by John W. Whitehead
April 30, 2016
Antiwar.com

“You had to live – did live, from habit that became instinct – in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.” – George Orwell, 1984

In past ages, those who dared to speak out against tyranny – viewed as an act of treason – were blinded, castrated, disfigured, mutilated, rendered mute by having their tongues cut out of their heads, and ultimately crucified.

In the American police state, the price to be paid for speaking truth to power (also increasingly viewed as an act of treason) is surveillance, censorship, jail and ultimately death.

It’s a diabolically ingenious tactic for muzzling, disarming and ultimately eliminating one’s critics or potential adversaries.

However, where many Americans go wrong is in assuming that you have to be doing something illegal or challenging the government’s authority in order to be flagged as a suspicious character, labeled an enemy of the state and locked up like a dangerous criminal.

In fact, as I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, all you really need to do is use certain trigger words, surf the Internet, communicate using a cell phone, drive a car, stay at a hotel, purchase materials at a hardware store, take flying or boating lessons, appear suspicious, question government authority, or generally live in the United States.

With the help of automated eyes and ears, a growing arsenal of high-tech software, hardware and techniques, government propaganda urging Americans to turn into spies and snitches, as well as social media and behavior sensing software, government agents are spinning a sticky spider-web of threat assessments, behavioral sensing warnings, flagged “words,” and “suspicious” activity reports aimed at snaring potential enemies of the state.

It’s the American police state’s take on the dystopian terrors foreshadowed by George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, and Phillip K. Dick all rolled up into one oppressive pre-crime and pre-thought crime package.

What’s more, the technocrats who run the surveillance state don’t even have to break a sweat while monitoring what you say, what you read, what you write, where you go, how much you spend, whom you support, and with whom you communicate. Computers now do the tedious work of trolling social media, the Internet, text messages and phone calls for potentially antigovernment remarks – all of which is carefully recorded, documented, and stored to be used against you someday at a time and place of the government’s choosing.

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