing. And don't bother bringing your belts, extra clothing, or personal grooming materials.
We ask that you place all children under six with politically correct relatives before you leave the house. Be sure to fill out all necessary adoption papers.
Thank you. In conclusion, we wish to express our deepest appreciation ahead of time for your patience and cooperation. We want you all to know we are sincerely look forward to working with you and getting to know you much much better.
The Department of Permanent Investigation
email Diane Harvey: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org