John Whitehead

John W. Whitehead
Newsbud Contributing Author & Analyst

John W. Whitehead is an attorney and author who has written, debated and practiced widely in the area of constitutional law and human rights. He is the president and spokesperson of The Rutherford Institute. Mr. Whitehead is the author of numerous books on a variety of legal and social issues, including A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Arkansas and a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Arkansas School of Law, and served as an officer in the United States Army from 1969 to 1971.

The Age of No Privacy: The Surveillance State Shifts Into High Gear

The government has become an expert in finding ways to sidestep what it considers “inconvenient laws” aimed at ensuring accountability and thereby bringing about government transparency and protecting citizen privacy. Indeed, it has mastered the art of stealth maneuvers and end-runs around the Constitution. It knows all too well how to hide its nefarious, covert, clandestine activities behind the classified language of national security and terrorism. And when that doesn’t suffice, it obfuscates, complicates, stymies or just plain bamboozles the public into remaining in the dark. Case in point: the National Security Agency has been diverting “internet traffic, normally safeguarded by constitutional protections, overseas in order to conduct unrestrained data collection on Americans.” It’s extraordinary rendition all over again, only this time it’s surveillance being outsourced instead of torture.

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Show Notes

“NSA's use of 'traffic shaping' allows unrestrained spying on Americans,” ZDNet

“More Than 50 Countries Helped the CIA Outsource Torture,” Wired

“File Says N.S.A. Found Way to Replace Email Program,” The New York Times

“Legal loopholes could allow wider NSA surveillance, researchers say,” CBS News

“NSA broke into Yahoo and Google data centers around world, report says,” CBS News

“NSA Ends Sept. 11-Era Surveillance Program,” NPR

“10 ways America has come to resemble a banana republic,” Salon

“Microsoft to follow Amazon into UK with cloud hosting service,” PC World

“Our Partners,” Domestic Surveillance Directorate

“The NSA is watching. So are Google and Facebook,” Los Angeles Times

“Dystopia, Digital Detoxes, And How 'Black Mirror' Helps Us Make Sense Of The Apple Watch,” Forbes

“Forget Credit Cards, Now You Can Pay With Your Eyes,” Smithsonian

“Rise of 'voiceprint' ID technology has privacy campaigners concerned,” The Guardian

“Google’s secret NSA alliance: The terrifying deals between Silicon Valley and the security state,” Salon

“The Details About the CIA's Deal With Amazon,” The Atlantic

“ATT, Verizon, Sprint Are Paid Cash By NSA For Your Private Communications,” Forbes

“What You Need To Know About The NSA Reform Bill Passing Through Congress,” ThinkProgress

The Age of No Privacy: The Surveillance State Shifts Into High Gear

Battlefield America: The War on the American People

Rutherford Institute

American Horror Story: The Shameful Truth About the Government’s Secret Experiments

It’s easy to denounce the full-frontal horrors carried out by the scientific and medical community within a totalitarian regime such as Nazi Germany. However, what do you do with a government that claims to be a champion of human rights while allowing its agents to engage in the foulest and most despicable acts of torture, abuse and human experimentation? Mind you, the U.S. government has seldom had its citizens’ best interests at heart. The government didn’t have our best interests at heart when it passed laws subjecting us to all kinds of invasive searches and surveillance, and censoring our speech and stifling our expression. It didn’t have our best interests at heart when it turned America into a battlefield and transformed law enforcement agencies into extensions of the military. Certainly the government did not have our best interests at heart when it conducted secret experiments on an unsuspecting populace—citizens and noncitizens alike—making healthy people sick by spraying them with chemicals, injecting them with infectious diseases and exposing them to airborne toxins. Bottom line: a government that repeatedly lies, breaks the laws, overreaches its authority and abuses its power can’t be trusted.

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Show Notes

“Ugly past of U.S. human experiments uncovered,” Associated Press

“NAZI MEDICAL EXPERIMENTS,” U.S. Holocaust Museum

“Secret World War II Chemical Experiments Tested Troops By Race,” NPR

“The Legacy of the CIA’s Secret LSD Experiments on America,” Time

“The Department of Homeland Security Will Test Bioterror Airflow in New York Subway System,” New York Magazine

“Spray-On DNA "Barcode" Tracks Harmful Chemicals,” Inside Science

“DNAtrax tracks tainted food with molecular bar code,” Gizmag

“DHS: A wasteful, growing, fear-mongering beast,” The Washington Post

“Secret Testing in the United States,” PBS

“When Prince Took on Reagan—And Chemtrails,” Daily Beast

“'One of the largest human experiments in history' was conducted on unsuspecting residents of San Francisco,” Business Insider

“President Obama Orders Behavioral Experiments On American Public,” Daily Caller

 American Horror Story: The Shameful Truth About the Government’s Secret Experiments

Battlefield America: The War on the American People

Rutherford Institute

Execution by Firing Squad: The Militarized Police State Opens Fire

Legally owning a gun in America could get you killed by a government agent. While it still technically remains legal to own a firearm in America, possessing one can now get you pulled over, searched, arrested, subjected to all sorts of surveillance, treated as a suspect without ever having committed a crime, shot at and killed. This same rule does not apply to government agents, however, who are armed to the hilt and rarely given more than a slap on the wrists for using their weapons to shoot and kill American citizens.

