Freedom to Tyranny: How serial terrorist attacks will change America forever – Part I

Monday, December 14, 2015 by

In recent days Natural News editor Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, warned of a coming multi-city attack throughout the United States similar to the one that took place in Paris in November and in San Bernardino, Calif., in December. editor Jon E. Dougherty wrote a manuscript in 2006 examining the impact of multiple terrorist attacks in the U.S. on Americans’ constitutional rights and freedoms, a theme he continued in graduate school in 2014-15. This article is one of a series to be published over the course of several days that will provide readers insight into what they might expect in terms of reactions by federal and state governments if Adams’ prediction comes true, and if the premise of Dougherty’s research is confirmed.

( In the aftermath of new terrorist attacks – especially if those attacks were to involve weapons of mass destruction – one of the most costly casualties is likely to be the U.S. Constitution. It’s entirely possible a great number of elected officials, civilian heads of government agencies, military chiefs, political advocacy groups and even media representatives and pundits would call for dramatic curbs on personal freedoms and liberties, all in the name of enhancing public safety. And if they were to get those restrictions, there is no telling when – or even if – Americans would ever enjoy basic constitutional liberties again.

Which liberties are most at risk? In a worst-case scenario, the entire Constitution could be suspended, though that is unlikely. That said, if history is any indication, our ten most cherished freedoms – those embodied in the Bill of Rights – are in the gravest danger. Among them, specifically, the freedom of speech and assembly (First Amendment); the right to keep and bear arms (Second Amendment); no warrantless searches and the reasonable expectation of privacy (Fourth Amendment); and states’ rights (Tenth Amendment) could suffer the most. Here’s how.

Diminishing privacy 

Probably the first constitutional casualty of the Global War on Terror (GWOT) for Americans was an absolute right to privacy. As earlier chapters have indicated, American leaders past and present have ignored constitutional protections of privacy in times of turmoil and war – or, at a minimum, in times perceived to be tumultuous.

In whole, the amendment which spells out our privacy rights, the Fourth Amendment, states:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Yet throughout our history, these rights have often been a casualty of aggressive congressional and administration policies ostensibly designed to counter a real or perceived threat.

“During World War I, concerns about German saboteurs led to unrestrained domestic spying by U.S. Army intelligence operatives,” writes Gene Healy, a senior editor at the libertarian Cato Institute, a Washington think tank.[1] He further notes:

Army spies were given free reign to gather information on potential subversives, and were often empowered to make arrests as special police officers. Occasionally, they carried false identification as employees of public utilities to allow them, as the chief intelligence officer for the Western Department put it, “to enter offices or residences of suspects gracefully, and thereby obtain data.” In her book “Army Surveillance in America,” historian Joan M. Jensen notes, “What began as a system to protect the government from enemy agents became a vast surveillance system to watch civilians who violated no law but who objected to wartime policies or to the war itself.”[2]

Continuing, Healy noted the “Army’s domestic surveillance activities were substantially curtailed after the end of World War I. But throughout the 20th Century, in periods of domestic unrest and foreign conflict, Army surveillance ratcheted up again, most notably in the 1960s.” During that decade, “President Johnson repeatedly called on federal troops to quell riots and restore order. To better perform that task, Army intelligence operatives began compiling thousands of dossiers on citizens, many of whom had committed no offense beyond protesting government policy,” Healy wrote. “Reviewing the files, the Senate Judiciary Committee noted that ‘comments about the financial affairs, sex lives and psychiatric histories of persons unaffiliated with the armed forces appear throughout the various records systems.’ Justice William O. Douglas called Army surveillance ‘a cancer in our body politic.'”[3]

During the 1960s the FBI and other government law enforcement agencies were also used to conduct “Black Bag,” or spying, operations in secret, and without specific legal authorization, against individuals the government said were a danger to national security. While such efforts sound noble enough – most Americans would agree the government should be monitoring individuals and groups suspected of plotting mayhem – oftentimes these operations were utilized to conduct surveillance against people and entities who were no more than political enemies of the ruling administration. As such individuals and civil rights organizations were targeted only for speaking out against the Vietnam War, for instance, or for advocating racial equality.

End of Part I

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[1] Gene Healy, “Beware of Total Information Awareness,” Cato Institute, January 20, 2003.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.


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