back to article Walmart falls in with Washington's war on terror

The US Department of Homeland Security has joined forces with the most relentless and observant patrol force available in the US - Walmart shoppers. The Washington anti-terror agency will call on the cut-price chain's army of aisle-plodding bargain spotters to apply those same skills to spotting the enemies of the United …


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  1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge


    I mean, where on earth do you start with this one? Surely the USA isn't that badly broken, is it? If it is, we're all *deep* in the merde....


    1. William Boyle

      And just how deep are we?

      I think there is no tube in the universe that can get us oxygen down here! :-)

    2. Aaron Em

      We're all in deep shit, then

      Because this is what nascent fascism looks like.

      (And, yeah, I know that's a hard F word to use without sounding like some kind of paranoid alarmist, but if you think you've got something more accurate to call it, go right on ahead!)

      1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge

        Oh, well....

        ....better have one last party, then. A *big* one.


      2. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

        F word to replace fascism

        F*ched up, surely?

        What a mess. And these guys have the remote control for global finance in their hands..

    3. Anonymous Coward

      You start with 1937

      17th congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

      Nuff said. Me Coat. The one with the obituary of my great grandad, two of his sons and most of the rest of his family who were shot shortly thereafter as they did not fit the "find the enemy" message broadcasted via public broadcast systems in shops, squares, schools and public transport.

    4. Dan 55 Silver badge

      "Welcome, to City 17..."

      That's all.

    5. Ian Michael Gumby
      Black Helicopters

      Not broken...

      Unlike most of Western Europe where the government watches one from an army of cctv cameras or the government has a built in spy network from when the 'wall' came down.

      We have to rely on the ordinary guy in the small town wal marts watching out for something that has changed. People notice this. You know like strangers in a Southern town and when you stop of gas, Bubba says ... "... you aint from around here boy, are ya?..." (And yes, I've heard that one along with some of my friends... )

      Unfortunately, it is for this same reason we fear the 'homegrown' terrorist more that an enemy combatant. They know the language, idioms, customs, etc ... They can blend in better.

      (Its true of any country).

      And yes, we are in deep shit. we're facing a group of people who don't value human life, and want to kill you simply because you don't believe in the same thing they do.

      Welcome to the shit bucket we call humanity.

      Oh and BTW, relying on human nature... much cheaper than cctv cameras and building up an internal spy/police network ... ;-)

      1. BioTube

        And the terrorists are winning

        People *still* think homeland security's actually making them safer. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to drink my woes away.

  2. Cameron Colley

    The ones in the UK seem to be laughed at.

    At least that is my experience of hearing the "DOES YOUR NEIGHBOUR LOOK FOREIGH AND HAVE TWO PHONES!?!?!?!" in a local shop -- the customers and shopkeeper seem to chuckle a bit and say things like "bloody scaremongering" and "oh, shit I'm a terrorist".

    Then again -- looking on a website which I am assured shows what the People Of Walmart look like the customers of the store does seem to include some of the local militia as well as a few super heroes (well, at least I think that's why they wear tight costumes and/or their underwear on the outside).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I was reminded of that site as well

      It does seem apt, somehow (NSFSanity):

      Mob rule? DHS knows who to appeal to.

      And indeed, this has nothing to do with actual security at all, but with yet again "engaging" the public with their message of terror. The obvious conclusion, therefore, is that they're as bad as the TSA and the free world (including non-stupid America, what little there's left of it) would be much better off without either.

  3. Anonymous Coward


    "it's a place where you sometimes see your neighbor the most"

    If that's true then this is quite sad. Unless, of course, you are on a farm and are hundreds of metres away from your neighbour. Hang on, if you own a big farm, you are rich - why on earth would you be shopping at Walmart ?

    1. Donald Atkinson
      Thumb Down

      You may not have a choice

      If you really do live out in the country you might not have much choice as to where to shop. WalMart has driven most small town stores out of business. Quite often your choice is WalMart or a very long drive. Welcome to the USA.