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Show Notes

“Police Shooting Innocent People Is One of the Most Common Forms of Gun Violence—It's Time We Understood That,” AlterNet

Tom Jackson, “Gun owner unarmed, unwelcome in Maryland,” The Tampa Tribune

Wynton Hall, “Washington State Bill to Search Gun Owner Homes First Introduced in 2005,” Breitbart

Jonathan Turley, “ACLU Files On Behalf Of Gun Owner Abusively Arrested By Philadelphia Police,” Jonathan Turley

David Sherfinski, “NRA: Federal surveillance policies could lead to gun registry,” Washington Times

Claire Healey, “NEW SMARTPHONE APP INVADES GUN OWNERS’ PRIVACY,” American Spectator

“U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Appeal in Second Amendment Case, Refuses to Prohibit Police from Using Lawful Gun Ownership as a Trigger for ‘No-Knock’ Police Raids,” The Rutherford Institute

Christopher Ingraham, “1 in 13 people killed by guns are killed by police,” The Washington Post

David French, “The Philando Castile Verdict Was a Miscarriage of Justice,” National Review

“Police Fatally Shoot Man During Traffic Stop, Aftermath Video Posted,” CBS Local

Mark Joseph Stern, “Appeals Court: Officer Who Shot and Killed Innocent Man in His Own Home Cannot Be Sued,” Slate

David French, “A Sad Supreme Court Case Highlights the Need for Smarter Second Amendment Jurisprudence,” National Review

Tom Jackson, “Gun owner unarmed, unwelcome in Maryland,” The Tampa Tribune

Adam Liptak, “A Liberal Case for Gun Rights Sways Judiciary,” The New York Times

Eloise Lee and Robert Johnson, “The Department Of Homeland Security Is Buying 450 Million New Bullets,” Business Insider

“Request for Quote for Ammunition,” Federal Business Opportunities

Michael Shank and Elizabeth Beavers, “America’s police are looking more and more like the military,” The Guardian

Peter Baker and Michael D. Shear, “Obama to ‘Put Everything I’ve Got’ Into Gun Control,” New York Times

Robert Johnson, “11 Incredible Weapons That Only America Has,” Business Insider

Thomas Jefferson, “Thomas Jefferson, Resolutions Relative to the Alien and Sedition Acts”

 Adam Gabbatt and Jon Swaine, “Times Square car crash driver told New York police he 'heard voices,'” The Guardian

Laurel Wamsley, “White Supremacist Charged With Killing 2 In Portland, Ore., Knife Attack,” NPR

Joseph Straw In Washington , Rocco Parascandola , Bev Ford And Chelsia Rose Marcius In Boston AND Larry Mcshane, “Bombs at Boston Marathon were made from pressure cookers and ball bearings,” NY Daily News

Awr Hawkins, “Study: Concealed Carry Saves Lives, Assault Weapon Ban Ineffective,” Breitbart

Kevin Carson, “Some Observations on the Gun Control Debate,” Counter Punch

Norman Cameron and R.H. Stevens, Hitler’s Table Talk 1941 – 1944: His Private Conversations

Execution by Firing Squad: The Militarized Police State Opens Fire

Battlefield America: The War on the American People

Rutherford Institute

The Futility of an Armed Revolt: There Will Be No Second American Revolution

What we are now experiencing is a civil war, devised and instigated in part by the U.S. government. The outcome for this particular conflict is already foregone: the police state wins. The objective: compliance and control. The strategy: destabilize the economy through endless wars, escalate racial tensions, polarize the populace, heighten tensions through a show of force, intensify the use of violence, and then, when all hell breaks loose, clamp down on the nation for the good of the people and the security of the nation.

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Show Notes

 “Officials prepare for convention security here,” The Philadelphia Inquirer

“FBI AND POLICE ARE KNOCKING ON ACTIVISTS’ DOORS AHEAD OF REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION,” The Intercept

“Gov’t Amasses Riot Police, Military Gear, And Opens Makeshift Prisons To Prepare For RNC,” MintPress News

“Cleveland activists wary of city plans to process thousands of arrests,” Reuters

“Report: Military may have to quell domestic violence from economic collapse,” Raw Story

“Remember the DHS Right Wing Extremist Report?” Daily KOS

“DHS Reports: Greatest Threat Is Domestic Right-Wing Extremism, Not ISIS,” FOX News Insider

“EPA, FDA stocking up on body armor during President Obama’s watch,” The Washington Times

“DHS ‘fusion centers’ portrayed as pools of ineptitude and civil liberties intrusions,” The Washington Post

“The 24 ways we're tracked on a regular basis reveal something disturbing about the future,” Tech Insider

“Why Operation Jade Helm 15 is freaking out the Internet — and why it shouldn’t be,” The Washington Post

“Covert warfare coming to Texas sparks some fears of federal takeover,” Houston Chronicle

“I thought he was going to shoot me.’ Unsuspecting middle school students terrified by active shooter drill,” The Washington Post

“Extract from Thomas Jefferson to William Stephens Smith,” (November 13, 1787)

“DHS intelligence report warns of domestic right-wing terror threat,” CNN

“NSA surveillance exposed,” CBS News

“Blacklisted,” The Intercept

“The Growing Right-Wing Terror Threat,” The New York Times

“Why the police in Baton Rouge look like they’re dressed for war,” The Washington Post

The Futility of an Armed Revolt: There Will Be No Second American Revolution

Battlefield America: The War on the American People

Rutherford Institute

 

Lynching Free Speech: The Intolerant State of America

The temperature is rising all across the nation. The “winter of our discontent” has given way to an overheated, sweltering summer in which shouting matches are skating dangerously close to becoming physical altercations. What most Americans don’t realize however is that the government has been anticipating and preparing for civil unrest for years now, as evidenced by the build-up of guns and tanks and militarized police and military training drills and threat assessments and extremism reports and surveillance systems and private prisons. The government doesn’t care about who you voted for in the presidential election or whether you think the Civil War was fought over states’ rights versus slavery. It doesn’t care about your race or gender or religion or sexual orientation. When the police state cracks down, it will not discriminate.

