45

Shutdown or Not, the Police State Will Continue to Flourish

John Whitehead

“There is no more dangerous menace to civilization than a government of incompetent, corrupt, or vile men.”
Ludwig von Mises

Once again, the police state is up to its old tricks, stoking tensions over whether or not the government is forced to shut down, even partially, due to a default on the national debt.

Yet while these political games dominate news headlines, send the stock market into a nosedive, and put federal employees at risk of having to work without pay, nothing about these high-handed theatrics will diminish the immediate and very real dangers of the American Police State with its roadside strip searches, government surveillance, biometric databases, citizens being treated like terrorists, imprisonments for criticizing the government, national ID cards, SWAT team raids, censorship, forcible blood draws and DNA extractions, private prisons, weaponized drones, red light cameras, tasers, active shooter drills, police misconduct and government corruption.

Default or not, war will continue. Drone killings will continue. Surveillance will continue. Censorship and persecution of anyone who criticizes the government will continue. The government’s efforts to label dissidents as extremists and terrorists will continue.

Police shootings will continue. Highway robbery meted out by government officials will continue. Corrupt government will continue. Profit-driven prisons will continue. And the militarization of the police will continue.

Indeed, take a look at the programs and policies that will not be affected by a government default on its debt leading to a possible shutdown, and you’ll get a clearer sense of the government’s priorities, which have little to do with serving taxpayers and everything to do with amassing money, power and control.

Surveillance will continue unabated. On any given day, whether you’re walking through a store, driving your car, checking email, or talking to friends and family on the phone, you can be sure that some government agency, whether the NSA or some other entity, is listening in and tracking your behavior. Police have been outfitted with a litany of surveillance gear, from license plate readers and cell phone tracking devices to biometric data recorders. Technology now makes it possible for the police to scan passersby in order to detect the contents of their pockets, purses, briefcases, etc. Full-body scanners, which perform virtual strip-searches of Americans traveling by plane, have gone mobile, with roving police vans that peer into vehicles and buildings alike—including homes. Coupled with the nation’s growing network of real-time surveillance cameras and facial recognition software, soon there really will be nowhere to run and nowhere to hide.

Global spying will continue unabated. The NSA’s massive surveillance network, what the Washington Post refers to as a $500 billion “espionage empire,” will continue to span the globe and target every single person on the planet who uses a phone or a computer. The NSA’s Echelon program intercepts and analyzes virtually every phone call, fax and email message sent anywhere in the world. In addition to carrying out domestic surveillance on peaceful political groups such as Amnesty International, Greenpeace and several religious groups, Echelon has also been a keystone to the government’s attempts at political and corporate espionage.

Egregious searches will continue unabated. Under the pretext of protecting the nation’s infrastructure (roads, mass transit systems, water and power supplies, telecommunications systems and so on) against criminal or terrorist attacks, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) task forces (comprised of federal air marshals, surface transportation security inspectors, transportation security officers, behavior detection officers and explosive detection canine teams) will continue to do random security sweeps of nexuses of transportation, including ports, railway and bus stations, airports, ferries and subways. Sweep tactics include the use of x-ray technology, pat-downs and drug-sniffing dogs, among other things.

The undermining of the Constitution will continue unabated. America’s so-called war on terror, which it has relentlessly pursued since 9/11, has chipped away at our freedoms, unraveled our Constitution and transformed our nation into a battlefield, thanks in large part to such subversive legislation as the USA Patriot Act and National Defense Authorization Act. These laws—which completely circumvent the rule of law and the constitutional rights of American citizens, re-orienting our legal landscape in such a way as to ensure that martial law, rather than the rule of law, our U.S. Constitution, becomes the map by which we navigate life in the United States—will continue to be enforced.

Militarized policing will continue unabated. Thanks to federal grant programs allowing the Pentagon to transfer surplus military supplies and weapons to local law enforcement agencies without charge, police forces will continue to be transformed from peace officers into heavily armed extensions of the military, complete with jackboots, helmets, shields, batons, pepper-spray, stun guns, assault rifles, body armor, miniature tanks and weaponized drones. Having been given the green light to probe, poke, pinch, taser, search, seize, strip and generally manhandle anyone they see fit in almost any circumstance, all with the general blessing of the courts, America’s law enforcement officials, no longer mere servants of the people entrusted with keeping the peace, will continue to keep the masses corralled, under control, and treated like suspects and enemies rather than citizens.

