Homeland Security Adviser Warns Parents That Their Mouthy Kids May Grow Up To Be Terrorists

from the just-when-you-thought-the-'terrorist-twos'-were-horrible-enough dept

Our nation’s singular focus on terrorism has led to various branches of the government and counterterrorism pundits declaring all sorts of things to be warning signs of terrorist activity. Here’s a short (but by no means all-inclusive) list of activities that are supposedly indicators of terrorism-in-progress.

Now, here’s a new one to add to the list. If Lisa Monaco (White House Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Advisor) is to be believed, nearly every parent, especially those with stereotypical teens in the household, is harboring potential terrorists.

“Parents might see sudden personality changes in their children at home—becoming confrontational. Religious leaders might notice unexpected clashes over ideological differences. Teachers might hear a student expressing an interest in traveling to a conflict zone overseas. Or friends might notice a new interest in watching or sharing violent material.”

That’s right, parents. If your child seems moody, unreceptive to your religious leanings, enjoys watching violent “material” or wants to travel nearly anywhere in the world (not a whole lot left outside of the First World that can’t be described as war-torn), he or she is your family’s very own “insider threat.”

Monaco understands this might be troubling for parents to hear, but it’s all for the best. Remember, parents: only you can prevent terrorism.

“The government is rarely in position to observe these early signals, so we need to do more to help communities understand the warning signs, and then work together to intervene before an incident can occur.”

The nation’s counterterrorism forces are profoundly sympathetic for these terrorist-raisers. They truly wish they could be in the position to catch these early warning signs, but our short-sighted predecessors have prevented them from observing first-hand, thanks to obstacles like the Third and Fourth Amendments.

Not to worry. As Monaco points out, the nation has mobilized parents’ neighbors against them, providing them with any number of see-something-say-something venues with which to turn in your confrontational, agnostic, R-rated movie-watching hellspawn — just in case you don’t love America enough to do it yourself.

Oh, and P.S.: the DHS reiterates its commitment to flooding small towns with military vehicles and weaponry.

Monaco said that in addition to citizen alertness, the Department of Homeland Security is increasing its partnerships across the country and making hundreds of millions of dollars in grant money available annually to local law enforcement to help improve anti-terrorism security at the municipal and county level.

A terrorist in every household and a military assault vehicle in every unincorporated township. USA! USA! USA!

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Comments on “Homeland Security Adviser Warns Parents That Their Mouthy Kids May Grow Up To Be Terrorists”

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Anonymous Anonymous Coward says:


I think it was on a Criminal Minds episode where the TV BAU, in discussing a teenagers behavior stated (paraphrased) “All teenagers profile as sociopaths. That’s why we don’t diagnose that until they are at least 18.” Now I know that show is fictional, but one of the fiction writers tools is to include some facts with their fiction. This may be one of them, and a believable one at that.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Sociopath?

“All teenagers profile as sociopaths. That’s why we don’t diagnose that until they are at least 18.” Now I know that show is fictional, but one of the fiction writers tools is to include some facts with their fiction. This may be one of them, and a believable one at that.

Sociopaths are superficially charming and charismatic, which certainly doesn’t describe all teenagers.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Sociopath?


My overall impression from that section is that the distinction is, for most people, one of emphasis. The fact that it’s in the etymology section rather than something like symptoms is telling, I think. But there are clearly some people who draw a real distinction between the words.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Sociopath?

Complete bullshit by the way. Both psychopath and sociopath are depreciated terms and are not a valid diagnosis any more than crazy is – insane is a legal criteria. Closest would be antisocial personality disorder. The reason eighteen is used as an official diagnosis limit is plasticity – a changing brain can grow out of it. That is just standard demonization of the mythical “teen-aged menace” crap they have been pushing to grab eyeballs for decades.

