Paul Craig Roberts
April 4, 2015
John W. Whitehead is a constitutional attorney. As head of the Rutherford Institute he is actively involved in defending our civil liberties. Being actively involved in legal cases, he experiences first hand the transformation of law from a shield of the American people into a weapon in the hands of the government.
American civil liberty was seriously eroded prior to 9/11 and the rise of the police/warfare state, a story I tell in How America Was Lost. Lawrence Stratton and I documented the loss of law as a shield of the American people in our book, The Tyranny of Good Intentions (2000, 2008). Whitehead in his book, A Government of Wolves (2013) and in his just released Battlefield America (2015) shows how quickly and thoroughly the police state has taken root.
We live in an electronic concentration camp. We are addicted to images on screens that disinform and propagandize us to accept and even welcome the police state activities that have destroyed our autonomy, privacy, and independence.
I write many columns on this subject. The advantage of a book is that it all comes together under one cover, and that is what Whitehead has done in Battlefield America.
“The outlook for civil liberties grows bleaker by the day, from the government’s embrace of indefinite detention for US citizens and armed surveillance drones flying overhead to warrantless surveillance of phone, email and Internet communications, and prosecutions of government whistle-blowers. The homeland is ruled by a police-industrial complex, an extension of the American military empire. Everything that our founding fathers warned against is now the new norm. The government has trained its sights on the American people. We have become the enemy. All the while, the American people remain largely oblivious.”
Whitehead gives it to us straight. We are continually abused in the name of protecting us. Ordinary Americans are subject to far worst abuse from government than they ever could be from criminals and terrorists, both of which are bogymen used to justify the government’s terrorism of the citizenry.
Four-year old children are handcuffed by police. Ninety-five year old citizens with walkers are body-slammed with their neck broken by police. War veterans without legs and wheelchair bound are shot and murdered by police. The police always justify their abuse and criminal acts by claiming they felt threatened. What kind of heavily armed police, usually together in gangs, is threatened by a four-year old, a 95-year old, a double amputee? The fact that police get away with this brutality shows their total lack of humanity and the total transformation of the purpose of police. Today a paranoid police protect not the public but the police state and themselves from an imaginary threatening public. We pay them to abuse and murder us.
On September 6, 7, and 8, 2014, the Washington Post reported that state and local police had become bandits, as in Mexico, who stop drivers in order to rob them. In “Stop and Seize,” the Washington Post reported that “aggressive police take hundreds of millions of dollars from motorists not charged with crimes.”
There are now training courses in which police are trained in the art of highway robbery. September 11, 2001, was used to create an industry that trains police in the aggressive techniques of highway interdiction. It is now routine for a traffic stop, whether justified or not, to result in the confiscation of your cash, other possessions, and your car itself. You can be robbed by police on the basis of their assumptions without being ticketed or charged with a crime.
Whitehead reports that in fiscal year 2012 the federal government alone seized $4.2 billion in assets despite the fact that in 80 percent of the cases no charge was issued.
Did you know that the school security industry is a $4.9 billion annual business that instills in youth acceptance of tyranny and punishments for infractions that are simply the normal behavior of youth?
Did you know that in 2006 a Halliburton subsidiary, Dick Cheney’s firm, was awarded a $385 million federal contract to build concentration camps in the US?
Did you know that Republicans have privatized the prison system and turned it into a $70 billion per year industry that demands ever more incarceration of citizens in order to drive profits. Consequently, 2.7 million American children now have at least one parent in prison, often on charges that would not constitute crimes in a civilized country.
US prison labor is now the cheapest form of labor available with prisoners paid between 93 cents and $4.73 per day. Prisoners make office furniture, work in call centers, fabricate body armor, take hotel reservations, work in slaughterhouses, manufacture textiles, shoes, and clothing, process agricultural products like milk and beef, package Starbucks coffee, shrink wrap software for Microsoft, sew lingerie for Victoria’s Secret, produce the military’s helmets, shirts, pants, tents, bags, canteens, and a variety of other equipment, make circuit boards for IBM, Texas Instruments and Dell. Sew McDonald’s uniforms, and perform labor services for Boeing, Motorola, Compaq, Revlon and Kmart.
Even the “mainstream” presstitute media has reported the US military drills in South Florida where military teams working with local police practiced rounding up American citizens for detention. The media has also reported the upcoming military occupations in Texas and Utah. There are protests but not on the level that a people conscious of the threat to their liberty would mount.