    2. Aaron Em

      "If you own a big farm, you are rich"

      If you live in the US and you own the kind of farm you're thinking of -- that is, one where the livestock don't spend their entire existence in battery cages -- then you're poorer than dirt, in fact. That's how backwards we've allowed ourselves to become.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Hot Fuzz ?

    If anybody else has seen that film. Just not sure if Walmart are playing Somerfield, or the good guys.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's all in the title

    Attention Wal-Mart shoppers, we are at war with Eurasia, we have never been at war with Eastasia....

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Sad... of the free....once.

    That is all....

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Shop your neighbours for fabulous prizes!

    Fear the terrorist, the alien, the freak.

    1. Kevin Johnston

      profit margin

      Back in the day there were poster all over the UK advising how crime was costing each household X amount. The reward for 'information leading to conviction' was 2X and it was not long before every poster had been updated with the slogan of 'Make a profit and turn yourself in'

    2. I didn't do IT.

      It's time to play LOTTO!

      That's right, where the person to your left or right could make you win FABULOUS PRIZES and CASH, CASH, CASH!

      - with apologies to the relevant science fiction movie...


      Hecho in Mexico...

      > Fear the terrorist, the alien, the freak.

      Clearly you've never been in a Wal-mart. '-)

  8. Parsifal
    Big Brother

    What else is there to say?

    Icon says it all.

  9. Stephane Mabille

    What's next?

    Assange picture on McDonald's Coke cup? 1984/Brazil is coming....

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      What's next ?

      Summary executions, obviously.

      1. The Cube

        The USA already carries out summary executions

        Pretty much every week the US will kill one or more people who are identified in secret as being "enemies" of the state. They might be taken out by snipers, kidnapped up close and personal then sent to UnpronouncableStan to be tortured and killed (but not by US or UK forces of course) or just fragged along with their neighbours and a nearby school or wedding by a reaper drone.

        The only difference here is that the public are now being invited to join the Department of Fatherland Security in spreading the terror that Bin Laden wanted. Congratulations to the DHS, Mission Accomplished guys, the terrorists have officially won.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Broadcast live...

        In front of a studio audience.

        Ring in on our premium number, and you could win the chance to FRY YOUR OWN TRAITOR! Answer this simple question: when faced with shifty Johnnie Foreigner, do you:

        A - Smile pleasantly.

        B - Smile pleasantly.

        C - Report him to the local Anti-Terror unit.

  10. Pirate Dave Silver badge


    McCarthyism, Episode II ?

    Good grief. It's chilling that Wallyworld would agree to do this kind of crap. Time to start shopping elsewhere.

    1. muninsfire
      Big Brother


      @Pirate Dave

      What do you mean "agree"? Walmart has -always- played up the patriot angle, just like they've always played up the 'quality' and 'value' angles--all of which are approximately equal, when you think about it.

      So there's zero surprise here that they'd buy in to the whole Homeland Security angle. Hell, they'll probably start advertising it--half the TSA drones would otherwise work at Walmart anyway; it's one of the only other places you can get a job without a degree these days.

      1. Pirate Dave Silver badge

        not disagreeing with you

        my only surprise was that Walmart would do it with no obvious (to me, anyhow) profit motive. I thought they were all about the mighty dollar, and any "patriotic" sense is nothing but marketing whitewash. After all, 90+% of the non-grocery stuff on their shelves is made in SE Asia. Hell, China probably gets more economic growth from Walmart than we do.

    2. Tom 13

      @Pirate Dave

      Well, that's the kind of crap that happens when easily led sheeple buy into demonizing a company "because they drive all the mom and pop shops out of business" or "drive wages down."

      I was pleased as punch when a Walmart opened not far from where I lived. Prices at the local price gougers suddenly plummeted because there was an honest vendor on the street. But after all the demonizing I now avoid it because service has gone to shit. They use to have a cashier at every register, these days you're luck if half of them are operational (including self-checkout). All that happened since the Marxists/Communist/Progressives successfully demonized a good company.