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Show Notes

Condoleezza Rice argues tearing down slave owners’ statues is ‘sanitizing’ history

When the Nazis Come Marching In

Confederate monuments, more than 700 across USA, aren't budging

Protests over Confederate statue shake Charlottesville, Virginia

The White-Supremacist Lineage of a Yale College

Federal officials grapple with how to display Confederate flag

Report: Military may have to quell domestic violence from economic collapse

Nat Hentoff, Living the Bill of Rights: How to Be an Authentic American

The Age of Intolerance

Been called a 'snowflake'? The 'it' new insult

Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

George Orwell, 1984

Lynching Free Speech: The Intolerant State of America

Battlefield America: The War on the American People

Rutherford Institute

The FBI: The Silent Terror of the Fourth Reich

With every passing day, the United States government borrows yet another leaf from Nazi Germany’s playbook: Secret police. Secret courts. Secret government agencies. Surveillance. Censorship. Intimidation. Harassment. Torture. Brutality. Widespread corruption. Entrapment. Indoctrination. Indefinite detention. These are not tactics used by constitutional republics, where the rule of law and the rights of the citizenry should reign supreme. Rather, they are the hallmarks of authoritarian regimes, where the only law that counts comes in the form of heavy-handed, unilateral dictates from a supreme ruler who uses a secret police to control the populace. That danger is now posed by the FBI, whose laundry list of crimes against the American people includes surveillance, disinformation, blackmail, entrapment, intimidation tactics, harassment, governmental overreach, abuse, misconduct, trespassing, enabling criminal activity, and damaging private property, and that’s just based on what we know.

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Editor's notation:
There is an inadvertent reference in this episode to Herbert Hoover instead of J. Edgar Hoover as FBI Director.

Show Notes

Robert Gellately: Backing Hitler: Consent and Coercion in Nazi Germany

Paul Craig Roberts: Gestapo America

Dr. Rafael Medoff: “The American Papers that Praised Hitler”

Christopher Hitchens: “Imagining Hitler”

Eric Lichtblau: “In Cold War, U.S. Spy Agencies Used 1,000 Nazis”

How Thousands Of Nazis Were ‘Rewarded’ With Life In The U.S.

The U.S. Government Turned Away Thousands of Jewish Refugees, Fearing That They Were Nazi Spies

How U.S. intelligence agencies used 1,000 Nazis as Cold War spies — then covered it up

SS Police State

The FBI Walks a Perilous Line Between Surveillance and Outright Spying

FBI program instructs teachers to report radical students

The FBI: An American Cheka

Robert Gellately: Backing Hitler: Consent and Coercion in Nazi Germany

Monitoring America

Employers can use FBI database for real-time background checks

James Comey: Statement Before the House Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies

How Hitler suspended the right to mail and telephone privacy

U.S. Postal Service Logging All Mail for Law Enforcement

The Gestapo Still Sets the Bar for Evil

Department of Pre-Crime

The Gestapo is Born

While Nixon Campaigned, the F.B.I. Watched John Lennon

Hitler’s Silent Partners

The FBI: The Silent Terror of the Fourth Reich

Battlefield America: The War on the American People

Rutherford Institute

‘We the Police State’: The Rise of the Political Psychopath

When our own government no longer sees us as human beings with dignity and worth but as things to be manipulated, maneuvered, mined for data, manhandled by police, conned into believing it has our best interests at heart, mistreated, jailed if we dare step out of line, and then punished unjustly without remorse—all the while refusing to own up to its failings—we are no longer operating under a constitutional republic. Instead, what we are experiencing is a pathocracy: tyranny at the hands of a psychopathic government, which operates against the interests of its own people except for favoring certain groups. In other words, the Corporate elite and the shadow government are working behind the scenes to control us.

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Show Notes

Are Politicians Psychopaths?

Q: What's the difference between a politician and a psychopath? A: None

Congressmen Come and Go, but Corruption Is Here to Stay

The Startling Accuracy of Referring to Politicians as Psychopaths

The Road to Pathocracy

Dirty Tricks, Traffic Studies, And Why Sociopaths Flourish In Politics

In Praise of Empty Souls—Can We Learn From Psychopaths?

