By John W. Whitehead
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Extra info for Battlefield America: The War on the American People
Unfortunately, the Fourth Amendment has been all but eviscerated in recent years by court rulings and government programs that sanction all manner of intrusions. As a result, police now have carte blanche authority to break into homes or apartments without a warrant, conduct roadside strip searches, and generally manhandle the citizenry as they see fit. 8 All of this data is available to other government agencies, including local police. The Fifth Amendment is supposed to ensure that you are presumed innocent until proven guilty, and government authorities cannot deprive you of your life, your liberty, or your property without following strict legal guidelines.
As more and more Americans are coming to realize, freedom—true freedom, as we once knew it—is increasingly an illusion. Consider the following a wake-up call to the reality of life in the American police state: Americans no longer have any protection against police abuse. 5 What is becoming equally commonplace is the news that the officers involved in these incidents get off with little more than a reprimand. Americans are no longer innocent until proven guilty. Due in large part to rapid advances in technology and a heightened surveillance culture, the burden of proof has been shifted so that the right to be considered innocent until proven guilty has been usurped by a new norm in which all citizens are suspects.
And when leaders like John F. ,3 John Lennon,4 and others rise up who dare to challenge the government elite, what happens to them? Government agents carry out surveillance on them, intimidate them, threaten them, and in some cases cause them to “disappear,” knowing full well that few will rise up to take their place. 5 Fixing the Unfixable What is most striking about the American police state is not the megacorporations running amok in the halls of Congress, the militarized police crashing through doors and shooting unarmed citizens, or the invasive surveillance regime which has come to dominate every aspect of our lives.
Battlefield America: The War on the American People by John W. Whitehead