By John and Nisha Whitehead
This is how the government wants to get rid of activists and dissidents who stand in its way.
This has always been the modus operandi of the FBI (better known as the Federal Bureau of Intimidation): silencing anti-government sentiment, harassing activists, and terrorizing Americans into compliance.
In fact, the FBI has a long history of prosecution, law enforcement, and in general bother Activists, politicians and cultural workers.
Back in the 1950s and 60s, the FBI Goals were civil rights activists, people suspected of communist connections, and anti-war activists. In recent decades, the FBI has expanded its reach to target so-called domestic extremists, environmental activists, and those who oppose the police state.
Back in 2019, President Trump promised the FBI âwhat you need‘ to investigate and disrupt hate crimes and domestic terrorism without an apparent thought to the constitutional prohibitions on such abuses.
This misguided promise casts an odd light on the FBI’s recent nationwide spate of SWAT raids, surveillance, disinformation campaigns, scaremongering, paranoia, and violent tactics.
For example, the FBI sent just before dawn on January 25, 2019 29 heavily armed agents in 17 vehicles to pull off a SWAT style heist on the Florida home Roger Stone, one of President Trump’s longtime supporters. Stone, who was charged with a political crime, was taken away in handcuffs.
In March 2021 under the pretense of conducting an inventory of US Private Vaults, FBI agents 1400 lockers searched in Beverly Hills and seized “more than $86 million in cash, as well as gold, jewelry and other valuables from owners who were.” not suspected of any crime.”
FBI agents in April 2021 raided Rudy Giuliani’s home and office, confiscate 18 electronic devices. More than a year later, Giuliani has still not been charged with a crime.
As of June 2022, Jeffrey Clark, a former Justice Department official, was under the Trump administration ushered out of his house in his pajamas while federal police officers searched his home.
FBI agents in the summer of 2022 Wearing tactical gear, including body armor, helmets, and camouflage uniforms and carrying guns raided several homes throughout Little Rock, Ark., including a the judge’s house.
In August 2022 more than A dozen FBI agents searched Mar-a-Lagothe winter residence of Donald Trump.
And in September 2022, 25 to 30 armed FBI agents raided the home of an anti-abortion activist and pointed guns at the family terrorizing the man’s wife and seven children.
Politics aside, the message is clear: This is how the government will deal with anyone who challenges its authority.
You are the next one.
Unfortunately, none of this is new, even though these over-the-top, crude lessons in how to govern by force have become standard procedure for a government that communicates with its citizens primarily through the language of brutality, intimidation and fear.
The government has been playing these mind games for a long time.
As Betty Medsger, an investigative reporter for The Washington Postestablished in 1971, the FBI engaged in practices that had never been reported, were likely unconstitutional, and contrary to public understanding of the agency’s purpose.
The goal: targeted harassment, widespread surveillance and intimidation of anti-government dissidents in order to increase their paranoia and make them believe there is a “FBI agent behind every mailbox.â
Medsger, the recipient of stolen government files that provided a glimpse into the workings of the country’s most powerful law enforcement agency, later learned that between 1956 and 1971 the FBI operated an intensive domestic intelligence program called COINTELPRO. intends to neutralize domestic dissidents.
The explicit goal, according to an FBI memo: “expose, disrupt, mislead, discredit or otherwise neutralizeâ Perceived threats to government power.
As Congressman Steve Cohen explains, âCOINTELPRO was formed to monitor and disrupt groups and movements that the FBI found threatening… many groups, including anti-war, student, environmental activists, and the New Left did harassed, infiltrated, falsely accused of criminal activity .â
Sound familiar? The more things change, the more they stay the same.
This targeted by the FBI under COINTELPRO for its intimidation, surveillance and defamation campaigns including: Martin Luther King Jr., Malcom X, the Black Panther Party, Billie Holiday, Emma Goldman, Aretha Franklin, Charlie Chaplin, Ernest Hemingway, Felix Frankfurter, John Lennon and hundreds more .