You’re as Evil as Your Social Network—What the Prison Experiment Got Wrong

From Democracy to Pathocracy: The Rise of the Political Psychopath

Battlefield America: The War on the American People

Rutherford Institute

The Republic Has Fallen: The Deep State’s Plot to Take Over America Has Succeeded

No doubt about it. The coup d’etat has been successful. The Deep State—a.k.a. the police state a.k.a. the military industrial complex—has taken over and is moving toward a global empire. The American system of representative government has been overthrown by a profit-driven, militaristic corporate state bent on total control and global domination through the imposition of martial law at home and by fomenting wars abroad. When in doubt, follow the money trail.  It always points the way. Every successive American president starting with Franklin D. Roosevelt has been bought—lock, stock and barrel—and made to dance to the tune of the Deep State. Enter Donald Trump, the candidate who swore to drain the swamp in Washington DC. Instead of putting an end to the corruption, however, Trump has paved the way for lobbyists, corporations, the military industrial complex, and the Deep State to feast on the carcass of the dying American republic. This is how you keep the Deep State in power: the rich will get richer, the poor will get poorer, the military will get more militaristic, America’s endless wars will get more endless, and the prospect of peace will grow ever dimmer. The “government of the people, by the people, for the people” has perished. America is a profitable business interest for a very select few, and war—wars waged abroad against shadowy enemies and wars waged at home against the American people—has become the Deep State’s primary means of income. The Constitution doesn’t stand a chance against a federalized, globalized standing army protected by legislative, judicial and executive branches that are all on the same side, no matter what political views they subscribe to: suffice it to say, they are not on our side or the side of freedom.

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Show Notes

Seven Days in May

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Farewell Address to the Nation (1961)

Michael A. Cohen, “Trump promised to drain the swamp. How’s that going?” Boston Globe

Emily Cadei, “The 'Swamp' Donald Trump Promised to 'Drain' Is Growing Again,” Newsweek

Gregory Korte, “In speech to Muslim leaders, Trump condemns 'Islamic extremism,'” USA Today

Alex Ward, “What America’s new arms deal with Saudi Arabia says about the Trump administration,” Vox

Uri Friedman, “Where America's Terrorists Actually Come From,” The Atlantic (Jan. 30, 2017)

Bertram Gross, Friendly Fascism: The New Face of Power in America (1980)

“Dr. Martin Luther King in 1967: ‘We as a Nation Must Undergo a Radical Revolution of Values”

“"Tree of Liberty" letter from Thomas Jefferson to William Smith”

“US Has Long History of Overseas Military Operations,” Voice of America News

“Cost of National Security,” National Priorities Project

Joan M. Bondareff, “Congress Funds The Agencies And Looks Ahead To FY2015,” Mondaq

“Carper Encourages States To Prepare Applications For Preparedness Grants,” HSToday

Jennifer Levitz, “Towns Say 'No Tanks' to Militarized Police,” Wall Street Journal

“Black Hawks Used In Military Training Exercise In Miami,” CBS Miami

Jacqueline Joyner, “Blackhawk helicopters buzz Chicago skies for training exercise,” MyFOX Chicago

“Downtown Mpls. Becomes Black Hawk Helicopter Training Zone,” CBS Minnesota

Maria Cramer, “Police response training planned, but bombs hit first,” Boston Globe

Julie Hirschfeld Davis, “Trump’s Budget Cuts Deeply Into Medicaid and Anti-Poverty Efforts,” The New York Times

Maureen Groppe, “Trump budget cuts safety net programs, hitting states that voted for him,” USA Today

Craig Whitlock and Bob Woodward, “Pentagon buries evidence of $125 billion in bureaucratic waste,” The Washington Post

Ellen Mitchell, “Pentagon's overpriced fuel leads to slush fund allegations: report,” The Hill

The Republic Has Fallen: The Deep State’s Plot to Take Over America Has Succeeded

Battlefield America: The War on the American People

Rutherford Institute

America’s Reign of Terror: A Nation Reaps What It Sows

The U.S. government isn’t protecting us from terrorism. The U.S. government is creating the terror. It is, in fact, the source of the terror. Just think about it for a minute: almost every tyranny being perpetrated against the citizenry—purportedly to keep us safe and the nation secure—has come about as a result of some threat manufactured in one way or another by the U.S. government. Cyberwarfare. Terrorism. Bio-chemical attacks. The nuclear arms race. Surveillance. The drug wars. In almost every instance, the U.S. government has in its typical Machiavellian fashion sown the seeds of terror domestically and internationally in order to expand its own totalitarian powers. As constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead makes clear, it’s time to wake up and stop being deceived by government propaganda. We’re not dealing with a government that exists to serve its people, protect their liberties and ensure their happiness. Rather, these are the diabolical machinations of a make-works program carried out on an epic scale whose only purpose is to keep the powers-that-be permanently employed and rolling in money.

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Show Notes

Leaked NSA Malware Is Helping Hijack Computers Around the World

US government is now the biggest buyer of malware, Reuters reports

America's weapons of mass destruction: By the numbers

The US Government Is Literally Arming the World, and Nobody's Even Talking About It

Nuclear weapons timeline

The Arming of Iraq

Bin Laden Comes Home to Roost

The Sting: How the FBI Created a Terrorist

Amnesty report: ISIS armed with U.S. weapons

Over and over again, the military has conducted dangerous biowarfare experiments on Americans

