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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 A Government of Wolves 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

What I Don't Like About Life in the American Police State

(2) Comments | Posted July 16, 2014 | 5:47 PM

There's a lot to love about America and its people: their pioneering spirit, their entrepreneurship, their ability to think outside the box, their passion for the arts, etc. Increasingly, however, as time goes by, I find the things I don't like about living in a nation that has long since...

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238 Years Later, Would Americans Still Choose Freedom Over Slavery?

(0) Comments | Posted July 1, 2014 | 9:44 AM

Imagine living in a country where armed soldiers crash through doors to arrest and imprison citizens merely for criticizing government officials. Imagine that in this very same country, you're watched all the time, and if you look even a little bit suspicious, the police stop and frisk you or pull...

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The Growing Epidemic of Police Violence: Is It Time to De-Militarize Police Forces?

(31) Comments | Posted June 4, 2014 | 5:23 PM

How many children, old people, and law-abiding citizens have to be injured, terrorized or killed before we call a halt to the growing rash of police violence that is wracking the country? How many family pets have to be gunned down in cold blood by marauding SWAT teams before we...

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Is This How We Honor Our Military Veterans?

(0) Comments | Posted May 23, 2014 | 9:08 AM

Just in time for Memorial Day, we’re once again being treated to a generous serving of praise and grandstanding by politicians and corporations eager to go on record as being supportive of our veterans. Patriotic platitudes aside, however, America has done a deplorable job of caring for her veterans. We...

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Orwell's Nightmare: The NSA and Google -- Big Brother Meets Big Business

(0) Comments | Posted May 13, 2014 | 2:15 PM

What would happen if the most powerful technology company in the world and the largest clandestine spying agency in the world joined forces?

No need to wonder. Just look around you. It's happened already. Thanks to an insidious partnership between Google and the National Security Agency (NSA) that...

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Cliven Bundy and the American Police State

(9) Comments | Posted April 21, 2014 | 10:38 AM

Those tempted to write off the standoff at the Bundy Ranch as little more than a show of force by militia-minded citizens would do well to reconsider their easy dismissal of this brewing rebellion. This goes far beyond concerns about grazing rights or the tension between the state...

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Jesus Lived in a Police State

(0) Comments | Posted April 14, 2014 | 5:02 PM

Those living through this present age of SWAT team raids, police shootings of unarmed citizens, roadside strip searches, and invasive surveillance might feel as if these events are unprecedented. Yet while we in the United States may be experiencing a steady slide into a police state, we are neither the...

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Why Are Americans Paying to Be Searched, Spied On, Shot At and Robbed Blind by the Government?

(0) Comments | Posted April 7, 2014 | 10:03 AM

The State Department wants $400,000 to purchase a fiberglass sculpture of a camel looking at a needle for its new embassy in Pakistan. They've already spent their allotted $630,000 to increase the number of "likes" and fans on their Facebook and Twitter pages. The NATO ambassador...

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'Just Salute and Follow Orders': When Secrecy and Surveillance Trump the Rule of Law

(1) Comments | Posted April 1, 2014 | 11:51 AM

“The Secret Government is an interlocking network of official functionaries, spies, mercenaries, ex-generals, profiteers and superpatriots, who, for a variety of motives, operate outside the legitimate institutions of government. Presidents have turned to them when they can’t win the support of the Congress or the people, creating that unsupervised power...
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The Second Amendment: A Symbol of Freedom or an Invitation to Violence?

(166) Comments | Posted March 17, 2014 | 3:39 PM

You can largely determine where a person will fall in the debate over gun control and the Second Amendment based on their view of government and the role it should play in our lives.

Those who want to see government as a benevolent parent looking out for our best interests...

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Lights, Camera, Arrested: Americans Are Being Thrown in Jail for Filming Police

(29) Comments | Posted March 10, 2014 | 3:17 PM

Once again, the U.S. government is attempting to police the world when it should be policing its own law enforcement agencies. We've got a warship cruising the Black Sea, fighter jets patrolling the Baltic skies, and a guided-missile destroyer searching the South China Sea for the...

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Free Speech, RIP: A Relic of the American Past

(0) Comments | Posted March 3, 2014 | 8:38 AM

Living in a representative republic means that each person has the right to take a stand for what they think is right, whether that means marching outside the halls of government, wearing clothing with provocative statements, or simply holding up a sign. That's what the First Amendment is supposed to...

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Vigilantes With a Badge: The War Against the American People

(3) Comments | Posted February 26, 2014 | 9:02 AM

The following incidents are cautionary tales for anyone who still thinks that they can defy police officers, even if it's simply to disagree about a speeding ticket, challenge a search warrant or defend oneself against an unreasonable or unjust charge, without deadly repercussions. The message they send is that "we...

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Paranoia, Surveillance and Military Tactics: Have We Become Enemies of the Government?

(0) Comments | Posted February 20, 2014 | 6:37 AM

Relationships are fragile things, none more so than the relationship between a citizen and his government. Unfortunately for the American people, the contract entered into more than 200 years ago has been reduced to little more than a marriage of convenience and fiscal duty, marked by distrust, lying, infidelity, hostility,...

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Putting Big Brother in the Driver's Seat: V2V Transmitters, Black Boxes and Drones

(0) Comments | Posted February 10, 2014 | 12:39 PM

Time to buckle up your seatbelts, folks. You're in for a bumpy ride.

We're hurtling down a one-way road toward the Police State at mind-boggling speeds, the terrain is getting more treacherous by the minute, and we've passed all the exit ramps. From this point forward, there is no...

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The State of Our Nation: the Greatest Threat to Our Freedoms Is the Government

(1) Comments | Posted February 6, 2014 | 1:30 PM

The reality Americans must contend with is that the world is no better the day after President Obama's State of the Union address than it was the day before. Indeed, if the following rundown on the actual state of our freedoms is anything to go by, the world is a...

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50 Years After the Beatles: Isn't It Time for Another Political & Cultural Revolution?

(1) Comments | Posted February 6, 2014 | 8:32 AM

It's been 50 years since the Beatles--John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr--first landed in America on Feb. 7, 1964, and the news media is awash with nostalgic tributes to the band that "changed everything." The Grammys will be saluting the Beatles with a

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Pete Seeger (1919-2014): He Changed the World One Song at a Time

(1) Comments | Posted January 28, 2014 | 10:22 AM

Pete Seeger, the 94-year-old activist-singer-songwriter who tried to change the world with every note he uttered, has died, and we are all the poorer for it.

A longtime friend whose letters I treasured for their hand-drawn embellishments and whose words of encouragement urged me to keep on fighting, Seeger...

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Government of the Rich, by the Rich and for the Rich: It's Time for 'Militant Nonviolent Resistance'

(0) Comments | Posted January 14, 2014 | 7:15 AM

We now live in a two-tiered system of governance. There are two sets of laws: one set for the government and its corporate allies, and another set for you and me.

The laws which apply to the majority of the population allow the government to do things like sending SWAT...

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Life in the Emerging American Police State: What's in Store for Our Freedoms in 2014?

(0) Comments | Posted January 6, 2014 | 7:15 PM

In Harold Ramis' classic 1993 comedy Groundhog Day, TV weatherman Phil Connors (played by Bill Murray) is forced to live the same day over and over again until he not only gains some insight into his life but changes his priorities. Similarly, as I illustrate in my book...

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