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Battlefield America: The War On The American People Hardcover – April 14, 2013
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About the Author
John W. Whitehead is an attorney and author who has written, debated and practiced widely in the area of constitutional law and human rights. Whitehead’s concern for the persecuted and oppressed led him, in 1982, to establish The Rutherford Institute, a nonprofit civil liberties and human rights organization whose international headquarters are located in Charlottesville, Virginia. Deeply committed to protecting the constitutional freedoms of every American and the integral human rights of all people, The Rutherford Institute has emerged as a prominent leader in the national dialogue on civil liberties and human rights and a formidable champion of the Constitution. Whitehead serves as the Institute’s president and spokesperson. Widely recognized as one of the nation’s most vocal and involved civil liberties attorneys, Whitehead’s approach to civil liberties issues has earned him numerous accolades and accomplishments, including the Hungarian Medal of Freedom and the 2010 Milner S. Ball Lifetime Achievement Award for “[his] decades of difficult and important work, as well as [his] impeccable integrity in defending civil liberties for all.” As nationally syndicated columnist Nat Hentoff observed about Whitehead: “John Whitehead is not only one of the nation’s most consistent and persistent civil libertarians. He is also a remarkably perceptive illustrator of our popular culture, its insights and dangers. I often believe that John Whitehead is channeling the principles of James Madison, who would be very proud of him.” Born in 1946 in Tennessee, John W. Whitehead earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Arkansas in 1969 and a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Arkansas School of Law in 1974. He served as an officer in the United States Army from 1969 to 1971. He lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.
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We don't have to agree on politics, but we should be able to agree on the principle that we have individual liberty to make decisions for ourselves.
This is a must read, and is possibly the best, simplest and most current explanation about the "war on the American people". Constitutional lawyer Whitehead has gathered lots of good information (with 44 pages of footnotes!) documenting the increasing militarization and intrusiveness of the local, state and federal police forces and the military/industrial/media surveillance industry, and how we are on the cusp of a complete fascist state (a system of 'national socialism' where government and corporations are unified). All that's needed now to make it complete is a charismatic leader.
The one fault here is the apparently rushed editing which leads to sometimes repetitious writing, but what he's saying bears frequent repeating, as obviously most Americans have remained oblivious to the imminent threat that is clear and present from our own government. This may sound like a paranoid vision of reality, and while Whitehead does sometimes appear to be resorting to hyperbole, what he's saying is all true and quickly moving from the rare and extreme to the norm.
"There was a time in our nation's history when Americans would have revolted against the prospect of city police forces the size of small armies, or rampaging SWAT teams tearing through doors and terrorizing families. Today the need for ramped up, militarized police is largely sold to the American public by way of the media through reality TV shows, and by politicians well-versed in promising greater security in exchange for the government being given greater freedom to operate as it sees fit while running roughshod over the Constitution." (p.148)
"Thus, while recycling unused military equipment might sound thrifty and practical, the ramifications are proving to be far more dangerous and deadly. This is what happens when you have police not only acquiring the gear of American soldiers but also the mindset of an army occupying hostile territory. With police playing the part of soldiers on the battlefield and the American citizenry left to play the part of enemy combatants, it's a safe bet that this exercise in the absurd will not have a happy ending." (p. 151)
"…Meanwhile, there are more than 1,100 people shot to death by police in America each year. According to the FBI, approximately 400 of these are "justifiable." Compare that to Germany, a nation of 80 million, where police kill all of eight people. In Britain and Japan, with a combined population of 191 million, the police didn't kill anyone." (p. 173)
Wake up America! It is too late to nip it in the bud, but maybe not to resist it both lawfully and with civil disobedience and ultimately defund and dismantle it.