John W. Whitehead: The US Electoral System is Thoroughly Corrupt

John W. Whitehead

TEHRAN (FNA)- A prominent American constitutional attorney says that the US citizens have lost many of their rights and civil liberties, especially following the 9/11 attacks.

According to John W. Whitehead, the American people have been subject to the disturbing consequences of the rise and growth of military-industrial complex, which the former US President Dwight Eisenhower had warned against back in 1961.

“In his final address to the nation, President Eisenhower warned the American people of the rise of the military-industrial complex. We didn’t listen. Our economy is now largely fueled by war, military spending, and arms production. There are obviously better things we could be spending our time, money, and energy on, but there are many powerful corporations and powerful government institutions which depend on this production to maintain their influence,” said Whitehead in an exclusive interview with Fars News Agency.

On the influence of the interest groups and corporations on the media in the United States which drives Washington to more wars and military confrontations, John Whitehead said, “There is definitely a strain of entertainment in America which glorifies violence and war. This is in part because corporations that produce military products are also entertainment products. This is also in part because the Department of Defense actually influences the content of movies and TV shows by re-writing scripts or disapproving certain content if it’s not to their liking.”

John W. Whitehead is the President of The Rutherford Institute and the author of “A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State.” Whitehead founded The Rutherford Institute in 1982, and is a civil liberties organization that provides free legal services to people, whose constitutional and human rights have been threatened or violated.

Mr. Whitehead took part in an interview with FNA to present his viewpoints regarding the police state and the lack of democracy in the US, the restrictions imposed on the American citizens following the 9/11 events and the costs the American taxpayers pay for the US government’s military expeditions across the world. What follows is the text of the interview.

Q: Mr. Whitehead; you’ve argued that the United States is becoming a police state in which the civil liberties are restricted, the phone calls, emails and transactions are spied on, the financial transactions are monitored, the legal types of protesting are criminalized and the innocent citizens are killed in shooting rampages. These are the realities which exist in the American society, but there are many people in the Third World countries, who tend to think of the United States as a utopia in which everything is orderly, perfect and freedom is unrestricted and at its highest level. Is it really the case? What’s your response to such people?

A: Americans do enjoy a significant amount of freedom in some respects compared to people in other countries. Obviously Americans are freer than, say, people in North Korea, but that is just an extreme example. Americans have largely ceded their rights and freedoms to the federal government, particularly since September 11, 2001, and every day we’re giving up more and more of our individual freedoms to the government. Furthermore, our electoral system is thoroughly corrupt, such that the average American has no real chance of affecting government policy. I would agree that Americans are in some respects more free than people in other nations, but if we don’t take note of our quickly eroding freedoms, that won’t be the case for long.

Q: You once cited the Bureau of Justice Statistics as reporting that some 400 to 500 innocent citizens are killed by the police officers in the United States every year. This is a considerable figure, but is rarely mentioned in the US mainstream media. Why is it so?

A: Police officers in the United States tend to receive extreme deference, both among regular people and in the media. They are generally treated as heroes. When examples of corruption or illegal activity come to light, the accused officers are generally treated as bad apples, exceptions to the rule of good policing. However, people are now becoming more cognizant of the manner in which police agencies across the country have become unaccountable to the public. Combined with increasing media attention on police militarization, there is a significant portion of the public that is beginning to question the central role given to police in American society.

Q: It’s noted that since its declaration of independence, the United States has taken part, either directly or indirectly, in more than 50 military expeditions and wars that have claimed the lives of millions of innocent civilians. Why does the United States, as you write in your articles, spend so much lavishly and extravagantly on wars and military adventures? Why should the United States make up nearly 80 percent of the global arms export market?

A: In his final address to the nation, President Eisenhower warned the American people of the rise of the military-industrial complex. We didn’t listen. Our economy is now largely fueled by war, military spending, and arms production. There are obviously better things we could be spending our time, money, and energy on, but there are many powerful corporations and powerful government institutions which depend on this production to maintain their influence. It would take a bold, mass movement to bring down American military spending to more appropriate levels.

Q: What’s your viewpoint regarding the contribution of the entertainment industry to the growth of the culture of violence and warmongering in the United States, especially among the children and young adults who are most likely to be influenced by the Hollywood “blockbusters” and as Nick Turse puts it, the productions of the defense contractors like Sony, Samsung, Panasonic or Toshiba?

A: There is definitely a strain of entertainment in America which glorifies violence and war. This is in part because corporations that produce military products are also entertainment products. This is also in part because the Department of Defense actually influences the content of movies and TV shows by re-writing scripts or disapproving certain content if it’s not to their liking. This usually happens when movie producers want to use actual military equipment or military locations to shoot their films. We could certainly stand to have a less violent culture.

