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Dear list members, FYI. Best andreas A N U Assyrian News Watch * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Assyrian Chaldean Syriac --------------------------------------------------- Crative Loafing, Atlanta July 24, 2002 If Daddy isn't patriotic, turn him in Cable guys and truckers as spies? Are kids next? BY JOHN SUGG From: Lowlyreporter@creativeloafing.com To: Bigbosseditor@creativeloafing.com Hey, Chief, we can't find Sugg anywhere. Someone saw him sneaking around taking license numbers of the cars in the parking lot. Don't know what the hell that's all about. But I checked his computer and found the following e-mails. They're strange, even for Sugg. From: John Sugg To: GWB Just wanted to say thanks for letting me join the Terrorism Information and Prevention System (TIPS). I want you to know that I will be most vigilant, and will do my damndest to spot evil people and promptly report their activities. Just a few questions. Do we get, like, code rings or something? Maybe badges? That would be really cool. By the way, how did you get this idea? From: GWB To: Agent Sugg Well, as y'all know, I don't really get too many ideas. I have Dick for that. But the TIPS thing has been kicking around in the family for almost 70 years. You see, Granddaddy Prescott was a principal in New York's Union Banking Corp. in the 1930s and '40s. His podners were a bunch of good ol' boys from Germany who ran some big businesses and wore those cute little crooked crosses on their sleeves. Those folks were almost as Republican as the Carlyle Group honchos. You know how much we support multi-national business, right? Well, FDR came along and said Grandpappy was "trading with the enemy." Can you believe it? Just because our German pals were running factories that made guns and bombs that killed American GIs? FDR didn't understand that Union Bank was only business, just like Harken and Halliburton and Enron. That spoilsport FDR shut us down, but we made lots of money anyway. Heck, the family wouldn't have had a pot to piss in if it weren't for those nice conservative goose-steppers. Don't you just adore the way they had of clicking their heels? And we learned a few things from our German pals about how to deal with dissidents and critics and other lowlifes. Jes' kick in the door and pull them unpatriotic scum out by the hair. Get the facts later if you feel like it. So now you understand how we got the idea for TIPS. Sorry, no badges or rings, but you do get a sticker for your car. And we're considering a uniform, at least having matching shirts. How do you like brown? From: email@example.com To: Agent Sugg Welcome to TIPS. The organization will be -- as you can read on the official website -- "a nationwide program giving millions of American truckers, letter carriers, train conductors, ship captains, utility employees and others a formal way to report suspicious terrorist activity." Good luck hunting down terrorists! Be vigilant! Be My Type of Christian! Be Sneaky! And remember our motto: Who Needs a Bill of Rights When You Can Have the PATRIOT Law? J. Ashcroft From: Agent Sugg To: J. Ashcroft Millions of spooks? I mean, I thought this was an elite group of spies, and we'd all have code names and get lots of babes (or hunks depending on sex and persuasion). But millions???? Agent Sugg From: firstname.lastname@example.org To: Agent Sugg Yes, as many as 12 million snitches, er, I mean loyal Americans. We studied this and found the most effective similar operation was in the former East Germany, where the Stasi secret police did such a bang-up job at ferreting out traitors and those who might someday be traitors or those who in the future might think about being traitors. Our goal is to enlist 4 percent of all Americans as neighborhood snoops -- that's a much higher percentage than even the Stasi. It all begins next month, and you're part of it. Let's say you're a cable guy. You go to someone's home while you're hooking up the cable, you take a look at what the family is reading. Is a Bible prominently displayed? If not, make a note. If you see a Koran or any book by Gore Vidal, you immediately call the Gestap ... I mean, the FBI. Or maybe you drive a truck, and you see someone with an ACLU bumper sticker. You know they must "hate America," so you pass on the tip. We'd prefer you not run them off the road -- we do need to have a little chat with the vermin. We can be verrrrry persuasive now that we can secretly arrest people, try them in secret and even execute them by secret tribunals. That means if you hear someone say "habeas corpus," run for the phone and call Headquarters. Only bleeding heart liberals