by John W. Whitehead
greatest evil is not now done … in concentration camps and labour camps.
In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered
(moved, seconded, carried, and minuted) in clean, carpeted, warmed and
well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut
fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their
voices. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like
the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty
business concern.” ― C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters
Is the U.S. government evil? You tell me.
is a government that treats its citizens like faceless statistics and
economic units to be bought, sold, bartered, traded, tracked, tortured,
and eventually eliminated once they’ve outgrown their usefulness. This
is a government that treats human beings like lab rats to be caged,
branded, experimented upon, and then discarded and left to suffer from
the after-effects. This is a government that repeatedly lies, cheats,
steals, spies, kills, maims, enslaves, breaks the laws, overreaches its
authority, and abuses its power at almost every turn. This is a
government that wages wars for profit, jails its own people for profit,
and then turns a blind eye and a deaf ear while its henchmen rape and
kill and pillage.
No, this is not a government that can be
trusted to do what is right or moral or humane or honorable but instead
seems to gravitate towards corruption, malevolence, misconduct, greed,
cruelty, brutality and injustice. This is not a government you should
trust with your life, your loved ones, your livelihood or your freedoms.
is the face of evil, disguised as a democracy, sold to the people as an
institution that has their best interests at heart. Don’t fall for the
lie. The government has never had our best interests at heart.
Endless wars. The
government didn’t have our best interests at heart when it propelled us
into endless oil-fueled wars and military occupations in the Middle
East that wreaked havoc on our economy, stretched thin our military
resources and subjected us to horrific blowback.
A police state. There
is no way the government had our best interests at heart when it passed
laws subjecting us to all manner of invasive searches and surveillance,
censoring our speech and stifling our expression, rendering us
anti-government extremists for daring to disagree with its dictates,
locking us up for criticizing government policies on social media,
encouraging Americans to spy and snitch on their fellow citizens, and
allowing government agents to grope, strip, search, taser, shoot and
Battlefield America. Certainly
the government did not have our best interests at heart when it turned
America into a battlefield, transforming law enforcement agencies into
extensions of the military, conducting military drills on domestic soil,
distributing “free” military equipment and weaponry to local police,
and desensitizing Americans to the menace of the police state with
active shooter drills, color-coded terror alerts, and randomly conducted
security checkpoints at “soft” targets such as shopping malls and
School-to-prison pipeline. It
would be a reach to suggest that the government had our best interests
at heart when it locked down the schools, installing metal detectors and
surveillance cameras, adopting zero tolerance policies that punish
childish behavior as harshly as criminal actions, and teaching our young
people that they have no rights, that being force-fed facts is
education rather than indoctrination, that they are not to question
governmental authority, that they must meekly accept a life of
censorship, round-the-clock surveillance, roadside blood draws, SWAT
team raids and other indignities.
Secret human experimentation. One would also be hard-pressed to suggest that the American government had our best interests at heart when it conducted secret experiments on an unsuspecting populace—citizens
and noncitizens alike—making healthy people sick by spraying them with
chemicals, injecting them with infectious diseases and exposing them to
airborne toxins. The government reasoned that it was legitimate (and
cheaper) to experiment on people who did not have full rights in society
such as prisoners, mental patients, and poor blacks.
Associated Press reports, “The late 1940s and 1950s saw huge growth in
the U.S. pharmaceutical and health care industries, accompanied by a
boom in prisoner experiments funded by both the government and
corporations. By the 1960s, at least half the states allowed prisoners
to be used as medical guinea pigs … because they were cheaper than chimpanzees.”
Alabama, for example, 600 black men with syphilis were allowed to
suffer without proper medical treatment so that the government could
study the natural progression of untreated syphilis. In California,
older prisoners were implanted with testicles from livestock and
executed convicts so the government could test their virility.
Connecticut, mental patients were injected with hepatitis so the
government could study the disease. In Maryland, sleeping prisoners had a
pandemic flu virus sprayed up their noses so the government could
monitor their symptoms. In Georgia, two dozen “volunteering” prison
inmates had gonorrhea bacteria pumped directly into their urinary tracts
through the penis so the government could work on a cure.