Reminds me of the downfall of the old news media. All of the trivially disprovable moral panics they push, rainbow part, pharm parties, and their ilk. Then they wonder why they have lost the younger demographics. They’re not teenagers any more so it shouldn’t matter right? The fools haven’t realized that they have already committed demographic suicide. Demonizing your audience is a good way to alienate them. They have proven themselves less trustworthy than comedians as a news source.

avideogameplayer says:

We’re already seeing signs of it…

Pop tart guns
Fingers made to look like guns
My Little Pony schoolbags
Screaming ‘Bang! Bang! You’re dead!’ using paperclips

and let’s not forget a personal favorite…

The Magical Cellphone that can be used as a AK-47 assault rifle!1!!

Maybe those schools with these zero tolerance policies might have been ahead of the curve…

ahow628 (profile) says:

Uh oh

Is your newborn crying all the time? Terrorist.
Is your 1 year old pooping in their pants all the time? Terrorist.
Is your 2 year old out of control? Terrorist.
Is your 3 year old whiny? Terrorist.
Is your 4 year old indecisive? Terrorist.
Does your 5 year old ignore everything you say? Terrorist.
Does your wife never want to have sex? Terrorist
Is your husband always horny? Terrorist.
Does your grandmother complain about health issues constantly? Terrorist.

Seriously, isn’t this just a list things that teenagers just do? Like all the time?

Pragmatic says:

Re: Re:

AGAIN with this…!

The surveillance, etc., is to get us peasants to accept the astroturf “taxation-is-theft” and “government is eeevilll!” baloney. You know, the baloney that led to the deregulation of Wall St. and the banks, and brought in “Right to Work” laws that leave a man I know lying on the floor for at least an hour every night waiting for his hernia to slip back in. He’s fallen through the cracks in Obamacare because the state he lives in won’t extend Medicare and he can’t take time off to get it fixed – they don’t provide paid sick days and he’s terrified of losing his job. And you wonder why I bash big “L” Libertarians! The market hasn’t rushed valiantly in to save this man, has it?!

The push for violent revolution is coming from the right. Increased militarization is coming from… guess where?

The winners would be the ones with the biggest guns and the most of them. That would not be us. They would also have control of the main media outlets and therefore the ability to spin the story to their own advantage. Again, that would not be us. Anyone planning or attempting to take part in an armed revolution would be characterized as a terrorist and vilified in the media before being carted off to prison for a very long stretch, assuming they don’t get killed in the clash.

Result: increased militarization of law enforcement and a more paranoid government at local, state, and federal level. Sound good to you? Me neither.

Let’s fight this war at the ballot box by voting the bums out at the next election. That will actually work if we can agree on the candidates to vote for. Which is why they’re working to divide us. Don’t let them.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

These “people” have no excuse for this kind of behavior. Some of them have been around to see the failures of the McCarthyism, while others learned about them in history class or from their parents when they were young (back when it was recent history to them). Calling everything they don’t like “terrorist” is this generation’s version of calling everything they don’t like “communist”.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Nothing new under the sun.

What’s old is new again.

Yep. The same thing as the Red Scare when the USSR was still around only now we call our teenagers cave-dwelling terrorists.

Thanks Homeland Security but no thanks. We don’t need any tanks around here. I swear this is a convenient excuse to sell off the tanks and swat cars that will never be used otherwise.

Trevor says:


The last time I spent time in a hotel was last June, when I took the California Bar exam.

The hotel had a main entrance, but I only used it upon checking in/out. Otherwise, the back/side entrances were more convenient because they were closer to the Exam site.

Also, upon completion of the exam, I did not use the Hotel’s wifi to upload my answers, because it positively (negatively?) sucked. Instead, I piggy backed off of a co-tester’s hotspot.

Guess I’m guilty :/

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Another thought

That is because they’re too damn stupid to realize why you don’t do that. Provoking longstanding protective instincts by messing with their children is a certain path to downfall. Perhaps it is because they’re too sociopathic to understand the concept of caring for something other than themselves.