      1. Steve Taylor 3

        You may have missed a clue.

        So - Walmart came to town and they were really good for a while, and all the other businesses disappeared. Then with only Walmart left, they went to crap - but you were stuck with them because they were the only game left in town.

        It's almost enough to make you think, isn't it?

      2. skeptical i

        No, it all happened because that's the Wal Mart Way:

        Step 1: Announce intent to move to a municipality in region X.

        Step 2: Sit back and watch municipalities in region X compete with each other on how much "incentive" (discount land, tax breaks, you name it) they will offer if only WM will bring "jobs" to their community.

        Step 3: Pick a winning location, build a ginormous building and parking lot (often requiring reconfiguration of access roads and/or traffic signals -- at the "winning" municipality's expense). Hire sales and management staff at the lowest wage the market will bear (usually minimum).

        Step 4: Buy boatloads of plastic crap from China; price it all to undercut prices offered at existing stores, including a handful of loss- leaders sold below cost.

        Step 5: Grand opening. Mobs flock in. Cashiers ring.

        Step 6: Watch locally- owned smaller shops close as customers flock to the big box.

        Step 7: Once the competition is dead and buried, raise prices and cut service down to the bare minimum. If customers complain, tough luck: where else are they gonna go?

        /That/ is the Wal Mart Way.

  11. John F***ing Stepp

    Well it scares me.

    'Cause I have to live here and we are making the threat level an unending grim shade of gray.

    What is the price of freedom?

    Always low prices; always.

    And the little smiley face?

    The new, very real, face of Big Brother.

  12. Sergie Kaponitovicz

    Bin Laden/Al Quaeda: 10, Western Democracy: 0

    The title says it all.

    Just ignore the fuckers. The longer we all live in a state of paranoia the longer the terrorists control the game/war/whatever you prefer to call it.

    Two fingers (a la Churchill) to BL/AQ and Walmart who are exploiting sub-average IQ punters. You know the ones... the punters that took out sub-prime mortgages invented by Bill Clinton who ultimately created the cess-pit global economy we are all now paying for.

    1. Martin Owens
      Thumb Down

      You mean

      You mean Reagan right? I mean surely your memory doesn't stop at 1990.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Bin Laden/Al Quaeda: 10, Western Democracy: 0


      Plus retarded slogans are easy to subvert.

      "If You See Something, Say Something".

      Oh really?

      Say, did you just see <known collaborator> doing something suspicious?

  13. DrXym

    What could be more American than Walmart?

    A place that sells virtually 100% made in China tat. It could make for a unique treasure hunt experience - "find an item of cookware which was made in the USA for 50 points".

    1. IR

      Too right

      Everytime there is a headline about a toy recall, it is nearly always for a Disney product sold only in Walmart.

      Walmart: the place where they sell guns but refuse to sell CDs that contain swear words.

      1. Ty Cobb


        They no longer sell guns in the store, and who the Heck uses catalogs anymore?

        1. Joseph Slabaugh

          Walmart and guns

          They do sell guns where I live. Which is surprising, but I was just there the other day and saw a few on display. But not as many as down the road where there is a "Fin Feather Fur Outfitters" about 1/2 mile from the Walmart.

          So now we should stand by the gun sales dept and watch who buys guns, and report them to the authorities.

  14. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    DHS videos in stores ?

    Why wait ? Put a large screen on a blimp, include 1000W speakers and broadcast continuously over all major US cities.

    Include army checkpoints at all entry points of all major cities (already covered by the blimps) in order to ensure proper population control (hello citizen, have you found a terrorist today ?), as well as hourly radio broadcasts and you end up with a country that would make a certain WWII dictator positively green with envy.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Big Brother

      which one do you mean

      Stalin or Hitler?

