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Guns_and_butter_logoLUMPENPROLETARIAT—From the Guns and Butter archives:  On 11 MAR 2015, friend of indie media, such as Lumpenproletariat.org (and MediaRoots.org), Bonnie Faulkner rebroadcast a notable show from the archives (as a stop-gap, whilst dealing with production/funding challenges) on free speech radio.  (Please support free speech indie media.)  Dedicated KPFA and Pacifica listeners may recall this programme was originally broadcast last summer on 4 JUNE 2014 (Guns and Butter #301).  One may access the audio here (or here). [1]  (Transcript pending.)

In this classic Guns and Butter broadcast, Bonnie Faulkner spoke with author and constitutional attorney, John W. Whitehead, the founder of the non-profit civil liberties group The Rutherford Institute based in Charlottesville, Virginia.  Whitehead discussed his book, A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State (2013).  Whitehead also discussed Operation Vigilant Eagle, designed to keep tabs on dissident vets under various pretexts.  Whitehead tells the story of one decorated vet, who was visited by police who arrested and took him in because they were concerned about his political free speech published on his personal Facebook webpage.  Since this Guns and Butter broadcast, Whitehead has published the follow-up book, Battlefield America: The War on the American People (2015).

Whitehead offers a fascinating overview of what celebrity intellectual, linguist, and anarchosyndicalist Noam Chomsky has long described in the USA, as a slow motion creep toward fascism.  Recently, citing the New York University Law Review, he paraphrased law professor Joanna C. Schwartz thusly:  “Police officers are more likely to be struck by lightning than be held financially accountable for their actions.”  (One may read Schwartz’s 121-page article here.)

Bonnie Faulkner’s programme summary describes the topics discussed as including the characteristics of:

“The Corporate State; American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC); Offices of Inspector General (OIG); SWAT Teams; No-Knock Raids; the Schoolhouse to Jailhouse Track; the New York Prototype; MRAPs; Operation Vigilant Eagle; Atlas Four Androids; TSA and VIPR Teams; Google and the NSA; Fusion Centers.”

—Messina

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GUNS AND BUTTER—[4 JUNE 2014 (Guns and Butter #301)] This is Guns and Butter:

JOHN W. WHITEHEAD:  “I actually had a former NSA agent tell me.  I said: Would you still work for the government?  He didn’t like what the NSA was doing.  And he said:  Yeah.  I said: Is there any branch of the government, that you wouldn’t work for?  And he looked at me and said: Yeah, the Department of Homeland Security, their thugs.”

[SNIP]

[This is a rush transcript. This transcript is currently under construction.]

[SNIP]  (c. 53:50)

BONNIE FAULKNER:  “Now, what are these mobile x-ray scanners.  What’s that?”

WHITEHEAD:  “Those are probably the least invasive, compared to what the drones will do.  But in major cities, they have have vans, that they can go by your home with x-ray scans.  And they can see what you’re doing in your home.  They can see you walking around, what you’re doing.  Supposedly, it’s used for criminals.  But, let’s say you’re driving down the street and you want to see what everybody’s doing, if you’re a policeman.  And I’m sure this happens.  They’ll scan everybody’s home.  That’s collected and fed into the computer.

“The drones in Afghanistan and Iraq are equipped with scanning devices.  So, they will be able to see through your walls into your home.  And you won’t know it, by the way.  Supposedly, they’re developing a proto-type mosquito, which can land on you and extract DNA.  But it will also be able to inject something into you, supposedly, a proto-type.”

BONNIE FAULKNER: “Now, these mobile x-ray scanners, if they’re driving by your house scanning you, does that mean you’re getting radiated?”

WHITEHEAD: “Yeah because–I suppose; I’m not a scientist–how close they are–because I know the airport scanners.  But, yeah, to a certain extent, I would think that would be true, depending on how powerful they are.

“But here’s the thing and, just talking to people in and out of government, who don’t like what’s going on, they’ll talk occasionally.  They’ll say:  The technology the government has, we’re seeing the tip of the iceberg.  We don’t know how deep it goes or how invasive it is.  We do know though, however, with the recent revelations about the NSA that the computers the NSA have are awesome.

“Also, the NSA has the ECHELON programme.  They have bases all over the world.  So, when we talk about electronic concetration camps, Google is just getting ready to launch 180 satellites worldwide, which will hook into the NSA, as well.  If people are trying to esape the United States, if they wanna find you, folks, you can’t do anyting electronic.  You can go live in a cave.  But caves are kind of scarce.”

BONNIE FAULKNER: “You’re saying that Google is gonna launch 180 satellites?”

WHITEHEAD: “They announced it a couple days ago to bring wi-fi to isolated areas.  The problem with it is it creates–they work with the NSA, they admit it.  They work regularly with the NSAThey work with the NSAGoogle admits it.  It’s a scary scenario because you’re talking about the biggest corporation in the world, essentially Google, working with the biggest spy agency in the world, which is the NSA.

“The NSA has a black-ops budget, by the way.  So, we don’t know how much money they have or who works for them or how many people.  But they have a lot of money.

“Let me go ahead and take it a step further.  I would say:  Entities like the NSA, essentially, run the government.  They would have to because they have so much power.”

BONNIE FAULKNER: “John Whitehead, thank you very much.”

WHITEHEAD: “Thank you, ma’am.  Keep up the good fight.”

Transcript by Messina

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HUFFINGTON POST—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 officer is never held accountable for violating your rights and his oath of office to serve and protect, never forced to make amends, never told that what he did was wrong, and never made to change his modus operandi, then you don’t live in a constitutional republic.

You live in a police state.

It doesn’t even matter that “crime is at historic lows” and most cities are safer than they have been in generations, for residents and officers alike,” as the New York Times reports.

What matters is whether you’re going to make it through a police confrontation alive and with your health and freedoms intact. For a growing number of Americans, those confrontations do not end well.

Making matters worse, in the cop culture that is America today, the Bill of Rights doesn’t amount to much. Unless, that is, it’s the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights (LEOBoR), which protects police officers from being subjected to the kinds of debilitating indignities heaped upon the average citizen.

Most Americans, oblivious about their own rights, aren’t even aware that police officers have their own Bill of Rights. Yet at the same time that our own protections against government abuses have been reduced to little more than historic window dressing, police officers accused of a crime are being given special due process rights and privileges not afforded to the average citizen.

In other words, the LEOBor protects police officers from being treated as we are treated during criminal investigations:  questioned unmercifully for hours on end, harassed, harangued, browbeaten, denied food, water and bathroom breaks, subjected to hostile interrogations, and left in the dark about our accusers and any charges and evidence against us.

Learn more from the work of John W. Whitehead at HUFFINGTON POST.

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Learn more, including the full list of 72 Types of Americans Considered ‘Potential Terrorists’, at PBS.

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[1]  Previously archived here:  http://www.kpfa.org/archive/id/111987  Unfortunately, many archives at kpfa.org are sometimes, seemingly randomly, taken down or are moved without indicating new web location or links.

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[Last modified 17:55 CDT  19 MAY 2015]

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