An exhaustive bout of suspicion and paranoia has been rabble-rousing people in America, and it’s all loosely based on based 2010 Tucson Police Department situational awareness report. The near six-year-old report is misleading at best, even though it was clearly generated for exactly what the title of the report says, situational awareness.

FOIA Document TPD
FOIA Document TPD

Be that as it may, the imagination has run wild and this simple piece of paper meant to education law enforcement officials and has been taken entirely out of context. The fault besides obviously mishandling the document is the cobbled together nature it was written. Titled “International Terrorism Situational Awareness: Hezbollah,” does present itself with the opportunity to insert fantasy due to its interruptive flow and unrelated content throughout the document.

The fact of the matter is that along with this training document, there have been a number people from the Middle East detained along the border, just as there have from Australia as they are from all over the world. Another argument based on symbolic interaction, as two Middle Eastern men were found with empty metallic cylinders in the desert. My first assumption is water or scrap because it seems like you could get a casing like that almost anywhere. This brings me to the final rallying call that I will entertain as a possibility. Some Korans and prayer mats were allegedly found in the desert. Personally, that seems like a convenient find, and more probably what a person who knows very little about other cultures would plant.

Despite this, I carried on and dug a bit deeper, stumbling upon many websites which often seem to repeat the same messages, that were all based the original 2010 document. Of course, there were a few more messages out there. These sites often resulted in a conflict of patience as well as a procedure to maintain a universal theme on the abuse of the word, “justice.” These websites are not difficult to find, but I won’t morally cite them they’re overexposed enough and still seeking exposure, some with claims of being in over watch of an ISIS base, just eight miles over the border.

If there really is Daesh [ISIS/ISIL] training camp eight miles into Mexico, then let’s go. I’ll bring the beer and you stock up on ammo, because we aren’t leaving them there. But we all know they are not and never were there.

I heard his or her cries of wolf and fell victim to the misrepresentation of the border issue just like anyone else, but this was mentally exhausting. I spent a great deal of time on foot, in the vehicle, on the phone and at the computer; only to find that this has been an aggregate event triggered by a media overdose. This root of this exaggeration took only a few imperfections in a report without any further context on. An arbitrary document once destined for a shredder, because the contingent of a rally call, which allowed for an initial limited audience, marked by in what may influence public speech, and turned it into a spectacle.

There is still a steady flow of media theater throughout the area, all brought by the document. A few simple rhetorical acts by the camera, and everyone gets to be a real American hero for being alert and out-there looking for the “ISIS”. Although, if anyone had really wanted to be a super-sleuth hero at all the opportunities have been there for their whole lives. There is always opportunity to do right, it’s just that nobody want to see that when they can go to the circus.

In the end, all that we truly learned is that asking someone to spot check your work before printing it on official letterhead is the best way to stop what could have easily been a great comedy movie, and made it a reality. The punchline is that the document was meant to encourage situation awareness.