A UPS driver with 25 years of driving experience wrote an Op-Ed piece forThe New York Times that suggests the U.S. Dept. of Justice's Terrorism Information and Prevention System (TIPS) is not a good idea.
"A program that asks people like us to do surveillance is a dangerous overreaction," wrote Butch Traylor in the piece that was published July 31. "It threatens the trust we've built in the communities we serve every day."
According to the Justice Dept., the idea of TIPS is to enlist the volunteer help of people who travel the highways and byways regularly to keep an eye out for any unusual terrorist activity.
Traylor compared the idea of TIPS to every other episode of "The Andy Griffith Show," focusing on Barney Fife's vigilantism. He added that this kind of thinking went out with the fall of European communism, under which citizens were encouraged to report on neighbors and even family members.
Traylor said Attorney General John Ashcroft has shown great courage since September 11, but that TIPS fosters fear instead of providing better security.
"It bothers me that those charged with defending our freedom would so cavalierly foster such an atmosphere of fear and suspicion," he wrote. "It bothers me to think that my postman might be paying more attention to where my mail is coming from than to where it's supposed to go."