SWAT team raids will continue unabated. With more than 80,000 SWAT team raids carried out every year on unsuspecting Americans for relatively routine police matters and federal agencies laying claim to their own law enforcement divisions, the incidence of botched raids and related casualties will continue to rise. Nationwide, SWAT teams will continue to be employed to address an astonishingly trivial array of criminal activity or mere community nuisances including angry dogs, domestic disputes, improper paperwork filed by an orchid farmer, and misdemeanor marijuana possession.

Overcriminalization will continue unabated. The government bureaucracy will continue to churn out laws, statutes, codes and regulations that reinforce its powers and value systems and those of the police state and its corporate allies, rendering the rest of us petty criminals. The average American now unknowingly commits three felonies a day, thanks to this overabundance of vague laws that render otherwise innocent activity illegal. Consequently, small farmers who dare to make unpasteurized goat cheese and share it with members of their community will continue to have their farms raided.

The shadow government— a.k.a. the Deep State, a.k.a. the police state, a.k.a. the military industrial complex, a.k.a. the surveillance state complex—will continue unabated. This corporatized, militarized, entrenched bureaucracy that is fully operational and staffed by unelected officials will continue to call the shots in Washington DC, no matter who sits in the White House or controls Congress. By “government,” I’m not referring to the highly partisan, two-party bureaucracy of the Republicans and Democrats. Rather, I’m referring to “government” with a capital “G,” the entrenched Deep State that is unaffected by elections, unaltered by populist movements, and has set itself beyond the reach of the law.

These issues are not going away.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People and in its fictional counterpart The Erik Blair Diaries, they are the backbone of an increasingly aggressive authoritarian government, formed by an unholy alliance between the mega-corporations with little concern for the Constitution and elected officials and bureaucrats incapable or unwilling to represent the best interests of their constituents.

Whether or not the government runs out of borrowed money, it will remain business as usual in terms of the police state’s unceasing pursuit of greater powers and control.

Originally published by the Rutherford Institute
Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. His book Battlefield America: The War on the American People (SelectBooks, 2015) is available online at www.amazon.com. Whitehead can be contacted at [email protected]

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Jos
Jos
May 26, 2023 9:34 AM

I’ve travelled abroad (from the UK) twice in the last year. The first time I had to get proof of a negative covid test as I was ‘unvaccinated’. No one asked to see it. The second time my passport was short of the three months required to get into France. On the outward and return journey, two sets of border guards looked at my passport and stamped it. In neither case did they seem to be at all interested in their own rules. Maybe there’s another reason (I’m a middle aged, white woman?) or maybe totalitarianism only works in the heads of the dictators and, in this case, their staff could no longer care less.

correspondencecommitttee
correspondencecommitttee
May 24, 2023 9:00 AM

comment image

NickM
NickM
May 24, 2023 7:46 AM

“the American Police State with its roadside strip searches, government surveillance, biometric databases, citizens being treated like terrorists, imprisonments for criticizing the government, national ID cards, SWAT team raids, censorship, forcible blood draws and DNA extractions, private prisons, weaponized drones, red light cameras, tasers, active shooter drills, police misconduct and government corruption.”

To be consistent with your banner quote from Mises (about the danger of having vile people in government) I think you should move “government corruption” to the head of your list.

mjh
mjh
May 23, 2023 8:38 PM

Just want to say thanks to the Whiteheads and the work they do at the Rutherford Institute to expose and combat government intrusion in all its various forms.

Ort
Ort
May 23, 2023 8:08 PM

The term “police state” caught my eye because, coincidentally, I just used it myself while commenting elsewhere.

I trust that the OP won’t mind being quoted. I think it’s appropriate to cross-post the exchange here, because it addresses an issue that is mostly only implied, or touched upon, in Whitehead’s article:
_________________________________________

Sertorius01

All that is necessary to capture an election today:

(1) the media reports vote returns to favour the establishment candidate, whether true or a lie
(2) utilize enough Secretaries of State to set the false-victory narrative as “certified”.
(3) the courts refuse to admit any charges or evidence of the fraud.

So simple.
——————————
Ort

Exactly right, sad to say. The overclass’s tidy and efficient method of normalizing fraudulent elections that install its chosen minions in high office is a blatant manifestation of the politicization and weaponization of the “rule of law”, aka “lawfare”; this instrument of authoritarian tyranny is all the rage in the decadent, sociopathic Western power elite.

In the US, the false “January 6th Capitol Insurrection” narrative is another reprehensible exercise of lawfare; the complicit mass-media propagandists manufacture a fake account plausible to useful idiots, and then the prosecutors and courts reinforce and reify the narrative with a series of show trials that must be making Stalin smile in Hell.

