Founded in 1982, The Rutherford Institute litigates civil liberties issues defending small-town folks from big government. The Rutherford Institute covers several issues such as Free Speech Search and Seizure, and Religious Freedom Speaking about First Amendment issues, Whitehead explains, “[i[f you’re on the street corner with a picket sign … I don’t care what you’re saying: I’m on your side.” (2:34)
Since 9/11, the Executive has begun to trample civil liberties and that the trend has accelerated under President Obama. “The NSA has been around a long time. We’ve been in semi-police state… since the 1950’s during the McCarthy era.” (3:46) Technological expansion and evolution has allowed for the government
Whitehead believes that the invasive government that Marshall McLuhan predicted has arrived with the advancement of technology will allow for increased government surveillance. He mentions Brandon J. Raub, a former Marine detained after posting anti-government messages on his Facebook page.
“Free speech as we used to know it is being monitored. It’s being intimidated in many, many ways.” (5:59)
Whitehead’s book covers government surveillance, militarized police and. He hopes that Americans devote one third of the hours they spend a month watching television to defending freedom. “What we’re trying to do … at the Rutherford Institute is to get people .. to [spend] one third of those hours you watch TV to fight for freedom. Go down to your local city council. Go to your local school.” (8:34)
Most of the media does not appear to cover these kinds of issues. Writers like Seymour Hersh have been criticizing the big media outlets for not covering real news.
One of the major issues, Whitehead explains, is the militarization of police. The DHS has purchased 1.6 billion rounds of hollow point ammunition. The Social Security Administration purchased hollow point ammunition in 2012, which it tries to explain on its website.
Furthermore, the advancement of technology and incestuous relationship between regulators and the industries they regulate allows for increased government surveillance. He worries about the use of drones and casual approach that many people take to them. Whitehead sees them as a threat to privacy and freedom.
He encourages folks to remain vigilant and active in combatting government abuse and usurpation of civil liberties.