In Michigan, male patients at an insane asylum were exposed to the flu so
the government could experiment with a flu vaccine. In Minnesota, 11
public service employee “volunteers” were injected with malaria, then
starved for five days, so the government could study the impact.
New York, prisoners at a reformatory prison were split into two groups
to determine how a deadly stomach virus was spread: the first group was
made to swallow an unfiltered stool suspension, while the second group
merely breathed in germs sprayed into the air. In Staten Island, children with mental retardation were given hepatitis orally and by injection to see if they could then be cured.
these incidents are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the
atrocities the government has inflicted on an unsuspecting populace in
the name of secret experimentation.
For instance, there was the U.S. military’s secret race-based testing of mustard gas on more than 60,000 enlisted men (African-Americans, Japanese-Americans, Hispanics, etc.). As NPR reports,
“All of the World War II experiments with mustard gas were done in
secret and weren't recorded on the subjects' official military records.
Most do not have proof of what they went through. They received no
follow-up health care or monitoring of any kind. And they were sworn to
secrecy about the tests under threat of dishonorable discharge and
military prison time, leaving some unable to receive adequate medical
treatment for their injuries, because they couldn't tell doctors what
happened to them.”
And then there was the CIA’s Cold War-era program, MKULTRA,
in which the government began secretly experimenting on hundreds of
unsuspecting American civilians and military personnel by dosing them
with LSD, some having the hallucinogenic drug secretly slipped into
their drinks, so that the government could explore its uses in
brainwashing and controlling targets. The CIA spent nearly $20 million
on its MKULTRA program, reportedly as a means of programming people to carry out assassinations and, to a lesser degree, inducing anxieties and erasing memories, before it was supposedly shut down.
Similarly, the top-secret Montauk Project, the inspiration for the hit Netflix series Stranger Things,
allegedly was working to develop mind-control techniques that would
then be tested out on locals in a nearby village, triggering crime waves
or causing teenagers to congregate. Sounds like the stuff of
conspiracy theorists, I know, but the government’s track record of
treating Americans like lab rats has been well-documented, including its
attempts to expose whole communities to various toxins as part of its
efforts to develop lethal biological weapons and study their impact and
delivery methods on unsuspecting populations.
In 1949, for instance, the government sprayed bacteria into the Pentagon’s air handling system, then the world’s largest office building. In 1950, special ops forces sprayed bacteria from Navy ships off the coast of Norfolk and San Francisco, in the latter case exposing all of the city’s 800,000 residents.
In 1953, government operatives staged “mock” anthrax attacks on St. Louis, Minneapolis, and Winnipeg using
generators placed on top of cars. Local governments were reportedly
told that “‘invisible smokescreen[s]’ were being deployed to mask the
city on enemy radar.” Later experiments covered territory as
wide-ranging as Ohio to Texas and Michigan to Kansas.
1965, the government’s experiments in bioterror took aim at
Washington’s National Airport, followed by a 1966 experiment in which army scientists exposed a million subway NYC passengers to airborne bacteria that causes food poisoning.
Now one might argue that this is all ancient history and that the
government today is different from the government of yesteryear, but has
the U.S. government really changed?
Ask yourself: Has the
government become any more humane, any more respectful of the rights of
the citizenry? Has it become any more transparent or willing to abide by
the rule of law? Has it become any more truthful about its activities?
Has it become any more cognizant of its appointed role as a guardian of
Or, having mastered the Orwellian art of
Doublespeak and followed the Huxleyan blueprint for distraction and
diversion, has the government simply gotten craftier and more conniving,
better able to hide its nefarious acts and dastardly experiments under
layers of secrecy, legalism and obfuscations? Consider this: after
revelations about the government’s experiments spanning the 20th century
spawned outrage, the government began looking for human guinea pigs in other countries, where “clinical trials could be done more cheaply and with fewer rules.”
Guatemala, prisoners and patients at a mental hospital were infected
with syphilis, “apparently to test whether penicillin could prevent some
sexually transmitted disease.” More recently, U.S.-funded doctors “failed to give the AIDS drug AZT to all the HIV-infected pregnant women in
a study in Uganda even though it would have protected their newborns.”
