Talk:Operation TIPS

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The following has been relocated from the former article by the same name; that article has been deleted as there are no links to it.

Although this info may be interesting in talk, it is not significant to the brief, quickly defunct Operation TIPS program. Artificial Intelligence 15:00, 17 Dec 2005 (EST)

Terrorism Information and Prevention System (TIPS) was a Ashcroft program to stop terrorism by getting citizens to report suspicious behavior. Like the Ad Council's pro-freedom ads, this too has a historical antecedent:

Perhaps an even more striking example of the pervasiveness of cold war thinking was the council's five-year campaign (1952-57) for the Ground Observer Corps, a civilian volunteer operation run by the U.S. Air Force and the Federal Civil Defense Administration from 1949 to 1959 to spot low-flying Soviet bombers that might launch a sneak nuclear attack on the United States. The corps recreated a similar wartime organization formed in the immediate aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
The air force and civil defense officials aimed at recruiting a corps of five hundred thousand volunteers to spend two hours a week as spotters at 19,400 observation posts in thirty-six states all across the country. Neither these goals of recruitment nor those of establishing "skywatch" posts to observe certain designated zones thought most likely to be used by Soviet bombers were, it seems, every fully attained, but the nation's actual defense suffered little for the shortfall.[52]
Volunteer spotters flooded reporting centers with sightings of planes that turned out to be civilian and commercial transport.[53] Late in 1953, Major General Walter E. todd, the commander of the Western Air Defense Force, said that the Ground Observer Corps was "useless in peacetime .. [because of] the deluge of reports of what was obviously friendly air traffic." [54]
Although many of its moving spirits and key figures were completely convinced of the imminetn danger to the United States ... the actual function of the corps ... was to overcome "public apathy" and mobilize public opinion around the idea of civil defense in order to sustain the enormous military expenditures of the cold war.[55]

(Robert Jackal and Janice M. Hirota, Image Makers, 50)

Carried source forward from Ad Council article:

  • Robert Jackall and Janice M. Hirota, The Image Makers: Advertising, Public Relations, and the Ethos of Advocacy (University of Chicago, 2000). ISBN 0226389162 (paperback: ISBN 0226389170)