Washington, DC -- (ReleaseWire) -- 05/01/2015 --DAWN BENNETT: There is a war on right now. Most Americans might not even know that they are participating in it, but they are, which is why John Whitehead is here. Whitehead is an attorney and author who has written, debated and practiced widely in the areas of constitutional law and human rights. Whitehead's concern for the persecuted and oppressed led him, in 1982, to establish The Rutherford Institute where he serves as president and spokeman. It's a non-for-profit civil liberties and human rights organization whose international headquarters are located in Charlottesville, Virginia. In his new book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, Whitehead paints a terrifying portrait of a nation at war with itself, and on the verge of undermining the basic freedoms guaranteed to United States citizens by the Constitution. John, welcome to Financial Myth Busting.
JOHN WHITEHEAD: Thanks for having me on.
BENNETT: Do you believe that Americans are aware that we're slowly shifting into a police state, totalitarianism?
WHITEHEAD: Anybody that has their antenna up would know it, or who does casual reading on the Internet. You're not going to get it off the television news generally or those kinds of things, but if you are researching it, if you're reading books like my Battlefield America, you're going to get the point. But the Constitution, they basically flushed that one down the toilet. I mean when the NSA is downloading 2 billion emails a day of American citizens—these are people that have committed no crime—hacking into, they admit, 160,000 Facebook pages daily to see what we're doing, text messages, you go down the line. I mean, we have cases where people were pulled out of their homes for Facebook posts. Anti-government Facebook posts, they call it. But I don't know if most people realize, in 2009 the Department of Homeland Security under President Obama issued those three memos: Right Wing Extremism, Left Wing Extremism, and Operation Vigilant Eagle, where they are watching veterans and anybody they believe that opposes governmental actions. So, you are on the watch list right now. I am telling you, I had a veteran email me not too long ago. He says, "I am tired of stuff. I am tired of the SWAT team raids." There are 80,000 SWAT team raids where they are shooting dogs, kids, adults. I can mention a few of those cases that we've seen or been involved in. He said, "I've got my gun, I'm waiting in the hallway." I said, "Dude, put your gun down or you're going to get killed." Like Jose Guerena did in Arizona, a decorated Marine. The police were doing SWAT team raids on different homes looking for marijuana. Jose, when he heard the door go down at about 3 in the morning, he shut his wife and kids in the closet, and stood in the hallway. The only weapon he had was a hunting rifle. Police saw him, fired over 70 times, hit him 50 or some times. He died on the floor, his wife was screaming. They claimed he shot at them. Investigation shows that safety didn't even come off his weapon. They found no marijuana in Jose's home. 80,000 of those, up from 3,000 in early 1980s. So something is changing, folks. As Bob Dylan said in one of his songs "It doesn't take a weatherman to know which way the wind blows."
BENNETT: We recently had the former federal prosecutor turned whistleblower Sidney Powell on our show. She wrote a book, Licensed to Lie, about the corrupt ways the Feds will do whatever it takes to try and secure a conviction. She even described federal judges who knowingly let this happen. In your years arguing cases against some of these same people, did you encounter anything like this?
WHITEHEAD: Oh, yes, so much corruption. The courts increasingly, since I started practicing law over thirty some years ago, have almost closed. And we see the corruption of asset forfeiture laws. If people don't know what those are, in most states, where if you're pulled over and the police want to take your car, or if they say you committed a crime, you have to go back to court. And most people can't afford to get a lawyer so some people lost their homes. If you have cash in your car they take it. You have to go back to court to get it and those programs are set up to so-called "help community programs." I looked at the community program not too long ago of one of the police agencies that had a large asset forfeiture. They were paying clowns to do fairs, to promote them, and stuff like that. That's where the money's going. So there's a lot of corruption. We live in a very corrupt state and the reason we do is, I talk about this in my book Battlefield America, is Americans are not clamping down on this. Your local city council, that's where you can make a big impact, they're just sitting there, watching this stuff happen. But you can change it. When you see a SWAT team raid where a Jose Guerena got shot, or a kid gets his face burned, which has happened a couple times recently with flash bang grenades in the middle of the night, get down there and tell that city council to square up all that and stop that in your community. You can do it, but you're going to have to get up and do it and act quickly.
