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On The Front Lines

John W. Whitehead Delivers Chilling Message on Threats to Freedom Posed by Government: ‘Battlefield America: The War on the American People’

WASHINGTON, DC — “What’s the greatest threat we face today? Our own government!” warned constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute, in a chilling message delivered at the third annual Ron Paul Institute’s Peace and Prosperity Conference. Whitehead spoke on the far-reaching ramifications of domestic militarization and the transformation of America into a war zone.

Whitehead’s speech can be viewed at

“Our founding fathers warned us not to have a standing army on American soil. We did not heed that warning. We now have a standing army on American soil. It is composed of local police across the country, federal agents armed to the teeth, SWAT teams carrying out 80,000 raids a year. There is a battlefield here in America,” said Whitehead, author of Battlefield America: The War on the American People

“What does this mean for the American people? Well, in a war zone, you have no rights. When you are staring down the end of a police rifle, there can be no free speech. When you’re being held at bay by a militarized, weaponized mine-resistant tank, there can be no freedom of assembly. When you’re being surveilled with thermal imaging devices, facial recognition software and full-body scanners and the like, there can be no privacy. When you’re charged with disorderly conduct simply for daring to question or photograph or document the injustices you see, with the blessing of the courts no less, there can be no freedom to petition the government for a redress of grievances. And when you’re a prisoner in your own town, unable to move freely, kept off the streets, issued a curfew at night, there can be no mistaking the prison walls closing in,” Whitehead explained. “This is happening and will happen anywhere and everywhere else in this country where law enforcement officials are given carte blanche to do what they like, when they like, how they like, with immunity from their superiors, the legislatures, and the courts.”

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 concern for the persecuted and oppressed led him, in 1982, to establish The Rutherford Institute, a nonprofit civil liberties organization. The Rutherford Institute is one of the nation's leading advocates of civil liberties and human rights, litigating in the courts and educating the public on a wide spectrum of issues affecting individual freedom. The Institute’s mission is twofold: to provide legal services in the defense of civil liberties and to educate the public on important issues affecting their constitutional freedoms. The Institute provides its legal services at no charge to those whose constitutional and human rights have been threatened or violated. Whitehead serves as the Institute’s president and spokesperson, in addition to writing a weekly commentary that is distributed nationwide. Whitehead's aggressive, pioneering approach to civil liberties issues has earned him numerous accolades. The Rutherford Institute is a 501(c)(3) organization, gifts to which are deductible as charitable contributions for Federal income tax purposes.