Anonymous Coward says:

I can’t even trust them with counter-terrorism, so why should I trust them with parenting advice? What’s the point of having kids if they’re just going to be shipped off to a re-education camp and/or shot when they turn 13 (or even before then, considering their lack of moral compass and the types of shooting targets they ordered a while back), assuming the media and government don’t brainwash my wife into hating me first?

Anonymous Coward says:

We have created a threat and are nurturing it like no tomorrow as a bone-headed effort to raise serious cash just like the millitary does. Oh look: a threat! Gimme money and we will dumb down the populace, invade countries, your mind, your values…..Really, when does this idiocy end? We need to have these people taken out and told that their comments ARE the problem. THEY are the problem.

PRMan (profile) says:

I guess I should go turn myself in...

*making requests in person at the front desk,

*not bringing enough baggage,

*using entrances/exits other than the one in the lobby area

*turning down room service.

*Complaining about the TSA.

*Complaining about the water quality.


*Contributing to Wikileaks (or even frequenting the site).

*Encrypting your data.
Expressing dissatisfaction with government policies.

I didn’t realize what a terrorist I am…

DannyB (profile) says:

Let's cover all the possibilities, YOUR KID IS A TERRORIST

If your kid is a terrorist, then you probably are aware of this.

There seem to be several possibilities:
* You support your kids’ activities and are laughing at Homeland Security for even suggesting you would report it
* You don’t support it, but you would not report your kids, regardless of anything Homeland Security might say.
* Or you don’t support it, and WOULD report it, even without prompting from Homeland Security.

Covering other possibilities . . .

Your kid is a terrorist, but you are blissfully unaware. And may not even want to be aware if they ‘come out’ to you. In this case, Homeland Security’s message seems utterly pointless.

Your kid is not a terrorist, in which case Homeland Security’s message is utterly irrelevant.

So that leaves me asking, is there any real world case where Homeland Security’s message is actually useful, to anyone?

FM Hilton (profile) says:

Who's a what?

My daddy raised me wrong, of course:

Expressing dissatisfaction with government policies.

Writing letters to the Editor about highly controversial subjects.

Hell, he did it, and I just follow his example.

But the difference?

He was a career Army officer-and lots of medals to put on his uniform.

He’d be ashamed to call himself an American today.

Thank goodness he’s no longer alive to witness our rapid decline into a totalitarian country.

Vel the Enigmatic says:

It's pretty stinking clear by now:

I find it funny how some of the world stereotypes us Americans as dumb as hell idiots, and ironically we get sacks of stupid like Lisa Monaco running parts of our country.

As it stands. I never want my friend who lives in France to ever come here just so he won’t be subject to idiocy by the government.

bob (profile) says:

govt response to finding a potential terrorist

but.. if we see something and say something..
won’t the FBI just set up a sting to entice the troubled youth into rebelling in some fashion and then arrest the youth for conspiracy to commit a terrorist act?
I mean.. it’s what they’re doing now, but maybe they’re running short of prospects, so they need a bigger pool.
Just a thought.

Pragmatic says:

Re: govt response to finding a potential terrorist

This is one of those times I find myself agreeing with you, Bob.

Call me paranoid (excuse me while I adjust my tinfoil hat), but I can’t help wondering where all the “let’s have a revolution” crap is coming from.

Think about it. If I approved of violent rebellion at all, I wouldn’t be calling for it in public, anonymously or not, otherwise I might be on the receiving end of an extreme wake-up call somewhere down the line.

This is WHY I keep slapping down people who do. I’m trying to do them ? and anyone who might think of joining them ? a favor.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: govt response to finding a potential terrorist

I believe that calls for revolution are coming mostly from one of two places: agent provocateurs and people in that small militaristic subgroup of society that has been lusting for a nice, bloody revolution for at least a few generations.

Calls for revolution are idiotic. In part for the reasons you cite, and in part for practical reasons — a revolution is most likely to result in a much worse government than we have now.

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