Among those most closely watched by the FBI was King, a man the FBI has described as “the most dangerous and effective Negro leader in the country.” All in all, the FBI collected 17,000 pages of material on king.
With wiretaps and electronic bugs in his home and office, King was under constant FBI surveillance to “neutralize” him. He even received ransom notes from FBI agents suggesting that he either commit suicide or reveal the details of his private life to the public. The FBI continued to pursue King until he was killed by a hollow point bullet to the head in 1968.
John Lennon, a vocal peace protester and anti-war activist, was another high-profile example of just how far the Deep State will go to persecute those who dare challenge its authority.
Lennon was recognized for daring to speak the truth to those in power about the government’s warmongering, his phone calls were monitored, and data files on his activities and connections were illegally collected.
At least for a while, Lennon was enemy number one in the eyes of the US government.
J. Edgar Hoover, then head of the FBI, ordered the agency to spy on the musician. There were also various written orders urging government agents to pin a drug arrest on Lennon. “The FBI’s files on Lennon…read like that Writings of a paranoid do-gooder’ observed reporter Jonathan Curiel.
As the New York Times Remarks, âCritics of todayâs home surveillance resist largely on privacy grounds. They have focused far less on how easily state surveillance can become a tool for those in power to try to stay in power. ‘The US vs. John Lennon’ â¦ is not just the story of a molested man, but of a democracy being undermined.â
In fact, all of the many grievances we have about the government today – surveillance, militarism, corruption, harassment, SWAT team raids, political persecution, espionage, hypercriminalization, etc. – were present in Lennon’s day and formed the basis of his demand social justice, peace and a populist revolution. As Adam Cohen of the New York Times stresses: âThe FBI surveillance of Lennon is a reminder of just how simple Domestic espionage can be divorced from any legitimate law enforcement purpose. What is more surprising, and ultimately worrying, is the degree to which surveillance is emerging as being intertwined with electoral politics.â
The Church Committee, the Senate task force tasked with investigating COINTELPRO abuses in 1975, reiterated these concerns about government abuses:
âToo many people have been spied on by too many government agencies and too much information has been collected. The government has often conducted covert surveillance of citizens based on their political beliefs, even when those beliefs did not constitute a threat of violence or illegal action on behalf of a hostile foreign power.â
The report continued:
âGroups and individuals have been harassed and disrupted because of their political views and lifestyle. The investigations were based on vague standards, the scope of which made excessive collection inevitable. Unsavory and vicious tactics have been employed – including anonymous attempts to break up marriages, disrupt gatherings, ostracize individuals from their professions and provoke target groups into rivalries that could result in deaths. Intelligence agencies have served the political and personal ends of presidents and other senior officials.â
Fifty years later, we’re still having the same debate about the dangers of government encroachment.
For too long, the American people have allowed their personal prejudices and policies to cloud their judgment, rendering them unable to see that treatment by the government’s deadly enforcers has remained consistent regardless of the threat.
The lesson you need to learn is this: whatever dangerous practices you allow the government to use now, rest assured that the same practices can and will be used against you if the government decides to target you.
All of the excessive, abusive tactics used today by the government and its cronies will eventually spill over into the general population.
At this point, when you’re in the government crosshairs, it doesn’t matter if your skin is black or yellow or brown or white; it doesn’t matter if you are an immigrant or a citizen; it doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor; it doesn’t matter if you’re Republican or Democrat; and it certainly doesn’t matter who you voted for in the last presidential election.
At this point â when you find yourself subjected to dehumanizing, demoralizing, bully behavior by government bureaucrats who have been hyped about the power of their badges and empowered to arrest, search, interrogate, threaten and generally to anyone they see fit bully – remember you were warned.
Honestly, as I emphasize in my book Battlefield America: The War Against the American People and in its fictional counterpart The Diaries of Erik Blairwe’re well past the point where we should be worried.
These are no longer experiments with our freedoms.
These are acts of aggression by a government that is not a friend of freedom.