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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

Circus Politics: Will Our Freedoms Survive Another Presidential Election?

(2) Comments | Posted January 27, 2016 | 10:22 AM

Who needs bread and circuses when you have the assortment of clowns and contortionists that are running for the White House?

Truly, politics in America has been reduced to a three-ring circus complete with carnival barkers, acrobats, contortionists, jugglers, lion tamers, animal trainers, tight rope walkers, freaks, strong...

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The Right to Tell the Government to Go to Hell: Free Speech in an Age of Government Bullies, Corporate Censors and Compliant Citizens

(0) Comments | Posted January 19, 2016 | 2:17 PM

Free speech is not for the faint of heart.

Nor is it for those who are easily offended, readily intimidated or who need everything wrapped in a neat and tidy bow. Free speech is often messy, foul-mouthed, obscene, intolerant, undignified, insensitive, cantankerous, bawdy and volatile.

Unfortunately, our appreciation for a...

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What Happens to a Dream Deferred? Ask Martin Luther King Jr.

(0) Comments | Posted January 15, 2016 | 2:19 PM

What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore-- And then run? Does it stink like rotten meat? Or crust and sugar over-- like a syrupy sweet? Maybe it just sags like a heavy load. Or does it...
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The State of the Nation: A Dictatorship Without Tears

(1) Comments | Posted January 12, 2016 | 6:30 PM

"There will be, in the next generation or so, a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but...
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Playing the Government's Game: When It Comes to Violence, We All Lose

(0) Comments | Posted January 4, 2016 | 1:55 PM

"When it gets down to having to use violence, then you are playing the system's game. The establishment will irritate you - pull your beard, flick your face - to make you fight. Because once they've got you violent, then they know how to handle you. The only...
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What's in Store for Our Freedoms in 2016? More of Everything We Don't Want

(0) Comments | Posted December 30, 2015 | 11:11 AM

As I illustrate in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, we in the emerging American police state find ourselves reliving the same set of circumstances over and over again: egregious surveillance, strip searches, police shootings of unarmed citizens, government spying, the criminalization of lawful...

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What If Jesus Had Been Born 2,000 Years Later in the American Police State?

(0) Comments | Posted December 21, 2015 | 11:31 AM

"Two thousand years later ... the memory of the revolutionary zealot who walked across Galilee gathering an army of disciples with the goal of establishing the Kingdom of God on earth, the magnetic preacher who defied the authority of the Temple priesthood in Jerusalem, the radical Jewish nationalist who challenged...
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Reclaiming the Christmas Spirit: Ten Great Christmas Movies to Help You Shake the Police State Blues

(0) Comments | Posted December 14, 2015 | 4:13 PM

What a turbulent year it's been.

For those of us who have managed to survive 2015 with our lives intact and our freedoms hanging by a thread, it has been a year of crackdowns, clampdowns, shutdowns, showdowns, shootdowns, standdowns, knockdowns, putdowns, breakdowns, lockdowns, takedowns, slowdowns, meltdowns, and never-ending letdowns.


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Does Fear Lead to Fascism? A Culture of Fear and the Epigenetics of Terror

(0) Comments | Posted December 11, 2015 | 12:14 AM

"No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices."--Edward R. Murrow, broadcast journalist

America is in the midst of an epidemic of historic proportions.

The contagion being spread like wildfire is turning communities into battlegrounds and setting Americans one against the other.

Normally mild-mannered...

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The Surveillance State Is Alive and Well

(2) Comments | Posted December 7, 2015 | 10:50 AM

Bottle up the champagne, pack away the noisemakers, and toss out the party hats.

There is no cause for celebration.

We have secured no major victories against tyranny.

We have achieved no great feat in pushing back against government overreach.

For all intents and purposes, the National Security Agency has...

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This Thanksgiving, Let's Say 'No Thanks' to the Tyranny of the American Police State

(0) Comments | Posted November 25, 2015 | 12:19 AM

This Thanksgiving finds us saddled with a government that is a far cry from George Washington's vision of a government that would be a blessing to all the people.

Instead, as the following shows, the U.S. government has become a warring empire, governed by laws that are rash, unjust and...

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To France from a Post-9/11 America: Lessons We Learned Too Late

(0) Comments | Posted November 17, 2015 | 10:54 AM

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." ― Benjamin Franklin

For those who remember when the first towers fell on 9/11, there is an unnerving feeling of déjà vu about the Paris attacks.

Once again, there is...

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The Real Issues You Won't Hear from the 2016 Presidential Candidates This Election Year

(1) Comments | Posted November 5, 2015 | 6:18 PM

We now have less than one year until the 2016 presidential election.

Despite the dire state of our nation, however, you can rest assured that none of the problems that continue to undermine our freedoms will be addressed in any credible way by the presidential candidates--certainly not if doing...

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Fear of the Walking Dead: The American Police State Takes Aim

(0) Comments | Posted October 28, 2015 | 11:10 AM

The zombies are back. They are hungry. And they are lurking around every corner.

The zombie narrative, popularized by the hit television series The Walking Dead, in which a small group of Americans attempt to survive in a zombie-ridden, post-apocalyptic world where they're not only fighting off flesh-eating...

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Global Police, Pre-Crime and the War on Domestic 'Extremists'

(1) Comments | Posted October 20, 2015 | 12:58 PM

• Are you afraid that the government is plotting to confiscate your firearms?

• Do you believe the economy is about to collapse and the government will soon declare martial law?

• Do you display an unusual number of political and/or ideological bumper...

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How Do You Prepare a Child for Life in an Age of School Shootings, Police Shootings and Lockdown Drills?

(0) Comments | Posted October 13, 2015 | 8:00 PM

In an age dominated with news of school shootings, school lockdowns, police shootings of unarmed citizens (including children), SWAT team raids gone awry (leaving children devastated and damaged), reports of school resource officers tasering and shackling unruly students, and public schools undergoing lockdowns and active drills, I find myself wrestling...

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Minority Report Is 40 Years Ahead of Schedule: The Fictional World Has Become Reality

(0) Comments | Posted September 28, 2015 | 12:27 PM

We are a scant 40 years away from the futuristic world that science fiction author Philip K. Dick envisioned for Minority Report in which the government is all-seeing, all-knowing and all-powerful, and if you dare to step out of line, dark-clad police SWAT teams will crack a few skulls to...

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Are Public School Students the New Inmates in the American Police State?

(0) Comments | Posted September 16, 2015 | 1:06 PM

In the American police state, you're either a prisoner (shackled, controlled, monitored, ordered about, limited in what you can do and say, your life not your own) or a prison bureaucrat (police officer, judge, jailer, spy, profiteer, etc.).

When you're a child in the American police state, life is that...

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'Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death': The Loss of Our Freedoms in the Wake of 9/11

(3) Comments | Posted September 9, 2015 | 1:37 PM

"Since mankind's dawn, a handful of oppressors have accepted the responsibility over our lives that we should have accepted for ourselves. By doing so, they took our power. By doing nothing, we gave it away. We've seen where their way leads, through camps and wars, towards the slaughterhouse." ― Alan...
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Sheep Led to the Slaughter: The Muzzling of Free Speech in America

(90) Comments | Posted September 3, 2015 | 3:48 PM

"If the freedom of speech be taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter."--George Washington

The architects of the American police state must think we're idiots.

With every passing day, we're being moved further down the road towards a totalitarian society...

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