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News ::
BTL: Bush Administration's Proposed Domestic Spy Program Echoes Dark Days of...
27 Jul 2002
..McCarthy Era. Between the Lines' Scott Harris interviews author and historian Athan Theoharis.
Bush Administration's Proposed Domestic Spy Program Echoes Dark Days of McCarthy Era

Interview with author and historian Athan Theoharis, by Between the Lines' Scott Harris.

The Bush administration has proposed yet more programs that they say will deter future terrorist attacks on the U.S. Among the most controversial of these proposals is the Terrorist Information and Prevention System or Operation TIPS. This program would recruit potentially millions of citizen informants to report unusual or suspicious activity to the Justice Department. Those enlisted in the program would serve as "extra eyes and ears for law enforcement," and include train conductors, utility meter readers, ship captains, truck and bus drivers.

Although TIPS was due to begin a pilot operation in August with up to a million informants in 10 cities, the program has run into problems. The U.S. Post office stated it would not allow their letter carriers to be involved in the program and House Majority Leader Dick Armey rejected TIPS and a White House proposal to institute a national identification card system. Civil liberties advocates have expressed concern that the program could be abused by individuals with an axe to grind or target specific groups based on their race or ethnicity.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Athan Theoharis, professor of history at Marquette University and author of the book. "Spying on Americans." He discusses the dangers he sees inherent in the TIPS program reflecting on the history of repression during the McCarthy era.

Athan Theoharis' latest book is titled, "Chasing Spies: How the FBI Failed in Counterintelligence But Promoted the Politics of McCarthyism in the Cold War Years," published by Ivan Dee.

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http://www.wpkn.org/wpkn/news/btl080202.html
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"Between the Lines," WPKN 89.5 FM's weekly radio news magazine can be
heard Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. ET; Wednesdays at 8 a.m. ET and Saturdays
at 2 p.m. ET (Wednesday's show airs at 7:30 a.m. ET during fundraising
months of April and October)
*
Between The Lines is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a CD, "News &
Views That Corporate Media Exclude". See BTL's website for promotional
announcement at:

http://www.btlonline.org
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For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Q&A," which features a
weekly "Between The Lines" interview excerpt, write btlsummary-subscribe (at) topica.email-publisher.com
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betweenthelines (at) snet.net
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2002 Between the Lines C/O WPKN Radio, Bridgeport, Connecticut USA.
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See also:
http://www.wpkn.org/wpkn/news/btl080202.html
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