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John W. Whitehead
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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 aggressive, pioneering approach to civil liberties has earned him numerous accolades and accomplishments, including the Hungarian Medal of Freedom. His concern for the persecuted and oppressed led him, in 1982, to establish The Rutherford Institute, a nonprofit civil liberties and human rights organization in Charlottesville, Va. Whitehead serves as the Institute’s president and spokesperson. His thought-provoking commentaries call people to action and address a wide range of contemporary issues from faith to politics and television to constitutional rights. He is also a frequent commentator on a variety of issues in the national media. Whitehead's book Battlefield America: The War on the American People is available now, online and in stores. Please visit On Target to view Whitehead's weekly video commentaries. He also blogs daily about the emerging police state at

Entries by John W. Whitehead

Roadside Strip Searches and Other Police State Indignities

(3) Comments | Posted August 26, 2015 | 12:46 PM

"Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed."--Martin Luther King Jr.

There's an ill-will blowing across the country. The economy is tanking. The people are directionless, and politics provides no answer. And like former regimes, the militarized...

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We Are the Government: The Power of Jury Nullification

(6) Comments | Posted August 19, 2015 | 12:59 PM

"The people have the power, all we have to do is awaken that power in the people... We are the government."--John Lennon

Saddled with a corporate media that marches in lockstep with the government, elected officials who dance to the tune of their corporate benefactors, and a court...

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Don't Be Fooled by the Political Game: The Illusion of Freedom in America

(0) Comments | Posted August 10, 2015 | 4:54 PM

Being a citizen in the American corporate state is much like playing against a stacked deck: you're always going to lose.

The game is rigged, and "we the people" keep getting dealt the same losing hand. Even so, most stay in the game, against all odds, trusting that their luck...

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Drivers, Beware: The Costly, Deadly Dangers of Traffic Stops in the American Police State

(17) Comments | Posted July 30, 2015 | 12:57 PM

Trying to predict the outcome of any encounter with the police is a bit like playing Russian roulette: most of the time you will emerge relatively unscathed, although decidedly poorer and less secure about your rights, but there's always the chance that an encounter will turn deadly.

The odds weren't...

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The American Nightmare: The Tyranny of the Criminal Justice System

(3) Comments | Posted July 21, 2015 | 4:58 PM

Justice in America is not all it's cracked up to be.

Just ask Jeffrey Deskovic, who spent 16 years in prison for a rape and murder he did not commit.

James Bain spent 35 years in prison for the kidnapping and rape of a 9-year-old boy, but he...

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The American Police State from A to Z

(3) Comments | Posted July 14, 2015 | 1:39 PM

For those who haven't been attention, here is an A-to-Z, back-to-the-basics primer of what life in the United States of America is really all about.

A is for the AMERICAN POLICE STATE. As I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, a...

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Jade Helm, Terrorist Attacks, Surveillance and Other Fairy Tales for a Gullible Nation

(5) Comments | Posted July 6, 2015 | 4:11 PM

Once upon a time, there was a nation of people who believed everything they were told by their government.

When terrorists attacked the country, and government officials claimed to have been caught by surprise, the people believed them. And when the government passed massive laws aimed at locking down...

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The Emergence of Orwellian Newspeak and the Death of Free Speech

(1) Comments | Posted June 29, 2015 | 12:38 PM

How do you change the way people think? You start by changing the words they use.

In totalitarian regimes--a.k.a. police states--where conformity and compliance are enforced at the end of a loaded gun, the government dictates what words can and cannot be used. In countries where the police state hides...

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Keeping Government Bureaucrats Off the Backs of the Citizenry: The Supreme Court Responds

(0) Comments | Posted June 22, 2015 | 4:54 PM

"No man in the wrong can stand up against a fellow that's in the right and keeps on a-comin'."--Texas Rangers

In one swoop, on June 22, 2015, a divided U.S. Supreme Court handed down three consecutive rulings affirming the right of raisin farmers, hotel owners and...