      Whichever, there are many cold war era leaders (incl. Russian, Chinese, other Asian, etc) who would be salivating at the mere thought of the level of paranoia, control and oversight achieved in this land of the supposedly free in the year 2010.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Don't forget

      ...CCTV and routine body cavity searches at the airports. It's for your own good, really!

  15. georgeclooneylookalike

    Catchphrase - You're Riiiiiiiiggggghhhhhtttttt!!!!!!!!

    If you see it, say it!

    Cue lots of blokes with beards getting fitted up

  16. NRT

    Is anyone else reminded

    of the 1950s "Duck & Cover" campaign used to show children how to survive a nuclear weapon?

    This looks just as silly.


    1. Anonymous Coward
      Black Helicopters

      I am also reminded of...

      ....George Orwell's 1984

      ....The Combine (Half-Life 2)

  17. Tigra 07
    Thumb Up

    I'll never understand how Americans value a life so low...

    Orange Juice...Check!



    Shoot! Timmy, go pick mommy up a pump action shot gun for ya Uncle Ned!

  18. Tigra 07

    Hunting season at Walmart...

    Ding! Attention! Clean up on aisle 6! Bin Laden appears to have been spotted and shot by a keen eyed shopper!

    Ding! Attention! Clean up on aisles 1,5,9 and 10! Bin Ladens appear to have been spotted there too!

  19. Sillyfellow
    Black Helicopters

    hello ?

    FYI.. it's an old strategy called 'divide and conquer'. to cause people to distrust and make enemies of each other.

    1. Ted Treen
      Big Brother

      hello again?

      It doesn't stop there:- it's also to keep us in a perpetual state of fear, so we know our only chance of survival is to trust in our saviours, the governing classes.

      Absolutely no different than parents who use the threat of the imaginary bogeyman to make toddlers behave.

      Except most parents are probably brighter than the collective intelligence of almost any government.

      And one day, (hope I'm here to see it) sufficient of us will be sufficiently pissed off at being treated as toddlers that we'll collectively do something about it.

    2. multipharious
      Black Helicopters

      @Sillyfellow - Revelations 6:8

      This scripture passage contains an esoteric clue for the helicopter minded. It looks like you read the book I refer to written by the barrel maker? Not that it takes a book to understand how methodically factions within the government work to replace the family structure with dependency framework. Isolate and fear your neighbors. Fear the foreign even more. The fact that propaganda is to be spread at Wal-Mart is disturbing in a way that is hard to express. As children we heard stories of children turning in their parents and neighbors in communist countries, and were appalled.

      Have a laugh at the horror of things to come.

  20. Michael C

    Wow, just, wow...

    Lets target the largest group of low income misfits in the country, many of them prone to reporting UFOs or ghost sightings, or who believe just about anything in print or on TV regardless of the source or legitimacy, plus many of the rest with criminal records, questionable immigration status, unstable home lives, or who have Alzheimer's or other mental issues gather. I'm not saying if you shop at Walmart you fall into this category ,but if you shop at Walmart you WILL see people in these categories, pretty much guaranteed.

    Lets take this wholly unreliable group of people and use them to clog the DHS call centers with tens of thousands of calls about "he looks odd" or "I don't like that guy, he must be a terrorist" and "she smacked her child, in public!"

    Wait, this might be genius! We'll concurrently identify a slew of morons who will call in false positives, while also gaining a probable cause excuse to background check every one of them, find all the illegals and problem citizens, and corral them all up (all in the name of terrorism, which no one will object to, unlike simply making this call-out to find these people anyway). this mightlead to getting thousands of people off the street (those we want to find, and those who have no business leaving their homes unsupervised, some needing padded rooms...)


    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      And the inevitable result?

      They'll need yet a bigger budget. Which they'll indubitably get. Kaching! Success!

      The collateral damage is exactly that. Well, you wanted it, we got it, now everybody'll just have to live with it, no?

