When they’re not out there fighting for our freedoms, protecting us from the terrorists, and logging fraudulent overtime hours, they’re out defending their official seals from those who seek to disparage them. No, no, not those kinds of seals. I mean, I guess it wouldn’t surprise me if they had some official pet seal, like the White House dog. But I’m talking about the official-looking, circular emblems; the insignia with the image of the eagle in the center and the name of the agency wrapped around the circle.
Some novelty store sells mugs and t-shirts with offensive messages using these department seals. Well, I thought they were funny, and if I had money to burn, I might purchase one or two. But our tender government was offended by them. One mug that was being sold had the DHS seal emblazoned on it with the name of the department as “Department of Homeland Stupidity.” A t-shirt had the NSA seal on it with the caption, “The NSA: the only part of government that actually listens.” There were others. CNS News reported:
The novelty items are sold online at Zazzle.com, which is operated by merchant Dan McCall. The NSA and DHS sent “cease and desist” letters to Zazzle stating that the parody products violate statutes that protect their official seals from misuse.
The NSA and DHS, through the Department of Justice, are “threatening litigation and criminal prosecution if the parody designs weren’t immediately removed,” reported the government watchdog group Judicial Watch.
While the parody products, such as “NSA: Spying on you since 1952,” have been removed from Zazzle’s website, a federal complaint has been filed by Dan McCall against the DHS and NSA, claiming that the cease and desist directives violate his First Amendment rights.
It seems they’re more concerned with protecting their insignia from being used outside of official means than protecting Americans’ liberties. If you’re using their official seal, they know about you, and they will hunt you down. If your privacy and dignity are being violated at the airport, well, that’s just the price you pay to live in a “safe and secure” country. No big deal.