Whatever Happened to the First Amendment?

by John Whitehead | Pam Barker, TLB Contributor

The only therapy is the truth and nothing but the truth.

Otherwise, there will be no more First Amendment. There will be no more Bill of Rights. And there will be no more freedom in America as we have known it.

Sometimes you need a boost to raise the flagging spirits. It’s pretty hard trawling the news spectrum day after day, reading about more and more ways our government is trying to shut us down upfront or by stealth.

In a galvanizing essay this week by the Rutherford Institute’s John Whitehead entitled Dangerous Speech, Would the Founders Be Considered Domestic Extremists Today?, he reflects how if one were to stand on a street corner today and declare any of the founding fathers’ calls to arms to defend liberty or to stand up against government oppression, we’d most probably get thrown out, shut up, threatened with arrest or at the very least accused of being a radical, a troublemaker, a sovereign citizen, a conspiratorialist or an extremist”  according to Whitehead.

All manner of ideas can no longer find expression without the risk of surveillance, censorship or prosecution. Writes Whitehead, “[w]hat we’re dealing with today is a government that wants to suppress dangerous words—words about its warring empire, words about its land grabs, words about its militarized police, words about its killing, its poisoning and its corruption—in order to keep its lies going.”

Case in point for Whitehead, Pete Santilli whose anti-government rhetoric and non-violent involvement in the Oregon militia standoff have inflamed the feds. Simply for being an outspoken reporter on independent livestreaming media, issuing rallying calls to other defenders of liberty to come forward and help out while endorsing non-violence – these resulted in his being thrown in jail 2 weeks ago, where he still sits pending trial. Evidence used to keep him there is, rather disturbingly, coming from past remarks, from historical acts of his free speech. The ACLU is paying close attention, worried about the precedent this could set when continued detention is violating Santilli’s first amendment rights.

We do indeed live in a neocon, neoliberal world gone mad. Manipulated wars here and yonder paid for by the good old tax payer, Agenda 21’s usurption of the land and private property rights, toxic geoengineering of the air and water, false flags to manipulate the citizenry into becoming defenseless, inaction on too big to fail banks and swollen tax havens that are tax-payer supported, free trade agreements that crush employment at home, a thoroughly bugged system of private communications. What is there not to speak out about? Never has there been a more pressing need to exercise our First Amendment rights as loudly as possible.

Writes Whitehead, As I document in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, what we are witnessing is a nation undergoing a nervous breakdown over this growing tension between our increasingly untenable reality and the lies being perpetrated by a government that has grown too power-hungry, egotistical, militaristic and disconnected from its revolutionary birthright.

The only therapy is the truth and nothing but the truth.

Otherwise, there will be no more First Amendment. There will be no more Bill of Rights. And there will be no more freedom in America as we have known it.


Original article

TLB recommends other articles at The Rutherford Institute 

About the author: 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 Charlottesville, Virginia.

About the Contributing Author:

TLB image Pam

Pam Barker is a TLB staff writer/analyst. She has an extensive background in the educational system of several countries at the college and university level as a teacher and administrator.


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