Constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead can be called anything but a liberal. In 1982 he founded the Rutherford Institute–an international, nonprofit civil liberties organization committed to defending constitutional and human rights. (Imagine an ACLU that gets almost everything right.) Whitehead has been consistent and praiseworthy through the years as he has worked for life, the rights of parents to home school, and religious liberty and expression. He is a prolific author with twenty or so of his books being available through Amazon.
Recently, Whitehead has sounded the warning bell again in regard to the fast disappearing rights of the American citizenry. Noting that the powers of the FBI have been broadly expanded to the point that, again, warrantless intrusion and baseless surveillance of American citizens is now broader than even after the introduction of the
Suppression of the Patriots Patriot Act, Whitehead says,
Listen closely and what you will hear, beneath the babble of political chatter and other mindless political noises distracting you from what’s really going on, are the dying squeals of the Fourth Amendment. It dies a little more with every no-knock raid that is carried out by a SWAT team, every phone call eavesdropped on by FBI agents, and every piece of legislation passed that further undermines the right of every American to be free from governmental intrusions into their private affairs.
Meanwhile, President Obama and John Boehner are exchanging political niceties on the golf course, Congress is doing their utmost to be as ineffective as possible, and the Tea Party–once thought to be an alternative to politics as usual–is clowning around with candidates who, upon election, have proven to be no better than their predecessors and just as untrustworthy when it comes to protecting our rights and our interests. Yet no matter how hard Americans work to insulate themselves from the harsh realities of life today–endless wars, crippling debt, sustained unemployment, a growing homeless population, rising food and gas prices, morally bankrupt and corrupt politicians, plummeting literacy rates, and on and on–there can be no ignoring the steady drumbeat of the police state marching in lockstep with our government.
What we are witnessing is a coup d’etat that is aimed at overthrowing our representative government and replacing it with one that outwardly may appear to embrace democratic ideals but inwardly is nothing more than an authoritarian regime. And the Establishment is counting on the fact that Americans will gullibly continue to trust the government and turn a blind eye to its power grabs and abuses.
[H]aving equipped government agents with an arsenal of tools, weapons and powers with which to vanquish the so-called forces of terror, it was inevitable that that same arsenal would eventually be turned on us. As Michael German, a former FBI agent, recently observed, ‘You have a bunch of guys and women all over the country sent out to find terrorism. Fortunately, there isn’t a lot of terrorism in many communities. So they end up pursuing people who are critical of the government.’
Many of my friends have asked about my recent political writings and my stance as an independent in regard to political parties. It’s because I find NO hope in either the Democratic nor the Republican way of going about business which is, it goes without saying, a mere maintenance of the status quo. Even the darling of the Tea Party movement, presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann, faltered in a big way when she voted to support the administration in renewing certain provisions of the Patriot Act. Writes Whitehead in another post:
The Patriot Act drove a stake through the heart of the Bill of Rights, violating at least six of the ten original amendments–the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Amendments–and possibly the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments, as well. The Patriot Act also redefined terrorism so broadly that many non-terrorist political activities such as protest marches, demonstrations and civil disobedience were considered potential terrorist acts, thereby rendering anyone desiring to engage in protected First Amendment expressive activities as suspects of the surveillance state.
This I’ll say until I die: A vote cast for any candidate who toes the Democratic or Republican party line is a useless vote. Only a candidate who disavows the military-industrial complex, empire-building, debt-incurring, rights infringing ways of our current leadership in Washington will ever get a check-mark on my ballot. When I was young, I was told that men had died for my right to vote. Sometimes I think that, if those precious bodies laid to rest at Normandy and Arlington were to come back to life in this day and age, they would lead a charge on D.C. themselves. They did not die simply so we could vote; they died so those votes would defend the Constitution while living under the freedoms it grants.
The disembowelment of the United States Constitution has happened in front of our sleepy eyes as presidents and congressional leaders from both parties have taken turns wielding the knife, eviscerating the articles, celebrating the gutting, then pointing their blood covered fingers at each other when convenient. The Gang of 535 is just that: a gang. It’s a gang that ought to be in jail, but, at the very least, ought to be sent home.