Q: You’ve extensively written about the US government’s use of drones and unpiloted aerial vehicles to purportedly target the Al-Qaeda bases in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and also for reconnaissance missions inside the United States. Is this extensive use of drones which regularly results in the killing of innocent civilians legal and compliant with the international law?

A: The use of drones to assassinate certain high value military targets, particularly American citizens, is a blatant violation of international law. The precedent which America has set in this arena will become more troublesome as more nations acquire drones and begin using them for the same reasons that the American government has purported to use them.

As far as their use inside the United States, the constant surveillance of American citizens is a violation of the Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. Unfortunately, the precedent for mass surveillance has been set by the NSA’s wiretapping of various American communications, so there does not seem to be much hope that the courts or legislatures will work to reel in their use until the American people demand it.

Q: The seminal ideology of War on Terror initiated by President George W. Bush was to eradicate the Al-Qaeda terrorists and the extremists who posed a threat to the US national security; however, this project has got expanded in the recent years and is now turned into an all-out confrontation between the United States and the Muslim world in general. Is it fair to punish all the Muslim nations economically, politically and militarily simply because it is alleged those who attacked the World Trade Center towers were Muslims?

A: It’s obvious that whatever mandate the American government had in the days after 9/11 to bring to justice the group which perpetrated that attack has spun out of control. America is now occupying a number of countries in the Middle East and Africa, at a great cost to the American taxpayer and the lives and well-being of people in those countries. I think there is a strand of the American public which is becoming increasingly vocal in regard to wanting to pull out of these various military engagements, and only use the military for its true purpose: protecting the continental United States.

Q: Would you please explain about the recent laws and constitutional double standards in the United States which prohibit the Americans from gathering to protest at the elected officials for their policies, gives immunity to police officers who shoot unarmed civilians, and as you note, “gives government agents carte blanche access to Americans’ communications and activities?” How are these infringements upon the rights of the American citizens justified?

A: Most of the justifications for stamping out free speech and conducting mass surveillance relate to the War on Terror mindset which has gripped the nation since September 11. The government says they are enacting these policies to protect us, but there is very little evidence that they actually contribute to our safety. And even if they did, we as Americans cannot allow all of our rights and freedoms to go out the window in the name of safety.

Q: In some of your writings, you talk about the economic inequality pervasive in the United States and the fact that there is a large underrepresented, underprivileged majority that is in no way equal to the powerful, affluent minority in terms of income and the facilities it has. You say that the deprived majority works and makes money for the influential minority, and the influential minority spends what is earned for waging wars and militarizing the nation’s civil institutions. Doesn’t this inequality undermine the values which the US politicians have always boasted lay out the basis of the American society?

A: There is no doubt that extreme economic inequality harms the quality of life of all Americans, and seriously threatens our freedoms. With only a few people calling the shots in government and business, the rest of America simply must do what they can to get by while the economic elite continue to put forth abusive policies which most Americans are not in favor of. A forthcoming study to be published in the academic journal “Perspectives on Politics” confirms that a small economic elite controls public policy in America. As the authors put it, “the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.”

Q: As a final question, do you think that the United States government is currently providing its citizens with the absolute, unrestricted and unconditional freedoms and civil liberties, as the freedom of speech and press freedom, which the mainstream media and the Hollywood movies usually depict and claim?

A: No, the United States government is not living up to the standards and laws as set out in the Constitution, which the officials in the American government are sworn to uphold.

Interview by Kourosh Ziabari

Source: Fars News

US Refuses To Admit Checkmate By Russia And Syria, Redirects Purpose Of Military Incursion

Admits regime change intention

By Tyler Durden, ZeroHedge

Following up on this morning’s shocking “appeasement” turn of events by Russia and Syria, the White House has promptly fired back in the only way it knows: digging in deeper:

The White House ✔ @WhiteHouse

“Failing to respond brings us closer to the day when terrorists might gain and use chemical weapons against Americans.” —@AmbassadorRice
7:07 PM – 9 Sep 2013

The Comedy continues:

The White House ✔ @WhiteHouse

“We have seen what happens when the world fails to respond to horrific abuses on the scale we saw in Damascus.” —@AmbassadorRice on #Syria
7:38 PM – 9 Sep 2013

Yes – in Rwanda, Somalia and all those tens of other conflicts the US never got involved in because Qatari/Saudi petrodollar/gas interests were not involved.