U.S. cyberwar strategy stokes fear of blowback

The Deafness Before the Storm

Chalmers Johnson, “Introduction,” Blowback

Chalmers Johnson, “Blowback,” The Nation

America’s Reign of Terror: A Nation Reaps What It Sows

Battlefield America: The War on the American People

Rutherford Institute

The Government IS the Enemy of Freedom

On paper, we may be technically free. In reality, however, we are only as free as a government official may allow. We only think we live in a constitutional republic, governed by just laws created for our benefit. Truth be told, we live in a dictatorship disguised as a democracy where all that we own, all that we earn, all that we say and do—our very lives—depends on the benevolence of government agents and corporate shareholders for whom profit and power will always trump principle. And now the government is litigating and legislating its way into a new framework where the dictates of petty bureaucrats carry greater weight than the inalienable rights of the citizenry. Not only do we no longer have dominion over our bodies, our families, our property and our lives, but the government continues to chip away at what few rights we still have to speak freely and think for ourselves. Protest laws, free speech zones, bubble zones, trespass zones, anti-bullying legislation, zero tolerance policies, hate crime laws and a host of other legalistic maladies dreamed up by politicians and prosecutors are conspiring to corrode our core freedoms purportedly for our own good. Yet no matter how you package these laws, no matter how well-meaning they may sound, no matter how much you may disagree with the protesters or sympathize with the objects of the protest, these proposed laws are aimed at one thing only: discouraging dissent.

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Show Notes

George Carlin: It's Bad for Ya!

GOP lawmakers try to rein in mass protests with new state laws

Arizona Senate votes to seize assets of those who plan, participate in protests that turn violent

Bills Across The Country Could Increase Penalties For Protesters

Republican lawmakers introduce bills to curb protesting in at least 18 states

Proposed laws would crack down on protesters who block roadways

SD Senate Panel Passes Protest Bill Over Tribes’ Objections

US states propose new laws which could stop people protesting against Donald Trump

Republican lawmaker targets Indiana protesters obstructing traffic

Senate backs new police safety effort that some worry hurts protesters

Lawmakers in Ten States Have Proposed Legislation Criminalizing Peaceful Protest

Bill stemming from pipeline protests passes Oklahoma House committee

GOP House approves big fines for “mass picketing”

TSA Warns Local Police About Its New Airport Pat-Downs

John F. Kennedy, “Address on the first Anniversary of the Alliance for Progress”

Martin Luther King Jr.'s 'Letter From Birmingham Jail'

The Government Is Still the Enemy of Freedom

Battlefield America: The War on the American People

Rutherford Institute

Children of the American Police State: Just Another Brick in the Wall

It’s difficult enough raising a child in a world ravaged by war, disease, poverty and hate, but when you add the police state into the mix, it becomes near impossible to guard against the growing unease that some of the monsters of our age come dressed in government uniforms. The lesson being taught to our youngest—and most impressionable—citizens is this: in the American police state, you’re either a prisoner (shackled, controlled, ordered about, limited in what you can do and say, and your life is not your own) or you’re a prison bureaucrat (politician, police officer, judge, jailer, spy, profiteer, and so on). Then there is what kids are being taught in school. Unfortunately, as constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead makes clear, America’s public schools have become microcosms of the American police state, containing almost every aspect of the militarized, intolerant, senseless, overcriminalized, legalistic, surveillance-riddled, totalitarian landscape that plagues us adults. Indeed, if your child is fortunate enough to survive his encounter with the public schools with his individuality and freedoms intact, you should count yourself fortunate. Most students are not so lucky.

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Show Notes

Pink Floyd - Another Brick In The Wall (HQ) - YouTube

Father ‘utterly terrified’ after trooper points gun at his 7-year-old during traffic stop

Police kill family dog at child's birthday party

Baltimore County Police Fatally Shoot

Legal group goes to bat for eighth-grader suspended for using oregano in pot prank

Brickbats

Birth-Control Pill Lands Fairfax Student 2-Week Suspension, Possible Expulsion

Virginia school suspends an 11-year-old for one year over a leaf that wasn’t marijuana

Here Are 10 Outrageous 'Zero Tolerance' Follies

Colorado girl shaves head for pal with cancer, gets temporarily suspended

Student punished for saying "bless you"

Study: Nearly 1 in 3 will be arrested by age 23

This Is Where Students Get Suspended From School The Most

Fact Sheet on School Discipline and the Pushout Problem

A South Carolina Student Was Arrested for ‘Disturbing a School’ When She Challenged Police Abuse

Do Cops in Schools Do More Harm Than Good?

Federal Judge Rules Alabama High Schools Violated Students' Rights by Pepper-Spraying Them

Chokeholds, Brain Injuries, Beatings: When School Cops Go Bad

A Recipe for Disaster: School Cops Are Being Armed with 50,000-Volt Tasers

Selling Fear: The First US School Installs A Shooting Detection System

Federal Program Supplies Surplus Military Gear to Schools

Militarization of School Police: One Route on the School-to-Prison Pipeline

School Resource Officers: Safety Priority or Part of the Problem?

Pennsylvania Seeks to Close Books on “Kids for Cash” Scandal

Private Prison Empire Rises Despite Startling Record Of Juvenile Abuse

Police in schools: Keeping kids safe, or arresting them for no good reason?