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Prisons Without Walls: We're All Inmates in the American Police State

(1) Comments | Posted June 16, 2015 | 3:44 PM

"Free worlders" is prison slang for those who are not incarcerated behind prison walls. Supposedly, those fortunate souls live in the "free world." However, appearances can be deceiving.

"As I got closer to retiring from the Federal Bureau of Prisons," writes former prison employee Marlon...

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Free Speech, Facebook and the NSA: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

(0) Comments | Posted June 4, 2015 | 12:40 PM

"A person under surveillance is no longer free; a society under surveillance is no longer a democracy."-- Writers Against Mass Surveillance

The Good News: Americans have a right to freely express themselves on the Internet, including making threatening -- even violent -- statements on Facebook, provided...

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The NSA's Technotyranny: One Nation Under Surveillance

(0) Comments | Posted May 27, 2015 | 5:29 PM

We now have a fourth branch of government.

As I document in my new book "Battlefield America: The War on the American People," this fourth branch came into being without any electoral mandate or constitutional referendum, and yet it possesses superpowers, above and beyond those of any other...

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Militarization Is More Than Tanks and Rifles: It's a Cultural Disease

(3) Comments | Posted May 21, 2015 | 2:08 PM

Only now--after the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security (DHS) and Defense have passed off billions of dollars worth of military equipment to local police forces, after police agencies have been trained in the fine art of war, after SWAT team raids have swelled in number to...

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In a Cop Culture, the Bill of Rights Doesn't Amount to Much

(5) Comments | Posted May 7, 2015 | 5:50 PM

Police officers are more likely to be struck by lightning than be held financially accountable for their actions.--Law professor Joanna C. Schwartz (paraphrased)

If you can be kicked, punched, tasered, shot, intimidated, harassed, stripped, searched, brutalized, terrorized, wrongfully arrested, and even killed by a police officer, and that...

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Cirque du Soleil's LOVE, Nine Years Later: Peace, Love and Harmony in a Torn World

(2) Comments | Posted May 4, 2015 | 5:51 PM

There's nothing you can do that can't be done Nothing you can sing that can't be sung Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game It's easy

Nothing you can make that can't be made
No one you can save that can't be saved

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No Matter Who Wins the White House, the New Boss Will Be the Same as the Old Boss

(0) Comments | Posted April 15, 2015 | 12:10 AM

The American people remain eager to be persuaded that a new president in the White House can solve the problems that plague us. Yet no matter who wins this next presidential election, you can rest assured that the new boss will be the same as the old boss, and we...

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Kick Open the Doorway to Liberty: What Are We Waiting For?

(0) Comments | Posted April 8, 2015 | 1:08 PM

Everything this nation once stood for is being turned on its head.

Free speech, religious expression, privacy, due process, bodily integrity, the sanctity of human life, the sovereignty of the family, individuality, the right to self-defense, protection against police abuses, representative government, private property, human rights -- the very...

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Jesus Died in a Police State

(0) Comments | Posted April 1, 2015 | 12:30 PM

It is fitting at a time when the nation is grappling with moral questions about how best to execute death row prisoners, whether police should be held responsible for shooting unarmed citizens, and to what extent we allow the government to dictate, monitor and...

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The Only Truly Compliant, Submissive Citizen in a Police State

(2) Comments | Posted March 24, 2015 | 4:17 PM

Americans as young as 4 years old are being leg shackled, handcuffed, tasered and held at gun point for not being quiet, not being orderly and just being childlike -- i.e., not being compliant enough.

Americans as old as 95...

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How DNA Is Turning Us Into a Nation of Suspects

(2) Comments | Posted March 9, 2015 | 1:36 PM

Every dystopian sci-fi film we've ever seen is suddenly converging into this present moment in a dangerous trifecta between science, technology and a government that wants to be all-seeing, all-knowing and all-powerful.

By tapping into your phone lines and cell phone communications, the government knows what you say....

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