      Note how the definition of "success" continually changes but always is an answer-du-jour to "How do we haul in the most monies?" Also note that the very same thing happens in Blighty, for example regarding the recent inspection of pervy scanners and conspicuous absence of even planning for an "evaluation of effectiveness".

      It does get increasingly blatant, that is certainly true.

    2. Malcolm 1


      Obligatory link to Bruce Schneier:

      "If you ask amateurs to act as front-line security personnel, you shouldn't be surprised when you get amateur security."

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Like I needed another reason to NOT shop Walmart

    I'll set foot in those hell-holes only if utterly desperate anyway, now just one more reason to shun them.

    Or carry a TV-B-Gone.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Big Brother

      hold up,

      does that mean you are a terrorist?

  22. Kirbini

    WalMart == New American Stasi

    Do you miss the old East Germany? Was reunification too hasty of a decision for you? Do you lay awake at night wondering if you'll ever own a Trabant 601 again? Are you itching to get out the old jackboots? Then fret no longer! Come visit America. We have all you miss and more! We've got detention centers in waiting, we spy on everything and now the best has arrived. Yes dear traveler, you can now experience your own Stasi in any berg, town and podunk across the land.

    And it's so easy to do. Simply register your desire to travel here at least 48 days in advance, hand over all of you personal information (including your tax ID, a list everyone you know or slept with in the last 25 years, and access to your children's medical records) and be prepared for a jolly good feel up when you arrive! That's it. If you're really lucky one of our Stasi, cum WalMart shopper will mistake you for a terrorist and you will get te experience East German detention, American style!


    Mine's the one with the gold star on the pocket, obviously.

    1. Xtine66

      I was thinking the same thing.

      walmart: Helping Turn Yankistan into e germany, One Store at a Time.

  23. peyton?

    Wait a minute wait a minute

    Have they not visited

    The only person who is going to stand out in the WalMart crowd is the one (and I do mean just one) person who is neatly dressed.

    1. Peter Simpson 1

      People of Wal-Mart

      America's First Line of Defense Against Terrorists!

      (well, at least they're large and, therefore, good shields against blast)

  24. MinionZero
    Big Brother

    Sounds very much like Orwellian Perpetual War propaganda FUD

    "DHS videos and security announcements will be broadcast in Walmart stores"

    That is blatant fear propaganda to keep the population scared and it will keep many scared. But then I guess while they are scared, they are distracted from thinking about and hearing the diplomatic leaks news.

    But then the more I see of the US government, the more I think the phrase "The land of the free" is blatant propaganda to keep the US population fooled into thinking they are free.

    The problem isn't the vast majority of the US population, its their lying leaders, who have the population so fooled by their lies (and endless fear as this news shows) that the majority of Americas are kept from hearing the truth and even worse made to feel anger at any criticism of their leaders (and so whilst they are angry, that makes many unwilling to listen to anything that could highlight they are lied to, which is the game their leaders play). The people are made to feel that any criticism is of America in general. Its not criticism of America as a country or the people of America, its criticism specifically at the rampant two faced arrogance of the American politicians, which is the same problem everyone has all around the world with our own politicians. The politicians lies are their propaganda to fool everyone. But in the land of the free, its so much more shocking to finally see so clearly that they are very far from free, as all the increasingly authoritarian tyranny over everyone online is showing us all.

    Any American's still don't believe me? Still think you are free?... Then the fact you are on TheReg website shows you are at least hearing some of the European news, so its worth contrasting even the government biased news we hear as Europeans with the news a lot of Americans are told by their government, because many Americans are only hearing the government friendly corporate media propaganda. Many of the American people are being blatantly lied to by their leaders, in many cases even more than we Europeans are (as I now intend to show) and its sickening how bad we are being lied to, as the leaks have been showing.