The legacy term for brutal authoritarian dictatorships is “police state”. Of course, the police, state-security apparatus, and military are still required to provide the mailed fists and hobnailed boots as needed.

But the “law” component of “law and order” has stealthily, albeit in plain sight, taken the lead in brutally suppressing citizens and civil liberties. 😡

Erik Nielsen
Erik Nielsen
May 23, 2023 7:31 PM

Constant tax evasion by the American people thinking, what can America do for my personal Hollywood movie and my personal lousy life made a police state necessary.

If the American people had listened to my and JFK’s advice on what you could do and have done for America, nobody would stand in this mud and situation today!
Sorry guys, but someone gotta do it and when you dont do it, the police must do it for ya.

DavidF
DavidF
May 23, 2023 6:12 PM

OT but overjoyed that the BBC has unveiled its new Verify department where “expert investigators” “prove” that news reports are actually true !!!! Thank goodness. To think that some of their past reports might have not been so truthful is abhorrent to me. Surely not the BBC, our unbiased source of reality.

NickM
NickM
May 24, 2023 7:59 AM
Reply to  DavidF

Sarc alert!

Woowoo
Woowoo
May 23, 2023 4:33 PM

comment image

Christine Thompson
Christine Thompson
May 23, 2023 7:36 PM
Reply to  Woowoo

That, in the image above, is exactly what takes place at the time of the OH-so-misinterpreted event that’s wholly incorrectly termed ‘death’.

People on Earth who are lucky enough to possess the spiritual gift of clairvoyant vision (and some doctors & nurses around the world possess clairvoyant sight, and have gone on record to attest to that fact), when in the presence of someone who’s about to do what’s so very wrongly termed ‘die’, literally see that ‘dying’ person’s eternal, immortal spirit body literally emerge from the physical body, and return to the Spirit realms.
Exactly as the image above illustrates. The spirit body is the real us: with all our exact-same thoughts, emotions, feelings, attitudes, etc, as we had when on Earth in our physical body. The ‘only’ thing which the so very-misinterpreted event, ‘death’, causes us to lose is our physical body ‘coat’. We (I reiterate: the exact-same us as we each are, here and now, on Earth) continue to exist, after ‘death’, in our immortal spirit body, in the very real Spirit dimension of this in fact multi-dimensional cosmos. That Spirit realm being where we all (the eternal soul which we all are) originate from.

Martin Usher
Martin Usher
May 23, 2023 3:32 PM

The Federal government is only one component of the US system of government. Its importance is exaggerated because it collects most of the direct taxes and controls how they’re disbursed (money being power). Realistically, though, most day to day functions that affect us are managed by our state, county and city governments. This includes law enforcement — the police state, if you want to call it that.

Multiple taxation is one of the burdens that US taxpayers have to bear. Traditionally we’ve avoided multiple taxation by being able to deduct taxes paid locally from our income for Federal taxation purposes but thanks to tax changes — thanks, Republicans — we’re now sunsetting this, leading the stage set for central control over our local budgets (UK style — a conservative pipe dream).

Federal government functions such as the hyper-bloated budgets of the DoD and ‘three letter agencies’ will be regarded as essential and will continue regardless of funding. I’d guess that this is what the article is complaining about — but then suggesting otherwise would be taking a rather naive view of government. Like any other organization its Prime Directive is Self Preservation.

(BTW — The budget (and economy) of just one county can exceed that of many, if not the majority, of small countries. Our state’s economy is bigger than most countries, its about #5 in the world. Its difficult to get a feel for the numbers involved, especially if you live elsewhere.)

Junious Ricardo Stanton
Junious Ricardo Stanton
May 23, 2023 2:32 PM

The plutocratic overlords have reconfigured the system to the point only dolts and the most brainwashed/comatose among us believe we live in a free and open society. The ruling elites always graved power and control which is why the so called “founding fathers” created this system by changing their mandate from revising the Articles of Confederation to colluding to establish a plutocracy ruled by rich white males to the intentional and deliberate exclusion of all other non property owning males, all women, all indigenous people and all bonded or enslaved people! What we are experiencing now is nothing more than a reshuffling of the deck, a restructuring of the American oligarchic system into a global neo-feudal technological socio-political arrangement with us on the bottom as serfs, peons, drones and Zombies.

