National Public Radio’s All Things Considered weekend edition featured constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead last week discussing his new book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, and the overall state of freedom and civil liberties in America.
The book’s release is timely in light of this week’s news that the NSA has been spying on citizens.
A Government of Wolves paints a chilling portrait of a nation in the final stages of transformation into a police state, complete with surveillance cameras, drug-sniffing dogs, SWAT team raids, roadside strip searches, blood draws at DUI checkpoints, mosquito drones, tasers, privatized prisons, GPS tracking devices, zero tolerance policies, overcriminalization, and free speech zones.
Whitehead argues that fiction has now become fact. Indeed, with sci fi movies such as Minority Report, 1984, The Matrix, They Live, and V for Vendetta pointing the way, America has become that futuristic society of celluloid fantasies in which a passive, uninformed populace gives rise to an overbearing, out-of-control government. Whitehead claims that this is the future George Orwell warned against. This is the present that Whitehead cautions could become an endless nightmare from which there is no awakening unless we act now.
As American historian and nationally syndicated columnist Nat Hentoff notes in his special introduction to A Government of Wolves: “We have been through some troubling times before in our nation’s history. There were the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 . . . the Red Raids in the early 1920s . . . the Japanese internment camps of World War Two . . . What we have now may be more insidious. Indeed, I believe we are in a worse state now than ever before in this country. With the surveillance state closing in on us, we are fighting to keep our country free from our own government.”
John Whitehead established The Rutherford Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the defense of civil liberties and human rights.