With the mainstream media proclaiming last night’s Charlie Rose interview with Assad “propaganda”, the following headlines from a speech by national security advisors Susan Rice will frighten even the most “Miley Cyrus”-numb American:

RICE SAYS OPENING DOOR TO CHEMICAL WEAPONS THREATENS U.S.

RICE SAYS CHEMICAL WEAPONS COULD BE USED EVEN WITHIN THE U.S.

RICE SAYS U.S. ALLIES BECOME `TEMPTING TARGETS’ IF NO RESPONSE

RICE SAYS ASSAD ATTACK THREATENS GLOBAL SECURITY, U.S. INCLUDED

We can only imagine the ‘score’ underlying her words, which are getting scarier and louder with every verbal escalation…

RICE SAYS SYRIA UNLEASHED `HELLISH CHAOS’ IN CHEMICAL ATTACK

and an ominous Carmina Burana ‘drum beat’, crescendoing with:

RICE SAYS NOT RESPONDING MAY EMBOLDEN N KOREA, IRAN, TERRORISTS

So, it would appear, that a Syrian strike is no longer about preventing Assad from using weapons, as was the story until now, but deterring others from doing what Assad may or may not have done.

At the end of the day, the US will refuse to accept checkmate by being humiliated by grandmaster Putin in the world arena: it seems the decision is already made:

RICE SAYS U.S. WOULD LIKE UN BACKING BUT IT WON’T HAPPEN

And finally, here is the admission after all. As expected, the whole point of this entire frace was to topple Assad and replace him with a pro-Syria, pro-Qatar, anti-Russia regime:

White House Live ✔ @WHLive

Rice: “Our overarching goal is to end the underlying conflict through a negotiated, political transition in which Assad leaves power” #Syria
7:27 PM – 9 Sep 2013

And if we were Iran we would be worried. Very worried. A false flag in which Tehran attacks Israel is coming any second:

White House Live ✔ @WHLive

Rice: Limited strikes “will make clear to Assad and his allies—Hezbollah & Iran—that they should not test the resolve of the United States.”
7:32 PM – 9 Sep 2013

Not a ‘slam dunk’: US intelligence can’t prove Assad used chemical weapons

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Syrian President Bashar Assad (AFP/SANA)

RT

Only days after the White House suggested it was all but certain Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons to gas hundreds of civilians, United States intelligence officials briefed on the situation say the evidence isn’t all there.

Despite recent remarks from US President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry and other top administration officials, sources within the intelligence community are disputing the certainty that Assad ordered the use of chemical gas last week on innocent civilians outside of Damascus, Syria.

Four US officials — including one senior member of the intelligence community — told the Associated Press this week that there’s confusion over where the reported chemical warheads are currently being held and who exactly possesses them. Citing a lapse in both signals and human intelligence reports, the officials all told the AP on condition of anonymity that US and allied spies “have lost track of who controls some of the country’s chemical weapons supplies,” according to reporters Kimberly Dozier and Matt Apuzzo.

Multiple officials, the AP reported Thursday morning, used the phrase “not a slam dunk” to discuss the credibility of intelligence linking chemical weapon use directly to Pres. Assad. In 2002, then-Central Intelligence Agency Director George Tenet infamously said Washington scored a “slam dunk” with regards to confirming Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. Now more than a decade down the road, US officials hesitant to rush off to war are again questioning the credibility of the White House’s own report.

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U.S. President Barack Obama (Alex Wong/Getty Images/AFP)

According to an Office of the Director for National Intelligence report cited by the AP, the evidence against Syria “is thick with caveats” and contains gaps that are getting in the way of putting the chemical weapon use directly in the hands of Assad.

But Carney, the administration’s press secretary, said earlier this week that the White House “established with a high degree of confidence that the Syria regime has used chemical weapons already in this conflict.”

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West Savages Gaza – Slowly Burns Syria

Gaza destruction is one of many in an array of desperate measures to inject legitimacy into anti-Syria-Iran campaign ahead of final push.

 

November 20, 2012 (Land Destroyer) – Even as nations like Turkey, Qatar, and Egypt protest the Western-backed and facilitated destruction of Gaza by Israel, they, along with these very Western nations they protest, including Israel, continue coordinating efforts with each other to topple and destroy Syria.

Weapons and aid that many Arabs would like to see sent to defend Gaza, are instead in the hands of terrorists killing fellow Arabs across the Levant in the pursuit of long-ago articulated US-Israeli-Saudi plans to reshape the Middle East for their collective hegemonic ambitions.

