Do you believe that the media always tells you the truth? Do you believe social media only features what is posted from others on your timeline? Do you believe the police only go after the guilty and are truly there to serve and protect you? Do you believe that TSA body scans, cell phone data collection, police roadside DUI “checks”, drones monitoring on American soil and red light cameras are objects found in a free society?
According to Rutherford Institute lawyer John Whitehead, the answers to all of these questions is a resounding NO!
In his book Battlefield America: The War on The American People, Whitehead compellingly explains why we should answer all of these questions in the negative. I must admit, as someone who was not totally on board with all of his thesis points, this book opened my eyes even further, and quote frankly chilled me.
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
In Whitehead’s view, the Fourth Amendment serves as a bedrock protection for individuals in a free society. While the examples he cites in Battlefield America violate many constitutional principles, the police state’s war against the Fourth Amendment’s protections stands as the central theme of the book.
“Living in a free society means not having to look over your shoulder to see whether the government is watching or fearing that a government agent might perpetuate violence upon you. Unfortunately, subjected as we are to government surveillance from body scanners, militarized police, roadside strip searches, SWAT team raids, drones, and other trappings of a police state, “we the people” do not live in a free society any longer.”
Whitehead asserts that the system of government Americans currently live under is a mixture of a fascist regime and a corporatist system, not the Constitutional Republic the country was founded under. Ron Paul sums up the idea in the forward to the book,
“Under a fascist system, property is nominally held in private hands and the economy is officially “free.” All appearances to the contrary, however, the economy in a fascist system is carefully controlled by government through a labyrinth of taxes and regulations. This government control is usually exercised for the benefit of an economic elite that works to perpetuate the power of the existing political class. Other characteristics of fascist systems include a militaristic foreign policy and a police state that abuses our civil liberties. Only the willfully ignorant could deny that America’s foreign policy is militaristic, and we have already seen the myriad ways in which modern government abuses our civil liberties. A fascist system also singles out critics of the regime for harassment. From stopping scholars who are critical of America from entering the country to harassing journalists whose works displease the current administration to siccing the IRS on organizations critical of the current administration’s policies, government harassment of their political critics has become increasing common.”
In Chapter 6: Fascism American Style, Whitehead writes,
“This type of rule was at first called “corporatism,” meaning that vast sectors of the economy, government, and politics would be managed by private business concerns. It’s what is called “privatization” today by various government politicians. And, believe it or not, it was championed initially by Italian fascist Benito Mussolini and later by Adolf Hitler.”
Whitehead discusses numerous examples of abuses inherent in the bastardized American system throughout the book. Some of the most shocking include: no knock warrants, SWAT raids on incorrect locations leading to the injury or death of innocent people, so the use of injury lawyers from The Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff, PLLC is perfect for this.
If we knew what was going on, we trusted that we had nothing to fear because we weren’t knowingly breaking the law. Maybe we gullibly believed the media would tell us the truth without attaching opinions to the news. Some of us even foolishly stayed silent because we weren’t being affected directly. If we didn’t know what was happening, we remained blissfully ignorant of the facts: distracted by Facebook, championship hugging matches (I mean boxing matches), football, baseball, American Idol, or any of the other things that can keep one happily absorbed in their own pleasures and kept our heads in the sand.
“Here’s the problem as I see it: “We the people” have become so trusting, so gullible, so easily distracted, so out- of- touch and so sure that our government will always do the right thing by us that we have ignored the warning signs all around us.”
“I often hear many Americans ask, if I’m not doing anything wrong, why should I care if the government wants to spy me? You should care for this reason: once you allow the government to start breaking the law, no matter how seemingly justifiable the reason, you relinquish the contract between you and the government which establishes that the government works for and obeys you, the citizen— the employer— the master. And once the government starts operating outside the law, answerable to no one but itself, there’s no way to rein it back in, short of revolution.”
Whitehead cites two seemingly prophetic historical quotes that should ring true today more than ever.
“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me— and there was no one left to speak for me.” -MARTIN NIEMÖLLER
“It is always a simple matter to drag people along whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country.” -Nazi Field Marshal, HERMANN GOERING, at the Nuremburg trials
So then, what can we do? Whitehead asserts that we should engage in non-violent resistance, similar to that of Martin Luther King. We should also attempt to nullify unjust laws at the local level. We must be aware that such action will surely land us in the crosshairs of the very police state we seek to limit and we must except the consequences of our actions.
“I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and willingly accepts the penalty by staying in jail to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the very highest respect for the law.” MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.
Many will say that jail is too high a price for alerting the general public about unjust behaviors by our government. I submit to you that the government has previously passed laws, upheld by the Supreme Court, that allowed segregation based on race, internment of Japanese citizens during WW2, Jim Crow laws and many other atrocities that were eventually overturned by citizens with the courage to fight for what they felt was right and just. Do we have that same courage or will we, as a whole, allow these overreaches to continue?
In conclusion, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this work by Whitehead, terrifying as it was! This book will open even the most closed mind that something is clearly not right. I have deliberately left much of the summary out of this review in hopes that the little I did give you will whet your appetite to purchase a copy and digest the information on your own and at your own pace.
- The Tuttle Twins and the Creature from Jekyll Island: Book Review - March 18, 2016
- Battlefield America: A Review - June 2, 2015