via Metafilter, some marvellously ironic TIPS-related info :

Some food for thought about civilians as informers, about a large number of informers… From the book “Republic of Fear, The Politics of Modern Iraq” by Kanan Makiya (originally published under the name Samir al-Khalil, a pseudonym):
“Nothing fragments group solidarity and self-confidence like the gnawing suspicion of having an informer in your midst. Therefore, to the extent that the public polices itself – a function of the number of informers – it inevitably disintegrates as an entity in its own right, separated from those who rule over it. Informer networks invade privacy and choke off all willingness to act in public or reflect upon politics, replacing these urges with a now deeply instilled caution. In so doing they destroy the reality of the public domain, relegating what little remains to a dark and shadowy existence. In such a world the more well-known violence of state institutions – executions, “disappearances”, murders, reprisals, torture – take on a new societal meaning. Nothing is as it seems, and nothing can be taken for granted. (Page 63 – edition 1989.)”
“The Ba’thist [the party in power in Iraq – IB] postulate that society depends for its very existence on having an unbreachable basic moral norm entails as a necessary consequence that all deviance is immediately and directly an act of treason. The new Arab order must be a seamless moral web. This is the fundamental source of the party’s coherence, and its license to violence. (Page 206.)”
“Once political identity is accepted as belief in an absolute moral imperative, and once morality itself is seen as a striving for perfection towards an unrealizable ideal, then no aspect of conduct is in principle outside the purview of the political organization of the state. Moreover, there is no way to avoid the implication that such all-embracing interference is justified. Justice as the problem of arbitrating between claims on society (rights) never arises, and is not expected to rise. (Page 208.)”
Politics Chafe My Scrote