Petra Liverani
Petra Liverani
May 23, 2023 2:32 PM

Just when you thought …

comment image

STJOHNOFGRAFTON
STJOHNOFGRAFTON
May 24, 2023 4:15 AM
Reply to  Petra Liverani

Covid-smart dumb measures. Face masks are next to useless in stopping viruses. Although,they might help if people were spitting at each other. Camden High School may as well mandate face masks as lucky charms. The other thing to do is educate the so called Covid virus to stay strictly within the 1.5 meter limit. Time for another boostie. You can never have enough ‘lucky’ charms to hang on the dumb measures.

Candledark
Candledark
May 24, 2023 6:32 AM

You do realize there are no viruses or transmission, right? Its been 3 years ffs

bill cervetti
bill cervetti
May 25, 2023 11:49 PM
Reply to  Petra Liverani

Camden NEW JERSEY?? Thanks to our great Gov. Phil Murphy, 2nd refugee from Goldman Sachs in the past 15 years?

Petra Liverani
Petra Liverani
May 26, 2023 2:03 AM
Reply to  bill cervetti

No I should have given more detail. Camden in south-west Sydney.

George Mc
George Mc
May 23, 2023 1:00 PM

Rendering us all “petty criminals” is where the system was going from the first. Indeed, we all were petty criminals by the logic of the parasite class who see themselves as not merely the best of humanity but as the only humanity. The very fact that we exist at all – along with the parasites’ suppressed awareness that they actually need us to feed off – is the most outrageous assault on the ruling class sense of privilege. And they can’t stand it. They can’t stand the idea that their minions actually have rights and freedoms and something approaching decent lives. How dare we! We should all be locked up and kept away from what is “rightfully theirs”!

Their ultimate aim is to put every one of us in jail where we can be drilled into ceaseless drudgery without pay.

Jim McDonagh
Jim McDonagh
May 23, 2023 1:26 PM
Reply to  George Mc

The 3 Abrahamic religions are all based on the believe that its gods decrees that we are born as sinners ! That we are all petty criminals as well is just an inevitable progression as our elites begin to believe they are gods themselves.

Erik Nielsen
Erik Nielsen
May 23, 2023 8:14 PM
Reply to  Jim McDonagh

All right, but remember Jesus Christ came and saved us out of this mess.

With him we are no more petty criminals as long as we repent when we are petty criminals, which we are not or at least very little and only a few times, and therefore refuse to admit it because we can do it alone.

Placental_Mammal
Placental_Mammal
May 23, 2023 12:56 PM

Eastern Suburbs

Ten years ago pigs in the wealthy Eastern suburbs scanned the number plates of older cars and stopped them if they happened to be registered in the poorer Western suburbs.

mgeo
mgeo
May 24, 2023 8:38 AM

East and West of where? Are you in the centre of the Universe?

Freecus
Freecus
May 23, 2023 12:49 PM

Whether or not the government runs out of borrowed money, it will remain business as usual[…]

Private control of the issuance of unbacked currency (it’s not money), is at the core of this world-wide deception.

moneycircus
moneycircus
May 23, 2023 11:02 AM

Well, that was cheerful.

Literally nobody
Literally nobody
May 23, 2023 10:54 AM

Slowly and surely they drew their plans against us.

Erik Nielsen
Erik Nielsen
May 23, 2023 8:17 PM

The chances are a million to one, and we are talking about Science here.

Paul Prichard
Paul Prichard
May 23, 2023 10:19 AM

Your alternative update on #COVID19 for 2023-05-22. WHO – corrupt, incompetent, thoroughly discredited. SC justice Gorsuch Shreds Lockdown Authoritarianism (blog, gab, tweet).

Joe
Joe
May 23, 2023 10:12 AM

Hello and many blessings to all.

If you would be so kind as to allow, I wanted to piggyback off this post to share an article I just wrote on my blog. The article talks about the importance of living in communion with the natural world (which includes the benefit of breathing fully oxygenated fresh air), and I thought it might resonate with some here.

Best,

Joe

https://joeanderson.substack.com/p/living-indoors-and-otherwise-separated

George Mc
George Mc
May 23, 2023 9:13 AM

And on a possibly related note, I heard once again the drone about Ukraine on the TV “news” last night and it suddenly struck me that there was a dreamlike fantasy feel about the whole thing. Not that I’m suggesting nothing is happening out there but that there is no “war” in any conventional sense. It is a theatre designed to last as long as needed – because in the end it is distraction whilst the totalitarian state is gradually being assembled around us.

