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Whatever you do, don't search online ... for anything ...

While she was looking online to buy a pressure cook her husband was researching backpacks. Armed men knock on their door. Hilarity ensues ...

By Mark Gibbs on Thu, 08/01/13 - 4:20pm.

So, there you are, at home, trying to decide which pressure cooker to buy while your spouse researches backpacks.

A day or so later your doorbell brings ... you open the front door and there's a couple of black SUVs pulled up out front and six guys with guns and badges asking if they might search your house. A reasonable response would be "WTF?!"

This is exactly what happened to Michele Catalano and her husband (who took the whole event with far less "WTF" than I could imagine myself having) and underscores the concerns we all should have over who is watching us and why. It also makes it hard to believe the contention that domestic surveillance isn't, as the government keeps contending, both widespread and in-depth.

The surreal quality of Catalano's story is amazing:

They asked if they could search the house, though it turned out to be just a cursory search. They walked around the living room, studied the books on the shelf (nope, no bomb making books, no Anarchist Cookbook), looked at all our pictures, glanced into our bedroom, pet our dogs. They asked if they could go in my son’s bedroom but when my husband said my son was sleeping in there, they let it be.

Meanwhile, they were peppering my husband with questions. Where is he from? Where are his parents from? They asked about me, where was I, where do I work, where do my parents live. Do you have any bombs, they asked. Do you own a pressure cooker? My husband said no, but we have a rice cooker. Can you make a bomb with that? My husband said no, my wife uses it to make quinoa. What the hell is quinoa, they asked. 

... Have you ever looked up how to make a pressure cooker bomb? My husband, ever the oppositional kind, asked them if they themselves weren’t curious as to how a pressure cooker bomb works, if they ever looked it up. Two of them admitted they did.

Welcome to 1984 ... twentynine years late.