Israeli Attack on Gaza – A Feast for those Starving of Legitimacy

In fact, the Israeli attack on Gaza - an otherwise fruitless adventure assured to end in either an embarrassing early ceasefire for Israel, or another 2006 Lebanon-style strategic defeat – is designed to give Turkey, Qatar, Egypt, and others across the region currently working with the US, UK, EU, and Israel to destroy Syria, a renewed sense of legitimacy in the eyes of the Muslim World.

Not only are Muslim nations that are in league with the West benefiting from this “legitimacy windfall,” so are international institutions like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. The reputations of both have suffered for consistently backing and defending terrorists operating inside Syria as the general public increasingly becomes aware of the atrocities they are committing and their true, sectarian motivations. The nebulous Anonymous group, which has also lent tremendous support for Western-backed terrorists operating in Syria, has also used the Israeli-Gaza conflict to continue casting doubt as to where their real loyalty lies.

Manipulative Roll-Out for US-Created “Opposition Council”  

The attack is one of many stunts playing out this month to strengthen the faltering, stalled campaign to implement long-planned Western-backed regime change in Syria – a plot aimed ultimately at the subsequent destruction of Iran.

Another ploy has been the US handpicking a so-called “Syrian opposition council” (and here) at a meeting in Doha, the capital of the despotic monarchical regime of Qatar. The opposition council is merely window dressing for a network of terrorists directly linked to Al Qaeda, funded and armed by the West since 2007, to violently overthrow the Syrian government. The council represents a collage of ineffectual, long-time servants of Western interests, rejected both within and beyond Syria’s borders.

To multiply a sense of legitimacy for the newly Western-created council, each Western nation behind the front has taken turns over the last week, making “dramatic” announcements of recognition of the council as the “sole legitimate representatives of the Syrian people.”

This would include an announcement from France by President François Hollande, who is facing all time low approval ratings for the blatant and continual betrayal of his campaign promises, which included withdrawing from, not accelerating, foreign entanglements. It remains to be seen what legitimacy Hollande can offer the council, when he himself faces a crisis of legitimacy in his own office. Continue reading

Obama Personally Arranged Benghazi Trip That Resulted In Murder Of US AMB Chris Stevens and others

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By Lawrence SINCLAIR, lsnewsgroup

September 11, 2012 U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, Foreign Service officer Sean Smith, and former Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods were murdered on the 11th anniversary of Sept. 11.

From the very beginning the Obama White House with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by Obama’s side took to the media claiming that the torture, rape and murder of the first United States Ambassador since 1979 was the result of some obscure YouTube video (that from its uploading on July 2, 2012 to September 10, 2012 had all of 17 views) mocking the prophet Muhammad.

Thirty-five days later we are still allowing the media and the Obama Administration to hide the truth and continue in their deliberately reporting information they KNOW to be untrue while refusing to address these facts which come from US State Department and Obama White House sources.

AMB Chris Stevens was NOT surprised by his killers in Benghazi, Libya as has been portrayed thus far. According to sources in the State Department Chris Stevens was in Benghazi, Libya at the specific instruction of the Obama White House to recover weapons that the U.S. supplied to Libya rebels in the over throw of Gaddafi.

These sources who work in the State Department and the Obama White House say that Barack Obama was directly involved in negotiations with Libyan Rebels in an effort to recover weapons that the U.S. supplied them. Sources say that the arrangements were made between Barack Obama direct talks and that the White House directly arranged for AMB Stevens to travel to Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012 and it was by direction of Barack Obama that Stevens was to meet with the very individuals who tortured, raped and murdered him.

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ARAMCO & The House Of Saud

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The only thing that was more striking than America’s cynicism- from paranoid right and jaded left alike – toward’s the Arab Spring was this nation’s collective journalistic ignorance about the Middle East region.

Pundits compare revolutionary Iran, where a still-nationalized oil sector has Big Oil licking it’s profit-inflated lips, to Algeria and Yemen, where CIA intrigues installed reactionary governments to replace progressive one’s which opposed the Gulf War in 1991. They compare socialist Syria with US puppet monarchies in Bahrain and Jordan.

There are generally two types of Arab governments in the Middle East. The democratic one’s have been our enemies. The monarchs and dictators have been our friends. And the game has been all about oil.

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(What follows is excerpted from Chapter 3: JP Morgan & the House of Saud: Big Oil & Their Bankers…)

By Dean HENDERSON, LEFT HOOK

With 261 billion barrels of crude oil lying beneath its soil, Saudi Arabia remains the lynchpin in the international oil grab presided over by the Rothschild/Rockefeller-controlled Four Horsemen. If revolution in the Middle East really hits its stride, then it must pay a visit upon the most crooked monarchy of all- the House of Saud.

