In Battlefield America: The War on the American People, (the follow-up to his award-winning book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State), constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead paints a terrifying portrait of a nation at war with itself and which is on the verge of undermining the basic freedoms guaranteed to the citizenry in the Constitution. Making the case that the government’s policies are dictated more by paranoia, power and control than need, Whitehead warns that it doesn’t really matter whether it’s a Democrat or a Republican at the helm, because the bureaucratic mindset on both sides of the aisle now seems to embody the same philosophy that has become the driving force behind the American police state.
“The outlook for civil liberties grows bleaker by the day, from the government’s embrace of indefinite detention for US citizens and armed surveillance drones flying overhead to warrantless surveillance of phone, email and Internet communications, and prosecutions of government whistle-blowers,” writes Whitehead. “The homeland is ruled by a police-industrial complex, an extension of the American military empire. Everything that our founding fathers warned against is now the new norm. The government has trained its sights on the American people. We have become the enemy.”
The shocking abuses of power revealed in Battlefield America have rendered Americans:
- Helpless in the face of militarized police (SWAT team raids, police shootings, roadside strip searches, asset forfeiture, 1033 programs) and routine invasions of privacy
- Vulnerable to government surveillance (Stingray devices, fusion centers, USA Patriot Act)
- Defenseless against absurd laws that have them arrested for letting their kids play at a park unsupervised, collecting rainwater and snow runoff on their own property, and growing vegetables in their yard (overcriminalization, National Defense Authorization Act, private prisons)
No matter how dire the outlook appears, Whitehead insists that all is not lost. The freedoms which Americans often take for granted were hard won through the sheer determination, suffering and sacrifice of thousands of patriotic Americans who not only believed in the cause of liberty but also acted on that belief. American colonists suffered under Great Britain’s version of an early police state, with armed soldiers crashing through doors to arrest and imprison citizens merely for criticizing government officials. They too were watched all the time, and were stopped and frisked if they appeared even a little bit suspicious. It was only when the colonists finally got fed up with being silenced, censored, searched, frisked, threatened, and arrested that they finally revolted against the tyrant’s fetters.
Battlefield America is drawing praise on all fronts from presidential contender Ron Paul (who also wrote the introduction), Judge Andrew Napolitano, former ACLU president Nadine Strossen and syndicated columnists Paul Craig Roberts, Lew Rockwell and Nat Hentoff.
- Just like acknowledging the nature of the problem is the first step in an individual’s recovery from alcoholism, acknowledging the fascist nature of modern America is a necessary step toward restoring American liberty. Battlefield America does not turn away from naming the true nature of the American regime. Mr. Whitehead draws comparisons not just from history but from dystopian fiction to illustrate how America has lost its way. The very fact that books like this can still be written and published shows that we have not lost all our freedoms. John Whitehead’s work should motivate us all to redouble our efforts to reclaim our freedoms.—Dr. Ron Paul, 12-term U.S. Congressman and former presidential candidate
- The loss of personal liberty, the growth of big government, and the death of government respect for persons rarely occur overnight. It takes a fine eye and a fearless manner to discover and reveal these dangers before it is too late. No one in American today does this better than John Whitehead. In his latest magnum opus, “Battlefield America: The War on the American People”, he paints the case that Fascism is already here, liberty is already lost, we are in more danger from the government than from bomb throwers, and it is nearly too late for hope. I challenge anyone to read this book and then try to go to sleep. I found that impossible.”—Hon. Andrew P. Napolitano, Senior Judicial Analyst, Fox News Channel, Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law, Brooklyn Law School
- Government surveillance, militarized police, sneak-and-peek searches, SWAT team raids, asset forfeiture schemes, overcriminalization, private prisons: these are all pressing concerns that transcend partisan politics and render the citizenry not merely suspects but criminals. Unfortunately, too many Americans have embraced the government’s call to give up some freedom in return for greater safety, only to find that in doing so, they have lost freedom without gaining safety. Constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead makes a compelling and urgent case in Battlefield America for Americans to unite under one common goal: in defense of our freedoms. The danger is clear: if the government has the power to violate one right for one person, then no right is safe for anyone. —Nadine Strossen, former president of the ACLU and constitutional law professor at New York Law School
- Once again, John W. Whitehead shows himself to be a thorough reporter, an insightful scholar and a tireless defender of the Constitution. Battlefield Americais the most penetrating, eye-opening proof to date of the imperialist government’s desecration of our constitutional personal liberties. Battlefield America is not only a warning of the danger ahead but also a detailed, systematic illustration of how a once freedom-loving nation can descend into tyranny. A must-read for anyone concerned about how to get us back on the road to becoming a self-governing republic. Citizens, journalists, activists, government officials—any and all Americans who have so little inkling about what it really means to be an American and actively safeguard our freedoms against all dangers, foreign and domestic—should take the time to become acquainted with this book. Students and teachers, especially, should make it a priority to debate and discuss this book in their classrooms.—Nat Hentoff, syndicated columnists and historian
- In his compelling book, Battlefield America, John W. Whitehead describes the danger posed to liberty and humanity itself by the control impulse of government and technology. American “Democratic Capitalism” is not liberating us; it is enslaving humanity.—Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary, US Treasury, and former Wall Street Journal columnist and editor
- “John Whitehead is freedom’s defense lawyer. He’ll never give up, and neither must we. To join John in this fight, first read his manifesto: Battlefield America. You are much needed.”—Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., author and chairman of Mises Institute
Constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead is the president of The Rutherford Institute.