- July 17 - The Terrorist Information and Prevention System, according to U.S.
government web sites [http://www.citizencorps.gov/tips.html,
will involve "millions of American workers" such as "truck drivers,
bus drivers, train conductors, mail carriers, utility readers, ship captains,
and port personnel" in a "national system for reporting suspicious,
and potentially terrorist-related activity." The following policy analysts
are available for interviews:
ATHAN THEOHARIS, http://www.derechos.net/paulwolf/cointelpro/theoharris.htm
Theoharis, a professor of history at Marquette University, is author of books
that include "Spying on Americans" and the recently released "Chasing
Spies: How the FBI Failed in Counterintelligence But Promoted the Politics of
McCarthyism in the Cold War Years." He said today: "Just as the government
is now trying to anticipate terrorism, during the Cold War it tried to anticipate
espionage. Hoover tried to solicit reports from people to root out Soviet spies
and the results were just outrageous. It brought out the crazies and people who
wanted to damage certain individuals, using misinformation and false allegations
which were then used by the FBI -- like those made against Pulitzer Prize-winning
writer Harrison Salisbury and Democratic presidential nominee Adlai Stevenson.
From 1936 to 1956 there was an 1,800-percent increase in FBI appropriations. The
agency placed illegal wiretaps and conducted break-ins. It failed in catching
Soviet spies, but succeeded in helping to shape public opinion. Terrorists and
spies take precautions to minimize discovery. The government's techniques then
-- and now, it seems -- don't end up getting the perpetrators, but target people
based on things like political activity and now religious beliefs."
JIM REDDEN, firstname.lastname@example.org
Redden authored "Snitch Culture: How Citizens Are Turned into the Eyes and
Ears of the State."
KIT GAGE, email@example.com
Gage is director of the First Amendment Foundation. She said today: "This
will be counterproductive in fighting terrorism as it will result in the further
inundation of law enforcement with largely or entirely irrelevant information
when it should be concentrating on following the trails of evidence. More dangerously,
it may completely intimidate communities, stifle dissent activity, and head us
in an uncontrollable way toward a police state."
DAVID COLE, firstname.lastname@example.org,
Professor of law at the Georgetown University Law Center, Cole said today: "The
war on terrorism requires the cooperation of us all, but we must be very careful
to ensure that citizens not trample on their fellow citizens' constitutional rights
of privacy in the name of cooperation. The danger is that we will become a society
in which no one can trust anyone else, and that is hardly a society we want to