care about such folderol, and the fact they have to code their talk in a foreign language proves they must be Tools of International Terrorist Conspiracy from Hell (ITCH). J. Ashcroft From: Agent (maybe) Sugg To: J. Ashcroft Well, I guess. But I sort of thought I'd have a secret agent number. I knew it wouldn't be 007 or even 00132. But to find out I may end up as 003485722 is a little disappointing. Maybe I better study this a little more. Some questions come to mind. Who is going to sift through the mountain of tips that TIPS agents send in? I mean, it's not exactly like you guys didn't have tons of intelligence before 9-11. I keep reading (in foreign newspapers and the alternative press, but not the ever-so-loyal dailies) that you just didn't know what to do with the information, or you ignored it. The numbers are boggling. If every TIPSter just sends in one tip a day, pretty soon everyone in America will be fingered as "evil." Or, how are you going to stop people from just smearing someone they don't like? From: email@example.com To: Agent (?) Sugg You better watch those thoughts, son. From: John Sugg To: Editors list, Washington Post, NY Times, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, etc. Hey, guys, you know I've been thinking a bit about the government's TIPS program. In trying to find out about it, I was looking at your papers and didn't find much until a few days ago, even though the TIPS plan has been kicking around for months. Then I discovered that it was the Sydney Morning News that broke the story, a real slam dunk on you, my esteemed colleagues. That's Sydney as in Australia, by the way. Don't tell me you're afraid the TIPS folks will come looking for you if you get too aggressive. From: John Sugg To: ACLU CC: FBI (they're probably reading your e-mail anyway) What's your take on this TIPS program? From: Gerry Webber, ACLU/Georgia To: John Sugg I think it creates a peeping tom crew of cable guys and postmen. The Fourth Amendment requires a warrant to intrude upon one's home -- your castle as it were -- and this is a blatant attempt to circumvent that constitutional protection. We should be able to freely invite folks into our homes as friends, not warily as potential spies. From: John Sugg To: Chip Berlet Hey, Chip, you're a veteran investigative reporter who knows a lot about our intelligence (or lack-of-intelligence) agencies. What do you think of TIPS? From: Berlet To: Sugg It's a suggestion that would make George Orwell's chief of the Thought Police blush. It's so appalling that it's hard to find a glib quote that's sufficiently disdainful of the idea. It's chilling to think of government turning your neighbors and children into the Thought Police. It's un-American and anti-democracy to train a vast army of informers. We're going to create exactly the kind of police state the right-wing militias and left-wing activists are afraid of. No one paid attention to the fringes, but it looks as if they were right after all. From: Sugg To: Berlet Ouch. To: GWB From: Ex-Agent Sugg Don't go thinking I'm wimping out or anything, but it's best for me to resign from TIPS. Sorry. Yours in mindless patriotism, John From: PreciousAmy@sugghousehold.com To: Pops Hi, Daddy. Just wanted to let you know that I was playing the Harry Potter game on your computer and I saw that stuff on TIPS. I thought you'd be really proud of me if I joined, too. Well, I've been a member now for almost two weeks. Then I remembered you have all those books, like the ones by Noam Chomsky and Michael Moore and even Pat Buchanan. And, I sometimes peek at Creative Loafing and read your columns. Oh, boy! You've been really naughty, haven't you? Well, I hope you don't mind, Daddy, but I turned you in. Before they come and take you to Guantanamo (I told the TIPS special agent to try and get you a real nice cage), do you think we can go to the mall for some more Barbie dolls? The new Storm Trooper Barbie is on sale now. Your Loving (and Patriotic) Daughter From: firstname.lastname@example.org To: John Sugg John, I've been following this discussion from, well, afar. Be comforted. You'll soon love Big Brother. Two plus two does equal five. Senior Editor and Wannabe Spook John Sugg -- who says he lusted to join the FBI when J. Edgar Hoover was running things, "but I look terrible in evening gowns and heels" -- can be reached at 404-614-1241 or at email@example.com. Sugg has this confession to make: "Some of the above e-mails are a little made up. But some are real. You guess which is which. The tale of Prescott Bush and the Nazis is solid history, however." _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. 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