    So here's a web link that provides a shocking contrast to even the biased news a lot of our corporate media feed us. This link shows the kind of government propaganda lies many American people are being deceived with relentlessly. Some of it really is shocking. Its worth everyone reading this link, no matter what your views are for or against Wikileaks, this is what some Americans are only hearing. This link shows why some people only hearing this kind of thing and so can't see the truth, which is their leaders lie to them, not least as this Walmart news shows, because they have all their people so fearful that they are under attack. Endless fear. Here's the US government's own Orwellian style “two minutes hate” broadcast... (Its one of the US leaders lying in their own words, but his rampantly lying and manipulative ways can only be seen when you comparewhat he says with what we know from reading other news sources). Here's the link, its on CNN...

    All these government propaganda FUD games are the core problem which is stopping the vast majority of everyone online (in all countries) all standing together against the arrogant leaders who keep us all distracted and so arguing against each other and them at the top, playing us off against each other. But then every war has been that game for the leaders.

    Over the past decade all the Orwellian moves have been getting bad enough, even scary at times, but over this last month, if we combine the increasingly shocking levels of Orwellian propaganda as this news shows, with the relentlessly increasing authoritarian control, then its hard not to find all this getting very scary at times, especially for our long term future. This year has been by far the worst so far, so it makes me wonder what is next?!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      'I think the phrase "The land of the free" is blatant propaganda'

      It's called the 'American dream', because you have to be asleep to believe it.

      RIP George Carlin.

  25. Anonymous Coward


    That is all.

  26. JohnG

    People of Walmart

  27. George of the Jungle

    Oh sure

    "The US Department of Homeland Security has joined forces with the most relentless and observant patrol force available in the US - Walmart shoppers."

    Right... just check out the "people of walmart" picture site. That will show you the crack Walmart shopper forces (or in many pictures, forces you to see Walmart shopper crack...)

  28. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Do I smell a sales opportunity here?

    Attention shoppers - the world is ending, time to panic

    "Buy canned goods, aisle 1, gas masks aisle 2, guns and ammo aisle 3-99"

    In the UK it only takes 1/4in snow and people are panic buying bun-cases and royal wedding tea towels. Imagine if you ran ads about a terrorist attack in a store that sells machine guns.

  29. Devious_Dan

    Title whats a title?

    Recently watched The power of Nightmares by Adam Curtis, well worth a look about this sort of thing.

    He explains how the neo cons used fear to control and get the population behind their way of thinking.

  30. Graham Marsden
    Big Brother

    Insert obligatory...

    ... Vote Fascist for a third Glorious Decade of Total Law Enforcement!

  31. Asgard
    Big Brother

    Attention shoppers, you could be dead tomorrow, have you considered life insurance?

    Attention shoppers, fill in the blanks...

    Gestapo (1934 - 1945)

    Stasi (1950 - 1990)

    USA (2001 - ????)

    UK (2001 - ????)

    Russia (1922 - ????)

    China (259 BC - ????) (More or less ever since era of First Emperor)

    Australia (200? - ????)

    Sweden (201? - ????)

    France (201? - ????)

    And so many more etc... ! :(

    1. Ted Treen
      Big Brother


      I almost agree entirely, but shouldn't dear old Blighty's entry read UK (1997 - ????)?

  32. Kugutsu

    freudian slip?

    ''and other threats to law enforcement authorities''

    This is an interesting, and quite telling, little soundbite from the DHS spokesperson. Not threats to the people/citizens/etc, but threats to the establishment, and their employed fists...

  33. Anonymous Coward

    people of walmart... ... there are plenty of people pointed out on that site that look more than suspicious ;-D

  34. Eeep !

    Alarm the proles and you get news stories about idiots

    So now there will be a rash of news items about Walmart stores being closed down because a translucent product had wires in it a la i<products> and that's without electical engineers accidentally dropping a bit of wire.

    What about jokesters ? "Dropped my old phone and it smashed, couldn't find all the bits and didn't report it" ?

    Don't shop at ASDA/Walmart ? Think about listening to the whinning of those that do and were evacuated from one of the stores pointlessly ?

