What I saw was belly dancers, bats and bongs.

What I felt was a sense of fear imposed through a carefully orchestrated musical score, CSI-style taglines at the bottom of the screen and a dramatic baritone announcer.

What I heard was a cocktail of scare tactics and exuberant patriotism as the importance of each drug hit was underscored by a reminder that narcotics money funded terrorists who were out to destroy our country.

What I did not get from ABC’s new series “Homeland Security,” however, was the truth.

In short, this “reality” series offers a picture that is anything but real. Although many of the images in the show were disturbing, I was even more concerned by what I did not see. These omissions dramatically distorted the series’ depiction of border patrol’s actions.

For instance, amongst all of the stops conducted in the hour-long premier a few weeks ago, only one was the result of mistaken identity.

Guns a’blazing, the officers surrounded a car filled with an entire family, only to discover that the man inside was not, in fact, the armed felon that they originally believed him to be. The show quickly glossed over this incident, only taking the time to highlight that this mistake “did not take long to discover.”

Yet we know that these mistakes happen all the time because the internal DHS watch-lists are riddled with inaccuracies.

Moreover, these false stops continue to happen to the same people, as there is no centralized mechanism for correction.

Finally, in direct contrast to the show’s editing, the duration and conditions of these detentions often are dramatically different from what was shown on ABC.

I know of these things because of my experiences at the ACLU. Most recently, a woman who regularly travels between Michigan and Canada to visit her parents approached our office. At least once a month, she is stopped at the border based on a mistake that has yet to be corrected.

During her last stop, she was physically searched by a male officer, handcuffed, separated from her family and detained for several hours without any explanation. When the officers finally realized their mistake, no apology was offered. This is our true reality.

The show’s treatment of airport security measures was similarly lacking.

In the final segment, a tearful TSA agent explained that his job was to keep the air safe for families because, well, he had kids too.

According to ABC’s footage, the most significant drawback to these increased safety measures are the discarded water bottles and containers of lotion.

But this pales in comparison to the invasions of privacy that regularly occur as blackberries and laptops are opened, searched and in some instances, destroyed, without any probable cause in the name of airport security.

In just one example of this repeated practice, CBP seized and searched Imam Mohammad Ali Elhah’s laptop. When they returned the laptop 20 minutes later, the hard drive was destroyed. The Imam lost over eight years of work, and again, no apology was offered. This is our true reality.

If the dismal ratings are any indicator, Homeland Security will be cancelled soon. But the real life experiences on the ground that the show refuses to depict will remain unless and until the new administration changes the policies and practices of the DHS. This is our true reality.