Ozzie Explorer
Ozzie Explorer
May 23, 2023 10:51 AM
Reply to  George Mc

Both sides accuse the other side of faking footage, using silicone bodies, making false claims etc. The corporate prozzies say Russia is faking it, the alt media Russia groupies say Ukraine is faking it. But no one puts two and two together that BOTH SIDES MIGHT BE FAKING IT.

I don’t know what’s really going on, I’m not there, but neither are most of the armchair experts giving us the low down. They don’t know either.

Could be 100% real, could be 100% fake or somewhere in the middle. After the covid scam anything is possible and I don’t trust any of them.

Jim McDonagh
Jim McDonagh
May 23, 2023 1:39 PM
Reply to  George Mc

Just as “Covid” was a cyber plague , “Ukraine” is a cyber war . The Internet has quickly become the main terror weapon of big government and its corporates owners. The global totalitarian began as Thatcherism and Reaganomics as communism collapsed and was replaced by monopoly capitalism as well.

Howard
Howard
May 23, 2023 1:43 PM
Reply to  George Mc

But is there even such a thing as a “conventional” war? Aren’t all wars pure theatre, designed and executed to oust last season’s leading men and leading ladies and replace them with this season’s leading men and leading ladies?

NickM
NickM
May 24, 2023 9:01 AM
Reply to  Howard

“Aren’t all wars pure theatre,”

No, dear child. Pure theatre only spills ketchup. War spills “a very special kind of juice”:

“Blut ist ein ganz besonderes saft” — Wolfgang von Goethe, 18th century German biologist.

der einzige
der einzige
May 24, 2023 7:07 AM
Reply to  George Mc

It seems your attention has been completely diverted. Since where there is a war of the whole NATO against Russia, you do not see it. Your “police state” has always existed, it’s a pity you’re only now starting to notice it.

NickM
NickM
May 24, 2023 8:52 AM
Reply to  George Mc

“there is no “war” in any conventional sense.”

That’s why it is called an SMO (Special Military Operation).

Real War will begin only if NATZO refuses to honour its promise not to advance East of Berlin. That would be the second time Russia has had to de-Nazify Eastern Europe. The first time was WW2. Nobody wants to see WW3.

“I have not yet begun to fight” — Captain Patrick Henry Putin.

Clutching at straws
Clutching at straws
May 23, 2023 9:11 AM

“Mankind soon learn to make interested uses of every right and power which they possess, or may assume. The public money and public liberty, intended to have been deposited with three branches of magistracy, but found inadvertently to be in the hands of one only, will soon be discovered to be sources of wealth and dominion to those who hold them… They [the assembly] should look forward to a time, and that not a distant one, when a corruption in this, as in the country from which we derive our origin, will have seized the heads of government, and be spread by them through the body of the people; when they will purchase the voices of the people, and make them pay the price. Human nature is the same on every side of the Atlantic, and will be alike influenced by the same causes. The time to guard against corruption and tyranny, is before they shall have gotten hold of us. It is better to keep the wolf out of the fold, than to trust to drawing his teeth and talons after he shall have entered.”

Thomas Jefferson 1785

NickM
NickM
May 24, 2023 9:14 AM

“It is better to keep the wolf out of the fold, than to trust to drawing his teeth and talons after he shall have entered.”

The wolf is well and truly inside the fold. She entered while we were dreaming the End of History:

“I cannot well repeat how there I entered,
  So full was I of slumber at the moment
  In which I had abandoned the true way.
And a she-wolf, that with all hungerings
  Seemed to be laden in her meagreness,
  And many folk she caused to live forlorn!
She brought upon me so much heaviness,
  With all the fear that from her aspect came,
   Which, coming on against me by degrees
  Thrust me back downwards where the sun is silent.” — Dante, Inferno.

https://poets.org/poem/inferno-canto-i

Paul Watson
Paul Watson
May 23, 2023 9:05 AM

Government is the enemy, period.

wardropper
wardropper
May 23, 2023 9:47 PM
Reply to  Paul Watson

But let’s not forget Satan’s little helpers – the entire mainstream media…
Government would be lost without them.

Paul Watson
Paul Watson
May 24, 2023 5:50 AM
Reply to  wardropper

Agree its all spiritual warfare.

ZenPriest
ZenPriest
May 24, 2023 3:55 PM
Reply to  wardropper

And if we are really getting down to it, the majority of people who are filled with demonic spirits which feed the Satanic machine.
Hence, the ONLY solution is Christ. The only one who casts out demons and has already defeated the prince of darkness.