  35. veskebjorn

    Guns are good

    As a Yank, I am glad that my forebears were armed to the teeth and, therefore, able to throw off the oppression of King George III and his enablers. If the German people had not been disarmed long before the rise of the Nazis, history may have taken a different, less tragic, course.

    Even (or perhaps particularly) now, wherever tyranny reigns, a brutal suppression of private ownership of arms has preceded. Those folks who regard their governments as more sane or more trustworthy than (as just one example) Mugabe and Zimbabwe are folks who have not paid attention to history.

    Terry Pratchett, non-violent author of scores of good books, had much to say about this matter in "Night Watch." In his (and my) view, taking weapons out of the hands of "ordinary" citizens enables criminals to prosper.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Big Brother

      Re Guns Are Good

      In Afghanistan and few other places guns are commonly owned - I wouldn't say that a lack of guns caused the tyranny...............

      there are many places where guns are not commonly owned and there is no tyranny... there are also places where guns are owned and there is no tyranny.......

      linking tyrannical rule to the ownership of guns (or lack of) is linking the wrong cause to the effect. (In India many things led to independence from Britain - gun ownership was not onoe of them)

      "the only thing that evil needs to prosper is for good men to do nothing"

      its people that allow tyranny to rise and fall

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Where have I read this before ?

    ’Up with your hands!’ yelled a savage voice.

    A handsome, tough-looking boy of nine had popped up from behind the table and was menacing him with a toy automatic pistol, while his small sister, about two years younger, made the same gesture with a fragment of wood. Both of them were dressed in the blue shorts, grey shirts, and red neckerchiefs which were the uniform of the Spies. Winston raised his hands above his head, but with an uneasy feeling, so vicious was the boy’s demeanour, that it was not altogether a game.

    ‘You’re a traitor!’ yelled the boy. ‘You’re a thought-criminal! You’re a Eurasian spy! I’ll shoot you, I’ll vaporize you, I’ll send you to the salt mines!’ Suddenly they were both leaping round him, shouting ’Traitor!’ and ’Thought-criminal!’ the little girl imitating her brother in every movement. It was somehow slightly frightening, like the gambolling of tiger cubs which will soon grow up into man-eaters. There was a sort of calculating ferocity in the boy’s eye, a quite evident desire to hit or kick Winston and a consciousness of being very nearly big enough to do so. It was a good job it was not a real pistol he was holding, Winston thought.

    Mrs Parsons’ eyes flitted nervously from Winston to the children, and back again. In the better light of the living-room he noticed with interest that there actually was dust in the creases of her face. ’They do get so noisy,’ she said. ’They’re disappointed because they couldn’t go to see the hanging, that’s what it is. I’m too busy to take them. and Tom won’t be back from work in time.’

    ’Why can’t we go and see the hanging?’ roared the boy in his huge voice. ’Want to see the hanging! Want to see the hanging!’ chanted the little girl, still capering round.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    time for a flash mob.

    200 people, dressed as Bin Laden, storm the store and start shouting "I'm Bin Laden"

    "no I'M Bin Laden"

    Some of them can wear pink turbans, put on an overly camp voice and shout "bang bang, I'm going to terrorise yooooo!" Preferably while waving a pink plastic AK-47.

    1. Michael 28 this one?

      Sadly (!!!) IS real. I suppose they're for defence only, your attacker being incapacitated by laughter!

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Does this mean....

    That I can now look forward to having my wedding tackle groped by the Wal-Mart greeter guy at the door?

    We've gone from the price of freedom being eternal vigilance to the price of freedom being $3.99 or two for $6!!

    Paris--because while we are on the subject of having my nuts cupped.....

  39. Anonymous Coward

    pre-crimes ?

    "report indicators of terrorism, crime and other threats to law enforcement authorities.”

    err, what are the 'other threats' ?

  40. Anonymous Coward

    Guns at a Wal-Mart?