Children of the American Police State: Just Another Brick in the Wall

Battlefield America: The War on the American People

Rutherford Institute

The Right to Tell the Government to Go to Hell: Free Speech in an Age of Government Bullies, Corporate Censors and Compliant Citizens

Free speech is not for the faint of heart. As George Orwell, author of 1984, noted: “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” Unfortunately, our appreciation for a robust freedom of speech has worn thin over the years. Societies that cherish free speech relish open debates and controversy and, in turn, produce a robust citizenry who will stand against authoritarian government. Indeed, oppressive regimes of the past have understood the value of closed-mouthed, closed-minded citizens and the power inherent in controlling speech and, thus, controlling how a people view their society and government. Case in point: the United States government has a ravenous appetite for power and a seeming desire to turn the two-way dialogue that is our constitutional republic into a one-way dictatorship. Emboldened by phrases such as “hate crimes,” “bullying,” “extremism” and “microaggressions,” the government is whittling away at free speech, confining it to carefully constructed “free speech zones,” criminalizing it when it skates too close to challenging the status quo, shaming it when it butts up against politically correct ideals, and muzzling it when it appears dangerous. Free speech is no longer free.

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Show Notes

The Confederate flag, the First Amendment and public schools

The Coddling of the American Mind

The Ever-Expanding Concept of ‘Bullying’ Casts an Ominous Shadow Over Free Speech

The Delete Squad

U.S. meets tech leaders, forms task force to fight online militants

Free Speech Isn't Free

Justice Brandeis, Concurrence in Whitney v. California (1927), U.S. Supreme Court

The Right to Tell the Government to Go to Hell: Free Speech in an Age of Government Bullies, Corporate Censors and Compliant Citizens

Battlefield America: The War on the American People

Rutherford Institute

Stealing from the Citizenry: How Government Goons Use Civil Asset Forfeiture to Rob Us Blind

In jolly old England, Robin Hood stole from the rich to give to the poor. In modern-day America, greedy government goons steal from the innocent to give to the corrupt under court- and legislature-sanctioned schemes called civil asset forfeiture. In fact, one year, law enforcement took more stuff from people than burglars did. Police agencies have used their ill-gotten gains to pay for illicit drugs, prostitutes, guns, armored cars, electronic surveillance gear, luxury vehicles, travel and a clown named Sparkles. This is how the American police state continues to get rich: by stealing from the citizenry. It’s a new, twisted form of guilt by association. Only it’s not the citizenry being accused of wrongdoing, just their money. What this adds up to is a paradigm in which Americans no longer have to be guilty to be stripped of their property, rights and liberties. All you have to be is in possession of something the government wants. This is what has become known as “policing for profit.” We are now ruled by a government so consumed with squeezing every last penny out of the population as to be completely unconcerned if essential freedoms are trampled in the process. Our freedoms aren’t just being trampled, however. They’re being eviscerated. At every turn, “we the people” are getting swindled, cheated, conned, robbed, raided, pickpocketed, mugged, deceived, defrauded, double-crossed and fleeced by governmental and corporate shareholders of the American police state out to make a profit at taxpayer expense. Enough is enough.

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 Show Notes

Policing for Profit: The Abuse of Civil Asset Forfeiture

Law enforcement took more stuff from people than burglars did last year

DEA regularly mines Americans' travel records to seize millions in cash

Justice Thomas Defends Victims of “Policing for Profit”

Texas police shake down drivers, lawsuit claims

Illinois Traffic Stop Of Star Trek Fans Raises Concerns About Drug Searches, Police Dogs, Bad Cops

Highway robbery? Texas police seize black motorists' cash, cars

Tennessee Asset Forfeiture Bill Seeks To Abolish Abusive Police Practice

'Innocent until proven guilty' should mean what it says

Hidden cameras reveal airport workers stealing from luggage

Drug cops took a college kid’s savings and now 13 police departments want a cut

DEA Steals $16,000 In Cash From Young Black Man, Because He Must Be A Drug Dealer

How the TSA and Drug Enforcement Administration Joined Forces to Seize Cash at Airports

Drug Dealing and Legal Stealing

Feds Give Up Trying to Seize a Motel Based on Drug Offenses by a Few Guests

Police Seize Car, Drive 56,000 Miles, Sell It Without Charging Owners With a Crime

Illinois Traffic Stop Of Star Trek Fans Raises Concerns About Drug Searches, Police Dogs, Bad Cops

Asset seizures fuel police spending

Trump hosts LE at White House, pledges support for police

Jeff Sessions Loves Asset Forfeiture. Will Congress Grill Him at His Confirmation Hearing

Police Union Head Wonders Why Everybody Suddenly Wants Them to Stop Stealing People’s Stuff

Massachusetts Body of Liberties

Stealing from the Citizenry: How Government Goons Use Civil Asset Forfeiture to Rob Us Blind

Battlefield America: The War on the American People

Rutherford Institute

Death at Your Door: Knock-and-Talk Police Tactics Rip a Hole in the Constitution

This is what passes for “knock-and-talk” policing in the American police state. “Knock-and-shoot” policing might be more accurate, however. Whatever you call it, this aggressive, excessive police tactic has become a thinly veiled, warrantless exercise by which citizens are coerced and intimidated into “talking” with heavily armed police who “knock” on their doors in the middle of the night. Winston Churchill once declared that “democracy means that if the doorbell rings in the early hours, it is likely to be the milkman.” Clearly, we don’t live in a democracy. No, in the American police state, when you find yourself woken in the early hours by someone pounding on your door, smashing through your door, terrorizing your family, killing your pets, and shooting you if you dare to resist in any way, you don’t need to worry that it might be burglars out to rob and kill you: it’s just the police.

