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  • authored by licatsplit
  • published Thu, Aug 8, 2002

Constitutional Rights

Most of you probably have heard or read about the new Bush administration's efforts to protect the nation against terrorists. The project is called the Terrorist Information and Prevention System ( TIPS )This project has been developing among a growing controversary among citizens within the public sectors as well as labor organizations. Will TIPS help in the fight against terrorism or is it just another tool for the government and or big corporations to use to gain private and personal information on the population.

In a recent article by Harry Kelber, he writes about James P. Hoffa, president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, meeting with Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge and offering his union members to be the eyes and ears of the Bush administration's efforts to protect the nation against terrorists. Time will tell if the members of the Teamsters will agree with Hoffa or not. The TIPS program's objective is to recruit millions of citizens as volunteer informers to report suspicious and unusual behavior. It is being launched in August in the nation's 10 largest cities, where the Bush administration expects to sign up about one million people as participants in the program. The AFL-CIO has not taken a position on this matter, says Denise Mitchell, director of its Public Affairs Department.

In recruiting for the spy-on-your-neighbor project, Attorney General John Ashcroft is giving preference to workers who have access to homes, businesses or communications and transportation facilities, such as letter carriers, utility workers, truck drivers and computer and telephone repair workers. I have supplied plenty of links below which seem to take the "circle the wagons" approach and view this plan as a dangerous avenue against our constitutional rights. Does this plan have promise in the fight against terrorism or is it just another "around the end play" to take away more of our rights?

Don't let him steal our rights.

'Citizens Will Not Become Informants'

Spying eyes

The Societal Costs of Surveillance

Stop the Government from Turning Neighbor Against Neighbor!

The Furor Over TIPS

A chill in the library

Cops, not mailmen, should hunt terrorists

Safe and Free in Times of Crisis

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Thu, Aug 8, 2002 1:03pm

Sounds a lot like McCarthyism to me.

I think this is another attempt to distract us from real issues and keep us - working people - focused on working hard for the causes of our oppressors.

I don't think that it's coincidental that this new snooping and snitching campaign is calling upon workers to, essentially spy and rat on other workers. The guys who want very much to maintain the current order are becoming conscious of the growing discontent of working people and are afraid of the what may happen if we begin to connect with each other. What better way to stop our evolution than to get us scurrying around in fear. It figures that the biz unionists are doing their part to help prop up the existing order too.

It's encouraging to see so many commentators and on-line publications calling this offensive program exactly what it is.

  • posted by licatsplit
  • Thu, Aug 8, 2002 9:46pm

Freda Kirchwey made a statement within an article published in June of 1950 against McCarthyism which, after reading, one could assume it was written in August of 2002.

"the means by which a handful of men, disguised as hunters of subversion, cynically subvert the instruments of justice and hold up to contempt the government itself in order to help their own political fortunes."

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Fri, Aug 9, 2002 5:53am

In the former Soviet Union, extensive use was made of citizens' spy networks in the name of maintaining internal security. Workers in certain occupations were expected to report on activity that was considered "suspicious". The KGB relied heavily on these networks to keep a lid on dissent.

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