    "...offers guns and/or gun paraphernalia alongside the giant packs of cereal..." Sadly no guns in my local Wal-Mart. The guns used to be next to the car stereos. But as it turns out, Wal-Mart treats their employees so badly that they won't allow them near any guns.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @"What could be more American than that."

    Actually when I think 'American' I tend to think of the young soldier shooting suspected Viet-Kong in the head on camera. That's what America means to me. Mind you that's what "United Kingdom" means to me as well.

    Democracy - shooting people in the head in your name.

    Say, do you think I might have issues?

    1. Ted Treen

      Not that I'm defending the DHS

      - heaven forbid!

      but the Viet-Cong suspect shot in the head on camera was shot by General Nguyen Ngoc Loan, Chief of local South Vietnamese security services. Nguyen later decamped to the US of A, prior to the arrival of Uncle Ho's lads...

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Walmart falls in with Washington's war on terror

    Oh dear, what's lurking there under the lettuce? WikiLeaks?

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Will the broadcasts get to Asda?????????????

  44. thecakeis(not)alie



  45. Jean-Luc
    Black Helicopters

    Heard of Firesign Theatre?

    They have this great audio skit called "TIPS Hotline", with a loyal American meter reader being called by Ashcroft to help fighting the friendly neighborhood terrorist.

    Life imitates art.

    Not impressed.

  46. william henderson 1

    any one get those e-mails....

    people of walmart/walmart shoppers/denizens of walmart etc?

    we are seriously stuffed.

  47. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    re: Where have I read this before ?

    Wouldn't happen today of course

    The kids would have just shouted 'peado' and Mrs Parsons and her concerned neighbours would have hung Mr Smith there and then

  48. heyrick Silver badge

    If You See Something, Say Something


    This is bullshit.


    Said it.

    Can I go now? I'm bored.

  49. bugalugs

    @freudian slip

    " This partnership will help millions of shoppers across the nation identify and report indicators of terrorism, crime and other threats to law enforcement authorities." is a bit amibiguous isn't it ?

    Especially as those authorities, as represented by their staff of course, take any threat to the total welfare of said staff * very * seriously indeed.

    At the Mart, first priority will obviously be bits and bobs left lying round ( bzzzt ' bomb alert in aisle seven - please stay out of aisle seven ' bzzt ). Then shoplifters, armed robbers and people without enough credit ( bzzt ' code look away, code look away , code look away , this is not a drill ' bzzt ). Finally, KAAABOOOOMMMM !!! oh fuck for some reason the Mart is now a target !

    what's to decide between bb and the joke alert ? so here's to the little furry fellows

  50. Winkypop Silver badge

    "Wal-Mart is a place where people gather"

    Yes, perhaps.

    But let's define "people" first.

  51. Andrew Denton 1

    Good old Wal-Mart.... can't buy a CD there that has a naughty word in it, but you can buy enough guns and ammo to equip a small army.

  52. MyHeadIsSpinning


    They're under the bed.

  53. This post has been deleted by its author

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh for f*cks sake

    I hope the person who thought this up becomes a victim of his own f*cking stupid idea.

  55. JaitcH

    Signs of Desperation?

    One Walmart I see when I visit the States doesn't have many greeters.

    Last time I dropped in the single old guy on the door said Walmart has trouble hiring pensioners as greeters as the pay is so poor it hardly pays for his transportation - he did it because it was a social thing, he got out of the house and met people!

    On guard for thee, indeed!

  56. Dog Faced Boy
    Thumb Down

    Control by Fear

    So the have finally found another avenue to control it's citizens through the spread of fear, not content in controlling your media, censoring the internet, arresting those that do not follow the official line, etc. Soon I fear that where the US leads the UK will soon follow like a loyal lapdog.

    "The actual danger to the population posed by insurgent operations, notably terrorist tactics, is often far lower than the perceived danger." - Counterinsurgency Operations manual prepared under the direction of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, October 5, 2009

    "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed - and hence clamorous to be led to safety - and menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." - H.L. Mencken

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