Dubya To America: Immigration Sí, Constitution No!

With the

of a new government program that
encourages American civilians to spy on their employers,
co-workers and neighbors, the Bush administration may be
pushing the United States over the edge of what can only
be described as a

new totalitarianism.
The almost total silence about
the plans in the press and among the usual political
critics of the administration only bolsters that

The program,

in the Washington Times this week,
is known as TIPS–the

Terrorism Information and Prevention System
–and it
envisions recruiting some 10 million informants to check
out "suspicious" activities by those other Americans
with whom they are in contact.

As the Times characterizes the

"the Bush administration by next
month wants to recruit a million letter carriers,
utility workers and others whose jobs allow them access
to private homes into a contingent of organized
government informants."

Ostensibly aimed at detecting
terrorist or terrorist-supportive activities, the plan
could eventually encompass just a bit more than that.

As the Times further describes the
program, TIPS

allow volunteers, whose routines make them
well-positioned to recognize suspect activities, to
report the same to the Justice Department, which …
will enter the information into a database, which will
then be broadly available within the department, and to
state and local agencies and local police forces."

Does your telephone repairman
notice the religious pictures and icons in your living
room and the

pro-life materials
on your coffee table? You might
be one of those nuts who murders abortionists and blows
up abortion clinics. Better report to the government. Do
you have guns mounted over your mantel or subscribe to
gun magazines? Your mailman should let the government
know. Are you a

World War II buff
who has photographs of Erwin
Rommel or other German soldiers in your study? Your
housemaid should tell the government there may be a

in the neighborhood. Do you keep a

Confederate flag
or a picture of

Robert E. Lee
in your home? Your electrician had
better pop such information into the national database
so the feds and the local

Thought Police
can check you out the next time a
bomb explodes or a hate crime happens.

Talk about the

"Red Scare,"

Hollywood blacklisting
, the excesses of

J. Edgar Hoover
or Richard Nixon, suspensions of
civil liberties during World War I and the

Civil War,

Alien and Sedition Acts
–but you probably have to go
back to the

Salem Witch Trials of 1692
to find anything quite
comparable to what the Bush administration is preparing
to set up.

This is not simply the enlargement
of government power over private life; this is the
extension of government power into private life. There
is a major and significant difference, the difference
between merely bloated government on the one hand and
systemic totalitarianism on the other.

Both the American Civil Liberties
Union and the conservative Rutherford Institute have
denounced the Bush plan. The ACLU

the TIPS plan is virtually identical to
searching citizens` homes without a warrant:

"The administration apparently
wants to implement a program that will turn local cable
or gas or electrical technicians into
government-sanctioned peeping Toms."

John Whitehead
of the Rutherford Institute says,
even more bluntly,  

"This is George Orwell`s `1984`. …
It`s making Americans into government snoops

The immediate rationale for TIPS
seems to be the presence of so many terrorist
sympathizers within the country. But why is that the

It`s because the government has
refused to control mass immigration for decades and now
confronts a

massive portion
of the national population that is
disaffected and potentially violent and hates our guts.
The TIPS scheme of course does nothing to address the
immigration problem.

Mass immigration
is now an integral part of our

political system;
it`s the Constitution that has to
be compromised.

Both the spokesmen for the ACLU
and the Rutherford Institute point out that the new spy
program will do nothing to

stop terrorism.
But it will do everything not only
to stifle political dissent and differentiation
in American political life but also to smother any
intellectual tendencies, even private ones, that deviate
from the narrow band of

permissible thought
and speech scripted by
television and Hollywood.

Who would dare harbor or express
such thoughts if his own household becomes a pipeline to
the police?

The United States does indeed face
a serious terrorist threat that has already taken

thousands of lives
, and it makes sense that, as in
any war, some freedom might have to be curbed to fight
and prevent future attacks.

But the road down which the Bush
administration is now lurching goes far beyond what is
necessary and will haunt law-abiding Americans long
after the present terrorist threat has vanished.


July 18, 2002