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Show Notes

Michigan Supreme Court hears oral arguments in ‘knock and talk’ marijuana butter case

Young v. Borders, Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals

Appeals Court: Officer Who Shot and Killed Innocent Man in His Own Home Cannot Be Sued

Judge rules Lake deputy was justified in fatal shooting

A taste of SCOTUS nominee Neil Gorsuch's western wisdom

Death at Your Door: Knock-and-Talk Police Tactics Rip a Hole in the Constitution

Battlefield America: The War on the American People

Rutherford Institute

The Iron Jaws of the Police State: Trump’s America Is a Constitution-Free Zone

“Policing is broken... It has evolved as a paramilitary, bureaucratic, organizational arrangement that distances police officers from the communities they’ve been sworn to protect and serve. When we have shooting after shooting after shooting that most people would define as at least questionable, it’s time to look, not just at a few bad apples, but the barrel. And I’m convinced that it is the barrel that is rotted.”— Norm Stamper, former Seattle police chief

Please.

Somebody give Attorney General Jeff Sessions a copy of the Constitution.

And while you’re at it, get a copy to President Trump, too.

In fact, you might want to share a copy with the nation’s police officers, as well.

I have my doubts that any of these individuals—all of whom swore to uphold and defend the Constitution—have ever read any of the nation’s founding documents.

Had they actually read and understood the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights, there would be no militarized police, no mass surveillance, no police shootings of unarmed individuals, no SWAT team raids, no tasering of children, no asset forfeiture schemes or any of the other government-sanctioned abuses that get passed off as law and order these days.

We’ve got serious problems in this country, and they won’t be solved on the golf course, by wining and dining corporate CEOs, giving local police forces more military equipment, locking down the nation, or pretending that the only threats to our freedoms are posed by forces beyond our borders or by “anti-government” extremists hiding among us.

So far, Trump’s first 100 days in office have been no different from Obama’s last 100 days, at least when it comes to the government’s ongoing war on our freedoms.

Government corruption remains at an all-time high.

Police shootings and misconduct have continued unabated.

The nation’s endless wars continue to push us to the brink of financial ruin.

And “we the people” are still being treated as if we have no rights, are entitled to no protections, and exist solely for the purpose of sustaining the American police state with our hard-earned tax dollars.

Just take the policing crisis in this country, for instance.

Sessions—the chief lawyer for the government and the head of the Justice Department, which is entrusted with ensuring that the nation’s laws are faithfully carried out and holding government officials accountable to abiding by their oaths of office to “uphold and defend the Constitution”—doesn’t think we’ve got a policing problem in America.

In fact, Sessions thinks the police are doing a great job (apart from “the individual misdeeds of bad actors,” that is).

For that matter, so does Trump.

Really, really great.

Indeed, Sessions thinks the nation’s police forces are doing such a great job that they should be rewarded with moremilitary toys (weapons, gear, equipment) and less oversight by the Justice Department.

As for Trump, he believes “the dangerous anti-police atmosphere in America is wrong” and has vowed to “end it.”

Excuse me for a moment while I flush what remains of the Constitution down the toilet.

Clearly, Trump has not been briefed on the fact that it has never been safer to be a cop in America. According toNewsweek, “it’s safer to be a cop than it is to simply live in many U.S. cities... It’s safer to be a cop than it is to live in Baltimore. It’s safer to be a cop than it is to be a fisher, logger, pilot, roofer, miner, trucker or taxi driver. It’s safer to be a cop today than it’s been in years, decades, or even a century, by some measures.”

You know what’s dangerous?

Being a citizen of the American police state.

Treating cops as deserving of greater protections than their fellow citizens.

And training cops to think and act like they’re soldiers on a battlefield.

As journalist Daniel Bier warns, “If you tell cops over and over that they’re in a war, they’re under siege, they’re under attack, and that citizens are the enemy—instead of the people they’re supposed to protect—you’re going to create an atmosphere of fear, tension, and hostility that can only end badly, as it has for so many people.”

Frankly, if there’s a war taking place in this country, it’s a war on the American people.

After all, we’re the ones being shot at and tasered and tracked and beaten and intimidated and threatened and invaded and probed.

And what is the government doing to fix this policing crisis that threatens the safety of every man, woman and child in this country?

Not a damn thing.

Incredibly, according to a study by the American Medical Association, police-inflicted injuries send more than 50,000 Americans to hospital emergency rooms every year.

Yet as Slate warns, if you even dare to criticize a police officer let alone challenge the myth of the hero cop—a myth “used to legitimize brutality as necessary, justify policies that favor the police, and punish anyone who dares to question police tactics or oppose the unions’ agendas”— you will be roundly denounced “as disloyal, un-American, and dangerous.”

As reporter David Feige concludes, “We should appreciate the value and sacrifice of those who choose to serve and protect. But that appreciation should not constitute a get-out-of-jail-free card for the vast army of 800,000 people granted general arrest powers and increasingly armed with automatic weapons and armored vehicles.”

Vast army.

Equipped with deadly weapons.

Empowered with arrest powers.

Immune from accountability for wrongdoing.

What is this, Hitler’s America?

Have we strayed so far from our revolutionary roots that we no longer even recognize tyranny when it’s staring us in the face?

The fact that police are choosing to fatally resolve encounters with their fellow citizens by using their guns speaks volumes about what is wrong with policing in America today, where police officers are being dressed in the trappings of war, drilled in the deadly art of combat, and trained to look upon “every individual they interact with as an armed threat and every situation as a deadly force encounter in the making.”

