THE NEW BOSS WILL BE THE SAME AS THE OLD BOSS
By John W. Whitehead
April 13, 2015
“What the government is good at is collecting taxes, taking away your
freedoms and killing people. It’s not good at much else.”—Author Tom
The American people remain eager to be persuaded that a new president
in the White House can solve the problems that plague us. Yet no matter
who wins this next presidential election, you can rest assured that the
new boss will be the same as the old boss, and we—the permanent
underclass in America—will continue to be forced to march in lockstep
with the police state in all matters, public and private.
Indeed, as I point out in my new book Battlefield America: The War on the American People,
it really doesn’t matter what you call them—the 1%, the elite, the
controllers, the masterminds, the shadow government, the police state,
the surveillance state, the military industrial complex—so long as you
understand that no matter which party occupies the White House in 2017,
the unelected bureaucracy that actually calls the shots will continue to
Consider the following a much-needed reality check, an antidote if you
will, against an overdose of overhyped campaign announcements, lofty
electoral promises and meaningless patriotic sentiments that land us
right back in the same prison cell.
FACT: For the first time in history, Congress is dominated by a majority of millionaires
who are, on average, fourteen times wealthier than the average
American. According to a scientific study by Princeton researchers, the United States of America is not the democracy that it purports to be, but rather an oligarchy,
in which “economic elites and organized groups representing business
interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government
FACT: “Today, 17,000
local police forces are equipped with such military equipment as
Blackhawk helicopters, machine guns, grenade launchers, battering rams,
explosives, chemical sprays, body armor, night vision, rappelling gear
and armored vehicles,” reports Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury. “Some have tanks.”
FACT: Thanks to an overabundance of 4,500-plus federal crimes and 400,000-plus rules and regulations, it is estimated that the average American actually commits three felonies a day without knowing it. In fact, according to law professor John Baker, “There is no one in the United States over the age of 18 who cannot be indicted for some federal crime. That is not an exaggeration.”
FACT: The number of violent crimes in the country is down substantially, the lowest rate in forty years, while the number of Americans being jailed for nonviolent crimes such as driving with a suspended license is skyrocketing.
FACT: Despite the fact that women only make up 8 percent of the prison population, they are more likely to be strip searched, though not more likely to carry contraband.
FACT: Despite the fact that we have 46 million Americans living at or below the poverty line, 16 million children living in households without adequate access to food, and at least 900,000 veterans relying on food stamps, enormous sums continue to be doled out for presidential vacations ($16 million for trips to Africa and Hawaii), overtime fraud at the Department of Homeland Security (nearly $9 million in improper overtime claims, and that’s just in six of the DHS’ many offices)HurricaHur, and Hollywood movie productions ($10 million was spent by the Army National Guard on Superman movie tie-ins aimed at increasing awareness about the National Guard).
FACT: Since 2001 Americans have spent $10.5 million every hour for numerous foreign military occupations, including in Iraq and Afghanistan. There’s also the $2.2 million spent every hour on maintaining the United States’ nuclear stockpile, and the $35,000 spent every hour
to produce and maintain our collection of Tomahawk missiles. And then
there’s the money the government exports to other countries to support
their arsenals, at the cost of $1.61 million every hour for the American taxpayers.
FACT: It is estimated that 2.7 million children in the United States have at least one parent in prison,
whether it be a local jail or a state or federal penitentiary, due to a
wide range of factors ranging from overcriminalization and surprise
raids at family homes to roadside traffic stops.
FACT: At least 400 to 500 innocent people are killed by police officers every year. Indeed, Americans are now eight times more likely to die in a police confrontation than they are to be killed by a terrorist. Americans are 110 times more likely to die of foodborne illness than in a terrorist attack.
FACT: Police officers are more likely to be struck by lightning than be made financially liable for their wrongdoing.
FACT: On an average day in America, over 100 Americans have their homes raided by SWAT teams.There has been a notable buildup in recent years of SWAT teams within non-security-related federal agencies
such as the Department of Agriculture, the Railroad Retirement Board,
the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Office of Personnel Management, the
Consumer Product Safety Commission, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
and the Education Department.
FACT: The FBI’s Next Generation Identification (NGI) facial recognition system, which is set to hold data on millions of Americans,
will include a variety of biometric data, including palm prints, iris
scans, and face recognition data. The FBI hopes to have 52 million
images by 2015. NGI will be capable of uploading 55,000 images a day, and conducting tens of thousands of photo searches a day.
FACT: Comprising an $82 billion industry, at least 30,000 drones are expected to occupy U.S. airspace by 2020.
FACT: Devices are now being developed that would allow police to stop a car remotely, ostensibly to end police chases.
FACT: Everything we do will eventually be connected to the Internet. By 2030 it is estimated there will be 100 trillion sensor devices connecting human electronic devices
(cell phones, laptops, etc.) to the Internet. Much, if not all, of our
electronic devices will be connected to Google, which openly works with
government intelligence agencies.
FACT: In 2015 mega-food corporations will begin rolling out high-tech shelving outfitted with cameras in order to track the shopping behavior of customers, as well as information like the age and sex of shoppers.
FACT: If knowledge is power, it’s no wonder Americans are in hot water.
According to a study by the National Constitution Center, 41 percent of Americans “are not aware that there are three branches of government, and 62 percent couldn’t name them; 33 percent couldn’t even name one.”
FACT: The United States is one of the highest TV viewing nations. According to a Nielsen report, the average American over the age of two “spends more than thirty-four hours a week watching live television . . . plus another three to six hours watching taped programs.”
FACT: Only six out of every one hundred Americans
know that they actually have a constitutional right to hold the
government accountable for wrongdoing, as guaranteed by the right to
petition clause of the First Amendment.
FACT: According to a Gallup poll, Americans place greater faith in the military and the police
than in any of the three branches of government. However, when asked to
name the greatest problem facing the nation, Americans of all political
stripes ranked the government as the number one concern. In fact, almost eight out of ten Americans believe that government corruption is widespread.
Perhaps the most troubling fact of all is this: we have handed over
control of our government and our lives to faceless bureaucrats who view
us as little more than cattle to be bred, branded, butchered and sold
If there is to be any hope of restoring our freedoms and reclaiming
control over our government, it will rest not with the politicians but
with the people themselves. When all is said and done, each American
will have to decide for themselves whether they prefer dangerous freedom
to peaceful slavery.
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 and
human rights organization whose international headquarters are located in