BENNETT: The obvious follow up to this is to ask, why are Americans seemingly resigned to this type of fate? Why aren't they doing more?
WHITEHEAD: In my book, I have a section on this. The average older American watches 150 hours of television a month. The average young American spends eight hours plus a day on some kind of screen devices. Most of the news you see is controlled by six major corporations, that's all. Again, I'm not a conspiracy theorist, I've got forty pages of footnotes in the book. So what you're getting is being filtered out. It's not what you see, it's what you don't see. I mean I've actually talked to journalists, and I say, "How do you account for this? W`hat's your explanation for all the SWAT team raids, 80,000?" They don't even know that. These are journalists. So it's not being reported. The government statistics show it. And here's the other thing. Crime is at a forty year low in America. In 2013, it was the lowest murder rate in a century. Why all the SWAT team raids, why are Americans getting shot, unarmed citizens? Because things have changed. I mean, the way the young police are trained in the academies... I talk to older policeman who actually work with me and donate to my organization. They say the training in the academies now is so military that when these people step out there, they view us differently. So things have changed dramatically I'd say in the last fifteen to twenty years. And listen, they are kicking or tasering pregnant women now. You realize if that would have happened twenty, twenty five years ago there'd have been a mass outrage. It's happening. It's on a daily basis now. Why are we putting up with that, ladies and gentleman?
BENNETT: There doesn't seem to be any arrest, trial, sentencing, here. People are just being killed. Is there an opportunity for people across the political spectrum to unite? The loudest activists about police brutality tend to be those on the Left, but it is affecting conservatives, libertarians, centrists.
WHITEHEAD: That's going to affect everybody eventually.
BENNETT: When are Americans going to start to reclaim our liberty?
WHITEHEAD: I hope it's not too late. I actually talk about Nazi Germany in my book and in my opinion, we're almost following the blueprint. A lot of people argued in Nazi Germany, "Oh, yes, Hitler is doing a good job." You realize that in 1938, Hitler was a Time magazine man of the year and in 1939 Hitler was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. This was when he was on the verge of conducting war. Regimes don't come in with trumpets. They come in slowly, subtly. The shopping malls still operate. That's what a former presidential adviser Bertram Gross—he was adviser to Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman. He said "When you see it coming..." and he was freaked out by it; he called it friendly fascism "...it's going to come in very slowly very subtly. Before you know it, it's here." But here is the key. Social psychologists say that when you're discussing an issue openly in a society, it's already occurred.
And Aldous Huxley, by the way, in Brave New World, said that when you start seeing violence against citizenries, we are transitioning into a totalitarian regime. Well, we're already seeing the violence. I mean, my book documents the SWAT team raids where unarmed citizens are getting shot. The old guy gets into the hallway, who hears the SWAT team raid coming to his door. He grabs the only thing he has, he thinks it's burglars. He has his golf club. They shoot him. The police said they thought he had a rifle. So we are seeing those things. It's already here. So I'm trying to throw water in people's faces, trying to wake them up. But you can make a great indent at the local level. So that's why I'm suggesting—I have seen some cities now that have rushed into city council meetings and forced their city councils to send back the grenade launchers and the MRAPs, Mine Resistant Armored Protection vehicles, which they use in Afghanistan. Why are they in our communities? Why did the Department of Homeland Security a year and half ago contract to buy 1.6 million hollow point bullets for use by their agents against American citizens? That's who they'd have to use them against. 1.6 million. The Social Security Administration purchased 200,000 hollow point bullets which explode on contact, that violate international law. So something is changing, folks.
BENNETT: John, reading your book, it seems like you are arguing that the erosion of American's liberty is actually intentional. If that's the case, do you think there's an agenda at work here?
WHITEHEAD: Well, it could be an open agenda, it can be a money agenda. There's almost five billion dollars in military equipment flowing to local police departments, but also Department of Homeland Security advisers. So your local police departments in many instances are not local police departments anymore. We did research at the Rutherford Institute and we found that almost 50 percent of that equipment was new. So someone is making a lot of dough, folks, of that equipment going down there and it ain't me and you because we are paying for it. Do I think there is an agenda? I think there is a money agenda and as I show in my book, Princeton did a detailed study released last year, 2014. They conclude that we live in oligarchy now, where the average citizen at the national level has virtually no input. It's run by moneyed interests and the moneyed interest right now is showing us their face and it isn't a very peaceful face.