It seems clear that these are federal troops practicing control of the population which is being stripped of the constitutional right to hold government accountable. The pointless lockdown of Boston and its suburbs and the gratuitous house to house searches, a martial law exercise clearly prepared prior to the Boston Marathon Bombing, used fear created by the bombing, possibly a false flag operation, to teach the population compliance with, and acceptance of, martial law. The insouciant American population went along with it. If someone points out how they were manipulated, the fools scream “conspiracy theorist.”
The official explanation of the military exercises practicing population control in South Florida, Texas and Utah is that the military is practicing for overseas actions. Why then are local police involved? More likely we are witnessing drills described in the US Army’s 2010 publication, “Internment and Resettlement Operations.”
It is now routine for police to amuse themselves by carrying out strip searches and vaginal searches of women. Police go out of their way to provoke resistance so that they can beat, taser, and murder. If they can’t provoke it, they beat, taser, and murder anyway and claim their victim resisted arrest or threatened them. Have you noticed how the police find everyone threatening?
Whitehead shows that the educational system, entertainment, and television serve to indoctrinate and teach compliance. Television can do more than form public opinion. It is used to alter the worldview of the population. Our cars, household appliances, and smart homes are becoming devices designed to spy on us and report noncompliance. A society is being created in which there can be no autonomy and no freedom.
The technology that permits the electronic concentration camp is produced by thoughtless people who have no concern for liberty. How, Whitehead asks, do we maintain our humanity in the face of technologies designed to dehumanize us?
America now has preemptive prosecution. Whitehead reports that 95 percent of those convicted of terrorism between 2001 and 2010 were prosecuted not for deeds, but for beliefs, ideology, or religious affiliations.
The two most engaging chapters in Battleground America are “The Matrix” and “The Posthuman Era,” together a mere 17 pages. The fusion of machines with humans to which trans-humanists are committed will destroy human sensibility, memory, and morality, and probably humans themselves.
Corporate America is in it for the money. Whitehead tells us: “With every smartphone we buy, every GPS device we install, and every Twitter, Facebook, and Google account we open, we’re helping Corporate America build a dossier for its government counterparts on who we know, what we think, how we spend our money, and how we spend our time.”
Whitehead quotes Bill Joy, a cofounder of Sun Microsystems: “I think it is no exaggeration to say we are on the cusp of the further perfection of evil.”
Jim Edwards says, “we humans are now data bits.”
In the penultimate chapter, Whitehead tells us what we can do, a question that I am forever asked by readers. Whitehead says that armed revolt is not an option. He believes that the tens of millions, perhaps 100 million, Americans who have pistols, rifles, and shotguns are not only unorganized, but outgunned. The 21st century has been used to militarize state and local police forces and to brutalize their attitude toward the American public. Even police in small towns now have helicopters, armored personnel carriers, tanks, machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades, drones, night vision, heat sensors, sensors that can see through the walls of houses and into cars.
If this is not enough, in comes the National Guard or federal troops, Army Rangers, Navy Seals. Or simply the release of germs. Washington can deal with its citizens the same way it dealt with the indigenous peoples we call Indians. Washington has retained in its hands live smallpox, a deadly killer, and there now have been several generations of Americans who have not had smallpox vaccination, because the disease was eliminated by vaccination. All the government has to do is to release smallpox on resistant populations, and, of course, the government has numerous other such means.
How did it come to this?
In my opinion, as I so often write, Americans are distracted by sex, entertainment, the difficulty of providing for themselves and for families. They are locked into the disinformation that sustains the American Matrix, blinded by their patriotism and the 4th of July speeches and by their indoctrination that Americans are “exceptional and indispensable.” And, of course, by their ignorance and arrogance. Americans simply have no clue.
The purpose of the evil that masquerades as a government in Washington is to prevent those few Americans who do have a clue from informing the rest of the population. Whistleblowers are arrested and falsely prosecuted and imprisoned. Journalists have been intimidated into silence.
Now, to Whitehead’s answer to what can we do. He says that we can mount “militant nonviolent resistance.” This worked for Christians in the decomposing Roman Empire.
It worked for Mahatma Gandhi in India against the British colonialists. It was working for Martin Luther King in America before he was assassinated, most likely by the FBI.
Whitehead says that the mass of the citizenry cannot be assassinated. If citizens simply stop cooperating by listening to the lies on TV, by purchasing the devices used to control them, by amusing themselves in front of propaganda screens, by learning again how to think, how to be human, how to be moral, the American police state can be defeated.
It worked in the past, and possibly it can work again. If not, Washington will remain the home of Sauron, a threat to every American citizen and to the entire world.
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. His latest book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is now available.
This article was posted: Saturday, April 4, 2015 at 7:15 am