Mind you, the federal government is the one responsible for turning our police into extensions of the military, having previously distributed billions of dollars’ worth of military equipment to local police agencies, including high-powered weapons, assault vehicles, drones, tactical gear, body armor, weapon scopes, infrared imaging systems and night-vision goggles—equipment intended for use on the battlefield—not to mention federal grants for militarized training and SWAT teams.

Thus, despite what Attorney General Sessions wants you to believe, the daily shootings, beatings and roadside strip searches (in some cases, rape) of American citizens by police are not isolated incidents.

Likewise, the events of recent years are not random occurrences: the invasive surveillance, the extremism reports, the civil unrest, the protests, the shootings, the bombings, the military exercises and active shooter drills, the color-coded alerts and threat assessments, the fusion centers, the transformation of local police into extensions of the military, the distribution of military equipment and weapons to local police forces, the government databases containing the names of dissidents and potential troublemakers.

Rather, these developments are all part of a concerted effort to destabilize the country, institute de facto martial law disguised as law and order, and shift us fully into the iron jaws of the police state.

So, no, the dramatic increase in police shootings are not accidents.

It wasn’t an “accident” that 26-year-old Andrew Lee Scott, who had committed no crime, was gunned down by police who knocked aggressively on the wrong door at 1:30 am, failed to identify themselves as police, and then repeatedly shot and killed Scott when he answered the door while holding a gun in self-defense. Police were investigating a speeding incident by engaging in a middle-of-the-night “knock and talk” in Scott’s apartment complex.

It wasn’t an “accident” when Levar Edward Jones was shot by a South Carolina police officer during a routine traffic stop over a seatbelt violation as he was in the process of reaching for his license and registration. The trooper justified his shooting of the unarmed man by insisting that Jones reached for his license “aggressively.”

It wasn’t an “accident” when Francisco Serna, a 73-year-old grandfather with early-stage dementia, was shot and killed by police for refusing to remove his hand from his pocket. Police were investigating an uncorroborated report that Serna had a gun, but it turned out he was holding a crucifix and made no aggressive movements before he was gunned down.

It wasn’t an “accident” when Nandi Cain, Jr., was thrown to the ground, choked and punched over a dozen times by a police officer after the officer stopped Cain for jaywalking.  Cain made no aggressive moves toward the officer, and had even removed his jacket to show the officer he had no weapon.

It wasn’t an “accident” when 65-year-old Thomas Smith, suffering from Parkinson’s Disease, called 911 because of a medical problem only to have his home raided by a SWAT team. Smith was thrown to the ground and placed in handcuffs because his condition prevented him from following police instructions.

It wasn’t an “accident” when John Wrana, a 95-year-old World War II veteran, died after being shot multiple times by a police officer with a Mossberg shotgun during a raid at Wrana’s room at an assisted living center. This, despite the fact that there were five police officers on the scene to subdue Wrana, who used a walker to get around and was “armed” with a shoehorn and not a knife, as police assumed.

It wasn’t an “accident” when a 10-year-old boy was subdued by two police officers using a taser because the child became unruly at the day care center he attended.

It wasn’t an “accident” when police in South Dakota routinely subjected persons, some as young as 3 years old, to catheterizations in order to forcibly obtain urine samples.

It wasn’t an “accident” when Charles Kinsey, a behavioral therapist, was shot by police as he was trying to help an autistic patient who had wandered away from his group home and was sitting in the middle of the road playing with a toy car. The officer who shot Kinsey was reportedly told that neither Kinsey nor the patient had a weapon.

It wasn’t an “accident” when Frank Arnal Baker was mauled by a police dog and kicked by an officer for not complying quickly enough with a police order. Baker, who had done nothing wrong, spent two weeks in the hospital with fractured ribs and collapsed lungs and needed skin grafts for the dog-bite injuries.

No, none of these incidents were accidents.

Nor are they isolated, anecdotal examples of a few bad actors, as Sessions insists.

Far from being isolated or anecdotal, police misconduct cases have become so prevalent as to jeopardize the integrity of all of the nation’s law enforcement agencies.

Unfortunately, as I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, this is what happens when you allow so-called “law and order” to matter more than justice: corruption flourishes, injustice reigns and tyranny takes hold.

Yet no matter what Trump and Session seem to believe, nowhere in the Constitution does it say that Americans must obey the government.

Despite the corruption of Congress and the complicity of the courts, nowhere does the Constitution require absolute subservience to the government’s dictates.

And despite what most police officers seem to believe, nowhere does the Constitution state that Americans must comply with a police order.

To suggest otherwise is authoritarianism.

This is also, as abolitionist Frederick Douglass noted, the definition of slavery: “I didn’t know I was a slave until I found out I couldn’t do the things I wanted.”

You want to know what it means to be a slave in the American police state?

It means being obedient, compliant and Sieg Heil!-ing every government agent armed with a weapon. If you believe otherwise, try standing up for your rights, being vocal about your freedoms, or just challenging a government dictate, and see how long you last before you’re staring down the barrel of a loaded government-issued gun.

# # # #

John W. Whitehead is an attorney and author who has written, debated and practiced widely in the area of constitutional law and human rights. He is the president and spokesperson of the Rutherford Institute. Mr. Whitehead is the author of numerous books on a variety of legal and social issues, including Battlefield America: The War on the American People.  He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Arkansas and a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Arkansas School of Law, and served as an officer in the United States Army from 1969 to 1971.