BENNETT: It sounds like you're making the case that the long arm of the U.S. government that we're contending with today is actually worse than what we rebelled against when we had King George at the helm. Do you think that America is almost the same as we were back in the mid 1700s?
BENNETT: We are back to 1776, but the key is that—listen, there are small towns now in America where police departments have 150 sniper rifles, tanks, grenade launchers. Local citizens who want to rebel like they did back in 1776, would get blown away. That's how powerful the forces are. They are having the Jade Helm exercises right now, military exercises in the United States in eight states! Those have been going on since the 1980s and they are directed at putting down an uprising. The Department of Defense has their Minerva Research Initiative on how to put down social unrest. So what I argue for in the book is what Martin Luther King said: "It's time for militant non-violent resistance." He said the government no longer listens to us and he was arguing, get to your governmental bodies, Congress, get en masse. And you said it, I think, if we could get a number of cities across the United States, saying we're not putting up with this anymore, we don't want the military coming in under the National Defense Authorization Act and pulling our citizens out of our towns because Obama thinks they might be an extremist because they oppose government. Well, that means everyone in the founding fathers category from Jefferson to Madison were extremists, they would have been rounded up early.
BENNETT: Ron Paul wrote the forward to your latest book. If someone like his son, Rand, actually was elected president in 2016, do you think he will be able to right this ship or do you think these semi-autonomous agencies that are increasingly intrusive on our daily lives have become so powerful that reform will never happen?
WHITEHEAD: I think reform would take a while because of the establishment. Again, I worked in D.C. for 40 years. I've seen politicians, the president. I've seen it operate. There's a bureaucracy there that's amazing. I mean it's really, really powerful. It's entrenched. It's run by moneyed interests and we know that. I think a Rand Paul could make a difference, yes, but it's going to take more than one president. Again, it goes back to us. We have to make sure if we are putting someone in office it is someone who's going to really change things, not like Obama who ran on hope and change, and look what we got.
WHITEHEAD: More militarized police more bombings. He sits in his office on Tuesday and decides who's who he is going to kill over in some country, and we find out now, over a thousand civilians have died in search of forty and some al Qaeda agents?
BENNETT: For Americans, who are the Dagny Taggarts, the character in Atlas Shrugged, it seems that we're living in that world right now.
WHITEHEAD: We're living in it, that's what I am trying to tell people. We are there.
BENNETT: People aren't ready to give up just yet. I'm not.
WHITEHEAD: Giving up is not the thing. I mean, the founding fathers were a minority, by the way. If you study history, they weren't popular.
BENNETT: How do you suggest fighting back besides voting? How can Americans really fight back in this war that you're describing, in the war that we're living in every single day?
WHITEHEAD: Well, the Ninth and Tenth Amendment says we have all these rights to life. The Ninth Amendment says that you have them, and so do the states have all these rights. And Jefferson basically said, one of the essences of liberty is nullification. If a city or a state doesn't like what a federal government is doing, they should nullify their act. Several states now have nullified the National Defense Authorization Act which I just talked about. They said we're not going to allow our people, our police, or our government agents to participate in it.
BENNETT: Which states are those, by the way?
WHITEHEAD: Maine, at the least. And there are number of local communities now that are sending back the military equipment. So if you've got 100-150 governments that are operating like that, Washington might get the idea that they need to change some of their policies.
BENNETT: Thank you, John. John's book, Battlefield America: The War on the American People, can be found on Amazon.
All data sourced through Bloomberg
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About Dawn Bennett
Dawn Bennett is CEO and Founder of Bennett Group Financial Services. She hosts a national radio program called Financial Myth Busting http://www.financialmythbusting.com
She discusses educational topics and events in the financial news, along with her thoughts on the economy, financial markets, investments, and more with her live guests, who have included rock legend Ted Nugent, as well as Steve Forbes and Grover Norquist. Listeners can call 855-884-DAWN a as well as take podcasts on the road and forums for interaction.
She can be reached on Twitter @DawnBennettFMB or on Facebook Financial Myth Busting with Dawn Bennett or email@example.com