Meanwhile, in Nigeria, children with meningitis were used to test an
antibiotic named Trovan. Eleven children died and many others were left disabled.
What kind of government perpetrates such horrific acts on human beings, whether or not they are American citizens?
there any difference between a government mindset that justifies
experimenting on prisoners because they’re “cheaper than chimpanzees”
and a government that sanctions jailhouse strip searches of individuals
charged with minor infractions simply because it’s easier on a jail
John Lennon was right: “We’re being run by maniacs for maniacal ends.”
the more things change, the more they stay the same. Just recently,
for example, a Fusion Center in Washington State (a Dept. of Homeland
Security-linked data collection clearinghouse that shares information between state, local and federal agencies) inadvertently released records on remote mind control tactics (the
use of “psycho-electronic” weapons to control people from a distance or
subject them to varying degrees of pain). Mind you, there is no clear
evidence to suggest that these particular documents were created by a
government agency. Then again, the government—no stranger to diabolical
deeds or shady experiments carried out an unsuspecting populace—has done
After all, this is a government that has
become almost indistinguishable from the evil it claims to be fighting,
whether that evil takes the form of terrorism, torture, drug trafficking, sex trafficking, murder, violence, theft, pornography, scientific experimentations or some other diabolical means of inflicting pain, suffering and servitude on humanity.
too long now, the American people have been persuaded to barter their
freedoms for phantom promises of security and, in the process, have
rationalized turning a blind eye to all manner of government
wrongdoing—asset forfeiture schemes, corruption, surveillance, endless
wars, SWAT team raids, militarized police, profit-driven private
prisons, and so on—because they were the so-called lesser of two evils.
No matter how you rationalize it, the lesser of two evils is still evil.
There’s a scene in The Third Man,
Carol Reed’s influential 1949 film starring Joseph Cotten and Orson
Welles in which a rogue war profiteer (Harry Lime) views human carnage
with a callous indifference, unconcerned that the diluted penicillin
he’s been trafficking underground has resulted in the tortured deaths of
young children. Challenged by his old friend Holly Martins to consider
the consequences of his actions, Lime responds, “In these days, old man, nobody thinks in terms of human beings. Governments don’t, so why should we?” “Have you ever seen any of your victims?” asks Martins.
responds Lime, as he looks down from the top of a Ferris wheel onto a
populace reduced to mere dots on the ground. “Look down there. Tell me.
Would you really feel any pity if one of those dots stopped moving
forever? If I offered you twenty thousand pounds for every dot that
stopped, would you really, old man, tell me to keep my money, or would
you calculate how many dots you could afford to spare?”
callous indifference is no different from the U.S. government’s
calculating cost-benefit analyses. In the eyes of the government, “we
the people” are chump change. So why do Americans keep believing the
government has their best interests at heart? Why do Americans keep
trusting the government?
Why do Americans pretend not to know what is so obvious to anyone with eyes and ears and a conscience?
As Carl Sagan recognized, “If
we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of
the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The
bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even
to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power
over you, you almost never get it back.”
We should never have trusted the government in the first place.
why the Founders came up with a Bill of Rights. They recognized that
without binding legal protections affirming the rights of the people,
the newly instituted American government would be no better than the old
It was Thomas Jefferson who warned, “In
questions of power then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but
bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”
Unfortunately, we didn’t heed the warning.
As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, the
government has ripped the Constitution to shreds and left us powerless
in the face of its power grabs, greed and brutality. So how do you
fight back? How do you fight injustice? How do you push back against
tyranny? How do you vanquish evil?
You don’t fight it by hiding your head in the sand. Stop being apathetic. Stop being neutral. Stop being accomplices.
recognizing evil and injustice and tyranny for what they are. Demand
government transparency. Vote with your feet (i.e., engage in activism,
not just politics). Refuse to play politics with your principles. Don’t
settle for the lesser of two evils.
As British statesman Edmund Burke warned, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men [and women] to do nothing.”
It’s time for good men and women to do something. And soon.