Whitehead warns of losing the 4th amendment…for good

“It is the responsibility of the patriot to protect his country from its government.”–Thomas Paine

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.

Check out John W. Whitehead’s books at Amazon.com.

Marty Duren

Just a guy writing some things.

  • Matt Svoboda

    As a fellow Independent, I can happily say that you are not alone and your line is now my line. Hopefully, we can get enough people to say the same thing.

    “A vote cast for any candidate who toes the Democratic or Republican party line is a useless vote.”

    Question though (I mean this in all seriousness): how does this work with Ron Paul?

    • Marty Duren

      He isn’t toeing the party line. He ran in ’88 as a Libertarian, but recognizes the almost impossibility of a 3rd party candidate to win at this time. In some ways, I think he’s running as an “old school Republican.” He likely votes against his own party more often than with it.

      Besides, if you just look at the way the party hacks treat him, it’s obvious he is not a company man. I’m confident supporting him, just not the party.

      • Matt Svoboda

        Got it… Are you aware of anyone else that you would put in the same category as Paul?

        • Marty Duren

          Chuck Baldwin ran on the Constitution Party ticket in the last election (he got my vote). I think they hold many of those positions, but I don’t know about all of their candidates or if they even have a presidential candidate yet.

          If there was ever an election for RP to run as an Independent, this is it. He’s the rare candidate that would pull voters from both major candidates rather than only one.

  • Alex

    I get the disgust with both parties.

    But what I don’t get is why the alternative to the Dems and Repubs has to be candidates – like Ron Paul and like Chuck Baldwin – who oppose pretty much any and all civil rights legislation.

    I remember watching Hardball last presidential election season and hearing Ron Paul tell Chris Matthews that he would not have supported the Civil Rights Act had he been in office in 1964.

    I understand the government regulation=bad jist of Paul’s libertarianism. However, the world we live in is not a political theory course at a university. Regulation is sometimes necessary, right? When we balance property rights vs. civil rights for racial minorities and put that in the historical context of racism, slavery and segregation – civil rights has to win.

    Property rights get limited. Freedom is not absolute. Religious liberty is my passion. Yet, I don’t believe that a parent has the ABSOLUTE right to refuse life-saving medical care to his/her child due to religious reasons. The health of the child trumps the religious liberty of the parent. The solution to evil is not more evil in the disguise of absolute individual freedom.

    I just could never back a candidate who acknowledges that were the 1960s to be replayed, he or she would have been on the very very wrong side of history.

    • Marty Duren

      Alex-
      Ron Paul believes the rights of the individual are protected by the constitution, not the rights of groups. Under the constitution there should not be “majorities” and “minorities” because it applies equally to all.

      I fully support the Civil Rights Act, but if the constitution had been followed it would not have been needed in the first place.

      I agree with you that Libertarian doctrine is flawed at points, but think its extremes are needed right now to bring something resembling balance back to the public square.

      I would say that backing a candidate who may have been on the wrong side of history is no better or worse than a candidate who is on the wrong side of the present.

      • Matt Svoboda

        “I would say that backing a candidate who may have been on the wrong side of history is no better or worse than a candidate who is on the wrong side of the present.”

        What a great quote.

        • Marty Duren

          And you may cite it copiously. LOL.

        • Matt Svoboda

          Marty,

          I hate to say this(because I am a stubborn guy), but as an independent you are making it really hard to resist Ron Paul.

          A couple of his views just make me very nervous.

  • Marty Duren

    A couple of his views make me very nervous as well, but I think some of that is because I have never in my life experienced “liberty” in America the way the founders intended. We’ve been far gone from that for at least half a century.

    Some of Paul’s ideas on “legalizing” sound extreme until one remembers that much of what he espouses returns authority to the states or local governments (or even the church). That means much of what is now illegal would remain illegal, and vice versa, depending on the state in which one resides.

    To draw a spiritual parallel, it’s like a person who’s been freed from sin feeling drawn to the law for the “comfort” it provides. Freedom brings the danger of the unknown; shackles provide certainty, and for some that comfort is all that matters.

    • Matt Svoboda

      Yes, parts of his :Libertarianness” make me nervous, but I think his views on foreign affairs are really what make me nervous.

      I feel like he would open us up big time. We need a global presence. We do not need to be isolationists. This view is naive. Muslim countries hate us for a lot more reasons than that we have a presence in their areas.

      • Marty Duren

        Matt-
        What John McCain call “interventionism” is merely “empire-building” in a different shirt. No amount of Muslim, jihad or Al Qeda threat can justify over 700 military bases in 130 countries around the world. Not to mention the fact that 1) we can’t afford such expansionism, 2) we can’t manage it, 3) despite Homeland “Security” it leaves the homeland vulnerable and 4) it creates ill will in countries that have nothing to do with terrorism or national threats.

        And, in spite of all our blather about “helping Iraq” we were all too content to stand by and watch them get slaughtered by Saddam when he was still our ally.

        It also bothers me that our decisions to provide “humanitarian intervention” are almost always tied to our business interests. Didn’t see us rushing into Rwanda, the Congo and the Sudan, did you?