Thursday, January 28, 2016 by Julie Wilson
John W. Whitehead, renowned Constitutional law and human rights attorney, is a celebrated hero in the liberty community, spending the majority of his career fighting for freedom, while protecting the oppressed from their oppressors. In 1982, he founded The Rutherford Institute, “a nonprofit civil liberties and human rights organization” headquartered in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Also an author, Whitehead’s writings have been featured in a range of publications, including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and USA Today. One of his most famous cases involves his defense of Paula Jones and her sexual harassment lawsuit against Bill Clinton.
Last spring, Whitehead published an incredibly captivating book titled, Battlefield America: The War on the American People, in which he chronicles the erosion of civil liberties in America. The following is an excerpt from his book:
Most Americans react with confusion, disbelief, and even hostility when told that America is not a free country. This reaction is quite understandable. After all, we are continually bombarded with messages from politicians, the media, and even popular culture about how we are the “freest nation on Earth.” We are even told that the reason people from other countries hate us is because they resent our freedom, not our drones.
But if one puts aside the propaganda and honestly looks at modern American life, the idea that we are no longer a free country does not seem so outrageous.
If Americans were truly free, then…
Would the NSA be able to “monitor” our emails and other online activity without obtaining a warrant?
Would we have to submit to the TSA’s harassment every time we boarded an airplane?
Would local governments use red-light cameras to enrich themselves and deny us due process of law?
Would we hear, on an almost daily basis, stories of SWAT teams terrorizing, and even murdering, innocent Americans via no-knock raids?
Would we watch in horror as police respond to peaceful protesters with military force?
Would armed federal agents invade Amish farms because those farmers dared sell raw milk to willing consumers?
Of course, we are told these infringements on liberty are all for our own good. How else is the government supposed to protect us from terrorists or stop us from using dangerous drugs or drinking raw milk unless they have the unrestrained power to spy, harass, and even shoot us with weapons developed for use in war?
Fortunately, a growing number of Americans, including a large number of young Americans, are questioning whether we are really better off trading away our liberties for phantom security. These people are studying great libertarian thinkers like Mises, Hayek, and Rothbard. They are also organizing with other activists to spread the ideas of liberty.
Many other Americans who have not yet accepted the entire libertarian paradigm have been motivated by some outrageous examples of government abuses to speak out against the loss of our freedom.
For example, Edward Snowden’s revelations of the extent to which the National Security Agency was spying on Americans caused the debate on the NSA to shift in a more pro-liberty direction, while the events in Ferguson, Missouri, moved police militarization from an issue of concern for a few libertarians to the center of American political debate.
Individuals who wish to move America in a pro-liberty direction must not only understand how far we have drifted from a free society, but grasp the true nature of the current system. Sadly, even many libertarians and others who acknowledge how far we have drifted from a free society fail to understand the nature of the current regime.
To read Whitehead’s book in its entirety, you can order a copy here today.