As Joseph Story, Middle East analyst and former ARAMCO executive once said, “Only one factor is involved in where the price of oil is going to go, and that is Saudi Arabia”.

In 1933 Standard Oil Company of California (Socal) negotiated the first oil concession in Saudi Arabia with Saudi Finance Minister Abdullah Sulaiman. The Saudis were to get a 30,000 British pound loan and 5,000 pounds for the first year’s rent, all payable in gold. But US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) had just embargoed gold exports in response to the Great Depression and Socal’s request for an exemption was turned down by FDR’s Secretary of State Dean Acheson.

Socal circumvented the embargo by procuring the gold from the London branch of Morgan Guaranty Trust. When the Saudis asked Socal officials what they should do with their newfound wealth, Socal recommended depositing it at Morgan Guaranty Trust. The Saudis complied.

In 1938 Socal, which later changed its name to Chevron, struck oil in both Saudi Arabia and Qatar and founded the Arabian American Oil Company (ARAMCO). Chevron quickly brought in Standard Oil of New Jersey (later Exxon), Standard Oil of New York (later Mobil) and Texaco as partners. This American half of the Four Horsemen would grow ARAMCO into the largest oil company in the world, nearly three times the size of Royal Dutch/Shell.

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West gave Libya Bloodshed, Torture & Medieval Darkness

RT

A year on since the death of Colonel Gaddafi, RT speaks with political analyst Ibrahim Alloush who thinks that it is the involvement of NATO and its allies that handed the country over to ‘a group of fanatic criminals.’

It’s as the former regime strognhold of Bani Walid is bombarded by the army in attempts to restore order in the volatile city.

RT:The tensions around Bani Walid just underline the challenges for transforming Libya into a peaceful country but despite this, was the western backed Arab Spring a success, is the country better of without Gaddafi?

Ibrahim Alloush: Well I think the picture speaks for itself. For the last three weeks Bani Walid has been lying under siege and recently it was bombarded, many civilians were killed and wounded, the city was not allowed to receive medical supplies, food or fuel for that matter. Let me remind you that several hundred people from Bani Walid have been abducted after the new regime came into power. This picture is not only restricted to Bani Walid in-fact there are several places in Libya where the so called revolutionaries, the NATO mercenaries that invaded Libya with support of NATO airplanes have kidnapped and are still keeping in jail without trial or any form of supervision, tens of thousands of supporters of Colonel Gaddafi. Also amnesty International recently demanded that the siege of Bani Walid be lifted. This siege represents a form of collective punishment that is not very different from the way the Libyan people were treated by NATO airplanes or by the so-called revolutionaries.

RT:As you pointed out, Bani Walid is indicative of how unstable the country is, and following the death of the US ambassador last month, NATO has offered its help to improve security in the country. Do you think that Western countries should now be more involved in bringing stability to this very troubled country now?

IA: I think that the involvement of Western countries was the source of trouble for Libya as a whole. We have seen that the state has become dismantled, as happened in Iraq and Somalia, wherever NATO, or US troops have walked in. There was a total implosion of the central state, and this is why you have cases like Bani Walid. If you look at it from the point of view of the rule of law, in fact, there is no rule of law in Libya, and this is the best environment for the control of states that used to be considered rogue states, as they refuse to abide by the dictates of the imperialist countries.

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‘US aggression bound to ignite world war’

An analyst says US aggression and irrationality in pursuit of regime change in Syria and ultimately in Iran, Russia and China will drive the world to an ‘Archduke Ferdinand moment’ leading to a world war.
The comment comes as Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Saturday announced that Ankara had banned all Syrian aircraft from entering its airspace as the row between the two neighboring countries escalates.

The move comes in retaliation to Damascus’ decision to ban all Turkish civilian planes from entering its airspace. Syrian Foreign Ministry announced the decision three days after Turkish F-16 fighter jets forcefully grounded a Syrian passenger plane flying over Turkish airspace and escorted it to Ankara’s Esenboga Airport.

The plane was en route from Moscow to Damascus and was reportedly carrying 35 passengers, including 17 Russian nationals. Turkish foreign minister said the decision was made based on information that the aircraft might be transporting “certain equipment in breach of civil aviation rules.”

Press TV has interviewed New York based political analyst and radio host, Don Debar, to further discuss the issue. The program featuring Debar also offers the opinions of two other guests: London-based analyst, Sukant Chandan and Beirut based political activist Hayan Heydar.